There are now a grand total of four, count 'em FOUR characters named Gai or Guy on the same boat. I may need to come up with a new naming scheme for them...something I'll try today. Tell me if you all like it.
Chapter 40 – Jovians' True Nature! The Mysterious Masked Fighter!
Chosen by Queen Dianna to oversee the Lunar Defense Force, Harry Ord, now promoted to General, had to remain behind to oversee the build-up of the Kingdom's new defenses in anticipation of the exiled Gym Ghingnham's attempt to take over once more.
With Jiro Yamada aka Gai Daigoji, filling his old place, DREAM made the return trip back to the light side of the moon, where they would ultimately head for Earth.
Jiro couldn't help but feel a little jealous. In his absence, Akito, Koji and Tara had accumulated so many allies...allies of justice with Super Robots, no less!
But to everyone's surprise, though, he had already met Ryoma.
"And the next thing I know, a wrecked Aestivalis pops in from out of nowhere," Black Getter's pilot said with a laugh, "And this loon crawls out!"
"Thankfully, Ryoma was kind enough to lend me his tools so that I could repair my Aestivalis!" Jiro said proudly. "He even had some spare parts lying around, so I was able to not only repair, but improve it; I have therefore dubbed it as a 'Super Aestivalis'!"
"Speaking of which...how DID you end up on the moon in this world, Yam...I mean, Gai?" Ruri asked.
"It's actually a much longer story than one would think," Jiro replied. "But I will be as brief as I can."
Tara, Xemmey, Minato and Megumi walked down to the containment hall on the Nadesico to get a peek at the Jovian prisoner. In spite of being the one to take him down, Tara had not seen his face of the pilot.
As they rounded the corner, they found Gai Murakumo having a little chat with the Jovian. And to their surprise, the Jovian was speaking their language. The Coordinator suddenly looked their way.
"Oh, it's you three," Murakumo said. "Apparently our Jovian friend here is as human as you or I. Not to mention he's a real Gekiganger nut - he puts even that guy who came back from the dead to shame."
To their surprise, Murakumo opened up the door; and sure enough, there was the pilot, sitting on the back wall. He looked strikingly similar to Jiro Yamada, but he had a calmer dignity to him, in spite of the outfit that was a dead ringer for the pilot suit used by Gekiganger 3's pilots. It quickly became clear that his hands and ankles were tied together, and thus he posed no danger. He looked up and smiled pleasantly.
"Greetings, fair maidens. I'd be happy to come closer...but as you can see, I am sort of tied up for the moment. Regardless, let me introduce myself - I am Lieutenant Commander Tsukumo Shiratori of the Space Assault Super Male Forces of the Anti-Earth Cooperative Federation of the Jovian Realm, as well as all associated moons and asteroids...at least in my native universe."
"Wow, that's a mouthful," Tara quipped. "But that doesn't make any sense. Humans may have visited the area around Jupiter, but we've certainly made any colonies there."
"Based on the evidence, that is a lie," Xemmey said. "As the saying goes, 'History is defined by the winners'; and obviously someone on the winning team wanted to keep the true nature of the Jovian Lizards hidden."
Minato sympathized with this poor fellow and took a step closer.
"I'm interested to hear what the Jovians' side of the story is," she said."
"Ah, so it is true that Earth women are more open-minded and understanding than Earth men!" Tsukumo beamed. "Well..."
By the time Jiro had come to the end of his story, a hour and a half had passed. But unexpectedly, it had been a riveting tale full of danger, excitement, and tragedy that even had Ruri shocked...especially since she was so central to it all.
"And so finally, we had defeated the Martian Successors and all was well," Jiro said. "Akito was reunited with Yurika after years of separation, and everyone was ready to go home. But then, as if out of nowhere a great white being with six wings of rainbow colored light appeared and descended upon us; one we foolishly presumed it to a messenger to bless the couple!"
The whole room listened with bated breath.
"The being raised his hand, and summoned forth an army of angels to smite us! Truly, it was the wrath of God in all its fury...but we fought all the same! We fought and we fought, but there was no end to them!"
"Then what happened?" Akito exclaimed. He was shocked at everything as much as everyone else.
"Finally, Akito, you turned to me and said that you would send me back to my rightful time, so that this tragedy could be averted! Using what I feared was the last of your strength, you Boson Jumped me back through time, where I found myself here."
"Wait...you were referring to the Jovian Lizards as if they were human, Gai," Yurika chimed in.
"That is because they are!" Jiro finally declared. "Apparently, Nergal has been lying to us...to the world!"
Akatsuki, who was listening in, winced.
"Yes, Akatsuki, I know everything now," the Gekiganger fan said angrily, marching up to him. "I know that you are the president, CEO and chairman of Nergal, that you DECEIVED the world in order to keep money flowing into the whole operation!"
The corporate executive could only leer at Yamada. He wanted so much to punch his lights out, but now wasn't the time or the place for it. Unfortunately, Jiro didn't have that level of restraint.
