顔 掌 ○○ Translations

"People die when they are killed"

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Full Metal Panic!
Always, Stand by Me [part 1]

Translated with the blessings of the Goddesses of Wheat and the Universe, and KRAUSER-SAN!!

顔 掌 ○○Translations

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

[Prologue]

Unpleasant-looking letters were written near the names of schools he hoped to enter - all "D"s and "E"s, instead of "B"s and "A"s. Of course - it's the results chart of the nation-wide mock entrance exams. He had returned to look at it several times during the day, but naturally, the contents didn't change. Looking at that piece of paper with vague revulsion, Shinji Kazama sighed miserably. He understood very well where those results came from: in the English test, weird sentences he didn't remember seeing before; in world history, a question about some South American country; and in ancient literature, of all things – the Tale of Genji. Come on - why Genji? That thousand-year-old fantasy of empty love for love's sake, written by a woman abandoned by some playboy - and this decides modern people's lives?.. Shinji was lost in these dark thoughts, but even though he saw that the world was decidedly unfair, results were everything - and his were far from satisfactory. And it was already January of the last year of high school, the main exam was only a week away. It was a grave situation indeed. He let out another sigh, thinking that nothing could be done, lifted his eyes and gazed forlornly at the classroom. it was lunch break, but the atmosphere in class 3-4 was quite tense. Students either intently staring at their books, or fast asleep, tired from all the studying. A group of girls who took the test together with him were quietly discussing the results. Some boys were pretending not to be concerned "eh, what test?" - and were playing a card game. There were people who had already decided on their future career, but mostly, his classmates were enveloped by the same uneasiness that stuck to them like a wet silk gown. The feeling of having something always stuck inside your chest that makes it impossible to laugh from the bottom of your heart even at the best of jokes. Their future careers, however, were not the only reason for that general feeling of anxiety, especially for those who were in class 2-4 the previous year. The fate of Kaname Chidori and Sousuke Sagara was on their minds. They disappeared from school almost a year ago. For a time, news reporters and journalists were making a fuss by gathering at the front gate of the school, but they disappeared, too; the repairs of the school building were finished before summer vacation. The culture and athletic festivals went by as usual, and the school became very quiet. No explosions at unexpected times, no angry shouts from Kaname, no screams of students caught in the turmoil, and no emergency broadcasts from Kagurazakasensei. It returned to being a normal school, like it was before Sousuke first came there. However, Atsunobu Hayashimizu had already graduated, principal Takako Tsuboi moved to a different school. Her change of post was not directly related to the incident, but after something like that happened, staying there was unreasonable, and she went through the motions and quietly moved on, even though she

~2~

顔 掌 ○○Translations

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

honestly wanted to stay. She announced it at the graduation ceremony in March, and true regret could be heard in her voice. "I would have very much liked to stay as principal, and wait together with you for your friends' return, not matter how much time it takes..." Those words sounded more like a farewell to Kaname Chidori, making Shinji feel that their return was something very improbable. This was not a simple kidnapping. The Japanese police were conducting their own investigation, but that of course was not something they could freely talk about. Kaname's school register was taken away "for the purposes of the investigation", and her absence was treated as an absence from school for an indefinite term. If she ever returned, she would have to start again from second year, and her classmates would already have graduated by then, so nobody knew if she would want to remain in this school. As to Sousuke, it soon became known that his profile in the school register was a fake, so the probability of his return was zero. However, the words that he had said in front of his class - that they will definitely be back - were etched into everyone's memory. What were the chances of that happening? Shinji could understand, perhaps better than anyone else, sharing Sousuke's military mania. He could at least, better than an ordinary student, imagine just how powerful and cunning the terrorist and military intelligence organisations could be. No one could take them on alone, not with their virtually unlimited resources, skilled professional personnel and network of connections. And if something like the "Amalgam" Sousuke talked about existed, its power would be truly frightening. Though Shinji honestly didn't even hear of such organisations before, it seemed more like an urban legend. But if it was real, Sousuke wouldn't probably even be able to find her location... he could even be dead by now. Shinji often fell prey to such dark thoughts. Ever since the incident, Shinji had been hunting for traces of Sousuke's current activities. He was trying to find any clues in different incidents around the world that might tell him that Sousuke was involved (and this search helped him escape the stress of the exams, which is why he didn't really study English). He couldn't find anything, and after thinking it over, realised that this was an obvious result. An organisation like that wouldn't leak information that an ordinary high school student could find. So, what if Sousuke was still alive, and looking for Kaname? On the one hand, days full of mortal danger. On the other, days of stress before exams. He felt like laughing at the difference between his and Sousuke's situation. At that moment his friend, Koutarou Onodera, returned from somewhere and plunked himself down onto the chair in front of Shinji. - Sold out, as usual, - It looked like "Ono-D" just returned from the bakery in a foul mood, as he tore open the wrapping of the bread roll and stared at it with annoyance. - You could've bought something in the store on the way.

~3~

Ha.. I'll study properly. . Shinji also went to see her once or twice. they ended up in the same class. but mental. he continued saying that nothing happened.Aha. well. .Eeh.Mmm.The questions sucked. . but Koutarou was there so much he sometimes looked pathetic. It's full of "D"s! . FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. .. Koutarou replaced her at Tokiwa's side. . While there were no serious after-effects of the injury. The person who visited her most in the hospital... I don't think she even touched her studies. ~4~ . . though no one knew for sure. for sure.. yeah. was Koutarou. I'll be fine...I was kinda worried about Tokiwa-san.I did. Before he could think of something to answer. They were definitely close friends by now. Today Kyouko had skipped the first half of the day and went to the local hospital for a thorough medical check. 2010 Their dispirited conversation continued for a while until Koutarou noticed the exam result sheet.顔 掌 ○○Translations . sometimes she had light convulsions in the fingers of her left hand.. She did text me.Dunno. where she stayed for some time after the incident.Is Tokiwa-san coming today? .Exam's next week... and with Kaname gone. Apparently the reason for that was not physical. After she left the hospital. . lemme see. She did say she'd work in a toy company or something. .. and they started spending a lot of time together.Hah. . saying she just finished her check-up. Koutarou snatched the sheet of paper.Ah.Mm. You wouldn't do better anyway. but I got hungry after second period. Even though apparently they went to the sea together in the summer vacation.Oh shut it. . you've really done it. woah. no luck with the mock exam? . but she'll get a recommendation. she was fierce about her studies after leaving the hospital.. though when asked Koutarou didn't want to acknowledge a relationship.

what is it? . it was pretty scary back then. .And I said all those things to him... The black AS that swiftly laid mines all around the school did not appear in any military-related magazines.Yeah.grumbled Koutarou.On Tokiwa-san I mean.. ~5~ . . .. Of course.. . . . . she had to go through all that. . recently..You know..Must be tough. . . Ono-D.. It was a wonder that no one died then .That he was desperately trying to save her. That day he grabbed Sousuke by the collar and shouted and him: "Weren't you our friend?!" Since then he hadn't spoken his name even once. 2010 .Come on. I really regret them now. she looked in almost physical pain during any conversation that even remotely reminded her of the incident. and Koutarou was one of them.Sure.顔 掌 ○○Translations .Well. even though he knew it was a trap..You know.. slowly sipping his coffee milk..Well. there were still many sutdents who resented him for bringing peril to the school.and they owed their lives to Sousuke and that white AS. That he dismantled the bomb that was tied to her..Hm? . . Shinji was honestly surprised. .So.. Shinji remained silent and let him finish.Eh..She started talking about the time when she got hurt.. I was thinking. no matter how much Shinji looked. . it's about Sagara. After leaving the hospital. Shinji could guess that whoever abducted Kaname and held Tokiwa prisoner was dangerous enough..Eh. With all that happened. what? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.Sagara-kun? Really? . you can't really blame yourself. what did she say? Koutarou hesitated.

Hm? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. Tokiwa almost died because of him.. too.Wha? . what? At that moment Kyouko entered the classroom. which only added to the ~6~ . I. we won't be able to get everyone together in February. what are you talking about. no?. here she is. She exhcnaged a few words with a group of girls standing near the door...a childishly stubborn. and her hair was shoulder-length. . thought of doing something..Do you really think so? .. . .. I. so maybe in the middle of January we could do a group picture. She was wearing simple... Koutarou made a face like he had swallowed something unpleasant .Uh. then why d'you think she started to talk? .Besides...Well.I dunno. I was thinking that Sagara-kun probably was trying his best.. but very effective makeup.Ah. Her childish pigtails were gone..Eh.What? Why would I do that? It's his fault... don't really. .. 2010 . then came their way.Oh.... If he'd just disappeared earlier.Don't you think it's because she was thinking the same thing? That she was really sorry? .Where'd you get that idea from. . that's a fact.And. . . staring at Shinji with a pained expression on his face. . really.Really. . but clear refusal to accept this idea. .. . ..mumbled Koutarou. .顔 掌 ○○Translations . She was now wearing contact lenses instead of glasses.... like Tokiwa-san? .You don't think it's right to apologise.Well. I.You know.Huh..

2010 impression that she suddenly grew up. lucky I made it in time! .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.What? .How can you be so serious about this? I'd skip the rest of the day.. I don't think there's anything wrong. then lightly tapped Koutarou's shoulder.Hi.Good morning. .Oh. While they were busy being all playful. were you worried about me? . Her outward appearance might have changed. .Hey.Hm. what?" "heard it on the news. but her personality remained more or less the same. . . . for sure.Ba-a-ka~ They returned to their seats. but nah. .Already? Man. . or some border dispute in Africa. The central exam . Phrases like "hey. hi. preparations for war or something" "Eh. Her usually innocent face also seemed to be darkened by what happened. watch out." "Oh dammit". just asking. Kazama-kun. Some boys were looking at their phones and talking to friends in front of them.Ah. and didn't think twice about it.Me? No. What was that all about? Shinji thought it was something about the Middle East again. Kyouku puffed up her cheeks and poked him.that's what was important. and making seemingly as much noise as possible in the short while before the start of the lesson.Koutarou smiled back. the bell rang for the start of the fifth period. Fujisaki's coming.. war or something" "where?" "dunno..The check-up. good. feigning anger. did you hear? there's war" "eh. in lots of places. How'd it go? . as the students started flooding the classroom. . Ono-D! Her voice was unexpectedly clear and energetic. .Results next week.Phew. The conversations promptly died out after the ancient literature teacher's figure appeared in the classroom door. She smiled to Shinji first. . .. ~7~ .

Even before that. It looked like preparations were going on in Europe. Why doesn't anyone worry about that? There might be a nuclear war. the evening train was as peaceful as ever. even though it might be destroyed very soon. And that was not all.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. As the founder of Mithril.. along with everything else. he had seen in the news that the world was now in the graps of deep energy and food crises. Well then. It was not just some border dispute in Africa. and there would be no return. used to crossing the line between peace and war in the blink of an eye?. for the test that should get him into the school he wanted to attend.Nobody absent? Good.. this situation could become very bad. good. As the son who had been deceived for decades. 2010 . Shinji suddenly felt the need to talk to Sousuke. a politician known for his extremist comments seemed to have the full support of the military circles. very fast. This peace irritated him like never before. In the Soviet Union. Even so.. Here's a student desperately trying to memorise words out of a dictionary. However. Shinji learned of the news only on the train back home. and the worst market crash in a century signaled the beginning of a very profound recession. Test forms were quickly distributed after the teacher finished talking.. war?. Both camps' armed forces were at full combat readiness. without a hint of uneasiness or anxiety drifting in the air.. ~8~ . their lives might end suddenly. The headlines of a newspaper extra that a tired salaryman was reading caught his eye. let's do a quick final test.. The two superpowers and their allies were locked in a serious crisis that threatened to escalate into the nuclear dimension. [<ONE> Calm before the storm] Sir Edmond Mallory Junior was ready to confront his father. But if allowed to escalate. I know. the Middle East and even in the Arctic. you're all tired. but hang in there. but it did not look more than just another round of trying to scare the opponent into backing down. this organisation that was already almost gone. What would he say to him in this situation? How would this peaceful scenery look to him. and he suddenly felt a cold chill running down his spine. You're almost done.

He then passed near Halford.a village he hadn't seen in thirtyeight years. His combat posture was still perfect.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Pistol at the ready. and again . and the splendid title was fully deserved. Soon. The armies of the Warsaw Pact were conducting largescales exercise and were preparing to test-launch nuclear missiles as part of them. The constant unpleasant drizzle and low greyish clouds overhead made the dull paysage of endless low meadows downright miserable. his father. rusty Toyota he bought off a used car dealer.I thought you would come sooner. His father always called him that. It was an old. even though he was now over fifty years old. One of the reasons was to distinguish himself from his father. and continued driving north for an hour and a half.no. A never changing sight. and saw an ancient man sitting in an old rocking chair. his body moving by itself.I see. a small village came into view . and he had been driving to the west of London for four hours.Sir Mallory. but due to his bravery during his Navy career he became a knight of the Order of the Bath. He went into hiding about a year ago. All NATO member countries switched to a wartime command structure.. 2010 He was driving alone. without an escort. remembering the Navy SEALs training he had once received. It was already two weeks since the beginning of the crisis. so you came. . and it fell inside. He checked his Browning and put it in the pocket of the cheap parka that he was wearing. Insurgencies simultaneously erupted in Poland. Edmond stopped the car.. A small eight-inch LCD television on a side-table was showing BBC news. He never liked the name "Rod".. There were unconfirmed reports of small-scale military conflicts happening all over the world. After a small pause.I came as fast as I could. and got out.. he stepped into the cabin. Again. It looked the same as when he was a little boy. he kicked it once .it did not come off.the old man said. and planned on ending this game of hide-and-seek today. He came into the bedroom.the hinges finally gave way... . the small cluster of houses with a small church near them remained the same for a hundred . both were cold as ice. and started walking straight to a small house near the church. to be "prepared for the worst".Lord Mallory. . He passed the empty dining room. ~9~ . and the situation only worsened. and always preferred to be called "Sir Mallory". and both sides were taking harsh measures against them. . and his gait became more and more heavy. In the dim light of the LCD screen Edmond saw the weary face of the old man .. on the Balkan Peninsula. three hundred years. and he kept every square inch of that house in check. He distinclty felt the steel of the 9mm in his pocket. and went further. acting as if he had not noticed the gun in his hands. on the border of Wales. since he held the title of baron even when he was a child. .. He finally came to the flimsy-looking wooden door that led into the house. and the raindrops landing on his cheeks. and in Kurdistan. He walked down the muddy path.

There was nothing particularly harsh about this life. He didn't want to admit it.You came to kill me. France. Nevertheless. not even going out hunting or horse riding. . the reason I betrayed. . don't you. . the reason I sold "Mithril" out to them. who became worried once and went to check on them.Mmm.Edmond's reply came very quickly. Maybe he'd understand..Yes. getting water from the well. to celebrate.He'd think it's pitiful. He came here not to ask for his father's advice. Edmond suddenly noticed that his hands were much thinner than when he saw him last time. His father did not even let in the butler. They left their mother and sister at home. cutting the chicken for dinner. He said "Sir Edmond is now a real man. that makes two.. . his eyes glazed.. . . Dent was right.Dent. a year earlier.chopping firewood. Lord Mallory looked outside. 2010 He shut a Bible that he was holding and gently put it on the side table. not the heir of House Mallory.. ~ 10 ~ . but everything he learned here became useful later . Here Edmond Junior learned the life of a normal person. It was unclear from his father's expression whether he was praising him.I'd like you to listen to me first.Cheval Blanc1. but to settle things. besides me..Yes. . what would he say if he saw us now? . I remember. sir".You do know this place. and stayed in this small house. would he now. but to the son of a nobleman it was a source of precious experience. and the butler Dent. didn't you? .When you were injured in the Falklands.. not in any way less distinguished than you.both in Eaton and the military. .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. he came to me with a bottle of wine . Every year in the summer the father and the son would come to this village together for a week. you. Yes. Dent passed away quite some time ago. of the year that you were born. 1 Premier Grand Cru Classé A from the Saint-Emilion region of Bordeaux. or lamenting the fact. and no one else.Him? Why? . They did simple chores together .

The budget was by far not the first problem when the organisation was created. Politicians. There was no point in having hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of hardware without the people to use it. Lord Mallory. Lord Mallory answered in a weary voice: .And this in itself was all an illusion. was one of the central figures in the creation of "Mithril". skill. These would be people much younger than those Lord Mallory knew. who crashed in a helicopter on territory controlled by the enemy. smouldering. a group of corporations. religious and ideological conflicts all across the world. . military in every country would not be able to deal with these crises. The main problem was finding talented individuals. as he looked at his son bitterly.these innumerable little coals. Sir Mallory was a hero of the last war. various intellectual property. and vast connections of Lord Mallory himself. The Mallorys themselves were a bit like the Tracy family from "Thunderbirds". the worst this world has to offer. I was proud of you. it was time for the surgeon's scalpel. though their goal was saving people from war. I was happy that you were going to inherit anything that would be left after me.. Afterwards he was sent on missions as a military or intelligence officer. not natural disasters. When you were in the army. There was no person better suited to take care of this problem than his son. performing extremely precise strikes with ease. I supported your ideas. The reasoning was that when the prescriptions of the physician did not have any effect. all the time? ~ 11 ~ .And you were laughing at us. The mystery around the nuclear missile that was used in the Gulf War.I risked everything for this organisation.Think about it. and start believing that something can be done about it . bureaucrats.. and ethnic. 2010 This old man.. the food and energy crises . a fictional metal invented by a linguist with an overly active imagination. giving sparks. . These thoughts were on his mind.and this organisation would be the goal. "Mithril". Left alone. By various methods House Mallory assembled a great amount of real estate. the rapid escalation of the confrontation between the two superpowers. I thought you would see the reality. . "Mithril" was supposed to be the scalpel. This was not about national interests. having received the Order of the Bath for the rescue of the crown prince. and helped prevent several crises. It was possible because of what Lord Mallory did in his time.. they would lead the world to inevitable destruction in the twenty first century. faith in the cause. What they needed were professional soldiers who had experience. Mallory was able to gather an impressive number of talented people. and above all. thanks to his son's scouting.顔 掌 ○○Translations *** FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.

Why? He was speaking as if this was a rebuke because of an adultery committed by his father..it took a long time because I was in hiding. and whereas a spy from the fifties would probably recognise it. we became it. but I don't understand the reason.Still. . .Well.Because of what you did. . is not like you at all. .Hmm. I know the codes they use . . . 2010 .said Mallory senior very quietly. . This.. you wanted to confront me in person. . Those numbers would then be converted into a table of random numbers by way of some mathematical formula published in an obscure trade journal. A modern analyst would overlook such old tricks.Those stock prices are my personal cipher only. I've been assembling evidence for the past six months . and used as access keys.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.Then I would like to hear your answer. modern intelligence agencies didn't. But you did a thorough job on that.You have no idea. Before their attacks.I only hoped it would become real.Of what exactly? ~ 12 ~ . that did not go as planned.I saw that trade journal in your office.to come live here as a hermit? I could shout at you all I want. Lead the enemy and abandon the organisation you yourself created . that's so very like you..No. . You were the founder of "Mithril"..And after confirming your suspicion. but very hard to decipher. . . I don't understand. After I noticed it. you conveniently disappeared as if you knew they were coming. It was a simple method. Some numbers were marked. and a silver sword that would defeat it. . making a grimace of self-derision.. Why? You didn't just create this organisation for your amusement? To throw away when you're tired of it? .All things have to be done in order.the stock prices of a spinning machine manufacture that you own..Mithril's too big for a toy. I wanted to see an evil that had to be defeated.Of course not. . and you communicated with "Amalgam" at the same time. and the same thing was in other articles. didn't we? . and easy to use in conjunction with modern telecommunications technology.

