Super Robot War Gaiden: Lord of Elemental Walkthrough
Mark Neidengard (mneideng at ugcs dot caltech dot edu)
Version 1.0

This is a plot walkthrough for Super Robot War Gaiden: Lord of Elemental.  Only
released for the Super Famicom, this game was Winky Soft's opportunity to tell
the backstory and continuing story of the original character Andou Masaki,
pilot of the Psybuster.  Surprisingly racy dialog and numerous character
portraits enliven this Turn-Based Strategy game, which not only features
isometric battle maps, but also Final Fantasy Tactics-style element alignment
and directional damage.  Did I mention it does all this on the Super Famicom,
with virtually instant in-battle saving to that cartridge?  Much of the game's
charm comes from the nuances of the dialog, and this walkthrough, one (and a
half?) steps removed from a true line-by-line translation, may or may not do it
justice.

Those looking for a scenario flow chart should check out Pistol's walkthrough
on GameFAQs.  I've only gone through one complete path as of version 1.0 of
this FAQ, and many stages have yet to be visited.

As always, all comments are appreciated.



INTRO

There exists within the earth another world, "Ra Gias", a land of alchemy and
sorcery.  Within the kingdom of Langran, a prophecy had emerged from the
Academy of Alchemists - the advent of an immense god of destruction, and
calamity for all the peoples of Ra Gias.  To combat this threat, Langran
focused all its alchemy into the creation of all-purpose, humanoid weapons.
Those with the strongest spiritual prowess were known as the "Elemental
God-Machines", though their immense power concealed a terrible flaw.  Only
those of strong, primal Plana (spiritual force) could pilot them, and few such
pilots were found among the sober inhabitants of Ra Gias.  After a four year
search, the rulers of Langran made a fateful choice: their pilots would be
summoned from other worlds...


Scenario 1. Ra Gias

A very confused Andou Masaki wakes up to find himself in Langran, where Tutti
Norback attempts to explain slowly to him what's happened (somehow mistaking
him for Chinese at first, to his annoyance).  Masaki isn't buying that he's in
another world inside the hollow Earth, so Tutti brings him to somewhere he can
check with his own eyes.  The world is indeed laid out like the inside of a
ball, and Masaki sarcastically asks if he's been summoned to some land of
swords and sorcery to be some kind of legendary hero.  Hearing that he's right
on the money doesn't ease his mind any; nor does Tutti's explanation that all
this got started because of a prophecy.  According to that prophecy...

Well, before she can explain, she gets some kind of call and agrees to hurry
off to attend to whatever it is.  She tells Masaki to sit tight, which proves
to be a bit tough as a full-blown war seems to be going on outside.  Should he
take a peek outside?  If so, 1a, if not, 1b.

1a.

Masaki rapidly gets lost, ending up in some kind of hangar.  A staffer hanging
out there quickly figures out that Masaki is one of the Pilots from afar.
Despite Masaki's protests, he hustles Masaki towards the Jaorm, a big-ass
humanoid robot.  Figuring he's got no other choice, Masaki gets into the
cockpit.  The machine starts by itself, and somehow the knowledge of how to
pilot it appears directly in Masaki's mind.

Out on the battlefield, Yang Long is startled to see someone piloting the
Jaorm.  Tutti and Masaki wouldn't have figured each other for mecha pilots
either, but Masaki quickly offers to help out anyway.  Tutti thinks it's too
dangerous, but Yang Long and Simone tell her to give him a shot.  Especially
since the longer they argue, the more entrenched the terrorists get.  Yang
tells Masaki to watch his back, and not to turn tail to the enemy lest he
suffer bigtime damage.

  The terrorist leader Gasba shows up on 1.5, figuring that four B-class
  Elemental Machines make for interesting opponents.  But given that
  their pilots seem to be amateurs, he's sure he can trick them into his
  pace and get the upper hand.  It seems he's getting paid some 300k credits
  just for toying with your people and gathering combat data: what a laugh!

  On turn 2, Masaki learns that his companions are from France and China.
  Looks like this isn't some comic where he alone is the hero from far-flung
  worlds after all.  He asks Tutti if there are actually people aboard the
  enemy robots, adding that he'd prefer not to kill anyone if he can avoid it.
  She assures him that as long as he doesn't aim for the cockpit, ejection
  systems will save his foes.  Simone adds an admonition not to get carried
  away, and to count on her mech for healing.

Yang Long is taking a wait-and-see attitude towards Masaki, though if you make
Level 2 he's considerably more positive.  Tutti is positive regardless, and
explains that the Elemental Machines differ from ordinary robots because they
operate off their pilot's Plana, otherwise known as "ki" or "aura" or whatnot.

  I was level 2.

After the battle, Feir thanks the pilots for their hard work.  Tutti hastily
fills in Masaki that Feirrode Gran Bilseia is the crown prince of this country,
but Masaki sniffs that he, no citizen of this land, couldn't care less about
this guy's rank.  Tutti then points out that he's also their _commander_,
though Feir says lightly that he's never been one to stand on ceremony.  He
thanks Masaki for weathering such a tough first battle, and Masaki ruefully
admits that he wasn't much help.  He then asks Masaki to run a certain errand
for him.

  I refused.

Feir graciously says that he won't force Masaki, and Masaki says that he
doesn't plan to fight someone he knows jack about.  He'd like Feir to at least
tell him the reason for fighting, and Tutti informs Feir that she hadn't had a
chance to finish explaining.  He asks her to do so, and requests that Masaki
consider further after he's heard the whole tale of woe.  Like, whoa.

Tutti finishes explaining to Masaki why they've all been summoned, and adds
that no one is forcing them to help.  Masaki asks her for a couple days to
think it over, and Tutti suggests he contact his family and talk it over.
Masaki looks uncharacteristically downcast, slowly telling her that all his
family are dead.  Tutti is in fact in the same boat, though Masaki quickly
tells her he doesn't plan to pry.  She makes arrangements for Masaki to sleep
at Zeoroot's place: he's a martial arts instructor to the Court, and Tutti
figures Masaki will become his student if he stays.


Scenario 2. Akai Akuma ("Red Devil")

Tutti introduces Masaki to Zeoroot, who is happy to take him in.  She'll be
back tomorrow, and asks Masaki to consider well.  As Masaki is about to enter,
a little girl named Presia greets him.  Zeoroot introduces her as his daughter,
and she seems extremely happy to see her new "older brother".  She's made
dinner, including lots of red peppers that Zeoroot will merrily give Masaki
once it comes out that he doesn't have any foods he hates.  Not that Presia
will let her father get away with that...

Masaki's heard a lot from Zeoroot, but still hasn't made up his mind the
following morning.  He asks Tutti if this demon god of legend is really
supposed to destroy this world, and she offers that that probability certainly
hasn't decreased.  No one knows what that demon god even is, and Masaki seems
none too thrilled that the Ra Gians have summoned everyone to combat a menace
they can't define.  That seems to have made his mind up for him to leave, so
Tutti says that she'll take him to the person who can send him home.  Presia
wants to come along too, but Tutti doesn't have room for three in her mech.
This starts Presia crying, and Masaki sighs and offers to give her a ride in
his mech instead.

Tutti isn't _happy_ that Masaki is leaving, in part because of his intuitive
mastery of his mech.  He huffs that it's his decision, but before much else can
be said a group of enemies appear.  Their leader is Saphiine Volkrus, who
sounds amused to see two Elemental Machines out for a stroll.  Tutti quickly
tells Masaki that this woman, also known as the "Red Lotus", is a follower of
the evil god Volkrus.  Saphiine observes that Tutti has some guts to call her
god "evil" to her face, and figures that any chance they had of her letting
them go has just gone poof.  When Masaki muses that this little quarrel doesn't
concern him, Saphiine tells him that he's pretty unmanly to let the woman do
all the fighting - that's about as low as one's guts can get.  Questioning his
manhood seems to get Masaki's goat, and he yells that he'll be more than happy
to take her on.  Or maybe he's too into this?

  Saphiine tells Masaki that he'd better grow up before taking her on - unless
  he wants her to _make_ him a man.  To Tutti's accusation of siding with the
  terrorists, Saphiine sniffs that she's no "ally" of theirs - she's merely
  lending them a hand.

After the battle, Masaki seems to be having second thoughts about leaving.
Tutti doesn't want him to say something just to placate Presia, and the three
eventually reach the Soratis Shrine, a giant pyramid near the coast, without
settling anything.  Tutti asks to speak to the high priest Ibun about returning
a recently summoned person, and Ibun comes out in person to examine Masaki's
face.  The tough old bird sees in him potential that would be a shame to lose.
Shaking that off, Ibun invites them to stay overnight and perform the ceremony
in the morning, which Masaki shrugs and agrees to.


Scenario 3. Juureiki Nagtsart ("Cursed Spirit-Machine Nagtsart")

Presia wakes Masaki up bright and early in the morning, offering him one heck
of a breakfast.  She claims her skill comes from making breakfast every day at
home, and Ibun sighs that Zeoroot shouldn't be surprised if Pia walks out on
him one day over his laziness.  Presia, still smiling, says that her mother has
her own set of things to worry about.  Ibun won't hear of Tutti trying to hasten
breakfast; instead, Tutti contents herself with seasoning her breakfast the way
some people salt their driveway.

This also gives some bad guys time to approach the shrine.  Masaki hesitates to
go out and investigate, and Tutti tells him that she'll go out with him.  They
see no one at first, and Masaki wonders if the alarm is busted or something.
Tutti at least can sense their adversary: it's Ruozoul Zolan Roiel, who has
heard of the recently summoned Masaki and who compliments Tutti on her usual
sharp powers of perception.  Tutti recognizes the evil priest, also known as
the Dark Noble.  Ruozoul makes sure to tell them that his mech isn't an
Elemental God Machine, but rather a "Cursed Spirit-Machine", and almost
apologizes for the fact that both of them have to die before they can become a
threat.

Tutti starts to protest that Masaki is about to return to Earth, but Masaki
stops her and says that he's changed his mind.  For all that this place is a
chaotic mess, it's just not in his nature to turn his back on those in trouble.
Presia is delighted, and even Ruozoul seems pleased at Masaki's spirit.  He
sends forth some Demon Golems for your people to fight: weapons powered by the
spiritual force of the dead.  Outwardly impassive, they are powered by hatred,
and make for tough adversaries.  Ruozoul waits with anticipation to see how
you handle this threat.

Ibun figures your people to be outnumbered, and figures that this is an
emergency big enough to launch an "Armored Warrior", an inferior sort of mech
made to guard the shrine.  You can accept the help, or refuse.

  I told her not to bother.

  As the battle wears on, Masaki begins to worry that it's futile.  But a
  couple of newcomers help turn the tide: Ricardo and Yang Long, who is
  actually piloting the Granveil.  Yang tells Tutti that the Granveil seems to
  have taken a liking to him, and accepted him as its rightful pilot.
  Ricardo is more interested in sweet-talking Tutti, but takes time out to
  introduce himself to Masaki.  On Earth, he was a Mirage pilot for Brazil:
  fine preparation for his new role as the Zamjeed's pilot.  Ruozoul realizes
  that he's at a disadvantage against two Elemental God-Machines, and elects to
  pull out.  Ricardo has plenty of bravado with which to face the remaining
  Demon Golems, but is no fool either.

  After a quick count of the remaining foes, he asks Yang Long to use "it", the
  Megiddo Flame.  He'll kick in his Resonance Quake, and tells Yang Long not to
  worry about never having used Megiddo Flame in combat before.  All he has to
  do is aim at the enemies and pull the trigger, making sure no friendlies are
  in the way.  Tutti sniffs that Ricardo once caught Ahamed and Madock in his
  attack in precisely that way.  When Ricardo says that it was their fault for
  not dodging, Tutti cautions Masaki to stay out of Ricardo's map weapon's
  range, not believing Ricardo's vow to not catch them in the blast too.

Masaki is happy to report his decision to stay, as Tutti suspects Ibun figured
he would.  Yang Long explains to Masaki that the Elemental God-Machines are
mecha that surpass the normal Elemental Machines like the one he's been
piloting: they are Elemental Machines with their own personality.  Those
personalities come from the spirits with whom they are contract-bound, and only
four machines worthy of the title Elemental God-Machine exist.  They are the
Zamjeed, the Granveil, the Goddess, and the Psybuster.  In theory, these
machines all should have infinite power, but someone without suitable spiritual
credentials has no hope of piloting one.  In fact, Tutti is about to be tested
to see if she has such aptitude, and Ricardo figures that Tutti's personality
seems to best suit Goddess, of the two remaining options.  Tutti is more
guarded, noting that passing the test will be meaningless if neither machine
wants her.  Ricardo's assurances do not seem to help.

A better question is what Ruozoul was doing lurking around here, and whether
his stated rationale for attacking you two was in fact true.  Ibun is sure it's
some part of his fiendish plan to resurrect Volkrus, the Destroyer spoken of in
myth and legend around these parts.  Ibun growls in her grandmotherly voice
that Volkrus is no mere legend... or at least, so Ruozoul believes.  It's clear
why Ruozoul needed your people out of the way: Volkrus can only be resurrected
amidst great upheaval.  The sort that would be a lot harder to cause with the
Elemental God-Machines on the job, wouldn't it? Tutti heads off to fill Feir in
on these latest developments, and to formally induct Masaki into the ranks of
the Elemental Machine pilots.


Scenario 4. Masou Kishin ("Elemental God-Machine")

Feir is dismayed to hear that Ruozoul is on the move.  In the interest of
keeping the peace, he dispatches Ricardo to the Drent River to keep an eye on
the border with Shutedonias.  He's heard reports of people spotting Elemental
Machines resembling the Nagtsart, and he'd like Ricardo to help the local
Demgusas maintain their vigil.  Ricardo apologizes to Tutti for not being able
to be with her during her test, but Tutti sniffs that it's not like his
presence would make her any more likely to pass.  He professes that the power
of his love would assure her victory, earning nothing more than a "don't let
the door hit you where the dog bit you" on the way out.

Masaki certainly isn't planning on going back on his word once he's made a
decision, despite Feir's hints at how rough the job can be.  A bit later, Senia
goes over and introduces herself to Masaki, who doesn't immediately know why
she's there.  She explains that she's a member of both the design bureau for
the Elemental Machines _and_ the Intelligence bureau.  Feir seems mildly
surprised to see her on the scene, and when she greets her _brother_ Masaki
belatedly realizes that he's been blowing off a _princess_.  Or... not.  She
explains that she lacks the right to ascend to the throne, and has no way to
argue the point.  According to her, everyone among the royalty are tested for
magical aptitude at age 15 - and only those who pass receive the right to
ascend to the throne.  She is, in her own words, a dropout - incapable of
carrying on the royal duty of maintaining the Kekkai around the land.  The fact
that even the royal family are a meritocracy comes as news to Masaki, but Feir
reminds them that Tutti's test is about to start.  He advises Masaki to watch
too, and Senia idly observes that Masaki might just get chosen by the Psybuster
for all anyone knows [What were the chances?]

Masaki's first impression of the Goddess is that it's pretty puny looking.
Senia rather likes its looks: elegant, beautiful lines that make it worthy of
the name of Elemental God-Machine.  Simone is among the spectators too, a bit
sad that she's not cut out to be the Goddess's pilot.  She contents herself
with her Zein, freely admitting that Tutti is the better pilot anyway.  The
ceremony begins with King Alzarl asking Tutti if she can consent without
reservations to living and dying with the Goddess.  She can.  And can she
unconditionally vow to the spirits of heaven and earth to fulfill her duty as
the Goddess' pilot?  Yes.  Etc.  As Masaki notes, this is very much like a
wedding (Senia tells him to keep the kibitzing down).  Alzarl finally tells
Tutti to look into the face of the water spirit "God" that dwells within the
Goddess.  Tutti calls upon the spirit, pledging to walk side by side as long as
their journey runs.  There is a very long pause, long enough to make Tutti's
candidacy seem in doubt and give Masaki an opening for a bit of trash talk.
But Senia yells at him to shut up and look: in a burst of power, the Goddess
answers Tutti's call!  All seems well until Tutti and Masaki both begin to
sense something wrong.

It's Ruozoul again, crashing the ceremony and offering his own congratulations.
Feir is astounded to see the Nagtsart able to enter the powerful kekkai, but
Ruozoul scoffs at Feir's concept of "power".  His Nagtsart is easily
powerful enough to pass through the kekkai, if not break it outright - and to
bring a bunch of Demon Golems with it.  He hopes that Tutti will fight his
servants, and after seeing to it that the king escapes safely, Tutti does
exactly that.  On the way out, the king has the royal guard evacuate the
civilians, and Feir yells to all the Elemental Machine pilots to board their
mecha.  Simone doesn't need to tell Masaki twice to get with it: he's aready
got a score to settle.

  The two of them show up on turn 2.  Feir yells to Tutti to be careful when
  using the Kelvin Blizzard, lest she catch her friends in the blast.  Tutti
  is surprised to see Feir and Senia still around, but Feir says he's not one
  to evacuate when the common people themselves aren't all out yet.

  Simone demands to know why Ruozoul enjoys this kind of thing.  He retorts
  that he's doing it not because he enjoys it, but because it's necessary.

Once again, Ruozoul flees after getting a taste of your power.  Simone rather
doubts that it's because your people are that kick-ass...  In any case, the
king congratulates Tutti on becoming Goddess' pilot.  Feir is happy too, but
also worried that plans for defending the capitol will have to be rewritten now
that the kekkai has been proven so easily ignored.  The king responds with a
parable of a swordsmith and armorer, each of whom devoted their life to
polishing their craft.  The swordsmith devoted his life to cleaving the
armorer's shields, and the armorer devoted his life in turn to blocking the
swordsmith's blades.  Though initially friends, their rivalry escalated with
time and their friendship was replaced with hate.  One day, a trivial matter
sparked a quarrel, and the two masters bore their craft into battle.  Though
the swordsmith's blade clove the armorer's shield, it broke in the same
instant, and the shards ended the lives of both men.

Alzarl looks downcast at the memory of this parable, one of many written in
"Graf's Famous Parables".  Feir testily tells his father that he's heard it
many times, but his father smirks and says that it's worth hearing again.  Feir
knows what his father is getting at, but says that under these unusual times
their only choice for now is to strengthen the kekkai.  The king, surprisingly
mild-mannered, notes that as things stand Shutedonias and Bagonia will just
have their suspicions further aroused.  Feir would like to leave that in
foreign minister Gram's capable hands, and formally recommends strengthening
the kekkai as the minister of homeland security.  The king will bring it before
the cabinet, but also wishes Feir to think more seriously about preparing to
assume the throne himself.  Before he can finish asking, Feir says that he has
no plans to step down from his post, which he takes pride in.  The king gently
says that the royal family is usually best suited to governing the people, but
Feir notes that can best be done when one has a thorough understanding of what
the people are facing.  Masaki can only watch this exchange in silence, and
breaking free of the reverie the king urges them all to rest after the battle.


