Welcome to Super Robot Wars Quest!In the previous episode: we teamed up with a Topless veteran, Lal'c Melk Mal, to defeat the last Synapticon nest within the lake. Want to catch up with the story so far? You can here! http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=SRW+QuestAnd now let's proceed, without further ado.------------------------------------------------------------"So, you're going?""Do we have any alternative?""I don't think so.""Then that's a rather dumb question, isn't it?" The man saying this was not mad or upset, however. Rather, he was similing wide. His interlocutor, on the other hand, wore an indeciphrable expression on his face. "More importantly, how are your eyes?""They'll get better. Everything is in position, both your machine and mine.""Heh. I expected nothing less," he replied, his hand shaking slightly as he reached for a cigarette, the first ever in his life. He couldn't even lit it up properly, and after a few futile attempts, he tossed it away. "How are the boys?""They won't get in your way. I told you, everything's fine. I kept my part of the deal. Are you getting cold feet?""Truth be told, I am. Guess I am afraid of dying after all.""Aren't we all?""I suppose I thought too highly of myself," the man said, stepping backward and lying with his back on the wall. "What a sick joke. All of this. ""And to think you're about to become the punchline." There was an uneasy silence, then the other man spoke up again."I am sorry, that was uncalled for.""You shouldn't apologize for telling the truth. It is what it is. No, it is what we'll make of it."And then again there was silence. He started drumming with his fingers against the concrete floor, humming a tune he'd heard his teacher sing once before. A question was plaguing his mind. Something he dared not to ask. He knew very well that he was fooling himself. He knew that the situation wouldn't have changed, whether he asked or not. The only difference would have been between knowing and not knowing. Clearing his throat, he steeled his resolve."Say...""Yes?""Do we stand... do I stand any chances of winning?""No."
>>3442241The other's response was quick and piercing like an arrow. He wasn't expecting much, but this...! He had been shot down in a second flat. Talk about awful luck."But... there's chance of success. In a certain sense, that's winning too, isn't it?"He nodded. He was doing all of this for their sake. For her sake, in particular. There was no chance of survival from the beginning, and he knew. Slowly, he stood up and started stretching. The wait was slowly eroding his senses. He was afraid that he would've snapped before reaching the cockpit, so he decided to resume the conversation instead."By the way, about miss..."It was at this point that the alarms started echoing through the base. It was showtime. The other turned around and prepared to leave. Their window of time was short and they had to fully capitalize on it, lest all their efforts be for naught. "I am leaving this up to you," he said, taking his leave."I won't disappoint you," he replied, wondering if he was reassuring the other or himself. ==================================================================================================================The Great Mazinger was nothing short of amazing. The cure and the details on every part of it made it look less like a weapon and more like the work of an inspired artist. If compared to the other mechas stored in the hangar, it stood in a league of its own, outshining both the Von Neumann's sleek silhouette and the Hi-Drapearl's eccentric design. The Simulacrum and the Solarion, too plain to even be mentioned, only seemed to further magnify the gap between Shirou's machine and everyone else's.The Mazinger pilot's appetite more than matched his machine's title. During the trip from the lake to the base, he did nothing but describe his hunger and the mouth-watering delicacies he'd tasted in the past, making everyone's stomaches rumble in protest, envy and starvation. As asoon as the team was back, it received an hero's welcome from the rest of the staff, and while everyone else looked overwhelmed, Shirou managed the general enthusiasm just fine. He rather looked like he was used to it. To be completely honest, you were rather relieved to have him on board. He seemed to be kind, dependable, reasonable, and while he did enjoy discussing food in details, he also spent the rest of the time dishing out compliments to everyone else without any reservation. You were unsure whether he really meant it or if he was just being diplomatic, but it was nevertheless nice to hear. >I am tired. I could really use some rest [Heritage +1]>I'll join Shirou for lunch [Synthesis +1]>I have some questions for prof. Deucalion [Revenge +1] (If you choose this option, feel free to specify questions you'd like to ask)>Other (specify)
>>3442242>>I'll join Shirou for lunch [Synthesis +1]Welcome back!
>>3442242I have a question to ask. I haven't been keeping tally, but do our choices affect something? I'm guessing we have a pretty high synthesis count, but what does it do and how much do we have of each?
>>3442375This is intrinsecally interlocked with how your power advance, but also how it manifests. To make a dumb example: had you had a larger amount of Revenge during your first fight against the Synapticon Broodmother, rather than controlloing the Probe Blasters you would've gained access to the Shining Finger. Also what you see here is a mistake, from this section onward you won't be able to know which alignment each choice is connected with. You'll only learn that ex-post.
