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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Creepy Bishonen
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I'm admittedly impressed with your plan for Reformation. I'd pick it up if I had the time (college = pain/no relaxation time), as it seems like an enjoyable challenge to tackle (at least until the writer's block appears). I say no time, even though I do write some fanfiction, because if I correctly imagined the path you were planning to take with it, it would require a serious amount of time involved just to ensure that all levels of what you had wished, such as the continuous under-the-surface knowledge of Alejandro's involvment, and the subtler connections you mentioned, were present (and with the fanfiction I write, I tend to leave the deeper meanings/subtler connections out just to save what little time I have).

But if I may, can I utilize some of the themes and ideas you have presented in the Reformation layout in a planned (if I ever get around to actually starting it) Gundam 00 rewrite of my own (mainly the Nena portion, and maybe a bit of the Saji and Soma/Marie portion)?

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My Innovator names: Eternal Eternity, Stupid Vexation, and Pilot Rival.


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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:27 pm 
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EinhanderAstraeaMk.I wrote:
I'm admittedly impressed with your plan for Reformation. I'd pick it up if I had the time (college = pain/no relaxation time), as it seems like an enjoyable challenge to tackle (at least until the writer's block appears). I say no time, even though I do write some fanfiction, because if I correctly imagined the path you were planning to take with it, it would require a serious amount of time involved just to ensure that all levels of what you had wished, such as the continuous under-the-surface knowledge of Alejandro's involvment, and the subtler connections you mentioned, were present (and with the fanfiction I write, I tend to leave the deeper meanings/subtler connections out just to save what little time I have).
Wow. Suddenly it feels like looking at a mirror. Good to see someone else understands why.

Yeah, series rewrites, especially when adding in new plot threads, = FUBAR. I don't know how some people did it.
Quote:
But if I may, can I utilize some of the themes and ideas you have presented in the Reformation layout in a planned (if I ever get around to actually starting it) Gundam 00 rewrite of my own (mainly the Nena portion, and maybe a bit of the Saji and Soma/Marie portion)?
Sure; they're hardly copyrighted (or even unique). Give me a heads up and maybe a little acknowledgement whenever you get it out, and I'm cool with it.

Technically, I'm cool with anyone taking it up however they want; fanart, concept borrowing, or writing their own one or three shots. That would make an interesting collaboration fic: everyone writes a few instalments of their own, and then all of them are added together.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:39 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser

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I've come to realize that the moment I decided that I would never write it this out, it was the moment I started really trying to think it all out and effectively started re-planning the series. No way would even an eighth of this have been covered by the drabbles; they were meant to be between-the-scenes looks that referred and hinted as to the changes, not depictions of the episodes themselves. In my abandonment, I have hopelessly cluttered this.

Still, immagining a reworking of the series is too much fun. Maybe just making a more structured, comprehensible episode-by-episode format should be my end goal, and then I would present that. (Doubt I'd sit down and do it, but still. Just for kicks.)


---

Episodes 12/13

Starting with twelve, as Louise and Nena realize who each other is...

-They'd realize each other through Saji; while Louise is still effected by Zindt's death she'd also have her thoughts briefly turn to Saji and wonder if the Gundams killed him too, Nena will hear that and panic that Saji is dead, and then the confused back-and-forth will commence from there until they realize who each other arm.

-Louise won't go into shock at Nena: she'll charge, even in her hopelessly weak GN-XIII. Soma will try and protect her as Setsuna dismembers Louise's suit, and only gets damaged for her trouble. Before striking a final blow against Louise, however, Nena will call for him to stop and they will head to aid the Ptolemy.

-The 00 will still kick-ass. Most of the battle will continue as normal, with no extra fighters to consider. Allelujah will return to the battlefield in time to help, but won't see Marie as anything but a phantom presence as Soma and Louise, damaged, are retreating. Tieria still tangles with Bring Stability, and Patrick is able to lure Lockon into his trap

-After the battle, Nena is shocked by Louise's presence on the battlefield, and it reminds/proves to her Saji's (unwritten confrontation) past accusation that she is the cause of what is wrong in the world, since she understands Louise joined A-LAWS because of her. Setsuna tries to convince her to keep on fighting as Gundam to fix the future and help Louise and Saji, but fumbles the delivery into implying that Nena should forget her past deeds and what she's done. Nena, furious as Setsuna's heartlessness, slaps him and tells him that she has a heart even if he doesn't. She nearly runs into Lyle, who overheard the entire conversation and comments that Setsuna couldn't communicate easily and just say that they could help them.

-The most important, seemingly minor, deviance from the battle is that the repairs to the Ptolemy take longer. This is to give a bit more time between the base-fight and the Memento Mori fight. In this time...

-Darryl runs into Nena, who is troubled and confused about what she should do now, about whether she should try and emulate Setsuna or should work to make up for the past. Though hardly friends or close, Darryl shares his and his commander's differences over Howard’s death; Darryl chose to immediately try for vengance, while his Commander held out for his ideals and in the end they both risked everything and got only a fraction of what they wanted. The moral: a need for balance between personal desires/wishes and idealism.

Nena thanks Darryl, but he warns her that he hasn't forgiven her or Celestial Being, only that they are needed to fight the common enemy. Nena thanks him anyway and, if not sure of what path to follow, at least regains her resolve to fight with Setsuna. She reveals that Ian asked for her permission to use her GN drive for the GN-Flag, and she will agree so long as Darryl promises to use it well.

-Since Haro's are taking care of the Ptolemy's hull, a less-wounded, up and about Ian is converting Darryl's Custom Flag. With just barely enough time to attach the drive, he warns it won't be the complete end product, only enough to make it the same GN-Flag that Graham flew. Darryl thanks him and says that it will be enough, and muses on the irony of him using a Celestial Being drive from a girl he has promised to kill.

-Nena and Setsuna reconcile; at both Lyle and Lockon's advice/prompting, Setsuna apologizes for being unclear and makes clear that he will help her however she chooses to face her past.

-Darryl and Sumeragi finally and formally converse on strategy, as this is the first non-ad hoc engagement that he's to be a part of since landing on the ship. Though she's hesitant to trust him, she agrees to let him serve as a liaison to Katharon and briefs him on the plan.

-Darryl and Lyle, in turn, contacts Klause and convinces him to delay the Katharon attack for another day and a half in order to coordinate it with Celestial Being. Many at Katharon HQ disagree, since doing so will allow the Memento Mori to fire again, but Klause agrees with Darryl's tactical assessment that Katharon's non-GN mobile suits won't be able to break through. After the rest of the Katharon advisors agree, Darryl thanks Klause for avoiding the slaughter and promises it will be worth it. Unknown to both Katharon and CB, Darryl also sends word of the attack to Graham, who is being introduced to Billy’s new assistant engineer.

-Lyle and Lockon talk over the Cherbudim, and Lockon suggests he take a try in the simulator. Lyle fails to match Lockon's own score, but the fact he did so well on his first unnerves Lockon, making him wonder just how necessary and unique he really is. Lyle tries to point to the score as how different they really are, but Lockon is troubled and begins to watch just how well Lyle gets along with the all the rest of the crew, even Tieria. Seeing Lyle and Feldt talking and smiling with each other reminds Lockon of how things used to be, as opposed to his relationship with the rest of the crew now, and it makes him worry just who would care if he died and Lyle stepped up.


-Over at the Kati's ship/the A-LAWS, there are also developments in parallel with the Ptolemy:

-Kati learns the official version of Sergei’s disappearance: the Kingdom of Kuihar and Katharon tried to disrupt the Middle East reorganization, and in the conflict Sergei went missing. The A-LAW gag order has prevented any word from getting out. Kati goes to Soma, and confirms what Louise had already tried to tell but what Soma wouldn’t believe.

-Soma holds up upon hearing the confirmation, but in the privacy of her quarters she quietly mourns Sergei’s presumed death, the result of Katharon’s instigations. Louise enters, and shares that she finally met the enemy who killed her own father. In an understanding, both promise to live and help the other find the truth behind the other, and avenge eachother’s losses. Soma goes to Kati’s office and requests for Louise to be placed under her authority. Kati agrees.

-Soma and Andrei encounter each other in the halls. Andrei asks why Soma looks as if she has been depressed, and Soma retorts by asking how Andrei could not mourn the death of his own Father. Andrei denies that a man who stood by and let his wife died could be called a father, and the two can’t agree that the other could be right.

-Kati is sent a priority message by Graham, advising her to delay her return to Earth. From Saji’s account and Darryl’s forwarded plan, Graham informs her of the Memento Mori (which she had not been briefed on), the Katharon/CB assault (that she should not be in place to disrupt), and the true reason for Sergei’s disappearance (the Memento Mori laser attack). Kati arranges a delay by secretly asking Patrick to cause an ‘accident’ while on patrol, necessitating repairs to the engines. Kati considers telling Soma the true nature of Sergei’s disappearance, but decides against it in Sergei’s memory so that Soma will not be caught up in the anti-A-LAW conspiracy.

-Saji is working as Billy’s assistant, and Billy takes to the younger engineer. They talk over working on Graham’s new machine, but Saji’s dislike of Celestial Being is tempered by his dislike of the A-LAW actions. Billy confides with Saji that he’s suspicious of the A-LAWS as well, and that the suit they’re working is meant for a man who is shares their doubts and is acting on them. This lets Saji work with a clearer conscious on the mobile suit.

