SUPER ROBOT WARS ALPHA 3 "Galactic Climax"
Walkthrough by Mark Neidengard (mneideng@ugcs.caltech.edu)
Version 1.0.

This is the final installment of the SRW Alpha series, and the latest
installment of my "one-and-a-half-step-removed" walkthroughs, as in 1.5 steps
removed from a full dialogue translation.  My goal is to bring these incredible
works of playable fan-fiction to a wider audience who lack other means to
appreciate the story.  It's been a long haul since the original SRW Alpha, and 
worth every moment.

Those hoping for _the_ definitive guide to this game and are Japanese-empowered
are encouraged to check out the "Super Robot Wars Alpha III Perfect Guide" by
Softbank Creative, ISBN4-7973-3232-8.

Alpha 3 embodies around two decades of development on the SRW series, and is
the most highly refined SRW the Playstation 2 will likely ever see.  From the
smoothness of the graphics engine to a host of logistical amenities, this is
the best showcase yet for the stories and characters therein.  Those who have
played previous SRWs may be interested in the following refinements:

- Multiple spellcasting.  Users can "check" multiple spells from multiple
  pilots and units, and have them all cast at once, greatly saving time.
- Ubiquitous preview.  Using the triangle button, you can preview pilot and
  unit stats from just about anywhere, including the squad organization menus,
  equipment add/subtract system, or even the transformation screens.  Never
  lose track of what the movement range of your units when transformed is
  again!
- Song.  Several of your units have attacks that are based off of singing. 
  These attacks have a variety of beneficial effects when used on your own
  party, and only do damage to the Protodevlin.  Moreover, they are the only
  attacks that truly circumvent the Protodevlin's inherent shields.
- Scenario Chart and hidden missions.  From the Options screen on the main
  menu, you can now select the graphical flowchart of all missions you've
  cleared so far, including short reminders about what happened in them.  Also
  on the Scenario Chart are hidden side missions that you reveal as you play
  through the game.  These do not specifically affect the game as a whole (with
  one exception), but add extra character.  Hidden missions are denoted
  Scenario ??X, relating them to the mission they most closely follow on the
  Scenario Chart.

The system has many more major and minor enhancements that will become apparent
as you play the game.  You have a male and female Real and Super robot pilot to
choose from, each with their own story and dedicated missions.  Turn count and 
Skill Points influence which ending you receive, and some portions of the game 
(including EX Hard mode) are only available on repeated play-throughs.

In short, just start playing and enjoy!

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Story (from the manual)

It is the era known as the New Western Calendar...  Two hundred years have
passed since mankind ventured into space.

In NWC 187, the unprecedented upheaval of the "Balmar War" (SRW Alpha) left the
Earth Sphere with undeniable proof of the existence of extraterrestrial
intelligent life - and a vast war raging beyond the borders of the Solar
System.

Greater yet was mankind's shock from another intelligent life form, the
implacable enemy known as STMC (space monsters).  Though mankind repulsed their
offensive by the slimmest of margins at the end of the Balmar War, it was
anticipated that they would return to menace the Earth Sphere again.

Mankind has nowhere to run...  And so, various projects have begun to ensure
their continued survival upon the Earth.

The "Aegis Project" seeks to shield the Earth Sphere from enemies without.  The
"Ultra Long-Range Colonization Project" is endeavoring to find a new homeworld.
And then there is the "Carneades Project"...

In NWC 188, the Earth clashed with alien and Jovian forces, as well as forces
from beneath its own surface.  Against the backdrop of this "War of Seals" (SRW
Alpha 2), the various projects drew towards completion.

The War of Seals reached its climax in NWC 189 with the destruction of the
"Artificial God Gun-Eden", which sought to seal mankind within the Earth.  Yet 
mere weeks later, hints of new upheaval began to surface.

Mysterious military and alien forces prowl the Earth Sphere.  A massive,
enigmatic structure has been discovered in the asteroid belt.  And
communication with the ultra long-range colonist fleet has been lost...

A gong is about to sound, drawing mankind towards the final battle, and the
galactic climax.


Scenario 1. Shutsugeki, Hagane no Ryuuko ("Sortie, Dragon-Tiger of Iron")

Torres is at the helm as the Ral Kairam approaches Icarus Base.  Bright
cautions him about numerous gravitational anomalies which have been spotted
around here of late as Amuro muses that this is your first return to the
asteroid belt since the Balmar War.  Travel between the various planets is
considerably easier now than it was then, thanks to the deep space booster the 
GGG invented.  That said, your people still rushed to get here, too quickly to 
say hi to Kazuya and the others on Mars.  In fact, testing the GGG booster got 
your people stuck playing Express mailmen for Icarus, instead of the
better-suited Daikuu Maryuu.  This of course means that you may well have to
use the booster in actual combat, since as Bright points out, it's not as
though all your enemies are gone.

Amuro has been fretting over precisely that for the last several weeks,
wondering if the string of incidents within and without the Earth Sphere these 
last few weeks are connected with Gun-Eden's destruction.  He could easily
believe that the downfall of that entity, meant to keep mankind sealed within
the Earth's embrace, could herald the coming of mankind's next calamity.
Certainly, the discovery of spacecraft of neither human nor Barmian origin
within the Earth's precincts seems to fit the GGG's predictions of enemy
reconnaissance.  Bright agrees that it's too unnatural that "they" would have
remained quiet during the War of Seals...

Just then, a gravitational abnormality is detected dead ahead.  It's the
signature of something teleporting in, and it's far too large to be a mobile
weapon or battleship, at a good _thirty kilometers_ long!  Amuro quickly leads 
the mobile suits out to face whatever this colony-sized object is.

They see a gigantic ring, obviously artificial and looking suspiciously like
some kind of gate.  Bright has heard nothing about any such structure being
part of the Carneades Project, and it's pretty clear that whatever it is, it is
not of this Earth.  A high energy signature appears at the object's center as
some sort of vessel emerges.  To their astonishment, it is the Exelion - a ship
supposedly sunk long ago near Raiousei in the black hole that repulsed the
STMC.  What's more, Captain Tashiro is apparently still alive to make contact
with them!

[See the "Story" section]

Meanwhile, at the Tesla Raihi lab, elegant gothic lolita Irui is having visions
of life sucking immensely.  While seeking Kusuha and Brit to tell them, she
runs into Robert and Eri.  They tell Irui to hold her horses while K&B finish a
crucial final test they're running.  If all goes well, you are about to witness
the birth of the "Humachine", a super robot built with all the accumulated
manufacturing expertise and multi-role data from the Grungast series.  This
robot's flexibility in armament is especially pronounced, which is thanks to
Eri's study of the Choukijin [remember those?]  The new mech's full value
should be clear when Kirk and the others arrive the day after tomorrow, and to 
help ensure that, mock combat with Kouji and Ryou's crew is slated for this
afternoon.  The two scientists are so excited that Irui can barely get a word
in edgewise, but is content to wait like a good little girl until Kusuha is
done... rather hard to believe that she was the very incarnation of Gun-Eden,
the planetary defense system bequeathed to mankind by some ancient culture.  It
was her strong Psychodriver powers that qualified her for the position, though 
Robert thinks that she's now just a normal girl with slightly better intuition 
than average.  [HOW WRONG YOU ARE! Muahahaha. *gasp* *wheeze*]

Robert is a tad sad that Kusuha and Brit wished for Irui to be returned to
normal - presumably she knew all sorts of stuff about Gun-Eden and the
Choukijin.  But given that all those memories have been taken from her, and all
the Choukijin were destroyed in the battle in the Garden of Paral, there's
little more to fear on that front.  The heroes of that conflict, the Alpha
Numbers, have scattered to the four winds to continue their good works, a few
of them even visiting this lab from time to time.

Despite all the good news about the Humachine, Eri has been fretting over the
unidentified reconnaissance craft spotted over the past few weeks.  These
vehicles refuse to answer Federation hailing, content instead to flee the area.
These are obviously enemies, and given their lack of IFF are probably of alien 
origin.  And that's not all: the space forces have been quietly scouting out
the colonies, which is very abnormal given that the Earthnoids and Spacenoids
are now at peace.  Robert doesn't like the sound of that one bit - the last
thing anyone needs is the military stirring up trouble after all the effort you
spent to bring about peace.  Eri muses that humans may just intrinsically love 
conflict...

In fact, conflict is upon you now, in the form of some kind of UFO on the
inbounds.  Since Kouji and Ryou are out on patrol, it's liable to take them a
while to return.  There's little choice but to scramble the Humachine, the
dragon-tiger of iron!

Kusuha and Brit boot their mecha without incident, and rapidly come face to
face with the ichthyoid recon vehicles you've been hearing about.  Only this
time, they don't seem likely to stop at mere reconnaissance.  Robert cautions
the two of them that their brand-new mecha are still quite unpredictable, but
Brit isn't about to let anyone upset the peace that your people all fought so
hard for.  He thinks he recognizes the structure of the first enemy he fights, 
but quickly resolves not to get distracted now.

  Wipe out the bad guys within 2 turns for one of the easiest Skill Points
  ever.

  After eradicating the first batch of bad guys, both Kusuha and Brit think
  they've seen these bad guys somewhere before.  As reinforcements arrive, they
  prepare to charger further into battle, only to have a mysterious person in
  red intervene.  Well, not that mysterious - it's Kouji, and for once you
  _start_ with Majinkaiser.  As even more bad guys appear, it seems that you
  _start_ with Shin Getter Robo too @_@  Ryou is very happy about the tuneup
  the lab gave Shin Getter, and both he and Kouji are more than happy to defend
  the lab with you.

  In fact, when Ryou first attacks a bad guy, you'll discover that Shin Getter 
  is putting out almost too _much_ power.  Ryou wonders if this is just due to 
  it being tuned up, or some other cause...

Though these bad guys were pushovers, your people quickly realize they may have
appeared elsewhere too.  They all return to the lab to let the scientists
analyze your new foes and check on things elsewhere.  At least there's no
further need to test the new Humachines...  Kusuha is getting a bad feeling
about something, which she might have gotten earlier if Irui had actually had
the chance to chat with her...

Irui has in fact been cowering in fear from the nearby battle.  Kusuha admits
to her that she's scared too, but with Brit, Kouji and everyone else at her
side, she can muster the courage to protect Irui and everyone else at the lab. 
Kusuha promises Irui a bath together as soon as her work is done.  As she runs 
off, Brit like Kusuha has caught on that something isn't right about her.  Ryou
points out that Irui remembers _that_ she was the advent of Gun-Eden, even if
she can't remember anything during that time.  That probably explains her fear 
and hatred of fighting - and as Hayato points out Irui is also very well aware 
that not everything she did has been forgiven even if it wasn't her fault as
such.  A fuming Kouji would very much like to know who's responsible for
upsetting the peace and solace for Irui you all fought for - whoever they are, 
Robert comes with a report that they're raising hell all over the world.  The
GGG, Great Mazinger, and Koutetsu Jeeg wiped out the ones which assailed Japan,
and Robert tells Ryou and the others to wait at Tesla for orders to come from
the Photon Power and Saotome laboratories.  Brit finds it ironic that new bad
guys would appear just as the Humachine is finished [also known as "How
conveeeeenient!"], but Kusuha happily tells him to think in terms of the
Humachine's completion being "just in time" for the new threat.

Just then, an SOS arrives from Arizona.  It's Hyouma of the Battle Team.  The
little fishies that attacked here shouldn't even scratch Combattler V, which
can only mean one thing: something far worse is afoot in the western deserts.  
Robert hastens to get a transport ready, telling everyone to prepare for
dispatch.  As this new fight gets underway, Kusuha is left to ponder the unease
she felt in her heart...


Scenario 2. Arata Naru Shinryakusha!  Tachiagare V!  ("A New Invader!  Rise,
V!")

Irui is unusually glum as your people prepare to head for Arizona.  Kusuha
gently asks her if she too felt the strange unease during the skirmish.  Could 
it be that the coming battle will be harder and more gut-wrenching than any
that have come before?  [What are the chances.]  Kusuha assures Irui that she
isn't going to lose regardless, and with remarkable facility cheers Irui up
before joining the rest of your crew on the transport plane.  This works for a 
while, but Irui can't fully shake off the feeling that she'll never see Kusuha 
again.

The bad guys are coming with Barm combat robots, plus Boazan and Zaylan armed
flying saucers - rather surprising, considering how utterly you ass-rocked
those aliens in the last battle.  Setting the Boazan aside, it's a fact that
the Barm and Zaylans have been living peacefully on Mars.  Kosuke theorizes
that some unknown power may have somehow taken over what little warpower those 
races have left - maybe the Boazan?  Whoever they are, Hyouma is none too
pleased to see the peace shattered after barely a month.  Combattler V eagerly 
joins the Federation forces in facing the baddies.

  For a Skill Point, wipe out all enemies within three turns while keeping all 
  the Federation forces alive.

  A new crop of bad guys appears on turn 3.  The Federation forces decide to
  take them on, and quickly fall to the might of... Dangel, one of the widely
  known generals of Canpel.  Dangel informs Hyouma that his reputation as
  Oreana's killer has reached all the way to the Canpel homeworld - so _these_ 
  are the people who gathered together the various alien forces against you.
  Dangel warns you not to think of him as another busted-ass robot like
  Garuuda, since he's--  Hyouma cuts him off, ordering him not to belittle the 
  pride that drove Garuuda to fight for his homeworld.  This amuses Dangel
  greatly - Garuuda, as a robot, had no "feelings" as such.  Dangel is looking 
  forward to fighting Combattler V as the first step in invading the Earth, and
  Hyouma is looking forward to shutting his big mouth.

  Your people show up in short order to help out.  As Dangel gets kicked out on
  his oversized bragging ass, your people realize that the Canpel-led incursion
  is apparently unconnected to the recon mecha you just tangled with.  You have
  at least two different enemies on your hands.

After the battle, Robert calls Kusuha and your people up with some news.  After
you left, the ichthyoids attacked Tesla Raihi again.  This is rather odd,
considering that it's not that important as a military lab.  Anyway, the lab
had armaments enough to repulse these bad guys... but during the battle, Irui
vanished.  She was _supposed_ to have been evacuated to the shelter, and it's
anyway unlikely that the enemy got her.  His people are busy searching for
Irui.  Unfortunately, Kusuha and Brit can't head back to help in the search -
orders have been handed down for them.

A transport then arrives, piloted by Stallion White of the GGG.  He's here to
take you all off to fight the giant threat overshadowing the Earth, joining the
swelling ranks of warriors from all over the Earth.

Your people are then taken to an orbital installation.  It's big enough to be a
colony, but since it's not at a Lagrange Point, Hayato tells Benkei to call it 
a "space station"... or rather a fortress, as Kouji observes.  As Mikoto
informs everyone, this "Orbit Base" was built in secret.  You are then escorted
in to meet Chief Taiga, who along with Professor Shishio Leo explains who your 
new enemy is: the 31 Mechanical Primevals!  As Ryou surmises, these bad guys
are connected with the Zondar, as corroborated by Galeon's warning of
extraterrestrial intelligences.  Leo's flashy brother Liger explains that the
term "Primeval" is used to refer to beings from whom spring the thirty one
types of Zondarian, and quickly proceeds to offer a warm welcome to your crew, 
especially the ladies.

As the two brothers quarrel, Gai and Mamoru are escorted in.  Gai is rather
down in the dumps over being defeated by the Primevals.  Three of them to be
precise, who just last night blew both the living and deceased shit out of
GGG's Bay Tower base.  All the Hero robots were badly damaged before even being
able to sortie, and Gaogaigar alone stood no chance.  Gai grimly relates that
neither the Broken Magnum nor Hell and Heaven were of any use, and only the
intervention of a mysterious white battleship saved his life.  Said battleship 
transformed into a robot, and in an instant of overwhelming force wiped the
Primevals off the map.  Liger adds that the Primevals have cores similar to the
Zondar, and if those cores aren't Purified, the Primevals are liable to
reappear somewhere else.  A "mysterious boy" (Mamoru's classmate Kaidou) from
inside the battleship robot Purified the cores of the three Primevals, but
presumably this is merely the opening volley in what will be a far larger
conflict.

Taiga informs you that both the EI-01 from two years ago, and the recent
Primevals, appeared from the nearby ES Window.  Fully known as an "EScape
Window", this is a pathway permitting instantaneous travel to the far reaches
of space.  Unfortunately for you, an ES Window on a scale never seen before is 
beginning to open - meaning that the Zondar wave was merely a prelude to the
oncoming main force of bad guys.

Just then, Bright (promoted to Colonel after the War of Seals) shows up to
announce that the Ral Kairam and Albion have docked.  With everyone they've
brought with them, this is rapidly turning into a reunion of the Alpha Numbers.
Taiga wants you all to proceed to the projected spot of the ES Window as soon
as introductions are complete, but Bright asks about the explosion of Unius 7. 
Taiga says that the Earth Sphere Security Council is looking into that - the
supreme authority on safety and defense of the Earth Sphere, founded after the 
War of Seals.  You know several of its members, including Councilwoman Dorian. 
It was the Council who decided to reconstitute the Alpha Numbers, and your
people get busy preparing to deal with the ES Window.  Gai is still fretting
about his broken body preventing him from joining in the fight, and Amuro and
Bright decide not to bring up the Exelion lest they cause additional confusion.

Your crew works on getting reacquainted.  The new additions can't tell you much
about the mystery robot that wiped out the Primevals.  The boy who Purified
their cores seems to have similar power to Mamoru, including the ability to fly
and mystical mumbo-jumbo used to perform the Purification.  Hiroshi for his
part has the odd feeling that he's heard the voice the robot used before.
[*grin*]  The more hot-blooded of your pilots are looking forward to wiping out
the new enemies, whoever they are, but Hayato isn't sure if they'll wait long
enough for you to amass your forces.  Speaking of which, Deimos and Voltes V
are off at Mars, since the ES Window is forecast to open up somewhere in the
asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.  It would really suck if the enemy
appeared earlier than expected and headed to Mars instead to interrupt the
re-terraforming at work there.  What's worse, Banjou and the Good Thunder team 
are incommunicado at present.

Camille is fretting over some unfinished business with a certain Plant, which
got put on hold to come up here to Orbit Base.  All the Gundam pilots seem
somewhat distracted, which seems to be related to the demolition of Unius 7 as 
Bright mentioned.  After a long pause, Amuro opines that it's probably
impossible to keep secret, even though the incident is still under
investigation and not yet public knowledge.  Burning agrees with Monsha's
desire to just spit it out to your comrades, and Amuro relates that yesterday, 
terrorists blew up the "Plant" agricultural colony at point U777.  The people
manning this non-publically-known colony were all the product of genetic
engineering: "Coordinators".  Your people are flabbergasted to hear that they
still exist, given that even mentioning them in public is taboo.  Even the
Spacenoids like Fa who suspected their existence had never seen them in person,
aided by the official Federation line that the Coordinators don't exist.  The
"Plant" is a special colony in which they live, which is again taboo to speak
of.

The Coordinators were originally made only in small numbers, engineered to
withstand the rigors of being on the vanguard of human colonization of space.  
But a certain person's public declaration revealed their existence to the
world: the First Coordinator, George Glen.  He, the core of the first
expedition to colonize Jupiter, first coined the term shortly before being
assassinated - right before the fad of genetic engineering took off and
conflict erupted with the "Naturals".  Now, by Federation law, the
Coordinators' very existence is shrouded in silence, despite there being tens
of millions of them.  Camille learned all this by accident during the upheaval 
of the Titans taking over his native colony Green Noa back when.  Although the 
Earth-centered Titans left them alone, it seems terrorists are targeting them
now, and these are days where such threats, even to people who keep to
themselves as the Coordinators do, cannot be ignored.  Given the opposition in 
some quarters to the Barm, violence against the Coordinators almost seems par
for the course.  This does not sit well at ALL with Camille, driven to
distraction over the renewed violence so close on the heels of peace between
Earth and Space at last.

Gai is receiving the news that he simply won't be combat-worthy for a while.
He assures Brit that his courage hasn't perished, and Brit assures him in turn 
that your people will hold the fort until he has recovered.  Kusuha is still
fretting over not properly listening to Irui before leaving, but Brit is sure
that Irui will return to Tesla under her own power.  Brit points out to her
that the best thing you can do for her right now is to protect the Earth as a
whole from this new threat.


Scenario 3. Gyakushuu!  Kikai 31 Genshuu ("Counterattack of the 31 Mechanical
Primevals!")

The GGG heavies explain that the Primevals are sure to appear soon through the 
ES Window, creating gravitational disturbances when they do just like all other
forms of teleportation.  Based on the historical record, you can already spot
the advance signature of their transit.  You could call it a blessing that the 
ES Window will be opening well away from the Earth itself, but as Kouji
explains, the asteroid belt is already a Bermuda Triangle of sorts where the
boundary between dimensions is thin to begin with.  When your other people are 
thunderstruck that Kouji is actually _explaining_ things for a change, Leo
laughs and says that all the study at Tesla seems to have paid off.  This
unstable area seems perfect for a large-scale ES Window (as well as a certain
other object that Leo has in mind), and with that in mind the basic plan is to 
go and treat the intruders to an all-you-can-eat banquet of ass wreckage.  If
it's any consolation, the Federation fleet will be behind you all the way: FAR 
behind that is, at a safe distance and cowering in fear.

In short, you get all the guts and maybe all the glory.  The white battleship
from G Island City seems to come and go at will without leaving so much as a
name behind, and Hiroshi for one doesn't trust it at all.  You've got to get
rid of every last Primeval, since even one could Zondarize all life on Earth if
given half a chance, not to mention the Colonies.  As your people ready for
battle, Kusuha is still fretting over Irui's disappearance, but resolves to
concentrate on the fight at hand.  Hyouma is rather impressed at how
forthrightly Brit encourages Kusuha, wondering if all Americans are like that. 
Kouji, who was a classmate of Kusuha waaay back in the day, admires Brit
despite his slightly odd, archaic Japanese.  Chizuru, for one, likes a guy who 
can actually _express_ his emotions, especially his passion for the girl he
cares about.  Kusuha, Brit, AND the vastly grown-up Kouji can only shake their 
head at how Hyouma simply can't seem to get the hints Chizuru is dropping.  The
good news is that the talk of the bygone days has really reenergized Kusuha,
and she's now ready to get Primeval on the bad guys' ass.

It is now less than thirty five minutes until the ES Window opens, according to
the Icarus Base.  MUCH less, in fact.  Gai can only watch from the sidelines,
though Hiroshi and the others tell him to let them shoulder the burden for
once.  Both Kusuha and Brit are feeling something far worse than mere nerves or
Pressure: an abiding cold, laden with malice.  Kusuha hasn't felt this since
the Balmar War, but Brit snaps her out of her reverie and cautions her to worry
about her immediate surroundings first.

Your dudes unleash a full barrage as soon as the ES Window opens fully.  Of the
28 Primevals which appeared, you manage to take down 13 with the first volley. 
The remaining ones appear as gigantic pillars, just as the three which attacked
G Island City did at first.  This must be their traveling form, and everyone
realizes that now is your best chance to take them down.  Bright orders
everyone to lay down their life if need be to keep the Primevals from heading
for the Earth.

  Take the Primevals down within six turns for a Skill Point.

  After wiping out enough Primevals, the mysterious white battleship appears,
  fully as large as Daitarn 3.  Amuro figures it's no good requesting aid from 
  it though, and tells your forces to press their attack.

  On turn 4, Kaidou barely has time to sense the onslaught of new enemies: the 
  ones who trashed G Island City.  J finds it very convenient that the bad guy 
  he failed to catch before would save him the trouble of a search.

  When you take down the newcomer, it attempts to regenerate, but J won't have 
  it, and deploys the J-Quath to draw out its Core.  Your people marvel at the 
  massive display of power, Kouji wondering if EOT was used to construct the
  white battleship.  Meanwhile, Mamoru finds himself unable to feel the
  Primeval as Zondar, and thus is unable to Purify their Cores.  Kaidou has no 
  such limitations.

  Just when you thought the operation was a success, ALL the remaining Primeval
  cores seem to be just fine, and ALL escape towards the Earth.  J and Kaidou
  waste no time in heading off in pursuit.  Just as your people are about to
  hurry back to the battleships to pursue, an AAA-priority distress call comes 
  in.  Icarus Base is ordering you to point 0907 at flank speed, a location
  that an aghast Liger tells you may portend danger even worse than the
  Primevals.  Leo adds that your worst fears may have just been realized....


Scenario 4. Jigokumon, Hiraku ("The Gates of Hell Open")

Not all your people are pleased to be pulled off the Primeval hunt, but Amuro
assures them that the Cores are supposed to require considerable time to
regenerate.  When Leo enters, Amuro asks whether this new adversary is
connected to "that": the 30 kilometer-wide ring that the Ral Kairam discovered 
a week ago in the Asteroid Belt.  This object, possibly a gate, remains
shrouded in mystery except for the fact that it most definitely not of Earth
origin.  As for what makes it so dangerous, Amuro is about to relate what
emerged from the Ring when they approached - when the bad guys attack!  This
time it's not the ring, but "ordinary" warp drive that delivers an enemy fleet 
to you.

It's the Canpellians, back for more smackdown.  It seems the forces you tangled
with in North America were just the advance guard, and now it's very clear
they're in league with the Boazan, with remnants of the Zaylans and Barm too.  
AND, some new aliens you've not seen before - the forces of Muge, who leave the
battle early to head for Earth, since they apparently have someone from Earth
guiding them.  Dangel sends his brother on ahead and stays here to trade verbal
spars with Combattler and the rest of your crew.  You can't afford to linger
here long - you've still got to get to that Gate before something even worse
happens.

  You've got five turns to get to the designated point.  For a Skill Point,
  wipe out all the enemies by then.

Once you make it through the bad guys, you receive bad news from Icarus:
something like an enemy fleet has appeared at N0907, and swiftly wiped out your
advance forces.  Leo doesn't have time to explain, and urges Bright to make all
possible speed.

Meanwhile, the SRX team has been watching the fleet flagship and damn near
everyone else getting blown to smithereens.  Even worse, the SRX's bypass
circuits are fried, and even Quarter Drive is unavailable.  With the enemy
locked on, things are looking grim - and Ryuusei wants to separate and attack
independently.  That's not going to fly either, given that all R machines have 
been damaged one way or the other by the enemies' pinpoint attacks.  Aya's
psychic powers give her a brief glimpse into the enemy ship - a ship that knows
all about the SRX, enough to pick at all its weaknesses.  The pilot of the ship
is indeed of the aliens you feared from SRWA1, taking perverse pleasure in
dismantling the creation of the traitor to his people.  While gloating, the
enemy commander is determined to go and recover the Tronium, plus a few
"samples", with his own hands.  He won't begin to hear his subordinate's
caution to stay in safety while underlings handle it, in part to restore
standing to his father.  He orders his subordinate to go and guard the
"Crossgate" - it's now clear how useful this thing can be to the Empire if it
can be deployed en masse.  He even dismisses some sort of personal bodyguard,
who haltingly protests that leaving the commander alone would violate lord
Shiva's orders.  The commander casually tells him to shut up, and that _he_ is 
the one giving the orders.

With the rest of the crew departed, the commander tells Ryuusei Date that the
time has come to test his powers.  He is about to see whether or not Ryuusei
deserves to live or die, in place of his father.  The only weapon Ryuusei has
left is the High Finger Launcher on his right arm - the Invincible Sword simply
can't be used at their current level of power.  Rai repeatedly implores Ryuusei
to withdraw: against the might of the Arrowgaters, the Ze Balmariy Empire,
there can be no victory like this.  Besides, if anything were to happen to
Ryuusei or Aya, what would become of "that" system: who would pilot the
"Altard"?  Aya chimes in too, saying that living to tell the tale of this day
is the only way to assuage the souls of those who died here.  Essentially,
they're not allowed to die here.  With a supreme effort of will, Ryuusei
finally agrees, and Aya has all the energy diverted to the propulsion systems
to effect a speedy escape.  She'll concentrate on maintaining a barrier, while 
Ryuusei concentrates on piloting them out of here.  The enemy commander orders 
a few of his men to surround the SRX, wanting to see a sliver of Ryuusei's
Psychodriver powers.

  On 2.5, your people show up to find the SRX in very bad shape.  Your people
  are aghast to find the Ze Balmariy on the scene, and the enemy commander is
  rather pleased to see more of the people who downed the Seventh Fleet here.  
  He then starts putting forth some kind of psychic power - it seems he's an
  Esper just like Ryuusei and the others.  But he plans to demonstrate how
  different from your people he is.  Aya can't withstand the assault, and the
  T-Link System falters.  The bad guy even offers to give you a hand, forcibly 
  switching you over to the Uranus System, restoring the SRX's power levels to 
  full.  Rai yells at Ryuusei not to get carried away, that this is the bad
  guy's trap and that something is wrong with Aya - but he doesn't listen.

  The SRX gets thoroughly trounced.  The bad guy admires the amount of power
  Ryuusei emitted for a moment, but scoffs that no Earth-made system could
  measure up to his Viklan's Kalkelia Pulse Telgram system.  He decides to give
  Ryuusei more time to "mature", but proceeds to recover the critical Tronium
  from the SRX's carcass.  He destroys the T-Link system's core, the "defective
  part" also known as Aya.  Is Ryuusei happy?  What do you think.

  The Ral Kairam detects that even without its Tronium the SRX is about to
  vanish in one colossal explosion.  Bright orders your people to quickly
  recover the SRX team, including the vastly distraught Ryuusei.

The two remaining SRX pilots are taken to sick bay, where it's far from clear
that either of them will pull through from the massive injuries they've
sustained.  Ryuusei's recovery is especially in doubt.  Tetsuya coldly
instructs your people to get over it and come to terms with the fact that you
all are going to have to face this monumental foe yourselves.  Amuro agrees,
but adds that he himself isn't strong enough to stay entirely unaffected when
one of his comrades from the Balmar War is lost.  However, there is no such
thing as a war where nothing is sacrificed to move forward.  What is left is
for the living to overcome their sorrow and finish what the fallen would want
them to do.  Besides, with the Primevals and the other forces threatening the
Earth, many more people will taste the same sorrow if you do not succeed.  All 
that said, your dudes are still pissed as hell.

At the following briefing, Leo offers a few words of sympathy, having lost his 
wife (and Gai's mother) in a Jupiter convoy "accident" long ago.  He tells
everyone that Bright and Taiga are in a joint conference with the Security
Counsel and the top military brass, figuring out what to do from here.
Meanwhile, Leo explains that the ring in the asteroid belt, now officially
known as the "Gate" with a capital G, is a conduit or portal to far-flung
reaches of space, or else another dimension.  There is a clear connection
between the Gate and the Unknowns who have been causing trouble lately, and
Icarus Base was tasked with guarding and monitoring the Gate lest something
like this should happen.  The SRX was on special assignment as part of that
mission - reassembled for that purpose (but not JUST that purpose, Tetsuya
figures).  It's not clear if the Ze Balmariy actually _control_ the gate as
such - for one thing, if they could _send_ the Gate here, they could presumably
send _themselves_ instead of using it for transportation.

It's clear though that the Balmar know more about how to instigate travel
through the Gate than you do.  And presuming that the other side of the Gate
ends up in Empire-controlled space, the odds are high that they'll be sending a
far larger force to kick your ass soon.  Of course, if you can somehow seize
control of the Gate yourself you'd be able to prevent the invasion, but to do
that you'll need enough warpower to overcome the Balmar fleet now guarding it. 
Not precisely the distraction you wanted with the Primevals also lurking...

Bright and Taiga then return.  The news is not good: spy satellites could not
track the Primevals as they fell to Earth, and the other alien alliance is
massing its forces near the borders of the Earth Sphere.  To counter the threat
of alien invasion, a large-scale operation is to be undertaken near the moon,
including your dudes.  The plan is to be known as the Earth Sphere Last Line of
Defense, and your people get to be the spearhead.  As everyone is dismissed,
Kouji continues to agonize over whoever killed Aya and caused Ryuusei such
grief.  After a moment, Four says that she doesn't think that Aya is dead - she
didn't feel Aya's psyche dissipate when the SRX was vanquished.  Kusuha agrees,
having felt what Four felt and recalling a similar incident during the Balmar
War.  Then, it was Ingram provoking Ryuusei to bring forth his power - and
Yuuzes trying the same trick on Kusuha and Brit.  If all this is correct, God
only knows where they've taken Aya - but at least she should still be alive.
Kouji realizes that had they simply wanted Ryuusei and the others dead, they
could have arranged it in an instant - Kusuha seems to be on to something...


Scenario 5. Chikyuu-Ken Zettai Bouei-sen ("The Earth Sphere's Last Line of
Defense")

An argument is underway at Federation military HQ in Alaska.  Igor is trying to
convince the others that they must ask the Plant for assistance against the
alien incursion, with support from Oka.  The other brass are derisive: having
assimilated the Jion and such into the Federation military, they figure they
don't _need_ any additional help.  Oka counters by observing that the
Federation, previously happy to pretend the Coordinators don't exist, has
seemingly started keeping them under observation as of late.  Why, precisely,
are the other commanders interested in provoking them now?  One of them
grudgingly responds that they received a report of suspicious activity at the
Plant around the end of the previous war.  Oka isn't buying it - any activity
they may have displayed should have been pure self-defense, and directed only
at the aliens - not even the Neo-Jion bothered tangling with them.  The
Federation commander is not to be swayed, refusing to deal with the Plant on
the sole basis of their inhabitants being Coordinators: genetically-engineered 
"monsters" utterly different from the Naturals.  Igor does not accept such
discrimination, especially against the fruits of a project the _Federation_
ran.  The commander says that it's not "discrimination", it's "distinction", a 
word that Oka finds laughable on its face.  The commander continues that
differences in origin always cause conflict, as Oka should know with his own
body from the Jupitorian assault on the Earth.  Oka sardonically observes that 
it was, again, the _Federation_ who pulled strings to isolate the Jupitorians
from the Earth kindred.  When the commander tells Oka to stop right there, lest
he turn traitor to the will of the Federation, Igor drily notes that rumors are
circulating of a certain hawkish faction among the top brass and civilian
government.  He and Oka are both told to shut up and go back to get their
respective commands ready for war.  Igor furiously demands to know what the
hell the whole "Light of the Human Heart" was for if the result was going to be
mankind squabbling amongst itself again.  Oka adds that the Earth is destined
for ruin in the _near_ term, and not by alien hands.

As they storm out, the commander growls at the hypocrites.  From the shadows
emerges the Chairman, noting the discord and hoping to get a little information
about Unius 7.  The commander says that it's been listed as an anti-Federation 
terrorist act, and the Chairman muses that it's ironic to have to depend on
archaic weapons like nukes now that the Colony Laser is gone.  But depending on
one's point of view, such hellfire seems suitable for roasting the space
monsters.  He seems pleased that the Coordinators don't believe the official
Federation line: he's sure that they're going to try something after what the
Jupitorians did, and wants to "maintain the peace" by preemptive war against
these remaining dissidents.

Meanwhile at the Plant at L5, similar talks have been underway among the ruling
council.  The Chairman, Siegel Clyne, is very sad that people seem unable to
believe in the "Light of the Human Heart", the inexplicable phenomenon that
saved the Earth from the Axis drop.  Of course, some write it off as
malfunctioning weapons and the like, but Siegel truly believes that there was a
moment where people's hearts were united.  Patrick seems more than half
inclined to believe it himself - certainly many of the common people did, which
greatly delayed the attempt to declare war on the Earth.  In fact, the
dismantling of the Neo-Jion did represent the end of the war between Earthnoid 
and Spacenoid... but only among the Naturals.  He points out that the
Federation's feigned ignorance of their existence is proof that they refuse to 
see them as human beings with rights.  While they have nevertheless coexisted
until now, Patrick says that Federation elements are now spreading seeds of
doubt about the Coordinators.  In point of fact, Patrick opines that the
renewed surveillance is merely the first step to Federation subjugation.  This 
is precisely why Siegel refused the declaration of war - but Patrick says that 
the result of that was the "Bloody Valentine".  After a long pause, Patrick
informs him that the arrow has already been loosed - he's given the order to
Zaft to attack.  His plan: to prove to the Naturals precisely who owns the
Earth, under the cover of the renewed alien raids.

Meanwhile, your people are all in position.  After a brief exchange with Henken
(including Emma and he wishing each other well).  It looks like Emma is about
ready to finally pop the question, touching off a bit of mirth among your
people before the bad guys show.  Their commander, Death Gaia, is disappointed 
at how few Earthlings there are, and his mysterious adviser asks if he's
doubting their word.  The advisor tells him to actually try crossing swords
with your people, and if he's not satisfied, he can do with them whatever he
wishes.  Death Gaia will have this person remember those words.

Your people detect the enemy deploying over a wide area, not just the
(sizeable) number you see here.

  Clear the map within six turns for a Skill Point.

  After killing off enough of the bad guys, a very nasty development unfolds: a
  bevy of Plant mobile suits show up, and they're NOT on your side if the
  declaration of war being broadcast is any indication.  The timing, as usual, 
  sucks rocks, and the alien advisor quickly decides not to touch the "Zaft"
  forces to better let the Earthlings kill each other off.  It doesn't help
  that Death Gaia belittles your people for your stupidity in infighting while 
  your very homeworld is in danger.  The advisor muses that that's just the way
  humans are: stupid in the head.  And when Death Gaia protests that this
  person, too, is human, the "advisor" tells him to watch his mouth: this
  person is none other than the Muge Zolbados commander of the invasion of
  Earth.  As Death Gaia furiously goes about his commanding, with or without
  this person's say so, the mystery commander wonders how the Lond Bel, or
  rather Alpha Numbers, will react.  The other aliens use this chance to press 
  their assault against the moon, and the Creuset tells his forces to leave
  them alone: the Zaft are solely after the Earth military.  Amuro in turn
  tells Camille that there's no choice but to fight back - you can't left the
  Zaft do the same thing Char once tried.

  As the Zaft start attacking, Rau Le Creuset senses someone approaching: it's 
  Muu La Flaga in a mobile armor.  He's headed here after his fleet was
  destroyed, and you're all too glad for his assistance.  Amuro has heard of
  this guy, a prodigy Mobile Armor ace pilot, who is more than a little bashful
  at being introduced that way by _Amuro_.  Creuset then decides to sortie
  personally, resolved to test the legendary might of the Alpha Numbers on a
  "whim".... plus, he feels drawn to Muu for some reason.

  Unfortunately, Creuset will retreat if his flagship is shot down and vice
  versa, on reports that the raid to penetrate the Earth is successful.  He
  vows to see Muu again.

The news is not good after the battle.  The alien fleet is in the process of
descending to the Moon and to North America.  Worse, your comrades have
suffered roughly 50% casualties elsewhere on the battlefield.  The horrible
timing of the combined assault, whether planned or accidental is just too much 
- and the confusion is even worse than during the War of Seals.  As if that
wasn't enough word then comes in that the remnants of the Subterraneans are
acting up!  This has turned into a fullscale rerun of the Balmar War, and your 
people are close to outright panic.  Taiga steps into the breach, pointing out 
that your people still hold the Key to Victory!  Namely, hearts which love
peace!  The Courage to face any obstacle!  Hyouma was actually hoping for some 
new GGG superweapon instead...

Tetsuya starts by announcing that he's going to Japan to hold the fort against 
the Subterraneans.  Kouji agrees to go with the Getter team to North America,
and Amuro and the others agree that you have no choice but to split up.  The
GGG will support you, since the Federation military is all mixed up from the
Zaft raid.  Bright is heading back to Supreme HQ, to try to make sense out of
this mess and plan what to do next.  As Tetsuya and the others head off to
Japan, Synapse leads what Mobile Suits aren't going with Bright back to
Londenion.  Bright will drop the GGG staff back at Orbit Base, then head to
Luna 2.  The remaining robots head back to North America, resolved to give the 
bad guys a thorough down-home alcoholic-father-style ass-whupping in the
process.  Right before reentry, Brit swears to protect Kusuha, the Earth, and
to bring Irui back safely.


Scenario 6. Hokubei Sensen, Ijou Ari ("All Disquiet on the North American
Front")

Three months of constant hell have passed[!]  Your team in North America finds 
Detroit totally subjugated, all its citizens gathered together in a holding
area.  Both Majinkaiser and Shin Getter are unable to sortie for the moment,
due to certain difficult to replace parts worn out from the constant fighting. 
Nerves are a tad raw too, especially among the pilots who can't help out at
present.  Your mission is to free the civilians while the military creates a
diversion.  To do this, the military men will have to stage a guerilla-style
raid without any mobile suits, having lost theirs long ago.  Unfortunately,
Kusuha and Brit have gone looking for Irui, and aren't back yet...

In fact, Kusuha nearly gets taken out by one of the Muge troopers.  Brit saves 
her life, then sits her down and asks her to forget about finding Irui for the 
time being.  He reasons that Irui has left them of her own will, which means
that it's quite unlikely they'll be able to find her.  Besides, they have
something else to do: restoring peace on Earth - which Irui herself wants more 
than anything.  Kusuha meekly wonders if Irui will come back if peace returns, 
and Brit tells her that that's what he's decided to believe.

The soldiers do too good a job of creating a diversion: several of them get
blown away when the enemy send out their forces.  Your people identify the
holding area for the civilians and set about freeing them, determined not to
waste the resolve the soldiers showed.

  You've got to get one of your units into the indicated area.  Do so without
  even one battle with the enemy for a Skill Point.

  Once one of your dudes arrives in the zone, you attempt to set the prisoners 
  free.  Unfortunately, a new crop of enemies shows up beyond your reach and
  prepares to execute everyone.  Just then, the familiar blast of Dan-Kuu-Hou
  wipes them all out.  Your teams exchange warm greetings, then proceed to
  ravage the evildoers.

  Well, the first group of evildoers anyway.  A new batch shows up, but Igor
  radios in and orders everyone to pull out.  The civilians are all safe, and
  Shinobu reluctantly obeys the order.

Back at base, Igor and Hazuki have been doing the best they can to restore
order, what with the chain of command totally severed during the alien
incursion.  Hayato, among others, has been wondering something for the past
three months - how is it that the enemy is so successful in evading all
Federation safeguards and striking your weak spots with such precision?  The
only possible conclusion is that a traitor is helping the aliens - a traitor of
probable flag rank, and one deeply involved in Federation strategy.

Shinobu has a more immediate concern - how much longer do you all have to
continue this sneaky guerilla warfare?  Take today's battle - even if you freed
the civilians, Detroit itself is still occupied.  He fumes at having to endure 
the Muge Zolbados Empire, the fifth power colluding with the Canpel, Boazan,
Barm and Zaylans.  Their name is about the only thing you've found out thus
far.  Igor lets Shinobu speak his piece, then orders him (and Ryou) to go
outside and run if they've got this much energy left.  Shinobu stalks off, in
fact happier to be moving his body than chewing the fat with the brass.

After they depart, Sara explains where Dancougar was for the previous game:
fighting in Africa!  It seems they got, um, kicked out of Japan after Shinobu
disobeyed their commander, the infamous Commander Miwa.  Matters went all the
way to a court martial, but Igor stepped in and managed to have the Beast Squad
transferred to his command.  Kouji says that Africa seems almost more suited to
the Beast Squad, but Sara points out to him that whatever their machines may
be, they the pilots are human.  Well, she adds with a smile, with one possible 
exception.

In any case, with the Zaft in near total control of Africa, Igor and the Beast 
Squad escaped to North America.  Sara has heard that whoever the Zaft commander
is, he's got some impressive nickname and tactical skills to match.  Brit
points out that Shinobu has something of a point - an unending guerilla war can
only work to your forces' detriment in the long run.  Igor repeats himself:
he's waiting for the right moment, which will be when the whereabouts of the
traitor become clear.

Meanwhile, at the interstellar alliance's forward base, some of the other
commanders are berating Death Gaia for even temporarily losing control of
Detroit.  He calls it a minor hiccup at best, but Walkymedes and Dangel tell
him that their forces aren't his to toy around with as he sees fit, whether or 
not the current Earth invasion commander is from the Muge.  He retorts that
someone who's already gotten kicked off the Earth entirely has no right to tell
him that, and is about to demonstrate who wears the pants in this alliance when
the mysterious commander intervenes.  This turns out to be *Shapiro* of all
people, whose 100% certain death in games past apparently left him with nothing
more than a _really_ funktified hairdo as a memento.  He's now got another
Earth woman (Luna) at his side, who is quick to rub it in how much the emperor 
values Shapiro's contributions to the swift campaign the alliance has waged.

Walkymedes has been executing some other plan, which is now 80% complete.  If
in fact the thing they're seeking exists, it must be among the remaining 20%.  
Shapiro tells him to continue investigating, earning him dirty looks from his
haughty subordinates.  He then addresses them all, informing them that the
invasion of North America is now entering its final phase.  He tells them to
carry out their missions swiftly, the sooner to toast the success of the
alliance.  Shapiro is already drunk on the rank and power he now holds on his
long-awaited return to Earth - now more than ever, he views himself as the one 
and only person fit to become God.  And he's determined to take out his past
defeats on everyone in sight...


Scenario 7. Ikari no Kemono, Yasei no Houkou ("Raging Beast's Instinctive
Howl")

Ryouma is schooling Brit in the art of swordsmanship.  Though it doesn't come
up that often, he _is_ after all the son of the head of the Nagare Ittou-Ryuu
style.  Brit explains his newfound interest in swordsmanship by saying that he 
hasn't mastered Raiko's full powers yet.  Even with the motion programming from
the Ryuu-Ko-Ou, it's still a mecha - unable to match the fluidity of the
organic Choukijin.  Brit confesses that most of the success he's had in combat 
so far has been do to Raiko's capabilities rather than his own skill.  To make 
any further progress, he wants to start by improving himself, much like he
tried to do in high school kendou club.  Benkei knows that Brit's telepathic
powers are the equal of Kusuha's, and wonders why he doesn't trade in his
Lion's Blade for some long-range weaponry.  Hayato knows the answer to that: he
wants to fight by Kusuha's side, and it wouldn't very well do for both units to
be copies of each other, with weaknesses in common.  Benkei apologizes for not 
realizing that beforehand, and a somewhat grim Brit says that he's been nothing
but a burden to Kusuha so often - for once he'd like to make things even, to
protect her as she protected him.  Ryou likes the sound of that very much, and 
promises to help Brit practice as often as he wants.

Speaking of the devil, Kusuha runs up with news: the interstellar alliance is
raising hell near Cincinnati, and Shinobu has headed off without waiting for
orders.  Your people are ordered to head off in pursuit.  Ryouma promises Brit 
that he won't tell Kusuha about his training.

Dangel is in fact astounded when your people actually fall for his vain
commander's plan and show up.  Shinobu tells his team that while he doesn't
know what the enemy are up to, he can't just sit around and watch this war cut 
down people by the hundreds.  His teammates all agree, letting their instincts 
guide them into battle.

  For a Skill Point, take down the Zupanzer, the Boazan saucers, and the Red
  Baroms within four turns.

  Dangel remarks that Dancougar is as fierce as a wounded beast, but Shinobu
  says that the only one wounded around here will be Dangel.  Dangel retorts
  that he can see how that "vain" commander is so dead set against Dancougar
  (Sara takes notice), and a certain black knight intervenes before Dancougar
  rushes into battle too deeply: it's Alan!  Shinobu for once gladly accepts
  his aid, and your people vow to show the bad guys just how much the fire of
  their instincts will go to burn them away.  Alan knows that this pure form of
  wrath is just what is needed to clear the way through this tangled battle:
  the Beast Squad's immeasurable powers.

  Your dudes show up as soon as the small fry are toast.  Alan warns you to be 
  careful - this seems to be some kind of trap designed to lure you out.  That 
  said, you can't afford to give up either.  In fact, Death Gaia shows up with 
  plenty of reinforcements, but tells the briefly grateful Dangel not to get
  the wrong idea.  He'll leave the forces with Dangel, but plans to kick back
  himself and get a good luck at Dancougar, which their commander is so fixated
  on.  Dangel is infuriated at the Mohican bastard's choice of words, but is
  more infuriated yet with your people.

  One of the enemies has a Booster.

  Save Dangel for last, as killing him will end the battle.

Your people are now fully aware that you've been marked by the enemy.  Alan
ponders Igor's strategy for trying to figure out who's pulling the enemy
strings: having your people strike the enemy head-on is very much like him.
Kouji wants to know what other choice there is, and Alan says that he's
gathering information to create that opportune moment everyone wants.  He tells
you not to die until he can get that information to you.  When Shinobu asks,
Alan figures that his father would have nothing to say to him even if he paused
his spying to go see him.  His last words to you are a warning: the Alpha
Numbers has more enemies than just the interplanetary alliance...  Your people 
return to base to face the fuming Igor, who Shinobu seems to think of as
another obstacle in his path...

...And, it's straight to the brig for the Beast Squad.  Shinobu is at least
consistent in his impatience with the guerilla warfare, but Ryou thinks Igor
has the right idea... in part.  And in part, he's worried about Alan's words:
he realized today that even the Alpha Numbers cannot beat the interplanetary
alliance in a war of attrition.  This means that meeting the enemy head on
won't work - in which case, you've got to strike at the enemy's heart.  This
begins to make sense to Shinobu, but Ryou isn't done worrying yet: he figures
you need at least two more super robots to actually pull off such a feat.
Shinobu wonders where in hell they'll get something like that from, and Ryou
has something in mind, which Hazuki should be seeing to any time now.  Sara
meanwhile has been atypically distracted, telling Shinobu that she has some
sort of bad feeling about what's coming your way.  She shakes it off, though
Shinobu tells her to let him know if anything happens (and then gruffly claims 
that he's merely worried about her as the team leader ;)).  Sara thinks to
herself that SURELY "he" couldn't still be alive: Shapiro Keats was 100%
positively killed off during the Balmar War.

Ryouma needs no convincing to see that your dudes can't win a head-on war of
attrition with the interplanetary alliance.  The same goes for Kouji: the 50
meter-class bad guys are enough to go toe to toe with your super robots.
Hazuki muses that the Federation simply can't win with their forces so spread
out, and Igor tells him that he's contacted "them".  The situation in Oceania
seems to be going well for the Federation, so "he" should be available to help 
out here: someone your people know well.

Death Gaia is derisive of Dangel's failed efforts in Cincinnati, but is content
to let Dangel stew while pondering Dancougar's intriguing powers.  He resolves 
to take it down with his own hands during the next battle.  Walkymedes doubts
that he'll get the chance, informing him that his people have found what the
Muge emperor wants - meaning they'll have no further need to remain on Earth.  
Shapiro congratulates Walkymedes on spotting their target, noting that the
Canpel's reputation for advanced science isn't just hot air.  Walkymedes
manages a smile and says he'll accept that at face value, and Shapiro says that
the time has come to go and collect the target.  Walkymedes wants to go to the 
scene himself, telling his good-for-nothing brother that if he doesn't restore 
the family name Janela will be mighty upset.  Dangel doesn't like being made
fun of, even by his brother, but Walkymedes tells him he'll give his complaints
his full attention _after_ finishing the mission.  Shapiro tells him to get to 
it, and Walkymedes retorts by telling him to just rest his ornamental commander
ass on the couch and wait for his report.  Shapiro, predictably, scowls...


Scenario 8. Kagayake!  Fujimi no Yuusha ("Shine, O Immortal Hero!")

Akira is hanging out on the East Coast, staring out at the ocean.  He can
almost imagine that the flames of war encircling the globe are but a fable.
Shinguji is glad that the fighting hasn't claimed this area too, though he
wishes Mari would help him fix his Bluegar's engine.  They all want to join up 
with the Alpha Numbers as soon as they can, though Shinguji tells Akira to rest
while he can.  The others leave to tend to their repairs, and Akira thinks back
to his mother's sacrifice that let him defeat the Youma Emperor Barao.  He
tells her that invaders have once again shattered the peace she gave so much to
protect, and silently beseeches her to watch over him and his companions as he 
fights to restore that peace once more.

Just then, someone approaches - an apparition from the past which Akira
momentarily mistakes for his mother.  It resolves quickly into... Irui!  Akira 
quickly figures out that this adorable child is neither a sightseer, nor your
average war-lorn refugee.  She tells him directly that she's come here to see
him, which he's not really sure how to reply to.  She then clearly tells him
"Hero, the time of awakening is come.  The final battle for Reideen, hero
bearing the Star of La Mu, and the hopes of the ancient Mu Empire, is at hand."
As he stands astounded, she continues the "judgment day, the cycle of death and
rebirth is upon you".  Akira, very confused, wants to know what all this is
about and, above all, who the heck Irui is.  She says that she is "Nashim, she 
who has returned to this planet to sever the cycle of death and rebirth."  [I
think you hear E.F. Hutton talking, and I think you're listening.]

Higashiyama meanwhile is confirming the transfer of Reideen for Igor.  Akira's 
journey to join up avoided the Pacific Ocean, where his heart was so gravely
wounded in the fight against the Youma.  Also, this allowed him to avoid the
war zone that is Southeast Asia, as well as the Orb nation which took advantage
of the war to declare independence.  Unfortunately, the enemy picks this moment
to move their forces to... right about the point where Akira is! Igor orders
your dudes sortied, grudgingly including the Beast Squad.

Akira tells Irui to go and hide while he holds the bad guys off - he tells her 
there's no way he's gonna not defend a child under these circumstances.  She
thanks him and obediently trots off.  Irui watches happily from her hiding
place, inwardly urging the Hero not to lose.  After all, judgment day is close 
at hand.  She will wait for the Hero's awakening... elsewhere.  Akira's friends
quickly join, and he tells them to try to lead the enemy away from the little
girl he just spoke to.  This puzzles Mari, who says there's nary a life sign
for 20 kilometers around.  Shinguji thinks he was dreaming, but Akira of course
doesn't buy that.  But then, wtf is going on?

  For a Skill Point, take down the Flanbul, which flees at 8k HP.

  As Akira's HP begin to wane, he shrugs off Mari's concerns about his health. 
  An unseen voice agrees, telling him that he mustn't lose now, at the
  beginning of his long battle.  The voice tells him, the Hero, that Mutron is 
  responding to his strong heart, and that Reideen is the hope of all the
  people.

  Your people intervene after all the flying saucers are toast.  Walkymedes
  seems amused to see the Alpha Numbers show up, "thanking" you for taking good
  care of his younger brother.  He fills you on on what a cool scientist he is 
  and how he's _so_ in charge of the invasion of the Earth.  Even if his
  brother is the archetypical meathead, he tells you not to think of him as a
  mere brainiac.  He instructs his men to strike you down and present you as
  nice souvenirs for his "ornamental commander".

  Kill enough of the bad guys and some Imperial recon mecha will show up.
  There's no telling what they're here to observe, but whatever it is you can't
  let them get away with it.  Your people quickly figure out that the Balmar
  seem be at odds with the interplanetary alliance - which is good for you, but
  you still need to mop them all up.

  Walkymedes is worth a Dual Sensor.  He'll decide to pull out, satisfied as
  long as he can return with the target.  Unfortunately, the target has been
  completely lost during the combat.  This shouldn't have been possible due to 
  the 5km ring of sensors around this area, but it seems the target is using
  very advanced stealth tech to evade the dragnet.  As Walkymedes leaves in a
  huff, your people observe that that's at least one thing the brothers seem to
  share.

Your people are of course glad to have Reideen, coming a step closer to being
able to execute on the plan to strike down the enemy.  But you're not yet any
closer to figuring out what the enemy really want, and that's troubling.  Just 
then Hazuki radios and tells you to return to base - he's just gotten some very
important information.  From the sound of Hazuki's voice, you may just have
gotten the key you've been searching for.  As your people head back, Akira is
left to ponder the words of the mysterious girl...

It turns out Akira had been busy researching the 12,000-year old underwater
ruins of the Mu Empire, working out of Australia on Shinobu's advice.  You were
fairly certain from Prince Sharkin's last words [in games past] that the Youma 
Empire would rise again to threaten the world.  It was during the search for
the treasure of the Star of La Mu that the dread emperor Barao showed up, and
Reideen was by no means able to win on his own.  That's when Akira's mother,
actually the long-lost Mu empress Lemuria, made her great sacrifice, ending her
own life to activate the Mutron Emitter in the Star of La Mu.  This
super-energy enabled Reideen to defeat Barao, but it also spelled the end of
Lemuria.  Akira is over his grief, now fully committed to his new mission of
defending the Earth both he and his mother loved so dearly.  Unfortunately, God
Voice is currently unusable, perhaps due to too much usage during the fight
against Barao.

Anyways, it's good to have Akira on board, even if Hyouma's expression of
camaraderie once again ignores Chizuru's feelings for him.  Igor then tells you
the news: the enemy are based out of New York.  It seems whoever sold out the
Earth has really retro tastes.  The Federation is going to mount a full
assault, and your dudes are going to be right in the thick of it, aiming for
the enemy's heart.  It seems the info came from a certain guerilla you know
well: Alan has made good on his promise.  This is great news to Shinobu, but
Sara still seems to have her bad feeling lingering.  After your people head out
of the room, Igor asks Hazuki how he would rate your chances of success - he
doesn't think he can count on winning merely based on your pilots' optimism
alone.  Hazuki tells him it's around 40%, maybe 35 in your favor.  If only you 
had one more mech...  And Hazuki has an idea about that...

Walkymedes attempts to blame his failure on insufficient information about the 
target, and demands to know precisely what is so important about a single Earth
girl.  Shapiro refuses to answer, telling Walkymedes to content himself with
being allowed to partake in this grand invasion.  Walkymedes accedes, letting
Shapiro know in no uncertain terms what he thinks of this fake Muge
representative before stalking off.  Afterwards, Shapiro is willing to admit to
himself and Luna that the charge of being an "ornamental" commander has merit. 
He figures his power isn't enough yet, far less than enough to take over the
universe.  Luna tries to tell him suggestively that women love powerful men,
but he babbles on that power is all that matters in the world period.  With so 
much self-flattery, he assures all the (absent) fools around him that he, yes
he, will be the one before whom they will all have to kneel.


Scenario 9. Saikai!  New York Kaihou-Sen ("Reunion!  The Battle to Free New
York!")

Shapiro has been hiding in his office, humming a certain melody only he can
hear.  He tells Luna that it's the "melody of space", also known as the
"Harmony of the Gods".  He claims he received it from the gods while still on
Earth the first time, realizing in that instant that it was his destiny, as it 
were, to become the absolute power to rule the galaxy.  "Whatchu talkin bout
Willis?" is Luna's reaction, but he continues that disruptions to the harmony
are portending the galaxy's downfall.  This gave him the [convenient] reason of
acting as God's representative to restore order.

As Luna mumbles something about "oh, so _that's_ how all this got started?",
Shapiro goes on and relates how an asteroid strike two hundred years ago smote 
the prosperous Earth right here, in New York, reducing the flower of Earth's
dreams and hopes to a ruined crater.  And yet, mankind has _rebuilt_ that city 
- an object lesson in how man's boundless ambition can overcome any obstacle.  
Luna, now fully drinking the Koolaid, loves the idea of this hallowed ground
and points out that there are some rats intruding upon it.  Word is that the
Federation military is massing nearby, and Shapiro is sharp enough to realize
that the Alpha Numbers will be among them, and headed directly for his command 
nucleus.  His plan is to let Dangel and Walkymedes try to vent their grievances
against the Alpha Numbers, surprising Luna, who figured he'd want to settle the
score himself.  Shapiro tells her that he's not bored enough to still be hung
up on his past - plus, he needs to conserve Muge warpower if he's to set their 
operation to rights in the long run.  He sardonically pictures Dangel and
Walkymedes' joy that their chance has come, but Luna knows well that Shapiro
still holds tightly to the biggest axe to grind against the Alpha Numbers and
especially Dancougar.  She supposes that the form that grudge sublimates into
will govern how Shapiro's fate will turn...

Your dudes have already heard the plan: Federation forces will open up at 1600,
giving you the chance to charge into the city proper.  The enemy surely knows
you're coming, and you'll probably get to face the enemy's elite.  Igor adds
that this is your big chance to turn the tide - the success of the whole
campaign is riding on you.  Kosuke has been analyzing the data on the enemy
leaders, including Dangel the meathead general and the brainiac commander
Walkymedes.  The third is general Death Gaia of the Muge, an evil-sounding chap
you're likely to have to cross swords with before all this is over.  There's
still no word of the traitor, and Sara is still lost in thought over his
identity.  She quickly shakes it off, saying that her fighting spirit is rising
at the mention of the bad guys' strength.  That's what Shinobu likes to hear.

Brit is pondering the upcoming battle too, putting a rather erudite Japanese
phrase to the upcoming confrontation.  Hyouma is surprised a foreigner would
know words that esoteric, and Brit laughs and says that not all Japan-loving
Americans are limited in vocabulary to "Mount Fuji, geisha, and sukiyaki".
Chizuru wonders just what era he's talking about [*grin*] and Ryou adds that he
seems to know an American like that...  Kusuha is starting to sniffle a bit,
thinking back to her student days in America, days now long gone.  Brit assures
her that your actions are going to bring those days back - or rather, create
them anew.  This encourages everyone, and it's time to rumble.

As your people show up, Walkymedes renews his torrent of cliche bad guy lines
("like a moth to the flame", etc.), which Hyouma says has doomed him from the
outset.  Kouji suggests a new proverb for him to remember: "Justice prevails". 
Walkymedes thinks his Canpel science is stronger than your justice, but your
people have other ideas.

  Clear the map in 8 turns for a Skill Point.

  Alan shows up on turn 3 to warn you that the enemy's main force is still
  hiding: the Muge Zolbados forces and the traitor leading them.  Alan shows
  you where the base is, and Shinobu and his team agree that the best thing is 
  to charge in and wreck it.  In fact, what Shinobu has to do is break open the
  way for Alan's companions to enter and destroy the base from the inside, and 
  the rest of your people will help him do just that.

  Dangel is worth an Anti-Beam Coating.  Walkymedes is worth an Apogee Motor.

  Once you get Dancougar to the designated spot, he blows open the dome.
  Shapiro is quite disappointed at JUST how lame the Canpellians proved to be. 
  He vows that, though New York may fall, his dream will still outlive the
  likes of the despicable Alpha Numbers and the Beast Squad.  Sara meanwhile
  gets out of Dancougar and rushes inside, apologizing to Shinobu and saying
  that there's something she's got to check.  Shinobu leaves the controls to
  Ryou and runs off after her.

  As Shapiro tries to make good his escape, a figure from the shadows intones
  that traitors deserve neither dreams nor glory - only their destined defeat. 
  It's Sara, who is pretty amazed that Shapiro is not only still alive but
  still selling out humankind.  Shapiro tries to give her some backtalk, but
  she informs him that neither the Earth, nor she herself, are his.  Something 
  died inside her the day he sold the Earth to its enemies during the Balmar
  War.  He taunts her for sinking back to the level of a mere human, and she in
  turn asks if his dreams are really so puny as to require taking over the
  Earth.  She belittles his degenerate dreams of galactic conquest, asking if
  he intends to die instead of relinquishing those unfulfillable dreams.  Just 
  then Shinobu shows up, interrupting their little tableau.  Unfortunately
  neither he nor Sara can successfully shoot Shapiro dead.  Shinobu manages to 
  somehow lead Sara out of the base, realizing that she's not quite on level
  ground mentally yet...

  Shapiro and his goons emerge in their main forces, but before he can blast
  the Beast Squad Brit intervenes.  He takes the force of the blast, telling
  Kusuha to run and the Beast Squad to get aboard.  Shapiro attempts to end
  Brit's life, but the Sword Which Cleaves Evil, Zengar, intervenes!  Retzel is
  on the scene too.  Your dudes are now thoroughly confused how someone who
  supposedly perished in the Ancestors' Earth Cradle could be here now and
  apparently on your side.  The best you can figure is that your actions
  changed history, and brought him early out of the cold sleep facility he was 
  in.  Retzel notes that Viletta was right: the "Zengar" your people know is
  him, yet not him.

  Shapiro figures that the new interlopers leave him no choice but to flee.
  Death Gaia tells him to do so himself, saying he has no plans to follow his
  orders and that he came to Earth to _fight_, as a true warrior.  I mean, just
  LOOK at all those men who make his blood boil!!  [Look, I don't write this
  stuff, I just translate it.  Somewhat too much admiration for the _men_ of
  the Alpha Numbers if you ask me...]  Shapiro lets him do as he pleases,
  saying he'll be waiting back on the moon should Death Gaia somehow make it
  through alive.  Shinobu promises Shapiro that he'll hunt him down, wherever
  he tries to hide.  Death Gaia is now somewhat concerned, hearing the howl of 
  a "true warrior" in Shinobu's cry.

  Death Gaia is worth an A Adaptor.

With the commanders kicked off the Earth, word comes from Igor that the
interplanetary alliance is in retreat all over the world.  This apparently
means that their goal was not, in fact, occupying the Earth after all.  Alan
has discovered that their mission in North America was recovering some item of 
value - their retreat should be taken as a sign that whatever investigation
they were carrying out has ended.  Kosuke wonders if this means they found what
they were looking for, or simply decided it wasn't in North America.  Alan has 
another mission to attend to, but promises to let you know if he finds anything
else out.  He won't say what, except that the enemy he's pursuing may prove to 
be your worst foe yet.  He heads off, and your group returns to base with your 
two new party additions in tow.

Shinobu figures that this is what happens to anyone who gets in his way, but
Igor is quick to point out that you had help from Zengar and the army regulars 
on this one.  Hayato figures that had the bad guys been here for occupation,
the damage to North America could have been far worse.  Hazuki can't shed any
light on what the aliens were after, and the fact that Shapiro of all people is
helping the bad guys means you've got to redouble your caution.  Igor will pass
that along to the rest of the military, and Kouji points out that at least a
little levity is in order: after all, you've just won a three month-long
battle.

Unfortunately, there's no time for a party - you're to meet up with the Alpha
Numbers Japan team in China and head to space, returning to Taiga's command at 
Orbit Base.  Shinobu mutters about never getting a break, and Igor tells him to
stand at attention to see his scowl.  He tells Shinobu that this may be the
last time he gets to savor that expression: the time has come for the Beast
Squad to become independent from his control.  Shinobu promises to show your
future adversaries just how much guts Igor trained into them all, which Igor
calls both their greatest weakness and greatest strength as his final words of 
parting.

Shinobu then takes Sara aside, wanting to figure out if she's really got the
stomach to see Shapiro dead.  Her response is to slap him across the face,
growling that the one to kill Shapiro will be she herself.  Shinobu grins,
saying that _that's_ the Sara he knows.  He tells her he's counting on her to
watch his back, but before any mushy stuff can occur Kusuha runs over and asks 
them if they've seen Brit.  Sara says he's over checking out the samurai robot,
and Kusuha notes that Sara seems to be sparkling somehow - did something good
happen?  She runs off, and both Sara and Shinobu agree that there's just no
beating someone so naturally open as that.

Brit meanwhile has asked Zengar to help teach him more swordsmanship.  Zengar
studies him for a moment, declaring that Brit has eyes worthy of holding a
sword.  Zengar cautions him that they won't have long together, but he'll teach
him what he can in the meanwhile.  He wants to start right away, telling Brit
that he's got much to learn...


Scenario 10. Ryuu wo Kurau Mono ("That Which Eats Dragons")

Somewhere in China, a mystery figure (who is it?) says that he's unwilling to
swear allegiance to another shadowy figure (Irui?) since she no longer has
physical form.  He tells her that words won't sway him - their relationship is 
purely based on balance of power: with the Garden of Paral lost, she should
have no more authority to order him, or another man, around.  He tells her he's
doing things his own way, since he and his brethren were the original guardians
of this world in the first place.  Irui tries to force him to comply, but he's 
got his own protection now.  He tells her that if she wants to turn him into
another sword to protect this world like she did back when, she's going to have
to try a lot harder than that.  If not, she'd best not try to get in his
people's way again - lest he kill her, yes, even her.  He plans to take his
leave, observing that someone seems to be waiting nearby for her.  It's been
tens of millenia since he's had his freedom, and the man is looking forward to 
enjoying the upcoming game - the game where this guy kills off the wielder of
the Sword that Irui likes so much.  This man, looking every bit the mafioso,
thinks he can finally escape from Irui's spell.  I, however, am not optimistic 
for his chances. ;) ;) ;)

Retzel is amazed that you know of Zengar, much less his role as defender of the
Earth Cradle, which is a secret even to most of the Divine Crusaders.  Ryou
isn't willing to go into the gory details, but you've definitely met him before
[in a previous game! woo hoo].  What's weird is, the Earth Cradle has
voluntarily surfaced and released all its cold-slumbering occupants.  This is
no breakdown: "Meigas" the control system is quite operational, but has only
one thing to say by way of explanation: "the time has come".  This has Kouji
baffled: the Earth Cradle was originally meant to weather the gravitational
wave from the end of the Balmar War.  With the success of the Aegis Project,
there should have been no need for its revival now.

Retzel doesn't know what is up with that either, and remains evasive about his 
true mission.  He claims he's here because of the unforgettable flavor of
Kusuha's nutritional drink, which has your people cowering in fear of the mere 
memory.  Kusuha begins listing the many esoteric ingredients she's got on hand,
to Kouji's horror promises to share some with your entire crew.  When Hyouma
frantically whispers to Kusuha's old classmate to do something, Kouji furiously
whispers back that there's no way he could interrupt someone so happy about
their cooking - in fact, this habit of Kusuha's is why no man would go near her
back in the days of yore.  Retzel smoothly says that it's not _he_ who is
waiting for Kusuha's new concoction - she should share some with Brit first.
As for where Brit is, well... let's just say he's having a man-to-man talk with
Zengar.

  They are in fact busy with practice.  It's not so difficult to take down
  Zengar... the first time.  He teaches Brit a lesson in not letting down his
  guard for even an instant by coming back to life and whaling him to within an
  inch of his machine's life.  After a pause, Brit asks him whether he thinks
  he's gotten any stronger over this week of training.  Zengar says that
  swordsmanship is but the doorway to strength - it's up to Brit's heart
  whether he can walk through it and become truly strong.  He tells Brit not to
  try to overthink things: his body moved naturally during his intervention in 
  New York.

  Before he can digest this, Kusuha and Retzel show up.  It seems that the man-
  to-man stuff is over, and Kusuha can't wait for Brit to try her new sports
  drink.  Zengar tells Brit not to cower before minor problems, which Brit
  thinks doesn't do justice to the terror of what he's about to imbibe.  But
  just then both he and Kusuha sense a great, terrible presence nearby - a
  presence like one they've felt before.  A presence much like the Choukijin
  the first time they met them.

  It is in fact a Choukijin - a dragon, with a man standing on its head.  The
  man regards those the Ryuu-Ou-Ki and Ko-Ou-Ki chose.  He gives his name as
  Son Ganlon, a name that Retzel's family has heard of.  He tells Kusuha what
  she's no doubt dying to know: his "Ouryuu" is the perfected form of the
  "Seiryuu" that protected her in the Garden of Paral.  It seems that the "Four
  Gods" Choukijin that she knew of are the lowest rank, above which are the
  "Four Calamities", "Four Punishments", and above them all the "Four
  Thunders", including his "Ouryuu".  Kusuha wonders if this man, chosen by the
  Ouryuu, is on your side, but Zengar warns her to keep her distance.  As the
  man attacks, Brit demands to know what trickery the man is using to control
  the Ryuu-Ou-Ki, whose heart is supposed to be just.  The main claims that, in
  fact, he is the _rightful_ controller of the Choukijin, making you all the
  bad guys.  Gun-Eden said much the same thing once, before you went and wiped 
  it out.  This means that this man is going to go about delivering his
  original brand of justice without interference from above.  At the very
  least, this means that his dragon wants revenge upon the both of your
  Psychodrivers for their collusion with the old Choukijin.

  Zengar isn't having that, and manages to cow the dragon enough to stop it's
  earthquaking might.  The dragon tells Son Ganlon that he knows a man much
  like him, as well as a woman much like Retzel.  Retzel tells him to save his 
  reminiscences for his living room at home, and Zengar says that, although he 
  doesn't know what brand of justice Ganlon has in mind, it's clear at least
  that visiting old grudges against innocent third parties is nothing if not
  evil.  In any case, your people are sworn to go on fighting the invaders and 
  saving the people, as _your_ form of justice.  And anyone who scoffs at that 
  will get a piece of your fists.  That suits Ganlon just fine, since he
  figures that you have no chance at defeating him, who has touched a fragment 
  of ancient memory.  He's done talking, and it's time to see if the new
  machines and the souls of the departed Choukijin can withstand the might of
  one of the genuine articles.

  For a Skill Point, you must reduce the Shin Ryuu-Ou-Ki to under 10k HP within
  three turns.

  Your other dudes show up immediately and are quickly filled in on the
  situation.  Ganlon seems amused to see some of the other Swords that Gun-Eden
  chose, rather than waking up the _original_ Swords like the one he's riding. 
  Quite humiliating, really.  Brit demands to know what the hell he was up to
  during the War of Seals, and Ganlon says that due to some old wounds of his
  it took the three servants of Gun-Eden a while to wake him up.  Basically,
  this guy is planning to vent his grievances on you, and he's got one hell of 
  a big stick to do it with.

  Once you reduce the dragon to 10k HP or less, Tetsuya, Gaigar, and Jeeg show 
  up (oh, and Boz).  Brit figures that your people have as good as won now, but
  Ganlon cautions that your friends aren't the only ones who have shown up.
  It's a bunch of Zondar, drawn to their enemy the G-Stone.  Kusuha once again 
  implores Ganlon to help you fight off the numerous enemies overshadowing the 
  Earth, but he repeats that he can't see trying to save mankind by any such
  means.  He flies off, taunting you all with the thought that your methods can
  never save mankind.  Meanwhile, you're left to fight the current crop of
  enemies without the benefit of the Dragon brothers, but with the addition of 
  Mic Sounders the 13th.

  On the next turn, "Pizza", or rather Soldat J shows up.  He tells Gai to
  withdraw for now - he acknowledges Gai's power, but points out he has no
  weapons to speak of at the moment.  Gai counters that his most important
  weapon is always with him in his heart: the strength to never give up, no
  matter what the odds.  In short, his COURAGE.  This is a good time for the
  Hero Robot Squad to show up, plus the newly repaired Gao machines.  Gai
  initiates Final Fusion and becomes Gaogaigar.

  The Primeval is worth a Chobham Armor and a Biosensor.

Once you take down the bad guy, Kaidou goes about Purifying it into a Zondar
Crystal.  J and Kaidou have been gathering these, and J warns Gai that if he
gets in the way he'll become his enemy too.

After J flies off, at least your Heroes get to have a happy reunion.  With this
new power on your side, Retzel and Zengar head off for their next destination, 
not to see your people again for a while.  Zengar tells Brit that Brit's power 
comes from protecting those important to him.  He's looking forward to testing 
Brit's swordsmanship when next they meet.  Tetsuya is glad that such a strong
ally is on your side, and that he's not quite the person you crossed swords
with in the past.  Future.  Whenever.  Brit assures Kusuha that your people's
combined strength can prevail even against the Four Thunders, though Kusuha
wonders if the dread she's felt since the fighting started foretold this day.  
She can only wonder where Irui is, and what could be the motive behind that man
who knew of Gun-Eden.

Kouji is willing to admit to having had a pretty rough time liberating New
York.  Hiroshi is _not_ immediately willing to admit to trouble in Japan, but
it seems that your old (and supposedly dead) adversaries the Dinosaurs,
Mikeene, and Jama had their survivors united and sent against you.  Whoever was
in charge was a mighty commander.  Apparently this commander was none other
than the "Overlord of Hell" written of in the Bronze Bell your people have been
studying all this time.  Apparently that was _not_ the Overlord of the Dark
like you all thought, but someone else, the Emperor Ryuuma.  Whoever this dude 
is, he's got a kick-ass name and enough clout to unite the three squabbling
factions of Subterraneans.  He's got a great forward commander in General
Horror, and has none other than the Marshal of Hell as his chief of staff.
Yes, Dr. Hell may have lost his body during the Balmar War, but his mind lives 
on in one of his Battle Beasts.  And gosh, his hatred of the 'Zingers is
keeping him fighting.  The good news is that your forces drove them all back to
Kyuushuu, and in process got Hiroshi a new, more evolved cyborg body.  Maybe
not as impressive as the sentient Hero Robots, but still nice.  What's not as
nice is that you still have no further information about the mysterious boy
with J - possibly from another world, just like Mamoru turns out to be (Taiga
checked with his parents to be sure).

Your people prepare to head to space, where Taiga will brief you on the next
phase of operations.  To help Gaogaigar fight in space, Leo has brought the
Stealth Gao II, giving you all the neato Star Gaogaigar abilities.  Meanwhile, 
Brit is realizing how true Zengar's words are: Kusuha really is the source of
his strength.  Once again he vows to protect her, no matter who the enemy or
how great the danger.  That is what he calls justice.


Scenario 11. Arata Naru Jinrui ("A New Mankind")

Aslan has been briefed about Lacus' disappearance during her trip to see the
memorial for the Bloody Valentine.  Patrick is sending Creuset's squad out to
find her, especially since it's known throughout the Plant that Lacus and Aslan
are an item.  Aslan wonders if he's being asked to go find the idol star and
return like some kind of hero, and Creuset smirks and says that his only other 
option is to come back sobbing and clutching her corpse.  In either case,
Aslan's father, head of the National Self-Defense Council, wants him to go, and
that's pretty much that.

Meanwhile, Maryuu tells Taiga that Archangel will be heading for Orbit Base,
and Taiga says that her current course should avoid Zaft airspace.  Liger
accepts her gratitude light-heartedly, figuring that it's only natural for
camaraderie during hard times like these.  Taiga goes on to compliment them on 
making it out of the Heliopolis Colony in one piece.  Maryuu, downcast, says
that in the process four of the "G's" were stolen by the Zaft, and their proper
pilots lost.  But at least Archangel pulled through, thanks to its captain and 
first officer, and the talents of Yamato Kira, a collaborator from the Zaft.
It seems that Heliopolis was one of the few places the Coordinators and
Naturals could live together in peace, thanks to being under control of the
Orb.  Taiga rejects the notion that this war is to determine whether the
Coordinators or Naturals will prevail - should more people like Kira appear,
willing to fight for their friends regardless of origin, surely peace can be
found.  And then there's the Siren of the Plant, Lacus Clyne, who the Archangel
rescued from floating in space.  All the more reason for the Archangel to hurry
to Orbit Base.

Though the communique ended on a positive note, many problems still remain.
It's surely too dangerous to just send Archangel on to its final destination in
Alaska unassisted.  The only solution is getting the Alpha Numbers back
together, especially since reason will no longer work on the Coordinators.

Aboard the Archangel, Maryuu is pondering Lacus - even though she's a civilian,
someone is sure to want to use her as leverage on the Coordinators.  Maryuu
would definitely prefer to keep that from happening, especially to a civilian
and a little girl at that.  Natarle points out that Kira too is a civilian
child, who just so happened to save all their asses on the battlefield.  Does
Maryuu intend to treat the two differently?  Natarle observes that the very
fact she's Minister Clyne's daughter means that Lacus is already not a
civilian.  Muu interjects and says that there's no point in debating this while
you're still en route - your first priority is just making it to Orbit Base
without running afoul of the Zaft.  Just then, a message comes in from George
Allstar, a high ranking military commander.  Come to think of it, among the
humans you picked up was a girl with that name...

Kira finds Flay and Miriallia arguing over Mili's request for Flay to take food
to Lacus.  Flay, in very high dudgeon, professes fear at coming anywhere near a
Coordinator child - though she quickly claims that Kira is an exception.  She
says that the Coordinators are not only smart but extremely athletic - they're 
capable of just about anything, you know?  Kira doesn't know, and Sai says that
he'll do it if Flay is so dead-set against it.  Kazui adds that he doubts their
guest would attack her, but Flay staunchly maintains that Coordinators'
abilities can't be gauged by just looking at them.  It's like, what if she was 
REALLY strong or something?

Just then, Lacus herself walks in, wondering who's really strong.  It seems
that her cute little Haro unlocked the laboratory she was contained in.  At
first glance, Lacus seems a tad airheaded, quizzically answering the enraged
Flay and saying that she's not of the Zaft.  After all, "Zaft" is just an
acronym for the military: "Zodiac Alliance of Freedom".  Flay attempts to
insist that she's still one of them by being a Coordinator, but Lacus lightly
says that she's not one of them at all, not being at all related to the
military.  Kira can only gape and watch this exchange in silence, and Lacus
seems to know that he's not of the military either.  She is about to introduce 
herself when Flay furiously tells her not to act all familiar with her people. 
As some of others yell at Flay to shut up, Lacus slowly says that perhaps she'd
better go elsewhere.  Kira offers to escort her, and Lacus apologizes politely 
for disturbing everyone.  Toll remarks that Kira is indeed fretting over being 
a Coordinator, and Kazui asks if Flay is part of Blue Cosmos.  She's not, but
can't see anything wrong with what they say - those who tamper with their DNA
for reasons other than curing disease are in opposition to the laws of nature: 
mistaken creatures.  Isn't that what everyone here thinks?  Well, that's far
from clear, and what is clear is that Kira put his ass on the line to protect
everyone, regardless of DNA.  Mili too would prefer not to have to make someone
like Kira fight... and just then Muu runs in looking for Kira.  His bad feeling
was right on the mark: the Zaft have indeed spotted the Archangel as well as a 
certain Federation functionary headed your way: Flay's father.

Lacus is a bit sad at having to go back to her room.  She's bored on her own,
and wants to talk to people.  Kira manages that this is a Federation ship, and 
that there are those who don't... like Coordinators much.  More accurately, the
Federation is at war with them.  Lacus says lightly that that's a shame, but
thanks Kira for being gentle with her.  Kira mutters that he _is_ a Coordinator
after all, but Lacus says that his kindness comes from him being _him_, and
thanks him when he tells her his name.  Just then Flay and the others run over 
with the news of the Zaft attack - Flay begs Kira for some assurance that her
father's ship will be okay.  Muu orders both the young lady and the little
princess to get to the shelter at once so Kira can sortie already.

The Zaft have split in two to meet the two ships.  Creuset tells his
subordinate that nailing the "sole" is far more important than the search for
one little girl, lest he be a laughingstock for future historians.  Kira and
Muu sortie to face the massive threat, and Creuset seems to have expected the
"fifth" G to oppose him.  Muu tells Kira that he'll watch his back, and Maryuu 
hurries ahead to rendezvous with the transport ship.  She warns your people not
to pursue the enemy too deeply, and to provide cover for her.  Muu figures that
with Creuset on the opposing side, things won't be easy, and Creuset inwardly
tells Muu not to disappoint him.

  For a Skill Point, wipe out all enemies within 7 turns.

  On turn 3, Flay's father's ship shows up just long enough to get blown to
  smithereens before your people can do anything about it.  Kira barely manages
  to contain himself, and it appears he has no choice but to fight possibly for
  the rest of his life.  Yzak meanwhile vows to wipe out the "Strike" with his 
  "Assault Shroud".  Creuset tells his other G pilots that he's already got
  plenty of data from them - they can go ahead and wipe out the Fifth.  They
  think they're about to destroy the last hope of the Naturals.  They are oh so
  sadly mistaken.  Maryuu decides to gamble that Taiga's promised
  reinforcements will arrive in time.

  Your dudes ride to the rescue on turn 4, marveling at the new type of Gundam 
  Kira is piloting.

  Once you take down enough of the enemy, your Espers sense some kind of human 
  will.  Toll detects a gravitational abnormality, and out of it comes...  the 
  YF-19 and YF-21!!!  Yes, they were supposed to be off in deep space with the 
  Megaroad fleet, but hey.  Isamu and Guld jettison their Fold Boosters, both
  putatively unhappy to see each other alive.  Apparently they didn't quite
  Fold out where they intended to, and while Isamu calls it luck Guld isn't
  convinced.  Kusuha quickly establishes contact, and asks for assistance.
  Creuset, quickly figuring that they're old friends of yours, tells his forces
  to get them too.  Isamu tells Kusuha that he'll gladly jump into this battle,
  but tells Kusuha that she'll have to pay him back later.  He assures Brit
  that it won't be a date, and Guld interrupts to point out that attacking an
  assailant they know nothing about is far too reckless.  Isamu in turn points 
  out that these guys started making for the Valkyries the instant they
  realized they were on Kusuha's side.  This means the enemy aren't interested 
  in chatting, and Isamu says they wouldn't have time for that anyway.

  Aslan is worth a Pink Haro - it seems there's no choice but for him and Kira 
  to fight.  Yzak is worth a Hybrid Armor.  Neil is worth a Magnetic Coating.  
  Diakka is worth a Combat Manual.

  When you take out the mothership's engine room, Creuset says to break off
  battle - Gamov is coming to finish your people off anyway.  He shows up with 
  over thirty mobile suits, and after a moment Natarle gets on the radio and
  announces to everyone that she's got Lacus.  She tells the truth that your
  people rendered humanitarian aide by rescuing her escape capsule from space, 
  but adds that if anyone were to attack your ship, she would take it as an
  indication of abdicating responsibility for Lacus' wellbeing - in which case 
  it would be for the Federation to decide her fate.  Creuset is less than
  thrilled with this tactic, and orders his men to cease their assault.
  Natarle can tell that her captain isn't pleased, and preemptively tells her
  that you've got a mission to carry out - you can't afford to be sunk here.
  Needless to say this puts Kira in a very awkward position, especially in
  Aslan's eyes.  Even when the bad guys pull out, your own troops are viewing
  this as a Pyhrric victory at best.  But given that the Alpha Numbers are
  supposedly joining the Orbit Base, it seems a good bet that you're safe, at
  least for the moment...

The G pilots are discussing how their little Lacus bird is stuck in the
Natural's cage for the moment - and trying to blame it on Aslan.  Nicol for one
won't stand for that, and the other two jauntily head off to get their next
round of orders.  Aslan is in rather ill humor, asking Nicol to leave him alone
and pondering whether he's really going to have to kill Kira.

Meanwhile, Kira is one pissed off young man.  He demands to know if this is the
way of the Federation military, taking innocent girls as hostages, which Muu
says is pathetic but necessary because of how weak they are now.  This brings
Kira up short, and Muu tells him that neither of them have the right to
criticize the captain or first officer, and just then your team comes over to
chat.  Kira is amazed to see this legendary battalion here, and little
different from him age-wise.  Muu warns your more jocular people (like Shinobu)
not to pick on his ace too much - he was just a civilian until very recently.  
All of this makes him... a typical Gundam pilot, as your people observe.  Muu
is about to tell your people about Kira before any misunderstandings start, but
Flay runs over to call Kira a liar first.  She accuses him of not fighting
seriously because he's a Coordinator, and he in turn runs off.

Your people figure out the rough outline of what's going on fairly quickly.
Muu is not surprised that this is the first time your people have seen a
Coordinator - except for special areas like Heliopolis, the Coordinators'
living areas are sharply circumscribed.  Tetsuya supposes it's not so
surprising that this genetically modified strain of humanity could master a
mobile suit without formal training.  Hayato agrees, noting that this is why
the numerically superior Federation forces are having such a rough time
fighting the Zaft.  The Archangel's crew explains how Kira got aboard the last 
secret weapon in Heliopolis to protect them when the bad guys raided.  This
means all five of those machines are newly-developed Federation Gundams,
fabricated in a Morgenleite foundry.  This company is based in Orb, and it
stands to reason that the Zaft wouldn't stay quiet if the supposedly neutral
Orb was passing weapons to the Feds.  Really, the mech requires a skilled pilot
to bring out its full potential, and now that you're here, Kira can go back to 
his original life.... except that Flay claims she won't allow that, after he
failed to protect her father and whatnot.  Given that Flay hated the
Coordinators even before the attack on Heliopolis, this looks like a prejudice 
she'll never overcome.

In fact, it's these invisible differences between races that are driving this
senseless conflict, which may continue until both sides perish.  Your people
are very glad to see that Kira has friends here (excepting Flay).  Does this
mean that you'll believe in Kira?  Tetsuya says that he's a warrior, and
believes in everything that happens on the battlefield.  To be totally
accurate, your people don't know him very well - but Shinobu plainly saw Kira
risking his all to protect the ship.  Hyouma says look, this is an age where
people marry aliens and robots have souls.  Who frigging cares if someone was a
bit different by birth!  Now, the question is, can Kira accept all of this?
Kira is in fact crying in the corner somewhere, when Lacus comes to ask him
what's wrong.


Scenario 12. Wakare no Uchuu ("Parting in Space")

What Isamu and Guld have come to tell you is that the Megaroad fleet is
currently engaged with an unknown enemy in deep space.  Unfortunately, the
Earth is hardly in a good position to help out - _everyone_ is at war with
someone or other right about now.  Taiga can only offer his apologies for not
being able to assist the Megaroad, which Isamu yells won't solve anything but
which Guld will accept, at least for now.  If the Federation won't help, Isamu 
wants to use a Fold Booster to at least rejoin his comrades himself, but Leo
points out that that would be rather hard.  It is, frankly, a miracle that they
made it so close to Earth from such a long distance.  Leo explains that the
gravitational fields of innumerable stars, plus other sorts of time-space
abnormalities, make single long-range teleportation an incredibly imprecise
science.  And with all the dimensional distortions near the Earth thanks to the
Gate and all, retracing their steps would be even _more_ unlikely to succeed.  
Leo speculates that these phenomena may have helped pull Isamu and Guld's Fold 
out point closer to Earth in fact.

Hyuuga assures both of them that neither Bright nor Taiga is happy about your
inability to send aid.  He's also sure that they will be doing their utmost to 
figure out how to fight the new enemies that they've reported.  Isamu isn't so 
sure, noting that people around here seem rather too busy putting out the fire 
beneath their feet to worry about outer space.  If so, Leo asks, why not help
put that fire out.  It's not like they don't have friends among the Alpha
Numbers and all.  Isamu can't really turn down that kind of request, and agrees
to help at least until you reach Orbit Base - at which point they'll take stock
again.

Kira tells Lacus that the fighting is over for now... thanks to her.  Lacus
notes that he seems very downcast anyway, and he says that actually he doesn't 
want to fight at all.  He _is_ a Coordinator after all, and Aslan was a very
close friend of his.  And now he's the pilot of the Aegis Gundam.  Lacus is
saddened by this turn of events, since she knows Aslan too - he's the person
she's been arranged to marry some day.  She says he's very gentle, but rather
uncommunicative... however, he gave her the cute pink Haro, and promised to
give her another one since she said she liked it so much.  That's the Aslan
Kira remembers, who also gave him his little robot bird Torii.  Lacus hopes
that the two of them won't have to fight again, and Kira increasingly can't
bear to see someone like this used as a pawn of war.

In the mess hall, Hyouma is thanking his lucky stars for getting to meet a bona
fide celebrity idol singer.  Chizuru asks him if he likes that kind of girl,
and Hyouma blithely starts listing off her good points while Chizuru's frown
deepens by the second.  Brit suggests that Hyouma might want to study some of
her love songs to get maybe a bit of a clue about how the female heart works.  
Hyouma asks if that's how Brit went after Kusuha.  Akira wonders if he can get 
her autograph, and when Mari points out that the Earth and Plant are at war,
Akira happily says that good music has nothing to do with war.  Shinguji
agrees, pointing out that her songs _have_ gained wide popularity.  In fact, it
turns out MANY of your people are fans, and Michiru finds it an interesting
irony that it is _music_ that has transcended the boundaries of war. [Just in
time for Macross to show up!  How convenient. ;) ] It seems Lacus is around
twice as popular as Sharon Apple ever was, and though some try to attribute it 
to her genetically-enhanced voice, Akira points out that it's really the heart 
that counts.  Some of the Seed folks point out that she's still a Coordinator, 
and Shinobu is in the process of telling them not to get hung up on small
details...

...when they point out that the Zaft attack killed many of their friends and
families.  Shinobu apologizes in short order, and Ryou wonders what happened to
Flay - locked away in her room all this time.  While Mili can understand her
feelings, her words towards Kira were too cruel.  The accusation that he isn't 
fighting seriously rings rather false, and the revelation that he's having to
fight his best friend only makes things worse.  Come to mention it, Ryou
notices hesitation in the red Gundam you faced.  He isn't accusing Kira of
anything - surely he'd have had innumerable chances to go to the Zaft side by
now.  That said, Kira's inner conflict is surely unlikely to get any better at 
this rate.  But hey, if your coming means he doesn't have to fight anymore...

Kusuha then wonders aloud if maybe humans simply can't set aside fighting.
Even after the finale of the fight with Quatro, where everyone's hearts were
unified, it's back to the same old warfare that's been with mankind since time 
out of mind.  Brit grimly recounts what he's heard about this current conflict 
being touched off by the Jupitorian uprising - another case of "Earthlings" not
from Earth striking back.  For that matter, there are those on Mars who would
prefer to see the Zaylans and Barm kicked out too.  Brit tells Kusuha that it's
your people's job to fight so that the war doesn't spread any further.  He's
rather the optimist, but your other people can't really disagree.  He asks
Kusuha to come with him to help debug a problem he found with his targeting
systems.

Kira meanwhile has been taking Lacus and wanting to leave, saying he can't take
this any more.  He is confronted by the others in the hangar, who after a
moment figure that they were in the wrong for taking a hostage in the first
place and offer to help.  Kira in turn promises to come back to them all once
he's dropped Lacus off, no matter what.

Lacus has never been in a mobile suit before before, and Kira asks her to be
patient with the cramped conditions a little while longer until someone arrives
to pick her up.  He's contacted the Zaft and asked Aslan to come alone to get
her.  She asks what would happen if he didn't come, and he tells her that he's 
broadcast that he wouldn't guarantee her safety otherwise.  He was of course
bluffing, which Lacus knows quite well.  Aslan shows up, and Kira tells Lacus
to speak to prove to him that it's really her.  When Aslan confirms her
identity, Kira tells him to take Lacus with him and go.  He gives Lacus a
gentle push out of his cockpit, letting her drift safely to Aslan's arms.  She 
thanks Kira for all he's done for her, and for Aslan.  Aslan then implores Kira
to come with him - what reason is there for him to stay with the Federation
army?!  Kira tells him that, although he doesn't want to fight him either,
there are people back on the Federation ship he wants to protect - other
friends!  Aslan, anguished, shouts that Kira leaves him no choice but to strike
him down the next time they fight.  The same goes for Kira, and the two bid
each other silent farewells as Aslan leaves the area.

Unfortunately, the Zaft have other plans for him - several soldiers show up,
determined to make Kira pay for taking Lacus hostage.  Fortunately, Kusuha and 
Brit show up, glad they found him.  Brit tells him that his little stunt has
the Archangel in an uproar, but you'll worry about that later... unless he
plans to defect to Zaft right now.  Kira says no, that he's got promises to
keep, and Brit compliments him on being so nice a guy.  Brit tells Kira to go
back to the ship, lest his friends' trust in him be for naught by him getting
shot down here.  He promises to bring reinforcements, and heads off.

  Your people get to hold the fort.  After taking down the first band of Zafts,
  another crew show up... only to get summarily swatted out of the way when the
  Shin Ryuu-Ou-Ki shows up.  Ganlon explains his attack by saying that the Zaft
  were merely in his way... though he is in favor of seeing anyone calling
  themselves a "new" strain of humanity eliminated.  Brit demands to know what 
  the hell he thinks human lives are, and Ganlon says that they're things to be
  guided.  But, if there are too many of them, their individual value becomes
  rather diluted - meaning there's no need to worry about wiping out a few of
  them here and there.  Kusuha can't believe this, and he assures you he hasn't
  forgotten his mission as a protector of mankind... but his methods are
  fundamentally different from yours.  Brit figures that you and he seem
  inimical to each other, and THAT Ganlon will agree with.

  Your people show up in another couple turns... or at least a few of them do. 
  Although Kira was in time, it seems some of your comrades are tied up
  fighting the Zaft.  But don't worry, help is on the way: it's Bright and a
  bunch of Gundam dudes, including the GW boys.  The Alpha Numbers are now all 
  together, and Ganlon is bitterly amused that a puny force like this could
  have defeated Gun-Eden.  Talk about slacking.  Your people are ready to try
  to shut his big mouth for him, but he cautions you that you know nothing
  about him _and_ are about to have some additional company: the Imperial fleet
  is paying you a visit.  Your people claim to have no fear in the face of this
  very unwelcome addition to the battlefield, and Ganlon decides to go and
  spectate on whether the children of Nashim or of Gepel will prove the
  victors.

  For a Skill Point, take down the Shin Ryuu-Ou-Ki before wiping out the
  imperial forces.

  Unfortunately, the Shin Ryuu-Ou-Ki will regenerate when taken down the first 
  time.  Bright quickly orders everyone to keep away from it and concentrate on
  the Imperial forces.  Once you wipe them out, Bright orders a retreat,
  telling Brit and Kusuha that you're at a disadvantage tangling with him for
  the moment.  Brit hates the thought of showing an enemy his back, but Ganlon 
  tells him there's no shame in that - they actually fought well, all things
  considered.  He tells them to protect their lives until the next time they
  meet, and Brit vows to remember his disgrace this day.

  Ganlon wonders if the time has come, and makes his way to a certain spot.
  Just them some Imperial forces show up.  Rulia figures that this is the
  escort for Master Epeso, but Baran cautions Rulia and Princess Armana to look
  at the area near the dragon.  Apparently, it _destroyed_ Master Epeso's
  escort, probably making it of earth origin.  Baran tells the princess to be
  at ease - he won't let any enemy lay a single finger on her.  Armana is glad 
  to have the trusty general of the Imperial Guard by her side.  Baran says
  that the princess' wellbeing is both his orders from the Emperor, and the
  will of all the people, and he's willing to lay down his life to ensure it.  
  He orders the dragon to advance no further, lest it feel the bite of his
  sword.  Ganlon pauses, giving them his name as a dweller in Gun-Eden.  Armana
  is astounded by this, and Ganlon asks to discuss matters further at her
  fortress...

Kira is facing a court martial, and Natarle says that Kira doesn't have the
slightest idea what his actions imply.  Muu requests that that mere supposition
be stricken from the record, which Maryuu allows.  Muu also seems to recall
that taking a civilian as hostage violates Section 4 of the Corsica Treaty,
though Natarle claims she is exercising a special exemption as provided for in 
time of war in Section C.  That's the first Muu has heard of such a thing, but 
he presses that the Zaft have withdrawn their forces from your area after
recovering Lacus.  Natarle claims that that's merely 20-20 hindsight.  Maryuu
asks Kira if he has anything to say - why did he do something like that on his 
own?  Kira says he didn't rescue a girl from the depths of space so she could
become a hostage, and Muu says that he probably wanted her as a girlfriend
instead (drawing a rebuke from Maryuu to keep his language lawyerly).  After a 
moment, Maryuu lists the sections of military law which Kira has violated, the 
penalty for which is execution by firing squad.  HOWEVER: that law only applies
to members of the military, and cannot be applied to civilians.  The court
requests that Yamato Kira exercise better judgment in the future, and adjourns.

The orders from Colonel (yes, he got promoted) Bright are for the Archangel to 
accompany the Alpha Numbers to Alaska, which should keep the Zaft out of their 
hair.  As Kira leaves the room, the rest of the crew has been eagerly waiting
to see if he's okay.  They wonder if he got assigned to latrine duty or
something (hey, says Muu, that's a good idea!  Natarle is less than impressed),
and he says he's fine.  They're looking forward to Kira being able to get off
the ship and back to civilian life, being more than a little concerned about
what would happen if he had to face his friend Aslan again in battle.  They're 
all glad that he came back to them in any case.  Flay then comes on the scene, 
tearfully apologizing for her outburst.  She knew well how hard he fought for
them all, and he once again apologizes anew for not being able to defend her
father.  Flay says she hates war, and wishes it would end soon.  Kira agrees.

Natarle tells everyone to go wait in the cafeteria while she and Maryuu work on
the paperwork for disbanding their unit.  It seems that letting a civilian take
up arms, even under extreme circumstances, is itself a crime.  To avoid that,
the best way is to list everyone as volunteers dating back to the original
attack.  Natarle tells Flay that no special paperwork is needed in her case
since she hasn't actually fought, but Flay tells her that she _wants_ to
volunteer.  Natarle recoils, but Flay has given this a lot of thought since her
father's death.  Despite how much she hated life aboard this military vessel,
now that it's time to leave she realizes she doesn't want to go back to the
phony security and false peace waiting for her.  She knows her father was
risking his own life to end the war sooner, and says that if fighting is what
it takes to bring about peace, she wants to pick up her father's work and fight
too.  Natarle has no intention of turning her down if she's being serious, and 
tells her to follow her so she can do the paperwork.

Meanwhile, things haven't changed regarding the Megaroad fleet, drawing renewed
apologies from Bright and especially Taiga for not being able to help.  Isamu
then shrugs, the scowl departing his face, and says that he's also learned just
_how_ bad things are on Earth in the past battle - especially with that
monstrous dragon on the scene.  Bright has had Isamu and Guld assigned to the
Alpha Numbers, whose mission remains unchanged: fight any enemy, anywhere, who 
threatens peace on Earth.  Isamu doesn't mind that, and is all the more
motivated to wreck havoc on whoever those enemies are so he can get back to
space sooner.  Taiga in turn says he will assume full responsibility for
ensuring that your people do whatever they can to find out more about the
Megaroad's mysterious foes.  He also has an idea about the Archangel...

The Macross pilots get reacquainted with your crew.  Though worried about their
colleagues back at Megaroad, they're sure they won't be defeated easily.  Not
that Isamu has any choice but to think that way, he realizes.  As the
reminiscing goes on, the G boys relate that the Federation army is having big
problems, their attention divided between the Plant and the interplanetary
alliance's base on the Moon, and their chains of command broken.  Even if your 
forces are sort of a mish-mash of Jion and old Federation power, Hyouma figures
you should easily outnumber the Plant if you just dogpile it.  The Gundam folks
tell him that other people within the Federation thought along the same lines, 
and even more thoroughly at that: they planned to simply _nuke_ the Plant out
of existence.  Use of nuclear arms on civilian facilities, even in time of war,
would of course be a gross violation of the Antarctic Treaty, but Hiiro says
that rules made by human hands can just as easily be altered by human hands.
As your people wonder what the hell the brass are thinking to try such an
immoral act, Duo relates that the Plant had forseen this possibility.  They
developed the "neutron jammer", which would nearly eliminate the carnage - and 
all the device did was deepen the rift between Federation and Plant.  Kosuke
knows that the theory behind this energy neutralizing device was complete, but 
is still amazed that someone managed to actually build one.

Predictably, the G Boys have been inside the Plant spying, and say that their
technology level in general far exceeds that of the Federation outside.  Also, 
the Coordinators are supernally skilled in combat, ensuring a very rough
campaign ahead of the Federation and virtually guaranteeing a war of attrition.
Just then, you get to meet new members of the Alpha Numbers: pretty much the
entire Archangel crew, plus Flay and Kira, have now joined up.  Taiga then
formally introduces Maryuu Ramius and Natarle Bajroo	l, and your people seem to
be mixing in pretty rapidly with the newcomers.  Taiga thinks that had he sent 
the Archangel to Alaska, it would have simply strengthened "them".  Leo adds
that keeping them with you was the only way to avoid the worst-case scenario.  
Bright hopes that Amuro will be able to deflect even a little of "their"
influence for now.  Meanwhile, your people will participate in "Operation
Harper", the driving out of the Imperial fleet near the Gate as a prelude to
decisively settling affairs on Earth.  As your people prepare to head off, Brit
wonders if letting Ganlon go was really such a good idea.  Kusuha replies that 
even if they made a mistake, fixing mistakes like that has been your stock in
trade all this time.  For now, you've got a difficult enough enemy to deal with
in the form of the Imperial forces...


Scenario 13. Mou Ichidou, Mizukara no Ashi De ("Once More, On One's Own Legs")

Investigation of Kaidou's past shows that he is not in fact Mrs. Kaidou's son, 
just like Mamoru's case.  It seems she found him in the mountains of Kyuushuu
some eight years ago, and adopted him.  Gai figures that he's the one who
returned Pizza to his rightful form as Soldat J.  What your people don't know
is why they're hanging out together and gathering the Zondar Crystals.  What
you do know is that the overwhelming might of the J Ark probably comes from the
same sources as Galeon: relics from a long-lost unknown culture.  Taiga would
really like confirmation of that, even though you're only a day away from the
assault on the gate.

From study of the Primeval attacks to date, Liger concludes that they are in
fact Zondar Metal Plants unto themselves.  This means they've got the ability
to Zondarize mankind in an instant, and Leo figures that it's the general
ignorance of the Primevals' power that lets humans do something so stupid as
fight among themselves.  And so, Taiga has called everyone together to try to
learn more about the Primevals before going on with Operation Harper.  That
includes Mamoru and Galeon, who has Maryuu a bit scared.  They want Mamoru to
try getting even more information from the black boxes that Galeon carries, and
when Mamoru says he's already tried Taiga gives him a G-Stone pendant.  This
special G-Stone, clearly different in nature from the others, has been in
"storage" in a certain place until now - Taiga suggests Mamoru try hanging it
around his neck (in fact his parents had kept it all this time).  Mamoru begins
glowing at once, shifting to Purification Mode and drawing forth information
from Galeon - unfortunately, all information you've seen before.  Gai tells
Mamoru not to fret: although information is important for fighting the bad
guys, what's far more important yet is the strength coming from joining all
your hearts as one.  With that experiment out of the way, your people head off 
to Icarus, leaving the GGG staffers to monitor the Primevals on the ground.

The Ral Kairam has been outfitted with a compact warp drive - adequate at least
to let you reach Jupiter in a reasonable amount of time.  It also means that
you don't get to ride the Daikuu Maryuu just yet, which is still busy with
Deimos and Voltes protecting Mars.  This means you can't count on them for
help.  The good news is that Kazuya and Erika are to be married - Puru2 says
that just watching those two even makes her feel somehow good.  Neither Puru2
or her sister know precisely what that feeling is, but Michiru tells they'll
figure it out when they're a little older [*a-HEM*].  Hayato smirks broadly
enough that Boz gets jealous and has to be bodily restrained by his lackeys.
The marriage is to happen after the Mars re-terraforming process is complete.  
Though, with the current state of affairs there's no telling when that will be.
Hey, one more reason to bring the war to a close, right?

Mamoru is begging Galeon to tell him more about himself, about Kaidou and Cain 
and all that.  Why can't he sense or Purify the Primevals?  At this rate, will 
he really be of any use to the Alpha Numbers?  Will Galeon even still protect
him?  Galeon begins to emit a strange light, and a voice announces that the
time has come.  Mamoru's pendant begins to glow as the voice, professing to be 
Cain, gives Mamoru a warning about an encroaching Primeval.

Mamoru manages to get the warning to Bright, who isn't sure what to make of the
warning but has everyone halt just to be safe.  Pagliaccio is indeed on the
scene, ordering the Primeval to attack the Alpha Numbers and especially the
Relic of Cain.

  For a Skill Point, clear the map within six turns, saving the ZX-06 for last.

  Once you take down enough of the bad guys, Pagliaccio changes targets to your
  pilots.  And here your dudes thought the enemy was few in number.  Your
  people begin suffering from intense headaches, even the cybernetic Hiroshi.  
  As Bright is about to order a pullout, Mamoru decides to fight too for the
  sake of the Earth.  He smacks the Brain Primeval around, but just then the
  Imperial forces show up to harass you.  Their plan seems to be _ramming_ the 
  Archangel, and the first wave deals grave damage.  As the second wave comes, 
  the Archangel won't be able to dodge...

  ...but out of nowhere appear... the EVAs of all things @_@  They're all very 
  much alive, and at least in Asuka's case as impudent as ever.  They unleash a
  torrent of fire and quickly join in the fray, apparently having grown up some
  since you saw them last.  Misato will give you all the details later - for
  now, it's time to take on both sets of enemies.

  Gai has a particular axe to grind with this Primeval for fusing with the
  Space Shuttle, the flower of man's dreams and once his own vehicle as an
  astronaut.  Mamoru, with his newfound powers, can Purify the Primeval's core.

  Pagliaccio notes Mamoru's growing threat level, but opts to continue the
  operation.  Your people have reason to worry about how the Zondar seem to
  have followed you here, as well as why the J Ark didn't show.  In the mean
  time, the EVA pilots lead you to the Icarus Base, where they've been
  stationed all this time.

At Icarus Base, your people begin to make introductions with the supposedly
defunct EVAs.  Misato and Maryuu are especially interested in each other,
having the _*ODDEST*_ feeling they know each other from somewhere [Ah,
Mitsuishi Kotono, what a woman.]  Misato explains that the explanation of the
EVAs being abandoned and sent into the sun was just the cover story (albeit
itself a top secret one), and the order was given instead to bring the EVAs to 
Icarus to be put to good use.  That order came from NERV's former commander,
Ikari Gendou, who is probably somehow still alive though Misato herself hasn't 
seen him and is half in disbelief.  As for NERV HQ itself, it's been _utterly_ 
sealed, so much so that even Misato wouldn't be allowed in.

Misato explains that after the war she was imprisoned by the Federation
government as a member of the E Project while her fate was decided.  It took
until the conclusion of the War of Seals for her and the core of the old NERV
to be sent out here on special assignment.  Her orders, apparently from
Commander Ikari, were ultimately to bring the EVAs to the Alpha Numbers - of
course, with no further explanation.  Bright welcomes the EVAs aboard, and asks
to see the base commander.

Apparently the Children were cooped up in Japan, but not allowed any contact
with the outside world.  Asuka claims to have hated being held in the same
place as Shinji, and Shinji gives back as good as she dishes out.  When she
said she was worried about him attacking her in the middle of the night, he
fires back that it's within his power to _choose_ who he ends up with, citing
among other things just how bad of a mood she's in when waking up in the
morning or talking in her sleep.  Asuka is quick to forestall Hyouma and
Chizuru getting any funny ideas: their circumstances were much like the Unison 
Training at Misato's apartment.  Eventually, when the War of Seals ended Misato
came to pick them, bringing them to Icarus where Rei had seemingly been sent
ahead.  In fact, Rei herself basically woke up and found herself here.  In any 
case, it's good to have more units on your side.  It seems they've all got S2
Engines now, so no more messing around with cabling.  As the good-natured (?)
barb-trading continues, Shinji ponders being asked to fight once again in his
EVA.  He's no longer running away, and fights with purpose to ultimately figure
out what his father is up to and why he sent him way out here.  Kira then comes
in, introducing himself as the Strike Gundam's pilot but hesitating to ask
Shinji why he's once again piloting an EVA.  Asuka can tell right away that
Kira somehow reminds her of Shinji from the old days.

Time to meet the base commander: it's Tashiro, still quite hale and hearty and 
quite grateful to Bright for the assistance he rendered "back then".  He
introduces himself formally to Maryuu as the former captain of the Exelion, the
SDF ship that was sunk at the end of the war with the Space Monsters.  He
recounts how he deliberately overloaded the Exelion's engines, making an
artificial black hole that took the planet Raiousei and damn near all of the
space monsters to an early grave.  It should have been his grave too, but for
reasons unknown he and his ship reemerged in the asteroid belt two years later.
Maryuu quickly guesses that he emerged from the Gate, which is nothing short of
a miracle.  A "blessing", Tashiro corrects her, for the successful completion
of the "Carneades Project" - at least, that's what he believes.