"And if there's one thing a man of justice can't stand, it's a man who pretends to fight for justice solely to increase his material wealth! And do you what true men of justice do to those who do that?"
Before Akatsuki could answer, the hot-blooded pilot walloped him in the face, knocking him out cold. While some of the adults in the room gasped in shock at Jiro's attack, the members of DREAM didn't seem to terribly mind. Even Ruri couldn't help but admire Yamada a little more for having the audacity to give Nergal's president what he deserved.
"I will now explain to you the TRUE history of the Jovian Lizards, as I learned from your future selves..."
"Oh boy! More plot dumping!" Izumi cheered. "Does anyone want some more popcorn?!"
The following tale was told both by Tsukumo and Jiro...
Almost two centuries ago, the colonists who lived on the moon and in the space colonies desired independence from the Earth. The ruling power at the time, the UEFA, would not have this, and commenced to crush the rebellion and forced the rebels to flee.
They landed on Mars, but the UEFA forced them off that world too, when they desired to utilize the red planet for their own desires. They conquered the planet and forced the rebels to flee all the way to Jupiter, beyond the asteroid belt. It was there that the rebels, the ancestors of all Jovians, began to eke out their existence. Meanwhile, the governments of Earth destroyed any and all evidence of the lunar colonists,
But they discovered a great artifact - a factory capable of producing Phase Transition Engines, chulips and even unmanned weapons!
About sixty years ago, a man named George Glenn and his crew, who were sent by Earth to explore beyond the asteroid belt, Jupiter in particular. There he found the descendants of the rebels, who had since created a budding society and culture. Unlike others of Earth, Glenn was a kind and just man who sympathized with their cause. In exchange for his goodwill, we gave him the fossil that you call Evidence 01, which we had discovered not far from the artifact...
"I see. That's quite a story," Murakumo said thoughtfully after listening to Tsukumo's tale. "I take it that Glenn kept mum about your people's existence."
"Yes," Tsukumo said. "We refer to him as Glenn the Just, and Glenn the Evangelist, for it was he who brought us the glory of Gekiganger 3! And when we learned of the injustices that the Coordinators suffered, we knew we had to do something!"
"So, is that why you invaded Earth?" Tara said. "Because you sympathized with the Coordinators?"
"But the Walking Stick...it targeted ZAFT, Britannian and Alliance vessels!" Megumi commented.
"I cannot say for sure why that occurred," Tsukumo replied. "But now I am not so sure whether this war is a truly just one. I must find a way back to Jupiter and speak with my superiors about..."
"I'm afraid you won't be leaving any time," Murakumo interrupted. "Besides, you don't have a way back to your universe now that your army is scrapped. However, WE do."
"Yep. Looks like you're in for the long haul, Tsukumo," Tara said. "Oh, by the way, I guess you can watch some Gekiganger 3 while you're in there. I have the complete series, digitally restored and in high definition!"
"You do?!" Tsukumo exclaimed happily, hopping up and down a bit only with his buttocks. "Oh, what a blessing in disguise my capture has been! Please, show me the wisdom that our people have so long lacked!"
Wait a second, Tara thought; did he seriously call Gekiganger 3 "wisdom"? I may be a huge fan of the show, but this guy is treating like a whole religion!
Janus, Tara, Shinji, Rei and Misato watched the technicians of the Nadesico working on modifying the sword that Evangelion Unit 01 had obtained from the enemy commander in the previous battle.
Jiro Yamada wandered in as they were looking down, since he was introducing himself to any members of DREAM he encountered.
"Ho there, fellow DREAMers!" Jiro said as he approached them. "I don't believe we've been introduced."
"Gai," Tara said, jumping in to do the introductions, "This is Misato Katsuragi, an officer in NERV. These two little runts are Shinji Ikari and Rei Ayanami. They pilot Evangelions Unit 01 and 00."
Shinji waved hello, and Rei simply nodded.
"It's always good to meet new allies of justice!" Jiro said, doing a snappy salute. "And who is this fellow?"
"This is Janus;" Tara said as she blushed. "I guess...I can call him my boyfriend."
"Glorious!" Jiro beamed, wrapping his arms around the necks of Granlif and Lifthrasir's pilots and pulling them closer together. "There's no flame that burns brighter than the fire of passion created through the power of love!"
"I dunno if I would call it that yet," Janus replied awkwardly. "Love is a strong word, you know."
"One day you will know, my friend," Jiro assured him as he let go of them. "And that day, I am sure, will be one you shall never forget!" Suddenly, Uribatake called down from below.
"Hey, Katsuragi! Get your ass down here...and bring Unit 01's pilot with you while you're at it!"
"I guess they've completed the analysis of the sword," Misato said. "Come on, Shinji; you too, Rei." Janus and Tara stayed behind to chat it up with Jiro...
Was the Emperor truly THIS trusting? That they, the two newest members of the Knights of the Round, would be brought to a place he had not even shown Bismarck Waldstein, the Knight of One, or even Schneizel, his Prime Minister? Suzaku and Tahra wondered this as they followed Britannia's ruler through a part of the palace that was off-limits to everyone except the Emperor himself.