-Sergei wakes up a captive in a Katharon cell, and sees the devastation the Memento Mori has caused. When one of their contacts, Ikeda (the JNN news caster from Season One, and Katharon in S2) realizes just who Sergei is, they plan to transfer him to ‘that place.’

-Mr. Bushido, from sources unnamed, acquires a schematic of the Memento Mori and sends it to Darryl, who shares it with Katharon and CB. From it, Sumeragi is able to prepare her plan and has Darryl convince the Katharon commander to agree.

-While these delays happen, the Memento Mori fires and fires again, hitting points across the Middle East. The gag order is increasingly hard to enforce, but at the same time Katharon is increasingly anxious to start the fight.


-The Battle-

-When Katharon organizes its attack, it is both in conjunction with Celestial Being and with knowledge of the Memento Mori’s abilities, including space-firing capabilities. In response, the Katharon fleet divides into two, and both approach the Memento Mori by surrounding the Orbital Ring, limiting their exposure and preventing much of either fleet from being exposed at any one time. The Katharon/CB battle plan is for Katharon to launch its attacks first, and in the confusion for the Ptolemy to rush in and knock out the station while the Katharon forces provide cover.

-Though the Momento Mori can’t halve the space fleets in a single blast because they are spread out and encircling the ring, it can still cull the outer parts that are in its line of fire. Instead of halving, each shot can effectively decimate (1/10th) each of the two fleets.

-Katharon leads off the attack, able to approach closer because of the limitations of the Memento Mori’s range that they have exploited. Their missile swarms, while still largely stopped, do still considerable damage to the A-LAWS. In MS combat, the fact that half of each fleet’s MS components aren’t wiped out before the battle begins means many, many more suits in the fray. While the A-LAWS still dominate suit-for-suit, numbers of veterans and teamwork from the intact Katharon forces prevent the A-LAWS from trampling over the defenders and rampaging inside the Katharon fleet, allowing even more missile barrages to be fired.

-Just when it looks like the A-LAWS might still break through, thanks to Healing Care, Celestial Being arrives and launches two mobile suits: Setsuna and Nena in the 00, and Darryl in the GN-Flag. Setsuna tears through the A-LAWS before him, while Darryl puts his Flag to respectable effect in outmaneuvering AHEADs with the Flag’s speed and the GN-drive’s maneuverability. While Setsuna comes to trading blows with Healing Care, Darryl rallies the Katharon MS to their most important job; covering the Ptolemy.

-The Ptolemy runs along the length of the Ring, covered by a small squadron of Katharon ships and MS. Though the Katharon ships quickly eject their bridges and use the hulls as cannon fodder, and the MS quickly fall behind/are destroyed, the result is that the Ptolemy conserves its own GN reserves and defenses for longer. While the Ptolemy is running down the rail in one direction, the opposite Katharon fleet is advancing along the rail from the other direction, diverting and distracting the Mori’s attention from the true threat. The GN Shield Bits are under much less damage, thanks to the distraction.

- Lindt is overwhelmed by the two forces approaching, and in the confusion fails to effectively face either. Rather than focusing his attention on one or the other, he attempts to do both and fails. MS are ordered to stop the Ptolemy and then the Katharon Fleet B and then the Ptolemy again, resulting in wasted time traveling from one side of the station to the other. The Memento Mori itself tries and fails to shoot the Ptolemy, and doesn’t get the time to turn for a shot against B Fleet. The combined Katharon/CB missile barrage, as well as Tieria’s attack, tears the Memento Mori clear open for Lockon’s snipe. (The point where everyone calls on Lockon to make the shot serves as the moment in which Lockon regains his confidence about his value as a Meister.)

-From across the battlefield, Healing Care manages to dilute the Ptolemy’s victory by hitting into it with a long-range charged blast, tearing through one of the engines and causing severe damage (but fortunately no deaths). However, the A-LAW forces at the Memento Mori can’t take advantage of the opportunity because the Katharon B Fleet moves to cover the Ptolemy on their own initiative, and the wounded Ptolemy makes its escape under the protection of Katharon.

-Healing is cut down shortly thereafter; rather than Nena distracting it with beams from afar, Darryl and a few Katharon suits are able to mob Healing until Setsuna finds his opening. During the entire battle, Nena and her quantum brainwaves serve as advantages for the 00 in terms of warning when Healing intends to attack.

-After the battle, people on Earth watch as the satellite remains fall. Katharon rejoices, and more than a few in the Federation Army are relieved. After watching from the Middle East, Klause walks into the Katharon base and into a small room, where Sergei is sitting under armed guard at a table. Klause greets Sergei as the Wild Bear of Russia, and says he would like to talk.

---

Summazation/Implications of 12/13

-A crisis of motivation/purpose hits CB, namely Nena and Lockon. Nena gets back in the cockpit without a decision as to which path she will walk, but Lockon begins to rebuild his self-worth towards the good old days.

-Soma and Louise get closer due to their mutual troubles. Sergei’s ‘death’ leads to friction between Soma and Andrei (now technically siblings), and Kati is now keeping the truth of Sergei’s ‘death’ from Soma, even though Soma is now fighting for, and not against, the faction behind Sergei’s fate.

-Darryl and Mr. Bushido prove their worth even off the battlefield through their contacts: Darryl puts CB and Katharon in touch and generates the synergy that allows both sides to do better, while Graham indirectly shapes the battle through providing key information and persuading Kati from showing up as reinforcements (with thanks to Saji for telling Billy and Bushido his knowledge). In the aftermath of this victory, Darryl is going to be rather popular with both Katharon and the Ptolemy even with the people skeptical of him, and likely will be absolutely trusted by both, despite his open distaste for CB.

-And victory it is indeed, and not just Celestial Being’s. Katharon played a key role in insuring victory, and avoided losing their entire space force in the process. Rather than a tenth, say instead that 50-60% of Katharon’s fleets survived the battle; still heavy casualties, but an intact force. For better or worse, even requiring CB’s assistance Katharon has proven itself a real force. The Innovator’s complacency has been shattered, and the A-LAWS myth of invincibility has been destroyed. By coming out of the battle in one piece, and having played a visible role, Katharon has made itself a power. It is still weak, but the popular mythos is building.

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I'm sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter. -Mark Twain

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:24 am 
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Mecha Flunky
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Quote:
He tends to be. Everyone thought it was cool and garlock to throw his life away to fight Ali, but it isn't so cool when it's directed at others.
Mo! I never though it was cool! I thought it was plain stupid, since I knew that Ali wasn’t dead. But I also thought about how insulting it was that revenge for his past meant more to him then the friendships of everyone in his present. I also wondered to myself, that if revenge was such a big part of his life, but we didn’t know about it because he hid it really well, did that mean all his friendliness and niceness up until then had been fake? Very sad and disheartening to think about.

Quote:
He gets better, it just takes awhile

That’s good…

Quote:
Hm? It didn't happen in-series, and I wasn't remembering any other series in particular (though the 'threaten catastrophe as a diversion' is as old as literature)
Oh, I meant the list of plot holes and things that could have been done better in chapter (ten, I think?) of S2 drabbles.

Quote:
It's not clear if Alejandro ever worked with Ali, or if it was Ribbons who was guiding him.
Well, one of them did. Those smirks are too well-timed to be coincidental.

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Yes, but don't take it as a no-deaths-at-any-cost aversion on my part.
I guess it’s just that, I’ve been surrounded by meaningless death for quite a while now, that it almost feels… kinda strange? For me, it just feels weird, I guess…

Quote:
Absolutely no planning or drawing went into Nena's S2 appearance or uniform. Feel free to draw what-ever you would like; it's not like I'd force you to take it down even if I didn't like it.
Yay! I must warn you, I’m not a good drawer :sweatdrop: I draw because I really like designing clothes. Here are the links to her CB outfit. You’ll notice that there’s a lot of writing on the pages, that I didn’t type here. Let me know if you can’t understand any of the words, but I just couldn’t go through typing all of that up… but yep, the words are like, explanations of why she’s wearing what she’s wearing y’know? That’s why you’ve got to let me know if you don’t like the thought process behind her choices, so I can change it accordingly.

I’m working on her hair, but it’s been slightly tricky, so how do you think she’d pull back her hair? But keep in mind, NO SHORT HAIR. Short hair is hard and time-consuming for people with curly hair to manage. And then your hair ends up looking like a trapezium. Urgh. The trouble’s been because everything I try I think it looks too much like Feldt’s.

Casual clothes have also been a little tricky. I think I’ll draw them for what the situation calls for, rather than, one outfit fits every situation. So alert me when she’ll be dressing casually, ‘kay?

Quote:
No, I've never seen that two-panel fan-art, though I'd appreciate a link. But I could see Saji trying to strangle Nena but not being able to do it, and Nena not trying to resist.
I’m so sorry, I can’t remember where I saw it! I’m so sorry! I’ll try and look for it!

Quote:
Saji (and Louise) is a culmination of everything Nena feels guilt about.
I see…

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Stupid Saji. I blame you.
I’m sorry, that’s just me being immature.

Quote:
The alternative is to be helped by someone she doesn't have as strong a friendship with.
True, true. I’m sorry!

Quote:
Nena's loss to Ali serves three roles, though perhaps I didn't make them all clear; it proves how powerful Ali is and resets the balance of the battlefield, it gives a reason for Nena to be Setsuna's co-pilot, and it frees up a GN-drive for the Ptolemy and, later, Darryl's GN Flag. It also reinforces the lesson from the end of the altered Season 1 of to not be consumed by vengance, that it will get you killed.
I see… I especially agree with the part about vengeance! That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned!