I could say that "Mithril" is like an illegitimate child to me.Dream?.. It has been a while. .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. jumped out of the kitchen doorway. The latter felt as if something exploded inside his head. but that was of course an illusion.. the always gloomy face.. He didn't even think about his father.Spoiled?. Fighting the "Amalgam" that I spoiled so much. kicked away the gun. and cursing himself even more.. Sir Mallory's right hand that was holding the gun exploded in a fountain of blood . you know nothing about "Amalgam" yet.Sir Mallory. ~ 13 ~ . a man.. He then struck Mallory junior in the temple with the gunstock of the SMG that the was carrying. The pain was as strong as if everything below the elbow was blown away. clad in fully black. who came closer. and looked at his hand.Son. .... . He must have been shot through the window.A.. scolding himself for being so negligent.said the other in an almost friendly voice.Andrei Kalinin. but everything looked fine except the little finger was missing. What a foolish-.. Before he could reach it. with features as if chiseled from marble. .You know. someone he knew very well. The dream from which it was born... rolled over the bed. 2010 . He was thrown off and must have pressed the trigger instinctively as a shot went into the wall. he noticed that his own body fell down.. Yes. it was the former commander of "Mithril"'s West Pacific assault troop. he started to reach for the dropped gun. .. .I am an idiot". For a moment he thought it was a gun discharge. He instinctively hid away from the window... Its origin. In fact. the balance between them that was always there since the days of legend.. a bullet somehow exploding in the grip .. It looked like he was the commander of the team that had just came into the house. "Idiot . He was still barely conscious as he saw the face of the man. good and evil. The instincts of an ambushed soldier kicked in. as his mind started plunging into darkness. The eternal struggle between order and chaos. The grey beard and moustache.but that was impossible. he thought. and seems such a commonplace phenomenon. and losing all sense of equilibrium. Who was it? Since when were they watching? How did he hit him? Questions rushed through his head. that man was about the same age as Edmond himself. and a lot of blood was pouring out. At that moment. as his hand was just above the level of the window sill.. however.or he thought it had. He looked even older than Mallory senior.. a tool that makes its own rules.

The name register. Mister Mercury? What are you talking about? . and observes the working of the organisation.Your father has some information that is important to us. or perhaps he did not want to. then continued. . There are a minimum of rules . and the goal was my father.Register of names?. but he is the only person with administrative powers over everything. my father? Sir Mallory stared at the old man in disbelief.Sir Mallory.顔 掌 ○○Translations *** FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. even though he must have been surprised as well. The latter fixed his gaze on some point in space. 2010 The assault took them less than a minute. .explained Kalinin patiently. Apart from the register of names there were some other things we wanted to confirm with you before your son killed you.And it was. and his subordinates started leaving the room. . That is Mister Mercury.Amalgam also has a person who acts as chairman.he is the one that enforces them. His father remained in his chair as if nothing unusual had happened. and he didn't lose consciousness because of the pain in his hand. Kalinin confirmed his guess: . . He waited a while. he was sure of it.. Under Kalinin's orders they gave first aid to Mallory and searched him thoroughly. so pardon for the intrusion. and seemed to not hear anything that happened in the physical world..That is correct.. we had been watching you for the last two months. Edmond did not understand what Kalinin was talking about. . . so we started tailing you. .. . This was not a trap laid by Mallory senior.You just let me move freely for a while. ~ 14 ~ . As if expecting those words.what?.He does not necessarily participate in the entire policy making process.. isn't it. Mercury.So you did have it. Kalinin inclined his head a little. . We could not find the location of your father by ourselves. Mr. It didn't look like they were planning to kill him just yet. Mallory senior said quietly: .

What kind of bad joke was that? His son was already fifty years old.And it still worked? 2 The author uses periodic table symbols in the text. . . When you learn things.successor?. . And . . Therein lie its power.I'm not ashamed of it. .They didn't know each other's faces or names. Originally..I thought of talking with you about it sometime.We knew it was quite old. 2010 Being irritated more and more by his father's stubborn silence.. and yet none of them knew who their predecessor was. That's. You know. and become mature.he wanted to shout. . but nobody seemed to know the its entire history. and no one could tell who was communicating at the moment. even we did not know that. . . Mallory senior finally started to speak.As this Russian says.. ..So.. For example. Amalgam was not some kind of evil organisation. maybe you could be my successor . This man managed it all. I still remember that around the time of the Cuban crisis there were in fact three people calling themselves Mr. Gold or Silver2.nodded Mallory senior. instead of criticising him. They were only linked by the numbers in the pages of a trade journal. such as Au and Ag. I'm the chairman of "Amalgam".Forty-eight?. in 1948.顔 掌 ○○Translations . . .Nobody could form or control cliques or factions inside this organisation.You. unexpected. ~ 15 ~ .that is what I thought.interjected Kalinin. Mister Mercury. It was different before. Gold. . Whether you call it a terrorist organisation or a malevolent secret society is not important . There were possibly many people who held the title of Mr.Yes. but his father sounded more like he was trying to comfort himself.the fact is that using only this peculiar decision-making process they managed to affect the world in such a way...Answer. father! After a pause. "I may be a traitor son to you. .What part of a terrorist organisation that provokes armed conflict to make money is not evil?! . sounding very respectful. it was created just after the war. but I'm definitely nothing like you!" . . and feeling his hand burning..That's now. calling him immature was ridiculous. are you? Lord Mallory? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. he raised his voice.

Amalgam was at first an organisation built on a dream. Their principles divided them. I can guess that afterwards things went the usual way.. Sir Mallory was not a hypocrite or a stubborn believer. and people were seriously considering the possibility of an all-out nuclear war.it was menaced by the Cold War.. moved to support him. wasn't it? Though the slogans they brandished were a little different. One of those calling themselves Mr. .You're probably thinking. who held an important position in the military intelligence created this organisation with four like-minded people: an American oil magnate. .. I even see its results. Gold was one of Khruschchev's close associates. Did that not mean that Amalgam had actually saved the world?. In the modern world just about anyone knew what the Cuban missile crisis was all about."Mithril" was very much the same. Soviet middle-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads were deployed in Cuba.They were only five? ..I only speak the truth. In 1962. ~ 16 ~ .Oh it did. . It was a critical moment that decided the fate of humanity as a whole. but Mallory senior was implying that Secretary General Khruschchev was acting under influence from Amalgam. My grandfather. . son: how can it be that my enemy saved humanity? And you don't want to believe it. 2010 .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. his words sounded like a gloomy joke. a Russian scientist. .snorted Edmond. with his enormous wealth in real estate and knowledge of cryptography. I understand the so-called dream of "Amalgam".All right.murmured Kalinin. which to the United States was the equivalent of a gun at their throat. . I see that a part of the power that the idea of those five people is alive in you. but that union was made for one purpose . and they reacted in full force.said the old man. what insolence .Now you're just making fun of me.Five of the brightest men of their time. also part of the upper echelons of power.Even now you speak like a filthy traitor. The dream that after the downfall of Nazi Germany we would be able to start anew .But as I said many times. Despite their completely different backgrounds and beliefs. as if Edmond's thoughts were laid out clearly before him. of all things. . He realised fully how correct Kalinin's observation really was. they were united in their dream of a future for humanity.to guide the world from the shadows. A lot of people thought the same. both in the East and the West. He strongly advocated the dismantling of the missiles deployed in Cuba. That is why they named themselves "Amalgam". Add to them my grandfather. . five geniuses.."Future for humanity". The tension between the two opponents was at an unprecedented level. . a German officer of the SS and a Japanese trader. The resultant military crisis was solved because of the individual will of the leaders of the two countries. ... The others.. .

in select newspapers around the world... not allowing anyone to interrupt the conversation of the staff. My hands were tied.. and how novel a system it adapted. playing vulgar power games. Plans that strayed from the organisation's ideal. but you could say it was one of the reasons the war dragged on. Then there were or course no online meetings. it was not possible to somehow destroy their own means of encryption. Just as I used stock prices of my company. made managing this organisation even less feasible. so it's become a sort of mass council without any idea or goal. . the number of members increased. because I wanted to destroy it.You couldn't even try to destroy the network? Without it.Fifteen years ago I was seriously considering my options. . but my role was not giving speeches . in the end it could not escape from this decay. It was a quite typical case of corruption. but trying to make anyone listen to the original idea would be futile. until about the end of the sixties. . .The bog of the Vietnam war. It was clear that the organisation departed from its lofty goal and turned into a grossly obese creature whose only concern was its personal safety. No matter how much brilliant men it assembled. And as internal resistance increased.. excluding those who violated its rules. the one that wished to survive at any cost. I have succeeded my father as the head of the organisation about twenty years ago. and then they just started acting in their own interest for personal gain. instead. The number of people in the leadership that thought that the end of the war would be a loss increased. Several backup lines of communication were ~ 17 ~ . As "Amalgam"'s network expanded. . The title of "Mister Mercury" had quite a reputation.Impossible. and perhaps they didn't notice it themselves. Mister Mercury's authority rested on the fact he was impartial.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. I imagine the authors of those gossip stories had no idea how their petty work was used. like now. conflicting interests. it was as if everyone was tryiing to cheat at a game of dice. Anyhow. final decisions that were watered-down compromises. Fools drunk with their might. New rules were made on the spot. .And then thirty years. .Mallory senior sighed deeply. or the string of characters in a tabloid's daily column. . the ones that are in it now have nothing to do with the original idea.All right. Maintaining the organisation's network.. and a new generation. and did not have his own interests. and their titles were taken by newcomers."Amalgam" didn't participate in everything. . And the part that remained. Every leader had his own cipher key.Unfortunately. yes.True. It was already unmanageable then. the organisation would probably fall apart. And besides. The five founders eventually retired. we communicated through classified advertisements. which contained encrypted data. then? ..it was management. that they created themselves. they started playing unfair. of course.. some used for example the figures that came up in the weather report of America's East Coast. In twenty years. the size of the organisation was such that members could barely grasp its extent. 2010 ..Yes.

as I said. yes. And now.. . Even if for argument's sake we suppose that you had a good goal. The one mysterious nuclear strike. and analyse their use.. I was not able to do anything to stop this grossly inflated organisation. It's not only an electronic virus.What was I talking about again. . 2010 always available.He does have a limited ability to see the future.I got it already. This allows him to predict ciphers and used protocols. .There was no other way. while the two organisations you betrayed battled each other. . . however. because of the Internet.. It sounded like one of the members of the organisation was trying to seize control from inside. and above all. And this was also the handiwork of "Amalgam". and he would have been shouting and cursing. the nuclear warhead in the Gulf War. if it wasn't for the presence of those two.nodded Kalinin matter-of-factly. next to nothing can be done to disrupt their communications. but one that has psychological effects. it took him quite a while. . . What a splendid combination of cowardice and arrogance! . Since that time. But Sir Mallory did not have any intention to calm down. that was the reason of the appaling situation the Middle East was in. The pinnacle of Amalgam's hubris.Though Mister Silver seems to have done just that. I would create an outside threat. Is that why you created "Mithril"? .Oh. .I only see that you hid.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. something like that.. and succeeding. Ah.To put it simply. Sir Edmond felt he could not fully grasp the meaning of the conversation between his father and Kalinin.So did he use some kind of virus? .. . The pain in his wound had no intention of stopping. nothing could be done about public means of communication.I decided then that it was absolutely necessary to create an organisation to stop them. this little game of yours is inexcusable. really. Mallory senior glanced at Calinin and continued. .Correct. stop it. ~ 18 ~ . while you sold them out to each other. If I could do nothing from the inside. Such a noble goal that motivated you? . to check Amalgam's unpredictable movements..You are acting like a child.

Now. all that the manager could do. That was. but was also able to get a general understanding during this conversation. Mercury expelling members for violating rules .How dare you. however. otherwise he would risk losing the trust of the other members. is it not.You. . can I now ask you to kindly hand over the "register of names"? *** Hearing Kalinin's firm request. you would be disappointed in yourself for not anticipating your father's actions.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.It was a job you were suited for. If you were a real Mallory. he wanted to kill his father with his own hands this very moment.No.You did not only betray those organisations. . sir.That does not matter. it's already quite fine. and its relation to different incidents. Edmond never felt such a tremendous anger in his life. who else could become the brains behind "Mithril"? . He no longer wished to see a quarrel between father and son. without taking direct action. but me! Your son! You used. Do I have to finish my story quickly? . . .It is incomplete. ~ 19 ~ . isn't it.calmly observed Kalinin..I'm glad I took away your gun. manipulated me to get the people you needed for the organisation! . Kalinin also probably did not know most of the organisation's history.would he really be able to shoot his own father? Now the question would not ever appear. . A romantic in a pragmatist's hide. . He was fully aware of the fact that he was ready no. On his way from his hiding place in London he had asked himself many times .quickly answered Kalinin. . you had something you wished to discuss. Mallory senior frowned. who was watching him. There were many examples of Mr. . 2010 .So.His intent is quite clear. . as if expecting the answer. Mister Kalinin.by letting other members know his name.Your reaction is that of deisappointment. should know at least the leadership of the organisation from its founding and up to now..

revealing an old.. The only person who did was Mr. the "justice league"-like organisation that together with "Amalgam" constituted a perverse self-maintaining balance. opened. . That was the turning point. Not here. and pulled once. The past. His gaze fell upon the Bible that was lying on the small side table near Mallory senior. ran his finger along the spine of the book. A cloud of putrid-smelling dust filled the room.. Kalinin took another book. Information about the present was quite worthless to them. yellowish piece of paper folded. no matter how limited. and Edmond started coughing.No. gently folded it back and put it in his breast pocket. The group to which Kalinin belonged already had information on most members.Then you'll excuse me. This person created "Mithril". as the manager of that organisation. . What could possibly drive this man to be so stubbornly loyal to the past of the organisation? . what do you plan to do with the data about past members? They're mostly gone now. but then paused.I'd like to see you try and get it out of me. there is a line that I cannot cross. This information would be a sort of reference for the creation of the next world.. If you're expecting me to simply hand it over to you in a gift wrap. and was about to throw it down. and quickly started throwing all of the books out on the floor.. Yes. . and for all intents and purposes has seized power within Amalgam.How did you know? ~ 20 ~ .it was the "register of names".Information on a need to know basis. and for that She had to know the register of names.. 2010 Leonard Testarossa's ability of predicting the future.Mister Kalinin. Mercury. Otherwise I would be selling them out. He took it. It came off. If the modern world had to be returned to the right path. .And you are prepared to defend this "line" at any cost? This sudden bout of faithfulness seemed adbsurd. allowed him to understand more or less the current status of the organisation and its membership. . however. Kalinin surveyed the room. . sir. It took him less than a minute. Kalinin was only obeying orders.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Kalinin glanced at it. the Amalgam that existed then could prove useful. . Every square inch of it was packed with what was clearly a cipher . Mallory senior did not need to know anything. paused in front of a bookshelf. was a quite different thing.So. especially about Amalgam around eighteen years ago. but he did not know anything about the past. you are very much mistaken.

This is yours. it seems we do not need anything from you any more.Hiding dirty secrets in the back cover of a Bible seemed something that a person like you would do.nodded the old man. You are already a prisoner here. am I not. It only seemed appropriate to hide it in a vulgata.Let's move out. but he could still read a cold intent to kill his father.Well. Mallory senior made a face like a spoiled child suddenly deprived of his favourite toy.So. Suddenly Kalinin realised how this sorrowful sight reminded him of himself and Sousuke. . and his murderous intent had left him indifferent to what had happened between his father and Kalinin. . under the rain. said Kalinin taking the Bible under his arm. Two black wagons were parked around the Toyota which Mallory junior was driving not so long ago.called out Mallory senior. The old man would probably not come out of this room any more. of your own device. The son.There is no reason to. . and smiled bitterly. You are powerless now. Outside of the house he was greeted by a rain that had gotten stronger without them noticing. sir. 2010 .Hm.a primitive measure by modern standards. Mallory junior's face was already very pale. certainly not to shoot himself.. ~ 21 ~ . It was even more absurd that he told that old man. and six subordinates waited for him. As if driven by some impulse. . silent. Kalinin glanced at the son. With the help of an AI the analysis and breaking of the code wouldn't even take an hour. took out the gun and placed it in front of Edmond Mallory. He was bound by invisible chains he had forged himself. You are free to do anything you wish. I'm already part of the past. who gave up on fighting against life. kept conscious only by the rage of his father's betrayal..You're not going to execute me? . The cipher key was probably a character string in the book . isn't it.. pointing at the Bible. . .that he was a prisoner.practically his own reflection .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . The guess was probably right. And he left the room without even looking back.Not only that. and turning towards the door. . The father. . He heard Sir Mallory grab the gun. It seemed that he had already forgot about the pain. Wasn't Kalinin himself bound by chains of the past?. Kalinin stopped. .

Conn. Maybe Mallory senior was actually alive.I got the register. and Kalinin did not hear anything else..I think I'll let the US Navy do the work. This place. turned red and warning symbols ~ 22 ~ .. indicating that the prepared comm channel was open. the main screen. Trying to sink the "Toy Box" with all they got . a proof of his sincere wish to mend their relationship? Instead of being killed by some unknown assassin somewhere else.Good. wasn't the fact that he was waiting for his son in this village only they knew about. its wheels kicking up large amounts of dirt.in fact. it was a matter of time. and their skill. would be a fitting end to his life. . He did not have to listen to pointless conversations. their kindness. sonar! Torpedo . really. If one could not hope for at least that. he heard a muffled gunshot from inside the small house. . However. ***** . releasing him from his burden.Generally? Is there a problem? . closing in at fifty knots! Almost at the same time that the sonar operator's suddenly tense voice announced this. they were supposed to engage them right about now. only a short while ago none of their humanity.but the wagon started moving. His driver only paused for a split second.My sis and her crew sniffed us out somehow. satellite communications aren't that safe. an he did not care when one of them got injured. Come back quickly. the channel was perfectly clear. . before starting the engine as if nothing had happened. then this worldAn indicator flashed on his satellite phone. .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. On the way back Kalinin thought that these people were nothing like those he was happy to lead. depicting the map of the immediate area of the ocean.It's also generally going fine here. . and they withdrew from the village. Yes. though a voice full of bitterness and anger reached Kalinin's ears . When he was getting in the front passenger's seat of one of the wagons. . it was better this way.bearing one-two-oh distance twenty-five hundred. Besides the negligible time lag. one shot. 2010 His subordinates got into the vehicles.he heard Leonard's voice over the line. still silent. it was easier for him this way. Well.Our counter? . There was no scream.

顔 掌 ○○Translations

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

appeared. It was a Mark 48 fired from USS Augusta3, a nuclear hunter-killer submarine of the United States Navy. Tessa, sitting in her captain's chair, reacted instantaneously. - Starboard, bearing two-nine-oh, hold speed. - Aye-aye, Ma'am. Starboard two-nine-oh, holding speed, - repeated Mardukas, always by her side as her XO. One could not call this the best manoeuvre for avoiding this torpedo. Standard practice would to be to set course east and accelerate, and some members of the crew evidently thought so, but Mardukas remained absolutely impassive. Noticing their reaction, he only shook his head a little, which as they well knew meant "Obey your orders, immediately". As the captain expected, the sonar soon caught another signal. - Contact! Bearing two-nine-three distance eight hundred, closing in at fifty knots! - Ah, there it is, - muttered Tessa with a little satisfied smile. If they had done things by the book, they would have walked straight into the enemy's trap. She easily anticipated that the enemy had reinforcements, and that they would attack this way. - Hold course. Lower speed. - Holding course, lowering speed, aye. - Open tubes three and four. - Open three and four, aye. Target data input complete. - Wonderful. Weapons free. - Aye-aye, Ma'am. Torpedoes away. Two ADCAP torpedoes left the "De Danaan"'s stern - they were nothing more than a decoy to disrupt enemy movement. One of the subs, that lie ahead of the "De Danaan" had no choice but to engage in evasive manoeuvres, which created a breach for them. The first torpedoes were fired from astern, and were rapidly approaching, as the numbers on the screen showed. Seven hundred yards, six hundred, five...

3

USS Augusta (SSN-710) was a Los Angeles class sub, in reality decommissioned in 2008. Ironically, it was involved in the incident which clearly inspired Mardukas' first encounter with Tessa's father - see the translation of "Birth of the Tuatha de Danaan". Gotoh just draws parallels.

~ 23 ~

顔 掌 ○○Translations
Now's the time.