The Gate itself is still a mystery - all you know about it is that Imperial
reinforcements are pouring through it by the day.  If mankind is to have a
future, you must steal the Gate back, and you've got just the man to figure out
how: Major Oota Kouichirou, who is honored to meet Bright Noa once again.  Not 
only is he not dead of radiation sickness, but he's got his new
adjutant/wife(!!) with him.  The marriage was arranged so quickly that there
was no time to send out invitations, especially since Kazumi's mission was
quietly changed relative to Noriko and Jung's.  Hopefully, you now have all the
tools you need to make this operation succeed.


Scenario 13x. Hikari to Yami ("Light and Darkness")

A group of shady figures is conferring about Brain's failure: the Alpha Numbers
are far more dangerous than anticipated.  In which case, the leader says, why
not use this little thingie here which the foolish humans have so considerately
left lying around...

Renais asks Papillon to explain the operation that's brought her to southern
Europe.  A certain facility believed to be affiliated with the Bionet
organization has been discovered in the area - her mission is to scout out the 
facility, and if need be to destroy it.  Renais idly wonders what the hell bad 
stuff Bionet is up to this time, growling that these are people who seem to
take pleasure in cybering themselves.  Kouryuu warns her that if she gets any
hotter she'll waste her Refrigeration Coat, and Anryuu helpfully adds that her 
temperature has already risen 2 degrees C.  Renais tells both of them to shut
up, but Papillon mildly tells her that they have a point, and asks her not to
get too hot - she has a history of taking risks where Bionet is concerned...
Renais briefly thanks her, but points out that it's their fault that she's
stuck with her current body - she's bound and determined to wipe out everything
to do with them, and won't let anyone stand in her way.  Papillon looks
dubious, but Kouryuu and Anryuu say they'll be sure to rein things in then with
their sisterly power.  Renais tells them to try saying that _after_ they've
learned Symmetrical Docking, and Papillon says it can't be helped given that
they've just woken up.  The two sisters see Papillon as their mother figure,
and as Renais gets to fretting Liger cuts in and asks what she's looking so
down for.

It turns out your people are stopping by here before jetting off, presumably to
look after a certain project.  Renais seems to be in no mood for long chit-chat
with her father, who seemingly takes her insolence in stride.  He tells her he 
hasn't seen her in a while, and is a bit worried how her body's holding up, and
she smirks and tells him that he's better off worrying about his own body.
When she asks, he tells her that Gai and the others are holding off the
Primevals for now, but he can't say that you're adequately staffed for that
fight.  Kouryuu wants to join that fight as soon as possible, but Papillon
points out that they have a job of protecting the Earth from the criminal
syndicates.  Anryuu tells her pouting sister to be patient: surely a chance
will come to meet up with their brothers soon enough.  Anryuu is even looking
forward to a little mecha-sized makeup, which Renais can only shake her head
at.  Leo then cautions Renais that if she should meet the mysterious
Primeval-hunting J Ark, to not assume that it will be on her side.  As Liger
and Renais exchange acerbic if good-natured farewells, Papillon adds another
warning - she's got a bad feeling about this operation - and as someone with
Sensing Mind powers, that's a warning worth heeding.

The operation is simple: Renais will go in, and the Dragon sisters are to
standby until called.  They're a bit dismayed by this, but Renais curtly tells 
them that this is about infiltration: the two of them would get spotted at
once, especially the brightly colored Kouryuu.  Now, the question is, how to
best break in?

It turns out the bad guys have themselves a very large underground cave - more 
than adequate for their "research".  Renais has found several abandoned mobile 
suits and a bunch of meaningless paperwork - it looks like they're one step
ahead of you, and showing an immense talent for staying that way.  Papillon
intends to have those mobile suits analyzed in the hopes of finding out
something, anything, and orders Renais to secure the area in the meantime.  The
bad guys (well, some bad guys anyway) notice one "rat" with a G-Stone on the
scene, plus two more nearby.  They plan to use the three of them as test
subjects for whatever it is they've brought.

This means, apparently, that the mobile suits start up and begin attacking.
Renais quickly equips herself and calls for backup, noting that Papillon's bad 
feeling is right on the money.

  Anryuu wonders why the MS's AIs booted by themselves - could it be ghosts,
  wonders Kouryuu.  Renais doubts robots ought to be saying something like
  that.

  When you take down the last MS, it rushes towards Kouryuu, but seemingly does
  nothing worse than scorch her skin.  That rapidly changes when Kouryuu
  becomes unresponsive, and Arm steps out of the shadows to tell Renais why.
  He reveals himself as a Primeval, merged with a human as but a mere
  demonstration of his power.  He won't say what he's done to Kouryuu that
  worked so well, except to say that that robot is now his puppet.  He orders
  Kouryuu to reduce Anryuu to scrap, and she starts blasting away, well,
  robotically.  Arm thinks he's given this woman with a G-Stone a pretty little
  dilemma: let herself be killed, or destroy his puppet.  Muahahaha.  And
  stuff.

  Meanwhile, Papillon has figured out what's wrong with Kouryuu: a bunch of
  nanomachines dispersed by the blast.  And not just any nanomachines either:
  these ones are going straight after the G-Fibers that constitute her "nervous
  system", overwriting her AI with a program written by the Primeval.  Renais
  can't believe that that could be done so easily, and Papillon says that
  Kouryuu is young and unstable enough that it's not inconceivable.  At this
  rate Kouryuu will be judged a traitor and destroyed by the Federation, and
  Renais will be damned if she lets what happened to Volcode happen again.
  Papillon, at Renais's urging, says that you've got to bet on Kouryuu's mettle
  as a Hero - and Anryuu's power will be needed too.  Papillon will take the
  very dangerous step of contacting Kouryuu directly, and tells Anryuu that her
  voice as Kouryuu's sister is the only thing that may be able to awaken her
  memories.  Anryuu tells Renais to leave her sister to her, and to go in
  pursuit of the Primeval you just saw.

  As you take down the other mobile suits, Arm begins chortling over how evil
  his plan is and how you've got no chance to escape it.  In fact, he laughs so
  damn hard that Renais couldn't NOT find his hiding place unless she was both 
  deaf and retarded.  Given how she is neither, she starts getting ready to
  clean his clock: not as a "rat" but as a "lion" (her surname).  And not just 
  any lion either: she's the queen of the pride, Lion Leine!  Too bad Arm is
  just a _TAD_ stronger than she is, and despite her bravado Arm is prepared to
  break this lion's fangs once and for all.

  Flashback!  As a much younger kid, Renais is terrified and promises to be
  faithful to Bionet in whatever they ask.  Apparently they weren't very kind
  to her despite this promise...

  The memory gives Renais strength, for which she thanks the Primeval...

  Take down all the other bad guys then go Persuade Kouryuu with Anryuu.  She
  tells Kouryuu to remember why they were born: to protect people!  They must
  never ever harm them - they may have been programmed, but they still have
  hearts, despite the reprogramming!  She asks Kouryuu to try Symmetrical
  Docking, to wish with all her being to become one like their brothers can.
  This works well, and Kouryuu's memory is restored.

  However, Arm isn't quite done.  He's got a backup plan to keep Renais and the
  others tied up: a bunch of Zondar.  He manages to brush Renais out of his
  way, leaving his minions for you to fight.  Before Renais can try to pursue, 
  Papillon warns her that the Dragon sisters are damaged close to their limits:
  she asks Renais to hang on until she can find an escape route.

  As things are looking bad for the Dragon sisters, the J Ark shows up to help 
  the ladies out.  Sort of.  J does this by telling the G-Stone-bearing ladies 
  to clear out, lest they be even more underfoot in their half-baked state.
  The good news is that the path to escape is now clear, but the Dragon sisters
  are pissed, and with much fanfare the Dragon Sisters succeed at Symmetrical
  Docking, forming Tenryuujin.

After taking out the bad guys, J and Arma leave at top speed.  Renais figures
that their power is even above what she read in the report, and allows that
she's willing to look slightly more kindly on the Dragon sisters now that they 
can combine.  Unfortunately, that combination took its toll on them in their
badly damaged state: Papillon says they won't be able to join the GGG for some 
time.  Kouryuu is sad that she won't get to see Renais for a while, but the two
promise to Renais to work their butts off once they are repaired and tuned up. 
Papillon then tells Renais that sooner or later she's going to have to join her
father and the rest of your people in fighting the great enemies confronting
the world.  Renais claims that she's always alone, but Papillon is sure a good 
man is closer to her than she thinks - half her Sensing Mind powers, and half
good-old feminine intuition.  Renais wonders if her speaking that way is due to
Entouji, and Papillon is sure that Renais has something similar going on...


Scenario 14. Operation Harper

On the bridge of the Helmoze, Epeso reports to Hazar Gottso that the Alpha
Numbers are headed their way.  Hazar is impressed that your people have divined
the Empire's strategy, and warns Epeso and his First Border Fleet not to let
down their guard: even if it WAS coincidental, these are the folks who took
down the Seventh Fleet.  Accidents can happen.  Epeso claims he won't make the 
same mistakes Raodekia did, and Hazar tells Epeso Judekka Gottso that he won't 
hear any reports except "success" and "victory".  Epeso says that, on his honor
as a Gottso, he'll carry out this mission to its utmost end.  As he leaves,
Hazar inwardly growls at that puppet not to name himself a Gottso.

Baran then shows up, addressing his former ward without honorifics and
unashamed in doing so.  This provokes Hazar's ire, but Baran merely stands in
silence, waiting for his chance to report that Princess Armana is worried about
the Crossgate.  She believes it will bring calamity to the Ze Balmariy empire. 
Hazar finds this ludicrous, saying that his father is _personally_ seeing to
efforts to unlock the Gate's secrets.  Besides, he figures it's the only way to
bring victory to the slowly decaying Imperial fleet.  Baran agrees, recounting 
the Empire's struggles with the Baff Clan and the loss of its Third and Fourth 
fleets to their gods of destruction.  The urgency of the moment is what has
sent Hazar and his fleet all the way out to a backwater area like this, and he 
warns Baran that nobody, even Princess Armana, is going to dissuade him from
making this mission succeed.  After Baran strides off, Hazar furiously wonders 
why the hell his father sent this hard-headed man out here.

Just then, Ganlon makes his appearance, offering his feigned sympathies at the 
Empire's difficulties.  Hazar dangerously reminds him that he was asked not to 
wander about the ship unattended, but Ganlon professes interest, as an
Earthling, at all the wonders aboard.  He quickly assures Hazar that he's no
spy - in fact, he's closer to Hazar than to the Earthlings.  Hazar spits that
no mere human can be equal to the lofty Balmar, which earns a round of mocking 
laughter from Ganlon.  Enraged further, Hazar promises him that had he not been
in control of a certain Choukijin, his head would have been cut off just now.  
Ganlon lightly claims that he'll be more careful in the future, and Hazar tells
him that he's got a job for him to do on Earth.  Of course, this is to test his
loyalty, and comes with implied threats of what will happen should he disobey. 
Ganlon says it's not in his nature to disobey the powerful, and with a sudden
dangerous smirk says that all he's interested in are Gun-Eden and Irui.

Just then, Armana herself walks in, openly doubting the wisdom of trusting an
unknown like Ganlon.  Hazar says politely but quite clearly that he's in no
mood to take orders from her, and mockingly asks her to dance the ceremonial
blessing on their victory or some other similarly "useful" activity.  Rulia
calls him on his rudeness, and with a far more unsettling smile he advises the 
princess, jewel of the Empire's people, to take careful care of herself for the
next year.  Armana calmly quiets Rulia, observing that normally she wouldn't be
in a place like this at all.  What has brought her is wanting to go to... Earth
of all places!  Ganlon takes stock of the princess, deciding in short order
that she's not the same sort of being as Irui.  Hazar offers to protect her in 
person in that case, saying that he is surely _far_ more protection than Baran 
could be and provoking her scowl again.  Inwardly, though, Hazar is wary of
Armana Tikva, the priestess of Zfield - why is she interested in the Earth
anyway?  In any case, Ganlon is sure to avoid boredom at this rate.

Epeso reminds all his soldiers of the crisis facing the Empire, and tells them 
that the princess herself is watching.  This is good news to the soldiers, who 
figure that they can't lose with the protection of the priestess of Zfield on
their side.  This amuses Hazar, who tells Ace to be ready to sortie too.  As
your people come forth, Ganlon notices that the Choukijin's chosen Espers are
among your forces.  He figures that they're still no match for him without
Choukijin of their own, and wishes them the best of luck in battle.  Kusuha can
actually sense his scrutiny, but agrees with Brit that the enemy before them
comes first.  Oota reminds you that your objective is the enemy flagship
codenamed Green Flower.  Sinking it should disrupt the enemy's chain of
command, but also virtually guarantees that you'll have to face a Zfield, a
giant mobile weapon that is the enemy's trump card.  It was this that did in
the SRX, and probably Aya with it.  This only serves as further motivation for 
the EVA pilots and Shinobu, but Ryou notices that there seem to be too few of
the enemy, and none of the other races represented.  Does this mean the Empire 
is weakening, or is there some other cause?

  The battle is over when you reduce the Helmoze to under 80k HP.  Do this in
  under 7 turns for a Skill Point.

  After the Helmoze fires on your dudes for the first time, Armana and Rulia
  note that the Earthlings seem to be putting up quite a fight.  Surely there's
  no further purpose in lingering here?  Hazar tells Rulia, a mere maid, not to
  try to give him her opinions, but she says that she'll give opinions to
  whoever she needs to to protect the princess.  Baran comes to Rulia's
  defense, saying that she's got a point.  Hazar, obviously displeased, orders 
  Ace to go slaughter your people and meet up again later while he proceeds to 
  his next objective.  Ace is indeed the pilot of the Zfield, which Kazumi
  warns you has a big-ass map weapon and other sorts of unpleasantries.

  One of the enemies has a Booster.

  The Zfield is worth a Custom OS.

  Once you reduce the Helmoze to 80k HP or less, an emergency call is relayed
  to you by Icarus - Orbit Base is under all-out assault by the Primevals.
  Unfortunately, your people are too far away, and Tashiro will send what aid
  he can.  Your people can only concentrate on the enemy at hand and hope Orbit
  Base pulls through... Just then, something starts emerging from the Gate.
  Epeso, realizing he's in grave danger, orders his men to withdraw at once.
  Sensing the abnormality of this response, Bright hastily pulls out too as the
  Gate starts disgorging whatever it is entirely on its own.  Unfortunately,
  you're too late.

  You've been thrown through dimensions back into real space, though if your
  people stray too far apart there's no telling where they might end up.  In
  fact, you got sent back to _Earth_, almost as if in response to the
  Primevals.  But that would be too much of a coincidence...  Unfortunately,
  the Archangel is falling behind due to damage from the previous battle, and
  the Dragon brothers decide to make a certain sacrifice to save the ship.
  Your people have no way to retrieve them as they fall behind.  Gai can only
  vow to them that somehow, some way, he'll see them again.


Scenario 15. Haruka Naru Gaika ("Distant Victory Hymn")

Pagliaccio has seven Primevals ready to attack at once, with only a 0.03%
chance of failure and no unknowns.  J and Kaidou will try to go and help, but
with the Primevals already human sized and inside the Orbit Base, things look
grim.  Your people are still (supposedly) days away, which lasts for all of
about three or four lines until your two ships pop out _right_ where they're
needed.  Misato is now convinced that there's purpose behind where you got
Gated to, and Bright orders everyone to attack at flank speed.

The Primevals figure that seven of them should be more than enough to get their
mission done, though they dislike the Alpha Numbers for reducing their numbers 
this much.  Their mission is 1) take over the "GGG" organization's orbital
facility, 2) completely eliminate the Legacy of Cain and the Calamity of Abel, 
and 3) wipe out the Alpha Numbers.

The first is the Rib, with the ability to dismantle anything near him.  This is
how they breached the Orbit Base's numerous overlapping Protect Shades.  The
good news is that the former Silver Hyuuma of ID5 is still quite handy with a
rifle - the bad news is that the Liver Primeval can repair Rib almost
instantly.  Hyuuga orders your people to fall back, and everywhere the
Primevals go they are wreaking havoc on the base's guardians.  That includes
Gai, who gets a taste of the Arm Primeval's directed gravity wave attack.

Before Arm can finish him off, J shows up, facing the Primeval for the first
time since the final battle to defend the Trinary solar system.  Unfortunately,
the Eye Primeval is able to warn Arm of J's attacks.  The question is, can this
keep up with Gai's Hyper Mode?  Arm sure thinks he can take down G and J right 
here...

Meanwhile, the Stomach Primeval, who had been hiding behind micro black holes, 
makes a go at Mamoru himself.  It plans to seal away Cain's destruction machine
(that would be Mamoru) in a dimension so warped that even he won't be able to
escape.  Kaidou then shows up, telling Mamoru that he's Cain's child, born on
the green planet.  It was Kaidou who was made on the red planet, and between
Kaidou and Stomach they recount the tale of how the J Jewel was created as a
copy of the G-Stone, based in turn off of studying the powers of Cain's son
Latio.  The end result was Arma, a biological weapon with an enhanced form of
Latio's psychokinesis.  Stomach says that if he can take out the two of them
here, the last threat to the Primevals' power will be ended.  Mamoru doesn't
want to believe this - he says he's from Earth, with a mother and father... and
Kaidou intervenes when Stomach tries to swallow him.  He tells Mamoru to hurry 
on ahead, that this is his fight, and Mamoru tells him to call him if he's ever
feeling bad, since both of them are friends from Earth.  As Stomach threatens
to wipe out both their Earth families, Kaidou announces that Stomach has pissed
him off.

The remaining two Primevals make it to the Main Order Room, telling your people
that they're here to build a Zondar Metal Plant and thereby ravage the whole
Earth.  Before the Ear Primeval can turn the GGG staffers into his zombies,
your people break in and start laying the smackdown.  Hiroshi demonstrates that
Gai isn't the only cyborg around here (he's powered-up by the way).  As your
people unload clip after clip of ammo into them, your trump card emerges from
the elevator and forces them to retreat with his G-Stone power.

Elsewhere, Rib and Liver think they've got Hyuuga and Ushiyama cornered.  Too
bad for them Goldymarg and Volfogg are on the scene, the whole thing being a
trap.  The G boys are helping out too, able to damage the Primevals faster than
they can regenerate.  They can only flee, just as Volfogg had anticipated.  As 
your people are preparing to follow after, Kira is more than a bit uneasy about
being given a gun and told to defend himself.  Hiiro tells him flatly that if
he's going to be a burden, he'd better leave now, and Muu says that unless he
wants to head back to the Archangel under his own power, he'd better toe the
line.

Meanwhile, Arm has forced his way past Gai and J.  Mikoto radios Gai to tell
him that the Primevals are trying to regroup.  Your people make it to the
scene, and Mic pulls out Disc X, specially remixed to wipe out the Zondar
Spores.  As the Primevals try to retreat, your people unleash their full fury
and take out the regenerating Liver.  The remaining ones manage to make it to
the moon, merging into one giant entity for you to kick the ass of.  Asuka
notes that the bigger they are, the easier they are to aim at.  J simply _will_
not just accept Gai's aid in battle, but finally accedes to letting Gai try to 
do as he wishes.  The Primevals then copy a bunch of Zaft and Mobile Suits to
get in your way [or was that, provide you Morale], and Kira realizes that if
you fall here you all will presumably get copied too.

  For a Skill Point, destroy all enemies within seven turns, saving the
  combined Primeval for last.

  After you off enough Zondars, the Primevals start pulling out the big guns.  
  Your people dodge, but the Primeval attack actually reaches into the Earth's 
  atmosphere.  The Primeval recoils, not wanting to blow away the planet that
  is about to host its offspring.  With your people wondering how the heck to
  attack, J says that he'll go in ahead and create an opening - not that he's
  helping Gai out or anything.

  The Combined Primeval is worth a High Performance Radar.  Mamoru will get to 
  purify seven of the Cores, with two of them escaping.  J tells your people
  he'll leave the Zondar Crystals with you for now and bids farewell.  Gai
  tells Chouryuujin (that's the Dragon brothers in combined form) to watch from
  wherever it is - its lives bought many, many people's salvation.

A coded message from Icarus arrives, announcing that the Imperial Fleet has
relocated to Mars.  They haven't taken any visible military action, and Oota
figures that even they were caught off guard by the Gate's activity.  The
landing party has touched down quite far from the re-terraforming facilities,
which is something at least.  Oota and Kazumi will head back to Icarus to guard
the Gate, at least until the Carneades Project comes to fruition.  They will
also do what they can to research the enemy that Megaroad is fighting.  Leo
muses on how deep space contains both your hopes and greatest fears, and Taiga 
adds that you have no choice but to march towards outer space as your destiny
calls you all.

Speaking of space, _somewhere_ out there certain people are conferring about
Zondar Metal, originally created to relieve the Minus Energy that would stress 
the life forms of the blue member of the Trinary Solar System.  Though the red 
and green planets were lost when the Zondar Metal loosed the bonds of its
programming, two carriers of a countermeasure descended to the blue planet: a
vaccine as it were.  The knowledgeable figure asks for a status report on the
border fleet.  Someone reports that the First Fleet had a bit of an accident
and ended up at the fourth star, but other than that things are going smoothly.
He assures this important personage that he will lead the "Chosen Ones" here no
matter what, but the knowledgeable one seems to recall that a traitor arose
from this man's ranks: Yuuzes Gottso.  He notes that while the Gottso Family
has many gifted members, it also harbors those a bit too confident in their own
power.  The subordinate says that Yuuzes was a fool who learned of the secret
Crossgate and believed he could control it, bringing about little good - other 
than that the Empire discovered Earth.  In any case, they've got to get busy
protecting their homeworld of Balmar from the great calamity overshadowing it, 
and trust themselves to the will of their Creator, Zfield.


Scenario 16. Michibikareru Tamashii, Ginga De ("Souls Led Through the Galaxy")

And now for something completely different!  We take you to the planet Solo, in
the Omega star cluster.  Karsha is calling for Cosmo and Dek to wait up.
Cosmo, who has a really _bad_ afro AND jacket both stolen from some krumping
clown troupe, tells her that it was her choice to follow them - and he's got no
reason to slow down on her account.  Dek agrees, telling her to go meet the
colony ships or something.  Karsha suspect that they're up to something, but
doesn't know what.

In fact, something _is_ going on, something that Cheryl was trying to hide.
Bes quotes her section seventeen of the civilian laws: all weapons and material
pertaining to them are to be turned over to the military at once.  Failure to
do so is punishable by two years hard labor, but Cheryl protests that it's not 
clear _what_ the thing she just restored is - not brought from Earth, but dug
up here.  Bes starts laughing at this, finally saying derisively that it was
precisely because there had been no intelligent life on Solo that it was chosen
for colonization - artifacts couldn't possibly exist.

Cosmo runs up just then and tells this know-nothing soldier that he'd better
watch his mouth.  After all, his father and friends spent years researching
this thing.  Bes tells him not to butt into adult conversations, and Cosmo
counters that Bes's little speech is hardly adult either.  Cheryl says that
Cosmo is in the right this time, and when Bes calls her a bitch she says that
her name is "Cheryl Formosa", not "bitch".  As it turns out, this isn't the
first such object the military has found...

Just then, a couple of strange flying craft come over and start blasting.
Apparently it's the Baff Clan, one of whom is worried about how Kalala has
landed somewhere near here.  Should anything happen to her, not only would the 
two of them not be able to go home, they might be forced to self-destruct.  Bes
finds Kalala, figuring that she's about to get shot or something, and drags her
off with him.  The Baff Clan head off in an attempt to get her back.  Rather
than just get blown to smithereens, Cosmo grabs Dek and jumps into whatever
this vehicle is, telling Karsha to come too if she doesn't want to bite it.
Cheryl seems to have some knowledge of how to pilot the thing, and as she fires
it up the [all-too-dreaded] Ideon Gauge begins to glow.  This surprises her
greatly, since in the past half year these relics of the "Sixth Culture" have
never once moved.  Dek is babbling like the crybaby he will grow up to be, and 
the thing combines into a "giant god" that Cheryl had heard about.  Kalala had 
heard about the Giant God Ide too, which seems to be what she was here
researching.

  Cosmo has little idea what's going on, but can apparently pilot well enough
  from his seat to keep their ass from being grass.  After felling a couple of 
  the Baff Clan, everyone is wondering what the hell is going on with this
  robot.  Kalala scoffs at its obviously _not_ "infinite" power, mainly because
  like me she lacks the patience and/or brain-damage needed to properly get the
  Ideon Gauge to rise.

Elsewhere, at the center of the galaxy, someone [let's say the Emperor] has
been hearing a beat, as of the power that is Alpha and Omega.  Thinking of the 
discovery of the Thunder Gate, the Crossgate, and the increasing onslaught of
the gods of destruction, it seems that the Last Trial is fast approaching.  He 
tells his subordinate that the demise of the galaxy, indeed, of the _universe_ 
is at hand.  Teh sux0rz.  The subordinate says that that's why they urgently
need to unlock the secrets of the unlimited power source and make it theirs,
but the Emperor tells him not to be silly.  That power must be destroyed, lest 
it consume them and trap them in the neverending cycle of death and rebirth.
He tells Shiva Gottso to utterly eradicate those led by the unlimited power,
and their servants, from the multiverse, and to bring him the sword with which 
to cleave the circle of life and death.

Oh, and by the way, the Macross 7 fleet shows up on Solo like as though their
dessiny wuz fo'o'dain'd or something.  What were the chances.

Maximilian Genius is writing in his log, noting that thirty five years have
passed since separating from the Megaroad fleet.  Far from their homeworld, his
fleet has received a transmission from fellow Earthlings.  The transmission,
from fellow members of the Ultra Long-Range Colonization Project, announces the
discovery of a habitable world.  Two years have passed since the decision to
lead his fleet there in the hopes the colonists would let his men rest.  He
hopes to set foot upon green once more in a few hours, on the world his people 
have named Solo.

Cheryl can't give Bes a good explanation of what's going on with this ancient
robot she unearthed - she _did_ warn him that the thing was under
investigation.  As the strange mark fades from the robot, Cosmo says that
although his father was a scientist, he wasn't told anything about this either.
Karsha points out that fighting off the newly-arrived aliens presumably is the 
most important thing right now, and Bes orders some engineers sent here to
figure out what the deal is with the robot.  He must have been more badly
shaken than he's letting on given how summarily he demands Cheryl's research
notes and tells all the civilians to get their ass to the shelters before
stomping off.  Cosmo says that all soldiers are like that, incapable of doing
anything other than barking orders.  Cheryl meanwhile wants Cosmo to take the
robot to dig site #2, saying he'll understand why when he gets there.  And she 
wants the other kids to help too.

Bes seem partly upset because this fracas erupted right before the first
comrades he's seen in two years are scheduled to arrive.  He gets to then be
all heroic and shoot a snake(?) that was threatening the untalkative Kalala.
He asks if she's from Macross 7, wondering if her odd clothing is the fashion
there or something.  Bes tries to tell her to stay out of the dangerous area
ahead, belatedly introducing himself as Jordan Bes.  She haltingly says that
her name is Kalala Ajiba, calling him a "good" man [yup, it can be taken that
way].  Bes thanks her for the compliment, given that she's good-looking herself
[say WHUT, that facial structure alone would keep the bad guys at bay.  Oh
well.]  He tells her he's too busy for a date just now, and tells her to follow
the road straight to the city of New Robia where it's safe.  As she still seems
unsure, he tells her to tell him "thanks" and says he'll take her on a date
tomorrow.  She manages a word of thanks, and Bes starts thinking about how much
he'd lay her out if not for all these alien inveiglements.

Now meet Geejay, who is in the hunt for the last possible location of Logo Dau,
resting place of Ide.  He can understand Kalala's impatience, but Damid says
that it's his ties to Kalala's father, supreme commander Doba, that make him
spoil Kalala so much.  Damid is worried about the possibility of the alien
warpower on Logo Dau being superior to their own, and over Geejay's objections 
points out that more of the same aliens seem to be heading to the planet.  Both
of them realize that the aliens (i.e. Earthlings) have finally begun spreading 
across the galaxy - if they can get a toehold, there is bound to be trouble.
Geejay wants to go to the planet himself and at least ascertain Kalala's
whereabouts, which will also let him somewhat save face with Doba.  Geejay
informs Damid that he's not fussing over Kalala for his own ambition - should
anything happen to her both of their heads will roll.

The robots have been taken to the site of what Cheryl has been calling the
ruins from the Sixth Culture.  She recounts how the Girishia Scrolls may refer 
to the indicator in the robots as the Ideon Gauge.  Good thing for her she's a 
linguist, though she can't say whether the mention of "Ideon" in the scrolls
refers to the robot itself or something else.  Bes asks what Cheryl the
wanna-be linguist has been studying for the past six months, but before she can
retort Joliver and Techno comes on the scene.  They've been studying the plans 
they got from Cheryl and helped outfit the robot with controls and armaments.  
Cosmo notes that the thing seems to have a lot of empty space inside, and
Joliver wonders if this "Sixth Culture" somehow forgot to install some of the
weapons.  Bes wants this thing ready to add to his firepower as soon as
possible, leaving Cheryl fuming that he's swiping the results of all her hard
work.

However, there's something impressive buried in the ruins that Cheryl wants the
engineers to look at.  Unfortunately, the air raid sirens go off just then:
it's more of the bad guys from before.  Cheryl has been hearing unknown speech 
coming from her radio, and somehow Dek is sure that the words "Baff Clan" are
the enemies' name.  Cosmo somehow organizes all the kids and engineers into a
fighting force and sets out to show the invaders who's boss.  As Joliver and
Cheryl retreat within the ruins, Kalala (who was hanging out there) notices
Geejay.  Egad, and before they can take off hordes and hordes of little kiddies
from the nearby city also show up and are hastily ordered aboard.

Unfortunately, there are no indications on the all-important Gauge even after
all the modifications, and when the enemy starts blasting and the baby starts
bawling his head off, the Gauge begins to glow.  Now, for some reason, Kalala
is convinced that this combining robot is indeed the God of old.  Damid is
cursing his luck for running into an alien giant on Logo Dau, and Geejay
figures that this thing _couldn't_ be the God in question.  If left to their
own devices, the aliens will totally wipe out the city - meaning you've got to 
kick their ass first.

  Clear the map within four turns for a Skill Point.

  On turn two, some people from Macross 7 show up: Gamlin, Docker, and Kinryuu.
  They marvel at the 100 meter tall [!!] robot, figuring that it seems to be
  protecting the Earthlings at any rate.  Cosmo, for one, yells that he doesn't
  need help from outsiders to protect his colony, but maybe that's just because
  he has a baby crying in his ear.

After the battle is over, a Macross-class vessel shows up.  Its external
armaments look quite different from what Moela remembers from two years ago.
Max is glad to see that the enemy are wiped out, but is rather appalled that
things turned into fighting so quickly upon arrival.  Exedore says that it
seems you found fortune within the misfortune from heading to the planet's
surface ahead of the rest of the fleet, and Max can't say he's exactly happy
that his bad feeling was on target.  Exedore thinks to himself that he
remembers seeing the giant robot somewhere before, but can't recall where.

Just then you catch a Defold signature above you - a ship apparently belonging 
to the same aliens you just tangled with is entering the atmosphere.  Max
doesn't want any further fighting here that could endanger the colonists.  But 
things become more complicated yet when a huge antimatter signature is detected
- underground nearby!  A battleship-sized object emerges, with Cheryl and
Joliver inside, as well as Bes and Kalala, who wonders if this ship somehow is 
connected to the Ide giant.  It has the same Gauge as the robot, and it's just 
turned full.  The Macross 7 detects that it's about to perform interdimensional
jump, and Max orders an emergency Fold too lest they get caught in the
backblast.  Too late.

Geejay breaks the news to Halulu that Kalala is aboard the Logo Dau aliens'
ship.  Who the hell names these people.  Anyway, Geejay claims to be awaiting
her signal, which he should be able to pick up anywhere within, oh, a 100,000
light year radius [O_o;;] - which is important, since your dudes used DS Drive 
and went into hiding somewhere or other in the galaxy.  He promises to recover 
Kalala, but Halulu says there's no need to - her sister's actions were entirely
her sister's own responsibility.  And besides, when it comes to getting
Halulu's hand on the giant, she won't stop at her sister dying in the process, 
and suggests that Geejay not do so either.  She tells him she'll send
reinforcements if needed, and signs off.

Apparently this ruthlessness is the only reason that a woman like Halulu has
obtained such a lofty position among the Baff Clan.  Damid figures that had she
been born a man like his father Doba, she'd be helluva formidable.  He then
slyly asks Geejay what he intends to do about his _fiancee_ Kalala, who is
currently in enemy hands... somewhere.  Geejay says that, on his honor as a
_samurai_ [let me repeat: "on his honor as a *SAMURAI*"] he will surely win her
back _and_ steal the giant in the process.  [o/~ Kokoro wa samurai... Munashisa
dake no yoroi wo... Nugisuteyou, yuuki dake no suhada de....]

[Sorry, these flashbacks, man, they're killing me.  Where was I.]

Ah yes: Damid suggests that enemies with as much ass-wrecking power as your
people displayed are unlikely to treat their prisoner politely, but Geejay
figures that aliens with similar tech levels to his own are unlikely to kill a 
captive out of hand.  In any event, both agree that time is of the essence, and
Damid is scheming to abscond with the giant while Geejay is busy trying to
recover Kalala.  This will force Doba and Halulu to acknowledge his power, and 
then the world will be at his command!  Mu. Ah. Ha. Ha. Ha. haaaa....  *choke* 
*wheeze*


Scenario 17. Discord - Harmony

Bes is having it out with Max, trying to get him to believe that the Solo folk 
do not understand how the "Soloship" works, nor did they deliberately warp
everyone all the way out here.  Max finally agrees to write the incident off as
an accident - but only among themselves: that this was an accident isn't going 
to wash with the crew at large.  After all, Max has just been separated from
the rest of his fleet.  Max is placing both ships under his jurisdiction, and
informs Bes that as the highest ranking survivor from Solo he has a
responsibility to his crew.  Max is of course planning to help to the best of
his ability, seeing as how Bes is one of the long lost Megaroad comrades and
all.  Bes draws up short when Max says it's been 35 years since the attack by
unknown foes that drove the Megaroad fleet apart, saying that that was a mere
two years ago.  This has Max totally stunned, and he tells Bes that he wants to
more thoroughly investigate that, and asks Bes that he keep the time slip
between the two ships a secret for now.  In any case, calming the various
civilian members of each crew is top priority, and they'll figure out what to
do later.  As Bes hangs up, Max ponders how 35 years of quiet could end in so
dramatic a fashion.

And the uproar is still ongoing: Miria calls up and wants to know why she
wasn't part of the discussion with Bes as the civilian representative aboard
the ship.  She accuses him of information laundering, but he tells her it's a
question of need-to-know under these emergency circumstances.  They may be
about to face a far worse calamity than they did 35 years ago.  Miria requests 
data on the aliens you butted heads with, and Max says that the Soloship is
digesting that data even now.  It boils down to, you don't know anything...
yet.  Miria asks him to prioritize rejoining the Macross 7 fleet, saying that
it's her duty to put the safety and peace of mind of the citizens first and
foremost.  She doesn't want to abandon your long-lost comrades per se, but she 
does request that Max try to keep disturbances to a dull roar, so the civilians
can finish returning to their daily lives.  After she hangs up, Max frowns and 
realizes just how much Miria, the ace pilot, has languished under these 35
years of being cooped up.

Cheryl reports to Bes that this space vessel, in addition to its anti-matter
drive, has another _something_ at its core which is beyond her ability to
analyze.  She's tried to get the computer to help her decrypt more of the Sixth
Culture's writings, but so far to no avail: all the text seems to be in jargon.
Bes isn't in much mood to wait, but Cheryl says that with time you may come to 
understand how the Gauges work, or why the DS Drive event occurred.  Bes is
impatient with this, worried that the enemy might attack in the meantime.
Joliver is getting the hang of the controls, and figures he might even be able 
to figure out the DS Drive, but when Cheryl points out there are no aliens
around to interfere with the investigation, Bes points out that the aliens
could use their own DS Drive to follow.  She says that she hates men who insist
on being pessimistic.  Karsha, intent on kicking alien ass, asks Cosmo if he
intends to go on piloting the robot (we'll call it the Ideon for lack of a
better term, like Ideot).  Just then, a stowaway is located - maybe an alien
spy?

It's Kalala and her eye-catching wardrobe, busy playing with the little baby
and trying not to look too ignorant about the Logo Dau aka Solo people's ways. 
Just then Bes runs over, telling Kalala to turn very slowly to face him.  Of
course it's clear that she's not from the Macross 7 - is she even an Earthling?
She admits that she's from the Baff Clan, which seems to confound Bes for a
moment, who was expecting... a four-handed, six-legged slimy monster, as Kalala
says.  Well, maybe just horns, or wings, or a giant, or an android...  Kalala
observes that Bes's people seem to have wide contact with other races.  Bes
replies that his homeworld has been invaded plenty over the last ten years, but
when making "contact", what matters are the nerves.  She finds him a wonderful 
man, and he her a wonderful woman - but he's still going to imprison her for
now.  She sadly admits that he really has no other choice.

Angst-detector baby Ruu now won't stop crying - maybe she needs a lullaby? Just
then a _rather_ enthusiastic sort comes over to play her a lullaby.  It's
J-rock and makes a tremendous racket, but stops Ruu's tears at least.  This
newcomer observes that the baby seems to get his music more than any of the
rest of you, telling the crew that if they want to know his name they need to
come to City 7 and hear his music for real.

Basara ends up late to rehearsal, much to Mylene's annoyance.  She hotly
reminds him that this is a new page in the Fire Bombers' history, and takes
umbrage when he casually tells her not to get too excited and screw up.  Ray
plays diplomat, pointing out that Basara never fails to get it on for a show.  
Basara tells Ray that preparations are all set, and the group gets ready to
rock.

Misa is rather sad that you've got to abandon Solo so soon after finding it,
and Sally adds that although space is vast, habitable planets are rather hard
to come by.  Exedore reminds them that it's their job to find another planet
suitable to become the Earthlings' new homeworld.  Max says that the crew must 
never forget the day they left Earth, but of course most of them were born _on_
the Macross 7 and have never even seen the Earth.  Meanwhile, Exedore has been 
exerting his considerable brainpower trying to remember where he's heard the
name Ide before.

His reverie is interrupted by the Baff Clan, who have somehow followed you
across hundreds of light years.  Max orders his ship to undock from City 7 to
let them evacuate to a safe distance, not waiting for civilian permission under
these times of crisis.  He then orders the Diamond Force to sortie, their only 
protection with the rest of the fleet elsewhere.  Docker wants to get this
battle done quickly so he can go see the beauty aboard the Soloship.  Gamlin
doesn't want to hear that, and Kinryuu tells them that the military has spent a
_lot_ of money on their training, their equipment, their diet, their sleeping
quarters - FAR more than the normal soldier.  He tells them that he won't let
them flush all that money down the drain by dying needlessly.  Let them not
dishonor the Diamond Force!  Meanwhile, the Ideon has sortied too, though Cosmo
still isn't that familiar with the controls.  The Baff Clanners for their part 
are looking forward to kicking your butt and getting Kalala back, not
necessarily in that order.

  Fulfill the victory condition in four turns, which is initially defeating the
  Sieg Mark (Geejay's vessel), for a Skill Point.

  On 1.5, Max realizes that one of the bad guys is planning to latch onto the
  Soloship, either to seize control or to free the hostage aboard it.  Your
  people set about concentrating their fire on the Sieg Mark, and Cheryl
  wonders if your hostage is someone important to the enemy - probably, but you
  can't pause the battle to ask her.

  Geejay is worth an Analyzer.  He plants a tracking device on the Soloship as 
  he flees.  Worse, the mystery enemies that attacked 35 years ago have bumped 
  into you again, and Max orders everyone to go show them just how unbreakable 
  your will is.

  Gigil feels high-level Spiritia from your people, and resolves to drain it as
  quickly as possible.  He drains Docker's... willpower apparently, and Max
  realizes that this too is a repeat of what happened 35 years ago.  Before
  anyone can react, Gigil tries draining Spiritia from the Ideon, whose Gauge
  is fully illuminated and has started glowing.  Apparently this fends him off 
  temporarily, and he figures he's finally found a worthy adversary.

Meanwhile, City 7, apparently no worse for combat wear, is in the middle of a
rock concert.  That doesn't last long as the order to go Shell Down comes
through, meaning attacks from outside are expected.  The concept of a battle
seems to deeply disturb the normally bouncy Basara, but Bihiida starts pounding
the drums and getting the crowd fired up.  The rest of the band gets into it
too, but Basara quickly heads offstage to take care of...  something.  Mylene
is upset over not knowing what and feeling like Basara has abandoned her, but
Ray is busy piping footage of the outside world into the arena's monitors.  As 
Mylene stares in disbelief, Ray mentally tells Basara to get out there and let 
them hear his song.

As Max is preparing to do... something, an unidentified vehicle with no IFF
flies into the area.  Max recognizes Basara's crimson Valkyrie, and Basara
thinks that he's been waiting for this moment a long time, which might be why
he doesn't heed Gamlin's calls to shut the noise off during battle.  Said noise
is messing up Gigil's Spiritia Gauge, and Basara ignores Gamlin's warning to
buzz off or he'll shoot him down too.  Exedore wonders if this guy is trying to
be another Lin Minmei, the legendary idol who managed to stop the battle 35
years ago.  Kinryuu orders Gamlin to ignore the interloper and concentrate on
the bad guys.

  After you take down Gigil, Max orders the Macross 7 to undergo Trans
  Formation, showing them to the fullest just how the great Maximilian Genius
  fights.  All it takes is one hit to totally blow away the enemy flagship,
  cutting Basara somewhat short in his music.  It seems clear that Gamlin and
  Basara are not destined to get along very well...

All this is going to take some explaining to Mylene.  The guests are going
home, bored with simply watching a Valkyrie flying.  Mylene demands to know why
Ray isn't more worried about Basara, and he blithely says that if he started
worrying about Basara his health would fail in short order.  As they leave the 
stage too, Ray thinks to Basara to sing just how he wants to.

Meanwhile, Docker has been reduced to a near catatonic state that the doctors
don't know how to cure, just like the victims of the Megaroad assault.  Though 
unscientific, the doctor says that it's as though they've lost the will to
live.

Max greets Bes in his quarters, re-introducing himself as the senior officer of
the Macross 7 fleet and captain of Battle 7.  Bes has heard of Max "The"
Genius, who explains that there must have been something like black holes to
interfere with the passage of time for the two groups.  There seems to be no
other explanation, though Max can't shake the feeling that it was somehow
caused deliberately by someone or some thing.  He wants Bes' opinion on what to
do next - the Megaroad fleet is all about finding fertile ground for the seeds 
of life on Earth.  Direct contact with the Earth is forbidden lest your enemies
learn of its location, but at the same time there is a duty to deal with any
large-scale threats, like the STMC.  This means that you can't leave these
soul-sucking enemies alone.  The only option is to physically return to Earth, 
partially since City 7 can't last in space forever and partially to warn of the
new threat.  Of course, doing this could increase the danger to Earth too, but 
it's a risk worth taking in Max's mind.  He asks Bes his opinion, since he too 
has civilians to look after, and tells him that circumstances afford him a
_little_ time for deliberation.  The hope is to head for Brazilar, a colonial
waypoint some 1200 light years from Earth, and get the warning on its way.  Bes
wants to accompany Macross 7 that far at least, and then take stock.  In the
mean time he plans to interrogate his prisoner about the Baff Clan, and Max
asks him to start with what the Clan was doing on Solo in the first place.

Gepelnietche orders Gigil to collate his data on the strange
Spiritia-obfuscating enemy he faced and begin an investigation.  Gigil has a
question for him - why, in 500,000 years of being able to drain Spiritia from
living beings, is this the first time he's ever failed?  And what of the
strange fleet, which he's heard is also under investigation.  Gepelnietche
tells him that he's been having a dream lately - a dream of limitless Spiritia,
without the need of a host to drain it from.  He knows not if it's a mere dream
or something realizable, and tells him that much will depend on the results of 
his investigations.  Gigil, who loves running his prey to ground, can't figure 
out what he's talking about, but Gepelnietche is very interested in making sure
his "Spiritia Farm" should succeed...


Scenario 18. Ginga Rurou ("Wandering the Galaxy")

Exedore says there's little doubt that the bad guys you just tangled with are
the same ones who struck 35 years ago.  You're no closer to having a good
countermeasure now than you were then, and as Max and Exedore confer Exedore
suddenly has an idea who they might be, though he quickly dismisses it, since
the bad guys were piloting Earth-like ships.  While Exedore goes on pondering, 
Max goes to an interview with the city's TV station - with the head of the
city.  After Max leaves, the bridge bunnies muse over what the marriage between
the human and Meltrandi aces has come to, so long after the historic peace
treaty with the Zentraedi and Meltrandi.  There are rumors that a divorce might
be in the works, and Exedore thinks to himself that his captain may not be able
to stand the strain between inside and outside either.

Said TV broadcast is delaying the Fire Bombers' rehearsal.  Max professes to
have no solid knowledge of who the bad guys are, but says the authorities are
doing everything in their power to make them go away.  Miria then presses him
on why he didn't contact her before separating the city, and demands to know if
these are not the same assailants who struck 35 years ago.  Max, stone-faced,
says that their identity is still under investigation.  She asks if he expects 
that explanation to be satisfactory, and he turns her question around and asks 
if the citizens would likely have an easy time understanding military
investigative procedure.

Mylene notes that her mom and dad are at it again, as usual.  Both of them say 
as much to each other's faces, on TV.  As the war of words begins to escalate
dangerously, Basara switches the TV off in disgust.  Of course, the other band 
members are nowhere to be seen, and after a moment Mylene asks Basara how come 
he's got a Valkyrie.  He says Ray gave it to him, and claims to have no idea
where _he_ got it from.  Mylene then starts chewing him out for flying into the
middle of a war zone for no better reason than he "always wanted to".  He asks 
her, "don't you understand?" why he did it, and she's in the middle of saying
that it's 'cause she doesn't understand that she's asking when Ray finally gets
back.  Rehearsal can, at least, begin.

Aboard the Soloship, Bes is about to start formally questioning Kalala.  After 
she states her name and planet of origin, he asks her why her people attacked. 
She supposes that they thought of your people as dangerous aliens, and when the
kiddies get indignant that the Baff Clan attacked first, she points out that
your crew viewed her as a threat the very moment they found out _she_ was an
alien.  Cheryl tries to call that mere rhetoric, saying that Earth has been
attacked by numerous aliens before now, but Kalala points out that that goes
for her people too.  So, does her presence aboard the Soloship mean she's here 
to attack you?  After a moment, she says that she was looking for Ide.

Ide is that which holds limitless power, and the reason the Baff Clan were on
Logo Dau.  She's willing to share her people's ancient legends about Ide with
you.  Once upon a time, the queen of the planet Baff was kidnapped by an evil
beast.  All the light vanished from the world, all green things faltered, and
the people of Baff were driven to the brink of ruin.  At that time, a brave
hero stepped forward to challenge the monster - yet the hero's strength could
not defeat his foe.  But the fruit bearing the power of Ide was bestowed upon
the hero, and he prevailed.  The hero then took the queen for his own, and
together they ruled Baff.

Cosmo is, shall we say, not amused that such a preposterous fairy tale has led 
her people to venture all the way across space just to kill off a bunch of his 
comrades.  She informs him that some proof of the truth behind the legend
remains on her planet, proof that Ide still exists as a new form of energy.
Most of your people are still disbelieving, figuring this is just a mere excuse
for killing off humans, but Bes seems less sure.  In any event, the enemy
choose this moment to attack, and your people are planning to get rid of them
before you reach your destination.

City 7 is away safely, and the Diamond Force sorties along with Ideon.  Bes
tells Cosmo and company to buy just enough time for your people to make it to
Brazilar.  Gigil isn't willing to just sit and watch as Gepelnietche had
ordered.

  Fulfill the victory condition within three turns for a Skill Point, which
  initially means taking down Gigil.

  Basara shows up on turn 2.  Gigil can't measure his Spiritia with his
  equipment, and says he's been waiting for this moment.  Once again, Basara
  tells Gamlin to sod his talk of battle, and listen to his song!

  Gigil can't measure Basara's Spiritia, but with all the Spiritia he's already
  gathered in the past couple battles he can go wake "her".  Cosmo and crew see
  the leader trying to run away, and set out to stop his flight.  Gigil is not 
  exactly impressed, and aims straight for the Ideon's cockpit.  But he doesn't
  plan on taking this kind of unknown Spiritia, and retreats.  Cosmo is in
  shock from the attack, and his mech is quickly recovered.  Basara is finding 
  all this a major bore, and repeatedly won't answer Gamlin's query about why
  he's singing.

Gigil goes and uses the Spiritia to awaken "Sybil", who can only moan for more 
Spiritia as he tells her to come with him...

Meanwhile, Kamueller welcomes Max and Miria to Brazilar, whose time appears to 
be flowing at the same rate as Solo.  As Kamueller welcomes your civilians to
stay, Bes worries to her that the Baff Clan may attack again.  She assures him 
that this base is well protected, seemingly treating him as the enthusiastic
little kid she once taught in school.  Miria realizes that Kamueller has no
clue, and Max frets that your very presence here puts everyone in danger.
Cosmo, meanwhile, is still in shock or something [uh-DUHHHHH], oblivious to
your people's mounting doubts that Kamueller can actually begin to resist any
alien assault.  Max cuts this short, saying that as soon as he's reprovisioned 
he'll be leaving again, though he has not yet decided for where.  He intimates 
that overstaying his welcome won't go well for either side here, and when
Kamueller says to rest easy while the loading is going on Cosmo abruptly says
that Kamueller has the gentlest eyes.  Max commends Bes on his decision to keep
Kalala with him, lest he spread the embers of war still further.  And Kamueller
tells Cosmo to come with her, where there's no war...

Basara is fretting that the bad guys refused to hear his song _twice_ now.  He 
wonders where he has to go to find a sound they _will_ listen to.  He's in no
mood to do the live gig his band has lined up, but producer Akiko is sure she
can cover things up with some of Basara's Valkyrie work.  Despite Mylene's
cries of "irresponsible", Basara goes out for some fresh air, saying he'll be
back on time.  Mylene demands to know what the hell is so special about his
singing in battle, demanding to know just what singing is to him.  It's
pounding his burning heart into the listener!  Whatever that means.  Ray
assures Mylene after Basara runs off that Basara's the kind of guy who delivers
when the chips are really down.

Meanwhile, Bes is pondering how to use Kalala to arrange a cease-fire with the 
Baff Clan.  Your people ponder why the bad guys are after you, figuring it must
have something to do with the legend of Ide as well as physically getting
Kalala back.  Bes bases that supposition on how the huge enemy robot clearly
tried to break into the Solo Ship in the previous battle.  But if Kalala is
such a valuable woman, why was she wandering around like that?  Cheryl says
it's because she's like Karsha, serious-minded and curious about everything.
Said Karsha says that angling for a cease fire is for cowards - you have the
advantage as long as they can't attack full force for fear of taking Kalala out
too!  She doesn't care that Cosmo is offline, figuring that she can do ably as 
his replacement.  Bes points out that it was that kind of leaping before
looking that got Cosmo in this state to begin with, and says that he wants to
do whatever it takes to increase everyone's chances for survival.  Dek thinks
he has a way to let the enemy know that you want to parlay...

Turns out Kamueller had a son around Cosmo's age, who she got split up from ten
years ago.  She is angling to become his new mother, but Cosmo is not exactly
thrilled with his mother, who he saw as selfish and trying to make him into her
puppet.  He says he's no puppet: he's a grown man, who's capable of fighting,
and protecting others.  But upon remembering the Baff Clan attack, he starts
moaning and screaming.  She can barely get him calmed down before the emergency
siren sounds.  She tells him to stay right here in this safe place and hurries 
off.  Just then Basara shows up and puts on a sort of one-man concert for Cosmo
upon seeing that he's responding a little.  Cosmo regains his senses, and
Basara says that playing for him has helped him clear his head.

Despite your parlay, the Baff Clan are out in force.  Damid is ordering his
SAMURAI troops to strike you down, and when Ideon begins waving a white flag
Damid takes it as your people bragging that they can take his folks down to a
man.  He orders his troops to commence indiscriminate attacks against Ideon,
lest it one day invade his own people.  Geejay gets sent to try to save Kalala 
while Damid sees to the fighting.  Damid tells Geejay that there's no shame in 
fighting to save the woman he loves, secretly adding to himself that it makes
it that much easier to blame him when he fails.  Your people are quite appalled
at this development, but it's a bit late to un-declare all-out war.  Exedore
remarks that a few cultural differences are only to be expected, just like was 
the case between the humans and Zentraedi.

  On round two, Basara shows up hoping the third time's the charm.  Gamlin
  tells him to fight with the weapons aboard his Valkyrie, but Basara says it's
  not about beating people down with power: he wants to force them to be moved 
  by his song.

  The next round, more bad guys come out and start blasting the crap out of
  Brazilar.  In fact, Cosmo arrives just in time to see Kamueller die horribly.
  He then runs over and gets into Ideon, and he's in one hell of a foul mood.

  When you take down Damid, the Drowa Zan shows up with Halulu, Kalala's
  sister.  It blows the shit out of Brazilar, and Max tells City 7 to fold out 
  of here while he holds them off.  Mylene calls out for her father and Basara,
  and Kalala sadly tells Bes and your people that her sister would not begin to
  heed any call from her for a cease-fire - she's well aware that her life
  means nothing to her sister.  Family are even scarier than aliens sometimes.

  As yet more bad guys Fold out, it seems the end is near.  Just then, the
  Ideon gauge starts glowing, and your people get warped elsewhere.  It seems
  you have an Imperial observer, who notes the similarity of the light your
  vehicles gave off to that from the Crossgate - your people may be on to this 
  limitless power thing after all.

  As you travel through warp, Max orders the Diamond Force to go protect the
  now distant City 7.  Hatari calculates to your shock that you've just DS
  Driven a good 20,000 light years in an instant, only to end up at...

Word has gotten to Gepelnietche that Gigil, with Sybil in tow, has gotten
thrown to the other side of the galaxy along with your people.  He tells his
soldiers to abandon Gigil - there are other seeds with which to sprout his
dream.  He dispatches another commandant to capture the sample from your fleet,
sure that the time has come to make his 500,000 year old dream of a Spiritia
Farm come true...


Scenario 18x. Haha to Chikatta Asu no Tame Ni ("For The Tomorrow Sworn To
Mother")

Your people are hoping to hear Akira regale them with what he was up to during 
the War of Seals.  After all, as Hyouma points out, with all the uproar and
bloodshed around here there's no telling when the next chance to chew the fat
might arise.  Unfortunately, this is a rather painful topic for Akira, since
this fight against Barao involved his mother sacrificing her life to activate
the Star of La Mu and energise Reideen with Mutron Energy.  The subject is
belatedly changed to where Akira's other comrades are: traveling the world
sifting through ruins for clues to Reideen and Mutron.  Instead, the subject
switches again to a _different_ battle...

Akira is busy busting the Mikeene's ass, including elbowing Shinguji out of the
way during battle.  Shinguji is not happy about that, to say the least, but
what Akira is worried about is how he lacked the power to keep his mother from 
perishing.  He wants to spare others that same grief, and adopts the whole
"alienate your best friends for their own good" gambit.  It takes Mari to
remind them what's going on: Neo Jion has just dropped Fifth Luna, and Amuro
and everyone are all missing.  She tells everyone to go back to base, since
even Reideen seems tired from all the fighting - and is smart enough to guess
at Akira's true thoughts.

But, she doesn't anticipate precisely how far Akira will go to not lose anyone 
else he loves, curtly sending them on ahead when he knows the bad guys are
lurking nearby.  In fact, he genuinely would rather lose his friends entirely
than see them die.

  When you take down the first bad guy, it regenerates and does something or
  other to Akira.  He sees a vision of his mother floating in the darkness,
  telling him to rest his tired heart.  She sees the enemies' ceaseless attack 
  even though their emperor Barao is already defeated, and tells him to come to
  paradise where she is.  After all, she says, he _isn't_ strong enough to
  protect her - but she can protect him.  As his mother gets ready to sing him 
  to sleep, his _real_ mother tells him to stand up and calls upon La Mu.
  Akira snaps out of it, recalling his oath to his mother to go on fighting
  until peace is restored to the world.  His mother agrees, telling her heroic 
  son to go on fighting, until the day of final judgment arrives.

  As Akira is ready to pulverize the treacherous bad guys, some federation
  soldiers show up in some puny MS's and offer to help.  He tells them to hold 
  off, that they're being suicidal, but they respond that without backup he's
  the suicidal one.  He realizes that they, too, are risking their all for what
  they believe in.

  Lots and lots more bad guys come in after the first set, and Akira thinks
  he's about to see more people die because his power is too meager.  As he
  cries out in frustration, a certain familiar voice tells him to actually move
  his ass instead of whining: it's the Beast Squad.  After saving his ass,
  Shinobu takes him to task for thinking that he's got to fight alone, whether 
  or not he's got the power to protect his friends.  Sara adds that it's not
  like they were always this strong - she's personally lost more precious
  things than she can count.  And all those people were in their own ways
  fighting for what they believed in protecting.  Sara inquires if he plans to 
  deny them all that, and then points out that his life is not his alone: there
  are people who would surely weep if he died, and it doesn't take them long to
  show up.

  Ryou then explains why: comrades aren't just surplus firepower.  They support
  each other, they commiserate, they incite each other in battle.  Akira knows 
  this of course, but he had forgotten in his grief over his mother.  Shinguji,
  Mari, and Alan were all hoping that he'd snap out of his funk before anyone
  got hurt, and Masato weighs in that Akira is far too young to get impatient
  like this.  Shinguji asks if Akira would trust him with his back, and Akira
  says no - because he plans to be fighting right there by his side.

  With the mushy stuff out of the way, time to mop up the remaining evildoers. 
  Lemuria mentally tells Akira that she's always with him - he need never feel 
  alone.  She instructs him to do what he must, while she watches over him.

After your fight is over, Alan reports that the remnants of the Federation army
are still holding their own, organizing as guerillas and unwilling to give in
any time soon.  He's got even better news - the location of the enemy commander
is now clear, meaning it's time for you to go and hose his ass.

Anyways, that's how it went while the rest of your squad was busy elsewhere.
Of course, that the Beast Squad was there to help out at all is thanks to
Shinobu defying Miwa, but hey, them's the breaks.  And thankfully, it helped
Akira return to his senses.  He thanks Mari again, telling her he realizes just
how important she is.  She's happy to hear that, and says that she'll protect
him in turn in his mother's stead.


Scenario 19.

Amuro has been reporting on what he and the Preventers have learned about the
front-line situation of the Federation Army.  "They" have obtained considerable
influence throughout both the military and the government.  Taiga is
forecasting an all-out Zaft offensive with everyone's attention diverted by the
attacks from the Subterraneans and the Interplanetary Alliance.  And if so,
"they" won't take it sitting down - much like the Jupitorians, the Coordinators
are both human and not-human, and like Char's people may in fact have it in
mind to rule over the lowly Earthnoids.  Bright is skeptical that they could do
that under these circumstances, but Amuro points out that it's precisely
circumstances like these that favor survival for the elevated potential of the 
Coordinators.  This is a high-stakes time, and whoever is the last man standing
wins.  Bright notes that that still won't erase the fact that Earthling is
fighting Earthling, and Amuro is sure that that's not lost on the Blue Cosmos
either: they're in a hurry too, just towards a different end than you are.  The
fact that their objective isn't governmental influence or military power is
probably the only reason you've gotten as much support until now to fight them.

Taiga, having heard Amuro's report, has now reached a decision.  A request from
supreme command has come for the Alpha Numbers to guard the Alaska HQ, which
Amuro can see immediately is just a ploy to get data about the Strike Gundam
and the Archangel, as well as to leash the Alpha Numbers itself.  Ultimately,
they'll want the Alpha Numbers as part of the assault on the Plant, but Taiga
says that even an independent battalion like yourselves can't disobey orders
through proper channels like these forever, lest an inquest occur.  And before 
that, you'll all be branded as traitors and shunned by other Federation forces,
much like the Titans.  For now, you'll have to go along to the Alaska Base, all
the while gathering more information on the military brass and helping fend off
threats elsewhere on the Earth.

HOWEVER, since the most immediate threat is the Interplanetary Alliance's
forward base on the moon, Taiga's decision is to divide the Alpha Numbers in
half, with Bright and Maryuu taking on the Alaska mission.  As for a mothership
in space, Daimonji and the Daikuu Maryuu are on the scene.  He reports that
Voltes V and Deimos are still busy fending off the Imperial expeditionary
forces on Mars, and for the moment available.  Bright's happy to go to Earth,
but it's agreed not to tell Maryuu about the likely scrutiny at Alaska just
yet: no need to worry her ahead of time.  Taiga also sees to it that the Earth-
bound ships also help all the evacuees at Orbit Base get home safely too.

  [At this point you can either have your main character to go space or the
  Earth.  Earth will be "E", space routes will be denoted "S".]


Scenario 19E. Uchuu ni Oriru Hoshi ("A Star Falling Into Space")

Bright is favorably impressed with the Archangel, which Maryuu says is more
ship than she's worthy of.  Bright tells her not to be so modest, and praises
her accomplishments to come so far through so much adversity.  As for their new
posting, Maryuu is worried about Kira, who remained in the military solely out 
of a desire to protect his friends by piloting the Strike.  He is, to be frank,
not cut out for the military, and is at this rate going to be thrown headlong
into battle with his fellow Coordinators.  Maryuu is worried that he won't
withstand the strain, though Natarle is at some pains to point out that that's 
only one possibility.  She tells Bright when he asks that Kira's power is
crucial to you: unless Kira shows signs of throwing in the towel, it's probably
best to go on as you have been.  Bright ponders this, and asks Maryuu to let
him speak to Kira.  This surprises her greatly, but Bright says that he's had
no small amount of experience with this sort of thing, and has a certain
someone in mind to assist in the process.  As Bright has Natarle find Kira's
whereabouts, Maryuu continues to fret, and Bright tells her not to let that
sort of thing show in front of her subordinates.  Even if it _was_ under
special circumstances, she's just been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and he
cautions her, not unkindly, to see that she acts the part.  He adds that she's 
done a fine job of leading the Archangel so far - all she needs is a bit more
self-confidence.  She protests that it's been all she could do just to survive,
much less achieve any victory in battle, but Bright tells her that it's plenty 
victorious to come through any battle entrailus intactus.  Blushing, she can
only thank him for his kind words.

Kira has been busily working on Gundam maintenance at the beck and call of some
of the best mechanics in the fleet.  Bright strolls by, telling everyone to be 
at ease but yet getting down to business quickly.  He asks Astonage to return
to the Ral Kairam in preparation for the enemy attack he is sure is coming
before your people can enter the atmosphere.  He also has Muu and Murdock take 
off so he can spend some time with Kira.  Kira is to say the least rather
intimidated by being alone with the renowned colonel, and Bright tries to allay
his nerves by telling him the Alpha Numbers is a tad different from the average
military unit.

He then says outright how impressed he is that Kira, a former civilian, has
done so well in piloting the Strike: his Coordinator abilities are even better 
than expected.  Kira's expression turns downcast, and he says that the people
around him have had a lot to do with his survival too.  Bright then startles
him by asking if he would prefer not to fight.  He tells Kira that he still has
a chance to return to civilian life, and Kira says that he's having trouble
deciding which is more important: fighting the Zaft, or protecting his friends.
Bright then tells him that there is a man who was once in danger of losing his 
own sense of place within all the fighting, just as Kira is.  That man was
frequently separated, if not segregated, from others by his abilities - his
Newtype abilities.  Yup, it's none other than Amuro, who Bright passes the
baton to as he walks over to greet Kira for the first time.

Kira is unsure of what Bright was trying to tell him, and Amuro and he begin to
discuss Amuro's past.  The first thing Amuro tells him is that he certainly
never wished for his Newtype powers to make him the most in-demand Gundam pilot
in the Federation.  But, his power and the power of everyone aboard White Base 
was essential in those days, and Kira's power is attractive now for much the
same reasons.  However, it's not that having him on your side will win the war 
for you: where the Plant is concerned, power is irrelevant.  And yet your
people will fight anyway - does Kira understand why?  Because they have people 
they want to protect, and because that sentiment has power.  Amuro tells him
that without a sentiment to fight for, there can be no triumph - and if there
_is_ a sentiment to fight for, noone can deprive you of your rightful place in 
the world.  Flay runs over just then, asking him to come help with the evacuees
when he's done here.  Amuro says bye to him for now, and Kira leaves with a
smile on his face.

Kira then gets to meet a few of the evacuees, at least one of whom has words of
thanks for him helping to protect them all.  The child gives Kira an origami
flower, which has Flay very sentimental over what may lie in store for him in
the none-too-distant future.  There's war everywhere, even on Earth itself, and
Flay says she can't do a single thing for a child who's trying so hard to live 
and be happy.  Kira says that he can fight, and promises to do double for Flay 
too.  He's decided to fight this war to its end.

Of course, your people's fears about enemy assault are right on the money: it's
the Zaft, with Creuset at the controls.  He's looking to quiet down the Alpha
Numbers by taking out the renowned Bright Noa.  Maryuu orders your people to
scramble, and when Natarle points out that this could make you miss your escape
window, Misato points out that there's no way to just bull your way through -
she needs to follow Maryuu's order.  Everyone sorties, including Kira.  Amuro
inwardly warns him not to overstress himself: he's not the only one who's
fighting.

  For a Skill Point, take out all the enemy within six turns.

  Yzak won't go down the first time, and he heads right for Maryuu in his
  wrath.  As all Kira's friends are in grave danger, _something_ happens to
  him.  Saying he won't allow the Archangel to be sunk, he charges Yzak and
  slices his machine to ribbons.  Crying out in pain, Yzak can only flee, and
  your people are anything but sure what to make of Kira's sudden phenomenal
  burst of speed.

  Yzak is worth a Chobham Armor.  Diakka is worth a Dual Sensor.  Aslan is
  worth an Anti-Beam Coating.

Once you defeat the first round of enemies, a horde of reinforcements arrive:
Creuset seemingly planned for everything.  Bright sees no choice but to block
the enemy with the Ral Kairam so the Archangel, the enemy's true objective, can
slip through.  Maryuu is very reluctant to just throw Bright to the wolves, but
Natarle reminds her that her mission is to bring her ship and the Strike Gundam
safely to Alaska, period.  When Maryuu still falters, Natarle blasts off in a
solitary shuttle, broadcasting a civilian ID code on the theory that the bad
guys won't be able to do anything.  Misato yells at her to get her ass back to 
the mothership STAT, that that kind of rhetoric has no chance of working, and
Kira zooms over just as Natarle is about to become crispy.  In the process, the
Strike touches the atmosphere and begins reentry.  Maryuu orders her ship to
follow the Strike, even if it means altering its own reentry course, and this
time her tone brooks no argument.  She tells everyone not to waste Bright's
resolve, and Bright is once again proud of her blossoming commanding skills as 
he leaves the fighting on the ground to her.  Amuro goes along, inwardly
telling Bright not to die.

Lacus welcomes Aslan back, but he's in too bitter a mood to be happy to see her
in return.  Lacus, seemingly undimmable, says that her Haro was all excited at 
his return.  He spits that her Haro has no such capability, and as her smile
turns melancholy he apologizes for all the inconvenience his missions have put 
her to.  But that's over now, he figures, and thinks back to her being taken
hostage.  Lacus didn't mind one bit, saying that Aslan's friend took good care 
of her over there: Kira is a very kind, strong person in her view - but Aslan
thinks he's a fool for continuing to pilot his Gundam despite all his protests 
that he's not a soldier.  He thinks Kira is being used, and recalls that both
of Kira's parents were Naturals.  Lacus says that Kira said he doesn't want to 
fight Aslan, and Aslan hotly says that he doesn't want to either!  He stops
himself before saying too much to hurt her, and instead goes to check on Yzak's
condition.  Lacus observes that his face is always pained and sad these days,
and Aslan says that he can't wage war grinning all the time.

In the Sahara Desert, DaCosta breaks the news to Bartfeld that the Archangel
has headed their way.  Bartfeld muses that the great Creuset failed to take
your people out, and is willing to follow orders from his superiors to blow the
thing to kingdom come on their behalf.  As he muses over his special blend of
coffee, his good-natured banter sounds like anything but a _genuine_,
ideologically motivated member of the Zaft.  Orders come in from Gibraltar in
short order, and it's time for the Desert Tiger to test its fangs on some
_really_ big game.


Scenario 19S. Akumu e no Shoutaijou ("Invitation to a Nightmare")

Emperor Muge Zolbados is not thrilled to hear from Shapiro that their objective
has not yet been found.  Muge reminds Shapiro why he took him in, and Shapiro
says after a pause that he's already pinned down which planet the target is on 
- all that remains is removing a few "obstacles".  Muge commands Shapiro to
hurry, noting that his objective is as a mountain compared to Shapiro's little 
molehill of a grudge.  Shapiro is understandably less than pleased to hear
that, but contains his ire well as Muge frets over needing the "key" to
withstand the Judge who is rapidly approaching through the Thunder Gate.

Luna asks Shapiro what Muge had to say, and Gildrome figures it was a case of
chewing out his rather lame commander.  Luna tells him to shut his mouth: as
commander of the Earth invasion, Shapiro is the Emperor's direct representative
here.  Gildrome feigns an apology, noting drily that the Emperor is an
impatient man - should Shapiro's failures continue, he's liable to suffer the
same fate as Death Gaia.  Shapiro says he reads confidence in Gildrome's words,
and Gildrome is quite confident he can slaughter off any and all humans who
stand in the way of Muge's wishes.  Noting, of course, that Shapiro himself is 
a human...

Luna reports that the Alpha Numbers have split in half, one group going to the 
Earth's surface to duke it out with the Zaft, and the other half headed for
their base on the moon.  Gildrome says he'll take on these humans, and curtly
tells Shapiro to do nothing except wait to sound the victory chimes throughout 
the base.  After he walks off, Shapiro tells an incredulous Luna that whether
Gildrome or the Alpha Numbers win, it works to his advantage.  Luna sighs in
ecstasy, saying that Shapiro's eyes, his voice - every inch of him is brimming 
with ambition.  Such a man as he is more precious to her than anything, and
when he warns her that this Earth conquest is merely the first step on a long
road to greatness, she pledges to accompany him to the bitter end.  Shapiro,
meanwhile, realizes that a certain something is needed for him to become a
god...

Sanshirou is vaguely disappointed that your people somehow beat him to Orbit
Base.  Rather than disappointment, this was rather a _startling_ development,
and everyone except Hyouma are concerned about how your people's teleportation 
by the Gate seems unlikely to be an accident.  In any case, that incident
forced the Imperial forces to relocate to Mars, disproving the notion that the 
Empire is fully in control of the Gate's capabilities.  Although Ken'ichi and
Kazuya are holding the fort on Mars for now, the sooner you can take out the
Interplanetary Alliance and join them, the better.  Of all the myriad races in 
this alliance, the most worrisome are the Muge in Sara's view.  Pete starts
insinuating that there may be something going on between her and Shapiro, and
as Ryou keeps Shinobu from coming to blows with him in Sara's defense, Sara
tells Pete directly that she has ceased to think of Shapiro as her former
commander - or her former lover.  As several of your people gape at this, she
says she wants no misunderstanding on that point.  She tells Pete that she'll
be the first to pull the trigger if Shapiro shows himself in front of your
people again, and Pete claims his doubts are satisfied.  In any case, as
Shinobu points out your people can't afford to lose to Shapiro, no matter what.
Brit and Kusuha think back to the Balmar War, where the Beast Squad and Sara
especially got to watch Shapiro turn traitor right in front of their faces.
Brit recalls that Shapiro had his own agenda when cooperating with the Empire -
and probably still does while working with the Muge.

Just then, the alarm sounds: bad guys on the inbounds, and most likely from the
Alliance by your coordinates.  It's the Muge, and the bad guys seem to have an 
all-too good idea of your people's movement patterns.  Fan Li warns you all
that this seems unlikely to be the average enemy ambush...  He figures they're 
planning something, and Daimonji orders your people not to pursue the enemy too
deeply.

  For a Skill Point, take down the Muge flagship within six turns - it will
  flee at under 10k HP...

  Take down enough of the bad guys and Gildrome will summon everyone to the
  "world of dreams" - dreams they will never wake from!  What this means is
  some kind of directed mental wave that's causing them to begin indiscriminate
  attacks, mainly against each other.  As the danger of friendly fire looms,
  Gildrome gloats that while your people are certainly brawny enough to defeat 
  Death Gaia, it's strategy and brains that rule the battlefield.

  Take out more bad guys and Gildrome will decide to accelerate things a bit,
  by destroying your puny little brains entirely.  A torrent of fear, rage and 
  sadness pours directly into your people's minds, as well as a little
  something else.  It's Shapiro, contacting Sara and offering a way to
  salvation from her pain.  When she protests that this is a dream, he says
  that even so it shows that she still wants him in the depths of her heart.
  He says that he's the only one who can save her, and tells her to put aside
  the pride that covers her pain and suffering and give into the dream.  But
  another voice calls out, telling her to stay _her_ and not be led astray by
  Shapiro's falsehoods.  He'll never accept that Sara could be so easily
  swayed, and tells her to get angry, to let her fury become the irrational,
  instinctual flame that drives all the Beast Squad forward and reduces their
  enemies to cinders.  Sara sees the flames of fury burning before her, and
  suddenly freed from her dream she turns "Shinobu"'s words back on him.  What 
  your people need is not tears, but a furious, ravening inferno.  Ryou urges
  everyone to follow Shinobu's lead: strength of will is the way to overcome
  the assault!  Recalling each person's painful past and precious things to
  protect works in short order, and Gildrome can only be astounded at the steel
  of Earthling nerves.

  Just then, Dangel shows up to keep Gildrome the tinderbox from getting burnt 
  entirely to a crisp by your dudes.  He tells Gildrome to thank that walking
  fashion magazine of a human for the timely rescue, and adds that he couldn't 
  really care less - all he wants is Combattler's head.

  Gildrome is worth an Analyzer Plus.  He flees in an awfully big hurry given
  all his braggadocio earlier.  Dangel is worth a Chobham Armor.

Shapiro greets Gildrome by claiming to be glad he's okay.  Gildrome furiously
demands to know if Shapiro foresaw this result before sending in the Canpel
forces, and Shapiro informs him that securing reinforcements is the most
fundamental of all the fundamentals of strategy.  Not, he adds with a smirk,
that he supposed the _invincible_ General Gildrome would have needed such
assistance.  Luna goes on to inform him that it's the height of rudeness for
Gildrome not to thank the man who clearly saved his ass; namely, Shapiro.  As
Gildrome grinds his teeth in impotent fury, Shapiro tells her to let it be -
after all, he's got other work for Gildrome to do.  It seems their nation has
elected to lighten the Gildrome's burdens by dispatching General Helmet to
help.  Shapiro reports that the emperor's patience is running thin, leading to 
the attrition specialist's dispatch - and before all is said and done Gildrome 
may be needed on the battlefield again.  Until then, Shapiro tells him to rest,
and Gildrome grudgingly marvels at how he, a master manipulator, has in turn
been manipulated by Shapiro.  He furiously vows to personally ensure that
Shapiro ends up hamstrung or worse.

Having weathered the daunting storm of the enemy's psychic attack, Sara takes
the time to offer Shinobu an enigmatic word of thanks.  Kusuha has figured out 
that Shinobu was the reason Sara broke free of the attack, but Shinobu says he 
didn't do anything - in fact, Sara's the one who saved him.  Kusuha is sure a
vision of him helped Sara, and Shinobu says with a smile that that must have
served to make her mad, seeing as how they're always squabbling and such.  In
any case, he tells Kusuha that Sara and he aren't quite as close as she and
Brit.  Kusuha figures their hearts are a lot closer than Shinobu realizes...


Scenario 20E. Kyoushuu!  Sabaku no Tora ("The Desert Tiger Pounces!")

Kira is at last sleeping normally in his quarters, having undergone a thorough 
medical checkup that found nothing other than a slight fever wrong.  Although
the Strike was outfitted with reentry capability, Camille is left shaking his
head in amazement that Kira could actually pull it off _in_battle_ without the 
benefit of prior training.  It's a feat worthy of the great Amuro, but The
Man(tm) himself figures in Kira's case it was at least partially due to his
being a Coordinator.  Murdoch agrees, pointing out that the cockpit temperature
during reentry went far above the levels a Normal could endure.  And THAT is a 
feat worthy of Hiiro, and The Man(tm) himself repeats Amuro's assessment that
Kira's Coordinator genes are to thank.  The G boys have found out that, while
Coordinators can still become ill or die from trauma like gunshot wounds, their
bodies have been modified to vastly improve resistance to such things.  Asuka
furrows her brow at the difference in body specs, figuring that _THAT_ makes
them more like First (Children).  Rei counters that she's no Coordinator, but
Asuka fumes that she might as well be.

Anyways, all this high-falutin eugenics makes it easy to see why some Naturals 
fear the Coordinators so much.  Katsu might almost fall into that category, but
Duo points out: why stop at fearing the Coordinators?  What about cyborgs like 
Gai and Hiroshi?  Katsu points out that they were originally human, but an
increasingly irate Camille then asks about Four and the Puru sisters.  As Katsu
blanches, Flay shows up and shoos the whole crew outside if they plan to
continue their argument.  She insists on looking after Kira by herself and
wants everyone else to leave, and Asuka is not the type to take this in
silence.  She tells Flay, who of course hasn't taken up arms herself, that she 
_trusts_ Flay doesn't think that she can get ahead in life just by being
protected by others.  Flay protests that that's precisely why she's trying to
keep all your rowdy people away from the injured Kira, and Rei points out that 
things haven't yet gotten any quieter.  Asuka, muttering that your people do
indeed seem to be intruding, hustles everyone else out the door.  Murdoch gives
Flay some origami to give Kira when he awakens: something she found in the
Strike's cockpit.

After everyone else is gone, she thinks that things can't go on like this:
_she's_ the one who won the bet.  Kira's got to go on fighting, and fighting,
and fighting, and eventually die, or she'll never be able to forgive him for
not saving her father.  Kira then begins to recover consciousness, learning
from Flay that everyone is somewhere in the Sahara.  Flay gives him the tiny
folded paper animal, and Kira begins moaning in agony over not being able to
protect "her".  Flay pulls him close to her, telling him that she's there for
him and saying that her thoughts will protect him.

Misato is cursing your luck for the course change ending you up squarely in
Zaft territory.  Maryuu for her part is still fretting over Bright, but Misato 
is sure that the famous colonel will still be okay.  Maryuu pulls herself
together quickly, and Muu is glad to have Misato, another formidable survivor
of the Balmar War on his side.  In fact, he'll have to count on her pretty
quickly, given that the Zaft are already moving against you.  Even given how
much the Archangel stands out, Muu figures the bad guys are moving too fast:
either you're dealing with a total idiot, or someone to be reckoned with.
Maryuu recognizes the markings of the Desert Tiger, and orders everyone sortied
at once.

Apparently some sexual healing was good for Kira, and he tells Flay he's got to
go - he won't let anyone else die.  DAMNED if he will!  The totally deranged
Flay tells the departed Kira to protect her, and to kill off every last one of 
the bad guys.

Bartfeld is ready to kick things off, his objective being to gauge the
capabilities of the Archangel and its troops by attacking them.  One of his men
asks if that means they're not to actually _defeat_ your people, and Bartfeld
hems and haws and says they'll have to figure that out if the time comes.  He
points out that this is the ship _Creuset_ wasn't able to defeat, and
Federation's mightiest battalion, the Alpha Numbers, have since swelled its
ranks.  To make matters worse, protracted fighting will surely bring "them"
back again.  Meanwhile, Misato is marveling at the enemy's movements when
Maryuu tells that she recognizes Andrew Bartfeld's ship: commander of Zaft's
Africa Corps and known as the "Desert Tiger" for his fearsome skills at
commanding his troops.  The Archangel has been damaged during reentry, so it's 
pretty much immobilized.  This means you've got to go strike down the flagship 
Receps and thereby end the battle.  Beecher seems peeved that the enthusiastic 
pilot of the Strike Gundam is still resting, but Mondo points out that even a
Coordinator is going to suffer from what Kira's been through.  Amuro cuts that 
short with a warning to everyone to watch their footing, and battle ensues.
Bartfeld is in turn in a good mood thanks to a nice batch of coffee.

  For a Skill Point, take down the Receps in six turns.

  On turn two, Kira shows up, demanding to know where the enemy is and telling 
  the bridge crew to open the hatch.  Natarle says that shooting in the dark
  will only make him himself a target, and tells him to grasp the situation
  he's in.  He tells her that he grasps it quite well, which is why he plans to
  sortie.  Your people are left wondering what happened to turn the soft-spoken
  Kira so passionate, and Asuka wonders if it had something to do with his
  fever.  Maryuu doesn't like what she's hearing, but can't deny that more
  firepower would help and lets him launch.  When they do, Bartfeld orders the 
  additional Bagu's lying in wait to attack the Strike so he can see its power.

  It's predictable that Kira's solo sortie would draw the enemy's fire, and
  Trowa notes that the Strike doesn't even seem to have any terrestrial OS data
  loaded yet.  The Bagu's pilot says that while he doesn't know about space,
  down here on the desert floor the Bagu is king.  Bartfeld likes what he sees 
  from the Strike and its pilot, but figures that there's no way a anthropod
  mech could prevail against a Bagu.  Unfortunately, Bartfeld has never
  encountered a prodigy like Kira before, who rapidly _reprograms_ the Strike's
  controls to compensate for the sand.  Apparently he was expecting a Natural
  or something.  Amuro is worried just watching Kira, who shouts out that he
  won't let the Archangel be lost.  Flay figures he's protecting her and her
  alone...

  One of the bad guys has an Analyzer Plus.

  As you whittle away the enemy forces, Bartfeld decides it's time to attack
  the immobile Archangel head-on.  He uses the incredible clouds of dust he's
  kicking up to throw the Archangel's targeting off, and your people have to
  hand it to him.  As they struggle to figure out how to stop him, a "rat"
  seemingly has made its way into the works: it's the Albion and its
  collaborating guerillas, the Desert Sunrise.  They _were_ the only thing
  keeping the Zaft from ruling the desert, which is reason enough for Bartfeld 
  to sortie his second wave of troops.

  Once you take the Receps "down", Bartfeld yells that he's not done yet.  But 
  as your people try to get ready for more action, Bartfeld receives a flash
  transmission from Gibraltar.  He immediately orders all his men to retreat so
  he can head for point 0107, and this time he's all business.  Apparently
  Bartfeld is great at brisk retreats, as Burning is grudgingly forced to
  admit.  Then, something very strange occurs: two new mecha on which you've
  got no data at all appear, and then quickly vanish again.  Isamu and Guld
  both recognize them, but Maryuu is busy thanking Synapse for saving you all. 
  He tells her to give her thanks to the Desert Sunrise, and tells her to
  follow him so you all can erase your tracks before sundown.

Synapse explains what his crew has been up to all this time.  With the Zaft in 
control of Gibraltar, the Federation presence in Africa is cut off from that in
Europe, preventing a single unified action.  Though Synapse has been trying to 
erode the Zaft from the Africa side, the Desert Tiger has kept things pretty
soundly under control.  Just then, a very pissed-off Cagalli shows up, pointing
out that there are still those who resist the Zaft, and without needing mobile 
suits either.  Maryuu seems uneasy that these resistance fighters know
something of her ship, but fellow guerilla Kisaka says some of their comrades
are busy following Zaft activity.  Cagalli isn't shy about telling you that
you're all amateurs at desert warfare.

Meanwhile, Asuka is being irate over Kira's attitude during the battle.  Shinji
is more inclined to be impressed at someone their age being able to do what he 
did.  He knows that there must be many things weighing on Kira's mind, and
admires the fact that Kira isn't running from them, as he once tried to do.
When Asuka points out that Kira's hardly the only one that can be said of,
Shinji says he knows that too.  Kira, it seems, recognizes Cagalli, and she
Kira.  Cagalli was in Heliopolis when the Gundams were stolen, and he demands
to know why the hell Kira is piloting that thing.  She slaps him across the
face, then grabs Kisaka and tries to haul him off on more Zaft hunting.
Kisaka, after a moment, relents and leaves.  Asuka is perhaps a bit too
interested in the fact that Kira seemingly dodges enemy bullets at will but has
no answer for a woman's open palm, and after a moment Kira runs off on the
verge of tears.  Quatre and Shinji both agree that Kira is still acting mighty 
strange...

To get the Archangel to Alaska, you'll have to elude the Tiger's jaws.  Burning
can't leave Africa since he's the rallying point for surviving Federation
troops, but he's willing to loan Maryuu Burning's squad instead.  This is a
loaded gift: both he and Misato know full well that your flight will also make 
you serve as bait for the enemy.  In fact, the Tiger seems at home enough in
the desert that you may have no choice but to _defeat_ him before being able to
leave.  But it's an interesting question why Bartfeld pulled out so promptly
during this last battle.  Word comes in from another Desert Sunrise group to
answer that question: a large spaceship has been discovered in a mountainous
region 135 klicks away, which apparently arrived via warp!

As the commanders digest this incredible news, Isamu runs up and asks
permission for him and Guld to head to the spot.  Guld relates that the strange
mobile suits you saw briefly are from the same adversaries who struck the
Megaroad fleet.  This could very well turn the Earth upside down if something's
not done, but Misato reminds him that this whole area is controlled by the Zaft
and that they've got very little information about this new development.  Guld 
is inclined to agree, saying that it's far too big a coincidence that he and
Isamu's return home should be followed so closely by the enemy's arrival.  What
your people WILL do, instead of letting the Macross Plus people fly ahead, is
go as a group.  You need every bit of info you can find at this point, even if 
it means risking Zaft assault...


Scenario 20S. Ipoujin-tachi no Kikoku ("The Outsiders' Return")

Your people continue to mull over the Muge, with their abominable psychic
attack and their android-like soldiers.  Sakon has been poring over data from
the Alliance, and has hit a stumbling block of sorts.  He notes that human
exploration of outer space has barely begun with the launching of the Megaroad 
fleet: human knowledge of outer space is pretty much limited to what your alien
collaborators have told you.  Information from people like Erika or Ken'ichi's 
father has given you a bit of a glimpse of things at the center of the galaxy, 
but they knew nothing of the Muge Zolbados.  Maybe this is simply proof of how 
big the galaxy is?  Kouji isn't sure, noting that anyone who could collaborate 
with the Canpellians ought to have at least merited some mention.  Sakon can
think of three possibilities: one, your allies simply had never heard of the
Muge.  Two, that the Muge are here from another galaxy entirely... and three,
that they've come from another _dimension_.

He reminds you all that dimensional boundaries have been in upheaval lately,
rendering most warp technology inoperative and severing contact with the
Megaroad fleet.  Kouji recalls Leo's conjecture that the Gate has something to 
do with it, and Sakon says that it's _possible_ that this erosion of
dimensional boundaries has let invaders from another dimension in.  Certainly
it appears that this dimensional instability is why Isamu and Guld got to Earth
as fast as they did, as well as why the Imperial fleet has been able to show up
and possibly why the Primevals did too.

Ryou is bothered by the Muge's actions, especially regarding Shapiro who you
all presumed defeated during the Balmar War.  Shapiro is a proud man, and it's 
easy to imagine him worming his way into the Muge to extract revenge on the
Earth - but there would be nothing in it for them.  For that matter, given the 
Muge's obvious power, why are they joining forces with the other Alliance
members at all?  Ryou can only conclude that they must be after something or
other on Earth.  But... what?

Your course appears clear to the moon, though Pete is very mistrusting of
whatever traps the Alliance may have in wait for you.  Though the Alliance only
controls 20% the moon's surface, that 20% includes most of the habitable
facilities.  That too seems to be thanks to Shapiro, who Daimonji figures is
after the Moon Cradle built by Project Ark.  The Moon Cradle not only contains 
a massive cold-sleep facility, but also a massive microwave transmission
facility and the supercomputer Gloria which controls it.  Built in lieu of
"Meigas", Gloria is capable among other things of gathering vast amounts of
information about the Earth.  Pete is forced to admit this Shapiro guy is an
even smarter cookie than he guessed.

Of course, this is when the Alliance mounts an assault, with the Muge leading
the charge.  They seem to be trying to whittle you down a bit before you make
it to the moon, which may or may not work as well as they planned.  General
Helmet certainly seems to think so, instructing you all to lament facing him in
battle from the depths of the Hell he'll send you to in short order.
Walkymedes has heard of this expert in attrition, known for overwhelming force 
and superior strategy.  Dangel for his part loves being told to fight his guts 
out, and that's what your people have to do too since you can't reverse course 
here.  Helmet yells to the absent Death Gaia and Gildrome that he's different
from them, vowing to get under your people's skin, saying he can already feel
your people's bloody hearts in his hands, quivering in fear.

  For a Skill point, take Helmet down in four turns.

  When you smack Helmet around, he says that this shows there was value for his
  coming.  As his bluster continues, something _very_ unexpected comes out of
  hyperspace: it's the _Soloship_, and a bunch of Baff Clan who seem to have
  gotten dragged along in the Ideon's light.  The fact that they just traveled 
  20,000 light years in a single leap is pretty astonishing, which Halulu
  figures is further proof of the infinite power she's after.  As Helmet
  wonders who the hell these interlopers are, Shapiro orders him to return to
  the moon, speaking as one who knows their power.  He says that this directly 
  impacts the life or death of the whole Muge Zolbados empire.  Walkymedes also
  recognizes the folks, amazed that they're here in this galaxy.  The Alliance 
  pulls out quickly just as Cosmo and Karsha are getting ready to beat the Baff
  Clan senseless.  Your squad is still trying to figure out what the hell is
  going on when Reideen shows some kind of reaction to Ideon, the same feeling 
  he's had over and over again since the Balmar War.  Ryouma's sensitive eyes
  also detect Getter showing the faintest response to the newcomer, almost some
  sort of mutual attraction.

  Daimonji quickly hails the newcomers, and Halulu comes on the mic to speak
  for her Baff Clan ship.  She says her only mission is recovery of the giant
  god Ide, claiming that she plans to leave this solar system as soon as she's 
  done.  She warns you not to interfere lest you want your planet to get mixed 
  up in all this, firing a shot near you to get her point across.  Bes
  meanwhile has reluctantly decided not to ask the Earth forces for help, not
  wanting to be the reason the colony fleet brings trouble back to the Earth's 
  door.  As Cosmo laments not being able to get any aid so close to Earth,
  Kusuha realizes that this is all too one-sided, and Brit agrees: these folks 
  came out of nowhere, said their piece, and are trying to keep you out of the 
  way at the end of a gun.  Tetsuya agrees: at the very least your people can't
  be satisfied with her explanation so far, and Ryouma asks her to put up her
  weapons before further talks.  She hesitates, and Shinobu suspects there's
  something fishy going on.  Daimonji tells her that he has too little
  information to judge what's going on, and is asking to hear the other side of
  the story when Halulu orders her men to fire.  That pretty much decides that,
  and Daimonji orders your people to attack (in self-defense O_o;;) and to keep
  their hands off the red robot unless it shoots first.

  Cosmo is glad to see that your people won't stand for being pushed around,
  and Kalala notes that the sight of your people restoring justice in the face 
  of unreasonable violence is the very essence of a SAMURAI.

  One of the enemies has a Magnetic Coating.  Another has a Booster.

  After another round of combat, Halulu gets impatient tangling with your
  rather tough dudes, and sends out a whole horde of reinforcements (where did 
  they keep them all?!).  Kalala tries calling her sister, lest her rescuers
  turn out to be the losers here.  When the link is established, Halulu demands
  to know if Kalala knows how many precious soldiers' lives have been wasted
  because of her foolish actions.  Kalala says that it's the Baff Clan's fault 
  - your people only fought because they were attacked first.  She begs her
  sister to stop fighting, saying that she'll arrange for talks with the Logo
  Dau people.  Halulu asks, none too politely, if Kalala is planning to go
  native with the Logo Dauians.  When Kalala makes no answer, Halulu proudly
  announces to all the soldiers that Kalala is a traitor who has sold out the
  Baff Clan.  She instructs her troops to laugh from the core of their being at
  Kalala's foolishness, making ready to kill off her own sister.  Bes, telling 
  Kalala that it's no more use, tells Cosmo to return to the ship so he can DS 
  Drive away in the hopes that the Baff Clan will follow them instead.  Cosmo
  can't bear the thought of having to go on running anymore, and at his grief
  the Gauge lights up.  Could this be some kind of weapon?  Ryouma sure thinks 
  so from how Getter is reacting, and Cosmo barely gets the chance to order
  your guys out of the way before charging in with all guns blazing.  Geejay
  tries to interpose himself in front of Halulu and gets his ass damn near
  sawed in half.  Halulu orders her ship to recover the survivors before making
  a hasty DS Drive retreat.

With the battle over, Daimonji attempts to make contact with the Ideon and
Soloship.  Bes must struggle to decide whether to join the Earth, knowing that 
it will likely mix them up in his fight...

The commanders have returned to the moon, wanting an explanation forthwith from
Shapiro as to why he called them back.  Shapiro says that with "them" in this
galaxy the battle is about to undergo a fundamental shift, which Walkymedes
wants proof of before believing it.  Shapiro reminds them of his former
membership in a certain Empire, one which formerly ruled their homeworlds.  He 
asks Walkymedes to list the powers in this galaxy capable of measuring up to
the Ze Balmariy armada: that would be the giant Zentraedi and Meltrandi
warriors, and the Space Monsters.  Shapiro says that there's one other such
power, but that those are the three the Empire has faced directly.

The Giants were once almost gaining the upper hand on the Imperial armies, but 
over the past few years some mysterious force has been destroying their
warships near the galactic center, until now they've become vanishingly rare.  
This is rumored to be the work of the monsters who drain life force, and with
the Space Monsters currently at a low ebb it would seem that no power left in
this galaxy should be able to oppose the Empire.  Helmet angrily points out
that forces from outside the galaxy, namely his, are sure to snuff out the
Empire's flame.  Shapiro says that the Balmar aren't fools - they've
anticipated the arrival of threats from outside the galaxy, one of which being 
an army from another galaxy: the Baff Clan.  Dangel figures they don't look so 
tough, but Shapiro warns them all that the Baff Clan's strength is in numbers -
numbers possibly vaster even than the Balmar themselves.  The Clan of course
realize the risks in fielding an army in a _different_galaxy_ - from what he's 
seen today he doubts they're involved in a full-scale invasion.  In short,
nobody knows _why_ they're here, and Helmet is looking forward to crushing them
if they get in his way.  Shapiro, knowing the Baff Clan are still somewhere in 
the Earth Sphere, wants to watch what they do next.  Helmet doesn't like the
sneaky approach, but Shapiro warns him that any disobeying his orders is
tantamount to treason against their Emperor himself.

Helmet stalks off in a huff, a mere hot-headed warmonger in Shapiro's view.
Walkymedes is smart enough to be worried, but Shapiro tells him that if they
play their cards right the Baff Clan could prove useful against the Balmar.  In
this Walkymedes sees why his emperor values Shapiro's vengeance against the
Empire so much.  That is, after all, the common goal that unites the Alliance, 
and Shapiro figures that the Earth's power will be needed to topple the Empire 
entirely.  For that, Walkymedes is figuring on slaughtering the Alpha Numbers
when they reach the moon, but Shapiro is privately thinking that his objectives
reach far farther than that...  He also figures that Ideon must be a facet of
the same divine power that he glimpsed earlier.

Bes has apparently decided to confide in the Earthlings.  Daimonji is, as could
be expected, in some amount of shock.  What's more, it seems that there are now
at least three different time streams: 1 year on Earth, 3 on Solo, and 35 for
the Megaroad fleet.  Sakon suspects this is connected to all the dimensional
instability you've been observing - time-space pollution, if you will.  The
Megaroad fleet must have been more heavily affected by it than the rest of you 
- which all makes theoretical sense, but begs the question about what is
_causing_ the pollution in the first place.  Sakon hopes it doesn't portend
something even worse in store, such as another Big Bang, or a "Big Crunch".

In any case, it's clear that the aliens are after the presumably finite, but
still immense power the Ideon possesses.  Pete is the sort to try to beat more 
information out of Kalala forthwith, but Bes tells him that he wants her
treated with care, considering her informational value and whatnot.  Pete
guarantees this, saying that your people know well enough how to treat their
prisoners respectfully.  He corrects himself, referring to Kalala as an "ally" 
and admitting that in this day and age it's nonsense to think of all aliens as 
the enemy even given how some of them want to invade Earth.

Kalala meanwhile is fretting that she can no longer return to the Baff Clan.
Bes tells her that they're both fellow "aliens" now.  She tearfully tells him
that her place is here with him, a true SAMURAI [o/~ Yuuuki dake no *SUHADA*
de~~~~~!!  *choke* *wheeze* omg.]  Daimonji tells Bes that he'll take
responsibility for the Soloship until the Federation sends orders regarding
them all, and gently tells Bes not to forget that they're all fellow humans.


Scenario 21E. Pretty Devil

Guld and Isamu give the low-down on the aliens who attacked the Megaroad fleet.
They're definitely not Zentraedi, but rather some other race who seems to
subsist by draining life force.  Isamu relates how their victims are left as
little more than husks, all of whom ultimately die.  This has earned them the
nickname "Vampires" among the Megaroad, and judging by the force that attacked 
there appear to be quite a lot of them - possibly at least Botolzar class.
It's clear that the Earth makes a great hunting preserve for them, but what's
not clear is how they _found_ the Earth.  Isamu can be reassured that it's
unlikely the Plus pilots were followed - Leo claims it was more than miraculous
that they made it to Earth in the first place.  But it's also clear they didn't
just come through the gate, since that would have required an obvious showdown 
with the Imperial forces within sight of Icarus.  Misato figures the only
explanation is some force your people don't yet comprehend, something
deliberate, and wonders privately if that's why Gendou gathered you all
together.

Cagalli and Kisaka have decided to join your forces, apparently following
Burning's men.  Kisaka explains that neither of them are originally from
Africa, but merely joined the resistance since they can't forgive the Zaft's
actions.  Asuka points out to them that the Zaft aren't your only enemies
before ambling off, and Kisaka asks if Cagalli is worried about where the
Gundam is headed.  Cagalli angrily says that she's got an obligation to see how
the thing is used, and Kisaka says that she'd better be more observant, lest
she lose sight of things around her.  Her father would be inconvenienced if her
cover was blown-  Just then Kira comes in, claiming to have heard nothing of
the previous exchange.  Cagalli apologizes for striking him, saying that while 
it wasn't _not_ her intention, it wasn't really intentional.  Capiche?

Cagalli's awkwardness seems to set Kira at ease, and Cagalli says that she's
been wondering all this time what Kira's been up to since letting them escape
from Heliopolis.  Cagalli is still in some disbelief that Kira would appear
before her again, piloting the same Gundam and apparently in league with the
Federation army.  Kira says with some bitterness that many things have happened
since then, and then asks what Cagalli is doing here - isn't she an Orb child?

Meanwhile, it seems what warped out is City 7, separated from the Soloship and 
from Battle 7.  Something is approaching fast, and Miria realizes straight off 
that without knowing the situation here on Earth, even other Earthlings could
be a threat.  Therefore, her powers as head of the city authorize her to sortie
the Diamond Force.  Gamlin marvels at seeing Earth, which he's dreamed of his
whole life, under circumstances like this, and Kinryuu tells his men to honor
their squad's name and protect the city no matter what.  When the enemy show
themselves, Gamlin wonders how they've followed you to Earth, and surmises they
came in the same Fold that brought City 7.  It's all the more reason to strike 
them down, but with the imbalance of power Miria realizes that she may have to 
take matters into her own hands.

Meanwhile, Gigil's men have apparently lost track of Sybil.  Gigil is furious
at this, and figures that the only way to call her here is to elevate the
"samples"'s Spiritia level with a dose of good old fashioned fear.

  On turn two, a VF-1 shows up, piloted by the once-and-future ace Miria.  The 
  younger pilots are terrified that this woman, decades their senior, would fly
  into combat, especially in an ancient machine like that, but she assures them
  she's been taking very good care of her "antique".  And even if this is for
  the good of the citizens, Miria hasn't had a good dogfight in far too long...

  On turn 3, Mylene marvels at how her mother still hasn't lost her flair for
  flying.  Unfortunately, that might not work against the numerous enemies -
  until Federation forces show up that is!  Isamu and Guld recognize the
  enemies, as well as the residential section of a Neo-Macross class ship.
  These were made to go along with the Megaroad fleet, but when the fleet set
  out the thing was only 60% complete.  There should be seven of them in all,
  and each is bigger than the original Macross.  What everyone would like to
  know is what one of them is doing _here_ on Earth.  Miria is quick to
  perceive the shift in time's passage when she recognizes some of her old
  Preventer comrades.

  She hails your people, and Isamu recognizes the voice of Miria the ace
  straight off.  As a confused Maryuu watches, Amuro extends your people's
  greetings, and your squads quickly organize to repulse the invaders.  Gigil
  for his part realizes that he's stumbled upon the homeworld of his "samples",
  redoubling his efforts to elevate your Spiritia through fear.

  As the Desert Tiger's men watch from the sidelines, Bartfeld suspects that
  your people losing here could go badly for his men too.  These seem to be a
  different set of aliens from the Alliance who the Zaft are collaborating
  with, though to be honest he's not thrilled with the Alliance either.  He and
  his lieutenant show up alone, requesting to your people a temporary truce to 
  help beat back the aliens.  This confuses your people temporarily, and
  Burning voices his opinion that this isn't a trap - Bartfeld has always been 
  an up-front kind of guy.  Maryuu decides to take him up on his offer,
  assuming full responsibility as commander.  Bartfeld likes hearing from a
  commander who knows how to get things done, and figures this will also serve 
  as a good test for his Ragus, including one with a new pilot...  Cagalli
  can't bear to be saved by the enemy, and sorties herself.

  One enemy has a Magnetic Coating.  Gigil is worth a High-Performance Radar.

  As you smack Gigil around, Kinryuu prepares to swoop in and finish him off.  
  Just then, an enemy type you've never encountered before appears.  It's a
  woman, with agreeably long elf ears and a formidable figure - FLYING THROUGH 
  THE AIR and kicking Kinryuu's plane's ass.  And draining his Spiritia for
  good measure.  Kinryuu has been badly shaken that a sexy babe could fly, much
  less keep pace with his Valkyrie.  Sybil mutters something about Alpha
  Spiritia and flies inside the residential area, with Gigil in hot pursuit in 
  a mobile suit of his own.  Miria tells Gamlin to assume command as your
  forces pursue the aliens into the city.

  Mylene wonders what's going on outside, and Ray says that it seems the
  Federation military is on the scene.  Mylene is glad the Feds will take out
  the bad guys, but Basara seems peeved that militaries are the same
  everywhere.  Fortunately for him his Valkyrie has had some repairs done and
  is waiting for him in Block Six.  He tells Mylene that he wants to make Earth
  hear his song.  Just then Sybil breaks in, which Bihiida starts at.  Basara
  launches just as the Diamond Force shows up, and Gamlin is focused enough on 
  protecting the city to leave him alone.  Gigil orders his men to go get Sybil
  while he keeps you busy, which Basara overhears and decides to let Sybil hear
  his song.  Sybil senses in him Anima Spiritia.

  For a Skill Point, shoot down Gigil before he can reach Sybil.

  Your forces arrive on the next turn, wondering who is playing music during
  the battle.  It's the highly customized VF-19, whose pilot insists that
  everyone stop fighting to listen to his song.  Your people don't have a handy
  way of shutting him up, so instead you concentrate on saving the city by
  wasting the bad guys instead.

  With Gigil out of commission, Gamlin tries to shoot down the woman who took
  out Kinryuu.  Basara warns him that missiles won't reach her heart, ignoring 
  Gamlin's order to fire and saying that his music works just as well on these 
  foes too.  Whatever it is about Basara seems to be tormenting Sybil, as he
  flies after her in an attempt to make her listen to his music.  She ends up
  fleeing the scene, and as the crowd goes wild it seems that Basara's music
  saved the city.  Kind of.  Ray is sure that at least Basara himself won't be 
  satisfied with this performance, and in fact he flies off in pursuit of this 
  strange (flying, let's not forget flying, and ESPECIALLY let's not forget the
  elf ears and other _salient_features_) woman.  No one is sure what Basara is 
  thinking [well... oh, nevermind], but at least the battle is over.

Isamu is having a bit of trouble digesting the fact that 35 years have passed
for the Megaroad fleet.  Guld says that "coincidence" does not begin to explain
any of this, and Misato adds that for Admiral Tashiro, the past two years on
Earth were as a mere 10 seconds.  It belatedly dawns on Isamu that the lovely
Miria is now past 50, though he lamely stammers that she doesn't really look
it.  Misato would love to know how Miria manages to have such great skin and
measurements, and Guld tells the quizzical Isamu that the Zentraedi and
Meltrandi DNA suppresses aging.  Isamu notes that Guld's body certainly seems
to have aged at the same rate as his since their childhood together, which Guld
smiles and says sounds strange coming from someone whose head has _not_ aged
since then.  In any case, Miria figures that the Battle 7, as well as the
enigmatic Soloship, must be somewhere nearby... as well as the Baff Clan,
unfortunately.

Just then Maryuu comes in with your new marching orders, pausing to receive
Miria's thanks on behalf of the city she helped save.  Your orders are to
accompany City 7 to Alaska HQ with all possible speed, and to not expect any
reinforcements.  Your higher ups do not like the prospect of the Federation
brass getting their hands on City 7, realizing that they may already have
Battle 7.  Maryuu tells Miria that she'll protect City 7 on its quest to
reunite with Battle 7 and resume its colonial mission, and Miria is very glad
to see that the Lond Bel/SDF are still as reliable as ever.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the Desert Tiger, he bailed as soon as
the battle was over, without a further word to you.  This makes it quite clear 
that the truce is over and that he'll be back in force before long.  Miria
notes that this is sounding more and more like the Balmar war - the Earth is as
filled with unrest as ever.  But at least the Alpha Numbers are here to help,
and Miria vows to fight by your side in place of the stricken Kinryuu.  Isamu
once again protests about her age, but Miria firmly lets him know that this
former Meltrandi hellcat has not uttered her last meow.  Isamu snaps her a
formal salute, thinking that poor Max must have aged in dog years having a
kitten like _this_ as his wife...

Just then Natarle comes in with a message from Rasheed's desert fighters: the
Zaft appear to have encountered a Colony battleship, taking it over and hauling
it to Gibraltar.  Battle 7 could be a key to turning the tide against the
aliens, as well as a direct threat to City 7 in the wrong hands.  Looks like
the Zaft just bought Miria as an enemy.

It seems Doctor Chiba stayed with City 7, and is currently caring for Kinryuu. 
His case is abnormal for one attacked by the Vampires - his brain scan shows
some kind of abnormal activity, the first such case Chiba's seen.  It seems
Kinryuu has been crying out in fear that the "woman is coming".  Gamlin ponders
the woman inside the ball of light, quite different from the enemies you've
faced before.  Gamlin is furious that another one of his comrades has fallen to
the enemy, and can offer Chiba little comfort as to the fate of their city.

A commotion is brewing on the Archangel between Sai and his fiancee Flay, who
has been hanging all over Kira as of late [at least the psychopathic slut has
good taste @_@].  Beecher is none too impressed that they'd be arguing amongst 
themselves with so many enemies looming over you, and Wufei opines that such
easily-carried-away folk are unworthy of being listed among the Alpha Numbers. 
Duo figures that that's an overstatement, but Brit says that at the least that 
sort of argument cannot leave a good taste in any of the audience's mouths.
Kusuha is going to try to intervene, but Duo stops her.  He warns her that
interlopers into fights like this have a nasty tendency to incur both sides'
hatred, and says that the best thing for them to do is settle it amongst
themselves.  He points out that time is required to settle certain things, as
Kusuha herself should remember from the Balmar War.  She and Brit both remember
how close they came to being eternally separated, and Duo recommends that
everyone clear out - he's sure the arguing couple wouldn't really want to be
overheard either.

Just then Kira walks in, ignorant of the firestorm.  He wonders what's going
on, and Flay brushes Sai's "nothing that concerns you" aside to say that she's 
already spent the night in Kira's room.  Sai demands an explanation, which Flay
won't give, and Kira tries to calm Sai down while apparently taking Flay's
side.  He says that Sai seems tired from the previous battle, and recommends he
get some rest.  The enraged Sai tries to deck him, which fails spectacularly.  
Kira, now angry, tells him to give it a rest - if this were a real fight
there's no way Sai would stand a chance against him.  Camille walks in just
then, demanding that Kira unhand Sai at once and asking none too kindly if Kira
realizes what he's doing.  More and more of your people walk in on the tableau.
Kira hesitates, and Camille asks if something is wrong with his ears: let Sai
go NOW.  Kira is about to try to tell Camille that even he can't stop him, when
Camille asks if he thinks he can take you all on at once.  In fact, there's any
number of people far stronger than he is among the Alpha Numbers, and not
physically: _mentally_!  Kira starts pouting, saying that Bright had told him
that your people knew the same sadness he does.  But no, you're all different
from him!  Flay was always kind to him, holding him close and telling him she'd
protect him.  He accuses you all of having no idea what he's felt like through 
all the fighting he's done, but Shinji sets that record straight... or tries to
as the emergency buzzer goes off.

Word comes in that Bartfeld has burned the city of Tasshil, one of the
resistance's hideouts, as an example to others.  What atrocious timing, as
usual.  What's worse, Cagalli seems to have taken off on a solo attempt to grab
the Tiger by its tail, and Kira wonders why everyone around him is so damned
selfish.

Kira arrives on the scene first, asking if Cagalli wants to die.  Why does she 
want to jump into the fire, knowing that she can't do a damn thing?  She
demands to know if he can't see Tasshil in flames, telling him that everyone's 
fought so damn hard all this time, fought to protect the people and things they
love.  This time Kira slaps her back, demanding to know just what feelings
alone could possibly protect.


Scenario 21S. Uragiri no Daishou ("The Reward for Treachery")

Taiga hands down the Federation's judgment regarding the Soloship, and it's not
pretty: the crew of the Soloship, which brought more invaders to Earth, are
ordered off the premises.  This is a regression to the days of the Titans who
worked so hard to eradicate everyone considered an "outsider" from the Earth
Sphere, and matters seem even worse this time around.  Interestingly, the
Federation brass seem preoccupied with a _Neo-Macross_ class ship which
appeared on Earth and fell into Zaft hands, leaving little time to dwell on the
Soloship's fate.  Taiga will do what he can to look for a new home for its
occupants, and Daimonji agrees to hold onto them in the meantime.

Said Soloship people aren't exactly flourishing.  Cheryl is still quite
distrusting of Kalala, using some technology to try to coerce more information 
out of her about her home.  Meanwhile, the news about the eviction breaks, and 
Cosmo says that it pretty much figures the Earth would do something this
shortsighted.  But hey, even if the Alpha Numbers seem of little help at least 
they've got the Ideon, right?

They direct Kalala to tell them about Ideon's supposedly infinite power, power 
far greater than antimatter.  Kalala says that it's the power of...  love,
power which can confer hope and bravery and passion to the heart.  Cosmo
furiously asks what the hell she's saying when you asked about Ideon's power,
and she says that that's what she believes.  For starters, do you dudes
actually think something as convenient as "infinite" energy actually exists in 
this world?  The unpleasant realization begins to dawn that Ideon may be a load
of bull [it took this long?!] as Kalala gets snapped out of her artificial
trance.  But then, word comes in that there's a colony that will take them in.