>>3442380Thanks. That makes more sense. Would you mind telling us the totals so far?
>>3442447Sure anon, here you go.SYN 32REV 4HER 10I was tempted to make that final Synthesis attack last thread weigh 'more', but I desisted in the end.
>>3442242>I'll join Shirou for lunch [Synthesis +1]
>>3442242>>>I am tired. I could really use some rest [Heritage +1]
>>3442659>>3442679>>3442363[Your alignment has shifted towards Synthesis]Feeling more than just peckish, and so together with Shirou and Lukasz you headed for the canteen. The others had apparently other business to attend to. Despite the almost festive atmosphere, the kitchen really had nothing but the same, usual bland food to offer. Much to everyone's amazement, Shirou ate his fill and then went for seconds. You stared down at your own plate. No way in hell could you bear eating twice that. After a sonorous burp, Shirou started talking again."Still, man, I can't wait to chat with that Flaming Skull girl. Who knows, maybe it'll even turn out that we fought some major battle together!" he excitedly commented."And on that note, quite happy we didn't meet on the battlefield before," the enormous pilot added. "Nothing personal, of course."But his otherwise innocent remark seemed to have sparked an interest in the Mazin soldier. "Oh, Newtype?""No, not exactly. It's... complicated, I'd say. Let's just say my circumstances were different. There's only one Newtype on this base.""I am not a Newtype..." you feebly retorted."Oh don't be like that, miss.. uh... Carlotta, right? Not all of the people in the army hate Newtypes. Personally, I think you guys are amazing. Of course there are a few rotten apples, but the same is true for us normal people too.""So... you're implying I am not normal?"Shirou forced a nervous laugh and an unconvincing apology. [Socializing Background] Still, it was pretty clear that he never meant anything offensive to beging with. Either he was a great actor, or honest to a fault. Be it as may, you forgave him before excusing yourself to your room. Some time to think - and to rest - was exactly what you needed right now.The situation was getting more tangled, you could feel that in your bones. Your latest surge in power was sure to attract unwelcome attention. Someone out there had already decided you were a Newtype, simply because of the things the Von Neumann could do while you piloted it. Your talk with Shirou confirmed it. It wasn't a comforting thought. It was as if someone had already decided in your place. And talking about places being decided, with the captain gone chances were that your next roommate was going to be Joan. That would definitely be a sad turn of events.In any case, your clothes were soaked with sweat, and the captain's room was still at your disposal. You tossed the piloting suit to the side and went for a shower. The warmth of the water slowly worked its magic, relaxing all the tension that you had been building up and making you drowsy. The adrenaline high was fading, making way for a slight sensation of fatigue. The prospect of a nap was becoming more enticing by the second.
>>3442755Wearing some spares provided for by the base, you slid into the bed and almost immediately fell asleep. After what felt like just a few minutes, the knocks against the door woke you up. Whimpering with a slight hint of irritation, you stood up and went to get it, only to find Joan waiting on the other side."What is it?" You asked, rubbing your eyes."We were all wondering where you ended up, and they sent me to get you. The others didn't want to enter a lady's room. Anyway, the kitchen's almost closed. Do you want to grab something to eat or...?"Something was definitely off about her. She wasn't exactly being friendly, to be sure, but she also seemed to be more at ease with the situation, as if some of her unexplainable animosity had died down. Her acts were almost... considerate.>I don't like this. What's up? >Sure, I could grab a bite >Yeah thanks, I know the way >Other [Specify]
>>3442760>No. [ Close the door in her face. ]
>>3442769And go back to sleep.
>>3442760>>I don't like this. What's up?
