Previous Chapter: Chapter 23: The Return of Unwelcome Guests               Next Chapter: Chapter 25: The Blue Dragon Returns

 

Arado: W-we’re surrounded!

Seolla: We have to intercept them!

Kai: Wait!

Seolla: Huh?

Kai:  If they wanted to kill us, they would have done it already. By not doing that, they’re showing us they have a different objective.  Stay on high alert. Don’t get too far away from the Kurogane.

Arado: B-but if they attack us…!

Ratsel: It’s dangerous to open fire haphazardly. Follow Major Kai’s orders.

Arado: R-right…

Kai: Ratsel…

Ratsel: I know. …Captain, start the preparations.

Kurt: They’ve already begun, sir.

Ratsel: Then we have to buy as much time as we can.

Hugo: It looks like they’re watching what we do next.

Aqua: Wh-what do you mean?!

Hugo: Their timing was too good. They must have been watching our previous battle and waiting for us to trip up.

Kai: That’s likely.

*Warning*

Kurt: Lord Ratsel, there’s a gravitational signal from above!

Ratsel: !

???: Sheeeeeesh, there’s a lot of Teeeeeension for our first foray to earth, huh?

Arado: What is that?

Latooni: It’s a different type than the other units… Could it be the commanding unit?

???: Ooooooh, looks like they figured it out. Ceeeeertainly, they’re an experienced bunch.

Ratsel: Major Kai…

Kai: Yeah. Try contacting them on an open channel.

???: Hmmmmmm?

Kai: This is Major Kai Kitamura of the Earth Federation Special Instruction squad. Are you… Inspectors?

???: Oooooh, We’re noooooooot them.

Kai: ?!

Seolla: Wh-what’s with that voice?

Lamia: He seems to speak-talk in a strangeweird way, Major Kai.

Kai: Y-yeah.

???: I meeeeeeaaaan, yes, my translation machine is baaaaaad, but we aren’t Inspectors.

Kai: Then, who are you?

???: I guess youuuuu would call us “Guests” of your planet.

Kai: Guests…

Zeb: Thaaaaat’s right. I am their battle commander, Zebris Forschwa… Caaaaaalll me Zeb.

Ratsel: Well then, Zeb… What is your objective?

Zeb: Isn’t it ooooooobvious?

Ratsel: …You plan on capturing our units?

Zeb: Eeeeexxcaaaaaactly. We were interrupted when we tried for the Huckebeins, and we got noooothing.

Kai: You strategize the same way as the Inspectors. Is there a connection between you two?

Zeb: Hmmmmm, weeeellll, you could say we’re rivals.

Kai: So you’re from the same place, but a different faction?

Zeb: It’s myyyyyyy turn to ask a question. Where aaaaaaaaare the rest of you? We’ve seeeeeaaaarched, but we don’t know.

Kai: …And that’s why you’ve targeted us.

Zeb: Weeeell, whatever. Droooooooppp your weapons. I want to avooooooid a pointless fight, and I waaaaaaant to make sure your mechs are in as good of condition as possible when we get them.

Kai: And if we refuse?

Zeb: I’ll giiiiiive you a black eeeeeeyyyye.

Kai: …

Ratsel: …

Zeb: Aaaaaah, I’ll say this. Yoooooouuur guys’ home base is having some trouble right now.

Kai: What….?!

Zeb: We’ve leaaaarned from the Inspector’s mistakes. Don’t get a biiiiiig head just because you beat them.

Ratsel: (Then, the Guest battalions are targeting other places…!)

Zeb: Sooooo, what will you do? Resisting heeeeere is pointless.

Ratsel: …Captain.

Kurt: We’re ready, sir.

Ratsel: In that case…

*Boom boom*

Zeb: ?!

Kurt: That wasn’t us!

Kai: Where did those shots come from?

*AWWWWW SHIT IT’S DEM GOOD GUYS*

Seolla: It’s the Hagane and the Hiryuu Custom!

Arado: I-I’m not dreaming! The Steel Dragons have arrived!

Lefina: Dragon 2 to Iron 3! We’re providing backup!

Tetsuya: All units, deploy!

*Deploy screen*

Kyosuke: It looks like matters have changed drastically while we were in La Gias.

Lamia: ! Lt. Kyosuke!

Excellen: Hiiiii, Lamia! You can leave the rest to us!

