Kikou Kyuuseishu Gungel
(Armored Saviour Gungel)
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in Freezing, nor the initial setting.
Chapter 5: Reunion
June 15, 2070 (12:50, UTC+09:00)
Isa, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
Isa is a city in the Kagoshima Prefecture. This city is a merger of the city of Okuchi and the town of Hishikari. In the middle of the city, the Sendai River and the Hatsuki River meet.
The band of anti-Nova resistance fighters comprising of Ryusei McAllister, Arthur Crypton, Ganessa Roland, Bruce Sykes, and Shinji Midorikawa are heading to the city because the city hosts a stash of Infinium tanks and that their vehicles, which comprise of Ryusei's NEVG-01 Gungel Variable Gear, the TS-01 Guncycle Tactical Gears driven by Arthur and Shinji, Ganessa's BTS-01 Vagabond, and Bruce's HMMHV (High Mobility Multipurpose Hover Vehicle).
The HMMHV, given the nickname "Humheeve", is a light utility vehicle. It resembles the ancient HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), which was nicknamed "Humvee". The only difference is that it can hover one meter above the ground, which makes it useful in traversing mountainous areas.
Arthur then contacts Ryusei through the latter's communicator in the Gungel.
"Ryusei, how long until we stop?" asked Arthur. "Our vehicles' Infinium time limits are almost up."
"Hang on," says Ryusei. "We're almost near Manegahira. We'll stop over there and plan how to get more pure Infinium."
"Got it," replied Arthur as he breaks contact with Ryusei.
"Master Ryusei, we're about to approach Manegahira," says Hikoboshi.
"Got it," says Ryusei. "Now we'll stop."
Ryusei then sees Manegahira and has his Gungel proceed ahead.
"I guess this means we can stop for now," says Ganessa.
Everyone else follows Ryusei.
June 15, 2070 (13:50, UTC+09:00)
Isa, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
Manegahira is a mountain located in Isa's Okuchikinouji neighborhood. As they were arriving in Isa, Ryusei had chosen the area around the mountain as a place to rest before attempting to steal pure Infinium.
The five had already parked their vehicles and began to rest before planning on raiding Isa. After having their meal, all five are looking at a map of the city, with their location represented as a red dot beside Manegahira.
"I've already done some reconnaissance in advance before meeting all of you," says Ryusei. "During that time, I managed to find out where Isa's Infinium stash is located in."
"And where would that be?" asked Ganessa.
"Right here," Ryusei points to the middle of the city on the map. "Specifically, the police station."
"Going in there is suicide!" exclaimed Arthur.
"I know. I have a plan on that."
"You do?" asked Bruce.
"Yes," replied Ryusei. "It involves our singer friend."
"Me?" asked Shinji.
"That's right, Shinji," says Ryusei. "We need you to arrive as Shoko and perform a concert. I will pretend to be your manager."
"I don't mind this plan but where will I perform?"
"That will be up to the mayor. Wherever the concert is, the whole city will be too busy. The police will be more focused on your safety that there will be a few men in the station. I will need some people to raid the police station to steal the Infinium. Any volunteers?"
"I'll go," says Arthur.
"Same here," says Ganessa."
"Good," replied Ryusei. "Hikoboshi here will notify us on what the city authorities will do."
"You mean the talking robot dog?" asked Ganessa.
"I am no mere talking robot dog," says Hikoboshi. "I have every language, even unwritten ones, programmed into me and I can access the internet from another continent."
"Whatever," says Ganessa. "When do we get to stealing this Infinium?"
"Tomorrow," answered Ryusei. "Shinji and I will have to go to the city and arrange a concert with the mayor."
"Alright, I'll leave it to you two."
"Shinji, please get into character," asked Ryusei as he faces Shinji.
"Got it," says Shinji. "Please give me fifteen minutes."