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She is. This is about the phase where she really gets torn between the past and future, and how she should handle Saji and, later, Louise.
Alright, I got it right! Yay! I wasn’t stupid!

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Because she was at the center of such a massive concentration of GN particles, while Soma and Louise were at the edges of Earth and not in such a dense GN area.
Okay!

Quote:
I'd disagree. Wang Liu Mei isn't evil, she's ammoral and a bit of an idealogue of the "I'm right and everyone else doesn't matter" school of thought. Distasteful, sure, but not greedy (Alejandro) petty (Nena wedding massacre) or plain bloodthirsty. CB has Phon, an actual terrorist who even they won't leave unrestrained. If Wang Liu Mei bribes Ali to play her game, she's just in line with the rest of CB.
I still don’t like her. Never have.

Quote:
No, not really. It just seemed pointless. I also get annoyed at the "let's shoot an asteroid, and suddenly all the computers will explode like bombs!" premise of the attack.
*Gasp!* Dean! Are you saying that computers don’t explode like that?! Blasphemy! Next you’ll be saying there’s no purple smoke in space!

Quote:
Sort of, except she doesn't pilot. It's more like she would be more able to detect the intentions of other QBW-users, and then forward it to Setsuna. Secondhand newtype, as far as QBW users are involved, or newtypes.
Okay! I see now!

Quote:
She keeps remembering the wedding massacre, and she remembers her confrontation with Saji and then how he showed up on the EF bridge and led to the attack on Katharon.
Okay, I understand now. J

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I really should right out that scene; it's rather important, what with a non-resisted strangling, impotent hate, and basically not resolving anything between him and Nena except that she is a cold-blooded murderer who killed for no reason.
Yes, you should :)

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Indeed. And without a Bright Slap or needing to jump into a cockpit.
:)

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It bloody needs to be changed. Handing him a gun? Stupid. But the idea is there.
I meant mostly in general, but how is it stupid?

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I think I'll need to re-write that to make a point. Louise arrive in time to see Nena sock it to Saji and then carry him away, but be powerless to stop it. Make it a tragic moment for her, having finally found him but Celestial Being unarguably and indisputably taking him away from her.
Sad…

Quote:
Character-driven, hopefully, with interesting dynamics.
The best!

Quote:
It’s weird having two Lockons at the same time :sweatdrops:
Not two Lockons; only one Lockon and his twin brother. Lyle has no interest in being Lockon Stratos, as will grow clear.
Sorry, I should have been clearer, I meant just having twins there. I’m bad with twins…

Quote:
Darryl has plenty or wiggle-room now that he survived, and I wanted to take advantage of it. As for Nena...
Cool.

Quote:
She will reach her understanding of Gundam before she dies. It may be different, it may be the same as Setsuna, but it will be her own Gundam.
What do you mean, “Before she dies”?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “BEFORE SHE DIES”?! IIIIIIIIYYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Anyone who writes solely for the reviews can't be called a good writer.
You’re so mature and wise! From now on, I’m calling you Dean-Sama! I want to be similar to you when I grow up!

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Mecha Flunky
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http://ribbons-yukari.deviantart.com/ar ... -113140853

http://ribbons-yukari.deviantart.com/ar ... -113141322

These are the designs! I still haven't figured out what her hair should look like, though!

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:26 am 
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Have you written any more episode ideas lately?

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:09 am 
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I'm waiting for the series end to see where it goes. The coup was that big difference between Reformation and the series that I had been indicating would make things hard; while everything up to the first Memento Mori was easy enough to replace, everything after is much more dependant on CB's and Katharon's actions.

Consider:

I left off with the Ptolemy running past the MM and into the protective guard of the other half of the Katharon fleet. That was great in context of the episode at the time... but in the very next episode, it was revealed that the Ptolemy was attacked while it was still weak and went down to Earth. Do I keep that plot important point, or do I say that the Katharon ships and mobile suits are able to protect the Ptolemy enough for it to regain its particles and fight off the Innovators? If the Ptolemy stays in space for a Katharon-enabled refit and repairs, do Setsuna and Nena fall to Earth to meet Ali and Ribbons?


With the radically different Memento Mori battle, the balance of power in space is drastically changed. Katharon proved that it could fight and overcome the A-LAWS with the help of GN-suits such as the Gundams and Darryl's GN-Flag. The Katharon force, while damaged, is still a considerable force. What sort of implications does this cause on Earth, and for Katharon? With a much firmer working relationship with Celestial Being, will it seek an offensive? Will the effects in space change Hercules's coup attempt?

And how to factor in the coup attempt? Go ahead minus Sergei? Or wait and see what Katharon will do with its space strength?

Whatever I do, the post-coup events will be radically different, leading into my own climax: the Parliament showdown and the retreat to space by the A-LAWS.



Current, not-set-in-stone planning is a bit like this. The Ptolemy recoups with Katharon, which considers its options and secretly starts analyzing Darryl's GN-Flag to copy the tau-drives. However, the 00 still falls to Earth: Ribbons still wants the 00 more than caring about the Ptolemy, and so sent his backup Innovators to attack Setsuna and Nena while they were between the Katharon fleets and returning to the Ptolemy.

The coup attempt will go ahead, after about a month's delay of Hercules trying to find Sergei and waiting to see what Katharon will do. What he doesn't know is that Katharon is debatting its own coup attempt: hardliners want to use their temporary advantage in space to seize a tower and make their demands while threatening the tower collapse. Klause doesn't want to do that, but hearing of Hercules attempts and risking losing control of Katharon, he agrees to assist from space. And to lead the space effort (and to prevent the hardliners from taking rash actions) he sends his newest commander: Sergei Smirnov. Sergei agrees to assist Klause for two main reasons: to stop any attempt to collapse the elevator by Katharon, and to confront Hercules about his coup attempt. Celestial Being refuses to take part in the coup and is worried about recovering Setsuna, but does not leave space both for continued refit and because Sumeragi suspects another MM.

I'm starting to get ahead of myself here, so I'll wrap it up for now. The coup happens with Katharon supporting from space and driving away the A-LAWS and destroying the automatons before they can threaten civilians. The Veda-controls still stop Hercules' real message from getting out, but neither can it get doctored footage for massacred civilians. Hercules starts moving down the civilians in shifts. On Earth, Setsuna and Neena have their meetings with Ali and Ribbons, and go to Katharon. Upon hearing of the coup, they head towards Africa tower, where Klause plans to allow them to proceed up the tower back to space. Things happen, but that's for later.

The big change comes from the approach of the MM. It's another fleet engagement, with the Ptolemy coming to the help of Katharon and the space-born coup forces. Katharon plays their trump card, the first (low quality) GN drives. However, it becomes a stalemate, with the Memento Mori safe but stopped much farther from the tower than what the ALAWS want. When Setsuna and Nena come to try the 00 Trans-am Raiser gambit, it's when the Memento Mori is charging to wipe out a good part of the Katharon forces. It's not clear if they were trying to damage the station as well, but the 00 Riser's intervention causes at least some change, and the tower gets hit, as does a number of Katharon forces. The hit is much farther down, though, and the lower orbital station where the coup took place (and some of the civilians in it) remains safe.

Tower falls, people rush from space to help, etc. etc. Things change, but the most important is the cover story: the A-LAWS try and pass the collapse as the result of the battle in space, and that the Memento Mori only hit the tower because Celestial Being altered the MM's intended firing path. Ultimately, the Federation Assembly will be called to investigate the A-LAWS conduct in a battle so close to the Tower. Ribbons intends to use his own evidence to exonerate the A-LAWS and place the blame on Katharon and CB, but the lessons of what happened during the coup are what will guide the second conspiracy into the climax.

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Please mods delete this post by me as well.
I don't want my discussion to destroy the fanfic.


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chiku_shou wrote:
Cool story bro.

I'd make Nena's character more troublesome if I were you though. Everyone is capable of change, but it can only be done from their own personal set of premises. As we've seen now even in th series, Nena do seem to have or at least developed her moral compass more. She hates people that treat others like tools and not like human beings. So her exchange with Setsuna about not forgetting her past seems fitting, her thoughts about it however do not.
Well, in case you forgot, this idea was spawned nearly a year ago. As in, well before her episode and a half of relevance in Season 2. Since Redemption preempts everything since the end of Season 1, my developments > cannon for the purpose of the story. After all, cannon!Neena still has no moral compass; she only cares about herself and how others affect her, and still cares not a bit for the consequences of her own actions, past or present. Cannon!Neena remains what she's always been, a selfish brat lashing out at anyone she doesn't like, whether they've hurt her or not. Reformed!Neena grew a conscious, and even that took uncannon plot developments.
Quote:
"You think you're the only one that is unfortunate".

So much wasted potential :(
I disagree. That quote sums up Neena in a nutshell: selfish and self-absorbed, without a passing empathy for others. If she had ever shown the slightest hint of reform, her death would have been a waste of potential. As it was, she never showed concern in season one, and continued not to care in the least about anything but her own vendetta in season two. She and Liu Mei were made for eachother in that regard.