Lamia: Excellen…![1]

Josh: So those are the Steel Dragons….

Seolla: You’re all okay!

Irm: As you can see.

Carla: The Kurogane team’s here too, you know!

Ryuusei: I’m sorry if I made you worry, Latooni.

Latooni: Ryuusei…!

Kai: Where have you all been until now…?!

Sanger: Save the details for later. We have to deal with this situation first.

Kai: Understood.  Those forces are aliens calling themselves Guests. They seem to be related to the Inspectors. And they have appeared in other places.  This is a critical situation, so we need to dispatch them with haste!

Zeb: Ooooooh my, they’re assembling their forces here. I don’t know whether to call that good or bad timing. Well, time for work.

Kai: Their commander is that man called Zeb! Focus your fire on him!

Chapter 24: The Sword that Defends the Earth

Victory: Make the Lige - Geios retreat. It will retreat at under 15000 HP.

Defeat: An allied mothership is defeated.

SR Point: Fulfill the victory condition in 6 turns.

*Kai Versus Zeb*

Kai: Where did you sent the other squadrons?!

Zeb: Weeell, if you attacked them, we’d have a problem.

*Blow his ass up!*

Zeb: Whoa! You goooooot me, you got me. You guys are strong!  Well, if oooour plan is successful, I might have aaaaaaanother chance. I’m leaving for today.

*And so he does*

Kai: We were too late….

Ratsel: Major Kai, if what he said was true, then right now…

Kai: They’re invading other critical places on Earth….!

*ELSEWHERE, EXPLOSIONS*

Operator: All targets hit! No further readings!

Kenneth: Good work, gentlemen. Prepare for the second wave, and keep the anti-aircraft watch on high alert. (Heheheh, you alien bastards, don’t think it’ll turn out the same as last time…)

Kenzo: (…. So this was the reason behind the high alert for the last few days and recent scrambling of units… But things are going too smoothly. It’s as if the higher-ups knew the aliens were coming today….)

*MORE OTHER EXPLOSIONS*

Chiot: That was surprisingly quick.

Chien: Yeah, our time in La Gias was a lot more fun.

Chienne: You got that right… Major Albero, it’s over.

Albero:  The Gamma Sabers will prepare for the second wave, and remain here.

Chienne: This is our official debut, but it’s so boring. Should we try to take full control over Tesla Labs?

Albero: Did you not hear my order? Stand by.

Chienne: Yeah, yeah. (What a boring geezer. We’d be fine if the Gamma Saber squad was just us 3.)

Erde: It was a great opportunity. It’s a shame the Medius Locus wasn’t sent out.

Albero: Did you forget? The Medius was “stolen”. According to this plan of yours.

Erde: Soon enough, that won’t matter, right?

Albero: ….

Raul: Wh-what is that squadron?

Fiona: They came suddenly, deployed their forces, and then…

Jonathan: Outside of the Stork, it’s all mechs I’ve never seen before. There’s a new model Lion type, and some customized Guarlions?

Raji: More worrying then that…. They knew where the enemies were coming from.

Jonathan: Yeah, there’s that, and when I asked for their allegiance, they didn’t respond… I have an idea who the enemy units were, but as for them…

Raji: Perhaps they’re not from the Federation.

Raul: Then who do they work for?

Raji: Since they’re using new models from the Lion line, they could be related to Isurugi…

Fiona: Could they be the “GS” people are talking about? I’m thankful they protected the labs, but something seems fishy…

*ALSO ELSEWHERE WITH ADDITIONAL EXPLOSIONS*

Duvan: All targets destroyed. This is Beta 1. We’re going back.

Ariel: (Based on how long it takes to analyze data…. I don’t think we did a calculation from the data collected by MOSS. Could the higher-ups have known when the Guests were arriving?)

*OH SHIT SHIPS BRO*

Operator: All targets in range!

Carly: Forward cannons 1 through 4, fire!

Egretta: Hmmm… It seems like we don’t need to show ourselves just yet.

Carly: Commander Alteur, the guest forces have been wiped out.

Alteur: Good work, Captain Neumann. You commanded well. I look forward to your results in the future.

Carly Yes sir. After I was discarded, I found a place for myself here…. If there’s anything I can do to repay you, please let me know.

Alteur: Of course.