>>3442760>Sure, I could grab a bite
>>3442760>>Sure, I could grab a bite
>>3442769CHAD move.>>3442826>>3443655>>3443908>>3444136[Your alignment has shifted towards Synthesis]Perhaps it was worth taking a chance on her. Besides, patching up things would've probably been beneficial in the long run."Yeah, let's dine together. Are the others still in the cafeteria?"Joan nodded. "We're all sharing anecdotes from the war. Not everyone likes to reminisce, but we all have a story or two to tell," she replied."Guess I can't join that conversation, then. Unless you wanna hear stories of me playing tug of war."The Hi-Drapearl's pilot smiled, then looked away as if embarrassed. Mustering up her courage, she managed to ask something she must've been brooding over. "So... it's real. You really do come from a different world, don't you?""Indeed. Is it... hard to believe?"She shrugged. "Somewhat. The only people coming from another universe are bigshots like Shirou. I suppose that's why I didn't believe you at first. You seem... ordinary.""Well, I am. Trust me, I have no idea what's going on. I want to go back just as much as you want me gone."The discussion, however, hit a dead end as you quickly reached the canteen. The guys were chatting and laughing, and Joan joined them right away. There were a million things you wanted to ask. How could Matheus's Simulacrum perceive you from a distance? If a Great Mazinger existed, did it mean a 'tiny Mazinger' was also around? And why was Lukasz's mood always so sour? [Socializing Background] But that evening, you did not dare to ask. Instead, you decided to listen to their crass, something even outright gross, stories about the war. A war you could not understand in the least bit, a war you knew nothing about, but also clearly a war that had changed their fates forever. Probably Mark too was... Yeah, he must've been there too. The mecha you used during your last fight was proof of that.Night fell, and your drowsiness returned. Perhaps a side effect of overexerting your powers. Bidding everyone a good rest, you returned to your half-vacant room and slept a peaceful sleep, undisturbed by worries, nightmares or sudden knocks.
>>3444863A meeting was convened the following day, with prof. Deucalion providing some details about the next mission. Everyone but him was sitting at the round table, all on the same side to watch pictures as a computer projected them across the room."As many of you already know, this is the surface of Pseudo-Nergal 5. Carlotta here will attest that it does indeed look like Mars. We are currently stationed on one of its three moons, PN5-2, as its climate is more suitable for human life. However, as we all know, not all lifeforms are equal. And thus..."The professor magnified the image. It showed what looked like a citadel, built somewhere on the nearby red planet. "Interesting taste in architecture," Matheus commented. "Never seen anything like that. Do we have a hunch?" Shirou asked, puzzled. Even a veteran like him looked like he was at a loss. "The Euclid-Keter says nothing about them at all," the professor responded. "Meaning that it's time for some science. I enlisted the help of commander Kabuto here for this very reason, and we should all be thankful for his support.""Oh come on, I volunteered for this. No need for formalities. Besides, if these turn out to be Mycaenean remnants...""I am sure you have your reasons, commander. Be it as may, our newcomer here isn't really well-versed with space combat," Deucalion said, placing his hand heavily on your shoulder. "Would you mind coaching her?""Of course! I am actually really looking forward to working with a Newtype!">Very well then. I am ready when you are. >I'd like you to stop calling me Newtype. >How exactly are we going to get there? >Other [Specify]
>>3444870>>How exactly are we going to get there?
>>3444870>How exactly are we going to get there?
>>3444870I have big dick energy, I just can't help it.>Carlotta Dubois, <i>normal</i> teenage girl, at your service. (That's the second time Shirou.)
>>3444870>>I'd like you to stop calling me Newtype.
>>3444907>>3444912>>3444923>>3445057>>3446495[Your alignment has shifted towards 'Synthesis']Shirou's use of that word was somewhat bothersome. Maybe it was because you were now aware that the word was a slur? Deciding to rely on his good faith, you decided to ask a different question instead. "Wait a second, how are we supposed to reach the planet?""We have an Arcadia-class ship stored below the base. A short-distance Geschtam portal will transport us to space, then we'll use our own Geschtam Jump Engine to get closer to the objective," Father Matheus explained. "Or at least, that's what our M.O. used to be.""Well, you heard the man," the professor said. "If there are no further questions, the meeting is adjourned."Everyone got up, and commander Kabuto gestured to follow him. "We've got a long way to go, so we best get started.""Do you have any ideas how?" you inquired."Of course," he replied, grinning as he showed you a pair of keys. "Courtesy of the boss. You're gonna love this."The space simulation room was probably the most eerily sci-fi place you ever visited since your arrival. Completely white, its walls covered in a soft, cotton-like substance, it had been designed to help people become familiar with zero-G environment. Shirou was right next to you, giving you some guidance on how to move and how to regain control in case of a lapse or mistake. [Social Background] "This is so frustrating!" you complained. The problem was not so much learning how to move, but rather the fact that you were exposing one of your weaknesses to a relative stranger. It seemed like he did not mind much, however. "It's fine, it's fine. It was the same for me when I learned how to deal with space and space combat. Still... when I was a kid, I never thought I'd get to visit space, nor did I think I'd eventually fight on a super robot."That was something you were secretly hoping for. A hint, a chance to get him to talk about himself and to establish a connection."Tell me about it. Less than a week ago I considered passing my modern history exam a challenge. Now here I am, fighting for my life."