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Please mods delete this post as well


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chiku_shou wrote:
Wow I totally don't agree with you man. All the hints are there in season one. Lashing out? You can say that about anything and everything in the show or in real life. Somebody commits a crime so the police arrest them. Obviously the police were lashing out right? What I'm saying is, there is no need to change Nena to have her work in a storyline like this. And if she changed you have to take her personality into account. If a person don't see what they did as wrong then you're not going to convince them "just like that" or change their way of thinking easily.
Nena hating on Wang was the same sort of personality that hated on Louise family. It wasn't "selfish" as in she just did it for herself, it was selfish because she did what she felt like and acted out on her own ideas. Wrong or right when you write you have to remember this.
Hints? There were never any hints that Nena was anywhere close to reforming as she did in Reformation. Not once, in all her episodes of exposure, did she ever show the slightest regret at the consequences of her interventions (as the Ptolemy crew did, recognizing that the A-LAWS were born of their actions) or of the slightest regret that she opened fire on the wedding for no reason (which, for by all appearances, she didn't even bother to remember). The only thing that Nena has ever been shown to be sad about is that her brother's died, and if they weren't related to her she wouldn't care about them either. Confronting her on that and having her grow a conscious is a character development entirely unsubstantiated by the anime.




Quote:
And I disagree with you. I totally agree with Nena here and understand her POV. You have to remember that Nena participated in MANY attacks during those days she and her brothers were active. How many people didn't die then? How many people haven't died from the interventions from the other Meisters? When Louise yells about her family dying obviously what first comes to Nena's mind is that Louise lost some people dear to her that had been in the military. Nena to avenge her brothers so when this other woman shows up and tries to kill Nena -- this would make Nena's own revenge impossible if she died. It isn't selfish, not wanting to die isn't selfish and anyone would have a hard time empathizing when in dangerous situation like that with somebody that tried to kill them.
Not wanting to die isn't selfish. (Well, it is, but acceptably so.)

Not giving a flying ZOINKS about the effects against others, entirely forgetting an incident of mass murder, and trying to push it back by playing her own victim card? Yes, that is selfish.


Dean_the_Young wrote:
If she had ever shown the slightest hint of reform, her death would have been a waste of potential. As it was, she never showed concern in season one, and continued not to care in the least about anything but her own vendetta in season two. She and Liu Mei were made for eachother in that regard.


Quote:
No, she cared for her family in Season One
First, 'concern' was reffering to caring about the consequences of her actions, in this case the mass murder episode. Second, her brothers weren't in season two.
Quote:
and accepted being treated like crap for almost five years just so she could live long enough to avenge people she held more dear than life.
How in the world do you get that she was treated like crap? She was an employee, not a slave.

Quote:
There is nothing to "reform" there since she wasn't bad to begin with no matter what she did. She killed to stay alive, she stayed alive to to avenge her family.
Hello? Murder of dozens, possibly hundreds of people who's only crime was to have a good day while she was working? Never showing the least bit of remorse for actions? Threatening even indifferent people like Setsuna for not following her whims, and hunting down and killing Wang who had no role in her brother's death? Neither of those were in anyway conducive of her (original) goal to end war or (later) goal to avenge her brother's death. Both incidents, and they were really two of the only relevant incidents of Nena's character, were judgement by association.

So, yes. There is much about Nena's character deserving reform, starting with her actions and continuing to her fundamental me-first world view.

Quote:
Wang treated her own family and other people as tools, Wang was the most selfish person in the series. While Nena as everyone else was selfish as well, she showed that she didn't like people that treated other people as tools. You say she didn't reform -- I say there wasn't much of a problem ion the first place. Nena was a soldier created to fight and thus it was easy for her to kill if she decided it was right. It wasn't her ideals that were the problem but the fact that she had no restraint.
Restraint and maturity would be a wonderful place to start reforming one's self, you know...

Oh, and Wang's failings don't excuse Nena's. Red haring argument.
Quote:
So if you are writing a fanfic and you try to reform her, what I am saying is that you can change her ideals somewhat, but to make her truly reform you'd have to make her understand that killing other people is wrong even if it is right. In a world like Gundam 00 this would be impossible unless somebody like Marina tied her up and started brainwashing her.
Ah, so you did read the outline for Reformation! Because that's exactly where Nena's character changes end up; finding a (the) balance between her own justice and others.

Actually, Reformation!Nena's ideal justice is Gundam, which both accepts others views and acts regardless. But that's where a fan character development ends up.


Quote:
As for wasted potential, I wasn't talking about making her a super heroine, I was talking about making use of what was there. A character like Marina can never be interesting in herself and have a hard time actually creating twists in a story. Nena with all her baggage could have made the story more interesting if they had kept her around and made use of her some other way.
Counterpoint: virtuous but weak individuals struggling under a harsh reality make for some of the best literary and artistic works of all. 1984, one of the most striking works of the last century, is the story of a good man who struggles against an oppressive system. Anne Frank's tale is a stirring but tragic tale of surviving in a world out to kill you. There are plenty of fascinating and stirring stories which revolve around people who refuse to give into despair (or fail in the attempt) despite reality.

Tuesdays With Mori, one of the most uplifting works (of a true story!) stands among them, as does the legends and legacies of people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresea, who have all become vertable saints in our age. All of them are now archtypes of noble and good intentioned souls who refused to submit to taking up violence and armed resistance, and yet all of them remain far more fascinating individuals. And need I even mention the legacy of a carpenter from Judea, who commands the love and adoration of two millenia of followers?

Noble and good characters can always find an audience to fascinate, even if various incarnations fall short. But that's a failure of implementation, not concept.

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:24 am 
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So now that S2's ended have you started planning again? :D

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:36 pm 
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When I have time. Which is to say, after exams, probably after Airborne Training this summer, and probably delegated to after whatever else comes to mind.

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:13 am 
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Okay! No point in rushing it!

Airborne Training... Are you training to be some sort of army pilot or something?

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 Post Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 4:13 am 
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Okie Dokie! Du-dunanah!!! I have come with a descision regarding Nena's hair (except, if you don't like it then I'll change it!)

I think she should have a long low pontytail (maybe down to just above her butt?). She hasn't cut her hair since the night her brothers' died, and that's why it's so long (or however long hair can grow in four years). For piloting, she'll probably tie it in a bun so it fits her helmet.

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 Post Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:49 am 
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The rest of the series of Reformation. Note that it gets progressively more basic, as over-planning something that I will never write is a complete and total bitch. There are some characters (read: Allelujah) who get virtually not development, but then it's not like they did in series.

Overall, I like it, but I think it sort of fell away from tracking Nena's development as I got more brief. Oh well.


Hope some parts of it surprise you all.

And with this, I am done with Reformation for the time being!

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

-At the end of the Memento Mori battle, the damaged Ptolemy was being escorted by Katharon away from the ruins of the MM, while Setsuna/Nena had just knocked out Healing Care. Begin from here.-

-The mobile armor Empress and its escort team, rather than attack the Ptolemy, is sent by Ribbons to attack the 00 as it returns to the Ptolemy (Darryl, being slower and low on particles, stays behind with the Katharon force). Already depleted of particles from using trans-am to finish off Healing, the 00 is at its weakest point, and Setsuna and Nena are pushed down into the atmosphere after nearly crippling the Empress and forcing it to retreat. Nena and Setsuna fall the Caucuses north-east of Azadistan, while the Ptolemy is forced to follow Katharon for desperately needed engine repairs before they can descend to Earth.

-Arriving at Katharon’s staging base for the Memento Mori assault, the Ptolemy undergoes emergency repairs under the direction of Ian, who has recovered. Darryl and the A Fleet arrive shortly afterwards, and bring troubling news; a major A-LAWS space force is forming up to attack the known Katharon base, and are less than days away. Repairs at the current rate might take a week.

By necessity, Katharon mechanics have to be allowed inside the Ptolemy, and CB is worried about compromising themselves and their technology. Which is fair, because the Katharon mechanics make no secret of asking what this does or what’s the purpose of this thing.

-An important post-battle information sharing that Celestial Being gives Katharon is advising them on Veda’s information abilities, and how to get around them. CB, in effect, tells Katharon how to reduce its footprint to Veda’s information gathering abilities, and via Darryl that information also quickly goes to Graham (and Kati), who restructure their own informal networks even further underground. Because their networks were already only by word-of-mouth, safe data transfers, and had no digital paper-trail, the Sergei/Kati/Graham network is actually secret from Veda and Ribbons.

-Setsuna and Nena decide to head to Katharon strongholds, which are in the Middle East/North Eastern Africa. It’s a days long journey, as they avoid and fight through various EF and A-LAW patrols. Over the Middle East, they see the numerous craters from the Memento Mori that the delay in attacking the MM allowed the A-LAWS to strike more cities. Both Nena and Setsuna are affected by the knowledge of what holding back allowed, but they resolutely carry on.

-Celestial Being’s technology fears are also a bit moot when Lockon, being confused for Lyle, is allowed into a sensitive area and sees Katharon’s collection of scavenged GN drives and A-LAW mobile suits being hastily transferred to cargo ships. He is also given a front row seat to watch as Darryl’s GN Flag has the GN drive removed and scanned; Nena’s GN drive that she gave to Darryl in confidence is the working copy for all future Katharon drives. Darryl, who is on the scene, recognizes Lockon for who he is and Lockon is swiftly ejected from that part of the base, while reminding him that the A-LAWS assault is only hours away.

-In the EF, Pang Hercules decides to delay his coup detat. Though the more numerous uses of the Memento Mori (and the assumed death of Sergei) have left him more determined than ever to act, and with more support from soldiers who watched the murders and spread the word, he awaits the results of the upcoming A-LAWS assault on Katharon. If Katharon survives as a space force, they’ll have proven beyond any doubt that they are a force to be considered, and that the Memento Mori battle wasn’t just a fluke.