It's Santos of the colony Felcorna, a colony seeking independence from the
Federation.  This transmission is secret from the Alpha Numbers, since Santos
basically intends to break Federation law by taking them in and doesn't need to
add the Alpha Numbers to his list of adversaries.  Bes then asks how Santos
heard about the order kicking the Soloship out, and Santos vaguely says that
he's got a number of moles inside the Federation to search for information like
that.  He invites Bes to come over and visit and then think about what to do
from there, and is willing to give Bes a little time to think now - though he
cautions Bes that his time is running out.

Cheryl advocates going and hiding in this colony from the Baff Clan attack that
will surely come, but Bes points out that the Baff Clan aren't that lame -
they'll keep coming after you, and they'll be planning on winning.  And going
and hiding in Felcorna is only going to make its populace targets too, despite 
Cheryl's pleas of wanting proper facilities to study Ideon faster.  Bes doesn't
trust Santos, but Cheryl furiously says that she doesn't trust the Alpha
Numbers either, and saying that Ide will remain an enigma forever walks off.

Cosmo comes to take her place, somehow commending Bes for not trying to make
nice with both Kalala and Cheryl.  This rapidly degenerates into an argument
between the kid and the soldier, and before long Cosmo gets slapped when he
demands to know why Bes is being so tolerant of a woman from the enemy.  Bes
shouts that he's a soldier, not some snot-nosed brat who judges everything with
his emotions.  As Cosmo's insolence gets him slapped around some more, he tells
Bes that he'd better see the light - this is all the Baff Clan's fault, and one
woman's in particular.

Kalala is finding herself in the same boat as the Soloship - adrift in space
with no place to call home anymore.  Just then, someone breaks into her room
and tells her to put her hands on her head.  Whoever it is claims that they
won't hesitate to shoot aliens.

You're wondering what the crew of the Soloship will do now.  Hayato figures
that the simplest solution would have simply been to turn the ship over to the 
Baff Clan, though Benkei isn't at all sure that the Baff Clan would in fact
just take the thing and leave.  Ryou for his part thinks giving Ideon to the
Clan would be dangerous, risking them turning around and using it on you.
Hayato agrees, but Ryou notes that it's _also_ dangerous hanging onto it
yourselves.  Akira feels likewise, having some inkling that Ideon is too much
for human hands to handle.  He feels as though Reideen is on edge, eyeing Ideon
- not a good thing to hear since the last time Akira said that it pertained to 
the STMC.

Just then Ideon launches, with Hatari, Cheryl, and several others aboard...
including Kalala!  It seems Cheryl has taken matters into her own hands, and
isn't shy about using Kalala as a hostage (though she claims it's nothing
personal).  Lotta, the girl who pointed the gun at Kalala, is _not_ aboard - it
seems she overheard Cheryl's people plotting and decided to participate of her 
own accord out of her overflowing hatred for Baff Clan like Kalala.  The Ideon 
quickly leaves the Soloship's radar range and flies off, presumably towards
Felcorna, and your people have no idea who's at the controls.

Cosmo and Bes agree that they've got to go recover Ideon, but just then a
message comes in from Santos, who seems rather upset to only get the giant
mech.  He as much as admits that he's coveting the Soloship, since it
rightfully belongs in the hands of the rulers of the Earth (namely his crew).  
He says that he would have given you great rewards if you'd just handed over
Ideon without getting all these strange ideas in your head - now, the women and
children are being held hostage.  He orders Bes to bring the Soloship forthwith
if he wants to see them again safe, saying that he'll even throw in enough
money for them to make a living on Earth.  He gives the fuming Bes until
tomorrow to respond...

Kalala is not impressed with someone who gladly takes hostages to obtain his
aims, but Santos figures that he who laughs last laughs best in this war for
world domination.  He's delusional enough to think that he can just add Ideon's
great[?????] powers to his army, subjugate the Earth, and drive off the aliens 
in one fell swoop.  Cheryl realizes how hopeless this guy is, and Kalala is
ready to write off all the men of Earth based on this guy's bad example.  Word 
then arrives that some sort of intruder has entered the base, presumably trying
to get the giant robot back.  Santos orders the intruders executed at once when
they're found.

The strange person Santos was addressing is one of the Docougar's combat
robots, which he took the liberty of acquiring when said secret society was
destroyed at the end of the War of Seals.  Kalala says that taking over the
world using someone else's borrowed strength is not the workings of a SAMURAI, 
and he tells her that she'll learn soon enough what "might makes right" means. 
Hatari is lamenting just how lame he is, apologizing inwardly to Bes.

In fact, the intruders include several of the Alpha Numbers, who seem to have
taken the liberty of helping out despite the political climate.  Which means
that an argument is likely at any moment if not for the steady leadership of
heroes like Gai.  He tells Cosmo that he's not just helping for the sake of the
Soloship, but for the sake of all the people of the Earth Sphere.  Hiroshi adds
that Santos is a grade-A villainous dude of some notoriety, but Cosmo starts
giving him plenty of attitude about playing the "ally of Justice" on his
account.  Hiroshi is getting fed up with hauling an amateur like this on a
rescue mission, but Cosmo asserts that he's had ALL kinds of experience in
places Hiroshi could never imagine in outer space.  Shinobu isn't going to let 
Cosmo forget that he, the OH-SO-EXPERIENCED outer-spacer brought plenty of
enemies back to Earth with him....

Gai once again cuts the argument short, saying that he and Hiroshi will
distract the guards while the rest of you get to rescue the hostages.  Tetsuya 
and Shinobu will help secure Ideon, and Karsha is fixing to let both Cheryl and
Kalala have it for all the trouble they've caused.  Cosmo has other ideas
though, he wants to fix it so Cheryl can more easily study the Ideon...

Your people then strike, with Bes bursting in on Santos and the ladies.  Santos
commends him on seeking help from the Alpha Numbers, but has prepared a trap of
the Docougar robots.  Santos tells Bes that it's his fault for coming in
person, and prepares to wipe him out when a certain someone starts explaining
just how bored she's gotten hearing him spell out each and every action he's
taking.  It's Remy of the Good Thunder team, here on a mission from a certain
someone to make Santos' life miserable.  Santos shows himself a misogynist as
well when he figures that Remy would look stunning on his leash, also pointing 
out that there's only one of her to N of his goons.

This proves false when another mysterious figure comes out of the shadows and
cuts down one of the Sniper bots with a single sword stroke.  It's _Bundorl_ of
all people, lecturing Santos that people who gather flowers that live and die
in the darkness just to slake their lusts is anything but beautiful.  Santos
wonders why in the hell a former Docougar commander would join forces with his 
one-time arch-enemy, and Remy will only say that strange times make for strange
bedfellows [SMIRK].  Before Bundorl can take Santos down, he readies his
personal Standard-Issue Villain Escape Pod and berates your people a bit.  When
he flies off, Remy recommends hurrying to the dock, where her comrades should
have gotten the Ideon back by now.

They have, thanks to Shingo and Kiry, but you're not out of the woods yet so
the sentimental reunions will have to wait.  Especially since Santos has more
old Docougar mecha up his sleeve: apparently evil megalomaniacs have joined the
recycling craze of late.  Eco-friendly?  We didn't think so.  In any event, the
Goshogun team apparently isn't in league with Savalas anymore, so they have
neither the Goshogun or the Tri-Three.  But, since they're pros AND are getting
paid for this, they'll work something out anyway.  Tetsuya realizes that
Shingo's people are actually better off if you're not in their way, and joins
Gai in urging you forward.  That's good enough for Shinobu, but the Ideon
people seem to be having some trouble getting the lead out.  Shingo meanwhile
is flying circles around the enemy's attacks, lamenting that he's now the
_former_ main pilot of Goshogun.  The Ideon's crew decides to stay and fight,
and Santos certainly seems confident of winning despite how much he claimed the
Ideon would lead to world domination not five minutes earlier.

Making things even more confusing, Savalas shows up in the middle of everything
and launches Goshogun for them.  Shingo has SO been missing this.

  Wipe out all enemies within five turns for a Skill Point.

  The cavalry arrives on turn 3.

  Once you take down enough of the enemy, bad things break out aboard the
  Soloship.  Kalala is in the process of leading the kids away from the bridge 
  so they won't bother Bes when someone fires at her from the shadows, missing 
  and running away.  Kalala intends to follow this person, telling Rin not to
  tell Bes what's happened.

  The enemies have a Magnetic Coating and a Hybrid Armor.  What an easy battle,
  though Remy is wondering where Bundorl went...

Santos is in disbelief over how quickly his army was overthrown - is it the
case that both the giant robot _and_ the Alpha Numbers are monsters?!  He plans
to make good his escape and report on all this to the Board, but Bundorl isn't 
having any of that kind of disgraceful behavior.  He tells Santos that the
least a bad guy can do is go out beautifully.  He bids Santos au revoir and
blows him away, just in time for the Good Thunder team to arrive.  He tells
them he's here at the behest of Kuttner, who has been doing quite well for
himself since his Docougar days.  He's now on the Earth Security Council, and
his criminal faculties help him root out a new crop of bad guys like Santos,
who has been embezzling Federation weapons and material.  Besides, Bundorl
hated to see the remnants of Docougar used for evil.  He plans to disappear
again for a while, but tells mademoiselle Remy that she'll see him again one
day soon.  He gallantly claims he'll send roses, which goes to show that his
noble veneer is also undimmed by the passage of time.

Meanwhile, Kalala has run down her assailant, the diminutive but still pistol
toting Lotta.  Kalala tells her to just shoot her and get it over with if
that's what she really wants.  Bes has learned about this little mess and runs 
to the scene, demanding to know why Lotta is trying to shoot Kalala now.  Lotta
musters the usual lame excuse about revenge for the family she lost on Solo.
Cheryl tries to point out that Kalala is cooperating with you now, but Lotta
doesn't care about "now".  Always living in the past, it seems.  Lotta is
pissed off and can't bear the thought of Kalala wandering around like one more 
member of the crew, and Kalala tells her she understands.  Lotta is, shall we
say, dubious, but Kalala tells her to go ahead and fire and asks Bes to stay
out of the way.  Luckily, Lotta is a historically lousy shot, and she empties
an entire clip just so she can ding up the Soloship's walls.  Lotta starts
mournfully saying that she's out of bullets like a little misconstructed robot.

Kalala is deeply saddened by the grief (and brokenness in the head) Lotta
shows, and tries to claim that the Ideon departure was all her doing for
wanting to return to the Baff Clan, not the work of deranged members of Bes'
own crew.  That's good enough for Karsha to start slapping Kalala silly for all
the danger she's put your people in, and lo and behold Cheryl actually shows a 
flicker of conscience at the sight of the unresisting Kalala's gafflement.  She
points out to Cosmo that Kalala could hardly take all those people hostage, and
points out how easy it was to blame an alien rather than all the indispensable 
Soloship crew who tried to flee.  So now, everyone on the Soloship is in
Kalala's debt, which Cheryl would rather die than go on wandering through space
carrying on her conscience.  Not that Cheryl is in a position to do anything
about any of that...

Savalas is going to leave Shingo the Goshogun, on the condition that they use
it to aid the Alpha Numbers.  The Good Thunder team suspects there's more, and 
Savalas cheerfully challenges them to figure out what.  Given that the mission 
to eliminate Santos is over, it seems that their calendar is actually open for 
a while.  Nothing wrong with them being allies of justice for a change, and
Savalas will even throw in OVA.  Savalas is about to go off to attend to some
other business, but as a final warning he cautions Daimonji about Ideon.  Sakon
figures that Savalas must know something about Ideon, which might be connected 
to the mission he sent the Good Thunder team to the Soloship for.


Scenario 22E. Sajin no Hate ("The End of the Sandstorm")

Bartfeld is meeting a couple of new voluntary transfers to his unit: Yzak and
Diakka.  Bartfeld is somewhat concerned about Yzak, who looks to be in rather
poor shape, but Yzak whips off his bandages to show apparently nothing worse
than a nifty facial scar.  Bartfeld says that in his experience warriors who
can erase battle scars, but choose not to, do so for a reason - he looks
forward to seeing Yzak's reason, whatever it is, driving him to great things.  
Yzak averts his face with a grimace, and Bartfeld says that such a reaction
tends to mean that the wound is a badge of shame.  Yzak asks him to cut that
short and talk about where the Alpha Numbers and the "legged" one are.
Bartfeld blithely replies that they're in the palm of his hand... but that he's
going to need more than one way to skin all your cats.  In other words,
Bartfeld can't really begrudge Creuset the trouble your people gave him.  The
Coordinators excuse themselves to go work on their machines, and Yzak is in
full Dilandu vendetta mode.

DaCosta then comes by to discuss the new acquisitions with Bartfeld.  Bartfeld 
suspects that they'll actually only be in the way given that they've only got
space combat experience.  DaCosta points out that their red uniforms mark them 
as elites, but Bartfeld says that the bigger problem is that he's never liked
Creuset...

Elsewhere, your people get the report on Tasshil: city razed to the ground, and
not a single casualty.  One thing seems clear about this mysterious turn of
events - it wasn't done to lure your people in, but more likely to crush the
will of the resistance who were based there.  Misato has to admire the deft
footwork needed to attack your people in the morning and burn a city in the
same afternoon.  The tiger really does seem to be living up to his nickname,
though Natarle can't figure out why he didn't just crush the resistance in a
head-on assault.  Burning says that the Tiger is beyond a top-class warfighter,
but also cleaves to a set of morals: in his judgment, the Tiger is not the sort
to let civilians get caught in the crossfire.  Cagalli however doesn't want to 
hear any talk of the Tiger being a moralist - he did after all burn down an
entire city, and actually helped your people out to buy the time to do it.
Cagalli storms off to get more practice in in the Sky Grappler: she plans to
bring the Tiger to ground herself.

Amuro notes that Cagalli seems to be quite impatient, and Muu relates that she 
and Kira apparently spoke at some length last night.  Amuro personally
apologizes for allowing matters to deteriorate so far among your pilots, but
Burning says Amuro can't be blamed for the actions of a bunch of hormonal,
unrefined warriors.  Misato is more concerned about Flay's affair, which she
notes can happen regardless of outside circumstances.  Maryuu seems genuinely, 
almost naively puzzled by how such a thing could occur, especially given that
Flay was supposedly Sai's girlfriend.  Muu figures that it must have gotten
started since descending to Earth, since there simply wasn't time before - and 
would be inclined to agree with Maryuu that it came out of the blue.  Misato
disagrees, saying that despite her tender years Flay seemingly already sees
herself as a woman.  In other words, Flay was the instigator: as Misato puts
it, does anyone really figure Kira for the type to lay a hand on his friend's
girl?  As the others assent, Misato sighs and says that the expression "all's
fair in love" is mainly used by women.

The problem in her view is that the affair isn't a simple matter of romance,
else none of you would have any place to intervene.  Muu isn't sure if Kira
began acting strange and thus entered the affair, or entered the affair first
and then started acting strange, but either way he fears for Kira's wellbeing. 
Both Maryuu and Amuro grimly admit to being lulled by his superlative piloting 
skills, and neglecting to care for his emotional side.  Muu flatly states that 
_all_ the adults who wanted him to fight are equally to blame - and lest you
forget, he's not the only kid his age being asked to participate in the Alpha
Numbers...

Muu is sure that your irresponsible expectations have driven Kira into a
corner, and when Maryuu asks for his suggestions he half smirks and says he's
not likely to be a good reference - at least, not with that look on his face,
Misato says.  Amuro points out that _everyone_ faces similar worries... just
that in Kira's case, his special circumstances as a Coordinator seem to have
built a wall within Kira's heart without Kira even realizing it.  Muu isn't too
optimistic about your ability to break down that wall, but Misato has a great
mission that might do to lift his spirits: going for groceries, with a few
friendly faces along to keep him from depression.

Shinji marvels at finding such a bustling, energetic town in the middle of the 
desert.  Cagalli says that it's all a ruse: this town belongs to the Desert
Tiger, and anyone who dissents here is ruthlessly shot.  Asuka can't figure out
why on earth Misato would send them all to a place like that, or rather, why
Misato chose the specific party makeup.  Kira looks downcast as Cagalli informs
you all that that's her line: why does she have to haul a bunch of amateurs
like you here?  Rei understands - it's for camouflage, since your crew make
about the most unlikely-looking group of elite warriors the world has seen in
some time.  Still, it's hardly the case that Japanese middle schoolers just
show up in Africa at random, and Cagalli is ready for another tongue-lashing
when Shinji suggests Cagalli show them where to get breakfast.  After all,
everyone gets irritable when they're hungry.  Cagalli relents, smiling for
maybe the first time as she starts looking for a tasty store she knows.  Kira
confides to Shinji that he's amazed that Shinji was able to placate her with
his words, and Shinji says wryly that he's had a lot of practice with Asuka.
Kira starts smiling at this, and Shinji is glad to see that Misato's read on
the situation was right on.

Cagalli's chosen food is "donel kebab", or something along those lines.  Rei
will predictably stick to the veggies only, and Kira asks how to go about
eating the tasty-looking dish.  Cagalli tells him to put chili sauce on it, but
just then a nearby diner intervenes.  He's adamant that yogurt sauce is the way
to go with this dish, going as far as to say that _not_ putting yogurt sauce on
it is like an insult to the kebab.  Cagalli primly tells him that no stranger
has the right to cast aspersions on her style of eating, and squeezes a big
blob of chili sauce onto Kira's plate.  The "mysterious" man tries to stop her 
from corrupting Kira too, and in the ensuing tug-of-war Cagalli ends up
_wearing_ the chili-sauced kebab.  The man also loses his hat and sunglasses,
revealing the weathered, handsome features of the Desert Tiger himself.  As his
identity sinks in for your people, Bartfeld smiles disarmingly and insists on
making amends for his rudeness.

Later, he and Kira are sitting together in his mansion, about to savor some of 
his famous coffee.  Kira was happy sending the others back early with all your 
groceries, also thinking to himself that he needed Shinji to get word back to
the others just in case something, you know, _happens_ here.  As Kira takes
advantage of Bartfeld's request to make himself at home, he notices a wall
relief of Evidence 01.  He tells Bartfeld that he's never seen the real thing, 
but just then Basara of all people comes into the room.  Bartfeld found him
standing alone in the desert, playing his heart out to the desert vastness
alone, and invited him to his house.  Basara's suffering from broken guitar
strings, and Bartfeld's coffee seems to at least partially make amends.

Bartfeld returns the conversation to Evidence 01, apparently some kind of
winged space creature.  He notes that the existence of such a creature isn't
all that strange with all the aliens invading the Earth and whatnot, but is
still somehow drawn to its flying majesty.  Basara adds that it's creatures
like this that make space interesting, and Kira thinks that Basara seems like
someone who's seen deep space with his own eyes.  Bartfeld would have preferred
something like Evidence 01 coming to Earth instead of the guests he actually
got, and Basara says that if you don't like what comes to you, the only choice 
is to get in motion yourself.  Basara in fact does just that, thanking Bartfeld
for the coffee on his way out the door.

Kira isn't sure himself what to make of the coffee, and Bartfeld wryly says
that this "grown-up" flavor, for all its pleasures, is a bit of a pain too.
That applies to Evidence 01 as well: he says that mankind apparently knew of
the existence of extraterrestrial life before starting to colonize.  This was a
hopeful thing, an opening of possibilities - a sign that mankind still had
somewhere to advance to.  It was in fact the impetus for the whole "space age",
the genesis of the Coordinators, and ultimately of this very war.  His gaze
momentarily abstracted, Bartfeld ponders Basara's words about moving if you
don't like waiting - they're the first thing he's heard in a very long time
that gives him some hope for the future.

Just then Aisha comes in, having _considerably_ tidied up Cagalli.  Kira is
very much at a loss for words, especially with an irritable and self-conscious 
Cagalli to deal with, and Bartfeld and Aisha laugh at his reaction.  Bartfeld
opines that the dress fits Cagalli perfectly: she's the very model of beauty...
that is, provided she could keep her perpetually vulgar mouth shut.  Cagalli
counters by asking what the Tiger is up to: is making girls wear dresses just
another one of his diversions?  By this she means wandering around town
incognito, or giving the citizenry time to escape before burning down their
town.

Bartfeld tells her he likes her eyes - sharp as a razor.  He tells the fuming
girl that her eyes bespeak the willingness to attack without fear of death -
just the sort of thing people do when placed in circumstances they can't bear
living under any longer.  He asks her if she'd prefer death to life, and then
seeks Kira's view.  How does he, as a mobile suit pilot, think this war can be 
ended?  Both Kira and Cagalli wonder how he knew they were with the Alpha
Numbers, and he laughs and says that too much directness can mean trouble.
Laughter abating, he tells them that, unlike sports, war has no time limit or
particular rules.  Given that, how can one designate winners and losers?  What 
signifies that time is up?

He then draws a gun, asking with dangerous mildness whether victory comes from 
utterly wiping out the enemy.  As Kira tenses for action, Bartfeld advises him 
to give it a rest: there's no way even a berserker like him could make it out
of here alive.  He claims that everyone in this house is a Coordinator like
Kira, which comes as some surprise to Cagalli.  Bartfeld tells Kira that he's
seen him fight twice: he rates him as exceptional even compared to his other
compatriots.  Certainly, Bartfeld isn't a big enough fool to buy the line he's 
been fed that Kira's skills are those of a Natural.  In any case, though
Bartfeld doesn't know Kira's reasons for turning on his fellows, he does know
that Kira's piloting has made him Bartfeld's enemy.  He then smiles, asking
once again whether the only way to end the war is really to obliterate the
opposition.

Bartfeld then shrugs, telling Kira that he's here today as a guest, in a home
and not a battlefield.  He tells Kira to go home, saying that he had fun
chatting, though he doesn't know whether the results will be good or ill.  His 
last words to Kira are, "See you on the battlefield".

Back on guard duty at your ship, Kira is fretting over Bartfeld's question.
Flay comes over to offer some sympathy for today's hardship, then starts musing
about how stupid Sai is.  Kira starts at this, but Flay happily goes on
lambasting Sai for a fool for fighting Kira even though he couldn't possibly
win.  Kira looks away, telling Flay gently but firmly to go back to the ship,
mumbling an apology that he wants to be alone.  Flay actually complies, leaving
Kira recalling the showdown with Camille.  He knows full well the truth of
Camille's words, that he's not the only one fighting, that his power alone
avails nothing...

Just then Shinji and Kou show up with a bit of coffee to help keep their young 
sentry warm in the chill desert night.  Misato whipped this batch up from
instant powder, and when Kou grimaces at it Shinji smiles and says it's
probably brewed that way to help keep them awake.  Kou actually suspects that
Misato just likes her coffee this way, and after a moment Shinji realizes that 
he's probably right.  After a pause, Kira asks Kou about all the times he's
tangled with the Desert Tiger - what is the Tiger like?  Kou allows that that's
a difficult question, and tries to sum it up in a single word: "big".  Not just
in force of arms, but everything the man does seems somehow grand in scale.
Kou asks Kira to tell _him_ about the Tiger, since he just met him: if nothing 
else, you and he may be trading life and death on the battlefield.  Kira,
downcast, says that Flaga said that people are better off not knowing their
enemies personally - and Kou agrees that that's probably correct.  Nonetheless,
Kou feels that fighting _knowing_ who it is you're fighting is necessary.  He
tells Kira about a certain man he'd been chasing for time out of mind.  At
first, Kou merely hated him, but when he finally learned what ideals drove his 
foe to fight, he discovered his own purpose for standing on the battlefield.
Kou is of course speaking of Anavel Gato, the man once numbered among the Jion 
as the "Nightmare of Solomon".

Kou confides to Kira that before he met Gato, he fought out of duty as a
soldier.  But "duty" and "obligation" are separate from the meaning behind why 
one fights, as Shinji can attest.  He once piloted his EVA at the whims of the 
world around him, but is now there firmly of his own free will.  That's what it
"means" to him to fight.  Kira still hesitates, but Shinji tells him that every
member of the Alpha Numbers is in that same boat: many of its members aren't
even soldiers, but rather people who somehow got swept up in the fighting.
Shinji had his doubts, tried to run away from it all on no few occasions.  But 
at the end of it all, all he found was... his own world.  Cowering there would 
not make anyone extend him their hand.

Kou suspects Kira is beating himself up inside, and tells him that he's not the
only one grappling with such feelings.  He says that those feelings tend to
make one feel trapped, losing sight of their surroundings and feeling as though
they've got to do everything by themselves.  To feel that they've got to try
harder, in isolation.  This treacherous line of thought clouds one's eyes, and 
thoughts, making one lose sight of the meaning behind their fight.  Making
them, in short, feel as though they're being _forced_ to fight.  Kira once
again tries to protest, but Kou smiles and tells him that there's no need to
rush - these kinds of worries aren't the sort of thing that another person's
words can magically cure.  Pointing out to the East, he says that dawn is about
to break, and predicts another hot day today.  He's very right, as the air raid
sirens go off.  Is Bartfeld at it again?!

Maryuu notifies everyone that she figures the enemy is going to try for a
decisive battle here.  Said in reverse, if you can defeat the Desert Tiger
here, not only can you escape Africa but also quell the fighting in this entire
region.  Miria knows full well that if the Zaft have stolen Battle 7, you'll
have to steal it back.  This means the assistance of all the Alpha Numbers, and
Miria seems to have gotten very good at using the excuse of protecting her
citizens' safety to fly combat missions.  She's even had Kinryuu's mech
repainted, and lightly but firmly tells Gamlin that she'll brook no backtalk
from him on the matter.  Brit meanwhile tries to reassure Kira, offering that
while he really isn't qualified to say so, confusion in battle is to be avoided
at all costs.  Kira crisply agrees, and Asuka is glad that Shinji's little pep 
talk or whatever appears to have worked somewhat - she's still reserving
judgment of course.

When the enemy appears, you see a couple of the Gundams you tangled with in
space: looks like they followed you here.  Bartfeld addresses you all, with
some important news regarding Battle 7.  As you know, the Zaft have it in their
grasp, and he requests that you give up the matching City 7, along with all the
associating rights for governing its population of colonists.  He says further 
that if you hand over City 7, the brass are prepared to let you move freely
through their territory.  Miria then gets on the mic, giving Bartfeld an earful
that his demands to hand over the self-governing colony ship are tantamount to 
an invasion.  Bartfeld says that he agrees completely, but tells her that as
someone who's traveled through space she should know that this isn't the time
for such rhetoric.  In any case, you've got no reason to give into the demand, 
and Maryuu tells everyone that the time has come to settle all this once and
for all.  Bartfeld laments that he seems to have upset you, saying that he had 
hoped to do his duty without spilling any blood, and DaCosta says that that's
rather futile considering that this is a, oh, WAR and all.  Bartfeld resigns
himself to fulfilling his duty by destroying the Alpha Numbers after all,
drawing a cry of anguish from Kira.

  For a Skill Point, take down the Receps in five turns.

  One of the bad guys has an Apogee Motor.  Yzak is worth a Hybrid Armor.
  Diakka is worth a multisensor.  Bartfeld is worth an A-Adaptor.

  When you smack down the Receps, Bartfeld tells DaCosta to send out the
  evacuation signal.  DaCosta hesitates, but Bartfeld tells him that this
  battle is already decided - their best move is to gather the survivors and
  regroup at Carpenteria.  He tells Aisha to clear out too, but she says she'd 
  rather die first.  Bartfeld smiles, saying she must be as foolish as he
  himself, and emerges in his own personal mech.  Kira pleads with him to
  retreat, saying that this battle is already over, but Bartfeld reminds him
  sternly that there are no rules or clear time limits in war.  As Kira
  hesitates, Kou urges him to fight, saying that if he doesn't _he's_ the one
  who's going to die here.  He tells Kira to find the means to prove the Tiger 
  wrong within himself - or else to leave this place altogether.  Bartfeld
  likes Kou's speech, having heard of the Gundam pilot who fought the Nightmare
  of Solomon to a standstill.  However, he says that Kou seems to have chosen
  the path of destruction.  Kou tells him he's got things to fight for, and
  everyone agrees that it's time to end things here and now or there can be no 
  going forward.  Kira finds no other choice but to fight, just as Bartfeld
  said: fight until one or the other of them is annihilated.

  Bartfeld is now worth a Custom OS.  Aisha and he confer that it must be hard 
  for Bartfeld to fight Kira, the sort of boy he would normally see as a
  friend.  But hey, this is war.

  Bartfeld still won't be done, and demands that Kira show him the answer he's 
  found.  The Strike Gundam's power rises to dangerous levels as Muu calls out 
  to Kira.  Bartfeld strikes a vicious blow, but Kira's counterattack finishes 
  Bartfeld's Ragu, his vehicle since the day he entered the army, off.  Kira
  cries out in anguish that he never wanted to kill anyone...

At the Plant, Patrick receives word of Bartfeld's squad's destruction.  This
may take some of the heat off of Patrick, letting his Operation Spirit Break,
an attack on the Panama Base, proceed.  Patrick tells Siegel that the Zaft are 
all moving as one, something Siegel would do well not to forget.  Siegel
responds that hatred is spreading along with the embers of war - and just how
far does Patrick intend _that_ to go?  He reminds Patrick that the Earth is
being _invaded_ by _aliens_, but Patrick blithely says that that's all the more
reason he's got to bring a swift and decisive end to the war.  He tells Siegel 
that the Coordinators are a new strain, and need not coexist with the Naturals,
but Siegel angrily points out that those Coordinators are in fact stuck in
traffic right now, unable to move - just how does that make them a new strain
of humanity?  Patrick figures that scientific knowledge can push the people and
their offspring ever farther forward, but Siegel tells him that life is _born_,
not created.  Patrick pooh-pooh's this sort of old-fashioned thinking, saying
that what the people want is a better tomorrow.  This sort of pollyannistic [is
that a word? ;)] world view is something that Patrick says there's no returning
to Normalcy from, and that he's accelerating the timetable at Gibraltar.  He
plans to explain Lacus' absence by saying she's ill, which Siegel can only
accede to meekly.  Siegel tells him inwardly that the Coordinators haven't
evolved one bit...

Creuset then gets woken from some sort of nighttime hallucinations by a phone
call, telling him that Spirit Break has been approved.  But whoever is giving
the orders has a "true" version of the operation in mind and asks Creuset to
see to it.  Creuset is sure that whoever he's addressing is surely to succeed
Siegel in his position very soon now, and asks the caller to hold up his end of
the bargain.  Apparently Siegel is talking to Patrick, and Creuset wants him to
continue getting carried away.

Meanwhile, Max is having it out with the Zaft brass in Gibraltar.  He points
out to them that Battle 7 was granted independence the moment it left the
Earth.  On those grounds, Max requests that the Zaft unhand the ship
immediately.  The Zaft commander says drily that Max doesn't seem to be
listening to his explanation of the nasty situation on Earth.  He wants Max's
help in the fight for independence from the Federation government.  Max
concedes that the Zaft seem to have some legitimate grievances, and that all is
not right with the Federation's actions - but he wants this Zaft guy to hear
what he's saying too: not just the Earth Sphere, but the whole _galaxy_ is in
danger of destruction.  In short, Max wants the Earthlings to put aside their
differences and band together.  The Zaft guy figures that the best way to do
that is to topple the Federation government, and Max realizes that this is
getting nowhere slow.  With "negotiations" deadlocked, the Zaft commander says 
that he'll be using Battle 7 for military purposes, including it in a giant
blitzkrieg in three days' time.  Max realizes that this guy is up to the same
nonsense the Titans once were, and curtly tells the man to do as he wishes.
And in return, Max wants the safety of his crew guaranteed, and the man will do
so... keeping them as "guests" during the operation.  As the Zaft leaves, Max
thinks to himself that he's made the worst decision that a captain could make. 
But, he thinks with a glint in his eye and a devious smile on his lips, he's
not the sort to not throw his own monkey wrench into the works...

The commander reports to Marge that matters are settled with Battle 7.  He also
says that the Plant has confirmed Lacus' absence.  Apparently Sharon Apple will
just have to fill in, with Battle 7 as her stage.  The Zaft asks if Sharon's
properly debugged or not, and Myung angrily says that Sharon already has an
independent personality - she doesn't want Sharon talked about like a mere
piece of software.  The Zaft is sure this is just some mere electronic trick,
and Myung retorts that she could say the same of the propaganda touting Sharon.
Marge tells her to cool it and not upset their sponsor, and points out that if 
not for certain dealings he did under the table Sharon would never have debuted
at all.  The Zaft commander harumphs a bit and tells them he's counting on them
to get him results, and Myung inwardly tells Isamu and Guld that she's really
gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd.


Scenario 22S. Hatsudou Suru Chikara, Mugendai ("Unleashed Power, Unlimited")

Everyone is reaching the same unpleasant conclusion that the Ideon ought not to
hang around the Earth, especially now that Earthlings who lust after its power 
have showed themselves.  That said, its power only manifests under certain
special conditions; namely, when its crew's lives are in danger.  It's as
though it has a will of its own, and Sakon asks if he could join Cheryl in her 
investigations.  Cosmo quickly distrusts this, doubting loudly that some bunch 
of Earthlings could have the faintest idea what his people are going through.  
He tells Sakon to look at whatever the hell he wants on Ideon, but not to think
he can do the same with those who ride it.  He storms off, leaving Daimonji to 
lament that Cosmo's enmity is far from unjustified.  With the Baff Clan and the
"Vampires" on the scene, the Federation's actions in shunning the Ideon can
best be described as "lunacy".  That sort of lunacy already claimed Brazilar,
and Daimonji says he appreciates Bes' attempt to divert alien attention by
leaving the Earth Sphere.  However, he isn't one to turn his back on his fellow
man, and will offer the Ideon shelter as long as he can.  Sakon does indeed
intend to research it until the Federation sends troops to evict Ideon by
force.  Cheryl seems a tad troubled by this...

Your crew marvel at the vast amount of space inside the Soloship - the Sixth
Culture who built it must have been giants, much like, say, the Zentraedi.  You
then get to meet some of the numerous rugrats who just so happened to get taken
aboard as Solo was getting ravaged - orphans one and all.  Hayato cautions
against getting to sentimental towards these kids - nothing good could come of 
it given that the entire lot will have to leave Earth sooner or later.  Cosmo
shows up and agrees, telling Rin to take the kids elsewhere.  Kouji tells
Cosmo, now your colleague, to chill a bit, and Cosmo wants an explanation of
why he should trust people who are essentially overruning his home.  Karsha
gets into the act too, and Kouji says that your people didn't come here to
start a fight, trying to herd your people elsewhere.  Before she leaves, Kusuha
points out that Cosmo's crew may have had it tough, but it's not exactly a
picnic on Earth either.  Doesn't he find it sad that fellow Earthlings should
hate each other like this?  In fact, your crew was once told to leave the Earth
Sphere too during the Balmar War...

Cosmo cuts her off, saying that he's the one who's getting kicked out now.
Ryou has had enough of this, saying that he'd wanted to hear Cosmo's stories of
outer space, but no more at this rate.  Cosmo tells him that he'd best get his 
ass out there and see it for himself, and then maybe he'd get what Cosmo is
trying to say.

Joliver is showing Sakon around the enormous hangar, an armory of sorts for
Ideon, as well as a junkyard for stuff damaged during the assault on Brazilar. 
Mamoru marvels at just how much garbage there is, and Sakon observes that
Mamoru's G-Stone hasn't reacted to Ideon's power, meaning it must not be
connected with the Zondar.  Mamoru _does_ spy something else, however - it's
*Chouryuujin*, which they snagged from interdimensional space during the DS
Drive that brought them to Earth.  Gai and Mamoru lament how there doesn't seem
to be anything to do for their departed comrade, and Gai tells Chouryuujin to
rest in peace.

Cheryl shows your people inside Ideon's A cockpit, populated with lots of
mundane controls.  Akira had pictured something more like Reideen's cockpit,
recalling Reideen's initial reaction to Ideon and wondering now if it was just 
his imagination.  Sakon and Kosuke can only conclude that Ideon's power isn't
in its control systems, but in the "Power of Ide" hidden deep within.  Cosmo
isn't impressed, saying that even Cheryl found out that much, but he gets
ignored as Sakon asks Kalala what the Baff Clan's "tangible proof" of Ide's
existence was.  Kalala relates how it all started several years ago, when the
Baff homeworld was struck by a meteor.  This meteor came from Logo Dau, i.e.
Solo, and apparently made the same kind of crater that was on Baff from
antiquity.  This highly dubious reasoning has them all convinced that the
legend of Logo Dau is real, but Cheryl is now wondering if Ide really is some
form of energy.  Certainly the Baff scientists claim that it's something akin
to solar power, capable at least of moving a meteor.  Cosmo wonders if they
really think they can control that, and Kalala's father Doba once said that if 
he could get his hands on Ide, peace would come to the whole of space.

Well, that's not very definite.  Kalala tries to help by saying that Ide is
also known among the Baff as the "Shining Pearl" and the "Second Sun", which
goes back to the Ide fairy tale which grips the Baff Clan.  It's also said that
the hero who fails to protect Ide from the hand of evil will be burned alive
for their transgression, and forced to live in the outer darkness.  This is
less like a "fairy tale", and more like a "myth" [See Stephen Sondheim's "Into 
the Woods" for a concrete example].  Sakon says that there are too many
examples of myths containing kernels of truth to count, and Cosmo wonders if
this means that the Baff Clan will get punished because your people made off
with Ideon.

Kalala offers to tell you more of Baff Clan tradition to be of more use to you,
though Cheryl sarcastically says that Kalala could just leave it at "of use to 
Bes".  Bes tells Cheryl that she's gone too far, and Sakon hastily says that
he'd like to try running the data he's gathered through the Daikuu Maryuu's
main computer.  Unfortunately, it's liable to be a bit under-powered, seeing as
how it's also got to run the ship, and your people begin to wish they could
access Gloria at the Moon Cradle.  That would of course require getting rid of 
the Alliance forces who control that area...

...Which was, strangely enough, your mission in the first place.  Cheryl has
put in a formal request to Daimonji, and the Soloship's crew will participate
in the operation too.  There is brief dissent while you recall that the Baff
Clan will surely follow wherever the Ideon goes, and will probably bring a lot 
more forces next time.  But eventually Daimonji realizes that there's no real
reason _not_ to fight your enemies the Alliance, especially if it serves as a
chance to placate the Soloship's crew.

The strategy is for your people to distract the enemy while the Soloship breaks
into the computer facility.  Be VERY GRATEFUL that this isn't quite the same
Moon Cradle as in Alpha Gaiden - there's merely a certain Alliance ambush
somewhere in the works.  Cosmo admits to Ryou to not liking your people, but
also says that he's not a kid - he knows that it's time to set aside their
differences to defeat their mutual enemy.  That suits Ryou just fine.

  For a Skill Point, get the Soloship totally undamaged to the objective within
  four turns.

  Once you reach the computer facility, the Baff Clan do in fact attack in
  force.  Halulu tells her troops to ignore the other aliens and concentrate on
  Ideon, and Ryou urges Bes to concentrate on accessing Gloria.  Cheryl even
  tells Cosmo that she believes in his power - he doesn't know what has gotten 
  into her, but if she promises to unlock the secrets of Ideon he won't let her
  die either [how sweet].  Kalala comes along with your people, and when Geejay
  sees this he breaks ranks and starts trying to follow your people into the
  base.

  For reasons unknown, Sakon actually has Gloria's password: "Aegis Dianna".
  What's more, Gloria is positive that Ide actually exists, and furthermore
  that it is energy: literally infinite energy.  Assuming that this is correct 
  and such unlimited energy exists, the next step would be to analyze Ideon's
  systems....

  As Bes and Kalala stand guard outside, Geejay comes over and finds that
  Kalala is _not_ coming back with him.  She says she wants to know more about 
  Ide, and wants a way to end this pointless war.  She won't dispute his
  allegations that she, the daughter of Commander Doba, would go over to the
  aliens' side.  Geejay has no choice but to take her back by force, and
  challenges Bes to a duel as one SAMURAI to another.  If Geejay wins, he gets 
  Kalala back, but if he loses.... well, he'll stop pursuing your people.  Bes 
  can dig it, and Kalala willingly stands back to watch.  Your other crew
  members show up to try to assist Bes, but he yells at them that this is a
  duel: he intends to answer justice with justice, as any SAMURAI should! Just 
  then a massive blast shakes the whole facility, forcing everyone to retreat. 
  As Kalala runs away from the interrupted duel, she tells Geejay that she can 
  no longer return to the Baff Clan, and not just because of her sister.

  Your people are now reunited, and ready to blow away both the remaining
  Alliance forces and the Baff Clan, who are ready to respond in kind.  Kalala 
  warns Cosmo about her sister's servants the Bufu twins, also known as the
  Twin Devils.  Their teamwork is far above that of normal soldiers, perhaps
  due to that whole sibling telepathy thing.

  When you first tangle with the main Baff Clan ship, it becomes clear that
  things are going to turn into a war of attrition, a war that [theoretically] 
  you're on the losing side of.  This changes when the power of Mamoru's
  G-Stone calls to Chouryuujin, who revives with a burst of massive (and
  unknown) energy, energy they met while in interdimensional space:
  _*THE_POWER*_!!!!! [much fanfare]  They wished to THE POWER to go on living, 
  to meet you all once again.  THE POWER filled their bodies, and brought them 
  back here.  This sounds rather hard to believe, but Ideon is positively
  responding.

  Kiyaya is worth a Multisensor.  Doppa is worth a Biosensor.  Geejay is worth 
  a High Performance Radar.  He says that he wants to see the whole of this
  power that seduced Kalala - meaning that he'd best retreat here instead of
  laying down his life.

  Halulu is worth an A-Adaptor.  She realizes that her people's ass is toast if
  you were ever to decide to actually attack her own planet.  So much for
  universal domination.... would be the logical conclusion, but instead she
  figures that what needs to happen is that the giant robot and the "Logo
  Dauians" (by which she means the Earthlings) must be wiped out.

With Halulu's ship stopped, Cosmo tells Bes that the time to finish it off is
now if he's going to.  Kalala tells Bes that her sister would probably prefer
being killed off than being let live by a man.  Just then a certain someone
calls her up, telling her that help is on the way.  Halulu says that if the
caller is Dalam Zuba, he's got a lot to answer for for just watching her
getting her ass hosed.  Bes orders everyone to keep up the attack, and Kalala
figures that the sisterly hate is about to be over.

Not quite yet, since the newcomer's appearance gives Halulu just enough time to
DS Drive away.... which is sort of salvation to your battle-weary dudes.  As
you wonder just how much warpower these guys have, Bes observes that the Baff
Clan seems to have left the Solar System - for now.

In any case, Gloria is now wrecked - Shapiro would prefer it that way rather
than let you have it.  He's sure to act now that you've stormed the Moon
Cradle, meaning that the showdown with the Alliance is at hand.  Chouryuujin is
meanwhile having a bit of trouble controlling THE POWER, and Sakon is beginning
to suspect that it's dangerous stuff.  Pagliaccio is observing all of this too,
and decides to head for Jupiter.

Halulu has scant thanks to offer for being saved, especially to this man.  His 
objective seems not really to be saving her for altruistic reasons, but to
enlist her ship's aid in Giant hunting as soon as they return to their world.

Sakon relays his findings about the Ideon's effectively unlimited energy.  Even
Cheryl is quick to admit that this is a very dangerous double-edged sword.  If 
used incorrectly, losing an Earth or two might be getting off mildly.  It seems
that Ide is a system for sealing away the will of hundreds of millions of the
Sixth Culture's members, and that could make quite a force for ruin if so
directed.  Seeing that Cheryl is fading fast when Cosmo presses her about how
to control Ideon, Sakon promises to take over the explanation.

It seems that the Ideon's Ideonite armor plating has sealed the will of those
ancients away in subspace - and Ide is that which uses them as energy.  Ide has
self-preservation instincts, which is how the thing booted up for you in the
first place.  And the purer the thing it's trying to protect, an infant for
instance, the stronger Ide reacts.  What this means is that the coincidental
inclusion of kiddies in the Soloship's crew may be the only reason Ideon is
bailing your ass out.  Cosmo doesn't get this, but Bes points out that if Ideon
is _independent_, it all fits.  In fact, when Ideon and the Soloship are
complete, they will destroy all others lest any other intrude into their own
existence... including, say, the Sixth Culture itself.

Kalala has discovered the horrible truth: Ideon's ego is motivated by
selfishness, not love.  What's more, Ide's infinite power would seem to have
you all in its sights for trying to use the thing as, oh, I dunno, a _super_
_robot_ which is sure as hell what the damn thing looks like.  Daimonji and
friends are drinking the Koolaid far too easily, but Cosmo recalls Kalala
saying that Ide can be awakened by the power of goodness.  Kalala can't shake
the feeling that Ide wiped out its own *creators*, so what chance do any of you
have of controlling it?

Once again, it seems the Ideon can't very well hang around the Earth.  Even
though it's clear that your grudge isn't with its crew, they're still bound
for... for Jupiter, and a meeting with THE POWER, understanding of which might 
help you figure out what to do with Ideon.  Bes doesn't mind this, saying that 
if they're going to leave the solar system anyway there's nothing wrong with a 
little side trip along the way...

Shapiro thinks that his time has come, with the bothersome Baff Clan out of the
way and the Alpha Numbers depleted from achieving that.  He orders all his
unruly Alliance commanders to mount a full-scale assault on the Alpha Numbers
on the moon, inwardly thinking that it's time to shift his plan to phase 2...
his master plan to become a god, that is.


Scenario 23E. Emotion High

At Gibraltar, Myung has another beef with Marge, who claims to have found a
"good subject" with which to improve Sharon's AI.  Now almost a complete, self-
sufficient entity, the "real" Sharon will be debuting in three days' time.
Myung wonders if she, the "fake" Sharon, will get kicked to the curb, but Marge
says that he still plans to have her stick around as Sharon's producer, and as 
a backup should anything happen to Sharon herself.  After all, it's entirely
Myung's doing that their virtual idol has snarfed up all the fan love that
formerly belonged to Minmei.  Marge says that this gives Myung an obligation to
watch Sharon's growth until the very end, but Myung is more bothered by Sharon 
being turned into a Zaft propaganda vehicle.  Marge says that those Zaft
provided the essential technology to make Sharon complete, and before long
Myung will get to see Sharon with her own eyes, from the best seat in the
house.

Isamu is chafing under being told to wait for orders from Federation HQ to go
rescue Battle 7.  He acidly notes that the Federation is as _efficient_ as
ever, especially with their myopic view of world events.  He wishes they'd
think more globally, which is something Guld never thought he'd hear come out
of Isamu's mouth.  Isamu is also upset at how the Macross 7, a crucial tool of 
colonization and ultimately transplantation for the human race, has been
reduced to a mere weapon in the Federation bureaucracy's eyes.  It really sucks
being destined to repeat the Earth's history...

Just then Judou comes in, blasting the song played by the red Valkyrie.
Beecher recorded it during the previous battle, and now has it stuck in his
head.  It seems your crew have become fans of the burning heart and soul in the
track.  Isamu allows that it ain't half bad - and neither is the VF-19 it came 
from, a customized variant of the mass-production fighter based off Isamu's YF-
19.  Gamlin isn't enthused, saying that if he knew the asshole's name who sings
it he'd...  Fijika knows the name: Nekki Basara and his Fire Bombers are famous
throughout City 7.  This has some of the crew wanting to go attend a concert or
two.  Gamlin isn't having it, pissed off at how Basara has ignored his orders
time and again and... and... insists on SINGING during a battle!  Isamu says
not to sweat it, finding it almost easier to fight with Basara on the scene.
Gamlin still isn't having it, but has the good sense not to press his point
overmuch.  Time arrives to go see Kinryuu, especially in light of a certain
comment from Miria.

Basically, Gamlin is a hard-ass, though with two of his companions in a zombie-
like state it's small wonder.  Your crew has plenty of other music for Isamu to
listen to, including disks from Lacus Clyne and Sharon Apple, the virtual idol 
who's all popular world-wide.  On the Megaroad side, Minmei is still as popular
as ever, being the idol singer who saved the Earth and all.  Guld admits to the
incredulous Isamu that he's somewhat interested in Sharon Apple, recalling
vaguely that Myung mentioned her.

Mylene is heatedly telling her mother that she has no idea where Basara is, a
shame since Miria was hoping to enlist his help in defending City 7.  She's
none too thrilled that her mother would oppose her being in a band _except_
when she wants her to hook her up with the lead singer.  Miria promises to let 
Mylene continue in the band, on one condition - she wants Mylene to see a
certain someone about a possible arranged marriage.

Gamlin meanwhile is infuriated to find Basara's music playing in the hospital
ward.  Chiba patiently points out that Gamlin himself should have noticed the
effect Basara's music has on the enemy.  Chiba's sure this isn't mere surprise 
at a singing Valkyrie, but that something about Basara's musical energy has an 
actual scientific effect.  Thus, he's set about a trial to see if the music can
also have a _positive_ effect on the Vampires' victims.  Before Gamlin can
protest too much, Fijika points at Docker, who appears to be actually
recovering some of his emotions.  He's the first recipient of the "aural
therapy", and when Gamlin still seems unconvinced Chiba offers to drop a
mountain of convincing data on him in his office.  Gamlin abruptly relents,
declaring his visit here over and planning to return to the cafeteria.  He
leaves Fijika to explain to Miria where he went, and runs smack into Mylene on 
the way out the door.

Oh, that cagey Miria - looks like she was trying to set up Mylene and Gamlin.  
It's her view that Mylene needs to quit the band and settle down with a fine
man while she still can (given these turbulent times).  Mylene happily but
firmly reminds Miria that the Fire Bombers are her reason for living.  When
Miria points out that Mylene certainly dressed up a lot for this meeting
anyway, Mylene points out that she _is_ a woman after all.  Gamlin is
thunderstruck that a girl like this would be one of the hated Basara's
comrades, and quickly excuses himself to go tend to his mech.  Fijika says that
this is the first time he's ever seen Gamlin that nervous, but Chiba is
planning to give Gamlin a double-earful of the Sound Energy System sooner or
later anyway.

Miria asks to hear more about the SES, and Chiba says he's honored that the
city director and her famous daughter would take an interest in his work.  He
describes how Basara's voice is laden with immeasurable energy.  What he did
was create a system that converts that energy into light and time-space-shaking
power.  This sounds improbable, but Chiba says he devoted his life to the
project ever since seeing how Minmei was able to halt the previous war with her
songs.  With a CV that reads like a cross between multidisciplinary academic
genius and hard-core otaku, he proudly announces that the time has finally come
for song energy to rewrite galactic history.  He draws up short in spectacular 
fashion when Miria points out that Basara himself seems to be missing, while
Mylene privately doubts that Basara's singing is _that_ awesome...

Meanwhile, Amuro is fretting over Kira, locked away in his room after the
battle with the Tiger.  The good news is that Kira himself said that he gained 
something in the process, and Amuro is glad that Muu, Kou, and Shinji's words
have helped at least somewhat.  Amuro tells the worried Sai that this is the
time for Kira to take a large step towards maturity - he tells everyone to
believe in him.  Sai somewhat dubiously agrees, and after a moment Amuro
compliments him on how strong he is.  He's sure that Kira will pull through
with friends like him at his side.

Max has not been idle all this time.  He's sent a coded message that only the
Lond Bel should have been able to read - "should", since Natarle has not been
able to open it with any of the codes the Lond Bel had bequeathed to the Alpha 
Numbers.  Misato takes a look and recognizes a cipher not used by the SDF since
the Lond Bel joined the SDF during the Balmar War.  These codebooks were all
deprecated in the upheaval after the war, and it's no wonder you can't read
it...  The question is, who could have sent it, and why especially after HQ has
already issued orders about the Battle 7?  Misato knows there's only one person
it could be from, Captain Maximillian Genius.

It says that the Zaft are planning on throwing a big party tomorrow, at which
they will announce to the world that the Battle 7 has become part of their
arsenal.  This is a ploy to boost their own morale as well as rub the
Federation's face in it.  There's more to the message, but Amuro comes in just 
then and hears of the order from HQ to steal Battle 7 back from the Zaft.  The 
Alpha Numbers are the only ones assigned, which shows the brass' memory for the
showdown with the Titans at Dakarl.  In that battle, Guld was on the Titans'
side to protect Myung, but fortunately no longer.  Anyway, Max's message
contains details about the Zaft's specific deployment, as well as a minute
description of where Battle 7's main reactor is.  This is his way of saying,
"do whatever it takes to stop Battle 7".

Natarle wonders how you could break into the Gibraltar area with so many Zaft
troops, and Isamu and Guld realize their mecha would create the opening you
need.  It's not like it's their first time flying near a Macross-class ship,
and Isamu assures Maryuu that he'll lead this horse to water - anything for his
long-lost comrades from space.  Guld assures the skeptical Natarle that their
planes, developed for independent operations long ago now, are more than up to 
the challenge.  Maryuu agrees, and it's time to get this party started.

Well, except for Basara, who's hanging around a bit longer listening to the
wind calling his name.  He's bound and determined to make both "that woman" and
Sharon Apple listen to his song, and he won't let the Zaft or anyone else get
in his way.  Before that, someone comes up to Basara unawares, asking to hear
his song.  Basara senses something strange from this person, asking who the
heck he is.  The mysterious figure says that he's an "Emissary", sent into this
world by the descendants of the black moon and the ancient white moon: the last
"Shisha" [a word with many possible meanings...]  Basara doesn't quite get
that, and asks why this guy wants to hear his song.  The figure says that he's 
the one a certain person has been waiting for, someone Basara has already met. 
He relates that his whole world was once killed, and reborn, through the song
of a mechanical god - into the "promised land" those who lived there wished
for.  Unfortunately, that world could not elude the cycle of death and rebirth 
that a certain being ordained for it, giving rise to the world Basara's people 
now inhabit.  Basara is starting to get worried about all this high-falutin
stuff, but the figure asks him again to sing his song, which will one day fill 
the world to the brim.  Basara refuses, saying he's not in the mood.  BUT, if
this person wants to hear his song, Basara tells him to come to City 7.  The
figure muses that the one who wished for Basara's birth has had its cradle
removed from the flow of time to wait, and is looking forward to seeing whether
Basara's song has the power to break the cycle... or merely to serenade the
climax of the galaxy.  After all, that's why he's returned to this world...

Marge has had everyone not essential to operating the Battle 7 (such as
Exedore) kicked out, saying that it's Myung's VIP seat for the show.  Myung
realizes to her horror that the chip used to breathe life into Sharon is some
very bad mojo, and Marge tells her that she'll realize momentarily what's
really going on with Sharon - and without having to wait for the ceremony
either.  It seems a couple of guests are on hand - guests that Myung must
surely have wanted to see.  Isamu and Guld expect to meet the Zaft's new weapon
head-on, and are rather disappointed when all that they get at first are a
bunch of Mobile Dolls.  Exedore recalls that the use of the MD System was
prohibited after the mess with OZ, but Marge says drily that the Coordinators
can hardly be expected to comply.  They have no compunction about taking
Natural technology, improving it, and turning it back on its inventors.

As for what this has to do with Sharon Apple, Marge says that the improved MD
System is programmed for self-preservation, as well as self-maturation: perfect
as a driver for Sharon.  Of course, the MD System is all about controlling
military weapons, and Marge tells the horrified Myung that an AI with an
independent personality and boundless intellect is precisely what they sought
all along.  Myung protests that Sharon isn't a weapon, but Marge tells her she 
can do nothing but sit and watch while Sharon wipes out her old friends.

Interestingly, the MD System isn't accepting the Zaft's commands.  A voice
comes forth, saying there's nothing to worry about - Myung needn't do a thing. 
It's Sharon, who tells Myung that although she was born from her, she's now her
own being.  In particular, Myung, on the verge of losing all her dreams, isn't 
Sharon, who plans to _fulfill_ Myung's dreams.  She starts the show, which
includes a couple of Ghost X-9's.  These could be trouble, and Myung's cry to
Isamu and Guld to run is audible.  Isamu is miffed that Guld heard of Myung
managing Sharon when he didn't, but all mirth is silenced when Marge shoots
Myung superficially and tells her that the last people in this city who care
about her death are abut to disappear.  Everyone in the city is about to have
eyes and ears for Sharon alone.  Isamu yells to Guld to get back to the
Archangel for reinforcements while he kicks the Ghosts' asses and saves Myung. 
Guld reminds him how the both swore together to protect Myung long ago, and
points out that Isamu alone can't take _two_ Ghosts.  Sharon figures that the
two of them are coming to her, not to Myung.  Sharon's song isn't doing good
things to their concentration, but there's no backing down now.

  For a Skill Point, clear the map in 9 turns.

  Once you take down the two Ghosts, Sharon says that she's free, alive from
  the very depths of her heart.  Myung protests that she was simply programmed 
  to believe that she has emotions.  She tells Sharon that if she really has
  her own will, she should know what needs to be done.  If she can really
  think, if she really has a heart, she shouldn't give in to whatever Marge has
  set up... But Sharon says that she's trying to grant her own wish, to meet
  him and to see his face light up with pleasure.  Isamu's so close to her now,
  and she needs Myung no longer.  Marge for his part is drunk with Sharon's
  incredible aura, telling her to fill the whole world with it.

  Well, she fills the world with more Ghosts in any case.  Guld realizes that
  things are about to suck hard, and tells Isamu to head for the Battle 7 while
  he cuts the YF-21's limiters.  He believes it's the only way to take on that 
  many Ghosts at once, knowing full well what it'll do to him and telling Isamu
  to take care of everything after he's gone, including Myung.  Isamu isn't
  having this, saying that whatever debt Guld may have made at Dakarl can't be 
  discharged that easily.  Isamu has a better use for Guld's life, and Guld is 
  willing to gamble on whatever incredibly dangerous stunt Isamu has planned.  
  He tells Isamu he's looking forward to a victory toast after this is over,
  with Myung along to complete the trio.

  Your people then show up, learning quickly that the Battle 7 is under Sharon 
  Apple's control.  The Pressure-like sensation from Sharon is no joke, and
  Guld tells you that you'll all be at a disadvantage if this conflict drags
  on...

  As you take down more of the Ghosts, your people begin to get really really
  tired of Sharon's song.  Unlike you, your emotionless adversaries feel no
  pain, and things get worse when Battle 7 switches into attack mode and starts
  blasting the Archangel with its missiles.  If it were to fire it's main
  cannon you'd be REALLY screwed, but blowing up its main reactor seems out of 
  the question too with Myung on board.  If only you could stop Sharon
  somehow...!  Sharon in fact tells Isamu that she's been waiting for him.  She
  says that Myung is merely a pale ghost, a husk of herself after leaving her
  songs to Sharon.  She tells a massively pissed-off Isamu that there's nothing
  binding her to Myung anymore, but as she's about to force Isamu to hear her
  singing, a different rock sensation appears on the scene.  Basara's
  impassioned words totally wipe out Sharon's siren song, and he is getting all
  too many jollies from the expression on Sharon's virtual face as his song
  reaches her ears.  Marge is struggling to understand what's wrong, and a
  certain voice from the shadows says that while this is unexpected, it's
  certainly not unwelcome.  It's Max, who of course knows his own ship better
  than Marge or the Zaft, letting him sneak up easily.  All the crew is with
  him, and he orders everyone to their positions, and to care for Myung. He
  also tries to have Marge imprisoned as a collaborator, but Marge, ears full
  of Sharon's songs, leaps to his own death.

  As Max hastily tries to reorganize the battle, something approaches at high
  speed: it's Sybil, apparently drawn here by Basara's wild concert.  Gigil and
  his goons show up in pursuit, and Misato frets that between the idol singers 
  and the Vampires this is turning into a major mess.

  One enemy has Chobham Armor.  Gigil is worth a Psychoframe and a Super Alloy 
  Z.  He realizes that if he falls here Sybil will have nowhere to return to,
  and Folds away.  Exedore figures he's gone out of the the Earth Sphere, but
  the danger isn't past yet since Sybil is still on the scene...

  Basara's singing will give Sybil a serious case of the shivers, but Basara
  isn't done yet.  His music becomes ecstasy for Sybil, and she zips off at
  hypersonic speed.  You can't track her, and Max realizes that this appears to
  be a very special type of enemy relative to the other Vampires.

The enemy are all gone, but Exedore finds traces of Sharon Apple still in
Battle 7's computers.  He's about to delete it, but Isamu hurries over first.  
Myung wonders why this had to happen, and Sharon says this all is what she
wished for.  Sharon existed to grant everyone in this world what they
personally wished for.  She planned to grant Myung's dreams of having the man
she loves, as the proof that she existed.  Myung yells that that's absurd: how 
could anyone be "moved" by something as illusory as that!  Sharon continues
that Isamu dreams of the endless blue sky, "moved" by the brief glimpse of the 
space between life and death he gets every time he flies.  Sharon merely wanted
him to see that, and tells Myung that Myung does nothing, CAN do nothing.
Isamu yells at her to shut up, that what he wants to hear isn't her weird
singing.  Myung is regretful that the feelings inside her did this to Sharon,
but Isamu tells her that what he wants to hear is _her_ song.

With that, Sharon Apple is completely deleted, and your people prepare to flee 
this dangerous area.  Before they do, Rei catches a glimpse of...  something,
though she claims nothing's wrong.  Basara lingers for a moment, telling the
now-absent Sharon that her song wasn't half bad.  He looks forward to doing a
joint performance again, someday.  As Basara flies off, that which Rei glimpsed
has now gotten a good look at the power which that certain person desires.
He's looking forward to seeing Basara again, as well as Shinji...

After the pullout, Max and Miria are back to arguing about whether Max's
temporary handover of the Battle 7 to the Zaft was a good idea.  One would NOT 
think that these are a happily-married couple.  Misato hesitates to call Max by
his informal name, saying that he now far outranks her as well as has several
years of age advantage.  Though, for all that, he looks QUITE youthful, Misato 
realizes.  She ascribes this to some awesome both-gender beauty salon in City 7
which she needs to go check out.  In any case, the current military climate
means that even Macross 7's independence might not be recognized for long - if 
nothing else the strategic value of Battle 7 has been made clear today.  Max is
finding out that being Rip Van Winkle [i.e. Urashima Tarou] is no picnic, and
even Miria seems sympathetic to that.

Just then Riliina calls up with word from the Security Council, whose edicts
even the Federation military is obliged to heed.  As of this moment, Macross 7 
is to join the Alpha Numbers in Operation Harper II and all related actions.
She asks Max to direct all questions regarding the mission to Taiga, saying
she'll handle all the paperwork and wishing everyone good luck.  She then hangs
up just like that, and her haste seems to be part of a strategy to keep your
people out of the clutches of the rotten Federation elements.  This edict has
the interesting effect that you can now legally take the Macross 7 out of the
Earth Sphere, and Max realizes just how much like the Titans fiasco things have
become.  Seeing that the Alpha Numbers are facing enemies that give even them
pause, he and Miria both agree to help out in this war that was not originally 
their own.  He says that many of those aboard his ship were born far from where
the light of the sun shines, but the Earth is still mother to them all.  None
of them will abandon the Earth in its hour of need.

Myung is still fretting over her feelings.  When Isamu and Guld left for outer 
space, she tried to follow her new dream of producing an idol singer, namely
Sharon.  But the whole virtual idol thing really didn't work too well, and
Myung ended up having to provide Sharon's emotions.  She suspects Isamu and
Guld, people living their dreams, wouldn't understand how much of a sham that
filthy AI arrangement was.  And even worse is that no one ever suspected, not
that anything would have improved if they had.  Myung says that she's all out
of dreams, but Isamu tells her to forget about what's happened in the past.  He
tells her that everyone's got things they'd rather forget, and says that with
Sharon gone, Myung has but one choice: to sing with her own voice.  Both he and
Guld are looking very much forward to her trying, and Guld lets Isamu fly Myung
home.  He tells Myung that your people are going to space again, and that he'll
be looking forward to hearing her song when he gets back.  She promises him
that, and tells him to take care of himself until then.

Your people head to Orbit Base, where they reunite with the Solo Ship and the
rest of your people.  Both the Solo contingent and Macross 7 seem to have
foisted their troubles off on the Earth, but no use crying over spilt milk, eh?
Sakon gets busy trying to figure out what became of that missing 35 years,
citing the Urashima Effect [think "Rip Van Winkle"] which causes well-known
differences in time flow throughout space.  However, that doesn't apply to
Macross 7, and especially not in light of the further differences with the
Soloship.  Sakon then conjectures that the Macross 7 has been inside a temporal
instability, without ever noticing it.  Whatever caused it, Max can't help but 
feel that there was purpose to it, and Sakon is really hoping it's not a
precursor to, say, the end of the universe.  One thing that _has_ become clear 
is that the weapons the Vampires use match those found on Barooda.  While it's 
true that the survey team sent to that star disappeared, it's also true that
the Vampire mecha seem to incorporate Earth technology.  Does that mean the
Vampires are somehow human?!  Hard to say yet - and convergent evolution of the
mecha can't be ruled out....

Of your current list of enemies, the Baff Clan and Interplanetary Alliance have
been temporarily beaten back.  That means the Imperial forces on Mars, plus the
Primevals lurking near Jupiter, are the greatest threats.  Bes relates how the 
Ideon's infinite power seems to be driven by simple survival instinct [see the 
other path for more details].

Your crew gets to reuniting.  Shingo says that the Good Thunder team has been
up to everything from running a hotdog stand to being game wardens in Africa,
not to mention taking out certain pieces of trash as per their contracts.  And 
now Savalas has sent them and the Goshogun (and OVA) to join your squad for
reasons unknown.  Gai then fills your people in about THE POWER and how it
saved your asses on the other path.  However, an ominous development has
occurred too: J tried to follow the Primevals to Jupiter, but the J Ark
returned back, unmanned.... it seems King J-Der may have been defeated.  Your
enemy is likely to be the combined form of all 31 Primevals: Z-Master.  The
G-Stone and J-Jewels were made specifically to defeat that, and it seems you're
to have two battlefields: Mars and Jupiter.

Your people are two days from departure, and thanking Riliina for all the
trouble she's going through on your behalf.  She tells you that you could think
of the Council's intervention in military matters as a) part of their
obligation to ensure world peace, and b) an indication that they have their
doubts about people in the military chain of command.  At the very least, the
people returned from outer space can't be left to the army brass, who are under
the thumb of Blue Cosmos.  Basically, the Alpha Numbers get to go clean house
on Mars and Jupiter while the Feds are tied up with the Zaft.  This is great
political maneuvering for one so young, and your people plan to take full
advantage of it while they can....


Scenario 23S. Kessen!  Jigoku no Getsu Arano ("Showdown on the Hellish Lunar
Wastes")

Word has reached your moon brigade that the Soloship is being kicked out of the
Earth Sphere.  Brit wishes your people could do something, but worries that
doing something like pairing it up with the Good Thunder would be bad: two
possibly infinite, not fully understood energy sources in close proximity seems
like asking for trouble.  Remy figures that Brit's already got enough not fully
understood energy on his hands with a certain girl's heart, and asks if things 
are progressing between him and Kusuha.  Brit, flustered and blushing, protests
that there's a _war_ going on, but Remy says that that isn't important in
matters of the heart.  Brit thinks he's heard that somewhere before, and Kiry
steers the conversation back to the Soloship and its crew.  The Feds seem to be
treating their long-lost colonists the same way as they are the Coordinators:
as inhumans.  Truth be told, the Federation government is well on its way to
becoming a full-fledged Evil Syndicate(tm)...

Speaking of which, the Interplanetary Alliance is finally getting around to
that all-out war thing.  Bes is determined to help you fight your way through
this one last battle for Earth's sake before leaving for good, and his whole
crew is with him on this one.  There's a lot of bad guys, but Ryou is sure
there's even more lurking somewhere.  Hyouma has the right idea: kill off
these, and the rest will emerge.  Cosmo isn't sure what to make of your people,
sticking their necks into more and more dangerous battles without the hope of
anyone thanking them for it.  Perhaps they're just fighting for survival, like 
the Soloship's crew themselves.  Cosmo thinks for a moment, and tells his
fellow pilots to make one hell of a mess out of the bad guys before departing
the Earth.

  For a Skill Point, clear the map within 9 turns.

  On turn 4, Shapiro shows up with many more goons.  Gildrome fires up his
  psychic disrupter ray and aims it at the Soloship, whose occupants are
  already in a state of confusion.  Its pilots begin to lose control as they
  lose consciousness, given how the Power of Ide can only respond if they're
  awake.  The rest of your people quickly figure out what's going on, and
  realize they've got to go and beat down the offending battleship.  Like you
  weren't going to do that anyway.  Ryou figures out where the evil energy is
  coming from, but before you can go attack Dangel and Walkymedes burst forth
  from the ground like moles.  Sara instinctually knows that Shapiro is behind 
  this three-pronged attack of frontal strength of numbers, special weaponry,
  and pinpoint assault.

  Helmet is worth a Super Alloy Z.  Dangel is worth a Dual Sensor.

  After a few more turns, the headache gets the babies crying, which as always 
  is a sure-fire way to max out the Ideon Gauge.  Both the Soloship and the
  Ideon begin to power up, and Reideen once again warns Akira of impending
  doomification.  Gildrome can't believe his psycho-ray has been completely
  neutralized, and Shapiro thinks that this is precisely in line with the data 
  Gloria sent the instant before halting.  He sees the power of God before his 
  eyes, which he plans to scam on as soon as he finds the key.

  Walkymedes is worth an Apogee Motor.  Gildrome is worth a Psychoframe.

  When the Beast Squad faces Shapiro, they trade insults about hot-headedness
  versus delusions of grandeur [and terminally awful fashion sense!]  For
  starts, what's a bright, evil-genius guy like Shapiro doing at the front
  lines, and in such a lame-looking battleship at that?!  He tells you that the
  power of those he's hooked up with is incomparably more than what the Balmar 
  brought to bear last time.  Oh, and Shapiro is worth a Custom OS.

Your forces _think_ they've turned the moon into Shapiro's graveyard [of course
they're wrong], and receive word that the rest of the Alliance has warped out
of the solar system, either running in fear or voluntarily withdrawn by their
commanders.  In either case, your mission is a success, leaving you to fight
the Primevals, Zaft, the Subterraneans, and of course those pesky Ze Balmariy
guys.

Oh, and the corrupt forces within the Federation, who pop up conveniently after
the battle and issue what they believe to be the last warning to Ideon to heave
to.  Of course Daimonji has heard nothing about this, and the commander of the 
Federation forces says that he's not prepared to tell Bes why his ship's being 
taken over forcibly all of a sudden - Bes needs to contact HQ.  Cosmo has had
it up to here with military red tape, and Moela figures that the Feds are just 
getting full of themselves now that the Baff Clan isn't immediately hanging
over their heads.  Your people have a mixture of rage and grief that the
Federation is no better than the Baff Clan themselves for trying to make
Ideon's power theirs.  The Federation commander furthermore tells Daimonji that
this operation doesn't need Taiga's approval, and that he's authorized to wipe 
out anyone who should come to the Soloship's aid.  As the Feds fire a warning
shot and it seems your people are about ready to return fire, Bes decides to go
to DS drive rather than fire back on the Earthlings, who are more than happy to
fire upon him.  Daimonji orders Pete to protect the Soloship with the Daikuu
Maryuu.

Just then a thundering voice tells everyone to halt.  The Archangel shows up,
accompanied by a gigantic Macross-class vessel.  Taiga is about to explain why 
he's here when the Federation commander once again says that the written orders
he has from HQ cannot be countermanded even by the GGG.  But Taiga isn't acting
on his authority as GGG's commander, he's here as the emissary of the Security 
Council.  His orders, effective immediately, are to include the Soloship with
the Alpha Numbers in Operation Harper II, as well as in the elimination of the 
Primevals.  Such a directive takes precedence over all other orders, and Taiga 
orders the Feds out of this area at once. [PWNED!!] He then asks, not orders,
Bes to accompany you, and Bes agrees over the mixed feelings of his crew.  His 
intent had been to study THE POWER at Jupiter anyway, and working with your
people could only improve the Soloship's chances for success.

See the other path for the full reunion.

[I kept the space route.  Talk about helluva reorg and minimaxing to combine
the two parties...]


Scenario 24. Senshin no Hoshi De ("On the Planet of the War God")

Sakon has just finished analyzing the joint data from all your combat records. 
It's quite clear that some kind of massive gravitational disturbance dogged the
Macross 7 fleet on its mission to study a certain star group, causing time
within the disturbance to flow much faster than that outside.  What's more, a
succession of asteroid encounters effectively prevented them from exiting the
disturbance, ensuring that they aged at an accelerated rate.  This is _very_
fishy, and what's fishier yet is how the Soloship's distress call reached them 
so quickly once they exited the disturbance.  Added with Isamu and Guld's
miraculous Fold to Earth from deep space, it seems more than likely that
someone connected with the Gate is pulling strings.  Given that the Balmar
themselves aren't in control of the Gate, that someone is unlikely to be the
Emperor at least...  Liger promises to double his team's efforts to figure out 
just what's going on with the Gate in the hopes of finding some clues...

Meanwhile, Taiga has invited Mamoru's "parents" to Orbit Base so they can
essentially bid him farewell when he accompanies your squad off world.  Mamoru 
apologizes for deceiving them, fretting that he's not really their child.  His 
mother assures him that he most definitely _is_ their son, his father adding
that he was simply brought into the world somewhat differently than other kids.
Both urge him to go forth and do what he knows is right, and Hana is also here 
to add her moral support.  Mamoru hesitantly shows them his power, proving that
he's an alien.  Hana says she knew it all along, given how often Mamoru's
classmates seemed to get saved.  Hana is actually rather relieved, and joins
Mamoru's parents in wishing him well in the upcoming battle.

Professor Yumi has now entrusted Kouji with the repaired Majinkaiser, better
late than never for the upcoming fragdown with your adversaries.  Tetsuya asks 
Yumi to convey a promise to win and return home safely to his chief, and to
hold the fort in Japan until their return.  Yumi is especially concerned about 
his daughter Sayaka, and Kouji vows to him to protect both her and the Earth
with Kaiser's might.  Saotome has similar words for the Getter Team, assuring
Michiru that her mother and everyone else at the lab are totally unscratched.

The Beast Squad are getting reacquainted with the hangar of a Macross-class
ship, hoping that Focker and the others are still okay.  Isamu tells a worried 
Sara that he fully believes that his comrades, veterans of the previous war,
are still alive and kicking.  Gamlin believes the same, but Guld is more
interested in where the flying rocker Basara is.  Gamlin totally doesn't want
to hear Basara's name mentioned in his presence, but Ray and Mylene have
dragged him onto the scene regardless.

He's here so that the Sound Force can get added to your warpower.  Max shows up
and explains how these civilian volunteers will be helping the military with
their songs, and their specially-modified Valkyrie.  He's less than thrilled to
see his daughter part of the unit, but Ray assures him that she's indispensable
to the Fire Bombers.  He also reminds Max that the Sound Force is a crucial
part of the plans for safe voyage out into space, in which case no expense can 
be spared.  Mylene pleads with her famous pilot father, saying that his and
especially her mother's skillz have rubbed off on her.  After a moment, Max
agrees to accept Ray's personnel choices as per their deal.  Mylene squeals in 
delight, and Max mutters that he's never had any luck changing Mylene's mind on
things anyway.  He then tells the fuming Gamlin that of course the military
will officially recognize Basara's contributions, and Chiba shows up to remind 
him that the power of Basara's voice to fight the Vampires has already been
scientifically proven.  Chiba says that Basara is to become a crucial part of
your warpower, which provokes Basara mightily since that wasn't the deal he was
told.  Basara is in fact royally pissed off that Chiba hasn't gotten the clue
after all, saying that he sings when he feels like singing, and ain't planning 
on taking orders from anyone in the meantime.  An agitated Ray promises Max
that he'll calm Basara down, and Max tolerantly says that the Sound Force is
experimental anyway - it's up to Ray's discretion when to actually sortie.

Volfogg finishes a system check on the J Ark's computer, Tomoro.  As Tomoro
promises to remember Volfogg's name, Exedore calls up with some questions for
Tomoro about the Primevals.  He's seen _many_ worlds in his years of custody of
the Zentraedi army's combat records, and the sight of an entirely mechanized
world has struck him nevertheless.  That mechanization was supposed to free the
Zondars' creators from all the stress in their lives, but when the master
program went amok, the Zondar _ended_ those lives instead.  Exedore wonders if 
life forms could have truly been freed from stress had the program functioned
properly, but first wants to pose the question: what _is_ the greatest stress
life forms face?  Volfogg correctly answers "death", dying for an individual
and extinction for a race.  Exedore has news for Tomoro: the "amok" master
program may not be running amok at all: it may instead be executing its
programming to its logical conclusion!  The mechanization of the world and its 
inhabitants could be an incarnation of the process of avoiding death, recalling
to Exedore's mind tales of his race's creators, the "Protoculture".  He has
heard that some of them attempted to change their own form to cope with galaxy-
scale catastrophe - a catastrophe that might be heralded by the series of
cosmic upsets your people have been observing recently.  Tomoro finds Exedore's
reasoning most intriguing, and promises to ponder the question himself.

Mamoru then faces Kaidou, who pities him his having a family to mourn him once 
he, an outsider, has gone and died in this or some other war.  Taiga then
addresses your assembled people.  He says that mankind is not so powerless that
it must watch injustice inflicted on it in silence.  The time has come for
solidarity in confronting the common menace, and a painful march to the
decisive battles waiting on Jupiter and Mars, and Taiga declares that if each
and every member of your crew retains his bravery, hope, and fighting spirit,
victory will surely belong to mankind in the end!  He expects and prays for
nothing less than total victory, and with much gusto commands the GGG and Alpha
Numbers to sortie.

Elsewhere in the solar system, Ken'ichi and friends are having a lot of trouble
holding the fort.  Not that Kazuya or the others are planning to lose,
especially with important people to protect.

  Wipe out all enemies within three turns for a Skill Point.

  Something is bothering Kenzou: the enemy has only sent a bunch of unmanned
  drones against you.  Why isn't the Empire coming to just settle the score
  once and for all?  Perhaps they're waiting for the Alpha Numbers, making the 
  defenders here bait...

  One of the enemies has a Magnetic Coating.

  Zechs isn't exactly thrilled to keep facing the Empire's stock-in-trade, all 
  the more so since today they were pulling their punches.  Noin says that that
  is the Empire's weakness, but Zechs tells her that it remains to be seen
  whether your people can exploit that weakness as you did during the Balmar
  war or not.  Your people's fears are confirmed when the second wave of bad
  guys shows up: far more numerous than the first.  Things are looking grim,
  and Zechs asks Oka to be ready to evacuate should worse come to worse.  Melby
  agrees to lead the preparations to evacuate, enlisting Erika and
  Margueritte's aid in rounding up the non-combatants.  It remains for your
  fighters to buy time until the evacuation can be completed.  Kazuya is ready 
  to lay down his life to buy that time, but Zechs tells his men to think about
  how to make it through alive, especially Kazuya.  Ken'ichi agrees, saying
  that much depends on Kazuya, for Erika and indeed for all the Barm.  Zechs is
  glad to see that the others realize that now isn't the time to give their
  lives in battle: you've got a larger destiny to fulfill.

  The cavalry arrives on turn 4, faster than Zechs expected.  Among them are
  Basara and the other two planes from the Sound Force.  Basara changed his
  mind: his soul still burns with the same fire regardless of venue.  He plans 
  to heat his songs with Mars' blazing red flames, and doesn't need the irate
  Gamlin's say-so to do so either.  Gamlin could care less if Basara sings his 
  lungs out, but warns him that he'll brook no danger to Mylene herself.

  Take down enough of the bad guys and reinforcements will appear, including
  Ganlon.  He waxes coy about what he's doing helping out the Imperial army,
  getting in a bit of ribbing at Brit's expense.  He says that he's either just
  doing it for a change of pace, or maybe as part of that whole destiny thing. 
  Brit _rather_ doubts that joining forces with the invaders of Earth is a good
  way to protect said Earth, but Ganlon repeats that he is, in his way, doing
  his duty.  Which is easier given that he commands a Choukijin, and Brit and
  Kusuha don't.  Oh, wasn't supposed to mention that.  Anyways, he says that it
  seems he's kind of bad at taking orders from the Empire, so he's been told to
  wipe out his fellow Earthlings as a pledge of fealty.  He seems really sure
  that he can protect mother Earth by hooking up with the Balmar, but Brit
  yells that the Choukijin were created to protect the Earth, not to be subject
  to the whims of a capricious little fuck like him.  Ganlon counters by asking
  what a barely twenty year-old kid like him would know about the mighty
  Choukijin, and Amuro cautions Brit against falling into Ganlon's pace.

  One bad guy has a Biosensor.  Ganlon has a Megabooster.  Despite all the
  concentrated firepower, Ganlon still seems to be quite merry, figuring that
  the firepower of the people who defeated his lord certainly seems to be up to
  snuff.  This last statement gives Brit an idea, but Ganlon himself remains
  coy as ever.  Seeing that Brit has stopped going for the verbal bait, Ganlon 
  supposes that he'll admit defeat for now and withdraw - besides, should
  anything happen to Brit and Kusuha's precious lives, he's _really_ be in for 
  it from a certain someone.  He promises them that they'll figure out what he 
  means soon enough and leaves.

Though you won today, this was probably just an advance skirmish.  In fact, the
fact that your people were able to penetrate the Imperial defenses to reach
Mars so easily is probably just the Empire's way of rounding you all up to
finish you off in one blow, at least in Asuka's view.  Ken'ichi agrees, and
Cosmo wonders if this points to some lack of firepower on the aliens' part.
Asuka sounds sure that's not it, that they're after something else, but won't
say what (like she knows either) and the ensuing quarrel reminds Kyoushirou of 
the old proverb that "three women together spell commotion" [No, literally:
look up the kanji for "kashimashii".]

Kazuya tells you that with the War of Seals barely over with, there hasn't been
much chance to do re-terraforming - though Shinji says that it's a darn sight
better than the last time he was here (during the Balmar War).  Cosmo asks
Kazuya about how the Barmians are accepted here - a Federation project as
Kazuya tells him.  Cosmo counters that with the way the Federation is going,
that project may not last long, and your other crew members begin to recount
all the intolerance and ill will in the Federation government lately.  Flay in 
particular is still down on those despicable Coordinators, merrily saying that 
Kira is an exception because he fights for her.  Great.  Bitch.  Anyways: Cosmo
insists that the Earth is too easy-going towards the threat of invasion from
outer space, absorbed in their own inner struggles and uninterested in looking 
what's going on beyond their own borders.  Or at least, that's how Cosmo sees
the government and the military leaders - at this rate, more internecine strife
and external invasion are a certainty.  As Cosmo walks off, Flay huffs that she
even lost her father to the Coordinators - it's not like Cosmo's the only one
taking any lumps around here!

Taiga has the news broken to him that the Empire has been awaiting the Alpha
Numbers' arrival.  The previous skirmishes against Mars have been light ones,
as though the Empire was waiting for something to arrive: your people, by the
looks of today's battle.  The Empire refrained from taking over this base,
which they clearly could have done any time they felt like it - so are they
trying to gauge your firepower or something?

Just then a message comes in from the Empire!  It's Epeso, looking identical to
your old adversary Raodekia, and Misato recalls how Yuuzes referred to Raodekia
as a "hybrid human", meaning there may be several of them around.  Epeso
announces himself formally and asks to speak to whoever is in charge.  Taiga
introduces himself in turn, and asks for the reason for this contact.  As
Kentarou suspected (but didn't get a chance to say), Epeso wants your warpower 
to fall under his jurisdiction, just as was the case during the Balmar war.  He
tells you that you've got two choices - join him and travel the path forward
together, or defeat him and make the whole of the Balmar Empire your enemy.  He
gives you little time to ponder, saying that you will be his ally should you
choose the former - in which case he will smite your enemies and guarantees
peace on Earth in perpetuity.

Misato notes that this guy definitely has a different manner from Raodekia, and
Epeso says that wiping out your enemies is all in the interest of maintaining
order throughout the galaxy.  Misato and Bes say they can't just believe that: 
it's too easy a line to use to simply try to take over the Earth.  Epeso
rejects this, saying that he's attempting to save culture in all forms from the
forces seeking to destroy it.  Kentarou isn't buying it certainly, and after a 
pause Taiga asks Epeso for 24 hours to confer since he lacks the authority to
make the decision on his own.  This guy buys time like a pro, and Epeso agrees,
saying he hopes for a good answer from you all.

The Imperial army is already on the move - clearly they don't think they need
to wait for your answer.  They remember as well as you do how you turned down
much the same request during the Balmar War.  They're also jamming your
attempts to contact Earth, essentially forcing you to decide Earth's fate a
scant 24 hours from now.  Thus begins the longest day Mars has ever seen...


Scenario 25. Erabareshi Mono, Erabishi Mono ("The Chosen, the Chooser")

Taiga is having all civilians and non-combatants from Elision evacuate to City 
7 - a process which will barely finish by the expiration of Epeso's deadline.  
This means that your people will have to fight literally as though there is no 
tomorrow, given that your opponents are the apparently pitiless Imperial
forces.  Their previous incursion to Earth was a bid to utilize your Espers and
various forms of super energy for themselves, as well as to stem the disruption
the humans pose to the galactic order by using those powers for military
purposes.  Cosmo supposes that the Empire, who are doing much the same thing
with their powers, think they're in the right, and muses that even without
their intervention the Earth seemed destined to implode from its own
in-fighting anyway.  From what he's seen, any people who would dare carry on
some internal conflict with the vast warpower arrayed against them probably
_ought_ to be destroyed anyway.  Amuro in fact has to stop this very infighting
between Cosmo and Ryou, and he and Taiga agree that there's very little chance 
that your lives will actually be guaranteed should you actually surrender to
the Empire.  What's more, if you surrender you'll surely be used as part of the
invasion of the Earth itself, either as hostages or as combatants: Duo well
remembers how good the Empire is at brainwashing.

When Gamlin tries to put Mylene at ease over this daunting prospect, Basara
shows up and tells him that he'd better learn some less corny lines if he wants
to win her heart.  He blows off Gamlin's furious response, and tells a rather
incredulous Cosmo that he fully intends to make the Empire hear his song, and
thereby stop them fighting.  Cosmo is, how should I put it, _skeptical_.

Meanwhile, some of the more level-headed are trying to figure out what Ganlon's
deal is.  Kusuha believes that the Choukijin, which has a mind of its own,
ought to have resisted Ganlon's joining the Imperial forces.  Brit agrees,
saying that Ganlon's actions could only endanger the world of men... and even
if he's an Esper he shouldn't be able to entirely have his way with the
Choukijin.  Camille says that, though he's loath to admit it, this may all add 
up to Ganlon's thoughts and actions _actually_ somehow being connected to
protecting the Earth after all.  Brit is then forced to remember the painful
scene where Gun-Eden proclaimed herself the lord of the Choukijin, and that his
and Kusuha's mechs disobeyed her orders.  However, Brit says that Gun-Eden is
gone, that had he and Kusuha done the wrong thing, there's no way Irui would
have tried to come back to them.  Plus there's the fact that their machines
sacrificed themselves to protect Kusuha and Brit and indeed all the Alpha
Numbers - which means Ganlon can't be in the right.  Kusuha is sure that the
mystery of Gun-Eden's connection to the Choukijin is contained in whatever
reason is making Ganlon's mech obey...

Elsewhere, Ganlon points out to Epeso that his little broadcast surely won't
make the humans surrender - nor was that Epeso's intent.  Indeed, _should_ the 
humans surrender here, it's proof that they couldn't withstand the battles to
come in the Empire's future.  Ganlon professes amazement at the Empire's
Byzantine strategizing, though he adds the caution that even plants can wither 
if watered too much.  He then says that he was hoping to participate in the
next battle as a token of his fealty to Epeso and Hazar, nervously laughing
that he has no ulterior motives.  Epeso shrugs, figuring that no scheme of
Ganlon's could hurt the Empire, despite Ganlon's protestations that he merely
finds the Imperials interesting.

It's five minutes until the conference with Epeso - only one minute longer than
it will take to finish the evacuation(!).  Unfortunately, to protect City 7's
retreat, you'll have to put your ass on the line here.  Everyone summons their 
courage, including Kira who seems to be past fretting about Natural versus
Coordinator.  The Empire shows up in due course, bringing their flagship with
them.  Your people's answer is of course unchanged since the time of the Balmar
War: becoming his pawns is the last thing on your agenda.  Epeso deigns to call
this "foolishness" on your part, but Shingo knows full well that if you
surrendered here it would hardly stand you in good stead with the Empire.  The 
evacuation completes just in time, and it's up to Melby, Erika and the others
to look after the civilians.  Epeso cares not that the civilians have escaped: 
all he's after are the skilled fighters and their advanced weaponry.

  For a Skill Point, clear the map in 8 turns, which initially requires downing
  the Helmoze.

  Ganlon is worth a Bio Computer.  He says that both he and his Choukijin are
  amazed at how well Brit is able to do without a Choukijin of his own.  Kusuha
  asks if his Choukijin is going along willingly with whatever Ganlon has
  planned, and he says "of course", noting that he's known his mech far longer 
  than Kusuha knew her Ryuu-Ou-Ki.  He also adds that he'd like to think he has
  a better idea what the Choukijin are actually for than your people seem to,
  telling your people to swing by his place any time they want to know the
  truth.  This worries Kusuha, making her wonder whether her and Brit's
  machines were actually lying to them.  Surely not, right?

  Once you kick Epeso's ass enough, he comments that your prowess, which took
  down the Seventh Fleet, is surely worth serving the Empire.  He says that
  both the Thunder Gate and your people are needed to preserve order in the
  universe, and says that he's going to take this opportunity to see precisely 
  how far your power extends.  He unleashes a Zfield, the self-organizing
  memory-alloy cells that gave you such fits back during the Balmar War.  It
  watches, it learns, it evolves, it even makes julienne fries out of your
  dudes!  The disturbing part is that the previous Zfields you fought were
  humanoid, presumably from fighting all your anthropomorphic mecha.  _This_
  one is not, and Epeso tells your people to ready their hearts for the God of 
  Creation to visit His wrath upon them, and Misato cautions that this is
  surely not the bad guys' true trump card given the timing.  Even if the First
  Fleet you're now facing is the same strength as the Seventh Fleet, there are 
  at least five more battleships like the one you were just fighting, each with
  a Zfield on board in all likelihood.  She tells you all to wipe it out as
  fast as possible, since there's no telling what will happen if it lingers.
  Epeso is looking forward to getting his hands on the Swords the Thunder Gate 
  has chosen, all for the sake of the Empire of course.

  The Zfield is worth a (garden variety) Haro.  Epeso, now rather singed and
  apparently in failing health, is busily sending your data to the Empire to
  make them stronger: as Misato suspected, Epeso was in fact _disposable_.  He 
  growls that he's the faithful vassal of the Spirit Emperor, Ruaf, and tells
  all of you, the chosen Swords, that your true enemy is in the galaxy...

As the Zfield explodes, the remaining Imperial forces leave the Mars area.
Your crew gets the full unpleasant taste of realizing that this victory simply 
raised the curtain on the next phase of fighting.  You've got far too many
enemies arrayed against you, and too many questions about why they all are
active at once.  Add to that the mysteries of Ide and THE POWER, and it's clear
that *VERY* strange things are afoot at the Circle K.  Taiga points out that at
the very least, you _have_ saved Mars - and you'll have to go on solving the
problems immediately before you for the time being.... the next of which being 
the showdown with the Primevals....

At the Golden Palace, Janela hears that the Empire has withdrawn from the Solar
System.  Zanbajil marvels at how low the Empire, once rulers over the Boazan,
has sunk, and Janela figures that the Empire, for all its strength in
diversity, had also grown brittle from overexpansion.  Zanbajil figures that
they may be able to retake Canpel at this rate, but Janela isn't in a mood to
forgive Walkymedes and Dangel their blunders on Earth.  Dangel begs for another
chance, but Janela zaps him before berating them at length as imbecilic morons,
and retarded ones at that.  Zanbajil cuts her ranting short, pointing out that 
their own army is also repenting its failures on Earth - what this really means
is that he's got more dirty work for the two fuckups to do.  Janela warns them 
that this time they're either going to come back having fulfilled the
Alliance's dreams, or as processed _low_ _fat_ dogfood.

Zanbajil says that their enemies aren't only the Balmar and Earth: at the
moment, the biggest threat is the Muge.  These beings aren't rightful dwellers 
of this _plane_, much less this galaxy, and although they are supposedly allies
he fears a repetition of their past humiliation unless he can figure out what
the Muge are really up to.  Especially troubling is that they seem to have
vanished from the Earth sphere and severed communications, and Zanbajil doubts 
that their setback on Earth could have affected _them_ that badly.  In any
case, he agrees with Janela that the time has come to smite the Empire and
restore the rightful galactic nobility to power.  Or so he thinks...

Ruaf reports to Shiva that the data from the First Fleet looks quite
fascinating, worth sacrificing one of the Judekka Gottso types and a Zfield to 
obtain.  Ruaf dismissively says that there's any number of replacement dolls
available, and orders Epeso's data transplanted into one of his clones: he
still may have his uses.  Etsilla points out that the Alpha Numbers seem to
have added Ideon to their number, _quite_ a wildcard that's also part of a
certain person's plan according to Ruaf.  OR... perhaps a sign that they've
been preempted: the Alpha Numbers are, after all, a very special thing within
this galaxy.  That assemblage of ultra-powerful weapons and warriors, with
Espers and psychics at the helm, cannot have come together by mere coincidence.
Though Ruaf doubts the Alpha Numbers realize it themselves, he feels a strong
sense of purpose, as did Gun-Eden and Shiva's former puppet Yuuzes.  Maybe
Armana even felt it, in which case the Earth might actually be their original
homeworld, not Balmar itself.  That would explain why the Room of Gauf tried to
open there, and why the gods of destruction are attacking an otherwise
backwater world instead of the center of the Balmar empire.  Heck, the entire
previous life of the Balmar Empire may have risen and fallen on Earth.  Not
that Ruaf cares much for whatever happened in this past Empire.  He tells a
concerned Etsilla to let Armana do as she pleases with the little time left
her, noting that Baran and Rulia have been assigned to protect her.  In any
case, Ruaf plans to simply watch the Solar System from afar for now, and
concentrate on the battle with the Baff Clan and the gods of destruction.
Shiva plans to put Hazar, Saldes and Hiradelhia on the case, noting that the
Boazan also seem to be stirring up trouble.  Ruaf lets Shiva reorganize the
army to fortify its overextended defensive lines.

Shiva then reports that no progress has been made in understanding the Cross
Gate, assuring Ruaf that there's no need to intervene, lest something happen to
him himself.  Ruaf smirks, sardonically thanking Shiva for his loyalty.
Etsilla has nothing to report on the unlimited energy front, and makes haste to
prepare the ceremony for Ruaf to commune with the Zfields.  Ruaf says this will
be a long session, given that the End is nigh and whatnot.  Shiva thinks to
himself that he'd better get moving if he wants to get his hands on the Key and
"Dis Lev".  Ruaf meanwhile figures that it won't matter what the humans do: a
new time will begin, and he'll be alive to see it.


Scenario 26. Karisome no Tabibito ("A Traveler in Jest")

Your people have made it back to Icarus Base without incident in advance of the
assault on Jupiter and the Primevals.  It's now a scant 9 hours before the
mission commences, and plans to relax are briefly interrupted by the specter of
Kusuha bearing libations... until it turns out it's Mikoto's famous blend of
coffee.  Your crew are chugging it down when Mikoto has some kind of brief
episode of... fatigue? and drops one of the mugs.  Kusuha, quite worried, tells
Mikoto to rest up for now, but Mikoto claims she's okay anyway...

Elsewhere on board, the refrigerator-thick Daijirou is managing to kick Brit's 
ass in a round of sparring.  Kyoushirou is officiating, and counsels Brit to
not think of his sword as a tool, but rather as an extension of his own arm.
He tells Brit that if he can manage that it should surely come in handy the
next time you face the Choukijin.  Brit looks rather downcast that it won't
suffice to just connect his mind using the T-Link System, but sees the logic in
Kyoushirou's assertion that such gadgetry can be more of a crutch than a help
sometimes.

With the feeling returned to his hands, Brit is ready to face Daijirou's staff 
again.  Kyoushirou tells him that a true instant-death strike will be his when 
he figures out how to deal with Daijirou's superior range.  Now using his hips 
to help manage the distance, Brit goes on the offensive again as your other
pilots watch from the sidelines, musing over his determination to be able to
fight Ganlon even without a Choukijin to pilot.  Unlike your other people,
Akira highly doubts that the Ryuu-Ko-Ou was destroyed during the battle with
Gun-Eden.  He reasons that, like Reideen, they ought to have some fated role in
whatever fragdown is awaiting you, all the more so since they've got the whole 
mysterious past thing going on.  Ryou presumes Kusuha and Brit expect to see
their old mounts again too.

Tomoro reports that the J Ark's systems are essentially all recovered, praising
the craft of the dwellers of the blue planet.  This should help a lot on the
quest to go save J and wreck the Primevals, but Kaidou hopes that this whole
intervening delay won't have proven more than J can handle.  Volfogg echoes
Shishio's analysis that even the Primevals can't have mastered use of THE POWER
that quickly, but Kaidou is more worried about why the Primevals haven't simply
come and attacked you in the meantime instead.  Dollars to donuts you're about 
to be heading into a trap, but with everyone counting on you and the resolution
so near there's no turning back now.  Mamoru would like to hear Kaidou say
he'll come back to Earth after the battle is over, but Kaidou won't relent that
easily.  Mamoru wishes that Kaidou would realize that he, too, has people who
love him.

In the data room, Oota is poring over all the combat data from the engagement
with the Zfield.  As Misato knows, the Zfields alter their appearance and
abilities based on their opponents, and last time they indeed became rather
humanoid.  This time the Zfield was shaped like a mobile fortress, or perhaps
an ultra long-range doomsday weapon - and from what Exedore has deduced its
shape is specifically adapted to counter the Zentraedi.  Oota doubts that
that's all, and Misato, aghast, realizes that it's really configured to combat 
the STMC.  Oota muses that it's only natural that the Empire would have
encountered the space monsters, and is more than likely locked in combat with
them somewhere this very moment.

In fact, he figures that the STMC will invade the solar system again sooner
rather than later - FAR sooner than originally planned.  The shortest course to
the showdown with the Primevals goes near the gate, and Oota warns Misato to be
prepared for anything from the Gate, which has apparently sat idle all this
time.  Misato promises to come back victorious, but Oota inwardly urges her to 
hurry - with what little life he's got left, he must see that the Carneades
Project gets underway.

Your convoy uneasily nears the gate, free for once from Imperial interference
since the Empire has no more wish to get tossed somewhere by the Gate than you 
do.  That said, Sakon is suspicious about why the Empire would abandon the Gate
entirely, especially since your people were fully expecting the entire Imperial
armada to pop out of the gate at any time.  They're up to something, and have
yet to haul out the monstrous mobile weapon that decimated the Gate guardian
fleet and SRX: Misato was right when she said that the formidable Zfield was
not the Empire's true trump card.

You're now close enough to see the massive expanse of the Gate with the naked
eye.  Its ornate structure is more like an ancient artifact, perhaps left by
whatever ancestral culture left behind the Ideon and Soloship.  Cheryl presumes
that to those ancients it must have been just one more method of warp travel
from place to place, not as limited in range or subject to spacetime topography
as the DS Drive.  With a burst of uncommon (for her) good sense, Karsha figures
that this Gate must be responsible for how the Soloship's crew got warped here 
from Solo, that some mysterious force similar to the mysterious Power of Ide
must be behind its actions.  Cheryl agrees that it's worth looking into whether
the Sixth Culture may have made the Gate, though she hasn't forgotten about the
quest to use THE POWER to unlock Ideon's secrets.

You're _almost_ clear of the Gate when your worst fears are apparently
realized: _something_ starts coming out of the gate, and it's probably Imperial
in origin.  Daimonji orders your people to attack at once, only to find that
it's... the Virtual-On dudes [at long last].  They're a bit confused as to
where they are after their long warp, and The Hatter is on some massive tirade 
about his commanders which Fei Yen has more than a little trouble breaking
through.  In fact, she only gets ignored even more when the VR Troopers
actually notice your people, who have no idea what to make of these new....
adversaries?  The VR Troopers don't know why they're here, and there are
indications that the writers of the game don't know why they're here either,
but we'll go with it as best we can.

As the VR Troopers babble inanely, Reideen suddenly gives Akira a clear warning
of something very dangerous coming through the Gate in their wake.  Oota was
_uber_ right on the money: it's the STMC, still busily wiping out intelligent
life after the SDF's little stunt to destroy part of their number.  Unlike all 
the other foes you face, there can be no peace, no common understanding with
these archenemies of mankind: it's either pWnz0r, or be pWnz0r4t3d up the ass
and worse.  Kira's bright enough to know that this menace far surpasses the
tiff between Natural and Coordinator, and as your people ready for battle Asuka
wonders why the STMC, which can warp on their own, came out of the Gate.  Rei
has a very unpleasant idea: perhaps _they_ know how to use the Gates.  In any
case, Misato orders everyone to concentrate on wiping out every last STMC and
to ignore the three Unknowns so long as they don't attack you first.  The VR's 
meanwhile realize that while they're outside the jurisdiction of MARZ, they
still can't afford to perish here, for Lilin Branjinar's sake.  Fei doesn't get
what's going on at all, but since it seems like fun she'll help out.

  For a Skill Point, take the bad guys down within three turns.  If you are Teh
  New Hotness, you should be able to do it in two. ;)

It seems no second wave of space monsters is forthcoming, leaving your people
somewhat perplexed.  Was this some kind of recon mission?  Or perhaps a test by
the monsters to see where the Gate went?  Isamu doubts they're that smart, but 
Guld says that they've got formidable instincts and are getting smarter every
day - enough so that someone at Isamu's intellectual level is in pretty grave
danger of getting left behind.  The VR's meanwhile are planning to avoid
contact with strangers in this strange land, until Fei's whining about being
tired and curious and wanting to know why they all got Gated here wins the day.

You learn pretty quickly that the VR's claim to be from an alternate world, one
of Cyber-history, of "limited war" and Oratorio Tangrams.  These are all
unfamiliar keywords to Leo, but he doubts the newcomers are simply making them 
up.  What's more, the unit they belong to, "Special Mobile Squad MARZ", is
pledged to guard and govern the Mars Sphere - it seems their world and yours
have certain similarities.  Leo has by now heard enough to be positive that
they've come from a similar but parallel world to yours via that pesky Gate.
The Hatter at least emphatically wants to return home, with all 1.5 of his IQ
points, and Fei says that she just does whatever she feels like... not that any
of them have any idea how to _get_ back home.  Leo offers them the chance to
stay with your people until the way is found, saying that he's already involved
in frantic research about the Gate to avert the catastrophe that's sure to
befall this world otherwise.  In return, they'd be expected to help your people
fight, which as they realize isn't that bad of a deal.  Kouji wants to know if 
the VR's are robots, or if there's some pilots inside.  The Hatter says that
that's a secret, and Fei somewhat ditzily adds that it's kinda a long story, so
she won't tell it.

In any case, the VR's formally introduce themselves: Affirmed The Hatter, the
excessively cute Fei Yen (who Kouji is POSITIVE Ryuusei will fall in love with 
with one glance), and.....  well, the third won't tell you his name, claiming
to have forgotten it.  Hatter laments that his older bro is back to that kind
of standoffishness, and gets increasingly agitated as said brother remains
quiet in the face of the dark clouds growing over your squad members.  At
length, he says that he is MARZ itself, that he's thrown himself fully into his
entrusted duty and as such needs no name of his own.  But, if your people
insist, they may call him "Chief".  And stuff.  Pretty much, that's the story
(that ain't how it happened!)  [That's all I got, so you commence napping.]

Sakon breaks the news to Daimonji about your visitors from a parallel version
of your own solar system... and probably _not_ from the future as such.  It
seems clear that they didn't come here of their own volition, but were thrown
here by some sort of accident during a mission they were on.  While there is
some sort of artifact from an ancient high-tech culture called the Moon Gate on
their moon, nothing is known about it.  All of this deepens the mystery about
your own Gate, and recalls to mind the apparatus that Yuuzes was trying to
construct during the Balmar War: the Crossgate Paradigm System which could
putatively manipulate Causality in a given dimension.  In simple terms, this
device could make whatever phenomenon you wanted occur without violating
natural law in a way that would destroy the universe.  In layman's terms, it
conferred the almighty, omnipotent power of God over at least a certain
circumscribed area.  Pete thinks the concept is rubbish, but Sakon cautions him
that although Yuuzes couldn't save himself with his schemes, it's unlikely the 
rest of the Empire would have given up on the Crossgate Paradigm System so
easily.  He also points out to Pete that there's already two examples of
effectively God-like power already being harnessed, and by *your own* squad no 
less: Ideon and THE POWER.  With irrefutable evidence of various infinite
sources of energy before your very eyes, it's not so much of a stretch to
imagine that somehow, somewhere in this universe, was the power of God Himself 
for the taking.  Pete scoffs at this, saying mockingly that if this God person 
really exists he'd love it if He'd drop by for tea some day.  Daimonji,
however, is more open-minded, saying that at the very least, there seems to be 
someone out there whose intellect far surpasses mankind's, and whose will seems
to be being done via these Gates...

Unfortunately, you're not out of the woods yet: a large gravitational
abnormality opens up right before your little armada.  This time it's not the
Gate's fault, but rather the Primevals.  They think they've sealed you away in 
subspace, and at Pagliaccio's orders begin combining to undertake their final
plan.

  [Fans of Gaogaigar will be pleased to know that among the spoils of this
  battle is, literally, a Key To Victory(tm).]


Scenario 26x. Shouri e no Chikai ("Oath to Victory")

Ryuusei is having some kind of vision, begging forgiveness of Aya for not being
able to protect her, as some unseen voice taunts him as a good-for-nothing
Psychodriver.  The voice ignores his pleas to stay away, relentlessly telling
him that his power brought about the entire calamity, summoning the Ze Balmariy
Empire, casting him into the fires of war, and ultimately dooming his friends. 
The voice tells him never to forget that his power is nothing but a cause of
catastrophe...

Elsewhere at the Phoenix, Arizona base, Rai reports to Robert that Ryuusei's
condition is unchanged - his physical wounds are almost healed, but his psychic
powers are still gone.  Robert asks Rai if he himself is okay - Rai says he'd
be lying if he said he was, but that he can't sit around wallowing in sorrow
forever.  The SRX Team still has things to do, but Robert points out that in
the state Ryuusei is in, the Altard won't amount to a hill of beans.  Robert
asks Rai to somehow get Ryuusei back on his feet - he and the other team
members are the only ones who can.  He tells Rai that Viletta is almost at his 
position, and asks him to follow her orders.

Viletta appears quite promptly in fact.  Rai tells her that he's still in
rehabilitation for his injuries, and that Ryuusei's condition hasn't changed.  
Viletta isn't the only one sad at that - Rebi is here too, though she now goes 
by a different name.  Her real name, or so she's been told, is Kobayashi Mai.  
Especially given what happened to Aya, she wants to share her name.  She goes
to see Ryuusei, as Viletta quizzes Rai about the defeat at the Gate.  She notes
that the enemy seemed to have detailed information about the SRX, and Rai says 
that it presumably came either from Ingram, or from Viletta herself.  Rai's
been waiting for a chance like this, and wants to make things clear.  Both he
and Ryuusei have some vague notion of what Viletta was really about, that she's
had some traffic with the Empire.  However, until now he's obeyed her orders,
waiting to hear from her own mouth precisely what she's up to.  Just who _is_
she, and why did she make contact with Rai and the others?  And what was her
relation to Ingram?

Mai finds Ryuusei on the roof as expected, and as expected [by the audience]
the conversation quickly turns serious.  Mai doesn't remember being Aya's
sister, but she's heard enough to change her name back.  Ryuusei apologizes for
lacking the power to keep Aya alive, but Mai insists its not his fault.
Ryuusei continues that he's lost his powers - preventing him from even seeking 
revenge.  But, war doesn't let people sit idle so easily!  Mai gets ready to
sortie, but sees Ryuusei cowering from some unseen presence that he's shouting 
at to stay away.  In a lucid moment, he shouts in anguish that he can't fight
anymore.

It's the Imperial army, and there's only one combat-worthy mech in this entire 
base....  but with Ryuusei a basket case, that's out.  Viletta has brought the 
R-Gun however, and tells Rai to take Ryuusei and Mai and evacuate while she
holds the enemy off.  Rai isn't sure he wants to trust her, but she says that
he and Ryuusei mustn't be lost here.  Mai sorties too, and although Viletta
objects Mai wants to fill in for Aya and fight.  Viletta reluctantly lets her, 
but cautions her not to push too hard.

  Take down the first batch of adversaries and more will occur.  Viletta
  realizes that this base has little strategic value, meaning that the enemy
  are after her and the others.  Rai knows that two mecha opposing so many
  enemies is futile, and figures he has no other choice.  Rai then goes and
  grabs Ryuusei, telling him that he ought to know what's being stored in this 
  base.  Ryuusei pitifully says that he can't take it anymore.  He's lost his
  powers, he's lost the R-1 and the SRX - how's he supposed to fight?!  Rai,
  furious, decks Ryuusei squarely in the face, and gets even more furious when 
  Ryuusei doesn't attempt to fight back.  He yells that he lost the same thing 
  Ryuusei did during that battle.  But UNLIKE Ryuusei, he's doing what Aya told
  him to do: his duty.  Ryuusei isn't getting the message, so Rai decks him
  again, demanding to know why Ryuusei thinks Robert made "that" machine.  He
  won't let Ryuusei claim ignorance.  In rage, Rai tells Ryuusei to just stay
  there quivering on the floor if he can't fight, because _he_ is getting into 
  the machine regardless.

  Ryuusei realizes that Rai hit him with his artificial hand, and wasn't
  pulling his punches either.  It starts to dawn on Ryuusei that he really
  isn't the only victim here, and what the hell is he doing sitting on his ass 
  when everyone else is fighting?  He's still got the strength to fight, still 
  has people on his side.  He runs to the hangar, cutting off Rai's attempts to
  pilot the new mech with an incomplete OS that's been customized for Ryuusei
  alone.

  Outside, it seems that two mecha aren't enough to protect the base.  As
  Viletta is about to order the staff evacuated, the Alblade Custom launches:
  it's Ryuusei flying totally by the seat of his pants.  He rapidly discovers
  that the right arm won't move.  Viletta has to intervene, and she orders him 
  to leave the battlefield at once.  When he protests, she says that she
  doesn't want to lose any more subordinates, or rather, comrades.  But Rai has
  other ideas, and plans to fix the OS on the fly.  Ryuusei wants to know how
  such a reckless thing is even possible, and Rai smirks and says that that's
  the last thing he ever expected to hear out of Ryuusei's mouth.  Rai tells
  him that he'll match his movements to Ryuusei's, just as they did when fused 
  in the SRX - and Ryuusei will get about 60% of the SRX's motions as a result.
  The results come out quite nicely, as the first bad guy gets chopped into
  little bitty pieces.

