Disclaimer: I do not own Gurren Lagann. Although the events contained herein stem from my own imagination, Gurren Lagann and the entirety of the Gurren Lagann universe is the property of Gainax
And, as a side note, this fic is now dead.
I didn't want to kill this fic. When I set out to create it, I swore I'd go through with it, to make myself a better writer if nothing else. So it pains me to admit that it's now dead.
Part of it is because I've achieved my base goal: to become a better writer. There are large sections of writing in here that I look back on fondly, but there are others that make me facepalm. And on top of that, I grew away from it; my interests have drifted elsewhere, both in subject matter and thematic development.
What made me realize this is the fiasco that was the last two chapters, and to a certain extent the third last one as well. I've realized that I no longer feel motivated to write this. Sure, there's the odd burning urge, but by and large I've lost my passion. It was reflected in the writing, and I realized I was pushing myself to write something I didn't want to.
So I stopped. And now I'm admitting; I'm done.
Some day, I'll come back to this. Some day, I'll be able to reread all that I have written, condense it, break it apart, and rewrite it better than before. But for now, nothing new will be coming out of this. It'll still be here, but fair warning to all who read: it has no end, for now.
Thank you for all the reviews, encouragement, and honest critique (of the last, there was not enough). And now I say my farewells.
A massive explosion ripped through space. The great Spiral Power-fuelled fireball expanded rapidly, destroying the ships in its path, the Spiral battleships it consumed only fuelling the ever-expanding radius of destruction as massive, supercosmic forces twisted around each other inside its nucleus. The Spiral-powered weapon of mass destruction continued expanding until it covered the equivalent of around a quarter of the size of the galaxy before it finally petered out and dissipated, but the shockwaves of Spiral force continued outward, overloading the generators of Spiral battleships and causing them to self-destruct. Waves of destruction ripped out across the inky black veil of space.
It wasn't nearly sufficient to even slightly diminish the enemy force.
And now, the crew of the Spiral dreadnought that had fired the great Spiral fireball had to deal with the backlash of their own attack.
"Screening shield! Class 8!"
"Mirror armour plating's detaching!"
"Block 3-8-6-5's been hit!"
Captain Garlock walked on to the bridge, his trophies of past battles clinking as they hung from his belt. No, it was more accurate to say that he strolled on to the bridge, without a care. Even amidst the chaos of battle, Captain Garlock, formerly Simon the Digger, was a calm spot in the centre of the storm. His very presence relaxed his crew, even as they fought to live another day.
"Minimal," replied the officer that had reported the damage, "but our thruster flame's visible now!"
"Stand fast, men," said Captain Garlock. "Let's teach them a little something. Teach them exactly who they're facing."
"Enemy fleet size is off the charts!" reported another officer.
"So..." mused Garlock. "All the lights in the heavens are our enemies now, huh...? Yeah. But they're worthy opponents. I'll use the fabric of space-time to wring them out of existence!"
First Lieutenant Boota, Garlock's right-hand man, began snapping out orders. "Alright! Prepare the Maelstrom Cannon! Target the Great Dimensional Waterfall!"
Captain Garlock grinned that crazy grin he got whenever a great battle was at hand.
"Gurren Lagann! Spin on! JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?"
"...I think you should do it, Simon," said Kamina.
"Wha?" exclaimed Simon, jumping up in the seat of the red, face-shaped robot.
"You're the one who dug this thing up. That means it belongs to you."
"You think the Great Kamina could steal from his own brother? What kind of a person do you think you're dealing with?"
"What?" asked Yoko incredulously.
"But I can't do this!" whined Simon.
"You dumbass! Kick logic out and do the impossible! Remember that. That's the way Team Gurren rolls!"
The tunnel shook. The giant face-shaped robot above them, also known as a Gunman, was demolishing Jiha Village with its enormous metal bat.
"Just do it!" Kamina told Simon. "Go on! I know you can do it, buddy!"
Simon let out a whimper. "But I don't...!"
"Listen, Simon. Don't believe in yourself."
"Believe in me! Believe in the Kamina who believes in you!"
"What's that mean?" Yoko asked confusedly.
Simon's gaze went from side to side, and then his face set. "All right...I'll try!" he said, pulling down his digger's goggles.
Simon's hands clutched the controls as he concentrated. The display seemed to glow in response, pulsating with a strange light. Simon looked on in awe, seeing spirals before his eyes. A great sense of destiny overwhelmed him, and he felt his own heart beating in time with the pulse of the display. At that very moment, only he and the machine existed, and he could feel it readying itself for him Cautiously, tentatively, he gripped the controls, squeezing them, and moved them forwards...