-Setsuna and Nena are fighting their way through Azadistan, which is heavily garrisoned by the Federation. A weak consolation to the constant attacks as they pass through Azadistan is that, having already been conquered by the A-LAWS, hasn’t been targeted by Memento Mori. Being attacked by yet another Federation patrol, both Nena and Setsuna are exhausted from days of constant skirmishes and running. They are ‘saved’, however, when the Federation patrol is brutally wiped out by a storm of fangs from a familiar red mobile suit, which guides them to the North West without engaging them.

-The A-LAWS attack the Katharon space base, and for a time it appears to be Celestial Base assault redux. Except this time the attack is apparent well in advance, there are far more defenders than merely the 4 (now 3) gundams, and Celestial Being knows the A-LAWS tricks. The fact that Kati has been removed from command (nominally for failing to support the Memento Mori, actually to assume command against the 00 on Earth) also hurts the A-LAWS, being under a placeholder officer who merely repeats Kati’s own maneuvers. Consequently, the opening maneuvers are predictable failures for the A-LAWS; Lockon snipes through the suits hidden by cloaks, while a Katharon missile swarm takes a fake-asteroid squad by surprise. Even so, everyone fears that the A-LAWS mobile suits alone will use their superior mobility to rule around the asteroid debris. And if they don’t, the Innovators will.

-Sestuna and Nena are led to Krugis by Ali, where the Setsuna/Ribbons talk occurs. Besides the normal, Ribbons also admits to his role as providing his genes for the Trinity team, shocking both Setsuna and Neena (who is hidden in the 0 Riser’s cockpit). When Ali shoots Setsuna, it’s a panicked Nena who moves the 00’s hands to guard him and bring him to the cockpit while taking off. The battle begins.

-In space, the battle is chaotic. Teiria, Lockon, and Allelujah are all facing off against the Innovators Bring, Healing, and Revive in on-again/off-again teamwork fights, while Darryl is only surviving against the vengeful Soma/Louise/Andrei team on the grounds of the GN Flag’s speed. Not even Lyle going out in the GN-Archer can turn the battle, though it does even out Darryl’s fight for a time.

Overall, the A-LAWS steadily push Katharon’s force of hellions, realdos, and space tierens back towards the main asteroid base. Even surprises like hidden missile-box asteroids and computer-coordinated missile swarms that race around through and around the asteroids with no warning only delay the inevitable by taking out increasing chunks of A-LAWS forces. They approach the main base, ready with their asteroid-cracking bombs… and are shot down by more mobile suits coming from the asteroid, these with GN drives. Katharon has fielded its first GN-MS; cruder than even the first GN Flag, these are Katharon’s ‘best’ mobile suits with the salvaged GN drives stapled onto the backs. They have no GN weaponry. But the GN drives do enable them better movement in the asteroid field, and their weapons are strong enough at the close ranges to pierce the A-LAW armors. With the fresh infusion of troops and one of their primary advantages denied, the A-LAWS begin to be pushed back do to previous losses. Though the battle will be yet another heavy toll on Katharon, both they and Celestial Being will easily survive this battle when the A-LAWS pull back.

-On Earth, Ali is fighting Setsuna and Nena. Setsuna is still fighting with his injury, but Nena is helping; she’s using the 0-Riser’s own weapons to shoot fangs and keep Ali at bay. Ali is increasingly on the ropes, but has run out of trump cards; the fight is in a desolate area, there are no hostages flying in, and the only other living person in the region is Ali’s own boss. On the ropes and knowing it, Ali tries one more trick: he throws away his sword, disconnects his remaining leg, and gets out of his suit to surrender, knowing that the two have no means to actually take him prisoner and betting that they won’t kill him in cold blood, even if they do destroy his gundam.

Setsuna and Nena would disagree about what to do, and Nena knows it; Setsuna isn’t one to kill the harmless foe regardless, while Nena immediately sees it as an attempt to leave and come back as a threat another day. Both have personal grudges against the man. They would disagree… but at this point Setsuna passes out from the pain of Ali’s bullet and control of the 00 goes to Nena. After a silent delima, Nena deems Ali to be the worst sort of criminal, not only unrepentant and recent, but also resolved to do evil in the future. With this in mind, Nena kills Ali with an 0-Riser missile straight into the open cockpit; not for what he has done to her, or even to Setsuna so recently, but for both past crimes and the evils he knowingly intends to do in the future and will make no attempt to avoid. It marks a definitive step for Nena away from following in the shadow of Setsuna’s vision of Gundam and into her own, based on future intent as well.

After Ali’s death, Nena rushes to Katharon’s base, using trans-am sprints to hurry the pace up. When they arrive, as she brings out Setsuna’s unconscious body, they are greeted by Klaus… and Marina.

Who have just been asked by Hercules’ messenger if Katharon would put them in contact with the Ptolemy about the upcoming coup. After their victory during the battle in space, Hercules has decided that he wants to get both Katharon’s and CB’s quiet support for his attempt to get his message out uninterrupted.


////////////The Coup////////////////
*From now on, I’m going to be more brief. Saves time.*

-Katharon puts Nena in contact with the Ptolemy, and she and wounded Setsuna weigh in on the strategy meeting. In the end, CB decides to watch and wait on the coup, but not take part; their presence would be a distraction, and Sumeragi fears the possibility of another Memento Mori. Instead, Setsuna and Nena with the 00 will be at the ground level, while CB is at space, and the Ptolemy can descend after the Operation to pick up Setsuna.

-Katharon, flush from its recent victories, strongly supports backing the coup. Hardliners in the leadership force Klause to support the operation, and he can barely keep them from demanding to occupy the tower themselves. Secretly, Klause brings in Sergei to secretly control the space task force as his safety against hasty hardliner action. Sergei agrees, joining Katharon.

-The coup occurs about a month later, catching most of the world by surprise. Katharon space forces, in more developed GN suits (including the first Katharon-produced GN drives) fend off the A-LAWS and automatons; Veda still censors the data coming out, but civilians aren’t dying. The Memento Mori is kept afar, but so long as it’s far enough from the station it’s too visible from earth-bound telescopes to fire.

-The standoff goes on for two days. Based on his past relationship with the man, it is Andrei who is ordered to the tower to demand Hercules surrender, to Soma and Louise’s unease. Hercules tries to convince Andrei of the A-LAWS atrocities, including the automaton attempts, but Andrei doesn’t believe him. In the end, Hercules stops and orders Andrei to return to Earth and tell his commander that the hostages will be released as soon as he leaves. Andrei is shocked, and realizes that Hercules intended this from the start.

-This is when the Memento Mori and the A-LAWS fleet begins to attack. Hercules orders Andrei to leave now and broadcast the coup’s surrender to his commander, and Andrei races to head to the surface to let his commander (Kati) know.

-Big space battle. Katharon suits still weak, but their GN drives show as the battles are significantly less lopsided. Memento Mori gets close, and in the end Katharon ships attack the ring itself on either side of the MM, breaking off its portion of the ring and sending it drifting towards the surface… and clipping the tower with enough force to bring it down. Inside the tower, Andrei’s suit is severely damaged when he catches a falling train, leaving him only able to watch the fight as he carries several thousand people down to the surface.

-The debris-blowing operation occurs in the opposite direction. As well as the troops and 00-Riser on the ground, the rest of CB, Katharon, the EF, and even the A-LAWS engage the debris from space… in a spontaneous orbital drop operation, with every GN suit using GN particles to coast around in re-entry, destroying debris. Those suits without GN drives catch a friction shield from those who do. And this is how Sergei’s survival is first realized; Sergei catches an assist from Soma before either of them realize who the other is. The two are separated again in the chaos of the descent, with Soma only realizing that Sergei is with Katharon.

-Mr. Bushido, who was in space waiting for Celestial Being to attack the Memento Mori, makes the descent as well, chopping debris as he looks for Setsuna and the 00 Raiser. Meeting Darryl, the two secretly trade information. In the course of the operation Graham is forced to initiate trans-am, much to everyone’s surprise, but with a drained tau drive he is forced to retreat immediately after he finds Setsuna, vowing future duels against all of Celestial Being.

-Because of the chaos of the drop operation, most of the coup and Katharon forces break contact with the A-LAWS and retreat to Katharon bases, led by Hercules after he gathers his wits. Soma frantically scours the battlefield for Sergei, and Louise is torn between helping her in order to ask about Saji, helping Andrei with the passenger train, and trying to attack Nena in the 00.



-Time skip of a few months-

-During the time skip, events have changed significantly from the series. Rather than tightening its grip and squashing all resistance like a bug, Katharon has launched a full-fledged insurrection against the EF government. GN drives and EF technology from the coup-forces have made it able to fight against the Federation forces, and Sergei’s public coming-out (vilified as it was by the A-LAWS and Federation media) has legitimized the coup forces in the eyes of much of the military community, giving more support to the coup forces (who act separately from Katharon).

-The ‘reopening’ scene is of Celestial Being fighting off the Innovators and destroying yet another Memento Mori. Though CB has largely refused to stay out of the civil war, they have still been fighting A-LAWS, in and out of space, and neutralizing the Innovators. Defeating the Memento Mori, however, will effectively allow Katharon and the coup forces to seize the recently-repaired African Tower once again, and give Katharon control of most of Africa. With access to the solar generation and a defensible position, the Katharon/coup alliance intends to force compromises from the Federation Congress. The hardliners of Katharon who would have pressed to export the fighting have since died, leaving Klause in stronger control. He, Sergei, and Hercules agree on working with, not overthrowing, the Federation in order to end the A-LAWS threat.