Fifteen minutes later, Ryusei had gotten to his disguise, which consists of him wearing a fake eye over his eyepatch, gloves on both of his hands to maintain consistency with his disguise and hide his right metal hand, a white buttoned shirt underneath a beige blazer, beige pants, and brown leather shoes.
"Seriously, that's your disguise?" asked Ganessa.
"Better than nothing," says Ryusei.
"In any case, is she done yet?"
"I'm not su-"
"Here I am!"
Everyone turns to see Shinji as Shoko. "Her" attire is the same dress she wore back in Yamae.
"Shall we kick this off then?"
"R… Right," says Arthur.
Ganessa looks at Arthur with anger. No one but Bruce, who is behind her, notices and is in fear.
"Well then, we're off," says Ryusei. "We'll be hitching a ride to the city. Make sure a single Nova patrol doesn't find you."
Both Ryusei and Shinji as Shoko leave Arthur, Ganessa, and Bruce.
Unbeknownst to the five, someone lurks in the trees behind them.
June 15, 2070 (14:38, UTC+09:00)
Isa, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
Isa City Hall, Mayor's Office
In his office at Isa City Hall, the mayor, a bespectacled man with no hair, hazel eyes, a gray mustache, and wearing a white buttoned shirt underneath a gray suit, hears his buzzer ring.
"Yes, what is it?" asked the mayor as he answers his buzzer.
"Mr. Mayor, we have a 'Shoko Midorikawa' and her manager asking if they can see you," answered a female voice.
"Shoko Midorikawa!?" exclaimed the mayor. "Of course let them in."
After almost a minute, Ryusei and Shinji in their disguises come inside.
"Miss Midorikawa, I'm so glad for coming to the city," says the mayor. "You here for one night?"
"I am," replied Shinji. "Of course I'd predict you would want me to perform in this city."
"Of course, though I wouldn't push on the matter," says the mayor.
"Thank you, Mr. Mayor," says Ryusei. "My client here wouldn't mind performing anywhere, though we do need a venue to perform."
"Understood. I'll have the Memorial Park prepared for a concert."
"I see," says Ryusei. "What about security?"
"Leave that to the police here. Of course, I'll need some men at the station to protect our Infinium stash. If it were stolen, the Nova will get us."
"In any case, please give us the rest of the day to prepare the stage. I'll have someone take you to somewhere where you can rest for the evening. How long will you be staying?"
"Just for tonight. We'll be leaving after the concert."
"I see. Please head outside then. You will be taken to your accommodations right now."
"Thank you," says both Ryusei and Shinji as they bow down their heads in gratitude and leave the office.
June 15, 2070 (15:44, UTC+09:00)
Isa, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
Thirty-six minutes later, Ryusei and Shinji arrive in an inn in the city. They begin unpacking, which reveals that they have packed nothing.
However, Ryusei then releases two disc-shaped objects. He then gives one the Shinji.
"What's this?" asked Shinji.
"It will help us get back to Mr. Crypton and the others," says Ryusei. "Just put it on the ground and press the button there."
Both Ryusei and Shinji then place the objects on the floor. They crouch and press the buttons, revealing that the devices release holograms of themselves.
"Nice device," says Shinji.
"Thank New Eden," says Ryusei. "We now have to head back to the others."
"Got it," says Shinji. "How?"
"I have an idea," replied Ryusei. "You're going to have to cooperate with me on this."
"Okay, whatever you say," says Shinji.
"First, grab my hand," says Ryusei as he brings out his right arm.
"Sure," says Shinji.
Shinji then grabs Ryusei's right metal hand. The former sees the latter closing his eyes.
"What are you doing?"
"Last step. Please close your eyes."
Shinji then closes his eyes.
Arthur is right, Shinji has in his mind. This man is hiding too many secrets.
Shinji then opens his eyes to find that he and Ryusei are no longer in Isa.
"Ryusei where are we?" asked Shinji.
"We're nearby our hiding spot," answered Ryusei. "We have to get back to the others."