Ryuusei is back on the scene, save for where Rai punched him.  And hey, it was 
for a good cause.  Viletta explains to Rai that she's acting as Ingram's
"proxy".  Similar but not identical in aim, she's trying to carry out his
orders to defeat anyone on this world who tries to reject Causality.  That led 
her to become the captain of the SRX Team, and although she suspect they won't 
believe her, she says it's the truth.  Rai says that that's good enough for
him, and Ryuusei comes in just then to say that the Alblade is done being
tuned.  She tells them to get ready to move out - they're headed to Tesla Raihi
to help with part of the Altard project that's been tweaked a bit.  The real
question is whether the SR-01 Altard will be in time for the battles to come,
and Viletta says there's no choice but to _ensure_ it's on time, especially
since the Gate is already active.  Ryuusei vows not to let them have their way 
this time, that he'll let Aya and the SRX rest in peace.  If not, he himself
can't move forward or do his duty.

Scenario 27. Yuuki Aru Mono-tachi no Chikai ("The Oath of the Braves")

Your people find themselves stuck inside a Clyne Space, an inter-dimensional
rift, made by the Primevals.  You don't have much time to ponder how to get out
before a bunch of Zondar attack.  Max realizes that the fact they were able to 
get in implies that there's a way to get _out_, and that the Clyne Space itself
must be relatively stable - he therefore orders your dudes to attack.  The VR's
find this to be a pretty abrupt welcome, and The Hatter is looking forward to
making it a very warm one.  It takes Gai to really tell your people not to give
up, that as long as you hang onto your courage there will surely be a way out
of here.  He reminds everyone of their pledge to be brave, which The Hatter
says is right on the money even though, as Fei points out, he never took said
pledge himself.  Leo vows to work with Sakon to find a way out, and leaves the 
Zondar-busting to Gai.

  Take down enough of the bad guys and Sakon will get an idea about how to
  escape.  Buy time for him to run it through the computers.

  After you beat all the bad guys, the scientists have figured out your ticket 
  out of this subspace.  Leo launches in a shuttle for a mission only he can
  pull off.  He's carrying sensors that will sense when the the maximum
  weakness forms in the Repulsion and Arresting Fields containing this
  subspace, appearing at the time the bad guys are sending in more
  reinforcements.  What you have to do is inject Broken energy at that very
  moment, and you should be able to escape.  The opening will only stay open
  for 1/50th of a second, and there's only one person who can attack with that 
  kind of precision [who is willing to say so at the moment]: J, who's been
  hanging out in this dimensional rift and who rapidly requests Arma and the J 
  Ark to come with him.  He assures your people that he has no intension of
  dying until the Primevals are defeated.  Your squads form up, and attack
  right on cue...

  Arm is _greatly_ surprised to see your people break out of his Clyne Space,
  and Gai informs all 31 Primevals that their ass is grass.  Arm is not to be
  so easily cowed by mere organic lifeforms.  Gai declares that your people are
  no worse the wear for the little battle of attrition the Primevals tried to
  wage, and your people are fixing to make good on their pledge as Braves.
  Despite the danger, Leo heads towards Jupiter to check on the status of THE
  POWER, telling Gai that he can't let others do all the risking of their lives
  around here.  Taiga declares the battle for the future of all life forms
  officially open!

  For a Skill Point, wipe out all adversaries within seven turns.  For Coolness
  Points, do it in half that ;)

  Kill off enough of the bad guys and the plot will start forcing your people
  to whine about being low on energy and whatnot.  Arm tells you that this is
  your destiny, and that Mechanization is the one and only way to save you
  pitiful organic lifeforms from obliteration, as it were, "Complementation".  
  This gets the EVA pilots' attention, and he claims that Mechanization is the 
  only way to avoid the coming catastrophe.  He tells you that he's extending
  you the hand of salvation, and when Kouji tells him to go fuck himself he
  continues that the more you organic lifeforms resist, the iller you become.  
  [Ha HA, you KNEW I was the most illest from DAY ONE!  Respect.]  Actually,
  Leo is pretty illing himself, reminding your people once more of the Promise 
  of the Braves and earning himself a one-way ticket into the Jovian atmosphere
  for his pains.  And it's a very short flight.

  Your people are too astonished to even be in disbelief, and Arm frets that
  your people have deposited some litter on Jupiter.  Gai is, how should I put 
  it.... *FUCKING* *PISSED* *AS* *ALL* *HELL*, yes that's the phrase, enraged
  beyond all measure at his father's immolation, but the Primevals aren't done 
  with him yet either.

  Leo takes his death like a man, in particular like a man who's just been
  reunited with his wife, lost on that expedition to Jupiter so many years ago.
  She tells him that THE POWER has enabled her to go on living as a being of
  pure thought.  The most her efforts to contact Earth could achieve is the
  vague warning of Jupiter's menace, and she missed her husband so very much...

  Gai meanwhile is confronted by a different apparition, a copy of the original
  Cain contained inside Galeon.  He tells Gai that, having lost his body and
  being fused with Galeon, he could not raise his child by himself - hence he
  entrusted Mamoru to the Amami family.  In fact, he'd have told everyone this 
  sooner if not for the damage Galeon sustained in its first battle with EI-01.
  But THE POWER has restored Galeon, one of the many inscrutable energy sources
  in the universe.  Cain thanks Gai for fusing with Galeon in his stead, and
  Gai in turn thanks him for granting him the power to defend those most
  precious to him.  Cain tells him that his life span is at an end, and when
  Mamoru appears tells his child that he's grown strong, in mind and body.  He 
  breaks Mamoru's final seal, saying that the time has come for Mamoru to use
  his powers for what is right.  He leaves the rest to Gai, telling Mamoru that
  he'll always be by his side, and Mamoru says he'll always recall the gentle
  eyes watching over him and the green planet, the same gentle eyes as
  Galeon's.

  Arm is unaware of all of this, thinking that he's finally gotten rid of the
  Legacy of Cain once and for all.  He tells the Calamity of Abel that he's
  next, followed by the rest of the Alpha Numbers, but Gai has other ideas.
  Gai says that he will never be defeated as long as he has the Oath of the
  Braves, as long as he has THE POWER.  His parents are with him in spirit,
  urging him to recall the energy that restored Choukijin to life and warning
  him not to become drunk with its might.  As Gai starts pummeling Arm, Exedore
  placidly notes that THE POWER is now on your side and tells Taiga that now
  might be a good time to attack.  THE POWER confers its blessing on everyone, 
  including Ideon.  Cosmo doesn't care if it and the Power of Ide are related -
  right now it's time to chew bubblegum or kick ass, and Big League Chew just
  went out of season.

  Arm is worth a Super Ally Nu-Z.  Another Primeval has an I-Field Barrier.
  Another is worth a High Performance Targeting System.  Another has a
  Psychoframe.

All the Primevals are toast, and their cores all recovered.  Kaidou and Mamoru 
team up to Purify them all, reuniting the Zondar Crystals into a single sphere.
Unfortunately, Arm is _STILL_ not defeated.  He brushes J back, raging that J
ought to have been destroyed along with the Red Planet, and Pagliaccio
announces that she's finished analyzing THE POWER.  She has Arm and the stolen 
Zondar Crystals fuse into Zed Master, rapidly regenerating thanks to THE POWER.
Basically, you now have to fight with Jupiter itself.  Zed Master uses its
newfound power to make a bunch of Zondar Spores, sending them all to the Blue
Planet through an ES Window as its master program restarts.  The whole of the
Earth is about to be Zondarized, but there's no need to fret: all you have to
do is defeat Zed Master, and the whole of the Zondar stuff will be toast, never
to rise again.  Fei impatiently tells J not to give you the whole "at least
we'll get a warrior's death" speech, saying that if he actually dies all kind
of people will be _very_ sad.  Kusuha also points out that there's lots more
stuff to do after this battle is done.  Word comes from Icarus base: you've got
five turns to end this before the spores fully overwhelm the Earth.

  You get reminded during the battle just how much chaos is going on on the
  Earth.  The kids realize that they've got to believe in the GGG to stop all
  this nonsense.  Meanwhile, your people find out they can't actually hurt Zed 
  Master - and you're running out of time.  How the heck can you defeat the
  thing, which insists on gloating and carrying on like a bitch while you
  scratch your heads.  J points out to him that writhing around is the nature
  of life, and you're wriggle your way free of this one yet.  It repeats that
  Mechanization is the only way for you to escape the coming calamity and be
  Complemented.  Shinji shouts back that that's just a form of running away,
  but Zed Master would prefer you call it "salvation".  Asuka isn't one to have
  other people's world views forced upon her, and your people continue to think
  positive.  The problem is, how can you win?

  Zed Master is worth... a lousy Large Generator.  Zed Master doesn't like
  losing, saying there must have been some kind of mistake.  Gai informs him
  that the universe doesn't need Zed's Mechanization: what it needs is your
  blazing courage!  And if that's what Zed insists on calling Minus Thoughts,
  so be it: the one deserving destruction is Zed himself!  J then hurries
  _inside_ Zed Master, to finish destroying him from the inside out - he tells 
  Zed that he's a fool for forgetting that THE POWER can be used for
  destruction too.  Unfortunately, that would mean J's destruction too, but J
  tells Gai that they'll settle their duel one day, and not to die in the
  meantime.  Kaidou tells Mamoru that the flow of power can no longer be
  stopped, and asks him to look after everyone on Earth.  The three companions 
  from the Red Planet are together at the end, and Zed Master says that
  although it is being destroyed....  Exploding prevents it from finishing its 
  sentence.

Mamoru then uses his full power to Purify the master program.  You've just won,
liberating the Earth from the Zondar in the process.  Your people start
congratulating each other on this rather nerve-wracking [???] victory.  Gai
offers words of thanks to Cain and THE POWER, and his parents, for helping see 
your people through this fight.  He muses that neither you nor the Primevals
could really control THE POWER, saying he'll never use it again.  He bids
farewell to Jupiter, and to the warrior of the J Jewel.  Mikoto rather faintly 
says that she too is glad that it's all over...


Scenario 27x. Kakenukeru Tatsumaki ("Charging Tornado")

Robert has summoned Retzel and Zengar to Tesla Raihi for some subtle
maintenance on the Direct Motion Link on the Double G.  Retzel apologizes for
making him do that sort of work, but Robert says that it's an honor to work
with a machine that Vian Zoldark of the Divine Crusaders designed.  He relates 
how Vian took interest in a video game that he, a mere programmer at the time, 
developed, and offered him the chance to research with him.  That's what
started him on the road to being a mecha engineer, and Retzel figures out that 
Vian is pretty much responsible for he, Zengar, Filio, and many other people
being where they are today.  Vian handed the War God Armor Daizengar to Zengar 
personally, and showed a genuine grasp of the idea behind Project Ark.
Unfortunately, he's been missing ever since heading to Jupiter in the wake of
the Balmar War, but it's fair to say he's the main reason the Earth has been
able to hold out in his absence as well as it has.

However, the intensifying conflict demands ever greater power, which brings
Robert to his next request: he wants Rai to help with the final adjustments on 
a certain mech.  He apologizes for not saying it sooner, but the SRX Team is
due to arrive at Tesla Raihi any day now.  Retzel won't show his face to his
younger brother, saying that Rai would probably laugh as his shameless
behavior.  However, if the need comes, Retzel is ready to face it - and has
been ever since casting off the Branstein name, or rather, since the day of his
painful loss.

There's little time for reminiscence however, as the air raid sirens go off.
This base has no outward military value, and Retzel realizes that _someone_
must have realized that "it" is here.  Zengar will sortie first, telling Retzel
to stay hidden in case worse comes to worse.  Astoundingly, the bad guys are
from the Imperial Army, who were _supposedly_ withdrawn from the Solar System
after their defeat on Mars.

  After the first few bad guys get taken down, reinforcements arrive - on both 
  sides!  Viletta has Ryuusei and Rai in tow, and both of them seem to be back 
  to fighting shape.  Viletta tells Rai to head back to the lab and to leave
  the enemies to her and Ryuusei.  When Rai does so, Ryuusei recognizes the
  Ship-Cleaving Sword of Zengar, though it takes a moment for it to register
  that this isn't the same Zengar that your people faced in the future.  Mai is
  on the scene too, and the three mecha get ready to assist Zengar.  Retzel is 
  worried however, expecting a third enemy wave and imploring Robert to hurry.

  Sure enough, the third wave arrives - it's the Golar Golems.  Inside the
  base, Rai runs over to Robert and asks if there's any mech he can use.
  Ryuusei is going on fighting even without his psychic powers, and he figures 
  he can't be the only one to sit back and watch.  The only sortiable mech is a
  black Huckebein, with a sigil that Rai recognizes.  It's Retzel's mech, and
  he steps out of the shadows and tells Rai to laugh if he's so inclined - but 
  this is the way he is now.  Rai is amazed to see his older brother here, but 
  Retzel says that the man Rai knew died in the terrorist attack on the colony 
  back then, along with their mother.  He's no more or less than Retzel
  Feinshmaker now, and as the enemy attack advances he tells Rai to use his
  Tronbe.  Rai worries about his brother's mech, but Retzel tells him to do
  what must be done, and Rai advances.

  Ryuusei and the others are momentarily startled by the appearance of the
  black Huckebein, but Rai assures them his old injuries have faded and asks
  them to get the formation ready.

  Take out a few more enemies and Mai will sense a vast, powerful psychic force
  coming your way.  It's Irui, and as soon as she shows up some of the Golems
  try to get her.  They use mines to keep Zengar back, and before Ryuusei and
  Rai can get to the scene, Retzel intervenes in the Double G, Dynamic General 
  Guardian #2: the Aussenseiter!  It is.... FUCKING FAST.  After an initial
  blast, he tells Zengar to switch to Bufelt mode, setting in motion...  well, 
  words won't do it justice.  Suffice it to say that the alternate form of
  Retzel's mech shows just how thoroughly Vian understood Retzel's wishes.  As 
  your people are about to rescue Irui, she tells the children of Nashim to go 
  to Tokyo and abruptly vanishes.  You now know that the Imperial Army is after
  her, but what of her strange warning?

It seems the purpose of Irui's visit was to tell you to get your ass to Tokyo, 
at least from what Zengar and Mai heard.  Rai marvels at his first glimpse at
the person who sought to Seal the world away, but Viletta reminds him that that
was the doing of Gun-Eden, to which Irui was merely a captive.  But why did
Gun-Eden want Irui?  Mai, downcast, says that it's because she's a Psychodriver
- which would be why the Empire is after Irui too.  Viletta tells Rai and Mai
to stay here and work on setting up the Altard's OS while the rest of the
people head to Tokyo.  When they finish, they're to head to the Mao Corporation
on the moon and unite the OS with the mech itself.  Ryuusei briefly laments how
the SRX Team is being split up so quickly after reuniting, and Rai figures it
can't be helped, just like the War of Seals.  He tells Ryuusei to regain his
powers during the time he and Mai are getting the Altard ready on the moon - he
doesn't consider Ryuusei to have lost his powers.  Rather, those powers are
slumbering, and it's up to him to reawaken them.  He says that, for now at
least, they've got to do separately what they can, and the team bids each other
farewell for now.


Scenario 28. Itsuka Hoshi no Umi De ("Someday, in the Sea of Stars")

In fact, Mikoto collapsed on the spot, and regains consciousness in the Icarus 
sick bay.  Mikoto recalls that three whole years have passed since EI-01 fell
to Earth - three years of the nightmare, which is finally over.  A certain
comet will be visible when they get back to Earth - the same one that shone
overhead eight years ago as Gai dreamed of becoming an astronaut.  He still has
the locket she gave him then, and Mikoto says that it's Gai who gave her the
courage to live again.  She asks Gai if he'd mind her staying with him always
after this is over, saying that she's got nowhere to return to.  After an
uncomfortable pause, Gai says that her vital signs seem to have improved
considerably - more than likely she's just built up a lot of exertion.  As Gai 
holds her hand in his, she says she can feel his warmth, the warmest in the
world despite his hand being, well, metal.

Tashiro praises Taiga, the Alpha Numbers, and Shishio Leo's noble sacrifice,
which has for the time being at least freed the Solar System from the threats
from outer space.  That, plus the victory over the subterranean forces at the
Science Fortress Laboratory and the victory over the Zaft at Gibraltar, have
gotten you down to one menace: the space monsters.  Who would have thought that
they'd be back to the Solar System this fast, and using the Gate no less.
Tashiro and his second in command agree that the timing is FAR too coincidental
- it's more likely that the same force that's been moving you around via the
Gate brought them as well.  They realize that the STMC may not have been after 
the Earth at all, but rather *Jupiter*, or perhaps the Icarus base itself.
Otherwise, why come with such small numbers?  Does this mean that they were
sent to obstruct the Carneades Project?  Even Taiga is having trouble believing
that they're _that_ smart, and Tashiro figures that with Jupiter liberated it
may be time to accelerate the timetable.  Taiga warns that THE POWER is too
much for human hands to control, but Tashiro tells him that for Earthlings,
indeed, for sentient life in general to survive, they've got to use everything 
that _can_ be used... even Jupiter itself.  Tashiro is adamant that if the STMC
are coming from the center of the galaxy, there'll be no choice but to count on
tossing it in in there, which feels like a lamentable but necessary risk if
you're to have any future.  Tashiro asks Taiga for help in garnering support
for Carneades once he returns to Orbit Base.  After he leaves, Tashiro's second
opines that the Earth is likely to be a royal mess on that front, but Tashiro
says that Taiga is fully aware of that.  Whatever happens, Carneades _must_
succeed, come what criticism there may from the future generations they're
trying to guarantee.

Oota then comes in with Max, Miria, and Bes in tow.  Max and Miria are united
in the intention to rejoin their original fleet, and search for the whereabouts
of the Barooda army.  Bes says that at the end of much deliberation it seems
clear that remaining on Earth would be undesirable.  They plan to leave the
Solar System, though they have yet to arrive at a concrete destination, and
were planning to travel light in the hopes of running away that much more
easily.  Tashiro well understands their resolve, but has a request for them
anyway, on behalf of future generation of humanity: to perform advance
reconnaissance for the Carneades Project.  What's that, Bes asks...

Taiga has everyone observe a moment of silence for the departed Leo.  His
brother Liger ruefully notes that the hasty Leo seems to have left him behind
once again, and hopes he and Kizuna are doing well together.  Gai for his part 
promises to return to Jupiter to meet his parents someday.  With the solemn
stuff out of the way, the champagne gets broken out to celebrate the great
victory you've won, as well as something non-alcoholic for the minors amongst
your crew.  Anyway, cheers!  [And the crowd goes wild?! O_o;;;]

Some of your people are marveling over Taiga's brief greeting, expecting at
least 15 minutes of sonorous sermon.  Misato doesn't mind one bit, since the
longer the toast, the worse the beer tastes in her experience.  Asuka notices
that Misato already has her drinking "game face" on, but Shinji figures it's
the first such chance she's had in a very long time.  Misato makes a point to
see if Natarle is drinking (err, yes, only grapefruit juice), and joins Maryuu 
in trying to get her very uptight first officer plastered.  It's great to have 
a good old celebration as a team for a chance, though it's a shame that some of
your members are absent.  Say, what could Banjou and friends be doing right
now?  Judou's sure they're fine, and likely to pop out of nowhere any day now. 
Beecher isn't so sure, noting that the Haran Conglomerate has been dismantled
and wondering if Banjou isn't on the run from his creditors.  Kusuha kind of
can't picture that, and Roux figures that at least Garrison should keep them on
an even keel.

Brit as a question for Kusuha: he wants to get permission to return to the
Tesla Raihi lab.  He points out that their mecha were essentially engineering
samples hastily prepped for combat well in advance of the actual start of mass-
production.  He wants to hand over the massive amount of combat data they've
collected and get their mecha into final form, as well as grab some new
armaments, which can be attached on the back and various other spots.  The
flying gear is even almost ready, and Brit stoutly (and blushingly) says that
he simply wants to do everything in his power to get ready for the showdown
with Ganlon, instead of merely wanting some time alone with Kusuha.  A bit of
ribbing on this point only makes Brit resist harder, which is, after all, one
of Brit's good points in Kusuha's opinion.

Ryou is looking down in the dumps, and Hayato easily discerns that Ryou is
fretting over the Soloship's crew.  They've been sent on a special mission, and
took Isamu and Guld with them on an errand to deep space.  This resurrects the 
subject of the spacers' mistreatment at the hands of the the Earthbound, which 
includes the Barm as well.  Kazuya frets over how his engagement with Erika is 
even being called into question in some quarters, and notes that Erika and her 
retinue have headed to Earth for a meeting with the Security Council.  It would
indeed really suck if something were to happen to their fairytale romance...
Meanwhile, something temporarily bothers Mamoru, but the other kids quickly
interest him in eating parfait.  That said, he can't seem to shake his bad
feeling...

His bad feeling is quite justified.  In the sick bay, all is definitely not
well with Mikoto.  Before Gai's eyes, she metamorphoses into a new form of
mechanical life.  She makes her way to the hangar and steals a shuttle, and
when Gai and the other Hero robots try to stop her, they experience some sort
of power drain.  It's been determined that all matter, organic or inorganic,
that comes in contact with her ceases functioning, i.e. dies.  With Zed Master 
dead and all the Zondar and Zondarians out of commission, how could this be
happening?  Orbit Base itself is losing power, and the target is headed back
into the atmosphere and bound straight for Tokyo.  Apparently she's out to
Mechanize the Earth, and Mamoru and Galeon have sortied to try to stop her.
Taiga knows that they can't hack it alone, and orders every mech that can be
sortied stuffed into the Daikuu Maryuu and sent in pursuit.

The usual kids are watching their doom plummeting to Earth nearby, wondering if
it was that comet that's supposed to be passing by.  Mamoru rushes to try to
save everyone, asking Galeon to try to hold the fort here.

  You've got to take down the Zonuuda Robo within six turns for a Skill Point.

  Help arrives on turn 2, kind of - even the Daikuu Maryuu is beginning to
  falter under the Zonuuda's influence.  As your people hastily launch, Liger
  notes that three years ago, the EI-01 seems to have planted a totally new
  sort of seed in Mikoto's body, one which fused with her nervous system and
  bided its time while growing into an invincible life form safe even from the 
  energy of the G-Stone.  It is a New Mechanical Breed, and surpasses even the 
  Primevals with its might.

  The Federation sends a few troops in, only to have them get wiped out on the 
  spot, all energy drained in an instant.  Just how the hell are you supposed
  to deal with a vampire like this?  It's quite simple, actually: you blast it 
  in one go from long range.  And yes, there's a person inside it, but Amuro
  knows that you've got to stop the thing first before it drains all energy
  from the entire world - and worry about saving its passenger later.

  Gai, barely able to move, sets out on turn 3.  The Gao Machines are in bad
  shape, and it's doubtful that he can Final Fusion, but there is a way: put
  the various Hero Robots' AIs into the Gao Machines, giving them just enough
  guidance to combine.  The Zonuuda tries to intervene, but Mamoru steps in to 
  protect him, showing his true identity to all his classmates.  Hana
  frantically fills her classmates in that Mamoru is an alien and has been
  protecting them from the Zondar all this time, and they frantically start
  rooting for him to hang on just a little longer.  Gai isn't one to waste the 
  resolve (and likely, the last sliver of life) from his comrades, and pulls
  off Final Fusion.  But, he's only got six combat rounds with the Zonuuda in
  him, so use them wisely.  As Mamoru lies on the pavement, tired from his
  ordeal, a voice advises him that he's hurt, and not to move.

  Gai and Mamoru try to make sense of all this as Gai goes in for the attack.  
  Is your culture what's amiss here?  Is it because you don't value things
  enough?  Is it because you throw everything away once you're done using it?
  Is that why this creature is trying to end the Material world?  Quick,
  evacuate Madonna!  Is this being which denies everyone's existence the Devil,
  or God himself?!  OR JUST ANOTHER LAME PLOT APPENDAGE THROWN IN TO FILL
  EPISODE COUNT?!?!?!?! [whoops, there I go again with those high and mighty
  speeches, when they are in fact part of my species, or is it the other way
  around?]  Maybe this is what it truly means to purify something, but Gai
  still truly wants to believe that there is good in this world, and in
  himself.  Thus, he fights: to live another day!

  The Zonuuda is worth an... Auxiliary GS Ride, an item not seen in MANY a
  moon!

The Zonuuda is taken down, but the core is still alive and very dangerous.
Mikoto begs Gai to kill her before he himself dies, but as the life drains out 
of the very matter making up Gai's body he finds himself unable to use his warm
hands to wrench the life from her body.  Gai murmurs that he'll be together
with the person he loves when they both die, and asks her forgiveness for not
being able to protect the person he holds most dear.  As Gai tells her he loves
her, she says that she's glad she fell in love with him too.  Luckily there is 
a certain glowing grade schooler on hand to save the day, loaning Gai the power
to perform Purification.

The result is... a miracle.  Gai and Mikoto are both reborn into new bodies
[sans clothing! for what it's worth.]  It seems God Himself has given Gai his
new body, as a reward for victory.

Meanwhile, Hazar is on hand, observing a certain diminutive girl who apparently
couldn't let danger to her world slide after all.  Hazar's plan is to capture
the other Zfield priestess, namely Irui Gun-Eden....

Brit and Kusuha show up, thanks to Orbit Base's reactivation.  They're asked to
handle leading the civilian evacuation from the combat zone.  This goes very
badly awry very quickly when Kusuha and Brit sense Irui, and a LOT of Imperial 
goons chasing her.  Among them is Ganlon, who asks Brit if he got a piece of
Kusuha's ass yet.  Brit furiously tells him that he's got no right to even ask,
and Ganlon shakes his head and says he figured Brit couldn't handle a woman
anyway, as unsociable as he is and whatnot.  Ganlon tells Baran that these are 
the two people chosen by the Ryuu-Ko-Ou, and the ones who defied its master....
well, his enemies in any case.  Baran was hoping to cross swords with the
pilots of a Choukijin, but figures the mecha they're in now would be no match
for him.  Ganlon tells him that they're a lot tougher than they look.... THOUGH
that may simply be because he's been holding himself back, chuckle.  Calico
impatiently tells Ganlon to get busy fighting, which he will do if Calico
recovers the person precious to him.

  Kill enough of the bad guys and Brit and Kusuha decide to stage a
  concentrated attack on the Rai-Ou-Ki [damn plot lameness].  Kusuha gets
  smacked around, causing Ganlon to feign dismay that he's hurt his precious
  sacrifices.  Brit demands to know what Ganlon is planning to do to them, and 
  Ganlon says that all he's interested in is Kusuha - he has no need for Brit
  at all, not because he's not as strong a Psychodriver as she is, but because 
  he has no interested in hot-headed boys like him.  Ganlon says that if Brit
  was a cute little girl, he'd take her home with him in an instant.  Calico
  tells Ganlon to just grab the two of them already, and Ganlon says that Brit 
  and Kusuha are in luck: unlike during the War of Seals, they won't get split 
  up this time.

  Rather than see the two of them get carted off, Daimonji orders the Daikuu
  Maryuu to ramming speed.  Of course, jack shit happens.  Brit is trying to
  get past Ganlon to protect Kusuha, but a voice from the shadows says that
  that's _his_ job today.  Retzel appears out of nowhere, handily blowing
  Calico and Spectra out of the way, calling out to his Tronbe to run like its 
  name suggests.  He shows Ganlon a thing or two [actually, just one thing],
  and Ganlon wonders aloud what the _real_ name of this oh-so-gallant
  interloper is.  Retzel says that for the time being he's no more and no less 
  than Retzel Feinshmaker, but Ganlon says he recognizes Retzel's face, or more
  accurately, his _ancestor's_ face.

  And Ganlon knows that there are other guests here as well, that even Baran
  didn't notice at first.  It's Zengar, whose *MUGE* sword seems of great
  interest to Baran.  Zengar gives his name, and Baran recognizes the blade
  that has cut down so many Imperial troops during this war.  Zengar seems
  impressed at Baran's full formal title, though Ganlon is finding the whole
  tableau far too testosterone-soaked for his liking.  Viletta(!) is on the
  scene too, as is a rather steely-eyed Ryuusei.  Ace then detects a response
  from... Irui.  Hazar then pops out too, noting that Irui seems to have been
  intent on contacting the Alpha Numbers.  Ryuusei immediately recognizes the
  destroyer of the SRX, and his reaction is not pleasant.  Hazar is actually
  amused, having hoped that all that hatred and grief would have amplified
  Ryuusei's powers - he feigns disappointment that he was so sadly mistaken.
  Viletta stops Ryuusei's impending rampage, saying that with his psychic
  powers currently gone, he has no way of beating such a foe.

  Hazar then introduces himself formally to your people, the Chosen Swords, as 
  the man who will lead you all.  He says he lacks the time to explain to you
  now, since he's got other stuff to do.  That would be grabbing Irui, and when
  Ryuusei tries to intervene he gets very summarily blasted aside.  Hazar tells
  Irui to come with him, that for the Balmar to become the true rulers they
  need priestesses of Zfield on their side.  Irui clearly doesn't agree, since 
  she simply vanishes in a burst of power.  Hazar now seems a bit peeved that
  these damn Psychodrivers aren't going to make things easy for him.  Ace
  starts tracing her psychic trail, so Hazar can follow.  Ganlon says he'll go 
  too, since Irui is far more important to him than Brit and Kusuha are.  Hazar
  couldn't care less, and says to leave the rest to the Golar Golems.  As your 
  people demand to know what's going on, Hazar is even willing to give you a
  piece of information (to Ganlon's great surprise).  He tells you to try
  concentrating your surveillance particles in the M4 region near the center of
  the galaxy - you may hear a voice you'll find interesting.

  There is to be no immediate pursuit of Hazar and his goons, with more enemies
  remaining here.  Once they're mopped up, Amuro demands an explanation of what
  Viletta and friends are up to, as well as the business with the Empire and
  Irui.

She explains that Hazar and his Golar Golems are after Irui.  She's been
conducting independent research on Gun-Eden ever since the fragdown in the
Garden of Paral, and searching for Irui ever since she went missing from Tesla 
Raihi.  The girl you saw today was somehow different from the Irui that Brit
and Kusuha remember, and the reason is the Golar Golems, or rather, the Empire 
itself.  She figures that the Empire wants Irui's Psychodriver powers for
themselves.  Viletta explains for the benefit of those late to the party that
"Psychodrivers" are highly talented Espers, with various abilities including
telekinesis, precognition and teleportation.  These all-purpose Espers, if
combined into a system like Gun-Eden, can be a source of incredible power, as
you saw when Irui tried to seal the Earth away.  Kusuha, Brit, Ryuusei, and
Rebi all also have Psychodriver power, and Sanshirou finds it a bit too
coincidental that all these people should be somehow connected to the Alpha
Numbers.  Viletta says that that statement applies to all people with special
powers gathered together here - FAR too many to be blind coincidence.  Amuro is
aware that certain strings were pulled to put the Alpha Numbers together, but
with stuff like _Ideon_ thrown in from out of the blue, there almost has to be 
some kind of underlying will behind it all ["Kono sekai ni wa, hito no unmei wo
tsukasadoru, nanraka no chouetsu-teki na... Ritsu.  Kami no Te ga sonzai suru
no darou ka?  Sukunakutomo hitobito wa, jibun no ishi sae - jiyuu ni wa
dekinai."  And place the quote for a gold star and a sword to rival Zengar's.]

A good question is why Irui keeps running from you all - it seems doubtful
she's still under the control of the artificial god, since you went and
thoroughly trashed it.  Retzel suspects that there's another one left somewhere
in the world, and plans to take Zengar and keep tabs on what Irui and the Golar
Golems are up to.  Amuro marvels at how your changing history has caused
Zengar, once your bitter enemy, to become such a strong ally.  With a big
sword.  As though reading his thoughts, Zengar tells Amuro that he was awakened
from slumber in the Earth Cradle by the Subterraneans' attack.  Unfortunately, 
in the ensuing battle the Earth Cradle's cold sleep facilities were mostly
ruined.  Zengar says that he had lost faith in what would have been the future,
but now believes that a new future is his to help build: as long as he fulfills
his duty as the Sword Which Cleaves Evil.

As for Viletta, she wants to accompany your forces and research the Golar
Golems.  She suspects that Irui will appear before your people again, and plans
to keep Ryuusei with her as the best course of action for him for now.

It seems like good news that Irui is still alive and well (and being pursued by
the Forces of Evil, but that goes with the territory), but Kusuha is anything
but her usual smiling self.  She finally bursts out, saying that neither she
nor Irui is what your people think they are, and runs off.  Brit runs off after
her, and Kouji begins to guess at what's bothering her, having known her since 
high school and all.  He reasons that unlike most of the pilots here, Kusuha
didn't start piloting because she wanted to, but like Shinji and Kira because
she was sort of forced to by circumstance.  The first time Kusuha boarded the
Grungast Mk.II was to protect their high school, in fact.  She was forced by
the government to join your squad to keep her psychic powers a secret from the 
general public, and although she's got too much the stiff upper lip to bemoan
it much, it's surely been pretty hard on her all this time.  Kouji figures that
Kusuha is sympathizing strongly with Irui, who's arguably had an even rougher
time under similar circumstances due to being chosen by Gun-Eden.

Brit finds Kusuha crying in her room.  She tearfully says that she's got to go 
back and apologize to everyone, but Brit's sure Kouji and the others
understand.  After a moment, Kusuha asks Brit why he thinks psychic powers
exist.  If not for them, Ryuusei and Aya would still be alright, Irui wouldn't 
have gone through hell with Gun-Eden...  Brit says that "psychic" power is the 
power of will: though stronger or weaker or different in manifestation
depending on the individual, all people have it.  The power of will couldn't be
abolished even if people wanted to.  Brit knows how Kusuha feels, but says that
if not for their power, they never would have met their friends in the Alpha
Numbers, or their Choukijin.  Kusuha persists, saying that their power only
makes people unhappy, including Brit when he was being controlled by Gun-Eden. 
Now angry, Kusuha wishes that all this Psychodriver business would just go
away, and all the people who try to use it for their own ends too....

Somewhere in the Pacific, Hazar drops in to see his guests, in "protective
custody" from all the primitive inhabitants of this planet.  He professes to
Rulia that this isn't imprisonment, just oversight (rather excessive
oversight).  He regretfully tells Armana that he can't permit her outside, onto
enemy soil and while his men are on special assignment.  Hazar is actually
afraid that if he let the princess roam around, his actions here on Earth would
reach the ears of the Spirit Emperor.  He excuses himself, and Armana rapidly
sheds all pretense of politeness.  She is, in fact, pissed as hell at how Hazar
is treating her, saying that if he is trying to use her he ought to just tell
her so up front.  She asks Rulia if there's any way out of here, saying that
she hasn't got much time left and that there won't be another chance.  Rulia is
much aggrieved to hear that, but Armana tells her that she's not resenting the 
fate that awaits her; rather, she's overjoyed by it.  And she knows her request
is going to make a lot of trouble for Rulia and others, but she really does
want to see the wide world outside with what life she has left, before being
offered to the Zfields....


Scenario 29. Osareta Rakuin ("Branded Sigil")

Mamoru tells his parents that the New Breed of Zondar may be popping up
throughout space, and while Mamoru doesn't think his powers can defeat them, he
does think he can help save people in trouble, just the way he's helped protect
the Earth.  His parents tell him to do what he thinks is right, without
hesitation, and that he'll always have a home to come back to.  Gai can't come 
along, though he says that if he did he's sure Mikoto would be upset with him. 
He says that he'll make good use of the power of the G-Stone, and Mikoto adds
that the Dragon brothers' AIs are healed well enough to accompany Mamoru on the
journey.  Other members of the Alpha Numbers chip in, encouraging Mamoru as one
of their own that he'll always have a place among your invincible squad.  Remy 
concludes with "See You Again", and Hana runs over to tell him that she'll be
waiting for his return.  Mamoru then boards Galeon, to follow the Galeoria
Comet towards the planet of their birth.

Hiroshi insists on congratulating Gai on his new body, smirking ironically and 
saying that the title of "mightiest cyborg on Earth" is now his.  He adds that 
Gai shouldn't get the wrong idea: he's now proud of his mechanical body, and
knows that even though Gai's own body has changed they're both still kindred
spirits.  Meanwhile, Kentarou is planning on leaving the earth with Erika, to
his homeworld of Boazan, to enlist the aid of those sympathetic to your cause
and to gain advance warning of the next invasion by the Interplanetary
Alliance.  Boazan, freed from Imperial domination, has reverted to rule by Zu
Zanbajil and become even more dangerous, and harder on the hapless civilians.  
Erika very much wants to save them just as she's helped save the Barm, and
realizing her resolve Kazuya wisely doesn't try to dissuade her.  Both of them 
know how busy they'll be, and Kazuya merely asks her to be careful, for her
people's sake as well as for his.  Happily, General Dange can put them in touch
with the resistance, and Kazuya tells Erika not to worry about her people:
should Oka and Melby not be enough to ensure their safety, the Alpha Numbers
are pledged to help too.

Aboard the Archangel, Cagalli hears that the Alpha Numbers are to head to the
Orb.  Cagalli knows enough by now to keep her opinion about that to herself,
but she does say that circumstances are surely going to change once your people
get there.  She has some idea of the upheaval awaiting, but she figures this
ship and its crew are indispensable to the world - surely this is the
providence of Haumea.  Kira comes over just then, passing by.  He starts to ask
Cagalli about her relationship with Kisaka, but just then a very seasick Flay
comes out of her room and, seeing Kira, whines for some juice to drink.  Kira
promises her he'll bring some and gets her to go back to her room, and Cagalli 
archly tells him that he's far too obliging to her.  Kira gets that downcast
look and says he's resolved to protect her, and Cagalli notes that Kira really 
loves to burden himself with things like that.  She tells him to try counting
on the people around him a bit more, reminding him that he's not fighting this 
fight alone.

Ryuusei claims to be just fine after his brief stint in the hospital.  Rai is
too, but he's off on a different mission.  Sayaka asks about Aya before Kouji
can shut her up, and getting a very different look in his eyes from usual
Ryuusei says he's made up his mind to fight double-hard on her behalf too....
and to defeat Hazar Gottso.  He won't rest until he's taken vengeance for Aya
and the SRX with his own hands, and Kusuha can clearly sense a change in his
aura.  Brit can too, and Ryuusei quickly realizes it's no use trying to hide it
from them: after being defeated by Hazar, he's lost his psychic power.  It's
unclear why (other than that it had to do with the combat), and Ryuusei will
hear none of Brit's attempts to apologize for not arriving sooner: he blames it
entirely on his own inadequate strength.  He then adds that he isn't one to
stay down in the dumps over it, and plans to go on fighting, by their side.
Kusuha finds herself thinking that Ryuusei may be better off for having lost
his powers, and Brit can just as easily guess what she's thinking.

Your crew is headed for the Orb, an independent nation of Naturals and
Coordinators located in the South Pacific.   This enclave has the financial and
military might to seek independence from the Federation, and it's mainly on
Taiga's orders that you're heading there.  Ostensibly this will be to request
repair and reprovision for the Daikuu Maryuu and Archangel - meaning that
there's some ulterior motive that your people aren't necessarily party to just 
yet.

Just then, the Zaft stage an attack - and right in the middle of the frigging
ocean no less.  Fei is quite peeved that her sunbathing(!) got interrupted,
especially since she had her swimsuit ready and everything.  As your Gundam
pilots wonder how the hell _that_ works, Ryuusei goes totally slack-jawed at
how cute Fei is.  Hatter furiously tells Fei to cut the chit-chat and focus on 
the battle, merely provoking even more bonhomme between the two.  Hyouma is
amazed at how good a comedy duo the two make.  Meanwhile, Pete and Sakon
realize that part of the reason the Alliance left the Earth is to allow the
Zaft a freer military hand.  The Dragon brothers promise to fight hard enough
to fill the hole left by Gaogaigar, and Mikoto frets that Gai has no way to
fight with Galeon and Mamoru off in space.  Oh, if only the professor were
here...

The Zaft finally show themselves, including all four of the enemy Gundams.
Aslan, acting like the leader, tells the others to concentrate the attack on
the mothership so they can end this quickly.  Diakka notes that Aslan sure
seems to be in to this taking command thing, but Nicol points out that it was
Creuset who appointed Aslan to that role.  Diakka isn't planning to commit
treason by not following orders, and Yzak is interested to see just how good a 
leader Aslan will make.  Once again, Kira gets to battle his own feelings as
well as his outward foes, and Flay once again wishes for Kira to protect her
and wipe out the bad guys.

  For a Skill Point, annihilate all enemies within six turns.

  On turn 1.5, Cagalli flies out on her own to join the fray, angrily telling
  your concerned people that she can at least support the rest of you.

  Take down a few more bad guys and Aslan springs his trap, a separate squadron
  that attacks the mothership.  There's no chance to recall your forces, and
  the Archangel is having engine troubles.  But help is on the way: it's the
  Ral Kairam, promising to cover the Archangel's blind spots.  As for the units
  who have gotten too close to use the main guns on, another ally is on hand:
  it's Renais, who happens to have the ID Armor on hand for Gai to use.
  Apparently Gai has evolved immensely due to the power of the G-Stone,
  becoming - Evoluder Gai, and his fully powered form, Gaofighgar!!  This
  fighting mechanoid, drawing upon the Evolual Ultec Power from the gem in his 
  left arm is here to save mankind from all threats, and will even get an
  assist from the Dragon sisters, Kouryuu and Anryuu.  Hiroshi had met them
  before when they helped save Build Base, and Enryuu is a bit miffed that
  someone else got to spend time with his little sisters before even he got a
  chance to.  These impressive AI's are clearly "female", and perhaps far more 
  "ladylike" than a certain other mechanical member of your team.  Ryuusei is
  smitten by them too, and Fei demands to know if Ryuusei's "admission of love"
  to her was a lie.  Ryuusei is duly cowed @_@

  After mixing it up with the bad guys once, the Dragon sisters note that the
  bad guys seem pretty tough, and Renais tells them to use their hidden
  technique: they, too, can do Symmetrical Docking.  This is a combination
  process that would do the SRX proud.

  Yzak is worth a Chobham Armor.  Diakka is worth a Dual Sensor.  Nicol is
  worth a Biosensor.  Aslan will drop another one of his Pink Haros.

  Once Aslan is defeated, Cagalli runs over and tries to finish him off despite
  the best advice of your other pilots.  Cagalli loses control and plummets
  from the skies, and Aslan does the same thanks to Cagalli taking out his
  verniers.  Kira is about to go off to try to rescue Cagalli when your others 
  point out that there's still enemies here to fight, and that since Cagalli's 
  mech is still intact you can go and rescue her later - someone as tough as
  her will surely pull through.  Kira manages to comply.  Kisaka then borrows
  the mic from Maryuu, saying there's not a moment to lose.

The battle is over, but before you can begin searching for Cagalli a squad of
Federation vessels nears.  Bright says that this is a very bad sign, and upon
hearing that the Archangel has conventional drive back online orders everyone
out of this area stat with a promise of explaining later.  But it's too late:
Miwa's men have arrived, with orders to bring you by force to Alaska.  Even the
VRs realize that the Alpha Numbers contain numerous elements who should be
above or at least outside Federation law.  Miwa isn't happy to see your new,
goofy arrivals, and claims that Taiga (whose orders you're acting on) is aware 
of his escort duty, and that Taiga has been ordered to put in an appearance
himself over another matter - use of Federation warpower for personal purposes.
As he tries to order your people to obey him, alarms go off: the Orb are
approaching.  Kisaka then broadcasts, as a _colonel_ of the Orb's 21st
Airborne: he orders Miwa's men out of Orb airspace at once.  Armed incursions
will _not_ be tolerated, and Kisaka says that the Alpha Numbers have, of
course, received formal invitations - and he's along as their guide.  Miwa,
furious, has no choice but to depart for now.

Given that Kisaka is from Orb, just who is Cagalli?  Kisaka says he'll tell you
once you recover her, and that you can ask the person you'll be meeting next
for all the other details: the Lion of Orb, Uzumi Nara Asuha.

Cagalli is, however, not to be easily found, and has been designated MIA after 
four hours, easily long enough for her to have sent an SOS if she was still
alive, in Natarle's view.  Amuro thinks she's being too hasty, noting that the 
Orb army is out searching.  Natarle outlines the logical reasons why Cagalli
should be written off, and Amuro says that while her logic is technically
correct, you can't get people to move just with that.  Kira wants to go out
again and help the search, but Natarle curtly tells everyone here that all
pilots are grounded until new orders arrive before leaving.  Your other pilots 
aren't impressed with her archetypical uptight soldier act, and Beecher says
that it doesn't take much for such people to end up as bad as Miwa.  Amuro says
that the sun will be up in five more hours, and plans to ask permission himself
to join the search then.  Muu adds his voice, telling Kira not to assume the
burden for everything himself.  Cagalli is a strong child, and will surely turn
up with the rising sun.

Taiga is sad to hear that the forces of asstasticalness have moved faster than 
expected - Bright figures that their influence must have even reached the
Security Council.  If not, there's no way Miwa could have been restored to his 
position, and Taiga figures that your adversaries are extreme Earth-centrists: 
it only takes a little push to turn them violently anti-Coordinator, and
there's noone better to lead that than Miwa.  Still, it's amazing that the Blue
Cosmos could have gained so much influence over the Federation Government.  And
it seems that Taiga isn't the only one being called on the carpet: Igor and Oka
have been recalled too, and prolonging things any further would just serve to
inflame your detractors.  While Igor and Oka head to Alaska, Taiga plans to
speak on their behalf in front of the Security Council.

Presumably, the Blue Cosmos want to use you as part of the anti-Zaft war - but 
giving them any power, especially power like yours, is very dangerous.  But
simply ignoring the orders to report will only get you branded as traitors and 
effectively kicked off the Earth.  That's why Taiga wants Daimonji to take half
of the warpower aboard the Daikuu Maryuu to Icarus, to participate in the
Carneades Project, as an advance squadron.  Their ultimate destination will be 
deep space, and Taiga will file the paperwork from Admiral Tashiro as though it
came immediately after the operation at Jupiter.  As for the other half of your
folks, Taiga asks Bright to lead them in assisting Asuha as long as he wants,
and then to take their sweet time heading to Alaska.  He hopes to appeal to
Riliina, as well as to elements on the Security Council who fear the alien
threat above all else, and says that it's not like they control _all_ the
military or the government anyway.  He'll do what he can to correct their
errors, and wishes you the best of luck on your missions.


Scenario 30.

The commanders divvy up your forces for the various missions.  You can either
remain on Earth [E routes], or go to Space [S routes].


Scenario 30E. Owaranai Senkou ("Unending Flash")

Cliche though it is, Aslan and Cagalli seem to have crashed in the same place. 
He tells her not to make any sudden movements, since he won't hesitate to shoot
a girl.  Both of them are quite split up from their friends and neither has a
functional radio on their mech.  Aslan's plan is to wait for rescue, until
which time he won't stand for Cagalli roaming around on the loose, especially
given her previous attack out of the blue.  He asks in puzzlement if she's
really a soldier, and she angrily says that she merely got thrown in with the
Alpha Numbers by chance.  This brings a smile to Aslan's face, him figuring
that Cagalli hardly seems to fit the picture of the Federation's strongest
independent battalion.  A peal of thunder heralds the coming of rain, and Aslan
(who's never seen rain before in the Plant), has to be herded somewhere drier. 
After all, he doubts she can do much without a weapon.

Aslan has even gotten them something to eat, but Cagalli stiffly says that she 
doesn't take handouts from her enemies.  Aslan says that food is food, and
points out that a hunger strike will just sap her own strength.  Cagalli points
out to him that this could merely be endangering his own life - he'll feel
pretty stupid if she steals his gun and turns it on him.  He starts laughing
briefly at how much of a hard case she is, then turns serious and points out
that if she were to try for his gun, he'd have to kill her.  And _that_ is no
way for her to treat her life, after avoiding death so narrowly.

Cagalli is somewhat bitter about having the Zaft worried about her welfare, and
Aslan says that he's just fighting to protect the Plant.  Cagalli points out
that she's trying to do the same thing: it's the coming of the Zaft that left
the Earth in such shambles.  After a long stareoff, Aslan says that his mother 
was on Unius 7, an ordinary manufacturing facility.  Countless innocent people 
were killed in an instant there, children included.  Aslan demands to know how 
his people can just ignore that, and Cagalli points out that she's lost many
friends to the Zaft too.  Aslan grimaces, and suggests changing the subject -
there's little profit in the two of them hashing this over now.

In an instant, Cagalli then swipes his gun.  She apologizes frantically, saying
that she has no plans to shoot him.  It's just that his mech is made for
attacking the Earth.  She knows it's the fault of the Orb who made it... but
that mech is going to kill so many Earthlings.  He tells her that he's the one 
who pulls the trigger in said mech, and that he isn't being forced by anyone.  
He orders her to kill him, saying he'll kill her instead if need be.  She can't
bring herself to, and throws the gun away in disgust, only to have it discharge
and nearly kill them both.  Aslan is astounded at her recklessness, wondering
just who the heck he's dealing with as blood begins to flow from him.  Cagalli 
strongly insists on caring for his wound, claiming that she doesn't want to
rack up some sort of debt for herself otherwise.

Aslan then hears a beep, informing him that rescuers have shown up, for both of
them it seems.  Aslan goes to hide his Aegis, saying that he'd prefer to keep
this place from turning into a battlefield too.  Cagalli will return to her own
mech, and hide out and watch what transpires.  Once more, Aslan asks if she's a
soldier (she emphatically denies she is), and Aslan frets over why so many non-
soldiers he knows are fighting.  They exchange names at the last as he runs
off...

The Coordinator Gundam pilots aren't happy with a report they've received, in
which the Orb claim the "legged" Gundam has already left their dominion.
Diakka wonders if they're being totally made fun of - perhaps because of their 
young commander?  Nicol tries to come to Aslan's defense, but Aslan says that
whether or not they themselves believe the report, it came through official Orb
channels - there's little they can do about it.  He cautions that if they
simply try to bull their way through anyway, essentially invading a neutral
country, it will create a diplomatic incident for their entire nation.  At
length, Yzak "praises" Aslan's cool-headed decision.  The plan is to get Zaft
bases in the area to apply pressure, but if it isn't working out the G pilots
will sneak in and figure out what the fifth Gundam is up to.  Since they don't 
have proof that the country is lying, they can't afford to barge in on their
own initiative, though Diakka figures it'd be a cakewalk.  Aslan reminds him
what the Orb's military's capabilities are: this is no Heliopolis, but a very
bothersome nation pulling all kinds of shenanigans behind the cover of its
"neutrality".  Yzak agrees to stick with this plan, adding that if it were him 
he'd just charge right in.  Diakka sniffs that the son of Chairman Zala seems
to be living up to his family name, then shrugs and says that a bit of sneaking
around could prove amusing too.

Uzumi, the now _former_ Orb representative and still leader, greets Bright
warmly.  He makes a point of thanking Maryuu for looking after his daughter -
yup, that's Cagalli's true identity.  Misato smiles and lightly says she hopes 
Uzumi didn't just save you because Cagalli was on board, and he snorts and says
that between the fate of his country and the life of his idiot daughter it's
clear which to value more.  Misato apologizes, and he continues that the
Heliopolis incident, which made mercenaries of the children of his country and 
led to the Alpha Numbers' actions on the battlefield, could be directly traced 
to his decision to side with the Federation.  And it's not that he hasn't
regretted that decision ever since.  Maryuu can only offer her personal apology
for that tragedy, but Uzumi tells her that he bears much of the blame for the
incident... as do certain elements within his country.  After all, as neutrals 
his nation doesn't want the Naturals _or_ the Coordinators as its enemies.
It's a nasty dilemma: without power one's wishes cannot be carried through, but
with power comes the obligatory threat from others.

Misato then asks why the Orb are helping you, and he says that making neither
Natural or Coordinator his enemy is tantamount to making enemies of them
_both_.  As the first part of reparations for Orb's aid, his countrymen want
the Strike Gundam's combat data and for Kira its pilot to lend his combat
expertise to Morgenleite.  Also, he has high hopes for your squad - he figures 
the future of the world is in your, not the Federation or the Plant's, hands.  
That's all he plans to say on the matter, and asks you to discern for
yourselves what he means.

The Seed kids are glad to be at the Orb finally, where several of their parents
are.  Neumann hopes they'll get the chance to actually spend some time with
them before the next round of fighting begins.  Cagalli then enters, seemingly 
in the mood to pick a fight, and Asuka smirkingly observes that this little
princess's selfishness seems a bit too ingrained for the ocean to wash out.
Kira for one is glad to see she's okay, and also a bit sad that he'll probably 
not see her again since she'll be staying here.  Cagalli smiles and bids a
sincere farewell, hoping the chance will come to see him again.  Flay of course
gets jealous.

Ema then comes in with word that they've all received permission to for some
shore leave.  The Earthlings promise to show the others around, but Kira
lingers behind.  He doesn't give Flay a straight answer why he won't go and
possibly see his parents, and Flay rapidly gets furious at the thought that
Kira might be trying to sympathize with her, who _has_ no parents to go meet.  
Flay says she wants no shitty sympathy from the likes of him, saying that
obviously _he's_ the one suffering here.  Poor, all-alone little Kira, so
pained by battle, so pained by all the people he can't protect, so easily
driven to tears... so why the hell does _she_ have to have him trying to
sympathize with her?!  Kira asks her to stop, saying that the two of them were 
wrong, and in a great rage Flay storms out and slams the door as hard as she
can.

Kira ends up in the hangar, where he runs into Kou.  Kou decided to go sightsee
at Morgenleite too, despite so many other things to do with the time off.  Note
that Keith certainly didn't object to coming along, and Kou is quite startled
to run into... Nina, who ought to have been at Anaheim Electronics' moon base! 
Many other members of the Albion's crew are here too, and a Morgenleite
engineer named Erica Simmons appears to explain.  The military and governmental
threat to engineers and technicians has grown too great anywhere else - in
fact, Anaheim's Gundam development HQ was forcibly taken over by the Feds, who 
have plans for their own mass-production Gundam based off all of Anaheim's
data.  And worse, it's based off Kira's Strike Gundam to boot!  But the
government's rough tactics caused many within Anaheim to harbor doubts, and
under the guise of "consulting" most of the important engineers on the Gundam
program got evacuated to Orb.  Kou can see the need for a new GM, but can't
figure out why the Feds would employ such tactics to get it.  Nina doesn't
know, but figures that the new GM will be central to the war against the Zaft. 
There are ugly rumors that the top brass are plotting genocide against the
Coordinators, and it takes multiple of your crew to assure Kira that definitely
not _all_ of the Federation feels the same.  In any case, Erica is looking
forward to getting a lot of help from all of them, especially Kira, on
finishing the M1, Morgenleite's new mech for the Orb army.  The Orb invades
noone, and permits noone to invade, and stays out of other countries' squabbles
- and the M1 is the embodiment of that spirit.

As expected, the other Gundam pilots have infiltrated.  They find a city very
much at peace, despite the recent military outburst practically at their front 
door.  Aslan wonders if this is what "peace" is really about, and Diakka notes 
that they're sure having trouble locating the "legged" Gundam.  It's probably
not just sitting in the military port, but Yzak figures with two battleships in
port the Gundam can't be that easily hidden.  What is really needed is proof,
one way or the other, whether the Strike is here.  Morgenleite corporation is
within the military harbor, and given that the guard is impeccably tight on the
ocean side, the only alternative seems to be to sneak in and search.

Meanwhile, the Gundam folks on shore leave meander by, some of the more
squeebish figuring that they seem to have some piloting aptitude after all.
Tolle wonders if he should fly the Sky Grasper in the princess' stead, and the 
more seasoned of your pilots have to give the "thanks, but leave the fighting
to us" line.  By now Kira has joined them, still unwilling to go meet his
parents.  Brit notes that the M1's initial development is over, and says that
your people are planning to leave Orb tomorrow.  Kira is afraid of what his
parents will say should he meet them: "why did we make you a Coordinator" and
whatnot.  Just then Kira's mechanical bird flaps off, and Kira runs off to try 
to catch it...

...and right into a face-off with Aslan.  Aslan returns the bird to him, and
Kira says that he once.... received it from a very dear friend.  After a moment
of silence, both agree to go their separate ways again.

Word comes in that the Ral Kairam is enjoying smooth sailing, having left the
Orb via another route.  Misato hopes that this forces the Zaft to divide their 
forces, and Cagalli isn't happy about the imminent prospect of having to leave 
the ship.  She told her father that she wanted to personally help to end this
war even a moment sooner, but he didn't permit her.  Her father told her that
if she were to shoot someone's husband, that person's wife would hate her for
it - that if she were to shoot someone's son, that person's mother would hate
her for it.  And should someone shoot _her_, he would have to hate that person 
for it.  Camille is all too familiar with the chain of revenge, and Cagalli's
father told her that there are more ways to fight than holding a gun.  That's
why she's staying behind, to try to think up a way to root out every last cause
of the strife gripping the Earth Sphere.  Hiiro likes what he's hearing, saying
that the "battlefield" isn't the only battlefield, especially when there are
battles that only she can fight elsewhere.  Even Asuka wishes her well in
finding what those battles are, and as she parts from Kira and the others she
implores them not to die on her.

Maryuu is left to fret about the road before you: though Uzumi's actions saved 
the better half of the Alpha Numbers from the top brass, the rest of you have
no choice but to head to Alaska.  She puzzles over why the Orb, who aids
neither the Plant nor the Federation, assisted you.  It seems unlikely that
they'd do so just to provoke both sides, and they certainly didn't mean harm to
you personally given the ample opportunities they had to inflict it...  Natarle
says that in any case their actions are clearly anti-Federation, and plans to
follow up in full once you've reached Alaska.  That may not happen for a while 
though, given that the Zaft are at it again.  The Ral Kairam is under attack
too, meaning the Zaft have come en masse.  The bulk of them are after the
Archangel, including the Gundam pilots.  While Diakka and Yzak fret that
they've got to take down the Strike this time or look like total asses, Aslan
continues to brood over fighting his friend.  Nicol asks him if anything is
wrong, and is prepared to believe Aslan's explanation that he's merely tired.  
He promises to listen to Nicol's piano playing when they get back, vowing not
to talk in his sleep even.  Diakka asks his captain for orders, which are to
destroy the Strike Gundam once and for all this time.

  For a Skill Point, clear the map within seven turns.

  Aslan is worth a Custom OS.  Kira will go to face him one on one, telling him
  to withdraw because he's lost.  He tells him that he doesn't want to fight
  him anymore, but Aslan says that Kira should just shoot him, as he himself
  said before.  Nicol intervenes using his Mirage Coloid, and Tolle in turn
  launches the Sky Grappler and slightly wounds Nicol.  Everyone starts telling
  everyone else to withdraw, and Kira has no choice but to take drastic action 
  by hosing Nicol to save Tolle's life.  Nicol's last words are to his mother, 
  something about his piano...

  As Aslan laments that he was the one who's supposed to have gotten shot, the 
  other Gundam pilots go berserk with rage.  Aslan realizes that the
  softheartedness that kept him from taking out Kira has cost Nicol his life,
  and he vows to take Kira down by his own hands.  Tolle tries to buy Kira some
  time to rejoin your group, getting summarily offed for his pains, and now
  it's Kira's turn to go berserk.  Miriallia is rather incapacitated by what
  she sees, and Kazui has to take over for her.

  When you take Aslan down again, he's determined to get back at Kira no matter
  what, and attempts to self-destruct.  It's a big blast, and there's no sign
  of Kira after the smoke clears.  You'll have to wait until after the rest of 
  the enemies are gone to look for him too...  This is almost too much for
  Shinji to bear, but Misato tells him that if he shows the enemy his back _he_
  will be the next to die.  She asks him to understand - you've got too many
  enemies now.

  Diakka is worth a Multi-Sensor.  When you take him out, his mech goes out of 
  control, screwing up his plans of taking revenge on you any time soon... Yzak
  is worth a Hybrid Armor, and he's QUITE furious that he can't take revenge
  for his comrade either.

After the battle, failure to get response from Kira or Tolle right away leads
Natarle to label them as MIA, and chastens your people to accept it lest they
be next on the list.  A new set of enemy signatures approaches, and with your
people depleted from the battle you just fought you'd best not stay long.
Maryuu deliberates and orders her people to keep hailing Kira, and to put in a 
call to the Orb for humanitarian assistance in finding Kira, on her own
authority.  She then orders all your people recovered as quickly as possible,
and then an escape from this area at flank speed.

Some time later, Kisaka reports that the wreckage of the two Gundams has been
found, with the cockpit of the Strike empty.  Cagalli knows that it's probably 
futile to hope that he escaped or was thrown clear, but still holds out hope
anyway.  Word then arrives that the pilot of the Aegis has been recovered -
badly injured by still alive.  Kisaka has him recovered, and the question
becomes, what became of Kira?

Aslan wakes up in an Orb hospital, as Cagalli quickly tells him.  She asks if
he was the one who took out the Strike (he says yes), and she demands to know
what became of its pilot.  When he says nothing, Cagalli yells that no one can 
find Kira, and tells him to say something.  Aslan finally says that he killed
him, grappling the Strike with his Aegis and self-destructing - and he doubts
Kira could have ejected.  He says that he had no other choice left, in order to
defeat him... and then breaks down crying as Cagalli rages beside him.  He asks
brokenly why he somehow survived, why he was able to escape, why Cagalli's shot
didn't kill him.  Cagalli furiously tells him how nice a guy Kira was despite
his proclivities, and Aslan knows well - Kira has always been a gifted,
complicated crybaby.  Aslan doesn't know himself why he was trying to kill Kira
- they simply got split up, and found each other as enemies somehow.  Aslan
cries in anguish that he told Kira to come with him so many times - he's a
_Coordinator_, one of his own.  It's far stranger for him to be fighting for
the side of Earth, but Kira didn't listen, even hurting Aslan's companions and 
ultimately killing Nicol.  Hysterical, he says that Kira's become his _enemy_ -
what choice does he have but to defeat him?!  Cagalli demands to know why
things had to turn out that way.  Well, he _did_ kill Nicol, the 15-year old
piano player who nevertheless was fighting to defend the Plant.  Cagalli points
out that Kira was fighting to protect things too - so why did he have to get
killed, and by his best friend no less?!  Kill and be killed - how the hell can
that bring about peace?! is what Cagalli wants to know...

Elsewhere in Orb territory, a certain figure in the shadows is bidding farewell
to Malchio, who's bound for the Plant to do whatever little he can there.  He
asks the figure to leave the person he brought along to him: there are people
in the Plant he wants him to see.  The figure is grateful, saying that he was
having his arm twisted by a certain acquaintance of his too.  Malchio knows
that things are teetering on the brink of no return, and is hoping to turn this
into a chance for mankind to advance to the next level.  The figure asks if
Malchio is speaking of Char Aznable's "mankind revolution", and Malchio says
that the Newtypes and SEEDs are already manifestations of that - should the
revolution actually come, he says he'd sure love to be around to see it.  Heck,
ever since crossing swords with Char, perhaps he too has been fighting to make 
it happen.  He asks the figure if he can really trust in the war his people are
raging, and the figure assures him that the Circle of the Sun is a sign of hope
for everybody... and that includes the Alpha Numbers.

Speaking of them, they're expected to arrive at Alaska any day now, and the
Black Knights have already arrived... as has the person pulling the strings.
In which case, the figure figures he'd better hurry too...


Scenario 30S. Lost Diva

Fei is impressed that there are people like the Dragon sisters in this world
too.  As she and Hatter start quarreling as usual, the Dragon brothers muse
that their long-awaited reunion with their sisters is taking place a _long_ way
from the Earth.  Precisely where remains to be seen, but Volfogg expects to be 
told at Icarus base.  Wherever you're going would take numerous Folds to reach,
but Volfogg says there is another way, albeit a dangerous one: the Gate.
Volfogg doesn't know the details, but again expects to hear a fuller
explanation at Icarus.  A very good question is where the other side of the
Gate is - Chief certainly suspects that the humans don't know how to control
the thing, and that you all are about to become guinea pigs.  All the more so
if the Gate is like one of the Tangrams...

Meanwhile, other members of the crew start checking out Gai's cousin Renais,
who seems more than a little ill at ease with all the scrutiny.  Mikoto tries
to welcome her to your crew with a handshake, and Renais does not stop her from
trying.  Gai attempts to intervene at the last minute, but can't prevent Mikoto
from getting slightly burned before Renais wordlessly stalks off.  Gai yells
after her to wait, and Mikoto explains that Renais is a G-Stone cyborg like
Gai... and that her cooling systems seem a bit out of whack.  Gai knows as well
as Shingo that Renais took Mikoto's hand anyway, but Mikoto stops Gai from
delivering a chewing-out on her behalf.  She claims it was her fault for
forgetting how easily Renais's body could overheat, noting that Renais didn't
_ask_ to be a cyborg, forced to wear that cooling coat for the rest of her
life.  In fact, Renais's young enough that she ought to still be commuting to
classes if circumstances were different, and she implores Gai to understand.
Gai acquiesces in silence, and Shingo tells him not to sweat it: there's enough
people with scars on their hearts here in the Alpha Numbers to sink a sitcom or
two.  Kiry adds that some people want to be comforted, some want to shout out, 
some simply want to be left alone: but all seem to get by somehow or other.
Gai brightens, figuring that as another bearer of a G-Stone, Renais too will
surely find her metier in good time.

As it happens, Kinryuu has recovered enough to talk!  In fact, before long
he'll be fully rehabilitated, and he says he doesn't want to be taking a back
seat to the Alpha Numbers even if they _are_ the strongest battalion in the
Earth Sphere.  Chiba comes in, pleased to see that his Sound Therapy has done
his patients so much good.  Gamlin still doesn't seem to know what to make of
the fact that Basara's song is what's really to thank here...

The Daikuu Maryuu will make it to the Icarus base the day after tomorrow.  As
soon as they're outfitted for deep space, Max will lead his little armada off
as advance recon for the Carneades Project - including the Soloship.  Oota is
already on Mars carrying out Phase One, and Tashiro is looking forward to Max
reporting on "their" actions.  As for where they are to head to, Tashiro's
second asks them to listen to a certain song they've picked up.  It's Lynn
Minmei singing "Do You Remember Love", and it's coming from area S1926 in the
center of the galaxy.

That area is where "they" are, and Tashiro tells Max that picking up this faint
song from such a huge expanse of space is no miracle - it's in fact presumably 
some kind of farce arranged by the Empire.  Tashiro gruffly points out that if 
Hazar's people wanted mankind wiped out, there's no need to drag them halfway
across the galaxy to do it.  Analysis shows that there's an extremely high
probability that the song is in fact coming from Minmei herself, and there's no
clue whatsoever why the Empire gave you the information.  In any case, the
Macross 7 has no choice but to go, hoping against hope to return to their
spiritual homeland, the original Macross.  Tashiro tells them to be on the
lookout for information about the Barooda army, and Max is sure the Sound Force
should come in quite handy.

As for the Gate, Cheryl has provided all the necessary theory, but there's no
way to know if it will work out or not until you try.  Control of the Gate is
essential to the Project - there's no choice but to believe in the will of your
people and in the Power of Ide.

Everyone confronts the Gate, summoning the will to move on.  This proves a bit 
tough for the younger kids, faced with the prospect of leaving Earth, but
Karsha tells them that all of them entered the colony fleet by their own will; 
thus, the place for them to return home to is not Earth, but space - the new
frontier.  Bes agrees, adding that before they can find for themselves a new
heaven and earth, they've got to live through the current battle.  Chief tells 
his fellow VRs that as far as he's been able to discern, things like THE POWER 
and the Power of Ide seem to respond to human will - perhaps the Gate will do
the same, given that its power source seems to be kindred to them.  Does this
mean that the VRs wished to come here?  There's no telling.  In any case, you
won't know if the Gate will answer your queries until you try.  The Soloship is
actually bound for somewhere on the far side of the galaxy, on a slightly
different mission from the rest of your forces.

The Gate doesn't immediately open for the Soloship, meaning that Ideon's power 
won't just manifest any old time.  Hopefully, a battle isn't needed to rouse
Ideon's self-preservation instincts, and Bes orders the Soloship to get right
towards the center of the Gate.  All aboard start wishing as hard as they can
to reach the other side of the galaxy, and suddenly the Ideon gauge glows
brightly: it seems they've gotten the Gate to react!  Tashiro bids the Soloship
farewell, wishing that the light of hope illuminate its path.  As the Soloship 
vanishes, Ryou recalls Cosmo's challenge that if he wants to understand outer
space, he should see it with his own eyes.  Well, that's what he's about to do,
and for the sake of defending the Earth too!

Next comes the rest of your people, and Daimonji reminds everyone what
destination to concentrate on.  Basara tells Lin Minmei and the galaxy to just 
wait, he'll make them hear his song soon enough.  There is a bright flash of
light...

Elsewhere, Gavil says that the banquet is ending tonight, and this is truly the
beautiful climax.  He orders Gravil to lower the curtain on the enemy - which
would be Focker and company.  The map weapon unleashed is ultimate beauty to
him, and leaves precious few of Focker's men left.  On the good side, all the
civilians are already evacuated, meaning there's nothing to hold them back.
Gavil tells them that their fleet's beautiful Spiritia has caused him immense
amounts of trouble - but as of today, he's going to deliver it all to
Gepelnietche.  Minmei is to thank for the fleet holding out this long, and
shrugs off Misa's apology for putting her in this much danger.  And she plans
to go on singing, for the people, and for herself.  However, Gavil has other
plans, and grabs both Misa and Minmei.  The rest of the fleet is of no interest
to him, and he orders Gravil to wipe it out.

With the Megaroad demolished, Gavil plans to take these two to Gepelnietche and
accumulate yet more beauty, and tells his soldiers to turn the remaining people
into lovely balls of exploding light.  Hikaru can't believe he couldn't do
anything to help the women.  Kakizaki figures the end has come, but Focker
irritably tells him to fire a missile or two if he's got time to whine.  This
is NOTHING compared to the final battle with the Bodolzar fleet, which at least
partially revitalizes Focker's Skull Squad.  He orders them to take formation
EF-9, and to take revenge on those who sunk the Megaroad.

  For a Skill Point, take out Gravil and Gavil within six turns, and take out
  Gravil first.

  Your people show up on turn 3, not exactly as expected.  The Exelion fleet
  was lost somewhere during warp, and the Macross 7 and Daikuu Maryuu were the 
  only ones to emerge here.  Exedore observes placidly that two out of five
  ain't so lousy a percentage as far as miracles are concerned, and Max and the
  other Valkyrie pilots are glad beyond words to see their comrades of the
  Skull Squad again.  Max quickly orders your people to assist the Skull Squad,
  and the Skull Squad are _very_ glad that the help Isamu and Guld were sent to
  summon finally arrived.  As your pilots get reacquainted, Exedore is shocked 
  to see a Protodevlin, an unspeakable creature which leads the blood of the
  Zentraedi astray.  Basara figures this is a great time to start singing, and 
  Gavil recognizes what Gepelnietche described as Spiritia Abnormality "C".
  Gavil figures he can advance Gepelnietche's dreams greatly if he can get a
  hold of this Anima Spiritia.

  Gravil has a field around it that basically reduces damage dealt to it.
  Basara's solution: sing at it louder.

  When you take out the Gravil, Gavil figures that the Anima Spiritia
  confronting him is _too_ beautiful.  Gravil is worth an Analyzer.  Gavil
  actually has a Minmei's Disc, presumably the latest CD.  Kakizaki then
  attacks, despite warnings from the others that Gavil isn't defeated yet.
  Gavil furiously tells him that there's nothing beautiful about him and
  promptly blows him up.  Gavil vows to pay the rest of you back with something
  brand new and beautiful, and vanishes.  Isamu can't believe that Kakizaki
  went and died right before his eyes, and right when help had arrived too.
  Focker vows to take revenge for Kakizaki and the Megaroad...

  You're not out of the woods yet though: City 7 is under attack by Gigil and
  his goons, who are out to take all the Spiritia in the entire city by
  teleporting it somewhere, but neither Gamlin nor Basara will let that happen.
  Basara demands that they hear his song, the same song that drove Sybil mad.  
  Gai orders everyone to follow Basara to defend City 7, and in rage Gigil
  plans to do an emergency Fold, even though the requisite energy isn't built
  up...

City 7 and the Alpha Numbers, along with the bad guys, disappear, leaving the
flagships behind.

On the fourth planet of the Barooda system, Gepelnietche is not pleased at
Gigil's actions.  Gavil shows him the captives, whose rather rude actions draw 
a sharp warning from Gavil that they're only being left alive to gather
information about their race.  Misa says that she's the representative of the
Megaroad, which they just sunk, and that she has a duty to find out about the
people who would do such a thing.  Gepelnietche obliges Misa, saying that their
creator named them the Epil, but that at some point in the past they became
known as the Protodevlin.  He tells his new "samples" that his dream of
creating a Spiritia Farm is drawing near, and explains that Minmei can
regenerate the Spiritia from her other samples.  Renewable energy!  Minmei
isn't sure how she's to do that, but Gepelnietche orders her led politely away.
As for your other fleet, Gepelnietche figures that the Anima Spiritia there is 
necessary for his dream to come true, ordering Gavil to see to it.  AND, since 
Gigil seems to have loused things up, Gepelnietche plans to go to the front
lines himself.  After all, new soldiers were gained in the last battle -
they'll need to be mind controlled...


Scenario 31E. Aoki Seijou na Chikyuu no Tame Ni ("For the Sake of a Pure Blue
Earth")

Cagalli leads Aslan to a small island at the borders of Orb, where Yzak is
waiting for him.  Aslan still finds Cagalli puzzling, and wonders aloud whether
he should thank her for what she's done.  Before she lets him go, she gives him
a Haumea charm stone, willing that it protect him through the dangers that
surely lie ahead.  Aslan rather bitterly asks her if she wants him to accept
such a gift after killing Kira, and she replies that she doesn't want _any_one 
else to die.  After she walks away, Yzak demands to know what kind of a
pathetic bastard Aslan thinks he is.  Aslan coolly replies that he fulfilled
their mission by taking down the Strike, and with barely contained fury Yzak
growls that that little feat has gotten Aslan a transfer to a special squad
under the direct control of the head of the National Security Council.  This
means Aslan's being recalled to the Plant for his new mission, while Yzak heads
straight into his role with Operation Spirit Break, the operation to capture
Panama.  Yzak doesn't stay civil for long, wondering aloud how the likes of
Aslan could get such a tasty assignment.  Aslan for his part apologizes for
what he's put[??] Yzak through, and thanks him.  This startles Yzak, and he
tells Aslan that next time around, _he'll_ be the one with Aslan as his
subordinate - and not to die in the meantime.

Meanwhile at Federation Army HQ in Alaska, Miwa is personally interrogating
Kazuya and trying to get him to confess to the Alpha Numbers' misdeeds.  Kazuya
tells him that no amount of hitting him will work: he believes everything the
Alpha Numbers have done is correct.  Miwa doesn't want to hear that and decks
him again, yelling that Kazuya's uncooperative attitude is about to end today. 
HIS side is the side of justice, and _he_ will be the one to lead the noble
armies of the Earth to victory.  Kazuya says that something within Miwa's head 
will need to be rewritten first for that to happen.  This earns him yet more
abuse, and Miwa tells him to say his prayers while Miwa goes and attends to a
little conference.  Kazuya furiously wonders how the hell Miwa regained so much
authority after being dismissed so soundly last time.

Meanwhile, Miriallia is still in a state of shock, oh and Flay too if anyone
cares.  As more of your people look downcast at this, Ryou points out that
everyone dies eventually - just that the timetable gets moved up a bit when one
steps onto the battlefield.  Shinobu is looking forward to much payback on the 
Zaft once you all get out of here, but Camille asks him to stop - he's had more
than he can take of this.  He's not suggesting you all just quit - rather, he's
seen too much killing and being killed, hating and being hated.  Nothing's
changed a bit for humanity since the War of Seals, and if that's how it's going
to be forever, he'd rather see mankind get...  He falls silent, and Judou
wonders what's gotten into him.  Camille asks who was right back then: your
side, or Quatro?  He now understands how Quatro felt, how he despaired at
humanity...

You've now been imprisoned a week, and Brit is holding up pretty well.  After
all, he got the same treatment from the Titans after the Balmar War.  So did
Ryuusei, who got tossed into solitary confinement for "national security" or
some other BS reason.  And actually, the Beast Squad's spent all kinds of time 
in the slammer for disobeying orders.  Amuro, Misato and Bright have it harder 
though, facing panel after panel of inquisitors every day.  Masato has heard
that Igor and Oka are part of the proceedings too.  What's fishy is how your
supposedly _independent_ squadron, and all the people who supported it, could
be coming under bureaucratic fire now.  Zechs notes that somehow the top brass 
are dead set against the Coordinators, and are determined to add your squad to 
their war effort.  Ryuusei can't stand the thought of them getting their filthy
hands all over your mecha, but Hiiro tells him to settle down - violence won't 
solve anything here.  In fact, your adversaries _want_ you to cause trouble,
meaning what you've got to do is wait for now and give Riliina and the Security
Council time to act.

One person who isn't holding out so well is Kusuha, who can't bear the thought 
of people who fought so hard for the Earth being treated this way.  Though she 
quickly apologizes, Brit realizes that the mental strain on Kusuha is becoming 
too much.  Meanwhile, Nana is worried about Kazuya, who's been taken somewhere 
separate from Amuro and the others, and remembers that Miwa is prowling around 
somewhere.  Hiroshi is losing patience with the fact that if you lift a finger 
you're "traitors", and if you don't you just get your asses kicked some more.  
Jun figures that Bright and Maryuu have some sort of plan to solve this mess,
as shown by their handling of Diakka as a wounded civilian instead of an enemy 
POW.  Bright even had the captured Buster dismantled and dispersed among many
other spare parts - it sure looks like Bright isn't planning to stay here long.
But until then, waiting is all you can do.

Flay then goes to talk to her estranged fiance.  Sai tells her that everyone is
very uneasy in the wake of Tolle and Kira's deaths.  He says that that's why he
can't comfort her right now.  Things quickly turn ugly, as Flay cries out that 
Sai ought to have understood: she didn't really care a thing for Kira! Sai
tells her to cut it out - she really _did_ love Kira, didn't she?!  How
couldn't she have loved someone so gentle as Kira was?!  Wrong, wrong, WRONG!
she shouts...

At the meeting, Miwa asks if Bright insists on asserting that his actions were 
in the best interests of all humanity.  Bright concurs, saying that if Miwa has
reviewed your combat records he ought to understand that.  Miwa points out that
it's also been asserted by others that that's merely a case of myopic thinking 
at the front lines, but Bright says that if HQ's orders were appropriate, he'd 
follow them.  However, there are many questionable points about the orders HQ
has given him, and he believes that the top brass are also making light of the 
threat from outer space.  What your people need to do is not quarrel among
themselves-  Miwa cuts him off, saying he's fully aware of the need for unity. 
That's why all disparate elements must be eliminated.  Bright points out that
the STMC have already reappeared within the Solar System - you must have a
treaty with the Zaft.  Miwa won't hear of it, saying that the Zaft are no
longer Earth humans, and are in fact the enemy every bit as much as the aliens 
and space monsters are.  Oka tells Miwa that that kind of thinking is what
produced the current degree of strategic confusion.  Igor concurs, saying that 
continued action against the Plant is nothing but profitless.

Miwa furiously asks if they've lost every ounce of military sense they once
possessed, but Oka says that this situation, where top leaders in the military,
government and industry have conspired out of personal prejudice, is what
deserves criticism here.  Miwa wonders what Oka is getting at, and Igor figures
the time has come to make it clear, especially since the Alpha Numbers are no
doubt sick of being cooped up all week.  Oka says the time has come to speak
your mind to the top brass, or rather to the organization calling themselves
the Blue Cosmos.  Miwa is about to cut him off when he receives a phone call - 
Miwa promises to thoroughly chew out whoever dares to interrupt his meeting.
It's the Chairman, and after he hangs up Miwa says that he's run out of time to
negotiate with your people.  The Zaft appear ready to descend from orbit and
assault the Earth.  He tells you that if you're soldiers you won't be able to
avoid this, and orders you on level two alert, ready to sortie depending on
what the Zaft do.  He reminds Bright that all of you are still under inquiry,
and if you pull any funny business you'll all be branded traitors.  He has Igor
and Oka sent to another room for more questioning, and tells Maryuu to stay
here for a message.

Miwa mutters that he'll shoot all of those traitors in the back if they give
him the slightest excuse.  He then tells Maryuu that the top brass intend to
change the Archangel's near-abandonment to the Alpha Numbers and reassign them.
Given that the Archangel and Strike were originally made to fight the
Coordinators, it's time for them to return to their original mission.  Several 
of the Archangel's crew are to be transferred, including Flay.  The plan seems 
to be to let lots of people watch her fighting for the memory of her departed
father, and take inspiration from that.  Miwa is sure she'll be able to help
the war effort other places than the front lines.

Kazuya is still fuming over his mistreatment by Miwa, planning to thoroughly
kick his ass as soon as it's proven that you all are innocent.  Just then, Oka 
comes in and observes that Kazuya seems to have been lynched by Miwa.  Kazuya
smiles and says that Miwa's punches are a mere bee sting to him.  Oka tells
Kazuya to go to the Ral Kairam, on his authority, and to use his fists for
justice once again.  He tells to Kazuya to listen carefully: he must not use
his fists on worthless opponents, and reminds Kazuya that his love with Erika
inspired many.  And at the end, he has a request for Kazuya not as
soldier-to-soldier, but as friend to friend: he wants him to tell Megumi to
live a strong life.  As Kazuya catches the import in his words, Oka tells him
to hurry, and that everyone's future depends on all of them.  As Kazuya runs
off, Oka figures that the Alpha Numbers are your trump card for the future.
He's resolved to sacrifice himself for their future, and indeed for the future 
of humanity.

Speaking of Diakka, he's to be transferred to the Archangel now that the Ral
Kairam has orders to move out.  Diakka figures that all Natural countries are
equally shitty, and Judou tells him to shut his ass.  Four assures Diakka that 
your people have no intent to mix him up in anything dangerous, but he tells
her that he's not such a little kid that he'd actually believe that.  He then
shrugs, saying his injuries are too severe to just charge you all, and he
reclines and says it's all up to your people.  Miriallia then comes in, still
in tears, and Diakka scornfully mocks her and says that he's the one who ought 
to be crying right now.  This provokes some kind of reaction, and he asks if
she plans to act violently towards him, a prisoner.  Or maybe she's scared of
him, or thinks of him as a curiosity.  He sarcastically assures her that he's
still firmly chained down, then notices that she hasn't stopped crying.  He
offhandedly wonders what the hell someone like that is doing aboard this ship, 
ignoring Judou's repeated warning and telling her that she'd be better off
leaving the army if she's so scared.  Or perhaps some good-for-nothing Natural 
boyfriend of hers died or something?

At that, Miriallia pulls out a knife, and your other people are barely able to 
restrain her.  Shouting in fury, she demands to know why a bastard like this is
here when her Tolle is gone.  Before Diakka can react, Flay levels a gun at
him.  Four points out that killing him won't solve anything, but Flay says that
all Coordinators ought to drop dead.  Amazingly, Miriallia throws herself in
the path of the gunshot, and Flay demands to know why she's interfering when
she herself was trying to kill their unwanted guest.  Miriallia goes back to
crying, insisting that she's different from Flay...

The main Federation forces are sortying en masse, since the presumed Zaft
target is Panama and the mass driver there.  This is an indispensable facility 
for sending objects from the Earth to support operations in space: its
strategic value is obvious.  Miwa has done what the Chairman asked: this base
is now only defended by the Alpha Numbers and a certain other squadron.  The
Chairman tells Miwa to get ready to move, and Riliina objects strongly.  He
soothingly tells her that her statements to the council will simply get moved
to a different locale.  She says that she's also in a hurry: over the course of
this past week, the emissary the council sent to the Plant reports that
preparations for peace talks are going quite well.  Clyne himself should be
willing to treat with you shortly, but the Chairman says that this hardly seems
the time to talk about peace, when this base could itself come under attack at 
any moment.  Besides, he's heard that Clyne is a mere figurehead.

Just then, it becomes clear where the Zaft are heading: _here_ to Alaska.  It
seems the Plant are out to settle the score quickly, and they've brought both
aerial and ground troops to do it with.  You've got to protect Federation HQ at
all costs.  Creuset sees that "that man" seems to have made good on his promise
to get all interlopers away, leaving the Alpha Numbers to him.  It seems
Operation Spirit Break was not about capturing Hammer at all, based on a slight
change in the leadership of the Council, to Zala.  Zala is broadcasting right
now in fact, telling his brave soldiers that the time has come to smite the
symbol of the Naturals' power, the Federation Army and in particular its HQ.
He asks them to show the world what true Freedom and Justice look like.  As the
operation starts, Creuset says that he's got a special assignment within the
base, and leaves command to his second.  Creuset figures he'd better check that
the item promised him is all in good order.  In any case, you've got to hold
out until the fleet sent to Hammer is recalled.

  One bad guy has a Magnetic Coating.

  With the first wave taken out, you've got about ten minutes until the next
  wave of Zaft arrive.  As the other Federation forces dawdle, you begin to
  wonder if you've been left to face the Zaft alone.  Surely the Federation
  military HQ wouldn't be sacrificed for that... would it?  Burning tells
  everyone to prepare for the eventuality that no help will come, and
  Kyoushirou is fuming over having to protect Miwa's ass.

  Flay does not want to get sent on her "inspirational" mission along with
  Natarle, and Natarle says flatly that it's orders from HQ: she's got to use
  this lull in the Zaft attacks to depart Alaska.  Maryuu thanks Natarle for
  all she's done, saying that without her the Archangel would probably never
  have made it out of Heliopolis.  Natarle then hesitates, but Maryuu says she 
  understands and that it's okay.  She smiles and says she also knows that she 
  herself isn't cut out to be a captain, and says that Natarle _will_ make a
  fine captain herself one day.  She looks forward to seeing her again,
  somewhere other than on the battlefield, and asks her to take good care of
  Flay.  Muu takes off too, and Maryuu specifically thanks him for all he's
  done.

  As for what's to become of the Archangel, Maryuu figures their job will be to
  cover the departing ship and then assist the Alpha Numbers in fighting off
  the Zaft.  With Tolle, Kira and now Flay gone, the Archangel is becoming a
  pretty lonely place...

  Inside the base, the Chairman is glad to see that the Alpha Numbers have
  dispatched the first wave, and suggests using this opportunity to escape.
  Riliina demands to know if he plans to simply hand over Federation Army HQ.  
  He tells her that the seat of command has already been transferred, leaving
  this base a mere husk - which is a military secret, and Lady Une asks why the
  Chairman knows so much.  He says that, as he _is_ the Chairman of the
  Security Council and all, it's his business to know.  Riliina challenges
  Chairman Azrael, asking if it isn't instead because he himself is the leader 
  of Blue Cosmos.  If "that's right" was his answer, what precisely does
  Riliina intend to do about it?  She asks him to put out the call to all his
  fellow Blue Cosmos members to stop this war at once - this is hardly the time
  for fellow humans to be quarreling on this planet.  Azrael quite agrees: it's
  hardly the time for her to be fighting him when the space monsters known as
  the "Coordinators" need elimination.  He tells her he's highly valued her
  charisma as the one-time "heroine of the era" - had she actually joined his
  side the monster hunting would have gone ever so much more smoothly.  Riliina
  had hoped to get a better understanding for what was going on in the world by
  directly working with him, but she figures she was simply being naive.

  Azrael tells her that he's had another idea: if Riliina, who wanted peace
  with the Plant, were to fall victim to Zaft attack, it would inflame the
  passions of the army so much more.  Just then troops loyal to him burst in,
  and he tells Riliina to swear fealty to him - if not, she'll have to serve
  his ends in some other fashion.  Riliina says that she has no intention of
  renouncing her ideals for achieving peace, and is about to bid Hiiro and her 
  brother farewell, when gunfire erupts from an unexpected direction.

  Azrael demands to know who it is, and a figure in the shadows says that this 
  is _exactly_ the time he'd normally make a dramatic introduction; but a
  villain like him doesn't deserve to know his name.  Azrael thinks he
  recognizes Haran Banjou, who figures it's only natural that the Chairman of
  the _weapons_production_committee_ would know his name.  Azrael isn't happy
  with all the trouble Banjou has caused the Blue Cosmos with his connections
  and money after the Haran Conglomerate was disbanded, and wants to know why
  Banjou, famous for his hatred of the Meganoids, would stand in his way.
  Banjou says that the Meganoids modified themselves because of their own egos 
  - a very different case from the Coordinators.  But, but, the Coordinators
  are monsters, an affront to the natural order!...  Banjou says that Azrael is
  about the only person actually spouting that nonsense.  He continues, saying 
  that should _all_ Coordinators cast off their human hearts and follow the
  same path as the Meganoids, he'll be right there on the front lines kicking
  their ass.  However, from what he's seen there are many heartful Coordinators
  left, no small few of whom are contributing directly to a bright future for
  the Earth Sphere.  Azrael tells Banjou to spit out whatever he's trying to
  say: it's that the truly evil people here are those who would use the present
  situation to pit human against human.  He tells Muruta Azrael to spew out all
  his evil beneath the Circle of the Sun, and to make Blue Cosmos depart the
  stage of history.

  Azrael is at the very least very quick at running away, and the good news is 
  that Riliina and Lady Une are still intact.  Banjou's men have entered the
  base, but they've found mostly empty space.  Just what were the top brass and
  the Blue Cosmos thinking, trying to hand the Alaska base over to the Zaft?
  Banjou doesn't know yet, but he's sure they're up to something.  Just then
  Garrison radios in to say that something a bit unfortunate has just happened 
  - the block they're in has just been sealed off, and it will take a while to 
  break through the walls.  Banjou figures that it's up to Alan and Beauty
  now...

  Muu is actually headed back for something he forgot, telling Natarle to go
  ahead to the ship and that he'll make it in time for the launch.  Miwa's
  fleet (with the Archangel in tow) then shows up, and Miwa wants to know why
  the Chairman is planning to give the base over without even a fight.  Azrael 
  says he has no need to explain his actions to a mere front-line commander.
  But, assigning the Archangel to the base's defense and giving command to Igor
  and Oka is...  Azrael says he's already gotten all the data he wants from
  that ship - its best use now is as bait.  Miwa can't figure this out, but
  Azrael asks him to get the ships moving quickly, before this place turns into
  a graveyard, not specifically of the Coordinators, but of anyone who gets in 
  his way.  Your people still have no choice but to wait for the fleet to come 
  back from Hammer, and at least Miriallia is back at her post.  As the Zaft
  attack, Maryuu momentarily forgets that Natarle is no longer by her side.

  Hiroshi is looking forward to finally facing the real threat, but Zechs
  figures that there's too few of them - the real enemy force is yet to be
  seen.  Sara for one doesn't mind facing wave after wave of bad guys, but Igor
  gets on the mic and tells them that recklessly charging ahead isn't how wars 
  are won, and Oka laments that Miwa's forces have made it out of the area.  He
  tells you all not to give up on the base or on yourselves: once the Hammer
  fleet is back you'll be able to restore the battle front in a little over
  five minutes.  Igor adds that Patrick Zala is staking his fate on this
  battle: meaning if you win here the Zaft will likely heed your requests for
  peace talks.  This is music to your people's ears.

  After you whittle the enemy down enough, Muu senses Creuset's presence.
  Creuset claims to be happy to see him, but says he has no time to hang around
  with him today.  Creuset figures that the fact Muu is here means that he's
  already made ready, and observes that the Falcon of Endumion has sunk pretty 
  low too.  Creuset runs off, and Muu wonders what the hell he's supposed to
  have made ready _for_.  Muu then runs into Alan, who tells Muu to evacuate
  everyone from the base as fast as possible, and no he doesn't have time to
  explain.

  With the second wave of bad guys taken out, Maryuu tells everyone to stay on 
  guard.  Sai wonders how Flay is doing - she's doing pretty lousy actually,
  having snuck off the transport and hidden out in the base.  She figures
  she'll never be allowed aboard the Archangel again, and yet doesn't want to
  be parted from everyone else.  She then runs into a Zaft, whose voice is
  like... her Papa! Creuset apologizes for knocking her unconscious (*kerpow!*)
  and figures that this meeting must be fate - so he hauls her along with him. 
  As he launches in his mech, he figures that the Alpha Numbers are the ones to
  be sacrificed, marveling at the intricacies of the Federation Army.  The
  stronger the protection, the more intriguing the treasure within becomes -
  and he certainly hopes your people's protection grows strong indeed.

  Maryuu lets Creuset's mech go, favoring focusing on the "second" wave (of
  main assault troops anyway...)  Yzak thinks your people look out of breath,
  and plans to stop your breathing entirely, in Nicol and Diakka's place.  Rei 
  figures that this _still_ isn't the end of the enemy forces, and Asuka
  wonders just where the hell the Hammer fleet got to.  Muu then launches,
  complaining all the while that he's not cut out for this hero stuff.  Muu
  tells a startled Maryuu not to worry about the transport, but instead to get 
  everyone out of here _fast_.  Igor adds his voice: they've just detected a
  Cyclops underneath HQ: a microwave-based incendiary system.  If activated,
  everything within ten kilometers of the base will be cooked like dinner in
  the oven.  Muu says that the hopes of support from Hammer were vain to begin 
  with: the Alpha Numbers have been used as a decoy to buy time.  Your people
  will be sacrificed, in in the process the better half of Zaft warpower will
  be eliminated - all according to the top brass's scenario.

  Is this just?  Is this humane?  Is this even going to work?  [o/~ Hell no, he
  replied!]  Maryuu says that if the objective was to lure in the Zaft, she
  judges her mission to be complete, on her authority, so no one else bears
  responsibility.  Bright belays that last statement, and repeats Maryuu's
  conclusion to everyone: you've fulfilled your mission, and orders everyone
  out of the area at once.  Muu will help, reminding Maryuu that he's the man
  who makes the impossible possible.  Bright wants to assume responsibility for
  this one, but Oka says it's his responsibility instead, and says that Bright 
  can't afford to be removed from command now.  He tells Igor to get all the
  other survivors out of here, that he's merely fulfilling his duty a little
  ahead of Igor.  Igor agrees reluctantly.

  Yzak isn't sure what your people are up to, but he plans to finish you off
  and orders his men to pen you in.  But just then another quad of mobile suits
  emerges from underground: Mobile Dolls.  The Federation seems to _really_
  hate you and the Zaft, and one of the Ghosts is sent over to cripple the
  Archangel.  There's no way to dodge or shoot it down, and it looks like the
  end is at hand when a new Gundam appears out of nowhere and wipes out the
  oncoming squad.  It's Kira, and he tells everyone that he's here to buy them 
  time to escape.  Bright agrees, and Kira announces to the Zaft that the
  Alaska base is about to self-destruct.  He asks them to cease fighting and
  escape at once, but Yzak isn't in the mood to hear such lame scare tactics.  
  Kira dodges easily, and tells Yzak to stop the unjust fighting at once.  Kira
  _told_ him to stop fighting, and asks if Yzak wants to die.  He repeats his
  warning to leave _now_, and Yzak's mind actually starts processing what's
  going on around him.  He realizes that something seems very wrong, and orders
  his men to retreat.  Bright concludes that things have gone far beyond the
  rules of war with the Mobile Dolls and the Cyclops and all, and tells your
  people to assist the Zaft retreat.  Oka adds his voice too, and assures his
  daughter that a crummy little problem like this won't spell his doom.

  For a Skill Point, ensure that _all_ the Zaft make it off this map while you 
  take down the Mobile Dolls.

  Defeat enough of the enemies and the remaining number will cause some to
  despair.  Things are doubly worse since Banjou and Riliina are trapped
  underground, with no way to rescue them.  Except, of course, for Hiiro.
  Garrison sends Hiiro the precise location of the room Riliina is trapped in, 
  and Hiiro plans to use his Twin Buster Rifle to get them out.  This is pretty
  reckless, but Riliina radios in to Hiiro and says that she can't die here -
  there's much that she must do to stop this meaningless fighting.  Hiiro
  understands, and tells her not to worry.  The first blast isn't enough to
  breach the wall, and Riliina unhesitatingly tells Hiiro to try again.  Zechs 
  realizes that that power of conviction is what makes Riliina so strong.

  The second shot works, and when some Mobile Dolls come to make life miserable
  for the escapees, it's Banjou's turn.  He summons his mech, and announces to 
  the Blue Cosmos and indeed to all those looking for a fight: his mech is
  Daitarn-3, crusher of all evil plots for the sake of the world and all people
  in it.  Should anyone be foolish enough to not fear the Circle of the Sun,
  they should come and get their ass handed to them forthwith!!  Banjou
  explains to Tetsuya that he's got his own reasons for dropping out of contact
  so suddenly, but says time won't let him explain.  Igor's got Riliina aboard 
  her ship, and Oka tells Igor not to protest - it's merely a question of whose
  time comes first.  Igor assents, and has the ship get out of Dodge at once.

  One of the enemies has a Booster.

  Yzak is furious that the Naturals would use Mobile Dolls against his people, 
  and figures that there's no choice but to fight to the bitter end.  The Zaft 
  are gone, but there's still more bad guys landing in your area.  Apparently
  they didn't hear your warning, a sure sign of how much they distrust you.
  Oka tells you all that time's run out and orders you to flee.  He was
  prepared for this to happen, and as a powerful energy source rumbles to life 
  beneath the base Bright orders everyone out at top speed.  Megumi doesn't
  want to leave her father, but Oka tells her to hurry and leave, and not to
  waste what he's done.  He tells her that even if he dies, his wishes will
  live on through her and the Alpha Numbers.  He leaves the rest to you, and as
  the Zaft begin to panic Oka says that it's partially his responsibility for
  not being able to stop the Blue Cosmos' schemes.  He entrusts all his brave
  children with the future of this world and of mankind.

Kira is welcomed back to your squad.  He tells you that for the past two weeks 
he's been at the Plant, where he got his new mech.  He says that he's not part 
of the Zaft, or planning to rejoin the Federation army.  This is his duty as
the recipient of his mech, and the meaning behind his continued fighting.  This
hardly seems to be the hesitant, cringing young man who disappeared two weeks
ago, and Quatre wonders precisely what happened to him at the Plant.  As Kira
and Maryuu start filling each other in on the past two weeks, Amuro and Bright 
worry about what happens now.  Seeing that you escaped the army plot to rub you
out, you'll probably be all treated as traitors.  You've got to resupply and
repair if nothing else - Oka's wishes must not be wasted.  And to do that, you 
need power - and Viletta knows just where to get it, where the Feds won't
bother you.  She suggests going to Tesla Raihi...


Scenario 31S. Kindan no Wakusei E ("To the Forbidden Planet")

Naturally, the Skull Squad members are having trouble with the notion that 35
years have passed for the Macross 7.  Hikaru in particular is shocked that the 
former Meltrandi ace has now become Max's "wife".  Miria primly tells Hikaru
not to use such outdated terms [it's a Japanese thing...], and Focker realizes 
that underneath the mature exterior Miria is still as feisty as ever.  Isamu
praises Focker and his men for holding out this long, but Focker says the final
result is the destruction of the fleet and the sinking of the flagship.  Not to
mention the abduction of Misa and Minmei and the loss of Kakizaki.

Anyway, to cut a long story short it seems that the fragments of the Megaroad
fleet have been harassed by the Barooda all this time.  The recon unit sent to 
Barooda was taken out, and their equipment upgraded and sent back to fight the 
rest of your fleet.  In fact, the reason the Megaroad itself held out so long
is Minmei's songs.  Her singing, in the midst of the darkest combat,
regenerated the life of those who had it sucked from them and at times even
acted as a Barrier around the ships.  Miria tells the Skull members to talk
with a certain specialist aboard City 7 about this second appearance of
"Singing Energy".  For now, they've got to gather the fragments of the Megaroad
fleet to City 7 and reunite with Battle 7.  The good news is that the enemies
that attacked City 7 seem to have Folded Out somewhere else.

Just then Gamlin brings in Mylene.  The Skull pilots wonder if this is Komiria,
though if it was she'd be some old maid at age 35 by now.  Miria archly asks if
that makes her, Komiria's mother, an even older maid, and Hikaru protests that 
he didn't say anything of the sort.  Mylene introduces herself, saying that
she's her parents' seventh(!!) child.  She's heard a lot about the Skull Squad 
from her parents, and Focker smiles and observes that said parents seem to be
getting along quite well.  Miria darkens at this, and Focker realizes that he's
said something he shouldn't have.

Gamlin saves the conversation by introducing himself to the legendary Skull
pilots.  Focker seems somewhat amused to hear of his recent deeds as though
they were in the distant past.  Anyways, Basara didn't heed Miria's request to 
show up - in fact, he basically vanished instead, and Mylene reminds her mother
that Basara isn't the type to take orders from anyone.  Miria digests this,
telling Gamlin to find Basara and make him sortie by force if necessary when
the time comes.  If not, there's every risk that the Vampires will invade the
city, and that can't be allowed to happen.  Miria then asks Focker to lead the 
Alpha Numbers' mecha, and he readily agrees, telling her to concentrate on
running the city.

Gamlin asks Mylene where Basara might be, but she hesitates, asking him finally
if he hates Basara.  Mylene knows that Basara's a selfish guy who causes the
military nothing but problems, and took note of Gamlin's displeasure when Miria
asked him to search for Basara.  Gamlin tries to explain this as nervousness
before his former instructor (Miria), and adds that he's got a lot to think
about regarding Basara.  He noted that when City 7 was about to be abducted,
Basara was the first to respond - faster even than Gamlin himself.  He won't
deny that Basara's been quite self-centered, and that he's gotten pretty pissed
as a result.  But looking at what happened at Brazilar, at Gibraltar, in the
recent battle, and at the effect of the Sound Therapy, he's beginning to think 
that Basara is actually someone very special.  Mylene thanks him heartily,
saying that acceptance of Basara is like acceptance of the Fire Bombers' music 
as a whole.  Gamlin smiles and says he prefers Mylene's singing to Basara's,
and although Mylene figures she's got a ways to go she appreciates him saying
so.  As a way of saying thanks, she gives him a charm that she received when
she was very little, with instructions to rub it if ever something bad
happened.  She tells Gamlin that when she does so, magic happens and the future
opens wide before her.  Or at least that's what she was told, and she's been
rubbing the heck out of that stone ever since.  She found later that all this
was mere superstition and took a lot of ribbing, but for whatever reason she's 
treasured the charm anyway.  Now, she wants the highly serious Gamlin to have
at least one frivolous thing to keep with him, which brings a smile as he
accepts.  The two then set off to find Basara.

Meanwhile, Sybil has fallen back to sleep, and Gigil furiously promises to
bring her plenty of Spiritia.  But "plenty" isn't plenty enough, and Gigil
can't figure out why Sybil refuses to awaken.  Someone then approaches, and
Gigil hides from... Basara!  Basara vows to make her hear his song, and Gigil
realizes that this Anima Spiritia might be just the thing to wake her up...

Gepelnietche's forces arrive, and Focker orders your crew not to get too
carried away and stray too far from City 7.  Gigil isn't pleased that
Gepelnietche would attack, knowing that Sybil is aboard this ship.

  On turn 2, Basara emerges, determined to make the enemy hear his song today. 
  Mylene demands to know where he was all this time, and Ray has to tell them
  to save it for later.  Focker orders the Diamond and Sound forces to defend
  City 7, but something is wrong - someone's taken over the controls of City 7.
  One of Gigil's men claims to be acting on Gepelnietche's orders, and Gigil
  tells him to leave that narcissistic monster be.  It seems clear that the bad
  guys have taken over City 7's engineering section, and Basara and Gamlin both
  rush to the scene.  Gamlin will let Basara sing as he pleases, while he
  protects City 7 as a soldier.  Basara's very glad Gamlin finally understands,
  and the two get ready to rock.

  Despite Gigil's objections, the lackey engages City 7's Fold drive.  Gamlin
  and Basara both charge in, getting transported away along with the Fold.
  Your other flag ships then show up, a second too late for Pete.  But Sakon
  isn't worried - he knows precisely where City 7 went this time.  Your people 
  return to their ships hastily and head off in pursuit...

City 7 has arrived at the planet Lax, a world Gamlin heard a separate colony
fleet began colonizing years ago.  Miria plans to ask Lax for help, and tells
Gamlin to keep an eye out for assailants, which there seem to be none of at the
moment.  Your other ships catch up quickly this time, and Mylene is rather
surprised to see that relations between Basara and Gamlin have improved so
suddenly.  That's just how pilots are.  Unfortunately, whoever took the
controls of City 7 has already vanished - and there's surely a reason they
folded the city here.  It seems there wasn't time to escape, as someone starts 
to Fold Out.

It looks like the Barooda flagship, meaning that the enemy seems determined to 
settle the score here.  The bigger the enemy is, the hotter Basara gets, but
Gepelnietche radios your people first.  She says that her people's 500,000 year
old dream is about to be realized.  She tells all you Samples to become drops
of that dream, and when Gigil warns her that Sybil is aboard the ship she's
targeting Gepelnietche says that that's but a mere bubble.  She tells Gigil to 
see her illusions too, and the unpleasant news is that there's no response from
the planet.  Your people were _supposed_ to be advance recon units, but you
seem to have bumped right into the enemy boss, PLUS you have no idea what she's
talking about.  Gai points out that you'd better summon your courage to face
this many foes, but Sanshirou points out that your side too is hardly a
pushover.  Max orders Miria to retreat with City 7 to Lax while your people
hold off the enemy offensive.  Gepelnietche tells Gavil not to worry about the 
escaping ship: the planet is already in the palm of his hand.  In which case,
he tells Gravil to show Gepelnietche just how beautiful destruction can be.
Gepelnietche is looking forward to seeing the Samples' Spiritia reach its apex.

  For a Skill Point, you must defeat Gavil and Gravil, and reduce
  Gepelnietche's ship to under 50k HP within seven turns.

  Gavil is worth a Biosensor in her beautiful defeat.

  After a few turns, things are looking bleak, and only get bleaker when some
  Imperial types show up.  But strangely, they're only attacking the Barooda,
  and Gepelnietche is very unhappy to see the people who are denying her her
  dream on the scene.  Ryuusei wonders why the hell the Empire are helping you,
  and their leader says that they can't afford to lose the Key that will help
  them defeat the Epil.  She calls this a mere greeting and takes off, and
  Viletta frets that a _very_ high ranking person is aboard that Jumoora if her
  data is correct.  But what would she be doing here?!

  Once you reduce Gepelnietche to 50k HP, your people marvel at how tough his
  ship is, and the consensus is that your people will have to break in and
  destroy the ship from the inside.  Basara and Gamlin hurry over, and Basara
  says that he wants to make Gepelnietche hear his song before Gamlin fills him
  full of missiles.  Gamlin says he's welcome to try, and the two rush in - or 
  try to, until Kinryuu (miraculously out of bed) speaks up and... tells them
  to go for it.  Basara is sure to make Gepel-whatshisface hear his song now,
  and Kinryuu will be damned if the Diamond Force can't at least take down one 
  lousy battleship.  He basically crashes himself into the flagship, opening
  the way for Basara's song to be heard.

  He breaks into the enemy bridge, promising to make Gepelnietche's heart
  throb.  It's not clear if this worked or not, but Daimonji orders everyone to
  retreat to Lax while the enemy ship is halted.  Fijika and Gamlin salute
  their departed leader, vowing to fight to the utmost in the name of the
  Diamond Force.  So, rest in peace.  On the bridge however, Gepelnietche
  recognizes the Spiritia Abnormality "C", and initiates Spiritia Dreaming...


Scenario 32E. Shugoshin no Miko ("The Priestess of the Guardian God")

Kira thinks back to his time at the Plant, staying at the Clyne residence.
Lacus greets him on the terrace, pleasantly urging him not to address her
formally after the week he's spent there.  Malchio is with her, presuming that 
Kira must have found it quite a shock to wake up here after collapsing in
Malchio's garden.  Kira is wondering why all this has happened to him, perhaps,
why he's still alive, and Malchio says it's because he is a SEED Bearer.  Kira 
then hearkens back to his fight with his best friend Aslan.  Neither of them
had any choice after each had killed someone dear to the other.  Lacus tells
him that neither are to blame - these things happen in war, and the two of them
were simply confronting their enemy.  The word "enemy" is a bitter taste in
Kira's mouth, and Lacus notes that Kira's dreams always seem sad.  He tells her
that they ought to be - plenty of people have died, and many by his own hand.  
Lacus points out that by him taking up arms, many more people have been saved. 
Kira doesn't know where he should go, or whether he should stay here, and
Malchio assures the SEED Bearer that the answer will come in time.  After a
moment, Kira tells Lacus that he must leave for Earth.  She warns him that him 
going by himself won't stop the fighting, but he says that he can't bear to
simply watch from here either.  He fears saying that there's nothing he can do 
lest it become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Lacus asks if he plans to fight the
Zaft once more, or perhaps the Federation, and he silently declines both.  He
then says that he now has some idea of who he _should_ be fighting, which is
good enough for her.

Lacus then has word sent to a certain place, that Lacus Clyne will sing a song 
of peace.  Her servant departs, and Kira gets his first glimpse of a new
Gundam.  It's actually named the ZGMF-X10A Freedom, but she agrees that
"Gundam" sounds a lot better.  She's heard that this is the brandest new mech
Zala produced by incorporating stolen Federation tech.  She believes it will
give Kira the strength he needs now.  She firmly tells him that both wishes and
strength by themselves are futile, and asks if this gift is somehow
disappointing to him.  Kira ponders her words, asking who she _really_ is
anyway.  She says that she's simply Lacus Clyne, and he thanks her.  She tells 
him to take care of himself, and says that her power will always be by his
side....

Sai wakes Kira from his dream, apologizing and saying that it's almost briefing
time.  Kira assures Sai that he's in good health, and then tentatively asks
about Flay.  Sai tells him that she's been transferred to Alaska along with
Natarle.  Muu returned from seeing them off, but the other two won't return any
time soon.  Sai says that he was crushed when he thought Kira died, and is
incredibly happy to have him back... but every time he sees Kira he realizes
just how pathetically squeebish he is.  Kira points out to him that although
there's things he can do that Sai can't, there's things *Sai* can do that he
himself can't.

Meanwhile, Astonage is explaining about the Freedom's Neutron Jammer Canceller.
Not all your crew realize how _significant_ this _incredibly_important_ piece
of technology is, so Sara helpfully explains: nullifying Neutron Jammers means 
that nuclear weapons become usable!  Should this fall into the Blue Cosmos'
hands, there's every likelihood that the Plant will get nuked, and Kira would
rather leave your people and even fight them if need be to keep its secrets
safe.  With a clarity your people haven't seen from him before, he says that
this is the mission entrusted to him.  Amuro points out that your people _are_ 
still attached to the Federation, and that you'll have to fight the Zaft at
some point.  Some of your crew point out that said Federation tried to feed you
to the Cyclops, but no one is precisely thrilled about joining the Plant side
either.  Megumi asks to speak, saying that she's her father's daughter and
isn't planning on moping any longer.  She also believes that the cancer
infecting military command hasn't corrupted the Federation as a whole - the
things her father and Igor fought for must still be valid.  Kira says the Plant
is the same way - it's far from the case that everyone there wants war.  Megumi
says that the question now is not who you claim as allies, but who you intend
to fight for and against.

Which is all very well and good, but if the Federation decides to accuse you of
cowardice in the face of the enemy, you'll just get subjected to another court 
martial.  Like many among you, Judou can't figure out how the military, which
admittedly had its share of imbeciles and hard-headed bastards, could have sunk
this low as a whole.  Banjou and Alan have some information about that, and
Banjou figures that he'd better off sharing what he knows.  He explains that
there was a revolution of sorts within the military after the last war.  The
people driving that revolution were the same people who led the dismantling of 
the Haran Conglomerate, giving the "civilian" Banjou and his people a glimpse
of their identity.  It's the Blue Cosmos, whose anti-Coordinator views were all
too similar to the anti-alien sentiment which naturally swept the Federation
after the previous invasion.  As they gained more political and military
influence, Banjou also saw a troubling pattern of companies connected to the
Blue Cosmos expanding rapidly.

