Entry tags:

Surviving being a Survivor

[1]

[And so Keisar Ephes and the Lady were vanquished.  The day was saved through and through, and one little Subot has become beside himself with everything he saw and experienced ]

This just doesn't make any sense though!  That spirit thread that I manifested... everything out there raises so many questions about metaphysics and spirituality!  Restarting your heart and you having seen things is at least not without precedent but... oh I think I'm going to be worrying about this for a really, really long time!




Or~ alternatively, you could just disregard all of that and bask in the knowledge that you're always going to be my Prince Charming.

I really do mean that too.  Not everyone gets a wonderful copilot with the brains and determination to bring a fair maiden back from the dead.  And it's only fitting-

[Smooch.]

-That you get a little reward.



-S-Selena?  Did you seriously just-?!?



Yes I did.  And you're welcome.


[2]
My story's ending )

Entry tags:

At the end of an endless road

[1[

[Another Unity Member biting the dust, and in the wake all the dirty machinations of the Crystal Chimaeras finally coming to light.  If not for Elys's unfortunate passing this might even have been a blessing in disguise; everything was laid out on the table and one way or another it'd be all over soon.  Then all that would be left would be the Lady and Loni.]

We really do have to win this, Elma.  If we don't, then...

The Balmarians would call it "Apocalypsis", right?

... Yeah.  And they already had enough trouble dodging one bullet.  And then there's everyone else's own problems we've gotten past.  The Lady wants her encore, but the audience isn't up for it.

But still...



... Don't tell me.  Selena, is that feeling is-

Still there.  Like I'm forgetting something obvious... and something in me's trying to hammer that in and make me remember more and more every day.

But Selena, you're... you can't keep fretting about this!  With what's ahead of us, we're going to need to be at the top of our strength.  Whatever's eating at you, just... just please don't let it get to you!  Please, it wouldn't hurt to get some rest.  I'd even cook whatever you want in the meantime too!




Anything?

Yes, anything!  You have my word as a Subot!



Oh, so even that one special omelette recipe?

[A pause.  A very pregnant pause... and one might even think that Elma's starting to sweat.]

... Of... course!  I said anything, and I won't back down on that!  It might take a while but no matter what I promise I'd-



Good!  Then be sure to make extra.  I'm sure people'll be curious and want to sample it themselves.  And you wouldn't want to disappoint them, would you?

But Selena-

You said anything and that you wouldn't back down on that!  So you better not be backing down on me Elma!  Chop chop, don't keep a lady waiting!

[And cue a playful kick to send him flying into the kitchen.]

[2]
And then she totally was all smiles and just waited for her meal )

Entry tags:

It's not the End of the Galaxy, but you can feel it from here

[And so the Balmarian Empire, feared for their power and the scope of their domain... were now homeless.  Their Spirit Emperor a coward who tried to have them all killed just so he could live, their Prime Minister a flawed revolutionary whose noble goals were mired by the lengths he had to go to for them, and their planet destroyed by a freak force of nature that their military might had been unable to stop because they'd been off fighting wars elsewhere until it was too late.  And the person in the best position to lead them?  A girl who had been meant to be a mere sacrifice.

[But they could start over.  The galaxy was a vast place, and conflict was starting to finally die down.  But in the wake of everything...]

... Why...

[-Something still feels off.  Like there's no reason to celebrate just yet.]

-It feels like I'm forgetting something.  Or something's trying to tell me I'm forgetting something...

It could just be exhaustion from the fight, Miss Selena.  We went through a lot... but with Spectra and Calico dead we've definitely more than earned a break!

You'd think that but I... I just don't know.

Entry tags:

There are still two Team Jelba members left...

[1]

[It comes up out of the blue.  Or rather-]

-Uah!

[Elma, banged up as he is, comes back online in Sakihama's hangar.  Although clearly in need for some maintenance, the little Subot instead has other concerns, like-]

-Yes!  It worked!


It was a really huge gamble, but there's been some precedent in intentionally crashing computer systems to clear the way to encrypted data, and I was able to pull it off!  I was able to access the encoded data involving Operation Doll and what Major Ingram had been trying to have us do.