Ryusei then proceeds ahead of Shinji. The latter then follows.
Fine to hide things about yourself, said Shinji in his mind. I do too, but the way you're doing is too suspicious.
June 15, 2070 (15:58, UTC+09:00)
Isa, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
Ryusei and Shinji make it back to their hiding spot. However, they are shocked as to what has happened.
They see Arthur, Ganessa, and Bruce tied and gagged. Hikoboshi is currently gagged and being tied by metal chains by a girl with blue eyes, long blue hair tied in a large ponytail, and a mark on her left facial cheek.
What she is wearing is a black leather vest covered by a green jacket, black leather pants, and brown leather shoes.
"It's been a long time, Kazuya-kun!"
Ryusei is then horrified by the name the girl had just called him.
"Ryusei, who is this girl and why did she call you that name?" asked Shinji. "You are hiding something from us, aren't you?"
"You're right," says Ryusei. "However, I can't tell you yet. I will tell all of you the truth after this but right after I take care of her."
"Fine," says Shinji. "I'll untie Arthur and the others."
Shinji then proceeds to untie Arthur, Ganessa, Bruce, and Hikoboshi. Ryusei then summons the same energy he had summoned in past fights and a dome, or rather, an illusion in the form of a dome, is formed around himself and the girl.
Shinji had just removed Arthur's gag and untied him.
"Thanks for saving us," says Arthur.
"No problem," says Shinji. "We have to untie Ganessa and the others first."
In the illusionary dome made by Ryusei, both he and the girl summon their weapons. The former summons his iaito, while the latter brings up a switchblade based on the Italian Stiletto knives.
"Why are you even here, Rana Linchen?" asked Ryusei.
"I came to see you, Kazuya-kun," answered the girl named Rana. "Besides, it is my mission."
"Fine. Let's just get this over with."
"Good enough with me. Other than Satella-san, you're the only one that can keep up with me in a fight."
Both Ryusei and Rana get to their stances. The former has his iaito on his right hand; the latter has her left arm straightened and her right arm bent, with her switchblade also straightened.
Both circle each other. They intend to see who will be the first one to strike first.
I best watch for Rana's knife attacks, Ryusei has in his mind. She didn't start out with knives but she should have gotten better since we last met back in Honolulu.
I could strike first but Kazuya-kun would still have the advantage, Rana has in her mind. His swordfighting style allows one to strike when the other does. I should try something.
Rana then strikes first without even trying to get close to Ryusei. She softly swings left with her right arm, then swings right. Afterwards, she then spins to the right and slashes downwards. Lastly, she spins again in the reverse and does a large horizontal slash.
I knew she wou- Ryusei has in his mind but is interrupted by Rana doing a spinning kick.
Outside the illusionary dome, Arthur and the others watch.
"I didn't know that Tibetan monkey knew how to use knives," says Ganessa.
"How exactly do those two know each other?" asked Shinji.
"Do you know who Gengo Aoi is?" asked Arthur.
"The man who started the Pandora Project forty-eight years ago?" asked Bruce.
"That's right," answered Arthur. "The one who has been with us is definitely his grandson, Kazuya Aoi."
"What?" asked Bruce and Shinji.
"Master Arthur is correct," says Hikoboshi. "Ryusei McAllister is an alias Master Kazuya uses."
"Why would he hide his true identity?" asked Bruce.
"Master Kazuya forbids me to tell you," replied Hikoboshi. "He will do so after he's done with this fight. Please be patient. However, I can let Master Arthur tell you how he first met Satellizer el Bridget."
"Who?" asked Bruce.
"A Pandora who became known as the 'Untouchable Ice Queen' for her harsh fighting ability," answered Ganessa. "I once fought her back in West Genetics five years ago and won because Kazuya Aoi interrupted our fight by slamming himself into her breasts."
"He did that?" asked Shinji.
