literature

Gurren Lagann - Turn the Phase - 9 Venture

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By mjengels

Literature Text

This is a work of fan fiction using characters and situations from the anime series Gurren Lagann, trademarked by Gainax Corporation.

For the most part, characters depicted in this work are characters created and owned by Kazuki Nakashima and Hiroyuki Imaishi. I do not claim any ownership over them or the world of Gurren Lagann. There are several original characters appearing of my own design, however.

The story I tell about the former members of the Gurren Brigade is my own invention, and is neither purported nor believed to be part of Gurren Lagann's story canon. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of the official story line.

I am not profiting financially from the creation and publication of this story. And I am very grateful to Messrs. Nakashima and Imaishi for sharing their wonderful story with the rest of us.  Thank you!

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NINE
Venture

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Simon tugged at the collar of the black bodysuit Cybela had asked him to put on. "Are you sure this is really necessary? I feel, um, well...*exposed* dressed like this."

Her pink hair bobbed as she giggled a moment before peering over the top of her glasses to stare at him like a teacher might while addressing a whiny student. "Now, Simon, we've been through this. That suit is instrumented so we'll know what's happening with you during the Commissioning. We'll need to know what's going on so we can bring you back if things get out of hand."

"But Leeron and Guinble said the process was fatal if it couldn't be completed once started."

"You leave that to us, Simon," Kinon assured him as she stood up from adjusting the straps on the suit's waist. Her eyes met his as she fluffed the long brown hair which had fallen into her face over her shoulders. "We've got a few tricks up our sleeves too."

"And besides, Simon, that suit really shows off your figure!" Leeron crooned.

Simon rolled his eyes as the women blushed slightly. Perhaps Leeron had only said what they themselves had been thinking all along.

A moment later they finished attaching the external instrumentation to the suit. He caught a glimpse of himself in one of the monitors, thinking it similar to the uniform Nia had worn when she became The Messenger for Anti-Spiral. The irony was not lost on him.  Now he made ready to ensure the survival of the Spiral Races and give them hope; The Messenger had heralded their destruction while attempting to plummet them into Absolute Despair.

A moment later Simon and Dayakka faced one another, each grasping the other's shoulder firmly. Both knew no more needed be said.

"Leeron, Cybela, Kinon - I'm ready."

The three of them sprang into action with their technical staff, barking out orders and crossing items off on their checklists. The Gate sprang to life, the equipment it was built from lighting up with all forms of indications showing it was working as intended. The instruments on Simon's suit also began responding. He stood a few yards behind the Gate, noticing as it powered up he could no longer see through it to the other side. Now inside the Gate appeared a hazy white glow which to him resembled mist rising from a woodland pool on a cool autumn morning.

"NO, SIMON!"

Simon took a step toward the gate, but stopped and turned at the sound of the voice. There he saw Chancellor Rossiu himself, running to take up a position in front of him.  "The rest of you:  hands on your heads!  NOW!" cried the officer following closely behind as a contingent of heavily armed military police fanned out around the control center.  "I don't want anyone here to even so much as blink until I say so!" he barked as his troops drew their weapons.

Simon glanced around the room, seeing his friends and the other technicians slowly but surely complying with the man's instructions.   When Simon turned back forward, he saw Rossiu standing between him and the Gate with his arms out wide.  The Chancellor appeared determined to block his path as his long official robes obscured the white mist within from Simon's view.

"What are you - "

"Simon, I shall *not* allow you to do this."

"But Chancellor - "

"Guinble, that's quite enough from you," Rossiu rebuked him sharply as he slicked back the single thick bang of hair on the front of his head. "You're in enough trouble already.  You knew I was against this plan from the beginning!  It incenses me that you would use my delay arriving in Kamina City to advance these machinations! So Simon might just be the strongest Spiral Power in the known Universe, and all of you would help him get through this Commissioning well enough. But that's not the point!" he shouted at everyone around him before turning his attention back to Simon.

"I asked you once to sacrifice your very life for our people, Simon, and I was wrong to do so. You did anyway of your own free will and we triumphed, despite my playing right into our enemies' hands because of my ignorance and hubris. And then you saved *my* life, Simon, enabling me to live and love once again." Rossiu cast a glance at his wife Kinon, who stood still as a statue with one hand up to her mouth.

"I won't have you sacrificing your very soul on our account, Simon. You've sacrificed so much for all of us already. What we fought for, and what our loved ones died for, was the peaceful existence we've enjoyed after we defeated the Beastmen and Lordgenome, and later Anti-Spiral. We experienced the good life as long as we have because of what you did for us, my friend. Now let us carry forward as best we can manage. Have faith in us, Simon. You've earned the right to spend eternity with the one you love when that fateful day arrives. I won't permit us to impose upon you further."

"But Rossiu, have you really thought about - "

"It is incumbent upon me to lead by example, Simon. I would never even ask the lowliest private in our army to do what you're about to do, given the uncertain yet potentially grave consequences. And I wouldn't ask them to do it because I wouldn't do it myself. Certainly I wouldn't ask the man I love like a brother - a man to whom I owe my very life! - to do so either. I love my wife and son with all my heart and I know that after I die we will be reunited once again. I would never give up that hope, nor would I ask you to."