Operator: Commander, there’s a message from the president for you.

Alteur: Send it through.

Graien: It went exactly as you said, Alteur.

Alteur: Yes. We were successful in attacking every enemy force except for the one in Paris.

Graien: What will we do about potential low orbit bombardment?

Alteur: Along with the Orbit Patrol Squadron of the Federation, The Omega Sabers and Beta Sabers were also deployed. They’ll be ready if the enemies make a move.

Graien: Then they prevented them from bombarding… or do you think they never intended to do long range warfare in the first place?

Nibhal: I believe it’s the later. They have more fire power than their precursors, so they probably wanted to act to gain as big of a foothold as possible.

Graien: Hmm.

Nibhal: Further, while we have sent protection to each division’s head base and to cities of import, we positioned our ship and the Alpha Sabers at the capital, Paris. Between the Federation and the Gaia Sabers, I don’t think I need to say who the citizens are thinking higher of. You said before, sir, that the Gaia Sabers should have a brilliant debut, in order to give them more recognition than the Steel Dragons…. I believe we’ve accomplished that, wouldn’t you say?

Graien: Hmmm… I was wise to leave it to you.

Alteur: Thank you very much, sir.

Graien:  I have supporters in the military, smoothing things over…. If they team up with the opposition movement in congress, the ones we’re searching for will surely be flushed out. We should focus on finding the ones who predicted the Guest invasion. We can’t afford to miss any intel.

Alteur: I understand. Once the situation has settled down, you’ll make a speech. Please say the Gaia Sabers are the sword that protects the Earth and all of her people.

Graien: Indeed. We will win this fight against the Guests.

Alteur: Of course, sir.

*At Paris*

Daniel: General, We’ve received reports from every division. We have won.

Gaspard: The enemy is probably so confused. What’s the position of their squadrons?

Daniel: We’re searching right now, but given that the MOSS probe has yet to be attacked, we think it’s likely they’re outside of lunar orbit.

Gaspard: Their next targets are probably the Moon and Heaven’s Gate…. I figured the Guests would start there, but it can’t hurt to keep them on high alert.

Daniel: Yessir. By the way… The speech the president made earlier…. Was that okay?

Gaspard: It’s what our Commander in Chief wanted to do. I don’t mind.

Daniel: But he said the Gaia Sabers were protecting the people… Isn’t that the military’s job?

Gaspard: Now we have a branch with no budget restraints that we can use to test new weapons and use them proactively against the Guests. We should be grateful.

Daniel: Alteur could be trying to get a foothold with the Gaia Sabers, so he can start to order the military around. Or maybe, he’s conspiring with the military of countries outside the old UN Security Council, scheming to overthrow the current Federation leaders…

Gaspard: You’re quite the worrier. That certainly could be true. Well, I don’t mind if that’s what he’s planning.

Daniel: If things go poorly, he’ll start a civil war… This is a grave problem.

Gaspard: By uniting against a common enemy, our resolve is strengthened. That’s what Bian Zoldark and Mayer V Branstein did. Further, the Resistance in the DC wars made the anti-Federation forces stronger. There’s a brawl brewing. And new enemies will emerge from the woodwork.

Daniel: But, we still have the DC remnants and anti-Federation forces to deal with…

Gaspard: Whenever there’s more work for us, war merchants get more profits. And while it’s never part of our intentions, there’s always going to be people who get the short end of the stick. That gives us a new portion of the populace to defend, as is our duty. You could call it a game of give-and-take.

Daniel: …

Gaspard: This world will never have a perfect peace. And militaries will always fight each other, looking for victory…. Or, maybe we’ll find something more difficult than that.

Daniel: You’re talking about keeping things in order?

Gaspard: Exactly. Completely destroying all our enemies is dangerous for our position, Daniel.

Daniel: …I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors about the Gaia Sabers.

Gaspard: We’ve got our strong points as well. Our other pieces, besides the Steel Dragons… The preparations for Karlo and Eckhart are finished, right?

Daniel: Yes…

Gaspard: Then, let us watch the performance of the newly elected President Graien and company. They say the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The policies enacted by a president in wartime won’t be overlooked by the countries of the federation forever. When they do fall, perhaps we won’t try too hard to help Alteur and his gang up…

*FUCKING ANOTHER FUCKING CUTSCENE SERIOUSLY*

Latooni: Ryuusei!