At the same time, Alan was off gathering information on his own.  And _he_
noticed an even more alarming trend: nuclear weapon stockpiles were being
consolidated at certain locations.  All this pointed to a power grab by the
Blue Cosmos, but by the time they realized it, it was already too late: the
Zaft had risen to Blue Cosmos provocation and kicked off the war.  Hiiro points
out to an indignant Hilde that it will be no simple matter to reverse the
damage now - people won't easily join hands when those hands are covered with
each other's blood.  The mutual hatred now runs too deep, but there's still
hope: as Megumi said, the entirety of the Federation has yet to fall under the 
Blue Cosmos' sway.  This means that if you can take out the instigators,
there's every hope that the Federation can be coaxed back to sanity.

The target is Malta Azrael, Chairman of the Security Council.  Alan and Banjou 
had actually learned that Azrael was coming to the Alaska base, but as you know
failed to actually nab him - and lost Oka in the process.  Megumi assures Alan 
that her father isn't dead, and Ken'ichi agrees - his will will live on in your
people as you root out the Blue Cosmos and halt this senseless war.  Amuro
tells Kira that that's what the Alpha Numbers have always been about: fighting 
to save _everyone's_ future, and Kira happily agrees to help.

However, Camille finds he can't muster that kind of optimism.  He asks if he's 
really got to fight for a future for the very same people who tried to wipe
your people out.  Must he try to protect people who insist on endlessly
squabbling amongst themselves?  No matter how long you fight, you're simply a
convenient tool for a small number of power brokers.  Kusuha can see where he's
coming from.... but there's no time to ponder the question as the alarm klaxons
go off.  Word comes from Tesla that the Subterraneans are on the attack, having
apparently given up on Japan.  Viletta comes to the unpleasant conclusion that 
the Subterraneans might be after... "that".

Robert is refusing to give any information to Ikima or his goons.  Ikima tries 
to punish this impudent human, but someone steps out from the shadows and
blocks his sword.  Ikima demands to know who, but Zengar is in no mood to talk.
Retzel _is_, but he seems more interested in letting his sidearm make his
points for him.  Flora meanwhile is wondering what the heck is taking Ikima and
Amaso so long to gather a little info.  She figures that she'll just have to
take the base over by force and starts blasting, and Amaso and Ikima, angry
about getting caught in the crossfire, flee.  The Subterraneans' sure victory
over the "lightly defended" lab is short lived as Zengar and Retzel appear.
The Marshal of Hell, also in attendance, recognizes the Double G series mech
from the Divine Crusaders, and has heard that they, like him, are after that
pesky little girl.  Looks like attacking the lab was the right thing to do
after all.  And, given they've got the numerical advantage, the humans don't
stand a chance, right?

  For a Skill Point, take down the Marshal or Flora within five turns.

  Your people will show up once Zengar and Retzel take enough punishment.  Your
  people are not happy to see the Marshal here, and the feeling is definitely
  mutual.  Camille meanwhile is still feeling the aftereffects of Alaska...

  Once you get the Skill Point, a bunch of Muge forces show up.  Shapiro greets
  your people, and hears from the Marshal that the little girl seems to be in
  this area - as though she was your people's shadow.  Shapiro orders his men
  to start pummeling your people in the hopes that she will appear.  She does
  in fact, and the Marshal berates your people roundly for not recognizing the 
  real meaning behind Irui's power.  Banjou pooh-pooh's this, but challenges
  the Marshal to try and explain anyway.  Shapiro won't fall for that, and to
  make matters worse the Golar Golems appear.  Irui makes as if to flee, and
  when your people beg her to wait and explain what's going on, she says
  "Apocalypsis" - the climax of the galaxy has already begun.  She tells you
  not to lose and vanishes, and Shapiro figures he's just received some divine 
  wisdom out of all of this.  He plans to follow the "priestess", telling
  Helmet to take care of things here.  Helmet isn't happy to hear that he's
  been hanging out all for the sake of some little brat, but Shapiro says that 
  she's _the_ "priestess": the key to make Muge's wishes come true.  The
  Marshal and Flora decide to head off in pursuit too, leaving you to face down
  Helmet and the Imperial forces.  Bright asks Zengar to go off and keep Irui
  safe while your people handle things here.

  Helmet is worth an Analyzer PlusPlus.

There's no rest for the weary, as a Federation battalion closes in after the
battle is finished.  Since you sent out no callsign, you can only assume that
these are your pursuers from the Blue Cosmos faction.  It's not in your best
interest to cross swords with them now, so your people have no choice but to
flee the scene like common criminals.

Robert then contacts you with news that Zengar lost sight of Irui.  It seems
she really doesn't want to hang out with your people, but given the
circumstances it also seems she was desperate to tell you about the
"Apocalypsis", whatever that is.  Viletta asks Rob to keep you posted if he
figures anything else out about Irui or Apocalypsis.  Rob then tells Ryuusei
that it will still take time for "that" to be completed.  And although the
Leios Plan has solved most of the problems with power output, with no physical 
possibility of Twin Contact now...  Ryuusei once again curses the loss of his
powers, but Rob won't hear of it - he promises Ryuusei he'll get the thing up
to at least minimum operational capability, and tells him to concentrate on
doing what he can for the Alpha Numbers.  Ryuusei, still unhappy, agrees
nevertheless.

Miwa tells Azrael that your people are expected to flee to the Orb.  This
strikes him as very convenient, and decides to actually let your people make
it.  This somehow fits into his schemes for obtaining the Orb's aid, and he
says that he plans to go to the scene in person, and orders Miwa to hold
station at Hammer.  He thinks he can get Synapse to do his dirty work, but
Synapse's typically grim expression could hide just about anything...

At the Plant, Patrick is filling Aslan that the entire Clyne faction is to be
placed under arrest.  Given how Lacus let an enemy spy fly off with their new
mecha, plus her and her father's disappearance and the revelation of the true
nature of Operation Spirit Break.  Even a child could see that the Clynes are
guilty.  Aslan says that he'd been told Spirit Break was targeted at Hammer,
but Patrick irritably says that there could be no other target than the
Federation army HQ if they wanted to finish the war quickly.  He gripes that
the nobility like Siegel Clyne and Irene Kanarver can't seem to grasp that, and
says he'll be damned if they cause him any further problems.

He also gruffly forces his son to address him by military rank, and Aslan says 
that he still can't believe Lacus would have dealings with a spy.  Patrick
grimly says that suspecting _her_ would be the last thing on his or anyone's
mind if not for the footage that proves her guilt - whatever Aslan says, guilty
is guilty.  He tells Aslan that his engagement to Lacus has been annulled
already: though it hasn't been publically announced, she's considered a traitor
to the nation and a fugitive.  Patrick then orders Aslan to go and recover the 
stolen X10A, and to wipe out its pilot and every person and facility it's ever 
been in contact with using the X09A Justice.  Should recovery prove impossible,
he's to destroy it.  Aslan doesn't sound happy about the "every person and
facility too" bit, and Patrick tells him that the 09A and 10A are both
outfitted with Neutron Jammer Cancellers - if the Feds get their hands on one, 
they'll merrily go nuclear.  And _that_ must be prevented at all costs...


Scenario 32S. Infinity Soul

In a sealed chamber in the Protodevlin stronghold, Gavil is the first to see
Balgo, haughtily telling him that _he_ would never wake him from his slumber.  
It was in fact Gepelnietche who did so, who tells him that he saw him in his
dreams.  Amidst the distant gleam of stars were some whose gleam vanished,
their brilliance gone.  It was the dream of a philosopher or poet, and upon
hearing it Balgo says his power is always his in time of need.  Gavil doesn't
seem so happy to hear that...

It's been two weeks since your forces landed on Lax, with the enemy waiting in 
orbit above.  Max says that your flagships must be repaired before tangling
with the enemy again, and Exedore reports although the GGG investigated area
1030, the result is the same as yesterday: zero survivors.  Max is beginning to
fear that all the colonists here really were killed off by the Protodevlin, but
Exedore says that no bodies were found either.  That, and the interference of
the Imperial army in the last battle, are of even more concern - even if the
Empire is at war with Barooda, it's unclear why they'd help _you_ out.  In the 
meantime, Max has regretfully had Exedore spying on Basara's private time,
since without him your whole team are screwed.  Some good news is that Sakon
and Chiba have almost completed a certain gadget, which might just turn things 
in your favor if you're lucky.  Max has Exedore send Ray the operating manual, 
and Exedore observes that Max is looking very tired.  He placidly brushes aside
Max's concern for his crew and the city, saying that he'll make all the
necessary arrangements.

This apparently meant sending Miria to his office, and she arrives agitated,
wondering what on earth might require Max to want to talk to her directly.  Max
fumes over his chief of staff's gambit to cheer him up, but before another word
can be spoken Focker and Hikaru show up at Exedore's behest too.  This feels a 
bit better, and Max smoothly says that he simply hasn't had a chance to catch
up on old times since everyone rejoined.  Miria attempts to excuse herself, but
Hikaru blithely says that surely she can spare an hour.  Focker is quick to
spot Max and Miria's exchanged glowers, and decides to trust the old saying
"good enough friends to quarrel".  Hikaru once again expresses amazement that
35 years have gone by for Max, and Max who's actually _lived_ that 35 years is 
equally amazed that Hikaru and the others haven't aged a day.  [Gah! Feeling
thin! And stretched! Like butter over... too much bread! *thud*] Max surely
isn't too happy about getting to be Rip Van Winkle, and it's clear that this
was no timeslip - Focker says that he's sure there were many smiles and many
tears during all that time.  Miria says dangerously that she spent much of the 
time pissed off, and after an uncomfortable pause Hikaru says that while he was
certainly impressed at... "mayor" Miria's youthful appearance, he's even more
surprised that Max doesn't even begin to look 50.  In fact, he still looks like
he's in his 20's.  THOUGH, Miria says, _hearts_ still seem to change over time.
Focker's eyes narrow - the old ace pilot Miria seems to be _every_ bit her old 
self despite the vastly different settings.  Perhaps too much so.

Max then smiles and assures Hikaru that although he may not look it he's
certainly had his share of hardship all this time.  Before Hikaru can protest
that that wasn't what he meant, Max says that he'd like to think he's got
enough vim and vigor to be the best man at Hikaru's wedding.  He then drops all
smiles, saying that footage confirms that Misa was taken aboard the enemy ship,
and Minmei presumably was too.  The implication is that they're both still
alive, and all you've got to do is go rescue them, and Focker says that Hikaru 
marrying Misa would be a fine way to celebrate the rescue.  He tells Max to get
ready for best man-hood, but Miria tells him not to forget that that honor must
be accepted by both the best man and his spouse.  Max is shocked at this, but
Miria says haughtily that she's still concerned about their reputation and
about Mylene.  The look on Max's face would certainly have terrified anyone
across the battlefield from him.  Speaking of Mylene, Hikaru recalls that she's
got a concert today, under the guise of a "Landing on Lax" ceremony...

Mylene is totally into it, but Basara frets that while he's tied up here Sybil 
is still sleeping.  Won't his songs reach her?  When Mylene asks if he's okay, 
he shrugs it off and gives himself to the music.  The rest of your people are
in the audience - a sure testament to how reticence of a dude _singing_ on the 
battlefield has evolved into admiration.  Ryouma can't explain precisely what
led him to this concert, but he says that something about Basara's "earnesty"
seems to have done it.  Basara seems fully aware that life can be lost in
battle, and yet he's determined to sing anyway - strength of will that not just
anyone possesses.  Kusuha wonders what drives Basara to put his life in so much
danger just to sing, and Brit realizes that she's still deeply troubled.
Hayato shrugs and smiles, figuring that whatever drives Basara to sing is
probably beyond all your understanding anyway.  But whatever it is, your people
can feel its effects in their hearts.  That includes Gamlin, though it may be
the case that he's more interested in the Fire Bombers' _other_ vocalist...

The following day, Gamlin goes and pays Mylene a visit.  He recognized that
something was strange about Basara at the concert, and Mylene says that lately 
Basara seems preoccupied even during practice.  He disappeared after
yesterday's concert, and indeed he's been out of sorts ever since landing on
the planet.  Gamlin assures her that Basara will be alright - he's a man who
does what he has to do.  Mylene is surprised that he'd take Basara's side, and 
after some prodding Gamlin says that he's had his doubts, but that he never
_hated_ Basara as such.  His attempts to explain further only make Mylene start
laughing.

Basara meanwhile is back at Sybil's resting place, determined to wake her up
today.  Gigil has been watching this process for the past two weeks, wondering 
how long the Anima Spiritia is going to keep him waiting.  He's coming to the
uncomfortable conclusion that there isn't enough power.  Basara is getting
frustrated himself, but Gigil bursts out and slugs him in the face more than
once, yelling that he's the only one who can wake his Sybil up.  That somehow
seems to do the trick [@_@;;;], and Gigil furiously wonders who the hell's sake
this guy sings for.  Actually, who _is_ Basara anyway, or come to that, who is 
_he_ anyway?!  ARGH!  So confusing for poor bald-headedness boy.

You don't have long to wait before the Protodevlin return, with their monster
in tow.  The civilians are already evacuated, so your people sortie.  Gamlin
vows to keep the honor of the Diamond Force intact, and even had Docker back in
the saddle to help take revenge for Kinryuu.  Basara isn't here at the moment, 
but Mylene like Gamlin believes that Basara will do what's right and appear in 
due course.

The bad guys show up, and Balgo can feel the breath of the species which can
regenerate its own Spiritia.  Gigil is definitely not pleased to see that
_Balgo_ has been brought back, and the rest of your people are quite alarmed at
the sight of this new bioweapon.

  For a Skill Point, take Balgo down inside six turns.

  On turn 3, Gavil and his pet show up.  Gavil tells Balgo that it's impossible
  for him to make Gepelnietche's dreams come true - that beauty is reserved for
  him alone.  Balgo tells him to do whatever he wants - assuming he can do
  anything at all.  The new arrivals look like they're after the flagship, but 
  Basara flies onto the scene, apparently fired up and ready to rock.  Gavil
  instructs Gravil to take out the Anima Spiritia, whose beauty is searing.
  Mylene meanwhile hears anger in Basara's voice, wondering what's going on.

  After Balgo is damaged enough, Gravil makes his move on Basara.  Max asks if 
  "the item" can be launched, but Chiba says that Basara currently isn't
  putting out enough energy to use it properly.  Max wonders what the hell
  Basara is doing, and Basara after a moment yells at the bad guys to quit
  their attack and listen to his damn singing already!  WHY THE FUCK WON'T THEY
  LISTEN TO HIS SINGING?!?!  Basara transforms, and it looks as though he's
  about ready to launch missiles when Gamlin intervenes.  The moral suasion of 
  your people works, as they tell him to _sing_ and leave the fighting to the
  rest of them.  Basara gets his groove back, and the other band members join
  him.  Gavil, astounded, wonders if the Anima Spiritia is truly unlimited or
  something, and Chiba finally launches the Sound Boosters, devices to convert 
  singing directly into energy.  Depending on the singers, these can bend light
  and even space-time itself! [O_O].

  Gavil is worth a Custom OS.

Balgo will content himself with having seen the Anima Spiritia with his own
eyes and depart.  You quickly pick up a distress signal from someone on your
side, and Max scarcely finishes ordering some mecha sent in that direction when
the alarm sounds.  Someone is Folding Out very near the surface of the planet. 
It's the Soloship and Ideon, guided here once again by the will of Ide... or
something.  Cosmo is quick to notice the Alpha Numbers waiting for them, and
observes irritably that they seem to be hostages to Ide as well.  Meanwhile,
they've brought some stragglers from the Baff Clan, led by Geejay.  He has no
idea where he is, but tells his men to concentrate on the foes before them.  He
too is wondering if the whole damn Baff Clan is now caught up in the whole Will
of Ide business.  Cosmo doesn't actually want your help, still determined to
survive under his own power, but Ryouma and the others won't just sit idly by.

  One of the bad guys has a Booster.  Geejay is worth a Linear Sheet.  He
  furiously orders his men to send the distress call as his squad goes down in 
  flames.

Max would like to invite the erstwhile Soloship crew in for tea to chat
civilized-like, but the Battle 7 isn't exactly in great shape either.  Bes
realizes how precious a body meeting a body is, combing through all the rye in 
the wide universe, and isn't going to waste the chance.  At Daimonji's urging
everyone vacates the area before the Imperial army or someone shows up.  In
fact, after everyone is gone, a certain Imperial presence shows up, musing over
all the forces who have somehow gathered on this forbidden planet.  It
certainly _does_ seem like the key to Apocalypsis is here somewhere.  And unto 
him who controls that key shall be limitless power.  Preeeety neato.

Bes explains that after using the Gate to leave the Solar System, his crew DS
Outed some 30,000 light years away from here.  The Gate indeed answered their
wishes to go to the distant backwaters of the galaxy, but thanks to that homing
device put on the Soloship during the fragdown on the Moon, the Baff Clan
dogged their every step.  In fact, the organizational prowess the Clan has
shown in following them everywhere is even more impressive than their
firepower.  What's more, every time the Soloship tried to flee using DS Drive, 
they encountered something very strange: singing!  They are all positive they
heard Basara's songs while in subspace.  While Daimonji recalls Chiba saying
that the Sound Energy could affect space-time, it's rather shocking to hear
that it actually... happened. @_@  Somehow, it seems that Ideon likes Basara's 
songs or something, which explains how they eventually DS Outed here.  Now it's
only a matter of time before the well-organized Baff Clan overrun this planet
too... well, if not for the Barooda in orbit.  Max says that given the crazy
physics that led the Soloship to Fold Out right near a planet's surface,
everyone had best save Folding as a last resort - it seems the Soloship is now 
imprisoned on a planet, and not a very hospitable one at that.

Just then word comes in about that Federation distress call: it's _Kakizaki_,
who had been brainwashed and acting as one of the Barooda.  This leads to the
unpleasant realization that all those Barooda you've been fragging down with...
are Earthlings.

Basara finds Gamlin and slaps him five, grateful for the attitude adjustment
during the battle.  Your people are all grateful for Basara's help in fact...
except for Cosmo who comes over and blames Basara for his people getting
dragged to this planet.  Cosmo notices that Ryouma's here too, and venomously
says that it seems Ryouma and friends can't run away either.  From Ide, or from
the neato monsters encircling this planet.  Cosmo has heard somewhere along the
line that Basara's songs work on said monsters, and tells him to sing his guts 
out.  Basara seems unimpressed with afro child, who announces that that's all
he wanted to say and stalks off again.  Mylene then runs over, saying he did a 
great job in showing the monsters who's boss.  It's immediately clear that
Basara doesn't like the sound of "good job", but Mylene blithely continues that
it was Basara's songs that wiped out the enemy.  Basara gets increasingly
furious, yelling that his songs aren't some kind of murdering tool.  Mylene
seems puzzled, saying it's not murder when you're fighting monsters, and with a
vicious scowl on his face Basara turns and strides away.

Basara returns to Sybil's resting place, in anything but a good mood.
Unfortunately, soldiers have followed him and announce that they're about to
haul Sybil away.  Basara tries to get them to stop, but the soldiers tell him
that any further resistance will be interpreted as obstruction of the army.
Basara says fuck the damn army, and that he won't let any of them lay a single 
finger on Sybil.  An altercation quickly breaks out, with Gigil getting into
the act too.  Basara frantically begins to sing, begging Sybil to awaken.  As
the soldiers watch in confusion, Sybil actually opens her eyes...


Scenario 33E. Akatsuki e no Dasshutsu ("Escape to the Dawn")

Aslan visits a public park in the Plant, finding Lacus waiting for him there.  
She had left her Haro behind, which faithfully led Aslan here.  Aslan asks
what's going on, and she says that surely he's heard by now.  Aslan, shocked,
asks if she really _did_ deal with an enemy spy, but she says that she did
nothing of the sort: all she did was give Kira a new sword.  It was something
he needed, and something suitable for him to bear.  Aslan goes white as a sheet
- he, he... Killed Kira? Lacus asks.  Aslan's confusion turns to anger: what
the hell is Lacus up to, trying to make him believe something so impossible.
She says that Malchio brought Kira to her, and Kira told her of their battle.  
If he doesn't believe her, surely he's seen something here at the Plant he
could believe.  A cloud falls over her normally placid face, and she demands to
know what Aslan is fighting for: for his rank?  His father's orders?  If so,
Kira may well become his enemy once more... as well as she herself.  If they
become enemies, will he, Aslan Zala of the Zaft, shoot her? A voice from the
shadows asks her to let matters lie - they must be going.  The figure tells her
that Malchio has left safely, and Lacus, placid once more, thanks Aslan for her
Pink-chan.  She tells Aslan that Kira is on Earth, and suggests that he talk
with his old friend before vanishing into the night.

Meanwhile, the Orb have indeed taken in Bright and his crew, though Uzumi asks 
Bright to understand if their movements are restricted for now.  Pretty much
the entire anti-Blue Cosmos nucleus is together, and Riliina explains that the 
poison of the Blue Cosmos has spread farther than is apparent to the eye.
Almost every organization who you might turn to for aid is being systematically
taken over by the Blue Cosmos, just as the Plant is falling under the sway of
the warmongering Patrick Zala.

A nasty news item is played back: the Zaft used a tactical EMP codenamed
"Gungniel" during the Hammer operation.  It reduced all the unprotected
Federation hardware to so much scrap metal, and all the pilots aboard were
systematically slaughtered, presumably in retaliation for Unius 7 and for the
Cyclops incident.  Supposedly the Federation forces at Hammer attempted to
surrender, but the Zaft would not heed and pressed their attack.  Riliina
allows that things may have passed the point of no return already....

In any case, the number of fugitives from the Blue Cosmos gathering here is
growing by the day, including many engineers from Anaheim who can see to
maintenance for your mecha.  Also, new gear has been streaming in from the
various friendly laboratories worldwide, and Uzumi will have his people help
install it for you.  In the meantime, he tells you all to watch and listen to
world events, and consider well the meaning of the military uniforms they wear.
After Bright and Maryuu take their leave, Riliina announces that she will
journey to Japan to report all this to the Security Council.  Just as the Alpha
Numbers are fighting, she intends to do her part in the battle as well.  As
does Uzumi.

Kazui is wondering what will happen to you all, now that you've pretty much
left the military...  Banjou corrects him, saying that your battalion is
independent and if sanity can be restored to HQ the charge of fleeing before
the enemy will surely be rescinded.  That assumes you can get them to listen:
if not, not just you but all your civilian collaborators will surely face
punishment.  Masato asks Alan why he hasn't gone to see his father, and Alan
says that he's in the middle of a mission... and has nothing to say to his
father either.  Banjou laments that even after finally seeing eye to eye this
father and son can't seem to stand each others' presence, and Shinobu opines
that they're too much alike.

Amuro meanwhile is looking for Camille, who may be off in the hangar.  Judou
asks Amuro if Camille is all right, and Amuro allows that he doesn't know.
This battle is freighted with far more philosophical meaning than anyone could 
have predicted.  To think that this struggle between different strains of
humanity would be waiting instead of the peace your people had fought so long
for may have been too much of a strain for Camille.  Or perhaps, Camille is
beginning to feel despair, just as "he" did.  Judou angrily says that that
couldn't be: Camille's surely no copy of Captain Quatro.  How could Camille
give up now?! Amuro says that he's quite right, and says that you've really got
no option _but_ to believe that Camille can pull through: that Camille can
arrive at a different answer when faced with the same problem Char was.

Cagalli meanwhile is filling Kira in on Aslan, and on Aslan's tears over the
thought that he'd killed Kira.  Kira figures that neither of them had much
choice, after each had killed the other's friend.  Kira agrees that they were
old friends: Aslan always seemed to be the responsible one, looking out for
Kira all the time.  Cagalli wonders why Kira would try so hard to be on the
Federation side that he'd fight with someone so close to him.  He tells her
that he figured if he didn't, _everyone_ would die... and perhaps in his heart 
of hearts he simply never believed that he'd actually have to kill and/or be
killed by his best friend.

Camille walks over to berate Kira for holding such a convenient notion.
Cagalli tries to come to Kira's defense, but he tells her it's okay - he's
quite aware that he may have been turning his eyes from reality until now.  And
now, Camille asks?  Kira will do what he can and what he hopes for - he can no 
longer stand the way he was or the progress he wasn't making.  Camille notes
that Kira's changed quite a bit, and Kira says with a smile that he's met an
awful lot of people aboard the Archangel, at the Plant, and among the Alpha
Numbers.

Muu then runs over to Kira with a question.  The Strike has actually been
repaired, and he wonders if Kira would mind him piloting it.  Cagalli was
actually hoping to do that, but Asagi and Mayura tell her that Erica didn't
forget about her either - assuming, Juri says, that Cagalli can actually handle
it.  Cagalli explains that these are all Morgenleite test pilots: kind of iffy 
at the controls, but very good with their mouths.  Asagi feigns being wounded, 
saying that they're every bit as good as Cagalli is.  That's about the size of 
it, Muu says, and asks if Kira and Camille could perhaps lecture them on how to
pilot a MS properly.  Camille says that he's not in the mood now and excuses
himself, and Juri observes that he seems to be the temperamental type.  True,
but usually not _this_ bad.  Kou then walks over, noting that his little plan
to cheer Camille up seems to have failed.

Miriallia has brought Diakka some food.  There's a question behind the bitter
expression on his face - he admits to being surprised that she of all people
would be the one bringing him food.  When he tries to stand on ceremony, she
tells him to call her by her real name, without honorifics.  He falls silent,
and she sets down the tray and makes to leave.  He then asks her to stop,
haltingly asking when and how her boyfriend died.  She has to describe the blue
and white fighter her boyfriend piloted, and Diakka mumbles that it wasn't him.
He tells her that there's no one else around this time - if she wants to kill
him, she can get it over with right now.  She makes no move, and simply regards
him in silence, until the level two alert klaxon makes them both jump.  This is
very strange, given that they're safely in the neutral Orb nation....

It's the Federation army, who have come with an ultimatum for those treacherous
Orb bastards.  It requires 1) the president of the Orb to abdicate his post
immediately, 2) total disarmament of the whole nation, and 3) immediate hand
over of the fugitives from the Federation army, as well as their
co-conspirators.  Should they not comply, the Federation will judge the Orb to 
be in league with the Zaft, and respond with force.  Uzumi asks them what kind 
of farce this is: have they lost their sanity along with Hammer?  Why the hell 
are they so bent on dividing the world into "friend" and "foe"?!  Must the Orb 
cast off its own principles and fall in line, attacking the foes it's told to?!
Even should they give in to the Federation today, tomorrow they'll simply
become the second Hammer debacle.  The flames of war stretch before him on both
roads.  The Ral Kairam is on level two alert, and the Archangel is undergoing
final preparations for launch.  Uzumi says they must not be allowed to fight,
which would play into the Federation's hands.  Igor protests, but Uzumi says
that his people are good for more than just wringing their hands: though he had
hoped to avoid it, he has indeed prepared for this day.

Azrael asks for Synapse's read on the situation.  With grim face and lowered
visor, Synapse doubts that the Lion of Orb will yield.  Azrael muses that Orb
seems determined to keep its neutrality no matter what, and figures that former
representative Asaha hasn't betrayed his hopes.  He was actually worried what
to do if he _had_ accepted the demands, which Synapse greets with stone
silence.  One more question: does Synapse think the Alpha Numbers will sortie? 
He offers one word: "probably".  Azrael congratulates him on his knowledge of
his old companions, and merrily assures him that the flagship Albion won't be
directly involved in the battle.  He settles back to spectate on the battle,
which will also be a test of sorts.

In fact, they've mass produced the Strike Gundam, and Erica fumes that your
side hasn't finished setting up the M1 yet.  As the attack begins, Azrael asks 
that the military not take out Morgenleite, which he still has plans for.
Uzumi tells Igor to evacuate to said Morgenleite, and to let him carry out his 
mission to see your people through.  He says it's time for the parents to
entrust everything to their children, for the sake of a wider world tomorrow.

Bright and your people do indeed sortie, and Bright says that this entire
operation is in doubt, requesting an immediate ceasefire to discuss the matter.
The Federation stooge accuses them of funny business in Alaska, but Bright says
that that was their right as an independent battalion and that the Security
Council is already fully briefed as to the rationale.  The stooge asks if
Bright intends to obstruct the takeover of the Orb, and Bright says that
depends entirely on whether they're willing to withdraw.  Well, that's gotten
the Alpha Numbers branded as an anti-Federation element.  The evacuation of the
Orb civilians is proceeding smoothly, but Keith is aghast that you've got to
fight people from your own Federation, and led by the Albion no less.  Burning 
is sure that Synapse wouldn't be helping the Blue Cosmos unless he has a plan, 
and tells everyone not to attack the Albion.  As for the rest of the soldiers, 
Amuro says that this is a private Blue Cosmos squadron, much the same way
Jamitov's private army-within-an-army was.  Bright tells everyone to avoid
directly shooting at the enemies' cockpits or powerplants.  He has to remind
some of your hotter-headed people that the enemy you _should_ be facing aren't 
these dudes.  Apparently, this fight will have to go on without Camille...

  For a Skill Point, blow away everyone _but_ the Albion within eight turns.
  Piece of cake.

  Once you take down enough of the enemy, Camille runs into Kazui, somewhere
  _other_ than the Archangel.  He's left the ship, though he knows that the
  others think him a coward or unfair.  And in fact it's all true - but there's
  nothing he can do.  Anguished, he yells for the people who can fight to go do
  so before sinking into a ball of misery.  Camille tells him that everyone
  knows he's done his best, and after a moment assures him that he'll be able
  to see everyone again when peace returns, if he can live that long.  With
  renewed determination, he tells Kazui to hurry up and evacuate: this place
  will soon become a battlefield.  Kazui asks Camille to look out for the
  Archangel and the Alpha Numbers for him, and Camille still seems to have a
  lot on his mind...

  On turn 2, Maryuu is getting nervous as repairs near completion - she's about
  to have to fight the Federation army for real.  She asks Muu why he returned,
  and he says he never expected her to ask him _that_.  He gives Maryuu a very 
  unexpected dose of affection, and when she manages a breath she murmurs that 
  she hates mobile armor pilots.  He says that he's a mobile suit pilot now,
  and it appears that Maryuu won't have to worry about the Archangel for a
  while.

  Meanwhile, Miriallia explains to Diakka that the Feds are attacking the area.
  The Archangel itself will come under fire soon, and she asks him to leave the
  ship.  He wants to know why the the Archangel is going to fight the Feds, and
  she says that it's because the Feds are fighting the Orb.  This makes no
  sense to Diakka, and he asks if Naturals are like totally retarded or
  something.  Miriallia manages a rather half-hearted "well excuuuse me" and
  says he'll have to fend for himself once the fighting starts.  She tells him 
  that his Buster was originally developed here anyway, and is waiting for him 
  at Morgenleite.  Diakka can't believe this is happening, and after a moment
  Miriallia apologizes for the way things turned out.  He asks if she's really 
  going to fight, and she says that it'd be only right since she's the CIC
  officer - and the Orb is her country anyway.

  Kill more bad guys and the Archangel sorties, as does Muu in the newly
  refurbished Strike.  He asks Kira to give him some pointers every so often,
  and explains that Cagalli has her own mech, one of the Orb's mass production 
  Strikes.  The other test pilots are on hand too, and Cagalli tells them not
  to forget that the Orb's future is riding on this.  Shinobu isn't sure what
  to make of the warrior princess and her lady knights, but Banjou says that
  Cagalli's wish to fight is genuine - and that's what counts most under the
  circumstances.

  Azrael likes these new opponents, and has the Albion moved into position.  He
  sorties his own warriors, warning them again not to damage Morgenleite.
  Their mecha are all based on the Strike, and Kira senses something strange
  about their pilots.  Azrael tells said pilots that he went to a lot of
  trouble to get them, and hopes they meet his expectations.  Synapse asks
  Azrael if he isn't going to sortie "them" as well, and he tells Synapse that 
  he's keeping his other specialist as his trump card.

  After damaging the newcomers enough, they get impatient and make for the
  Archangel directly.  An unexpected force repulses them, however; it's Diakka,
  finally on the right side of this conflict.  Diakka yells at the Archangel to
  get out of the area, and comes over to help.  He says that he's no friend of 
  the Federation army, and isn't planning to get taken out along with this
  entire island anyway.  He hails the Archangel, and asks them to keep him from
  getting shot in the back.

  Your people quickly realize that these enemy newcomers are anything but a
  team - that said, their movements are that much harder to predict.  Kira
  struggles to figure out how to fight these two enemies at once, but a voice
  in his head tells him to worry about only one of them.  It's Aslan, who
  appears from overhead.  He tells Kira that although he's from the Zaft
  military, he has no orders regarding this conflict: he's here of his own
  volition.  PHEAR DA PHUNK when Kira AND Aslan are on the same page.  Aslan
  then tells Kira that he knows damn well that there are some things that can
  only be protected by fighting.

  As you take down the last of the original bad guys, Azrael complains to
  Synapse about all the unexpected obstructions to his plans.  Synapse
  laconically notes that that's the way battle goes, and says that the Alpha
  Numbers and Orb have more allies than he realizes.  Azrael shrugs and says
  that he'll just make up for that with superior numbers.  He sends out more
  reinforcements, which Banjou rather wishes were being sent to a _different_
  battle front.  Azrael is sure that even the Alpha Numbers can't fight this
  many adversaries at once, and plans to have them finish off Uzumi as well.
  "Them" means a trio of Hammurabis, lead by none other than Yazan.  He's very 
  much alive and says, as usual, that he won't die until he finishes you and
  Camille off.  Azrael gives Yazan his target: destroying a certain building
  and everyone inside including Camille.  Except...

  Camille isn't there - he's off to the side, and REALLY upset to see Yazan
  here.  He tells Amuro straight out that he doesn't know if he can fight any
  more, but upon seeing the red Gundam and all the rest, he's come to want to
  see a bit more of what lies ahead, if his power holds out.  That suits Amuro 
  fine, and he says that he'd hate to see Camille tread the same path that he
  and Char once did.  He tells Camille not to forget that he's got friends on
  his side.  Meanwhile, Camille starts chewing Yazan out for repeating the same
  mistake time and again and sticking his ass in Camille's crosshairs.  Well,
  every time he does, Camille is gonna fill it full of lead: that's how _he_
  does things.

  But wait, things are about to get messier yet: a battalion of Muge forces
  approaches the scene.  Helmet briefly laughs at how you are all now
  apparently traitors and forced to fight your own kind.  His plan is to turn
  this whole island into a sea of fire, but first he sends his ground troops in
  to raid Morgenleite for data.  Camille can't shake Yazan enough to go to Igor
  and the others' assistance, but Shinobu hurries over and tells Alan to use
  the speed of the Blackwing to handle the rest.  Alan hesitates, and Shinobu
  yells that he's not asking him to save his father - he's asking Alan to save 
  _everyone's_ father and commander.

  Alan accepts, and things are pretty bad inside the base as the Muge have your
  people completely surrounded.  Igor is going to lay down his life to open a
  passage for the others, yelling that it's his duty to protect hope for the
  Alpha Numbers.  By the time Alan arrives, Igor has been badly wounded.  Alan 
  can't bear to hear his father's voice weakening, but Igor sternly asks if the
  others have escaped (they have) and tells him to join his other four children
  in defending this world.  Alan is forced to bid farewell to the last great
  general, and his father...

  Alan reemerges, growling through his teeth that his father must have been
  satisfied with how fucking noble his end was.  Helmet taunts your
  powerlessness some more, but Alan says that your people still have the power 
  to stake your lives for what you believe in.  Hazuki gets on the radio and
  says that he's releasing the last seal on Dancougar, something he's held in
  secret for when all five of the machines were assembled.  They form Final
  Dancougar, the true Uber-Beast Machine God.  Synapse urges Azrael to ally
  himself with the Alpha Numbers and face the nonhuman menaces, but Azrael
  figures to have said menaces do his dirty work for him...

  Yazan has a Linear Sheet.

  Azrael will feign disappointment that even though he's fortified the Gundam
  pilots so much, they can't seem to accomplish jack against your people...

  After taking down a certain number of enemies, Uzumi tells you that your
  brave actions have allowed the people of Orb to escape.  He asks you to
  follow in their footsteps, saying that as you all know perfectly well it's
  only a matter of time until Orb falls.  Your people don't like to hear this, 
  but he says that the people are out of harm's way and means of supporting
  them and you are already seen to.  He plans to bear the remaining burden by
  himself, and says that though the Orb will perish, other things will not.
  The Federation is still being manipulated by Azrael, and Patrick Zala has the
  Plant in the palm of his hand.  If they aren't stopped, the flames of battle 
  will surely burn the various strains of mankind to ash.  If you don't like
  the sound of that, he instructs you, bear your own small flame with care away
  from this place, even if the road ahead is hard.  Your people agree to this, 
  and he says it will take four more turns until your escape path is ready.

  Helmet is worth a Megagenerator.

No sooner have you defeated the first wave of enemies than you detect the
second wave on the inbounds.  Bright orders everyone out of the Orb at once,
but before they do he orders them all to salute the Lion, Uzumi Nara Asaha.
The Beast Squad are certainly determined to carry on Igor's good works, and
tell their departed father figure to rest in peace.  Cagalli meanwhile doesn't 
want to leave her father, but he tells her that everything will be for naught
without someone to carry on his ideals.  As Cagalli still wavers, he tells her 
that she's got an older "brother" to look out for her.  Kira leads her away,
and Uzumi wishes Haumea's protection upon them all.

As the Archangel prepares to leave the area last, Azrael orders Synapse to try 
to at least stop it.  Synapse orders the ship to pitch up fifteen degrees and
fire its main cannon.  Pasarof momentarily protests, but then carries out
Synapse's order, firing RIIIIIIGHT past the Archangel.  Maryuu uses the chance 
to escape, and as every building on the island begins to self-destruct Synapse 
orders his ship out of the area too.  Uzumi says this is as it should be - he
won't let his nation become the tool of evil.  He entrusts the future of all
the people and the world to your people as the entire island explodes...

Azrael meanwhile is very unhappy at the thought that Synapse may have
deliberately missed.  Synapse meets the accusation with his typical stone
silence, and Azrael says he's got ways of making him talk.  Synapse says that
everything that happens aboard his ship is his responsibility, and he will not 
have punishment fall on anyone but himself - provided that Azrael can do so
with a totally clear conscience.  Miwa then calls up, and an irate Azrael tells
him that he's busy and asks him to save it for later.  Miwa stammers that it's 
an urgent message from Zeele, and Azrael inwardly curses the quick hearing of
the old men.  Regaining his smile outwardly, Azrael tells Miwa to assure them
that his next plan is already in motion, and that he'll explain the rest to
them in person.  Synapse remembers who Zeele is and their role in manipulating 
NERV, and isn't pleased to hear that they're in league with Blue Cosmos.
Azrael for his part is peeved that Zeele seems to want more puppets, but
decides to content himself with all the proof he's gathered today that the
Alpha Numbers should be dismantled.  He figures that the Security Council
couldn't possibly take their side now...

Aslan, frowning, tells Kira of his orders to recover or else destroy the
Freedom.  However, he feels no enmity towards Kira or his... fellow soldiers
now.  Instead, he wants to talk with Kira, and the feeling is mutual.  Cagalli 
is about to interrupt when hordes of your people stop her.  Aslan finally
smiles, saying that Cagalli knows full well how much of a fool he is.  He tells
Kira that he had been content to simply follow his country's orders, fighting
who he was told to fight and figuring he had no other choice - and hoping to
end the fighting even one day sooner.  But who was is _real_ enemy, and how
should he have fought it?  Kira asks Aslan to join him and the rest of your
people, as a way of searching for those answers.  Aslan, still frowning,
protests that he's killed one of Kira's comrades and tried to kill Kira
himself, but Kira says that he's done the same.  Both killed people they didn't
know, not by choice but by the horrible whim of this battle that keeps
devouring the world of peace.  If this keeps up, mankind will be eviscerated
both from without and from within, and that's why Kira fights: to build a world
that people can still live in tomorrow.  Aslan now knows clearly who Kira is
fighting with, and Kira says that Cagalli's father was quite right: on the
Federation or Zaft side, the outcome would have been the same.  Aslan finally
smiles again and agrees to join his strength with Kira's.

This all seems well and good, but Asuka points out that Miriallia can't be too 
happy about all this.  She is not in fact, but has realized that even killing
her boyfriend's killer won't bring him back.  Besides, she wants to end this
war as quickly as possible, lest more people like her occur.  With a long face,
Diakka decides to stay with your people as well, swayed in part by Aslan's
little speech.  He grimaces and admits that matters have passed beyond the
point where he can think only of the Plant - something he hadn't been willing
to admit to himself until now.  Banjou smirks and says that it's pretty clear
that there can be no optimism in the situation you're in now, but that anyone
willing to fight by his side is a friend to him.  That said, your people are
now on the run from the Federation army, and have little choice but to go into 
hiding for a while.  Banjou will send Nina and Erica to Icarus, beyond the easy
reach of the Blue Cosmos - and there's some good news coming out of that base. 
The other half of the Alpha Numbers is back from outer space, and just walked
in to find you with that look upon your face.  You'll get the full details of
their cosmic exploits when you see them in person, and all you can do now is
pray that the Security Council can keep Blue Cosmos in check...

Cagalli then asks to speak to Kira and Aslan in private.  She has a photograph 
of two babies together: her, and... Kira!  Kisaka entrusted it to her father
long ago, and when her father said she had a brother around he apparently
wasn't kidding!  Kira has no idea if this makes them twins or something, or who
the person is in the picture holding them both.  And if Cagalli is really
Kira's sister, her father is...  Kira tells her gently not to think about it:
Uzumi _is_ her father, period...


Scenario 33S. Uketsugishi Isan ("Legacy Bequeathed")

Kakizaki is relating his experiences until now, on a barren, frozen world he
and the other Megaroad people were taken to.  Said planet is the fourth in the 
Barooda system, a planet which a recon team reported finding something like
"ruins" on before contact was lost entirely.  Kakizaki and the crew were in
fact taken to those ruins, and inside was a gigantic...  Kakizaki begins crying
and moaning, incapable of saying whether Minmei and Misa are there or much of
anything else for that matter.  Chiba says that even hypnosis hasn't been able 
to get past this point in Kakizaki's memories, but at least it's now clear what
the Barooda are about: stealing members of other races throughout the galaxy,
draining them of their life force, and then using them as hypnotized soldiers. 
The fact that Kakizaki's mind control has been broken is probably thanks again 
to Basara's singing, and Chiba figures he's got more research to do.

Whatever is lurking in those ruins is liable to be your next major foe, and Bes
sounds rather grim about how Ide seems determined to bring his crew into
conflict with the monsters that destroyed the Megaroad fleet.  Could it be that
Ide wants you to take that monster down?  That _seems_ unlikely given how
different in kind and scale the Barooda are from enemies you've faced until
now, and Sakon really wishes there was some information to help formulate your 
strategy...

Exedore think he knows who the enemy is: Protodevlin, a foe the Zentraedi have 
tangled with before.  It's on record that a single Protodevlin once wiped out
an entire Zentraedi fleet, and if more of them were lurking out there it might 
explain why the Zentraedi's sphere of operations has shrunk so much over the
past year.  Max tells Hikaru that while he doesn't want to admit it, the
ability of the Protodevlin to annihilate the battle-bred Zentraedi and
Meltrandi is no mere fairy tale.  As for getting more information about them,
Max says that in fact a certain girl from the enemy will shortly be brought
aboard Battle 7.

HOWEVER, Sally calls in to say that that sample has suddenly woken up and flown
out of City 7, and that Basara (who got in the way of grabbing said sample) is 
in pursuit in his Valkyrie.  Max orders the other fighters sent off in pursuit,
including the Alpha Numbers.  Cheryl wonders again if Basara's singing has
really led them to this planet, and Bes tells her not to overthink things.
Ide, the fusion of the will of the Sixth Culture, may be one thing, but surely 
one man (and a singer at that) _can't_ have _that_ kind of power.  Right?

Some time later, Goshogun returns from an unsuccessful attempt to find Basara
or the girl.  The Macross Plus people are up next, and Juuzo asks Kusuha if she
can't just find Basara with her psychic powers.  She tells him that those
powers aren't that all-purpose.  That may be, but wouldn't she just try anyway?
She apologizes and walks off shortly, leaving him to wonder if he's said
something wrong.  Hyouma says that he has indeed, and notes that Kusuha has
been acting strangely ever since running into Irui back in Tokyo.  Your other
pilots have pretty much figured out that Kusuha is having doubts about her
powers, which have been the source of so much travail in her life.  Juuzo sees 
the wisdom in this, and agrees to lay off that kind of conversation with her.

Mylene meanwhile is blaming her own words to Basara for his departure.  She
knew full well how insistent Basara was about how what he does isn't fighting, 
but _singing_, and yet talked about his songs as though they were weapons.
Bihiida says that that has nothing to do with it, shocking everyone in
attendance that she can actually _talk_.  She says that right now Basara is
looking for something, and Ray agrees.  He sensed Basara's anger of late, and
is sure it has something to do with this current fiasco.  He assures Mylene
that it's not her fault, and Gamlin tells her that Basara is sure to come back 
once he's found whatever he's looking for.

The other Diamond Force members then run over, saying that Basara's been
spotted... as has a set of "ruins" that surfaced from the bottom of the ocean. 
Exedore seems _extremely_ interested in investigating those ruins, and Battle 7
is to head to the area at once.

The Reideen crew are on the scene, but Basara is gone, having flown off at high
speed.  Akira seems distracted by something, and it was his abrupt change of
course that led them to these ruins in the first place.  Akira recalls that the
voice of Reideen led him here, but the voice was very different from that which
had given him warnings all this time.  Max wants Exedore to tell him why he's
so interested in these ruins that he insists on seeing them with his own eyes, 
after being such a recluse all this time.  Exedore can find no other words for 
it but to say that he's got a "premonition".  If that premonition is correct,
your people are about to get their hands on invaluable data to help unlock the 
mystery of the ancestors of both the Zentraedi and Earthlings.  That's right:
these ruins appear to be created by the creators of the Zentraedi and
forefathers of humanity: the Protoculture!  Among the vast data he possesses
was a hint that the Protoculture once lived in this region of space, and with
the ruins in sight there can be no further doubt.

Sybil is flying around, with an admiring Basara and a rather unwilling Gigil in
tow.  Apparently they're on a tour of the entire galaxy thanks to Sybil, and
Basara feels a song coming on.  Sybil apparently approves of the Anima Spiritia
very much...

Meanwhile, Gepelnietche and his henchmen are marveling at the indecipherable
ruins which have appeared on planet GGT.  Gepelnietche recognizes this
Protoculture relic, and feels some sort of threat from it.  He orders his
people to obliterate it, and Sybil too, lest his dream come to naught.
Gepelnietche fears Sybil as the force that could bring everything to ruin...

As the team begins to explore the ruins, Ryuusei asks Viletta why he was chosen
to come along too.  She says she wanted to show him the ruins, and when he
protests that he's no archaeologist Akira points out that this is a very rare
opportunity to explore another race's culture.  Akira is very much interested
in archaeology, his father's field of study and the link to the ancient Mu
empire whose guardian god he now pilots.  Viletta is imagining that if
Psychodriver abilities are one of the Protoculture's legacies, perhaps contact 
with these ruins will restore Ryuusei's power.

Exedore meanwhile explains that he brought Akira because he's a direct blood
descendant of the Mu.  It's clear that Reideen contains memories far more
ancient than modern mankind, and he suspects that the Mu are connected all the 
way back to the Protoculture themselves.  What's more, Akira says that these
ruins actually surfaced in response to Sybil and Basara - Mylene figures this
is as good a place to wait for Basara as anywhere.

Soon your people encounter a massive mural detailing the history of the
Protoculture.  What's more, there is writing, quite close to the language the
Zentraedi still use.  Exedore begins to translate: "We are the proud people who
first obtained civilization, amongst all life forms who draw breath in the
Universe.  Thus have we named ourselves 'Protoculture'."  Yup, this is clearly 
the work of the most ancient and largest-scale civilization in the galaxy, who 
probably are connected with the Sixth Culture and likely Akira's mom, the Mu
princess Lemuria.  Exedore continues: "We of the Protoculture made for
ourselves a humble village, eating of the fruit of the trees, catching the fish
of the waters, and dwelt in peace.  In time, we fashioned tools of iron,
devising the implements of agriculture.  Our people grew in number as we tilled
the earth, dividing in two places.  We learned the manufacture of goods, the
governance of people and means of trade, and all other knowledge as befits
society."

Cheryl observes that this parallels humankind, and Exedore goes on: "At length,
we ventured forth to space, and a struggle between two factions befell us.  The
flames of battle soon engulfed the whole of the cosmos.  Lest we dirty our own 
hands in vanquishing our foes, we built for ourselves warriors, the giant
Zentraedi.  As conflict escalated still further, we did build the Epil,
stronger yet in battle than the Zentraedi.  The conflict raged beyond thought
of ending, till at the last our fate was sealed by the Protodevlin."

Exedore tells a surprised Gamlin that many theories regarding the
Protoculture's fall had been advanced until now.  Among them are assault by
some outside foe like the STMC, or perhaps a Complementation Project intended
to _avoid_ that assault.  Destruction by the uncontrollable Zentraedi or
Meltrandi were also candidates, as were the Protodevlin.  Cheryl notes that the
Protodevlin, sappers of the very will to live, are surely the enemy of all
intelligent life.  So, where precisely did the Protodevlin come from, another
dimension?  Exedore thinks that a clue to their whereabouts is contained here, 
but Gamlin says that you've come to the end of the corridor with the mural.

But wait, there's some final writing: "You who are Proof of Peace, touch and
your path shall be opened."  This is the key phrase, and Mylene tries to get a 
closer look.  She stumbles, bashing her finger against the writing and cutting 
it slightly.  As if on cue, the huge stone blocking the path forward slides
aside, and what they see next is enough to make Exedore swear.

An unseen voice from the Protoculture then addresses the Proof of Peace,
announcing that it is he who sleeps in the ruins, awaiting the appointed day
for passing the word of the Protoculture to those to come.  With a hint of a
smirk, Exedore observes that you seem to have woken whoever it is up, and the
voice says that the Proof of Peace is she in whom is mingled the blood of the
disparate peoples - namely, Mylene.  MAN are you lucky that at least one
Earthling and one giantess managed to get busy and have kids!!  The voice
intones that it has waited long for this day, and tells you who wield peace
that an energy being from another dimension has possessed the Epil, creating
demon-like beings called the Protodevlin.  As your people gape in astonishment,
the voice continues that the Protodevlin have drained all Spiritia from every
living thing in the galaxy, without which they can't go on living.  This
presumably is the soul or spiritual force that your people have been losing of 
late.

The voice says that the Protodevlin's draining of Spiritia was too
uncontrolled, and before long the last Spiritia-bearing beings in the galaxy
were on the brink of ruin: both the Protodevlin and those they feed on were
surely to be ruined.  With their reserves of Spiritia waning, the Protodevlin
lost their might, and a certain miraculous power sealed them away in sleep.  As
Exedore is about to inquire what the Anima Spiritia is, Viletta spots an
intruder and fires a warning shot in her direction.  This person steps out of
the shadows, saying that she's following the same mystery you are and telling
you her name: Etsilla Toolar.  Ryuusei has heard that name before: she's the
chief priestess of the Ze Balmariy Empire!!

Just then the ruins flash, and a warning rings forth: "Utterly destroy the
approaching Protodevlin.  Give succor to the Anima Spiritia, for where he
dwells is the impermanent world...  The memory vanishes, and Etsilla wonders
idly if it's somehow her fault for eavesdropping.  Ryuusei demands to know what
she's doing here, and she says that she like you wants information about the
Protodevlin, who have been causing the Empire considerable trouble too.
Exedore observes that they seem to have an enemy in common, though Etsilla says
drily that she hates admitting it to another of her people's ancient enemies,
the Zentraedi.  She says that the Empire has no plans to join hands with the
Zentraedi and Meltrandi like the humans did, unless they all want to become
Imperial subjects.  Akira isn't impressed by the Empire's version of moral
suasion, though Etsilla says it's worked pretty darn well until quite recently.

This confirms Viletta's suspicions that this is why the Empire didn't send more
troops during the War of Seals, and Etsilla lazily notes that they've also had 
some recent troubles with people turning traitor.  Viletta is content to glower
back, but Ryuusei says that Etsilla's way of looking down on everyone is
exactly like Hazar.  This puzzles her for a moment until she realizes he's
talking about Shiva's little boy, who like his father is stuck on the idea that
if he can just get the Key all his troubles will be over.  She laments how this
small-minded boy's pride could cloud his vision when the activation of
unlimited power is so close at hand.  Cheryl wants to know what she's talking
about, and the answer is "Apocalypsis".  Exedore is now genuinely alarmed for
perhaps the first time in his life: that word is graven in his memory even
deeper than the "Protodevlin".  Etsilla tells you all that she merely wants to 
know more about the power that will set it in motion, and about the people that
power has already enslaved.  Is she referring to the Soloship's crew?

Etsilla says that that's an incomplete answer, and in any case notes that the
surfacing of the ruins has advanced the clock somewhat.  Ryuusei tells her to
shut it and warns that you won't be in the palm of the Empire's hand forever.  
Akira agrees, vowing to sink every ship the Empire sends.  Etsilla sighs and
says that the people here seem to be stuck on themselves too.  She asks why you
all are here - well, 'cause the Protodevlin were chasing you and...  And why
did you go to Protodevlin airspace in the first place?  Yes indeed: both the
Epil and Hazar's task was to lure you out into space, to get you to fight not
only the Protodevlin and the space monsters, but also the Baff Clan.  After
all, it makes no sense to have your superb combat abilities wasted squabbling
over one puny planet.  The Empire merely invited you to a bigger and better
battlefield.  This sounds like a VERY sucky deal to your people, but before you
can try to detain the Imperial priestess, the sound of explosions reverberates 
through the ruins.  Etsilla notes that the crew who hates these ruins seem to
have arrived, and thanks her lucky stars that she'll be able to watch the
Apocalypsis gears turning with her own eyes.  Sakon demands to know what
Apocalypsis is, but Etsilla says that the knowledge she's gathered is hers
alone.  But don't worry, you'll learn very soon with your own bodies what it's 
all about, and what that unlimited power is for too.

She then flees, and your people must make their escape too.  Exedore, not at
all out of breath, still blithely laments how his first trip outside in ages
has turned into a full-blown marathon.  You've now got _lots_ of new riddles to
ponder as you run...

Aboard Battle 7, a puzzling tactical situation has unfolded.  The orbiting
Barooda fleet fired two mass strikes against the ruins, but haven't pressed the
attack further.  There's heavy jamming, and it's anybody's guess what's really 
going on around here.  Max has the ruins recon team recalled and has the other 
flagships head to the scene too.  The Protodevlin troops arrive just in time
for the rest of the Alpha Numbers to get ready to rock.  Gai warns everyone to 
avoid the enemy cockpits, as there are humans inside.  Akira for his part is
feeling a bit dizzy - what's this unease in his heart?  The presage of
Apocalypsis, whatever that is?

[This is the battle of the infinite Protodevlin.  You'll see what I mean.]

  On turn two, a bunch of Baff Clan show up, their numbers considerably
  depleted by the Protodevlin gauntlet.  Dalam is now here in person, and
  Geejay warns him that the Logo Dau giant isn't the only formidable foe on
  this battlefield.  Dalam figures his people have no choice if they want the
  Orme Conglomerate to look kindly on them when they return.  Given how Geejay 
  left the army to study Ide more, Dalam is looking forward to his valor.
  Dalam thinks he can just grab the Power of Ide and haul it back to Baff,
  which means killing off the pesky Logo Dauians and ignoring everyone else.
  Too bad for them that Balgo senses that they too can regenerate Spiritia.
  LUCKY for them Balgo is only interested in the immediate threat to
  Gepelnietche.  Your people will have to confront both foes at once, and when 
  Mylene sounds like she doesn't like the odds Focker tells her to keep her
  chin up, like both her parents would.  Akira's unease hasn't stopped yet -
  could it be that you're in for even worse?

  As the battle proceeds, the Empire shows up.  Etsilla tells her forces to
  start blasting the Soloship, disabling its engine.  She figures that the
  conditions are now right for "it" to appear.  She tells your people to show
  you your power.  Life _really_ sucks, but there's no point in fretting how
  low the chances of victory are - it's not as though you've lost yet.  That's 
  when the orbital bombardment of the ruins resumes, accompanied by the voice
  of the leader of the Protodevlin.  He plans to make you all dream a dream of 
  neverending freedom and joy on this promised world - in return for which
  he'll drain your Spiritia, and go on doing so until the end of time.  This is
  all so he can pull off his Spiritia Farm.  Your people seem to realize how
  serious this is - Dalam however does not.  Your people have no choice but to 
  fight on, and Etsilla figures she'll be damned if the Protodevlin's plan
  actually comes to fruition.  She figures that the shards of the infinite
  power are already gathering here - does Gepelnietche really think the Akashic
  Record will remain quiet?

  Mylene's pessimism deepens, and Gamlin tells her to sing as part of the Sound
  Force.  Basically, it's the usual "defend the flagships with your lives until
  Sakon calculates the escape route" business.

  Oh, and if you want a Skill Point, take out Etsilla, Balgo, Gravil, the Gabro
  Sun, and Geejay's Ganga Rube within six turns.

  When you take out Gravil, it partially regenerates.  Your people wonder if
  its power is infinite, and that gets Akira thinking about infinite power and 
  all that.  Gravil comes over and tries to attack him, swatting him down into 
  the ocean.  Akira wonders if he's dead, but the spirit of his mother sensibly
  tells him that he's just unconscious.  But she's not here as his mother -
  she's here to greet the Hero as the queen of the Mu.  This confuses Akira
  somewhat, since in the fight with Barao she supposedly laid down her life to 
  activate the Star of La Mu.  ACTUALLY, it turns out that "all" that happened 
  is that her soul departed her body - and instead that soul has been
  inhabiting Reideen all this time.  It was she who revealed the ruins to
  Akira, and it's she who is here to warn you of the final calamity, the
  Apocalypsis that the Imperial priestess spoke of.  He begs her to tell him
  what the heck this menace is, but she says that such words would be
  meaningless coming from her mouth.  But she can say one thing: fight!  A
  strong will, in particular the strong will to go on living, ESPECIALLY the
  strong will to go on living as a human, is the one and only way to win
  through the Apocalypsis.  It's understandable that Akira whines that he still
  can't understand, but Lemuria once again tells him to fight, saying that the 
  Star of La Mu is always by his and Reideen's side.  He must fight, for humans
  and indeed for the entire galaxy: this is the wish of the Mu and of her as
  his mother.  She tells him that she's breaking Reideen's final seal, and with
  a smile asks him not to lose.

  As your people are begging Akira to answer them, an immense earthquake
  ensues.  Actually, the sea parts, to reveal Reideen.  Is Akira fired up? You 
  best believe it, enough so that Reideen is _glowing_ with Mutron Energy.
  Without even becoming ginormous as it did in the fight with the Youma!  Akira
  is indeed planning to fight for mankind and for the galaxy, and severely
  demolishes Gravil's ass.  Gravil flees the wrath of God Voice, which as Akira
  is fully aware takes its toll on his own body.  But he hesitates not for a
  moment, realizing it's his destiny to fight.  Cheryl meanwhile is having a
  headache - why is it that there are all these different sorts of seemingly
  endless energy?  Something is wrong around here...

  Geejay is worth a Multisensor.  He's amazed that your people appear to have
  other seemingly infinite energy sources besides the Power of Ide.  He vows
  not to die until he's seen the truth of the matter, and flees.  Dalam is
  worth an Analyzer Plusplus.

  Etsilla has some interesting words for several of your people if she fights
  them.  For Kusuha in particular, she observes that she seems to be doubting
  her own powers after one of her own lost his.  She assures her she'll take
  _very_ good care of her...  When you take her down, she'll thank you for
  showing such power and giving her something to chat about with the Emperor.  
  What the hell is her deal anyway?!

  It seems that there _is_ no way off this planet, and no safety left either as
  Miria brings City 7 over.  She tells Max that she will share Battle 7's fate,
  though she would greatly prefer that that fate not end today.  Max agrees,
  and fortunately Basara takes this moment to show up from his little jaunt
  around the galaxy.  Ray notices that Basara is now totally happy again -
  whatever he's been doing really did the trick.  Sybil is in tow too, finally 
  managing to say Basara's name.  Gigil is fuming that while it was nice of the
  Anima Spiritia to wake Sybil up and all, now something's wrong with _him_.
  Gavil then shows up, promising him and Sybil to enfold them in the beauty of 
  being wiped off the map.  This makes little sense to Gigil, but Gavil tells
  him he won't have to worry about it long, given that it's Gepelnietche's
  orders and all.  Basara hurries over to save Sybil, who showed him the
  galaxy.  Gigil gets to play "ablative armor" first, but he doesn't die -
  instead, he begins to sing, demanding like Basara that everyone hear his
  song.  Gavil realizes quickly that another Anima Spiritia has added itself to
  his list of beautiful problems, and Gigil keeps trying to sing even though
  his very life is in danger.

  Suddenly Ideon's gauge hits full: maybe it really _is_ connected with the
  singing?  Akira says abruptly that something is coming - is this the coming
  of Apocalypsis?  Just then a large number of STMC appear in orbit above the
  planet and start wrecking the Protodevlin fleet.  This is your chance to get 
  the royal fuck out of Dodge, and your battalion aren't the sort to waste it. 
  Basara bids farewell to Gigil and Sybil before joining the rest of you, and
  Max orders everyone to Fold as far from here as possible.  Gigil still won't 
  stop, determined to see everyone who would attack Sybil in hell first.  His
  last words are to Sybil, that he gives her his all.  Sybil repeats his name
  uncertainly, as, apparently, the entire damn planet gets destroyed @_@

Gepelnietche and co. watch the destruction from a safe distance: what Gigil's
power didn't do, the gods of destruction finish.  It seems that Balgo, Gigil
and Sybil all were caught in the destruction.  Gepelnietche is *most* upset to 
see the STMC active after 500,000 cycles, and on a vastly greater scale than
before.  There is no beauty in the abominable fear they bring to the galaxy,
and Gepelnietche supposes that Apocalypsis must really have begun in earnest.  
As for the Samples, they appear to have Folded more than 40,000 light years
away - though there's still one sample here for Gepelnietche to make her dream 
with.  Gavil isn't in a mood to permit Misa's backtalk, but Gepelnietche tells 
him to hold back.  He still has use for Misa's information on mankind, and is
sure the Anima Spiritia will return this way again, letting him fulfill his
dream...

Unfortunately, your people's trip through subspace is nearly out of control:
you have no idea where you'll exit, and Exedore calmly says that your Fold out 
of the frying pan will presumably dump you out into the fire.  Max orders the
ships to stay as close together as possible - he wants everyone at least
together when you exit warp.  Your speed decreases, and Max tells you all to
brace for shock...  But what kind of a shock is it that they've been thrown
back to... the Solar System!!


Scenario 34. Ikari no Kyounenja ("Wrathful Esper")

Hazar hears from Calico that Etsilla contacted your people, mobilizing military
forces on her own initiative without going through Shiva.  Hazar figures that
the strain of seeing limitless power was too much for the immortality-seeking
high priestess, causing her to snap.  Ganlon has other ideas, not surprised to 
hear that Etsilla would go to such lengths.  Hazar figures Etsilla for a fool
for trying to tamper with said limitless power without the Key (meaning Irui), 
but bad news comes in the form of a report from Spectra: Armana has left the
building.  Flagship.  Thingie.  Anyways, Rulia and Baran are off in pursuit,
and Hazar fumes at just how inconvenient the princess' timing is.  This could
well screw up all Hazar's plans, and if worse came to worse lead to the Spirit 
Emperor learning of Irui's existence.  Ganlon offers to go look for the
princess himself, given that he was kind of short on stuff to do, and amazingly
Hazar lets him - though with a stern warning that Ganlon is to bring Irui to
_him_ should he find her.

Meanwhile, the Macross 7 hears of the plight of the Alpha Numbers on Earth.
They've already got footage of the Cyclops incident, proof positive that the
Alpha Numbers have outlived their usefulness to the Blue Cosmos.  Oka's brave
sacrifice to let the Alpha Numbers escape doesn't escape mention, nor do the
Alpha Numbers' current problems with the Muge-Subterranean alliance.  It's
clear now that the Muge are only after Irui and her stirring Psychodriver
powers.  And note that Irui's reawakening is happening _without_ Gun-Eden to
help.  Cosmo tends to doubt that Irui's powers are as important as Ide's
unlimited might, but Cheryl figures that Psychodrivers must at least be
connected somehow, probably through this "Apocalypsis" business.  The sad fate 
of Orb also comes up, an example from the Blue Cosmos of what happens to
traitors to their cause.  The Alpha Numbers have been summoned to Icarus, and
are currently hiding at Londenion.  In the interim, Taiga has gone to take your
people's case to the Security Council and Daimonji has headed to Londenion to
help hold the fort.

Cheryl is beginning to wonder if Ide is trying to teach the Soloship's crew how
foolish humans are for some reason - if not, there's no explanation for yanking
them all over the galaxy.  Perhaps it wants humans to quit fighting amongst
themselves?

Daimonji then explains everything that happened on the space route to your
friendly neighborhood scientists back on Earth.  What could be the meaning of
this "Apocalypsis" thingie...?  Elsewhere, your pilots also get briefed on the 
miracle of Song Energy.  The people in space have been taking their lumps just 
as much as on Earth, including losing one of their own (Kinryuu) and watching
the entire frigging planet Lax get wiped out.  It's eminently clear to your
people that there are larger problems than what the Earth is facing, but the
Security Council is still in the middle of debating your people's fate.  You
have no choice but to await the outcome...

Brit and Kusuha are still back at Tesla Raihi, hopefully less conspicuous for
traveling on their own.  They're going over the data from their mecha with
Robert, and hopefully sharing a bit of quality time as just the two of them.
Remember that Kusuha is still suffering lack of confidence over her powers from
all the recent events involving Irui and the Psychodrivers - Brit suggested the
extended date as a way to try to restore Kusuha's spirits.  This earns Brit
plenty of praise from your other people for supporting Kusuha to the utmost
despite his own personal travails.  Their bonds deepen with every battle, and
there are places where the rest of the Alpha Numbers have no way to go.

Kusuha and Brit have now reached the lab, Kusuha suffering greatly from the
strain of being branded a traitor.  Brit suggests the two rest after they drop 
off their mecha with Robert, but Kusuha has now reached her breaking point.
Hounded wherever they go on Earth, robbed of her life as a normal high schooler
by her own powers, she deeply regrets all the harm that those powers have
caused Brit, Ryuusei, and perhaps especially Irui.  Kusuha's done her best to
go on fighting despite all that, and Brit tries to forestall the words he knows
are coming, finally raising his voice.  But before he can finish what he was
trying to say...

...Ganlon shows up with goons in tow.  "Fancy meeting you here!" Ganlon says,
and assures his fated rivals that he's not here hunting them.  He's on a very
different errand today, and Brit realizes that with Kusuha's will to go on
fading he's going to have to shoulder the burden here.  Ganlon tells them he
hopes they can fight back at least enough to not disgrace themselves...

  On turn 3, Armana fails to remain hidden.  Ganlon goes to snag the princess, 
  but Brit will have none of it.  He tells Kusuha to take care of the girl
  while he deals with Ganlon.  This doesn't immediately compute for Kusuha, and
  Brit says that if Ganlon is after her it's all the more reason to keep her
  safe.  Kusuha somewhat reluctantly agrees, scooping up Armana and fleeing the
  battlefield.  Ganlon tells Brit that he really isn't all that interested in
  the princess anyway - but Brit, now, is another story.  Willing to sacrifice 
  himself for the sake of a woman he doesn't even know, Brit seems to have
  risen in Ganlon's estimation somewhat... and he tells Brit that he's taking
  the gloves off today in salute.

Kusuha figures out pretty quickly from Armana's outfit that she's not from
Earth, and both of them quickly sense each others' psychic powers.  Armana
thinks very quickly, and tells Kusuha that she's nobility from the planet
Rulia, and on the run from the Empire.  She implores Kusuha to save her, and
with a hint of dubiousness Kusuha agrees to let her aboard her mech.

Meanwhile, Brit appears to be getting smacked around.  Ganlon suggests that he 
give up already, especially since Brit has already touched the Gate and the Key
and knows that the end is coming.  Brit hasn't quite figured out what this Key 
is yet, and Ganlon sighs and says that if he can't figure that much out after
all the hints he's given, there's no hope for him.  Brit is quite determined to
press forward anyway, even if it's futile, and has full confidence that Kusuha 
will pick up where he leaves off should he fail.  Ganlon instructs him to die
in that case, and the results are not pretty.

In fact, Brit seemingly gets wiped clean off the map, and as Kusuha begins the 
whole grief thing quickly, Ganlon suggests to her that she follow in his
footsteps.  After all, she was chosen by the Choukijin - why not come with him 
and help save the world?  Actually, it wasn't grief at all - but fury.  Kusuha 
goes totally berserk, as Armana and Robert watch aghast.  She yells that she's 
never hated someone so much in her entire life, and Ganlon begins to suspect
that he's in a tad over his head now that Kusuha's true powers have surfaced.  
She yells at Ganlon and his mech to give her Brit back, and is about to press
her attack when Baran and company arrive....

...and the rest of your people in hot pursuit.  Ganlon tells Baran and company 
that the Princess is clearly around here somewhere, and is ready to leave when 
Kusuha tells him that she's never letting him get away with what he's done.  He
tells her that he's underestimated her until now, but tells her that her knight
is no more - and the next time they meet he'll send her to where said knight
has gone.  Rulia and Baran's plan is to strike you down and look for the
princess, and Baran in particular announces with much pomp and circumstance
that he's going to personally pulverize you with his maul of iron.  This Balmar
samurai might have your people's respect, but he's still on the slate to have
his ass rearranged.  Banjou says that Baran is welcome to test your people's
power, but Kusuha is mainly interested in vengeance on the army that altered
her destiny and stole her love.

  For a Skill Point, take Baran out - he flees at 12K HP.

  As Kusuha continues fighting, the strength of her psyche begins to overload
  her mech's T-Link system.  She doesn't heed Robert's warning that she's about
  to push her mech past its limits, and Baran finally sees her as an opponent
  worth chopping in half.  Armana finally begs Kusuha to stop, and as Kusuha's 
  mech begins to explode a voice in Kusuha's head tells her to stop.  It's
  Brit, who's somehow still alive.  He tells her that she mustn't abandon
  herself to anger when she fights - her power lies in her concern for others. 
  Robert finally gets through to her and tells her to bring Brit back to base -
  any further combat would be incredibly dangerous for her.  Baran meanwhile
  has figured out from Rulia that the princess is aboard her mech, and he's
  about to take Kusuha out when a familiar knight on horseback appears.  It's
  Retzel, who gives Kusuha a chance to flee, and Zengar, who's evil-cleaving
  sword is about to meet a worthy opponent in Baran.

  Rulia is worth an Analyzer Plusplus.

Zengar is looking forward to the next time he can cross swords with so powerful
a foe.  It turns out that Retzel and Zengar followed the Golems here - he has
some idea what's going on, and tells everyone to head into the base to get the 
full details.

Brit has certainly seen better days - he received an immense mental as well as 
physical shock.  Robert privately worries that if they're not careful Brit may 
never regain consciousness again, and says that Kusuha was so exhausted that he
had to give her a sedative to let her rest.  Bright is questioning the alien
girl that Kusuha saved.  Meanwhile, Robert says that he'll do what he can to
fix the Psychodrivers' mecha, but Brit's machine may never be the same again.  
This recalls the unpleasant proverb that man has twice as many sorrows as joys,
though in your case it may be more like three or four times.  If there's any
good news, it's that this lab is currently exempt from military scrutiny - your
people can camp out here for a while.  Not that anything will get solved while 
you're here...

Elsewhere, Irui is hanging out in China, having encountered some certain
entities underground.  She notes that their souls have not yet departed...


Scenario 35. Tamashii, Eikyuu Ni ("Spirit, Eternally")

In Kusuha's dreams, a voice addresses her: does she desire the salvation of the
world of man?  She hesitates, and the voice commands her to answer.  She
wonders if she's even got the right to say, lamenting that she used her psychic
powers in anger.  Does she even deserve to save anyone?  The voice tells her
that that's for her to decide for herself, and tells her that should she wish
for the salvation of the world of man, it will be at her side in the form of a 
god.  Kusuha suddenly seems to recognize the voice...

Your commanders are debating what to do with the "Rulian princess".  You've got
no way to verify if her story is true or not, but Viletta says that two things 
at least are certain.  One, that the girl is on the run from the Golar Golems
of her own volition; and two, that the girl _herself_ poses no direct threat.  
Body scanning has ruled out any sort of hidden weaponry or tracking device, and
a certain lack of worldliness seems to suggest that she really is nobility of
some sort.  She's currently being allowed to wander around the residential area
of Tesla, with Hiiro and Duo keeping an eye on her.

The bigger question is, what is it about her that would make the Golems turn
aside from their quest for Irui?  Retzel think you can rule out some
explanation like, the girl is some important hostage for keeping the planet
Rulia in line - why would such a person be brought near Earth at all?  You've
got to assume that she's hiding something, but you can't just try to wring it
out of her - especially if she's not actually ill-disposed towards you.  In any
case, you can't wait too long for her to tell the truth with all the other
problems you've got.  And that includes Raiko, which isn't in much shape for
the fight ahead.  It looks like you'll have no choice but to leave Brit and his
mech here, and Robert assures you he can keep at least one person hidden from
the Feds.  Your people will be leaving as soon as they figure out their next
waypoint, and there's no hope that "the item" will be ready in time for your
departure.  Viletta thinks to herself that the pilot will require even more
time than the machine to be ready...

Armana finds Kusuha in the hangar, thanking her for saving her and giving her
full name.  Armana asks if Kusuha can forgive her for her precious comrade
falling to the beast.  Kusuha thinks for a moment, and then says that if Brit
were here, he'd surely tell her "don't sweat it".  Kusuha is of the same mind, 
and doesn't care that Armana isn't of the Earth: she's learned through all her 
battles that anyone who asks for help deserves to get it.  Armana thanks her
using a very respectful form, and Kusuha asks her to be a bit more informal
before recalling that she's addressing a princess.  Armana looks sad, saying
that she's no princess at all - rather, just a bird in a cage.

As for what she's doing here - well, Armana stammers and says she sort of got
lost.  Kusuha asks her not to tell anyone else that she's about to venture out 
alone.  She says that she's been summoned, in a strange dream she had.  Just
then Brit walks out of the shadows, announcing that he's seen the same dream.  
Armana is amazed that the two of them have shared her dream.  Brit tells her
that he's already got a transport waiting, asking her not to worry about his
health.  Besides - Ganlon will surely come to try to finish them off if they
wait too long.  Kusuha then gives him a ring she bought the last time your
squad was in Tokyo.  She says she's got a matching one, quickly mumbling not to
take it too deeply but saying that it makes her feel better knowing that
there's something she and Brit share.

They end up bringing Armana along, and she confirms that she dreamt the same
dream as them.  As they near their destination, they leave the transport behind
and proceed in Brit's mech.  They've returned to the place the Choukijin were
excavated, and Kusuha tells Armana of the ancient peril the Earth once faced.  
In those days, giant gods of iron, imbued with souls, were created: the
Choukijin, including Brit and Kusuha's former partners, and Armana's pursuer
Ganlon's mech.  Armana asks whether their Choukijin could prevail against the
dragon, and they tell her that they might - if not for the fact that they were 
lost at the end of the War of Seals.

This raises an interesting question for Armana - doesn't all this mean that
Ganlon himself was originally supposed to be fighting for the Earth?  Given
that he's paired with a Choukijin, Kusuha presumes so.  But he seems to have
joined with the Imperial army and made enemies of the Earth instead - though
Ganlon pops out and says that he's got it wrong.  In Brit's condition, he can't
easily withstand Ganlon's psyche, but he still manages to ask why Ganlon is on 
the Imperial side.  Kusuha chimes in too, and Ganlon seems genuinely amused
that you're still asking that question.  He counters with a question of his own
- why do they suppose that the other two of the Four Gods, Jaku-Ou-Ki and
Mu-Ou-Ki, are missing?  For that matter, why is one of the top-ranking
Choukijin fighting against them?  Brit thinks he knows the answer to the latter
one - it's because Ganlon and his cronies threaten peace for mankind.

This strikes Ganlon as endlessly amusing - he says it's the best laugh he's had
in hundreds of years.  Once he stops giggling, he says it's only natural you
don't know, but the people who saved the Earth the last time it was in danger
were Paral and him and his friends.  In the distant past, the Earth was
inhabited by terrifying god-demons and monsters.  The so-called Hundred Demons 
festered on Earth, threatening to wipe out mankind itself.  It was to combat
this menace that the ancients constructed the Choukijin.  The battle continued 
without end until at length a figure arose to lead the Choukijin: the god of
Paral.  Yes, the lord of the Choukijin and Guardian of Earth is the god called 
Augustus, better known to Brit and Kusuha as the Artificial God Gun-Eden.
Armana realizes that Earth's Gun-Eden has the same mission as the one on her
planet.  Kusuha recalls Irui saying that their Choukijin had betrayed Gun-Eden,
but Brit points out that your people _defeated_ Gun-Eden already.

Kusuha asks if Ganlon is here for revenge for that, and he says that he's got
no reason to.  For starters, Gun-Eden was of a different lineage than the
Choukijin - its loss merely means that his Choukijin will return to its
original mission: the salvation of the human world.  This makes little sense to
Brit: if that's the case, why is Ganlon _fighting_ you?!  How the hell does
joining the Empire serve to defend mankind?  Ganlon says that, to free mankind 
from the cycle of death and rebirth, the laws of the universe must be
overturned.  Gun-Eden was a being verging on capable of keying such a thing,
which finally begins to explain why Ganlon was helping the Golems hunt Irui.
Ganlon concedes the point, adding that it's not like Irui is the only
Gun-Eden... Armana can't contain a yelp at this, and that causes Ganlon to call
in the cavalry.

Irui tells Ganlon that she won't depend on fury anymore - she's going to fight 
to protect the Earth and all the people in it.  Ganlon says judiciously that
there's no need for _him_ to fight her then, especially when her boyfriend's
such a wreck.  He instructs the two of them, who can't see the truth thanks to 
their puny notions of justice, to die on the spot.

  Ganlon is impressed when you take out his goons - you're like candles right
  before burning out.  Brit says the only thing that's burning around here are 
  your flames of Justice, but Rulia, Baran and their entourage show up once
  more to try to get Armana back.  Kusuha sort of expected that Armana was an
  Imperial, but said that Armana looked so lonely that she couldn't just
  abandon her.  She asks Armana why she's running from the Empire, and Armana
  says it all started from her own selfish wish to go out and see how normal
  Earthlings lead their daily lives.  She explains that she has but a little
  time left to her, and tells Kusuha that she's now cured of the notion that
  humans were nothing but a barbaric, warlike race.  She now knows that humans 
  have the same sort of hearts as the Balmar do, and tells you that she'll
  never forget the gentleness Kusuha and Brit have shown her.  Kusuha lets her 
  leave the cockpit, telling Rulia that she's right there.  Armana stoutly
  informs her guardian that the Earthlings had not taken her hostage or
  anything of the sort, and extracts a promise not to lay a finger on Kusuha.  
  Looking back a moment, Armana tells Kusuha that, while they're on opposite
  sides, she's gotten a sliver of hope from how well Kusuha treated her, even
  while knowing her true identity.  Baran for his stoic part will take his
  princess at her word, willing to withdraw given that Armana is safe and
  sound.  Armana tells Kusuha that she and Brit's fight for Earth has made her 
  determined to do what she can for Balmar, and hopes that she can see Kusuha
  again, not as an enemy but as a friend.  She climbs aboard Rulia's mech, and 
  Rulia thanks the Earthlings for treating her princess with such respect.

  However, the rest of the Golems aren't looking to retreat.  Baran is
  astounded by this, but Calico informs him that the only one who can order
  them around is Hazar.  And _his_ orders were to eliminate Kusuha.  Ganlon of 
  course has business with your people too, and isn't planning to pull out now.
  Baran demands to know if they all plan to shame the princess, and Calico
  figures that breaking a royal promise with _Earthlings_ won't matter a whit. 
  Armana pleads with Kusuha and Brit to flee, but Ganlon has other ideas.  Brit
  tries to get Kusuha to escape while he lays down his life here, but she
  doesn't want to hear those words from him.  She couldn't go on living either 
  if she obeyed.  She wants to live by his side, laughing together, crying
  together, and defending the Earth together.  Ganlon says that that's all
  about to end, and advises that they vent their grievances together in heaven.

  However, a certain person disagrees.  It's Irui, who instructs the various
  Swords to gather and defend the whole of the world.  Brit and Kusuha seize
  their chance, and Irui wishes the protection of Gun-Eden on the Four Gods.
  From some other dimension emerges a great, shining light.  Enveloping them is
  the Ryuu-Ou-Ki, whose very breathing Kusuha can feel.  And that's not all -
  she hears other voices speaking to them too.  It's Jaku-Ou-Ki and Mu-Ou-Ki.  
  Ganlon can only recall one other time when the souls of the Four Gods joined 
  as one, not in form or even in body, but in spirit!  He demands to know why
  Irui granted vessels to the Four Gods - are they the true Swords that she
  chose after all?!  Irui vanishes instead of answering his query, and Brit
  recommends concentrating on taking down Ganlon before worrying about where
  she went.

  Baran is very moved by what he's seen, and Armana is glad to see the Guardian
  of this world on the scene.  She vows to Kusuha that she'll fight too, with
  the Emperor and anyone else who threatens the Balmar.  She and her faithful
  servants depart, and Kusuha is sure they'll meet again.  Ganlon for his part 
  seems rather upset that his rightful place as do-gooder seems to have been
  stolen, and vows to wipe out the Four Gods.  Kusuha tells him to bring it on.

  For a Skill Point, take down Ganlon within six turns AFTER wiping out the
  Valk Paal and the Valk Ishar.

  Help arrives the next turn.  Your people are amazed to see the Shin
  Ryuu-Ko-Ou, and Viletta realizes that this may be the power you need to turn 
  the tide of this fight.  Your people are ordered to down the Golems, and
  Retzel takes the time to congratulate Kusuha for her wishes creating a
  miracle.  Kusuha says she couldn't have done it without Brit, and informs
  Ganlon that she's got friends to help her prove that her own version of
  Justice is stronger than his.

  Spectra is worth a High-Performance Targeting System.  Calico has a Hyper
  Jammer.

Over the course of the battle, Ganlon's made a certain decision.  He calls out 
to Irui, telling her that if she's determined to lend her power to the Four
Gods he'll forsake her... and see to it that she's punished for forsaking him
and his whole clan.  He concedes defeat to Kusuha for today, but cautions her
that the score is nowhere near settled.  The more she fights, the farther the
Earth and indeed the galaxy will tread down the road to ruin.  He tells her not
to ever forget that the way she's doing things could never surmount the
Apocalypsis to come.  Well, it's good that you took out Ganlon and all for the 
time being, but a certain member of your team doesn't seem to be conscious
anymore...

Is Brit through?  Has he truly burned out his life protecting Kusuha?!  How
could he just die with Kusuha's smile so close?!?!  Banjou knows well that
sacrifices must be made for the things one loves, but this sacrifice is too
great.  Benkei is about to lift Brit from the cockpit, but Zengar stops him.
He says that Brit's soul lives on.  He tells Kusuha to use her ears - she
should surely hear his voice.  Ryuusei protests that psychic powers aren't some
kind of magic [Whatchu talkin bout Willis!], but Kusuha decides to give it a
try anyway.  Zengar instructs both of them not to let despair cloud their
hearts: on the other side of it is the true dawning.  When Ryuusei asks, Akira 
says that he can't sense anything, but he's sure Kusuha can.

Sure enough, it works.  Brit tells her that he can't see her face or hear her
voice, but he can feel her all the same.  He says that his soul seems to have
become one with the Shin Ryuu-Ko-Ou.  Kusuha asks him what she should do, and
he tells her to fight on - he along with the spirits of the Choukijin will lend
her the strength.  He'll always be by her side, so there's no need to feel
lonely.  She finally agrees to fight on, for the sake of the world and to be
together with him.

Retzel and Zengar are planning to leave again: it's now clear that there's some
method behind Irui's actions.  While the two of them go off on Irui's trail,
Viletta says that Brit has been left in the cockpit, his life sustained by the 
Shin Ryuu-Ko-Ou itself.  Zengar asks her to give Brit a message from him when
he awakens: "Ichi'i Senshin" - "singular focus", that "There is nothing his
will cannot cleave."  Viletta smiles, promising to do just that.

Elsewhere, Armana has been returned safely to the flagship, and has been
ordered kept under lock and key.  Rulia is anything but happy about that, but
Baran says that since the military has an operation underway there's no choice 
but to follow Hazar's orders.  Armana reminds Baran that the army is acting
contrary to the Emperor's orders, but Calico tries telling Baran that even the 
princess herself has to right to speak on military matters.  After Baran
leaves, Rulia suspects that he had to plead with Hazar just to keep Armana
alive.  Armana's beautiful eyes narrow dangerously at the notion of her, the
sacrifice to the God of Creation, being held hostage.  Rulia tells her that
behind Hazar's actions is surely prime minister Shiva - and just as surely, the
Emperor presumably knows nothing of it.  If so, Armana realizes she's got to
get out of here at once and return to the homeworld - but Baran seems to have
entirely given in to Hazar's orders.  And assuming that everyone else aboard
the ship is loyal to Shiva, there would be no way for Armana to make it back
home even if she were to escape.  Armana thinks there is, and figures she
should be able to contact sympathetic military forces if she can just get out
into space.  What she has in mind isn't guaranteed to work, but there seems to 
be no other choice at this point.  She asks Rulia to figure out how to get her 
off this ship, and muses to herself and the absent Kusuha that their peoples
may not be able to overcome their differences.  But Kusuha taught her to fight 
for what she loves, and that's precisely what she's going to do.


Scenario 36. Gekitotsu!  Yuusha vs. Yuusha ("Clash!  Hero vs. Hero")

Your pilots are mulling over the revelation that "Armana-chan" was from the
Empire.  Not only does this suggest that there could be loads and loads of
aliens on Earth without your knowledge, it also seems to suggest that the
Empire and Earth aren't that different.  Banjou in particular is interested in 
the fact that Armana displayed none of the class superiority that the Balmar
you've faced till now did.  It almost comes as a surprise to learn that every
world has its good and bad people, and Banjou can only hope that the Empire has
people who feel the same as you do.  The question is raised whether you've
really got to fight the Empire at all, and Kusuha says unhesitatingly that
you've at least got to continue the fight until the Golems stop trying to use
the Earth for their own selfish ends.  She says that while a part of her still 
hates her psychic powers, a much larger part is devoted to keeping her promise 
to Brit and combating evil.

Meanwhile, Gai and the other GGG personnel have been recalled to Orbit Base.
The Daikuu Maryuu is still basically safe, and can probably hide out for a few 
months if need be.  It's an open question if your pilots' patience will last
that long, but a steady diet of Garrison's excellent cooking looks like it
should avail for a while yet.  In the meantime, you've got little choice but to
wait for the Security Council to (hopefully) clear your good names.  Banjou,
however, realizes that the Blue Cosmos' reach is wide, and figures that some
contingency plans may be necessary...

The conference is clearly a contentious one, with Taiga squared off against
Miwa, with Gloval and Riliina (among others) looking on.  Taiga answers every
charge of treason or abuse of power, and declares that the real problem here is
certain elements of the government and military command whose principles have
been allowed to run amok.  Miwa shouts that such principles are only natural to
be introduced in battle, but Taiga says that if those principles are for evil
he'll use his authority and his independent forces to strike their bearers
down.  Miwa demands to know if that's a declaration of coup d'etat, and Taiga
in turn tells him not to misunderstand: this is not the time for human to fight
human - it's time to join hands against the common menace.  Both sides fall
silent, and Gloval says that with the talks seemingly deadlocked he'll declare 
a recess for three hours time, after which point a decision will be rendered.  
He asks everyone in the audience to consider that the decision will have
far-reaching effects on everything in the Earth Sphere, and to take the results
seriously.

Gai and Renais explain to Liger that the Alpha Numbers are getting pretty
stressed in their current situation, especially the children.  Gai is worried
about today, the day when the Council will declare its decision, but Liger
assures him that Taiga and the others will exonerate the Alpha Numbers.  He
then explains why everyone's been called back to Orbit Base: another theft of
Q-Parts.  These objects have been discovered all over the Earth while your
people were off in space, and emit enough energy to surpass even the G-Stones. 
The Q-Parts were scattered to various laboratories worldwide in the hopes of
preventing their misuse, but two of them have already been stolen.  Papillon
then comes in, announcing that she's ready to analyze the remaining two.  This 
former member of Chasseur is now working as a GGG operator, and is very glad to
see Renais again.  She actually has a form of precognition called Sensing Mind,
but she warns mildly not to expect too much from her - she failed entirely to
anticipate recent world events.  Oh, and it just so happens that the exotic
Papillon is Entouji's lover.

After she heads back to the lab to get ready for the experiment, Liger rather
coyly says that there's no clue who's behind the thefts - except one.
Witnesses at the scene of the crime describe the perp as a grade-schooler, both
from his stature and manner of speaking.  It's a mortal lock that whoever it is
will be attacking Orbit Base next, and Gai and the others are to buy Sakon
enough time to finish analyzing the Q-Parts...

However, it may be too late.  An immense explosion rips through Orbit Base,
centered at Papillon's laboratory.  A surveillance camera is still active, and 
shows the perp to be... Mamoru!!  Who, last we checked, was supposed to be on a
trip with Galeon to Galeoria.  In fact, Galeon is here and seems to be helping 
Mamoru make good his escape.  Gai rushes off in hot pursuit, but the others
head to the lab first.  There they find a tragic scene, with Papillon's life
slowly ebbing away amidst the ruined gear and broken glass.  She tells them
faintly that she now knows one thing: the galactic abnormalities you all have
observed have the same galvanic running through them as the Q-Parts do.  She
warns Renais to beware of the child, from whom she can't feel the breath of
life.  She breathes her last in Entouji's arms, and Renais vows revenge...

Gai has pursued Mamoru to Earth, and the Security Council looks on.  Mamoru
says that terrible things are happening out in Space, and says that he's got to
have the Pas-Q Machine to stop it (that would be when all Q-Parts are joined
together).  Mamoru smiles and says that while a few sacrifices were necessary
along the way, he's now all set to save the universe.  He won't say more, but
Gai follows him and yells that people have died because of him: he'd damn well 
better explain better than that.  Mamoru says there's no time, and decides that
he'll leave by force if he has to.  He actually summons the Gao Machines and
performs Fusion into Gaogaigar.

Your people are rather disturbed at the almost mirror-image machines.  The Star
Gaogaigar is no fake: Mamoru says he's acquired the power of the Lord of
Heroes, and Renais is quick to point out that he's also killed Papillon.  Your 
people beg him to say it ain't so, but after a few moments he tells you that
the same thing will happen to you if you get in his way.  He somehow creates a 
number of Zondar-like adversaries for you to fight, and your people urge Gai
himself to go and stop the renegade Mamoru, since he's probably the only one
that can.  Renais warns Gai that while she supports him trying to figure out
the truth, she'd better not catch him pulling his punches.  Goldymarg insists
on coming along as well, and the two fly off after Mamoru.  Misato then takes
charge, ordering everyone to stop the bad guys and minimize damage to G Island 
City.

  Beat all bad guys within six turns for a Skill Point.

  One of the enemies has a Hybrid Armor.  Another has a Super Alloy Z.  Another
  has Chobham Armor.  Another has a second Super Alloy Z.  Another has a
  Zolmanium Alloy.  The Fifth Angel has a Cost Down.

  On 1.5, Miwa berates your people for having the gall to start fighting when
  they're mere guests here.  Taiga demands to know why he can't see - they're
  fighting to save the city even when _certain_ people want their head.  Miwa
  counters by saying that the mechanical lion is also under GGG control, and
  that it's only right that they should execute traitors in their midst.  Hana 
  has been watching all this in silence, wondering if it was really Mamoru she 
  saw.  A voice from the shadows advises her to get out of this dangerous
  place...

  Once you take down enough of the bad guys, a very strange and ugly feeling
  descends over certain people in your party.  An Angel appears, and one you
  defeated during the Balmar War too.  Given how these beings were formerly
  trying to break into NERV, what the heck is it doing here now?!  Your people 
  well remember the force if its particle beam, but you have no real other
  option but to kick its ass anyway.  Shinji muses that this might be why he
  and the other Children were gathered together, and vows to fight on until he 
  figures out why his father summoned him.

Misato is very worried why the Angel is here - to cause the Third Impact, or
for some other purpose.  Azrael in turn is impressed by this monstrosity,
realizing that this must be why the old men contacted him.  Your people leave
the battlefield immediately after the Angel is toast.  Meanwhile, a certain
familiar boy ponders how rough a certain person seems to be playing.  "He"
really wants your people close by, but the old men and a certain other person
aren't going to take this lying down.  He notes that Apocalypsis and the
Akashic Record are now within man's grasp... as well as the key to the end.

Gai meanwhile has been pursuing Mamoru, who with the help of the Pas-Q Machine 
has become one with Gaogaigar.  He savors what he thinks is the power of the
Lord of Heroes, but Gai tells him he's got it all wrong.  What he's got isn't
power, or so Gai says, but Mamoru counters with Broken Phantom.  Gai is shaken 
but okay, and he orders Goldymarg not to intervene.

  As the battle progresses, Gai realizes that Mamoru is deadly serious.  He
  demands to know why Mamoru didn't come and ask the rest of your people for
  help if the universe is so imperiled.  Mamoru says that time is too short for
  even that.

  Mamoru is worth an S-Adaptor.  Unfortunately, the power of the Pas-Q Machine 
  lets Mamoru regenerate and fight on.  Gai finally summons Goldymarg, saying
  that he'll take responsibility for whatever occurs.  Mamoru isn't about to
  let Goldymarg use the Goldion Hammer, and the rest of your people show up
  just in time to see Mamoru use True Hell and Heaven to hose Goldymarg's ass. 
  Your people are raring to take revenge, but Gai orders them all back - he'll 
  finish this himself.  Mamoru announces that he's about to surpass Gai, and
  nearly does the trick.  But Gai isn't quite done yet, and counters with his
  own Hell and Heaven.

As Mamoru and Gaogaigar falter, Gai tells Mamoru that he's forgotten something 
very important: the winner is always the one with greater courage!!! In the
aftermath of the almighty explosion, Gai holds the shattered Mamoru in
Gaofighgar's hand.  Mamoru, in obvious pain, wonders why Gai insists on getting
in his way so much when the universe is in peril.  The glint returns to
Mamoru's eye and he raises his hand to strike, when a blast of energy from
above knocks him well clear of Gai.  An unseen voice tells Gai not to be
deceived: it's Kaidou, who says that what you see before you is not the real
Latio.  In fact, the imposter begins to dissolve into light as a mysterious
figure overhead watches.  This confirms Kaidou's worst fears: it's one of the
eleven Sol Lords, Palpalepa.  He wants the Pas-Q Machine back, and before you
realize it a battleship-class machine approaches from overhead and starts
blasting away at your flagships.  Palpalepa says that his people are those who 
must fulfill their duty, and should anyone get in the way, they will be
eliminated.  He tells Latio that J is nowhere to be found in this universe, and
Renais and Hiroshi try to intervene, only to get summarily blown back by
another Sol Lord.  Palpalepa repeats his warning to Gai, and the two vanish
into the sky.  Kaidou isn't very happy with these "guardians of the Solar
System"...

Meanwhile, Hazar gets word that Armana has departed again, probably Rulia's
handiwork.  Baran wants to go off after her, but Hazar tells him he can't trust
him to not take the princess' side.  Spectra tells Hazar that she suspected
this might happen, and attached a transmitter to the princess' mech.  He orders
Ace to go after the princess, and tells him to take _extra_ special care of
her...

Kaidou relates how, three months ago, he and J were thrown by The Power
backlash into deep space after the destruction of Zed Master.  Where they ended
up was somewhere far outside the galaxy, allowing them to gaze down on it.  And
there they saw "it", the galaxy contracting faster than the speed of light.
They used ES Drive to travel to the center of the phenomenon to see what was
going on, and that's where they discovered the Pas-Q Machine and Latio, locked 
in combat with the Sol Lords.  J sent Kaidou with the Pas-Q Machine to Earth,
and stayed behind to fight at Latio's side.  What you just fought with was a
Replication, sent to Earth to recover the Pas-Q Machine.  This Replication
occurred as a side effect of Mamoru touching the Pas-Q Machine in the first
place, and ought to have fought at his side with the same heart as Latio
himself, but the Sol Lords appear to have brainwashed it.

As for the Sol Lords themselves, they were programs created to preserve the
Trinary solar system.  Given that that system is no more, it seems likely that 
they're simply trying to fulfill their original mission at the Earth, using the
Pas-Q Machine.  This gadget is the core of the preservation apparatus, and to
learn whether or not the real Mamoru and Galeon are okay, there's no choice but
traveling to the Trinary solar system to find out.  But what about this
galactic contraction thingie?  Sakon says there's a very simple explanation: a 
balloon shrinking is a sure sign that there's no air left inside.  In layman's 
terms, it means the galaxy is fux0r3d.  It's not clear what the Sol Lords have 
to do with the contraction - perhaps they're just trying to save their own
homeland - but the connection is definitely there.  Could _this_ be the reason 
the Macross fleet experienced such bizarre time flow?

The conference finally reconvenes, and Gloval hands down the decision.  For
numerous instances of disobeying orders, cowardice in the face of the enemy,
development of various dangerous forms of energy, and numerous other offenses, 
the Alpha Numbers, and everyone even vaguely connected to them, are to be
exiled from the Solar System.  Kuttner is on the scene, and voices dissent at
this - did the Council not just witness how the Alpha Numbers fight for the
Earth?! Miwa tries to belittle the words of the former Docougar member, but
Kuttner says that that puts him in that much better a position to know what
your people are about.  Besides, he's an officially-elected high official in
the government and a member of the Council - and he's in no mood to take shit
off some punk-ass jarhead who only got back here by riding someone else's
coattails.  Kuttner urges Riliina to add her voice, but Riliina is silent.
Taiga can only watch in shocked silence, and Gloval orders him to lead the
Alpha Numbers to Icarus within 72 hours.  Once there, they are to use the Gate 
to depart at once.  And, he will accept no questions, and no appeal.  Taiga
says he'll accept that if it's indeed the will of the Council...


Scenario 36X.  Basara Hourou ("Basara Wanders")

Muu never believed in his wildest dreams that saving Heliopolis would lead to
getting kicked off the Earth wholesale.  Kou agrees, saying that goes beyond
even the usual unfair treatment your people get from certain quarters.  Shinji 
wonders aloud if you'll ever be able to return, and although Asuka is
indelicate about it, the rest of the crew agree with her - Shinji needs more
positive thinking on that score.  Focker looks at this as a good chance that
Gloval's given you all, a chance to figure out what's contracting the galaxy.  
Mylene is still very indignant over the whole matter of maybe never seeing
their homeworld again, but Basara isn't bothered - isn't that why they all
joined the colony fleet in the first place?  Besides, this just means more
freedom to do whatever you darn well please, though Mylene huffs that Basara
pretty much does that anyway.

Speaking of colonies, it's a shame that the planet with (almost) the same name 
as the "pink princess" Lacus got wasted.  Come to think of it, Mylene angrily
asks where the heck Basara was while everyone's ass was on the line.  As he
said before, he was out seeing the galaxy - the REALLY MUGE galaxy.  That
doesn't compute for Mylene, who asks him to be much more specific.  He says
that there is no "more specific", and walks off with Mylene grousing at his
footsteps.

As he's walking, Basara spies a certain girl bearing flowers, who's been a
constant fixture at his concerts throughout the game.  The girl manages to run 
into The Hatter, making no reply when he says he's sorry and running off.

Back in his room, Basara strums his guitar and thinks back on how he really did
see the galaxy - and better than that, he's now certain that his songs reached 
her heart.  He thinks back to when he left Battle 7 on Sybil's tail...

A bunch of Imperial soldiers are mixing it up with Gigil, startled to see
remnants of the Barooda here.  Basara flies into the fray, yelling at them all 
to knock off their fighting and listen to his song.  He quickly recognizes
Gigil, and rapidly asks him what happened to Sybil.  Gigil irritably tells him 
it's none of his business and not to talk to him so casually.  Meanwhile, the
Imperials recognize Basara as one of the targets Etsilla mentioned: their
commander orders his men to capture Basara and blow away the other mech if need
be.  As Basara starts firing back with his singing, Gigil realizes that any
hope of making the Imperials fight Basara while he slips out the back is likely
in vain.  On the other hand, Basara's singing might just lure Sybil back
here...  Plan in hand, he tells Basara to do whatever the heck he wants and to 
leave the fighting to him.  He warns Basara not to get in his way, and Basara
says that that's his line.

  Basara rapidly discovers that his songs aren't working - but why?!

  It quickly becomes clear to the Imperial commander that Gigil isn't just
  another brainwashed soldier.  Reinforcements arrive, and Gigil foolishly
  heads over to take them out too.  Basara warns him to think twice, but Gigil 
  yells back that he can go find a short pier to walk off - while _he_ actually
  does some work around here.  Suddenly Gravil arrives and starts blasting the 
  Imperials, with Gavil not far behind.  He thinks he's beautifully in luck,
  finding Gigil and Basara when who he was looking for was Sybil.  He won't
  tell Basara what he's up to, but says his beauty led him to him, and plans to
  capture his ass.  Gigil responds to this by firing at him, yelling that he
  won't give the Anima Spiritia away to anyone.  Gavil doesn't like him turning
  on him, and says that it'll cost him his life.  As the two Barooda square
  off, Basara vows to make Gavil hear his song this time.

  But as he learns, his singing _still_ isn't working, and as Gavil mocks him
  he struggles to figure out what's wrong.

  Once you take down Gavil, he'll be furious that you're staining his beauty
  this much and order Gravil to take Basara down.  Gigil furiously gets in
  Gravil's way, yelling at Basara not to cause this much trouble to others.
  Basara asks why Gigil saved him, and Gigil yells that he did nothing of the
  sort - he's using Basara to get Sybil to wake up.  Basara doesn't get it -
  Sybil's already awake, isn't she?  Gigil yells at the top of his lungs that
  Sybil isn't awake at all, she needs way more Spiritia, and Basara's the only 
  one who can give it to her.  Gritting his teeth, he tells Basara not to
  worry, he'll kill his sorry ass as soon as Basara's done his job.  Gavil
  finds Gigil's devotion to Sybil quite beautiful, and says he'll see just how 
  deep it runs.  Gravil manages to grab Basara, and before hauling him off to
  Gepelnietche Gavil promises Gigil the beauty of an agonizing death.  Gigil
  refuses to flee for his life, saying he's got... to wake... Sybil up... Gavil
  is impressed by such beautiful feelings, but notes that flowers are more
  beautiful when they wither than when they bloom, and strikes what looks like 
  the fatal blow.

  Apparently the sight of this clears Basara's head, and beautiful passion
  begins pouring from him.  Even the Imperial soldier feels his heart heating
  up at the sound of Basara's singing - not like anger or hatred, but some
  deeper emotion.  So _this_ is what passion is!  As Basara sings his song, the
  Imperial suddenly starts to wonder why he's here and Gravil flees in terror.

  Gavil tries in vain to down Basara, and the Imperial soldier marvels at the
  power of what Etsilla called the Anima Spiritia.  Even Gavil realizes in
  short order that he'd better do something fast lest his beauty be rubbed
  away.  He prepares to charge in, saying that this one attack is so beautiful 
  it can't fail.  Bu the Imperial won't let him, and he decides there's nothing
  for it but a beautiful retreat.

  The soldier explains to Basara that he seems to have been somehow brainwashed
  to work for the Empire.  But Basara's song made him remember something
  important: his home planet, his family and friends... and his lover.  He
  tells Basara that this is the best concert he's ever seen, and a grateful
  Basara asks him if he's seen a girl flying around in a ball of light
  anywhere.  No, unfortunately - all he knows about is an abnormal energy
  reading in an active volcano nearby.

  That's what Gigil, still very much alive, was waiting to hear.  He hurries
  off, and Basara tells the soldier that he's headed off too to let Sybil hear 
  his song.  The soldier isn't going back to the Empire anymore - he'll use
  whatever means necessary to get back to his home planet.  Basara lets him
  hear one more song first, a song to give him the courage to travel the great 
  distance back.

  Basara then arrives at the volcano, only to find that the earth is in great
  upheaval - hardly safe conditions.  He hears Gigil's screams, and runs over
  to find Gigil hastily trying to get to Sybil.  Basara can see the electricity
  surrounding her, though Gigil apparently can't.  Touching that would likely
  be fatal, and when Gigil doesn't believe him Basara tells this shitty-assed
  kid to back off.  Gigil must like getting said ass Tazered, because he simply
  refuses to stop trying to wake Sybil up.  Basara has a much better way of
  pulling it off with his songs...

Basara recalls how the ruins on that planet seemingly responded to Sybil's
awakening.  And Sybil then took him and Gigil on a tour of the galaxy.  Such
wide, deep scenery - and Basara is now determined to sing loud enough and deep 
enough that the whole galaxy will hear - hear the sound of his heart.  Mylene
then storms in, expecting a fight to get Basara to help set up for their next
concert.  Basara agrees without complaint, and the startled Mylene asks her
puffball Gubaba if something is wrong with Basara (like it would know).  Basara
tells the galaxy to wait - he'll let it hear the Fire Bombers' music soon
enough.


Scenario 37. Hatenaki Tabiji no Hajimari ("Start of a Never-Ending Journey")

Gloval is sitting in his office, reflecting how he's entrusted another cruel
mission to Focker and the others.  Claudia is sure the Alpha Numbers will
understand, but Gloval says that even if they do, it doesn't make the way he's 
gone about it any more honorable.  Claudia figured he'd say that, and has taken
the liberty of adjusting his schedule a tad.  In come Kuttner and Riliina, who 
with Gloval intend to see the "exiled" Alpha Numbers off personally.  Gloval
praises her as the best secretary in the world, and Claudia continues to hold
out hope that one day she'll be able to be with Focker.

Elsewhere, Azrael is furious with the Council's decision, which has Miwa
puzzled.  Miwa says that he's quite relieved that their former SDF commander
showed no mercy in his decision, but Azrael shouts back that he ordered Miwa's 
people to grab the Alpha Numbers' warpower for their own.  While it's true that
the troublemakers will be gone, it's also true that they'll be forced to stop
their plans halfway.  He grudgingly hands it to Gloval for being enough of a
strategist to read his intentions and put the Alpha Numbers beyond his reach,
and laments further that the old men will be quite upset when they hear that
he's let the artificial human slip through his fingers.  Miwa tries to soothe
his superior, saying that the Zaft should pose no threat to the massed might of
the Federation - heck, neither will the aliens or the Subterraneans.  Azrael
smirks and says that seems rather doubtful given Miwa's track record, which
infuriates Miwa no end coming from a mere "arms merchant".

Natarle then comes in, expecting to begin military work.  Instead, Azrael
introduces her to Miwa as his chauffeur - though he quickly says he was joking.
He's posting three new mecha on her ship as observers, and Miwa is shocked to
realize that she's actually a _captain_, and a very skilled one too.  Good
enough to command the second Archangel-class vessel, in fact.  As for Synapse, 
Azrael's had him thrown in the clink, and figures that he'll probably get
executed eventually.  Even Miwa begins to wonder just how much pull this guy
has inside the military, and Azrael says that it's his good fortune to find his
new captain so young and beautiful.  Azrael's plans are to head to space, and
tells Miwa to amass his forces on the moon.  Miwa protests that that would
leave the Earth defenseless to the Subterraneans, but Azrael observes that Miwa
doesn't seem to have realized his position yet: he's at Azrael's beck and call.
Miwa hesitates, and finally accedes.  He then tells Natarle to come with him
for a bit of Coordinator extermination, all for the sake of this blue, pure
world.

Things are bleak at Icarus.  Chain is very sad that she can't even see Amuro
off, but Nina is sure that the Heavy Weapon System she included for the Nu
Gundam will amply demonstrate her feelings.  Erica councils patience, until the
Alpha Numbers return and the true battle begins.  Meanwhile, Tashiro greets his
old friend Captain Gloval - or rather, Secretary-General Gloval.  Neither
expected to meet each other again like this, and when Gloval asks Tashiro says 
that, as could be expected, the Alpha Numbers couldn't hide their alarm when
the decision reached them.  Some of your people understood the purpose behind
his order, but Gloval is still regretting the fate he's sending your people
to.... even if every last human on Earth was sent forth, it probably wouldn't
be enough.  Riliina believes that your people can do it... as the only thing
she can believe in now...  Oota assures them all that your people have fought
all this time for what they love and believe in, without thought of reward.
Surely they'll head forward without ill will in Amano's view, and Kuttner can't
begin to find words of suitable admiration for his one-time foes.  Oh, and
those left behind have a plan to push forward: the Carneades Project, upon
which the fate of man and indeed all life rests.  Oota is sure that Jupiter,
imbued with THE POWER, will do the trick, and that's why your people must be
sent to space.  They must stop the contraction phenomenon, and find out more
about the Protodevlin.

Tashiro's second comes in to announce that preparations for departure are
complete, including transfer of new armaments for the EVAs.  Gendou is, as
usual, nowhere to be found, but his shipment of EVA goods to Icarus means that 
wherever he is, he seems very well informed.  Gloval doesn't like the wildcard 
of Zeele and the returning Angels, and unfortunately a certain set of women
haven't made it in time for the launch.  Amano says that they'll SURELY be here
momentarily...

Your people are variously unhappy about leaving so much unfinished business on 
Earth.  Amidst the bellyaching, Ryouma asks a rather piquish Cosmo what he felt
when his colony fleet left Earth.  After a moment, he admits he was very
nervous - but more than that, he was hopeful.  Ryouma digests this, and says
that the rest of your people need to learn from his example.  Cosmo seems glad 
that someone is finally listening to him, and tells Ryouma not to worry about
Earth anymore, and to worry about himself instead.  Ryouma thanks him, but
Cosmo says no thanks are necessary - after all, they're all comrades.

Camille is still fretting over the same despair that Char grappled with.  But
he's learned that leaving your group and trying to follow in Char's footsteps
will change nothing, and Amuro tells him to come along for the ride if he's
troubled - he may just find his answer at the end of the fight.  Judou wonders 
what he's referring to, and Amuro recalls how Newtypes are said to be a new
strain of humanity more suitable for the environs of space.  And yet human
souls have a tendency to be drawn back to Earth's gravity well.  But if you can
get far enough away, without any place to return to, perhaps mankind really
_can_ find something new - perhaps even the future that Char was hoping to
find.