Scenario 5. Shi no Kyoufu ("Fear of Death")

Masaki can't help but be impressed by the Elemental God-Machines, and Presia
assures him that he'll get to pilot one himself one day, at least from what her
father told her.  Tutti shows up to tell Masaki a bit more about what being an
Elemental Machine pilot entails.  Basically, it means being subject to the
defense bureau, whose head is Feirrode.  However, pilots have the authority to
refuse orders thought incorrect - so long as they don't do so too often.
Masaki seems a bit mollified that he'll have some amount of freedom, but Tutti
tells him that if it's freedom he wants he'd better become an Elemental
God-Machine pilot instead.  She won't say more on the subject, other than to
observe that he'll have it explained to him if he's chosen.

She's also got his first assignment: guarding a public referendum starting
tomorrow in the city of Emille, Zaborl.  She and Ricardo will join Masaki for
the latter two days of the conference, and with a shrug Masaki agrees to the
drudgery of spending the first day alone.  Thanks to his onboard navigation
system, Masaki manages to reach Emille without getting lost this time.  As it
turns out, drudgery is the least of his worries...

The terrorists have chosen the day before the council to attack, hoping to sow
as much chaos as possible.  The terrorist leader is quite pleased to see
Masaki, looking forward to much mayhem as payback for his previous defeat.  The
remaining Langran soldier on the scene gratefully turns the battlefield over
to Masaki before withdrawing to care for his wounded.

  Masaki shouts that there are no worthwhile people in the terror business,
  and isn't worried in the least that he doesn't "understand their ideals".
  After all, such "ideals" are what killed his parents.

  Interestingly enough, something is wrong with the terrorist's ejection
  system.  He has just enough time before his mech explodes to scream that
  he doesn't want to die.  Is Masaki happy about killing his fellow man?  Hell
  no, we won't glow.  Even less happy are the the terrorist's friends, whose
  fury mounts even as Masaki quails.

  The new leader Gasba notices Masaki's shaking, realizing that he's never
  killed anyone before.  He tells Masaki he should just die so he'll never have
  to kill anyone else again [bad advice!], and insists on having his revenge
  even when you overcome the shakes and kick his ass.

  That's Saphiine's cue.  She points out to Masaki that he's pretty naive if he
  thinks war can actually be waged without killing people.  Adding that he'll
  never be a threat to her people if he quails at something this minor, she
  elaborately announces that she'll leave him alone this time, and departs.

Tutti and Ricardo then show up, and with a very long face Masaki explains that
he _thought_ he was prepared for the possibility of killing people, but...
Ricardo is [for whatever reason] not surprised at Masaki's queasiness given
that he's Japanese, but he says bluntly that Masaki'll be of no use to him or
anyone else if the death of each and every enemy affects him this badly.  After
a moment's thought, he asks Masaki if he stayed in this world to protect
something or someone.  Ricardo, no pacifist himself, tells Masaki that he shows
no mercy to those who threaten to destroy what he loves.  Masaki agrees with
Ricardo's viewpoint, saying that although he had no wish to see his enemies
die, he'd be even more upset to see his _friends_ die by him failing to protect
them.  Tutti concurs and notes that his Elemental Machine gives him the power
to protect others.  But, she warns, he must never become drunk with that power,
lest he himself die.


Scenario 6. Hokori to Teki'i (Pride and Animosity)

Masaki's new resolve is visible to Zeoroot, but he doesn't have long to chat
before another summons comes in from Tutti.  She tells Masaki that she is to
have Familiars made for her.  Much like the black cats that accompanied the
witches of old, every Elemental God-Machine pilot needs Familiars, and
acquiring them requires visiting the Soratis Shrine.  She was wondering if
Masaki wanted to go, but he seems somewhat less than thrilled at seeing Ibun
again.  Given that, Tutti will ask one of the other pilots to escort her -
letting Presia invite Masaki along on a picnic with her and her father.  Think
Presia will take no for an answer?

Going on this picnic, by the way, requires flying in Masaki's mech.  Zeoroot
likes how the Elemental Machines are convenient in so many ways, and muses that
it would be handier yet should, say, Ruozoul decide to strike.  Since he seems
to be targeting Elemental Machine pilots in particular, one can't be too
careful.  Indeed, if not for Zeoroot's influence, Masaki probably never would
have gotten permission for this little personal trip.

The party quickly get down to eating Presia's boxed lunches - including the
asparagus, to Zeoroot's vast sorrow.  Masaki, curious despite himself, begins
to ask about Familiars.  Zeoroot explains that Familiars _look_ like ordinary
animals, like the monkey that Ricardo keeps with him.  In fact, they are fully
intelligent, autonomous beings (technically known as "Personas") created from
their master's subconscious.  Their job is to protect and assist their master
in various ways, including one special function for the Elemental God-Machines.
They actually become the guidance system for its weapons, a little-known fact
that Zeoroot supposes Masaki would have found out anyway upon being chosen as
one of the Elemental God-Machine pilots.  Zeoroot reiterates that Masaki is
quite likely cut out for the job, and invites him for a bit of martial arts
practice after lunch is done.  Masaki, always happiest when he's doing
something active, doesn't need to be told twice.

  Masaki's skills have improved considerably, and Zeoroot says that if Masaki
  keeps going he himself will be out of a job.  That would of course be the
  time Ruozoul chooses to attack, politely but firmly telling them that he's
  here for Masaki's life.  He figures he's got enough goons that even
  Zeoroot couldn't keep Masaki safe.

  Fang shows up on turn 3, a member of the royal guard and a former student
  of Zeoroot's.  Masaki gets a bit taken aback when Fang doesn't answer
  his greeting, but Zeoroot explains that Fang is a bit bashful around other
  people...

Zeoroot compliments Fang on his mastery of his Galgard, then explains that he's
one of the few Ra Gians with naturally high Plana.  That lets him work as an
Elemental Machine test pilot, far more talented, Zeoroot gushes, than his
master.  One thing Fang seems adamant on is that the Ra Gians should protect
their own world, not count on people from the Surface.  He cites someone named
"Rubikka" as an example of why the Surface dwellers can't be trusted, but
Zeoroot silences him.  Such words are not befitting for those sincerely
fighting for Ra Gias' sake, regardless of their place of origin.  Fang does not
heed Zeoroot's directive to apologize, instead saying that his mission is over
and excusing himself.  Zeoroot then sighs and tells Masaki that Fang has a bit
too much pride, which Masaki ruefully says he doesn't _not_ understand.  He
asks Masaki to remember that although Fang is not alone in his beliefs, his
beliefs are not universally held.

  You've got a bit of time left, so you can either stick around or return.  I
  did the latter.

Presia pouts a bit, but Masaki says he's got some kind of bad feeling about
doings at the Capitol.  He sure hopes he's wrong...


Scenario 7. Monica Yuukai (Monica Kidnapped)

Tutti tells Feir that Senia has taken Masaki to the Academy's number two
hangar.  Feir seems mildly irritated that Senia would use Masaki as an excuse
to go look at the Elemental Machines, but figures that Wendy's presence should
keep everything under control.  At the hangar, Senia explains that seven of the
sixteen "proper" Elemental Machines are currently stowed at this huge facility.
 "Proper" as distinguished from the "ordinary" Elemental Machines that are
being mass-produced based on the "proper" machines' specs.  When Wendy comes
over, Senia asks her to let her and Masaki have a look at the Elemental
Machines.  Wendy agrees, happily adding that Senia mustn't fiddle with them
like she did last time.  Senia, quite embarassed, makes introductions for Wendy
Rasm Iknart, the chief architect and mechanic for the Elemental Machines.

Masaki greets Wendy with a highly uncharacteristic degree of deference, which
does not escape Senia's notice.  Wendy smiles and says that Masaki appears
quite nervous - does she appear that frightening?  Masaki stammers that that's
not it, and after complimenting him on being a good person and thanking him
for his efforts in battle, Wendy returns to work.  Senia then smirks and asks
him if he goes for older women.  Masaki irritably claims that that's not it,
but allows that something about Wendy just overwhelmed him.  Senia waxes
philosophical about how it's only rational given how beautiful Wendy is, but
then notices when Masaki startles at something unrelated.  Masaki struggles to
put into words what he felt: it was like someone was calling him, and wonders
if it was just his imagination.  Senia brushes it off in the interest of
admiring all the wonderful Elemental Machines.

Among them is the Galgard, the newest and most powerful, almost the equal of an
Elemental God-Machine.  However, her favorite is the Psybuster, with powers far
above and beyond even the other Elemental God-Machines and coolness points to
boot.  Unfortunately, it's not here - Wendy, its designer, is running final
checks as they speak.  But further mecha fangirling is cut short by the air
raid sirens: another enemy attack, and before the kekkai fortification has even
finished.

Masaki rushes to the scene, finding that persistent bastard Ruozoul at it
again.  Tutti's mech will take some time to launch, so she asks him to hold the
fort in the interim.  Senia also heads out in another Elemental Machine,
brushing aside Feir's objections and yelling that she's got to help Masaki out
(she rises in his estimation).  For his part, Ruozoul is sure Saphiine is doing
well, since even he himself is helping provide camouflage for her.

  His terrorists have a new mech they think will make this battle a piece
  of cake.  They are sorely mistaken.  As in their ass, when your dudes are
  finished kicking it.

  Masaki is not having any cake though, since his first attack against Ruozoul
  is totally ineffective.  This must be what Ruozoul meant about getting
  serious today.  As Masaki tries to figure out how to repel the Nagtsart,
  Tutti rides to the rescue.  She figures that her Familiars can at least
  scratch Ruozoul's machine, if not defeat it altogether.  This is because
  Ruozoul is half on the Astral plane - to combat that, she had Wendy apply a
  coating of ectoplasm to her Familiars.  Masaki [who has not watched
  Ghostbusters] has no idea what this ecto-stuff is, but is happy to let Tutti
  take a whack at his troublesome foe.  She is, in fact, able to at least graze
  him.

  Saphiine eventually shows up, having actually failed in the mission that
  Ruozoul was providing camouflage for.  But she's got a souvenir
  anyway: princess Monica!  Ruozoul, realizing the utility of their hostage,
  decides to pull out for now.  He does, however, ask Saphiine to tone down
  her dominatrix act and ditch the gag she's put in Monica's mouth.
  Saphiine smiles slyly and replies that everyone's got to have a hobby.

  Masaki, peeved as all get out, yells at them to quit their jibber jabber and
  fight him face to face.  Saphiine would love to, but she's got other
  priorities - like Senia's twin sister.  Not only does she want your people
  to keep their hands off, she also wants the Psybuster handed over.  Feir
  shouts that there's no way he can do that, at which Saphiine threatens to
  take Monica home with her to be her pet.  And lest your people object, she
  points out that Monica's gag has an explosive charm placed on it.

  Quite a conundrum for Feir, but Wendy takes matters (and the Psybuster)
  into her own hands.  Feir doesn't want the Psybuster handed over for the
  sake of one person (even the princess), but Wendy says that the Psybuster
  can possibly be recovered later... unlike Monica.  She'll be happy to be
  scolded later, but tells him to recover Monica for now.  Saphiine is glad
  someone around here understands what time it is, and happily snags the
  Psybuster.  Ruozoul is actually a bit ruffled that things didn't go according
  to his original plan, but contents himself with the results and pulls out
  too.  Releasing Monica is almost an afterthought, and Saphiine promises
  Monica that the next time they meet she'll take _much_ better "care" of
  her...

Feir's joy upon his sister's safe return is almost unseemly.  When the
jubilation dies down, the question becomes what the bad guys plan to do with
Psybuster given that they don't have anyone to be Chosen as its pilot and
therefore can't actually operate it.  Monica, who is refusing rest on the
theory that this is all her fault, has an idea: Saphiine mumbled something
about how "Psyfis of the Wind" might be especially suitable.  Despite Monica's
muddled grammar, the idea is clear: the bad guys must somehow know about
Psybuster's guardian spirit.  ...Which could actually mean that the bad guys
_do_ have a suitable pilot, unlikely though that seems.

That means you've got to recover Psybuster posthaste, which is hard given that
you don't know how to pursue the evildoers.  But Wendy has a plan, tenuous
though it may be: _Masaki_ should try to locate it.  She intuits that he and it
are being pulled together, and given that she's effectively the Psybuster's
mother, she probably ought to know.  Masaki's not at all sure about this, but
he's willing to give it his best shot.


Scenario 8. Psybuster

Ruozoul and the others have been spotted heading north, and Masaki is to form
the core of the pursuit team.  While he heads due north, Tutti is to head
North-Northeast, Ricardo to head North-Northwest, and Simone is to head due
Northeast.  Feir warns the pilots to contact their fellows instead of fighting
alone.  Tutti tells Masaki that he's the only one they can rely on, and after
he and the others leave, Tutti asks Feir if it isn't dangerous leaving Ricardo
alone.  She somehow figures that Ricardo is rushing toward his own death, and
hopes that Feir is right and that she's simply overthinking things...

Masaki meanwhile isn't sure how to go about his assigment.  He does however
like the thought of being able to stick it to Yang Long if he really is the
Psybuster's chosen pilot.  He begins to get drowsy as he searches, until a
sudden sound rouses him.  It's Senia, who seems a bit cross that Masaki doesn't
seem to have a clue where he's going.  Lucky for both of them she anticipated
Masaki's terrible sense of direction and snuck aboard - or so she claims at the
time.  Anyway, once he gets properly oriented, he begins to sense a voice
calling to him - which might have something to do with a sudden response on
radar...

Saphiine is genuinely aghast that someone figured out her location, and Senia
gushes that Masaki's miserable directional sense seems to have come in handy
after all.  It definitely seems that Psybuster is calling Masaki, and Saphiine
isn't about to simply let him get aboard.

After defeating Saphiine, Masaki climbs toward the Psybuster's cockpit, as the
mech seems to cry out in synchrony.  Suddenly, Masaki is teleported to within
the Psybuster's cockpit, just in time for Yang Long to show up and be
astonished.  Yang is skeptical to say the least that Masaki is suitable to
pilot what is supposedly the greatest of the Elemental God-Machines.  From the
verbal barbs, it seems clear that the sober Yang Long and Masaki aren't
destined to get along well, despite the fact that their mission is a success.

With the Psybuster back at the capitol, Feir acknowledges that Wendy's insight
was right on the money.  Both Feir and Wendy are overjoyed that Masaki managed
to pull this off so smoothly, especially since it was Wendy's insistence that
put Masaki in this position in the first place.  Masaki tells her that he
didn't go because she told him, but because he thought it was the right thing
to do.  He assures her that there's no need for her to feel guilty, especially
since all's well that ended well.  Wendy thanks him, but cautions him that now
that he's the Psybuster's pilot, he's sure to get tangled up in all kinds of
unlooked-for messes.  Should the weight of all that potential misery become too
much for him, she wants him to tell her: she'll do everything in her power to
lighten his burdens.  Masaki doesn't seem too worried, being very much of the
"go with the flow" school of thought.

  Masaki wiped Saphiine out before Yang Long had a chance to intervene.


Scenario 9. RANDAARU no Na (The Name of Randall)

Masaki gets woken up by Presia and Zeoroot, with news that the king is about to
confer an honorific name on Masaki as the Psybuster's new pilot.  Masaki
largely shrugs at this, saying he's already got one name given him by his
parents, and doesn't really need another.  Masaki wants to have Zeoroot refuse
on his behalf, but Zeoroot muses that the name in question happens to be one of
his own ancestors.  He had even been planning on adopting Masaki, making him
Presia's older brother in actuality, which would in turn lighten the
household's financial situation.  Grumbling briefly, Masaki gives in and
journeys to the palace under Presia's direction.

The king gives Masaki the name of Randall Zan Xenosakis, and Feir hastily walks
Masaki through the ritual words.  Masaki mostly gets the wording right, and
then has to sit through around thirty minutes of cool-sounding frou frou
benediction.  Masaki is ready to nod off when a conveniently-timed enemy attack
jolts the entire ceremony.

Ruozoul is at it again, having easily penetrated even the strengthened kekkai.
He advises Feir to stop wasting his effort, to which Masaki replies that
Ruozoul's efforts are also wasted as long as he and the others are on the job.
This time around, _all_ his weapons are coated with that ecto-whatchacallit
stuff, so Ruozoul's attack cancellation from before won't work.  Ruozoul is
looking forward to seeing just how powerful the Elemental God-Machine is, and
Rasetsu is figuring that his country's newly developed Baform should at least
be able to put up something of a fight.

  Ruozoul is interested to hear that Masaki just inherited the name of
  Randall, someone who once caused his god a great deal of discomfort.  He
  considers it an honor to fight the inheritor of that name.

  When Rasetsu is defeated, he marvels at how quickly his mech fell to your
  forces.  He figures that he's got to put "that plan" into motion.

Ruozoul pulls out after collecting all the data he wants, but Senia has
gathered some of her own.  She's now convinced that Shutedonias has allied
itself with Bagonia, and Wendy agrees that something about the heretofore
unseen enemy mecha's movements has strong Shutedonian earmarks.

The king wonders if he should continue the ceremony, but Feir tells him that it
was clear from the battle that Masaki is more than worthy of his inherited
name.  This comes as a major relief to the king, who was beginning to get
worried when he heard Masaki snoring during the ceremony.  Senia was sure her
"father" was in a major sweat over that, but he implores her to call him "papa"
instead, as she did when she was little.  He pouts so much that Senia has no
choice but to give in, and Masaki can only shake his head at this most
eccentric of kings.

Ricardo finds Masaki after the ceremony disbands, seemingly thinking higher of
the newly christened "Randall".  Masaki tells him to keep calling him by his
regular name to avoid any awkwardness.  What Ricardo wanted to show him are
some demonstrations in Shutedonias that were on the news.  These doings in
another country would seem unconnected to Masaki and friends, but Ricardo says
that Shutedonias is busily blaming Langran for all the uproar: the
demonstrations were over the Elemental God-Machines.  Masaki is understandably
confused as to why machines supposed to save the world would cause people to
take to the streets in protest, but Ricardo explains that the Shutedonians see
them as a strategic threat to the region.  Especially with all their dispatches
to fight the recent wave of terrorism, the public at large has gotten quite an
eyeful of their fearful powers.  Masaki tells him not to sweat it, which is
just what Ricardo figured he'd say - he tells Masaki to keep his cool no matter
what comes out of all of the unrest.


Scenario 10. Masaki to Tsukaima to (Masaki and his Familiars)

Presia wants to go along when Masaki has his Familiars made.  Masaki doesn't
mind, but wonders if he shouldn't wake her father to get his permission too.
She tells him not to bother, since her father has been sent to Shutedonias.
When they get to the shrine Ibun amusedly chides Masaki for not respecting his
elders before preparing to make the Familiars.  Ibun has another guest, Becky
Turner, the pilot of the Elemental Machine La Wentar.  Masaki predictably tells
her not to bother calling him by his formal name, which Ibun smirks is too great
a name for her impudent charge anyway.  Masaki's vision for his Familiars (two
of them) is a bit ad hoc, but the results delight Presia: a black and a white
cat!  Masaki ponders a moment, then names them Kuro (black) and Shiro (white).
They protest that Masaki should be able to do better than that, letting Presia
know that they're a boy/girl set.  She happily gives Shiro a cute little bell
and Kuro a ribbon, making the cats beam with pride [and making them forget about
their incredibly banal names ^^;;]

The terrorists choose that moment to strike again, making Masaki wonder what
the hell is wrong with this country's self defense forces.  Ibun asks Masaki
and Becky to go check it out.  These bad guys include some mecha Masaki's never
seen before, and Ibun growls that these are no terrorists - they're more likely
to be the Bagonian army.  Of course, there's been no official declaration of
war, and of course these dudes are unlikely to admit their origins, but Ibun
seems the sort of person whose hunches are seldom wrong.  That said, she wishes
Senia or someone was on the scene to judge the way the enemy move and sound.
Becky figures this to be some sort of test run for an actual war against
Langran, and in fact the enemy commander Gino has been sent here specifically
to ascertain the Psybuster's power.  He cautions his men that there's no call
for them to risk their lives this time out.