And nothing happened.
"Huh? It's not working?" Simon moved the controls back and forth in his confusion.
"What the...? Let me have a look at it," said Kamina. He looked over the display, the controls, and the seat, then got out of the mech. He tilted his head and gave the mecha a calculating stare...and then gave it a hard kick.
"Hey! That's not going to help!" exclaimed Yoko.
"It's a machine! It's not like it cares!"
"Look, idiot, machines are complex! Giving it a boot to the head won't fix anything, if anything it'll make things worse! In fact, hitting something is the least effective way to try and fix it!"
"Well, what the hell do we do now, then?"
The ground shook again. Simon cowered in his seat, his fear of earthquakes returning. Muffled screams floated down the tunnel, perking up the ears of all three.
Kamina snorted, gave the mecha another firm kick, and started scrambling back up the tunnel.
"Where are you going?" asked Yoko.
"Where else, of course? I'm going to save Jiha Village! If that stupid face-machine won't help, then I'll have to do it myself!"
"But you can't take on a Gunman with a katana! Hey, wait!"
Yoko crawled up the tunnel after Kamina. Simon sat in the mecha for a second, wondering what was wrong with it, before following Kamina and Yoko up the tunnel.
Kamina emerged from the darkness into Jiha Village's central chamber. Bright daylight streamed down from the newly made hole in the ceiling, nearly blinding the cavern dwellers. Kamina was unfazed however, and simply whipped out his trusty orange v-shaped shades and pushed them onto his nose. He pulled his katana from its sheath with a satisfying shing.
"All right, you giant metal face! Prepare to meet the wrath of Lord Kamina, the great and mighty protector of Jiha Village! As the shepherd watches over his flock, so do I watch over Jiha village, despite not knowing what either a shepherd or a flock is! All I know is that it's an old saying, and old sayings always sound cool! Regardless, the point is that YOU'RE ABOUT TO GET YOUR ASS KICKED!"
The aforementioned giant face paused in its rampage and turned to look down on the puny human.
"What? You again?" it rumbled. "They're Gunmen, not giant faces! And I doubt you could even scratch my Gunman with that puny toothpick of yours!"
"Oh yeah? TRY ME!"
The Gunman laughed, a deep, rumbling hurhurhur. It swung around its giant metal bat and began swinging it down towards Kamina. Kamina merely widened his stance, set his shoulders, and brought his katana up into a blocking position.
PAKAAANG! The giant bat was deflected and landed to Kamina's left. Yoko cocked her rifle behind him.
"You idiot!" she yelled. "You could've gotten killed!"
"A true man never backs down from a challenge!"
The Gunman, meanwhile, had recovered. "Oh? It's the girl with the rifle again!"
"Yeah, no shit," muttered Yoko, aiming her rifle at the Gunman's face.
"Fwahahahaha!" guffawed the Gunman. "Do you actually think you can use that rifle against me? It never worked before, so why would it work now?"
Yoko simply closed one eye, aimed down the sight, and squeezed the trigger rapidly.
The Gunman got a full clip in the face. It reeled backward, landing on its back.
Yoko grabbed Kamina's hand. "Now's our chance!" she shouted, breaking into a run and pulling Kamina along with her.
Kamina was unimpressed. "To do what? Run?"
Yoko counted to ten. Slowly.
"No, you idiot," she exhaled. "We can't harm it directly. If I can get its power conduits, though, it'll shut down and/or explode. I'm personally hoping for shutting down myself."
Kamina rubbed his chin. "Oh, I see. So, we have to hit its weak point."
"That's oversimplifying it a bit, but yes."
Kamina grinned maniacally. "All right, then. I'll distract it, and you shoot down its power thingies."
Yoko was so shocked that she stopped running. She turned to face Kamina, and palmed her face.
"Are you insane?" she asked incredulously. "No, forget it, you are insane. Nobody deliberately draws the attention of a Gunman. You hear me? Back at Littner, we fought off the Gunmen using carefully planned traps and ambushes. You can't take on a Gunman directly. You just can't!"
Kamina just continued grinning. "That's why you'll be shooting it in the back!" he said, and sprinted off in the opposite direction.
Yoko said some very-unladylike things. But the Gunman was already getting back on its feet, and Kamina was already too far away to stop, if it was possible to stop the man anyways. Still cursing, she started looking for a way to gain enough height to hit the power conduits on the Gunman's back.
Simon emerged from the tunnel just in time to see Kamina running around like a lunatic, waving his sword and yelling insults at the giant robot face. Granted, this wasn't much different from normal except for the robotic face, but that robotic face was a pretty huge difference.