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

- Hard to starboard, three-three-five. Engine stop, EMFC to passive. - Aye, starboard three-three-five. Full stop, EMFC in passive mode. Having waited to attract the enemy torpedoes close enough, Tessa made the ship perform a steep turn, at the same time engaging the EMFC, a system that, together with a special alloy covering the hull of the ship, drastically reduced the resistance of the sea water. The manoeuvre sent the enormous hull of the "Tuatha De Danaan" gliding through the water like a car on ice. It was unimaginable for an ordinary submarine. The floor or the control room inclined steeply, and everything that was not affixed began sliding towards the port side. - ...Incoming! The guidance system of the enemy torpedo was not made to follow such rapid and irregular movement, and it detonated around six hundred and fifty yards away. The felt the impact of the shockwave as the control room shook and the main screen flickered. - EMFC to active! Course one-one-oh, fire one and two when ready! - Aye, Ma'am! EMFC in active. Course one-one-oh, weapons free. Because of the timing of the launch, the enemy sonar would not be able to detect the opening of the launch tubes of the "De Danaan" behind the detonation. They were now firing from a drifting manoeuvre at the enemy that was behind them. - One and two away. - Excellent. Port, ahead, one-third, course oh-four-oh. Take her to nine hundred, down twenty degrees rudder. We will break through them on a north-north-eastern heading4. - Yes, captain. Even though it was a retreat, Mardukas sounded relieved. The remaining enemy torpedoes would be completely confused by the detonations and after a few minutes their safety switches would kick in, bringing their engines to a stop, and they would sink quietly into the depths of the ocean. The torpedoes fired by the "De Danaan" would not explode even if they hit their target. Those were only "Amalgam"'s
4

The slang used here is a mix of the real thing (as far as I could find) and some elements from Gatoh I had to keep for example, the text says "rudder down", though in reality the rudder would only control left or right turns as far as I could find out; but I would consider it appropriate to keep the expression because of the futuristic technology of the TDD. In a revision I will perhaps consider a more realistic approach.

~ 24 ~

顔 掌 ○○Translations

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

pawns, who were probably themselves curious as to why they suddenly had to hunt down the "Toy Box". He wanted to avoid bloodshed if at all possible... but the other side was "serious", firing at them with live ammunition, so to speak. And we didn't even fire a shot until the last possible moment, obeying seemingly nonsensical orders... Was it necessary to go easy on the others? There were three US hunter-killer submarines, as far as they could tell, and probably at least one more below the thermal layer. If they made course corrections immediately, fired ADCAP torpedoes, ADSLMM mines and MAGROCs, all four enemies would be destroyed. Should they try to?.. If they destroyed their pursuers, their own crew, who have been on alert for more than twenty hours, could finally get some rest. Yes, it was easily done--... - Captain, - Mardukas' voice interrupted her darkening thoughts, - should we reload the same torpedo type? Normally that would be the case, but if they were to proceed to annihilation of the enemy, it would be tactically sound to load in two ADSLMMs. This question was Mardukas' very indirect way of confirming her intentions. She glanced at her XO, who was standing near her as usual, and noticed that he slightly furrowed his brow. His message was obvious: "I understand what you are thinking, but I'm against it". - Yes, same type. Let us leave this area as soon as possible. Which was equivalent to saying "I understand, no more attacks". - Yes, captain. The "Tuatha De Danaan" descended to nine hundred feet and levelled out, continuing on her original north-north-east course in complete silence.

***

After the submarine had been taken off full battle alert, and noise reduction procedures were no longer in effect, the main hangar deck became lively once again, with maintenance crews appearing from whatever hole they were hiding in during combat, and resuming their work. Some were busy on the rotary-engine transport, others gathered around the Arm Slaves, who looked like skeletons with their armour taken off and bare frames and wiring plainly visible. Each machine was undergoing some kind of maintenance, and Sagara Sousuke was busy helping with his.

~ 25 ~

look. both in vocal and text form. I think point-fifteen would be better. . the machine AI. damn it. came from Al.said Sousuke.Correction.Hey. "lending" it to the pilot for a sortie.. He mostly did simple things that the maintenance crew trusted him with.Sousuke gave instructions to the nearest mechanic. And if he touched any of the parts himself.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . . and followed the machine's own instructions. please return it. there was not much Sousuke could helps with in terms of maintenance. . .Well which one is it?? . .. and told the mechanic. . as a show of good faith towards the machine's AI. .Think before you talk. .the request..Please reset the alignment of the sixth cartilage unit on the right arm to point-twelve. 2010 The ARX-8 "Laevatein". and compared to the M9 Guernsbacks it looked very aggressive. The latter shrugged.At point-twelve the first ten muscle packages bear all the pressure. It was white with sections of dark red armour on it. Sousuke decided to bear with the complaints for now. Satisfied? .No. It was like that in any army in the world . the artificial cartilage unit.Done.Right. . .. lieutenant Sax (the one leading the crew) would probably be enraged beyond reason. and possibly the second most powerful in the world. Leave at point-twelve. That said. . . please. The man nodded and made a minute adjustment on a small damper-like part.It seems that it should be point-zero-five. speaking in the headset mic.We found out later that the wear levels of muscle packages three-two to three-seven were more than initially assumed.the maintenance people thinking of the machine they were responsible for as their own.The sixth again? You just told us to reset it to point-zero-five. their only machine equipped with a Lambda Driver. Please set it to point-twelve. I conclude that operations should be performed with the setting at point-zero-five. but let's try point-zero-eight. .I am sorry.What is it this time? . ~ 26 ~ .

They could say "God's blessing upon you". She would suffer. If she returned to her real self. and would indicate to whom they would leave their property. This document that he had been struggling for some time with. was not a problem.. friends and comrades in arms. No.. He did not want to touch it again. . and he found it very difficult to write down something for his acquaintances. He was fed up with the AI ordering him around. If he died. Sousuke returned to his laptop. where an unfinished document lie waiting for him. or "We shall meet in the other world". It was decided that the remaining members of "Mithril" would all take the time to compose a written document that would serve as their last will and testament.. probably not.. The AI was going to come around to that. Viran.So. Since ancient times this simple phrase. Al was calling him. So much that he didn't know where to start. It seemed already impossible to him to unravel this countless number of intertwined incidents and write something about each. Victories. somewhat like Tessa now.顔 掌 ○○Translations . it all seemed irrelevant to him. Writing about something specific? But too much happened to narrow it all down. rewriting the will was encouraged.asked the mechanic. blame herself... Having told the mechanic his guess." That was all.. Moreover.. but Tessa's secretary. but it was the same. if not required every year for the members of his unit. Could he even write anything to someone like her? After he wrote "good luck" to all his comrades. there was only one message he could leave to all the living who would continue playing with fate. lives saved and lives lost. pestered him about it so persistently that he started the revision draft. and start on her own road to atonement. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. There were too many things he wanted to tell her himself. "Good luck. he imagined more or less what she would feel. what he felt during all the time he spent fighting? Honestly. ~ 27 ~ . how shall we set it? .Point-twelve is fine. The last time Sousuke did it was two years ago. was the one thing dying warriors left to their comrades. . concise list.Well--. he noticed that the signal lamp of the comm device was blinking. defeats. anyway. took off the headset and put it on the table. with a few variations. The questions came later: there was nothing particular he wanted to say to anyone. Would he write about what kind of person he was. would he tell Kaname Chidori the same thing?. And at the same time he felt that no words were needed. was his own will. So. 2010 Sousuke switched off the comm.. Writing down his possessions in a pragmatic.

putting on the headset. 2010 . Al also held a surprising amount of animosity towards that machine and did not miss any opportunity to berate it.. there was nothing supernatural about it. I know that. did not point it out. "one-off machine that's not worthy of being called a weapon".in fact. It was close to seeing your dog turn his head your way. [CHECK] Technically speaking. Ironically. even momentarily. It was as he expected .. on which the Laevatein was based. They were talking. which resulted in a loss of operating efficiency. First of all. Sousuke and Al were defeated by that machine once.Maybe he will.asked Sousuke.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . had not been conceived for such incredible strength and firepower. about Belial.. perhaps trying to preserve the AI's pride. but manoeuvres of over 20G should be avoided as much as possible. They learned the name of the machine from some documents they found at the mansion in Mexico.That's what I thought. but Sousuke.Is there a possibility that "that bastard" will appear in the next battle? . and understanding that he wanted to go for a walk.. "pile of junk without his lambda driver". he himself didn't want to do any manoeuvres that involved going over 20G. In the most extreme of cases. of course.. and there were problems with cooling. . The parts of the frame suffered much more wear than those of an ordinary M9. with pleading eyes. finally decided? . maintenance. The flashy first battle was only a pleasant dream for the Laevatein in its current state.Look. the various possible defects became apparent.. . If one thought of it as a regular sports car outfitted with a Formula 1 engine. these days he could predict Al's behaviour to some degree. every bit of this applied to the Laevatein.The entire skeleton is suffering from wear and metal fatigue. This time the main problem seemed to be "Laevatein"'s levels of wear.. He understood though that the value itself was not more than a lucky guess. Al posed a natural question: . Based on his understanding of the machine's condition. For now my software with the help of maintenance can compensate.Let's go with point-twelve. the M9 Guernsback's initial design. the black AS piloted by Leonard Testarossa. . ~ 28 ~ . Laevatein could do a manoeuvre that would feel like being in a traffic accident over and over for several seconds.So. After that Sousuke and Al continued for a while their technical argument. and a second time would be their last. Independent functioning time was very short. And of course. "Cheating bastard". the electronic defense system was quite poor.

.Leonard and his crew. Sousuke lifted his eyes and surveyed the Laevatein.. .. Concerned personnel is to assemble in briefing room one. it's close to the border of the Soviet Union itself.frowned Melissa.. which stationed a large force and built a lot of military installations on its territory. who was in the room together with Melissa Mao and Sousuke. . we have only one deployment left.I'm sorry to keep you waiting! Let's start. The nuclear missile base was only one of them.. and started putting in order his peronal belongings. . ..said Belfangan Clouseau. ma'am. you know.Yes. . . ~ 29 ~ . gentlemen. . a general announcement sounded in the warship.Well. The republic of Afghanistan was at the present time under the control of the Soviet Union.Should I also come? I could offer some useful advice.There's no one but us to face him. . Sousuke was also one of the "concerned personnel".An armed group? . First.. Tessa was the last one to enter. .If it's in the north-east. them.Shut up. . At that time.One more.A meeting with captain Testarossa? . Several hours ago a Soviet nuclear missile base in its north-eastern part was occupied by and unidentified armed group.Yeah.. and XO Mardukas' voice proclaimed: "The meeting interrupted earlier will be continued now.. Sousuke threw down his headset and started walking towards the briefing room. Afghanistan again.. Miniature cracks were visible in many places. and it should be enough. 2010 . . the meeting interrupted by the combat situation--.. . or." Lieutenant Sax of maintenance let a subordinate take over and started walking towards the hangar deck exit astern. right. there are some who can do it. .That's right. I repeat. He closed the file with the unfinished will.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.If that is the case. Like us. the bad news.. I could fill in for sergeant Weber--. right? That space is so closely monitored a surprise attack and occupation of the facility is almost impossible.

2010 Mao and her troops now referred to the enemy as "Leonard and his men".No information on that. . to buy time most likely. and listen closely. I bet. Sousuke hesitated a little. no matter what it takes.. and among them could be seen the silhouettes of the AS occupying the base. That's probably the reason. their stronghold.I was planning to capture Merida itself. Tessa glanced at Sousuke.Yes.Capturing the missile base to make us busy for a while. . . And then a group of engineer supported by those "Alastors" could easily occupy the base. on that island? Why was she so obsessed with it? So far everyone was hesitating to ask the question. then gave her a barely discernible nod. The captain looked at her subordinates faces . the only person who knew the truth..Their lambda driver-equipped AS could take down the main defender force in under ten minutes. and soon what was the truth behind their fight against Leonard. but now it was clear that Leonard Testarossa has seized power. And even Leonard or Amalgam could not possibly want the destruction of the world.A diversion?..it was as if large question marks were floating over their heads." Why was Tessa so adamant about capturing Merida? Why was the enemy so obsessed with the island. On the briefing room screen appeared the latest photographs from the spy satellite. . the situation would become even more strained.. because we would have to go and recover it? . and if word got out of an incident with a nuclear missile base. as if saying: "That's as far as you can remain silent. . I doubt they want to make things even worse..All right. Jokes aside. Tessa. not "Amalgam". . The Americans and the Soviets were already eyeing each other very cautiously. but she was certain someone would.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. I would like you to listen.I don't get it. These days it looks like a nuclear war might start on its own. . .. Black smoke was rising from the charred wrecks of the Soviet AS and BMPs.. why now.. and why the missile base? .said Mao. . They would obviously want to prevent that. The latter had been just a faceless organisation.. Why was she so concerned with protecting Merida? What was there.It's a diversion. too? The real reason? The problem was not losing the faith of the subordinates present here. . It's time to tell everyone. If so.said Tessa. ~ 30 ~ .So.

people who should have lived are dead.Tessa. what would happen? A lot of my friends. who would not believe in such tales. the oldest person in the room and a staunch realist.. safe and sound? ~ 31 ~ . did not know what to say to Tessa.interrupted her Mardukas. . and will use Kaname-san's power to change this world's history. Mao and the others were even more surprised by his words. That because of this "Black Technology" and the Whispered. All these Arm Slaves and Lambda Drivers.I don't know what to think of it. but it is logical in its own way.Hmm.It is. pragmatic considerations.Thank you.muttered Commander Mardukas. I don't think so. Leonard and his subordinates are planning to correct this world. The history may have changed. do you think I'll just believe this crazy story right away? . It looked like everyone was glancing at each other dubiously. information about technology from the future "leaked" into the modern world. If Leonard Testarossa changes history with the help of that TAROS. of course.Simply put.. . died in that time. but..It had always seemed unusual to me. fairy-tale . and the rest of it. Everyone had felt that something about the situation was unusual.Would I be able to see Carl again.There are too many things an old man like me just can't imagine. . . probably. the world's technological level was much higher than it should have normally been. Mao broke the ice. . .We're soldiers. And I heard about the Whispered before. They had no idea Tessa's father. .. This kind of. . too consistent. . tactics and such.However.. We deal in facts. for example. and did not want to let her think they dismissed her speech as nonsense. and your father was one of them. . and those who should have died are alive. They have built a new TAROS on Merida. I know you're not just taking this out of thin air. That because of a Soviet telepathy experiment gone terribly wrong eighteen years ago.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. 2010 Tessa took a deep breath... The overwhelmed subordinates remained completely silent for a while. told them everything. the world's history changed drastically. Carl. And that most likely because of its influence. however.Tessa paused and looked around the briefing room. but this was beyond anyone's wildest guesses. you know. that knew it. which was completely silent.. It is a presposterous story. but these last eighteen years are undeniably real. before continuing. As I was saying--. . was his old friend. . .

is true.I. Mardukas seemingly could not find anything to answer. nothing can have an effect on us. It would not have existed to begin with.. But speaking honestly.And those three years I spent fighting together with you and my comrades.. most probably.If after the change this becomes the world where Carl Testarossa didn't die. . while the old one remains the same. and would think that seeing him alive.Again.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.No matter what machine that is. in any world the brain's internal workings would respond to the reality around it. is natural. you would not be able to remember a person you haven't ever met. too? . . a new timeline branches off from that point.This is not some kind of mass brainwashing. and a new world is born. have read some science-fiction.That. . . as we exist here and now. would you? . following the psycho-physical reality theory that is the Omni-Sphere's operating ~ 32 ~ .The multiple worlds hypothesis. . well.. no matter how I try. well..said Clouseau hesitantly.. The moment TAROS is used. . No matter what Leonard does with his weird device.But captain. history would change. It has nothing to do with your feelings or intent. life or death. right. well. Reality itself would change. .I can't say for certain.. even if you go to the past with some kind of time-machine and interfere with it..The parallel reality concept that Clouseau-san is talking about.I cannot. though you in "that world" would not know it.said Tessa. then you would not notice the change. I cannot forget those who died at my side.Most probably. .I will not forget my comrades. . and meeting him regularly for friendly chats. . .I don't think it would work as you imagine.And Mithril would be gone? . Tessa thought that these words suited him very well.Mardukas' tone was unusually firm. and you would immediately accept it and live the rest of your live unaware of the change. Be it success or failure. . . the so-called parallel reality.. . either. can it? .. Unexpectedly. yes.. . 2010 .answered Tessa honestly. I still can't imagine it. . In books and movies.Ah.

what would happen? . . and continued explaining the situation to the subordinates. . it's just a pretty way to say that it could or could not happen.. Parallel world or not. it's because you can't observe both worlds at once.. even simpler... he or she can send and receive psychic waves across the space-time continuum.. She understood what Mao was trying to say. look. .said Tessa very quietly. this is their plan. . it could go either way. . . right? . 2010 principle. .said Mao impatiently. we may not be able to sense it. who remained sullen as usual.. I was suspicious of his so-called noble goal from the start.So in the end. She is referring to wave-particle duality and the uncertainty principle. there's nothing real to grab hold onto.We can. How charming. . scratching his head.. . It's a bit like the wave function of quantum physics5 . I'll lay my life on the line.. . Tessa cleared her throat lightly..But it's all a trick. Which is why I'm trying to disrupt his plans. .Of course. ..sighed Clouseau.. and could see that others were thinking the same thing. wait a second.. and make your own situation as good as you want? And no one else notices it besides you? . Tessa. Does that mean?. but that confirmed everything. You just said "you can't".When a Whispered operates the Omni-Sphere. If it's something important to you.. it has nothing to do with ordinary people.In the ruins of Yamsk-11 Leonard said he wanted to "correct the world".It's like doing whatever you want with your saved game files.Even so.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Sousuke alone seemed to be in disagreement.. this is all based on assumptions and suppositions. But the rest of the crew and my team have to understand this for themselves.That's a bit vague. Even if we assume that there is a parallel world. I'm not blaming you or anything.And even if everything Tessa had said is true. we wouldn't know anything anyway. . . .In short. and would be alone to retain their personalities in the "other world". They would change history as convenient to them. to return it to its original shape. 5 ~ 33 ~ . He was just planning to steal Kaname and run off to somewhere we would know. I wouldn't know. .said Sousuke...Yes. .Then what's the reason for capturing Merida?. Please try to imagine this: from tomorrow morning you'd be able to live in the world that you want.That's what's going to happen.no.Tessa answered truthfully.I think that confused me even more.

immediately answered Clouseau. ~ 34 ~ .Sagara-san? . .no. and what should they do to outsmart the enemy . Which one should we go for? I want to hear your answer as soldiers and professionals. Tessa was not convinced it was like that. He wanted to fly right away to Merida.This is crazy. . and too complicated.. without question. What are you planning to do? Mardukas finally voiced the real question. . The atmosphere in the room grew even more heavy and serious than before. He hesitated for an instant. as long as they can get TAROS working.So.I think it's obvious. and other people seemed to think the same. They are seriously prepared to fire. . .. where Kaname Chidori most probably was at this very moment.. some SRT members. so making them start an apocalyptic war should be feasible. . The rest. 2010 . What priorities should they set. aside from me.agreed Mardukas. That is why they bothered to capture that nuclear missile base . Everyone realised that the problem was too massive. .shrugged Mao. instead of going for the island. They didn't mind a large percentage of the world's population dying. but from a purely logical point of view he was of the same opinion. it's true. it was quite possibly convenient for them. Tessa glanced at Sousuke.It may be just a diversion. as I was saying.Normally it would be the missile base. and she looked at everyone's expectant faces.I..顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . .. captain. It does not matter to them what happens to this world.to ordinary people it would seem necessary to deal with the "immediate threat" and recover the missile base. This was not all. the Afghan target has to be given top priority.. including lieutenant Sax from maintenance. .nobody could fully answer. even though it went against his feelings.Tessa stood up from her seat and faced all the present crew. but left further explanation aside for now. but you cannot underestimate Leonard's charisma. ..Very well. Leonard and his men understand the situation very well.Yes. who remained silent.So. but have to recapture that missile base in Afghanistan. in fact. . if only to get us to make a move first. His non-Whispered subordinates probably came to believe in his idea of "changing the world". . .It may be so.

Whether there is a parallel reality or not.And after all this.it was also a gesture indicating that he understood that there was no other way.but.Then. And I will be that assault unit.We will send the helis. No one could find anything to say. 2010 . This type might be old. So we will go together.This ship will arrive at the last resupply point in five hours. If you manage to recapture the base successfully. dumbfounded. I'm a Whispered.There is none. It is as you said just a while ago.. ..there is none. Please protect it. But for you . . .Yes. .No reason to make everyone follow me. . but I can use it to operate the ship alone. We are the two people necessary for the operation on Merida island. .. Is this all right with you. Sagara-san is an ordinary person. . her voice shaking with anger. this is your world. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. You will be free to do as you please. Sagara-san? Sousuke nodded silently.said Mao. .Yes. I can use TAROS to pilot the "De Danaan".I will return with this ship to Merida. you just tell us to go do as we please?! Do you understand what you're saying?! .. and your reality. You can't capture an island with only this ship?! You will need an assault unit--. but his reason is simple bringing Kaname-san back to Japan. . as if expecting this reaction.This is suicide. consider the batallion disbanded. . You will then disembark and fly to Afghanistan. after coming this far together. I'd like to have a reason to convince everyone that the recapture of Merida is what we should prioritise. ~ 35 ~ . .. and endured everyone's attention with absolute calm. Tessa looked at Sousuke. . Everyone will go to Afghanistan and capture the base. even so.Me and Sagara-san. you will. and we'll take the "Tuatha De Danaan" and the Laevatein.. but resolute words.Split our forces..Tessa!. Mao and the others stared at Tessa..Split?. Fortunately. . and disrupting their plan is reason enough for me. He did not show any sign of surprise at this situation. Hearing those quiet. . .Tessa smiled bitterly.A.And? .顔 掌 ○○Translations ..