He is indeed quick to withdraw his forces, leading Becky to figure that your
dudes are just that scary.  Ibun cautions that something is still lurking
nearby though: it's Saphiine, who's impressed with Ibun's powers of perception.
She says that she _had_ been just planning to watch from the sidelines, but
something about watching your people fight gives her body an "itch" she needs
to scratch.  Becky isn't having any of Saphiine's nymphomaniac talk...

  Half a turn later, Madock shows up to try to put a stop to the Red Lotus'
  machinations, after a good century of trying.  Saphiine purrs that she's
  not so bored as to consider dallying with this old man, and with a foolish
  grin Madock squeals that he's got a thing for younger girls and asks her to
  reconsider.  If _she_ can berate him for being a dirty old man, he must be
  pretty bad...  He introduces himself to Masaki as the Diablo's pilot, and
  Ibun sighs and tells him not to push too hard.  Ahamed and his Solgady
  are also on the scene, taciturn as always.

  Saphiine figures that Masaki has gotten a bit more manly, which makes Masaki
  grin and reply that that must mean she's gotten a bit closer to grandmother
  status herself.  _That_ definitely gets her goat.

When she gets smacked around enough, she muses that her urges have been
satisfied enough to let her sleep tonight, and withdraws.  Becky is quick to
propose a victory toast, and Ahamed as a devout Muslim is quick to take his
leave.  Becky opines that not drinking saps half the fun in life, and when
Masaki asks she says that the other half is sleeping with good-looking guys.
Madock is quick to agree, though of course in his case he prefers women.  The
cats sigh at how strange the Elemental pilots all are, including their own
master - Masaki says not to lump him in with the others, and Ibun observes that
it's pretty rare to find someone who can disagree with his own Familiars.
That's not to say that Familiar personalities always accord with said master:
that's part of what it means to be independent Personas.

At length, Becky has had a _bottle_ or two (or more??) of bourbon, claiming
quite erroneously that it'll take more than that to get her drunk.  Presia
isn't fooled, and as Becky comments on how hot the room is getting Masaki
points out that he's under age and shouldn't very well be drinking.  Becky
insists that he's quite manly enough, and starts taking off all that annoying
hot clothing she's wearing.  Masaki alternates between shock, and annoyance
that Madock is partially blocking his view.  Now topless, Becky figures that
it'd be unfair if she didn't take off her bottoms too, and Masaki isn't
precisely in a hurry to stop her.  It takes Ibun to intervene and point out
that they are all in a _holy_shrine_.

The next morning, Becky apologizes for getting a bit too frisky.  Masaki tells
her not to sweat it, especially since Madock seemed to be enjoying himself.
Presia gives Masaki a "look" and points out that he was too.  Becky then has a
favor to ask Masaki: since his Psybuster can freely commute between this world
and the Surface, she wants him to buy her some more bourbon sometime, which is
better than the merely passable stuff available here.  He hadn't realized that
the Psybuster had such capabilities, and while telling him not to talk about
her little request, she hands him some money and a paper describing the brand
she wants.  It seems this is to be a secret just for the two of them.  Presia
and the cats can't believe he'd take her up on it, but Masaki points out that
she said he could take his time, and figures that surely he'll have a chance to
make good sooner or later.


Scenario 11. Chijou De (On the Surface)

Tutti is quite taken with Masaki's familiars, but _her_ familiars, the wolves
Freki and Geri, seem rather dubious that the cats can actually protect their
master worth a damn.  Tutti realizes that Masaki may have stolen a march on her
in the cuteness department, and has to point out to her canine servants that
there's no such thing as a "higher" or "lower" animal where Familiars are
concerned.

Feir then sends for Masaki, with some important thoughts regarding his rights
and responsibilities as an Elemental God-Machine pilot.  Masaki suspects
another long speech is in the works, but Feir tells him that the _explanation_
is quite straightforward.  It is the right of every Elemental God-Machine pilot
not to follow orders from _anyone_, including Feir himself.  He notes that
about the only thing that could stop an Elemental God-Machine is another
Elemental God-Machine anyway, and when Masaki worries that such a setup seems
to be an invitation to crime, Feir says that that isn't possible.  Only the
righteous of heart can be chosen as Elemental God-Machine pilots in the first
place, Feir says, and Masaki pauses before saying he doubts he's that righteous
a guy.  Feir says that the spirit bound to the Psybuster is of the utmost
purity: _it_ would refuse to heed commands from a pilot whose heart turns to
evil.  In other words, Psybuster has the ability to abandon Masaki, which is
connected to the one and only duty of the Elemental God-Machine pilots: to
confront any danger that could destroy the world, at the cost of anything and
everything else.  Masaki notes in some puzzlement that almost seems like common
sense, but Feir assures him that this is a far crueler duty than it might at
first seem...

Masaki then gets aboard Psybuster for more practice, leaving Tutti wondering
where he got to.  In fact, Masaki has somehow gotten all the way back to
_Japan_ without even understanding how.  What's more, a JSDF fighter makes
contact with him, ordering him to leave Japan airspace at once.  Masaki replies
that he's _Japanese_; there should be no problem with him flying in his own
airspace.  Of course, he has no flight clearance or anything, and when the
fighter threatens to shoot him down he simply accelerates away and leaves the
pilot scanning the skies in vain.

Shiro has helpfully put up a spiritual shield to keep Masaki off radar, but
that doesn't stop all the citizens of the town he's landed in from being in
blind panic.  Masaki insists that he's not clumsy enough to accidentally step
on cars or whatnot, but he's got much bigger problems thanks to a new mech
approaching at high speed.  Aboard it is Shirakawa Shuu, who recognizes the
Psybuster and seems amazed to actually meet it here on the Surface.  What's
more, Shuu knows both of Masaki's names, being from Langran himself.  He tells
Masaki that the robot he's piloting isn't an Elemental Machine, but something
he developed himself: the Granzon.  Masaki tells Shuu that he has no idea where
his fellow Elemental God-Machine pilots are, and that he prefers to be alone
anyway.  That's fine with Shuu, but he would like Masaki to stop causing a fuss
here given that the JSDF are about to arrive.  Masaki is angrily forced to
admit that he didn't exactly come here to pick a fight with the _army_, and
leaves in a huff.  Shuu meanwhile muses on the fact that, evidently, he wasn't
fit to pilot the Psybuster himself, and that Ra Gias just got a lot more
interesting.

Masaki can't shake the feeling that he's met Shuu somewhere before.  Although
he stoutly maintains that he's just familiarizing himself with his mech's
controls, the cats figure he's just goofing off.  When he finally returns to Ra
Gias, he does _not_ find himself at Langran's capitol where he tried to go.
You can head either East or West [I went East], as Feir stews over Masaki's
disappearance.  He promises to give Masaki a good talking-to when he gets back,
and instead gets to preside over his brother Telius skipping class to look for
Monica.  Telius has little interest in his studies, and is more interested in
talking to Monica about what he calls her "good friend" Christof.  He's been
missing for two years, but Telius overheard some of the army intelligence
officers discussing how Christof has been spotted on the Surface.  She's
overjoyed that Christof is all right, but what's bothering Telius is why the
_army_ would be talking about that - he suspects that Christof must be on some
kind of mission.  Monica figures that couldn't be, since Langran has a policy
of not setting foot on the Surface, but Telius says that one never knows what's
going on behind the scenes.  Anyway, Christof seems to be in good health, and
Telius wanted to ease his sister's mind on that score at least.

Scenario 12. Rival

Inertial nav on the Psybuster is busted and taking forever to fix, and Masaki
is smart enough to know that if he tried to help the cats he'd just do more
harm than good.  He's quite impressed at how the cats managed to rewire the
computer using only their mouths - but hey, what are Familiars for?  With the
nav system finally back online, it turns out that Masaki ended up somewhere
very near the Bagonian border: _very_ far from the capital.  Worse, they
actually passed through Bagonian airspace just to get here.  Thank god they
weren't found, huh?

More amazing yet is that _Zeoroot_ is here, and quite surprised to see Masaki.
Seems Zeoroot was running an "errand" in Bagonia, and is on the way back home.
He finds Masaki's presence here a bit suspicious, but is willing to let it
slide.  He does caution Masaki not to cross the border, since he has no visa,
and hurries over to Masaki before he can commit any more border violations.
He then merrily stows his luggage aboard the Psybuster.  It seems he was in
Bagonia for a martial arts tourney, where he met his old rival Shemel Hell,
winner of three consecutive world championships.  Zeoroot modestly says that
his rival was by far the stronger of the two, though he's now retired.  Masaki
is a bit reluctant to head home and face the music from Tutti and the others,
and Zeoroot is in the middle of telling him that he'll try to calm the waters,
when something appears on radar...

It's the terrorists again, and Zeoroot is having a hard time figuring out what
they'd be targeting all the way out here.  The terrorist leader for his part is
eager to try out a certain item he just received: several mecha of the same
type used during the theft of the Psybuster.  These guys are certainly up to no
good, and Masaki and Zeoroot agree that they need to go down.  They have an
ally: it's Fang, who on a hunch came back to his master Zeoroot.  He wants to
show off the results of all the training he's been doing.  Masaki for his part
figures he doesn't need the assistance, but Zeoroot short circuits their
argument by proposing a contest to see who can take down more terrorists.  The
loser gets to buy the winner lunch.  The two reluctantly agree even as the
terrorists are listening in rage.

Masaki wins [in my case], and Fang agrees to his master's instructions to buy
Masaki lunch and not hold any sort of grudge.  Masaki for his part was
favorably impressed by Fang's prowess, upgrading him in his estimation.
Fang's glad Masaki recognizes his talents, and the two hotheads seem like
they'll be able to get along after all.

Before Feir can get two sentences in with Masaki, Tutti starts giving Masaki
the verbal what-for.  Masaki's apologies appear to fall on deaf ears, and he
trudges off with Tutti still berating him.  However, Feir knows that Masaki
actually feels a strong sense of responsibility beneath his exterior, and
believes that Tutti knows this too and is actually treading with care.  Monica
remains unconvinced, but their banter is quieted when the time for Feir to
take his medicine arrives.  Feir has his doctor's assurances that he'll be
fine, but Monica is understandably still worried.  Feir inwardly hopes that
he'll be fully healed... soon...


Scenario 13. Hakkaizou TIAN (Fallen Monk Tian)

Masaki thinks he's gone far enough afield that Tutti will give up, and figures
that this little trip isn't as bad as his previous unauthorized visit to the
Surface.  The cats observe that for all the friction, Masaki doesn't actually
dislike Tutti, the older sister he never had.  For that matter, Masaki seems to
have a soft spot for Presia too, not to mention Wendy...  Does that mean that
he's just weak regarding women in general?  Masaki grouses at them to just keep
their eyes on the radar, and tries to figure out what to do next.

  [I went East.]

Masaki stops short of heading to the next country over, finding a nice quiet
spot to take a nap.  He falls asleep almost instantly, his peaceful face making
his Familiars sleepy too.  They drift off, only to be awakened by the
boisterous shouts of someone in monk's robes.  Apparently Masaki is sleeping in
this man's favorite spot, and the monk recognizes Masaki and his mech almost
at once.  Masaki rather irreverently tells the monk that the early bird
catches the worm, and dismisses the monk's claim that he needs this
_particular_ spot for his spirituality.  The monk threatens Masaki with
Buddha's punishment, then adds that if Masaki would try elevating his spirit
sometime, his combat prowess would improve too.  Masaki is still not persuaded,
and the monk Tian is about to shout again when some terrorists appear and
notice the Psybuster.  Their plan is to grab it and sell it, but Masaki is of
course not about to let that happen.  Tian tells Masaki to leave this to him,
and says that he'll counter the bad guy's Elemental Machines with his own: the
Disforce!  He is indeed a qualified pilot, having taken over the Disforce after
Yang Long graduated to his Elemental God-Machine.  He says that he'll give
Masaki plenty of time to nap and rest his spirit - PROVIDED he does so
somewhere other than his favorite spot.  While Masaki appreciates the thought,
he has no plans to sit this fight out, and Tian finally harumphs and tells him
to do as he pleases.

After the battle, Tian asks Masaki why he didn't use Psyflash, the Psybuster's
Map Weapon.  Masaki didn't hear about any such weapon, and Tian advises him to
check with Wendy for the details.  Masaki thanks him for the advice, and asks
him to stop calling him "Randall", a name he still hasn't gotten used to.  Tian
agrees, but chides that Masaki is still too mundane if he's hung up on names.

He then perceives that Masaki is having some kind of trouble with women.  He
cajoles him in the interest of cosmic harmony to unburden his soul: he'll be
glad to help him out, though not precisely for free.  Masaki sighs, and figures
he'd best go back home to the capitol.  Great timing, grins Tian, since he
happens to have business there too.  This time, Tutti is in tears when she sees
Masaki, worried sick about him.  Masaki never expected Tutti to be crying, and
tells Tian to make good on his offer and help out already.  Tian notes that
Masaki hadn't told him that it was _Tutti_ he's having trouble with, and states
that Christians are outside his spiritual province.  Ricardo tells Masaki to
leave Tutti to him, and indeed he manages to get her to smile.  But Tutti then
figures that Ricardo put Masaki up to something weird.  Her smile and the
dangerous note in her voice make Ricardo justifiably scared, and before he can
utter a protest Tutti starts industriously strangling him.  Masaki,
slack-jawed, trembles at this display of violence, and even Feir stammers as he
suggests that Tutti give Ricardo a break.  Tutti blinks, releases Ricardo, and
like a natural blonde muses that she doesn't know what came over her...


Scenario 14. Chitei de no Souguu (Encounter Underground)

Wendy wants a bit more study before she enables the Psyflash.  The other Map
Weapons in your arsenal don't distinguish between friend and foe, and she's
trying to perfect a way to overcome that limitation.  Masaki figures it can't
be helped, and thanks her for her efforts.  She looks downcast, apologizing
that she can't have it ready for him right away, and he blushes and tells her
it's nothing she need apologize to him for.  That makes her smile, satisfied
that she was right in figuring Masaki for a good guy, even if he's a bit
awkward at times.

Masaki's returned to the palace at a good time: there have been sightings of
what's believed to be the Nagtsart on Reg Island.  Feir is especially worried
becaue Reg is in a remote spot in the North, with nothing of known value
nearby.  He asks you to go take a look [and I accepted].  Masaki does ask why
Feir, his former commander, is asking him instead of telling him, and Feir
reminds him that _nobody_ can order him around anymore.  This seems somewhat
humbling to Masaki, and shaking it off he heads off on the mission.

Wendy hears of the dispatch, and fusses that she's got to get the Psyflash
perfected.  It _works_ now, but it takes a huge amount of Plana, enough that
Masaki's life might be endangered with more than one shot.  She makes him
promise not to fire it more than once, and wants to do a "finger promise" the
way she's heard the Japanese do - someone from Japan once told her about the
custom.  Masaki is surprised to hear of another Japanese in Langran, and asks
where he is now.  Deceased, three years ago, but Wendy doesn't dwell on the
past and makes the finger promise with Masaki, which if he breaks will result
in him eating a thousand needles according to the ancient rhyme.

Masaki is quiet on the flight, explaining when Shiro asks that he's realized
something about being free of others' orders.  It means that the
responsibility for all his actions falls on his shoulders alone.  Heavy stuff,
though Masaki brashly denies that he's quailing now.  Just then, an ally shows
up: it's Simone.  Masaki doesn't think he needs the help for mere recon, but
she reminds him that Ruozoul may be involved and adds that two is always safer
than one.  Masaki won't stop her, but warns her that he's got his own way of
investigating.  She likes the sound of that, but given that Masaki is about to
head in the wrong direction _twice_ she sighs and figures that he really does
need her along.

They reach the island, and Kuro detects a huge cave near the sighting using the
Psybuster's Dowser.  Off to investigate!  The cave is _huge_, and Simone can't
say whether it's natural or man-made.  Her sharp senses catch someone nearby,
and who should appear...but Shuu!  Masaki demands to know what Shuu is doing
here, and Shuu says levelly that that's his line.  _He_ merely came here to
investigate the ruins of a temple that lie deep within this cave.  Said ruins
are of a culture that vanished long before written record, at least fifty
thousand years ago.  Simone is trying to remember where she's seen Shuu before,
and Masaki asks if Shuu is an archaeologist or something.  Shuu claims it's
merely a hobby of his, and is far more interested in why some _non_ archaeology
buffs would be in this cave.  Simone tells him of the Nagtsart sightings, which
makes sense to Shuu given the evil aura this place has.

And, speaking of the Devil, out come a host of Demon Golems.  Shuu observes
that some magic user appears to have created and then left them behind, and
asks what your people intend to do.  He's not worried about the fact that he's
trapped too, shrugging that he can easily vanquish this puny an enemy, and
suggests that Simone worry more about her own safety than his.  Masaki angrily
says that he alone is more than a match for these guys, but Simone tells him to
think calmly about just how many there are.  Shuu agrees, and offers to help
out.  I took him up on the offer, and when Simone hears the name "Shuu" she
figures she must have been mistaken.

After the battle is over, Shuu excuses himself to go investigate the ruins.
Simone asks if Masaki has some kind of grudge against Shuu, and Masaki shrugs
and says it's nothing specific.  He just has trouble trusting smooth-talking
folk like Shuu - uneasy for reasons he can't name.

  At this point, you can investigate the ruins too, or go elsewhere.  I
  investigated.


Scenario 15. Jashin no Shinden (Shrine of the Evil God)

It's an interesting question why someone would build a shrine so far
underground.  Simone begins to suspect that it might be sacred to the evil god
Volkrus, spoken of in legend.  That would certainly explain what Ruozoul would
be doing here...  Your people find Shuu, who tells them there's nothing that
would interest them here.  What, Masaki asks, if this should prove to be a
shrine to Volkrus?  Shuu is impressed at your knowledge - confirming Simone's
suspicion.  Shuu is a tad miffed when he realizes she was testing the waters,
and sniffs that he'd have told you outright had you but asked.  Shuu reiterates
that he's here for archeological reasons, though there's little of academic
value left here now.

Masaki doesn't believe Shuu one bit, and is in the process of heading over to
say so to his face when Shuu advises him not to proceed any farther forward.
Masaki angrily ignores the warning and triggers a trap.  Shuu chides Masaki for
not heeding people's warnings, and tells Masaki to do his best to clean up this
mess he made.  Shuu himself plans to watch from the sidelines.  Simone wishes
Masaki wouldn't be quite so foolish, and the cats fill Masaki in that Psyflash
isn't available right now.  He'll have to have Wendy look at it when they get
back.