>>3446689Shirou laughed. "Ah yeah, trust me, I know that feeling. It seems like our worlds are not that different after all. But now we're here, and what can you do about that? We gotta do our best.""It's hard to disagree with you there. But still, I wish I could turn back time and get out of this mess somehow. Don't you?"[Social Background] A shadow passed over his face for a moment. Then, the energetic pilot regained his cheerful attitude. "I sure do. I wish I could change things in my past, and yet wish as I may, the past won't change. We must do our best to change the future instead," he replied. His demeanor was not any less jovial, but it was clear that your question had been a faux pas. The training session continued as if nothing had occurred, but you were still somewhat troubled. Yesterday, Shirou Kouji looked like an unshakeable man with an indomitable spirit. Today, that single glimmer of wistfulness within his soul was setting off alarms in your head, as if your sixth sense caught something your conscious mind could not. You simply could not let this go without at least trying to make amends.>I'll ask him to tell me what's wrong. I can't help him otherwise. >I will praise his skills as a trainer for now, then I will start doing some research >I'll let him know he can count on me. >Other
>>3446692>>I'll ask him to tell me what's wrong. I can't help him otherwise.
>>3446692>>I will praise his skills as a trainer for now, then I will start doing some research
>>3446692>>I'll let him know he can count on me.
>>3446692>>I'll ask him to tell me what's wrong. I can't help him otherwise. A bit late, but I gotta say I’m really enjoying this quest. Nice to see Big O getting some love early on, even if Roger and Dorothy were only introductory characters. Post-season Diebuster is cool too, and Mazinger looks like it could lead to some fun. The OGs are interesting too. Solarion is from Dangaioh (only heard about, haven’t watched), but I’m not sure of Hi-Drapearl’s series, and I’ve never seen an OG Evangelion before. Especially not one piloted by a priest who worships Amuro? I guess I need to watch more UC.In any case, looking forward to more!
>>3448152Hi-Drapearl is from TTGL.And in case anyone was wondering, the submerged mech is probably from After War Gundam X. Most likely to be a type of G-Bit.
>>3446722>>3446893>>3447097>>3447169>>3447655>>3448152[Your alignment has shifted towards 'Revenge'][Socializing Background] There was no way you could have just left this situation be. You had waited for a chance to establish a connection and you could not just let it slip like that. Mustering your courage, you decided to give it your best shot. "Uhm... Shirou, I mean, commander...""Shirou's fine. I'll just call you Carlotta.""Yes, of course." You sighed in relief. His nonchalance had just patched up a potential faux pas. "What I wanted to say is... if there's anything you want to get off your chest, you can just tell me. Maybe I am not ready to deal with everything this world will throw at me, but... I'll try my best and at least hear you out."The commander smiled, more sincerely this time. He placed his hand over his shoulder and thanked you."I appreciate the sentiment, Carlotta. But if you want to help someone, you gotta stifle his worst instincts. Brooding over the past is one such instinct for me. In the future, feel free to kick me in the balls if I am being sappy. Now miss, no slacking off! Resume the exercise!"Zero-G exercises were tough, even more so because you had never been the athletic kind of girl. After the training session, there wasn't a single muscle in your body that wasn't hurting, and rather than walking you were just limping. But the commander spent some very encouraging words, so perhaps it had not all been in vain. While the rest of the day was rather uneventful, what you did not expect was the sudden convocation from prof. Deucalion and prof. Isomäki to the conference room. The tiny, emerald-eyed scientist was fumbling with a chalkboard while the other was impassibly looking at you through his sunglasses. Didn't they make things worse, considering how all blinds were shutand next to no light was filtering through the windows? That was up for anyone to guess."Take a seat," the man unceremoniously said. This was no different from the first time you met, except hopefully this time no gun would be involved. "It's been a while, professor Deucalion, professor Isomäki," you replied, greeting them both."It has indeed. But you manage to make things happen while we were gone. I suppose it's an oversight on our end, but we're here to fix it.""What do you mean?" you asked, somewhat unsettled by how the conversation was unfolding.