. The Erigol-type AS with Sabina on board was crouching on a mountain ridge.There are probably transport helis following close behind. ~ 36 ~ .Hm. It was practically impossible for ordinary armoured vehicles to move in these conditions. these had a slim silhouette. They didn't even bother to use callsigns because of the superior encryption of their comms. 2010 She understood painfully well what Mao was trying to say. . typical. in all..I'm sorry. We say goodbye today. ECS activated. All around them mountain ranges with peaks going over four thousand meters stretched out in all directions. scouting the anticipated enemy northern approach route. that is. In theory. and one could say that they were more or less equal to the M9 Gernsbacks. So. Six more behind them . as expected. In the brilliant white of the mountains the thin line of a road zigzagged in and out of sight. use the AS to spearhead the assault.. an upgraded version of the secondgeneration Savage. sixteen AS of different types.Yes. then rush in infantry. creating a natural fortress.. She was supposed to watch for enemy movement and report back. the main third generation AS of the Soviet Army.This is Fowler. this was more than sufficient to retake the missile base from the "terrorists" that had occupied it. I've got sixteen AS units approaching from the north. Compared to the short and stout "Savages" with their eggshaped bodies. so the main force was composed. of course. In theory. Makes thirty-two in total. They were in Badakhshan. same. used by the US Army and Mithril. .newer type. . How are things on your side? That was Lee Fowler. called in the West Zy-98 "Shadow". Sabina's "Erigol" was also a design originally derived from the "Shadow". Their performance far outclassed "Savages". Ten Rk-96 type.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. of Arm Slaves.a normal battalion would not be mobilised in these conditions.Got visual. *** The Soviet unit which was supposed to recover the base was coming later than Sabina expected. . is it.. but Tessa did not have any other answer for her. . Bah.. Not bad.. just sent you the data. It was perishing cold. . it's no good anyway. in the north-eastern part of Afghanistan.

as far as Sabina could see. of all people? If it was only his body.. and Sabina felt strangely relieved. Leonard didn't dare lift a finger on her. to wear her out. self-righteous demeanour. After Yansk-11. Would you please refrain from expressing your dissatisfaction every damn minute? . she became the leader. but compared to regular models it was still more than enough. she never thought she could monopolise him . If we just had a Codarl or two.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. However. four Shadow-type AS and one infantry platoon. to finally make a tool out of her. ~ 37 ~ . of course. Master Leonard decided this force was enough to accomplish our mission. And it only got worse from that time on. mentally. But I've got a feeling you're the dissatisfied one.You wanted to remain on Merida.he was a special man. . Why did he offer his heart to that teenage girl. I would not be able to serve him. the Lambda Driver-equipped Erigols were practically invincible against regular AS. yes. But before it could happen. In fact. . but she imagined that he had embraced a lot of other women besides her. There was nothing to worry about. 2010 Their forces consisted of the two Erigols she and Fowler were piloting. After the girl had injured him in Mexico. avoided any contact. and he was not alone. Even despite their numerical disadvantage. And Sabina did not wish to be near him anymore. that girl was on Merida.. ridiculously so in fact. Even if I remained there. It wasn't as exceptionally powerful as the Erigol type. but that was not the case. it looks like we'll be busy for a while. She had the power to right this world full of wrongs. Even though it was platonic. And besides. he was completely enthralled by that girl. It looked like he was planning to make that girl his possession. stubbornness.No. . pretty much everyone working with him thought of her the same way. Of course. he had ordered Sabina to not hold back when dealing with her.And why might that be? .. But. to erase things that shouldn't have happened. her character didn't change much. Sabina was getting a little annoyed at Fowler's complaining.You know perfectly well that all the Codarls are engaged in Merida's defence.Yes... She did not mind being only one of them. that was easy. She did not know anything specific. didn't you? At the side of Master Leonard.Anyway. Codarl was another type of Lambda Driver-equipped AS that Amalgam used. Master Leonard thought she was necessary. . He did not even look at Sabina any more. and for Sabina. from her point of view. she didn't care. To drive her into a corner. He reverently served her obeying every wish of that arrogant princess. The same insolence. the girl changed. Even though she awakened in Yansk-11.

They were able to do anything to fight against the past which they frantically rejected. probably the one that was scouting the enemy with infrared sensors. be it reasonable or not. Even if this was an assignment that made her no more than a pawn that was ready to be sacrificed. spotted this disturbance. Sabina adjusted the zoom on her optical sensor array.. It's unfortunate that I have to miss a historic moment. was a proof that he left a part of himself somewhere. The reactor itself was. but she did not know more. 2010 The fact that she was at this Ishkashim base. Step by step. that smouldered like the remnants of a fire. naturally.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. The central machine.. The winter in nothern Afghanistan was severe. The ~ 38 ~ . Like herself. shall we. and she probably wouldn't hear any more from anyone else. Let's do a vigorous warm-up. Sabina cut the comm channel and raised the output of her machine's palladium reactor from cruising to battle mode. . . and having been abused since youth. . That dark anger..came his faintly bitter voice over the radio. They all had different reasons.. had plenty of reasons to hate the past.I am not dissatisfied with anything. The machine responded with a faint hum that grew louder. It stopped. While fighting at his side. She did not wish to see him like that.they hated their past vehemently. But what about you. I won't have any complaints.. . but all of them had one thing in common . they were getting closer to their inevitable demise. The people who believed in Leonard's cause had a very strong motivation. she sometimes detected traces of the same anger that raged deep inside her. The heat emitted by the reactor was too much for the ECS systems to conceal. On the screen the AS of the Soviet Army were advancing steadily. and it was the same for Fowler. but oh well.Well then.I was planning on observing a little more. made her a little happier.Well.. raised in the slums. and started scanning very carefully the ridge where Sabina was hidden. but the cooling systems produced a certain amount of noise. seven thousand kilometres away from Merida. Mister Fowler? . Fowler had only told his reason to Leonard. Sabina.Shall we start? . If TAROS functions as expected. a bit. This way of thinking could lead them into any battle. that something happened to them while he was helpless to act. almost fanatically. She heard that it had something to do with his family...Is that really all? . silent.Pretty much. participating in a decoy operation against the remnants of Mithril. and at the moment it was minus 13 celsius. .

turned towards the nearest AS and fired a missile at it. Thousands of cables and pipes of all dimensions ran towards a domed structure fifty-eight metres in diameter. Casper. Sabinas' Erigol possessed a powerful central computing unit that analysed all this data exchange. but in electronic warfare. Far from thinking about elegance. this vast underground cavern once served as the main maintenance dock for the Tuatha De Danaan. In this gigantic space. Her white Erigol took out a 37mm rifle from its back. The Erigol appeared before the enemies. then so it would become. protocols.. Curses. Yes. the cutting-edge electronics of the new machine were as simple as a baby raised in a sterile room. Panic.. and was exchanging data about its position. Angry shouts.she whispered. Terrified screams. basking in the orange glow of the early sunset. on others the power failed. The amount of energy that ran to this structure from generators several kilometres away was enough to power an entire city. Her machine's systems were specifically modified for her.. was now proceeding the construction of something much more impressive than the facility at Yansk-11. and in her Erigol she became a real witch. electronic data. and the passage connecting it to the ocean had been blocked with reinforced concrete. that ~ 39 ~ . The machine went out of control. 2010 pilot of the enemy machine evidently let his allies know of the "unknown heat source".顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. But she would become his sword by her own strength. and inserted additional data into the information exchanges. which was as large as a Shinjuku skyscraper laid down. and started sliding down the powdery slope. Her machine was pure white. she first attacked the six "Shadows". Two others raised their guns at each other simultaneously. and fired at point-blank range. If he wished to see this world destroyed by the power of atom. but lost the capability to fight: oon some machines sensors were gone. left the formation. She would do all the things that girl could not. enough to easily accommodate the 218-metre hull of the "De Danaan". overwriting the initial battle program data into something more convenient. Of the sixteen machines. She did not even engage the Lambda Driver. the space was used as practically as possible . the Russian people's screams were delightful. was an expert in sniping. Right now all the ocean water had been drained. and she was as good as him.after all. and smoke could be seen rising from the gas turbine engines of some of then. who died in Yansk-11. that of a bride's wedding gown. *** According to Kaname Chidori's memories. To her. Sabina deactivated the ECS. and signal patterns. She heard the voices of the pilots. electricity storage units and the vital cooling system.. this was the world's largest Omni-Sphere. On a very familiar frequency. "Leonard" . Around the dome itself were large blocks of transformers. The ten "Savages" did not go haywire like their more advanced comrades. Wonderful.

They will work as you desire.However. .no.Well-well. . however.. and he spoke of them as though they were alive. even though construction began little more than half a year ago. . She shot them herself. because we had to hurry.laughed Kaname cheerfully. the enemy had noticed the flow of components and parts. She often liked to jokingly call it the "if-box"6. It was. TAROS was a machine that all Lambda Driver-equipped AS had.. Tessa and Sagara Sousuke.That is your impression. the enemy will come. . TARTAROS. the "moshimo-bokkusu". in reality. Teresa Testarossa and Sagara Sousuke were both dead. It was a misunderstanding from my part. in fact-. .Enemy? . justice. . to think that it's finished so quickly. .. you are right. .Tessa and Sousuke are long dead.. standing behind her. feeling as if she pointed out a silly blunder... Why was she even able to laugh at this? That question did not cross her mind. noble. She was present on the site for two months already. it was such a bliss.they are coming to this island. haven't they been busy.. Her broken mind and soul could not imagine just how wrong it was. and work had been proceeding very fast. 2010 the project team called TARTAROS. that was what this Kaname was convinced of. Leonard paused in mid-sentence. wrapped in twisting wires and cables. . ~ 40 ~ . from the controller booth on the ceiling. . at least. noble purpose. for Telechrono Alternation Reactor Transfer and Response OmniSphere. how the symbol of hope for the world had to bear the name of the deepest part of the mythological underworld. there could be no mistake.said Leonard.. letting oneself float on these flowery words. "Just a little more". even though I sent Fowler and the others away to split their forces. It was built for a higher. what are you saying? .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. but there wasn't anyone here who would understand how true that joke was. get a grip. will you. had very little to do with its smaller cousins. and its god.. Nobility.In any case. Curious. 6 This is obviously a reference to Doraemon. Oh. Yes. She thought that Leonard sometimes said the strangest things. Mithril's remnants . It was almost complete. she whispered. looking down at the dome..My sister. friendship. strikingly similar.Sheesh. and others.

There was also a company of infantry and their transport helicopters. With Leonard's power. .reported the commander. .Even if the landing is sucessful. . They left behind the underground dock.asked Kaname. walked for some time. that was cut into the side of the mountain. the troops you see now will be prepared to meet the enemy anywhere. Any fleet or vessel that tries to approach the island will at the very least sustain considerable damage.All units have formed up and waiting.Really.What. they'll come before the activation? . .There are two platoons of Leviathans in the sea. as well as the anti-air battalion.Is this the entire garrison? ..Then you know what to do. 2010 . the Belial.. I agree. ~ 41 ~ .And there is my Belial. . . shall we? . . The first in the row of the Codarls stood Leonard's personal AS.Oh. Seeing her. .replied Kalinin without a trace of insincerity. and Kalinin glanced at the sea of heads that occupied the plaza. who stepped forward to greet them. . none other than Andrei Kalinin. and lifted their monomolecular cutters towards the night sky. .Leonard opened the door and motioned her to go first. His olive-coloured field uniform was perfectly clean. They lifted their gigantic guns to their chests. and could without question be called the most powerful in the world. They all formed up and saluted Kaname and Leonard. right? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. this AS did not have any limit to the use of its Lambda Driver.Mister Kalinin. the twelve Codarls like an honour guard. Now. you look better in this uniform than any suit.Of course. The sky was full of stars. stood at attention. on standby. waiting for orders. which took them back above ground.the Behemoth AS. you know.顔 掌 ○○Translations . saluting and expressing loyalty to their leader. They walked out on to the storage terminal. he did not show any signs of fatigue. The base defence force was lined up on the plaza. and dispite having just returned from a long trip to England. a large plaza for reception of the different materials needed for construction. and came to an elevator. . yes. Behind those were three enormous shapes.Most probably. illuminated in night time . I will stop them no matter what it takes.

. The remnants of Mithril continued to resist with exceptional stubbornness. became more elusive than ever. The latter just shook his head almost imperceptibly. They thought the organisation would not be able to recover from the initial. is it the influence of Mardukas-san.Kalinin quickly changed the subject. and eliminating them diligently. Leave it all to me. .. . even if it's only a temporary nuisance to them. As you know well. . that got away during the assault on Merida. if the detached force that was now in Afghanistan was here. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. 2010 It was not surprising that these were all the forces that Amalgam in its current state could muster. patiently uncovering the secret plants of Amalgam and its related enterprises. .US Navy. Kaname understood the overall situation. Having read the written report. one by one. They have orders to sink the "Toy Box" upon detection. but only then disappeared without a trace. .Well. the garrison would be considerably stronger.Mithril. the enemy cannot have a large force at his disposal. and exchanged looks with Leonard.. or guerrilla tactics. the expansion of the military force was secondary. They became a real nuisance in this past half year. . its remnants. . on the contrary. but its remnants. There are other reasons. And it was now both a symbol and a secret headquarters for the remaining people of "Mithril".Hmm. special parts are needed for Lambda Driver-equipped AS types. yes. they managed to keep together. so that other subordinates wouldn't notice.Even though Tessa's gone.. I wonder? Kalinin only frowned slightly. Either direct strikes by that ARX-8 machine. you mean? . disruption of supply lines and manufacturing facilities. Especially the "Tuatha De Danaan".. . .顔 掌 ○○Translations .. but. And we still have a superiority in political influence. and to recover the missile base in Afghanistan. That said. I'll grant everyone's wishes! ~ 42 ~ ..Kaname clapped her hands together. well.As I was saying.. .We were spending all of our resources on TAROS.Unfortunately. isn't it. There are probably a lot of officers in their ranks who doubt the order.What? What is it? .No. devastating blow. showed up several times. nothing. once we get TARTAROS started up. at least they have the numbers to keep a large portion of the ocean in check. they have no choice but to divide their already small forces in two.. even the weapons won't be of any use. or more precisely.Yes.Good! ..

When you're finished there. the Boxer 2. was known for its destructive strength. However. Not so long ago there was another pilot who used the same type.On it. but in this resupply he was getting double the standard amount of ammo. these 76mm shells are waiting for you.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . where the "Bernie Worrell" lie in wait for them. The one he had previously used. I don't think you'll need that many. they had no other choice. that fired 76mm shells . a portable terminal under her arm. that was used in the AS' head-mounted machine guns. its powerful recoil could be problematic. en route to Yansk-11. Sousuke didn't answer.. 2010 Just protect me. disguised as a merchant ship.he saw Mao calling out to him. [<TWO> The Long Goodbye] The last resupply point of the "Tuatha de Danaan" was the container ship "Bernie Worrell". but the new version was even more powerful.7mm ammunition.But anyway. ~ 43 ~ . carefully checking the number of cases of 12. . if not used properly. From the seven thousand islands of the archipelago. an Italian corporation. that waited for them in a corner of the Philippine archipelago. he did.an unusually large calibre for an AS. and especially in close distance combat..Kurz always used those.Sousuke! ..Yeah. their destination was an uninhabited island called Tagapul. You're the one using them anyway. . Sousuke was helping with the loading operation as well. This was ammunition for the Oto Melara-made7 cannon. Sousuke and the others resupplied on board this vessel. The resupplying operation itself was dangerous for the people involved.. . but avoiding detection by the US Navy and Amalgam. right? . . He was now the only one using 76mm shells among his comrades. The shallow and turbulent waters around the island made this resupply spot far from ideal. the 56mm Boxer on the Arbalest. produces many armaments for navies worldwide. this fight is going to be easy. After all. Not so long ago. and the logistics division had probably miscalculated. 7 Oto Melara.

. they had somehow managed to leave the stock of parts originally destined for Weber's machine untouched. Not only would the Laevatein fight at least on equal terms with the enemy machines. Alone with Tessa. it did look like that. After the next fight. and if Sousuke and the Laevatein were with them. it was a bit sad....顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. but that was coming to an end. you say. She's going to die for that ridiculous theory? .Pfh.. . then she might give up Merida. . are you really going? . their AS wouldn't be able to handle another sortie.Hm. that were distinctly more powerful than ordinary types. the supposed plan of Leonard and his organisation seemed unlikely to say the least. Even though the shortage of spare parts was noticeable. and Clouseau's D-series M9.It looks like getting parts for M9's was as difficult as expected. I don't know about that.To Merida. He could only feel deep anxiety. The remaining forces that Mithril could muster were these three AS. Even if they made it to the home base alive. No matter how used his comrades were to fighting such enemies.Ridiculous theory. It was the irreversible pace of progress. . 2010 . their chances would go up considerably. There was no backup. Her voice was completely different from the time in the briefing room. that fight is definitely going to be one of the hardest. The US Army was steadily deploying more and more M9's. he had also been a guerrilla in Badakhshan years before. Mithril's forces would suffer a substantial amount of damage. . Yes.said Sousuke closing the lid of an ammunition case as he finished his check. Mao's E-series M9. Even though there was some suspicious activity on Merida. "this was the end of it". That TAROS thing and changing history. and new models. but to Mao. She was extremely worried both about Tessa and himself.I think she'd even go alone. there may be two enemy machines with Lambda Drivers waiting for them there.. more powerful than the Codarls.Hm? . . reason. only three functional AS remained on board of the "De Danaan": Sousuke's Laevatein. wasn't it logical to give priority to a nuclear missile base? According to the latest intelligence. You know it's suicide. whatever the outcome. who happened to witness some incidents that looked supernatural. and confusion. He would be able to operate ~ 44 ~ . no reinforcements.. . and knew the area like his proverbial backyard. Even to him.Listen. who worked with these machines from the times of the XM-9 prototype. She sighed. and sat on a small box near Sousuke.. but the specific types that Mithril had would soon be obsolete and vanish from the production lines. but as Lieutenant Sax put it. She has reason enough to do that. Originally their most elite team had the most advanced machines.If you said you were going to Afghanistan. After they lost Kurz Weber and his M9 at Yamsk-11.

though it might be just wishful thinking. don't make her raise the white flag. Yes. against a suicidal mission based on something that was out of this world. probably.. where the main enemy force lies in wait. and could even enlist the help of local residents (if any remained). Leaving aside all the talk about changing history think about where the enemy commander would be. .Consider that the enemy also has no more safety margin. but why then did he choose that particular spot? Was it the land of fate for him? Was he saying: "Here will be our next battle. . Her voice sounded like she wanted to say a lot more. and the fact that they were unable to confirm the presence of Belial on the missile base only supported that. He was simply not the kind of man who would allow himself to get that sentimental. Mao. and deep anxiety ~ 45 ~ .But. The enemy was concentrated at Merida. Mao was not a fool herself. She continued in a sullen voice. he knew the secret passages.Yes. in case that was needed."when it's hard for us. He fought against and with him on that soil. 2010 without a map. it's hard for the enemy". as if talking to herself: . based on a reasonable assumptions and clear tactics. what's that about? .Hm. It was hard for her.. They could be serious about shooting the missile. .Huh. It's like in that old saying .. Leonard was on Merida island.. Even so. no mistake..Tessa. In that case.... An operation.. . to protest to the last..sighed Sousuke. From a purely pragmatic point of view.Yeah. and could guess where Sousuke's thoughts were heading. .down the "easy road".. I have to follow her. I am waiting" ? Sousuke didn't think so. the weather of the season. they could not leave the missile base alone. The old Sousuke would probably think her hard to understand. . Merida is the road of hardships. Andrei Kalinin knew it as well. Tessa was right.. Afghanistan is the easy road. but now he was different. Which one would an ordinary soldier choose? And which one would the enemy protect at all costs? The missile base or Merida? Thinking it through. Of course. there's no other way... there could be only one conclusion.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.the Laevatein and its pilot . Kalinin was trying to lead the greatest menace to him . yes.