Ryuusei: Sorry I made you worry, Latooni.

Latooni: No, I really believed you’d be back safely… I even took a bunch of pictures of the new model mechs for you…

Ryuusei: Oh, that’s great! Thanks. Show them to me later.

Latooni: Sure…

Shine: …Latooni, I’ve also returned.

Latooni: Princess Shine, I’m pleased to see you unharmed.

Aqua: U-um! Your Highness!

Shine: Yes?

Aqua: I, I went to the Kingdom of Riksent once! I saw you in a parade!

Shine: Oh, I see.

Aqua: U-um! Could you please Shine… I mean sign this for me?!

Shine: Of course.

Aqua: T-thank you so much!

Seolla: By the way, Princess… Is it okay if you don’t return to your country?

Shine: After being summoned to La Gias, I’ve requested to be allowed into the Steel Dragons for a while… Ah, but, I did contact the country recently. Joyce was overjoyed.

Robert: …So everyone was taken to La Gias?

Ryuusei: Well, It’s kinda a long story.

Arado: Um… What about Kouta and Axel? Weren’t they with you?

Kyosuke: We didn’t meet them. We couldn’t find them anywhere in La Gias.

Lamia: Is that so so so….[2]

Ryuusei: All of the members of the Steel Dragons have returned, but other people from the surface who went to La Gias stayed with Masaki and his friends. If those two are on La Gias, they’ll have help returning to the surface.

Arado: Got it.

Shine: Also, I have something I need to discuss with Arado, Seolla, and Latooni.

Ryuusei: Yeah, those guys….

Arado: Those guys?

Shine:  Yes… In La Gias, we fought against Chienne, Chien, and Chiot.

Seolla: !!

Latooni: Th-those three… were from the Argent Class!

Arado: They’re still alive?!

Katina: They’re some fucking crazy kids. I think they’re still in La Gias.

Seolla: (If those three came back to the surface…)

Arado: (The last living members of the School…. Are those guys….)

Katina: A lot of stuff happened down there… But it seems like more things happened up here.

Robert: Yeah… At the next meeting with Commander Lefina and her crew, we’ll give the report.

Ryuusei: You were called in as well, Rob?

Robert: Yes, as an observer. I’ll probably have to explain the current situation after the Guest attack.

*Briefing room*

Kai: Is that true?!

Lefina: Yes. The Guests ambushed Paris, the main bases of all the Federation divisions, and other important places with their teleport devices…  But the Federation and the “GS”…. The “Gaia Sabers” stopped them.

Tetsuya: Gaia Sabers… That’s the battalion the Present controls, right?

Lefina: Yes. Just now, President Grusman announced their existence as the people who repelled the Guest attack. He said that with them as the sword that protects the Earth, no one can violate her sovereign power.

Sanger: A sword…. If that’s what the Gaia Sabers are, what does that say about the Federation armies?

Ratsel: Beyond that, there’s one other thing I don’t understand. They knew the Guests attacked the factory with the Huckebeins in Orleans, and they should also know the movements of the Kurogane. They could have shared advice with us, considering we went toe to toe with the Inspectors…. But when I asked them earlier, they said nothing. And the Guests attempted the same strategies as the inspectors, trying to conquer a large portion of the earth in one go… Basically, based on the information they collected, and expecting full victory, the Guests attacked all the bases at the same time. And then they were stopped….

Kai: Is there something you want to say, Ratsel?

Ratsel: Don’t you think the participating Federation groups and the Gaia Sabers knew when the Guests were going to invade beforehand?

Lefina: …I agree.

Kai: But, how would they…

Ratsel: As I said before, I think there’s a pipe between the Federation and the Aliens. And now, we’re seeing the effect that pipe can have… And considering what that Zeb fellow said, I don’t think it’s wrong to say that the Guests and the Inspectors have some kind of connection. I think it’s possible that someone from the Inspectors warned the Gaia Sabers about the Guests’ attack.

Kai: If they were cooperating, then they would have the same objective of controlling the earth, but… You’re saying there’s some kind of faction struggle between the Guests and the Inspectors, and the Gaia Sabers are taking advantage of that?

Ratsel: Yes. Perhaps a failure on the part of the Guests would help the standing of the Inspectors.

Robert: If that were the case, then they could have acted faster to halt the Guest’s invasion….