While the battle was raging, Shuu rechecked the area, and still found nothing
of interest.  Masaki isn't inclined to listen to Shuu, but Simone points out
that Masaki got burned by that attitude just moments ago.  Shuu has little
interest in things with no academic value, and is more than happy to let Simone
have some of the beautiful (and valuable!) jewels lying around.  This puts
Simone on fairly good terms with Shuu, who takes his leave.  Masaki vows to
expose whatever nefarious secret Shuu has one day...

Masaki is still blaming Shuu for all the trouble they had, but Simone asks if
he's ever heard the term "mis-grudge" before.  Masaki accuses her of being
bought off by Shuu, and she articulately says that she plans to sell the jewels
- she's certainly not planning to _keep_ them.  In any case, it really does
seem that there was nothing going on at this shrine, and the two head back to
report to Feir.  Senia notes that there's at least some value to confirming
that your information about Ruozoul had been false.  Meanwhile, Wendy has
figured out how to fix Psyflash, letting Masaki use it as often as he wants.


Scenario 16. Yureru Kororo (Wavering Heart)

Tutti asks Monica to do a bit of fortune telling, though Monica cautions her
that her precognitive powers aren't good for that much.  Apparently Tutti
wants to cure Masaki of his disbelief in prophecy and so on, and Masaki allows
that given all he's seen since coming to Ra Gias he's willing to believe just
about anything.  Still, she bets he's never seen one come true, and Monica, in
her broken-grammatical fashion, is quite happy to help.  As Monica begins,
Tutti tells Masaki that there's no telling what kind of vision she'll get until
she tries.  He very reasonably asks if such an uncontrollable craft is of any
use, and she allows that the majority of visions are, in fact, largely
useless: like the weather on a specific day 500 years in the future, or what
will be on the menu for tomorrow's breakfast.  That said, the foresight _is_
very accurate, and the lack of directedness in the vision is made up for by the
number of people who can use the craft at once.

Monica interrupts the explanation to point out that she's already done.  She
begins by telling Masaki that soon, perhaps today, he'll get a request to
dispatch.  And when he gets there, he'll receive a major shock.  She doesn't
know _what_ kind of shock it will be, but that's the vision she saw.  She also
has news for Tutti - _she_ will very soon meet the last person she would wish
to meet.  This meeting may well spell misfortune, and Monica asks Tutti to be
extra careful.  Tutti doesn't know who that could be, but she thanks Monica for
the warning anyway.  Monica notes that there were great fluctuations in her
vision, so perhaps the future may yet be changed.  Not the best news, to be
sure, but Masaki is taking the positive view that your hard work can fix
whatever problems are in store.

Senia then rushes over with word that the Nagtsart has been spotted in the
province of Valentine.  Masaki is ready to charge off to settle Ruozoul's hash,
but Tutti has elected to sit this mission out thanks to the fortune.  The call
goes out to Ricardo instead, who meets up with Masaki and immediately asks
about his lack of directional sense.  Masaki's a bit dismayed that everyone's
heard about it, but Ricardo tells him not to sweat it - _everyone_ has their
weaknesses.  Except, of course for him - a claim that lasts about as long as it
takes for Masaki to have his Familiars visit Ricardo in his cockpit.  Becky
filled him in about Ricardo's little fear of cats, started by getting scratched
long ago in a certain sensitive spot.  Masaki then asks what Ricardo would do
if Tutti follows up on her love of cats and gets one of her own.  Ricardo
replies that he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it, and storms off in a
huff just _before_ Masaki catches up with Ruozoul.

Ruozoul had in fact just finished telling a certain someone to take Masaki's
head: it's that old terrorist Gaspa, still in the mood for revenge for the
death of his comrade.  He reattles off a long list of grievances, such as how
one of his fallen comrades was a boy, and another had a woman he had gone out
with for fifteen years he was supposed to marry next week.  Masaki isn't to be
swayed by someone who uses fear to control others, but the terrorist leader
screams at this know-nothing brat not to act like he's all got justice on his
side.  Masaki, too, is just some murderer in his book!

Masaki, in fact, doesn't like what all he's heard, and although his Familiars
tell him not to sweat it, Ruozoul finds the whole spectacle quite amusing.  He
tells Masaki that the line separating comedy from tragedy is paper-thin, and in
the hands of a second-rate actor tragedy can easily turn out comedic.  Ruozoul
acknowledges that people die in war as a matter of course, but tells Masaki
that he has no right to be the agent of that death.  Death is the great
Equalizer, and Masaki's overactive emotions have lead to Death being casually
scattered around.  To the followers of Volkrus, whose ultimate goal is death,
Masaki's "thoughtless" actions are indeed the ultimate in unforgivable sin.

The plan is to punish Masaki in Volkrus' name, but first Ruozoul tries to
figure out why Masaki can fight so hard when he has no cause worthy of the name
to fight _for_.  Can Masaki actually say that his actions are just? Ricardo
then shows up, noticing right away that something seems wrong with Masaki.
Ruozoul sends out reinforcements of his own, and takes off after finishing his
"sightseeing" for the day.

After the battle, Ricardo figures that nothing big was going on here after all,
which should be a good thing.  An even better thing is that things should quiet
down for a bit with the terrorist bosses gone.  But Masaki is in very ill
spirits and not willing to discuss why.  Senia sighs and figures that her newly
developed computer "Dekakis" won't be needed for a while: a machine capable of
leaps of logic, or "intuition" in layman's terms.

Back in his room, Masaki is still fretting over why he's fighting.  The cats'
pointing out that he's fighting to save the world isn't working much, and it
seems something more concrete is needed.  As if on cue [*nudge nudge*] Wendy
knocks on the door, and Shiro quickly tells Wendy what Masaki is worrying over.
Wendy reminds Masaki of what she told him earlier: that if his burden as an
Elemental God-Machine pilot gets heavy, to tell her.  Masaki slowly asks if
he's really doing the right thing, and she allows that that's a difficult
question.  She asks if Masaki knows why a high-ranking spirit dwells within
each Elemental God-Machine, and explains that what the public has been told
about the spirits controlling the mech's movements is a bit incomplete.  The
spirits, which have their own will, choose their own pilot: which means that
the spirits, at least, believe Masaki is in the right given they've chosen him
as pilot.  Wendy is sure that Masaki's heart is in the right place, but Masaki
asks if she isn't so much believing in him as in the spirits themselves.  She
replies that the spirits themselves only exist because the hearts of man
believe in them first.  Masaki finally looks up at that, saying that he half
doubts the existence of spirits himself.  The natives of Ra Gias are quite
different, believing in spirits from childhood and even being able to see them
- not _that_ different from the small number of genuine spiritualists on the
Surface.

The short form is that the spirits are the reflection of the hearts of all
people: a manifestation, if you will, of the collective unconscious.  Their
decisions are tantamount to the decisions of all the people of Ra Gias, and
Wendy tells Masaki that even if that doesn't make sense just yet, he should go
on doing what he believes is right.  And whatever anyone else may say, _she_
will always believe in him.  He thanks her with a thoughtful look in his eyes,
and she tells him to cheer up: it's not like him to be down in the dumps.


Scenario 17. Wendy no Himitsu (Wendy's Secret)

Becky has a present for Masaki: a pendant made out of Orichalcum.  She found an
uncut stone while taking out Demon Golems, and had the pendant made for Masaki
to give to Wendy.  Masaki's not sure he wants to accept, but Becky says that
it's the least he can do for Wendy given all she's done for him.  Orichalcum is
a magical metal used in the armaments of the Elemental Machines, found almost
never on the Surface.  Masaki plans to go see Wendy before deciding whether to
hand over the pendant [I handed it over].  Wendy is very impressed with the
gift, explaining that Orichalcum is a metal that reacts to emotions.  It's
popular for lovers to exchange gifts of Orichalcum, so that no matter how far
apart they are they'll be able to sense each others' hearts.  She playfully
asks if she should take this as a "proposal", and as Masaki stammers that he
didn't know, she says that although she was joking, she _will_ treasure his
gift.

Masaki later berates Becky for not telling him the significance of the gift,
though he's glad that Wendy seemed to understand anyway.  Becky's impressed
that Masaki's relationship is progressing so fast, then reminds herself with
some wistfulness that it's his first.  That gets a rise out of Masaki, and she
smiles and says that he's so much fun to tease.  Yes, Masaki is her plaything.

Feir asks Masaki to go with Ahamed for more Demon Golem hunting.  Masaki notes
that those are a pretty annoying opponent - he's not trying to refuse the job,
just saying that the Demon Golems are, in fact, a pain in the ass.  Ahamed asks
if Masaki has gotten used to piloting yet, and when Masaki starts tooting his
own horn, Ahamed figures he's still got a long ways to go.  The ultimate proof
of that is how irritated Masaki gets when Ahamed merely implies that he's
immature, and Masaki is at least smart enough to relent when this is pointed
out to him.  Ahamed hopes that Masaki can become a good enough pilot to not
dishonor the mech that chose him, and then notices that they're being followed.
It's Senia, who wants to get in some Demon Golem bashing of her own and who
bristles at the suggestion that she might not be able to pull her own weight.
Your people actually reach their destination before the argument is settled,
and Masaki asks Senia to at least not to get underfoot.

Ahamed figures that the Demon Golems look freshly summoned, meaning that their
summoner may still be nearby.  He and Masaki agree that it doesn't matter who
did the summoning: you've got to fight regardless.  After you wipe out all the
Demon Golems, it turns out that it was in fact Saphiine who summoned them.  She
pouts momentarily when she sees it's Masaki again, but says that since she's in
a good mood today she'll let it slide.  And hey, Senia's Norse Ray didn't even
get wrecked!

It's time to head back, though Ahamed complains that he feels a certain lack
of mayhem.  Wendy is glad to see Masaki back so soon, and knows Senia is
hiding somewhere too.  She sternly asks what Senia was up to, and Senia pouts
that she was bored.  Wendy tells her to have some consideration for Masaki and
Ahamed, who had to strive to keep her safe, and Senia implores her to not tell
Feir about her little trip.  Wendy will agree, on the condition that
Senia not do something so selfish again.  And as for how Wendy knew, Monica
told her out of concern.  Wendy explains to Masaki that Senia and Monica,
being twins, are very very close.  She says so with such conviction that Masaki
asks her if she's got a twin too.  Had, Wendy says sadly - said twin died
shortly after they were born.  Masaki says he's sorry he asked, but Wendy tells
him it's okay: she believes her sister lives on within her.


Scenario 18. "Mashou Kishin" no Na ni Kakete (In the Name of the Elemental
  God-Machines)

Feir gathers all the Elemental Machine pilots together to explain that their
mission has changed.  The public will know nothing about it, but they've
become freer.  The Elemental Machines are of course not just for defending
Langran, but Ra Gias as a whole: thus, the Langran government can ask their
pilots for help, but not command it.  And that goes double for the Elemental
God-Machines.  It seems that the pilots are being given fuller responsibility
for their actions, though Langran is still more than happy to back them up.
Masaki has already been acting pretty independently, as Madock once did
himself (though he claims gamely his memory has gotten bad lately).  The pilots
are in effect the heroes that will save Ra Gias, opposing anything that
threatens Ra Gias.  A little less than a year remains until "the" prophecied
day, and Feir looks forward to everyone giving it their best shot until then.

Becky notes afterward that almost never do all twelve Elemental Machine pilots
gather at once.  Even she can't remember everyone's name: in particular a
Russian guy standing over to the side.  Masaki actually knows him: he's the
person who took over the Jaorm after Masaki graduated, Gennajy I Kozilev.
Demekusa then introduces himself to Masaki, as the inheritor of Tutti's old
mech.

Impressively, this is the moment that the remnants of the terrorists choose to
strike the city of Banan, using a type of ancient, forbidden weapon of mass
destruction called a "Descending Demon Bomb".  These are even worse than nukes
in that they destroy spirits as well as living beings, and aren't supposed to
even exist anymore.  The damage report won't be ready for another three hours,
and your people hurry to the scene first.

In fact, _all_ the Elemental God-Machines are here.  The terrorists are still
here too, apparently using this whole attack to lure you out.  The leader
presses the switch to start a timer on another Descending Demon Bomb, intending
to take all of you out with him.  The timer is set for ten turns, and even if
you ran away now you'd never make it to safety.  However, Senia sends you data
showing that it takes a large amount of magic to ignite the bomb: if you can
stop that, there will be no explosion.  The bad guys' mecha are that magical
source, but you can't just wreck them piecemeal or a chain reaction will occur
and detonate the bomb anyway.

There is another way however: Map Weapons!  You've got to destroy the central
three (yellow) bad guys simultaneously.  This is tricky but not impossible, and
when you pull it off Becky can scarcely wait to get back to the capitol before
celebrating with some booze.  Masaki gets to be the voice of reason for once,
which is immensely gratifying to Tutti.

Presia has a meal of sukiyaki waiting for everyone when they get back.
Hilarity ensues almost immediately as everyone proceeds to misprepare the
sukiyaki.  Tian in particular has an interesting reason for eating all the
meat: he's a vegetarian, and so he claims to want to keep everyone else from
eating meat by devouring it all himself.  Becky has brought the booze after
all, and the strip tease begins again in earnest.  A very chaotic gathering,
but good for blowing off stress at least.  Wendy is even on the scene, and
she's been on the sauce too.  Masaki is hesitant to heed her slurred words, but
between hiccups she tells him that he's got to learn how to read girls'
emotions better.  I mean, he's all bad-ass outside, but inside he's all gentle
and stuff.  She manages to thank him again for the pendant before passing out.


Scenario 19. Gozen Shiai (Tournament Before the Throne)

Despite not having paid Tutti's 20k credits back, Ricardo wants to borrow more
from her.  He thinks he can pay her back double tomorrow, but doing so seems to
involve some gambling - on the morning before an important match before the
royal throne.  He flees before Tutti can berate him at too much length, and
runs smack into Masaki.  He asks Masaki to hide him for a while, and when Tutti
comes calling Masaki can either give him up or not.  If you give him up, Tutti
berates him some more until Masaki tells them to take their lovers' quarrel
elsewhere.  Tutti leaves in a huff, and it falls to Ricardo to explain that
this tournament happens once a year - and Masaki's entered!  The odds on him
are even good, though Ricardo is sure that he'll win the million-credit prize
(a credit is worth about 10 yen/cents).  Masaki has other ideas.

First up is Madock, who thinks that the wisdom of years will be his best
defense and is looking forward to partying _hard_ with the young ladies with
the prize money.  Becky is up next, vowing to take the prize money and adding
that the pride of the Iroquois won't let her tell a lie.  Ahamed says that
everything is according to the will of Allah, which Simone rephrases by saying
that she hopes she's more lucky than good today.  Tian figures it's the will of
Buddha that he win, then starts chuckling and adds that his stature as former
Muy Thai champ should make him a shoo-in.  He reluctantly agrees not to dance,
leaving the stage for Demegusa, whose only wish is that nobody get mad at him
if he loses.  Gennajy is very much the strong, silent type, leaving the
announcer to wonder how the heck he got stuck with this job.  Next up are the
big shots, starting with Fang, who is determined to show how
well he can pilot his mech despite being a Ra Gian.  Masaki simply smiles and
says that today he'll show everyone what the Psybuster's real power is like.
Next is what the announcer calls the "beautiful nereid", Tutti.  Tutti thanks
everyone for their support as the announcer looks on in admiration.  Yang Long
states something a tad cryptic about how the true warrior will first win here
before seeking the true battlefield.  Ricardo thinks he's got the whole thing
sewn up, and tells everyone else to try anyway.

The battles are to be single-elimination, untimed bouts that continue until one
opponent is defeated.  To handicap the Elemental God-Machines, they are
forbidden from using their Familiars or Map Weapons.  Things will start with
Masaki versus Becky, and she brightly warns him not to treat her as mere
pre-game stretching lest it come back to hurt him.  Becky will [presumably] go
down fighting, which Masaki commends her for, and Becky good naturedly figures
she's got to root for Masaki to win now.

Ahamed is up next, and sounds rather affronted that the still-immature Masaki
has been chosen as his opponent.  Masaki tells him to see just how much this
past year of piloting has been worth, and when Yang Long asks Ricardo for his
assessment, he's sure that Masaki is far superior to the stout Ahamed - both of
whom use Wind spirits.  Ricardo cheers Masaki's victory, and Yang Long tells
him to cool his jets.  Ricardo wonders what Yang's problem is; is it something
to do with losing to Fang?  Yang says that while he did get a bit careless,
it's amazing just how strong Fang has grown.  He figures that even Ricardo
might be in danger from Fang, but before that Fang will have to get through
Masaki first.

Neither fighter will hold back in this contest, and Masaki is a bit puzzled at
precisely how frustrated Fang is at losing.  Ricardo figures that this avenges
Yang Long in some sense, as well as cashing in some of his bets.  Tutti shows
up to call him on that, but he has the convenient excuse of heading out to wage
the title bout.  Tutti vows to give him a good talking-to later.  Ricardo
commends Masaki on making it this far, and says that all that remains before
his victory is taking Masaki down.  Masaki asks whether Ricardo hasn't yet
learned that things in life seldom go according to plan.  Ricardo smirks and
replies that he attended some pretty crummy schools, then cuts the trash-talk
short.  Ricardo is a good loser, glad to see how strong Masaki's become.  Both
guys enjoyed their duel, as did the king.  He commends all participants,
looking forward to their wonderful abilities keeping Ra Gias safe.  He then
tells Masaki that his skill and passion are truly worthy of the reward, and of
the Psybuster's choice.  He asks Masaki to strive to protect not only Ra Gias,
but the Surface too.

Tutti's tinkered with Masaki's winnings a bit.  Of the half that wasn't eaten
by taxes, she gave a good 90% to charity, saying brightly that surely Masaki
would have wanted that done - right?  Yang half-sarcastically praises Masaki's
"charity", and Becky laments that that would have bought her a lot of booze.
Masaki doesn't much fret the charitable donation, and gives the remaining dough
to Presia for use on living expenses.  Presia, humbled, plans to put it into
Masaki's retirement fund.


Scenario 20. Haikyousha (Heretic)

General Kirkus seems a bit evasive about why plans for defending the capitol
are taking longer than they should.  Instead, he is very interested in not
missing his lunch date elsewhere.  Feir tells a dubious Senia that this is
just Kirkus' way, and that he comes through when the chips are down.  In
principle, Kirkus is part of the kekkai strengthening, which might be why there
have been no recent terrorist attacks or incursions by Ruozoul.  Masaki for one
is finding the lack of action stressful, when Kirkus' son Zashford comes over
seeking his dad.  It seems his father forgot his lunch, but given Kirkus'
recent proclamation of eating out, it seems Zash is too late.  Masaki smirks at
Kirkus' spaced-out ways, figuring that he's the stereotypical "night owl".  He
wonders aloud if such a man can really make a good general, then quickly
apologizes when Yang points out that said man's son is right there.  Zash
meanwhile is astounded to realize that these are two real-life Elemental
God-Machine pilots, his idols.  Masaki, puzzled, gives this would-be Elemental
Machine pilot his autograph and a kind word.  Yang likes the kid's honesty, and
says that he figures Masaki is better suited to dealing with such people than
he is.

The peace is broken soon enough though, by Shuu (a.k.a. Christof).  He's not
seen the residents of the capitol (except for Masaki) in a long time, and says
that if Feir insists on calling him Christof, his full name would now be
Christof Zeo Volkrus.  He's coy about whether he's actually become a follower
of the profane god, but says that in any case he likes the name Shirakawa Shuu
better.  He's here on two errands: to tell your people goodbye, and to declare
war.  As of now, he relinquishes his right to inherit the throne, and proclaims
Langran his enemy.

