(part twenty-three)

Stone is, yet again, getting away, so our heroes jog back up all those stairs so they can catch up with him by that ominous open air bridge. It's a good thing everyone is such great shape from fighting in giant robots all the time.

Funny, you seemed like the type of men who would be distracted by bunnygirls.

Give us the nanowhatsit thingie back! Come on, we found it, it's ours!

Actually, it's mine.

Where the fuck did that come from?!

Hard to say! How exactly do you manuever a giant robot down a bunch of stairs? This guy must have found the service entrance. He's very pleased with himself, in any case, as he is laughing like a coked up Batman villain until he gets interrupted by dialogue. ...A lesser known FF7 OST track.

Who are you?

I'm the guy who's going to pull your skull out through your mouth if you don't give that back to me!

Hey there, asshole! You got a name?


For the love of God.

Shut up.

Oh, too late. Even though Stone is clear on the other side of the bridge with the nanomachine girl everyone seems to want so badly all of a sudden, the asshole with the red giant robot is now pretty much focused on the party. Great!

We're just getting tired of calling you 'the asshole with the red giant robot!' It's clunky!

Names are meaningless! I don't like them! It's Id.

Id! That's a nice name! It's, uh, German, right?


Id attacks! Id is a sucker-punching deathblow-dodging little bitch who summons mini black holes in battle, applies foundation with a roller brush, and is still using Fei's battle animations. Id is not quite as stupidly unbeatable on foot as he is in his robot, fortunately, but this fight is still a pain in the ass.

Happily for the party, someone else found the service entrance!

Funny, I could have sworn this was not Evangelion.

This narration stopped making that joke ages ago! It was getting old.


It's okay, everyone, I got him!

Yes, Wiseman also has a giant robot! Why not? They seem to be standard issue! Maybe there's a rental place. ...That would explain a lot, actually.

I guess we should stop milling around watching and get out of here!

Stone escapes with nanomachine girl! Our heroes still don't know what exactly she is supposed to be, but they are pretty sure they want her back, so they resume chasing him. Id is not terribly comfortable being held tenderly by a giant robot and breaks free! He and Wiseman keep hadoukening each other long enough for everyone to get back to the surface. Shut up, spellcheck.

Our heroes make it back to the Yggdrasil just in time to see the flower vase ship backing out of its improvised parking space.

Aw, man, they got away!

...why were we chasing them again?


Because my mentor turned out to be evil, you guys!

Because Solaris should not have ancient nanomachines! They are up to no good!

Ugh, whatever. Let's go back inside, it's cold out here.

They all head back to the bridge, not really sure what the plan is now. They can't really chase an airship -- they would need giant robots that could fly or something! Ha ha. Fortunately, Sigurd has a distraction waiting for them.

Fei is no longer in sickbay! He got up and left while no one was looking!

No way! Well, they figure that Fei has got to be on ship somewhere, so they start wandering around looking for him. As it turns out, he is not terribly difficult to find! Guess where he is. No, no, guess. Oh, you'll never guess.

Why, he's in the gear hangar, staring blankly at Weltall!

Fei! Are you, ah... feeling better?




What are you doing in the gear hangar?

...Huh. I don't remember! I just sort of woke up here!

Fei is apparently not feeling all that hot, for some completely mysterious reason, so Citan grabs him by the scruff and hauls him back to sickbay. Meanwhile, alarms are going off! Alkanshel has been spotted off the bow!

Ah, there's our screencap.

Bah, observation! Just let me step on their pancreases already!

...is there a draft in here?

...Stone apparently had a nip and tuck in the six minutes he's been offscreen. Well... okay, a lot of men are going for that these days. There's supposed to be a recovery period, though.

Come on, I want to make them REPENT

Suddenly, zooming out of the sky, it's... Grahf again! That is what Grahf does, he zooms out of the sky at people. It's a living.


What what?

...Come on, you're Catholic, you're supposed to like King James1.

As you can see, I already have the power! Krelian gave it to me!

...He skinned your face.


That is not the power, that's an infection waiting to happen. I will give you the power!

My fist is the divine breath!

Blossom, o fallen seed, and draw upon thy hidden powers!

Grant unto thee the power of the glorious 'Mother of Destruction!'

Is this from Psalms? I never liked Psalms.

Grahf gives Stone the power, which is still a laser beam to the face. Well, it can only help. Back on the Yggdrasil, our heroes, minus Citan and Fei, strap themselves into their robots, with Billy leading the charge.

It is time to kick some ordained ass!



...Did he look like that before?

I don't know, I wasn't paying attention.

They move in to attack, but none of their hits connect! The "power" is apparently just a giant boost to one's evasion stat. Citan is back on from strapping Fei back down to the bed in sickbay and gets on the bridge's comm to tell them there is some sort of barrier! A barrier of HATE!

I'm going to stick to the evasion stat theory.

It's villain exposition time! Oh, that is the worst time of all.

I was in love with your mother, Billy! But your father stole her from me and defiled her flesh with two admittedly lovely children! When I had the zombies kill your mother I talked just... like... thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis

I took you in so I could turn you against him and have my ultimate revenge!

I guess what I'm saying is, you look a lot like your mother.


So have you liked being an Etone? I'll let you in on a secret: zombies are really people!

...well, yeah, of course zombies are people. What else would they be?

People who went to the Ethos for help and were sent to Solaris to be turned into zombies by Krelian! You've been killing Catholics!



Don't listen to him, Billy!


It's Jesiah! In his own... actually it's a sort of smallish robot.

If we do a combo attack, we can break through his barrier!

Back on the bridge, Citan more or less agrees with this theory. However!

That is the Buntline! It transforms into a gun that shoots the pilot out with the bullet!


If Billy uses that against Stone's barrier then Jesiah will be killed!

It shoots out the pilot? What kind of psychopathic engineering is that?


Unfortunately, Billy is so upset that his comm's connection to the bridge has gone out.

Curse these robots and their precise science!!

Jesiah gives Billy a quick peptalk about how it's okay to kill zombies, because being a zombie sort of sucks! God is our hearts, not in a weird molesty church, and guns don't kill people, people kill people. Billy is stunned to radio silence by how many cliches Jesiah is managing to fit into this speech, but he is more or less on board with this combo attack idea.

They shoot and destroy the barrier!

Woo hoo!

Billy's connection to the bridge comes back online!

Good work, Billy! You just killed your father!


Now it's time to fight Stone! No pressure or anything! If they don't kill Stone they've only killed Jesiah for no reason.

Yeah, I'm thinking that's not going to be a problem!

1I cannot believe, in the many, MANY years since I wrote this line, that no has ever pointed out that I apparently don't know what the King James Bible is.