-Ptolemy/Katharon character developments of note-
Setsuna and Nena are undergoing Innovation from constant exposure from the twin drives. There’s been a fair deal of friction between them lately; Setsuna is upset with what he sees as Nena’s cold-blooded murder of Ali (which he watched from cockpit data), while Nena sees it differently and has begun to diverge from Setsuna’s views on Gundam-ism. However, they’re both trying to work together still, and Setsuna has agreed to help Nena confront her past with Louise and Saji however she sees fit.

-Lockon has increasingly re-adapted to the Ptolemy, and reconnected with Tieria and Feldt as a close friend. Overall, he is back and better than ever, and Ali’s death has closed his past for him. However, his return to prominence is overshadowing Lyle greatly, to the point that most people (including Katharon members) are again seeing Lyle as “Lockon’s brother”, not Lyle. Those who don’t tend to be too busy with other things; Setsuna is working with Nena, Klause runs Katharon, and Darryl is busy keeping Katharon and Sergei in touch with Graham and Kati in the A-LAWS and others in the EF. The only person to still appreciate Lyle for Lyle, despite him not being the pilot or marksman Neil is is Anew, which is a strong part of their relationship; Lyle relies on her so as not to suffer from his brother complex. This has repercussions, because Anew increasingly becomes a barrier between Lyle and Neil really reconciling (they get along well on the face of things, but act more as increasingly distant relations).

-Sergei is Klause’s right-hand-man in keeping the war running in Africa, all while looking for a way to strike the A-LAWS. His biggest victory to date has been the capture of Suez, which cemented Katharon’s control of the Middle East/Africa junction. He and Darryl work closely, and Sergei is the only one to realize where Darryls real loyalties lie. In the meantime, Sergei has been looking for a way to get in contact with Soma, who has been moved away from Kati’s command.

-A-LAWS/Innovators characters of note-

-Soma has been moved because Ribbons has granted Louise’s request to transfer to the Middle Eastern front. Louise requested this because Sergei was reported to have been fighting there, and Soma and Andrei came along with her. Soma wants to confirm whether it’s really Sergei or an imposter (and why he didn’t contact her if he’s real); Louise is desperate for any sort of clue to find Saji; Andrei wants to bring Sergei/the Sergei imposter to justice for the millions of deaths of the Tower Collapse after the other two have gotten their answers (side note: far more casualties resulted because of the time spent in the descent operation). Over the time skip, they’ve become a respectable fighting force, with both Andrei and Louise getting standard A-HEADS that are quickly becoming the new grunt suit of the A-LAWS.

-Kati, Patrick and Graham have been part of the Innovator’s task force against Celestial Being, going here and there chasing after the Ptolemy while discretely keeping their information network open. Though Graham has become increasingly famous and even gained the grudging respect of the Innovators and the Ptolemy crew for being able to match (if not destroy) any Gundam, he still has yet to face Setsuna in a satisfactory duel and grows increasingly impatient. However, Patrick’s easy-going attitude is having a surprisingly mellowing effect on him, almost as if he’s another Flag Fighter. Patrick, for his part, has convinced himself that he and Graham are best friends, and has already asked Graham to be his best man even before Kati has said yes.

-Wang Liu Mei, without Nena or Ali or any other useful mercenaries or people, has become just another piggy bank for Ribbons now that the Memento Moris are destroyed before they can be used. A piggy bank, Ribbons takes care to note, that he could seize at any time. Not even Regene has a real use for her, though he keeps her going along while waiting for a chance to strike at Ribbons.

-Saji and Billy work at one of the free solar elevators, keeping Graham’s suit in good repair while Billy designs new mobile suits for the A-LAWS (the plans of which always seem to get leaked to the enemy). Keeping Saji hidden, though, is a full time task, and keeps Billy’s mind off of Celestial Being. Saji, for his part, muses on Celestial Being’s fighting against the A-LAWS and how he hasn’t seen Nena’s Drei fighting, is relieved that Sergei is still alive, and waits for his chance to testify.



////Moving the plot: The Federation Assembly at Istanbul/////

-After Katharon captures the African Tower, shockwaves roil the Earth Federation; for the first time, it looks like a return to a multi-power world is in sight, for good and ill. Ribbons, who greatly expanded the power of the A-LAWS to fight the Katharon insurrection after the tower collapse, seeks to use the unrest to seize complete control and subsume the entire Federation military into the A-LAWS.

-However, questions of the A-LAWS effectiveness are widespread, not least since the A-LAWS have been publicly leading the fighting in Africa since the tower collapse, and yet Katharon has still advanced and captured the tower and another Memento Mori has been destroyed, as well as questions of A-LAWS conduct in bringing the MM in range to damage the tower in the first place. (Neither was intentional on Ribbons part; CB fought through the Innovators he had set to guard the MM, which was supposed to destroy Sergei’s army at the base of the tower.) Because the public opinion is a grassroots phenomenon and is so wide-spread, Veda’s information-controls are ineffective and Ribbons is forced to address it. A public Federation Assembly hearing is to be held on the conduct and effectiveness of the A-LAWS from the time of the tower collapse to tower capture and the destruction of another MM; Ribbons plans for it to be a completely staged affair in which the A-LAWS are found to be blameless and in which all defeats are a result of CB and the A-LAWS being too constricted by the EF command structure.

-What not even Ribbons knows, however, is that a small number of European politicians in the Assembly are connected to Kati’s information network; old contacts and people she knew back when she was a rising star of the AEU military. Sergei and Hercules also have a few political friends, but more importantly both they and Graham have contacts in their information rings that are part of the garrison force. After the capture of the African tower, Celestial Being, Katharon, the Coup Forces, and the Sergei/Kati/Graham networks have gathered the momentum and the evidence to launch a hopefully decisive operation.

The Federation Assembly, as part of the compromise in the creation of the Earth Federation, is based in Istanbul, Turkey, in part of its historic role in linking East with West. Despite being close enough to Africa that even old Realdo and Hellion MS could fly from Africa to there and back, the capital hasn’t been moved; Katharon never even attempted to attack the city, and fleeing under the shadow of danger would have disgraced the government.

The final plan, after many revelations, is thus:

-When the Assembly meets, Kati’s European political friends will pull on obscure procedural rules to force open hearings for testimonies. This will be a breach of Assembly etiquette and will defy Ribbon’s quiet pressure, but it will open time for testimony. Sergei (and, via Darryl, Kati, Graham, and Billy) assure that a witness untainted by complicity with Celestial Being, Katharon, and the coup de tat forces will be able to take the stand, to be followed by a presentation of data that all the anti-A-LAW groups have gathered.

-Using Veda, the A-LAWS will surely try and cut the broadcast. To get around that, coup de tat sympathizers in the Garrison Force will secure the Assembly building and various means of communications over the city to force an un-cut broadcast; Katharon activists and agents across the world will take and act in other receiver stations to relay the happenings to the public. Among the traditional means of communication that everyone will attempt, other ‘archaic’ means will be done as well; not even Veda can stop radio broadcasts carried by landlines to a transmitter outside of the city.

-The next step the security forces will take is to re-occupy the Assembly. To counter that, the coup de tat forces will occupy the Assembly and protect it. Sympathizers and activists in the Garrison who can be convinced to act will either/both throw the city Garrison into a state of confusion and secure the building themselves, while the Coup forces in their standard Federation Jinx-III’s will move in under the confusion and reinforce. Ideally, the initial confusion will be so great that the Coup forces can pass themselves off as genuine Federation forces, using IFF signatures that Billy can provide.

-When the A-LAWs themselves start to move in, Katharon GN forces (also hiding off the coast) will launch and attack the A-LAWs and help secure the communication outlets. This is when the battle will really be joined, and everything goes on as the Assembly-holders try and get their message out. Old Katharon MS will fly in from as far as Africa to support, and everything is being thrown into this battle.

-Celestial Being is holding itself in reserve; it doesn’t want to be directly involved (and few others want it to be; more than a few people are only holding their fire), and it intends to focus on diverting the Innovators. If nothing else, CB will head attack A-LAWS well outside the city, preventing enemy reinforcements. CB’s most important contribution is handling the battle plan; with the only Veda-safe computer network around, they’re the only ones who can’t be hacked by Veda and have the whole operation spill out. In the end, everyone else only really knows their own parts and the relevant parts of those around them, and even then not everyone has shared everything; no one knows who the witness is, Katharon isn’t sharing its agents, and so on.

And no one has told Celestial Being about the Corner Conspiracy concept that drove Kati, Sergei, and Graham to work together in the first place.

That is the plan.


-Of course, Ribbons knows something is up; conventional intelligence alone catches the movement of Katharon troops away from the tower to North Africa, and even with the sercurity measures Veda still catches more than enough data to know that Istanbul and the Assembly is the target. The only thing Ribbons is completely in the dark about is the Sergei/Kati/Graham network and their connections, because those three and their network never left a Veda trail (and Anew isn’t connected to Sergei and Darryl enough to know it); as a consequence, Ribbons assumes this is mainly a military operation to attack and occupy the Assembly from the outside, and so his preparations consist of secretly hiding a number of A-LAWS units in range, including the Innovators, Kati’s force with Graham and Patrick, and the Soma-Louise-Andrei team. They are all far enough away from the city to be hidden, but close enough to be there in ten minutes.

-Ironically, Wang Liu Mei does find out about the political plot, and Regene finds out by watching her, but both keep quiet for their own reasons. Ribbons, who’s spurned and made his disrespect plain, never even bothers to ask her.