This is what he lightly calls the will of the God of Destruction, and adds that
the toylike kekkai will not avail your people.  Saying that today was just a
greeting, he voices hope that next time will be a bit more flashy.  Masaki
wants to go out in the Psybuster, but Wendy cries that it's being readjusted
right now: should he go forth, something terrible would happen.  If you heed
her warning, Zeoroot sorties in his stead.  Shuu tells the swordsmaster not to
do something so futile as oppose him, but Zeoroot says that Shuu's aura is too
evil.  He's not sure what happened to him, but he can't afford to leave him on
the loose.

Unfortunately, and as Zeoroot feared, the power behind Shuu is more than he can
handle.  Shuu claims that his completed Granzon is impervious to all attacks.
Zeoroot has to be sacrificed, and since his ejection system doesn't fire he
buys the farm.  Shuu sighs that all deaths are unsatisfying, and that everyone
is equal in death.  Masaki finally hurries out, only to find that he, too,
can't scratch the Granzon.  As Shuu gloats a bit, Masaki demands to know why
Shuu killed his mentor.  Shuu says that Zeoroot must have wished for it: after
all, it's only natural for people to die in battle.  Masaki becomes crazed with
rage, but Shuu says that the same thing will happen to him if he fights him
here.  Well, he _had_ intended this to be just a greeting skirmish, but if
Masaki insists...  But then, Shuu senses something strange, and his familiar
Chika notices their rejection field faltering.  It seems that Zeoroot did a bit
more to Shuu than Shuu suspected.  As Masaki prepares to mount his attack, Shuu
announces that he's now at a bit of a disadvantage and pulls out: no need to
push things with the Granzon only lately completed.

Masaki is ready to run off in pursuit, but Wendy begs him to wait lest both he
and the Psybuster collapse in ruins.  Gritting his teeth, Masaki complies.
Presia is consumed with grief, and screams at Masaki that he's not her brother
anymore, and to get away from her.  The shock has hit Masaki very hard too, and
he more or less stops eating.  His Familiars try to cheer him up, or at least
get him to eat, but all he wants them to do is shut up, lest he turn them into
a shamisen! [I doubt he's serious, but...]  When Ricardo and Tutti get back,
Tutti wants to go and try to get Masaki to come out of his room, but Ricardo
stops her and says that that would just have the opposite effect.  Feir
believes that Masaki will stand up again of his own accord - his confidence in
him equals his confidence in his other Elemental God-Machine pilots.


Scenario 21. Zetsubou no Fuchi (The Abyss of Despair)

Wendy doesn't heed Masaki's claim that nobody's in his room, and finds him with
his arms around his elbows in a classical depressive pose.  She asks what he'd
do if she told him she was here to make him smile.  Whether you deliver a
Masaki-like angry comeback or a depressive "yeah whatever", she tells him that
he shouldn't be down on himself so much.  After all, nobody expected so much of
him that he should berate himself this badly.  Everyone else simply believes in
him.  She mentions in passing that the Psybuster's repairs are complete, and
that she'll leave it ready for him to depart at any time.  As she leaves, Shiro
opines that this chilly speech of hers was very unlike her.  But Masaki's
smarter than that - he realizes the warmth in her words.  That "nobody is
expecting anything of him" is her way of telling him to do as he sees fit.
Gathering his Familiars, he heads off to give Shuu a _firm_ piece of his mind.

Simone realizes what Wendy was up to, even though Wendy blushes and refuses to
admit it.  Wendy excuses herself to get in some more maintenance on the
Psybuster, but what she really does is sneak aboard.  Masaki doesn't realize
this for a good while as he flies around, acting on instinct alone.  It isn't
until he feels his stomach growling that Wendy pops out with a picnic lunch for
him.  Her sheepish apology is like that of a little girl, despite her being all
of 27.  It does relieve her greatly to see Masaki back to his old self, and he
credits her with opening his eyes.

Shuu had felt Masaki's vivid, fierce Plana from afar, and saves Masaki the
trouble of searching for him.  Masaki shouts that he's better have his life
insurance paid up if he's brave enough to face him of his own accord, though
Shuu has no idea where the heck Masaki's confidence comes from.  Chika reminds
Shuu that repairs aren't complete yet, though Shuu figures he has utterly no
reason to be afraid of the Psybuster regardless.

Wendy meanwhile demands to know why Christof became a believer in Volkrus,
forsaking even his right to the throne.  He says that the only way to save the
world is to destroy and remake it, but Wendy doubts that that's Shuu's own
desire.  Shuu gets some strange gleam in his eyes, saying that there's no point
in continuing the war of words with one inimical to him.  Only coming to blows
will settle this.

Shuu informs Masaki that he's got less than a one-in-ten-thousand chance of
beating him, so why throw his life away?  Masaki acknowledges that the odds are
bad, but is determined to fight until he's satisfied.  Shuu laments such pride,
and Masaki even admits that he's at a disadvantage.  But he's determined to
take revenge for Zeoroot, and Shuu tells him that as long as he's bent on
"revenge" he'll never mature.  This brings Masaki up short, and he begins
laughing heartily.  Wendy is alarmed, but Masaki says that Shuu is absolutely,
positively right.  He assures his cats that he hasn't lost his marbles, and
then tells Shuu that the real problem is that he doesn't like Shuu personally.
What started as mild annoyance blossomed to full-fledged hatred in the
engagement in the capitol.  Something within him insists that Shuu get his
clock cleaned - which Zeoroot must have felt too to charge in so recklessly.

So it's not out of revenge that he seeks Shuu, it's because of his proud
mission as an Elemental God-Machine pilot.  Both he and the Psybuster could
care less what Shuu is actually up to: as long as Shuu wears the mantle of
evil, his ass is theirs.  The Psybuster apparently agrees, as its power begins
to mount explosively.  Wendy is dumbfounded to see Possession occuring: even
though it's theoretically possible, the fact that Masaki is actually doing it
is stunning.  Shuu is also having trouble believing that Masaki can fuse with
the spirits, and despite Chika's warning says that the Psybuster with its true
power brought forth is worth fighting.

Shuu recognizes that Masaki is effectively invincible right now, and after
complimenting him on his valor decides to pull out.  It appears that Shuu has
been destroyed, but Masaki himself collapses as the power of the spirits ebbs
away.  Wendy scolds him, saying that at his current power level he shouldn't
try reckless stuff like Possession - he won't be able to control it at all.
She tells him to sit still while she gives him an infusion of Plana -
mouth-to-mouth of course.  Now she herself is feeling a bit faint, telling the
worried cats that it's just like anemia and will pass soon.

They hurry back to the capitol, where Wendy seems to require nothing more than
a little bed rest.  Masaki assures Senia that he's back to normal - he doesn't
have _time_ to be all depressed and whatnot.  Presia then comes over, and
timidly apologizes for the selfish, terrible things she said.  She meekly asks
if she can call him her brother again, and after Masaki chides her and says
that "bro" will do great, he in turn apologizes for not being able to do more
to save her father.  She no longer blames him, and gives him something Zeoroot
left behind.

It's a holo-letter, and Zeoroot starts by saying that he must be brief.
Should Presia be reading it, it means he's already dead.  He says that he plans
on challenging Christof to a duel, one he doubts he'll survive.  Well, if
she's reading this it's a bit beyond doubt... anyways, he assures her that he
is doing this entirely of his own volition.  Of course, his action is in part
to help keep her and Masaki safe.  But also in part, he senses too much danger
in the aura Christof has donned: left unchecked, it will surely bring calamity
to the world - like the demon-god of the prophecy.  Therefore, even if the
odds are slim to defeat Christof, he'll take them over doing nothing at all.
Though again, if she's reading this it means he failed anyway.  Le sigh.  In
any case, he tells Presia not to give into her grief and blame Masaki, who will
no doubt be as sad as she is.  And he himself is.  And as for Masaki, he
mustn't think of revenge, as such thoughts are unbecoming of an Elemental
God-Machine pilot.  What he is to do is clearly perceive who his enemies are,
and live at peace with Presia.  He bids them farewell, and both his "children"
can't stop their tears.  Senia, too, laments Zeoroot's loss above most others.


Scenario 22. Sangeki no Kioku (Memory of a Tragedy)

Kirkus is being made to retire, and Feir can't keep protecting him any longer.
Kirkus says that the scenery in Calatamify Provice is wonderful anyway, and
supposes that Feir may think that he's been "retired" for a long time already.
He says that being a general is too heavy a burden for him, and looks forward
to some leisure time.  His only regret is the Ultra- Elemental Machine Project,
which is now back to square one.  The results would have been a means to combat
the demon god even more dependably than the Elemental God-Machines.  At the
last, Kirkus bids his lord farewell, and tells him to look after his health.

With the night owl (or was he, Feir wonders) gone, Wendy notices that it's a
bit odd that Ruozoul and Christof's incursions into the capitol didn't result
in much damage being done.  Their raids almost seemed more as a mockery of the
kekkai fortification process itself, and their ultimate goal seemed to be to
wipe the kekkai out.  Feir resolves to keep strict guard on the device that
helps generate it.

Tutti and Masaki are on a rare joint patrol, one important enough to get Tutti
to come in on her day off.  Masaki asks if she was planning a date with Ricardo
or something, but she says that it's almost the two-year anniversary of her
family's death.  Masaki's expression sobers up at that, but Tutti quickly tells
him not to worry: all that's in the past now.  Just then, the Familiars catch
an Elemental Machine coming their way, and it's not a friendly.  Is it Ruozoul,
or Saphiine, or...?

It's Rasetsu, and a number of troops belonging to Rubikka.  Rasetsu has paid
handsomely for Rubikka's services, and Rubikka doesn't plan to let him down.
Rasetsu has some special troops here of his own, specifically for taking on the
Elemental God-Machines.  Tutti recognizes these strange mechs as either
Shutedonian or Bagonian in origin, and has some kind of bad feeling about the
impending combat.  Her fears are confirmed upon hearing Rubikka's voice: a man
she can't believe is still alive.  He'd rather she not put it that way, saying
that it's thanks to her that he became masterless for a time - but happily, the
Shutedonian army took him in.  Rasetsu is furious that Rubikka would mention
his country by name after warnings to the contrary, but Rubikka smirks that
their enemies have figured it out long ago anyway.  What's more, why would the
people of Langran believe the word of someone they kicked out long ago?

Tutti is in a rage such as Masaki has never seen before, and the Plana coming
from her is fearsome indeed.  The bad guys fall in short order, but Rasetsu is
happy to at least have gotten some data on your people.  Tutti explains
afterward to Masaki that Rubikka is a murderer, as well as being an Elemental
Machine pilot summoned to Langran around the same time she was.  Tutti found
out about his murdering ways some time after the summoning, and when she
informed the king it was decided that he was to be forcibly sent back to the
Surface.  However, he managed to kill two of the guards and escape to
Shutedonias, where he apparently became a mercenary.  As to _how_ Tutti knew of
his murderous past, it seems that _he_ was the one who killed her parents and
brother, right in front of her no less.  He's the one man Tutti can't allow
herself to forgive, and Masaki laments that Tutti is filled with this much
hate.  Not that it's any surprise.  Tutti has a very bad feeling about this
whole business, and every time Rubikka looks at her, her flesh crawls.  Tutti
knows well that sooner or later she's got to settle the score, or it'll haunt
her forever.

News of Rubikka's continued existence and aiding of Shutedonias is not
pleasant for Feir.  What's worse, a bunch of the old geezers have come up and
recently begun to protest the Elemental Machine project.  They'd prefer that
budget spent on defending the capitol and so on.  These objections, along with
Kirkus' forced retirement, are the net result of Ruozoul's repeated attacks:
Rubikka's resurgence gave the old fogeys just the opening they need.  That, and
part of the royal guard still resents the dependence on the Surface dwellers.
Now would _not_ seem to be a good time for internecine strife...


Scenario 23. Chouwa no Kekkai (Barrier of Harmony)

Saphiine asks permission to enter Shuu's room, which he grants.  She is greeted
by the delicious sight of him stripped to the waist, but something on his chest
catches her attention: a very old scar that a certain person gave him.  The
person responsible is now imprisoned for their affront, says Shuu with with a
low chuckle that seems to shake even Saphiine's composure.  She asks him if
anything is wrong, since she heard him crying out in his sleep, and he asks her
if she's ever felt like her mind and body were not her own.  Of course, she
says: her heart and body belong to her lord Shuu at all times.  Shuu's narrowed
eyes might suggest that that's not what he meant, and he summarily asks her if
"that project" is ready to get underway.  That certainly wasn't what she
expected, but she quickly tells him that things are almost ready to go.  He's
decided to move up the schedule a bit, and tells her that the plan will go into
motion tomorrow.  He has her inform Ruozoul too, and she hastily says that
she'll have everyone redouble their efforts to be done in time.  As she hurries
off to do her lord's bidding, Shuu continues to feel some kind of strange
unease, and figures he's got to hurry.

Feir has asked Senia to put Dekakis into action, though it's not fully finished
yet.  The goal would be to predict Ruozoul's next place of attack, and
fortunately all the Elemental God-Machines are around to act on its advice.
The result is that there's a 78 +/- 6% chance that Ruozoul will strike the Ira
Harbor sometime in the next few days.  That makes sense, since it hosts the
largest kekkai maintenance device.  This seems doubly effective given that
Ruozoul has drawn your attention to the capitol with all those attacks, and
Masaki resolves to go and not let Ruozoul escape this time.  Tutti offers to go
with him, and Ricardo in turn offers to go with her, his "other half".  She
huffily asks when they became two halves, and he tells her that it was just
yesterday!  Flustered rather than angry, she hustles Masaki out the door, and
Yang Long says levelly that he won't be coming too; after all, the capitol
still needs defending.

The kekkai device is actually underwater, supposedly for safekeeping.  But you
rapidly learn that Ruozoul has already beaten you to it...  Your people
confront him, and he agrees to fight you rather than wreck the kekkai device
out of hand.  It is a bit odd that Ruozoul isn't simply destroying the device,
which would be a lot easier than this fight...

When taken down the first time, Ruozoul figures it's too early to end this, and
reappears with more bad guys in tow.  This goes on for a little while, then he
pulls back, leading you to believe that he really wasn't here for the generator
at all.  Then, what were they really after?  Clearly they want to take down the
kekkai, but it wouldn't make sense to target any of the other generators, since
all are smaller than this one.  Except for... the capitol!  Tutti realizes that
Ruozoul's "diversionary" attacks on the capitol were in fact not a diversion at
all.  And right now, the full government of Langran is meeting: the perfect
chance to strike.

Back at the capitol, Feir is having a very hard time persuading the elders, and
he's got another month's worth of meetings to go.  This is thanks to the
business with Rubikka: they want to completely reexamine the plan to summon
Surface dwellers from top to bottom.  Everyone is being run ragged, despite the
fact that the Spirit Festival is fast approaching.  The king is among those
tired... and Feir realizes something very important he was overlooking.  The
kekkai needn't be _destroyed_: the magic that maintains it can be halted, and
the kekkai, which everyone has taken for granted, will vanish.  Feir orders all
the Elemental Machine pilots gathered together to defend his father, and Senia
hurries off to tell Masaki.


Scenario 24. Houkai no Yokyoku (Prelude to the Fall)

As Masaki and the others race back to the capitol, they detect a very powerful
Elemental Machine in their path: probably, the Wizoul - meaning Saphiine has
been sent to stand in your way.  Tutti's bad feeling is getting worse, but
she's forced to admit to her wolves and to everyone else that it's too
dangerous to turn her back on Saphiine.  Saphiine wants your people to hang out
with her for a while, but Roberto urges Masaski, whose mech is fastest, to
hurry ahead.

Saphiine supposes that letting one mech through isn't so bad, but she's got
some Demon Golems for the remaining folks to play with - as well as someone
Tutti knows well: Rubikka.  He's here as a part-time job from his posting with
the Shutedonian army, and has already guaranteed his bosses success.  Tutti
yells out that she won't forgive him, but he dares her to even try taking him
on.  She, he says with an evil chuckle, is far better suited to cowering in the
shadows crying - just like back then.  Tutti spasms, and apparently loses
consciousness, but when her eyes open, they only contain the desire to kill
Ricardo.  Rubikka smirks, amused at how easily Tutti fell under his hypnosis -
must have been the shock back then.  Ricardo is faced with fighting his own
beloved, and the supposedly wicked Saphiine isn't sounding so wicked when she
objects to this way of doing things.

Ricardo must defeat Rubikka, then Persuade Tutti to bring her back to her
senses.  She apologizes for being controlled, but Ricardo tells her to save her
apologies for after the battle, when he'll hear them in full.  For now, the
greatest pair in the universe is back (or so Ricardo says), and Saphiine sniffs
and says she figured it would end up this way from the start.

After the battle, Tutti is still feeling dizzy.  Ricardo is about to give her
something to clear her head, mouth-to-mouth if need be, when a gunshot rings
out.  Rubikka is furious that Ricardo got in the way, and tells Tutti to come
over to him herself unless she wants Ricardo to get another bullet or two in
his head.  Tutti is about to comply when Ricardo yells at her not to go, and
gets shot again for his pains.  Tutti sics her wolves on Rubikka, but they
can't kill him before he runs off, figuring that he's going to stain her
beautiful face with blood soon enough.  Unfortunately, that last shot hit
Ricardo squarely in the heart, and he begs Tutti not to leave him alone even
long enough to grab a medical kit.  He worries how everyone in the capitol are
doing, and his last thoughts are that her presence by his side is like an
angel...

Masaki for his part has the pedal to the metal, telling the Familiars to keep
the overheating mech flying just long enough to reach the capitol.  He can
somehow sense that something bad happened to his comrades, but doesn't dare
slacken his pace to find out what.  Meanwhile, the king is in the midst of more
talks when a bunch of bad guys appear in the capitol, apparently using a
massively improbable _teleportation_ no less.  And then they fire a magical
bomb directly at the conference hall...


Scenario 25. Sangeki (Catastrophe)

Masaki arrives to find that he is, apparently, too late.  He spies Shuu and
demands to know if Shuu did this, and Shuu observes that even if he claimed
otherwise, he doubts Masaki would believe him.  After all, Masaki cares less
about facts than about the "truth".  As Masaki's fury rises, Shuu smiles and
says that he couldn't hold out against Masaki, and that he's got to go about a
certain errand on the Surface.  Or...perhaps it's fair to say he's not bored
enough to take Masaki on.  He then teleports away.

As Masaki is about to follow Shuu's teleportation, Wendy's cries halt him.
She's badly injured, but in stable condition thanks to her own healing craft.
She has no idea how any of this could have happened, saying a large army of
unidentified Elemental Machines appeared out of nowhere.  In short, Shuu and
his Granzon didn't appear until the end, as though to simply confirm the
result.  Wendy doesn't know where anyone else is, except that the hall where
the king was in conference took a direct hit.

Masaki then demands to know what of Yang Long, and Wendy says that he, Simone
and Becky did a splendid job... but couldn't protect everywhere at once.  Yang
Long then appears, seemingly expecting Masaki's hatred.  Which Masaki quickly
reins in, bitterly saying that he's every bit as guilty as Yang is for this
calamity.