The entire area was shrouded in a thick fog, though they could make out vast numbers of columns with glowing green parts near the base.
"Just one question, Your Majesty," Suzaku asked. "Why us? Why not Bismarck or Schneizel?"
"It is because the two of you are the only ones who know Zero's true identity," the Emperor replied coldly. Tahra remembered seeing Lelouch vi Britannia having his memories sealed. While neither of them knew that Charles had rewritten their own memories, they were aware of his power.
"And you are the only ones who I can trust to keep the existence of my ally a secret."
The trio exited the misty hall to find themselves on a platform hanging over a endless sky. Two staircases, connected by a smaller platform with a pair of columns topped with large orange gems to another area surrounded by similar columns topped with stones. The entire area, clearly some sort of ancient ruin, seemed to be covered in a perpetual dawn, with the sun constantly hovering in front of them.
"What is this place?" Tahra said, looking around. "Some sort of shrine?"
"No, my dear. This is...a weapon. A weapon for slaying the old gods," Charles replied.
"Not just that, my friend," a heavenly voice interrupted. The sun suddenly dimmed somewhat, as a brilliantly glowing white figure with three pairs of rainbow-colored wings appeared. Even as the glow dimmed, its face remained indistinguishable.
"The Sword of Akasha is also the key to opening paradise."
"Of course...how foolish of me to forget that. My apologies, 00."
The Nadesico, back at the Federation moon base, was preparing for its departure to Earth. But with time yet before leaving, Domon decided to train alone. He found a good spot: a park with a thick forest. On the otherwise desolate moon, such green places gave workers a place to relieve stress. And Domon had a lot of stress.
However, someone was watching him.
As Domon practiced, he suddenly heard someone laugh, as if mocking him. Being the hot-blooded, short-tempered man he was, the martial artist scowled and looked around.
"Whoever you are, come out and show yourself!" he yelled; "If you don't, I'll smash you and this whole forest into tiny pieces!"
Eventually, the hidden figure did appear - he had been hiding in plain sight, camouflaging himself against a tree using a sheet that was patterned like the tree's bark while he clung to it.
The man was an odd character. He wore a thick military jacket with red trim, mask, white gloves, black pants, and most notably, a red, yellow and black ski mask...it was Neo Germany's Gundam Fighter. The katana on his back made him seem like some sort of German ninja.
"Domon Kasshu...it's quite unlike a Gundam Fighter to leave Earth," the ninja said.
"You had to do the same to find me, Neo-Germany," Domon replied. "Unfortunately, now isn't the time or the place to have a Gundam Fight."
"Yes. But I, Schwarz Bruder, have sought you for a different reason," Neo-Germany's Gundam Fighter replied as he jumped down. "I have come to warn you."
"Warn me of what?" Domon asked, suspicious of this character, even as he sounded vaguely familiar.
"Cease your pursuit of the Devil Gundam and Master Asia," Schwarz replied. "You cannot hope to defeat them."
"I'll defeat them! Just you watch!" Neo-Japan's Gundam Fighter retorted angrily, lunging at him in the hopes of showing him otherwise. But Schwarz dodged every one of Domon's attacks with the greatest of ease, as if he was moving with the very air Domon's strikes displaced. He then counterattacked with a devastating gut punch that caused the Gundam Fighter to stagger backwards into a tree.
"That's all?" Schwarz said with disappointment. "You truly call yourself a Gundam Fighter with such weak skills?!"
Domon struggled to get up, but the blow had been too strong.
"Domon Kasshu - you delude yourself with the idea that you are superior to all other Gundam Fighters. If you couldn't even defeat your old teacher, Master Asia, then what makes you think you have any hope of overcoming the Devil Gundam?!"
"Damn you..." Domon growled.
"The Gundam Fight Finals draw ever closer," Schwarz said grimly. "As does the fall of the moon. But you do not possess the power you need to overcome these trials. Until you do...farewell!"
Without another word, Schwarz tossed down a smoke bomb, covering the area in smoke. Once it cleared, Domon saw that the mysterious fighter was gone. However, he knew exactly what the man meant. He needed to train, and to harness Shining Gundam's full strength.
To everyone's surprise, Domon asked the two ships to head for the Guyana Highlands as their first destination upon returning to Earth. However, Bright had to report in to the military headquarters, so the two ships had to split up temporarily - the Nadesico would head for the Guyana Highlands, while the Ra Calium and Londo Bell would head for Federation Headquarters. This forced Amuro, Judau, Kamille, Four, Fa, Chan and the rest of Londo Bell to leave the group.
But the Guyana Highlands, one of the last great rainforests, had far more to be found than DREAM could have ever bargained for...
Aargh, short chapters! RAAAAAAGE. I should start writing summaries again. But we're coming ever closer to the tale's halfway point. Yes, I believe this tale is going to be 100 chapters long, plus the route splits.