... What was he supposed to do in this case? .. The maintenance crew people..To think about what you're going to do in life? ~ 46 ~ ....You silly..Ah. looking at him with eyes wide open. and get to work later. Mao was speechless.If I said something like that.It seems so. and getting it completely wrong. and then become cheerful as always.. .Let's do a fun little warm-up together.. The warmth in her chest and the cold on her fingertips. 2010 was eating at her heart. . what was that? . eh? . and closely looked at Mao's face to see her reaction..Huh?.Sousuke. but Mao gently took his face in her hands.Sousuke blurted out an expression that he memorised from god knows where. . They finally understood each other. . .. were glancing at them from time to time. . you'd hit and try to strangle me. and whispered to Sousuke: . Sorry. ... It was just like writing an answer that he was absolutely sure of on the blackboard.Well.That....huh? .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. lemme give you a hug. you just can't replace him. ... Sousuke hung his head.. but Mao did not care about public attention. ..You remember. for some reason.. he understood her feelings. she probably wanted him to hear her out.I thought you'd hit me. and Mao smiled wryly.... And because he was someone she trusted. some time ago. what I said on the way back from that operation in Sicily? The one where we caught that Bruno fellow? Sousuke looked puzzled. Sousuke's face showed that he clearly felt just how awkward the situation had become. Somehow. it was a very nostalgic sensation.. if you're still worried.. working close by. I mean.

whatever. like a normal boy.You can live like that. . It could really be like that.Yes. . 2010 . just live for yourself. think about it". But then. Nobody was expecting you to do all those crazy things. Look.If you have someone you love. For always putting yourself last. Someone like you shouldn't even have become a soldier. that. Yes..your friends. . *** ~ 47 ~ . And everybody else first . and would believe her if she said that everything's all right. I know it. But it was the same as not trusting anyone completely. learn to pilot that robot... I'm just a shameless woman. Don't ever take up a gun again. stop it. then he probably wouldn't be feeling this way. .. . .. .Please..she pushed him away lightly and laughed.. I'm fine. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. He heard a sniffle.Don't say that. Forget about good-for-nothings like us.. . Sousuke remained silent...Ah.Mao's voice shook slightly and she paused.. you did say it. your duty..But now it looks like you have. . But it was just your way of keeping your composure. You didn't even understand that I was just a woman. It wasn't like that... and felt her hugging him even more tightly. We're here by choice.. .Kaname. Don't do it anymore. You're making too much of it. If she was here.Me?. You're a very kind person. you know. I'd like to ask you something. Sousuke couldn't think of anything to say.Oh. who would say that to Mao? .. When this is over.. . You just learned skills necessary for survival.. Don't say thing that make Kaname sad. then it'll somehow be fine. It's usually like that. or. and you're not.顔 掌 ○○Translations .No. I was just pissed off at you... .Impossible. and that person tells you that everything's fine.I then made a face like "I'm saying this for your own sake. laugh with them.. really. You shouldn't have ever had to hold a gun. Be kind to people.

striking at the psychological state of his comrades. too. and two machines.called Michel Lemon.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. .to kick down the enemy and rip out his throat. and as fast as possible. and the odds were very close. . . Sousuke was thinking over his discussion with Mao earlier. . some food and drink they had asked their friends to send them.he had to go to Merida right now. He wished he had two bodies right now. Though they had arrived in under two days by FedEx.Lemon. Some personal items arriving through fake home addresses: letters from family. articles from mail order shops. just continue your job. after that the resupply was postponed. No matter the chances.. he felt it very strongly . . and somehow managed to get here in time to board the "Bernie Warrell". There wasn't much time left.. you mean? ~ 48 ~ . .Sousuke. And he did not feel from her that resolve . While sorting the mail.he continued without greeting. It was not a vague premonition. documents from lawyers and tax counsellors.Mila. and some post had been waiting for half a year. and shook his head. She told me to hand it to you personally.. If he didn't it would be the end for them. even though they haven't seen each other for a month. Mira Kudan..It's from Mira. Letting her go to Afghanistan like that could be dangerous. It would be the one battle in her entire career that would require the utmost precision and skill.. Should he be going to Afghanistan himself? Would letting her go equal to leaving her to die?.his leg was injured in Moscow. Do not think any more." He cursed under his breath. "But Chidori. Sousuke helped sort the correspondence addressed to the crew. It had somehow brought a feeling of vague uneasiness." This was probably the last chance to get her back. . There would not be time for the slightest moment of hesitation. and held him an envelope.For you. who had just come in. He was the former French intelligence agent he had met in Namsak. The enemy's tactic of dividing them was clever indeed. and without even having time to rest properly. Lemon wasn't getting on board the "De Danaan" after this . if need be.. he was running all across the world for Mithril. She was psychologically weakened. 2010 After finishing the ammunition supplies check.. the enemy AS were elite specialists in LD-equipped machines. "Shit.

. but I feel it has to do with our problems . Moreover. as I. Yes. and thus my heart is yours (please do not misunderstand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Sagara-san. You are the one I owe my life to. Slipping the memory card into his pocket casually. or a sort of vague conviction. I wanted to talk to you at length. but I completely forgot what I was writing about (*sweatdrop*). I'm sure).) were born. I don't know the kanji for her name. Please allow me to thank you again for your help in Siberia.. These wounds will probably not be healed in this life. I think that if this world can really be restored to what it was meant to be. ~ 49 ~ . then it has to be done. but there was simply not enough time. does things. and caught a small memory chip that almost fell out. But I will not interfere with Teresa-san in any way. Leonard. It was one of those common memory cards that could be used in phones or digital cameras. that you are about to engage in very intense fighting.. I will wait until my head has cooled down a little). but then Teresa-san or Chidori-san would probably kill me. Hunter assures me that in spring the anemones are quite beautiful (though I am not sure "this" me will get to see them). I hope you are doing well. and it is a major critical point.. possibly because she felt I would be opposed to it. I will now continue. Teresa-san and Kaname Chidori-san (I'm sorry. and if a big war comes. I am writing this letter in a house overlooking an old park. I would do anything. I understand how absurd this world has become. but there were some important things she told me. what is called the "nick of time". I don't know how it will turn out. Oh. I'm sorry. I'll leave the decision of helping or stopping her to you. though if you asked me to.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. I am continuing to exchange e-mails with your superior officer (?) Teresa Testarossa-san. it's only going to get worse.. The last time we were on board. I have a premonition. but Mr. It is a quite desolate sight in winter. 2010 She could have easily contancted him by email. Sousuke started reading her small. She.. this world's problems. Sagara-san.because I would agree more with the way her brother.no. My memories of that research facility in Siberia continue to cause me occasional bouts of panic. so I will abstain. She did not write me any tactical details (for security reasons. for which I profoundly apologise. definitely . rounded handwriting. Teresa-san did not let me know what she was planning. so why bother sending a personal letter? He opened the envelope doubtfully. The reason why people like myself. is torn between our beliefs.

I will leave this letter with him. please allow me to say it again: thank you.then why trust him? But the facts seemed coherent enough.. Because this might be the last chance for me..S. she did look a little like a girl asking someone to deliver a love letter for her..Heh.: If you have time. please feel free to look through the filed on the memory card. pressure and inner conflict mixed in that letter. P.I'm always making that kind of face. my fingers get tired quickly.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. well. It didn't look like he could read Japanese. and as he's supposed to be going to visit you soon. Corresponding with Mira Kudan. ~ 50 ~ . I should have just written everything in English from the start. you're making an awfully troubled face. There were a lot of strong feelings.. These are some things I've found on the net. anyway.Hey. what is it? . Sagara-san.It's complicated. I will pray for your good fortune. Yours sincerely....is that all there really was to it? And how much should he tell to Lemon about this delicate situation? Could he dismiss the possibility that Lemon already knew the contents of the letter? . .. it doesn't look like it's a love letter.So. Mira Kudan. How should I put it. . what did she write to Teresa-san about? Were her thoughts sincere? A crossroads of fate . what did she write? Lemon was unceremoniously peeking from behind his shoulder. Though when she gave it to me.. from my heart. 2010 Since I don't use a pen much nowadays. doubt. Lemon-san just came into the room. and he couldn't even start to collect his own thoughts.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . And what about the memory card .

I'm here. Sousuke's thoughts were getting more bitter by the minute.Hey.Sousuke. . if you want to talk. Even though he realised there was something on his comrade's mind.. anyone who got hurt in all of the wars that happened would say the same thing. Well. If his claims were true. and looked at the figure of his friend.. leisurely strolling towards the door that led to the temporary bridge between ships. I'm off then.Yeah.What are you talking about… FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. nothing.. His brief dialogue with Leonard in the underground ruins of Yamsk-11 never left his mind.No. If he talked about it with anyone. stood up and stretched a little. And they always told me I'm handsome.Hey.Hmm.. There was nothing to be gained from asking other people.顔 掌 ○○Translations . Sorry. Lemon tried to make it sound like he was jealous.. He told himself that it wasn't certain yet that this would be the last time. I know you're a tough guy and all. 2010 .No.Lemon... right. . take care. Have to give a brief report to Testarossa-san. *** ~ 51 ~ . Some things he would have changed… .. Sousuke himself was still hesitating. it would not make the worm of doubt inside him disappear. look. you hear? . There was not a right one. what if Nami. supporting Leonard's idea of "rewriting" the current world back to its natural state. That things should have been better . forget about it. He simply waved lightly in goodbye. seeing your popularity makes me lose confidence in myself. . he could not deny it. . it's nothing. and both had unpleasant connotations.. but Sousuke was mostly ignoring him.. . he didn't pursue the matter further.said Lemon. who in the world could deny that his idea was right? Not only Mira..Huh? .. Mira was opposed to whatever Tessa was planning to do. His choice was not between black or white. but damn.. but shades of gray. .no. And she briefly stated the reasons why she thought it was sensible. Even if he heard Lemon's opinion on which was better. and disappearing behind it..

"Belfangan". The modern Belfangan entered the army.. His family name was. .No. to clear out. and he did exactly that. . 2010 Clouseau went out on the ship's deck in the middle of the loading operation. If you don't make it in time. . but if there was one thing he could not do. He made the military valour part come true.Lieutenant. He had heard that Teresa Testarossa was having a final briefing. can we get more time? . while remaining modest.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and was heading to her quarters. His unusual first name. so to speak. Sagara. controlling the operation. . He felt like cursing the heavens himself.Ah. . Tessa ordered the crew leaving the "De Danaan" to embark all of their personal belongings with them.Look. . was a slave in Quebec. ~ 52 ~ . The order was given only a few hours ago. who was sitting somewhat further away from the work area. I'm afraid not. of course.. . came from a brave warrior. though for different reasons than the Frenchman. survived many ordeals.he clapped the lieutenant on the back cheerfully. and became a superior soldier. One of his ancestors. . Monsieur Clouseau. as was told in the family. Apparently that old Belfangan killed a devil. He was called by the lieutenant in charge of resupplying. He was informed by Mardukas to obey. and the crew was now in chaos. the name "Belfangan" was quite hard to pronounce. but he felt uncomfortable being called "monsieur".said Lemon. then turned into a black hawk and ascended to the heavens. who was now on the ship's deck. How's Levatein's maintenance? .he only nodded and passed him by. that was tormenting the people. you leave it . Of course.Al and Sax are on it right now.Shit. as if trying to restore his own confidence. from a tribe of fierce warriors of North Africa. what's the captain thinking? . it was changing the captain's mind. we're all thinking that.Mmm. what the hell is wrong. He was about to finish his bookkeeping duty. but don't say it before the men.Hello.The loading of the crew's personal effects is getting a bit delayed.called him Sousuke.. of French origin.. .please let the crew know. at the cost of his own life. and he always told the new people to call him "Ben". and according to his grandfather was handed down through generations. .

..You planning to get back to pouting. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. We're not that weak. and nothing could be read from his face. Tired of all the fighting. aah.Then you're just tired. and a few stickers of mail companies.. . slowly but surely. .About work and other related things. Sousuke's gaze was fixed on him. Those were DVDs of a masterpiece of anime. yes. sir. . anyway. He was impassive as always.Movies. are they? .. eh. and it's not necessary. both of us. . . sir. . That's why you're thinking of Mao along the same lines. .. 2010 He handed him a cardboard box with the mail order shop's logo.Hmm. drinking in secret.. . .Not at all.Your heart is tired. Clouseau himself had already forgotten he ordered it.顔 掌 ○○Translations . It didn't seem like the contents of the DVD would be of any interest to him. but I know what you're trying to say. Finally Clouseau could spot something like hesitation on his face.Me?. Ever since they lost Kurz Weber. nothing. about ten years old.. He was probably worried about her.Your mail.Have you talked to Mao? .What is it? . she was fading away.Hm. he didn't lie.Sousuke said hesitantly.I don't think you can do anything. Sousuke only shrugged at the provocation. . one could not help but notice the subtle changes.No. At least. compared to you. no . It was a five-month-old order that finally reached its destination after being forwarded time and again from the fake address.Clouseau nodded vaguely.but working with her. . It was not like she was trying to drown her sorrows in alcohol. it was a movie. like that time before Hong Kong? . no? ~ 53 ~ .

顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. was a victim of such horrendous editing. lieutenant.. . Japan would be good. Clouseau held out the box... for instance.How do you know? . but capable at managing supplies.. And after all.. He then found private Falkowski. Akihabara.Anyway. . when we take care of this little business. . so Akiba is next.. .I. that it became famous in itself. I've already been to Mecca. it was the movie that.Hey. Yes.Err.he got used to firmly saying "No" to different battalions' requests.Because I'm the same.But. and left. I'm sorry about this. And then I'll go on some sightseeing trip. Sousuke clearly missed Clouseau's joke completely. After a while he looked up at Clouseau with a curious expression. who was busy managing the loading of the crew's personal effects. .. . shameful as it is. Not only him. he was tired. Leave Mao to me.. .Clouseau laughed. After all. if he took a laptop with him.Clouseau clapped him on the back.. but. look. but I wanted to add this to my personal luggage. 2010 Sousuke did not answer. when shown in North America. and was about to give it to the private.Yes. and it showed.. as if trying to recall things. wait . but the rest of the crew was pretty much in the same condition. see. The poor man had enlisted in th esupply battalion just a month before the attack on Merida. he himself only saw the horrible dub. It would be better to leave it with the other things and watch it properly later. He was a timid person. Lieutenant?. . why Akihabara? . think about yourself first.. well. No. he would be always busy after this. He acted as a replacement for Andrei Kalinin for close to a year now..there was time to enjoy it on the way to Afghanistan. I plan on taking a lo-ong leave. ~ 54 ~ . and since then had been living on board of the "De Danaan". And.. ..Well. and looked down pensively.That is wonderful. I'll return home and just lay around like a lazy arse. 8 It's safe to say they're talking about Nausicaa.. and in the last months even that required some courage .8 . and there would be no time to enjoy it. too.

legal matters and all kind of small things to be settled.he said. it's all right. captain.Sorry. . 2010 Clouseau came back to earth. .. and sat on a nearby chair. discussing the finer details of both operations. It was a sad end to their life together. who seemed very confused. . Clouseau somehow felt as if he was clutching to his lifeline.the captain and her executive officer. and quickly left the deck. but properly speaking they would only get in the way of the land units during battle. everything all right. It was as if a voice was telling him.. and the duty officer brought the letter directly to him. he let go of the box.Ah. Mardukas-san? .they were in the ship's main briefing room. folded the map. . and they were alone . . There were still some questions about property.Tessa said lightly..said Tessa. She was holding the map of the ocean .No.they would settle things after getting off the ship. delivered to him by the duty officer. were now busy with their personal effects. The other staff members that were normally around the briefing room.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. I see. . Mardukas and most of the crew of the submarine would not fight in Afghanistan . watch it while you have the time. "do not let it go. now".Something wrong. sir? .. but why did she have to write about it now? At first he grumbled to himself. Take care of it. It was from his ex-wife. "what is it now? new trouble?" .Is. evidently ready to resume the meeting. er. Let us continue.. ~ 55 ~ . . and then go their separate ways. pulling the heap of documents towards himself. The stamp showed that the posting date was approximately two months ago. .No. just a personal letter. He couldn't explain his sudden maniacal urge to not let go of that box. He was still grasping tight the box that he was about to hand over to the private. The duty officer had already left.I'm sorry. *** Commander Richard Mardukas also received a letter. let's take a break.Ah. .Yes.suppressing the premonition. . He turned on his heels..

read about it long ago in your personnel file.Hm.Aren't you going to read it? . .Tessa sounded a little surprised to hear him talking about his personal history. I'm not particularly embarrassed about it. 2010 Mardukas was probably the only person who still did not express his opinion about Tessa's lone mission to Merida. he could not get his own thoughts in order. we married for some reason. You know that I have a long history with this divorce? . It is probably nothing important. and because they had no children.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . The waitress in a pub near the base in Plymouth.. She would sometimes talk to me. . possibly for the first time.I'm sorry?. this silence was very uncomfortable..Normally the officers would come in for a drink with their friends. there was no reason to meet. but I always came alone. and too talkative."For some reason"?.Forgive me for speaking presumptuously..I don't remember that myself. Actually. reading books on engineering. He fiddled around with the unopened letter. anyway. . please do not misunderstand. what kind of person is she? Your ex-wife.. .. some time before joining Mithril.Later is fine. . and did not know how to start talking about it. Mardukas was thinking hard about what he should say to her.. but somehow couldn't. after seeing the doubt in Tessa's eyes. . . Tessa didn't look like she wanted to talk. And even though they were alone in the room. I only remember her as very obliging... He had divorced his wife.I haven't met her for more than five years now. Didn't you fall in love? . and had since met her several times in court. trying to remember Paula's face when she was young. . .. the girl that drew customers to the shop. but I already threw away the picture.. He mostly left the running of the affair to his lawyer.added Mardukas. . so to speak. Was popular with the regulars. .The letter. For once. . I mean. To a boring person like himself. but ~ 56 ~ ...Oh. when he was still in the Navy.It's from my ex-wife.. . she must be quite pretty then..She was.An ordinary woman. I must have seemed something out of the ordinary. and about a year later.I heard something. and I would answer vaguely. Paula. and sat there.

It could be possible. and even less so for those who had the misfortune to be married to a submariner. My work. it's true that it could be possible to operate the ship alone. Tessa could quickly imagine what happened later. We aren't wasting each other's lives. I would say that it is as it should be. you need to see the situation from a different angle. She was worn out by constant worry.. nagging XO. but it's a bit lonesome. .smiled Tessa sadly.. ..Yes. like me. after all...顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.That is exactly why love dramas sell so well.. and nodded.. Before you make your decision. with a serious look on her face. but didn't say it out loud. .. suffer a much more cruel fate than simple divorce. And. was particular. It would be obviously offensive to say that he was jealous of them. Transfer after transfer. . isn't it. Life was not easy for the wives of military personnel.. as if wanting to get back to work. 2010 you are still young.It's a pity. There was no passion or romance. the husband being away from home for months on end. You would not be able to substitute the skill of trained sonar operators and weapons officers. .Huh? Mardukas was looking at her sharply.. you need an annoying.Really? But that's so boring. .Ah... . and turned towards the table.Maybe. . it is something that happens to a lot of people in this world.they did. . and this divorce was just a matter of time.Captain.Paula was an ordinary woman. . . ~ 57 ~ . . because his work was always a well-kept secret.If you use the TAROS in the Red Chapel. He thought that Tessa's parents somehow managed to overcome it. She glanced at the final checklist and crossed out several points. but--. .Well. trying to pretend to have a normal married life. however. An ordinary couple is nothing bad in itself.No. we should already be-. and did not look like an eighteen-year-old girl. and couldn't even let her know he was coming.