Ratsel: And if they couldn’t do that, perhaps they could leak some information.

Robert: I guess internal struggle is a universal construct. Even the weapons the two factions use are the same…

Lefina: Have you completed the analysis yet?

Robert: It’s a rough guess, but yes. In the past fight, though they were just launched…

Kirk: One machine was using parts similar to a Geminira.

Kai: Geminira… The code name given to the machine destroyed in the Inspector Affair. Though we didn’t encounter it…

Robert: Unlike the Inspectors, it’s safe to say that the Guests are bringing in a large number of units.

Lefina: Understood. Then, as for our next move… We have been contacted by the Far East Division, ordering us to come and explain our MIA status. As such, this ship and the Hagane will return to Izu.

Robert: Before that, I have something I wish to ask of you…

Lefina: What is it?

Robert: I’d like you to take Bullet and Kusuha to Tesla Labs. We need them to communicate with the Mechanoids so that our repairs can continue.

Lefina: Understood. In order to oppose the Baral, we need the Mechanoid. I’ll allow it.

Ratsel: If you’re heading to TLI, then it’d be best if you had the Exbein too, so you could repair it there, right?

Robert: Yes.

Ratsel: Then the Kurogane will take you.

Kirk: Captain Lefina, do you mind if Rio and Ryoto come as well? Given that they worked in developing the Huckebein mark 3, I’d like to ask their support in adjusting the Exbein.

Lefina: …What do you think, Tetsuya?

Tetsuya: I don’t mind. We need all the firepower we can get in this situation.

Lefina: Then, please tell them to make their preparations.

*ALSO FUCKING MEANWHILE*

Josh: I see… So you’re fine, then.

Clifford: I mean, it seems like you have just as much on your plate as you did down here.

Josh: Is there something you need of me?

Clifford: Could I ask you to come back to Antarctica with Rim?

Josh: …Is this something dad asked?

Clifford: Yeah…. The research on “Fabula Fores” has reached a new stage. And because of that, we need the Sympathia.

Josh: A new stage…. I’ve heard that plenty of times before. There hasn’t actually been any important progress, has there?

Clifford: This time is different. The Aile Chevalier is needed immediately.

Josh: If by that, you mean you’re going to make Rim use the 01…!

Clifford: The professor said it won’t happen. That’s why we called you.

Josh:  Then why didn’t dad contact me directly? He always does that for important things…

Clifford: Josh… If he called you directly, you wouldn’t answer, would you?

Josh: …

Clifford: if we find out more, maybe we can learn something new about Rim’s condition. … C’mon, Josh, this is a personal request.

Josh: … Okay, Cliff…

*BACK AT THE FUCKING BRIEFING ROOM GAH*

Kai: So, Bullet, Kusuha, Ryoto, and Rio are going with the Kurogane to Tesla Labs.

Ryoto: Understood.

Robert: I’m sorry you have orders so soon after returning, but thanks.

Bullet: Doctor Omiya, do you know the whereabouts of the KoOuKi?

Robert: We have no clues at the moment. We’re working with the LTR Corporation in researching the Baral, but…

Bullet: I see… If I had been there…

Robert: It’s probably better you weren’t there… If you were in it, you would have been kidnapped.[3]

Bullet: …

Kusuha: Um… Doctor Omiya… Will we really be able to repair the RyuOuKi?

Robert: Right now, with just Professor Kazahara, it’s about a 50/50 chance. With me and you, there should be something more we can do.

Kusuha: …Understood.

Rio: Major Kai, can I ask something?

Kai: What is it?

Rio: I’d like Ing to come with us to the Tesla Labs.

Kai: Ing?

Tsugumi: He’s someone who was found in an escape pod in the pacific by Raul’s group. He’s a young boy on the Hagane.

Rio: He’s lost his memories, and we don’t know his affiliation. But he helped us during our battles in La Gias.

Kai: You let a person you know nothing about fight with you?

Ryoto: Yes, based on Colonel Viletta’s judgement, we put him in the R-blade Custom.

Kai: Wait. Why can someone who lost his memories do something that complicated? Are you saying his body remembers how to control a PT?

Ryoto: Exactly. He’s received some kind of high-level training. I’ve seen his ability to adapt to different units.