It'd been about Armana... it'd always been about her from the beginning!  Ingram had known she had been interested in Earth and decided to come here, but also that she was, was like a target for someone in the Balmarian Empire.  I don't know if it was for assassination... o-or maybe just bring her back early like what the Golar Golem were talking about... but it was something Ingram had wanted to prevent.

We were supposed to pick her up at the colony, but... we must have missed her.  Like we were too late, or she spent far shorter there than we'd expected.  And instead we were attacked by the Golar Golem, trying to pursue after her... where everyone but Selena-


[-Wait.  Selena.  A glance at the Soleares, and Elma's tiny frame tilts forward in worry.]

Miss Selena... please be alright.

Everyone we... when the Soelares was damaged and buried under the rubble, Selena and I made a really quick plan just in case we weren't able to protect Armana from Spectra and the other Balmarians.  She let me keep piloting the Soleares, while she...

Well I don't entirely know because she just said she'd follow her women's intuition but I know she wouldn't have given up on saving Armana!


[2]



Miss Selena...

[With his own repairs taken care of, Elma's attention shifts once more to the dismembered Soleares.  Repairs for such a frankenstein of a machine are possible, but Albhard had weeks, and fewer mounting threats when he built the machines out of the remains of Team Jelba's mechs and the Gesterben.


[For even more thorough repairs?  In less time?  Well...]

... Don't give up.  Just worry about saving Armana... so I can worry about saving both of you!

[... He'd just have to do it.  Somehow.]

[3] (locked to NPCs)

[Hopes may have been placed on Selena, but to somehow find and save Armana would be a tall order.  She'd been spirited back to the Balmarian fleets in the system, protected by countless ships and machines should an attack come.  And if one were to somehow breach the Huleh carrying her, they would be met by the faceless, unrelenting soldiers of the Golar Golem.]
How you gonna pull this off, Selena? )

Christmas Ninja: The Happening

(Also backdated for Christmas)

[In case that other big Christmas giveaway was more than a tad disappointing for you, worry not!  Because other, more personalized gifts were also given away for everyone.  Some were more heartfelt, like a framed photograph of the original Glory Stars team for Setsuko o a large bag of sweets for Kei.  Others were more troll-y... like a gradient scale guide to measure if someone was wearing black or not for Roger or a pilot roster so Roy would have no excuse for not knowing people's names.  Others still blended the two together, like a Dinobot-sized copy of "The Art of War" with a bunch of blank pages and the phrase "and Grimlock" written on masking tape underneath its author's name.  After all, if you couldn't laugh on Christmas, when could you laugh?

[And the secret Santa who gave you all of these?  Well she's slumped over in the kitchen, Elma giving her yet another cup of coffee...]

Gracias Elma... couldn't have done it without you.



Well you shouldn't have to do anything on your own.  I just hope your gift for Princess Armana goes over-



This is incredible!

[And there Armana goes, entirely engrossed her Polystation as if it's the most amazing thing ever.  Selena just looks on as she runs past, then looks back at Elma... and holds out her cup again.  Sasuge Grace.]

Christmas Ninja: The Beginning

[1]

[It is maintenance time for the Soleares again, but that's not really too important.  What is though is the Lurian  princess hanging up Christmas decorations all over the hangar.]

Well now.  I'm guessing Elma told you all about the holidays then?



Of course!  He was very informative, and I think it's just fascinating. Barely any end-of-year celebrations are observed by my people, but for Earth to have so many, between countless different cultures!

And the interactions and integration of various other beliefs to help smooth over interactions between early Christians and pagans... it's just so fascinating!

But... there is one thing that has to be addressed!  I'm guessing you all just got distracted with other things between everything but hardly anyone put up Christmas stockings!  Did you forget or just not care or think you've all been to naughty after what Brye and Rani said when they left?

How will Santa be able to give anyone presents if he doesn't have anywhere to put them!




... Wait...

You think that Santa-



He must work himself ragged every year delivering presents to everyone!  In a way he almost reminds me of our own god Augustus... at least how he's said to appear.  And I won't have possibly my only chance to experience Christmas be ruined by... by neglect of all things!

So... where do you want your stocking?

[2]

[And now it's beat-up-Elma time, with Selena making sure to not indulge in it until when Armana is clear and far away.]



You told her about Santa Claus but NOT that he doesn't exist?!?



I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sooooorrrrryyyyyy!!!!  I was going to but there was just so much she wanted to know I just... forgot!