If that happened. This is simply unrealistic.Even if it's an operation with unfair odds... Too idealistic. After a long and tense silence.What? .That is not funny.. would you be able to shoot me? Could you kill me. 2010 . .. Tessa was silent. to be able to exercise your right to command? . She already told everyone the reason during the briefing.. if you think it is right. . On her troubled face shadows passed. No food. Holding yourself back and letting your subordinates choose was not the right way to command. there are not less than twenty-four hours of sailing until Merida.You're satisfied with playing democracy? . No wonder Mao was so angry.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. .. What if I said right now that I would relieve you from duty? If I obtain the approval of three senior officers. . so I'll go by myself"?. no sleep. It is not a question of willpower. you do not have the nature of a true commander. and at the end. ever lose sight of.Captain. as if she remembered other times when someone talked back to her. I served under you for three years.. either.that is the role of a commander. . It did not matter whether the decision was just or not. You came this far. she said in a voice stifled by emotion: . Mardukas told her all that in one breath. and you will not be able to get any rest until then. she knew that he was absolutely right. and you start thinking "I'm not going to commit suicide with everyone.Furthermore..Exactly.regrettably..And that is your limit.I am still sceptical about all this talk of parallel worlds and a "nick of time".Yes. but she chose this path anyway. She really wanted to avoid things getting ugly at all costs. ..And you think the same?. One just had to say. ~ 58 ~ ... "do it".That. . That was the one thing a commander could never. . it could happen. I don't have the confidence to lead my subordinates to believe in it. Of course.. Probably not.. and that's why I--.no. . I have to say . you will lead your men to hell and back .

otherwise. and met some people she hadn't seen for a while. folding together the sea charts. the owner of the pub where they had met fell seriously ill. She knew how hard this road would be. She was nearing exhaustion. .Of course. she felt like a pupil being praised.. One of them. we'll leave it like this? . It was a brief note from Paula about the current state of their divorce procedure . During the party. But rather than being protected by other people and spending her days afraid of the slightest shadow.. To commit suicide together with her. that she herself created.. even if he understood fully how cruel it was to her. captain. blaming him for the fact that she had not been able to live a normal life?. No enemy could ever reach her in the briefing room of the "Tuatha De Danaan". Up until now.Otherwise. Mardukas left the briefing room. she had followed her own course on the stormy seas of fate. . This time she had to choose.. Please. . .Tessa mumbled. Not so long ago.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and so shall it be. to follow her on a one-way trip.no. She went to the closing party. that option would be easier. and it sounded like the people who knew the real circumstances behind his leaving the Navy sympathised with him.. to the last.. and her limit was already close. . On the other side of the door. The safest place was in the womb of this monster. What would the crew . and started waiting for her call in the dark passageway. No.I thought you had already understood. so he thought that there was still time.she realised that even though his words were harsh. and though he had recovered. though. the conversation somehow shifted to Richard Mardukas. on the contrary. let me think for a bit. But now that wwould be unacceptable. ..It isn't too different from making me shoot you. 2010 Those were his true thoughts . . There was no indication that she might call for him soon. the briefing room was completely silent.Let me. and appear like a knight in shining armour. Order your crew. Alone. it looked like his pub closed. It would be easy for him to say now: "I won't let you go with Sagara alone".. what would her father think of how awfully he had treated her? Would she run off to hide somewhere. didn't she make "De Danaan"'s rage into her own weapon?.Yes. who apparently had a ~ 59 ~ . Order me. and finally opened the letter that he had been holding. and went along.the agency that took the matter into their hands seemed to be making some progress. she did not bear any ill will towards him. But there was no place in this world for her to hide in. Those were the thoughts of her executive officer.

This is the bare minimum. he said. and precisely because of that he exposed the unpleasant truth.Yes. he became a little surprised with himself.and that she did the same. when he was young. . Tessa looked even more exhausted. The door of the briefing room opened. He told her that. which the politicians and big shots in the military would not allow. A photograph was enclosed in the letter.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. captain. Get them to assemble in the briefing room right now. Her pretty eyes.Aye-aye. He was busy thinking about the contents of his reply. There was no need to draw this out any longer. Why not. she looked even more lovely now. please. He said that Mardukas was a very honest man. anyway. If everything here ends well. 2010 conflict with Mardukas when they were classmates at the academy. with four other women that looked like typical housewives."you got your orders. and they should try again. Just one sentence that they had heard a thousand times before . but then a noise made him turn his head. It was a list comprising around twenty-five names of crew members. were a testimony of the torment she was going through. Ma'am. he might go visit Plymouth again. Nothing else.. or comforting words. now get to it". That is why she wrote him the letter. But everyone was an adult now. *** ~ 60 ~ . not listening to him. She was in a park. He planned to rest.no. . when he felt like it. talked to her a lot. No apologies. Paula hadn't changed at all from the old days . . and left the room. after a long separation. She handed him the copy of a document. What is this feeling all of a sudden?. . Thinking that it would be nice to meet her again. They weren't on bad terms. though. so wouldn't it be good to go out to eat somewhere together once in a while? She wanted him to contact her.Mardukas-san. he couldn't forgive him for that attitude . now red. Mardukas saluted.

simply it means that his wings will carry an inordinate amount of weight. No. Fully equipped. For some unknown reason conflicts and bugs sprang up between the XL-3's flight control and Levatein's motion management systems. Besides that. wouldn't work. To find the reason we'd have to change circuit boards and some other parts. . even if you tried.. they hadn't.Just stay quiet. cursed and threw down his wrench . The Laevatein was." (thanks.Ah screw this!. they were trying to get it working for the last two months.No. Ed Sax. couldn’t have put it better myself. Wiki. properly speaking. The equipment itself was ready. but this XL-2 rapid deployment booster basically a single-use liquid fuel rocket used for assault landings. but Laevatein's maintenance seemed to be far from completion. and had barely finished in time. and the 165mm "demolition gun". like a good machine. even if the submarine got close enough to the island. it won't just fix itself. a machine derived from the M9. the lieutenant in charge of the maintenance crew. 2010 The resupply operation was already nearing its end. the machine would not be able to disembark quickly. It was possible to get the machine to a condition more or less suited for fighting. . and the wing loading was extreme9.simply two XL-2 units hurriedly put together. . .You're quite right. So they had to use the XL-3. there were many parts they were having trouble with. after the machine had been ejected from the submarine's catapult . Equipment and parts for the M9 could mostly be used. There was no way to ensure proper shoulder and back clearance. It was not an official name . The problem was installing the rapid deployment booster. Simply put. the sensor system needed to operate in flight was not installed on the Laevatein. that would be fine. the machine was simply too heavy to fly. .. which is not hard to guess by looking at the ARX-8 drawing. It was not something that could be solved within several hours. If you could just attach the unit itself.. but they had a hard time attuning it to the machine. The thrust was insufficient.. I will try to run calibration tests on my own. bypassing all the wiring and hydraulics.was no good.it landed on the flight deck with a loud clang.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Because they had been expecting this sort of situation. fundamentally. In all this time they hadn't even finished with the main frame of the machine. with the Lamda Driver cancellation device "Fairy's Feather". would you? "In aerodynamics. Al could not remain impassive at the sight. it was designed to fly?!) 9 ~ 61 ~ . and on top of that. an improvised piece of equipment that theoretically could carry the weight of the Laevatein. The problem's not only in the software. wait. wing loading is the loaded weight of the aircraft divided by the area of the wing..Lieutenant.

. The motion management system was a unit integrated into the AS frame. If one supposed that I was in the process of gaining "self-awareness". going through the logs again. you became accustomed to Laevatein as your own body? .. However.顔 掌 ○○Translations . it sounds a bit crazy. Please allow me to pose you a question.Can't say for everyone.What do you mean? .Can you imagine what it would be like to grow wings from the back of your body? It was. so to speak. even with the XL-3 on board. The motion management system is still.. now its data bus has to handle much larger amounts of data.. One could say that there was a lot of mostly useless data exchange going on. However. a strange thing to ask. then suddenly growing wings would provoke an unknown reaction..Well. .Can you? . . as a kid.So what you're trying to say is. then this would be the cerebellum. the data bus would be loaded to well below maximum tolerance levels. The amount of data transferred was indeed higher compared to a regular M9. what are you on about? . .A machine? . If one compared Al to the brain. unquestionably. but isn't this kinda dream normal.It is just a hypothesis.Yeah. there is a possibility that the bus width is simply not sufficient. if we examine the hypothesis of this "feeling of my own body". .Would you say that it is part of the process of growing up of a human? .Go on. . a subordinate of the core unit that is "I".Feeling my own body. . though. but what if the problem is not in the XL-3. .Eh.. I remember noticing something like that.No.Well... . . 2010 .What? You don't like something? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.I would think so.From a design point of view. ~ 62 ~ . but in me.muttered Sax. I guess I imagined that a lot. anyway? . .

I understand. 2010 . . that was his extension. With this.. I get what you're trying to say. Now he had no choice but to see it through to the end.You're staying.. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Unpleasant thoughts crossed his mind. . And yet..Well. let's try that. wouldn't it all become strangely similar to human brain tissue? And it wasn't easy work.That would be right... this Al fellow.Sax! Someone called him from the other side of the ship deck .Hmm.Would it be possible to perform an extension now? . They would also need to shut down Al completely at least once.. either. were really things beyond anyone's imagination. I see. . . and the Lamdba Driver. . And no bugs found. . And either way.顔 掌 ○○Translations .. He stopped the disassembly. either. . but it could be in fact an unexpected solution.. is what'd I'd like to say.. ~ 63 ~ .. If the bus width was increased.Let's give up on this and throw out the XL-3. it would be tough to survive all that. whose core was essentially made of liquid metal.It is a pity. but according to tests it's sufficient.that was the idea. He would at least finish his work on this machine--. When he heard that.you were going to get on that ship and go to Florida with Norah. They would have to disembark and wade through an island full of mines. who was waving to him to come closer.What is it? . if I was a machine.it was Mardukas. Kids also waited for them. . but we're out of time. Lambda Driver or not. Not to look at him as just another machine . . Sax felt strangely relieved..I can't say it's impossible. You'll have to walk underwater. both on land and sea. Captain's orders.. Just forget about it. Ed. and it was ages since he last ate Mum's meat pie. At first glance the plan to increase bus width looked liked nonsense.. the probability of their operation being successful dropped even lower.

.disaster after disaster. You have got to show them that you are in good spirits. I'll. All of them . but it looked like it had served for much longer. soldiers going to Afghanistan. and her steps were heavy. were now completely black. I am a leader. ambitious. The heads of various departments were coming in with final reports.. She entered the hangar and saw all the two hundred crew lined up in the middle. was something that happened long. ~ 64 ~ . and victory is near. and she could see Mao and Clouseau in the front row. that was in fact a small container with a ramp.. Straighten your back. . . Those were a busy couple of years.the maintenance crews and supply ship's personnel. All of their faces were stiff. and she could feel the barely concealed feeling of uneasiness.Atte-e-en . And her young. Do not let your eyes wander around. despair that was eating away at her every waking moment. She noticed small scratches in the narrow corridor. I overcame every obstacle that has been in my way... She felt like the day of the ship's maiden voyage. . She has to get a hold of herself.Wonderful. my strength and wisdom is unquestionable. That everything is going as planned. towards the improvised podium. I am "Mithril's witch".顔 掌 ○○Translations *** FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Tessa briskly walked past the front row.. How did things become like this. She was walking towards the hangar. Her last speech.tion! At Mardukas' command all of them stood at attention. when she first ordered full start-up of her systems from the captain's seat for the first time. loss of faith in herself. All familiar faces.. the status of all tasks on the portable terminal screen changed to "Completed". Get a hold of yourself. full of confidence. make them think that you are absolutely confident in yourself. 2010 At last. Her reward for overcoming all those trials was . The resupply operation was fully completed. sincerely believing that she would be able to defeat any enemy and overcome any distress.were coming to listen to her final words. The ship had been at sea for only two and a half years. Once she stood up there. she had to find the courage to give those men a speech. Pull up your chin. long ago. and notified the crew to gather on the hangar deck. "If this continues.nodded Tessa. Some pipes. painted cream. constant fatigue. fifteen-year-old self.." No. .

but they were all wrong. agonising seconds passed. ... She made desperate attempts to recover it. Silence. a way to regain . .. Dreadful silence..I.. wrong!.. quickly. . Thoughts of how to get out of this situation were swirling in her head with tremendous speed. that's not it... Captain?. anything... not showing any agitation at all... who know perfectly well what kind of person I really am. wait. I really did it this time. wait.. None of the crew dared to move. until Mardukas' voice broke the paralyzing stillness... her shoulders weighed down by the gravity of the situation. and I had to let my guard down at this moment. They were still standing at attention as ordered.. Tessa got up slowly.. . I need an excuse. On them. there isn't any!. There was no other way but to admit it. what am I thinking.. Calmly..Oh!. and look down on them with a commanding air. I'm fine! . Quickly.. ca-alm down.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V..she gasped. why would someone fall on purpose? No..aaah. She descended into a complete panic. can't say it was all because of the podium. Calm down. A way to regain dignity! A way to regain dignity.. I must quickly get up and act in a dignified manner.. It's supposed to be my last speech!. why did it have to happen now. it was definitely the ramp's fault. Have to punish it right now.. and Tessa executed a perfect pancake landing onto the podium with a sound that Kaname Chidori always parodied so accurately. She felt that she was suddenly losing her balance. make a face like I did it on purpose.. And she went up the ramp. The echo of her fall resonated in the completely still hangar deck. need to do something... What now?. Flattery is useless. no..just stand on the podium. God knows how many long. ~ 65 ~ .. and turned towards her crew. I was always careful before. 2010 Do not let them see a chink in your armour. This is the first time I fell in these circumstances.. And why was the ramp so unstable? Yes.

but Mao seemed very grieved. they all thought it was absolutely correct. They were their own masters now.. That battle ended. determined not to let a single flicker of emotion get through. Their eyes met for a moment . 2010 Their faces were absolutely expressionless. I wanted to be appear like some kind of perfect being? Pah.missed! At once the silence gave way to a general commotion. It was better to just tell them the truth. Without exchanging a word with anyone. . Some were finally able to laugh. too. you're fired! It was good working with you! Saying that. so that's what it was . On top of everything. moving speech full of pathos. Afterwards everyone would do whatever they wanted. . some people looked bewildered. and others were doing their best to keep their lips shut. to give a final. Am I not silly? What.. And they were all dying of laughter. Looking more closely.above all.Di-is ... Tessa turned and left the hangar deck.she cleared her throat and looked around. how ridiculous it seemed to her now. but their irregularly contracting nostrils gave them away. no mistake about it. and yet they're ready to laugh at her like at a weeble doll.. Either way. Among the soldiers she spotted Mao. Just before. Mardukas' eyes became round for a moment.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and even exemplary to do that.. but then he regained his composure and shouted: . she was preparing with heroic determination and inappropriate pride. *** ~ 66 ~ . the order to stand at attention was absolute. too. too. A-ah. it did not matter now. And she was one. The neck muscles of some were twitching. one would notice that the shoulders of some people in the front row were quivering slightly. Or not. What is this? All of the people lined up on the deck are adults. They were staring into emptiness. . Strangely. it didn't seem like anyone blamed her..Ahem. even though they must have been shocked. she left the stage..Everybody. from now on. others only had a dry smile on their faces.. For a soldier.Tessa just shrugged and smiled. Bunch of idiots. a scatterbrain like me getting all fussy and pompous. she was afraid to disappoint them. And now they were politely waiting for thankful words from that girl who always falls down..

I'd have remained. were returning home.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and with the other maintenance crew members gone. the others were on board the cargo ship. Engineering officer Nora Lemming was also there.. . and a new candidate to fill in for their mother. He was the only one of the maintenance crew left. I think. he seemed a bit self-deprecating. sergeant. that's all. shut up.. Ed Sax seemed to be overcome by a wave of emotions. and as if trying to transmit them all at once. took off from the flight deck. the main hatch locked down with a resonating clang. and many of them gathered on the ship's deck. even if there was no order. Sousuke. . I should really thank her. and the enormous hatch began to slide back into its closed position. their engines roaring. Sousuke looked at him quizzically.The lieutenant is right. . and Sax frowned. 2010 Mao. Before long the "Bernie Worrell" became barely visible. and was about to go down the staircase that led to the hangar deck. Well. on "De Danaan"'s deck. Al? He was wearing a headset around his neck. was waving with all his strength. At that moment. you know. Clouseau. leaning on the railing and looking very sadly at those they left behind. . . and their motors started humming all around them.I'll help. fired by Tessa. Several locking mechanisms had to activate to ensure the water-tightness of the hatch.Oh. even if I could complain. but he didn't really look dissatisfied. ~ 67 ~ ..came Al's voice in Sousuke's headset. also raised a hand in salute. Please stand by and support us when needed. .said Sax. He knew that the rapid deployment booster was still not properly affixed to the Laevatein. In the sky. . The "Bernie Worrell" had also started up. and procedures for shutting down the flight deck began. I've got two kids. Most of the crew.There's some work left. I'd better get back to work.. The alarm sounded.Why did you remain? ..asked Sousuke.is what I'd love to say. and his microphone seemed to be on. So.Bah. He sounded like he was complaining. . disappearing behind the horizon.. That's not something for you to tamper with. the sun seemed to follow suit. Sax would be working alone. Right. taking off their caps and waving the helis goodbye. but it was Tessa's request. and was leaving "De Danaan"'s side. and the five Pave Mare transport helicopters.. It's pretty tough. and the rest of the assault team loaded up. . On the contrary. but keen and refreshed.

you're not much help anyway. the living quarters. To begin with. being a sergeant of the land assault troop. thinking that because the cook. He went to check out the galley. The usually busy corridors were empty. would it be under the same circumstances? He couldn't even begin to guess. Sousuke. and massaged his temple with a finger.. She thought she was acting according to her convictions. 2010 . as it turned out that Kasuya worked overtime. and how kitchen appliances should be used. The note ended with simple words . incident. in the back. He went as far as to leave behind a note. The future seemed like a swirling mist. It meant that they started relying on peril itself. was unnecessary. just in case. entering that area while carrying a ~ 68 ~ . Kasuya.. and prepared a few days' worth of food. Kaname was then hiding in that corner. . detailing how exactly everything should be warmed up. He suddenly remembered that this was the place he fought the traitor Dunnigan. When the ship was at sea.. and he couldn't even concentrate. He closed the locker and went to the bridge. in tears. Each time they talked they talked honestly. Sousuke left Sax and went towards the stern of the ship.. say that she would be on Leonard's side?. she had now lost her sanity. just pushed it behind his belt.Heh. and he had to apologise to her over and over. was in moments like that.. He left the mess room and headed back to the SRT's room. salad. his faith in himself was gone. A tough battle was coming...very well.. and naturally.. Was it too late already? Would she never go back to the girl he knew? But then. So just do as you're told.. this area was off-limits to all but required personnel. he should at least prepare a meal for the remaining crew. It somehow became normal for them to talk candidly during some crisis. was gone. That. was not in that list. There was a cauldron of curry. while in fact she was being manipulated. bread. Why would she." . if he were to meet and talk to her again. Did he even believe that Tessa's goal was the same as his? Why did she absolutely have to confirm what was happening there? Did she not think at all that he could hinder her plans? He remembered Mira's letter once again. no one would notice it. too. He didn't even use a holster."Good luck". even pasta. Out of his personal locker he took his favourite Glock 19 and a clip of nine-millimetre ammunition. lots of rice in the fridge. "How ironic. then.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. or under pressure.he thought. and he felt like he couldn't make even one step forward. Even Tessa did not know any way to turn her back. wasn't what he was about to do completely futile and meaningless? "This is bad." Sousuke sighed. Unless he was searched. without explanation.