A number of enemy mechs then appear, startled to see any survivors.  One of the
soldiers is worried that they're facing two Elemental God-Machines, but his
comrade figures that this last battle proved such mecha to be no major problem.
Masaki informs his adversaries that he's in an _extremely_ bad mood right now,
and advises them to piss off if they don't want to die.  The soldier figures
he's all talk, which is about to prove a most costly mistake.  Yang is of the
same mind as Masaki.

When Masaki makes mincemeat out of the troops, their commander comes out,
aghast at their carelessness.  He prepares to take revenge, but Rasetsu also
shows up and chides his underling that his army's mission is complete.
Besides, he's still got a different job to accomplish, and it wouldn't do to
have him defeated untimely-like.  That mission, which the soldier had heard
nothing about, is to die like a traitor as a sacrifice to Volkrus.  That the
commander didn't realize what Rasetsu was up to until now is just all the more
reason for him to die, and Rasetsu activates the commander's self-destruct
switch.  Rasetsu isn't willing to tell Masaki who he is, but he will say that
Shutedonias is about to declare war on Langran - not that there's many people
left to receive that declaration.  He mockingly tells Yang that all this
_seems_ to have been the work of traitors, so it wasn't any war crime on the
official record.  Masaki tells him he won't get away with this, but Rasetsu
assures Masaki that as long as appearances are kept up, a good politician can
explain anway any  number of things.

Tutti then arrives and gets to survey the carnage too.  Masaki laughs bitterly
at the futility of being an Elemental God-Machine pilot, but both he and Yang
get more embittered yet at the news of Ricardo's death.  Tutti herself doesn't
want to believe that Ricardo could die, but he's getting colder and colder in
her arms, and refusing to answer her calls.

In any case, the capitol is in ruins, the king and the rest of the royal
family are missing, and Shutedonias is about to declare war.  Yang tells the
others they've got to pull themselves together and defend Ra Gias, but Masaki
announces that he's going to head off in pursuit of Shuu.  Yang thinks this is
actually the correct course of action, saying that this assault is only the
beginning of something bigger.  Masaki flies off, leaving his remaining friends
behind in the rubble.

HERE ENDS PART ONE.  THE RISE OF FEIR AND KIRKUS' ARMIES IS CHRONICLED IN SRW4
(OR F/FF), AND HAS NOW PASSED.


Scenario 26. Memorial Day

Ryuune asks Masaki to come with her for a bit, since she wants to ask him about
his past.  He's a bit reticent, but since Ryuune is planning on staying in Ra
Gias for the forseeable future, he relents.  If Ryuune asks, he'll tell her
about the "chance"(?) meeting with Shuu at the South Pole, as he followed him
in the wake of the destruction of the capitol.

Masaki found Shuu amidst the ruins of Federation armed forces.  When Masaki
asked, Shuu said that he certainly wasn't here on a mission to destroy the
Federation as such.  He just put some people trying to use him in their place.
Masaki was now sure that Shuu was too dangerous to be left on the loose, and
Shuu for his part was pretty sick of Masaki's desire to settle the score.  In
fact, Shuu had a date with one Professor Vian, whose name the cats had never
heard before.

That set Masaki off on the path of investigating the Divine Crusaders, which
Ryuune's father Vian Zoldark founded.  This was right before the DC began their
campaign of world conquest, also known as the "Second Super Robot War".  Ryuune
laments how her father was an idealist whose feet never touched the ground:
there was no way his plan would work.  She's thankful to Masaki and the others
for stopping her father's rampage, though some of what Vian was saying did
indeed come true after all: it took less than half a year for the aliens to
invade after Vian's downfall, in the "Inspector War" also known as the Third
Super Robot War.

Ryuune then reminds Masaki that tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of
their meeting.  It's a bit hard to tell that in Ra Gias, whose lunar cycles
don't match those on Earth, and it's been a very _eventful_ year too.  Both
Feir and Kirkus are dead, and lots of combat has gone down with the Inspectors
and DC.  And Shuu himself, who declared war right after the Inspector boss
Wendolo was defeated.

It seems Shuu was waiting all that time for your people to become strong enough
to take him on, lest he bring shame on the name of the Granzon for bullying
those weaker than himself.  Masaki didn't hold back either upon hearing that.
To be sure, it seemed Shuu was probably being controlled by Volkrus most of the
time, and upon reflection Masaki recalls several times where Shuu's words even
made him doubt that Shuu was acting by choice.

The fight against the Neo Granzon was especially bad.  Masaki demanded to know
what profit any of this had for Shuu, and Shuu said that it wasn't about profit
or loss: he was merely doing as his heart commanded.  When Masaki struck Shuu
down, Shuu said that he's fought as hard as he could, and had no regrets.
Everything meets its end, and now was simply his time.  At long last, all the
chains binding him were undone, and stuff.  Masaki couldn't exactly be happy
upon hearing that.  Shuu was, in fact, stone cold dead, but was brought back to
life by Ruozoul, moving the battlefield here to Ra Gias.

Mio then comes over, asking if Masaki and Ryuune are on a date or something.
She then fills them in on how she came to Ra Gias herself: Gated out of her bed
while asleep and more or less tossed on the ground for Masaki to find.  She
figured she'd been kidnapped, and when Masaki tried to explain about Ra Gias to
her, she informed him that kidnapping wasn't a crime as long as he married
her.

Apparently Mio looked younger than her fifteen years, but she was surely
capable enough as the Zamjeed's pilot.  Mio recounts how a geas was used to
force the Zamjeed to turn against your people.  Its guardian spirit would have
been in incredible pain, forced to combat your forces, and Mio could sense its
tears.  Given how easily she was able to pilot the Diablo, Masaki was sure
even then that she was the Zamjeed's rightful pilot, though Tutti didn't want
to let Mio do it so young.

As for Feir himself, he was a man with a very strong sense of duty.  He
summoned many Surface dwellers to help repulse the Shutedonian attack, but due
to an accident he summoned too many, destroying his constitution and giving him
a mere six months to live.  He did manage to unify Ra Gias...  briefly.  It was
afterwards that the evil consumed him, and the Elemental God-Machine pilots had
no choice but to strike him down.  Feir didn't expect Senia and Monica to
understand, but he did ask their forgiveness anyway.

Lest we forget, it was he who taught Masaki his duty as an Elemental
God-Machine pilot... and it was under Masaki's hand he fell.  Mio starts
sniffling over Feir's fate, but with a mighty blow of her nose pulls herself
together.  Then it becomes Ryuune's turn to explain why Kirkus the night owl
took his drastic action.

Ryuune and Yang Long were met by Kirkus' son Zash, who had entered the army
and been sent to tell them that Kirkus would be a bit late due to talks with
Feir.  Neither Yang nor Zash knew what these talks might pertain to, but it
almost seemed more important what sparks were flying between the 18-year old
Zash and the 17-year old Ryuune.  Ryuune seemed mistrusting of Zash's sudden
interest, and warned him that flattery would get him nowhere... but her demeanor
changed the moment he called her and her matching robot "cute".  Kirkus finally
showed up, instructing his son to hit on this girl in a more manly fashion if he
planned to hit on her at all.

Kirkus then announced that he'd signed a peace treaty with Feir, on the
condition that Prince Telius receive the throne.  This astounded all present,
but Kirkus said that while even he knew it was an absurd condition, he found
that he could not fully cast off his long-cherished dream to unite Langran and
the rest of Ra Gias.  Yang shouted that this totally ignored the question of the
people's will, and doubted even the ailing Feir would so thoroughly ignore the
proper channels for ratifying such a treaty.  Kirkus countered that recovery
for Langran was a more immediate concern than the will of the people.  It was
Langran's reconstituted power which should guarantee peace throughout all Ra
Gias, and Kirkus wanted Yang Long to help.

Ryuune knew all too well that despite Kirkus' pretty words, his plans amounted
to "world domination", a concept she was all too intimately familiar with.  She
observed that Kirkus' eyes were just like her father's, whose overreliance on
power led to his downfall when faced with an even greater power.  She knew that
there ought to be a better way than force - and possessing force tends to blind
one to that very fact.  She then made a HORRIBLE, BRILLIANT pun, to Yang's
discomfort.  Kirkus had no plans to alter this painfully-chosen course, and was
sure that history would vindicate him.  Ryuune noted that that's only for the
victors - and there are far fewer victors than losers in the history books.
Yang announced that as an Elemental God-Machine pilot, it was his duty to take
Kirkus down, but Kirkus didn't want to fight his old comrades and lay down his
life just then.  He said that he planned to join forces with Feir and fight
Shutedonias, and would hear Yang's judgement afterwards.

Evicting Telius is what led Kirkus to go to war with Feir, taste defeat and
eventually side with Ruozoul.  Finally, Kirkus himself faced your people in the
Euleed, the "Ultra-Elemental Machine" whose whole project was supposedly halted
years before.  Of course, Kirkus continued it in secret, and of course he
figured that its power would defend him from all evil while he put his plans
into action.  He conceded to Yang that the revolution he had planned would
likely be bloody: no one can get anything accomplished by simply fearing the
spilling of blood.  Ryuune noted that that's simply a sign of how incompetent
he was, and the battle was on.  The mighty Euleed showed what the Elemental
God-Machines could have been, had people relied on their power instead of their
innate goodness.  Kirkus' final refusal to admit the error of his ways, and his
refusal to eject, caused Yang to finish him off.

After that, Ra Gias has been _mostly_ peaceful.  The biggest problem right now
is the ascension to the Langran throne, since Telius and Monica have both gone
off with Shuu.  The new prince is some cousin of Senia's or something, and
Masaki can't recall his name.  Just then Senia shows up, another obstacle to
Ryuune getting in some quality time with Masaki.  Ahamed has appeared too,
drifting in on the wind as his nature would demand.  He bears tales of
Christof's personality changing, which fits what Shuu told Masaki about being
free from Volkrus.

Senia recalls the ceremony for resurrecting the god.  With some awkwardness,
Monica assumed her place, followed by Shuu.  Shuu read from a scripture
describing the equality and universality of death and destruction.  Ruozoul
then commanded Shuu to plunge his blade into Monica, who in turn asked Shuu
with doe eyes and trembling lips to not make it hurt.  Saphiine grinned and
said she likes a bit of pain, and added that it'll only hurt at first, but
after that...  As Ruozoul fumed at the interjection, Shuu told Monica that
Volkrus' resurrection required the despair and death of someone whose hopes
have been betrayed, the stronger the better.  Monica didn't seem to mind, but
Shuu had actually picked a far better target: Ruozoul himself.  As Ruozoul
writhed in pain and astonishment, Shuu told him that he ought to look happier
at being sacrificed for his beloved god.  Moreover, Shuu referred to Volkrus
without honorifics: some flaws in Ruozoul's resurrection had allowed Shuu to
elude his contract with Volkrus.  Shuu _would_ bring Volkrus back, so he could
kill it once and for all - surely Ruozoul remmebered how much Shuu hates being
controlled?

As the resurrection began in earnest, Shuu told Saphiine to withdraw, lest its
power overwhelm her and bend her to its will.  She realized that she faced that
fate at least once before, on the verge of becoming like Ruozoul: a slave.  She
told Shuu that she'll stay and fight by his side, and would happily let him kill
her if her resolve faltered.  Volkrus was in fact unable to turn Saphiine
against Shuu, and Shuu and the others prevailed at the end.

Mio seems very smug about Saphiine's proclivities, and Masaki wants to know how
Shuu could be freed from the contract simply by being able to forget about it.
Senia cautions him that the contract may have been hypnotic, and hypnosis is
never to be underestimated.  In any case, Shuu put paid to it all with his
usual aplomb, and the evil seems to have receded from him, but Masaki still
distrusts what's going on deep in his heart.

Ryuune is looking forward to more one-on-one time with Masaki, but Senia then
tells Masaki that Wendy has come back.  Ryuune realizes that she's got a rival
for Masaki's affections, one who's known Masaki longer than she has.  But
there's more important news: the prophets have foretold a new calamity
overshadowing Ra Gias.  It's not clear _what_ that calamity will be, but it is
clear that Masaki will face it.  He will, of course, have help in the battle,
but the fragdown is expected between six months and a year from now.


Scenario 27. Sasurai no Presia (Wandering Presia)

Your people do a headcount, trying to figure out how to protect the world.
Gennajy is among those present, but as usual he gets overlooked until he
actually speaks up.  There are six pilots, plus a very eager Presia.  If you
tell her it's too early for her, she runs off in a rage.  Masaki's excuses
about it being too soon seem lame even to him, and in a huff he agrees to go
and try to win her back.  Mio figures that Masaki is just clueless about
women, but Ryuune realizes that Masaki said what he did out of concern for
Presia.  If only he'd be even a tenth that concerned about her herself...  A
message then comes in: it seems that Presia has gone off on her own in the
Diablo.  She's every bit as impetuous as her "brother" Masaki, even if she's
no blood relation of his.

Presia's indignation at Masaki's admonition quickly cools as she realizes that
she's being pretty reckless herself, and has nowhere in particular to go in the
Diablo.  She quickly runs into some Bagonian troops, led by Gino.  When the
troops realize that a little girl is at the controls, some want to capture the
Langran machine, but Gino is more inclined to speed Presia on her way.  He
seems quite taken with her in fact, and one of the soldiers professes open
puzzlement that his captain, the Demon Valencia, has a thing for little girls.
Presia hesitates to go back, and Gino determines quickly that she must have run
away from home.  He guarantees her a place to rest at his house, and instructs
his troops to say nothing more of it.  It's when he starts composing a poem to
Presia that his troops know he's got it bad.

Your people arrive just after Gino leads her away.  You can try to beat
Presia's whereabouts out of them, but if you don't, your people withdraw so as
to not disturb the recently signed peace treaty with Bagonia.  Masaki is of
course impatient to get Presia back, but Tutti tells him to be patient until
Senia finds out her whereabouts.  The cats recall an old acquaintance of
Zeoroot's in Bagonia: Shemel Hell, the Sword-Saint.  He's as good an excuse as
any to get into Bagonia...


Scenario 28. Densetsu no Kensei (The Legendary Sword-Saint)

Tutti gets visas to enter Bagonia, but you'll have to tread lightly.  Should
you break the seals the Bagonians will place on your weapons, you'll have to
pay a heavy fine.  The border crossing is quite painless, but you find Shemel
quite inhospitable at his house - apparently he's in the middle of making
something.  As your people wonder what's up, Shemel's student Rosa Lee appears.
She convinces her master to stop his lousy painting and greet the guests, just
in time for a Demon Golem to appear out of nowhere.  She doesn't heed her
master's call to trade places with her in the mech, determined to take it down
herself.  Rosa Lee seemingly sees it as a matter of pride for her as the first
pupil of Fueki Kuon Style to smite these guys down, but more golems quickly pop
out to overwhelm her.  Masaki, in no mood to watch this girl get thrashed, says
that he'll pay any amount of fines if need be, and even without Shemel asking
springs into action.

  As the battle wears on, Masaki shouts to Rosa Lee that there's no way he can
  protect her if she keeps lollygagging around.  He tells her to do exactly as
  he says, which she takes as some kind of sexual dominance ploy at first.
  Tee hee.

Shemel has at least one good way of thanking your people for their help:
serving as witness that you broke the seals on your weapons in self-defense.
He's also very happy to see that Zeoroot found so worthy a successor as Masaki,
and asks how Presia is doing.  When he hears of her abduction, he considers it
his duty as Zeoroot's brother in arms to help you out.  Gino's name comes up
quickly as someone to check with, and Rosa Lee makes to contact him right
away.


Scenario 29. Bagonia no Yami (Darkness of Bagonia)

Shemel isn't inclined to rest on his old laurels as "Sword Saint", saying that
the "Sword Emperor" Zeoroot was far better than he was.  That he won those
tournaments versus Zeoroot back when was more due to luck than anything.  Rosa
Lee, for her part, more or less forced her way into Shemel's household to
become his student, and perhaps self-proclaimed fiancee.

If you elected not to fight the Bagonian troops, you can recover Presia right
away from the trusty Gino.  She'll be headed to Shemel's house forthwith.  In
the meantime, Shemel offers to paint everyone's portrait, though Rosa Lee makes
him sound like the world's worst artist.  Finally, he agrees instead to come to
your people's aid should you need him later.

Gino then shows up with Presia, thanking Masaki for avoiding combat with his
border guards, which would have surely meant their destruction.  Presia can't
believe that Masaki actually controlled his temper for once, and Masaki smiles
and says that he's got to grow up some time.  Presia, in tears, apologizes and
rushes back to him.  They exchange apologies and praise, and Gino has another
poem to commemorate the beautiful sibling love he sees.  Presia corrects his
poem, but that's not what has Gino suddenly peeved - _that_ would be a certain
mad scientist lurking behind the scenes.  It's Zetsu, mad with glee over being
able to trash the products of the hated Academy.  This crazy coot has authority
over all Bagonia's defenses, and isn't one to take shit from Gino.  Gino, with
many apologies, has no choice but to withdraw and let Masaki and the others
fight Zetsu.  Presia wants to fight too, and this time Masaki relents and
allows her to try out a few tricks that Gino showed her.

Zetsu has some reinforcements hidden away too, and Rosa Lee can't believe that
a dirty old man like him is in charge of the national defense.  He goes down
fairly easily, and heads off in fury to develop a stronger Elemental Machine to
kick your ass later.  Gino apologizes again for not being able to use his
position to stop Zetsu, embarassed at that fact in part as a former student of
Shemel's.  He advises you all to leave quickly, since Zetsu is a very vengeful
guy and will surely be back soon.  Masaki and Presia thank Gino for everything
he's done, and your people head back.

Once more Presia and Masaki apologize, and Presia assures Masaki that she'll be
an adult soon too.  Ryuune wonders if she's got yet another rival for Masaki's
affections.  Shemel gives you his sworn deposition to help with the weapon
seals, and thanks you for bringing some actual civilization into his isolated
mountain life.  He tells Presia that he'll welcome her any time.


Scenario 30. Uragiri no Daishou (The Reward for Treachery)

The seal of the famous Sword Saint is enough to get your people back across the
border with no uproar.  The uproar actually starts after you get back to
Langran: it's Zetsu, still out for revenge.  Among his posse is an American
with a WAY stereotypical American affectation to his Japanese, Thomas Platt.
[Why he should be like this when people from numerous other Earth nations speak
perfectly good Japanese is beyond me.]  It so happens this guy was in the DC
long ago, and recognizes Ryuune on sight.  Now a mercenary, he readily accepts
the order to wipe your people out.  But more troubling is that _Fang_ is on the
bad guys' side.  He claims to be there because he loves Langran, though he
won't explain himself except to say that your people are somehow to blame.

The old geezer just isn't giving things a rest, and at this rate it seems
you'll have to face more assaults from Bagonia.  Masaki figures that this guy's
hatred of Langranian Elemental Machines must have something to do with the
Alchemists, and makes a note to ask Wendy.  Plus, there's Fang's treachery to
consider...