And now she'll be expecting everyone to get Christmas presents.  The easy thing to do would be just try to break the news to her, but...



... What do you say, Elma?  Doesn't there usually have to be a helper for these sorts of things?



I don't have a choice, do I?



Not in the slightest

Entry tags:

Cambio Coalition of Uncoolness

... So.  On one hand we have a bunch of rather overt megalomaniacs, on another you have a bunch of liars and psychos with a raging misogynist in their ranks, on another you have remnants of a group fighting long after their leader wanted them to stop, a Decepticon, and a woman who cloned a dog girl.

I don't want to make light of what happened out there.  They played us like a fiddle and Captain Linjun, stuckup that he is, paid deep to get us out of there.  Might've even paid with his life.

But... if they wanted an anti-SSR or anti-Unity Group... they're probably more than overqualified for the anti-unity bit.  We've given them all bloody noses before, and taken down threats bigger than any of them.  They're not making this alliance up because they feel loyal or trust everyone else in it, maybe not even like each other, but they joined up because Miss Bernal made that big speech and they can't go it alone.  That VIPER lady even said something to that extent too.

And you know, maybe I'm wrong...



But call it a women's intuition.
Entry tags:

Empty Space

And that makes another alien threat extinguished.  Two actually... or maybe even three if you count Unicron as something separate from the Decepticons.  Almost hard to believe the solar system was playing host to so many fleets even a year ago that all wanted each other dead.

[Selena has a delicious post-victory Spanish dinner cooked up for her courtesy of Elma.  The little subot will even take orders if anyone else wants something special to have.  Things should be great, although...]



... Of course, that's one less mutual enemies for all our other enemies to have to worry about fighting now too.
Entry tags:

Adios

[When the Soleares returns it just half-lands, half-crashes.  The kind of damaged inflicted on it will do that.  But the damage to the AS is nothing compared to what its pilot just went through.]

Albhard you...

... Twice I thought I saw you die... so why...



[The strong face she had managed before finally gives way to unapologetic sobbing.]


Entry tags:

The Fleet Protected By God pt. 2

[So.  Who's up for more bad news after that stuff with Septuagint and the SSR?]

I hate to say this, but we might not have seen the last of that thing.  Or at least the last of its kind.

Elma?




Thank you Miss Selena.  When I actually got the chance to analyze them, the energy signatures from the Zehirut that we fought alongside the SSR seemed familiar to me.  It seemed odd at first since we've battled many Balmarian machines but nothing captured the same kind of aesthetic as the "Zehirut"...

But then I remembered the Balmarian/Zentraedi fleet battle Selena and I stumbled on!  The one where the Aerogators somehow fielded a machine that single-handedly turned the tide of the battle in a single instant... like what happened according to Kup's story when the Decepticons fought another fleet!




Meaning there's quite likely another one of those things waiting for us inside of the fleet's flagship.  And inside every other Balmarian flagship as well.

Lovely time for us to lose funding, isn't it?

What's on the other side?

[1]

[Kagura, Albhard, Setsuko, Willis... she'd seen them all die out there and be reduced to light.  And yet whatever 'out there' actually was, they were back and still alive.  Albhard'd even mentioned seeing Jessica, and wasn't that a grim reminder?]

Would I've seen you and the others, Captain?

[A short little snort.]

... Then again who else would there be?

[2]

[And the other Jelba operative's been thinking about all of this too.  His luck hadn't run out today, but it'd been close.  And that night he can be found staring up into the skies, the same ones that Jessica'd had wanted to go out and explore.]



Jessica...

If that wasn't you, then it just wasn't you.  But if it was... I'm sorry.  It wasn't my time just yet.  It might not be my time for a long while still.  There's still things needing done.

But seeing you like that again...



If you're waiting, I'll make it worth the wait.  Promise.

Deep Pre-recon

[So the day and the academy were saved.  Reason to celebrate?  Sure.  But there's another mission already on the horizon, and what's left of Team Jelba is already prepping their machines for it.]

... I can get them sending Team Dobermen on this scouting mission... but who's this "Gordon" guy we'll be meeting up with?



Well, what's it matter if he's an international man of mystery?  Before the La Gias incident, nobody here knew about Team Jelba either.  We can get our answers when we see him.



Right.

Although...

