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Chapter 9 Main Chapters Chapter 11

Chapter 10:

At long last, the day had finally arrived.

One month after they set out, Kazuki Yotsuga and Zinv appeared on the practice field of the captured Earth Defense Force base.

Kazuki looked around a moment. "Huh, it seems to be deserted." Then he did a double-take: there were people wearing the RaRa Army uniform popping their heads out of the building now. They were in a state of amazement.

His ear suddenly filled with a multitude of excited greetings, and with the audio signal came the visual signal, which formed into a picture on Zinv's screen. The picture showed him the exuberant band of people who had just greeted him, clustered on the artifact carrier's bridge. They were clustered around Cmdr. Sanada; he saw both Mitsukis, Dee, and Yayoi.

"Hello, everyone," he said.

"We haven't got much time," Commander Sanada told him. "Head for the ocean as fast as you can."

"Zinv really enjoys moving fast!" Kazuki cried, and barreled towards the coast a speed that made the RaRa Army personnel gasp.

"Hey, slow down!" protested Cmdr. Sanada. "I had no idea it went that fast! The rendezvous time's all messed up!"

"But the enemy already knows I'm here!" Kazuki protested. "I can't hang around!"

"If you insist on going that fast, at least let me calibrate the instruments to measure your robot!" the commander plead.

"Stop showing off," Mitsuki Sanada demanded. "We've all waited quite long enough for you to get here, and it'll all be for nothing if Zinv's too worn out to fight."

"That's not going to wear out Zinv," Dee said dreamily.

"Whose side are you on!" Mitsuki Sanada asked.

Zinv had to wait for a while by the water's edge, but soon the artifact carrier popped out of the water and advanced towards Zinv.

Zinv got aboard, and Kazuki climbed out of its cockpit. Upon the instant he was surrounded by the foursome. He found himself tongue-tied in an effort to greet them all properly and quickly. He had barely managed to do that when he found himself bear-hugged by Commander Sanada, causing Kazuki to cry out.

When Kazuki finally found himself relatively settled, he asked, "Uh, are we still above the surface? Why aren't we underwater again?"

Yayoi informed him, "It's a plan we came up with based on the last battle we fought. You remember, the way we conclusively defeated the RaRa Army in our universe."

"Great! I'm sure you've all been able to make a lot of improvements on it while I've been gone," Kazuki enthused.

Yayoi grinned sheepishly while Mitsuki Rara looked down and Dee scratched her head. Mitsuki Sanada took it upon herself to say, "We've already improved it by keeping me here at your side instead of in that thing. What more do you want?"

"Uh, I dunno-" Kazuki gulped.

Dee declared. "He wanted me not to disable this ship! This time I'll actually be helpful!"

Kazuki ventured, "Uh, uhm, Dee, you helped a lot last time, uh, all of you did, and, uh, that's all we need, I guess."

Yayoi finally recovered enough to say, "Essentially, we're just fighting it like we did last time. So my counterpart and I decided the artifact carrier would stay on the surface and move towards where all the debris from the universes colliding made an island."

"I'm sure they'll follow us with the battleship just like last time," Mitsuki Rara spoke up, "With Zinv at full power, you can defeat Himc almost immediately."

Kazuki was surprised. "Really? I thought Himc was a lot better, or unpredictable, or something."

Commander Sanada clapped him on the shoulder, hard enough to make Kazuki stumble forward. "Are you kidding? Your robot must be the ultimate power! It'll smash that idiot Rara's hulk into little bits!"

The RaRa island battleship was indeed at full steam ahead, in pursuit of the fleeing Earth Defense Force ship.

Kent was already ensconced in Himc, though it had not yet been launched. He commented, "I thought that thing could be a submarine, too. This seems like a rather transparent attempt at a trap."

Chairman Rara shrugged. "I'm sure he'd like to think it's a trap," he replied, "and that a shiny white robot appearing out of nowhere is going to finish us off. But between Himc and the battleship, there's not really anything stupid Sanada can do to us." He signed off in preparation for Ms. Rah to take direct command of the pilots. She would now be the only one directly talking to the pilots.

The chairman was located on the main battle bridge, accompanied only by his wife. The bodyguard trio was in the remote piloting area with the other jewel-cannon robots, getting ready for the coming battle. Mitsuki Rara ensconced herself in a command room with Ms. Hayase. Mitsuki had gotten into her Ms. Rah garb, but declined to enter the trance. Her mind was going to be her own today: she would only pretend to be in her trance. Mitsuki spoke with Ms. Rah's style and declared upon the communication circuit, "Today all the foolish enemies of the great Mr. Rah shall be judged! The rebels fleeing from his awesome power must fall! These insects of opponents shall shrivel before him!"