"Bro!" yelled Simon. "What are you doing?"
"Oh, glad you could make it, Simon!" Kamina yelled back. "I'm distracting the giant face so that what's-her-face with the nice body can shoot it in its weak point!"
On the other side of the cavern, halfway up the wall, Yoko grimly considered sending a bullet up Kamina's ass.
"But Bro! Should you really be saying that where the robot can hear you?"
"Nah, it's okay," said Kamina. "His ears're still ringing from Yoko's magic stick. I think he called it a 'rifle'."
Yoko rolled her eyes and sighted down the scope.
She had a bead on one of the power conduits, and she was preparing for the shot, when she saw out of the corner of her eye that the metal bat was coming down again. Kamina was looking the other way at Simon, and wasn't paying attention.
"Damn!" Yoko swore, her eyes widening. She swung her rifle around to aim at the Gunman's weapon, and squeezed the trigger.
And for the first time in a long while, Yoko Littner missed.
The humongous metal bat crashed through one of the walkways arching over the cavern. Kamina heard it and looked up just in time to see the bat coming down on top of him. His mouth formed a silent "O" but he never got the time to say anything. The bat smashed down, closely followed by a large pile of rubble from the walkway.
"BRO!" screamed Simon.
"Wahahaha! I finally got rid of that pesky bug! Now I can finish destroying the rest of these filthy humans!" The Gunman turned to face Simon. "I think I'll start with you, little boy! Heheh, look at you, you're crying over your precious brother! Heheheh!"
PAKAAANG! The mecha's right arm went limp. "What the hell?" it exclaimed.
PAKAAANG! The left arm went limp. The metal bat dropped to the floor with an almighty crash.
PAKAAANG! The legs folded underneath it, and the Gunman crashed to the floor.
Yoko wiped her brow, slung her rifle over her shoulder, and started descending back down the cavern wall. She looked around anxiously for Simon, worried about how he would take Kamina's death.
As soon as the Gunman was disabled, Simon had run over to the massive pile of rubble that covered Kamina's likely mutilated corpse. As Yoko watched, he dug frantically with his bare hands through the pile of rock.
"Kamina! Kamina, hang on!" Simon yelled. "Kamina, can you hear me? I'll dig you out of there! I'll dig until my hands bleed! I know, I'll use my drill! I think I left it with that face I found! Just wait Kamina, I'll save you, and you'll be okay, and you'll say it doesn't hurt when it really does like when you broke your ribs trying to reach the surface! Just wait!"
Simon turned around to run back to the mecha, and ran straight into Yoko. She put her hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eyes.
"Simon, Kamina's dead," she intoned softly. "Even if you dug him out, you probably wouldn't want to see what's left. I'm sorry, but...it's true."
Simon just stared at her blankly as the truth seeped in. Then he tore her hands off his shoulders and ran back down the tunnel.
Yoko watched after him as he ran. She would feel sorry for him, but...this was war. These things happened. He would either come to accept in time, or he would go insane with grief. She sincerely hoped for the former.
Rolling her shoulders, she mentally prepared herself to deal with the Gunman's Beastman pilot.
Simon sat in the seat of the miniature Gunman he had found, crying and with the occasional anguished sob escaping his lips. His hands rested limply on the controls, and he whimpered to himself.
"Why wouldn't you work...if you'd worked, Bro wouldn't be dead...! Do you hate me? Is that it? You stupid, stinking, worthless piece of CRAP!"
He jerked the controls around violently, half hoping they'd break. He banged on the display, trying to break it but to no avail, all the while crying and sobbing.
Finally, he gave up and hung his head, still crying. It was no use. Kamina was dead, buried under a pile of rubble just as his parents had been, and it was all his fault for distracting him. No, it was the damn mecha's fault for not helping destroy the Gunman! It wasn't Simon's fault at all!
Simon sat there for a long time, crying silently. Then he opened his eyes slightly. They widened at what he saw.
The miniature drill hanging around his neck was glowing.
A quick glance at the display confirmed that it, too, was glowing. Not only that, it was glowing in rhythm with the tiny golden drill.
No, he thought to himself. No, no, no, no, no. It can't be, it's so freaking obvious, why wouldn't I have noticed it before, no it can't be...
Fingers trembling, he grasped his drill necklace, popped it off the string, inserted it in the slot on the display, and turned.
The mecha roared to life. Its mouth opened as the display on the interior filled with green in a spiral pattern. Arms and legs extended, and the mecha stood proudly in the tunnel.
Simon just sat back in the seat and laughed his ass off as bitter tears ran down his cheeks.