[He looks at his Grungust Type-2 for a moment, and then over to the Grungust Alpha.]

... This might be as good a time as any to finally give the new girl a spin.

Entry tags:

Relaxing Survivor

[Well, for once, Selena isn't heading out soon after to once more mind the fence with the Balmarians.  Instead, she can be found in the bar, already nursing some fancy alcoholic drink.]

So Toby really is gone... and Asakim's better at disguises than even Team Jelba.  But Setsuko still had Shu, and the rest of us there to help.

... Unity Group...

[She looks down at the glass, and...]

It doesn't replace what's lost, but that doesn't mean they can't support you.  Isn't that right...

... Isn't that right, Captain?
Entry tags:

A Fleet Protected by God

[1] (not really something needing comments )

The greatest weapon of the Balmarian fleets )
[2]

[Some time later after the Soleares returns...]



We may have a situation on our hands.  The good news is... Elma and I managed to acquire footage of what might just be the Aerogators' flagship.

[Cue image.  Thank God Elma's sensors were able to snap that before the Balmarians were alerted.]

The bad news is... all of that scrap you see around it?  That's what's left of a Zentradi attack force that had been mopping the floor with the Balmarians before all those underdogs pulled something out of that ship that ended the battle and those Zentradi all in an instant.  Last we detected, it wasn't heading towards Eath, thank God.

General Hetepheres, Optimus Prime... if you've any knowledge about whatever could've ended such an outmatched fight so abruptly, I'm sure everyone would love to hear it.

[She sighs.  It'd been a long ranging, and even longer getting back to the SDF.  And then debriefing and now this.  If she were sane she would've been in bed by now.]

I guess this explains why Ingram wasn't worried about us growing too strong for him to handle.

Invisible AS

[She can't believe her eyes.  Coming back from the battle, used by Albhard and Elma...]

That's... that thing we found plans for!



That's right... AS-04 Soleares.  All the new features in it worked like a charm out there, and it held its own even without breaking out the Gesterben's Blade Railgun.

I didn't want to bother you about it after... what happened.  But when you're finally ready to go out in just anything.  This... it's Team Jelba's legacy, born from everyone's machines.  If it can help you... help your heart, so much the better.



Albhard, you didn't have to... we still don't even know the origin of this thing-



And we still don't know who originally had my Grungust.  But if you'd rather we keep this locked away somewhere, fortunately it has some active camo for just the occasion.



No, it's fine... it's... even more than that.  Albhard, Elma...



Gracias...

[And a short while later, Selena's just, looking up at the new machine.  There's quite the story behind it, to say the least.]

Now she lives up to her song's title

[1]

[Team Jelba... gone.  Just... gone.  Captain Symphonia.  Alfredo.  Vasquez.  Rubio.  More than her friends, her family.  The people she'd been intending to catch up with after months separated from them.  People she knew and trusted and fought hard to avenge.  Hard enough that the Gesterben is just barely more than a pile of scrap.]

Why, Captain...?

Why did you have us all march into that deathtrap?  You wouldn't have sold us out so... why...?

[2]



And you're SURE?



Absolutely!  'Operation Doll's' orders are dated after Ingram's defection and the files aren't fabricated!

[The other two surviving members of Team Jelba are handling this... a bit better.  Not much though.]



... Of all the rotten luck then... Those files are probably only going to raise more questions and never provide answers even if we get them cracked.  Ingram's going to pay for this.  Him and his 'friend'...

If you still have the schematics for the AS in you... it might be wise to make the most of them.  Selena's going to need something if she's going to keep fighting, and I'd rather she have the best we can give her.

Start salvaging everything you can from everyone's machines.  The ground team's mechs should still be fine, so that means that the Captain's Prism Phantom'll at least be an option for her.

Secret Mission

[1] [Video]

Farewell from friends? )

[2]

[The whole of Team Jelba reuniting... not just a few members but everyone.  The whole baker's dozen all on some ultra-classified mission, and a chance to introduce the Unity Group to them and vice-versa.  It should come as no surprise then that Selena and Albhard in extremely chipper moods as they go through routine maintenance for their machines...]



-And of course, how you got that Grungust is going to be an entire story in and of itself.



Maybe more trouble than it's worth though, on account of Shu's involvement with it.  Just hope the Captain won't give me a hard time for trashing that Gespenst though.  He had to pull a lot of favors to get in on the Halloween Plan.