>>3448685"You have demonstrated to possess some powers. We were not sure if you had them or not until you activated the probe blasters that used to belong to captain Mark. Once it was clear you were gifted, we had to make our move," professor Isomäki explained. "Precisely. We had to pull some strings to make sure everything went smoothly. Perhaps you've got the gist of it, but the Central Government has grown increasingly suspicious of...gifted individuals.""Newtypes.""If that's how you want to call them. Personally, I find the use of that umbrella term particuarly irritating, but you can't deny that it was a great idea, politically speaking," Deucalion continued. "Speaking of which, what do you know about the current political situation?">Not much, besides whatever you said about there being a Central Government [Heritage +1]>I am not sure. I remember reading something about the civil war... [Synthesis +1]>I had no time to read the books. Gimme a quick rundown [Revenge +1]>Other [specify]
>>3448691>I am not sure. I remember reading something about the civil war... [Synthesis +1]
Ah FUCK me, I forgot to remove the alignment tally again. Shit, fuck, I gotta pay more attention
>>3448691>>I am not sure. I remember reading something about the civil war... [Synthesis +1]>>3448812lol You got to always protect them mcnuggets SRWQM.
>>3448691>Not much, besides whatever you said about there being a Central Government [Heritage +1]
>>3448770>>3448760>>3448831>>3448843[Your alignment has shifted towards 'Synthesis']"You hit the nail right on the head," the man acknowledged. "The Civil War is... the birth of all of our current problems, to put it frankly. The Central Planets, the core of the Sol System together with its closest neighbors, are under the jurisdiction of a Central Government. After the war, remnants of the rebel forces fled beyond the area the Central Government could effectively control. There, they formed the League of Independent Systems, or Independentists for short.""And what caused the war?""We'll get there. For now, keep in mind that the Independentists rallied behind the flag of 'Newtypes' to oppose the government. That should explain, at least partially, why they're wary of... them.""Either way, we're trailing off," professor Isomäki interjected. "We came here to touch on another subject... although perhaps it would be incorrect to say the two are unrelated.""Correct," the bespectacled resumed, walking towards the blackboard and drawing some circles on it. First, a large one that covered the almost entirety of the available surface, and then other, smaller circles, partially overlapping with the largest one. He then used the chalk to shade the chunks of the areas of the smaller circles that were not contained within the larger circle."Now, a proper technical explanation here would probably take too long and require competences that frankly you do not possess. But I want you to imagine this. When the portals first opened, mechanical warriors from other dimensions started pouring in. Their objectives were... manifold, but they brought a strange power with them. Or rather, it would be more correct to say they gave us a way to understand this power, which was always dormant and immanent within this universe.""So far so good," you commented, nodding. "But tell me more about those portals. That's a topic of... particular relevance to me."That contemporary history book you read some days ago had been somewhat stingy with explanations, so hearing the juicy details straight from source couldn't have hurt. "Yeah, I saw this one coming. The truth is that the portals are usually operated by Joan's posse, the Flaming Skulls. We could say that this outpost and her gang have... a rather conflictual history. Long story short, we possess no portal, nor any way of sending you back in the short term. However, the Mazin Corps and the Flaming Skulls are staunch allies. Do you understand why commander Kabuto is here now?"
>>3449659[Socializing Background] A brilliant plan, you had to admit. It was almost like he was actually trying to honor his word, which, if anything, made the situation even harder to read. Deucalion stroke you as a cold, intelligent and calculating man. Just what did he stand to gain from your departure?"Now, back to the drawing board. This power... almost every different group of fighters called it with its own name. There was no consensus on what it was. The hard core of the Flaming Skull, the Gran Gurren Brigade, insisted on calling it Spiral Power, but there's no shortage of those calling it by other names and attributing it different characteristics. And yet... certain scientists, like yours truly, wanted a clearer understanding of how such powers operated">And let me guess: you finally achieved it. >Are those 'powers' even measurable? >Is this going to be about how mainstream science shuns your genius ideas? Because if so I am not listening. >Other [specify]
>>3449665>Are those 'powers' even measurable?
>>3449665>>And let me guess: you finally achieved it.
>>3449665>>Are those 'powers' even measurable?
>>3449665>>Is this going to be about how mainstream science shuns your genius ideas? Because if so I am not listening.
Rolled 2 (1d2)Let's roll a die 1 we go with measurable, 2 we go with you finally achieved it.