Ayuko looked at her husband. "You know, dear, I can't really stand this much longer. You didn't summon up any robots to hit that white one when it was just standing still on the beach. It was a perfect opportunity, standing there for such an agonizing length of time."

Hiroshi Rara turned to look at her in surprise. "Should I believe mad reports like 'A big white robot just appeared in flash of light'? I can't scramble robots for every little thing!" It was awkward trying to look at her, since she was to the side of the chair and slightly behind it. He stood up to turn towards her. "Without our instruments looking at that area, we had very little idea what was going on!"

"Stop making excuses," Ayuko said as she came around the chair from the other side and sat down in it, "We need someone who's got more determination to lead us." Rara made an astonished noise, and Ayuko shot him a look.

Hiroshi Rara subsided.

Ayuko looked at the main screen, showing them closing in on the artifact carrier. "Ms. Rah," Ayuko ordered through the communication system, "send all the robots topside."

"All robots, arise to the surface and display your power and glory!" Mitsuki Rara feigned the appropriate voice. She turned to Ms. Hayase, and they both looked at each other for a moment.

Mitsuki Rara shook her head. "Kent's going to be furious when he finds out."

Ms. Hayase sadly stated, "There's nothing we can do about it now without using up our opportunity."

Ms. Rara nodded, and Ms. Hayase said, "I'm ready to power down Himc at any time."

Aboard the artifact carrier, Ms. Hayase from the synthesis universe was aboard a Core Robot. She watched as Kazuki asked, "Are we all ready to do this again?"

"I'm ready to do it for the first time," Cmdr. Sanada reminded him.

The sensors of both the Earth Defense Force and the RaRa Army registered a massive dimensional breach nearby. Buildings and sod from Kent Slade's home universe and from the synthesis universe began to pile on top of each other in the middle of the ocean to form an unnatural island. Across the planet, buildings and landmarks and cars were being ripped from their original worlds and literally dropped into others.

From her Core Robot, Ms. Hayase commented, "As we all know, it won't be long now. If the convergence isn't halted, the worlds will collide and destroy each other in just a few hours."

"Then we'd better do our best," Cmdr. Sanada commented.

Lt. Schwael operated the artifact carrier from its bridge while her counterpart from the synthesis universe piloted a Core Robot. The lieutenant ordered, "All units are cleared to deploy!"

Zinv shot out of the artifact carrier and onto the island, followed by Earth Defense Force transport planes bearing the other Core Robots.

Aboard the RaRa Army battleship, Ms. Rara ordered the RaRa Army robots to advance upon the island. The jewel-cannons swam while Himc floated above the waves.

Akane Yamano's stance was firm beside Cmdr. Sanada on the bridge of the artifact carrier. "They're very confident," she commented. "I hope Mr. Yotsuga is as skillful as we've heard."

The voice of the synthesis world's Mitsuki Rara said, "I think they're going to surface soon- there are ripples appearing around the island."

"Thank you," Lt. Schwael responded. "We're ready here."

Kent Slade observed the unnatural, newly-created island with some trepidation, but he hadn't time to try and work out what was going on. He watched the new, white robot carefully during the approach. It was a lot bigger than anything they had used before, though it was still shorter than his robot. Their new unit also had- hair? Wings, too? That was two things he hadn't expected.

Ayuko's hands securely gripped the sympathy orbs on the chair. She could tell the battleship she was piloting was ready to surface. Grinning her odd grin, she used the orbs to give the battleship the final necessary command.

The faux island reared out of the ocean, a massive iceberg appearing even larger now with its full bulk visible than it did while merely an island. The RaRa battleship had been unveiled.

Unit 1 and 2's inexperienced pilots gasped in fright. Everyone else was relatively prepared for the sight. Lt. Schwael transmitted, "Mr. Yotsuga, we will engage the battleship. Good luck."

"We'll clear the way to Himc for you," Mitsuki Rara offered as she and the other Core Robots ran ahead of Zinv.

Ayuko was disturbed to see the artifact carrier advancing towards her. She extended laser weapons from the battleship's hull and opened fire, but the carrier evaded her and returned fire. The civilization that created it was somehow able to make it fast and nimble. Nothing could outrun a laser, but there were always methods to confuse a human aiming a weapon. Irritated, Ayuko told Ms. Rah, "Disable the enemy robots as best you can. Don't waste our robots on this stupid enemy ship."

Ms. Rara ordered, "Fire as soon as possible upon the worthless opponents! Choose any target you wish!"

Slade replied, "Yes, Commander." Quickly charging his high-energy bullet, he fired it into the advancing wedge of Core Robots.

"What's happening?" Kazuki cried, as just before him he saw the bullets impacting and the Core Robots swerving from side to side in evasive maneuvers.

Dee told him, "Himc's figured out some way to fire its long-range bullet really fast! It doesn't pack as much of a punch, though."