Behind Kinon's rimless glasses, tears began welling up in her eyes.

"No one's asking, Rossiu. I'm insisting. I knew in the pit of my heart all along I needed to do this. I just didn't realize it myself until just now, even with those I love telling me the same thing each in their own way."

*plip* *plop*

He turned his head downward.  Simon's eyes went wide as his gaze traced a path from the drops of blood on the floor to where Rossiu clenched his trembling fists at either side.  

"Simon," the Chancellor replied as he ground his teeth, "you have certainly not considered all the - "

Simon put his hand on Rossiu's shoulder to put him at ease. "You're wrong, my friend.  I have thought about this plenty," he said in a manner suggesting the subject was now closed.  "Nia is a part of me now, just like Kamina. Her heart lives on in mine. That's enough, and always will be."

Rossiu hung his head for a moment before he turned and nodded to his security detail chief.  "Stand down," he said to his soldiers before casting his eyes toward the floor again.  All the members of the security detail began shouldering their rifles and holstering their sidearms.

Simon set face set determinedly as he watched the MPs file out of the room one by one.  "I'm ready now," he said resolutely as he turned back toward Leeron and the others.  "I'm Simon the Digger.  I believe with all my heart in my team, my friends, and the ones I love."

"And we're ready here, Simon!" came Leeron's reply.

Rossiu smiled wanly at Simon as he stepped aside. "Godspeed, my friend."

Simon returned his friend's smile before stepping through the portal. He disappeared from sight into the white haze.

==========

He gasped as his eyes darted from one side to another, then behind him before looking ahead again. Or was that behind? Front, back, left, right - it mattered little.

Moments ago, Simon had been in a laboratory while his friends prepared the equipment around him to begin The Commissioning. Then he had stepped through Heaven's Gate. His vision and his hearing had immediately reacted to the manifestations of Spiral Power beginning to warp and phase given the probability manipulation. It had given him very strange sensations.  Perhaps he had blacked out? But then how could he still be standing? He really didn't know what to make of what his senses were telling him now.

Through squinted eyes he continued his vain attempt to see beyond the mist which appeared to envelop him.  It didn't *feel* like mist, however, as it was neither cool nor damp.

/Why have you come, Simon the Digger?/

He gasped as he looked around, seeing no trace of anyone who could have spoken to him.  

/Why have you accepted this task?/

All at once, Simon realized the voice he was hearing was somehow emanating from within his own mind.  The deep bass tone was unmistakable, one he was quick to recognize.  

"I should have expected you *would* be involved with this, Lordgenome."

With that, Simon found himself staring into the chest of a dark masculine figure which towered above him.

"My role in this process is tertiary, young man.  But I have been tasked with ensuring you know exactly the gravity of the responsibility to which you desire to be entrusted.  So, I ask you once more, why have you come?"

"Well, I was asked by my friends to accept The Commission described in the ancient holy text," Simon began slowly, considering his words carefully.  "They said it could prevent the Spiral Nemesis from occurring.  That was why Anti-Spiral waged war against the Spiral Races in the first place, right?"

"These were theories in my day, Simon, although they have yet to be proven," Lordgenome replied as he crossed his arms over his massive chest.

"I suppose that's why I am here, then.  Everyone seemed to think I was the only one who could do this."

"Tell me, Simon...do *you* think you are suited for such a task?"

"I'm really not that special, I suppose. I mean, I acquired all these powers but not because I wanted them for myself. I only used them to protect my loved ones and the rest of my people.  Ultimately, isn't that what you yourself did?"

Lordgenome grunted his begrudging assent while he tugged at his narrow beard.  "Your command of Spiral Power exceeded even my own.  It continues to grow even as you wage peace wherever you travels take you.  You are to be commended for choosing such a path, Simon.  Yet do you recognize there are others who exist today and who have yet to be born which would use Spiral Power for their own nefarious purposes?"

"Well, sure I do.  But there have been people like that since the dawn of - "

"So then, Simon the Digger, what do you intend to do about them?"

Simon cast his eyes downward a moment, holding his chin in his hand while his mind raced.  "They must be convinced to follow another path.  Surely I can do that given time," he said, meeting Lordgenome's gaze once again.

"There are places where time has run out, Simon.  There are instances where warnings have been issued and gone unheeded.   It is in these situations where action is required - decisive action.  In the interest of preventing the Spiral Nemesis once and for all, these scenarios demand you pass judgment and impose punishment.  The mandatory sentence will be death, Simon.  There can be no exceptions."

Simon gave no reply, realizing the crushing burden he was about to shoulder as Lordgenome's words sank in.

"This shall be your task for eternity.  Is it one for which you are adequately prepared?"

"Yes," Simon replied simply.

Lordgenome harrumphed.  "We shall see.  I myself think you're a hundred years to early to be ready.  A warrior whose potential exceeds even your own may present themselves before then.  After all, I can afford to bide my time."