>>3449687>>3449745>>3450260>>3450283>>3455047[Your alignment has shifted towards 'Heritage']"So the brilliant young scientist and his team of talented researchers make a sensational discovery and are sent to a faraway planet as a reward. Am I getting the gist of this right? Or did you fail to achieve this 'clearer understanding' you were talking about?"Admittedly, you were being a bit standoffish there. But you weren't fond of people tooting their own horn."Is that sarcasm I sense in your words?" The man asked, cocking his eyebrow. "But either way, yes, I did. It claimed the best years of my life. It claimed a chunk of my eyesight. It claimed... several things of me, really. I don't regret it. I gained what I wanted to gain, and lost what I could afford to lose.""I am all ears, then. What has your research brought us to?" "So here's the crux of the matter," Deucalion smiled, as if encouraged by your previous question. "We... or rather, I, believe that there is only one such 'power'. Everyone is simply looking at a different facet of its being. The Unified Source Theory claims that only a source exists, and all we see are different derivations of it. Your Von Neumann has been built according to that theory.""Is that why I am able to channel that 'power' or whatever?""Precisely. What you're 'channeling' is Mirror Energy. It is not exactly the 'unified power' we have hypothesized, but it's a good enough approximation. Its inputs are sent along the...""The SALUTE system?""Good, you were paying attention. Then you must surely remember what else I said about it: a strong emotional response is necessary to activate it. How you conjure it is up to you. Anyway, I suppose we're done here," the professor concluded, wiping his drawings from the blackboard. "I urge you to continue your training with Shirou, if possible. We'll be departing in a week's time. Good luck."[Socializing Background] "Why me?"That was the question that had been plaguing you from the beginning. Why were you the one capable of doing all this? Why were you forced to leave your home to serve under a military force you knew nothing about, and as a prisoner to boot? And it seemed that the others had caught up on the full extent of your question. "We do not know," prof. Isomäki replied."We truly do not."
>>3456158"And if we did know, a young girl with no formal training is the last person we'd give our one-of-a-kind prototype to." prof. Deucalion intervened. "Make no mistake, if you even so much attempt to desert, it'll be death by firing squad. But this is not something that we wanted, in fact, it's the last thing we'd wish for. You and us, we're both stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am not asking you to like us. I am telling you that we'd both better off by helping each other out.""That sounds an awful lot like a threat.""I am aware. But the Von Neumann is just as much of a threat to us. As you see, even against our best wishes, we threaten each other.">So what do you suggest I do? >So what if I turned that machine against you? >So what if I betrayed you? >Other
>>3456159>>So what do you suggest I do?
>>3456159>So what do you suggest I do?
>>3456159>>So what if I turned that machine against you?
>>3456159>So what if I betrayed you?
>>3456174>>3456325>>3456335>>3456362>>3456441[Your alignment shifts towards 'Synthesis']Clenching your fists and holing back your anger, you attempted to formulate the next question with as much self-control as possible."Very well, then. What do you suggest I do?"The professor raised three fingers. He then proceeded to enumerate what was on his mind."Cooperate: we all have something to gain from working together. We know this situation isn't easy on you. Believe us, it's not easy for us either. If we stick together, we have can a long way.Observe: a mirror is useless without someone looking into it. The SALUTE system will register traces of the 'unified power' and replicate them as 'Mirror Energy'. It does need something to replicate, though. Something to observe. So get your friends to teach you all they can.And finally, learn. A mirror is a terrifying thing. It forces you to look into the parts of you that you hate the most. And yet, learning from the past is the only option for those who don't want to repeat the same mistakes over and over."He then paused. Both him and professor Isomäki were visibly upset, for some reason. "This will be all. Commander Kabuto must certainly be waiting for you. Good luck," the woman said, before escorting her colleague out of the room. [Socializing Background] Their timing and their reactions were somewhat off. Something felt clearly amiss, and though you were thankful for the explanation you'd just received, certainly they must've been hiding just as much from you. The way the meeting ended was clear evidence in favor of that hypothesis.The events of the meeting with the professors kept clouding your mind even during the Zero-G training of the following day. Clearly you were not doing a good job of hiding it, as the commander grabbed a hold of your shoulder and asked you if you wanted to talk about it."Well, imagine your feelings could turn into weapons. Wouldn't that... be unsettling for you?""Yeah, very," he responded, without hesitation. "Feelings can become energy. But they should never become a weapon. You'll always get hurt in the process otherwise."[Socializing Background] It seemed like he was talking from experience, something you had no confidence asking more about. And yet, he dared open himself up a bit to you to offer some comfort. You were thankful beyond words for that.