////The Operation/////

Going to try and keep it briefer.

-The Operation starts out more or less as planned, which takes everyone by surprise. It starts out so smoothly that Ribbons realizes the implications too late to nip it in the bud. Half of the world is watching, but only a few recognize the ordinary civilian who is ushered in front of the assembly and into history.

-Saji’s questioning is the defining moment of the entire day, going on even through the battle. It starts with his introduction: an ordinary civilian engineer, good grades, was a witness of terrible events and has been in witness protection since then, waiting to testify. His sister was a reporter who was murdered while investigating Celestial Being; was in a relationship with Louise Halevy, who was maimed in an attack by the Trinity Gundams. The mention of the Halevy family shocks a good number of the Assembly who knew them, which in turn give a more compliant assembly to listen to the questioning.

Saji recounts all of his experiences since the arrival of Celestial Being, from the HRL space station accident to his sister’s murder and continuing to college. And then, as the testimony phase, he recounts his experience being rescued from the A-LAWS Proud Colony massacre by Celestial Being (the realization of his near-death gives Louise a figurative heart attack as she fights in the battle outside), he freely describes his experiences with and answers questions about Celestial Being, including Nena (affecting everyone to one degree or another), his final argument with Setsuna at the Katharon base, and goes on to his agreement with Sergei Smirnov to testify in return for a return to a civilian life. He tells of working as Sergei’s adjunct while the man was in the hospital, and of working in hiding as an A-LAWS technician (without revealing Billy’s name) after seeing the Memento Mori destroy a city. He hides nothing, and tells the truth of the A-LAWS atrocities that he saw, with data and evidence to back it up.

In short, it’s the tale of the one person who had been witness to every faction of the past years. It has a resonating message with the public, so much so that even the Assembly questioners are taken aback, even though they were the ones guiding the narrative. After the battle, it marks a turning point in the A-LAWS downfall.


-Other, more explicit, information also comes forth. More A-LAW atrocities from Katharon. Testimony from a member of the Coup forces about their actions during their occupation of the Africa Tower, and why they did it.

Perhaps most importantly, the Corner Conspiracy is also broadcast towards the end. Unfortunately, this happens after the television lines have been cut and only gets out on Radio, where it stays alive as hear-say rumors despite Veda’s best attempts to squash it. The Corner Conspiracy, as it’s finally referred to, alleges that Celestial Being’s first downfall was pre-planned from the start by Celestial Being itself; everything from the gift of the Jinx squadrons to the hunting down of the Gundams was permitted to allow Alejandro Corner assume control of the Earth Federation once it was formed in the aftermath. The battle recordings follow Alejandro calling out for a ‘Ribbons’, an unknown individual still at large and quite possibly pulling the strings from the shadows. The ultimate allegation, without firm proof, is that Celestial Being used the initial interventions as a prompt for the creation of the Federation and A-LAWS which they would control; in other words, Celestial Being is secretly directing A-LAWS and using atrocities to further their ideal peaceful world by force.

It’s wrong, of course, but it’s a case of fiction outliving fact. The allegation has enough truth to be credible and supportable, and ultimately destroys the credibility of the Federation establishment as a whole; everyone who has been in power the last several years is instantly suspect of collaborating with Celestial Being.

On the other hand, Celestial Being’s name is once again torn to shreds over the course of the battle; everyone who already had doubts about CB’s return is suspicious of the Ptolemy group, and even normally friendly Katharon members are suddenly hostile. The Ptolemy’s recent good work is all that protects them for the moment; it’s publicly wondered on-radio whether the Ptolemy is the real traitors to Celestial Being, rather than the Innovators as the Ptolemy has been alleging all along.


===Over the Course of the Battle===

-Kati’s A-LAW squadron defects when she, Graham, and Patrick declare themselves for the Earth Federation and against Celestial Being in all its forms, their reputations being enough to convince a number of on-the-fence peoples to join against the Innovators.

-This is the battle Darryl firmly and finally leaves Katharon and Celestial Being, flying his GN Flag with Graham’s Susanoo and the two actually engaging in a brief duel with Lyle and Neil before calling it off to fight the A-LAWS first. His ‘defection’ to joining as Graham’s permanent wingman jars the Ptolemy, and for awhile throws all suspicion of a possible mole off of Anew and onto Darryl.

-Louise heads breakneck for the Assembly to reunite with Saji, while Soma and Andrei get bogged down fighting Sergei and Hercules. After a emotional burst of frustration and anger that Sergei let her think he was dead for so long after adopting her, Soma changes sides to join him, also with the intention of asking him to help secure Saji for her friend Louise. Andrei soon finds himself in a three-on-one not in his favor, though it’s against people who don’t want to kill him; Sergei has his promise and fatherly affection, Hercules has faith from the Tower incident that Andrei feels he’s acting in the interest of The People and wants to convince Andrei against the A-LAWS now that their actions are revealed, and over the past several months Soma and Andrei have actually fallen into a pseudo-sibling/comfortable military relationship, so long as Sergei is never brought up. Frustrated and upset, Andrei eventually retreats and escapes.

-Lots of big fighting

-The A-LAW forces do breach the defenses, and Celestial Being moves into the city to defend it, putting Setsuna in the semi-awkward position of fighting in one of the holiest cities in the world. The irony isn’t lost on him. Eventually, the Assembly has been presented its information and is allowed to dismiss to shelter; just as almost all of the room is empty and Saji is about to leave, an A-LAWS suit gets off a shot that breaks open the ceiling and traps Saji in the room. And in out of the light comes the 00-Raiser… and Nena, who is finally ready to face Saji, and her past. Setsuna watches from above while fending off approaching A-LAWS, no hint of his feelings on the matter.

-Nena apologizes. She doesn’t make excuses, and doesn’t ask for forgiveness. She admits to her failings as a child, but says she’s grown since then. Not enough, she admits, because she can’t get over her past actions and it’s begun to consume her, to twist her away from the ideal of what she wanted to become. And so she asks Saji not for forgiveness, but for judgment, so that one way or another she herself can move on. As a mark of just how serious she is, she offers Saji her pistol; Setsuna begins to try and intervene, but she makes very clear that this is between her and Saji only. Setsuna reluctantly backs down.

-After listening silently, Saji walks forward, takes the gun, and as Nena winces in preparation, throws it into the rubble. He goes on to say that he, too, has changed; once he would have tried and taken her offer to kill her. But his experiences since meeting her have taught him the futility of following revenge; remembering Billy and Graham, he recounts the twisting that happens to people who crave nothing else. If he became so obsessed with her actions, he would be the same as her. He doesn’t forgive her, he makes clear; he’s not the one who’s forgiveness she needs. As Setsuna interrupts to warn them of an approaching enemy wave and that all allied forces are withdrawing, Saji tells her to live and talk to Louise; while he will never forget what she did to Louise and wants nothing to do with Celestial Being anymore, he only wants justice for the future. Hearing him give her both her life and reaffirm her own ideal of Gundam, Nena closes her eyes and thanks him. And, as Setsuna’s calls begin to sound increasingly worried, she takes that personal sense of justice into her own hands and knocks Saji out, to take him to safety without him resisting.

-This is where Louise comes in sight of the Assembly; a ruined building, blood stains from the victims of the earlier blast, and Nena punching Saji hard in the stomach before gently carrying him into the 00, and away from the battle. Louise tries to stop the 00’s ascent, but her machine is far too weak to even slow them down. As Andrei comes to drag her in the withdrawal, Louise is both heartbroken and furious at herself for her own lack of power.



----Battle Ends: General Summary-----

-After the events of the Federation Assembly, the world changes. The Earth Federation as a whole is delegitimized as a pawn of Celestial Being, the A-LAWS are more or less shut down, and the Innovators lose their grasp on power. The A-LAWS are pretty much forced off Earth, though most of their forces escape to Space via the re-captured African tower. From space, Ribbons plans to re-conquer the Earth by intimidation, intending to capture and hold the Solar Rings hostage and using the Celestial Being as a movable Memento Mori.

-Though the Federation itself largely is dead, its bureaucratic inertia serves as a means for most of the anti-Innovator groups to fight together. However, much of the world reacts differently; parts of the world are Unitarians, wanting a genuine world government (swarths of Latin America, Asia), parts of the world are Regionalists, wanting a return to the power blocks of old or new power blocks (the EU, most of the rest of the Union), some countries are Nationalists who want to use their countries strengths and strategic presences to claim full independence (India, various small countries near solar power conduits), or simply neutral/unaligned (Katharon-dominant Middle East, Africa). It isn’t uniform, however, and will take decades to sort out.

-Katharon becomes a de facto unifying power for the Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern/Eastern Africa after liberating the Middle East (and Azadistan) from the A-LAWs occupation forces. While the countries are autonomous and independent, Katharon comes to be a unifying military alliance for all those who don’t want to be directed by any other power.

-Celestial Being is unpopular again, for reasons mentioned above. The only power half-way positive of CB is Katharon and its leadership.

////

Most of the rest of Reformation would follow the final space arc of the anime, which I really don’t feel like typing out in full because there’s not much new to type. Just to roughly, roughly outline…

-CB and a coalition of forces fight the A-LAWS in space, preventing the A-LAWS from being able to hold the Solar Ring hostage and driving the A-LAWS back to the moon.