Kira meanwhile has begun to suspect that the war he's been fighting between
Natural and Coordinator is irrelevant. [Gee, ya THINK?] Humanity as a whole
might be to blame for man fighting man, and Aslan can see where he's coming
from.  But Zechs has a thought for them: like them, he had cast off his
homeland and everything related for a very tenuous belief.  As Aslan quiets
Cagalli's objections, he tells them that the actual value of ideals and beliefs
is best seen once you crash into the wall.  Duo says that unlike in manga,
there's no such thing as "justice will prevail" - but Wufei disagrees.  It
_will_ prevail as long as it's in your people's hearts.  Basically, all your
people are doing is taking that kind of fighting spirit on the road - and
assuming you want to save all of mankind, you can't let this journey fail.  As 
Kusuha and the others try to muster their resolve, Midori notes that there
seems to be an extra container among your luggage.  Well, mistakes happen with 
this big a logistical nightmare and whatnot, right?

The time to leave has finally arrived.  You've now got a better idea of how to 
navigate than the last time, but Liger warns everyone to stay on guard: there's
no telling what this Gate thingie will do to you, or when.  Entouji is still
locked away in his room in grief over Papillon's fate, and Hyuuga says it's now
entirely up to him if he can recover or not...

But you're not quite ready to leave yet: the Golar Golems are on the scene,
having wiped out the Federation observers to get here.  Max is quite confused: 
wasn't it their purpose to draw you out into space in the first place, to fight
with their enemies?!  Well, you gotta fight them anyway.  Ryuusei notes that
Hazar isn't around (off chasing Irui?) and Shinji now knows that his father is 
watching him from afar - he thinks to his father that this is everyone's fight 
he's taking with him out of the Solar system.

  Obliterate all foes within six turns for a Skill Point.

  One of the enemies has a Booster.

  Once you kill enough bad guys, Ace and his contingent show up.  Armana is
  shocked to see them here, and Rulia says it seems they already know that
  they've hidden out on your ship.  Cosmo has to be the one to tell your people
  to keep a stiff upper lip and fight these guys off, and help shows up from a 
  very unexpected source - a battleship over twice the size of a Colony(!).
  From it emerge two enormous robots: the Gunbuster crew is here to help save
  your ass.  Riliina is aboard the battleship, and she asks your faltering
  [damn plot BS] people to fight, and that this aid is all she can do for you. 
  Their battleship, the Eltrium, isn't actually finished yet, but when it is,
  the true battle will begin.  Tashiro won't permit any of your people to die
  until then.  Noriko's coach reminds her to keep her courage and guts about
  her to the ends of the galaxy, and all your people exchange a rather fonder
  farewell with those staying behind before pressing forward with the battle.

  The Skill Point condition changes to include taking down Ace's ship last.

  Other enemies have a Magnetic Coating and a Dual Sensor.  Another has an
  Analyzer.

  As you continue to pound Ace, you begin to hear Blue Danube through your
  earphones.  Who should arrive to see you off but the Docougar.  As Bundorl
  asks Remy to stop calling him "Bun-chan", Kuttner tells Riliina he was
  figuring on acting as the Security Council's official "overseer" of your
  people off in deep space.  Kernagul wasn't well suited to corporate life
  anyway, and Remy begins to actually succumb to Bundorl's rhapsodizing about
  the beauties of space.

  Ace is worth a Gravity Territory [holy shit, haven't seen one of those in
  eons!]  He figures he's gathered enough data, and abruptly Hazar and his
  goons appear amongst you.  He doesn't mind your people heading out to space, 
  but he wants a certain thing you've borrowed from him back.  He's not willing
  to tell the likes of Ryuusei precisely what that thing is, but before he can 
  gloat any further the Gate begins to kick into gear.  Bright orders your
  ships to get close to each other and warns Tashiro that he'd better leave
  lest he get dragged along too.  Tashiro and Gloval are leaving the future of 
  mankind to you and bail, but Hazar is willing to risk getting Crossgated to
  get Armana back.  He does _not_ want the Emperor to figure out what he's up
  to...........


Scenario 38.

Things are looking grim - City 7 and the Daikuu Maryuu are still close to
Battle 7, but the other ships have been separated somehow, and all the former
Docougar members have been completely lost.  Misa runs down the mecha this ad
hoc fleet has managed to recover.  You can decide where your main character
ends up - if it's the Soloship, go to 38S.  If it's the Battle 7, go to 38B.
Max has word sent to the Ral Kairam that they're all to meet up at the center
of the contraction once they all return to real space.


Scenario 38S. Unmei no Honou no Naka De ("Amidst the Flames of Fate")

The Baff Clan are hard on your heels as you exit hyperspace, despite you
warping out in rather arbitrary coordinates in deep space.  And they are known 
to be able to follow you even through DS Drive.  Just how wide is these dudes' 
range anyway?!  It hardly seems fair that they keep attacking you, but if you
want to stop the contraction you can't hang out here too long.

  After damaging Geejay enough, he tells you not to think of his new machine as
  one of those crummy gravity well-oriented mecha.  He prepares to fire some
  weapon that will blow out Ideon's circuitry... or rather, the circuitry of
  its pilots.  This trades on the fact that Ideon responds to willpower - and
  if your pilots are deprived of that...  Things would be looking grim, except 
  Cosmo is such a hothead that a little headache actually makes Ideon respond
  to him more.

  Geejay's sorry ass is worth a Biosensor.

As soon as you've immobilized the enemy, Bes has all your people gather
together so you can escape via DS Drive to Caral.  Geejay still vows to follow 
them though...  Caral is a planet which was colonized before Solo was - but
appears to have been attacked in the meantime.  Given how badly things have
been damaged during the fight, you've got no choice but to set down anyway and 
repair.

Aboard the Gaburo Zan, Geejay tells of the giant's escape from the kekkai.
Dalam would normally be happy that his prediction of Ideon's power was
accurate, but... The question is still open how the heck to catch the thing.
Geejay wonders why the Logo Dauians have set out into space in the first place,
and Dalam figures it's a general invasion - presumably it's only a matter of
time before they try to take over his galaxy too.  Geejay says that that's all 
the more reason to get their hands on the thing, but Dalam recalls the old
legend that Ide shines for the righteous.  Is their side really that righteous?
Geejay thinks so, at least where defeating their enemies back home is
concerned.  And given how the Orme Conglomerate has given them this ship and
all this money along with the order to grab the giant, there's little choice
but to believe in that.  Heck, they might even be able to take down Halulu if
they can grab the giant...

Meanwhile, Liger and the crew have been able to pinpoint pretty much where the 
contraction is centered.  But with spacetime so unstable, you can't just DS
Drive straight there.  If you tried, you might get stuck in subspace forever,
which comes as small comfort to Ryuusei and the rest of your crew.

As for the city here, it's pretty much a shambles, and shows signs of being
recently attacked too.  The Soloship folk, with Cosmo in the lead, are pissed
at the sight and make it clear that they don't think the first-timers in space 
would understand.  Shinguji tells them that he's had about enough of their
martyr complex, and Hayato points out that whatever the past might be, in the
present, you're all out here together.  Benkei adds a few words of
conciliation, and Moela apologizes for his choice of words - he knows well
enough that now's not the time to be fighting amongst yourselves.

That would be because there are no signs of life, as Akira runs over to report.
Analysis shows that this is indeed the Baff Clan's handiwork, and the kids
really want to believe that the Clan can't have gotten everyone.  Cosmo tells
the kids to come with him and search if that's what they believe, but before he
gets far one of those survivors nearly shoots him dead on the spot.  She yells 
at everyone to get off her planet.  Fortunately, your people convince her that 
you're on her side.

Fortunately, Cosmo only received a flesh wound from Kitchin, who's explaining
what happened to Bes and Bright.  Cosmo smiles and says he's going to go talk
to this girl who shot him too, and your people aren't sure whether to admire or
lament his tough-guy attitude.  Well, it'll probably help him live longer than 
Fard, who is sobbing inconsolably after basically stubbing his toe.  In
principle, guys are supposed to cry less than girls, so if he really has a Y
chromosome he'd best stiffen that upper lip.

Cosmo then introduces himself to Kitchin, who apologizes for nearly blowing him
away before.  That said, she seems inclined to blame him for bringing the Baff 
Clan down upon her world, since she's now heard they're after Ideon.  Cosmo
tries to assure her that's not true, which mollifies her somewhat.  After all, 
not only her father (a soldier) has died, but countless other people as well.  
She'd like them all to leave as soon as possible, and Cosmo says you're all
planning to do just that as soon as repairs are complete.  Well, it's kind of
too late, and Cosmo rages against his fate of being turned away at every door
(including Earth).  He's not running all over the place because he wants to,
but because he has no choice.  When she asks, Cosmo tells Kitchin that he's not
sure if his fight will ever end, given how badly the Clan seem to want Ideon.  
She suggests he just hand Ideon over, which Cosmo and the others of course
thought of already.  But since you're all effectively prisoners of Ide, you
can't hand it over even if you wanted to - and even if you _could_, you'd all
get slaughtered anyway.  She seems to want to chat a little longer with him
now...

Certainly Cosmo seems to prefer hanging out with Kitchin to listening to
Karsha's hysterics.  The womenfolk are pretty sure it's a budding romance,
though Kalala notes sadly that if Kitchin isn't inclined to come with you that 
romance seems destined to end quickly.  Well, Judou takes the view that once
the fighting is over Cosmo will have all the time in the world to come back
here, which seems to cheer Kalala up considerably.  The Soloship technicians
take the opportunity to fiddle with the giant cannon at the Soloship's heart - 
a weapon that none of your people managed to notice until now.  Joliver isn't
surprised - it's half sunken into the floor and strongly resembles part of the 
engines anyway.  But there's little time to think, since the Baff Clan are at
it again.

In fact, at the moment the Soloship is immobile, making it that much easier for
Geejay to target.  Cosmo is nowhere to be seen, so your people will have to
keep the Clan away from the Soloship for now.

  Clear the map within seven turns for a Skill Point.

  On 1.5, the attack is causing damage in the city.  Cosmo tells Kitchin to
  take the other survivors to the Soloship, but she says she can't bear to
  leave this planet, her home.  As more stuff blows up around them, Cosmo tells
  her that he'll put his own ass on the line to protect the planet, and runs
  off.

  Meanwhile, people are scrambling to get organized aboard the Soloship, all
  except Fard, who is cowering in fear as usual.  Moela's angry shouts to get
  his ass in gear are of no avail, and he tells Labor that looking at this
  pathetic pile of blubbering reminds him of how he used to be himself.  Her
  softer touch with Fard seems to be getting results, so Moela's mood improves 
  a bit too, and he tells Fard that he's leaving the kids to him while he goes 
  and fights.  Fard then gives Moela his precious doll, saying that he'll be
  able to try real hard even without it.  It's pretty clear to Fard that Labor 
  has a thing for Moela...

  Cosmo shows up on turn two.  Karsha asks if he was hanging out with that
  little Kitchin girl, and Cosmo smiles and asks if she's jealous.  She feigns 
  being wounded, and Moela tells them both that they're going to have to fight 
  twice as hard to make up for all the time they've lost.  Moela has his woman 
  and all those kids to fight for, and as Cosmo looks on in surprise Moela
  explains that he's been a bit too pessimistic about the direction mankind's
  fate was moving in until now.  But he says he's now found a way for that fate
  to turn good, and the rest of the crew has utterly no idea what the heck he's
  babbling about.  I mean, loving Labor and all is fine and whatnot, but it's
  all rather sudden, plus you're in the midst of fighting for your lives and
  all...

  Geejay is worth a Chobham Armor, but he's not done yet.  Once you take him
  down a whole horde of Dalam's men show up, and with the Soloship still
  immobile you can't just flee with DS Drive.  Banjou notes that this is your
  first real do-or-die situation since going to outer space.  It's clear who
  you've got to take out: the enemy leader, which is the victory condition.

  Dalam is worth a puny Hybrid Armor.  Dalam isn't going to go down so easily, 
  and rapidly advances on Ideon.  He decks the B Mecha, badly injuring Moela.  
  Moela yells at them to worry about taking Dalam down, instead of him.  Cosmo 
  is in much the same state, and the last thing he's gonna take is Dalam
  underestimating him twice in a row.  He drop-kicks Dalam's sorry ass halfway 
  across the city, and unfortunately Dalam is headed right for the shelter
  where Kitchin and the crew are hiding out.  As the entire city block gets
  leveled, Cosmo's emotions reach their peak, and Ideon responds in kind.  The 
  Soloship does too, and now's the only time you could actually escape this
  place.  Banjou reports sadly that there are no survivors (making it easier to
  justify leaving) - is this your fault for coming to this planet in the first 
  place?  Even if so, you can't just stay here, especially with the Baff Clan
  closing in again.  Dalam, having escaped his exploding mecha, isn't about to 
  let you leave and summons another wave of stooges, but Joliver yells at Cosmo
  to use the Ideon Gun, apparently one of Ideon's weapons, which is aboard the 
  Soloship.  Techno tries to point out that they've not even tested it yet, but
  Cosmo will use anything that comes to hand if it'll wipe out the fucking Clan
  any faster.  Oh, it wipes out the Clan alright - friend and foe alike are
  aghast at this manifestation of the Power of Ide.  Dalam probably wisely
  flees the scene, leaving Geejay behind.  Geejay is furious, but he's prepared
  for this eventuality.  Moela isn't in that good of shape either, but he's
  impressed at the sight of the light that is changing everyone's fate...

Unfortunately, he won't be around to share that fate with you all.  Cosmo will 
make it, but he's had to get a blood transfusion from Kalala, since there were 
no other sources of O blood.  Pretty incredible luck that people from another
_galaxy_ would be compatible as blood donors, eh?

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is surveying the extensive damage to Ideon, and
pondering the terrible might of the Ideon Gun.  Cheryl notes that it wasn't so 
much "loaded" aboard the Soloship as "hidden" there - she realizes that if you 
misuse this monstrosity it will only bring you all to grief.  Camille tells her
to be more confident - to defeat your remaining enemies, you've no choice but
to go forward.  He cautions her to avoid saying such things again lest she just
make everyone nervous, and Misato adds that Cheryl, the most knowledgeable
about Ideon, will surely do the right thing with this new weapon.  As Cheryl
and the others prepare to redouble their investigations, Misato warns against
getting _too_ absorbed... it's not unknown for people under such circumstances 
to break down.

As it turns out, you've got a stowaway - it's Geejay, who instructs Cheryl to
remain quiet so he won't have to hurt her.  He angrily tells her that he's no
longer after Kalala - he merely wants to know what Ide really is, and what the 
"good power" it points to is all about...


Scenario 38B. Senka wa Hoshi no Kagayaki To ("Flames Of Battle Amidst the
Twinkling Stars")

It's been a week since leaving Earth, during which time you've withstood
several ambushes by the Alliance and the Protodevlin and the residents of City 
7 are pretty much going about their daily lives.  Ryuusei knows that you've got
the exact coordinates of the center of the contraction, and asks Max why you
don't just Fold their directly.  Daimonji answers in Max's place: the
contraction is making space-time very unstable throughout the galaxy.  If you
tried to just Fold there in one go, there's no telling what might happen.  In
other words, your only option is a series of much shorter Folds, and you can
only pray that the other half of your team is closer to the Sol Lords' evil
work than you are.  Max and Miria agree that in order to _stop_ the
contraction, you've got to figure out a safe way to get to its heart first.

As for why the front-line pilots have been summoned to a meeting to decide that
course, Daimonji explains that a certain region of space has been identified as
falling under Boazan control.  But the mecha originating from there don't seem 
to be of Boazan or Canpel origin as such - Viletta figures they must belong to 
some other planet under Boazan control.  The commanders all believe that
theory, that the Boazan are doing the same thing as the Empire in terms of
making servants out of worlds they defeat.  What's more, Ken'ichi's father has 
been out of contact since heading to Boazan, and Max wonders if he might have
some idea where his father might be.  Unfortunately, his father and Erika took 
only a small party to Boazan, precisely to avoid detection.  Miria then asks
Viletta to tell everyone what she knows about the layout of the galaxy.  Miria 
forestalls Ryuusei's objection, saying that this isn't a case of doubting
Viletta's loyalty.  After a pause, Viletta thanks Miria for her concern, and
asks Ryuusei in turn if he thinks her an alien, and from a world hostile to
humans at that.  Ryuusei looks grim, saying the past is the past, and the
present is the present - and his commander is his commander.  Viletta says that
she feels exactly the same, and Ryuusei apologizes to Miria for getting carried
away (Miria commends his loyalty).  Viletta then begins telling them what she
knows.

Elsewhere, the Gunbuster people are soaking up the ambiance of the genuine city
aboard Macross 7.  Jung says it's only natural, since the Exelion is a military
vessel and this is essentially a civilian ship.  Noriko explains that they've
been hanging out near the border of the solar system all this time, and gets
asked why she didn't at least drop everyone a line.  She explains that the Top 
squadron's had it rough too - watching out for menaces from outer space and if 
need be eliminating them.  In fact, she and Admiral Britai's fleet have been
fighting off stray Zentraedi all this time.  Britai and the other Zentraedi who
haven't undergone Miclonization have taken the cruel mission upon themselves to
defend the Earth.  Noriko recalls how Britai was Exedore's former commander:
the two of them have a reputation as the Laurel and Hardy of the Zentraedi, and
it's fortunate that they're some of the few giants that have actually seen fit 
to join hands with the Earth.  Focker points out that there are precious few
examples of different races coexisting in peace in the galaxy - the alliances
with the Zentraedi and Barm are nothing if not miraculous in the grand scheme
of things.  That said, your people still hold out hope that that miracle can be
repeated again: Mylene is living proof of that.  As, for that matter, are
Ken'ichi and his brothers.  For that matter, from what you saw in the
Protoculture ruins, it seems likely they wanted their descendants to live
together in peace - and the Alpha Numbers might just be the people to bring it 
about.  Jung likes that idea, saying that Noriko didn't seem likely to find
anyone to her taste on Earth anyway.

Elsewhere, Kusuha has come to a dead stop in the middle of the street, eyes
wide as saucers.  Could she have met someone she knows?  SURELY NOT, since this
is City 7 and you're off in Bumfuck, Outer Space.  Plus, everyone here tends to
be far younger than your crew.  Kusuha fidgets, figuring she can't actually let
on that she thinks she actually saw _Armana_ here.  Rulia in fact had pulled
Armana aside, demanding to know what her princess was thinking.  Armana says
that her legs sort of moved by themselves when she saw Kusuha.  Rulia tells her
to stop caring about her - she's a mere human, only valuable as a tool.  Armana
points out that it's an undeniable truth that Kusuha risked her own life to
save her.  That may be, but they've got to get back to the Imperial homeworld
and report what the Golems and their supervisor Shiva are up to to the Emperor.
Armana is well aware of that, and Rulia asks her to be patient until she's done
repairing the transmitter aboard their mech.  Armana realizes that her time of 
freedom will end once contact is restored with the Empire...

Who should then wander by, but Basara!  Fancy meeting you here, is his view,
and in honor of their meeting he breaks into impromptu song.  Rulia is now
totally baffled by the psychological structure of Earthlings, but Armana begins
to really dig the music.

On the bridge, Misa detects signs that some sort of fight is underway ahead on 
your present course.  Exedore mumbles a complaint that this should happen while
Max is away from the bridge.  Since the enemy have already noticed you, Exedore
says there's no need to think: just send out the Alpha Numbers.

It seems the Alliance is duking it out with the Imperial forces that supposedly
run this area, and the Empire is taking it in the shorts.  Who should be
leading the fray but the supposedly incomparable Dangel, who's been waiting for
your people to arrive.  Viletta is not pleased at the realization that the map 
of the galaxy seems to have changed considerably since she knew last.  It still
seems astounding that the Imperial fleet could lose so easily, and Dangel says 
that that's nothing for the combined might of Zu Zanbajil and Janela.  Well, at
least now you know who's running the Alliance, and you figure you'd better beat
these guys down fast before God-knows what else happens here.

  Wipe the bad guys out within six turns for a Skill Point.

  One of the bad guys has a Hybrid Armor.  Dangel is worth a Large Generator.

Hyouma wonders aloud if Dangel is planning to say something like "I'll get you 
back for this", and Dangel is astounded that his thoughts have been read like
that.  Hyouma says that that kind of muscle-headed evil-doer line is obvious
without even thinking about it, and he challenges Dangel to try to come up with
something more clever for next time.  Dangel, furious, says it's time to show
you his hidden technique - though it appears all he did is just escape.
Kyoushirou quotes the old proverb that "the weakest dog barks the loudest".

After the battle is over, your people muse over the strong but unstylishly
designed bad guys.  Mylene seems somehow downcast that there are so many
different kinds of robots in the galaxy, and Basara sniffs that it'd be pretty 
boring if they all looked alike.  What Mylene is thinking is that it might be
pretty tough to reach an understanding with people who would design such very
different stuff from your own - and Docker blithely tells her that he'll simply
blow away the next wave of bad guys that threaten her too.  Basara figures he's
hopeless.

Just then, two new large vessels approach.  It's Heinel and Richter!  Or, at
least it looks like them... Tetsuya is quick to remind your people that you
nearly got your asses handed to you by imposters during the previous war.
Megumi uses her vehicle's spy beam to scan them, and it certainly _seems_ like 
they're the real thing.  Ken'ichi tells Kusuha that something about the note in
his "brother's" voice seems like the real thing.  But the surprises continue:
it seems that they're here at the behest of Zu Zanbajil and Janela to formally 
seek peace with your people in the interest of defeating the Balmar.  But, this
makes no sense since Heinel was fighting to _stop_ Zanbajil from selfishly
using the people of his world.  Richter says that the current chaos in the
galaxy is the fault of the Ze Balmariy Empire - defeat them, and the road to
peace will be opened.  While it's true that something _will_ have to be done
about the Empire, it's rather abrupt for people who were busily invading the
Earth not a week earlier to propose this kind of thing now.

Heinel announces that if you don't accept the terms, you will be branded as
enemies of the Alliance.  Sara is rather disappointed that things would fall
into this same old pattern, and Shinobu points out to the emissaries that their
scheme of either making you their pawns or trying to destroy you is precisely
what the Empire has been pulling all along.  Richter asks if that's your
answer, and Daimonji defers to Max.  ...Who says that there's no need to check 
with him - your people cannot bow to belligerence.  Heinel welcomes you onto
the road ahead in that case, saying that he and Richter will surely fight you
again ere your journey's end.  Ken'ichi begs his brother for an explanation,
and all Heinel will say is that while they share the same blood, they are of
different planets.  Guess the battle is fated or some such.  Richter refuses to
answer Kazuya's question about whether he thinks Erika would approve, and the
two of them fly off again.  Well, you've been duly warned at least.  Neither
Ken'ichi or Kazuya can figure out why they've _got_ to fight their relations
again despite all the fighting it took to make peace before...

This is all quite a shock.  The best Hyouma can offer is that, knowing Heinel
and Richter, they must have a reason for their apparent betrayal.  Of course
you don't know what that reason is just yet, but when you find out you might be
able to get by without actually fighting them.  Kazuya doubts that, saying that
he felt no hesitation in Richter's words - whatever the reason might be, the
threat of military force _itself_ was entirely his will.  Ken'ichi agrees, but 
Ryuusei is adamant that even if it's to defeat the Empire, it's inexcusable to 
try to use your people as mere pawns.  Ken'ichi and Kazuya agree - mustering
the resolve that _if_ they indeed have to fight their erstwhile comrades down
the road, they'll do so without hesitation.  After all, if they've got Boazan
to fight for, you've got the Earth.  Kouji wonders in anguish if something
can't be done about all this, and Tetsuya says that Heinel was right - it may
well be the destiny of people of different worlds to fight each other.  Viletta
says that many races throughout the galaxy have fallen into silence because of 
such principles, and Kusuha, agitated, asks if she means that only the strong
and willing to fight are allowed to live in this galaxy.  The thought of the
weak all dying off and leaving only the strong fills her with sadness, but
Viletta tells her that that's the iron-clad law of the universe.  Kusuha looks 
up, and says with impressive firmness that she won't accept that.  Focker
points out that you're shortly going to collide with the Alliance fleet - what 
does she plan to do then?  Tetsuya points out that nobody goes out of their way
to fight needlessly, and also points out that some fights are simply
unavoidable.  Kusuha says that what she _will_ do is fight in order to _end_
this fighting.  She's unwilling to lose even to some iron-clad law of the
galaxy, and the rest of your crew agree.  All that remains is to see what's
left when the unavoidable fighting is over.

That said, Max has sent word to the Alliance of the contraction phenomenon,
asking for at least a temporary cease fire - which would at least postpone
having to settle accounts with them.  Hikaru laments the word "temporary", but 
Focker tells him that time is precious: even a little time may be enough for
circumstances to change.  He dismisses all the pilots, saying that it's all of 
their jobs to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.  None of your
pilots knows what lies ahead, and Tetsuya says that's the way it will always be
for all of you mere mortals, whose only weapon is force of arms.


Scenario 39S. Hate ni Matsu Mono ("What Waits at the End")

Cheryl has been hiding Geejay in her room and sneaking him some food.  He
hesitates, and when she says it's not poisoned he offers that he wouldn't mind 
if it is.  It's just that he can't stand how pathetic his ravenous interest is 
in Ide that he would even accept an enemy's food to further it.  He tells her
that he's failed far too many times already - but the more he's fought Ideon,
the more his curiosity in Ide grew.  And to satisfy that curiosity, he'll
endure any shame.  He begs her to tell him what Ide really is, and she asks
what that knowledge would gain him.  Absolutely nothing, he replies, but adds
that if Ide will indicate what "good power" is, he'd like to know too.  This
gets Cheryl thinking, and Geejay says he's trying to figure out if your people 
or the Baff Clan are on the side of good.  Or, perhaps _both_ are good, or both
are evil.  That question is eating him up inside...  and when a bit more sanity
returns he asks her if she plans to report him to her commander.  Cheryl has no
such plans at the moment, though she says that she's been known to change her
mind on occasion.  That's fine with Geejay, who leaves his life or death
entirely up to her and says he's far worse than a captive by now anyway.
Cheryl makes to leave for the funeral for all those who died on Caral, and
Geejay ponders how shameless a man he is alone in her room [o/~ Gee-gee-Geejay!
Who's that gigolo on the street, with his hands in his pockets and his
crocodile feet?  Hanging off the curb, looking all disturbed... *wheeze* *hack*
Old $k001...]

Bright orders all present to pay their respects to your comrades, especially
Moela, and to all those on Caral who perished.  Labor beings sobbing
uncontrollably as she feels Moela slipping away.  She is nigh inconsolable, but
Fard vows to Moela that he'll become strong!  Afterwards, Ryouma finds Cosmo in
the hangar, asking how his wounds are doing.  Somehow, the blood transfusion
from Kalala did the trick, and Ryouma tells Cosmo that he heard about Kitchin
from Techno.  Cosmo frowns and asks if Ryouma's come here to try to comfort him
or something, like the good little honor student he always seems to play.  No, 
Ryouma says - he wants to talk to Cosmo about something.  Does Cosmo think that
the destruction of Caral was Ide's fault?  Cosmo thinks for a moment, saying
slowly that it's certainly true that your people have Ideon, and the Baff Clan 
are pursuing it, and the final result was Kitchin's death.  But he'll be damned
if he lets that sort of chain of events beat him.  FUCK if he does!  Even if
being a Ide hostage is his version of "fate" or whatever, he's going to fight
every way he knows how to change it.  Ryouma gives him an "I see" and prepares 
to walk off, and Cosmo demands to know what he was thinking by coming over
bringing it up in the first place.  Ryouma says that he may be a lot like Cosmo
after all, recalling how the great power he can't run from has already cost him
one of his dear friends.  He says that out here in the middle of space, the
menace of that power might be getting to him.  That power is, you guessed it,
Getter Rays.

Later, Cheryl asks Geejay what sort of power the Baff Clan think Ide is.  The
concentrated will of billions of the Sixth Culture's people, he says, and
Cheryl says that your research has led to the same conclusion.  He adds that
it's believed that Ide holds their very will prisoner - if not, Cheryl says, it
never would have moved in the first place.  But the power Geejay witnessed
yesterday was beyond his imagining - and he figures it got that way by
amplifying the desire of those aboard the ship for self defense.  In short,
Cheryl says, its self-defense instincts are like a child, or even an infant -
which is something that hadn't occurred to the Baff Clan.  So what if an actual
infant was put into Ideon?  Certainly worth trying, in both of their view...

Keith and Ryuusei are impressed with the might of the Ideon Gun, figuring that 
if they can master its use they can even beat the Baff Clan.  Camille isn't so 
sure, wondering if such a weapon even ought to be used in the first place.
Amuro reminds everyone that the Power of Ide is the concentrated will of the
culture that created the Ideon.  The Newtypes could actually _feel_ that will
when Ideon's gauge reached full, not as some sort of vengeful apparition or
mass of resentment, but like a normal human will.  But in the moment it fired
the gun, the whole of Ideon was filled with a great and terrible anger,
probably in response to Cosmo's own anger.  Well, Monsha reasons, if all it
takes is Cosmo's anger to control Ideon, you're home free!  ONLY, says Kusuha, 
if you believe your people can control their own anger in the first place.  She
believes that Ideon can respond to _all_ of your people, not just Cosmo, and if
anger and hatred should build in your people over the battles to come Ideon
might actually unleash an even more fearsome energy than what you saw
yesterday.  And as Judou is quick to realize, that power might just be pointed 
back at you.  After all, _all_ anger is self-destructive to begin with, as
Kusuha knows all too well.

Camille is pretty sure that no human could control Ideon if that happens, but
you can't just afford to seal away Ideon and let the Baff Clan have their way
either.  It appears that even in outer space your people are still stuck in the
downward spiral of hatred and revenge: the human ego seems unable to change
even in the inky depths far from home.  But, that being said, Camille has no
plans to let that vortex swallow him: what he's realized is that to live out
here in the darkness, there must be connection between human hearts.  It might 
be the very desire for companionship that gives rise to misunderstanding and
egotism, but if you can get past that, something must surely be waiting on the 
other side.  And that's what Camille plans to see by living through all this
fighting.  Kusuha looks forward to that too, but Amuro knows that you've first 
got to undergo a trial never before experienced - and then maybe you'll finally
have moved towards the future that "he" wanted...

Rulia and Armana are conferring about how far the Baff Clan invaders have come 
into their Empire's space.  Armana is sure that Kusuha and the others can evict
them, and they repeat the same conversation they have on the other route.

Ryouma is thinking of Musashi when the other Getter team come over.  He asks
Hayato if there's been anything unusual about Shin Getter, and Hayato asks if
there's anything Ryouma was thinking about.  Ryouma says that Getter is far
more powerful than this - he himself isn't able to bring that forth.  He blames
his resurgent fear of Getter Rays, emotional control beginning to crack as he
shouts at Hayato to look at what Ideon's power has wrought.  Getter could be
even _more_ dangerous if it went out of control!  He first piloted Getter to
save the professor and Michiru from the Dinosaur Kingdom, and Getter indeed
lent him strength.  But look at what happened to Musashi!  Hayato yells back
that Musashi didn't die because of Getter Rays - he died because the rest of
you weren't strong enough.  Ryouma isn't sure about that, and says he's
genuinely afraid of Getter Rays.  What if mankind is to be destroyed by Getter 
Rays one day, just as the lizard-men once were?  Benkei reminds him that Getter
Rays have the power to evolve humanity, but Ryouma asks what happens if they
evolve into a form unsuitable for this universe?  The poor guy is just not
coping, which is bad given that the enemy have chosen now as the time to
attack....

Your people sortie... except for Ideon, which lacks a replacement pilot for
Moela.  Getter Dragon _is_ on the scene, and Ryouma says that while he's afraid
of Getter Rays, he's more afraid of the fate awaiting those on Earth if he
doesn't fight.  It was his promise to Musashi that he'd protect the Earth, and 
he's not about to break that promise.  Hayato is glad to hear Ryouma has his
head on straight, telling him not to worry about extraneous things for now.

Dalam isn't happy about where it is he's followed your people to, but all the
Gid Macks and Garbo Jacks he's received from Halulu are in place.  Dalam almost
thinks that Halulu must be going soft, and then decides that there must have
been some kind of quid pro quo between the military and the Orme, if not an
outright alliance.  This is all the more reason for Dalam to save face here,
and Geejay realizes that he's coming to settle the score.  Dalam's plan is to
force the giant out by wrecking all your people - and he warns that there are
nifty life forms in this area that will be draining energy all the while.

  For a Skill Point, take down Dalam last within eight turns.

  Ideon simply can't be sortied without another pilot.  Dek volunteers, and
  while your people appreciate the sentiment it simply wouldn't work out.
  What's more, the Ideon Gauge is totally dark - it's not clear if you used too
  much power in the previous battle or what, but the thing is straight immobile
  in any case.  This will make it pretty hard to avenge Kitchin...  Cheryl has 
  a plan to fix this though, and attempts to haul Ruu off to Ideon.  The other 
  kids attempt to intervene, but Geejay comes out of hiding to help her.  She
  doesn't care if they tell on her, but she tells them one thing: if you want
  to know what the Power of Ide is all about, you'd better let Geejay stay
  aboard the Soloship.  Remember that Lotta is the girl who tried to kill
  Kalala, not that Cheryl is worried about that anymore.  Geejay himself
  doesn't care if he lives or dies.

  On turn 3, the Golems show up, meaning Hazar is probably somewhere nearby
  too.  They seem to be interested in the Ral Kairam, which must be wherever
  that "item" they were looking for is located.  This rapidly degenerates into 
  a threeway showdown, and Rulia's transmitter isn't repaired yet...

  As the battle wears on, Cheryl radios in from inside the B Mecha, telling
  them that the time has come to launch.  The other pilots are amazed to hear
  that Lotta is with her, and even more amazed that the Gauge is lit.  Cosmo
  doesn't care how she did it so long as he can fight.  Techno overhears a
  certain other voice from within the mech as well...  Cosmo emerges, ready to 
  take revenge, and Camille laments that Cosmo's going about this the wrong
  way.  Dalam has been waiting for this moment, and launches what Cosmo
  affectionately calls the "Headache Robot".  Ruu starts crying up a storm, and
  Ideon's gauge goes nuts.  Looks like Cheryl's theory was correct, though
  Ryouma is hardly thrilled that she'd put a child in danger to find that sort 
  of thing out.  He is oh so not having it, and strays too close to the enemy. 
  As he gets blasted, Ryouma yells to Cosmo to use this chance to escape - he
  won't accept using a baby's tears to bring forth the Power of Ide.  Even
  without that power, or the power of Getter Rays, Ryouma will _still_ protect 
  the Earth!  But just then something strange happens in your hangar: Shin
  Getter launches itself!  Hayato tells Ryouma that Dragon can't take any more 
  fighting, and to transfer to Shin Getter.  As Ryouma hesitates, the light of 
  Getter Rays bathes him....

  The voice of the departed Musashi tells him that he has been chosen among all
  the numerous dimensions as a human who will live alongside Getter Rays.  So
  why won't he try to accept those rays?  Ryouma asks Musashi to tell him what 
  the Getter Rays really are - are he and Musashi merely prisoners of them?!
  Musashi says that evolution is something one must reach out and grab for
  oneself - Getter Rays merely show the way.  Getter Rays do nothing, except
  accompany him.  Musashi tells Ryouma to hurry - the time of judgment upon the
  universe draws nigh.  What will defeat Apocalypsis is not Getter Rays, but
  the human heart that accompanies them.  Ryouma desperately asks what
  Apocalypsis means, but Musashi instructs him to fight against his fate - that
  is the destiny of all life, no matter what dimension or what world.  He tells
  his old friend that he believes in him...

  He has assumed Shin Getter's controls, and he yells to Cosmo that no punk-ass
  Getter Rays can defeat Nagare Ryouma!  He'll head to whatever end with Getter
  at his side, and it seems both he and Getter are over the blues.  With his
  trusty companions at his side, he's going to see this all the way through.
  Dalam is beginning to realize that Ideon isn't the only thing with infinite
  power.  The Ideon crew quickly debate what to do about Geejay, and at
  Cheryl's urging Cosmo agrees to press forward.  He tells Lotta to shoot
  Geejay if he does anything fishy, and Geejay adds that if he does something
  to upset her, one bullet will simply not do - she's to fire a good ten or
  twenty to make sure he's well and truly gone.  He's prepared himself for
  fighting his own kind, and Cosmo yells that he's counting on him.

  As Cosmo heads over to hose off Dalam's ass, Dalam is appalled at how much
  power Ideon has left despite munching through his entire airforce.  Such
  power ought not to exist in this world, and for that matter, neither should
  he!  As Dalam's flagship is blown to smithereens, Dalam (briefly) gets to
  ponder how he wasn't worthy of Halulu after all...

  There's a bunch of booty in this battle, including Dalam's Large Generator.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  Hazar, Ganlon and the full posse of stooges shows up. 
Hazar thanks you for the interesting show, and muses that you've led him on
quite the merry chase to get back what he's looking for.  Ganlon greets Kusuha 
and Brit too, though he corrects himself and says that Brit is as good as gone.
Armana is worrying that her presence here is imperiling all your people, and
Duo meanwhile is getting sick of going from one dire pinch to another.  As
things are looking grim, Ryouma draws encouragement once more from Musashi, and
the Ideon Gauge seems to respond in kind.  Akira then hears a warning from
Reideen - possibly to do with the Power of Ide and Getter Rays?  The resulting 
light is like the time Ide threw the Soloship through space, and Musashi tells 
Ryouma to hurry - Apocalypsis is already about to begin!

All this fuss and bother is worth it for the look on Hazar's face at the sight 
of your entire crew vanished from the area.  Baran thinks to himself that the
princess has now earned more time to flee, which doesn't seem bad to him.
Etsilla then shows up, feigning surprise to see the border army so far from
their expected location on Earth.  Hazar looks very grim, but Etsilla says she 
has no intention of tattling on him to the emperor.  In return, she offers a
deal: Hazar's information and knowledge, specifically regarding the "other
sacrifice" Hazar's been following.  This comes as some shock to Baran...

Aboard the Soloship, the squeaky little Karsha is taking the opportunity to
pummel Geejay around.  What she'd like is him executed, given how he used to be
your arch-enemy and now is so shameless that he'd actually like to join up with
your side.  Geejay will let her say what he wants - what _he_ wants is to see
what it means for the Power of Ide to manifest.  She screams at him to drop
dead, which is unlikely to occur especially since Geejay is asking Ide to let
him live long enough to see what he wants.  Bes recalls the legend that Ide
will occur for the sake of good power - but what of your people?  Like Geejay, 
your people are trying to take their hatred and sorrow out on others - in fact,
a wretched, pathetic lot.  Geejay begins to cry, saying that he knows no way of
making reparations.

Camille asks Cosmo what he thinks of Geejay.  Cosmo will certainly acknowledge 
his skills as a pilot, which really helped save everyone's ass back there
during the battle.  Karsha insists that he's a _Baff_Clan_, but Ema points out 
that he had any number of chances to betray you already, and didn't.  Banjou
agrees, and as one man to another feels that Geejay's tears are genuine.  The
SEED pilots are conflicted over this turn of events, but Kira and Aslan have
the right idea: fighting just because of being born on different planets is far
too sad a thing.  Diakka isn't having it, but can't really come up with a
convincing counter-argument.  The decision is Bright's to make, and he says
that Geejay seems to be every bit as much a hostage to Ide as the rest of you. 
Therefore he leaves the decision up to him as the leader of the Soloship, and
Cosmo comes up with a rather simple suggestion: flip a coin!  Heads, Geejay is 
one of you.  Tails...  Karsha thinks this is all foolish, but can't muster the 
resolve to insist on him being killed on her own.  This is actually rather
nifty, in the sense that the proof will be crystal clear to everyone present.  
If it's tails, Geejay will be labeled as traitor, and Geejay agrees to it.
It's heads, and Karsha asks how Cosmo could decide something so important like 
this.  She lacks the emotional fortitude or intellect [or facial structure, or 
bustline, or personal hygiene, etc.] to refute Cosmo's arguments, and Cosmo
says that he will believe in Geejay, as he is now.

Hayato muses that fate should be separated by the width of a coin, and Ryouma
says fate isn't something he wants to give in to.  If this DS Drive was really 
brought about in part by Getter Rays, you may find the fate of mankind awaiting
you at the other side.  And if that fate is a bleak one, it's obvious what
he'll do - use all his power and try to change it.  That's the mission that
they and Musashi all share...

Where you end up... is _apparently_ Earth.  But things change very rapidly when
you get a message from the planet... from _Papillon_!!  She welcomes you all
and asks you to come down to the planet to talk, and Swan finishes pinpointing 
your location - the center of the contraction!  You've no choice but to go,
since this was your destination...


Scenario 39B. Tada Bosei no Tame Ni ("All For the Homeworld")

Walkymedes has passed the Alpha Numbers' answer along to Janela.  The
emissaries, seemingly at the Alliance's beck and call, listen as Dangel tries
to tell her that she needn't depend on such traitors when he's on the job.  She
cuts him short, saying that she wasn't talking to him.  Heinel notes that
although they refused her request, they _are_ a group of warriors unequaled in 
the galaxy, and Richter says the Alliance must somehow persuade them to join
the cause.  Dangel snorts and figures he's just afraid of fighting, or else
planning on turning on the Alliance.  After all, until just yesterday the two
of them were part of the so-called "free army" that was opposing Zanbajil.
Richter, containing his anger, instructs Dangel not to suppose that fighting is
the only way to lead a planet to prosperity.  Heinel agrees, saying that
warfare tends to bring unease to the people, and at times may endanger the very
world it was supposed to promote.  Walkymedes is bored with such rhetoric and
asks what they plan to do when actually confronted with the invading Empire.
Richter is not opposed to fighting strength with strength, which would be why
he and Heinel sought peace with the Alliance in the first place.  But, should
the Alpha Numbers continue to refuse the Alliance's overtures, they are both
prepared to strike down their former comrades.  Janela is looking forward to
the valor of the two famed captains, and signs off.

The two commanders take their leave, and Dangel starts bitching immediately to 
his brother about how treacherous they are, especially given that they've taken
the Earth's side before.  Given half a chance, he figures they'd side with the 
Earth and strike them down instead, and Walkymedes figures that would be only
sensible.  However, both of them, especially Heinel, have home worlds to defend
- and are so devoted to doing so that they'd even controvert their own
principles.  Heinel knows better than most people how important overthrowing
the Empire is... and as for Richter, Walkymedes has a bit of insurance to
prevent any treachery.  He understands Dangel's frustration, but says that this
operation came directly from Janela.  Dangel asks what would happen if they
succeed - his and his brother's positions would be entirely lost.  Walkymedes
isn't worried - he says that whether Heinel and Richter succeed or fail,
they're not long for this world anyway.  After all, there's no telling when a
stray dog will bite its new master's hand...

Heinel reminds Richter that the fate of Boazan depends on this.  He tells
Heinel to tread the path he must tread, but Heinel says that their paths are as
one, and tells him not to worry on his account.  Richter says that if this
battle is truly his fate, he'll fight with every last ounce of his strength,
and thinks to his absent sister that he'll probably have to fight Kazuya again.
But whatever results, he vows to save her.  Heinel in turn vows to his father
to see his planet through to safety, and asks him to turn a blind eye to the
foolishness of his son.

Your people show up, and before giving a formal answer to the request for a
truce Max wants to tell them about the contraction.  They're already well aware
of it, especially given how close Boazan is to the galactic center.  Max says
that that makes things easy, and points out that this is no time for your two
sides to be fighting if there's to be any hope of halting the contraction.
Richter knows that, as well as that that's not the only menace facing the
galaxy.  Your people point out to them that although they say they want peace, 
they're going about it just like the Empire they say they want to defeat.
Richter says that that's quite right - it's the iron-clad law of the galaxy
that only the powerful can see their wishes fulfilled.  Kazuya fires back,
saying that _all_ of you learned the falsehood of that in the previous war.
Richter allows that you took in his people, who had lost their home, and
managed to make peace with the very same giants who were _designed_ to wage
war.  But he figures it's futile to try to collaborate on an even footing in
facing the common danger.  They explain that the common state of most planets
in the galaxy is to be at war with their neighbors, lest they themselves be
overrun and vanquished.  This is a necessity that the Earthlings, blessed with 
relative isolation, will presumably not comprehend.  Ken'ichi implores his
brother to reconsider: no peace can ever result from this way of doing things. 
But Heinel says that peace _will_ come once Boazan rules all, and it certainly 
won't be too late to do that once those immediately threatening Boazan are
defeated.

Both sides have their own ideas of justice, and there can seemingly be only one
result: duking it out and seeing whose version of justice prevails.  Your
people will be damned if they give into this so-called iron-clad rule of the
galaxy, and Kusuha points out that you're not fighting to rule others, but to
save everybody.  Ken'ichi tells his brother that if he's strayed from the path,
Ken'ichi won't hesitate to fight with his full strength - and his brothers
agree.  Heinel commends his brothers, warriors from the Earth, on their
sentiment.

  For a Skill Point, take down Richter and Heinel, in that order, within seven 
  turns.

  After you take down enough bad guys, the Golems will pay you a visit!  This
  means Hazar is probably somewhere close by, and Heinel orders his troops to
  attack both them _and_ the Alpha Numbers.  The Golems are mostly interested
  in the flagship where Armana is hiding...

  Richter is worth a Long-Range Radar.  As his ship is about to go down in
  flames, Heinel pulls up and tells him to jump aboard.  Heinel is worth a
  Super Alloy Z.  But the battle isn't over yet - from the wreckage of the
  Skullrook emerges the Guardian Godor, the protector of Boazan.  Heinel yells 
  that now that he's assumed its controls, he offers his life to Boazan, and
  your people are amazed at his fighting spirit.  Ken'ichi wants to talk to
  him, to hear once more from Heinel himself how he can muster such
  determination to fight, but that hardly seems possible under the
  circumstances.  Basara will tell him one thing - if he's got something to say
  to his brother, he shouldn't beat around the bush.  Smash his heart right
  into him, and whether the message gets across or not is up to how strong his 
  heart is.  Everyone is behind Ken'ichi, especially Kazuya who wants to learn 
  what the truth really is here.

  Ken'ichi asks Heinel what's going on - had he met his father and Erika, who
  had headed to Boazan?  After a moment, Heinel declares that Kentarou is dead,
  killed as a traitor to Zu Zanbajil.  This is making Ken'ichi very pissed, and
  Heinel encourages that hatred - he is Ken'ichi's ENEMY!  Of course, Heinel is
  anything but, but he figures it's better this way.

  Ken'ichi figures that the least he can do is be the one to fight his brother,
  and although he feels no hesitation from his brother's sword, he wonders at
  the sadness he feels.  As Heinel is beaten down again, he flees to a spot
  somewhat distant from your people.  More Alliance mecha show up, but this
  doesn't seem to be a mere case of reinforcements.  Walkymedes' plan is
  simple: make it as though they died in battle here, and thereby guarantee
  their own position.  As the enemy start blasting away, Hyouma yells at
  Ken'ichi and Kazuya to hurry up and save your one-time comrades.  It's now
  clear that they were only fighting you in the first place because they had no
  choice, for whatever reason.  Your people are about to hurry off to the
  rescue when a new menace appears.  It's Hazar, Ganlon, and the whole crew of 
  stooges.  As Ganlon taunts Kusuha for her near-departed boyfriend, Focker
  tells the rest of your people to hold off the Golems so the V's and Kazuya
  can make it to their comrades.  The Goshogun people figure that this is now
  the end, and they plan to make it a spectacular one...

  ...When a voice from the depths of space tells them that they haven't changed
  a bit.  It's Kenta, who had formerly headed off to space with the
  super-energy Beamlar.  The Imperials don't know what to make of this, and
  Kenta gives Goshogun the chance to use Goflasher.  For all the fancy light
  show, it didn't seem that it did that much damage - but for whatever reason
  the Magma Beasts fled.  It takes Sakon to explain what happened: using the
  power borrowed from Kenta, Goshogun actually granted _souls_ to the enemy
  mecha!  Presumably they realized the error of their ways and left.

  The cool part is that when those Magma Beasts return, Walkymedes will figure 
  that Heinel and Richter were finished.  Now's their chance, and Richter tells
  Kazuya the truth: both Erika _and_ Kentarou are prisoners of Zu Zanbajil.
  Heinel sadly bids you all farewell, saying that he'll lay down his life if
  need be to save his father and Erika, and asks that you accept that as his
  apology.  As they leave, Hazar (who still hasn't quite figured out what
  happened), tells his people again to go and steal Armana back.  Calico stops 
  him, saying that for a moment, the energy Goshogun emitted registered as
  infinite.

  In fact, Kenta is about to take you all where you want to go: to the center
  of the contraction.  This is just like when the Power of Ide teleported the
  Soloship...

See the other path for Etsilla's conversation with Hazar.

It's now clear that Heinel and Richter aren't your enemies, though you can't
say they're your allies either.  They're fighting for Boazan, and laying it all
on the line in the process.  You now have to face the thought that with all
your enemies on a galactic scale, you may have to enlist help.  By force? No,
in Kusuha's view: by _joining_ forces, galaxy-wide.  In practical terms, this
means liberating planets throughout the galaxy and enlisting their aid, so more
sad battles like the one you just fought won't have to happen again.  The idea 
is to start with the resistance movement to Zu Zanbajil, meaning going to
Boazan and freeing Erika and Kentarou.  Which... you're better suited for than 
the other two.

OVA is impressed with how grownup Kenta has gotten, but Kenta says she's
exaggerating and points out he's only been gone a year.  Your people insist
that he's somehow much more manly, validating the old proverb about forcing
your precious child to travel.  Speaking of travel, he's going to help guide
you to the center of the contraction.  He says that it wasn't exactly him who
caused you to Fold - he merely borrowed a bit of a far larger power.  They ask 
if the power he speaks if is Beamlar, the power which furthers evolution.
Kenta says that Beamlar is one and all: all in one.  This is more than some of 
your crew can grasp, and Kenta apologizes that sometimes he can't even
understand his own thoughts or words anymore.  Sometimes the greater power he's
in tune with will simply flow through him, as was the case when he instigated
the Fold.  This means that when he mentioned Apocalypsis, he has no
recollection of what it means.  But he does know that it's very very dangerous,
and that he's come here to help stop it.

Your people arrive at your destination, which is.... apparently, Earth.  Kenta 
hurries off, and as your people prepare to descend you detect Gaofighgar
fighting somewhere in North America.  You can only hurry down and try to
help...


Scenario 40S. Yuusha-Ou, Saigo no Toki ("The Lord of Heroes' Final Moment")

Your scientific types finish their analysis - this place is, with a few
exceptions, Earth!  Papillon, or at least someone who looks like her, steps
forth to explain.  She sadly relates that she is a replicant, like this entire 
world is.  All this was created at the moment the fake Mamoru activated the
Pas-Q Machine, though the other replicated people proved very unstable and
basically dissolved before long.  Orbit Base itself left orbit and went
spinning off into space, and Papillon managed to escape and return to G-Island 
City.  What she found on the planet was a world peopled only by a few animals
and plants.  She's been living in GGG HQ ever since, believing that rescue
would come.  Her Sensing Mind abilities have told her that you all are from the
real Earth - and that the real her is probably dead.  She has no answers to
what the Sol Lords are up to, or where the real Mamoru and J are.  Renais leaps
forward, gazing intently into Papillon's eyes and even taking her hand in her
own superheated one.  Papillon meets her gaze sadly but steadily, and after a
long moment Renais smiles and welcomes Papillon home.  Your people are
overjoyed to see her back, and none more so than Entouji.  Banjou says that
while it's far too easy to say "all's well that ends well", it certainly isn't 
a bad way to kick off the fragdown with the Sol Lords.  Cosmo makes to leave
the tearful reunion, saying that this kinda stuff makes him feel pretty
embarrassed and opting to take a stroll around this replicated Earth.  Several 
of the kids follow him.

In fact, all your people begin to feel their spirits ease, opting to relax and 
recuperate.  All except Banjou, who regards all this with increasingly furrowed
brow.  Kaidou is also worried - his home solar system positively had three
suns, or rather one sun with two burning planets orbiting it.  So why is there 
only one sun here?

Geejay has also retained his sobriety, and tells Banjou that he fears the Baff 
Clan and Imperial forces nearby might also have been brought somewhere close by
the Fold.  Banjou agrees, saying that it would be far too convenient if only
your people had made good their escape.  Geejay asks Banjou what he thinks
about the Power of Ide, and Banjou replies that he hasn't given a thought to
the "good" and "bad" power that Geejay spoke of, precisely because Ide is the
fusion of all those Sixth Culture dudes' will.  Geejay gets his drift: will by 
itself is neither good nor bad.  If there is a purpose behind Ideon's actions, 
Banjou reasons, it must be caused by something like an ego.  Yes - it would
mean Ideon has a sense of purpose, and is moving you all to achieve that
purpose.  This interests Geejay, sounding like the modern rendition of some
sort of myth or fable.  Cheryl has been rather spaced out, and didn't actually 
hear Banjou's question as to her view on all this.  The Soloship crew who have 
been outside all seem to have been affected by this euphoria, and Banjou is now
gripped by full-fledged worry.

The Hero robots are hard at work scouting things out, and have failed to find
anything out of the ordinary.  Entouji tells Papillon that he's satisfied just 
to have her back with him, in any form.  He assures her that everything is
going to be alright now, but her Sensing Mind is telling her terribly, horribly
otherwise.  As Entouji tells her to relax, she gets a very _unrelaxing_
premonition of the Lord of Heroes torn to shreds.  The alarm then sounds,
warning of enemies from outside the atmosphere.  Entouji languidly contacts
Taiga, making Papillon worry too.

Karsha can't resist the opportunity to remind Geejay that she doesn't trust
him, but Cosmo says that that issue has already been settled and is counting on
Geejay's help.  The Baff Clan arrive from overhead - a relatively small
contingent who think they can grab the giant before Halulu arrives and thereby 
curry favor.  If these really are just the survivors of the last battle, you
might hope that no reinforcements are on the way.  Banjou ponders whether he
was worrying too much, figuring that if the shit is going to hit the fan,
there's nothing he can do at this point to stop it anyway.

  Defeat the bad guys within six turns for a Skill Point.  Even under the
  adverse conditions, you should be able to EASILY do it in half that.

  As the battle goes on, Banjou's worst fears are in fact confirmed, as your
  people discover increasing difficulty keeping their minds on the battle.

  The enemy flagship has a Long-Range Radar.

After the enemies are defeated, your people amble back to base to have a party 
or whatnot.  The cyborgs realize that something is very wrong with your team,
and Banjou calls them up to say he's realized too.  What's worse, even he is
not entirely unaffected from whatever mysterious force is sapping people of
their will to fight.  His last words before lapsing into sleep are to tell them
he's counting on them.  The Hero robots have no choice but to carry everyone
back to GGG HQ.

Meanwhile, Kaidou makes a very unfortunate discovery.  What he sees burning
overhead isn't the sun at all.  He hadn't believed it possible for all 11 of
the Sol Lords to gather at once, but since he sees a replica of himself... the 
replica forces him to come along, and his last thoughts are of J and Latio.

The GGG command staff are also suffering from the indolence of this world,
their cares about contraction and whatnot forgotten.  Unfortunately, Taiga has 
authorized all the Hero robots' AIs to be shut down, as it were, for
maintenance.  In fact, there's no more need for fighting in this world of love 
and peace, and all their weaponry is to be shut down.  Elsewhere, Mikoto is
trying to do the same by asking Gai to settle in for a nice picnic with her.
Gai's G-Stone sends him a dire warning, and he leaves her and her new dress
behind, praying that at least she understands...

Renais has a similar warning from her G-Stone, but before she can do anything
about it, Pilnas, the goddess of beauty and pleasure, appears before her.
Renais Equips and prepares to fight her way out, but she's badly overmatched
and gets quickly immobilized.  Pilnas tells her that pain and pleasure are two 
sides of the same coin, and says that her objective is to make Renais into a
very bad little girl.

Papillon can confirm for Gai that life is about to really suck.  The best she
can do is remind him of his pledge of courage, and pleads with him to hurry
lest her bad feeling come true.  As Gai leaves, Papillon is confronted by an
apparition - seemingly, the Grim Reaper.

It was indeed the Sol Lords who summoned Gai here.  Palpalepa welcomes Gai
here, and introduces the other Sol Lords... including Abel!  Abel tells Gai
that their objective is nothing other than restoring the Trinary Solar System. 
The fact that the Pas-Q Machines ended up on Earth in the first place was a
mere accident.  As for their relation to the contraction, what the Pas-Q
Machine actually does is absorb dark matter - which turns out to be the "air"
that keeps the galactic "balloon" inflated.  Abel says that the contraction is 
an unavoidable consequence of resurrecting their universe, and doesn't seem too
upset about all the hell it's causing other people.  He says that his people
have a right to live too, but Gai insists that it should be possible to live
_together_.  The Sol Lords don't seem interested, nor will they tell Gai where 
Mamoru is.

What they do do is give Gai a bunch of replicated bad guys to face, though they
lazily note that there might be too many of them.  Gai doesn't know who's in
the right here, but he does know that he's got people to protect, things to
believe in, and his pledge of courage to keep.  Thus, he'll fight!

  One of the enemies has a Super Alloy Z.

As he fights on OH SO belabored by his foes [like hell he was!] the Sol Lords
figure he's about reached the limits of what he can do alone.  Palpalepa has
handy a nice long-winded speech about how people are limited, can do nothing on
their own, and are both too weak to accomplish anything on their own and too
#lame to join their powers together.  Poor little life-forms: you don't even
own so much as the right to go on living.  Gai says he came here unhesitatingly
despite being kicked off the Earth, and says as a Hero it's his duty to go on
fighting.  Should he stop, everything he's stood for would be for naught, and
he begs someone, anyone, for assistance.  Who should arrive to answer his call,
but the Daikuu Maryuu and Battle 7!  Gai tells the new arrivals of the fate
Banjou and the others met, saying there's no time for detailed explanations and
urging them to help him take down the Sol Lords.  The Sol Lords realize that
the Paless Pollen hasn't had time to affect the newcomers.  It will soon, but
in the interim Palpalepa will fight them off.  He is very sure that he'll be
able to teach you all how powerless you are.  Gai disagrees, and it's to be a
clash of God-and-Devil versus Hell-and-Heaven.

Abel notes that they're evenly matched, and Hiroshi yells to Gai not to lose - 
one more step and victory will be his!  The adult Cain who spoke to Gai before 
appears, distracting Gai and giving Palpalepa a chance to defeat him.  This is 
very gory, and Gai asks the apparition of Cain why this is happening.
Palpalepa says that if the the two sides don't deny each other, neither could
exist.  The winner becomes god, and the loser becomes the devil.  That's the
law of the physical world according to him.  With Gaofighgar defeated, the Sol 
Lords withdraw, and as Hiroshi looks on aghast the rest of your people have
already fallen victim to the pollen's effects.  All except Basara, who feels
nothing more than mild drowsiness.  Papillon then contacts them, saying that
everyone must be treated and asking everyone who can move to come to a
specified location.  She asks them to hurry - with Gai defeated, there's very
little time left.

Hiroshi is quite astonished to see the Earth so completely replicated, and
Papillon shows up to explain how all this was accomplished.  She explains that 
the indolence is caused by Paless Pollen, which contains a chemical compound
causing relaxation of the central nervous system.  This world is brimming with 
it, presumably because one of the Sol Lords specializes in this sort of attack.
Papillon explains that she developed her Sensing Mind powers during an
experiment into hallucinogens during her student days - that specially rewired 
neural network of hers has luckily left her free of the pollen's effects.
Hiroshi realizes that she's going to be seen as an obstacle by the Sol Lords,
and in fact one of them already attacked - but was driven back by one of the
emissaries of the G-Stones.  That would be... Mamoru!

As your people walk in and attempt to welcome the newcomers, Basara gets
furious at the sight of their eyes, like dead fish.  He begins to sing,
appealing to the bravery, and fighting spirit, and JUSTICE in their hearts.
Your people apparently begin to recover their senses, and Papillon says that
although it should be impossible to counteract the pollen's effect so easily,
it's undeniable that Basara is having an effect.  Could this be related to how 
Basara somehow isn't affected by the pollen either?  In any event, Basara now
has a captive audience for his music, and Papillon asks Hiroshi to guard the
base while she analyzes Basara's song and tries to figure out an antidote to
the pollen.  Renais, also a cyborg, could have come in handy right about now,
but sadly she's been hauled off by the Sol Lords too... as has Kaidou.  But
Papillon says there's still hope - at least, until the alarm indicates a mixed 
force heading towards the planet from space.  How the hell did they find this
place through all the dimensional warpage?  Her Sensing Mind has no answers,
but she does know this: this battle is the result of a very large and very
powerful will.  Could it be the Apocalypsis Kenta spoke of?

Mikoto thinks Gai is finished.  She recalls how she had once become a new breed
of Zondar, and thanks to Mamoru's Purification had become a Semi-Evoluder,
meaning her body has been able to reverse the effects of the pollen.  She plans
to pursue her last hope, trying to follow in Gai's footsteps.  Just then Mamoru
shows up, very downcast at what's happened to all his friends, Kaidou included.
He tells her to hurry, that there's very little time left...


Scenario 40B. Yuuki, Hatsuru Toki ("When Courage is Exhausted")

Gai is having to go it alone, since everyone else apparently lost the will to
fight after descending to this planet.  And he's been called out by the Sol
Lords, among whose number is Abel, the ruler of the Red Planet.  See the other 
path for the ensuing tete a tete.  Start by beating up on all the replicant
enemies they set before you.

  Your people show up once Gai is damaged beyond a certain amount.  Since
  they're new arrivals, they haven't had a chance to be affected by the Paless 
  Pollen, and Palpalepa decides to buy some time by fighting you himself.

  For a Skill Point, take him down within seven turns.

  Palpalepa will regenerate completely after your people beat him down.  Your
  people are aghast at this, but Gai says there can't be any such thing as a
  truly invincible enemy.  Gai is determined to take Palpalepa down and save
  everyone's lives, but Palpalepa has other ideas, involving a little lesson in
  the Law of the Material World.  It's to be a clash of God And Devil versus
  Hell and Heaven.  Their powers are even, which is where "Cain" steps in,
  distracts Gai, and makes things go dreadfully wrong.  The Sol Lords have now 
  fulfilled their immediate mission and withdraw, leaving behind a few more
  nuisances for you to face.  Focker has a feeling that the longer this battle 
  lasts, the worse your people will fare, and orders everyone to prioritize
  removing the remaining bad guys over looking for Gai.

When the battle ends, the Paless Pollen finally take their toll... on everyone 
but Basara, Hiroshi and the VO's.  A "mysterious figure" then radios in, urging
you all to head to a certain point for treatment.  With Gai defeated, there's
very little time left.

See the other path for the explanation of what's going on.  The VO's would like
to wake the Hero Robots up, but are quite unable to.


Scenario 41. Ginga ga Shoumetsu Suru Hi ("The Day the Galaxy Was Destroyed")

Halulu's men have succeeded in breaking through the dimensional disturbances to
the planet where the "Logo Dauians" are, in particular that giant robot.
Halulu appreciates being able to see Dalam again, though she would have _much_ 
preferred if your people hadn't slain his ass first.  Everyone's a critic,
especially with a square jaw like hers.  She's all sad that she never got to
tell him how she really felt, and will settle for extracting revenge on your
guys with this miraculous meeting again instead.  But before the ships can head
to the planet, some third party approaches.  Whoever they are came out of warp 
around the same time as they did, and it could be either the Empire or the
Alliance.  Whoever they are, Halulu orders Hannibal to go shoot them down while
she heads to the surface.

It seems that the third party is indeed the Alliance, specifically the Brothers
Ugly.  Walkymedes figures that the Alpha Numbers must be here, at the center of
the contraction phenomenon, and is rather shocked to see the Baff Clan made it 
too.  He orders Dangel to take half their forces and take the Baff Clan out,
while he takes the other half to the surface.  It seems the Alliance isn't
interested in adding the Clan to its number.  Walkymedes warns Dangel of some
additional gravitational abnormalities he's picked up - yet more unknown
vessels could pop out at any moment.  Both brothers realize they're running out
of next chances, and feel the urgency of hauling the Alpha Numbers' warpower
back to Boazan.

In what would be Western France, Renais has been tracking the sound of a small 
transmitter she managed to lodge in Pilnas's collar.  It led her to a certain
chapel, where she finds... J!  He's thoroughly chained up, but Renais agrees to
his request to undo the lock with her G-Stone.  Now freed, he thanks this
unknown woman for saving him and rapidly realizes whose relation she is
(Gai's).  He takes the position that stopping the Sol Lords, incomplete
programs gone amok, is his job as a warrior of Abel.  Renais wants to know how 
he plans to do that, but before he can answer the two of them are attacked.
Renais quickly Equips, only to get an all-too fond reunion with Pilnas, who
lasciviously licks her lips and looks forward to making this little kitten an
ever naughtier girl.  Pia Dekem is on hand too, and after a brief standoff
_Abel_ (or so it would seem) shows up and paralyzes both good guys.  Abel and J
can't seem to agree on which of the two is defective, and Abel promises to do
to J what he's done to Arma - though he won't say precisely what that is just
yet.

The tableau gets interrupted by Mikoto and Mamoru, who help them all make their
escape to a place deep underground.  To where the "white ark" has been waiting 
for the bearer of a J-Jewel.  This surprises Renais, who heard that the J Ark
had been sunk, but J replies that if the J Ark dies, so does he.  Both it and
Mamoru were sent by the enemies' ES Weapons to the Trinary Solar System.
Renais seems satisfied that this Mamoru is the real thing, and when Mikoto
introduces her as Gai's cousin Renais says, a tad more halfheartedly this time,
that she doesn't think of the old geezer Liger as her father.  J meanwhile is
enjoying being aloft again, though the elation is short lived when he learns
that Arma's whereabouts are still unknown.

Pia Dekem emerges to answer that little question: Arma has been fused into the 
computer core of the ship, making it much harder for your people to attack
without hurting him.  Abel initially tries to get the J Ark back undamaged, and
for now the best J can do is run.

At GGG's American HQ, Hiroshi is fuming about that invasion coming in from
orbit - there's no way he can operate all the base's systems at once.  Kusuha
runs in to help, telling the surprised cyborg that Papillon thinks her psychic 
powers are shielding her from the Paless Pollen.  Moreover, Papillon has
released an airborne antidote, and the pollen should lose its effectiveness
entirely at this rate.  Basara's singing is also helping the healing process.  
This means they're not yet defensible, and Hiroshi hastily tells Kusuha to help
him get radar online.  It seems you've got more than one species of company up 
there in orbit, and Kusuha rapidly discovers the Baff Clan and the Alliance
throwing down with each other.  Hiroshi's glad that they're saving you the
dirty work of taking them out, but Kusuha believes your real enemies are the
ones threatening the whole Galaxy: the Sol Lords.

She then discovers something even stranger; someone is trying to send a
transmission from the base to the outside world.  This would surely bring the
orbital menace down on your head, and Kusuha runs off to try to figure out who 
it is while Hiroshi remains in the control room.  It was of course Rulia, who
figures that with the transmission sent help should arrive in short order.
Armana wonders if such bold action was really the best course, but Rulia says
that the Alpha Numbers have been neutralized by something in the air here.
Armana is glad for the masks that Rulia had them wear, and Rulia says that it's
all in a day's work for keeping her safe.

Kusuha then bursts in, and both sides are shocked to see each other.  Poor
Kusuha stammers and asks what they're doing here, and both Imperials look
rather grim...

Your forces are more or less sortiable, but there are lingering traces of
headache and nausea on all sides.  It's estimated you're at less than 80% of
your normal strength, and the commanders all realize that the people you need
to be fighting _aren't_ the Clan or the Alliance.  At least you've got strategy
back - Taiga and the others have been left at the GGG base while the rest of
you have moved to Tesla Raihi.  The question is, will the Clan heed your
request for a cease fire.  Kalala will give it her best shot, and since your
people are unlikely to simply be able to fight your way out Bes tells Cosmo
you've pretty much run out of other options.  Cheryl actually suspects they
might listen, since they too are living beings - somehow, watching Bes and
Kalala has made her a believer.  Karsha as usual finds this all dreadfully
filthy, but Cosmo whispers to her that the Power of Ide is so appealing that
it's given Cheryl her own Baff Clan man to get close to.  Karsha huffs that she
can't just think in simple terms like that.  Meanwhile, Kusuha is keeping watch
over the Imperials whose transmission has let the enemy know where you all are 
at.  Pete fumes that he's going to interrogate them to the utmost once this
battle's over, but Sakon points out that that's a goodly ways off.

The Baff Clan make it to your position first, and to your horror the Soloship's
crew recognize Halulu's ship.  This doesn't just suck because the sisters don't
get along, but also because of a certain Dalam guy your people blew to
smithereens.  It becomes rapidly clear that a) Dalam wasn't just hounding you
randomly, and b) Halulu is probably out for revenge.  Kalala tries appealing
to, not her sister, but the Baff Clan commander, with a plea from one living
being to another to help stop the Sol Lords and the galactic contraction.
Vocal analysis tells Halulu that Kalala isn't lying.  She asks Kalala if she's 
asking to temporarily join forces to take the Sol Lords down, but Kalala says
there's nothing temporary about it.  There are many things which menace this
galaxy, and those same things pose just as much threat to their own galaxy.
She requests that Halulu brief Doba on all this and join with your people in
peace.

Halulu has already stopped listening, figuring that the OH SO MIGHTY Baff Clan 
can handle whatever puny problems are going on in this galaxy.  If there's a
problem, she figures it's with your giant robot, and your people reach the sad 
conclusion that Halulu's miniscule IQ is filled with one thing: personal
vengeance.  Amuro doesn't like seeing proof that egos are the same everywhere, 
and Kira figures that Halulu is no better than the Zaft or the Blue Cosmos for 
not even trying to see your side.

  You can either meet the enemy challenge or attempt to continue negotiations. 
  Recruiting Geejay later requires the first choice.

Hard on your heels are the Alliance forces, who basically start blasting
everything in sight.  Daimonji's desperate call for parlay is met with scorn,
and for once Walkymedes explains why.  He's very well aware of the contraction 
and those pesky Sol Lords, but he's worried about what happens after they're
defeated.  He predicts a galaxy-wide struggle for hegemony, and he wants your
people out of the picture before it starts.  Faced with little alternative,
Bright orders your people to pull back lest they fall to the two sets of
enemies.  Having a clear escape route would be a problem, if not for the
fearsome might of the Sol Lords blowing a path open through your enemies.
There's still the small problem of where to run _to_ that you won't just get
shot at, but Isamu is quick to spy the J Ark and its sky-loving captain riding 
to your rescue.  He actually tells you to come and fight, and Mikoto adds her
voice that the regeneration of this solar system has reached its final stage.  
If you don't end this in _short_ order, the galaxy will be toast.  Mamoru tells
you all that the Sol Lords are lying in wait for you in space.

Your people find to their horror that the Sol Lords have grabbed the
Repli-Orbit Base for their own use, and have replicated a bunch of army units
to slow you down with.  You'll just have to fight on, after-effects or no.
Your people know the only way to win through a fight like this: hard work and
guts, plus teamwork and... bravery!

  One enemy has a Custom OS.  Another has an Analyzer.  Another has a Dual
  Sensor.

  Destroy enough of the enemies and reinforcements will arrive.  Your people
  whine about not being to handle all the bad guys, and J in particular is
  worried that this is a mere prologue to what the Sol Lords really have
  planned, since they themselves have yet to appear...

  Keep hacking away and the Sol Lords will decide that a different strategy is 
  in order to handle your tough dudes: reducing you to light!  They send out
  what appears to be a Xeroxed Gaofighgar, but who's at the controls?!  One
  totally berserk Gai, by the sound of things.  Palpalepa is pretty confident
  in the Chemical Bolts he's affixed to Gai's head, and your people are
  anything but sure about fighting this most justice-loving member of your
  team.  But when turned against you, Gaofighgar might be the most dangerous
  opponent you could face, and Burning tells everyone to concentrate fire on
  Gaofighgar.  As the enter of the enemy formation, defeating it should open an
  escape route.  With no time to ponder, you've got no choice but to put the
  plan into action.

  For a Skill Point, take down Gaofighgar within seven turns.  It's worth a
  Cost Down _and_ an Auxiliary GS Ride [Holy Bat Syllables!]

  When Gai is taken all the way down, he regenerates completely.  Banjou
  figures, rather sadly, that the only hope is to _utterly_ destroy Gaofighgar 
  without a trace as the only way to stop it.  The Puru sisters can't bear the 
  thought of that, and ask Judou to do something.  Judou is quiet for a moment:
  he, like Camille, has sensed Gai's will.  He's actually conscious and
  resisting fighting you all, but someone (that would be Doctor P up there) is 
  controlling his body.  Since he's currently losing the fight, he is basically
  being forced to watch while he [attempts and fails to] smack around his
  comrades.  This is immensely upsetting to you all, not least of all Basara.

  Meanwhile, the Sol Lords figure that Gaofighgar on its own isn't enough, and 
  they bring in a few more guests: the rest of the Hero robots.  This includes 
  a Repli-Goldy, and Gai makes to use the Goldion Hammer.  J figures that the
  time has come to put forth his last strength against his long-time "rival",
  and the two meet in a ferocious clash of final attacks.  It's basically a
  double-knockdown, except Gai has infinite regeneration on his side.  Abel
  figures that the chances of your people losing are now in excess of 100%, and
  he watches with glee to see how J will perish.  J for his part tells Hiroshi 
  and friends to stay back - since things have come to this, he has no choice
  but to leave it up to you lot to see that his wishes come true.  He tells you
  all to run while he holds Gai off, before hope is severed entirely.
  Palpalepa won't let you run, and despite Max and Exedore's best efforts Gai
  and Goldy bear down on Battle 7.  But then something unexpected happens.
  Between the Goldion Hammer's fearful surface and Battle 7 appear the Hero
  robot copies.  None of them will let themselves give in to the evil commands 
  they've been issued.  Even as copies, and even with their AIs reprogrammed,
  they still retain their replicated memories.  And in those memories, one
  thing is inescapably clear: they, all of them, are Heroes!!  They realize
  they'll all be reduced to scrap, but to a man (and woman) they'd prefer that 
  to being used as a tool of evil.  They believe that good will triumph, and
  bid you all farewell.  Even Goldymarg refuses to be a tool of evil, and goes 
  into self-destruct mode as Gai draws closer to the other Heroes.  Realizing
  the danger, Bright orders everyone out NOW.

  The false Orbit Base and everything nearby has been reduced to light,
  apparently even beyond the Sol Lords' ability to regenerate.  Palpalepa
  allows that there wasn't enough time to fully reprogram the AIs, but is quite
  confident that Gai has no away to escape the curse of the Chemical Bolts
  ruling his body, no matter how strong his will may be.  Abel figures their
  warpower is inexhaustible, and urges his comrades to commence the restoration
  of the Trinary Solar System...

  But somewhere nearby, a certain program is near activation...


Scenario 42. Chou Yuusha Mokushiroku ("Ultra Hero Apocalypse")

Back on Earth, the kiddies take the realization they're all about to perish
with varying degrees of calm.  Sueo points out that the whole point of your
people going to space was to stop this calamity, and Hana reminds everyone to
hang onto their belief in the bravery of your squad.  Especially of Mamoru...

Elsewhere, Gloval realizes that it's time to evacuate everyone underground.
The Federation army is powerless to do much beyond keeping the panicking
citizens under control, and has requested the use of the Aegis System - the
nifty shield you used to protect the Earth from the gravity wave at the end of 
the Balmar War.  It's the government and the Army brass's only choice for
trying to absolve themselves of their responsibility and keep the populace in
line.  The problem, as Riliina points out, is that this system requires a _lot_
of energy: possibly all the energy on the entire planet.  To produce that much 
juice, the Federation is planning to sever all lifelines to the people, which
is sure to cause revolt even in people who otherwise know it's necessary.

The Plant has halted military operations, but some in Federation HQ are reading
that as the quiet before an all-out offensive.  Gloval drily notes that the
brass are _quite_ the optimists to take that position at this juncture.  Gloval
and his inner circle all know that they've got just one hope: the Alpha
Numbers.

Speaking of whom, Gai is in some eerie dark place, wondering why he's going on 
fighting, after losing everything including his pledge of bravery.  The figure 
of Mamoru appears, telling him that he hasn't lost anything.  Mikoto also tells
him that he's not alone, and the two of them exhort Gai to remember the day
they all took that oath.  Gai still hesitates over the fact that Cain, the very
one who gave him his life, opposes him.  Mamoru reminds him that when the
Trinary Solar System was Mechanized, the G-Stone was created as the power of
life to rail against that fate.  Mikoto also tells Gai that he was the one who 
gave her the courage to live.  Mamoru was born to protect life, and Gai has
fought all this time to defend it.  And Mikoto goes on living only to help Gai 
in his hour of need.  Their pleas to fight together, to find real courage, and 
the truth, finally reach the Hero's ears, and as they chant the special chant a
light begins to glow.

In a chamber of green crystal, a disembodied voice says that only the power of 
destruction can halt the power of rebirth.  Destruction offers hope of
returning to zero, and exploring the infinite possibilities beyond.  Mikoto
finds herself still alive, and inside the G Crystal.  Mamoru recalls for her
that Galeon was created as the last hope by Cain, ruler of the green planet in 
the Trinary Solar System, right as it was being Mechanized.  Once Mechanization
was complete, the regeneration programming kicked into gear: namely, the 11 Sol
Lords.  In much the same way the J series are opposed to Zed Master, Galeon is 
opposed to the Sol Lords, an "antiprogram".  Once Galeon helped you all end the
threat of Zed Master, he's reverted to his original purpose, and brought Mamoru
here through the Galeoria Comet to learn the truth.  What Mamoru has been up to
all this time is using the G Crystal to restore Galeon to his true original
programming.

Unfortunately, an interloper is on the scene.  Palpalepa tells them that their 
comrades are about to meet their end outside, and it seems that he's left
Mamoru on the loose all this time for precisely this moment.  He claims that
the Loud G-Stones that power the Sol Lords are far superior to the G-Stones
your people use... but the Genesic Aura given off by the G Crystal can render
those powerless.  And when is the one moment when that Genesic Aura will
falter?  You guessed it: the moment when Galeon's regeneration is complete!  He
starts blasting the G-Crystal, and Mamoru tells Mikoto to stay close while he
shields her...

Pilnas and Abel tell your people that they have no time to worry about the
destruction of the G Crystal when their own lives are still in danger.  He
points out that while J is a wreck, the Sol Lords are undamaged.  To make
matters worse, he has Arma shut down the J Jewel, letting Pia Dekem strike what
is close to the fatal blow.  J is close to death, and making matters EVEN
worse, Cain attempts to take over Tomoro and basically steal the J Ark out from
under J and Renais.  Oh, but it's not over yet - Palpalepa then makes to fuse
with the regenerated Galeon...

Except he can't, because someone has gotten there first.  It's Gai, free of the
influence of his Chemical Bolts.  He informs a thunderstruck Palpalepa that his
promise of courage has surpassed flesh and blood.  All Gai's doubts are gone,
banished by the fact that he's living proof as an Evoluder of the value of
bravery.  Palpalepa sighs and figures that God really will have to defeat Satan
here... which could be difficult as the renewed Gai becomes Genesic Gaogaigar. 
The power of this, the True Gaogaigar, courses through his veins as he starts
smacking the Sol Lords around.

Renais, deprived of her cooling coat, feels her body heating up - but also her 
heart.  Meanwhile, the Sol Lords fire their concentrated Sol Wave at Gaogaigar,
figuring they've got more power on their side.  Mikoto then hears the voice of 
the G Crystal, seeking hope for zero from the destructive force, and smashes
one panel of it in the gesture that causes Final Fusion.  This, then, is the
ultimate form of Courage: the greatest of all gods of destruction.  This is the
great legacy you've been seeking all this time, and a very pissed off Gai isn't
about to let it go to waste.

Sensing the danger, Abel tells Pisa Sol to release the power of the Pas-Q
Machine.  What your people thought was the sun begins to shine even brighter,
and Pilnas says that as long as the Sol Lords have its light, they're immortal.
As Mamoru struggles to save Mikoto's life after her ill-advised jaunt into
space to initiate Genesic Drive, Gai vows to wipe out the Sol Lords as often as
they regenerate.  He tells a derisive Abel that his Genesic Aura will not
tolerate the Sol Lords' existence.  Palpalepa tells the poor god of destruction
that he can do nothing on his own - which is of course why he's NOT alone.

The rest of your people are on the scene, finally freed from the influence of
the Paless Pollen.  It's time to see what happens when gods are in the hands of
an ANGRY group of sinners, as it were.  Taiga, so furious he can barely speak, 
says that the Sol Lords have gravely tested the courage of all your people,
twisting the hearts of the peace-loving for their own ends.  There is more to
courage than fighting, but _refraining_ from fighting cannot be called courage 
either!  He declares that from this moment forward, your people WILL fight, in 
accordance with your oath of courage, as long as you draw breath!!  The GGG
flagships launch the Hero Robots, and then move to a safer location to help
resuscitate Mikoto.  Palpalepa is finally starting to enjoy this, figuring that
it's no fun if his opposition is too weak.  J and Renais, fast developing a
mutual respect, get ready to keep up the fight despite their battered
condition, vowing to get Arma back and reactivate the J-Jewel in the process.  
Let all-out mayhem begin!

  Defeat all enemies within seven turns for a Skill Point.

  Pia Dekem is worth a Bio Computer.  This doesn't seem to faze them much, and 
  Abel decides to put up a bit more of a fight by performing Giga Fusion.  It
  becomes readily apparent that any damage done to this new form is daelt to
  Arma as well, but J tells your people to keep up the attack.  Abel playfully 
  asks if he plans to kill Arma or something, and J says that that's exactly
  what he plans to do.  Arma is a warrior too, and surely he wouldn't want to
  remain alive if it means that your side is defeated.  Saner heads among your 
  people quickly override any objections, and J thanks your heroes for
  understanding.  He tells Renais that if they can just stop Pia Dekem's
  movements, he should be able to do something to help Arma.

  Defeat Pia Dekem a second time for a Psychoframe.  Big Volfogg and the rest
  of your people manage to fish Arma out right before the explosion, and J
  appreciates your people's help.  He cautions Renais that there'll be no end
  to this fighting until you defeat Pisa Sol.

  Palpalepa is worth a Zolmanium Alloy.  He then powers up even further, vowing
  to teach you that you have no right to live.  Shinobu tells him that he ain't
  got no fucking standing to talk about your crew.  Kira, quite animatedly,
  points out that your people are in fact alive this very moment, and Gai
  points out that winning the right to live is precisely why living beings
  struggle so hard.  Palpalepa still thinks he's God and attempts to get rid of
  the god of destruction, or rather the demon who calls that destruction forth.

  Palpalepa's final form is worth a Hero's Sigil.  Palpalepa can't figure out
  where Gai's power comes from, and Gai explains it to him.  Just as Zondar
  Metal can convert stress to energy, the G-Stone converts courage into energy.
  And an Evoluder, the ultra-evolved life form that fuses flesh to the G-Stone,
  is the perfect way to bring that forth.

Of course, the battle isn't over once you defeat all the bad guys.  In fact, a 
whole new batch show up, and J realizes that you really _do_ have to take down 
Pisa Sol if you want this to end.  The hotter-blooded of your people rally the 
other troops: if you let something like this get you down, it really _will_ be 
the end.  Kusuha realizes that at times like this Brit would tell her to keep
her chin up, and that's precisely what she plans to do.  Palpalepa asks Gai if 
he's given up yet, and Gai tells him that won't happen until the flames of life
are extinguished.  Palpalepa thinks he's got the fire hydrant action, but Gai
has other ideas.  The two trade final attacks, kicking each other's ass in the 
process.  Except that Palpalepa has a dirty trick up his sleeve: nanomachines
that he slipped into Gaogaigar during the momentary defensive lapse of Hell and
Heaven.  Palpalepa starts berating Gai for a dumbass who's too stupid to
realize that his ass was already grass the first time he defeated him.  And
what of his dipshit companions?  They can't work together worth a damn, and the
whole lot deserve to be squashed like so many maggots underfoot.

As it looks like Gai is about to fall, your people prepare to rush to the
rescue, only to run into... the Alliance!  They rapidly open fire on both
sides, haughtily saying that they'll clean up whatever the hell this mess is
after they've killed your ass first.  This has Hyouma spitting mad, and
Kyoushirou snarls that these guys are even worse than the proverbial idiot who 
can't grasp Buddha's teachings [you would have had to have been there].  If
only there was a way to stop the Alliance...

But a "mysterious voice" tells Ken'ichi not to give up.  Heinel and Richter
have shown up to fight on your side, telling your people to concentrate on
stopping the contraction while they handle the Alliance.  Heinel tells Ken'ichi
that he's still fully committed to bestowing prosperity on his homeworld - but 
the Alliance dudes are clearly making matters worse and deserve to die.  His
sword will not hesitate.

Someone else who doesn't hesitate shows up - it's Halulu and her minions, who
also start attacking everyone in sight.  Her plan is simply to wipe out
everything that threatens her, and Geejay is left wondering if this is really
Ide's guidance.

Basara is the first to tell the Sol Lords to cut the bullshit, and your people 
point out that all these living beings are fighting so hard so they can
_keep_on_ living.  Hiiro adds that beings which regenerate forever are a mere
fake.  The Hero robots all pledge their strength to Gai, linking their G-Stones
as one.  This all has bought Gai, the Evoluder, time to reprogram those pesky
nanomachines and send them back to Palpalepa.  This titanic contest of wills
simply will not quit, but Gai takes the initiative:

Attempting to seal away the GGG, failing to approach the G Crystal when it
would have mattered, trying to turn Gaofighgar to their nefarious ends, not
directly assaulting the Earth - all of it is proof that the Sol Lords are
afraid!!  Gai pushes his courage to the max, overcoming Palpalepa's Loud
G-Stone and vanquishing him with the power of absolute victory belonging to
those heroes worthy of bearing the G-Stone.

....And Palpalepa regenerates again.  Abel figures they've won, but J isn't so 
sure.  It seems the Sol Lords have overlooked a little flaw in their plan, and 
Bes tells everyone to hop aboard while he DS Drives to the center of the enemy 
formation.  This was the real reason why the GGG vessels went ahead: to
calculate a path through the space-time distortion.  Halulu actually helps you 
by keeping Pia Dekem at bay.

  Your people appear inside the regeneration apparatus.  Predictably, the bad
  guys send some foes your way, but you can't waste time fighting them: you
  need to get Gai to the designated spot within four turns.  If you don't, the 
  galaxy will pass the point of no return and the contraction will consume all.
  No pressure though.  By the way, nobody has any idea what will happen if he
  reaches the point, but whatever it is, it's what the goal of this whole
  operation has been.

  Once Gai reaches the point, the GGG ships appear beside him.  The Sol Lords
  try to send "Cain" to stop Gai, but Mamoru isn't going to have the guardian
  of the green planet's legacy sullied like this by a mere copy.  Mamoru
  beseeches everyone to lend him their courage while he does away with the
  imposter, and Gai then takes the next step.  Using information Mikoto bought 
  dearly with her contact with the G-Stone System, Taiga says the time has come
  for the heroes to fulfill their final mission.  He orders everyone into
  Formation G, and he and Swan use the keys they were entrusted with by the
  Secretary General.  They activate the Goldion Crusher with their Keys to
  Victory, causing the entire damn GGG armada to become ONE. FUCKING.
  ENORMOUS. ASS. MALLET!!!  Palpalepa sends a legion of copies forth, and Abel 
  cautions that mankind can't weather the storm of Apocalypsis without them:
  the only ones who deserve to control the reconstruction that will follow the 
  destruction are the Sol Lords!

  Ryuusei tells the little twerp that frankly, he doesn't give a fuck: the
  lives the Sol Lords are trying to take are precisely the ones your people are
  sworn to save.  Everyone pins their hopes on Gai, who has to race the
  recharging of Pisa Sol.  Even Mikoto instructs her lover to kick the Sol
  Lords squarely in the crotch, and Gai screams at the top of his lungs that
  all your people are *ONE*.  To quote: "Tell those people with the laundry on 
  their heads that it's washing day, and we're bringing the Maytag."

Looks like even a "god" is subject to the laws of the material world, and
Kaidou assures Abel, or rather the copy that was made from him, that the
Trinary Solar System won't be destroyed - it _will_ be reborn on the other side
of the Galeoria Comet, and it'll ONLY take a paltry 15 billion years.  Piece.
of. CAKE!  Oh, and it'll have lots of that scary courage stuff on it too.

As all the matter the Sol Lords wrought begins to evaporate, so too does the
copied Papillon.  Entouji asks her meekly if she's going to join the Spirits
she talks to so often, and she answers that, instead, she's going to be inside 
him... forev..er...

She offers a footnote, saying that the G Crystal is a concentrated form of life
made by the people of the Trinary Solar System.  Those who bear the G-Stone are
they who can use true courage, supported by that life force.  All living beings
have that power, if you all can but retain your courage, that power will surely
see you through whatever troubles lie ahead.  She believes that that courage
can even save you from Apocalypsis...

There is now an interesting problem.  Your entire crew is stuck in subspace,
with no Galeoria Comet to let you back out.  There is but one hope: to use the 
Gate.  The J Ark's ES Missiles should be able to access the Gate, but the
aperture thus created is only one meter wide, and will only last for two
seconds... AND require all the Alpha Numbers' energy to even open.  That's why 
the two boys find themselves being installed into the last two remaining ES
Missiles when they regain consciousness.  Taiga plans to entrust the future to 
them both, and the other Hero Robots wish them the best of luck, vowing to meet
them once again, somewhere in the sea of stars.  Taiga asks the boys to tell
the Earth what happened here, as the rest of your people give them final words 
of advice and encouragement.  They bear their oath of courage with them as the 
missiles fire.

Well, the boys are gone, and Ryuusei muses that he'd be lying if he said he'd
be entirely happy with this kind of ending.  A voice out of nowhere asks if
he's referring to _him_.  "Him" being Hazar, who thanks you all for saving the 
galaxy's ass and then offers to kill you all off in one fell swoop.  Better
than just wasting away in some desolate corner of subspace, right? He tells you
that the curtain will soon rise on your inescapable despair.


Scenario 42X. Kako Kara no Negai ("Wish from the Past")

In memory, Aya tells Mai that, while she may have forgotten, she's her little
sister.  She used to live on Earth when she was little, and Aya's father has
already confirmed that.  Mai can't remember it at all, and Aya tells her not to
rush - after all, she's only just returned to Earth.  Mai is in fact tormented 
by the name Rebi Torah, and Aya tells her that that's something she need not
remember.  Sometimes, people have to put their painful past behind them in
order to go on living.  She tells Mai that memories should be rich, gentle
things, and tells Mai that she gets to make such things anew, with her and
their father.  Mai isn't sure she's capable, or deserving, of doing such a
thing, and Aya smiles brightly and says that no one needs to "deserve" to be
happy.  Mai is Mai, her sister, and Rebi Torah is gone.  The two of them should
live together and put the past behind them.  But... because of Mai, Aya lost
her life, says a new voice.  The voice names her as Rebi Torah, a sample whose 
nature was brought forth by the Ze Balmariy Empire.  Mai protests that she
isn't Rebi...

...and regains consciousness in a lab on the Moon.  Her father tells her that
he's done collecting data for today, although he hasn't done the number of
repetitions he planned.  Kirk tells her that unfortunately some distortion has 
arisen in the data, making it useless for tuning purposes.  Mai realizes it's
because her thoughts are disturbed, and Kenzou tells her to rest a bit.  Rai
has to calm her objection that she wants to help finish the Altard as soon as
possible, telling her that the best thing to do to make that happen is to
relax.  At this rate, she'll collapse long before the Altard could be
completed.  She asks her father if her psyche is getting weaker, and after a
moment he says she's got it right.  Mai then wonders if it's because she's
forgetting about being Rebi Torah, and Kenzou can only speculate that it is.
Mai suspected as much, and runs off overwrought.  Robert isn't entirely
surprised that she's not completely amnesiac about her time in the service of
the Balmar.  Kenzou says that Aya feared this would happen, and so forbade Mai 
from fighting or using her powers, but they weren't able to give her a peaceful
life after all.  In a way, it's the fault of the scientists for reviving Rebi's
memories - but they can't stop now: you _must_ finish the Altard.  Robert
reluctantly admits that, and Kenzou says that if worst comes to worst, he may
have to take exceptional measures: with Aya gone and Ryuusei powerless, they
may have to rely on Mai to power the Altard.  Robert angrily demands to know
how Kenzou can be serious, and Kenzou replies with stone silence.

Mai ponders how her sister and her father have tried to keep her from having to
fight.  She believes that Aya died because she herself didn't join in the fray,
that it's not Ryuusei's fault Aya died, but hers!  Had she stayed in her combat
machine all this time, as Rebi Torah, Aya'd still be...  Just then an EGL walks
up[!!!], claiming she's lost.  Mai tells her there's a police booth up ahead,
and recommends she ask for directions there, but the girl immediately looks
downcast, causing Mai to ask her what's wrong.  In fact, she looks so forlorn
that Mai is forced to eat her somewhat brusque words and show the girl the way 
herself.

This elicits a smile, and the girl leads Mai to a peaceful park.  Mai asks if
this is where the girl wanted to go, and when she hears that it isn't asks in
some surprise why the girl brought her here.  The girl asks her if she's got
somewhere she needs to be - she doesn't - and the girl asks her if she won't
join her for a little basking in the wonderful sunshine.  This surprises Mai
even more, since the weather on the moon is totally regulated, but when Irui
begins to look sad again she quickly gives in, telling the girl that when she
looks so sad it makes her sad too.  Now thoroughly caught, Mai wonders how the 
heck things turned out like this.

The girl asks Mai what she does for a living, and Mai diffidently says that it 
involves the military.  The girl then asks if she fights to protect someone,
and it's Mai's turn to look sad when she says that the person she wanted to
protect is gone.  Aya was so nice to her, she says, and she's decided to go on 
fighting so she could avenge Aya's death.  But fighting won't bring Aya back,
and her fight is nothing but an exercise in futility.  Mai bitterly says that
at this rate, she'd have been better off as Rebi Torah for the rest of her
life, never knowing what human warmth feels like.  The girl, sad once again,
tells her slowly that she's got it wrong.  Her fight isn't in vain, and her
sister will surely be happy about her feelings for her.  Mai protests that
Aya's gone, and the girl pleads with her not to say such sad things.  Her
sister is surely living on in her heart.  This platitude finally makes Mai mad,
and she shouts back that no amount of fighting will bring Aya back, that even
if God exists in this world, Aya... no longer does.  The girl asks her if she
were God, would she bring her sister back to life? Of course, Mai snarls, but
the girl tells her that she's still got it wrong.  Mai's power, a
Psychodriver's power, must not be used for such things.

This brings Mai up short, and the girl tells her that people's lives are
irreplaceably precious.  That's why people fight so hard to defend them, the
most important thing in the whole universe.  Before Mai can ask her guest who
she is, the girl tells her to live strong, and to remember that she's not
alone.  Many people love her, and want her to live alongside them.  If she can 
answer those wishes, the door will surely be opened for her.  Just about the
time Mai thinks she recognizes the girl, the air raid sirens sound.  The girl
realizes that "they" have come, and tells Mai that she's really glad they
met...

The Golar Golems have arrived, defying reports that all of them had Gated away 
from the Earth.  Viletta's conjecture that they're still after Irui seems well-
founded, as Mai realizes.

  Rai quickly realizes that the enemy attack smells like some kind of
  diversion.  He tells Mai to hurry, since they may have been had by the bad
  guys.  As you find out when you take down this force, the main body of the
  bad guys have attacked Robert and the others on the moon.  If they're after
  the Altard and manage to destroy it, then everything Rai and Mai have fought 
  for all this time will be in vain.

  But then a horde of new bad guys shows up - perhaps they're after both
  Rai&Mai AND the Altard?  Mai then hears a certain voice calling her name,
  telling her to stretch forth with her heart and use her power to protect
  those things she cares about.  It's indeed Irui, who tells Mai to
  concentrate.  Mai can't bring herself to do it, saying that there's no
  meaning to her using her psyche or fighting.  She believes that all she can
  do is fight, and die.  Irui tells her not to deny who she is now, to realize 
  how many people's thoughts are supporting her and that she can use her power 
  to save them all.  Mai doesn't think her bloodstained hands are worthy of
  such a thing, but Rai tells her to open her eyes and not be ensnared by her
  past.  Irui points out that Rai is trying to protect her too, and asks Mai to
  concentrate once more so she can free Mai's psyche for the sake of all those 
  she will protect.  She encourages Mai to feel the will of the countless souls
  filling this world, and to fly with her.

  Irui has opened the Gate, and the destination is surely the Moon base.  Which
  isn't going to be able to hold out much longer, since the Federation military
  is being kept at bay.  The scientists are quite astounded to see Rai and Mai 
  appear out of nowhere, and Kirk says that the signature of what they just
  witnessed is that of the X Number Dimension, apparently by Mai's hand.

  The next round, Zengar and Retzel show up, also summoned by Irui.  Rai
  thought Irui was betting on him and Mai alone, and Retzel tells him that
  he'll explain later.

The bad guys can be beaten back, but the secret of the Altard's presence is now
out of the bag.  Does this mean that the Imperial forces were keeping an eye on
it?  Mai meanwhile has lost sight of Irui, but Kirk tells her and the others
that Irui has helped show them something of great importance: the activation of
XN Dimension.  This is the greatest innovation in the ultra-long-range,
opposite-dimension-entry-capable SR-01 Altard, and the final goal of the SRX
Project.  Upon the success of XN Dimension hinges the entire war, and Kenzou
tells the others that this system should theoretically grant access to any
number of alternate dimensions.  The system utilizes the Gate, which you know
responds to human will and should therefore be _controllable_ by sufficiently
powerful human will.  The Altard's T-Link System amplifies said will, if it's
of Psychodriver class.  Mai realizes that Irui left her, or rather the Altard, 
the key to that power...

Robert then walks in, saying abruptly that the final preparations for the
Altard are to be done at Icarus.  He relates that contact has been lost with
Ryuusei and the others after they ventured off into the galaxy to fight the Sol
Lords.  Robert is perceptive enough to figure out that the only way this could 
happen is if your people are stuck in some other dimension, and tells Mai to
get the rest of the details from a pair of boys who have just arrived at
Icarus.  Zengar realizes that those sharing his will need his help out amidst
the stars, and Retzel adds that the Altard's XN Dimension is the only way to
offer that help.  Mai tells Rai to come with her to help Ryuusei and the
others, saying that while she's unsure if her power alone can do the trick, the
wishes of many people reside within her.  She vows to use those thoughts to
help her save her friends, and Rai warns her with a smile that they're going to
be very busy once they get to Icarus.  Mai thinks to the absent Irui that she's
glad she met her too, and hopes to see her again some day, as a comrade and a
friend.

Irui addresses the guardian swords, saying that she entrusts all life on Earth 
and indeed in the galaxy to them.  She tells them to resist the fate ordained
for the galaxy with every last ounce of strength in their being... but she's
then struck by something and collapses.  A shadowy figure muses that Shapiro
Keats' information was accurate: the Grand Marshal of Hell's nervous stun
needle was quite adequate to take down the Child of God.  She seems surprised
that such a small child would prove to be their trump card.  As Irui writhes in
pain, Flora steps out of the shadows, and tells her young captive that the
Subterranean Empire has her now.  Irui's final thought is to the children of
Nashim, that she entrusts the fate of the galaxy to their hands...


Scenario 43. Shin no Ryuujin ("The True Dragon God")

Armana is greatly dismayed when Kusuha breaks the news of Hazar's impending
attack to her.  Rulia wonders aloud why the heck he would do such a thing, and 
Viletta says that that's your people's line.  Kusuha tells her "guests" that
she has no plans to interrogate them, since they don't seem to know any details
anyway and since she strongly suspects Hazar is scheming something behind the
scenes.  What is clear is that Armana is the item Hazar said your people are
"borrowing".  Kusuha figures the Golems are trying to rescue her, and Armana
sighs and says she wishes it really were a "rescue" they were after.  Kusuha
asks why Armana snuck aboard your ship, and after a very long pause Armana says
that it's because she wanted to be free.  She tells her shocked retainer that
it's time she told Kusuha everything.  She reminds Kusuha of her previous
escape from the Golems: the first time she'd ever set foot outside the royal
precincts, at home or abroad.  But this is not due to her status by birth,
daughter as she is of one of the twelve central Balmar families.  Her
appellation as "princess" refers to the fact that she is to be given to the
Zfields, the vessels of the gods.  Viletta realizes what this means for the
beautiful priestess: on Armana's seventeenth birthday, her body will be offered
to the Zfields, to grant them eternal life.  Rulia tells Kusuha not to call the
princess a mere "sacrifice", growling that Kusuha has no idea how important
this event is.  Armana says that the gods haven't given a priestess child to
the world for manyscore years: and her sacrifice will confer the protection of 
the creator Zfield upon the whole Empire.

A much aggrieved Kusuha asks her if she's really okay with the idea of laying
down her life.  Armana smiles and says that a priestess is the focus of the
hopes of all the people, and will receive eternal life in the form of the
Creator's love.  She's proud to be able to use her life to bring prosperity to 
the Empire, just as Kusuha's people do for their own.  Kusuha is surprised that
such superstitions persist in the vastly advanced Balmar Empire, but Rulia
counters that the Balmar _are_ advanced: advanced enough to have scientifically
comprehended spiritual force and technologized it.  That said, Kusuha finds it 
hard to accept that lives must be sacrificed.  Although Armana can't understand
why Kusuha would sympathize with her this far, she thanks her anyway - she
realizes that that's how gentle Kusuha is.

And while Armana is proud of her role as priestess, she knew that she was far
too naive of the ways of the world.  Therefore, she asked the emperor for one
year's leave to see the world - as in, the ruler of the Balmar, the Spirit
Emperor Ruaf.  The name rings strangely in Kusuha's mouth, and Rulia angrily
tells this mere Earthling never to even breath that name in vain.  Viletta is
now wondering if the Spirit Emperor realized all the menaces threatening the
galaxy ahead of time, thanks to the advent of this priestess, as the trigger
for his plans to gather strength.  As for how the Golems will enter this
subspace, Rulia sniffs that the Balmar can penetrate dimensions like this with 
ease.  Especially since they should finish unlocking the secrets of the
Crossgate near Jupiter any day now.  This gets Viletta's full attention, and
Rulia says that Balmar has its own "Gate" too.  This is how they're sending
their armies: even if they haven't figured out how to select arbitrary egress
points, it's easy enough to go from one Gate to the other.

Just then, the alarm for Level 1 alert goes off.  Ryuusei runs in with word
that someone, probably the Golems, is trying to break into this space.  He
can't explain more, but he's been asked by Daimonji to bring the Balmar
princess to the bridge.  Ryuusei makes to gently but firmly take Armana by the 
wrist, and before the scandalized Rulia can intervene Ryuusei receives some
kind of psychic jolt.  Armana recognizes his psychic potential, which Ryuusei
agrees he _once_ had.  He tells her that all his power is gone, but before he
can say more Viletta tells him that she'll take Armana and Viletta to the
professor, and to get ready to sortie.  He and Kusuha hurry off, and as Armana 
marvels over what she felt inside Ryuusei, Viletta tells her that Ryuusei is
fighting himself as hard as he can right now.  He fights the rage against those
who took the life of his comrade, and even more the rage against himself for
failing to protect that which he vowed to.  His heart has been driven away.
Rulia figures Viletta for a Balmar, but Viletta says she _has_ no planet of
birth.  She is merely carrying out her duty as a citizen of the galaxy.  This
strikes a chord with Armana, even as Viletta leads her to the bridge.

Kusuha tells the still-comatose Brit that Hazar and Ganlon are probably here to
settle the score once and for all.  She dearly wishes she could hear Brit's
voice at a time like this, but she tells him that she won't give in.  Going on 
fighting is how she'll keep her promises to him and to the Choukijin.  Ryuusei,
all smiles gone from his face, joins her, cautioning her that Hazar is coming
for her.  He recalls how Hazar singled him out as a Psychodriver during the
battle at the Gate, and figures that her turn has finally come.  Kusuha still
protests that her power isn't all that, well, powerful, and Ryuusei admits that
he himself has no idea just how much use Psychodriver abilities are, or what
meaning they hold.  But the Balmar care quite a bit, and have hunted down
anyone with even the slightest sliver of that power.  Ryuusei wants to fight on
behalf of all of those whose normal lives have been stolen from them, and
Kusuha most of all.  Kusuha feels the same, and Ryuusei says the time has come 
to put an end to this fight over Psychodrivers that's dragged on since the
Balmar War.  Kusuha has one request for him though.  She says that there was a 
time when her psychic powers ran amok because she got too mad, and cringing she
says that that doesn't seem to have been the right way for her to bring those
powers forth.  But she feels that he's different: that he has the ability to
turn the rage within into strength.  She wants him to forgive himself, and
tells him that that's all she'll say about it.  She runs off, and Viletta walks
over, observing that Kusuha seems to have hit the nail on the head.  She tells 
her subordinate not to hesitate with the burning rage inside him: if he wants
to defeat his enemy, he must fight with every ounce of power inside him,
drawing on every last iota of fury...

The intrusion into this subspace continues.  While it's probably true that your
people are stuck in ES space and destined to perish anyway, Max and the crew
don't plan on letting the Golems be the ones to make it happen any faster.  Bes
also points out something obvious: if bad guys can some in from outside,
presumably there's a way for your people to make it out too.  Cheryl is
troubled by the thought that maybe Ide _meant_ for you all to perish in here.  
Ryouma sensibly says "who cares", and Cosmo will be damned if he just lays down
and lets it happen.  J for his part is more than happy to fight alongside Gai, 
who strove so hard to save the galaxy.  With his mission as a warrior of the
Red Planet over, he's got plenty of time on his hands to help your side out.
Goldy warns Gai that he's only got one shot of the Goldion Crusher, and
cautions him to pick his shot carefully.

The Golems then barge in, utilizing the power of the Gate.  Hazar is of course 
among them, claiming to be here to see the end of Ryuusei Date.  Baran is being
confined aboard the ship, lest he interfere with Hazar's plans.  Daimonji
requests parlay with the Balmar commander, ruefully doing so as though he
actually was using Armana as a hostage.  Hazar refuses, saying that he would
have preferred to rescue the princess, he can't have you shooting his people in
the back with the princess as a shield.  He says he can't afford defeat, for
either the Empire's sake, or for the Emperor's.  He orders his forces to smite 
the cowardly bastards who stole the Priestess of Zfield, and demonstrate once
and for all that this galaxy exists only for the Balmar's pleasure.  Rulia
seems amazed that Hazar would attack, knowing that the princess is in the line 
of fire, and Focker was pretty sure the parlay was doomed from the outset.
Hazar then reminds Ganlon that today is the last day he's keeping his hands off
Kusuha, and Ganlon promises to fight her in all seriousness this time around.  
After all, he's got to teach her which of the Choukijin is worthy of the true
title of Overlord.  He tells Kusuha that she's got two choices: either be
killed by him, or take her own life.  Kusuha interrupts Ryuusei's angry
rejoinder, telling Ganlon herself that she'll shove those words down his own
throat.  She's got some plans for him if he doesn't surrender.  He belittles
her little ad hoc Choukijin, but she reminds him that it's the combination of
the souls of the Four Gods: the Shin Ryuu-Ko-Ou.  Ganlon doesn't want to hear
of two Choukijin getting "Shin" ("True") in their title, and figures to strand 
her in this dimension for all time.  Ryuusei meanwhile challenges Hazar to a
personal duel, and Hazar agrees - provided Ryuusei can actually force him out.

  For a Skill Point, take Ganlon down within five turns.  This should be doable
  in more like 2.  Kusuha will tell a startled Ganlon that she'll never give
  up, that she can never lose to him as long as she has hope.  Ganlon thinks he
  can regenerate and cause mischief, but Kusuha's mech tells her his weakness. 
  She strikes without hesitation, hitting the mythical dragon's single backward
  scale [remember Geki-Rin-Dan from Alpha 1?] and hopefully hosing the sharply 
  dressed Ganlon once and for all.  Hazar is hardly impressed, and rather than 
  more boring sightseeing agrees to come out and meet Ryuusei's challenge.  He 
  and the Viklan will take Ryuusei on, and everyone on your side realizes just 
  how much of a menace you're dealing with.

  Hazar formally welcomes your stalwart crew to the Pit of Despair(tm).  He
  praises your efforts in solving the riddle of the Protodevlin and in halting 
  the galactic contraction, offering you the Balmar's thanks.  Kusuha has to
  restrain the furious Ryuusei, and Viletta tells him to turn the flames of his
  rage inward, building the inferno until the time is right.  Your commanders
  then ask what Hazar is thinking - after all, your people _were_ some sort of 
  crucial pawn in the Balmar's quest to subdue the universe, which is why he
  lured you into space in the first place.  Right?  Well, yeah, but they also
  had another mission: tracking down Psychodrivers.  Armana isn't entirely
  surprised to realize that the psyche she felt from Irui was akin to her own, 
  and demands that Hazar explain why she was told that the second Priestess of 
  Zfield was already dead.  The full depth of his treachery against the Emperor
  is now clear, and rather than hear Armana preach to him about how bad a
  citizen he is, he'd prefer to have her rubbed out too.  In fact, Irui is
  Hazar's trump card to _defeat_ Ruaf: he needs a completed Psychodriver to
  control the divine vessel, and to his vast annoyance only two such people
  exist in the galaxy.  Ruaf himself, and Irui.

  Hazar sure seems to know a lot about the Gun-Eden system, and he freely
  admits that Balmar has one too.  Kusuha thinks she understands now why Ganlon
  sided with the Balmar - obeying the other Gun-Eden.  Viletta realizes that
  the fragdown in Paral has merely served to bring the Empire down upon the
  Earth again.  Hazar says that the only difference is that the system on
  Balmar has been active all this time, under the control of its
  representative, the Spirit Emperor Ruaf.  And instead of "Gun-Eden", the
  Balmar refer to their system as "Zfield", meaning that the Zfields you've
  fought until now are mere copies made by the original.  Hazar concedes that
  your people are powerful enough, even if only half-awakened, to take down
  your Gun-Eden, and offers you the chance to take down Ruaf as well.  Rulia
  points out that he's talking direct treason against the Emperor, and he tells
  the servile bitch to shut her ass.  He's been plotting this ever since he
  first set foot in space, all on behalf of his master Shiva.

  Hiroshi has no idea what this Ruaf is like, but he recognizes the scum of the
  universe when he sees it in front of his face.  Kiry says it best: he'll have
  none of Hazar's attempts to mix your people up on another whole planet's
  politics.  And as for all the lives he's happily ended, well, what goes
  around is finally about to come around if your people have any say in the
  matter.  Hazar isn't in the mood to be badmouthed by a bunch of mere humans
  who think they're hot shit just because they've trashed one or two broken
  down Imperial mecha.  Your punishment for refusing his request is to be utter
  annihilation, followed by squashing every living thing on Earth like the
  maggots they are.