"Gimmy, Darry - they nearly didn't come back from the Periphery. My Commission will help end the hostilities there.  I have to put a stop to this!" Simon spat back, clenching his fists angrily.  "This is not what I had wanted for them after we defeated Anti-Spiral! Accepting this Commission, I will live for them and all my other friends and loved ones. You may be able to wait, but I need to help keep them safe now especially seeing the Spiral Races begin to turn on one another."

"Are you certain, young man?  I have seen no precedent set by your prior actions."

Simon reacted as though he'd been slapped.  "W-w-what are you talking about?" he stammered angrily.

Lordgenome's brow knit as he considered Simon severely.  "Tell me truthfully:  did you marshal your Spiral Power before to protect your friends and preserve our Race?  Or did you just save the Universe for *her*?"

Simon gulped as he looked at his feet, knowing he could not hide the answer in his heart from him. "I did it for Nia," he replied, fumbling at the ring dangling from the silver chain around his neck. "Maybe at first I did it for Bro, to confirm his faith in me.  But from the moment I saw Nia come out of that box in the Valley of Lost Souls, I knew I wanted to protect her forever," he continued, looking up again resolutely.  "I wanted to live, and live for her. And I came to love her enough to never take my eyes or my Drill - my very soul - off that goal. I saved the rest of the Universe, sure, but for no other reason than for us to have a safe place where we could live our lives. Be married, raise a family, grow old together along with our friends..."

Lordgenome crossed his arms again across his broad chest as the younger man's voice trailed off wistfully.  The older man's gaze softened as he broke the uncomfortable silence.  "If you accept this Commission, you will never be able to see her here.  I can assure you she has anxiously anticipated your arrival in this Phase of existence.  Your role for time everlasting will be to prevent the Spiral Nemesis by keeping the use of Spiral Power in check even if it means exterminating entire races who would abuse it.  Either of these is an overwhelming task; are both too much for a mere man to handle?"

"Then perhaps she told you that's exactly what *she* asked me to do, years ago before our wedding. She wanted me to keep saving the Universe for her, even if only so she could be together with me here in my heart," Simon said struggling to keep his emotions in check as he drew his hand over his chest.

"The sacrifice you are preparing to make will test the bounds of your faith beyond any limits you may have imagined, young man.  You had asked God before just how far He would test you and your loved ones.  And now, you shall know!"

Simon reflexively drew his arms together as the energy field Lordgenome cast enveloped him.  His vision blurred and his ears rang once again until the world came back into focus a moment later.  He found himself standing near a grove of strangely twisted evergreen trees, their gnarled branches casting shadows of all sorts of eerie shapes from the bright light of the moon.

He gasped as he looked toward the sky, seeing two moons instead of one.  At once his body was in motion, leaping aside into a crouched position as the point of a spear sliced the air where he had previously stood.

"So you have come, Other, just as the Prophetess said you would," Simon heard as he looked up.  He could see the speaker was a young man roughly L. T.'s age with his long dark hair braided into two pigtails which came down to either shoulder.  Anger seethed from every feature on his reddish-brown face, and the pupils of his narrowed eyes were obscured by an eerie white glow.

As Simon grit his teeth to face his opponent, a replica of his driller's staff materialized in his hand.  Simon gasped for a moment with surprise, and then ported his staff with practiced ease.  

"Well, Other, I'm pleased you won't be facing me unarmed," Simon's opponent sneered.  "What sport would there be in that?  All the better to show you all how my people and I will not let you stand in the way of our destiny."

Simon's brow knit as he regarded his opponent angrily.  "You must be one of those I've been told about.  I shall not allow a misuse of power to threaten our peaceful existence.  Nor shall I permit the use of such power to bring about the Spiral Nemesis!"

"Misuse?" his opponent bellowed.  "It is our enemies who have misused *their* power to snuff out our own.  I am Leaping Stag, leader of the Nation of L'ayn'a Te'ni!  And neither you nor any Other shall threaten my people again!"  He swung his spear viciously, once again slicing at the air Simon had stood the blink of an eye before.

Leaping Stag drew his spear back reflexively, just in time to parry the thrust of Simon's staff.  The sharp tip of the drill barely missed his forehead as it sailed over his right shoulder.  "And I am Simon the Digger, the one who shall ensure you're not a threat to anyone again!"

Simon jumped, wielding his staff as he flipped over Leaping Stag's shoulder.  He came at his opponent once again with a roaring cry as the ring around his neck glowed brilliant green, bright enough to blot out even the twin moons in the night sky above.
This is the story of a man who had resigned himself to his Destiny. Using his talent to build things and mentor others, he lived a hardscrabble yet comfortingly familiar existence. However, Destiny had other plans for the man and his loved ones which none of them would fully comprehend. Destiny would assert Itself in his life once more, leaving no one untouched by its wake. A story by M. J. Engels.

EDIT 6 September 2015:  Enjoy some most excellent artwork by :iconredundantthoughts:  related to this chapter.  


Turn the Phase- Chapter 9 - Venture

Then go show Sid some love.  Thanks Sid!  MJE
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© 2013 - 2021 mjengels
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