Grimly setting his mouth, Kazuki determined that he was in range for his gravitational shell. Zinv stopped and held its arm forward, causing a blue ball of energy to form.

Kent Slade was carefully watching his opponents. His shells had managed to break up the charge of the usual enemy robots fairly well, and the jewel-cannons were now engaging them. He saw the new white robot was entirely still and forming a blue ball of energy. Kent snapped off a high-energy bullet, which speeded towards the new robot.

Kazuki saw the bullet coming and dodged it with incredible speed. Slade was amazed. A third thing he hadn't expected. It was at this point that he began to wish this battle were as easy as the one where the Core Robots tripped over a parked car.

Mitsuki Sanada complained, "Kazuki, what do you think you're doing! Surely Zinv's shields can hold out against weak blasts like that!"

"You want me to let myself get hit?" Kazuki was incredulous. He had no time to talk further, for he saw Himc had launched another bullet at his location. As he was dodging, Himc's beam lanced into him. Slade had intentionally fired the bullet slightly to one side of Zinv, hoping to make it dodge to the other side. Guessing where it would be allowed Slade to aim accurately despite its speed.

Zinv stood entirely undamaged, its shield glowing white a moment. "You're right, Mitsuki," Kazuki agreed. He powered up another gravitational shell.

"Not too much energy," Kazuki and Zinv thought to each other. "We wouldn't want to hurt the pilot."

Slade was undeterred. When his high-energy bullet had recharged, he fired it and the beam upon Zinv. Unmoved and unharmed, Zinv fired the shell.

Himc smoothly strafed to the side, its shield barely moving clear.

"Oh, no," Kazuki groaned.

In the RaRa Army battleship, Ms. Hayase looked in astonishment at the energy emitted by the gravitational shell. "Ms. Mitsuki, we won't need to pretend that their robot beat Himc."

From inside the room, the faint sound of the artifact carrier's lasers playing upon the hull could be heard.

Akane Yamano decided she preferred to be seated when the carrier was undergoing such extreme evasive maneuvers. Lt. Schwael was simultaneously attacking the RaRa battleship and dodging its attacks, causing the entire craft to swerve unexpectedly.

"How are our shields?" Cmdr. Sanada asked.

"Holding, sir!" an officer replied, and nearly fell out of her chair as Lt. Schwael made an unexpected turn.

"Holding our own against a gigantic battleship. I don't think you're paying Lt. Schwael enough," Akane told Cmdr. Sanada.

The Core Robots were defeating the jewel-cannon robots on the beach, preventing them from getting through to Himc and Zinv. One of the jewel-cannon robots dispatched in the battle was that piloted by Mitsuki Rara's bodyguards. They climbed out of their chairs at the RaRa Army base and were only slightly surprised when Mitsuki Rara asked them to join her in her command room. The trio were bodyguards, and they guessed she wanted their company and confidence, especially now that the base was under direct attack.

All this time, Slade had been attempting to use strafing to avoid Zinv's shells, but this had become increasingly difficult. He was finally tagged by one shell and horrified when it pierced his shield and annihilated part of Himc's cocoon. Slade called for backup but was informed by Ms. Rara that none could reach him because of the Core Robots. Zinv had only fired three shots since Himc's first strafing, and Kazuki decided to simply go to melee range. He charged at high speed, and Slade knew he could not evade him. Himc fired its beam and bullet upon Zinv to no effect.

When the trio arrived at the command room, Mitsuki asked them to lock the door. She then asked them, "You must decide now who you'll be loyal to. I ask that you remain in here with me and not let anyone else in this room. If you prefer working for my mother, then you'd better leave now before you're implicated."

Ryla was amazed, but told her, "You're our friend, Mitsuki. We like you, and we're going to stay with you!" The other two vocalized "Hm!" and nodded.

"Thank you," Ms. Rara smiled.

Slade saw that the new white robot had entered his tentacle range. First he performed the Hydra, making the tentacles of Himc dance and weave confusingly before the eye.

"What does Himc think it's doing?" Kazuki wondered aloud. It looked like the pilot had gone insane.

Slade fired a high-energy bullet and a beam and struck out with the tentacles. All three were halted by Zinv's shield. The shield flared a moment, and two of Himc's tentacles that were still in contact with it exploded. Slade yelped at the sudden pain.

Kazuki had almost reached Himc. In seconds he could get close enough to pierce its shields with Zinv's hands. Then he would be able to rip the pilot out of the cockpit and destroy Himc for the second time.

"Almost there, Kazuki!" Dee cheered him on.

"Himc's never been a match for him," Yayoi exulted.

Aboard the RaRa Army battleship, Ms. Hayase, Ms. Rara, and the trio waited for Zinv to defeat the RaRa Army.

Kumu decided she had to act immediately.

Chapter 9 Main Chapters Chapter 11