"It was the talk of the school," replied Arthur. "I met him afterward in relation to what happened. He surprisingly managed to have her less aggressive over time."
"Alright, then what about that girl that just attacked us?" asked Bruce.
"Her name's Rana Linchen," answered Arthur. "We first met her five years ago as well. She ended up butting heads with Satellizer over Kazuya."
This Kazuya Aoi is quite the man to have two women fawn over him like that, Shinji says in his mind.
"Now then, why did he go into hiding?" asked Bruce. "Not only that, what happened to el Bridget."
"It was assumed both are MIA (Missing in Action)," replied Arthur. "The talking robot dog would know why Kazuya goes with a fake name."
"Again, I have a name!" shouted Hikoboshi. "Also, that will be enough. The rest of the story will be told by Master Kazuya after this fight. Please be patient."
"He'd better explain how he can do an Illusion Turn!" says Ganessa.
Back inside the illusionary dome, Rana's switchblade clashes with Ryusei's iaito. The two push each other back.
Rana then grips her switchblade with both of her hands and attempts to thrust it into Ryusei. The latter dodges by shifting to the right. Rana then does a spinning kick with her right leg, which Ryusei hides under. She then does another spinning kick with her left leg but Ryusei hides underneath it too. Rana then does a downward slash, which Ryusei evades by shifting to his left. Lastly, Rana attempts to do one punch with her left fist but Ryusei surprises her by dropping his iaito as he uses his right leg, which mysteriously turns into stone.
"How could he do that?" asked Ganessa outside the illusionary dome. "Not even the strongest Pandora could turn their own body parts into stone."
Not again! Rana has in her mind when she has her left arm grabbed by Ryusei.
It's clear Ryusei had just parried Rana's punch. He then spins himself and hits Rana with his left shoulder, which had just turned into metal.
"Even he turned his left shoulder into metal!" exclaimed Ganessa.
"So, you want to go at it with just fisticuffs?" asked Rana as she gets up.
"That's better," answered Ryusei. "On your feet."
Rana then throws away her switchblade and summons what appears to be metal gauntlets above her hands and metal boots on her feet.
Her stance has her right arm straightened and her left hand raised and clenched into a fist. Her left arm is pushed down, bent, and her right hand clenched into a fist as well. Her legs are slightly bent, with her right leg is in the same position as her right arm while her left leg is pointed away from her left arm.
Ryusei's stance his left arm bent upwards and its hand clenched into a fist, his right arm mostly facing down but his metal hand slightly pointing upwards and clenched into a fist, and his legs in the same position as Rana's.
"Shall we?" asked Rana.
"Of course," replied Ryusei.
Rana starts first by moving and twisting her right leg but Ryusei evades. Noticing what happened, Rana turns and stretches her left leg as a kick towards Ryusei, slightly hitting him.
Rana attempts a punch with her right fist but Ryusei evades that attack as well. He then slightly jumps and does a spinning kick himself on Rana with his right leg pointing up first. It slightly hits her but the actual hit comes in the form of Ryusei using his left leg next while he doesn't face Rana. She is propelled backwards as a result.
Rana counters by crouching and doing a sweep kick with her right leg at Ryusei's right leg. She then resumes standing and advances but Ryusei hits her again with his left leg.
Ryusei then attempts his spinning kick followed by a left leg kick but Rana begins to raise her right fist and as Ryusei gets close, she rises into the air with her entire right arm raised and her fist still clenched while spinning. She then lands as Ryusei is hit.
Ryusei quickly advances but Rana stops by jumping towards Ryusei and doing a spinning kick with her left leg in the process. She then lands and raises her entire right leg to kick Ryusei again.
Rana then steps her right leg firmly into the ground, pushes her right arm with its hand clenched firmly into a fist, and after three seconds releases her fist as if she is punching Ryusei without being close to her.
Ryusei gets up and feels an incoming shockwave. It's clear that the shockwave had just come from Rana's direction.