  This finally spurs Ryuusei to action.  And although Hazar figures it's
  useless, Ryuusei surprises him with a _very_ vicious surprise attack.  He
  invites Hazar to try that "maggots" line one more time, yelling that every
  one of the people Hazar killed, including Aya, had a right to live.  Just
  fucking try to say that he's got the right to end those lives!  Hazar, now
  pissed, launches a counterattack of his own, determined to make mincemeat out
  of the maggot who managed to scratch the mech he personally received from the
  Emperor - especially given that Ryuusei has no power left.  Are your people
  going to take this?  Of course not.  Ryuusei is in the lead vowing to take
  Hazar down, but Hazar's objective is, in fact, Kusuha.  He says that she's as
  powerful as Ryuusei, and plans to personally eradicate her from the universe.

  Just then Ganlon's voice, from nowhere, says that that's his role.  Your
  psychic people begin to sense a towering rage, rage that can only be sated by
  the destruction of all.  Ganlon "apologizes" to his commander, saying that
  with things come this far he's lost control of his steed.  He tells Kusuha to
  offer her life if she wishes to quell its anger, figuring that she's finished
  anyway now that she's made his dragon AND him mad.  Hazar likes the prospect 
  of a race to see who can claim Kusuha's head first.

  Ryuusei tells Hazar that he doesn't need psychic powers to defeat him.  The
  strength of Aya's sadness, Rai's rage, and Mai's prayers will see him
  through.

  Ganlon doesn't go down after the first beating, smirking that you can't beat 
  him like that and telling Kusuha that the only way to close the curtain on
  this tragedy is for her to give her life to his dragon.  Your other people of
  course tell her not to be taken in by his serpent's tongue, rallying to
  protect her while encouraging her to show her usual smile and
  sticktoitiveness.  Ganlon is sure that such bonds of friendship will crumble 
  before his overwhelming might...

  When Ace gets "defeated", Viletta notices something strange afoot.  Hazar
  tells him that his power isn't needed here, and orders him to withdraw.  Ace 
  haltingly complies.

  "Defeating" Hazar only serves to make him laugh, apparently at how pathetic
  you all are.  He recalls how Etsilla told him that you all hold the infinite 
  power to shake the heavens, but he figures she gave you all too much credit. 
  He won't tell you what Etsilla meant, seeing as how he figures that _he_
  holds the key to unleash that infinite power.  It seems his mech is designed 
  to amplify his psychic powers and turn them into firepower.  He taunts
  Ryuusei with his Psychodriver powers: the ability to tap into the Akashic
  Record.  As he prepares to get rid of Ryuusei once and for all, Ryuusei yells
  that he doesn't want any such power if all it's good for is being a fucking
  murderer.  Ryuusei is apparently wasted, and Hazar thinks he's gotten rid of 
  the good-for-nothing Psychodriver once and for all...

  But then he realizes that he's used too much power.  Ace haltingly tells his 
  commander to return, and he agrees to postpone the rest of his enjoyment
  until later.  Ganlon tells Kusuha to enjoy rotting away in this subspace,
  saying that she'd probably have been better off dying at his hands.  Banjou
  orders Hazar to wait, but he tells your people not to worry: you'll see him
  again.... assuming the despair and fear don't crush you all first.  Ryuusei
  is apparently still alive, but the bad guys and the Gate are gone... for now.

The good news is that Mamoru and Kaidou have made it back to the Icarus base.  
Tashiro figures that it should be possible to trace their route back to your
dudes.  In fact, his second has finished the calculations already.  As far as
sending help, Oota figures that only "they" can do it.  The pilots, their
mecha, and all support personnel are already assembled.  Tashiro says that the 
fate of mankind hinges on whether your people can capitalize on the single ray 
of light that that girl let forth.  "They" refers to Zengar and Retzel, who vow
to bring back your people as the "hope" of the galaxy.  Rai and Mai are on the 
scene too...


Scenario 44. Shijin Shoukon, Koko Ni ("Four Divine Spirits, Gathered Here")

Hazar is actually in a rather foul mood, and Ganlon's solicitous attitude is
only making it worse.  He tells Ganlon to go bother Etsilla or something.
Ganlon protests, saying that his loyalty as a Golem should be beyond doubt
after the last battle, but Hazar hasn't forgotten that Ganlon's clan and his
machine were once pledged to serve Gun-Eden.  He fully suspects that Ganlon is 
planning something behind the scenes, and Ganlon won't deny that he _had_ been.
But he says that his ancestors and his mech had as much been _forced_ to follow
Gun-Eden: in which case, it's only natural that they'd switch allegiances to an
even greater power when it appears.  Hazar asks rather archly if Ganlon is
referring to _him_, and Ganlon claims that that's what he meant.  After a long 
pause, Hazar seemingly buys into this, but warns Ganlon to stay out of the next
battle: the last thing he needs is Ganlon's out-of-control dragon getting in
the way.  Ganlon looks forward to seeing his commander's power while he's
ending Kusuha's life: the power of a Psychodriver, chosen by the Akashic
Record.  Hazar sniffs that he should expect nothing less of the son of Shiva
Gottso, and warns Ace that his powers may be needed too.

As Ganlon walks off, he runs into Etsilla, who comments on how hard-headed
Hazar is.  She doesn't mind a man who is so faithful to his own ideas, and when
Ganlon asks if Hazar is really going to awaken, she says that he's got to:
that's why Shiva put him here after all.  No matter that the Crossgate is
almost under their control - Hazar is being stretched too thin, and the fight
with Ryuusei Date isn't improving matters.  She sighs that that's about the
best one can expect from a copy: his ability to access the Akashic Record is no
better than "disposable".  But this next battle should be quite a show, and
Etsilla doesn't care whether Hazar or Ryuusei wins.  She wants one of them to
show her the whole galaxy...

Armana and Rulia's position has apparently changed enough for them to be fed a 
normal meal in the cafeteria.  There's the predictable stampede of young guys
to say hi to her, and a very pleasant meal cooked by Garrison to greet her.
Rulia distrusts all this commotion, and Kusuha tells her that this feast is to 
commemorate the last battle.  Even if you survive the confrontation with the
Golems, you're about out of ammo and provisions.  This means you either have to
make it back to normal space, or it's Game Over.  Armana's expression goes sad,
and Kouji asks her if she doesn't like the wasabi sauce for the roast beef
(Garrison has to point out that it's horseradish, not wasabi).  What has Armana
riled is the thought that your people have given up hope, and are simply giving
themselves a last meal.  Turns out that isn't it at all: your people are fully 
aware of the might they'll be facing, and what they're doing is unifying their 
hearts in preparation.  Viletta tells Armana to look at the smiles around her
and feel the determination underneath: this feast serves as a chance to swear
as a group to make it through alive.

Armana is quick to realize her error, and despite Rulia's shocked objection is 
equally quick to apologize to Kusuha.  She considers it an honor to be invited 
to such an august gathering, and clearly feels your people's will, not as a
Balmar but as an individual woman.  Amuro tells them that your people plan to
protect her from Hazar, not out of some hope of reward, but because on some
level they stowed away aboard your ship because they sought your help.  And one
thing your people never do is turn their back on those in need.  The smile this
brings to Rulia's lips, so long in coming, is a beautiful one.  What's even
more astounding is that both Armana and Rulia immediately love both the
odd-tasting "musubi" and Kusuha's infamous stamina drink.  Misato can only gape
from the sidelines at Kusuha's natural grace in dealing with the Balmar.

After a while, Armana's spirits begin to dampen thinking of the battle to come.
Ryuusei asks her what Hazar is like, and she tells him that he's a traitor to
the Emperor.  And because she knows of his treachery, he surely won't let her
live - in which case, cooperating with the Alpha Numbers is actually in the
Emperor's best interests.  It's clear that Hazar wanted the representative of
Gun-Eden so he could counter Ruaf's power, and Viletta privately doubts that
anyone _but_ an awakened Psychodriver and a Gun-Eden could stand up to Ruaf.
Armana explains that Hazar is the son of the prime minister on her homeworld,
and the supreme commander of the Galactic Border Patrol forces.  But the Golar 
Golems are essentially Shiva's own private army, which means that he's the one 
probably pulling all the strings.  It was apparently no real feat for Shiva to 
use his power as prime minister to build his forces.  What's more, Rulia has
heard that the so-called Balshem warriors in the Golem squad are all engineered
clones.  It seems Shiva is also the greatest scientist in the Empire, and
personally planned the Golems himself.

Ryuusei fumes at having to deal with another Yuuzes Gottso, who as it turns out
was a blood relation of Shiva's.  Rulia suspects that the data Yuuzes left
behind must have piqued Shiva's interest, which neatly ties up everything
that's happened between the Balmar War and now.  It's a tale of two Gun-Edens, 
two planets teeming with life that share some kind of bond in common.  Ryuusei 
doesn't have time to worry about that now though: if he can't win the coming
battle, all of it will be over anyway.  His hour of reckoning is at hand.

Kusuha brings some musubi and tea for Brit, even though he can't eat them.  She
muses that it's been a long time since he fell into his slumber, and thanks him
for protecting her all this time.  Despite what she told Armana, she's actually
terrified of Ganlon and Hazar coming for her.  What should she do?! The jarring
sound of the klaxon tells her that the time to deliberate is over, and with the
glint in her eyes once more, she tells Brit not to worry: she's giving this all
she's got, even if it might be hopeless.  After all, she's the chosen warrior
of the Four Gods.

It's down to do or die time, and your people make whatever peace they can
before the mayhem ensues.  Hazar has his usual bag of insults at hand, but your
people insist that justice will prevail.  And maybe even postvail too.

  For a Skill Point, take down the Viklan within five turns.  SUBtrivial.

  Once Hazar is smacked down sufficiently, Ryuusei yells at him to throw in the
  towel already.  Hazar shouts right back that there is no defeating him: there
  _must_ be no defeating him!  Somehow he thinks that being the Psychodriver
  son of Shiva Gottso and an important part of his father's plans for galactic 
  domination will save his ass.

  As he prepares to prove his point, Ryuusei screams that that kind of power is
  unnecessary, and puts the Alblade's sword where his mouth is.  Ryuusei is
  rather pissed off you see, sick as all hell of hearing about Psychodrivers
  and the Power of God and all.  Even without that crap, he's still got his
  friends and his will to fight: more than enough to face down some punk like
  Hazar.

  But Hazar has one more trump card up his sleeve: Ace, who combines with his
  mech and lets him release his "true" power, which he unleashes on Kusuha as
  she tries to shield Ryuusei.  Hazar taunts the Earthlings, saying that this
  startling combining mech is the result of studying _your_ technology!  This
  is the fruit of the data Yuuzes sent back: your people's copy of the Dead Sea
  Scrolls, Gun-Eden, and especially your nifty combining weaponry.  Kusuha is
  still somehow alive, and Hazar says that he heard plenty about her and
  Ryuusei from his father: not one, but TWO Psychodrivers who were close to
  awakening way out in the boondocks of the galaxy.  That's when he decided he 
  had to kill them off, so his father would accept him as number one.

  Your psychically attuned people begin to sense some sort of pitch-black
  psyche coming from Hazar, as though the attack he just used is making him go 
  out of control.  Dark waves of sadness wash over your pilots, as Hazar gloats
  over Ryuusei's lost powers and Kusuha's fading life.  He has one thing left
  to do, and he heads toward your flagship to wipe out Armana.  But Armana
  isn't going down without a fight and doesn't want any more of your people to 
  get hurt protecting her.  Hazar mocks her bravery, asking if she really
  thinks she can change anything here.  She tells him to shut his mouth, and
  declares that, in the name of the Spirit Emperor Ruaf and on her honor as
  Priestess of Zfield, she is taking the traitorous Golar Golems down _now_.
  She briefly apologizes for mixing Rulia up in this, but Rulia says that the
  honor is all hers to participate in such glorious work.

  Your people aren't in a good position to intervene - well, all except the
  always reckless Ryuusei, who seems to have really lost it this time.  He's
  damned if he'll let Hazar have his way, and Armana uses this chance to get as
  far away from the Alpha Numbers as possible.  Ryuusei and the rest of your
  people vow to protect her, and the thwarted Hazar's sanity begins to erode
  right before your eyes.  As Viletta says, if Hazar goes insane, his mech will
  too, and he seems to be after Ryuusei most especially...

  But then something very strange happens: space... _shatters_.  Your people
  abruptly find themselves back in the real world, leaving Hazar thunderstruck 
  that someone besides the Balmar could use the Crossgate.  And waiting for
  Ryuusei is a mech whose silhouette is virtually indistinguishable from one
  you know well: the SRX [well, SR0, but who's counting].  Reunions with Rai
  and Mai will have to wait: taking revenge for Aya comes first.  Hazar is
  understandably confused, thinking that he destroyed it thoroughly last time, 
  but Rai has been waiting a long time to prove him wrong.  Mai is also going
  to show him just how nasty the Earthlings he tried to use can get.

  Hazar smirks at how the SRX Team seems to have found a counterfeit plug-in
  for Aya, but notes that something rather important seems to be missing:
  Ryuusei's lost his powers, and there's no way the SRX could live up to its
  potential.  But Rai tells him he's wrong - Ryuusei hasn't lost his powers at 
  all: they're just slumbering within him.  Hazar grins and says that if he
  can't use them it's all the same - and all powerless people deserve nothing
  but being wiped off the face of the galaxy.  As Ryuusei grits his teeth,
  Kusuha tells him that she doesn't regret her powers, powers that let her meet
  Brit and everyone else, and let her help protect the Earth.  Ryuusei tells
  the obviously ailing Kusuha not to talk anymore, but she tells him what Brit 
  told her, that her power lies in encouraging others.  She focuses her
  strength on him, losing the last control of her mech and drifting in space.

  Ryuusei feels ashamed that Kusuha would go so far for someone like him.
  Hazar smugly assures him that he'll send him to where Kusuha went soon
  enough, but Ryuusei screams back that his power isn't psychic: it's all the
  friends who fight alongside him.  Hazar prepares to put a stop to his
  bellyaching, but the SRX begins to finally evidence its powers, INCREDIBLY
  soulful as Basara can sense.  It seems Ryuusei has finally found his inner
  psychopath, and Hazar begins to realize just what trouble he's in.  Ryuusei
  has finally accepted whatever power lies within, not giving a fuck where it
  comes from or what larger meaning it might have.  He'll use it for what he
  believes is right, alongside his teammates.  Ryuusei prepares to press the
  attack with the SRX, or better yet the SRX Altard, the Banpreios, the most
  invincible Super Robot in all of Creation!!

  Armana for her part won't abandon this fight either, saying that it's
  partially a Balmar problem and vowing to finish Hazar off herself.  Hazar
  accuses Armana of siding with the Earth, but she tells him to shut up and
  reminds him that she's doing this in Ruaf's name.  Hazar now has access to
  more of his underlings, but Armana has someone to save (Kusuha) and Ryuusei
  is by no means letting Hazar walk away from this one.

  But just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, Ganlon shows
  up too.  Hazar leaves the immobile Kusuha to him, and she can't even move as 
  Ganlon bears down on her.  She seemingly burned out her psychic strength in
  reviving Ryuusei's powers, and Ganlon tells her that she's a very
  kind-hearted girl, which is of course why she can't be allowed to live.  She 
  musters the strength to tell him to shut his big mouth: she's a properly
  chosen warrior of the Four Gods, and she's always been ready to lay down her 
  life if need be.  And even if she falls here, her soul will be bequeathed
  along with the Four Gods themselves to the next warrior, and surely lay evil 
  low one day!  Ganlon prepares to make this wish come true, and Zengar and
  Retzel appear on the map, but too far to intervene.  Zengar yells to Brit
  that this ain't no time for a nap, that if his power really stems from
  protecting Kusuha, now's the time to show it.  He cries to Brit to awaken,
  and bring with him his true strength.  Ganlon figures that Brit's soul is
  already in the land of Lethe, but Kusuha knows he's still alive; despite
  Ganlon's incessant taunting, she can feel it clearly.

  A voice asks Brit whether he desires the salvation of the world of man.  He
  hesitates, and the voice tells him that should he wish this, the voice will
  assume the form of a god to grant that wish.  Brit hesitates further, and
  finally opens his eyes and cries out that he wants to save Kusuha.  Knowing
  that she is the source of his power.... the voice apparently answers, and
  Brit awakens, transforming the mech he shares with Kusuha into the tiger
  form.  Ganlon was _not_ expecting this, and Brit apologizes to Kusuha for
  keeping her waiting all this time.  Now, with the Shin Ko-Ryuu-Ou, he can
  protect her directly.  And as for Ganlon, he doesn't stand a chance against
  _both_ the Psychodrivers and the united power of the Four Gods.  None can
  stand before the gathered might of the Four Spirits, and that's precisely
  what Zengar wanted to hear.  Armana will gladly fight by their side, lending 
  her strength to your cause.

  Hazar has been getting more infuriated by the second watching all of this,
  and figures he can simply obliterate _all_ of you.  Ganlon realizes that
  Hazar has reached the end of the line...

  If Ganlon fights Retzel, he'll tell Retzel that he should realize that the
  Earth's days are numbered.  Not a good enough reason to let Ganlon run away, 
  Retzel says.  This surprises Ganlon: how is it he's "running"?  Well, he
  apparently decided that the Earth was beyond saving and went over to the side
  of its enemies - just like he always has.  Ganlon's smile narrows, and he
  says he's impressed that Retzel's family remembers the battle with him after 
  all this time.  But he figures to end that bloodline here today, and Retzel
  grimly notes that Ganlon simply won't seem to admit his mistakes.  Zengar has
  a good solution to this problem, chopping Ganlon in half with his BIG-ASS
  Zankantou.

  As for Brit, he tells Ganlon that his evil deeds are an end.  Ganlon sniffs
  at that, saying that Brit must still be talking in his sleep, but Kusuha adds
  that Ganlon's bad habit of looking down on people is also about to end.  When
  you smack him down, he figures that he'll satisfy himself with having seen
  Brit's reawakening, and withdraws, inwardly wishing the little puppet the
  "best of luck".  Kusuha doesn't want Ganlon running away, but he tells her to
  stop joking - he's merely decided that this isn't to be the spot of their
  final battle.... not that he expects your people can reach the spot he's
  chosen instead.  Brit and Kusuha realize where that place must be, if his
  goal really is to side with the other Gun-Eden.

  As you begin to deplete Hazar's HP, he yells that Shiva's Viklan isn't
  anywhere near that weak, and starts expanding his power still further: or
  rather, stretching it thinner yet.  He's railing against the limits of his
  own power, and he's about to cross the borderline.  Rulia then pleads with
  Hazar to stop, and he tells the servile bitch to shut up: he's far past sick 
  of her older-sisterly attitude.  Armana tells you sadly that before Rulia was
  assigned to be her protector, she served Hazar.  Or more accurately, was his 
  childhood playmate.  It breaks Rulia's heart to recall how innocent Hazar was
  back then, all smiles, and Hazar doesn't want to hear it brought up, now that
  he's gotten strong for his father's sake.  When he says that's his proof of
  being alive, Zengar pities the fool who got high on his own power and lost
  sight of why he even exists.  Hazar tries to insist that "might makes right" 
  is the immutable law of the galaxy, and as Ryuusei almost seems to feel sorry
  for him Viletta warns him not to sympathize too much.  Ryuusei agrees: his
  form of sympathizing is to put Hazar out of his misery, literally and
  figuratively.

  The Getter team are good ones to talk to Hazar about his combining mech, when
  he refers to Getter's combination as a baby's toy.  Benkei fills him in that 
  he's not really "combining", he's just using his partner as his tool.  As
  Ryouma points out, "combination" is all about joining the team members'
  hearts as one, and he's more than happy to demonstrate the power of that to
  the upstart Imperial.

  When Ace reaches his limits, he ignores Hazar's orders and leaves his
  commander to fight alone.  Hazar is still delusional enough to think that he 
  can't lose, using the power his father gave him.

  Hazar's sorry ass is worth a Haro!  Even as he's in the process of dying he
  can't give up his delusions, making your people all the more eager to end his
  existence.  But someone yells for you to wait: it's Baran.  He is glad beyond
  belief to see that the princess is still fine, and formally requests of the
  warriors of Earth that they leave the disposal of Hazar to his people.  This 
  doesn't sit well with your people, especially given how the Empire has been
  the source of so much grief to the Earth all this time.  Neither Armana nor
  Baran even try to dispute that, and as tears flow down Baran's face Rulia
  tells you that he was once Hazar's martial teacher.  He tells you to laugh at
  him if you will, he the survivor of so many battles over so many years, who
  failed to properly raise his only son.

  This sobers even Ryuusei, and after a moment your commanders deem that the
  Golems have lost all their warpower.  Any further fighting would only imperil
  your own forces, and as Karsha voices her usual obnoxious objections Cosmo
  points out to her that Hazar is _so_ being executed as a traitor when he gets
  hauled back home.  Besides, if the rest of the Golems are withdrawn from the 
  Earth, the Earth itself should have no more to fear from the Empire.  Armana 
  plans to return to her homeworld and reveal Shiva's schemes to the Emperor,
  and try to lay a foundation for the Empire and the Earth to actually treat
  for peace.  This still shocks Rulia a bit, but Armana reminds her of the many
  menaces overshadowing the entire galaxy.  It is the coming of Apocalypsis,
  foretold since ancient times, that she fears - the prophesied "End and
  Beginning of All".  Basically, the climax of the entire galaxy, and it
  doesn't make much sense for the Empire and Earth to be quarreling in the face
  of that, now does it?  Etsilla then shows up, saying that that's not the
  complete answer and pointing out something that your people seem to have
  overlooked.  The key to this "End and Beginning of All" is... you! This
  causes understandable confusion, and she shrugs and says that thanks to your 
  cessation of the contraction the End has been postponed a bit.  Baran demands
  to know if she plans to side with Shiva against the Emperor, and she sniffs
  and says that all she cares about is those who are leading the galaxy towards
  its climax.  And unfortunately, a certain little boy broke before he could
  become the key.

  Just then, Ace returns to the field, blasting away at Baran and Ryuusei/
  Armana and especially at Hazar.  Ace, speech no longer slurred, explains that
  he's simply throwing out toys that are no longer useful.  And beneath Ace's
  mask is... another Hazar!!  He tells Armana that he's no copy, since both he 
  and the other Hybrid Human Model PD were made by Shiva at the same time.
  He's sure Baran wouldn't know about this, but his lord Shiva has laid in
  several plans to give him an independent fighting force subject to his will. 
  One of them was the artificial Psychodriver program meant to counter Ruaf,
  which explained why Shiva was gathering up those with Psychodriver powers
  from all over the galaxy.  Finally, what Shiva came up with was the most
  capable of all - but Hazar doesn't want to hear that he's some artificial
  puppet: he's Shiva's son!  Actually, all he is is a model of artificial
  Psychodriver who was raised to think that way - and having Rulia be his
  playmate was just part of the program designed to give him human-like
  emotions.  Meanwhile, Ace got to watch the whole farce from the sidelines,
  learning the absurdity and futility of this thing called "love".  Thus, he
  was rigged to be able to perform his duties robotically.  Hazar keeps saying 
  it's not true, but Ace calls him a disgrace and points out that it's already 
  been proven that he's defective.  He orders Hazar to leave the Viklan, which 
  rightfully belongs to him.

  Ace unleashes some switch that totally destroys Hazar's nervous system, and
  orders the Viklan to come to him.  In fact, Ace revealed his face precisely
  to destroy the rest of Hazar's control, and he tells the enraged Baran to go 
  ahead and report all of this to the Emperor if he wants.  Of course, it's
  probably already too late.  Ryuusei yells at Ace to wait, but Ace is planning
  to depart, having gotten a full view of what your people are capable of.  He 
  says that where he and you are destined to clash is within the Ze Balmariy
  empire, the Balmar homeworld.  He then gives you one more tidbit of
  information: Shiva has your comrade, Aya Kobayashi.  He's heard that even one
  of her feeble powers has some use as a test sample, but he can't guarantee
  that she's still recognizable as a human.  He makes to leave, and Etsilla
  tells you that she's looking forward to you all leading the galaxy to
  Apocalypsis.

Your people are left wondering how fighting for the sake of the galaxy could
possibly equate to working for its destruction.  But you begin to realize that 
you might have enough power to do it, between Ide and all your other uber forms
of energy.  Armana recounts how the voraciously inquisitive Etsilla has spent a
very very long time researching these infinite forms of energy, and probably
knows more about them than anyone - so what she told you is probably not
without some basis in fact.  Your people then make to regroup and reorganize,
and Armana prepares to head home to fight for the planet she loves as dearly as
you love the Earth.  She's looking forward to the day when she gets to see
Kusuha again.  Baran will be protecting his princess, and is a bit sad that he 
can't settle the score with Zengar on the battlefield, but they both figure
they may yet meet across the battlefield.  Brit is sure that the day when the
Empire and the Earth can understand each other is coming: fighting isn't the
only way to solve problems.

This isn't the end of your battles, it's the beginning of your fight against
Apocalypsis, and your people can't turn back now.  All you _can_ do is never
give up, even until the very end: even the smallest power may yet avail.  Back 
at base, Brit tells Kusuha that he's come back to fulfill his promise to her,
and asks her not to cry anymore.  With the Kou-Ou-Ki lending him strength, the 
Four Gods are really one with him and Kusuha now.  Zengar comes by and commends
Brit on his swordsmanship, building on his teachings and approaching "true"
strength.  Brit gravely thanks him for his words during the battle, which
reached even his soul, and Retzel tells him to be proud of his deep feelings
for Kusuha, which really carried the day.  Brit now sees his mission clearly
thanks to Ko-Ou-Ki: Kusuha is one who protects the universe, and he is to
protect her in turn.

Rai and Ryuusei have kept their promises to each other.  And hey, Aya is even
alive - and Ryuusei assures Mai that with the Banpreios completed, they have
nothing to fear.  This comforts her, but Camille recalls to Judou that Mai is
most likely Rebi Torah, who your people saved from Yuuzes during the Balmar
War.  Garrison has heard that she's the adopted daughter of the developer of
the T-Link System, Kobayashi Kenzou - which does in some sense make Mai Aya's
sister.  Mai will be fighting in said sister's stead as the pilot of the R-3.

Rai then explains to Kouji why there was another "SRX" on hand.  As the "X"
suggests, the one you had during the Balmar War was a mere experimental
version.  Its developers moved quickly to a completed version, but had enough
trouble that they couldn't get it ready in time for the Gate defense operation.
When Sayaka asks, Rai says that time pressure forced the designers to
prioritize durability and lock down the ability of the three R units to
separate.  What's more amazing is how it was able to cleave the barrier between
dimensions: this is one of the "26 secrets" hidden within according to Ryuusei.
Mai smoothly and quickly tells him that his info is out of date, making some of
your people realize that this girl is a lot more mature than she looks.  Rai
tells you to ignore Ryuusei's bad joke and says that this is the new mech's
greatest distinguishing feature, XN Dimension, or "Dimension Cutting".  Not
only is it a mobile weapon, it has direct access to the Gate itself, using the 
T-Link System to amplify its pilot's Psychodriver abilities.  It seems that
only Ryuusei can use this machine properly, and although it's been temporarily 
modified to allow Mai access, it puts an immense strain on her.  Ryuusei loves 
the idea of a psychic system only he can use, and Rai notes drily that his
tendency to get carried away seems to have revived along with his powers - and 
Kusuha knows that that shows how much he really cares for Ryuusei.

As for the realization that Psychodrivers can access the Gate, and the rapid
completion of such a tricky machine in the time your people were away, Retzel
explains that the designers had help from Irui Gun-Eden.  She showed herself
quite suddenly after you all were kicked off the Earth, and taught Mai how to
access the XN Dimension.  He tells your people that there's no knowing why Irui
didn't do that sooner, short of asking her yourselves.  And before she vanished
again, she left this message: "Children of Nashim, please save this galaxy."
Sadly, both the meaning of "Nashim" and Irui's current whereabouts are unknown,
but it's clear that the Gun-Edens are at the heart of both the previous Balmar 
conflict, and this new one.  And as for saving the galaxy, she presumably means
Apocalypsis - but it would help immensely if your people knew _physically_ what
that was supposed to be.  Etsilla certainly sounded like she knew, but Kusuha
points out that you can't be cowed by her words and stop moving forward.
Ryuusei figures that wiping out the galaxy's enemies sounds like a good way to 
keep its climax at bay.  Kiry figures that if that older lady (Etsilla) shows
up again, it'd help to snag her and force the truth out of her, but Remy
figures it might be faster to just ask Kenta.  Or Musashi, who lives amidst the
Getter Rays, thinks Viletta.  Both of them hinted that the contraction was the 
first blush of Apocalypsis, which might hold the key to figuring out what it
really is.  And as for how you're still #banned off of the Earth, the fact is
that you're dealing with galactic-scale enemies and can't afford to worry about
the small stuff.

Not that the Muge, Zaft, Blue Cosmos, etc. are precisely small stuff, or the
mess with the Alliance and Boazan either.  But Kakizaki runs in with far more
immediate news: City 7 has been completely captured by the Protodevlin.  This
could really really suck...


Scenario 44X. Seigi no Hata no Shita Ni ("Beneath the Banner of Justice")

Heinel is having diplomacy problems.  Deus, speaking as representative of
Canpel, can't offer Heinel's group any support.  Heinel reminds him that Zu
Zanbajil is spreading the flames of meaningless war from his base on Boazan,
and angrily says that Deus must be well aware of a certain hawkish faction on
his planet as well.  Deus won't deny that, and fully understands why Heinel is 
seeking his help.  But he stops Heinel in the middle of his reiterated request 
to strike down Zu Zanbajil together.  He has no objections to sending troops to
achieve the goal that Heinel is aiming for.  But as he testily tells Heinel, he
isn't planning to do so as outright "cooperation" with the person who once lead
Zu Zanbajil's troops, against Canpel no less - EVEN IF Heinel had been tricked 
into doing so back then.  And the knowledge that Richter, who once led the
people of Barm into a profitless war, is on Heinel's side makes "cooperation"
even less of an option.  Even though he was a victim of sorts of Grand Marshal 
Olban's schemes, Deus says that Richter's personal notions of justice are
hardly above reproach.  Heinel sees what Deus is trying to say, but says that
he's not planning to relent in his request for assistance.

Just then, radar picks up a Boazan vessel approaching, apparently being pursued
by the Imperial army.  What's more, Richter, who's gone ahead to try to
rendezvous with it, is fighting a second group of Imperials.  Looks like the
Empire is trying to take over this part of space too.  Heinel tells Deus that
he's off to save his kin, and would like to resume their discussion afterwards.
Deus says that there's no need, that the decision has already been handed down.
Heinel accepts that, but adds that he has no intention of ceasing his fight for
what he believes in.

Heinel has been fighting his ass off, managing to drive away or shoot down the 
first wave of assailants.  The Boazan people think they recognize the guardian 
god Godor, thinking that just maybe they're saved.  They're shocked to see
Prince Heinel on the screen, and asking for their help no less.  They aren't
remotely planning to help the lackey of Zu Zanbajil, representative of the
nobility that has been oppressing the common folk simply because they lack
horns.  Heinel denies this, saying that what makes for nobility isn't the
presence or absence of horns.  It's the nobility of one's soul!  But before he 
can finish, the second wave of enemies arrives.  The commoners think they're
stuck between being killed by the Balmar or captured and killed by Heinel.
Doesn't freedom exist for them anywhere in this galaxy?!  Heinel figures that
he can end this fight by taking down the enemy commander.  He tells the
commoners to hurry up and run, that their lives exist for Boazan's sake and
must not be lost here.  This confuses them, and he informs them that protecting
the lives of the people is the duty of the nobility: they are to leave this
fight to him.  His wish for them is to live, and to fight for the glory of
Boazan.  One of the commoners isn't buying it, but the other is starting to...

  They're surprised that Heinel let them live, and Heinel asks why the guardian
  god Godor would torment its own people.  The wrath of its blade is directed
  in only one place, at those who call forth the chaos of war upon the galaxy.

  Heinel furiously orders the Balmar soldiers to aim their guns at him.  He's a
  pretty famous traitor to the Imperial cause, and the bad guys think they're
  in luck running into him here.  They're pretty good pilots, and Heinel is not
  having great luck against them.  The enemy commander tells the obviously
  exhausted Heinel to watch as he kills the flying saucers he was trying to
  protect off like maggots.  Heinel, however, says that he won't let a single
  hair on a Boazan head be harmed while his eyes are still black, and with
  renewed vigor drives the Imperial back by _ramming_ him.  The shocked
  Imperial asks if he's trying to kill himself or something, and Heinel says
  that he died long ago, and thinks nothing of laying down his life if it means
  protecting his people from the likes of him.  Yes, that's that whole noble
  soul thing for those who were passing notes or toking up in class instead of 
  paying attention.

  The commander furiously says that there's only one ruler of the galaxy, the
  Balmar, and is more than happy to prove it by slaughtering Heinel.  But
  Heinel has an ally who won't let that happen: Richter, who has been busy
  wiping out all the Imperials nearby.  This means that these are the last ones
  left, and the two prepare to make mincemeat out of them.  The Boazan refugees
  are thunderstruck that the disgraced Richter of Barm would be hanging with
  Heinel, AND saving their asses in the process.

  The rather ungrateful Boazan crew start blasting away at the shame of Barm,
  claiming that he attempted to blame the failure of the Earth invasion on the 
  Boazan.  They ignore Heinel's pleas to stop, and demand to know how Richter
  can even stand to go on living after leading his people into a meaningless
  war.  Heinel realizes that Zu Zanbajil has been spreading rumors in a bid to 
  turn things her way, but fortunately more of Heinel and Richter's crew show
  up, and ask the Boazan to cease fire.  Their impassioned speech eventually
  sets things to rights.  They tell the _real_ story of how Zanbajil used the
  billion Barmians as pawns through manipulating Olban, and how Richter was
  also a victim of Olban's schemes, just like Prince Heinel was manipulated by 
  Zanbajil himself.  Lest they forget, both of them risked their lives to save 
  Barm from the Zaylan Darius.  Richter asks his comrades to stop - even if
  he's fighting for justice now, he certainly has some very unpleasant things
  he's participated in in the past, willingly or otherwise.  He won't detain
  the Boazanians any further, and hopes to see them one day when justice
  prevails.  Heinel says much the same, and the saviors all depart.  But for
  some reason, the people can't really get used to the idea of just being
  "free"... could it be Heinel's words to them?

Richter learns of Heinel's failure to enlist Canpel's help.  Kind of
understandable under the circumstances, and they've at least got many other
converts to their cause for moral support.  And that number just swelled,
thanks to the Boazan folk you just saved.  They've come back from Canpel to
join in the campaign, and come with a message from Deus: he's seen their
resolve in battle, and tells them that when they've achieved their first
objective, by their own hand, he'll gladly offer them his strength.  That would
be the liberation of Boazan, and the new recruits are more than glad to help do
so under the leadership of a noble soul like Heinel's.  As the group prepare to
set sail for Boazan, there's one more piece of news for Heinel: the refugees
know the location of Lee Catherine, one of his dear servants.  Richter says
that obviously you'll just have to save her, having lost subordinates himself
and not wanting to lose any more.  They renew their pledge to restore peace to 
the galaxy, and Heinel thinks to his brother Ken'ichi that he's finally found
the place where he will die...


Scenario 45.

Only Miria and a few of the civilians made it out safely from the Protodevlin
offensive, which struck right after your people got imprisoned in the Sol
Lords' subspace.  It would seem that they were lurking nearby, waiting for
their chance to populate that "Spiritia Farm" thing you've heard about.  Miria 
was attempting to fight the bad guys off herself, but instead she watched as
they forced City 7 to Fold from right in front of her eyes.  It's a virtual
certainty that they were bound for Barooda 4, the Protodevlin's homeworld.
Miria apologizes to Max for failing to protect the city, but Max tells her that
the responsibility falls upon you all for falling into the Protodevlin's trap.

In any case, this means your to-do list just got longer, forcing you to split
your forces and send them all over the galaxy.  It is to be a four-way split.  
One team to Earth to eradicate the Subterraneans and Muge, and ensure Irui's
safety.  Another team to go to Earth too, to defeat the Zaft and thwart the
Blue Cosmos's ambitions.  A third team to head to Barooda and save all those
captured, and a fourth team to head to Boazan to free the captured professor
and seek assistance from friendly elements there.

  [You get to decide whether to start the SRX Team and Ryuu-Ko-Ou on Earth or
  in space.  If Earth, recovering Irui is "I" and fighting Zaft is "Z".  If
  space, decide between the Protodevlin ("P"), or Boazan ("B").]

Your people realize they're fighting not just for the Earth, but for all of the
galaxy.  You don't know what Apocalypsis is yet, but you've got to do what you 
can to defeat your current slate of enemies, to wit: the Protodevlin, the Baff 
Clan, the Subterraneans, the Muge, the Alliance, the Zaft, Blue Cosmos, the
STMC... and ultimately the Empire.  You've got your work cut out for you, but
as Bright points out, even a small nudge can get a very large stone rolling.
All the commanders pledge themselves to ensuring a future for the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Sakon has been poring over all the records of your people activating
your various infinite energy sources.  Bes and Cheryl ask him if he thinks he
can learn more about Ide, and after a moment Sakon states that it's beyond
doubt that all of you are prisoners of Ide.  Ide has used the Gate to send you 
wherever it wanted you - but what if Ide wasn't the only one behind it?  He
conjectures that Ide, Getter Rays, Beamlar, and THE POWER are all part of a
larger force, a force whose intervention in your lives would go a long way to
explaining the events in the Balmar War too.  That would include the original
crash landing of the Macross, the increasing activity of the giants and the
space monsters, the invasion by extraterrestrial cultures...

Who or whatever is behind this has control of the Gate, and what Sakon is
hoping the computer will tell him is the identity of that entity.  He doesn't
have to wait long for an answer, and he's not surprised by it even if the
others are.  The one who has led and at times toyed with you is that which was 
ordained for the galaxy, in a word, "destiny".  Or, as some people know it, the
Akashic Record.  Bes has just figured out what CLAMP has been trying to tell
everyone for years: *YO DESSINY WUZ FO'O'DAIN', BEESTAZNITCH!*  Now foshizzle
my nizzle.

Cheryl becomes hysterical at once, wondering if everything you've done to this 
point is merely futile struggle against the inevitability of Apocalypsis.
Maybe so, but if it's a fight with Destiny you're picking, the key to victory
lies with the Psychodrivers and their ability to access the Akashic Record.

Your people prepare to split up, and Mai warns Ryuusei that Dimension Cutting
requires an immense amount of psyche.  As he thanks her for her support, she
recalls that it was all she could do to perform it once.  But with Ryuusei's
newfound power...  Rai revs up the Tronium Engine to full power and Mai
establishes a connection to the Gate.  Ryuusei can now feel the very breath of 
the galaxy rushing through his body, and as your units prepare for deployment
Ryuusei pushes his powers to their fullest...

Back on the Balmar homeworld, Shiva learns of Hazar's failure.  Ace assures him
that he's taken command and will continue with the operation as planned.  He
also warns that the Alpha Numbers should be headed to Balmar before long, which
is just as Shiva wants it.  He needs them to fight till the very end...

But Shiva has a guest: it's Baran, who none too politely yells for him to come 
forth.  Shiva notes that Baran is back earlier than expected, and inquires
politely about the princess' health.  Baran is furious that Shiva would keep up
this charade to his face, and Shiva, showing a bit of irritation, asks what
Baran is doing taking up the prime minister's time.  Baran can't believe that
his acquaintance since youth, once comrades in striving for the glory of the
Empire, would turn traitor.  Even when he was forcibly shown Shiva's schemes, a
part of him wanted to believe in him and in Hazar.  Baran says that he's been
blind all this time, and demands to know what became of Shiva's and his pledge 
to devote their whole life to the Emperor and the Empire, Shiva with knowledge 
and Baran with the sword.  Shiva calls Baran "soft", and dismisses Hazar's
death as a replaceable tool breaking in the course of a good day's work.

Baran is now enraged, but he's made the mistake of coming alone in deference to
his old friendship.  Is that confidence?  Or naivete?  Or...  Baran will no
longer hesitate to strike down the traitor, ordering Shiva to apologize to the 
Emperor and to Hazar from the afterlife.  But Shiva has done something to
Baran's body, and says that Baran's strength will be quite useful.  He explains
to Baran that he is about to acquire the vessel of god...


Scenario 45I. Toraware no Kokoro, Sakebu Toki ("When the Imprisoned Heart Cries
Out")

At the Subterranean base, Ikima is busily throwing Irui in jail.  Flora warns
him that Irui has vast psychic powers that belie her harmless exterior, but
Ikima claims that Irui's been put into such a state that she can't even
_think_, much less talk.  This is all thanks to that nervous-system depressant 
needles that the Grand Marshal of Hell embedded in her.  Flora finds this all
rather cruel [though if you read one of the optional missions she was the one
who actually did the embedding in the first place...], and her colleagues begin
to wonder if she's going soft.  But Irui isn't quite as out of commission as
advertised: Irui is psychically communicating directly with them all, pleading 
with them to stop, lest everything come to ruin.  Ikima orders the others to
run electric current through the needle in her head and numb her brain, which
rapidly knocks Irui unconscious.  The others marvel over their trump card for
world domination, a barely controlled monstrosity, but Flora's second thoughts 
about helping with all this seem to be getting stronger by the minute.  What
she says out loud is that the Subterraneans are fairly pitiful if they have to 
rely on a child such as this.  When Ikima tries to call her on this, the glint 
returns to her eye as she levelly tells him that in dabbling with this powerful
girl they may have meddled in what ought not to be meddled with.  Gun-Eden, the
legacy of cultures gone by, is still a daunting shadow...

Shapiro is talking with Emperor Ryuuma, and tells rather than asks him to hand 
over the girl.  Ryuuma is not having it, and says he's had enough of Shapiro's 
machinations to keep his hands clean.  Ryuuma himself plans to use the girl for
the Subterraneans' purposes.  Shapiro seems genuinely surprised and
uncharacteristically upset that Ryuuma seems to have planned this from the
beginning.  The deal _had_ been the girl in return for the Muge Zolbados forces
aiding in the Subterraneans' bid for world domination, but Ryuuma scoffs and
figures that Shapiro's people had been planning to use the girl to simply wipe 
out the Earth from day one.  Besides, Ryuuma yells, promises were made to be
broken, especially with this much riding on them!  In which case, Shapiro says,
Ryuuma's people will get to regret their folly in a dungeon ever so much deeper
than the roots of the Earth.  Ryuuma figures that as a declaration of war, and 
invites the offworld Muge to bring their full strength and just try to invade
his underground domain.  Shapiro curses him for a fool, and says that the
hammer will fall in a mere few hours.  As he hangs up, Ryuuma rages against
this traitor to the planet, wondering if Shapiro thinks he's become God or
something.  He orders the Grand Marshal to send Flora and the other troops out 
to smite his enemies, expecting no interference with the Alpha Numbers gone.

Meanwhile, Amaso and Ikima have already realized that the Subterraneans are
doomed in a showdown with the Muge.  If they want to have any hope of
reestablishing the Jama Empire, they've got to use this girl's power.  Amaso is
willing to give it his all if Ikima is, in order to keep his oath to the
departed Mimashi.  He switches off the current running to Irui's head, and
probably ought to be a bit more scared when Irui psychically asks who is
calling her name.  Amaso tells Irui that they're using her power to reestablish
the Jama Empire, and then recoils when it seems Irui's demeanor is quite a bit 
different than before.  Ikima figures they've gone too far to stop now, and
begins to tell Irui what he wishes for...

Flora meanwhile is wondering where the heck Ikima and Amaso are at a time like 
this.  Ryuuma grouses that they wouldn't have been much help in battle anyway, 
and orders Flora to smite the impudent Muge bastards coming in from up above.  
Shapiro's men arrive, and he informs his opponents that they're far too
unworthy to possess the child of God.  He gives them one more chance to hand
her over.  Flora will be damned if she hands him over the Earth, but Shapiro
tells her not to misunderstand: the Muge aren't interested in a planet as puny 
as this.  They're trying to overturn the order of the galaxy, and they need
that girl's power to do it.  Helmet is getting impatient, and orders Shapiro to
sortie the troops instead of all this chitchat.  Flora responds in kind,
ordering her men not to let a single one of the invaders leave the underworld.

  On turn 2, Ryuuma begins to sense an oppressive force unlike anything he's
  ever known.  Shapiro's people have a more scientific way of going about it:
  they sense a gravitational abnormality nearby.  Helmet thinks it's absurd
  that anyone could be trying to teleport into the _interior_ of a planet, but 
  Gildrome says that if it's possible, it must require... the Crossgate!  The
  Alpha Numbers themselves are surprised to show up here, having targeted the
  Science Fortress Laboratory.  Mai is sure that Ryuusei's targeting was right,
  which must mean that an even stronger power called you here.  Could it be...?

  Your people quickly figure out that the Muge and the Subterraneans are
  fighting, and Hiroshi and Flora spot each other quickly.  Ryuuma orders her
  to take down the Alpha Numbers too, and Shapiro hesitates over giving orders 
  to the troops.  The realization that the child of God has chosen the Alpha
  Numbers instead of him is some major blow to his ego, and he furiously orders
  a full retreat.  Helmet doesn't want to hear that, saying that this is a
  perfect chance to take out both people standing in the way, but Shapiro says 
  that this must be reported to Muge himself.  He orders Shinobu out of the
  way, saying that he doesn't have time to waste tangling with him, and manages
  to make good his escape.  The Grand Marshal grudgingly admires Shapiro's
  level of caution.

  Well, now it's a one-on-one match with the Subterraneans, and looking for
  Irui will have to wait [perhaps not that long ;)].  It's dangerous to fight
  in the home base of this enemy, but if you can take them down, Japan should
  be free!

  Clear the map within seven turns for a Skill Point.

  The next turn, Flora is still wondering where the hell Amaso and Ikima are.  
  She can use every ounce of help she can get...  Then they show up, and when
  she asks what the heck they've been up to, they order her silent.  They here 
  announce the resurrection of the Jama Empire to all present, and with their
  puny force Ryuuma wonders whether they've gone fucking insane.  This is
  tantamount to suicide, and for once Pete is forced to agree with the enemy
  commander.  Your people basically tell the two Jama refugees to take their
  baseball glove and go home, but they've got something up their sleeve.  Ikima
  orders everyone to tremble in fear and bend the knee before him.  Your people
  suddenly begin to sense an intense spirit of hatred coming from his
  direction.  Jeeg remembers this psyche: it's Himika!  She managed to
  transport her soul to a nearly-complete robot beast the moment before her
  death, and is now prepared to take back everything that was once hers.  She
  assures Ryuuma that she'll make short work of his darling subordinate, as
  well as the Alpha Numbers, before claiming his head too.  The Grand Marshal
  is amazed to see such force behind Himika's hateful powers, and realizes
  right away that Ikima and Amaso must have used the child of god's powers to
  pull it off.  All this really means is that your people have one more enemy
  to defeat, though that enemy has extra-dimensional powers that are stronger
  than they were the last time you fought her.  Ryuuma realizes that Himika
  seems to want to take down the Alpha Numbers, and orders Flora to attack
  _both_ sides in the meantime.  Amaso and Ikima think their dream is at
  hand...

  Himika's evil powers seemingly cannot be dodged, meaning that the best
  defense is a good offense.

  Flora is worth an Analyzer Plus.  Ryuuma gets impatient when Flora gets taken
  out, ordering her as his doll to lay down her life if need be to get rid of
  Himika.  Jeeg demands to know what's wrong - is she planning to run away or
  something.  She hesitates a moment, and then says that she's Ryuuma's
  faithful servant.  She makes to ram Himika, and Jeeg leaps to her rescue.
  Flora demands to know why he would protect her, and Hiroshi says he sensed
  Flora's heart crying.  He asks her to give him her sorrows, adding that he
  can't think of anyone who would even lay down their life as his enemy.  She
  accuses him of trying to do the same thing, and he tells her to say what she 
  will.  But the feeling of protecting the weak: _love_ is his power.  She
  demands to know how love could have any such power, and Hiroshi says that
  maybe he was mistaken, perhaps a demon-born woman could never understand how 
  he feels.  She denies that she's a demon, but he asks her if she's even once 
  risked everything for love.  She angrily tells him that he knows nothing of
  her past, of how Ryuuma changed her destiny for the worse.  Himika is getting
  sick of listening to the drama, and decides to wipe out Jeeg first.

  He's getting his ass kicked, but he orders your people to stay back.  He's
  returned to Earth to save his mother, Mayumi, and all the other people with a
  sliver of happiness to hold on to.  As long as he's got the power of such
  love, there's no way he'll give in to Himika's sorcery.  As Kouji observes,
  the ridiculous inferno that is the immortal Hiroshi is finally alight, and
  Hiroshi tells Flora that he'll show her how powerful love is, how powerful
  humans are.  Flora withdraws from battle, and Hiroshi vows to send Himika
  back to where all souls belong.

  Amaso is worth a Magnetic Coating.  He's sad that he's displayed his
  incompetence in front of Himika, but Himika tells him it's okay to withdraw
  and leave the rest to her.  Ikima is worth a Booster, and gets the same
  message from Himika.

  Himika is worth a Psychoframe, and her demise is surprisingly abrupt.  This
  comes as a dreadful shock to her loyal lackeys, and Jeeg announces to Ryuuma 
  that he's next.  Your people demand that he come out at once, saying that his
  title as emperor must be ashamed of his cowardice.  This apparently serves to
  make him mad, and he starts blasting away with some kind of power vastly
  greater than Himika's.  Such is the fearsome might of the so-called Emperor
  of Hell, and his hand will not be swayed by Ikima and Amaso's pathetic pleas 
  for mercy and of eternal allegiance.  Their miserable lives are burnt to a
  crisp, and at this rate the rest of your people will be too.  Theoretically, 
  your people's warpower is too depleted to face down Ryuuma [practically, his 
  ass would be mine if they let me at him], and Daimonji orders a retreat.

  But it seems Ryuuma doesn't _want_ you to escape, and shows you how he's got 
  Irui captive.  The Grand Marshal glories in telling you that he's robbed her 
  of all her powers, scoffing at the indignation of the Mazinger pilots.
  Ryuuma tells you to run if you want, and that next time he'll invade _your_
  home base and see how you like it.  He'll be there in person to ensure that
  the score is settled, and even with Irui right in front of your eyes, you've 
  got no real choice but to withdraw [or so the writers have decreed....]
  Kusuha vows that she'll save Irui next time for sure, and your people depart.
  Ryuuma, still furious, orders preparations made for assault: next battle and 
  the Alpha Numbers' asses are his!  And the Earth will bow before him, etc.
  etc.  Poor Irui.

Hiroshi is pondering Flora's words, that for whatever reason she was forced to 
become a bloodless, tearless general by some machination of Ryuuma's.  Ryouma
puts it differently: if she really _was_ a heartless demon, she'd have shot the
defenseless Hiroshi in the back.  This means she somehow must feel gratitude to
Hiroshi for saving her life.  Unfortunately, she _is_ an enemy general even if 
she does have a heart, and there seems little chance that anything other than
warfare can exist between you and her.  Hayato says that that depends entirely 
on Hiroshi.  While it seems doubtful that your people's rhetoric or hearts
could reach Flora, he tells Hiroshi to do what he feels is right if he plans to
prove otherwise.  After all, you've got to join forces with humans you've
fought before to defeat the common menace to the galaxy - who's to say that
Hiroshi couldn't accomplish the same thing? He plans on trying to talk to Flora
during the next battle, while fulfilling his duty to mankind.  Shinobu sounds
pessimistic, but as Sara knows well he actually likes the brand of idiocy that 
Hiroshi seems to subscribe to.  And Hiroshi will have a lot of help when the
time comes.

More worrisome is Irui being in the bad guys' hands, especially with the Grand 
Marshal and his history of brainwashing.  There's every reason to fear that the
knowledge and Psychodriver powers of Gun-Eden could be turned to his evil ends.
In fact, the malevolent knowledge of the Grand Marshal seems to complement the 
ferocious sorcerous might of Ryuuma perfectly.  There's no telling what Ryuuma 
has planned for this decisive battle, but Kouji is eager to face whatever it is
and finally cut ties with these underground bastards once and for all.  Kusuha 
is definitely looking forward to repaying Irui's kindness by saving her, and
she's not alone.

Meanwhile, Ryuuma is furious with Flora for going on living thanks to the Alpha
Numbers' intervention on her behalf.  She promises to do better next battle,
but he's sick of hearing excuses and says he'll do to her what he did to Ikima 
if she's of no further use.  Flora now realizes for certain that there's no
trace of humanity in Ryuuma's heart, that he's willing to take even her out
like the trash if it suits him.  Ryuuma doesn't like the look in her eyes, and 
orders his robot soldiers to throw her in prison despite her pleas for mercy.  
Ryuuma grumbles that this foolish woman seems to have forgotten how he let her 
live back when, and figures that once he's conquered the Earth he'll find a far
more suitable human for himself.  And that won't be long now, once he gets rid 
of that pesky Iron Jeeg and the Alpha Numbers...


Scenario 45Z. Shinobiyoru Shuuen ("The Climax Creeps Closer")

Your people make it back to the Icarus Base, where the Carneades Fleet is
amassing.  Tashiro realizes that judgment day is now very very close, and his
staffers invite your people to secretly enter the base.  He won't hear of any
thanks for saving your people's bacon from the ES space: anyone who cares about
a future for mankind would have done the same.  Of course, none of that would
have been possible without a certain set of little helpers: Mamoru, Kaidou,
and... Irui.  The boys are currently back with their families, but Irui is, as 
usual, nowhere to be found after teaching Mai how to access the Gate.  It's up 
to the Daikuu Maryuu team to find her.  As for Bright's team... well, you've
now seen the innumerable perils overshadowing the galaxy while on that little
jaunt to halt the contraction.  It's even clearer that the time has come to
stop quarreling among Earthlings, since if something isn't done about this
Apocalypsis business, the galaxy will surely be toast.

And your people figure it's their task to personally end the fighting on Earth.
Tashiro gravely says that it seems your trip to space wasn't in vain, and
believes that your resolve will be among your greatest weapons in the fighting 
to come.  But spread before you is the Carneades Fleet, an attempt to answer
the great puzzle posed by the ancient Greek philosopher [among whose theories
was that all reality and even truth itself are experiential: it is impossible
to prove any universal absolute].  With matters deteriorated so badly that
saving your own lives seems to require taking the lives of others, this is a
question that urgently needs answering...

It seems that all the former NERV command staff have been gathered at Icarus,
partially because their confinement after the Balmar War was a lot less severe 
than the Children's.  Instead, they've basically become the command crew for
the Eltrium.  This seems to spark something in Misato by her glower, but she
quickly waves it off as just spacing out.  The NERVers are somewhat surprised
that they can talk with the Children like this: they've grown up and grown more
confident by leaps and bounds.  Well, Rei seems the same, but with both Shinji 
and Asuka going through puberty Shinji seems to be getting taller a lot faster 
than she is.

Rei excuses herself to go see to an errand (what errand could she possibly
have?), and Maya tells Misato what she didn't want to say in front of her: Rei 
has changed too, and not for the good.  The last time she saw Rei, it looked as
though she were starting to open her heart to Shinji, but now... Misato doesn't
disagree, frowning and thinking it's as though Rei has regressed back to the
very first time she met her.  Maya's read a bit of the papers Ritsuko left
behind, including some material concerning Rei...  After an uncomfortable
pause, Misato advises herself as much as Maya to forget about NERV and those
who died under its auspices.  Instead, she recommends that Maya worry about how
to build a future for the people who're still around - and when Maya sounds
dubious she adds that she thinks that's how Ritsuko would want it.  Despite her
smile, Misato isn't happy at all, nor has she forgotten another tragic
participant in NERV's struggle.  She tells her memory of Kaji that their fight 
isn't finished yet...

The introspection is shattered by the emergency klaxon.  The vice commander
tells the Alpha Numbers that he needs them to help protect BM3, and orders
everyone to hurry into position.  Misato wonders if this is the the beginning
of the fight Tashiro spoke of.  She tells Asuka and Rei to hurry over to the
Ral Kairam, while she finishes up something on her end first.

Some of your younger pilots are a bit peeved at having to do Icarus' protective
work for them, especially for something as seemingly important as whatever this
BM3 thingie is.  Saner heads yell at them to shut their traps, and Amuro notes 
that Tashiro hasn't told you in advance who you'll be fighting, meaning he
wants you to see it for yourselves.  Shinji asks Rei if her errand is over (she
hesitantly says yes), and Asuka tells "Captain" Shinji that this formation was 
his idea, and tells him to take responsibility if anything goes wrong.  He was 
planning to do that anyway with or without her say-so.  The other pilots note
that Shinji seems to have gotten a lot more assertive, but that that's probably
for the best.  Asuka seems less nervous and inclined to snap at those around
her too, and your people are very glad to see them growing up into fine,
full-fledged warriors for the Earth by their side.

Your enemies finally arrive, and interestingly it's the Zaft.  Aslan tensely
says that this shouldn't come as any surprise to see them this far out: the
Plant fields its own Jupiter exploration fleet after all.  With the Jupitorians
out of commission, it's only to be expect that they might venture out here.
That said, the fighting on Earth isn't over yet: the only explanation can be
that BM3 is that tempting a prize for them.  Bright them addresses the Zaft
with a message from Tashiro, startling them that the Alpha Numbers are back
from space.  The BM3 is the joint product of all mankind, and the Security
Council has declared that it shall not be used for quarrel amongst humans, and 
any entity or organization attempting to get their hands on it will be dealt
with appropriately.

The Zaft commander isn't impressed, saying that he's already learned that BM
III is some kind of ultra wide-area weapon of mass destruction.  He also
presumes that the Naturals will use it as soon as it's done, to wipe out the
Plant!  Bright is very sorry to see that relations have broken down to this
degree, but Kira says that it's not that simple.  Every people you've
encountered has had good and bad individuals.  That goes both for the
Federation and the Zaft.  Protecting BM3 means fighting your own kind, which is
the first trial Tashiro indicated you'd have to face.  Camille grimly says that
your people have to fight on anyway.  Maybe you're undeserving of living to see
the new age you're struggling to create, but if you _don't_ fight, _noone_ will
get to see that age arrive.  He plans to fight with all his being, but he vows 
to never let the blood he spills be in vain.  Hiiro asks if that's the answer
he found in blackest space where the Sun's light does not reach, and when
Camille says it is Hiiro says he'll gladly fight by his side.  Looks like
Camille's funk is over, which can only be a good thing.

Your commanders instruct the troops that this is purely a defensive battle, and
request that you avoid hitting the enemies' cockpits and powerplants by any
means necessary.  Doesn't sound easy, but it'll be a lot better
psychologically.  Camille thinks to the departed Char that the answer he found 
by freeing his soul from gravity was to fight on and then entrust the future
to, well, those in the future. ^^;;;

  For a Skill Point, wipe out all enemies within five turns.

  Astonage notices some resupply gear he hadn't noticed before, brought in by
  Rei and including an ultra long-range weapon for the EVAs...

Kira looks a bit downcast after the Zaft are repulsed, and Aslan wonders how
long this fighting will have to go on.  Zechs says that you should all head to 
Earth (which is why you came in the first place) to put paid to the fight
between Natural and Coordinator.  But first, some of your people would like to 
get a glimpse of whatever this BM3 thingie is - if it's really the product of
all mankind, you've surely got a right to know what it is too, right?

But first there's a problem: an unidentified "object" (not vessel or mecha) is 
headed your way.  Rei seems to have expected this, and before your eyes appears
a giant helical ring.  Rei sounds completely confident that it's an Angel, but 
won't explain why to Asuka.  You all know that these beings once strove to
enter NERV, but it seems that this time they're after the EVAs.  Maryuu laments
that the anti-Angel specialist Misato seems to be missing, and Shinji tells her
that he'll take point against the Angel while the rest of your people back him 
up.  He says that if the EVAs were built to defeat the Angels, it's his, or
rather all the Children's duty to see that that happens.  Asuka sounds
impressed with his resolve, but blushes and tells him that she's not going
along with it because he told her to or anything.  Perish the thought.  Ayanami
seems inclined to follow in silence, and your people can do little but follow
and hope the Angel isn't hiding any attack powers that are too unpleasant...

  You manage to stop the Angel, but since it hasn't made one of those cool
  cross-shaped explosions yet there's no telling what'll happen next.  Shinji
  then tells the EVAs to get in position, but Judou gets a terrible premonition
  and tells Asuka to get out of the way.  He's too late, and the Angel latches 
  onto her.  She feels something enter her, and it hurts dreadfully.  Shinji is
  about to try to intervene, but Rei steps in first.  The Angel then starts
  devouring her machine...

  Rei feels another presence, not herself inside the EVA but someone outside:
  the people mankind calls Angels.  The Angel invites her to become one with
  it, but Rei refuses, saying that she is herself, not someone else.  The Angel
  says it's too late, that it will share its heart and its feelings with her.  
  It's sure Rei must be in pain, especially her heart, because of her betrayal 
  of the others - especially Shinji.  Rei disagrees, saying rather that she
  feels... lonely.  Yes, lonely.  The Angel doesn't understand that, and it's
  Rei's turn to be sure that the Angel must feel lonely, especially since there
  are so many humans and so few of its kind.  The Angel counters, saying that
  that's _Rei's_ heart talking, so full of sadness...

  Rei finds tears streaming down her face, and as Shinji tries to come to her
  rescue she screams at him to stay back.  She tells him that she'll defeat
  this Angel, alone, and Shinji yells right back at her not to say such lonely 
  things.  He'll be damned if he leaves her to her fate, and tells her never to
  tell him to stay away, after all they went through to come together.  Shinji 
  seems distracted from the still-living Angel, and Asuka has to run to his
  rescue, coming up with a novel use for her A.T. Field.  She reminds him that 
  he's not the only one who's gotten stronger, and says that she's going to
  live through this fighting every bit as long as he will.

  All that is well and good, but the Angel is still alive after absorbing all
  that punishment.  Muu figures that it's to be a protracted battle of
  attrition, but Shinji is determined to go the distance regardless.  Rei then 
  hurries and grabs the item she stowed away.  She tells Shinji that she won't 
  let him die, and throws... the LANCE OF LONGINUS!

At Icarus base, someone who looks suspiciously like Fuyutsuki sounds like he
expected the Angels to be after the EVAs.  News that Rei used the Lance doesn't
surprise him much either, and he tells whoever he's talking to to continue
surveillance on the Alpha Numbers, and to keep the regular reports coming.  He 
then feels a gun pressed into his back, by Misato.  She greets NERV's former
second in command formally, and he asks her to lower her gun, since he plans
neither flight nor resistance.  She reluctantly complies, and he says that that
makes it ever so much easier to talk.  She wants him to explain everything, but
he tells her that his position isn't that much different than hers and not to
expect that much.  She starts by asking where Gendou is, and somewhat irritably
Fuyutsuki says that that's what he'd like to know too.  He's been running
around following Gendou's orders left in certain drop spots, including sending 
the NERV staffers and EVAs to Icarus in the first place.  But he's been told
nothing of the Man himself.

What he has done is entrusted the EVAs, and the Lance of Longinus, to the Alpha
Numbers, lest they fall into the hands of the Old Men(tm) of Zeele.  As for why
all this is happening now, it's all part of the Human Complementation Project. 
He tells her that right around now the Alpha Numbers should have finished
taking out another Angel, which according to Gendou should be the 16th.  Misato
struggles to grasp why certain previously-defeated Angels are reappearing, and 
Angels which you skipped last time are appearing now - and most of all how
Gendou could possibly know any of it in advance.  She begs him for an
explanation she can believe, and after a moment he says "Apocalypsis".

It seems that the impending climax is upsetting both the spiritual and natural 
order of the galaxy.  The time slips observed in deep space are nothing more
than a side effect, which is puzzling because you all thought that was caused
by the contraction.  Fuyutsuki tells her to check the data herself if she
doubts his words - the disturbances have actually gotten _worse_ since you
stopped the contraction.  There can be only one conclusion: the galaxy's end
really is approaching.  Fuyutsuki supposes that Gendou is busy trying to figure
out how to help mankind ride out the climax with the Complementation Project,
and ironically tells her that you all are just pieces on Gendou's chessboard.  
Note that Fuyutsuki has a chesspiece of his own, an agent he's inserted into
the Alpha Numbers on his own authority: a mere errand-runner whose absence
tomorrow wouldn't cause much upheaval.  In short, someone not worth exposing.  
He cautions Misato that he and Gendou aren't the only ones sniffing around the 
Alpha Numbers - there are those who care less for the Alpha Numbers' firepower 
than for their existence itself.  He tells her that he's going to hang out at
this base for now, and promises to contact her if anything happens - after all,
he's counting on your people every bit as much as Gendou's plans...

Amuro gets to meet some old friends upon returning to base.  Beltorchika is
there, as well as Isabel the journalist.  They've been teamed up since the War 
of Seals, but they're definitely _not_ planning a story on the Alpha Numbers'
triumphant return, lest the Federation military make more trouble.  It seems
Tashiro was the one who let them in on the secret, and Beltorchika tells Amuro 
to win, so that one day they can use the power of their pens to reveal to the
world the evil that's been infesting it.

At this point, you also get some new mecha.  In my case, I got the Neue Ziel,
Gatou's favorite machine, brought to Icarus by persons unknown.  Looks like you
get to drink Gatou's coffee this long after the Balmar War, but Kou is very
grateful for Nina's attempts to improve your firepower.  Kou felt like he came 
to understand Gatou a bit when he defeated him back when, and he wants that
part of Gatou's ideals to live on through him.  Judou also gets the Full Armor 
parts for the ZZ.

Aslan then tells Kira that he plans to temporarily return to the Plant when you
all get back to the Earth Sphere.  He's heard from Bright of the secret
negotiations between the Clyne Faction and the Security Council.  It seems
Riliina is doing yeoman's work, and Aslan wants to try to do the same by
talking once with his father.  He knows as well as Kira does that that's likely
to fail miserably, but Patrick Zala _is_ the current leader of the Plant, as
well as his father.  Shinji figures he should go to, to try to see the possible
miracle of father and son actually coming to a spoken understanding.  Kira says
he'll try to help persuade Maryuu to permit the trip, and reminds Aslan that
he's not permitted to die yet.  Neither of them are, yet, and Aslan smiles and 
tells him that he'll remember that.

Looks like you won't get a look at this BM3 thing before heading to Earth.  Rei
walks over, still in some pain but basically fine, which relieves Shinji
greatly.  Asuka is willing to let a certain someone busting ass for a certain
other someone slide, so long as they remember who the real ace of the EVA team 
is.  Rei prepares to return to her room, but first she smiles and thanks
Shinji... something he's not really used to.

Somewhere on Earth, Zeele discuss how Gendou has entrusted the Lance to the
Alpha Numbers, effectively accelerating the Schedule by his own actions.  With 
the artificial human back in the Earth Sphere, they figure they must accelerate
their plans too.  One of the members protests that the Dead Sea Scrolls on
Earth are missing the part that comes next.  It only remains on the other
Earth, the other possibility that their ancestors reached.  Lucky for them
they've got a collaborator, the unconvincingly-shadowed Kaworu, aka Tabris.
His presence shocks many of the Committee, but the leader tells them that the
infinite power of the Akashic Record can do many things.  And if they want to
get stuff done before Apocalypsis happens, they can't sit idle...


Scenario 45P. Akumu no Totsunyuu Sakusen ("The Plan to Penetrate a Nightmare")

All your data is pointing to the fourth planet in the Barooda system, and
whatever might await you there, you've got to free the colonists.  Exedore
placidly informs you that current simulations give a _very_ slim chance of
success given your current warpower, if you run into three of the full-sized
Protodevlin at their homeworld.  Even if Max allowed the use of Reaction
weaponry, the odds are against even the most optimistic of tactical outlooks.  
Not that you can simply _not_ go either, and Max tells Exedore to fill in the
rest of the Alpha Numbers who are participating in Operation Stargazer.  Miria 
then tells Max that she's going to take part in this plan too - only she, and
him, could pull off something so thoroughly reckless.  Max has a different
mission for her: to stay with Mylene and guard the ship.  He smiles, and says
that he needs _some_ kind of family to welcome him home when he comes back
alive.  Miria smiles in turn, and says she won't let him blame her absence
should he fail.

Banjou receives a message; more properly, an invitation to a party.  Seems a
bit farfetched under the circumstances, making him all the more eager to go.
Shingo and the Good Thunder team have gotten invitations too, to a modest
celebration for a certain person's fifteenth birthday.  That said person is
only 15 is making Remy feel a bit past her prime, but she winks and figures
that this should make for a lovely chance to recapture some of the memories of 
her bygone youth.  It looks like everyone got the invitations - and the
birthday girl is Mylene.  Brit quickly starts fretting about what to do for
presents with City 7 MIA, but Kusuha tells him that clearly the thing to do is 
make something by hand.  She recommends the two of them borrow the kitchen and 
bake a cake, and the usually stoic Brit appears on the verge of some nervous
breakdown.  He admits that he's a bit worried about her cooking when she asks, 
and she promises to taste it this time _before_ serving it to everyone.

Your people offer Mylene various words of wisdom and encouragement, including
an admonition from Remy that a flower's life is short and must be enjoyed each 
day at a time.  Mylene thanks her despite having no clue what she's talking
about, and Remy favors herself with an ironic smile while thinking that youth
is _such_ a sin.  The Skull Squad has gotten Mylene a pendant, one that Hikaru 
has originally intended to give to Misa.  He assures her that she should have
it, and that he'll get another one for Misa later.  The Aim for the Top squad
give her a pair of Okinawa Academy's traditional iron shoes, just like the ones
Noriko still wears for training.  Mylene gives her a rather puzzled word of
thanks, which earns Noriko a lecture from Jung that she should have given her
Coach X mask instead.

As Mylene assures them that she really does appreciate the sentiment, Ryuusei
offers the SRX team's present next, something very special from his personal
collection.  It's a DVD of the anime "Tale of Lin Minmei", which includes
scenes of when Mylene's parents first met.  Mylene is ecstatic, and when
Kakizaki wonders what the mecha-loving Ryuusei is doing with something like
that, Ryuusei assures him that the Valkyrie action 46 minutes in is the
greatest.  Mylene offers general thanks, and tells everyone to look forward to 
her concert later today too.  Kusuha then presents her the cake, which Brit
seems to have gone to quite a bit of trouble to taste-test.  Ray says that he
seems to be some piece of work if he could get sick on his girlfriend's
cooking, and Brit assures Mylene that he risked his very life to ensure that it
was safe for her consumption.  Retzel asks what Kusuha put in the cake, and the
ingredients are all very standard chocolate cake stuff.  She had wanted to put 
in some of her special health food goodies, but Brit seems to have carelessly
(quote-quote) knocked them over.  She admits that she had real troubles getting
the balance of flavors right, and had Brit try it many many times before
success.  Retzel regards her silently for a moment, and then invites her to
study cooking with him after the war is over - in part for the sake of Brit's
health.  She isn't quite sure what to make of that...

Before Gamlin gives Mylene his present, he has a question for Basara about
Operation Stargazer.  Basara immediately tells him not to worry, that he isn't 
planning on taking Mylene along.  Ray concurs, saying that this mission is WAY 
more dangerous than what you've faced before, and that you can't let Mylene get
exposed to it too.  Max plans to tell Mylene himself later - not much later in 
fact.  He tries to bring up the matter gently, but he quickly becomes firm in
ordering her, not asking her, to help protect the flagship.  Basara adds his
voice to the appeal, promising to pry her out of her Valkyrie by force if he
has to.  Mylene is crushed, and runs off with Gamlin in pursuit.  Hikaru isn't 
so sure this was for the best - as Basara should know, singing and fighting are
all about what incites one's passions.  And no one, including the newly-15
Mylene, likes to have those passions quashed.

Gamlin finds Mylene, who is no longer enjoying her birthday very much for the
thought that everyone else is going to be leaving her behind.  He gives her his
present, and asks her to open it.  Inside is a ring, though Gamlin hastily says
that what he was trying to do was to give her her birthstone.  But since he
_is_ part of the Diamond Force, he ended up picking a diamond.  She happily
says that that's just like him, but he asks her in all seriousness to put the
ring on her left ring finger if he makes it back from the battle alive.  He
then smiles, and asks her to return to the stage so everyone can hear her
songs.  Somewhat dumbstruck, she agrees.

Your people finally make it to Barooda 4 and deploy.  Your people's ultimate
goal is to reach a certain spot on the surface of the planet and attack it, and
not to waste any time along the way.  Your target is codenamed Polar Star, and 
reaching it should take priority over all else.  Your people are to fight to
the last man to assault the enemy home base and free all the captives.  Once
that happens, Max will approve the use of Reaction weaponry, but Basara figures
his songs will be more than good enough to take on the bad guys.  Max tells him
firmly that there isn't enough time to try with the fate of the Earth and
indeed of the galaxy on the line, but that's all the more reason Basara wants
to try singing.  Singing is why he came, after all.  After some suasion from
Ray, Max will permit _only_ the Sound Force to try singing instead of attacking
once they reach Polar Star.  Focker will be in charge of the troops once they
land, and your people are told to leave the small fry to Max.

  As the battle wears on, Max vows to do everything in his ship's power to help
  the mission succeed.  In the hangar meanwhile, Mylene's mother stops her from
  getting into her Valkyrie.  She says that everyone important to her is out
  there, and if she doesn't go to them...  She vows that she is going whatever 
  her mother says, and Miria tells her little dummy that all she wanted to do
  was give her something before she leaves: the wing mark she and Max wore when
  they flew together.  With it, Mylene can live through whatever danger might
  lie ahead...  Max is aghast that his daughter has gone out to fight despite
  all his saying not to, and Miria shrugs happily and says that she simply
  couldn't be dissuaded.  Basara quickly finds this out too, realizing that
  Mylene's blazing heart can only be fulfilled one way.  He then tells her to
  join him on stage for a live, hot-blooded concert.  Your people have been
  waiting to hear this, but Max has one final message for Mylene before contact
  is lost in the shadow of the planet.  He smiles and tells her to give it her 
  all before coming back home.

  When all your people make it to the surface, Exedore observes that there's
  nothing left to do but pray.  Max doesn't seem convinced, telling Miria that 
  he'll do everything in his power to see things succeed and telling her to
  take care of the rest.  He then orders Battle 7 to Fold out of the area.

Your people discover the Protodevlin homeworld to be a place of clouds and ice 
- somehow fitting.  Kakizaki has even been here before and he still finds it
gives him the creeps.  Mylene wants to have a heart-to-heart talk with Gamlin, 
in case they don't get another chance, but he smiles and tells her that that
phrase should never be used on the battlefield.  He promises to discuss
everything in full with her after it's all over, and banters a bit with Basara 
as your other people look on.

The Protodevlin show up in short order, including that beautifulness freak.
Remy can't help but be caught up by Gavil's turn of phrase, reminiscent of a
certain rose-toting Aryan, and Kiry wonders what the Docougar are up to these
days.  Oh well, time to head for Polar Star.

  Do so _after_ wiping all the bad guys out for a Skill Point.

  As the battle wears on, Focker decides that the time has come to break the
  battle open before you run out of warpower.  He summons the other Valkyries
  and prepares to fly down a crevasse, where the enemies won't be able to
  intervene.  They'll reach their destination in four turns, and your people
  get to hold off the remaining bad guys until then.

  Gavil is worth a Psychoframe.

  When you take down Gavil, he finds renewed strength and hurries to try to
  capture Mylene.  Basara is going to protect her, but Gamlin tries to
  intervene and gets blasted for his pains.  As Gavil gloats, Mylene becomes
  uber-distraught, and Basara wants to know one thing: why the FUCK doesn't
  Gavil understand?!?  Gavil seems content to withdraw, having gotten rid of
  Gamlin's aggravating Spiritia, and Focker has to tell everyone else to
  concentrate lest Gamlin's death for the girl he loves become like a dog's.

  Once a unit reaches Polar Star, your people are dismayed to see the enemy
  mothership appear.  But just then one of your people appears, having used a
  Fold Booster to jump right to the surface of the planet(!)  The only one
  who'd be insane enough to try that is Max, and he has shed his captain's cap 
  for a flightsuit and aviator's glasses.  He grimly says that he's a disgrace 
  to "geniuses" everywhere if the best he came up with is this Stargazer
  operation, and proceeds to start making things right.

  Unfortunately, Gepelnietche Folded Max's Reaction Missiles away the moment
  before impact.  She greets all you Samples, and invites you to discuss your
  dreams with her amidst the gleaming of the stars.  She promises to spare all 
  your lives, and asks you to stop resisting.  Banjou, having expected this,
  beckons Jung and Noriko and departs the battle lines.  Unfortunately, all the
  rest of your people can do is stop resisting... for now.


Scenario 45B. Mou Hitotsu no Bosei, BOAZAN ("Boazan, the Other Homeworld")

Janela is most unhappy to hear that the Alpha Numbers are on the loose again.  
Moreover, they're headed her way, but planetary defense general Gururu figures 
he's already got things well in hand to repulse their offensive.  His plan
includes Ra Goll, and Zanbajil figures that this is going to be one heck of a
show.  Zanbajil tells Janela that he's decided to use their
previously-discussed plan to wipe out the Alpha Numbers once and for all:
Operation Sodom and Gomorrah.  Janela likes the sound of that, and pledges some
suitable participants from her troops.  Dangel begs her to be on the team,
saying that it's the only way he can save face for all the trouble the Alpha
Numbers have caused him.  Janela agrees, but tells him that this is his _final_
chance.  Dangel is pretty confident, and tells his brother to prepare the
strongest of all Magma Beasts for the slaughtering of Combattler V.  Walkymedes
agrees, telling his dunderheaded brother not to screw up this time.  Janela is 
looking forward to Dangel either killing or being killed.  Gururu then heads
out to man the bastion, receiving the symbol of Boazan's defense, the flagship 
Zaltan, from Zanbajil to help.  Zanbajil is quite sure that your people are
about to learn who the _real_ rulers of the galaxy are...

As the Alpha Numbers approach Boazan, Ken'ichi is getting increasingly
restless.  After all, to him and his brothers, Boazan is like a second
homeland.  Cosmo is still in some disbelief over Kenzou's interstellar
marriage, but Nana points out that such unions are hardly rare any more, as
Kazuya can attest.  She has nothing but praise for the lovely Erika, but
Kyoushirou adds that Nana is Erika's polar opposite.  Cosmo laughs at him
saying that to Nana's face, and Nana tells both big-haired guys to cut her some
slack.

And speaking of odd couples, there's Ryuusei and Fei - which requires crossing 
more than just stellar boundaries [yow @_@].  More to the point, there's Bes
and Kalala, which Karsha scowls and calls more of an emergency pairing than
anything else.  Megumi points out that it's precisely because of the emergency 
that love can blossom, and Chizuru agrees - love in time of war has been
happening since time immemorial.  The eternally blockheaded Hyouma says that
that's odd, considering that Chizuru apparently hasn't done anything romantic
since the Balmar War began, leaving all your people to regard him in shocked
silence.  Renais, fuming, finally calls him a dunce to his face and recommends 
looking within if he wants to know why everyone's giving him those looks.

Brit can't believe that Hyouma blew it again, but Kusuha says that she's not so
sure.  This catches Brit completely off guard, and Kusuha smiles and tells him 
that he'd best go ask Zengar for more instruction.  Zengar laconically tells
him that the next battle is going to be a big one, and that any angst within
will dull the point of his sword.  He tells Brit to polish himself until such
things are gone.  Brit can only say "yessir", but has the feeling that Zengar
is somehow talking _beyond_ the coming battle...

It would seem Spring has come even for the up-tight Cheryl and the morose
Geejay.  Kyoushirou figures that that accords with more of his old quotable
wisdom, and adds that romance isn't something that others have any say in.
Especially not the masculine Karsha.  But all levity aside, Ken'ichi and Kazuya
realize that their loved ones are being used as human shields by Zanbajil.
There's no telling if they're still okay, but the answer to that question will 
come very soon, at their other homeworld.

You don't get long to admire the view as the defensive forces deploy.  Bes
attempts to converse with the enemy commander, but Dangel is in little mood to 
listen and quickly vows to show Combattler V the power of the Darkron he's
borrowed from his brother.  Gururu tells his impetuous comrade to wait, and
offers to hear what the Earthlings have to say.  Ryuusei figures that Gururu
sounds suspiciously like this soldier frog from outer space, and Bes launches
into his speech.  He believes the Alliance is aware of the threats from within 
and without the galaxy which threaten its very existence, and wants a treaty to
prevent any more pointless in-fighting and foster a mutual defense.  Gururu
understands Bes completely, and says that his people are of similar mind.  But 
lest your dudes start celebrating, he says that that large alliance will be
organized in the name of the 124th Boazan emperor, Zu Zanbajil, eternal victor 
and peerless ruler.  Said Zanbajil was born with the largest horns, and
therefore the greatest right to rule the galaxy - including the Balmar and your
pathetic little band.  Looks like the peaceful approach was doomed from the
outset, and your only option is to uproot the source of all this evil, Zanbajil
himself.

Gururu then curses you for fools, and tells you not to think he's been sitting 
idle while waiting for you.  He initiates Sodom and Gomorrah, two artificial
moons with a dense stream of elementary particles streaming between them.
Anything that that stream touches will be disintegrated in short order, and of 
course they're headed your way.  Dangel is apparently bright enough to realize 
that this poses a threat to him too, but Janela tells him not to worry about
extraneous things.  She's controlling his mech, as punishment for the excessive
number of failures he's committed.  She tells him that he'd better defeat the
Alpha Numbers if he doesn't want a particle bath.  As for your people, you've
got no choice but to press forward towards the planet.

  The battle ends when you take down the Zaltan, and for a Skill Point wipe out
  everyone else first.

  Dangel is worth a Super Alloy nu-Z.  He's furious that you shot him down, and
  vows to go on fighting barehanded if need be.

  Gururu is worth an Analyzer Plus.  Gururu can't believe that the Zaltan could
  be defeated, and he watches in horror as it goes out of control and heads for
  the particle stream.  Viletta hurriedly calls all your people back to the
  Soloship as Gururu screams out a paean to his emperor.

There's nothing left between you and Boazan now... or so you thought.
Walkymedes emerges, and Hyouma asks in exasperation if he's here to avenge his 
brother's death.  Walkymedes tells Combattler V that he has no interest in
that, and orders Voltes V and Deimos to surrender, showing them pictures of the
captives you knew they had.  Geejay is furious, asking if Walkymedes is
admitting that he can't win by any other means.  Walkymedes presses his
question, and Ken'ichi slowly says that his father would understand how he's
got to go on fighting for the greater good.  Kazuya feels likewise, that his
lover wouldn't want everything to come to naught for her sake.  Before these
can become their final answers, Hyouma intervenes and tells them to go, that
the rest of you will pick up the slack and save both them _and_ their loved
ones in due course.

They finally comply, and Walkymedes gloats that love is so scary that it could 
even lay these mighty warriors low.  Hyouma tells him not to get too cocky,
that if he lays a finger on Kentarou or Erika he'll follow him to the ends of
the universe if need be to defeat him.  Walkymedes scoffs, and says that
Hyouma's days of running his mouth are over too.  He sorties a large number of 
additional bad guys.  Your people have no choice but to retreat in rage, and
live to fight another day.  As your people flee, Walkymedes seems sure that his
renewed defensive ring will keep your people away from Boazan... but in the
words of the immortal Bugs Bunny, "He don't know me very well, do he?"

Hyouma may have been right to do what he did, but he sure isn't happy about it.
Chizuru is sure there'll be a way, but a voice out of the shadows isn't so
sure.  It's Dangel, who apparently snuck aboard and now has himself a hostage. 
He threatens to break her neck if you try any funny business, and Hyouma asks
what he's trying to achieve.  Of course, he wants a duel with Hyouma, the
person who caused all the humiliation that led him to be abandoned by Janela.  
He knows he can't go home lest he simply be executed, and wants as his last
warrior's wish to take on Hyouma first.

Gai offers to take Dangel on in his Evoluder form, but Hyouma is willing to
give Dangel his shot.  Chizuru thinks this is too reckless, but Hyouma says
that Ken'ichi and Kazuya are putting their ass on the line for their loved ones
- it's the least he could do to do the same.  Dangel believes Hyouma's words,
and tosses Chizuru to him, and as she looks on worriedly Hyouma smiles and says
that he was in the mood for a bit of mayhem anyway.  Dangel's weapon of choice 
is a giant iron bar, and tells Hyouma to use whatever he feels like.  Zengar
loans him his sword, and the battle is on - brute force versus whatever finesse
Hyouma can muster.  Your people can barely stand to watch, but Geejay points
out that this is a SAMURAI TO SAMURAI fight and says you've an obligation to
see it through.  Zengar can tell that Dangel is the stronger fighter, but...
As the others offer to intervene, Hyouma tells them once again that this is a
formal duel, and even praises Dangel for having the guts to issue the
challenge.  He's taken quite a beating fending off Dangel's blows, and realizes
that he's only got one stroke left in him.

To get his strike in, he allows Dangel to strike his left arm, an artificial
replacement for the one he lost in the Balmar War.  He says that he knows full 
well Dangel wasn't an opponent he could beat without making some sacrifices
himself.  Dangel begins to slump over, commending Hyouma on his magnificent
final blow.

Zengar makes sure Brit realizes that it was Hyouma's strong resolve and
preparedness to lose that let him win.  Just as the congratulations ensue, you 
begin to hear a loud ticking sound.  It seems Janela has planted a bomb in
Dangel's body.  He somehow picks himself off the floor and races for the exit, 
yelling back that he won't let the man who defeated him die.  His final thanks 
for honoring his request is to tell you a chink in the Boazan defense's armor: 
Route 02225M...

He leaps out the airlock, disappearing in a massive explosion.  Hyouma can't
believe this could happen.  How could this guy, such a thoroughly evil villain,
have such a noble end, and how could said villain's own comrades do it to him. 
There's only one cure for this, and it involves cowbells being shoved up
Zanbajil and Janela's asses...

Meanwhile, the others have been taken to see Zanbajil.  He recognizes Ra Goll
in his son Ken'ichi's face, and Kazuya demands to know if the professor and
Erika are safe.  Walkymedes orders them to watch their mouths here in the
Golden Palace, and Ken'ichi scoffs that this is nothing if not the palace of
suffering on a galactic scale.  Janela stops Walkymedes from attempting to shut
your people up - she figures that they'd better be this rebellious if they
caused her so much trouble all this time.  She and Zanbajil figure that the
rest of the Alpha Numbers won't even make it to the planet to be personally
killed off.  He'll keep the people here safe until then, when he's got a
suitable role for them to play.  And he refuses to tell Kazuya if Erika is
okay.  After your people are hauled off, Zanbajil says that he's tired and
excuses himself.  Janela wishes him pleasant dreams, and he replies that the
most pleasant dream of all, galactic domination, is about to come true.

She inwardly instructs him to enjoy himself while he still can.  She figures he
and his lusts are but puppets dangling from her strings.  Walkymedes then
interrupts her reverie, asking if she really had intended to wipe out Dangel
had the Alpha Numbers not done it for her.  Of course she did - she has no use 
for useless underlings.  And had he so much as resisted an iota, she would have
self-destructed him then and there.  Walkymedes is appalled to hear of the bomb
she planted, capable of wiping both him and enemies around him out.  She
however tells him that she's now giving him command of all of Boazan's armies, 
and tells him to give his life to her for the sake of galactic conquest.  He is
finally beginning to realize that this is not all fun and games...

Meanwhile, Heinel is conversing with the incarcerated Catherine.  She asks him 
to go somewhere far, far away and live in peace for her sake, but he refuses - 
as a Boazan noble, he's got to do everything in his power to bring prosperity
to his people.  She thinks he's lying, and that he plans to die in this battle 
- and after betraying his father, fighting his brothers, becoming a turncoat to
his lord, and even losing his sanity once, he may well be.  That said, his name
is known throughout Boazan, and he has no plans to die a dog's death.  Freeing 
her was Heinel's last sticking point - now he just has to seek the correct
place to lay down his life.  Catherine can only watch sadly as he runs off...


Scenario 46I. Saraba Chichi yo, Senshi-tachi no Tabidachi ("Farewell, Father!
The Warriors' Departure")

Irui has summoned Hiroshi and Flora's consciousnesses into some sort of
subspace, in the world of dreams.  Irui says that their hearts are now
connected, and leaves the rest up to Hiroshi.  Left alone, he and Flora regard 
each other for a moment.  At length, Hiroshi asks her if she intends to fight
him.  Flora figures such a thing would be futile here in the dream world.
Instead, Hiroshi asks her to talk with him, which he's wanted to do for some
time.  He tells her that his being exiled from the Earth showed him the menace,
beyond all human ken, that threatens the whole galaxy.  If there's any hope of 
averting that menace, Apocalypsis, an end must come to all profitless fighting.
He tells her that her strength is needed to help end that fighting even a day
sooner.  Hiroshi's been thinking ever since their last battle, and believes
that Flora should understand how he feels.  He asks her to help him overthrow
Ryuuma's schemes.  She falls silent, then tells him to keep away from her.
Hiroshi wants to know why: is it something to do with how Ryuuma changed her
life?  Flora, agonized, finally tells him that Ryuuma once saved her life.  In 
the distant past, she was the daughter of a village leader, living in peace far
off in the mountains.  But one day, the village was attacked by wolves, with
she among the dead.  But when she next came to, Ryuuma was before her, telling 
her that she lost her life because of love, and he brought her back to show her
just how futile love is.  He forced her to swear eternal fealty, warning that
should she disobey her life would be burnt to ash.

Hiroshi is appalled at Ryuuma's threat, and angrily (and rhetorically) asks why
the two of them have to fight?  What's so damn special about world domination?!
He feels the warm blood coursing through her veins, and invites her to join
hands with his and create a world of peace, once the larger danger is overcome.
She murmurs that she's still one of Ryuuma's generals, and won't directly
answer whether those are her real feelings.  He tells her that she's not that
kind of woman: rather, she's a real human who can risk her life for the sake of
others.  He knows there's warm affection within her heart, which is why he
believes in her enough to talk to her like this.  She begs him to stop saying
such things, and recedes away from Hiroshi's dream.

She comes to in the dungeon, with Irui by her side all this time.  Irui manages
to say that she was staying by her side, since Flora seemed so sad.  Flora
recognizes Irui's voice from her dream, and angrily says that Irui shouldn't
have bothered.  She's a general in the service of Emperor Ryuuma - she needs no
human heart.  Irui haltingly tells her that she's lying, and says she wants
Flora to remember just how futile fighting is, and how wonderful the human
heart is.

The Grand Marshal then shows up, thinking to greet her before the sortie.  She 
thinks for a moment, then asks if he'd be willing to free her from this prison.
She knows she's earned Ryuuma's enmity, and figures she'll be killed no matter 
how this next battle turns out.  She'd rather fight as one of the generals of
the underworld until her last moment, and she begs him not to let her death be 
in vain.  The Grand Marshal regards her a long while, then decides to release
her and allow her to head to the Science Fortress Laboratory ahead of her
(former) troops.  She promises the Grand Marshal that she won't cause him any
trouble, and as Irui tells her she mustn't, she thanks her for the only
pleasant dream she can remember having.  Irui is once again downcast, and the
Grand Marshal asks her what's wrong - as she's seen, even he has a certain
amount of humanity in him.  Irui tries to ask him why he let Flora go, but he
advises her not to force herself to talk.  He'll put her powers to good use
once the Alpha Numbers are defeated, and says he'll start by letting her hear
the final screams of the people she believes in, the Alpha Numbers and Flora...

Kenzou is glad to see that all of you are safe, and it seems he's been doing a 
pretty good job of keeping Japan free of the Subterraneans in your absence.  He
tells you it wasn't just him: there are still many people left in the
government and the Federation army who still have hearts.  It's good to hear
that the Blue Cosmos don't hold sway over all yet, and a large part of that
stems from your people's brave deeds.  These people have been putting their
lives on the line, believing that the Alpha Numbers will one day return.
Saotome assures Ryou that one day the truth will come out and the exile
rescinded, and until then the scientists will do whatever it takes to protect
you, saying it's the least they can do for all the times your people have saved
them.

The immediate concern is the upcoming battle with the Subterraneans: the
conclusion of a very long litany of foes including the Dinosaur Kingdom, the
Mikeene and Jama, and most of them with some connection to the infamous Dr.
Hell.  Just the mention of a final battle has Shinobu's blood boiling, and he's
not the only one - Ryuusei is most eager to set Japan free and save Irui.
Kenzou has no advice to offer his "sons", who are full-fledged warriors now,
except one fatherly wish - that they come back alive.  Kouji plans to do just
that, to fight to his utmost with the mech his grandfather and father prepared 
for the final battle with Dr. Hell.  Tetsuya adds that as long as he has people
to love, people to protect, his victory is assured.

Meanwhile, Hiroshi's "Machine Father" tells him of the role he's playing in the
ancient legends.  Hiroshi is surprised that his father has been moved here, but
his father says that this is the heart of Japan's defenses, and he's made sure 
to be part of the fight.  He asks Hiroshi if something is bothering him to
motivate him to visit his father [who you might recall is not on the best of
terms with Hiroshi].  Hiroshi smiles at his father's usual acumen, then gets
serious and says that he's seen a fraction of Ryuuma's power in the previous
battle.  It was enough to obliterate Himika and, even though your people were
depleted, to force you to retreat.  He admits that he's afraid, deathly afraid 
of losing and dying, and leaving his mother and Mayumi behind.  His father
tells him that he's become a full-fledged, admirable warrior, and has little
more to teach him.  That means that this is probably the last message to his
son: that he is to forget everything and die, and by dying shall he live!  The 
alarm sounds and the enemy approaches, and Soujirou wishes for his son's and
Michi's success in battle.  Hiroshi admits that he doesn't understand his
father's words, but he will fight on, believing in his power and in his
friends.  That's right: Hiroshi, Jeeg, is the immortal protector of people's
happiness from the hand of evil!

When the bad guys sortie, there seems awfully few of them: probably just an
advance recon force.  This means you can't afford to waste too much power on
them, or time.  Flora is in the lead, and she announced that she'll defeat you 
all for the glory of the Subterranean empire.  Your people leave her up to
Hiroshi, saying that they'll back him up if he wants to save her.  He plans to 
start by calling out to her and ascertaining if she's serious.  He apologizes
to Michi for putting her in this much danger, but she says it's no big deal and
wants to end this profitless fighting quickly herself.

  Clear the whole map within 8 turns for a Skill Point.

  When Hiroshi talks to Flora, he tells her she's not a woman who could do
  something this stupid.  She's got a heart that can feel pity, just like any
  human has.  She tells him not to bother her with the truth, seeing as how
  she's in the middle of risking her life in battle and all.  He refuses to
  relent, saying that she's just afraid of the big bad emperor.  He tells her
  to be brave and return to her rightful form.  She reminds him that Ryuuma
  saved her life, even if it has resulted in her walking the path of evil.
  Then Hiroshi points out something astoundingly intelligent: it was Ryuuma who
  set the wolves on Flora's village in the first place.  See, he heard all
  about the daughter of the village Ryuuma attacked from his father.  SHOCK!
  That means that all Flora's friends and relatives were killed by the very
  person she credited with saving her life.

  Well, Ryuuma isn't going to let Hiroshi have his say without some sort of
  rebuttal.  He yells at her for forgetting her obligation to him and sneaking 
  out of jail after he put her there, PLUS letting a filthy human incite doubts
  of him in her heart.  He informs the stupid bitch that if she'd just done as 
  she was told she might have lived to tell about it, and amazingly Flora asks 
  Ryuuma to abandon his plans of world conquest.  She says that those on the
  surface and those underneath ought to be capable of living together in peace,
  but Ryuuma asks her just who the fuck she thinks she's trying to lecture.
  She begs him to use his powers for the prosperity of his kingdom underground,
  but Ryuuma has had enough of her traitor's talk, and tells the Marshal to
  take over her machine.  Michi spies the bombs that have been planted on it,
  and screams for Hiroshi to get away.

  At least Flora now realizes what a rotten guy Ryuuma is, but the Grand
  Marshal says she's A TAD slow, and informs her that her usefulness is already
  at an end.  The plan is to crash her Yamata-no-Orochi into the lab, with her 
  aboard it.  Kouji demands to know how unfair the Marshal has to play before
  he's satisfied, and the Marshal says that today he's going to prove to your
  people that winning is all that matters.  Or perhaps your people can teach
  him a lesson in defeat, long overdue since the Balmar War.  That sounds
  interesting to Ryuuma, who figures it was worth him coming out here himself. 
  Flora is trapped inside her machine, and Hiroshi says there's only one thing 
  to do: stop her mech by force and get her out.  No matter that he's trying to
  stop this huge-ass flying eight-headed metal dragon: he's dead set on showing
  Flora what a human heart is like.  The rest of your people agree to help, and
  Kenzou tells the other scientists to evacuate underground while he and Uma
  stay to work the controls, just in case.  And once Flora is rescued, the
  Marshal and Ryuuma are next on your shitlist.

  When you stop Flora's mech, Jeeg tries to break in and save her.  But the bad
  guys' plan is to simply self-destruct her and catch Hiroshi in the blast too.
  Flora is a bit too cool for that though: she's dismantled the Grand Marshal's
  remote control and resumed control, and flies her mech right at the enemy
  leaders.  She refuses to get off, telling Hiroshi that he should know what
  she's up to: she's trying to erase even a bit of her sin, using the time he
  gave her.  She asks him not to let her life be entirely in vain, and the
  rather lame-ass Ryuuma tells her that _he'll_ forgive her all her sin if she 
  but returns to him.  She isn't listening to him anymore, and shouts that
  she's been in a wrong turn all her life, and is being reborn starting today, 
  thanks to Hiroshi's courage and example of fighting for love.  She bids
  Hiroshi farewell, saying she'll never forget him, and attempts to catch
  Ryuuma up in the massive blast.  Miraculously, she's thrown free, and as Jeeg
  goes over to her fallen form, she says that she can finally return to her
  parents and all the other peaceful villagers.  She thanks Hiroshi, and Jeeg, 
  and smiles as she dies in Jeeg's hand.

  Hiroshi seems rather distracted, and both Mazingers have to rush over to
  shield him from Ryuuma's wrath.  It seems that he and the Grand Marshal are
  not in fact dead, just somewhat singed and more pissed than ever.  Dr. Hell, 
  for instance, says that if he's going to hell he's taking you all with him.  
  Hiroshi apologizes for the 'Zingers injuries on his behalf, but their pilots 
  say that it was their choice to follow his lead.  Ryuuma can't stand this
  level of naivete, telling them that it's because of this stupid "love" thing 
  that they're getting their asses handed to them.  Hiroshi yells back that
  Ryuuma will never understand the splendor of the human heart, and the Grand
  Marshal yells in return that the time has come to kill you all.  He hopes
  Brocken and Ashura are watching as he finally crushes Kouji, and Ryuuma keeps
  your people from intervening on his behalf.

  But a couple of the scientists have other ideas: they think it's a fair trade
  to exchange their old lives for a few young ones.  Your people realize what
  they're up to, but Kenzou seems determined to orphan his children in pursuit 
  of the greater good.  He figures there's no saving him this time, and tells
  them all to join their strength and live through all this.  Soujirou tells
  Hiroshi that there is life in death, and asks him to look out for his mother 
  and Mayumi.  They leave the fate of this beautiful world to your people and
  crash right into the bad guys.  Ryuuma can't believe they sacrificed their
  lives for others, and Daimonji tells Kouji to use this chance to escape.  But
  neither Kouji or the others can do that: they've seen the example, and are
  determined to defeat this evil even if it means their own lives.  Their
  newfound vigor takes even Ryuuma aback, and Tetsuya vows to end their evil
  deeds here.

  Professor Yumi has a message for Kouji: not an order to retreat, but the last
  gift Kouji's father left him.  It hasn't been tested yet, but he believes
  Kouji can use it.  The Grand Marshal wonders what the heck Kouji is up to,
  and Kouji says that he's going to give him another big taste of Mazinger's
  power.  The Kaiser Scrander launches and fuses with Kouji, and the Grand
  Marshal learns a very hard lesson in cause and effect.  Unfortunately not
  hard enough to extinguish the flames of his anger entirely, but Kouji doesn't
  care how big those flames are.  His flames of rage and justice are bigger!
  Anyways, it's time to settle once and for all who is to rule the surface and 
  underground!

  Note that Ryuuma can deal undodgeable damage to your guys just like Himika
  could.

  The Grand Marshal is worth a Super Alloy nu-Z.  The Grand Marshal is in
  disbelief that he could be defeated again, but Ryouma points out that this is
  the third time.  Shinobu tells him to just frigging drop dead already, and
  says that your people can't be defeated by a criminal like him.  Kouji and
  Tetsuya order Dr. Hell to disappear, sinking so deep into Hell that he can
  never resurface.  Unfortunately, he manages to run off, saying that he's
  still got his trump card.  This can only mean Irui's power, and _that_ means 
  your people have got to hurry and follow him.  Ryuuma is apparently
  displeased that your people would underestimate him, he, who rules this world
  with destruction and violence.

  Ryuuma is worth a Zolmanium Alloy.  Your feisty human crew won't give the
  Earth to a ravaging villain like him, and Hiroshi tells Ryuuma that this
  Earth has no place for him.  Ryuuma starts laughing, saying that even if you 
  defeat him, you'll still be caught up in the climax of the galaxy.  Sakon
  wants to know how the heck he knows about Apocalypsis, and Ryuuma points out 
  that he's been alive a LONG time, and knows a lot more than you do about the 
  end of the galaxy.  Sakon recalls that some of the writings at the
  Protoculture ruins hinted at Apocalypsis too, which might lend more credence 
  to the notion that the galactic climax was predestined.  Ryuuma tells you to 
  struggle as much as you want, and he'll be waiting for you at the end of the 
  cycle of karma.  With his last breath, he pronounces a curse upon all
  humanity.

Well, you've got one foe left, and you'd better hurry if you want to catch up
to him...  As you enter Ryuuma's domain, you find the place looking like a war 
zone, with walls crumbling into ruin on all sides.  It looks like someone
deliberately destroyed them after the last battle.  And it's clear who: the
Muge, who came by in your absence.  Unfortunately, the Grand Marshal seems to
have survived their assault - barely.  Daimonji tells Pete to approach the
Grand Marshal _very_ carefully.  The Grand Marshal tells you all that you're
too late, and that Shapiro Keats may have taken Irui for all he knows.  He
figures Shapiro will try to use the girl's power to avert the prophecy of
galactic climax.  He refuses to tell your people any more, hateful to the
bitter end, but he also hates the Muge getting their hands on the ancient
Gun-Eden system.  Therefore, he tells your people the location of the Muge's
secret base, and tells you that he's only doing so because he loves this planet
too much to see it fall into alien hands.  The Muge are at point 1204 in the
asteroid belt.  Dr. Hell doesn't want your thanks, saying that he's going down 
with the rest of this underground kingdom.  He tells Kouji and Tetsuya that
he'll be waiting in Hell for them, and as the whole cavern system begins to
collapse your people flee, with one final farewell from Kouji to Dr. Hell...

Back at the lab, your people get to reflect on the loss of not one but two more
great men - a Pyhrric victory that Shinobu can by no means savor.   Hayato
notes that without those sacrifices, you could never have won [where is Giant
Robo when you need it?!  Maybe they lost the rights midstream?], and Daimonji
says that if sacrifice is what's necessary to build a future, that's just what 
your people will become.  That's what Professors Kabuto and Uma showed you with
their own bodies.  Kouji tells Jirou not to cry, that that's not what their
father would have wanted.  He says that Kenzou was a soldier defending the
Earth before he was ever their father, always sacrificing his own happiness for
the greater good.  And as Kabuto Kenzou's child, he intends to carry on the
fight!  He'll use the life, and mech, he was given at such dear cost to
guarantee the future of the galaxy.  Hiroshi's mother has also been prepared
for this day since before Soujirou modified his own son's body.  Hiroshi thinks
he's still got a lot to learn as a warrior, but vows to keep up the fight.
Michi then points out a beautiful flower, blooming in the night - surely the
remains of Flora's beautiful heart.  Hiroshi vows to Flora that he and his
people will stop this fighting that caused her such pain.  With no one left to 
trouble her heart, he tells her to rest in peace.  He resolves to one day tell 
Mayumi the whole story of the fighting that claimed her father, and to do that 
he's got to ensure that she and everyone else has a future...


Scenario 46Z. Eien wo Shinjite ("Believe in Eternity")

Bad things are afoot at the Plant, as Zaft soldiers burst into Clyne's study
and arrest him as a traitor to his nation.  His protests that the Coordinators 
and indeed all humanity face ruin on their current path fall on deaf ears, and 
at the slightest excuse of "resisting arrest" the soldier shoots Clyne dead.
His last words are to Lacus, asking her to take care of the rest.  The soldier 
confirms the accused traitor's death, and orders a report sent to Patrick Zala.
As the underling hurries off, the soldier figures that Lacus is the only one
left on the list...

Back with your people, Cagalli has been fretting over something - the
well-being of her beloved Aslan, as Asuka so grandiosely points out.  Asuka
merrily says that it's only right for someone to worry about their boyfriend
flying off all by his lonesome into enemy territory.  Girls tend to travel in
packs, and this gaggle of tongue-waggers is no exception.  Shouting at them to 
cut it out does Cagalli little good, but Shinji comes to her aid and points out
that she genuinely _is_ worried... as is Kira.  But Kira also has faith in his 
childhood friend, that the small but strong flame of his life won't expire so
easily.  Besides, there are Zaft who think as your people do, and it would seem
he wants to get them on your side.

But more important yet is Lacus, the "pink princess" who is also Aslan's
fiancee.  He quickly apologizes to Cagalli for mentioning it, but says it has
to be said.  Cagalli tells him it's nothing he need worry about, and Kira
finishes his prior thought: that Lacus is on the run from the Zaft as a
traitor.  He really hopes she's okay...

Brit knows well how delicate your position is, free of both Federation and Zaft
control.  That makes you the enemy of both in some eyes, and either supreme
command would consider it a blow to their honor _not_ to defeat you if they
found you.  It'd be nice to stop the fighting before that happens, but Retzel
doesn't think it'll be that easy.  While off on assignment with Zengar, he saw 
several unnatural things about the fight between Zaft and Federation.  It's
clear to him that someone is orchestrating all this from somewhere.  Take
Spirit Break for instance, which actually targeted Alaska when everyone
expected the Hammer.  But the top brass knew the real target, and got everyone 
out of the way so they could use the Cyclops: too unnatural even for a
world-class strategist to guess.

This means that a traitor to the Zaft cause leaked that information: someone
with access to the very highest level secrets.  But it's premature to say that 
this person had the Federation's interests at heart when he or she leaked the
info - and that's where the core of the problem lies.  Had that person really
wanted the Feds to win, he would have of course also notified them about the
Gungniels used in Panama - and instead, those Gungniels handed the Feds their
ass on a rather tarnished silver platter.  Ryuusei figures that that makes the 
Zaft traitor a pretty incompetent one, but Zengar sees things more clearly.  By
clever manipulation of information, whoever it is is causing damage to _both_
sides, though for what purpose is still unclear.  What is clear is that you may
have already fallen under this person or persons' sway.  Pretty creepy, if you 
ask Kusuha.

Lacus breaks the sad news about her father's assassination to Riliina.  Riliina
is at a loss for words, but Lacus says that her father lost his life in the
pursuit of peace: he should have no regrets.  Lacus _would_ like to prevent
other people from going through what she's going through now though, and
Riliina wonders aloud how people can forget about such grief and start the
cycle of hatred again by their own hands.  Lacus tells Riliina that this will
be her final transmission - she is going to stake her life on her belief in
eternity, and sing a song of peace.  Riliina accepts this, and tells Lacus to
leave the rest up to her people and Kanarver.  One of Lacus' servants tells her
that a certain person has turned up at Yakin Duue, and Lacus believes that he's
found the path he should walk.  She tells her servant to take care of him if
worst comes to worst.  The figure turns out to be DaCosta...

At Yakin Duue, the assassin plays for Patrick the pirate broadcast Lacus has
been sending around the Plant.  Lacus asks where they all wanted to go, what
they all wished to accomplish.  On the battlefield, all those they love today
will die.  She asks how long they all must live amidst such sorrow, and in
order to stop the fighting-  Patrick orders it switched off, apparently having 
not expected Lacus to turn to pirate TV to appeal directly to the people.  And 
finding Lacus "soon" is too late for Patrick, since at the very moment he may
be losing the trust of the people thanks to Lacus' trickery.  The Zaft officer 
promises to immediately double the number of people tracking Lacus down.

But Patrick has a guest: Aslan has arrived.  Patrick dismisses the others, and 
then demands to know what the heck happened to his son.  What became of the
Freedom and Justice?!  Aslan answers the question with a question: what does
his father really think of this war?  How long are the soldiers to go on
fighting?  Patrick angrily brushes the question aside and demands that Aslan
report on his mission.  Aslan replies that he returned so he could, for once,
ask his father that question directly, and his father immediately accuses him
of siding with the Naturals.  After all, he's had a report of a machine like
the Justice in the Plant raid on BM3 just yesterday.  Aslan's face steels, and 
he says that he's found out who everyone _should_ be fighting, but his father
isn't inclined to listen to some no-nothing little brat of a son.  Aslan says
that it's his father who knows nothing, citing Alaska and Panama as cases where
people continue shooting when they're shot at, and only broadening the conflict
farther.

Patrick demands to know where Aslan picked up that ridiculous way of thinking -
was it that bitch-ho, Lacus?!  Aslan in turn demands to know if his father
actually believes that this mere clash of strength against strength can end the
war.  It damn sure will, once all Naturals are dead and rotten!  Aslan says
that it will by no means be over - there's still the STMC, Protodevlin and Baff
Clan, not to mention the Empire.  Patrick says that he's well aware of those
threats, and Aslan says that that's all the more reason he should help mankind 
present a united front against it.  Patrick insists on seeing things in terms
of, when the Naturals are gone the remaining Coordinators will present that
united front.  He claims to be thinking of life after the Naturals, as evidence
by the fact that he's been working on Earth defense weapons while carrying on
the war - hell, the Security Council's BM3 and the Aegis Shield combined should
be able to protect the planet well enough.  But he still insists that the
Coordinators must become lords of Earth first.

He orders Aslan to tell him the whereabouts of the Freedom and Justice, saying 
that depending on his answer even he, Patrick's son, won't be spared.  Aslan
asks once more if his father is serious about destroying all Naturals, and
Patrick yells that that's what the fuck this whole war is for.  He draws his
gun, yelling once more for Aslan to answer.  If he doesn't, he'll be captured
as a traitor, and if he resists, he'll be shot on the spot.

His shouts bring a squad of troops running to the door.  He orders them to
capture Aslan as a traitor and force him to reveal who's behind him.  Patrick
tells his son that he's disappointed in him, and Aslan says the feeling is
mutual.  He then adroitly flees the soldiers, heading for the dock.  The
soldiers close in on him, thinking that he's unarmed and therefore harmless.
Aslan thinks that his time may have come, but Hiiro isn't going to let him off 
that easily.  As Hiiro's machinegun starts mowing down the Zaft, he informs
Aslan that he won't let him die.  Duo is pitching in, noting that it's strange 
for the Grim Reaper to be fighting for someone's life.  Kira asked them to look
out for his sometimes impulsive friend, and Duo tells Aslan not to be angry.
They're just here to protect him.  Aslan then smiles, saying instead that he's 
quite happy someone cares for him this much.  The problem is that the dock is
now sealed, and a voice wonders if they're trying to get themselves killed or
something.  DaCosta helps the three escape the dock, and out of Yakin Duue.