[Even as Selena goes back to work though, Albhard just looks at the Grungust for another moment.  There were answers he had wanted to get... and even if Shu seemed a changed man, a better man... he regretted not approaching him about that incident with the Shirogane.  An incident that, for Albhard... was about love lost.]

Goddamn Balmarian clones!

[In an otherwise silent room, the sound of Ingram's voice can be heard.]

"Good. Hate me then. Cherish your hate. Grow stronger."

"Ze Balmary Empire - what you call Aerogators. It collects strong warriors to add to ranks of its own army. Earth picques our interest."

"Ze Balmary will make good use of warriors such as you."

[And if you were to look inside, you'd see Selena, playing audio files taken from the incident over and over again, with all those notes on Balmarian weapons of war found in La Gias in the other.   The notes get crumpled up and thrown in a bin.  They feel less like a cheatsheat and more a pity handout given while the doner was sporting a shit-eating grin.]

The Zentradi and Decepticons just want us dead.  The UE just want us guessing about everything that has to do with them.  The Wulgaru want our genetic material.  The Indalph and the Gebian AEP want us as a trophy of conquest.

... And now this.  He gave the documents to us.  He just did it so we'd be worthy enough footsoldiers for his Empire.

Now's as good a time as any for this

[Another ugly skirmish with the BETA... plus kijin stuff piled on just for good measure afterwards. And the people weighing on Selena's mind the most? Well, the Zhar Battalion of course.]

Lt. Colonel Latrova... fighting the BETA on a constant basis is dangerous enough. I just hope that the enemies you face within the Russian bureaucracy don't decide to further retaliate against you. Whoever planned that operation the way they did might not be happy with how things played out, and considering what the Zhars have to deal with already...

For you and your men, I hope they don't decide to take out their frustration on the battalion. It was bad enough seeing the Glory Stars go through... what they did. And the size of the battalion doesn't mean any one life in it's less valuable.

[She looks over at a tupperware box she recently got in the mail. It's from Captain Symphonia... with 'Feliz Cumpleaños' written on the top, with a large amount of seemingly basic looking cookies inside. It's a few weeks past her birthday, but considering the circumstances of the rest of Team Jelba's current mission she doesn't hold it against the Captain. Thus she still opens the box and helps herself to one, immediately humming softly as she closes her eyes, leans back against the wall, and savors the taste. Well, not before...]

Elma?



Yes Selena?



Take some of the Captain's handiwork and see if anyone would like to try it. In spite of what happened out there, it was still an improvement over everything last month so... not to sound like a certain insensitive someone but maybe a small celebration's in order.



Are you sure you're not just saying that to try to wean yourself off of these?  Their nutritional value isn't all that great and since you've been transferred to the Unity Group you've gained 2.3- ohnono aaaahahhhh S-Selena-


[Oh dear.  Poor Elma's comment got derailed as Selena picks him up by his head.]



Of all the things I'm grateful you can do for me, being a weight scale ISN'T ONE OF THEM!

[And with that poor Elma's going to be punted down a hall.  Not that it's going to get in the way of him delivering those cookies to anyone interested later on though... just he's also going to have a big dent in his head once more.]

Not crying just yet... but close to it

[Denzel: dead.  Setsuko, Toby, and who knows how many ESUN pilots: anywhere in all of existence and most likely dead too.  Not to mention whatever they'd gone to La Gias and were trying to recover was up in so much metaphorical smoke on top of everything else.  Be it with anger or sadness or something else, everyone's not going to be at 100% after that clusterfuck of a clusterfuck.  Selena and Albhard are making due with hitting the bar to drown their sorrows.]

... And Shu's gone too.  Can't imagine how that reflects on us as his handlers.  Can't say I'm looking forward to reassignment if it happens... not when there's still the mystery regarding all of that Aerogator intel now.  Though they could just cut us loose entirely... or even take it out on the Captain.



Only positive thing a report would say is just that we didn't all die down there.  Though now that Shu's just... out there...  So much for ever telling him about Jessica.

[A moment of silence passes before Albhard gestures over at the bartender.]

And at the very least, Denzel deserves at least a little something as tribute.

(You there with them?  Coming in?  Up to you!)