Hmm.. Usually she would say something like "I approve"... was not something he thought himself capable of. . of course.Sergeant Sagara. without taking his gun out. ~ 69 ~ . .. and could consider all. . . but her manner was quite blunt. In the next second.he pointed to the left side of the captain's chair. sullen expression.. 2010 firearm was strictly forbidden. well. which used to be Kalinin's place..Well then. sir.he answered boldly.Ah. but. . I am the only member of the assault force remaining on the ship. Which is why. Ordering them to stop the attack and then sitting on the bottom of the sea until the time comes. sir. It was not something that he thought of on the spur of the moment .in fact. He also was not a fool. the most senior officer of the assault force. why not? . who cared. . here's your place. and tells the crew not to move. . There was no particular ill will in her words.What are you talking about. He didn't answer immediately. he puts the gun to Tessa's head. No. the tone of his voice was that of concern. and imagined. After that. Keeping his usual. The idea of taking over the bridge by himself was absurd. and the rest of the bridge crew looked over their shoulders. even the most impossible of cases.. .I will stand there. feel free to go out as you want. . With your permission.Yes. he looked around.said Tessa.. and were obviously puzzled to see Sousuke here. did anyone give you a permission to enter the bridge? It did not sound like a reprimand .But we still have a ways to go until the area of operations. tackles him. If you get tired.instead. So simple. except in the case of a real crisis.Sagara-san?.. . technically you are correct.Myself. He entered the bridge defiantly.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Tessa. and sends him flying towards the rest of the bridge crew. . But now. he was hoping for it from the very beginning. sergeant? .It does not matter. . he approaches Mardukas. and that would be it. Mardukas.

sulking.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. His eyes met with a navigation officer that was sitting next to him. either.. and was comprised of an unpaved runway and a couple of shacks. called Dipayal. If someone were to ask her what to do during an operation right now. either".. and gave a small shrug. The airfield was just outside the town. or reckless. 12 minutes.. He had never felt so miserably ashamed of carrying a gun in his life. . but she didn't fall prey to her demons. cheerful self. they had already wasted two hours here. It was obviously not designed for anything more than light planes. indicating .Fine. If one had to compare.Ah. The town. this attitude was probably the closest to those times when she would have meaningless disputes with Mao.she must have guessed that he was looking at her. innit?" Sousuke inclined his head a little. If he did not find himself before then. and murmured. Only 12 hours and 11 minutes left.. and at the same time languid. On the main screen.I'm fine. He gave Tessa a sidelong glance. *** Eighteen hours after they left the "De Danaan". and as a man.. he did feel anxious because of this. still concealed on his back.. and the same could be said for Mardukas and the rest of the crew. in the middle of a mountainous district of the country. he could not permit himself to give some sort of shallow excuse for an answer. and because fully loaded C- ~ 70 ~ . . For some reason. One word of this girl moved him more than anything Mao or Clouseau said to him. do whatever works". as if trying to ask her personally. It felt as if she became more. and stood near her chair at ease. he would be a goner. It was finally time to answer that question. however. as if trying to say "It's a bit strange. Even though it was supposed to be a race against time. but it felt as if she was a bit different now. was situated in a river basin. After some time he touched the gun. She was a bit peevish. but her grim disposition had vanished. the assault force was on a small airfield in the west of Nepal. She certainly did not return to her former. brazen. What about you? . off-duty. . She looked as tired as ever."I don't know what it's all about. He remained silent and just stood there at ease. 2010 Sousuke saw her last address to the crew. she would probably answer something like "bah. large numerals indicated the time until arrival to the AO: 12 hours. She was a far stronger person than him. The latter only raised an eyebrow.

but. There was no wind.Nah. white clouds. They were waiting here for their last refuel. Normally he would just wave it off .. . According to their estimate. and their breath escaped in small. and using ECS safely flew over the airspace of Cambodia.. then got on board C-17s. doesn't matter. They were around twelve hundred kilometres from their target.Right. 2010 17's were landing on it. It was natural that they felt uneasy. Mao and the others flew from the "De Danaan" to Brunei by helicopter.Sheesh. closely inspecting an SMG.There's a Chinese who owes Mr.but those rubbernecks are starting to worry me. The air was cold. ~ 71 ~ . and was probably thinking that he let Mao's subordinate die. and so only their faces felt the cold. watching Mao and the others. we'll be out of here long before then.What's that supposed to mean? . Some peasants gathered in the distance."come on. What little he heard from Sousuke about the situation on the ground. to help in some way.a graveyard-like stillness. making enough noise to cause an avalanche. He had no way of knowing about Mao and Weber's relationship. .. . who were hurriedly completing the inspection of their equipment near the prefab shacks. they wore thick field jackets over the AS pilot uniforms. and his brother is a trader that has an office in Nepal. Myanmar and Bangladesh.said Lemon. in other words. .It's going to be fine. but deep inside he probably felt that he could have tried to do something. Are you sure the police of that town doesn't mind? . Hunter some favour. I got it already. Fortunately.Sorry. The nearest police station is two hours away by car. who was near her.Mao complained to Lemon.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. . . Even if some thickheaded local cop comes running. whose cousin is the deputy head of local police and--. I know that I said I wanted an isolated location for the last stop. so he bribed a government official. . why this place? . it was easy to imagine the inhabitants' astonishment. getting this in half a day is a luxury!" . and perfectly clear.It. doesn't look like it. the missile base in Afghanistan. around 2-3 degrees below zero. .but he adopted a much more cautious attitude towards Mao. . He was there when Kurz died.... and snow-crowned peaks around them created a serene atmosphere.she said. nothing's sure. . There really wasn't anything better. they only had about four hours left until the enemy gained missile launch capability. clearly stated that he was not responsible for anything.

and now ran towards the C-17 where her M9 was.. She zoomed in onto them. She adjusted the machine's head radar to send waves of a certain frequency at maximum power in the short range where she had zoomed in. . . got some distance between herself and the landing strip. white fuselage with a bright orange stripe. he looked at the soldiers around him. but the "De Danaan" only had one drop module left. Why on earth would there be M9 equipment there? . I'm sorry. They couldn't get another one before they parted ways with Tessa and the others. hey. a suitable disguise for a local private airline company. This. that was being unloaded from the transport plane. After a short exchange. The local peasants were gaping at the spectacle . and was fiddling around with it. that was lying on top of a rusty drum not ten metres away. frequently used in the Western countries. The young man who had been taking the picture clearly seemed bewildered by the fact that it had stopped working. but she still continued cursing under her breath.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and they were powerless to do anything. ~ 72 ~ . too.. so a friendly supply troop was supposed to get the module to this airfield. Lemon. ..They're coming. It was completely harmless to people. was now delayed. Mao had readied her kit.Helis will be here in five minutes! Get the equipment and fuel ready! The soldiers rushed to prepare for the transports' arrival. After getting it outside..That is. 2010 .. and started waiting. The "package" was the drop module for Mao's M9. She knew very well that it was useless to be angry. I heard this drop module is coming from western Bengal. and horizontal letters . it would take some time to affix the drop module. but no pictures. their surviving comrades prepared us for it. evidently sympathetic to the situation. dropped the machine to its knees. and saw that one was taking pictures with a cheap digital camera."HUNTER AIRLINE". and said loudly: . They were derivatives of the Ch-53. she quickly got into the M9.A-ah.Ah. if the package gets here before that. In the coming operation both Mao and Clouseau would make an assault landing. She saw the transport helicopters crossing the mountain ridge to the south. but to electronic consumer goods that amount of radiation was lethal.it was probably the first time they'd ever seen an AS. I see..So. tried to start a conversation to break up the tension a little.Clouseau's voice came over the radio. . is that them? They saw Clouseau talking to someone on the small radio.Leftovers from the Indian Ocean squad that got wiped out a year ago. .. well..

she had been helping Sousuke. Mao didn't get a chance to talk to her personally.I'd like to ask you the same. It didn't look like she was too pleased at this reunion... .So you were fine. back in Tokyo. How did you get here? . thank God!! Why. Lemon. indeed.. like Hunter. me? Well. . and delivered the new Laevatein to SOusuke from the research division.. 2010 The characteristic whine of the turboshaft engines ripped apart the silence that shrouded the airport. I've heard the details. I'm glad to see that.I'm joking. Wraith? It was.Thank you.Wraith smiled politely. You seem to be in perfect health yourself.Eh. seemed to be befuddled by this cold reaction.. A heli hovered above. .. .. . . I was detained by the Moscow police. She definitely seemed familiar. blowing up clouds of dust.Wraith! . and got out. .Lemon was sprinting towards her. Mao approached them. .. and went missing since then.. started descending slowly.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. from the old student days. and a slender Asian woman in a beige pantsuit jumped out. . . without even smiling. right. and Gavin Hunter personally. one of the hatches opened. She heard from Lemon that the woman was attacked by Leonard during the Moscow operation. and subsequently handed over to the GRU.You're all right. Before the rotors stopped.Lieutenant Mao. but she knew that.how come you're here?! .. Mao set her machine into the loading standby position. to whom I felt indebted. I'd still be in prison.she asked dryly. ~ 73 ~ . Lemon seemed to be thoroughly displeased at the difference in her attitude.Is that.. it's a long story--... She was also the person who recovered the core unit of the Arbalest. I was released after an exchange of information. and muttered something to himself.. and Wraith greeted her with a nod.After the operation.Ah. who worked as a backup for Sousuke when he was guarding Kaname Chidori. anyway. If it was the KGB. the agent. There was a mentor of mine.. who looked like he was about to embrace her. rotated. and gently touched down. ..

playing around with the screen. it was the difference between a politician and a military man. .Exchanging information with the GRU? Like what? . as well as the launch systems. Is there a table somewhere?.Why did we investigate Yansk-11.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. There are two main things I would like to let you know. . incredible. If we relied on what we have.. .Lemon led them to the nearest ammo box.No tables.I do understand that you would not believe my words alone. Compared to this.So. Wraith unfolded the flexible screen she had with her....This is all great. The 3D map of the base had some written comments here and there. Poking at it several times with her finger. . Hunter. probably added by someone who knew it well. . but shouldn't you be talking to Tessa about it? Though she's at sea now. .breathed Mao. she brought up a detailed view of the missile base. so their behaviour was "relatively" different. .Right now I came for a different reason. . Come here. . the information Mao and the others had was nothing more than a rough sketch.Think you can use it? . and other related things.Wow. why is GRU interested? ~ 74 ~ . . are in here. Very roughly. courtesy of the GRU. All the electronic locks.I'm glad it can help. . that could not be relied upon.. That said.. while the GRU represented the military counter-intelligence. I knew it was dangerous to send it online. that is. 2010 The KGB and GRU were two distinct intelligence agencies that represented the Soviet Union. albeit cautiously. if at all possible.Absolutely.. . and no communications can be made. it'd be like diving in blindfolded. I didn't say anything that could put you all in jeopardy. and wanted to be free from its influence. The KGB acted as the hound of the Communist Party. the GRU wanted a contact with you.This is the latest information. . so I rushed here as soon as I learned the location from Mr. Their top officials had noticed the threat of Amalgam a while ago. However.Hmm. they still could not live without providing information to each other.

and wanted to say something to her fellow soldiers. She didn't have any particular questions on the operation. 2010 .. ~ 75 ~ . Mao laughed sarcastically. who had come up behind them unnoticed. Everyone was extremely tense. . Wraith. Thanks to this information. Before she had time to finish. Yang Jun-Kyu and Roger Sandraptor.remarked Clouseau. but I do have another message--. who was transferred to the Pacific. The members and team leaders of the infantry force. you can leave the less important talk for later. it's our turn to try and put it out.they all seemed relaxed. Clouseau turned to the infantry squad and shouted: .But "Who dares wins". insertion routes. we need to discuss the tactics first.Ah.Assemble for briefing! Changes in the operation following new info! . Now.. We are grateful. ... but Mao's eyes were not fooled that easily. and were quickly given new instructions regarding team composition.Exactly. .Sorry. . Hearing that. They had the time to memorise the changes and ask their questions. she was a veteran of the force. wouldn't you say? .. but she suddenly realised that this may be the last time they were all together. .. She knew every face in the crowd . as if saying "do as you want".. Any other questions? Mao raised her hand.That is all. They had already sent a quite considerable force to recapture it. Her eyes met Clouseau's. before Clouseau finally said: .Isn't that obvious? Those fellows who took over the missile base are out of control. She looked around at those with whom she had shared joys and sorrows in these past years. when the fire gets out of control.No thanks are needed. They really rely on us too much. .Can I? It's not a question though. and it seems they had been wiped out by the enemy AS. the infantry's work will become easier.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. assembled promptly.Isn't it always the same.. and nodded. He felt that he should give her some time. and the like. it's not that important. He knew very well that compared to himself.

But. All the training. some had been shifted to a different location..Really.The situation's pretty bad. . but some people had left the unit. .. she obviously wanted to say what was on her mind to those fellows...I think this may be my last chance. so I just wanted to say something to you all. . For this final strike this was all they had. ordinary person. and those we lost. . Some people were clapping their knee.. But there's one thing that's even worse. They usually died meaningless deaths in meaningless operations. looking at her quizzically.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.... to give a last speech.. haha. you're right. heheh. Well.. grinning all the while: . Everyone started laughing. doubled up in laughter. the crisis couldn't be more serious.. and of course some had been killed in action or retired because of their wounds.We definitely ain't the ones for the job. spot on!. Mao continued. As a normal.Aw. People were shrugging. . fighting for hundreds of millions of lives. just look at us. Lemon and Wraith.the things we've done to get this far.. and there probably won't be enough time.. they were about to take back a nuclear missile base. to prevent World War III.. There was a time when the force was much larger. and their lives had nothing to do with honour or virtue.Mao waited until the laughter had stopped. and continued. ~ 76 ~ . She now understood how hard it was for Tessa to find parting words. Then how did it come to this? After all. didn't all of this look like a bad joke? . Clouseau was smiling broadly and shaking his head. The outsiders. The operation itself is difficult. why not just say it. and the operations.No. Mercs like them were really little more than a bunch of vagabonds. seemed to be puzzled by this display of joyous self-deprecation.Eh? . 2010 They were thirty-two. however. Yeah. and finally she said: . they weren't pointless.. did not have to shoulder a burned as heavy as that girl. You know what? .No idea. as if in disbelief. hahah. They all had meaning.. why'd you have to be so nasty. leaning on their neighbour's shoulder...The fact that you bunch are the ones saving the world. right? Maybe we should leave it to some other fellows that at least look presentable! . some smiled and looked at the sky.. . She couldn't seem to find any words that would fit the occasion. She. you know.

as if she had something to say. smiling to herself. She was very calm and composed up until now.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. They had changed almost visibly. .I have nothing more to say. . your sniping was good. and prove him wrong! . .as the friend they had lost a short time ago..Then let's do it. Kurz. their voices were full of energy. Mao thought that "let's prove Kurz wrong!" was a goot motto.I'm showing a little gratitude here. and turned to the woman. but was struggling with it. All of them answered her in the same way. and you were sometimes useful.. Their gait was reassured. and everybody understood that. 2010 Those they had lost.. . Kurz". and were now full of inspiration..Wraith? ~ 77 ~ ..Mao remembered something. Her face was troubled.What was that other thing you wanted to say? Wraith didn't answer. . As adults. beer in one hand. .. . she muttered. And they were not thinking about him alone . .said one of them. . they're probably laughing at us now. . too ..that we're doomed because he's not with us. Wraith. It was a different kind of laughter. start preparing for departure! Get to it! All the soldier immediately got back to their work. they would have been just somewhat embarrassed to say "let's do this for Kurz".. "Let's prove you wrong.. . so don't be angry up there. he wouldn't ever wish for them to fail. or something.by the way.He's sure not praying for our safety or anything..Yeah.imagine what Kurz would say . laced with notes of sadness and weariness.Bah. the soldiers were nodding in approval... and they knew exactly what they had to do. let's! . he represented all of their comrades who perished in battle up until now. that'd be like him. Ben.I'd like to see his disappointed face. okay? I can see you relaxing with the other guys.laughed another.Good work.Yeah. Then. . who had been standing near her all this time. . but for some reason reacted strangely to that final speech. Of course..

顔 掌 ○○Translations
- Eh? Ah, yes, - yes, what? - The other message you had for us?.. - Er, message? no, nothing... - Hey, is something wrong? You look pale.

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

- Oh, er, do I?.. that must be... the climate... and the pressure here is low... - Ah... right. So, about the message? Ben looks busy at the moment, just tell it to me, I'll let him know. - Er... no, it's... nothing, really. Forget it. - What is it? - No, really, nothing. Your fellows' morale has been raised, and I don't want to be the one pouring cold water onto them, so to speak. - Eh, what do you mean? - Just... don't worry about it! It must have been my misunderstanding. There's only piece of news. I hope the information from the GRU helps. Well then... - O- hey, wait... Ignoring Mao, Wraith hurriedly left the scene.

***

The loading of all of the troops' equipment was finally complete, and the transport plane was taking off from the small Tibetan airport. The disposable rocket boosters, affixed to the plane for a short takeoff, emitted an ear-splitting roar. Lemon, after seeing off the transport plane with Mao and the other soldiers, helped the supply troop to pack up and withdraw. He spotted Wraith, who also remained behind, talking on a satellite phone in a corner of the airfield. He had no idea with whom she would be talking now, but he saw that she was frantically trying to calm down the other party. - ... I've already explained the situation!.. Yes, I did not tell them... Why? but... no, I had no choice!.. no, that's not it!.. if the team's mood was raised by that alone, I'd be taking it away, no?... ah, that's why I was... don't say this, and don't do anything rash. No, on a second thought, just shoot yourself, that would be the best, going with the flow. I'll speak to lieutenant colonel Kirienko, he'll arrange it... what?

~ 78 ~

顔 掌 ○○Translations

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

no, dammit, why would I know that?.. but you did understand, right?.. oh shut up, stop yelling at me! Over and out! She fiercely pressed the off button on the phone. - My God, I swear, if that's not the most annoying fellow I've ever met in this world... She continued grumbling, and put down the phone. Lemon, very curious about what was going on, called her. - Hey... - Waah!? She hadn't noticed him at all, and almost jumped at his voice. - Le-... Lemon, it's just you... what is it? - Well, you seemed a bit weird there in front of Mao-san. Whom were you talking to? - Er, well, - she hesitated for a moment. - Well, since you'll only be able to speak to them after the operation anyway, I can tell you... - Eh?.. - Well, originally I brought them another message... And Wraith told him what she was hiding. Hearing her story, Lemon finally nodded in agreement. - Yes, you're right. This wouldn't help them at all... - I just couldn't, that would have been too awkward. With an annoyed look, she picked up the phone once again, and started calling somewhere else. - Who is it this time? - Hunter. She had a very short exchange with him, but her face grew more and more serious by the minute. - Is there a problem? - asked Lemon, when she had put down the phone. - The expected time until the others get the missile launch codes - less than three hours.

~ 79 ~

顔 掌 ○○Translations
- That's much faster than we expected!..

FMP! ZSBM [p1]

Mister V, 2010

Very secure codes are necessary to launch nuclear missiles. The safety device is completely tamperproof, and there is a very limited amount of attempts to enter it. If someone unsuccessfully attempted an unauthorized launch, the firing circuits would immediately burn out, and in that case, one would have to go to a base around 2000km away to get the parts, which were kept there in secure storage, otherwise a second attempt was simply impossible. The GRU had possibly provided the number of digits, and information about the model of the safety device. Knowing this, and estimating Amalgam's code-breaking capabilities was all they could do - it was little more than a guess, at the end. Three hours... - Is that an optimistic estimate? - I'm afraid so. They may be faster. It would take their troops a little less than two hours to get to the AO. Even if the estimate was correct, the assault force would have almost no time left. Taking a mountain stronghold within one hour... - We're talking about Mithril's SRT here, they can do it. Wraith didn't say anything. She wasn't a person who liked consolation, and there wasn't much she could say, anyway. - If we remained in this wilderness, we could probably escape the missiles. - Hey, what--... - Just kidding. Let's go. The preparations for withdrawal from the area were well under way. Soon, all the remaining equipment and parts were loaded onto the transport helicopters, their engines once again disrupted the natural silence of these mountains, and after their final roll-call, the supply unit loaded up into the machines. - Well, it's time to make preparations in case this goes well.

*****

The final calibrations were entering their last stage. Kaname had locked herself in the control room near TARTAROS since yesterday, losing herself in the rewriting of the control codes and fine-tuning of the

~ 80 ~

too. I can't. nobody was forcing her. Thinking of operational efficiency. would not support this. it controlled fate. "You are not me"? She didn't understand the meaning.. always full of energy and vigour. her fingers stopped above the keyboard. and she lifted her eyes towards the ceiling. She had been in this constant state of exaltation and euphoria ever since she returned from Yansk-11. she noticed that. Right now.bringing this apparatus to completion was exceptionally gratifying. And then she noticed. The TARTAROS was bringing a revolution. thus being able to maintain necessary power levels. only sometimes taking a nap on a bench that was left outside of the control room.Ah. the geothermal power station would reach planned capacity. Not a single trace of doubt. In a few hours.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.and she was proud to carry the burden of the one who would lead the world onto a new path. for the umpteenth time. The construction of the gigantic machine had ended. not now. . it would perhaps be better to take a short nap right now. and now only the personnel necessary for a detailed inspection of the device remained on the scene. . however. and went to get a sandwich downstairs. so it was displayed in romaji. There was no Japanese language pack installed on this PC. In one of the windows she was working on. She blinked several times. 2010 device. Who wrote those? Certainly not herself. and she will undoubtedly satisfy everyone's wishes. You could say. Even now she was sometimes assaulted by waves of sleepiness. She had stopped again. She practically didn't sleep these two days. The body. then clapped herself on the cheeks. . The adjustment of control codes should be finished by then. //anta ha atasi jya nai. and the vast flow of thoughts inside her mind had become disjointed. Everything should be entrusted to her. at the end of the iota wave supposition lens group alignment script. her own desire kept pushing her forward. no.otherwise she allowed herself no breaks.. ~ 81 ~ . It was Japanese. no. were words that didn't belong there. It was a device that rendered meaningless the concept of time and history that has been weighing down humans for so long. She did not mind working with hardly any rest . Yes.