Scenario 31. Triangle Love

Ryuune goes to Tutti for information about what her romantic rival is like: how
old is she, and is she good looking?  Tutti ponders this, and says that if the
29-year old Wendy _isn't_ beautiful, neither are a good eighth of the
supposedly beautiful women on Earth.  Ryuune blanches at this assessment of how
beautiful Wendy is, but figures she's still got youth on her side.  Her
conviction begins to waver when she actually sees Wendy, who certainly doesn't
_look_ 29.  No sooner does Ryuune try to butt in on Masaki's reunion with Wendy
than Wendy's maturity (even complimenting Ryuune on being "cute") becomes
evident.  Masaki gruffly refutes Ryuune's claim to be his lover, and Wendy
smiles and says she's jealous of how well the squabbling pair seem to be
getting along.

As for Wendy herself, she's still on medication but well enough to travel with
the rest of the crew.  Masaki's obviously concerned for her welfare, but her
calm determination to do whatever she can to help in the trials to come carries
the day.  That night, Ryuune comes and wakes Masaki up, asking if he'd chat
with her given she can't sleep.  Masaki tells her to come back tomorrow...

The next morning, Wendy announces that she's fixed Cosmo Nova, commenting that
Masaki is, as usual, pretty rough on his mech: even the Psybuster's self-
healing can't keep up.  Masaki promises her that he'll take better care, and
Mio figures that with Masaki's openness to Wendy, Ryuune's really behind the
eight ball.  The romance stuff gets preempted by a report of suspicious
Shutedonian activity near the border in Troia.

It's Rasetsu, who has his men searching for someone who is hiding in the
vicinity.  Though he knows he's violating the border and realizes how fearsome
his adversaries are, Rasetsu isn't one to back down.  His henchman Jog is glad
to hear that, looking for some payback for the beatings he suffered during the
last war.  Whatever or whoever the Shutedonians were looking for, it's surely
not good news for your people.

The fugitives are Rodney and Radius, whose absence Rasetsu isn't inclined to
lose too much sleep over.  Jog politely points out that of those two, at least
General Jes'ha (Rodney) is a pretty sharp guy, and Rasetsu figures that maybe
he'd best put some of his plans into action, just to be on the safe side.  And
that will take some time...

  [Battle ensues.]

After things settle down, Ryuune goes over to Wendy, announcing that she can't
manage to talk around things and that she'll come straight to the point: what
does Wendy think about Masaki?  Wendy gets quite flustered, but Ryuune tells
her straight up that she loves Masaki and pretty much forces Wendy to say that
she does too.  Wendy wants to know why Ryuune asked, and Ryuune notes how girls
often get into all kinds of drama over their crushes.  Ryuune knows she's bad
at all such machinations, and figured it'd be easier to let Wendy know where
she stands up front.  Wendy rather adores Ryuune's honesty, and promises her
she won't do anything to earn her ire.  It's to be a womens' contract, far more
binding than those between men if Wendy is to be believed.  Masaki of course
has no clue what's going on.


Scenario 32. Yang Long no Shuugyou (Yang Long's Training)

You finally get in touch with Yang Long, who tells you that he's almost done
with his training and will be back soon.  This "polishing his mind and body"
business is supposed to result in some new killer move.  That move would be
when Yang can fuse with the fire spirit Granva, and now that Yang has finally
sighted the beginning of the process, the results should show themselves very
soon.  Yang tells his Familiar that he'll make sure he's got the hang of it
before rejoining the rest of your people, who he's confident can mind the store
in his absence.  Though Yang still sees much in Masaki that could stand
improvement, he's already improved enough on so many fronts that he's very
nearly the worthy pilot of the Psybuster in Yang's eyes, and he suspects it's
thanks to Masaki's runins with Shuu and the other menaces on the Surface.
Heck, Masaki's honesty and openness with his emotions even make him jealous
sometimes...

Yang easily takes out one of the practice drones, grimacing and figuring that
he can't advance his training any more by just fighting with them.  Lucky for
him, Saphiine shows up, maintaining that she came to play with him today.  It
seems that Shuu, absorbed with his research, isn't paying enough attention to
her.  Yang doesn't intend to attack her, given she hasn't done anything wrong,
but tells her sternly that given all the stuff in the past, she's not
precisely entitled to just "come and play".  It's a strange relationship that's
neither friend nor foe, and in any case Yang wishes she wouldn't interrupt his
training.

However, a pack of Demon Golems shows up.  Saphiine is quick to say that their
arrival isn't her doing, and while she doesn't like Yang ordering her to help
him eliminate them, she decides to help of her own accord to blow off a little
stress.  As Yang fights them, he realizes that this is in fact good for his
training, and wonders how Demon Golems could prove such formidable allies.
Saphiine thinks that this might mean that "it" is the real thing, and coyly
tells Yang that what she means is a secret.

Just then Masaki and the crew show up, and Saphiine excuses herself without
much protestation.  More Demon Golems show up instead, and it's up to your
people to eliminate them.  In the process, Yang finishes his realization about
his new attack.  With all four Elemental God-Machines now gathered, and no
immediate threat from Shutedonias, Yang suggests that the others try some
training too.  Masaki seems a bit dubious, noting that if you get too hung up
on trying to acquire new deathblows, you may miss something more important.
Wendy assures him it's alright...


Scenario 33. Reiseikai no Shuugyou (Training in the Spirit Realm)

Masaki figures that the fastest way to "train" would be to go ask Ibun to help
you unlock your hidden potential.  Ibun has the same worry that Masaki did
about getting carried away with power, but Wendy assures her too that it'll be
okay.  Ibun can only help three people at a time, and since Yang has just
finished his own training he offers to step aside.  Including Ryuune, there's
still four people to whittle down to three, and Ibun decides that the training
will take place in the Spirit Realm, also known as the Astral Plane.  This
place, which mortals can't normally enter, is a realm where spiritual force
avails more than force of arms.

You really only reach the entrance to the Spirit Realm - even Ibun can't take
you entirely inside.  After you select the three people, she tells you that
you'll be fighting... yourselves.  It'll be hard, but if you can live through
it you should find something nice awaiting you.

Your opponents seem like versions of yourself but drunk on power, and fighting
them is no picnic.  Ibun is sure you all learned something, saying that the
difficulty level was unavoidable given the short amount of time available to
her.  Your people then head back to the capitol, leaving Wendy to consult with
Ibun alone.  Wendy is still suffering some kind of symptoms that Ibun sadly
says may be supressed, but never erased.  Wendy is fully aware of that, but
wants to stay by "his" side even one day longer.  Ibun growls, not unkindly,
that "he" isn't worth falling that deeply in love with, and then begins the
treatment.


Scenario 34. Presia Tokkun (Presia's Special Training)

Presia complains to Gennajy that it'd be nice if they could learn some new
deathblows too - that would at least make them able to help out a bit.  Gennajy
is at first skeptical, but after remembering that Presia is the daughter of
the fabled swordsman Zeoroot finally agrees.  The spot for their training was
where they previously held a picnic.  Gennajy insists over her objections that
she's got to start by building her stamina, and adopting a sort of gym
teacher-like persona has her run ten laps.  She's not very speedy, and luckily
the appearance of some Demon Golems causes PE to get interrupted.

Becky shows up on round two, apparently looking for treasure but professing to
be on "training" when Gennajy asks.  This training is indeed good for learning
some new moves, as well as raking in the money from the golden golems... which
of course was part of Becky's reason for being on the scene.

Masaki is about to chew Presia out for going off on her own when he's
surprised to see Becky back.  Becky, finding Masaki much more manly than
before, is about to give him a reunion kiss when Ryuune objects.  Masaki makes
introductions, then storms off as the girls start teasing him about having more
than one lover.  Becky hits it off with Mio, a fellow "Earth"-type pilot.


Scenario 35. Shishi, Iki ni Toozu (A Noble's Pride)

Masaki is busy losing at arm-wrestling to Gennajy (five times running).
Neither Becky nor Yang want to fight that losing battle, and it's looking like
Gennajy will reign unchallenged until Ryuune asks Masaki to let her cut in.
Despite warnings from all around, Ryuune pulls off a stunning display of
bravado and manages to somehow overpower Gennajy, who confirms in shock that he
wasn't holding back at all.  Ryuune says that it's less about how strong she is
and more about how she conditioned herself - at her father's insistence, given
his foresight that she was destined to be a mecha pilot.  Part of the training
was the special wristbands he made her wear, each of which weighs a good five
kilograms.  Her father was certainly an oddball, but she doesn't resent the
things he taught her: they've come in handy for, among other things, letting
her get close to Masaki.  Mio whispers that Masaki had better watch out the
next time he and Ryuune quarrel...

...but then Senia runs in with some real news: Bagonia has declared war.  That
the avowed neutrals would do this is surprising, and Ryuune wonders idly if
that old geezer Zetsu is still after you.  Wendy is astounded to hear that
name, so famous as an "outcast" of the Academy of Alchemy.  It turns out that
this man, known as the "Merciless Alchemist", has broken the Council's sternest
strictures and dabbled in many forbidden arts, caring nothing for the outcome
of whatever new technique he could perfect.  She explains that all alchemic
academics must consider carefully the consequences of any new discovery, how to
take responsibility for them and whether or not to make that discovery public.
But Zetsu, purely for his own enjoyment, made countless instruments of death,
and was exiled from the Council a good 30 years ago.

Well, it seems he still harbors designs on revenge, and apparently he has the
ear of Bagonia to boot.  Masaki vows that something must be done about Zetsu
before things get any worse, and Presia wonders if Gino and Shemel could be of
some help.  Probably, and the only way to find out is to sneak across the
border now that a war is on.

Shemel's assistance is being enlisted by Zetsu, who suggests that the penalty
for refusal would be Shemel's precious apprentice being fed to wild beasts.
Shemel realizes that his country won't last long with this lunatic calling the
shots, and consents to be led back to the capitol.  Zetsu is mad with joy that
he's now got all the ingredients to construct the Gattsoul, and orders one of
the remaining soldiers to obliterate Shemel's house, without leaving any
evidence.

Before the deed can be completed, Gino appears and demands to know Shemel's
whereabouts.  The soldier can't answer that, nor can he confirm whether Zetsu
ordered the act.  That tells Gino all he needs to hear, and he orders the
soldier to return to Zetsu at once and inform him that Gino's resigning his
commission, effective immediately.  And that the next time Gino sees Zetsu is
the time he'll chop off his head.  The soldier, sympathetic to Gino's
standpoint, wishes he could help Gino - but Gino tells him not to overstrain
himself; if Gino recalls correctly, the soldier is a newlywed.  The soldier, in
awe, withdraws with a prayer that he never need face Gino on the field of
battle.

Gino then takes stock, uncertain how to act on his impulsive speech.  A poem
comes to him suddenly: "Lingering twilight / Departs with the dawn, leaving /
One shadow behind".  That proves especially true since Thomas and his men show
up, sent by Zetsu to see that Gino doesn't make it out of here.  And should
Thomas succeed, he's been promised an extra-special bonus.  Gino's lucky too,
since Masaki and the crew show up.  Gino tells your people to flee, insisting
that he can take care of this himself until Thomas brings out his reserve
units.  After some suasion on your people's part, Gino shakes his head,
thinking that he should have brought the Ginshas Plus instead.  He then agrees
to accept Masaki and the others' help.

  [Battle, again ensues.]

Thomas is astounded that his "lucky day" turned out this way, with him getting
his ass beaten in.  After the dust settles, Gino tells you that Shemel was
opposed to the declaration of war, which is probably why Zetsu hauled him away.
 This shouldn't have been possible except for Rosa Lee being held hostage, and
Gino at least has some idea where she might be.  Shemel himself, however, could
be anywhere.  Masaki asks Gino to lead you all to where Rosa Lee is - he's not
doing this for Langran, but for all of Ra Gias in accordance with his duty as
Elemental God-Machine pilot.  Gino protests that that was just a cover story
cooked up by the Langran government, but Masaki shouts that that "cover story"
was more than good enough to make him fight and kill Langran's highest
official, Feir himself!  Gino realizes the truth in this at once and
apologizes, adding that he's envious of your ability to live so freely
according to your ideals.  Your people advise him to cast off his Bagonian
citizenship as such and become one of you - it's Presia's plea that seals the
deal.  Thus, he needs to be chosen by one of the Elemental Machines, but all
that's handy are the Lastoll and Jayfar.  Until the test can occur, Masaki
tells him to keep using his current machine.


Scenario 36. Shemel to Rosa Lee (Shemel and Rosa Lee)

Clues are proving elusive, and the only thing left in Shemel's house is a large
collection of strange paintings (which Gennajy likes).  With no other choice,
Gino leads you off towards Rosa Lee.  Gino explains to Ryuune that Rosa Lee,
entranced with Shemel's swordsmanship, elbowed her way in as his pupil.  The
bit about her being his fiancee is entirely her own invention, which reminds
Mio a bit of Ryuune's situation with Masaki.  Ryuune contains her temper and
doesn't pound Mio, but before she can quiz Gino any more your party arrives.

There are no guards at your destination, and Masaki suspects that the bad guys
are using some of their fiendish plans against you.  And the fiend himself then
shows up.  He's got a special surprise waiting for you: it's Rosa Lee, whose
mind he's fiddled with and who now sees you as nothing other than the ones who
killed Shemel.  This is going to make it much harder to save her, though Wendy
thinks there's a way if you can somehow deliver a shock to her.

  To rescue Rosa Lee, you've got to get rid of Zetsu first, then reduce her
  HP to below 50%.  Zetsu has rigged her mech to explode if she regains her
  senses, but she manages to eject just before it explodes.

Zetsu is beginning to realize that he's not good enough to defeat you, and
leaves in a huff.  As for how your activities are being anticipated so well, it
turns out that Gino's mech is made out of a particular metal, whose radiation
patterns can be tracked quite easily.  The offending radiation source can't be
removed without totally dismantling the thing, and Masaki thinks that it'd be
worth Gino trying an improv piloting of the Lastool.  Gino apologizes for all
the trouble he's causing, but Masaki says he needn't apologize to the rest of
his comrades.

Rosa Lee meanwhile has no recollection of her ordeal, but does recall that her
teacher is missing.  She's about to be seriously angsty when she realizes Zetsu
could only haul him away because of her, but the news that your people are
planning to rescue Shemel cheers her immensely.  Part of what's so great about
your people (Gino included) is the ability to set aside personal hatreds for
the greater good.  Also, she happened to spy a large pile of supplies when she
was brought here, and hopes you can put them to good use.


Scenario 37. Fang no Shin'i (Fang's True Intent)

Ryuune wants to know if Rosa Lee really loves Shemel.  Rosa Lee blusters and
says of course she does, as his wife and his student, but Ryuune thinks that
her gaze when looking at Shemel is more the way one looks at someone they hate.
Apparently Rosa Lee starts babbling when she gets excited, and Ryuune tells
her that she won't press - it was just something she wondered about.  Rosa Lee
assures her it's just her imagination...

As for where Shemel is being kept, Gino can think of no better way than
starting from the largest known Zetsu base and working down from there.  The
chances for success are low, but you've got little other choice.  The first
base is very heavily guarded, and a frontal assault is the order of the day.

Who should be waiting for you but Fang!  Does he really want to kill you? Well,
he blames the Surface folk for... something or other bad happening.  Meanwhlie,
Zash shows up, claiming to be a changed man after all the training he's had
(Ryuune sure hopes so, for his sake).

  Masaki can Persuade Fang, and it turns out that Fang is still bitter over
  the fact that your people killed Feir.  He thinks you all are criminals who
  led Langran to its present sorry state, but at that Masaki questions how
  Fang can even call himself an Elemental Machine pilot.  He forcibly reminds
  Fang what the duties and obligations of such a pilot are, spitting the words
  out between tears.  Finally, Fang comes to understand why Feir fought you:
  because he left everything in your hands.  Howling in anguish, Fang
  realizes that not only had he misunderstood his lord's heart, but also
  tarnished his good name.  Making matters even worse, he realizes he
  allowed his own unfulfilled rivalry with Masaki to further cloud his
  judgement.  He tries to apologize for his irreversible bad deeds, but
  Masaki yells that there is no such thing.  Should Fang want to make
  amends, Masaki will welcome him with open arms - and in the spirit of
  "better late than never", he joins your team.

  However, the fun's not over - Thomas shows up for a rematch.  He claims
  that Shemel is either in heaven or hell, but no longer here or anywhere
  else on this world.  Saying that Zetsu killed him as part of some kind of
  experiment, he tells the increasingly furious Masaki that he's got to go
  through him first before he can even think about Zetsu.

So Fang is back on the scene, and Masaki tells him he needn't be all penitent
about it.  Meanwhile, his machine has the same radiating metal that Gino's did,
and Senia will happily dismantle it.  Fang's sure he can pilot whatever is
left, since his old machine is now taken, and Masaki tells him to try the
Jayfar on for size.

All of which is very well and good, but Shemel still appears to be dead.  Rosa
Lee can't believe it, insisting that her teacher, the man who killed her
father, couldn't die from something this trivial.  She explains that her real
name is Rosa Lee Gimnas, and her father was Harry Gimnas, a swordsman of some
repute who died from a wound suffered in a match with Shemel.  Rosa Lee had
wanted to steal the techniques of her father's killer, and eventually extract
revenge.  But as Ryuune preceives, that killing wish had turned into genuine
love with time.  Ryuune has a similar tale to tell of how Masaki killed her
father, but she says she's too simpleminded for some kind of "revenge served
cold" business.  Plus, she knows that both her father and Masaki did the best
they could under their circumstances - and figures that her father's little
world domination scheme was going a bit too far.  She's even grateful to Masaki
in a way, and while she doesn't like the word "fate" she figures that her
father's end was somehow inevitable.  Rosa Lee knows as well as Ryuune does
that revenge only breeds more revenge, and she had indeed started seeing in
Shemel a new father figure.  Ryuune councils her to rest for now, and let time
warm but not erase the wounds.

Obviously Zetsu is the real bad guy here, and you've got to kick his ass fast
before any more bad stuff occurs...


Scenario 38. Wendy no Kushin (Wendy's Worry)

Though your people would love to wipe out Zetsu, there's only so much you can
do given that he's a Bagonian official and all.  Gino has the idea of rounding
up proof of Zetsu's misdeeds and using the network to circulate it as a
broadside, though he dislikes the taint of underhandedness such tactics exude.
This requires returning to the capitol to gather all the paperwork, and will
give Senia a chance to use her nifty computers for a bit of illegal hacking.

However, you are met at the capitol by some soldiers, with orders from the
Alchemists' Council for Wendy to show herself at once.  There are similar
orders for the Elemental Machine pilots, and the soldier tells you to find out
why at the council itself.  Tutti agrees to go as your representative, at which
the soldier orders the rest of your people to wait in Langran.  Masaki heatedly
points out to this punk that nobody has the authority to order him around, and
the soldier replies that if his demands are not met he's authorized to use
force.  It's not clear what's happened in your absence, but it seems to involve
Shutedonias and Bagonia, and has made things a lot more awkward.

Masaki muses that Langran seems a bit less inclined to work for the best
interests of all Ra Gias than when Feir was at the helm.  Wendy and Tutti are
sure taking a long time at whatever this meeting is, and an emergency message
comes in that Langran is about to be...  but Wendy's long-staved off condition
is coming back to haunt her, and cuts her off.  It's not clear what Wendy was
trying to say, but at least Tutti makes it back.  Shaking her head, she tells
you that you've been requested to take out some Demon Golems nearby.  The
stupidity of the Langran government has her aggravated, but the tale will have
to wait.  It's more than a bit odd that Demon Golems would appear in the middle
of town, but...