>>3456617"There was a person I was rude to, once. It was right after I came here. A lot of things had happened and I wasn't in the best place. I snapped at him hard, told him he had no idea what I was going through. I wanted him to feel the same pain I was going through. I met him again during a battle, he was in charge of a large battleship. I helped him carry out some operations. I wanted to apologize to him, I had found out that we had more in common than I previously thought. Then he carried out a suicide attack to protect the rest of the fleet. I was devastated. I still regret what I did." The Mazin pilot stopped for a second, mulling over the weight of his words. Then he concluded by giving you some solid advice. "Oh well, no point in crying over spilled milk. Just promise me you won't do the same." You wordlessly nodded. How could you explain him that the Von Neumann was created for that explicit purpose? That would have just been unfair of you. You couldn't expect a soldier to fix a problem that had been created by scientists. No, the machine was yours, and it obeyed YOUR commands, meaning you still held the key to control it and use it properly. "Man, if my uncle was here he'd beat the hell out of you and me," he continued, resuming the exercises. "Why so? Is he prone to anger?""Nah. He just hates when people get sentimental and/or waste time. I suspect he does that because he's more prone to get sentimental than anyone else. A defense mechanism of sorts.""Still, that's somewhat abusive.""It's only a problem if you don't know how to fight back," he cheekily replied. "Now let's get on with the program."Sure enough, Shirou was as strict a trainer as could be. But the progress was noticeable: you were getting better day after day. On the other hand, you were worried by the little progress you were making in getting closer to him. It wasn't something you could help worrying about, you simply always were a person who got by thanks to her network. Perhaps it was time to make a bold move.>"So, commander, how's the family" >"Could you tell me more about the alliance between Mazin Corps and Flaming Skulls?" >"What is the coolest thing you've ever done in battle?" >Other [Specify]
>>3456618>>"Could you tell me more about the alliance between Mazin Corps and Flaming Skulls?"
>>3456618>"Could you tell me more about the alliance between Mazin Corps and Flaming Skulls?"
>>3456623>>3456649>>3456845[Your alignment has shifted towards 'Heritage'] Clearing your throat, you prepared to ask your question in the most nonchalant possible way."So, commander, I heard that the Mazin Corps and the Flaming Skulls are allies."He gave you something of a bitter smile, but promptly replied."This is a story from a long time ago. Well, not that long ago. But it does feel like an eternity has passed. The world I come from... has burned down to ashes. No one survived. Not my brother. Not my father. Not my mother.""Oh my god...""No, please. You... you deserve to know. This might not make sense to you. But you deserve to know. When I, too, was on the verge of dying, the Gran Gurren Brigade arrived. They turned our enemy into mincemeat. Only me and a handful more people managed to survive until their arrival. Uncle took me in, and with his scientists, he assembled an army of survivors. Using the technology my grandfather and my father left behind, we assembled the Mazin Corps, then we chased the Mycaeneans to the edge of the galaxy and murdered their 'gods'."His fist were clenched. For the first time, he looked like he was on the verge of tears. "I... I never knew my real family either," you interjected, hoping to evoke some sympathy into him."I understand. It's regrettable, and I can only hope you've found a marginal respite in your host family, like I have in mine. This is our alliance was forged: in fire and in blood. But revenge doesn't bring back the dead. It may warm your heart, but it leaves them cold in the grave. Take care." With his parting remarks, Shirou left the training room. It felt much more empty than usual, all of a sudden. It was time for you, too, to take your leave and return to your room. Departure was scheduled for tomorrow. Boarding the ship was the most alien feeling you had ever felt in your life. It was like stepping in a condominium from the 90's, with minimal furnishing, several rooms and narrow corridors. A room was assigned to you, together with a recommendation not to leave it until the departing procedure was completed. A special suit was handed to you, together with a space helmet (in case of emergency) and a belt that you had to secure around your waist, either sitting on a chair or lying on the bed.