-Anew is eventually activated as a mole in an attempt to steal the 00, as per series. Unlike series, Lyle goes with her. Lyle never resolves his brother complex and is more attached to Anew than anything or anyone else, so when Anew defects Lyle follows her invitation to leave with her. Neil, who’s been trying to reconcile with Lyle, is devastated. It doesn’t happen that in the next battle, Neil shoots down Anew in front of Lyle’s eyes. Lyle, connecting with Revive over Anew’s memory, joins the Innovators to claim her revenge in his hatred/jealousy against his brother.

-The final A-LAWS fleet battle and the Celestial Being battle are combined into one big battle between all forces and Ribbons cannon of doom. Once the Celestial Being can no longer fire, however, Sumeragi’s fears are realized: the Earth coalition (sans Katharon) opens fire on the Ptolemy as well, seeking to wipe all of Celestial Being off the face of the map along with the A-LAWS and Innovators.

-Note, the Innovators moved Veda off of the Celestial Being and to parts unknown pre-battle.

-Trans-am burst solves some problems, doesn’t others. It’s important to note that trans-am burst signifies when both Setsuna AND Nena undergo Innovation together. There are two Innovators, but they have Innovated in different ways. Setsuna is on fighting for the future and exemplifying Gundam, while Nena is following the path of living for Gundam-esque Justice.

The Andrei and Sergei impasse is finally solved due to the perfect communication that let Andrei realize what Sergei couldn’t easily express.

Lyle and Neil get no comfortable resolution, as all the GN particles do is make Lyle realize how much he had always overshadowed Neil in nearly every regard, even taking away the one woman Neil had loved and wanted for himself. Lyle is struck by how similar Neil is vengeance mode compared to how he was, and both question what the difference between them was and just what would have changed if they had swapped roles (to illustrate the point further, Neil is wearing a copy of Lockon’s CB piloting suit). After a brutal marksmanship fight between twins, including an out-of-suit sniping match in the debris of the Celestial Being, the two Dylandy brothers end up in a mexican standoff. Two Dylandies fire, and only one lives, struggling to the Gundam where, after matching the biometric scan, he passes out to warnings of critically low oxygen warnings. Which Dylandy it is is purposely vague.

The GN bath wakes up Hallelujah in Allelujah, and Marie Parfacy in Soma, and both realize who the other is (and Sergei and Andrei learn as well).

Louise, hunting for Saji, tears into the Ptolemy searching for him. Literally: Louise uses the finger fangs of her mobile armor to tear through the bulkheads of the Ptolemy, where she gets out and starts opening doors to find him. Setsuna and Louise come back after the first half of the three-way duel (below), and Louise goes to settle her accounts with Louise, finding her just as Louise finds Saji. Saji tries desperately to calm Louise down, but Louise is both out to protect Saji and murder Nena. When Saji puts himself between Louise and Nena, Louise is stressed out enough and half-mad from Ribbon’s Innovator drugs that she shoots Saji, who passes out in her horrified arms trying to forgive her. Louise really starts to go nuts, and Nena forces herself to shoot Louise before she can do any more damage to others and herself, rather than simply allow Louise to lash out because of what’s happened to her. Nena takes both of the still-breathing bodies to the medical bay, where they are put in the emergency pods in hopes that they can be saved.

-Setsuna and Ribbons ultimate duel is replaced by a 3-way between Setsuna/Nena, Ribbons and Graham, who has been pissed that he hasn’t had a chance to prove himself against the best Gundam of Celestial Being and claim his revenge for the Flag Fighter’s deaths. That fight ends with all three of them totaling their machines and having to retreat, to meet again in the 0, the Exia R2, and Darryl’s GN Flag (which Graham borrows). Ribbons is dead, Setsuna lives when Nena returns to the battlefield in a rebuilt Drei R2 with a Celestial Being-produced experimental tau drive, and Graham goes missing after passing out from internal injuries and the Flag flies itself away from the battlefield during the battle.

-After Setsuna wins his duels and as the battle draws down, Sumeragi leads the Ptolemy out of the battle, being shielded by neutral Katharon from the attacking Earth forces. double crosses them and destroys the Ptolemy, but in fact it’s a preplanned ruse with Klaus’s help, and the Ptolemy flees.


And from a great distance, Regene Regetta watches the battle die down from Veda, and sends his congratulations to Tieria for ensuring Aeolia’s plans are back on track.


/////Epilogue/////

-Somewhere near Jupiter, Louise wakes up from her capsule to Saji’s face. They are on board the Ptolemy. Both are healed and Louise cleansed the GN tau poisoning, but they have been under Celestial Being’s care the entire time. From the door, Nena politely knocks on the wall and asks if Louise is ready to talk. When Louise nods, and with Saji by her side, they do.

-Saji himself finds himself in the position of never being able to live a quiet life again. His role in the Federation Assembly have made him one of the most famous (and searched for) men on the planet, and he knows he has no hope for a quiet life. But he is with Louise now, and for the time they are stuck with Celestial Being near Jupiter.

-In another medical bay of the Ptolemy, Lockon Stratos wakes up after monthes of treatment, while Feldt is there to greet him when he wakes up. She tells him everyone was worried of the possibility of brain damage when his suit was found virtually void of air, and they both slowly realize that the only thing he remembers is his name as Lockon Stratos and his role as a Meister, and nothing about being a Dylandy. He is not Neil and he is not Lyle. He is just Lockon.

-Tieria watches Lockon wake up, before returning to the Veda chamber to commune with Regene, who is managing Veda from its new secret location. They reflect on the divided state of the world, but Tieria notes that for all the divisions, there has yet to be any real sign of conflict. And if there is, Celestial Being will be ready.

-On Earth, Allelujah is being roped by Somamarie to hurry up, and we see that he is as part of Kati wedding to Patrick. Graham is there as the best man, just as Patrick predicted, and Darryl is there as well. Sergei is there to give Kati away, but not before talking with Andrei on a communicator. Andrei is working with the Confederation military, a looser successor of the Earth Federation that emerged post-war. Allelujah himself is living on Earth with the Smirnovs, adjusting to a more peaceful life outside of Celestial Being.

-On board the ship Celestial Being, Billy is working in dismantling the place, though a picture of Sumeragi is carefully untouched. We see, however, that Regene is his new boss; Billy and Sumeragi may not be so far apart after all.

-On Earth, the Confederation Parliament opens session. Klause is there as Katharon’s official observer, as all nations in the world have observer status and speaking rights in the Confederation. Marina is also there, Princess of Azadistan.

-Back in space once again, Setsuna is siting inside the 00, which has been rebuilt. Nena soon enters the double-seater cockpit, back from her talk with Louise, and apologizes for taking so long but shares that she thinks that they can come to an understanding. After some talk in which Setsuna recognizes her as having reformed herself to truly be a Gundam Meister, they prepare to launch together. As the Ptolemy’s hanger doors open, we see that Jupiter is prominent.

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 Post Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:42 pm 
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I liked it, except for Ali's death.

If he was willing to risk being shot while helpless, he might as well have ejected his escape pod and tried to escape, rather than simply surrender and gamble that they won't shoot him. He would have had nothing to lose by trying to escape at that point. And Nena could have shot down his escape pod if you really wanted her to kill him like that.

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 Post Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:30 pm 
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Part of it was that I felt Ali is the sneaky kind of bastard who would rather trick his way out of trouble than futilely run away. After all, destroying the Federation pursuit mechs (was meant to) sort of guarantee him no mercy from the Federation occupation forces, and it's not like the cockpit could have escaped the 00 during the middle of battle anyway.

Plus, I like the image of a blast entering a mobile suit through an open cockpit and blowing the entire thing open.


But the main thing was, I had no real need for Ali. It's not like he did anything important after that part of the series anyway, and moving him out of the way allowed for Lockon to completely move on from the past, thus overshadowing his brother to such an extent that we have the Lockon-vs-Lockon fight.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:12 pm 
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While I thoroughly enjoyed the ideas on the whole, there are hiccups here and there. I agree that it was a bit anticlimactic to see Ali taken out like yesterday's trash. It feels like he suddenly suffered a stroke of stupidity in expecting two people he has deeply and profoundly wronged to let him go. Then again, he doesn't really deserve any better and the second season treated him as a recurring sub-boss of minor importance. I could grouse about Allelujah getting short-changed, but, as you pointed out, it's nothing new to 00. Besides, he's just a satellite orbiting the main thrust of the story, our 00 pilots, so it's not a huge deal. On the other hand, Graham feels shoe-horned in. I know you're a fan and you wanted to give him his due, but turning him into the third leg of the final battle didn't work at all. I thought half the point of Bushido was his pride; he thinks he's this raging bad ass, but he winds up being mid-card at best. Elevating him to end-game combatant, who holds his own with monsters like the hideously overpowered 00 and Ribbons Cannon, smacks of favoritism.

I'm a bit on the fence about others. The anonymity of the Lockon is haunting and shocking. It's almost as if the message is that their precious individuality amounts to nothing. They're just interchangeable set pieces (although I suppose one could accuse the series of the same). It's a rather dark Aesop. Similarly, leaving Regene in charge of VEDA sounds like a recipe for disaster. He may come across less monstrous than Ribbons, but he's possessed of the same selfish desires and manipulative streak. I suppose it's understandable in that one of the themes seems to be that there's no such thing as a perfect solution, but that would be like Zeta Gundam ending with Sirocco in charge of the Titans. He'd probably be more benevolent than Bask and Jamitov, but only by a slim margin. It feels like very little has changed.

All in all, though, I like the ideas, particularly in how well it blends Nena's journey with the world at large. Fending off the A-Laws and having her cathartic moment with Saji all in one fell swoop could make for a powerful chapter.

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