That must be her Kuuga, Ryusei has in her mind. It's time I ended this fight.
Ryusei begins moving his left leg and his arms. He then stomps his left leg on the ground, has his left arm facing the ground, and straightens his right arm while opening its palm. A ball of fire comes in front of Ryusei's right palm and towards the shockwave.
It's Kazuya-kun's Suzaku Enshou, Rana has in her mind.
As the shockwave comes towards Ryusei, the ball of fire proceeds towards it and both the fireball and the shockwave are evaporated.
"It seems you've improved, Kazuya-kun," Rana says as she sees Ryusei having stepped his left leg firmly into the ground, his right leg bent towards the ground, pushed his left arm back and bent it, and has his right arm straightened and its metal palm open.
"Did you see that?" Arthur asks as he watches outside the illusionary dome faces and everyone else. "He just made an actual fireball!"
Ryusei resumes his normal stance. Rana does so in kind.
"We really are equally matched," said Rana. "It's about time we end this."
Suddenly, large bursts of energy are concentrated by both Ryusei and Rana. Even everyone else outside the illusionary dome feels this.
"What is this!?" Arthur asks as he looks away from the fight. "It doesn't feel good."
"I know," says Ganessa.
A ball of energy converges in front of Rana. She widens the gap between her legs and has her feet placed firmly on the ground. Her arms are bent downwards, with her hands clenched into fists.
Around Ryusei, energy is formed as lightning. He now stands normally, while his arms are spread to their respective directions.
"This can't be real," says Arthur outside the illusionary dome. "How could Kazuya do such powerful fighting techniques?
Both Rana and Ryusei begin to release all the energy they have summoned.
"TENHAGA!" Rana shouts as she stomps the ground with her right foot and her arms are now straightened, with her fists opened into palms.
"Ouryu Raiha!" shouted Ryusei at the same time as he has both of his hands facing Rana, with the lighting now taking the form of dragons and directly charge at the wave of energy coming from the latter.
Suddenly, the illusionary dome begins to crack, with everyone outside being pushed away. At the same time, it has now become an endurance match, where both Ryusei and Rana struggle to remain standing.
I have to win this! shouts Ryusei in his mind.
Kazuya-kun has gotten much stronger, says Rana in her mind. I can't let him win.
The energy Rana and Ryusei propelled against each other intensifies. The latter gathers the will to continue by propelling the lightning further, allowing it to overwhelm Rana's energy. This leads to an explosion.
A minute later, Arthur, Ganessa, Shinji, Bruce, and Hikoboshi come about and find that the fight had ended but left behind plenty of smoke.
Suddenly, two people are shown as the smoke fades away. It appears both Rana and Ryusei have survived but barely able to stand. After two seconds, both start collapsing into the ground but manage to get close to each other despite laying down.
"You know… you've gotten… better," exhaustedly says Rana.
"Same… with you," replied Ryusei.
Both Ryusei and Rana gain the energy to stand up again.
"Excellent. It seems you've improved since five years ago, Kazuya Aoi."
Everyone begins looking around as to who was talking. They hear the sounds of engines being used and turn to its direction.
"It's you!" shouted Ryusei as he sees who was talking.
Everyone looks towards a man standing on top of the right palm of what appears to be a bipedal machine that doesn't look like it was made by humans.
The man has short silver hair, blue eyes, and an above average physique. He wears a ghost white coat laced with gold, a golden soubreveste with a four-pointed star that is also colored gold in a white circle in the middle, a gold collar, sleeves with cuffs that have a regimental lace colored gold, vertical double pockets, breeches and a waistbelt colored ivory, and black leather boots.
"What are you doing here, Banul Panum?" asked Ryusei. "Or should I say, Apollyon Crowley?"
Arthur and the others are shocked by the names Ryusei had given to the man that had just appeared.
"Who is that man?" asked Ganessa.