>>3458316As the countdown started, you started to feel more and more annxious. Flying had never been a particularly pleasant experience for you, never mind flying in space. Then, it began. The ship started falling in reverse. You had your chance to take a gander at the structure earlier. The large spaceship was held in suspension and turned 90 degrees on the right. On the inside, a complex apparatus simulated a zero-g environment. Right below the ship was a Geschtam portal which would have been activated concurrently with the departing procedure. The ship itself was placed on rails that would 'accompany' its fall and guide it through the active portal and into space.The ship gained momentum, and it felt like your stomach was being flattened out. Then you passed through the portal, and for a second the entire world sunk deep underwater. An instant later, you could see the endless universe through the porthole. It was too surreal to believe, but you were in space. In space, of all places! Even if it were against safety regulations, you undid the belt and rushed to the window. The sight was nothing short of amazing, and you felt giddy like a kid visiting an amusement park. Someone knocked on the door and then let himself in, without waiting for a proper reply. "Yo, Von Neu...! Ah-ha, already up, I see. That's good, I like your spirit." Unsurprisingly, Shirou Kabuto was probably the only man who could praise you in such a situation. [Socializing Background]It seemed like he had recovered from yesterday. His usuall jolly mood seemed to have returned, and his cordial attitude was something you feared you had lost. Sure, some of it looked fake, but it was hard to blame him at that point. "Old man Dec said he could use some scouting. I thought, why don't I bring you along and teach you to maneuver in space?""Huh? With the Von Neumann?" "Well, but of course. So? Whaddya say?">I'll pass >Let's give this a shot >Alright, but let's not get too crazy >Other [Specify]
>>3458321>Let's give this a shot
>>3458321>>Let's give this a shot
Flash Boomer News.Guys, I am sorry the quest has been progressing so slowly lately. I have extensive notes so writer's block is not the issue, rather, I am dealing with some stuff IRL and that's slowing my down. Because of this, the thread is on autosage. Please sort threads by last reply, just in case you miss any update. Tomorrow there might be little to no update at all. The situation should generally improve after that. You're all wonderful. Keep sipping that Monster can.
>>3458321>Let's do it, eh! (Enthusiastically)>>3458371No problem. Take it easy.
>>3458330>>3458331>>3458381[Your alignment shifts towards 'Revenge']Slamming a fist against the open palm, you enthusiastically accepted the commander's offer. "Alright, let's give this a shot!""Perfect!" he responded, more than reciprocating your enthusiasm. "Follow me to the hangar. We're going for a space trip, woo-hoo!"The ships' hangar was understandably much smaller than the one you were used to. Mechanics and other staff members all wore the safety space helmet, close as they were to the largest exit on the ship. After receiving their orders from Shirou, they proceeded to mount the Great Mazinger and the Von Neumaan on two separate catapults. Those would hurl the machines at high speed towards the vast emptiness of space, facilitating take off procedures. Oddly enough, only the Von Neumann and the Great Mazinger were in sight. Perhaps only your machines had been prepared for launch? "You'll be going first," the commander announced."Huh? No, no way, I am not going first. I am not familiar enough with the zero-G environment for that.""That's exactly why you should go first. In case something goes wrong, I'll be right behind you.""Ah, that's true." As expected of a veteran, his remark made sense. You nodded, and then headed for the Von Neumann's cockpit. The training done during the past week was paying off, and you had little to no difficulties moving around. Once inside the robot, you felt it moving to the side and towards the hatch that was hopening. The catapult dragged its feet a few meters back, as a voice echoed through the intercom. "State your name, the machine's name and your rank, please," it mechanically said."Pvt. Carlotta Dubois, Von Neumann. Ready when you are.""You're cleared for take-off." Suddently, the lock holding the catapult back was released. You were propelled foward at a crazy speed, while the commander shouted telling you to jump before reaching the end the strip. Unfortunately, you fumbled that maneuver and the machine tripped, not only losing momentum but also effectively 'falling' rather than 'jumping' into space. In worry and confusion, you tried activating directional motors, struggling to regain control."STAY WHERE YOU ARE VON NEUMANN, I AM PICKING YOU UP!" Shirou shouted. But before he could even launch, a mechanical hand grabbed a hold of your robot. "Th-thank you!" you almost screamed to the helpful stranger."Nothing to be worried about. No one's first time is a masterpiece."
>>3473849Much to your surprise, it was the Hi-Drapearl that had saved you. The crimson-red convertible machine was hardly ever in its robot form, but now that it was both of its faces were staring right at you."In the future, please try to be more careful." This was profoundly surprising behavior, especially coming from Joan. Where had all of her bloodlust gone? It probably wasn't wise asking her right away. But maybe there was a way to elicit that from her... >Nice save, Joan! I owe you one! >No offense, you were the last person I was expecting this from. >Phew, that was a close call. Thanks Joan, let's get along from now on!
>>3473851Alright boomer news, part 2.Life has been catching up with me. As a result, the quest has lagged behind. Am I done? Fuck no. As soon as this thread 404's, I'll open part 3.5 and we'll continue right where we left off. Stay tuned
>>3473851>Nice save, Joan! I owe you one! >>3473854Nice.
>>3473851>>Nice save, Joan! I owe you one!