Zaku II regarded the smoking remains of its fated opponent with its monoeye.
The VF-1S was in Gerwalk mode, its frame broken in multiple pieces. It had crashed from its last battle, felled not by the Zaku’s machine gun but by the fell hand of the Eva Unit-01. The nose and cockpit were lying on the scorched earth, a pair of charred corpses still glued to the single seat. One body, smaller and lightly-built, sat awkwardly across the legs of what seemed to be the pilot, but both were simultaneously cooked together as their machine failed them.
No, the VF-1 did not lose by its failings. It lost simply because its opponent was a complete monster.
The Zaku turned its head to the east, where a huge silhouette towered even among the gathering clouds. Despite its sheer size, the Eva Unit-01 looked anorexic, slouched over without any care for its appearance. It had surprised everyone at the start of the tournament when it took on the Gunbuster, many times its size, and won by eating its opponent’s twin Degeneracy reactors. Growing to Gunbuster’s size, it summarily crushed the rest of the competition.
Until the VF-1, that is. Armed to the teeth with the finest gear the U.N. Spacy had to offer, the VF-1 tried everything: guns, missiles, lasers, missiles, even more missiles, and devastating reaction weaponry to deal with the gigantic threat. But such attacks only tickled the Eva’s AT Field, as it stood perfectly still in the midst of its opponent’s barrage. Then, with an agility no humongous machine should be allowed to have, it swiped at the VF-1 with a sinewy arm.
The VF-1 barely avoided getting snatched up by the hungry Eva, but the velocity of the move grazed one of its wings. It crashed into the ground and met its ignoble end.
The Zaku mournfully took the broken cockpit of its fated adversary and walked across the desolate ground. Not many miles later, it reached the grave of its superior, the Sinanju. Sinanju had fought bravely in the Earth side, scoring victories over the King of Braves and the Pretender Comet. The VF-1 beat it in an overwhelming win, its micromissiles blotting out the sky as it all but vaporized the Zaku’s friend.
The grave was marked with the Sinanju’s oversized sleeves, which were the only parts that remained out of the elite red mech. The Zaku laid the VF-1 cockpit at its feet.
“I was denied the opportunity to avenge you, sir,” it said respectfully. The voice was that of a soldier, aged but still battle-ready. A clear liquid formed under the Zaku’s monoeye and trickled down its face. Was it disappointment? Indignation to be ridden a powerful vendetta? Even the venerable machine could not tell.
“Zaku! Zaku will win the tournament!” A curly-haired boy shouted, scampering towards its favorite contender. He was holding a miniature toy in the Zaku’s likeness.
A girl in a red-and-white dress followed, hiking her skirts up as she chased after the boy. She looked at the VF-1’s cockpit and gave it a solid kick. “That’s for my White Doll!” The Turn A Gundam was another of the Variable Fighter’s conquests, struck down by gunpod fire as it implored defenselessly for peace and harmony amongst mecha. Also a friend.
A man in a longcoat approached the Zaku. “Congratulations on your win over the YF-19, MS-06J Zaku II. You are now Champion of the Colonies Side.”
The Zaku paused to remember its last opponent. The YF-19 was by far the most capable adversary it had fought in this tournament. It was true that its specs were far beyond the Zaku’s own, and it had the luxury of flight and the blessing of speed. But the Zaku did not get to this point by sheer luck–each of its opponents learned of its cunning and resourcefulness the hard way.
It had not seen the booby-trapped Santa Claus balloon coming, nor its deadly payload of cracker grenades. The Zaku had a vast, inexhaustible supply of battlefield tactics from the combined experience of its innumerable brothers. The plane-robot was nothing but a wild bird, ferocious with its talons but nothing more than a newly-hatched chick, ignorant in the ways of real war.
A small object shimmered in ExecutiveOtaku’s hand, and it floated to the Zaku’s eye level.
“The Acguy Scopedog. It now belongs to you, Father of Real Robots.” The Zaku reached for the prize with a hand, and the Acguy Scopedog disappeared in a flash of drab green.
“I may be old and tired, but I can still fight one, final battle.” In the background, the towering Eva stood like a permanent fixture amidst the gray sky.
“You’d better,” ExecutiveOtaku said, shaking his head. “The Eva Unit-01 must be stopped, or the entire world will be doomed to Tang™.”
“But how will you beat it, Zaku?” the boy with the Zaku toy asked. The girl merely stared, hugging a plush Kapool doll tightly to her chest.
The Zaku’s monoeye zeroed in on the humans. “I’ll need supplies.”