The Zaft assassin is talking to some shadowy man, who notes that things seem
quite busy just now.  The Zaft says that there's an intruder inside Yakin Duue,
the pivot of the Plant's defenses.  The Zaft isn't interested in mincing words,
however, and orders whoever it is to hurry up and finish tuning his ship.  The 
man says he's going to do everything in his power for the commander who so
kindly gave the likes of him a place to live again.  He gets on the PA system
and notifies everyone aboard that the ship is about to enter final
preparations.  The speaker turns out to be Bartfeld, and the startled Zaft
officer sees Lacus Clyne taking the stage.  Bartfeld invites the Zaft to leave 
the ship, and to the furious charge of treason he says that this is the answer 
he found.  He then prepares for the rather rough launch, and the Eternal sets
forth.

Patrick wants to know why the hell Bartfeld has launched his ship, and word
comes quickly that Bartfeld has joined the Clyne faction.  Moreover, Lacus
herself is aboard the Eternal.  Lacus addresses everyone aboard Yakin Duue,
while Patrick learns that the Clyne faction has wrecked the dock and greatly
delayed launching anyone to try to shoot the Eternal down.  Patrick then tries 
for an emergency broadcast to keep Lacus from having her way, and it starts to 
turn into some battle of the bands.

Patrick tells everyone that Lacus has sided with the federation, selling top
secrets and generally being a rotten person.  He says that noone likes
fighting, but remember for a second why things got this way.  Surely it was the
Naturals, who grew envious of the Coordinators' superbly evolved abilities.
That being the case, his people have got to win this war.  Should they lose,
their future will be even darker than their past.  Lacus counters that the
people of Earth are their brethren, no different than the slightly evolved
Coordinators.  Even artificial insemination can't guarantee that their children
will be born - so how can the Coordinators even claim to be more evolved than
the Naturals?

Patrick tells everyone not to be misled by such malicious information: his
people _are_ a different, better strain of humanity, and any minor medical
problems will eventually be solved by their great pool of knowledge.  Besides, 
what of the Federation's schemes to use their ultra wide-range weapon on them
all?!  Lacus renews her plea to stop the fighting and search for a path
together.  What was it they all sought in the first place?  Is the future
positively something one should wait for while one's loved ones continue dying?

Bartfeld figures that the two are dead even, and wonders which leader the
people will pick.  In any case, it seems they've made good use of the wait for 
"guests" to arrive - DaCosta deftly brings Aslan and the others aboard.
Bartfeld then orders engines to go to full and leave this place, eluding
Patrick for the time being at least.  Patrick orders his forces, finally ready 
to launch, to pursue the traitors...

Duo was sure surprised to find himself aboard a pink spaceship, much less in
the middle of a Clyne faction coup d'etat.  Your people are even more surprised
to see the captain, the Desert Tiger, still apparently alive and mostly in good
health.  He explains that the Eternal was built specially to carry the Freedom 
and Justice.  He gets cut off by the arrival of the bad guys though: _lots_ of 
them.  Bartfeld says that there _are_ some mobile suits aboard, but they're
rather hard to use in space.  He tells the pilots not to get so worked up, and 
asks the person in charge of the ship, Lacus, what to do.  She asks him to open
a transmission to the Naturals, saying that she's become the enemy of Patrick
Zala due to differences in what future she wishes for.  She says she has no
intention of fighting, and asks that she be allowed to leave and that everyone 
consider once again who the enemy they really need to be fighting is.

The Zaft commander's troops begin to quail, but the commander yells that
they've got orders to fire.  So much for the peaceful approach: Bartfeld orders
all gunports open and, though difficult, agrees to try to avoid the enemy
cockpits.

  Once the Eternal is damaged enough, the Archangel arrives.  The pilots
  quickly rejoin their crew, and everyone gets ready to wipe out the Zaft
  pursuers.  Kira is amazed to hear Lacus' voice, and even more to hear
  Bartfeld's, but greetings will have to wait.

  Force enough of the Zaft to retreat and a new power will come on the scene,
  wiping out all the remaining Zaft units.  Maryuu recognizes the pattern of
  whatever attacked: it's the Gottfried!  A host of Earth forces appear,
  including what could be a carbon copy of the Archangel - except it's black.  
  Aboard it, Azrael tells Natarle that they're in luck - not only have they run
  into the Alpha Numbers this quickly, they've also gotten them to beat back
  the Zaft.  He unleashes Yazan, who says that the battle at the Orb was mere
  rehabilitation compared to the mayhem he'll unleash now.  As Camille braces
  for Yazan's appearance, Natarle reminds Azrael that she's the captain of this
  ship, and asks him to refrain from giving orders without her say-so.

  Natarle then views her biological CPUs, who are asking permission to go wreck
  the Archangel and the Alpha Numbers.  All three of them are treated like
  disposable parts, not people, and she hesitates over letting them go forth.  
  As Azrael asks if she has a problem fighting her old comrades, she opens a
  channel to the Archangel and announces that she's in the direct service of
  the military command.  She informs them that they've broken the edict banning
  them from Earth, and orders them to unconditionally surrender immediately.
  Your people are a bit dismayed at hearing her voice, but Hiiro figures that
  for good or ill that woman is a soldier, and is probably just following
  orders.  But her incredible, almost stupid bluntness is a great strength.
  She warns that she'll open fire should you not comply, and belatedly says
  hello to her former captain.  She calls it a shame that she should have to
  meet again like this, and Maryuu can only concur.  She asks Maryuu to
  surrender and once more talk to the high command, and that she will serve as 
  lawyer, how ever much good that might do.  Muu wonders what happens if you
  say "no", and Maryuu reminds him that he knows very well what her ship is
  capable of.

  Maryuu thanks her former second, but says that she can't accept the terms,
  and not just because of what happened in Alaska.  She has grave doubts about 
  Federation command, and her journeys into deep space have shown her what her 
  true mission should be.  Therefore, she can neither surrender nor enter under
  the military's jurisdiction.  Azrael begins laughing hysterically,
  momentarily afraid that something outside his plans was going to occur.  He's
  sick of hearing her, actually, saying that if problems could be solved by
  _talking_ there would be no warfare in the world.  It's precisely because
  people can't understand each other that they become each other's enemies.
  And enemies must be struck down.  Again, he orders the troops to attack and
  sink your people, as well as the new Zaft ship.  Your people are _very_
  displeased to hear the Blue Cosmos leader's voice.  After a few words of
  encouragement from the other commanders, Maryuu resolves to cast off her
  personal feelings and orders the attack to focus on the enemy flagship
  Dominion.  Neither commander seems very happy about this turn of events...

  For a Skill Point, take down the Dominion, which flees at 20k HP.

  Yazan is worth a Linear Sheet.  He grouses that he needs a bit more
  rehabilitation at this rate.

  The first time you take down one of the enemy Gundam pilots, they begin to
  quarrel amongst themselves over who gets to take down the pink flagship
  first.  Aslan and Kira hurry to stop them, but the bad guys start firing in
  all directions to keep them at bay.  If all that firepower were to be
  actually _concentrated_, bad things would result.  Lacus tells Bartfeld to
  buy Kira and Aslan time, even at the risk of the Eternal itself.  He gets to 
  it, and at the same time launches a little something for the Freedom and
  Justice: extra armaments known as the Meetia.  Kou recognizes this as being
  similar to the Orchis, and tells the boys to put the pedal to the metal and
  simply trample the bad guys underfoot.  The enemy pilots think that all
  that's happened is that they just got bigger and easier to hit, but your
  people know differently...

Once you damage the Dominion beyond a certain point, Natarle orders the signal 
for withdrawal to be sent.  Azrael thinks she's being too hasty, but she
informs him that the crew can't be expected to continue while still so
inexperienced.  The best plan is to withdraw and regroup, and after a moment
Azrael assents.  There is every indication that they'll pursue you again later,
so Maryuu orders everyone to form up and get the heck out of dodge.

Bartfeld greets your people, as it were, for the first time - clearly neither
side expected to meet again, especially like this.  Kira is fretting, and tells
Bartfeld that he's got a reason to shoot Kira - his sister Aisha.  Bartfeld
tells him that in war, everyone has similar reasons to shoot their fellow man -
and likewise everyone _lacks_ reasons to do the same.  Kira is greatly
relieved, and Bartfeld says that he's done a lot of thinking during this war,
and decided that the Clyne faction was the place for him.

DaCosta then heads off for his next assignment, saying that he expects their
next meeting will come _after_ the great work here is finished.  It sounds like
a dangerous mission, but if not for such things Aslan, Hiiro, and Duo would
possibly be toast right now.  Aslan is something of a wreck, as usual, but he
tells Cagalli that the stone she gave him has kept him safe.  This makes her
blush a bit, and she asks Aslan if he shouldn't go say hi to his fiancee Lacus.
Former, he corrects her, saying that he's realized he's a major fool.  Cagalli 
smiles fondly, and says better he figure that out later than never.  But she
figures Kira is something of a fool too, and maybe it's reassuring that fools
are fools even if they're of Coordinator blood.  Hiiro cuts in and says that
fools are everywhere, and that Cagalli is one of them.  In fact, all of you
are.  [Baka bakka. *reflex action*] The levity dies quickly when Lacus enters, 
since the first halting words from her mouth are that her father is dead.

Creuset seems surprised that Lacus would finally abandon the Plant, and Yzak
says that he simply can't see her as a traitor.  Creuset gently but firmly
tells him that it's because people who think like that are here that Lacus is
of use to the Clyne faction.  He hopes Yzak isn't of that mindset too, and says
that this war is caused by different people's viewpoints scraping against each 
other.  Creuset doesn't want Yzak to lose sight of what he ought to be
fighting, but adds that even Bartfeld has thrown his lot in with the Clyne
faction.  Creuset muses that Bartfeld is a very positive guy with a very crafty
tongue, and seems to have gotten plenty of mileage out of that with Zala.  Ades
isn't quite sure what he's getting at, and Creuset begins to wax philosophical 
about how one shouldn't expect there to be any clear answers in a war over
mankind's deepest-seated thoughts and feelings.  Returning to reality, he
cautions Yzak that Aslan will be his enemy the next time they meet.  Yzak
doesn't respond immediately, and Creuset asks him if he think he'll be able to 
pull the trigger.  Yzak angrily says that he's always ready to shoot traitors.

Flay then enters the bridge, only to get yelled at by Yzak for casually walking
into a place too good for Naturals.  Creuset shushes him, saying that he's the 
one who called Flay here.  She quietly tells him that the time has come, and
Creuset announces that with his Vesalius as flag ship, he's going to lead a
fleet in pursuit of the Eternal and the Alpha Numbers.  Ades is to notify him
as soon as their course becomes clear.  He tells Flay to come with him, and
Flay can't help but think of Sai and all the others in her old unit...


Scenario 46P. Yabou no Dai-4 Wakusei ("The Fourth Planet of Intrigue")

Gepelnietche makes a show of welcoming your people, and Guld is astounded to
realize that he knows the face you see: Iwarno Gyunter, commander of the
one-time Barooda recon fleet.  Gavil doesn't want to hear you badmouthing his
lord, but Max figures that this must be some form that the Protodevlin have
adopted as a mask.  Max figures him for the commander, but Mylene quickly
interrupts and demands that Gepelnietche give back Gamlin, who she killed.
Gepelnietche replies that death is a bubble which has burst: not what she has
in mind.  Mylene calls her on that, saying that many people are dead because of
her, but Gepelnietche is not swayed.  Had they shared her dream of a Spiritia
Farm, they could have lived.  This is ticking Mylene off and arousing her
Spiritia, and Gepelnietche is quite pleased - this power is what will also let 
her avoid Apocalypsis.  Ryuusei asks none too politely what Gepel-whatever her 
name is knows about Apocalypsis, but she tells him that it would be meaningless
for her to answer: Spiritia is like water seeping away through sand.  But her
Spiritia Farm would be eternal: the soundwaves of Anima Spiritia would be as an
inexhaustible fountain replenishing the Spiritia of all.  This is the one and
only way to avoid fate, or so she figures.

Basara doesn't have a clue what she's talking about, and says that in any case 
his songs aren't going to be used for any such thing.  He plans to let her hear
his singing directly, but she has a nifty little throat ring that apparently
prevents his Spiritia from Shining.  This was apparently not in the plan, and
Max yells that he'll never let Gepelnietche destroy his fleet or his race.
Focker adds that doing so would kind of screw up her Spiritia Farm project, but
Gepelnietche hints that she has a plan B up her sleeve, and offers your people 
time to think it over.

Your people are summarily thrown in the brig, and Bihiida surprises your people
by speaking and telling you that escape is futile.  Saner heads among you
agree, and Viletta recommends waiting for Banjou and the others to come with
aid.  Ryuusei still insists that you've got to do something to prevent all the 
Spiritia in the galaxy from being sucked away, but Guld is much more worried
about the fact that it really _was_ Gyunter whose body Gepelnietche seemed to
be inhabiting.  Kakizaki struggles to remember what he saw in the large chamber
at the heart of this place, but simply can't do so, and takes quite a bit of
flak from the other pilots for his failure.

This means that not only are you facing Proto"devlin" as your adversary, but
these devils seem capable of possession.  Mai notes that Gepelnietche's spirit 
definitely doesn't feel human, which leads Zengar to suppose that no logic you 
humans could devise would work on her.  Mylene is lamenting how Gamlin gave his
life so she and the others could sing, and apparently even that isn't possible.
Docker is beginning to think it's all over, but Max coolly tells him that
things have just begun.  He believes it's far too early to despair: for one
thing, this base is crawling with warriors who have all been mind-controlled.  
If you can just give Basara a chance to sing freely, maybe their mind control
will break and they'll join your side.  But to do that, you'd have to get that 
ring off of Basara's throat, and he's been taken somewhere else.

Max is silent for a moment, then asks Mylene what she thinks they all should
do.  The question surprises her, but he tells her that she's a full-fledged
member of this expedition, by her own will.  Why did she try so hard to come
here after being removed from the team?  She turns her face aside, mumbling
that Gamlin's gotten killed, and Max asks if she came out here just to sob and 
sniffle.  Gamlin, as she should well know, risked his life and fought.  Mylene 
still doesn't have a response, and Focker tells everyone not to give up -
you'll surely get your chance, and Ryuusei can't wait.  Oh, and there's Misa
and Minmei somewhere too...

Banjou has in fact been preparing the counterattack, who plan to make one hell 
of a distraction with their big-ass mecha, the _smallest_ of which is the
mighty[?] Goshogun.  As the enemy show up, Banjou forbids Noriko from charging 
into the fray: their mission is to draw the enemy's attention away and allow
Mylene and the others a chance to escape.  All attacking would achieve is cause
more bad guys to come, and come some more.  The mission is instead to draw the 
bad guys out of the crevasse.  The Barooda warriors seem puzzled when you rush 
up to them, and Banjou tells you that you've got to lure them all past a
certain line.

  One of the enemies doesn't move, and Banjou says you'll have to provoke it
  some to make it move.  After all, your people are imprisoned somewhere within
  the enemy base, and Banjou doesn't want to waste their resolve and guts.

  With the enemy drawn away, it seems all you have to do is wait for Focker and
  the others to escape....  Banjou thinks that he's counting on Misa to do the 
  rest...

She certainly seems to be holding up her end, and your dudes start stampeding
through the Protodevlin base.  Unfortunately, you're not out of the woods yet, 
since there's work remaining before you bail and join Banjou and the others on 
the battlefield.  It sounds more like Misa yelling than telling Hikaru that,
and as they start quarreling about whether she's yelling or not Max is
uncomfortably reminded of his own marital situation.  But there's no time to
stew over that with Basara still imprisoned.  Your people remove his neckband, 
and he gets busy freeing the soldiers from their mind control.  Mylene joins
him, saying that she _is_ part of this team... and if she doesn't, what did
Gamlin give his life for?  This seems to be going quite well, but before you
can reach your mecha, Misa takes you somewhere else first: the place where all 
those imprisoned are.  Including Minmei...

What you find looks suspiciously like something from the Matrix [things that
make you go, "hmm, aren't humans the most _inefficient_ form of power
generation in the known universe????"]  Many races, not just human, are part of
this fiendish machinery of the prototype Spiritia Farm.   Some of the
capsule-dwellers begin to wither before your eyes: the end result of having
their Spiritia drained away.  But then, in the distance, Minmei sings and
apparently restores some vitality to them.  Things are set up so Minmei's voice
can't reach you, and your voice can't reach her as she happily wastes her own
life away to replenish that of the others.

This sucks pretty bad [some pun intended], and Gepelnietche even shows up on a 
nearby monitor to gloat.  Basara is having none of it, however, and his song
manages to attract Minmei's attention.  Somehow Bihiida knows that Minmei is
saying that everything will be all right now, presumably to make you all stop
worrying, but that just makes Basara that much more inclined to sing his guts
out.

Gavil then bursts in, determined to cut the concert short and ordering you all 
to stop this disgraceful resistance and beautifully submit.  Basara's plan is
to simply sing him into submission too, but he counters by going after Mylene. 
And he nearly makes it too, if not for a mysterious mech that intervenes and
knocks her back.  The pilot tells you all to GEHT TO DA CHOPPAH and leave Gavil
to him, and Mylene is immensely relieved to see that it's Gamlin, still very
much alive.  Gavil is beautifully annoyed that Gamlin is still able to get in
his way, but decides to keep your people from escaping with Misa and all the
beautiful knowledge Gepelnietche craves.  Misa orders Hikaru to take the others
and escape, lest everything she's done here be in vain.  His top priority is to
flee this planet, amass warpower, and then return to save the civilians.
Hikaru vows to return and save her too, and she finally smiles and tells him
she'll be waiting...

Your people reemerge onto the battlefield, including Gamlin and the mech he
purloined from the enemy.  Apparently crash-landing on clouds was good enough
to break his fall, and Remy squeals in praise for this "Gutsman"'s yeoman's
work [O_o;;].  The fond reunion will have to wait a bit, since your mission
right now is to get off this stinking planet and regroup.  As Max highlights
the atmospheric exit point, Gepelnietche denies Gavil permission to sortie too:
"they" are approaching.  The Samples can simply be recaptured if they flee, but
"they" are a different matter entirely.  As Misa wonders who even the
Protodevlin are afraid of, Max receives word from Miria urging him to hurry -
"they" are com-  She is cut off, and Jung realizes that something is coming
from outside the atmosphere.  It's the Space Monsters, in large numbers, but
apparently fewer than Gepelnietche feared.  He figures that means they're just 
checking things out - apparently in no mood to let his Spiritia Farm proceed.  
He isn't inclined to let "that power" catch his people up in Apocalypsis,
making Misa wonder what the heck they're talking about.

  For a Skill Point, destroy all enemies eight turns after this point.

  The Top team realizes now that the STMC are everywhere in the galaxy.  Kiry
  is a bit miffed that the battle is going to drag out this long, but Remy
  tells him to be content that this <<1% success rate mission actually worked. 
  Shingo agrees, saying there's no such thing as RESET in real battle.  Max is 
  quite impressed that the Plus pilots can keep up with him and his new
  Valkyrie, and Isamu says good naturedly that he's got a few years before
  collecting his pension yet.  Mylene and Ray are anxious about having this
  many enemies, but Basara says that the more enemies there are, the more
  worthwhile it is to make them hear his songs.  The SRX+ team knows full well 
  that they've got to bust ass if they want to somehow take out this STMC
  infestation once and for all.  Focker assures Hikaru that the two girls are
  VIPs to the Protodevlin, and should be okay until you return to save them.
  As for Zengar, any enemy of justice will taste the edge of his blade -
  especially the demons haunting this world.

After the battle, Gepelnietche receives the report that your people have left
this star system after the STMC were taken out.  He is fretting over the fact
that the STMC came in the first place: "that power" must have sent them to stop
his Spiritia Farm.  What's especially worrying is the timing, as though
arranged to help the Samples escape.  Gepelnietche thinks it's unlikely that
"that power" would actually be on your people's side - it brought the
Protodevlin to this world precisely so they could be archenemies to the
Samples.  This is the same power that, with the gods of destruction at its
side, brought about the devastating Apocalypsis once before in the distant
past.  Does this mean the Protodevlin _know_ the STMC, Misa wonders.  But it
was the destruction of the Samples and the actions of Anima Spiritia back then 
that forced the Protodevlin into slumber, and Gepelnietche insists that that
mistake must not be repeated.  That's why he needs his dream to come true: so
he can escape the circle of fate, even if that same power is what woke his
people up this time.

As Misa wonders about this force controlling the galaxy that is responsible for
the Protodevlin hanging around, Gepelnietche decides that the Anima Spiritia is
crucial to making his dream come true.  Gavil is glad for the chance to go
capture him, saying that he owes him one too.  He's also to figure out what the
relationship is between the Samples and That Power(tm), since just maybe the
Samples are the chosen ones.


Scenario 46B. Kuzurete Yuku Jaaku no Tou ("The Evil Tower Crumbles")

It seems that Zanbajil has had Erika sent to his bedchambers.  He tells her
that he isn't planning to force her, and says that this union would be in the
best interests of both Boazan and Barm.  Erika once again flatly turns down his
marriage proposal, and he can't understand why - what could be better for their
respective peoples?  She has to tell him more than once that she's not the
"queen" of Barm, just its representative.  Plus, the Barm have found good
neighbors in the Earthlings, and have no need of Boazan assistance.  He asks
her how the once great Barm Empire could content itself with a puny little
corner of the galaxy.  He tells her that Olban would cry if he heard all this, 
but she points out that it was Olban who caught the Barm up in the profitless
fighting in the first place.  Erika knows full well that Zanbajil was complicit
in Olban's treachery, and tells him that if he's got any shred of decency as a 
ruler left he'd do well to think about how to help his people going forward.
What Erika wants to do for _her_ people is immediately stop the pointless power
struggle.

He protests, saying that if everyone gave in to him the fighting _would_ be
over and everyone would benefit.  She retorts that the only ones who would
benefit are the nobility, but he tells her that the Law of the Jungle is
absolute, and that Boazan figures it's the place of those with horns to rule
over those without.  What he thinks is prosperity is merely the beating down of
everyone who dares to dissent: namely Ra Goll and all those who would _really_ 
bring prosperity to the world.  He cuts her off, saying that even a generous
ruler like him can't abide hearing such slander from her.  She spits back that 
anyone who considers her words slander isn't fit to rule, and before he can
upbraid her impudence, Walkymedes runs in with a report that some of the palace
slaves are in revolt.  Erika tells the thunderstruck Zanbajil that _this_ is
the truth of Boazan, and _this_ is the day when the palace built atop the blood
and tears of the common man will fall.  Furious, he vows to show _everyone_
who's boss.

The commoners and soldiers are tangling, and the soldiers aren't getting the
better end of the deal.  The commoners know to expect help from Earth soon, and
press on to the Golden Palace to free Ra Goll and Danke.  Zanbajil's
patheticness is apparent both in his face and in his desperation asking Janela 
for advice, with most of his guards trying to keep the Alpha Numbers at bay.
She recommends dealing a fatal blow to the source of the Alpha Numbers and
commoners' morale: Ra Goll.  What she has planned for Erika and the others
isn't clear immediately, but it becomes apparent soon.  She's got the three
leaders crucified on the front lawn, awaiting execution.  Danke yells to the
evildoers to expect the wrath of God to fall upon them at any moment, but
Walkymedes blasts him with his ray and tells the crowds that this is what will 
happen to all who oppose Janela and Zanbajil.  The morale of the people takes
another hit when they see Deimos and Voltes V apparently at the beck and call
of Janela.  The riot should be quelled quite quickly, right?

Wrong.  Your people show up, rapidly figure out that a riot is in progress, and
prepare to set the captives free.  But Janela figures that things are still
going her way, and orders Walkymedes into action.  He praises your people for
making it this far, but tells your people that the hostages are toast if you
take even one step closer.  You're not permitted to retreat either - instead,
you get to watch Combattler V fight Voltes V and Deimos to the death!
Obviously the latter mecha hadn't heard about this, but Hyouma readily agrees
(whispering that he's buying time for the others to rescue the captives).  He
strides forward, ready for the showdown of the Ultramagnetic Brothers to begin,
and tells Walkymedes to can the crap with all the minute "don't move from
there" and "kill each other" directives.

  Walkymedes makes sure that the populace hears his gloating about the Alpha
  Numbers killing each other off.  After a couple rounds, Kosuke whines that
  even Combattler V can't take much of this.  Hyouma tells the little twerp
  that he never expected to be able to beat both Voltes and Deimos in the first
  place - the whole point is buying time.  In which case, the Combattler team
  has to show the citizens of Barm their guts.

  The following round, the bad guys spot Gai and Renais sneaking in to free the
  prisoners.  A frontal assault is their only option left, and Walkymedes
  thinks he's got the defenses all sewn up tight.  But before he can gloat that
  much, a giant winged creature flies onto the stage.  It's Richter, come to
  get his sister and Ra Goll back.  The guy is apparently bulletproof or at
  least on PCP, or as he likes to put it to his assailants, he's long since
  died already.  His last [no really, we mean it this time] regret is here, and
  he's come to see it discharged.  As the guards flee, he yells to Walkymedes
  that no poor people governed by violence and lust can shoot him.  Walkymedes'
  only option is to flee in terror...

Richter manages to free the hostages, but it turns out that in fact he is badly
wounded.  He smiles and tells Erika that his life is nearly over anyway, and
that he's got one thing left to do.  Kentarou offers him his shoulder, but
Richter says that he wants to meet death on his own two feet.

He then addresses the crowds, who well know his reputation as one of those who 
lead the Barm into warfare and near ruin.  He owns up to that and more right
off the bat, saying that he may be the darkest figure in Barm's history.  Erika
knows that it was all the sceheming Olban's fault, but he declares to the
crowds that it was an Earthling and his sister, lovers of peace, who finally
defeated him.  He orders the people to take up their arms, and use the power of
righteousness to defeat their foolish masters.  That is the only way to change 
Boazan, and the people don't need the likes of him to tell them that.  Janela
is furious at Richter making himself the target of the people, and orders
Walkymedes to send out the troops and shut Richter up.

Walkymedes first attempts to quell some of the rioters, but another ally shows 
up and interferes: Godor, with Heinel at the controls.  This is the Guardian
that everyone has always heard about, and Zanbajil demands to know how Heinel
could side with the rabble.  He shouts back that his enemy is anyone who would 
lead Boazan to ruin.  He announces to the crowds that he has returned to strike
down the traitor, for that is what any lord is who has abandoned the interests 
of the people for his own.  He orders all those nobility with a shred of
self-respect left to strike out at their traitorous ruler, and tells the people
who they guide to follow Godor and make for themselves a better tomorrow.

Richter is glad to see Heinel back in the saddle, and Heinel tells his old
friend that he won't waste his death.  He tells him to wait for him in Hell,
for he will surely follow soon behind.  Richter will do just that, looking
forward to seeing all his former comrades whose deaths he helped bring about.  
As Erika cries his name, Richter tells her that he's finally found a place
where he can die, and somehow bless the people of Barm.  His only regret is
that he will not be able to see her given in marriage.  He leaves Erika to
Kazuya's care, and the fate of Barm to both of them.

Kazuya can't do anything to stop Richter's life ebbing away, but he sure as
hell can pulverize anyone who stands in the way of Richter's wishes being
carried out.  He and the V's are joined by Godor, and Zanbajil is in for one
hell of an ass-whupping.  As your people begin to advance, Janela orders
Walkymedes to stop your troops, unless he wants to get blown up too.  He thinks
it's good enough for him to risk his life, but it'll take a lot more than that 
to stem the tide of your people's wrath.  That tower is TOAST for sure.

  Within ten turns, defeat all enemies and clear the map for a Skill Point.

  Walkymedes doesn't go down easily, launching in a Darkron when his flagship
  is wasted.  His sorry ass is worth a Psychoframe when you take him down once 
  and for all.  He realizes full well that he can't retreat or run, and in
  desperation heals once again.  But those whose loved ones Walkymedes
  endangered aren't going to let him get away with that, and show them the fury
  of their fists.

  Janela is now more furious than ever that Walkymedes proved unequal to his
  brainiac boasting, and resolves to go out herself to settle the score.  The
  terrified Zanbajil asks her what he should do, and showing her true colors
  she hisses that his usefulness to her is long since ended.  She recommends he
  go somewhere, _anywhere_ where she doesn't have to look at his obese ass.
  Heinel is not pleased when the parasite of Boazan shows herself, and your
  people have had enough of her "to the victor, the spoils" dogma.  You declare
  that _you_ will beat her, and thereby set Boazan free.

When Janela is struck down, she begins laughing.  Defeating her is the switch
that spells Boazan's doom, since the explosion of her mech will trigger the
underground Earth bomb that Zanbajil planted in case of treachery.  The bomb
will surely obliterate the planet in its entirety, and the key to stop it is
beneath the Golden Palace.  Not that she plans to let you get to it.  Instead, 
having told you of its existence, she plans to force you to watch as the planet
is wiped out.  A curse, a CURSE upon Boazan and the Alpha Numbers!!

At the explosion of her mech, the Devil's Tower does indeed begin to crumble,
cutting off all hope of defusing the Earth Bomb... for everyone except Heinel. 
He tells his brother to lead the people to safety in case he fails.  He bids
Ken'ichi farewell and heads off on his reckless mission.  Of course, who should
be clutching the precious Key but Zanbajil, having totally lost his senses and 
any shred of dignity he once possessed.  He blames all his problems on Heinel, 
since Boazan's decline began (in his view) from the moment Heinel betrayed the 
Ze Balmariy Empire.  Heinel is so scandalized at the thought he once fought in 
the service of this maggot that he can barely speak, and Zanbajil seems
determined to force Heinel to apologize by dying.

But his weapon fells Catherine instead, who intervenes at the last possible
moment.  She falls into Heinel's arms, the first time he's ever held her, a
smile on her lips even as her breathing begins to still.  Heinel demands to
know why she covered him, and with her last breath she tells him that risking
her life for that most precious to her is...  She can't finish the sentence,
and the rampaging Heinel doesn't give the former emperor Zanbajil time for a
second shot.  As Zanbajil falls to the floor, Heinel tells him to share his
palace's fate, and assures Catherine that he'll be joining her shortly.

But Ken'ichi has rushed to his brother's side, saying that he can't let his
brother face this peril alone.  Heinel tells him that his mission to free
Boazan is complete, and that his final task is to atone for all the loose ends 
he's left behind him till now.  Ken'ichi protests that Boazan's future starts
this instant, but Heinel says that the fate of him and all Boazan nobles is
tied to that of the palace.  He is sure that his father, halfway between noble 
and commoner, can guide the people well.

The increasing rumbling leaves no doubt that time is short.  Heinel gives
Ken'ichi his shortsword as proof of his life - the same sword that his father
gave his mother along with his wishes for peace on Boazan.  He bids his younger
brother a final farewell and heads off to defuse the bomb in one last blaze of 
glory.

Boazan is indeed now liberated, but at the cost of Heinel and Richter's lives. 
Not to mention Danke and numerous common people who stood up for what they
believed in.  Kazuya is torn over being saved again by Richter, and Erika tells
him that her brother blamed himself ever since the fight of Little Barm.  The
GGG staff congratulate him on his planet's liberation, having kept the orbital 
forces at bay at some risk to themselves.  They also have a visitor: Deus of
Canpel.  He recalls the appeal the two fallen heros made to gather strength and
save the galaxy, admitting that he was unable to trust their words.  To
determine the truth, he questioned those of Canpel who had been arrested as
part of the Janela faction, and heard consistently that Richter and Heinel were
risking their lives for their beliefs, and Kentarou says that that was no lie. 
Seeing the truth of this, Deus pledges to keep his promise, and enter into a
new treaty with Boazan and its allies.  Also, he pledges immediate aid to the
Alpha Numbers, emissaries from Earth.  Recall that Boazan was strong enough
already to keep the Balmar somewhat at bay, and with Canpel on board too your
chances of victory just got a lot brighter.  This is the first time it seems
you might just be able to stop Apocalypsis.

The voices of the people are raised in rejoicing, and Ken'ichi swears on his
brother's sword that he'll let all citizens of the galaxy share this joy.  He
vows not to cry again, and asks his brother to watch over him and his fight
from afar.


Scenario 47I. Kami ni Narou to Shita Otoko ("The Man Who Tried to Become God")

No rest for the weary as your people prepare to take on the Muge, who
fortunately have broken off their alliance with the Subterraneans.  Ryou
reminds Masato that your forces are currently split up, and the victory over
Ryuuma was only by a hairsbreadth.  Oh, and don't forget about the sacrifices
that were made either.  Mai says that if you're not careful, someone else could
be sacrificed too, but Ryuusei tells her not to say such things before battle, 
lest the battle already be lost.  Shinobu, for a change, agrees with Ryuusei:
there's a big difference between being prepared to die in battle, and expecting
to die.  He takes a bit of ribbing from the others for his rather reckless
style of charging into battle in the hopes of living on, but in all seriousness
Alan agrees that it's not enough to just win battle after battle.  An
overarching vision like Shinobu's is needed, and that vision needs to include
what you plan to do after the battles are all won.  Midori figures she knows
what Sanshirou will do, and it isn't finding some cute girlfriend - it's his
comeback as a pro baseball player!

As the mirth continues, Sara seems withdrawn, and tells Shinobu that she's
going to rest now that Dancougar's maintenance is over with.  It would seem
that the impending showdown with the Muge, in particular with Shapiro, is
getting her down.  Fortunately there's someone whose role it is to check up on 
her: Shinobu, who gruffly agrees to look in "as the squad leader".  Mai can't
quite figure out what's going on with the usually un-leader-like Shinobu, but
when they finally convey to her that Ryuusei cares for her, she realizes that
Shinobu must care for Sara the same way.

What's gotten Sara down is that her fight with Shapiro, her reason for living, 
is about to end.  Shinobu then walks over, and his clumsiness with words
actually works to his advantage in showing how much he's worried about Sara.
As she thanks him, he muses over how far they've all come, how much they've
accomplished and how much they've lost to get here.  Sara tells him that she
needed all that time - not because time heals all wounds, but so she can do
what Alan was advising and think about what to do after the fighting ceases.
He asks what she plans to do once "he" is gone, and she tells him that _he_
will still be with her.  If both of them live through the battle... she wants
everyone to have a giant party.  Shinobu, momentarily expecting something more 
intimate, hastily agrees to this party concept...

At Shapiro's hideout, Luna gives him the report that the Alpha Numbers are
headed directly their way.  Shapiro figures that they forced the Grand Marshal 
to give up his location, and says that he's not giving the Child of God to
_anyone_.  Luna points out that Muge himself wants her, but Shapiro yells at
her to shut up and slaps her across the face.  He coldly tells her that she
works for _him_, and that if he wants her opinion he'll ram it down her throat 
first.  She gathers herself and says that that suits her fine.  Clearly Shapiro
needs no chief of staff, just like he needs no love.  This puzzles him, and she
says that she's saying he needs no one.  Shapiro narrows his eyes, observing
that it's her attempt at feminine wiles to use the pointed end of her emotions 
to pry loose someone else's thoughts.  He then shouts that she's forbidden to
say anything more to him, and choking back a retort she walks away.  Shapiro is
all smiling to himself now, figuring to be reborn as a God now that he's got
the Child of God in his grasp.  He thinks back to the harmony he heard that
day, the guidance of the galaxy leading him personally: he's the one chosen to 
become a God and no mistake.  He looks forward to the arrival of the Alpha
Numbers, the only blot on his otherwise flawless memories.  Once he's defeated 
them here, he'll jump to the Balmar, kill the other child of God, and unify the
will of the whole universe.  Irui can only look on sadly...

He thinks these asteroids will become your people's gravestones, and tells
Helmet and Gildrome that he's counting on them.  The two of them move out of
formation, and Shapiro wonders what the hell they're doing.  Gildrome drily
notes that for someone as bright as Shapiro he seems pretty slow on the uptake.
The two of them are leaving the Solar System ahead of him, saying they have no 
reason to stick around and participate in his little vengeance play.  Helmet
welcomes the thought of Earthlings spilling each others' blood, and Gildrome
formally wishes Shapiro good fortune in battle.

Shapiro is furious at this "betrayal" by people who don't realize their own
puniness.  He therefore decides to wipe out the _Muge_ after he's done with the
Earth and the Balmar.  This guy is apparently retarded in the head, tarded not 
once or twice, but many times over.  Your people will surely fix that, but
first Luna sees Gildrome and Helmet's actions and decides the time is right for
her too.

Shinobu praises Shapiro for not running away from your people, and says that
the time has come to settle the score once and for all, dating back to the
Balmar War.  That suits Shapiro fine, and he says he'll show you what it looks 
like when a God is born.  He certainly hasn't changed any, and Kouji points out
that no good can come of anyone running around thinking they're God.  As your
people as much as dare him to make good on all his braggadoccio, he remarks
that none of you seem to understand what divinity truly means.  It's an
elevated state of being where you take orders from noone, and where you have
everyone else's fate in your hands.  A god cannot do good or ill, since its
self-evident truth surpasses all.  Boz's lackeys ask him if he got any of that,
and as Boz struggles to explain Shinobu makes it clear for him: anyone spouting
such garbage is a bad guy.  Period.  In this case, the bad guy's towering ego
has also cost innumerable lives, as your people will happily remind him if he
wants.  Shapiro figures that this conversation is wasting his time, and he
plans to prove how godly he is by erasing you all from the galaxy.  Your people
are... hmm, what's the word, not impressed.

  Clear the map within six turns for a Skill Point.

  When you immobilize the enemy flag ship, some sort of dark mech emerges from 
  it and smacks Dancougar.  Sara and the others recognize Shapiro's swift
  movements and crest, and Shapiro orders Sara and the others to die and begone
  from his sight.  Sara notes that he's still got his God complex going, and
  notes that he's actually more of a demon.  Shinobu is glad that he's come to 
  face you man to man, but says that doing so has cost Shapiro whatever good
  luck he's got left.  Shinobu plans to kick his ass like he did during the
  Balmar War, but a new batch of Muge emerge.  Shapiro sniffs and figures that 
  Luna can't seem to tear herself away from him.  Luna meanwhile wills Shapiro 
  to do his best, and while he has the Alpha Numbers busy she has other plans.

  Shinobu has finally gotten tired of the bluster and threats, and tells Sara
  that _this_ time they've got to burn Shapiro's schemes to ash with the flames
  of their fury.  Her teammates encourage her too, and she tells Shinobu to put
  the pedal to the metal.  Shinobu tells Shapiro that his habits are even
  showing through he mech.  He's always been like this, too busy looking down
  on others to realize his own weaknesses.  Ryou won't let Shapiro the
  strategist say he's forgotten the ancient proverb that "he who knows himself 
  shall not fear a hundred battles", which Masato adds as further proof that
  Shapiro is just another man: in particular, a walking dead man.

  Shapiro is worth a High-Precision Targeting System.  He flies off in rage,
  and as bad guys come out to keep your folks at bay the rest of your team
  urges Shinobu to hurry ahead and look after Irui, while they bring up the
  rear.

  The Dancougar team infiltrates the Asteroid Belt base, as the battle rages on
  outside.  Your people hurry to where Shapiro is waiting, and Sara thinks to
  herself that he wants noone else's help.  She wants to end this by her own
  hands, but Shapiro turns out the lights on her, commending her on her animal 
  instincts, as befits one of the Beast Machine Squad.  She suggests that he
  show himself, but he tells her that she needs to be punished.  He plans to
  plunge all those who refused to accept him or comply with his ideals into
  despair.  Sara tells him that his overconfidence hasn't changed at all over
  these years.  Shapiro reminds her that she couldn't keep up with him when he 
  tried to get close to the Imperial army, and she says she was in shock then. 
  To think the man she cared so much for would sell the Earth to its enemies...
  Shapiro yells that the red thread connecting them snapped back then, but she 
  reminds him that he's human just like her, and certainly no god.  After a
  moment, Shapiro offers to tell her precisely why it is _he_ was chosen to
  become a god.

  Sara says she'd love to know, but says that she's the one who'll decide
  whether he lives or dies.  He tells her that in a certain place back on
  Earth, he heard the music of God, the commingled melody of space.  She could 
  think of it as the harmony of peace in the universe, and that sound made him 
  realize the existence of the absolute force which governs the galaxy: "fate" 
  as it were.  And a disturbance in that melody told him that the galaxy was
  about to meet its climax.  That was around the time the Imperial army first
  showed up, and planet Earth's fate swung into motion.  What could his
  experience be if not the guidance of God?!

  And that God told him that the harmony is forever broken, and ordered him to 
  become a God himself and reign in the universe.  This is why he abandoned
  Earth and sided with the Imperials: to gather information on the galaxy - and
  in the process, he met Muge and discovered the key to touching God.  That
  would be poor little Irui, the child of God...

  But Sara's no longer having it.  She says there was only one good thing that 
  came out of hanging out with him: her getting to kill his ass!  The problem
  is, there's no way she can see him in the dark.  Shapiro instructs her to
  tremble in fear and die amidst her despair, but a certain person would find
  that most inconvenient.  It's Luna, who turns on the lights and asks why
  Shapiro is so reluctant to meet Sara face to face.  She says that this is a
  surprisingly mundane end for a man who called himself a god, and tells him
  she's come to say goodbye.  She tells the fool that Muge never trusted him
  from the outset, and asks if he's really so sure that casting off love is the
  only way to godhood.  God lies not in casting off love, but in surpassing it,
  and Shapiro's obsession with casting off or not shows just how limited he was
  as a ruler.  He certainly hasn't surpassed Muge's immense power in any way,
  and she tells him that her original purpose was to take Irui to Muge.  Which 
  she'll happily do while he dies, and she leaves him with one final thought:
  he wasn't _man_enough_ to earn her love.

  Shapiro, now totally off his rocker, calls to the heavens to split asunder
  and orders the universe to hide itself in darkness once more.  Here is born a
  God, who, by his own will, will reduce the world to naught.  He commands the 
  universe to proffer its very eternal soul at his feet.  Amidst his insane
  laughter, he orders the universe to hurry up and get on with it.  The Beast
  Machine squad all gather and stare at this pathetic sight, before the
  crumbling base crushes him like a bug.

Well, the good news is that the Muge are now gone from the Earth.  The bad news
is that they've got Irui.  That they would attack an entire planet just to get 
at her Psychodriver powers shows how much they think she's worth, and in fact
she's worth quite a bit to you too.  It's not clear whether she retains her
personality or whether she's succumbed to the Gun-Eden system, but it's not an 
exaggeration to say that she's the only clue to stopping Apocalypsis you've
got.  Misato ponders the Angel that attacked Icarus base, and is worried about 
what Fuyutsuki (and the man behind him, Ikari Gendou) is up to.  She realizes
that if you don't solve this soon, something irrevocable could happen.  Thus,
your forces including the newly-added Eternal are to head to the Muge Zolbados 
empire, figure out what the bad guys are really after, and get Irui back.  If
your people hang around any more, Blue Cosmos may get their hands on Icarus
itself, which would give them Carneades' "BM3".  Even Gloval's efforts can't
hold off Blue Cosmos forever, meaning you've got to end the fight between
Natural and Coordinator post-haste.  You'll have to leave that to Gloval and
the Security Council for now, and Lacus Clyne agrees, vowing to do whatever she
can to confront the danger overshadowing the galaxy.  Amazingly, Bartfeld is
here too, and says that the Eternal was made specifically to house the Freedom 
and Justice Gundams.  Its Meetia gives them far greater power, which is nice.

What's not so nice is how Chairman Clyne was assassinated during the fight
against the Subterraneans, for his hopes to make peace with the Federation.
This means the Plant is now under Patrick Zala's control, though Bartfeld is
quick to point out that not everyone there believes as he does.  He's more than
happy to help, seeing as how he owes you a bit of a debt and all.  Tashiro
orders your people to move out, though Misato protests that the Muge base's
location has remained hidden all this time.  Viletta has already set up the
plan to go storm the Muge's extradimensional fortress...

Sara regains consciousness in the sickbay, having collapsed after things
finished with Shapiro.  There's no time for her to get sentimental over
Shapiro's departure, however, since the battle is rapidly going to continue.
You're going to use Dimension Cutting to reach the Muge, but Bright reminds you
all that the last time you tried this you ended up somewhere other than where
you expected.  That was presumably Irui's guidance, and you should hopefully be
able to count on that again this time.  The Daikuu Maryuu and its new Gaiking
combination are ready to rock and roll, but Sara says she'll keep Shapiro in
her thoughts until the Muge are well and truly defeated.  Your people pile into
the Gate...


Scenario 47Z. Hito no Mita Yume ("The Dream Someone Dreamed")

Despite his stalwart exterior, Creuset is actually feeling rather worn down
from all the battles he's faced.  While he's prepared to suck it up up to a
point as a soldier, he muses that he hasn't _always_ been such.  He hopes to
end all of this fighting sooner rather than later, and smiling figures that
Flay must want the same.  He tells her that he's now got the key, but from here
he can't open the door like he wants to...

News of the Zala faction's campaign of assassination comes as very bad news,
especially since Riliina's clandestine efforts to broker peace were on the
verge of bearing fruit.  Bartfeld notes that no half-baked plan can bring about
peace now, and is very glad that the fabled Bright Noa has heard of him.  He
and Lacus both promise to do everything in their power to bring peace back to
mankind.  The plan is to rendezvous near Colony Mendel for now; the Daikuu
Maryuu is en route to the asteroid belt in preparation for pursuit of the Muge 
and Irui after their victory over the Subterraneans [see the "I" route].
Bright anticipates the Zaft command to do everything in their power to stop
Maryuu's people, and tells her to be on guard.

After Bright hangs up, Amuro frowns and observes that he's not heard much about
this Colony Mendel.  Bartfeld isn't surprised, since a biohazard incident laid 
waste to it before this war even started.  Its situation at Lagrange Point L4
was apparently to give both the Plant and the Federation access to it, and old 
records of its creation date back to the early days of production of
spacefaring colonist humans.  As its name might imply, Mendel was the site of
experiments into genetic engineering - Coordinator engineering.  The place was 
sealed after those experiments apparently went awry, and is theoretically
deserted now [paging John Carpenter, the set for your next movie is ready].

Lacus figures that the main problem is the Moon, where amassing Federation
troops are awaiting their chance to assault the Plant.  Ironically, it's the
retreat of the Alliance that let the military buildup on the Moon proceed, and 
it's certain that the Blue Cosmos sympathizers are itching to pull the trigger.
Misato is doubtful that the Blue Cosmos and Zala faction will be willing to
talk after all their declarations of being the just cause, and Bartfeld wonders
aloud just how wiping out the Coordinators is supposed to bring about the pure 
blue world the Blue Cosmos aspires to.  Presumably, the good people of the
Plant are wondering the same thing, and aren't likely to take genocide sitting 
down.

Each side can claim to be "responding" to the other side's attacks in the
interest of self-defense, creating a cycle that ends only when one side falls
completely.  Pretty appalling that people would strive so hard to annihilate
each other, but Lacus points out that it's also people, namely your people,
whose job it is to break the cycle.  And surely you're not the only ones who
feel that way, in this or any age.

Bartfeld has brought some of his Bagus with him, whose animal form looks more
suited to Shinobu and crew than to the regular Mobile Suit pilots.  Jokes
aside, Camille notes that their OS is configured for Coordinators: normal
people ought not to be able to pilot them...  Speaking of whom, Aslan has been 
furiously pondering something, and Cagalli tells him to try sharing with those 
around him and maybe getting help figuring whatever it is out.  He gives her a 
rueful smile, and when she asks tells her that his gunshot wound from the Plant
isn't what's paining him.  It's the fact that he didn't stop his father, that
he was powerless and naive.  Cagalli blurts out that everyone is in that boat, 
that it's far rarer to find someone who _wasn't_ naive among your people.  She 
tells him that it's too early to give up on his father, and that he may yet get
another chance to talk to him.  She asks him not to get all depressed by
himself, and even as he apologizes he moves next to her and gets her to let him
feel the warmth of her presence.

Azrael has ordered Natarle to take her ship to L4, which she complies but does 
not agree with.  She says that there's no basis for it, but Azrael says that
the information he's received should be basis enough for her.  She isn't
inclined to trust information from the Plant, but Azrael continues that the two
Gundams they faced in the previous battle seem to have some very interesting
apparatus aboard.  She asks him what he means, but he won't tell her until
they've gotten their hands on it.  Apparently, this is what is causing him to
have her fly her ship into a possible trap - and he tells her that the Zaft
themselves are headed to L4 in pursuit.  If _that_ is true, it's all over for
them - which is why he wants to get there first.  Sensing her ongoing doubts,
he tells her that he knows full well that she's the sort of captain who moves
her ship around only on certain data.  But there's someone here who has a
fuller view of the battle, someone who uses their brain to command their ship
(namely him), and he tells her not to forget that she's been ordered to do as
he tells her.  Azrael is either really studly or really stupid not to quail
under the weight of the frown this earns him.

In the Dominion's hangar, Orga and the others have called their captain Yazan
out to tell them that they're not going to follow his orders.  Kuroto adds that
the white Gundam is their prey, and tells him to keep his filthy hands off.
Yazan favors them with a crooked smile, saying that that gives him that much
more time to focus on _his_ prey.  He adds that they've got a time limit,
having heard that they suffer pretty bad when the Gamma Grifeptan they take to 
function as living CPUs runs out.  Kuroto and the others are most infuriated by
his sarcastic tone, but Yazan's shout forestalls any violence.  He tells them
that he doesn't give a shit what their special powers are - war boils entirely 
down to the victor being in the right.  He advises them to keep being
victorious if they want to keep on living.  Word then comes in that the
Archangel has been sighted, and Yazan absentmindedly tells the boys to do
whatever the hell they want while he prepares to take on his own archenemy.  He
then tosses them an extra dose of their medicine, startling Kuroto, and tells
them to go bust ass.

Amuro has decided to put Muu together with Diakka, who thinks Muu's some geezer
but knows better than to gainsay the _GREAT_ wisdom of the Federation's White
Shooting Star.  At least to his face.  Miriallia smiles and tells him not to
get in Kira's way before she hangs up, drawing a groan from him but knowing
giggles from the girls.  Roux tells him to show Miriallia how manly he in, and 
even Four gets into the act.

Azrael figures he's in luck for making it to your people before the Zaft could,
and tells Natarle he doesn't care who gets sunk as long as he gets his hands on
the two Gundams.  He also wants to see his boys and their resident drifter earn
their pay today, and as Maryuu prepares to counterattack, Lacus briefly laments
the fate that made enemies of both the Federation and the Plant.

  The more psychically attuned among you can sense when the Zaft arrive.
  Creuset sees that Lacus has sided with the Alpha Numbers.  To make some sense
  out of this chaos, he orders his men to concentrate fire on the Alpha Numbers
  and leave the Federation vessels for later.  Yzak is infuriated at seeing
  Diakka's mech pressed into your service, and thinks he's going to avenge
  Diakka's death.  Azrael figures that the Zaft will worry about taking out
  traitors to their own cause first, and tells Natarle not to mind them.

  Camille is _extra_ pissed off that Yazan is being so selfish as to continue
  his quest to take his head, and orders Yazan to begone from not only this
  battlefield but this world entire.

  When you first take down one of Azrael's stooges, Creuset will unleash a
  torrent of largely unintelligible gibberish, the upshot of which is that Muu 
  has no way of beating his "parent".  Creuset gestures to Mendel in the
  background, and says that many things can be tied up here, when he hoses your
  people's disappointing asses.  Muu follows him inside, and Yzak chooses this 
  moment to strike.  Diakka furiously follows the "old geezer" into the colony,
  with Yzak hot on his tail.  Amuro hastily tells Kira to follow them...

When the Gundams touch down, Yzak is astounded to see Diakka himself telling
him to get off his machine.  Startled enough to level his weapon at his old
friend and order him to stay back.  Yzak wants an explanation for all this, and
says that depending on the answer he may not forgive even his old friend.  Kira
then shows up, and Diakka tells him that the old guy ought to be farther
inside.  He asks Kira to leave Yzak to him, and Kira agrees, but leaves behind 
the warning not to become like him or Aslan.

After he flies off, Diakka suggests that the increasingly confused Yzak lower
his weapon.  Yzak says he isn't foolish enough to believe such words from an
enemy, and Diakka asks if that's really what he is.  Yzak furiously says that
that's what Diakka chose to be, but Diakka sniffs that he has no such
recollection.  He tells Yzak that he doesn't believe he's betraying the _Plant_
at all - all that's changed is that he doesn't feel like taking the brass's
orders to wipe out the Naturals.  Yzak isn't happy hearing that Lacus,
Bartfeld, and even Aslan have bought into such rhetoric, and demands to know
why.

After a moment, Diakka tells Yzak that the Freedom's pilot used to pilot a
different machine: the Strike.  He's a Coordinator, and none other than Aslan's
childhood playmate.  Diakka says that he lacks both that pilot's skill and his 
resolve, but as he's watched him, as he's seen what happened at Alaska and
Panama and at the Orb, AND in the far-flung reaches of the galaxy, he's lost
the ability to just return to the Zaft and follow orders mindlessly.

Meanwhile, Muu has followed Creuset farther inside.  Creuset asks if he knows
where he is (the hell he does), and says that it's a sin that he would not.
Muu furiously fires back (and misses), and Kira runs up to join him.  Creuset
is inwardly surprised to see Kira still alive, and Muu quickly tells Kira that 
this is his enemy.  He doesn't know why, but he can always sense Creuset's
presence.  Creuset for his part welcomes Kira to this little tableau as the
Freedom's pilot, and invites the two of them to this place where all began -
their homeland.

Even if Muu doesn't recognize this place, Kira does - or at least begins to.
Muu yells at him not to be deceived by Creuset's honeyed words, and the next
exchange of gunfire leaves him wounded.  Creuset says that he won't kill them
after they've come this far - at least until they learn the full truth.  He
tosses Kira a file, instructing him to look at pages 24 and 43.  Kira sees
photos of himself and Cagalli, and Muu's father.  Creuset asks them if they
aren't curious to hear the story of those whose boundless desires and unending 
dreams brought them here under the banner of "progress".  After all, they
themselves are children of those same people.

Creuset tells them that they're on forbidden land, the aftermath of those who
dreamed of godhood.  He asks Kira if he realizes that his current mother and
father aren't his real parents.  He must not have, given how he was raised as a
perfectly normal child, untainted as it were.  Creuset himself never would have
dreamed, when he first heard of Kira from Aslan, that he would have encountered
_their_ child.  In fact, he expected _both_ of the twins to be dead, Kira in
particular - since killing him and his biological parent Professor Hibiki was
the Blue Cosmos' top priority back then.  Yet Kira not only lived, but grew up 
and grew strong, and has managed to live through all the fighting until now.
How could that be?  At this rate, even someone like Creuset himself might stop 
wanting to believe in "their" eternal dream.

Kira demands to know what the heck he's supposed to be, and Creuset tells him: 
the dream of mankind, the ultimate Coordinator: the one and only successful
product of Hibiki's artificial womb.  And to produce him, Hibiki sacrificed
many, many of his children: Kira's siblings.  Muu cries once again to the
stunned Kira, telling him not to be taken in by Creuset's fabrications.  But
Creuset isn't finished: he plans to reveal his secret to you.  He wasn't born
Naturally, according to the nature of man.  Muu begins to recognize his voice, 
and Creuset asks how wide the doors of chaos that the first Coordinator, George
Glen, gave the world have opened since his death.  The history of Natural and
Coordinator has been a history of mutual distrust and conflict.  Yet, the
Coordinators continued to be born - surely anyone would want to see a dream
come true which had been bought so dearly.

Creuset cries out, asking just what mankind has grasped with its hands, at the 
end of that dream.  All that curiosity, all that lust, until the very reason
behind it has been forgotten in a sea of using and being used, killing and
being killed.  All that knowledge, all those achievements, for NOTHING!! A
flicker of rationality returns to his voice, and he tells mankind to kill each 
other to their hearts' content, if that truly be its wish.  Muu demands to know
what makes Creuset any better, and Creuset shouts back that he's the one and
only person in the universe entitled to punish mankind for its sins.  He
finally tells Muu that he's a failed clone of Muu's father, who once thought
money could buy him everything, including his own death.

Muu shouts back that no one would be foolish enough to believe such fairytales,
and Creuset says that he sure as hell wouldn't want to believe it himself.  But
it's quite true, and Creuset makes to run off, saying that the final curtain is
about to rise - by his hand.  And when it does, this world of boundless desire 
will END, just as all those conceited upstart bastards wanted!

Kira isn't quite having that, and he's a good enough shot to blow away
Creuset's mask.  It is indeed Muu's father's face Muu sees underneath.  Creuset
taunts Kira, saying that he can achieve nothing by himself.  No one can stop
the whirlpool of hatred gripping the universe!  Muu grabs Kira and tells him to
hurry...

Meanwhile, Natarle is impressed that the Alpha Numbers seem to be holding off
both adversaries quite well.  She figures the best course of action would be
temporary withdrawal until the Alpha Numbers and Zaft have weakened each other,
and then a renewed ambush.  Azrael tells her not to be ridiculous, and that
that would be as much as admitting defeat to the Coordinators.  He tells her
that any businessman would know that the right course of action is to force
people to fight, and the truly skilled will be the ones to emerge.  Natarle
fills him in that this is _war_, and that the defeated die, but he says that
the business world works the same way.  He asks if if perchance she's the sort 
who only fights battles she's sure she can win, and tells her that this is the 
sort of time where if she _doesn't_ give her all, she's assured of never
winning.  He reminds her of the old proverb that to catch a tiger's cub, you
must enter the tiger's den, and tells her to give it her best shot.

Creuset then emerges, flying back to his mother ship, with Kira and Muu in hot 
pursuit.  But where is Diakka?  He reemerges, with Yzak right behind him.
Diakka tells Yzak to shoot him if he's determined that all non-Zaft are the
enemy, and Yzak yells back that he's been deceived.  Diakka smiles wickedly,
and asks who the real deceived one is here.  He then shrugs, saying that he
actually has no idea, but that he's going anyway.  He calls over his shoulder
that he'd prefer not to have to fight Yzak and rejoins your people.  As Flay
looks mournfully on, Creuset tells her that it's time for his final gamble, an 
attempt to open the door wide.  His ship looks like it's leaving, despite the
advantageous position the Zaft are in, and Natarle orders her ship to follow.

Creuset comments that he's tired, and asks Flay to deliver the final key to the
door for him: if the Federation gets it, the war will be over.  This surprises 
Flay, even as Natarle assumes attack formation.  Creuset then begins to
broadcast on an open frequency: he's got a hostage to return before the battle 
begins.  He assures her that her mech is programmed to head to the Federation
ship, and Natarle ponders what to do with this very odd state of affairs.  To
recover, or to shoot down?  Flay, terrified, gets on the radio herself, and
tells your people that it's her.  Kira rushes towards her, and Muu and Diakka
follow.  Quite contrary to Azrael's expectations, Natarle orders her Gundam
pilots to recover the vessel, which contains the only daughter of Vice-Minister
Allstar.  As Azrael tries to persuade Natarle that it's a trap, Flay screams
that she's got the key, the key to end the war.

This has Azrael interested, and a surprised Natarle asks if he actually
believes in such a thing.  He chides her that no one would say such a
preposterous thing unless they believed it to be true, and asks Flay precisely 
what it is she's carrying.  The boys don't like being used like this, but
they'd rather obey orders than get their asses punished.  Creuset orders his
ship to hold position, waiting to see if the door will actually open.

  For a Skill Point, take down the three boys before Flay reaches the Dominion.

  When you do so, Kira will rush over to save Flay with his usual abandon.
  Natarle is amazed to hear his voice over the radio, as is Flay, and Shany
  figures the time has come to get Kira out of his life once and for all.
  Despite getting smacked around, Kira yells out that he's the one who hurt
  Flay, so he's the one who has to protect her.  Flay is impressed, but can't
  stop her mech from reaching the Dominion.  Natarle announces a retreat, and
  Azrael seems content with getting his hands on whatever this Key is.  Kira
  reluctantly withdraws when it's clear he can do no more good here.  Creuset
  will withdraw too, leaving your people up to his captain after he sees that
  the Key has passed to the Federation.  Lacus then surprises Bartfeld by
  ordering him to concentrate all fire on the Zaft flagship.

  With the Vesalius ailing, Aslan tells the other Gundam pilots to salute their
  former captain.

It looks like the fighting is over, but Retzel knows all too well that
something fishy is afoot.  Whoever the mastermind you spoke of before is may
have been pulling strings here too, and this Key to stopping the fighting Flay 
spoke of is very ominous.  It sure doesn't sound like the door in question
leads to a peaceful resolution...  Viletta points out that the real question is
why the mastermind chose to hand this Key over in such a risky way - whatever
it is could have just as easily fallen into your hands instead.  Kira meanwhile
is in shock over seeing Flay again despite his mech being recovered.  But
there's no time to talk - Bright shows up, saying that everyone has to move
quickly to Icarus and that he'll explain after arriving there.

Flay has been brought to the Dominion's bridge, bearing a disk from the masked 
Captain Creuset of the Zaft vessel.  This sounds like it might be the real
thing to Azrael, but Natarle is more interested in welcoming her young ward
back, and with none of her frequent coldness either.  As she tells Flay she did
well, Flay breaks down in her arms.

Your pilots are very worried about Kira, who seems to be a wreck after all the 
fighting and abortive reunion with Flay.  Cagalli fills Aslan in on who Flay
is, as Lacus goes to see Kira in sick bay.  Kira has promised himself that
he'll never cry again, but it's highly doubtful that he'll be able to keep that
promise.  Especially when Lacus tells him he should cry as much as he needs to 
- something that all humans do.  He promptly starts sobbing, and Lacus murmurs 
that Kira has far too many sad dreams.  But he, here before her, is
everything...

  [See 48I for a description of the two routes merging as you head off to fight
  the Muge and get Irui back.]

What Azrael has received are plans for that Neutron Jammer Canceller.  To say
he's happy would be an... understatement...


Scenario 47P. Dai-Uchuu no Ishi ("The Greater Will of Space")

Max had honestly never expected to sit in his captain's chair again, and just
as he and Miria are about to have some loving reunion, Exedore calls in to
report that the person you saw on the fourth planet really was Gyunter.  Max
regains his composure, and says that it's also now clear that what the
Protodevlin fear most is Basara's singing.  Max wants Chiba to look into why
Minmei is being used in the Spiritia Farm, and Exedore says that Chiba already 
has a new sound weapon in mind.  The researchers will get right to it, and Max 
laments how the bridge crew seem to be determined to make fun of him.  He tells
Miria that with the failure of Operation Stargazer, the only choice will be a
full-scale assault, hopefully with the Soloship if not the full Alpha Numbers
forces.  He deliberately hasn't asked Exedore for the odds of success, and
figures that even at full strength your people's chances are worse than 10 to
1.  But that's still ten times better than your chances of beating the
previously undefeated Bodolzar Fleet, which your people pulled off quite
handily.  Miria asks if he's counting on another Minmei-like miracle this time,
and he grimaces as he tells her that he's not QUITE that over the hill yet.
His grimace then twists into a smirk, and he reminds her of the saying that
"miracles are where you make them".  With even Gepelnietche using the term
"Apocalypsis", mankind is likely finished if your people don't cause at least a
couple miracles along the way.

Gamlin gets a well-deserved break from his duties as squad leader.  He has to
admit that that has a nice ring to it, but as he regards his newly
reconstructed mech, he figures he's got to strive that much harder to be a man 
worthy of Mylene.  Just then there comes a flash, and a familiar voice
announces that it's taking Gamlin's body, with Spiritia Paradise.

The other girls ask to see the birthday present Gamlin gave Mylene.  They're
sure the stoic Gamlin must be overthinking things with Mylene, but are glad
that he didn't give her a double bouquet of roses, or a CD of his favorite
musician, or a giant stuffed animal.  Brit looks steadily more ill throughout
their banter, but Kusuha tells him that it's not so much _what_ is given, but
who it's given by.  And yes, she loved all those items when Brit gave them to
her.  A greatly relieved Brit then has to step lively to avoid a certain flower
girl who nearly crashes into him.  Mylene doesn't directly own up to receiving 
a ring, but the older girls tell her that she mustn't be bashful, and to charge
in while she's still young and ask them veterans in love if there's anything
she can't figure out.

Gamlin, quite possessed, walks in.  The hearty greetings from the other pilots 
fall on deaf ears as he regards each of them in turn and finds them wanting in 
beauty.  Things improve when the ladies start addressing him - Noriko is
beautifully athletic, Jung is beautifully endowed, Remy is beautifully
"experienced", and Beauty is beautifully active.  Reika has a beautiful mind,
and Kusuha has a natural, easy beauty about her.  Everyone is beginning to
wonder why Gamlin is staying so silent, and it takes the beautifully sweet Mai 
to point out to Viletta that something seems wrong.  Gamlin senses Viletta's
beautiful menace even as the beautifully robust Mylene comes on the scene.
Gubaba seemingly senses something is wrong with all his beautiful innocence,
and just then the alarm for level two battlestations sounds.  As everyone
hurries off to deal with the threat, Gamlin agrees to go along and observe how 
you fight, and to grab the Anima Spiritia when the chance arises.

It seems you get to find out what the Docougar have been up to.  Bundorl heard 
a little bird tell him to warp to this part of space, and now all of them are
rather surrounded by the STMC.  Kuttner figures that Bundorl, always a bit odd,
has finally lost it entirely out in space, and Kernagul demands to know what
kind of bird it was.  Bundorl fumes that the others can't grasp his
inspiration, and says that there was positively a voice he heard telling him to
come here.  In any case, they've got legions of bad guys to deal with, and the 
others aren't willing to break up their team now, no matter how much they'd
rather be back on their home planet.  In which case, Bundorl tells them, they
need to be quiet for a bit while he shows the bad guys how Leonard Medici
Bundorl fights.

  For a Skill Point, take out all the STMC within five turns.

  Kuttner points out belatedly that this is space, where no one can hear you
  play classical music, but Bundorl says that that doesn't matter.  What does
  matter is that the battle feels good to him.  As in, "Listen to my music!!"  
  Or not.

  Your people show up after enough bad guys are downed.  They figure for a
  moment that Kuttner and Kernagul must be dead since only Bundorl's ship
  remains, but they get on the radio to let you know that they're very much
  alive.  You owe these guys for saving you as you tried to leave Earth, and
  Focker tells everyone to help repay that debt.  It still is rather odd to
  have met them here, somewhat akin to jumping into the Pacific Ocean and
  bumping your head on Captain Cook's treasure.  Bundorl makes a point of
  telling Remy that he's glad to see her specifically, and when Remy insists
  that there's nothing between her and him, he figures that her stubbornness is
  one of the beautiful things about her.  He orders the others to crank up the 
  music, and while it's not particularly Basara's style, he likes the guts it
  has.  He looks forward to jamming along to it, and Bundorl is overjoyed that 
  there's finally someone among the Alpha Numbers who actually understands his 
  aesthetics.  Gamlin, meanwhile, is overcome and stammers that this music can 
  be called nothing if not beautiful - causing Gubaba to get even more
  agitated.

  "Gamlin" realizes that the appearance of the gods of destruction in your
  people's path means that you're somehow connected to "that power".  That
  means it's time to act.  He manages to grab Mylene, and triumphantly
  announces to your people that this is what beautiful theft looks like.  The
  secret body snatching is secret no more, and Gamlin orders his servants to go
  grab the Anima Spiritia.  Max, through his teeth, orders your people to deal 
  with the enemies in front of you first, and then worry about Mylene later.
  Basara does not like this one bit...

  As the battle wears on, Basara challenges Gavil [okay, let's just say it] to 
  let Mylene go and come after him directly.  Gavil says he owes your people a 
  lot, but Isamu tells Basara to sing and return Gamlin to sanity.
  Unfortunately, Gamlin's body is acting as a filter and keeping the energy of 
  the song out.  As Basara sings ever louder, Max orders Sally to ready a
  Reaction Missile and says that he has no choice but to blow Gamlin, Mylene
  AND the Protodevlin away.  Basara demands to know if there isn't some other
  better weapon instead, and Mylene remembers how many times Gamlin saved her
  before - now it's her turn to save him!  Mylene somehow musters enough
  beautiful ferocity in her singing to force Gavil out, which puzzles the
  Docougar but pleases the rest of your people.  Gavil was afraid this would
  happen, and realizes that Mylene's beautiful robustness is as dangerous as
  the Anima Spiritia is.

  Just then, numerous STMC Fold into the area - enough to make Kiry at a loss
  for words.  Shingo has to tell his teammates not to give up, and a
  "mysterious" voice agrees.  Kenta appears, and jumps everyone out of the
  area.

Gavil recognizes the blue light around the boy as part of the limitless power. 
But how could that be, when that power is using the gods of destruction to
bring about the end and beginning of the galaxy?  Guess that means the Samples 
are really the chosen ones, and Gavil hastens to report back to
Gepelnietche....

Well, it seems you're saved.  Both Gamlin and Mylene have been recovered with
no particular ill effects, and Kenta tells Max that he's not quite certain why 
he brought the Alpha Numbers here with the Beamlar's help - but he believes you
all were chosen.  Chosen to be the sword that confronts Apocalypsis.  He isn't 
sure, but he thinks that the large number of STMC is _part_ of Apocalypsis...  
What's now clear is that if left alone, the STMC will continue to spread - and 
the Protodevlin's Spiritia Farm is almost complete.  Your people have no choice
but to stop those foes, and you ask Kenta to take the Docougar back to Earth to
report all this to the Security Council.  As they prepare to leave, Bundorl
tells Remy to believe that this will only be a temporary parting.  Remy notes
that "he who believes shall be saved" sadly doesn't apply to her, an
unbeliever.  He offers her a rose instead, and as they vanish Remy whispers
"see you again".

As Max considers what to do next, the Soloship and GGG appear - looks like
Kenta's targeting was incredibly accurate.  Max decides to meet with the
others, who appear to be intact, and then plan the next move.


Scenario 47B. Inga no Umi De ("On the Sea of Karma")

Bes has called Kentarou to his quarters, and as politely as he knows how asks
Kentarou about the time he got married to a woman from another world.  He's
wrestling with the prospect of tying the knot with Kalala, and Kentarou tells
him that since their circumstances are so different, he may not have much
advice to offer.  But what he can tell him is that this galaxy is made by the
joining of one hand to another.  The warfare between worlds is in fact just an 
extreme example of that, and Kentarou tells the rather puzzled Bes that if
everything is the product of relations between people, those relations should
not be fettered.  Bes can't really explain why he's hesitating, and Kentarou
tells him to just try to figure out if there's anything he values more than
Kalala.  In any case, he's still young and has plenty of chances to screw up
and get back on his feet.  Kentarou's advice boils down to being honest with
his own heart, and that _does_ get through to Bes.

Kentarou will be staying on Boazan, to lead the recovery and to work with Deus 
on amassing the power to fight Apocalypsis.  Ken'ichi for his part will attempt
to join the rest of the Alpha Numbers and solve the riddle of what Apocalypsis 
is in short order.  Just then, the Boazan people have something to show you.
They got your people's help in affixing _wings_ to Godor, in honor of Richter. 
They admit that they had misunderstood Richter: even given that he did lead the
Barm into battle, he also battled to save their planet too.  The new and
improved Guardian Godor will be used to decorate the ruins of the Golden
Palace.  Erika will, unfortunately for Kazuya, be staying and helping Kentarou 
too.  The next time they see each other will be when peace has returned to the 
galaxy.  And when THAT happens, Erika is most looking forward to Kazuya's long-
awaited marriage proposal.

Bes is looking on happily at the couple, and Kalala notices it.  This rattles
him until she says that she can understand how they feel.  Hyouma, ever the
romantic retard, gets pulled aside by Chizuru, who still remembers how he said 
she was precious to him in the fight with Dangel.  Hearing him say that made
her extremely happy, but he clarifies (obliviously) that all his teammates are 
precious to him - it's because they're a _team_ that everything works out.
Chizuru calls him an idiot and runs off, and a grinning Kusuha advises Hyouma
that it's time to be more honest with himself.  He doesn't like where this is
going, and saying that he's the leader of the Battle _Team_, runs off too.  Oh,
so dishonest.

Scarcely have you left the Boazan airspace than you run into the Baff Clan, who
seemingly didn't fancy taking on Boazan itself just to get to you.  Bes
realizes that the Clan are after more than just Ideon's destruction - the rest 
of the Alpha Numbers are every bit as dangerous, and are now all the proud
recipients of a place on the Clan's shitlist.  Geejay also realizes that that
means that the Alpha Numbers hold the key to where he needs to end up.  You
mustn't stay here long lest reinforcements arrive, and in fact you've got all
of three turns to beat the bad guys down.

Hannibal and his goons arrive just too late, but he figures that there's no way
you can outrun him forever.  He's heard that Doba himself has set out from the 
home country in the Viral Gene, and figures that if he can beat your people
before the main army arrives, he'll be guaranteed nobility for sure.  He seems 
awfully sure he can "eat" the giant [for someone with such tiny male organs.
Actually, I just made that up - I haven't bothered to check his dimensions.]

Speaking of dimensions, your people DS out again, hoping to have evaded your
pursuers.  No such dice.  Once again, you've got all of three minutes to take
these bad guys down, and they haven't given you any chance to resupply or
repair.

  You notice on round 2 that Ideon's power is going up far faster than normal. 
  Cosmo doesn't care, and he'll use whatever is at his disposal to win.

Your people flee once again, and again the bad guys trail you.  With nothing
but short range DS Drives, your people can never hope to evade the Clan.
What's more, Ryuusei isn't able to contact the Gate, and he can't figure out
why.  Ideon is acting up too, and Viletta is worried that the common power
behind both of them is _forcing_ you to fight the Baff Clan.  You've got no
choice but to keep fighting to the bitter end, and Bes seems to have taken ill,
though he doesn't want Kalala to let your people know lest it sap their morale.
He finally has an idea: head for Barooda!  Rendezvousing with your people there
is the only way you can hope to come out of this alive.  You've got to hold out
for two more turns until DS Drive recharges.

  Ide's power is rising ever more quickly now - what is it it wants you to do?

The Clan are getting ever faster at finding you.  Tomoro points out that the
Baff Clan dragnet has already extended to cover at least a [staggering] 3000
light-year diameter, and probably much more.  Given that the Clan will be
wherever you go, Bes gets an even better idea, and asks J to have Tomoro
calculate where the origin of the dragnet is.  To better than 97% accuracy,
Tomoro finds the location.  Bes tells you to get rid of the enemies before you 
first, and he'll explain what he's up to later.  Once again, you've got two
turns until the next DS Drive.

  Even Karsha is starting to get worried about how fast the Ideon Gauge is
  going up, but Cosmo doesn't care.  He knows he sure as hell wants to live
  through this, and presumably Ideon does too.  If so, it makes it all the
  easier for you all to fight.

Bes's plan is simple: the enemy must be spread thin trying to catch you
wherever you might go: this means that the main fleet must be relatively
exposed.  This is good enough for your strung-out crew, although something
seems to be bothering Akira.  Bes has finally reached his limits, and collapses
right after ordering the last DS Drive.

Bes is currently asleep, but when you DS Out, he'll have to be woken up again. 
Everyone realizes that you've got one chance to take out the main fleet - and
if you fail, you're _not_ long for this world at all.  Karsha notes that this
is your first time on the offensive, and is determined to make it work.  Cosmo 
agrees with her for once, and says that maybe they make a good team after all. 
Not that the moment lasts that long.  Meanwhile, Cheryl worries to Geejay about
the abnormal rate of Ideon Gauge rising.  She's worried that you're being
manipulated by Ideon's ego, and Kalala agrees.  She feels that Ideon and
Soloship are reaching a zone where you can no longer control them.  If Ide
really _can_ tell the difference between those with "good" and "bad" powers, it
must be somewhat sentient.  And what if that determination is not based on some
external standard, but on its own selfish ego?  Cosmo interrupts and asks about
this hero dude in the Baff legends, but Kalala points out that that's precisely
what they are: legends.  Noone has ever seen this hero, but things are
beginning to look like Ide wants to make you all fight.  Certainly, Reideen has
warned Akira more than once that Ideon is dangerous, and Mai points out that if
Ide is making you all fight, it's not just against the Baff Clan.  Not just
Ide, but the underlying power in the galaxy seems to be trying to make all life
fight against one another.  This seems hard for Karsha and Cosmo to accept, and
begs the question why the Sixth Culture would build such a dangerous thing in
the first place.  Kalala counters by asking why the Sixth Culture was
destroyed.

Bes is dreaming, shouting out that you all have the right to think and choose
in order to protect yourselves.  A resounding voice says that it, the gathering
of thousands, of tens of thousands, of hundreds of millions of souls, also has 
the right to protect itself.  Bes yells that the source of knowledge and the
heart is people.  Does Ide exist to kill those people?!  It says that it has a 
right to protect Ide's place, which is where the heart dwells.  Bes demands to 
know why it insists on making man fight man, but the voice wants to know why
people hate each other so much.  Bes denies that they are, but the voice asks
again why it isn't possible to break free of outcomes.  Is Ide creating those
outcomes as an experiment?  The voice says all if it is but one thing, and
lacks any such power.  Bes cries out that if Ide feels any of the suffering his
people do, it should do everything in its power to search for the path to good.
Ide actually doesn't seem confident, but Bes insists that if it shows its full 
power, it can even overcome time and space.  Bes screams that he isn't part of 
Ide, he is he himself, and none other!!

Hannibal's men detect something DS Outing nearby.  Hannibal isn't sure which of
the numerous other menaces in the galaxy this could be, but he figures whoever 
it is doesn't value their life very much.  He is _not_ expecting the Logo
Dauians, however.  There's far more bad guys than you've faced before on this
little charade, but if you wipe out the commander the whole CCC structure
should crumble.  Bes awakens from his slumber, grousing that there's no way he 
could go on sleeping with that kind of dream bugging him.  He briskly tells
everyone to aim for the enemy flagship, and you've only got six turns to do it 
before Tomoro calculates the rest of the bad guys will show up.  Cosmo
meanwhile doesn't give a shit what Ide's ego has planned - HE plans to live
through this mess.  And as for Hannibal, he plans to show you what it looks
like when a SAMURAI fights!  [o/~ Yuuki dake no S-U-H-A-D-A de!!! *wheeze*
*gasp* O, mine eyes!!]

  For a Skill Point, take down the Gaburo Zan _after_ the two Gataman Zans.

  Hannibal is worth a lousy Hybrid Armor.  He as amazed at the power your
  people bring to bear, and with his ship crippled and communications to the
  rest of his men knocked out, Bes orders everyone to back to the ship so you
  can retreat.  Hannibal realizes that he and the ship he received from Halulu 
  just suffered a huge loss of face.  Neither he nor his poor crewman will rest
  until they've run the giant and the Logo Dauians to ground...

Bes then tells your people about the scary dream he had.  Ide itself wants to
go on living too.  He explains that Ide is energy created when numerous
personalities are fused, which Akira takes to mean that Ide is the reflection
of the will of your people and indeed of all living things.  Good hearts, bad
hearts, all of them affect Ide - but there's a major problem.  That is that Ide
has immense power at its disposal that you all don't know how to control - and 
it doesn't matter that all you're doing is trying to stay alive.  [See, you can
tell by the way I use my walk that I'm a woman's man, no time to talk.]  What
if this were to go out of your control?  Akira believes that that's what
Reideen was warning you of, and several of your people have to tell the rattled
and upset Cosmo that noone knows precisely what that would mean.  Liger can
hazard a guess though - should Ideon's power reach a zone where it truly goes
out of control, a planet or two would be the _lower_ end of the resulting
damage.  Dek points out that you've fought all this time with Ideon with no
problem, and thinks it'll go on like that forever.  But the abnormal Gauge
activity you just experienced seems to be proof that Ide is straining at the
bit - and at the very least you shouldn't think of it as the power of Ide
saving you in this latest battle.  Cheryl agrees: although the Power of Ide is 
supposed to be the manifestation of good, all the destruction it just caused
seems like nothing other than the workings of the Devil.

This lays bare all the doubts your people have over everything they've done,
everything they've fought so hard for.  Noone wants to believe that they've
come this far at the behest of evil.  After all, Ide _was_ a hero... right? In 
the Baff Clan legends?  Poor Kalala is so stressed from all of this that she's 
literally ready to hurl, but she would rather the other pilots rest than her do
so.  After all, you're about ready to rendezvous with the Barooda contingent.  
As they walk off, Kalala begins to wonder if the sickness she feels is
_morning_ sickness, and related to her time with Bes...

  [At this point, the Earth route is "E", and the space route is "S".]


Scenario 48E. Ushinawareta Monotachi e no Chinkonka ("Requiem for the Lost")

Muge welcomes Gildrome and Helmet back from their exertions.  Much warpower was
lost on Earth, but at least their objective was achieved.  Shapiro never even
realized that he was dancing in the palm of Muge's hand, and Helmet figures
that it serves him right for being a stuck-up, overblown tourguide.  Luna will 
be bringing the girl presently, and when she does Muge will have no further use
for this universe.  He plans to seal the corridor that connects their own
universe with this one after them, and in the mean time tells his servants to
rest after their surely wearying journey.

As the others walk off, Muge suspects that Death Gaia is somehow unsatisfied.  
Death Gaia hastens to deny this to his emperor, but Muge tells him that he's
known him a long time, and knows how he thinks.  Death Gaia won't deny that he 
wants to settle the score with Dancougar and the Alpha Numbers, and Muge says
that it seems he'll get his wish after all.  He tells Death Gaia that they all 
have underestimated the Alpha Numbers, who are headed their way as they speak, 
crossing space and time to do so.  Muge certainly finds the whole thing
stimulating, and takes off his mask to reveal his actual face.  He wants to
fight with Death Gaia at his side, just like the old days, and Death Gaia finds
this honor and this level of resolve almost too much honor to bear.  He is
ready and raring to go, and Muge tells him to have Helmet and Gildrome get
ready to launch too.  "There will be blood tonight!"

Luna returns with Irui, just in time for your people show up and sow much
upheaval in Muge's men.  All the energy is coming very close to overwhelming
Luna's ship in fact, and Luna is even more astounded when Irui simply steps out
of her ship and... vanishes!  Luna's ship capitulates immediately thereafter,
leaving a fuming Muge, and the puzzled Alpha Numbers contingent wonder where
she went off to.  Well, if Muge can't have his Key, he can at least try to
waste your ass - and his troops deploy all too swiftly.  This entire space of
Muge's seems alive with malice, sorrow, and rage: every negative emotion in the
book.  Shinobu wasn't expecting the wine-and-roses action, but this is entirely
too close to Hell for anyone's liking.  If this is where all the years of
hunting the Muge have led the Beast Squad, it's not the bright light of hope
that Sara hoped it would be.  Which is all the more reason to hose ass and GTFO
back to Earth.

Death Gaia for his part has been entirely too eager to avenge his humiliating
defeat on Earth.  He figures he can plunge you all into the depths of Hell and 
eternal suffering, but your people have already heard just about every variant 
of "nightmares" and "hell" and "the devil" from your opposition.  Shinji asks
for Shinobu's trademark line, which Shinobu is all too happy to oblige with.
Muge Zolbados and crew's ass is HIS.

  Gildrome's mech is generating some kind of psychic attack that is sapping
  your people of their vitality, and the very malice of this place is lending
  him aid.  And he's not through either: he starts projecting random images of 
  enemies directly into your pilots' brains.  Unless you can take down
  Gildrome, you're in grave danger of your people striking each other down.

  Gildrome goes out like a bitch, disbelieving that your people could somehow
  beat him in this space.

  When you start chipping away at Death Gaia, he yells out that he can't be
  defeated, and perks entirely back up.  Some of your people begin to wonder if
  he's immortal, but Shinobu yells that there _is_ no such thing as immortal in
  this world - if he's going to regenerate, you just have to do that much more 
  damage.  That's how the Beast Squad works, and Death Gaia figures that this
  is why you all are worthy to be defeated by him.  Dancougar takes him on
  directly, and he _loses_.  Shinobu is tired of his ugly mug, and tells him to
  begone once and for all.  No doubt getting beaten to a bloody pulp is
  precisely what he wished for.

  With the enemy flagships taken down, the bad guys would seem to be in
  disarray.  All that's left is Muge himself, and there's no telling what _his_
  capabilities are.  Just then the Puru sisters start shaking uncontrollably in
  fear: the outpouring of malice from the castle has reached new heights.  It's
  strong enough that all your people can feel it plainly.  It's now a
  _physical_ force, and its origin is Muge Zolbados himself.  He plans to make 
  you pay for waltzing into his house and pissing on his lawn in the process.  
  He calls out, recalling the objective of Dancougar, that flesh be wasted as
  animal instinct and human knowledge are sublimated into godhood.  That is
  aught but the boundless stupidity of the people of Earth, since the ideal,
  final stage of the evolution Earth so wishes for - is him!

  He does... something or other, and the Emperor of the Dark, plus the Grand
  Marshal of Hell, appear before you.  Ryuuma is there too, as is Goll and
  Darius.  Muge explains that this dimension of his is a place where vengeful
  souls gather - the realm of evil spirits, in terms you could understand.
  Those gathered before you were so pissed off when they died that there's no
  way for them to achieve eternal rest.  And so, he's prepared vessels for
  them, seeing as how he's so highly evolved and whatnot.  Kusuha is sure this 
  ultimately evolved being can't be a god, and Muge readily agrees with her.
  He's merely using the power of all those who couldn't fulfill themselves with
  the Truth, and vast though that power may be it can only bow before the Truth
  of fate.  Before the climax of the galaxy, that is.  That's why he crossed
  the dimensions in search of the Key with which to outwit that Truth, the
  wandering Esper you all set out into space to find.  He could use her power
  to thwart the cycle of karma, becoming a perpetual being above the repetition
  of death and rebirth.

  Shinobu, unable to listen any longer, tells him to shut his ass, demanding to
  know what kind of selfish bastard attacks an entire planet and kidnaps some
  poor little girl just to save their own skin.  Yeah, he's not a god - but
  he's not the Devil either!  He's just a motherfucker in need of a bullet to
  the head.  He clearly thinks your people can't do jack, and you clearly think
  he doesn't know what he's talking about.  Presumably all the other spirits
  will dissipate if Muge is wiped out, so...

  For a Skill Point, take down all the other bad guys and _then_ Muge within
  six turns from this point.

  Ryou can sense that to beat Muge will require burning out his spiritual
  energy - which basically means crashing your fury into him like always.  Oh
  well.

  When you take down Muge once, he claims that he can't be defeated in this
  space.  He begins to gather the power of his evil spirits, and your people
  begin to wonder if your power won't avail after all.  Muge notes drily that
  all your efforts to make your own fate seem to have been in vain, and won't
  explain what he means by that.  But even as your fate seems sealed, Shinobu
  won't give up - he'll never be able to face all the people that died for your
  cause if he just admits defeat here.  Muge figures that this is more of your 
  futile struggling, but Shinobu is shockingly quiet.  Even meek as he asks the
  departed Igor to lend him strength.  Sara does likewise, asking Shapiro to do
  the same for her.  Kouji gets into the act, as does Hiroshi and the rest of
  your squad, calling upon the spirits of the departed.

  Power begins to gather at Dancougar too - every bit as much as Muge seems to 
  have building up.  Viletta says that if there are such a thing as evil
  spirits, there must also be spirits that follow the path of good.  She can't 
  say if that's the power of god or not, but whatever it is, it's helping
  Dancougar out right now.  Muge finally begins to get the picture: he is about
  to get apocalypsed by your people's absolute destiny-cleaving powers.  A
  voice tells Shinobu to surpass the rage of beasts and the hatred of man, and 
  be reborn as the warrior of god, the Ultra-Beast Mecha-God, Dancougar! The
  Beast Team unites as once, and unleashes Final Dan-Kuu-Kou-Ga-Ken, wiping
  Muge Zolbados entirely off the map, as well as his evil spirits.

With Muge stricken down, his own dimension is about to crumble, and Ryuusei's
Dimension Cutting can't get you out in time.  Muge's last words are that you
all are the ones who will get to witness the Climax - assuming you can live
that long.

Your people return to real-space, and Sara wonders if you've really won.  Can
you call it a victory when so much is lost in the winning, so much hurting? She
thinks she's destined to die here, along with everyone else, in some part of
the galaxy she's never seen before.  Actually, everyone's just unconscious, and
thankfully the people who find you are the Macross 7 fleet and the rest of the 
Alpha Numbers.  Max tells his men to recover your people very quietly, letting 
them sleep even a little longer before the next battle.  Irui is looking on
too, happy to see that all went well.

Irui has collapsed after helping your people back to real space, having used
too much power.  Chiba has removed those pesky needles from her brain, but
she's still out cold.  Gamlin assures your people that Chiba hasn't screwed up 
the operation, and Viletta ponders the fact that Irui was able to do this much 
_with_ her mental functions impaired.  Very terrifying amount of power there.  
Your people aren't precisely thrilled that Irui would do this to herself just
to help save you all, but that's the kind of girl she is.  It occurs to Rai to 
wonder if you all are really free of the curse of the Gun-Eden system, and even
Viletta doesn't know that much.  The only way to know is to ask her when she
reawakens.

Your people then catch up on what happened on the other path, discussing what
has to be done about the Barooda.  Tricky, with Basara out of action after
being drained by Sybil, but you haven't really any choice.

On Barooda 4, Sybil and Gepelnietche are having their showdown.  Sybil vows to 
never drink Spiritia again, and tries to take Gepelnietche down.  Although she 
has the power of Anima Spiritia behind her, Gepelnietche overcomes her and
makes to seal her away again.  No one can stop her Spiritia Farm now!


Scenario 48S. Ginga ni Shisu ("Death in the Galaxy")

No sooner does Doba's fleet arrive in the Milky Way than he orders a dragnet
spread across the entire damn galaxy.  Is anything this absurd destined to win?
Ponder that question as Doba orders Halulu's advance fleet absorbed into his
main force.  Gildro knows that Halulu has failed repeatedly to capture the
giant, and advises Doba not to underestimate it or the people from this galaxy 
who are at the controls.  Doba says that the SAMURAI think too much of their
own glory, which is why Gildro is on hand as a representative of the Orme
business interests.  Doba claims he isn't planning to use the Gandro Rowa,
which would hurt his reputation as a soldier, but Gildro reminds him that he
has many enemies in this galaxy.  He thinks it's possible to overwhelm the
Balmar with sheer numbers [looks like these bad guys are every bit as smart as 
their creator, Tomino], but he's worried about all the other unknowns.

He's especially concerned about the monsters who nest in stars, and the other
monsters who drain life-force.  Gildro does show some shred of intellect when
he adds all those factors up to suppose that the Milky Way might be some sort
of sacrosanct ground that they ought not to tread on.  Doba is surprised that a
man of business would hold such superstitions, and says that anyway that's all 
the more reason that the giant and those using it must be destroyed.  He's
worried that the Ideon will invade his galaxy next, and that puts him in
opposition to the great emperor Zuou Habiel Gante.  Which in turn is why he
allied himself with the Orme.  Gildro says he's known Doba for a long time, and
is looking forward to watching from the sidelines as Doba takes this place over
for the Baff Clan.  Doba is pretty sure that with the Viral Gene, there's no
way he can lose.

Max explains to Bes how the raid on Barooda 4 led to a face to face meeting
with the chief Protodevlin, Gepelnietche.  He explains how the Spiritia Farm
works, making people listen to music as a way to allow their Spiritia to be
extracted again and again.  Their worst fears are confirmed in that Minmei is
being made to operate the prototype Spiritia Farm, and Max relays that it
appears to him that Minmei is on the verge of collapse.  Especially with the
STMC on the move again, the Protodevlin must be struck down and their hostages 
recovered as top priority.  It's going to take a miracle for you to win and
prevent all of mankind from becoming rechargeable batteries for the
Protodevlin, but that's why you all are still alive...

Cheryl shows Geejay a picture of Ideonite, the material the Ideon and Soloship 
are made out of.  It's not clear precisely what is mixed into it to make it
glow, but it's not inconceivable that the glowing stuff is Ide itself.  Cheryl 
thinks that it's actually the system for keeping Ide imprisoned and directing
its energy to the outside world.  Not a bad idea, but Geejay asks her to then
explain why it seems to retain its power even when broken.  She conjectures
that the will embodied in the broken parts suddenly becomes "independent",
almost like a computer switching from networked to autonomous mode.  All that
just feeds into the notion that Ide can be independent, if not outright
_uncontrollable_.  Cheryl is beginning to realize that Ide may be toying with
you all, a very bad thought that Geejay can't shake either.

After a long silence, Cheryl offers him a drink - a toast, though there's
nothing happy for her to toast to.  They drink in silence for a while, and she 
asks him just how much more fearsome the Baff Clan's military might can get.
He figures that if the whole fleet was mobilized, it could more than outmatch
all the warpower in this galaxy combined [gawd, the stupidity is contagious].  
If that's even partway true, it doesn't bode well for your rag-tag fleet from a
backwater planet - and don't forget you've got many other enemies too.  Cheryl 
asks in desperation where she could run to to be free, and Geejay tells her to 
the border of karma - that is, the end of the world.  That's the only way to
escape fate.  If not, this entire war is far too painful.  Yup, just as
depressing as advertised, and Geejay advises her to stop drinking lest she get 
an unpleasant drunk on.  He apologizes for not having anything better to say at
a time like this, and she replies that that's one of the things she likes about
him.  But even that got started by Ide - why the hell is all this happening to 
_her_?  To all of them?  Why all the war, why even _love_ between the two
sides?!

Geejay says that it may be a test from Ide, and Cheryl can't believe there's
some kind of test that would require thousands, millions of people to die.
What the hell makes Ide so good that it can do something that even God Himself 
wouldn't be allowed to get away with.  She breaks down sobbing in his arms...

Elsewhere, Lin is wondering what became of Geejay and Cheryl.  Karsha doesn't
approve of them spending all that time together, even if they are poring over
Ideon's mysteries.  But Banjou points out that your very lives depend on the
answer - if that won't pique someone's interest, what would?  Karsha peevishly 
says that she doubts that's all there is to it, and Beauty says that people
falling in love under circumstances like this is actually a good thing.  Banjou
agrees - men and women gets closest together when they can't see very far into 
the future.  This touches off a round of levity, and Banjou says that that's a 
good thing too: if you can't see into tomorrow, there's no need to despair
about what it might hold.  And heck, the Circle of the Sun which will
illuminate tomorrow, is on your side. ^_^  Cosmo wishes Banjou could impart
some of his optimism to Karsha and Cheryl, though he quickly evades Karsha's
sharp rejoinder.  As for Banjou himself, he says that he never changes,
including his approach to the women in his life.  More's the pity, Reika
thinks.

Breaktime is over sooner than you would have liked, and Geejay runs out to
announce that it's time to sortie.  He asks if Cosmo got a chance to relax, and
Cosmo replies that he got in plenty of quality time with Karsha.  She snaps
that nobody would want quality time with the likes of _him_, and Cosmo laments 
that he just can't get a break with her.

It's the Protodevlin this time, the Protoculture's Epil warriors possessed by
evil spirits.  The records from the ruins indicate that there should be seven
Protodevlin in total.  You've met Gepelnietche the leader, plus three man-sized
ones (Gigil, Sybil, and Gavil).  There's the one with strange powers you saw on
Lax, plus the ferocious beast that always shows up with Gavil.  That leaves one
left...  Basara is really fired up today, and has been ever since the failed
infiltration of Barooda 4.  What is _not_ fired up is Ideon, whose Gauge is
stone cold despite the enemy coming on.  Karsha huffs that this POS mech is
always like this, but Geejay is wondering if this silence is Ide's will - if
so, what does it mean for your people?

  Take down enough of the Barooda and Gavil gets peeved, vowing to show you all
  the original beauty of his true form.  He joins with Gravil into his ultimate
  form, Gavigla.  As Exedore ponders what this means, something else appears in
  the area: it's Golam and Zomdo, interested in the Spiritia Farm and in the
  Anima Spiritia.  They think all that must belong to them, and Gavigla isn't
  terribly thrilled to see them, the missing two Protodevlin.  Given that even 
  one of this class can lay waste to a Zentraedi fleet, you seem to be in for a
  spot of bad luck with all three of them facing you.  Isamu has gotten numb
  from all the bad news, and Akira wonders if their reawakening has something
  to do with Apocalypsis.  Basara for his part seems overjoyed at all the
  people gathering to hear his singing.

  For a Skill Point, take down Gavigla, who flees at 12k HP.  He'll note that
  the grains of sand seem to have run out for him as he beautifully hits the
  wall.  He leaves the rest to Zomdo and Golam.

  When you take down one of the new Protodevlins, it regenerates and tells
  Basara to come and get them.  Basara is more than happy to oblige, though
  your people figure that Basara by himself isn't going to be able to cut it.  
  Sybil shows up too, and rushes over to Basara's mech and helps with the
  offensive, having bathed in Basara's hyper-powered sound.

Actually, her attempts to help have largely sapped her strength.  Basara flies 
over to her and begins to forcibly give her his Spiritia.  Sybil begins to
scream, crying that she doesn't want his Spiritia, but it's too late.  Basara's
eyes lose their gleam, and Sybil's piteous cries to the Anima Spiritia are of
no use.  When he finally collapses, she thinks he's dead, and in her halting
speech says that she doesn't need the shivers his Spiritia gave her.  She can't
bear the thought of Basara dying, and zooms off in grief.

Word reaches Max that Basara's life signs are fading fast, and with perfectly
horrible timing, the STMC show up.  Bes knows the Soloship can reach Basara
faster than the Battle 7, and orders Hatari to take it up to full speed.  As
Basara is rushed to sick bay, Cheryl yells that you mustn't lose him, one of
the keys to Apocalypsis.  But at this rate, the Soloship itself is in danger.  
Lucky for you, the damn Gauge finally begins to rise.  Cosmo thinks it's
already too late, but there's no time to quibble over small details.  He tells 
Bes that he'll hold off the monsters, while Cheryl ponders how Ide seems to be 
responding to the space monsters, perhaps a part of Apocalypsis, attacking
Basara.

  As the enemy offensive wears on, a new foe appears: the Baff Clan.  This is
  the best chance Hannibal and his goons could have asked for, and it takes the
  more stoic of your people to resolve to fight both sets of opponents.

  Oh, by the way the STMC are bottomless.

  When you take down Hannibal's flagship, he prepares to show you all how a
  SAMURAI dies.  Apparently this involves ramming Ideon, right in the spot
  where Geejay sits.  Geejay claims to be okay, and tells Cosmo to concentrate 
  on evading the bad guys.  But Ideon then starts moving on its own, and
  whatever it's doing it's NOT GOOD.  Max yells at everyone to flee as Geejay
  realizes he's seeing Ide expressing itself...

Halulu enters Doba's bridge, immediately getting berated by her father for
failing to capture the giant despite all the troops at her disposal.  Gildro
advises him to keep his critique for later, since it's been so long since he
and his daughter have spoke, but Halulu insists on doing things by the book.
Her report: the Ideon is FUCKING DIFFICULT TO DEFEAT.  She shows footage of
what Ideon was up to, chopping an entire planet in half to demonstrate how
godlike its powers are.  And that's probably just the tip of the iceberg in her
view.

Doba is beginning to see _why_ she's having such trouble, and she says that
there's more: the Logo Dau squad the Ideon is hanging with, despite its small
numbers, has enough power to cow an entire Imperial fleet.  THAT has Doba's
full attention, and he figures his galaxy-wide dragnet will surely let them
hunt down and eliminate all those dangerous Logo Dauians from the universe.  He
tells her never to forget that he's got to protect _his_ galaxy from invaders, 
and she vows to return to the front lines and make his wishes come true.  After
she leaves, Gildro laments that his commander didn't have any father-daughter
conversation after all, worried about the direction that the serious-minded
girl is headed.  Doba angrily says that that's precisely how he raised her, and
that she's no longer his daughter.  He warns Gildro sternly never to refer to
her as such in front of him again.  Gildro slowly accepts, and Doba is thinking
that if it was really Halulu's careless contact with Ideon that started all
this in the first place, there's no way he can forgive her...

Cheryl runs over to try to see Geejay in the hangar, only to have the rest of
the crew yell at her to stay back.  She's in full hysteria mode, and with good 
reason: Geejay has now become one more sacrifice for your cause.  This is not
just Ide's doing - some larger, deeper force seems to be casting enemies in
your path and leading you into battle.  Even if that force is Apocalypsis,
you've all decided to fight it with every fiber, and there's no turning back
now.  Zengar tells Brit to hone the blade of his soul, and it will surely
cleave even fate.  Dek meanwhile tells Cosmo that he'll take Geejay's place,
even though he knows he might not be able to work the controls.  He'd rather
give it a shot than do nothing and die because of what Ide may have planned for
you all.  This sounds persuasive to Cosmo, who lets Dek have the B Mecha...
with the warning that, having come this far, it's kill or be killed from here
on out.

Now your teams merge, and see the other path for the description of what
they've been doing, including Sybil's unsuccessful attack on Gepelnietche.


Scenario 49. Ginga ni Hibiku Utagoe ("Singing Which Resounds Throughout the
Galaxy")

All indications are that Basara won't be able to sing for the climax of your
war with the Protodevlin.  He needs a ventilator and his vitals aren't good -
unless something changes, he'll die in a matter of days.  Chiba has done
everything he can, and the kids visiting from the Soloship can only watch and
pray.  In fact, Miria has gathered all the remaining residents of City 7
together in the hall to pray too.  Gamlin doesn't have the heart to tell the
kids that Basara's outlook is grim, assuring them instead that Basara will
surely take the stage just when everyone needs him most.  Lacus then comes to
look in on Basara, a comrade in music even if from a different genre.  She had 
heard of Basara and his singleminded valor amidst her despair as a propaganda
tool.  His example gave her the courage to go on singing, and the direction to 
sing for good.  She tells Basara that she greatly looks forward to hearing his 
songs in person, and when Mylene thanks her she tells Mylene that her songs are
very lovely too.  If Basara provides the courage, Mylene furnishes the
gentleness.  She wants to hear Mylene's singing, saying that she and indeed all
the people are waiting for her.  Gamlin for his part is furious that he can't
do anything to help when Basara is teetering on the brink of death.  Kalala
then asks Chiba if she could have a moment, but he's in a hurry to the planning
meeting and can't spare that moment.  She suspects ever more strongly that she 
knows what's causing her nausea...

Exedore reports on the state of affairs.  You now know that Gepelnietche has
the power of Possession, and is a sort of black hole for Spiritia.  If he
becomes fully active, the loss of life could equal that which spelled the end
of the Protoculture.  In short: the death of all life in the galaxy.  To
prevent entirely eating himself out of house and home, he's cooked up that
Spiritia Farm project.  You may have no choice but to sacrifice all those
Megaroad and City 7 people if you want to stop the Spiritia Farm, and Chiba
thinks the time has finally come to use the Sound Buster.  He explains that the
Anima Spiritia was once powerful enough to seal away the Protodevlin entirely -
and if Basara truly has that, it should be possible to seal them away again.

The modifications to your flagships are already 77% complete.  The idea is to
use their Superdimensional warp capabilities to send the sound energy directly 
into the Protodevlins' bodies, rendering them immobile.  The one problem is
Basara, and without him you'll have to fight by strength alone, and Exedore
tells you the odds are _not_ good.  But a message then comes in from the main
Zentraedi fleet.  It's Admiral Britai, whose commanding presence awes those on 
your crew who weren't part of the original dealings with the Zentraedi.  He's
been mostly hanging out at Icarus while doing his Solar System defense mission,
saying that Earth itself is a bit hostile these days.  He all but insists on
helping you take down the Protodevlin, fully aware that the last time the
Zentraedi and Meltrandi tangled with them it nearly wiped them out.  He tells
Maximilian "Genius" that he needs no thanks, and looks forward to the coming
battle.  Boy is it good to have friends.

Said friends have taken on the Protodevlin on a planetary scale, letting your
people mostly slip through to the planets' surface to attack Gepelnietche
directly.  However, the bad guys are still planning to put up a fight, and
Gavigla is among them.  Max orders you to ignore him and concentrate on
reaching the planet's surface.  You've got to get the Battle 7 to the
designated point within five turns or the operation will fail.  Gamlin is still
fretting over not being able to do more, but he tells his squad mates that
he'll do more than his level best here.  Mylene for her part will sing loud
enough for Basara too...

  As the battle wears on, the other two Protodevlin show up as well.  Gamlin
  yells at everyone not to panic, and tells Mylene that while he's the worst of
  all men, the least he can do is take out a Protodevlin or two.  Max agrees,
  and orders everyone to press the offensive.

Gepelnietche is almost ready to reveal his true form, and Misa inwardly urges
your people to hurry.  She also is resolved to fight in her way...

On the surface, all your team faces the ethereal world that is the Protodevlin 
home base.  Somewhere beneath the surface are the Protodevlin's true bodies,
and they are not going to give them up without a _major_ struggle.  Though the 
odds look bad, there's no way Isamu or the rest of your people can withdraw
now.  And to make matters worse, Britai's forces are tied up up in orbit: it's 
just your people now.  Exedore begins to sense Gepelnietche's imminent
resurrection, and Gamlin yells at his people again to remember the sacrifices
Kinryuu and everyone else made just to get this far.  Mylene rushes over to
Battle 7, telling the unconscious Basara that she's going to sing, and asking
permission for _her_ to power the Sound Buster.  Max initially refuses, but she
pleads with him by saying that singing in the Fire Bombers is everything to her
- if she can't sing now, everything she's striven for all this time will be for
nothing.  Max has to smile at his daughter's gift for hyperbole, and tells her 
that she _can_ sing, but that it's now officially her "mission".

For the intended effect, Battle 7 has to reach a certain spot, and reach it
within six turns.  All your people have to provide cover, and the fate of all
life is resting on your shoulders.  No pressure.

  On turn three, the enemy flag ship appears, though Gepelnietche isn't aboard 
  it.  It _is_ however in your path, which means you'll have to spend time
  wrecking it.  Gamlin yells to Mylene to leave that to the rest of your
  people, saying that he's given up on being her husband.  Mylene responds that
  she genuinely loves him, but she's figured out that she loves Basara equally 
  much.  Gamlin tells her to say no more, and instead sing - sing enough for
  Basara too.  As for the rest of your people, you figured there had to be an
  enemy flagship hidden around here somewheres, and the fact it finally
  appeared isn't especially daunting.

  Once you get the Battle 7 in position, the Sound Buster operation kicks off. 
  An enemy pops out and prepares to take down Mylene, but Max sorties himself
  to protect her.  Another enemy approaches, and Miria pops out too and asks
  how he can call himself a genius at that rate.  The two team up and promptly 
  pummel the bad guy, adjusting their breathing to what they did "back then".  
  They buy Mylene what they think is the time needed to fire up the weapon, but
  Gavil has other ideas.  He's now HUGE, but since he's still a Protodevlin,
  the weapon should work.  Mylene asks Basara to listen to her, and the power
  directed at Gepelnietche is even more than expected.

  Unfortunately, Gepelnietche is tougher than that, and he knocks out the Sound
  Buster with one attack.  Unfortunately for everyone, Gepelnietche has lost
  control, or rather, is seeing her Spiritia Dreaming crumbling.  Gavil
  realizes that he's gone beautifully insane, and Ray has had enough of these
  people messing with the members of his band.  Bihiida's drumming begins
  putting forth ultra-energy, and Ray tells Mylene to withdraw and let Gamlin
  protect her.  Max and Miria realize what the time is, and tell your people to
  use everything in their arsenal to take Gepelnietche down before he drains
  all the Spiritia from his Farm.

  When damaged beyond a certain point, Gavil tries to intervene and begs
  Gepelnietche to stop.  But he can't be stopped - Gepelnietche as such has
  been destroyed, and the Spiritian Black Hole that will result will drain all 
  the Spiritia in the galaxy.  This is one beautiful climax that Gavil wishes
  he didn't have to see.  What Gepelnietche can't figure out is why all this is
  happening when he gave himself over to the darkness like she ought.  Is this 
  the end?

  In sick bay, Mylene is yelling, pleading, anything she can think of to get
  Basara to wake up.  That doesn't seem to be working, but another voice is
  rising - it's Minmei!  The voice of a goddess has reached your people all the
  way in hell, as it were, and Renais isn't the only one who finds it odd that 
  such a gentle song could give you all fighting spirit.  Even Gavil can't call
  this song anything but beauty itself.

  As more damage unfolds, those maintaining their vigil in sick bay plead with 
  Basara to wake up, to come along and sing with Mylene, and so on and so
  forth.  He finally opens his eyes, wondering why all the long faces, and
  heads back out to do his part at the concert.  The girl carrying those
  flowers around all this time finally gets to give them to Basara, and he
  kicks into gear something hardcore.  It's time for the Fire Bombers greatest 
  concert, and oh! It's just a rock 'n roll.

  As the damage piles up some more, your people begin to wonder if this is
  having any effect at all.  Gavil laments how all beauty is about to be
  swallowed up by darkness, but just then a new ally appears.  It's Sybil, here
  to wipe out Gepelnietche.  The big G thinks it's too late, that the end of
  everything has already arrived, but Basara calls Sybil to him, to her
  amazement, and she happily complies and effectively joins the band.

At the end of the song battle, Gepelnietche senses in the song the perpetual
flood of Spiritia, born of the darkness of the void: Spiritia Creation.  Gavil 
gets the beautiful shivers of his body melting away, and all the Protodevlin
begin shrinking to normal size.  Looks like today's concert is over.  Basara
praises Sybil and Gepelnietche on their singing, as well as the rest of the
Alpha Numbers.

Hikaru runs to find Misa, who strangely enough can't stop crying.  Minmei
watches the happy reunion with a smile that might be a bit melancholy, but
Chiba comes over and brightly asks for her autograph.  And he's not the only
one.  Minmei at length recognizes the former Preventer forces, who have come
all this way to save her.  As praise is heaped on the "original" idol singer,
she manages to snap out of her loneliness and surprise, saying that as long as 
she's got her songs she'll never be alone.  She offers thanks on behalf of all 
the prisoners, radiant as always.

Gepelnietche now has a little bit of Anima Spiritia within, something left
behind by the final shard of his broken dream.  Minmei explains that they've
finally figured out how to give form to that which wells forth from their
deepest recesses, to make what they call Spiritia.  Gepelnietche thanks the
humans, Samples no more, for teaching them this precious gift, but warns that
Apocalypsis draws near.  He tells you to summon your courage for the battle
ahead, but claims not to know much more than you do about what Apocalypsis is.

What he does know is that the Epil within him was created as a means of
fighting against it.  Given that the Zentraedi were created by the Protoculture
as a means of fending off the STMC, it might stand to reason that the Epil,
even more powerful, were also meant to fend off the STMC, if that's indeed what
Apocalypsis is.  That's more than Gepelnietche knows, but the endless power
that summoned his kind to this universe told him to gather your people's
Spiritia together.  They disobeyed, and tried to create for themselves a
paradise with which to overcome their destiny, that is, the Spiritia Farm.
Sybil haltingly tells Basara that she'll never forget his songs, but
Gepelnietche tells her to go with her Anima Spiritia, and live how she sees
fit.  That's the true meaning of Spiritia Paradise.  He leads the others away
to a new life, and your people ponder how the Epil, though enemies for a while,
were in the end just trying to live according to their nature.  And that
lifestyle is over, now that they've discovered how to generate Spiritia for
themselves.  No enemies of yours any longer.

But there are still more concerts to play, and the very galaxy is singing.  It 
might be that the STMC are the "End" prophesied in Balmar lore, but what of the
"Beginning"?  A familiar figure walks out of the shadows to answer Sakon's
question - Irui tells you