Kai: But still, throwing him into a real battle is…

Ryoto: First, we are in a situation where we need skills like his. Second, we think that a significant shock may restore his memories.

Kai:  And the results?

Rio: So far, nothing. But up till now he’s had no complaints, and has always cooperated.

Kai: So you say… Just from hearing this story, he sounds like an artificially created being.

Rio: That’s why we want to take him to TLI, to examine this mystery. It seems like he wants to know who he is, too….

Robert: If he’s got amnesia, wouldn’t it be better to take him to Professor Kobayashi at Izu? He’s the expert on that kind of thing.

Ryoto: We talked to Aya, and she said it would be better to go to Tesla Labs first, in order to get a more diversified study.

Kai: Understood. I’ll talk to the captain.

Josh: …Major Kai, do you have a moment?

Kai: What is it?

Josh: I’ve received a call from Mother Base. They want me to return to Antarctica.

Kai: You aren’t enlisted in the military, so I don’t mind…. But are you in a hurry?

Josh: Yes.

Kai: Then we’ll get you set up with a transport ship. And please take Hugo and Aqua with you.

Josh: Huh?

Kai: They aren’t affiliated with my unit or the Steel Dragons, so I’m free to lend them out. Take them as an escort.

Josh: But…

Kai: We’ve been attacked by the Yokijin and Jinrai, and the Guests have also begun their invasion. There’s a strong possibility of encountering enemies on the way there. Unless… they’re a nuisance?

Josh: …No.

Kai: Then I’ll talk to Hugo and her. Until you get to Antarctica, be on your toes.

Josh: Understood.

*STILL. NOT. DONE.*

Seti: Commander Zezernan, the first wave has been entirely destroyed. It seems the Earthlings knew of our movements in advance.

Zezernan: Meaning they did some kind of reconnaissance or something?

Seti: Correct. They were ready for the fight, at all their bases at once, and even the orbital patrol…

Zeb: Ooooh my, it seems like the Steel Dragons arreeen’t the only group that’s haaaaard to deal with.

Zezernan: I can’t believe these monkeys are that strong. Sure, they’ve been fighting amongst themselves for a long time, but... Someone leaked our information. I can’t think of any other reason. …It wasn’t you, was it?

Seti: (Asking his inner circle first, huh…)

Zeb: Whyyyyyy would we want to doooooo a thing like that? I think it waaaaas because we triiiied to steal the Huckebeins. Thaaaaaat’s how they fiiiigured it out.

Seti: Did you forget? Capturing the Granzon and the Huckebeins were the most important parts of this plan.

Zezernan: It’s as Chafrois says. Because we couldn’t find the Granzon, we needed to immediately capture the Huckebeins.

Zeb: (Though we eeeended up loosing them too.)

Seti: (But why does the Commander want the Huckebeins and the Granzon?)

Zeb: And thiiiiiiinking about our information leak’s source… Could it be the confidant Wendolo uuuuuuused?

Seti: If that were the case, it’d be a Vorga man. How would he know when we were attacking?

Zeb: Thaaaat’s true. Then Maaaaaaybe the Vorga has a spyyyyyy hidden somewhere. Or maybe he uuuuused a Bioroid.

Seti: I checked, and there were no leads on anthing like that.

Zeb: Then, their maaaan came to earth, and saaaaaaw us.

Seti: We sealed Wendolo’s ship, right? If someone from his squad lived, they could have used that, but now anyone who wants to use it needs Commander Zezernan’s codes to access it.

Zezernan: Continue the investigation of this leak. And the location of the Granzon.

Seti: Yessir.

Zezernan: And we’ll change the plan from here… We’re taking the moon. Let’s show those monkeys something outside of our original plan.

Zeb: Rooooooger.

Zezernan: I’ve already made arrangements for reinforcements. This time, we’ll show those monkeys the true power of the Zovorg.

 

Previous Chapter: Chapter 23: The Return of Unwelcome Guests               Next Chapter: Chapter 25: The Blue Dragon Returns


[1] Big Sis Excellen, like, Onee-sama. So in Japanese, this is common, but it doesn’t translate well into English; it’s like miss, but that’s too formal in English. I could make a nickname for it to give a similar feel, but eeeeeeh.

[2] I mean, It’s hard to translate this lady’s weird shit.

[3] THIS ISN’T A SHOUT OUT TO ANYTHING OR ANYTHING