"Apollyon Crowley is one of Chevalier's financiers," answered Arthur. "He even designed all the Genetics schools, West Genetics included."
"I just came here to watch your fight," answered the man named both Banul and Apollyon. "Based on how you fought today, you can come by anytime at Chevalier Headquarters if you want your precious Satellizer el Bridget."
The man begins to laugh maniacally as he leaves. In the midst of this, Ryusei grits his teeth in anger.
After five seconds, Ryusei returns to being calm and facing Arthur and the others.
"I imagine Hikoboshi has told you about who I really am," says Ryusei. "I think it's about time I told you everything. I'll start by admitting that I am Kazuya Aoi."
Ryusei, or rather, Kazuya Aoi, begins to remove his eyepatch. He now has a scar that runs across his left eye that hasn't really damaged the eye.
Kuuga (Japanese) – kanji for "void" and "fang"
Suzaku Enshou (Japanese) – kanji for "Vermillion Bird", "flame", and "palm"
Tenhaga (Japanese) – kanji for "heaven", "wave", and "fang"
Ouryu Raiha (Japanese) – kanji for "Golden Dragon", "lightning", and "command"
Soubreveste (French) – "clothing you put over the rest". Derived from the Italian word "sopravesta".
Yes, Ryusei McAllister is Kazuya Aoi. Did a good job hiding that, didn't I?
Ganessa calling Rana "Tibetan monkey" is a reference to the last pages of Freezing Zero, where Ganessa called Rana as such.
Rana's attack where she does a stab, two spinning kicks, a slash, and a punch is based on the combo done by Goro Majima from the Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza series.
Ryusei/Kazuya's shoulder attack as soon as stops using his iaito is that attack in the Chinese martial art Bajiquan ("Eight Extreme Fists" in English and "Hakkyokuken" in Japanese) named "Tie Shan Kao" where you use your shoulders to attack. The principle is actually using your body to do the attack.
Physically, I imagine Apollyon Crowley/Banul Panum's character design based on Yasuomi Uematsu's redesign of BD, the main antagonist of Megazone 23.
Apollyon/Banul's outfit is based on the uniforms of two military units from 18th Century Europe. The white waistcoat is based on the uniform of the Garde du Corps ("Bodyguard" in French) of the Kingdom of Prussia (modern-day northern and central Germany, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship and the region of Silesia in Poland, and the Russian Federation's Kalingrad Oblast). The gold trimmings, vertical double pockets, and the soubreveste are based on the uniform of the Kingdom of France's Mousquetaires de la Garde ("Musketeers of the Guard" in French) unit, which was founded by King Louis XIII in 1622. His descendant King Louis XVI disbanded the unit in 1772 out of budget concerns, and were re-organized just before the French Revolution and dismantled again. They were organized again in 1814 and disbanded permanently after two years.
Ouryu is actually the translation of "Huang Long" from Chinese, which also means "Golden Dragon". It exists only in Chinese mythology, especially in regards to its relation to the Four Symbols, who consist of Qinglong ("Azure Dragon" in English, "Seiryu" in Japanese), Zhu Que ("Vermillion Bird" in English, "Suzaku" in Japanese), Bai Hu ("White Tiger" in English, "Byakko" in Japanese), and Xuanwu ("Black Beast" and "Genbu" in Japanese, with a tortoise and a snake used to represent this symbol). In Japanese mythology, the counterpart for Huang Long is Kuu ("Void" in English), which is the Japanese translation of the Buddhist term Sunyata. The first kanji of Rana's Kuuga is the same one used in relation to the Four Symbols in Japanese mythology.
The body movement of that fireball Ryusei/Kazuya used to counter Rana's Kuuga is based on the Iron Palm technique from Shenmue II. The Iron Palm is a common technique in Chinese martial arts.
The next chapter will contain more reveals on the plot. However, I might be late with getting that done because there will be a lot of reveals. Until then, please wait.