  Assuming Becky makes it through the battle, you'll see a bunch of golden
  golems come out.  Given that the government hasn't been giving you much
  of an allowance, maybe this is pennies from heaven?

Tutti tells you what the council was up to: pondering making the Elemental
Machines part of Langran's regular army by ignoring their fundamental mission.
Fortunately that was only coming from part of the council, but a part with
influence.  Masaki wants to run right over and give them a piece of his mind,
but Tutti tells him to leave the negotiating to her.  Instead, Ryuune suggests
he go check in on Wendy, given that the Academy is nearby.

Wendy had in fact lost consciousness, and is being tended to by one of the
guards.  He seems evasive when he denies that she said anything strange, and
Wendy has a vague memory of something regarding her sister.  But why?


Scenario 39. 17-ban-me no Masouki (the Seventeenth Elemental Machine)

Ryuune takes the lead, lest Masaki's infamous sense of direction or hot
headedness cause trouble.  She finds them a secluded spot to park their mecha,
and they sneak in through an air duct.  Since Ryuune's in the lead, this gives
Masaki a good look at her large, shapely ass, and she fiercely tells him not to
stare.  Hilarity aside, the two of them manage to catch sight of something
shocking on the way to Wendy's room: a newly developed Elemental Machine!  The
fact that Langran made it without telling the other Elemental pilots is a bad
sign.  Masaki has his cats search for Wendy's plana, the work of but a few
moments.  But what Masaki finds upon entering her door...

...Is someone _resembling_ Wendy but with flaming red hair.  And with Wendy's
clothes and perfume.  Masaki and Ryuune are taken aback, but whoever they're
talking to thinks it's time to give "it" a little test.  Before starting the
experiment, the woman says her name is Teldy Rasm Ignart - and informs Masaki
and Ryuune that they're going to help her.  But before she can throw a certain
switch, she collapses, morphing back into the familiar Wendy right before their
eyes.

Wendy explains that what they just saw is her twin sister Teldy, but a giant
explosion cuts her off.  In panic, she realizes that the Ishmael's autopilot
has been engaged, and pleads with Masaki to reign it in.  The Ishmael is in
the hangar, and it's pretty clear that only Masaki and Ryuune are in any
position to stop it.

Further explanation from Wendy will have to wait, but for now Masaki vows to
take this "Ishmael" thing down in no time flat.  When he does, he notes how
tough it is - almost like an Elemental God-Machine.  The debris is even trying
to regenerate as they speak, and Masaki makes sure to keep the pieces
separate.

Wendy explains that her twin's heart dwells within her - something she never
even realized until she was badly wounded during the assault on the capitol.
Ever since that day, she's been plagued by hallucinations and headaches - and
as her constitution has worsened and her plana lessened, her sister has come to
show her face more and more.  She and her sister share thoughts and memories,
so she knows precisely how her sister feels.  Indeed, the fact that she can
lead an even remotely normal life is thanks to her sister being sacrificed, for
which Wendy can find no words of gratitude or apology good enough.

At first her sister was cooperative, but Teldy's heart is filled with nothing
but an all-encompassing blackness.  Her hatred of this world that allowed her
to live yet denied her the right to be born rules her heart - and Wendy can no
longer contain her sister's spirit.  Wendy fears that her sister will replace
her at this rate, and even as they speak feels a swoon coming over her.

Masaki and Ryuune get her to pull herself together, and demand to know more
about this Ishmael thing she seems mixed up in.  She explains that the Ishmael
was born out of the Langran government's fear of the Elemental Machines moving
out of their control, and made possible by restarting the abandoned project for
a seventeenth Elemental Machine.  Wendy herself refused to help, but Teldy was
more than happy to - and now Ishmael is something far more powerful and far
more malevolent than what Wendy had originally designed.  She tells them that
this forbidden number 17th machine must not be allowed to exist [think the
unlucky number 13].  Masaki tells Wendy to come with you, vowing to see to her
well-being on his authority as a pilot, and says he'll have Tutti try to do
something about Ishmael...


Scenario 40. Ishmael Goudatsu (Theft of the Ishmael)

Wendy has calmed down, but it seems clear that some serious therapy is needed.
Given the spiritual nature of the problem, Ibun would be the best bet, and
Ryuune is especially enthusiastic about seeing that her
friend/comrade/who-knows-what is cared for.  Ibun of course knows about Wendy's
condition already, and says it would be a lie to say that there's no way to
_cure_ it... but the method is rather rough - possibly too rough for Wendy in
her weakened state.  Wendy, who managed to wake up without the others noticing,
is willing to give it a shot: it wouldn't be fair for her to be the only person
not risking their life around here.  While she feels badly for her sister,
she'd rather have that sister driven from her than allow Teldy to fully possess
her and bring great evil to Ra Gias.  She agrees with Ryuune that their little
"contest" is to resume once she's better, though Masaki has no idea what this
contest entails.

The angst is broken up by word of a raid on the Academy.  Rasetsu is
definitely not heeding the guards' commands to stop, and tells Jog to help the
money-minded Rubikka mop up things around here.  Your people show up in time
for the guard to tell Masaki that the Ishmael has been stolen by Shutedonias.
Masaki blames Langran for making the monster in the first place, but realizes
quickly that the only thing to do is go steal it back.  But before you can do
that, you've got to frag down with Rasetsu's lackeys.

It seems Rasetsu is a rising star in the Shutedonias power elite.  It's very
fishy that he managed to infiltrate the Academy and all, and Senia finds some
disturbing info when she checks up on him.  Shutedonias is in fact split into
two factions: Rasetsu's, and _Jes'ha's_ - the old guy was temporarily exiled
for opposing Rasetsu's ideas, but he's recently come back into favor.  Enough
favor that he might well replace the current president, the disfavored
Zoraushald.  This seems to be forcing Rasetsu's hand, and on the heels of the
mess with Bagonia it appears certain that Rasetsu plans a full-on offensive
with Langran.  After all, proof of defeating the Elemental God-Machines would
give the Shutedonian hawks ample encouragement for war.


Scenario 41. Kishi Kaisei (Death and Ressurection)

Ryuune is pondering one of the larger questions in life: is it possible for one
person to become happy without another becoming unhappy?  She's thinking of
Wendy and her sister, but Masaki tells her it's wrong to think of happiness in
ways others define.  It's up to each person to define happiness for himself:
obsessing about unhappiness will surely be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  He's
sure that Wendy understands that, and Ryuune tells him that she's just found a
new reason to love him.  She snuggles up close to him, but says she won't go
any farther, because of a little "promise" she made.

Rasetsu doesn't wait long to launch his offensive.  He's not happy about having
to pull something this grandiose to solidify his power base, and figures that
the usefulness of allying himself to Zoraushald may be at an end.  He and his
troops are waiting for your people to show up, and Masaki for one is furious
with anyone who would use war as a means to advancing their career.

Rasetsu is forced to retreat without much of a fight, but everybody knows that
the Ishmael can be far more dangerous.  Both sides are sure that when Rasetsu
comes again, one side or the other is going to go home in body bags.  On a
lighter note, word comes in that Wendy's treatment has been a success.  Masaki
hurries to see her, but Ryuune recommends he swing by the capitol first to buy
her some kind of get-well present.  The entire crew comes along, quickly
squabbling (nicely, for the most part) about suitable presents.


Scenario 42. Yabou no Owari (The End of Ambition)

With Mio's Familiars doing the Three Stooges act, Masaki and Ryuune head to the
Soratis Shrine first, leaving the others to follow later.  What they find is
pretty astounding: Wendy, fresh from her bath, is happily humming to herself in
her room - sans clothing.  Ryuune is incredibly fast to shield Masaki's eyes,
and the two of them end up in a heap on the ground.  It's hard for them to even
get out so Wendy can get dressed.  Masaki maintains that he saw nothing, but
lets it slip that Wendy is awfully well proportioned for someone her age.
Further hilarity is cut short when Ibun passes on a report from Tutti - Rasetsu
has struck again.

Rasetsu, seeing that the Psybuster isn't here yet, stays in reserve and
performs some final adjustments while his subordinates take on the rest of your
people.  Once you defeat the first wave of bad guys, Rasetsu shows up, ready
for the final battle.  If Rodney is so inclined, he shows up here too, to help
your people overthrow Rasetsu's plans of coup d'etat.  He taunts Rasetsu with
the knowledge that his plans are finished, and says that the Elemental
God-Machines will get the honor of ending his miserable life.  Now it's really
the case that Rasetsu and his stooges are done unless they can eliminate the
Elemental God-Machines.

When you put paid to Rasetsu, he realizes that he simply wasn't strong enough -
he probably deserves to go down fighting like this.  Rodney thanks you for
taking out the trash, quick to point out that he isn't planning to fight you
today.  He did want to tell you that he's planning on entering the Shutedonian
presidential contest, saying that if he wins he might just be able to make
Shutedonias a slightly saner place.  In any case, it appears Shutedonias has
been taken care of - leaving only Zetsu.  The plan is to return to the capitol,
check in on Wendy, and gather information on doings in Bagonia.


Scenario 43. Gattso no Ikaku (The Menace of the Gattso)

Wendy actually comes to greet you as you head for the capitol.  She explains
that Ibun has separated Teldy from her, keeping her soul with the spirits at
the Soratis Shrine to placate it.  She's come to terms with her decision to act
for the greater good, and has vowed never to forget her sister.  As long as
Teldy has someone to remember her, perhaps her soul will be saved after all -
and Ryuune vows to remember Teldy too.

Senia then runs in with some good news: Bagonia has chosen to expel Zetsu! This
will lead to a peace treaty with Langran, and the only thing that remains is to
capture Zetsu himself, now a fugitive from the law.  There's only one place he
could be trying to attack: the Academy.  Senia's put all her computing
expertise to use and figures the defenses are perfect, and in fact your people
get very early warning of Zetsu's attack.

Thomas is getting a bit tired of going along with Zetsu's revenge jag, but
it's a bit late to back out now.  Zetsu's crazed talk of vengeance is
interrupted by your people's appearance - it seems he's so far gone he no
longer recognizes your crew.  Thomas contents himself with trying to settle his
score, and offhandedly admonishes Zetsu not to hit him too.

In time, Zetsu discovers a strange red substance coming out of his belly.
Something about it tickles his addled mind, and he begins giggling, interupted
by increasingly severe coughs.  The explosion of his machine takes him with it.
Thus ends the last sliver of darkness threating Bagonia, who along with
Shutedonias will _not_ be engaging in a pointless war with Langran after all.
Shemel may also be able to rest in peace now: a reminder that much was
sacrificed to get to this point.  Yang grimaces and notes that even you all, no
gods, have limits to what you can accomplish.  Masaki just hopes that this is
really the end...

With peace seemingly guaranteed, Ryuune asks Wendy if she wants to get the
competition for Masaki actively underway.  Wendy stammers a bit at this until
Ryuune says she was joking, and both women agree it's a good thing Masaki
doesn't have more of a clue about women, or they'd have even more rivals...

Scenario 44. Saikai, Shuu (Reunion with Shuu)

Ryuune manages to pester Masaki to take some time off from the war recovery
work long enough to go swimming with her and Wendy, though she has to resort to
telling him that Wendy's bought some "daring" swimwear and _then_ badger him on
top of it.  Ryuune is miffed that Wendy's name did the trick, and more miffed
that it's turned into a group outing.  We find out that Tutti, although
protected by the water spirits, can't swim; though she does point out that
Masaki can't exactly fly either.  Mio, meanwhile, IS practicing tunneling
underground, hoping to get in a good eight hours of yoga on her next dig.
Lucky for Tutti there's a very suitable coach around: Gennajy, former Gold
medalist in swimming.

The sight of Ryuune in her very skimpy bathing suit doesn't stir Masaki, but
Zash is practically falling over himself to praise her.  She is about to
delicately point out to him that she's out for Masaki, but he tells her he
knows all about that.  He's still free to fall in love with whomever he
chooses, even if he can't do anything about it - indeed, Ryuune is in much the
same boat.  As your people approach the beach, they spot some very unwelcome
visitors: some Demon Golems!  What's more, Shuu and Saphiine are here as well.
Shuu efficiently calms Masaki down and assures him that the Golems aren't his
doing.  He tells Masaki to help wipe the bad guys out if he wants to hear whose
fault they _are_, and Saphiine adds that girls hate people who do nothing but
harangue them all day.

After the battle, Saphiine explains that she and Shuu had come to enjoy the
swimming - in the nude, in her case.  Shuu has to keep her from squabbling with
Masaki, and explains that this came about due to that Ruozoul guy getting
resurrected.  Of course, Shuu is more than a match for the Wizoul...  at least,
the normal one.  After taking down Volkrus, Ruozoul has been hounding Shuu even
more fiercely than Masaki once did, and Chika adds that she suspects Ruozoul
must be in love with her master or something, not that that's anything but
creepy given the guy's ugly face.

Masaki has to threaten Chika with his cats to get a word in edgewise, and Shuu
agrees that this sounds like a good plan for Chika to learn to hold her tongue.
In any case, Masaki realizes that Volkrus and Ruozoul are a major threat to Ra
Gias, especially combined.  He happily offers to help Shuu, and Shuu is duly
impressed with how much Masaki has matured.  However, he warns Masaki that if
he's to become a true pilot, he's still got a lot to learn: and he'll see that
shortly.


Scenario 45. Jashin Kourin (Advent of the Evil God)

Shuu and Masaki are both taking a walk through the capitol: Shuu's first visit
in a long time.  Shuu's women are squabbling over him somewhat more
aggressively than Masaki's, and when sparks fly between Saphiine and Masaki,
she gets back at him by baring her ample bosom right in the middle of the
street.  Shuu sighs and asks Masaki to join him inside the palace where they
can actually talk like civilized human beings.

Shuu tells Masaki that he's pretty certain where Ruozoul is, but isn't quite
ready to go yet.  He's got Senia working on a way to defeat Ruozoul's old
"invincible mode" trick.  In fact, Senia finishes very fast with Wendy helping
out: she suggests that Masaki be the one to thank Wendy for her part.  Shuu
explains how the battle will unfold: he's got to attack first, which will
disrupt the Nagtsart's Astral Shift and let everyone else take a whack at it.
Masaki is content to let Shuu get the first strike in, and everyone heads off
to battle.

Ruozoul seems almost happy to see his two tormenters here in person.  As for
Shuu, he's determined to see Ruozoul destroyed so utterly he'll never be able
to come back.  Unfortunately, Shuu's recovered memory makes him susceptible to
Volkrus trying to control him.  Ruozoul does indeed suceed, and tells Shuu to
return to Volkrus' service.  There's only one chance: for Masaki's words to
pierce Shuu's hypnosis and return him to sanity.

  You must Persuade Shuu twice with Masaki, while dodging bad guys left and
  right.  Masaki demands to know how Shuu can talk down to him so damn much
  if he's one to let himself be controlled by such a loser as Volkrus.
  Masaki's verbal abuse, plus Shuu's will, prove stronger than Volkrus' curse.
  Shuu is grateful to Masaki, and more than ready to make the already-dead
  Ruozoul pay for this humiliation.  Ruozoul can't believe that a mere mortal
  could refuse a god, and Shuu reminds him that anyone who stands in his way,
  be they man or god, will be shown no mercy.  If Saphiine fights him, she
  says that although her tastes are _broad_, they don't extend to
  necrophilia.

Ruozoul is disbelieving that man could topple God to the end, but Masaki yells
that your living people are far more important than some "God" anyway.

Gino is heading back to Bagonia temporarily to help settle the political
situation there.  Presia is looking forward to his return, and Rosa Lee tells
him not to forget her luggage when he comes back.  He in turn reminds her not
to slack off her practice, since she's now an official Elemental Machine pilot.
Gino figures Presia is in good hands with Masaki as her "older brother" and
departs, just soon enough for Becky to miss giving him a farewell toast.  Becky
likes the fact that he's the only other guy, besides Ricardo, who can stand as
much alcohol as she can.  She feels a bit sad that her drinking partner is
gone, but figures she can still drink alone and heads off to do so.

Gennajy and Mio were also late, apparently because Mio took too long changing
into some _very_ girly pink getup for Gino's benefit.  Apparently she and
Gennajy have formed a comedy duo, though Gennajy seemingly doesn't have his
heart in memorizing the material.  His protests do sound a bit weak though as
he and Mio leave.  Fang, also late, then shows up, wishing to say "farewells"
to Gino.  It seems he wants to go on a long trip, to iron out something he
still feels itching him at the bottom of his heart.  Masaki understands fully,
and to Fang's surprise Masaki tells him to take his mech with him.  This is
supposed to help him recall his decision as an Elemental Machine pilot, and
Fang gratefully accepts.  He tells Masaki, with a smile, that they'll have to
settle their score later.

Next up are Yang and Tutti, who said their temporary goodbyes to Gino last
night.  They actually have tidings that Shuu, for once, is looking for Masaki.
Masaki realizes that Shuu can't well hang around here, and that he's planning
to leave.  Masaki plans to go see him off, and Tutti announces that she's
getting ready to do her turn at making dinner.  Presia is aghast, offering to
help becasue of Tutti's very... "individual" style of flavoring.  Yang and
Masaki both urge Tutti to accept Presia's help, which she sighs and complies
with.

Zash then shows up, noting that neither Saphiine nor Wendy are here.  He goes
off to look more, and the cats realize that Zash is very much interested in the
opposite sex - unlike a certain someone they know.  Shuu then appears,
confirming that he's about to leave.  Masaki comments on how much Shuu has
changed, though he still doesn't 100% trust him since he's never really heard
Shuu talk in terms of doing things for the good of the world and the people in
it.  Shuu smiles and supposes that Masaki's got that right, and marvels again
at how Masaki was the one to save him.  Masaki never would have guessed that
either, and asks Shuu what he plans to do now.  That's Shuu's question: is
Masaki thinking about his future?  Masaki...  has no idea, and Shuu says that
he's in the same boat: given that both of them are mere mortals, neither can
really see the future that well.

With that, Shuu takes his leave, asking Masaki not to do anything to upset the
two ladies by his side.  Masaki smirks and says that that goes for him too, and
with a smirk of his own Shuu sets off.  Just then Monica and Saphiine show up,
wondering where their Shuu has gone off to.  Masaki has no clue, and the women
squabble over whose fault it is Shuu is so upset with them.  Gathering
herself, Saphiine prepares to head off after Shuu, pointing out to Shuu's
reconciled acquaintance Masaki that Shuu is _not_ gay.  Masaki doesn't get this
at all, and she flies off, leaving "see you again" as her farewell.

Ryuune then shows up - not to say goodbye to Shuu, but possibly to tell Shuu
not to lay a finger on "her" Masaki.  Wendy is shocked, surprised at the
thought that Shuu might swing that way, and Ryuune says it certainly seems like
that to her.  Wendy is now quite flustered, wondering what to do with that
information, and Masaki asks why the heck women are so obsessed with that kind
of logic.  It's nothing but disgusting to him.  As the women continue pondering
the topic, Masaki figures that he knows a bit of the troubles Shuu must be
going through...

THE END!