A month earlier. When she told him that. who am I getting angry at? . he put his hand around her. but even if it was the case. Even more obvious was the time when she had a visit from Leonard. what?. it had happened before.. It made her turn her face away from Leonard. She wanted to take the screen in front of her and throw it on the floor. that was it.. she remembered that she had the same feeling on the plane from Yansk-11 to Merida. . no one else was around. He had taken her hand. if he had to leave this world like that. But he didn't to become timid.. her thoughts were filled with the completion of the TARTAROS.. It wasn't exactly self-hatred. somewhere. 2010 However. that someone was very angry at her . Sorry. Why not tonight then. It was late at night. even angry. and you're talking nonsense.and rightly so .a dreadfully unpleasant feeling. and made some tea. it was as if someone. But that time was a bit different. as if someone was peering over her shoulder.. what's wrong with me.. and protesting against everything she did. even though her former self would have obstinately continued to reject him. Leonard came to her room to talk about technical details. thought she didn't understand why she was feeling those emotions. so how did these words come out? You are not me. . burying her face in her hands. no. she didn't understand. Like with any other woman probably...she groaned. or suddenly hesitate. Don't joke around! Don't give me this crap. and she did not object.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. who is this? Who." For some reason she became very irritated.Aah. even half-asleep. he had been a perfect gentleman. or revulsion towards Leonard. was constantly yelling at her. She thought it would be truly pitiful.. he only smiled sadly for some reason.. Wait. salty tears. ~ 82 ~ . let's not... but then she proposed to sit on the sofa. The closest description would be discomfort.for the things she was doing. She didn't think it possible to write that. hiding her own uneasiness. and left the room.. And then this feeling came. Asleep or awake. Why did these words appear there? I am myself. Yes. They were unpleasant. she then said. "Tch. On top of everything. Thinking about it now... and no one worked on the script except her. and leaned forward to kiss. After Yansk-11. He only answered "I understand". She thought that it was time to reward his devotion.. and did not make any inappropriate attempts to catch her off guard. Tears started flowing down her cheeks because of this strange sensation.. This feeling.

You're just tired. known to them as the "Toy Box". . Don't worry. you've only done these all-nighters when you were preparing for the school festival. probably. all with the orders to sink the "Tuatha De Danaan". Identifier "Mike-Five" assigned to target. eighteen miles. these fast decisions. bearing zero-eight-six. He had been the commanding officer of the Pacific Fleet's submarine group. There should be at least four others in the area. You've done enough. An hour should be fine. Come to think of it.Right! Let's sleep! She stood up from her chair resolutely. she threw herself down on the bench. ~ 83 ~ . Tessa had obtained this information without accessing Mithril's channels. retiring rear admiral Thomas Ross. . This admiral Ross then informed her of the situation by an encrypted channel.and it was possible that more were waiting for them. doubts constantly emerged out of nowhere. *** Only fifty nautical miles left.It looks like they were waiting for us.muttered Tessa. he didn't lay a finger upon her. This is me. She thought and acted by her own will. and stirred her heart. yes. 2010 And that was it. so let's enjoy it! Informing the guard outside of the control room of her intentions. This might be my last sleep in this world. Why did she have that feeling? She couldn't be anyone but herself. It was at a dinner party a year ago. It was too far away to know the name of the submarine. . Since then.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. now a short sleep would be fine. and had some connections in the Hawaii HQ.said Mardukas. Even so. heading two-six-five at ten knots. . no question about that.Hm. The first thing that stood in the way between the "Tuatha De Danaan" and Merida island. This manner of speaking. Four submarines of the Pacific fleet . And she was doing the right thing. from one of the guests. wouldn't it? . Sonar room report . but it was without mistake an improved version of the Los-Angeles class. was the United States Navy.one submarine. I'll wrap myself in that futon.

"Roy and his fellows. She had little confidence in her estimates. as one could guess.the speed of a torpedo . where the Toy Box appeared.. and was likely to make an appearance. 2010 The idea of attacking the "Toy Box" was pushed through by the party of the current Secretary of Defence. A type of underwater AS. He had tried to play on the current crisis between the Americans and the Soviets to make the President give the order. Thinking about the loss of Admiral Borda. which was moving at fifty knots . and the thing they pocketed got exposed. was still hard for Tessa." Was this an admissible delay? Unlike the Afghan mission. but she thought that they didn't have time to spare. With the Soviet Far East Fleet being very active. however. At best Tessa could make a guess based on the information from spy satellites. so that they would end up in the hunting ground of the Leviathans. They couldn't officially let their doubt be known. If Jerry was still alive. "Leviathan".. Johh had fled the MP investigation and is now missing. restricting their approach route. But enough about her acquaintances in the Navy. roughly by fifty minutes. was in Sidney HQ at the time of the general attack and was presumed dead." Was the US Navy alone guarding the approach to the island? No. ~ 84 ~ .and thus could not help leaving an acoustic signature. even a year after the events. so they had to hurry.. This. "An hour and fifty minutes in total. was mentioned in the documents Kaname left for them in Mexico. and wouldn't consider going easy on it. The US Navy vessels were like hunting dogs. The Los Angelesclass sub was heading away from them. would significantly delay their arrival at the island. moving some of their forces to a relatively unimportant area of the ocean." "Jerry" was the nickname of the Admiral Jeremy Borda.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Admiral Ross had written to her. even though because of the massive blast no body was found. "And besides. and that was an optimistic estimate. In short.for the "De Danaan". who was like a father to her. Leonard and Kalinin wouldn't leave them any. Mithril's chief of operations.. The vessel adopted an S-shaped patrol route. they could get close to Merida avoiding detection and confrontation with the US Navy. then. they were using a towed sonar. they were now hunting the "Toy Box" with complete devotion. and they're now in military jail. I wasn't able to help much". was an Amalgam collaborator. that would allow them to detect any intruders in their area. they barely had any information about the possible time of operation of the TAROS. If they proceeded cautiously. There was no other way to avoid detection than to descend and decelerate . most likely Amalgam's submarine forces were also there. In the HQ a lot of questions appeared about this order. and would sooner or later discover the "De Danaan". did not seem very logical . much less disobey. it was like switching from a jog to a crawl. Most likely. "Sorry.. Tessa looked at the information displayed on the main screen once again. now was the time to concentrate on the enemy in front of her. something could be done about this.. and it seemed they were reluctant to proceed. who.but orders were orders.

They were travelling at sixty knots.. where from the beginning the player almost does not consider any defense" (really.顔 掌 ○○Translations "Then.Aye. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. you do not object? . All the screens turned red.Starboard ahead full. Battle stations! ." She made her decision. She saw Sousuke showing signs of surprise. issued the appropriate alert. . which is quite annoying. . Dana. . which was only natural.Starboard ahead full. . either. but Mardukas did not appear to be opposed to the decision. aye. so I do not have any aversion to this tactic.So. . Sensing that the fight ahead will be hard. 2010 . They were alone against about ten enemy vessels. They would not even try to hide or escape. 10 ~ 85 ~ . so proceed on this course until they make a move. This gigantic size. with the number of people left on the submarine. Tessa continued giving orders.Crew to battle stations. In chess I would call this a gambit10. She thought she had come to know him well these past few years. and yet what speed . They would hit the enemy from the flank. but this was unexpected. and the vessel's structure creaked and groaned a little under the pressure. which was double the maximum speed of an ordinary submarine. interrupting the flow of dialogue.Mardukas repeated the order. all personnel was already at their stations. course oh-three-oh. Tessa called Sousuke: . it is necessary to explain basic stuff? and their lack of space for footnotes means they have to explain everything in the text. oh-three-oh. and the ship's AI.the forty-four thousand ton vessel was ploughing through the waters of the ocean at more than one hundred kilometres an hour.. The floor vibrated. The EMFC system that covered the hull of the ship managed the water current.he said with a faint smile. what is our next move? . .Oh. Ma'am. if you ask me). and the words "BATTLE ALERT" appeared on them. but could not help avoid turbulence. captain.No.Sagara-san? Omitted an explanation of what a gambit is: "A gambit is an aggressive play style in chess. aye. I often used them when playing.They'll soon notice us. That said.

~ 86 ~ . was not as heartrending as one would have thought. Well. Sousuke left the brigde. He was probably thinking: "If I reply right now. New information started pouring onto the main screen. . and then disappeared. Well. the sonar operator reported: . 2010 . Tessa obviously meant that he should be ready for launch at any moment. A multitude of emotions passed like shadows on Sousuke's face. she said quietly: ..Yes? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. however. sonar . and most prominently.顔 掌 ○○Translations . No. And my regards to Kaname-san. she still felt a deep affection. She couldn't leave her post to see him off. though a couple of years earlier she thought she already had a lifetime's worth of experience. it looked like the battle was about to start.You shouldn't stay here any longer.Please give Kaname-san my regards. anxiety and concern.I will. but hesitated for a moment. and they had a little time. something that she wanted to tell him. There was a bit of gratitude and respect. This was the main elevator of the hangar deck that all ship-borne planes and AS used for takeoff. she still had a lingering feelings for him. She regained her concentration. Thanks to him. The farewell. it was only natural that she felt this way after calming down. She chased all thoughts of Sousuke out of her head. closed her eyes and took a deep breath. and they could not enjoy a close relationship. Thank you. Sousuke didn't answer immediately. and it was possible that they'd never meet again. Take Al and load up into elevator zero. If there was something. and even though it was not passionate love. Then. accelerating to fifteen knots. and opened her eyes again.. like before. Saying that.Mike five changed course to three-oh-five. she had enjoyed feeling like a normal girl of her age. That was really all she wanted to say to him. and she was sending him away only with a short order? Did she want to say something to him? The enemy still didn't show any signs of activity. It was probably his last sortie. if you'll excuse me.Conn. After a moment of silence. About a minute after Sousuke had left. all mixed together. she would have to do it now. could I leave the bridge a little later?" Tessa understood his thoughts well. There was no tragic sorrow. guilt. however.

possibly two anti-submarine destroyers on the surface. . Teresa Testarossa plunged into the greatest underwater battle in history.eight 11 DEMOdulated Noise . Priority target is Mike five.used mainly to determine a contact's speed. it was Commander Hogan's ship. This was going to be a major blow to his career. . It's the "Asheville". Load tubes one to six. here it is. In any case. and his country. Its towed sonar was practically running perpendicular to the course of the "De Danaan". ~ 87 ~ . Soon to be transferred to a desk job. aye.three other submarines nearby. Two target Mike five. I should say. he had a spotless career. . Thanks to the skill of chief sonar operator Dejlani. They and the other vessel had been closing in on each other fast. unknown to the rest of the world. He was not an acquaintance. It was as they feared .. analysing. [<THREE> Pale Horse] The enemy vessel changed course abruptly. On top of that. your discretion. as well as two MAGROCs . Ma'am.. Loading all the torpedo tubes took barely twenty seconds. and sonar had the time to gather plenty of data.Picked up the signature. Tessa ordered to load the Multipurpose VLS with four anti-ship and two anti-air missiles. However.Aye. 2010 With this. the Navy.How's DEMON11? .the Leviathans. Shall we start? . two to Mike seven. The rest at other submarines. "De Danaan"'s sonar easily picked up the rest of the enemy fleet. and the submarine's automatic loading system started its work. not one setback on record.Let's give them a show. .A warm welcome. Sierra six and eight get one each.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. The sonar picked up five signatures of smaller vessels that lie in wait for them . and two anti-submarine helicopters. The SSN-758 "Asheville".. most likely. and thus they got a clear reading of its acoustic signature.. Father of two. according to the data received only last week. the "De Danaan" could no longer hide. not only conventional weapons were arrayed against them.. they already had the ship's name.repeated the weapons officer. but according to his file. He seemed to love his family. then Mike seven. . Load all tubes.

Hold course and speed. marked as priority target. . in even-numbered ones normal torpedoes. .I'll meet you all.fourteen launches.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. hurriedly began their manoeuvres. Now the enemy knew where they were.All tubes. . Now.Aye. Seen from outside. when the normal salvo was one or two torpedoes. in all odd-numbered tubes load self-propelled mines.finally reported the weapons officer. Turbulence increased dramatically . and what their intention was. the ship was slowly rising to periscope depth. aye. and the amount of noise it emitted. and the number of enemies settled . it must have been quite a sight: six silver fish being ejected from the ship's bow. Data was analysed once again. their rocket engines blasting them into the sky. a feeling that she had almost forgotten. . The ship's vibration. both increased proportionally. eight missiles being ejected on top of the surface from the MVLS. launch went without a hitch. Dive to two hundred fifty. beginning to drain the tubes. smiling faintly.Wonderful. an excitement in her heart that she hadn't allowed herself to enjoy for a long while. 2010 launches in total.Aye-aye Ma'am! Torpedoes away! The "Tuatha De Danann" fired its entire arsenal at once . It was a smile that didn't appear on her face since a long time ago. went to flank speed and tried to escape to the south-west. their engines kicking in and propelling them through the water at seventy knots. Other contacts. The "Asheville". .Muzzle doors open. two four and six loading ADCAP torpedoes. All the while. . . [i]I'll show you all who you're up against. . Too late. .Open muzzle doors. ~ 88 ~ .thirteen US and Amalgam units were prepared to meet them. aye.still continuing to cruise at full speed. . .Flood all tubes. captain. down five degrees rudder. .All weapons away. .whispered Tessa. one. flooding.Weapons free. the submarine opened all of its launch tube doors. too. three and five loading ADSLMM. All doors closed.

Sea Sparrows have hits on target. it was simply not possible to go easier on them.. hit near water line.. and could not use CIWS13 to shoot down the approaching missiles. It seemed that this attack had made them lose their coherence. now.Impact. .. In the text it's "mineuchi". Bringing her down to two-fifty. It's a trope related to Japanese swordsmanship using the non-cutting edge of the katana . even if they were fellow countrymen. The frigates were not Aegis-class. When a missile began its final approach. The most widely known in fiction is the US-made Phalanx. as well as the enemy targets. though it's faint.that appears in a lot of manga/anime/related fiction. getting last data from Turtle One. analysing. Next were the two surface ships .. They had practically knocked out the enemy's anti-submarine helicopters. Mike eleven. one emergency landing on water. the symbols of the enemy vessels and the missiles were almost on top of each other. They probably thought that the battlefield had gone crazy all of a sudden. let's see what the enemy will do. as well as damage control. that the crew called "non-lethal shots"12. 12 ~ 89 ~ . and both the US Navy vessels and the Leviathans were scattering. the guidance switched from radar to optical. The AD Harpoons were a quite different weapons system from the old Harpoon missiles. down five degrees rudder. With their first move. They were faced with fourteen missiles cutting them off from escape routes or hiding places. 13 Stands for Close-in Weapon System. The AD Harpoons were rapidly approaching their mark.. .. yes. Ma'am. they had removed the most annoying enemy. . velocity and other data nearby. the other one barely stayed in the air.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. in theory would not bring their targets crashing down immediately. All of the combined tactics that they had likely prepared became useless.Harpoons are closing in on target.I got one landing on the water.the anti-submarine frigates. They had their hands full with evasive manoeuvres and interception. . She was looking at the map of the battlefield on the main screen..Aye. naval point defense for shooting down missiles or planes at close range. Their warheads with drastically reduced explosive charge... and the intelligent recognition system allowed it to hit a desired part of the target. the fired missiles being displayed as symbols with their trajectory. Even if there were casualties among their crew. The improved version of the "Sea Sparrow" anti-air missiles were the first to reach their respective targets. Mike eight. hit near the water line. On the screen. 2010 . which means "back of the sword". had little in terms of anti-aircraft equipment. Well..

The enemy sub was now at two o'clock. The enemy was too nimble for that."Asheville" deploying counter-measures. it seemed to be heading straight for the "De Danaan" for a frontal attack. The torpedo then separates from the missile and plunges into the water. abandoning the optimal attack positions.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Ma'am. and shot at them to restrict their movement for a while. so Tessa could not hope for perfect hits. another blew its ballast tanks for emergency surfacing. . . and far from trying to escape. and launched acoustic decoys.It's them again. 2010 The two frigates were hit near their stern. Those efforts were in vain. Three US submarines out of action. They lagged behind the missiles in speed. is basically a missile that carries a torpedo as payload. but were not expecting them to hit. as both torpedoes detonated in close proximity to the submarine. they also carried reduced charges. MAGROC. started pursuit of Sierra fifteen and Sierra eighteen. At most they would destroy the screws or make small gashes in the ship's hull. . The Leviathans reacted to the attack as expected. The other three vessels were at a distance. Of course.MAGROCs have landed on the water14. after it had barely evaded the one torpedo. the "Pasadena". so they had picked two that represented the most threat to the "De Danaan". and was charting an erratic course away from the scene. .He's quite capable. just a little more. but that was more than enough. and preparing to attack the "De Danaan".. and were now dead in the water. The commanding officer of that submarine had both guts and skill. Next were the torpedoes.Sailor-san. .. . in the propulsions systems. one of them seemed to be overtaken by helplessness.said Mardukas in an admiring tone. Only one remained. . .. but reached their targets nonetheless. why now. Even so.sonar operator Dejlani sounded like he didn't want to say it. They had fired MAGROCs at two Leviathan AS out of five. The commanding officer of the SSN-752 "Pasadena" was none other than Cree Benjamin Sailor. Analysis complete. Their priority target was making frantic attempts to avoid the torpedoes.Unknown yet. Ah.what's the ship's name? . Tessa quickly scanned through the recently received data. 14 ~ 90 ~ . if temporarily.. and taking evasive action. however. evidently an advanced version of ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket).

come to course one-two-five. was pure chance. Just a little more. .accelerating and passing just on the "Pasadena"'s starboard. passed by the Pasadena and dived at the same time. and the shockwave rocked the warship. The "De Danaan" had passed only dozens of meters away from the "Pasadena". all flank speed. from Sierra seventeen! Ah. course one-two-five.Conn. .. "De Danaan"'s torpedoes also went by the "Pasadena" and towards the Leviathan that was hanging back. . Tessa had dodged the point of Sailor's sword.Fifty. Sierra seventeen.Mark. Our torpedo closing in on target.We don't have time to mess around. Sailor had evidently thought that they had shot at him. Comparing this to a sword fight. and they thought they could hear Sailor's raging voice. but it looked like they plotted a course for a head-on collision.Captain. sonar! Torpedo launch! Bearing oh-six-two. The timing was pretty bad. . and couldn't even imagine her being the captain of the "Toy Box". from one of the Leviathans. here it comes. two hundred! One hundred! The Leviathan was trying to avoid both torpedoes and went into a dizzying evasive manoeuvre. . though. It was a daring manoeuvre. fire two and four when ready. at Christmas. Ma'am. remembered her only as a cute maid on a cruise ship. It was only a couple of hundred metres in front of them. even though their encounter little more than a year ago.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. but was unflinching and fired torpedoes.. all engines flank speed. They passed by the "De Danaan" a hundred metres above and to the left.Enemy torpedo at four hundred! ~ 91 ~ ..Aye! Mark Sierra seventeen! Torpedoes away! They fired two torpedoes at the Leviathan. .. However.Enemy torpedo. this was beyond the capabilities of their guidance systems. Starboard. distance six hundred! Five hundred!. . There was no time to check the results .. the other Leviathans are coming. 2010 She knew Commander Sailor personally. and risking her life lunged at the assassin who had come from behind Sailor's back. There was no time to fire a torpedo at them. Sailor. hit on target! Sonar reported a detonation. closing in. what shall we with this one? . Starboard. .Aye.enemy torpedoes were approaching. .

staggered to the intercom and tried to reach the bridge. If he hadn't changed into the AS pilot suit. Sousuke was running in the passageway immediately near the main hangar.... .Aye! FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. he would have had a few broken bones. . he heard some kind of very loud noise. painting everything in its familiar crimson.. When he heard her warning.. What were those pipes for? Was it water that gushed from them? No. .顔 掌 ○○Translations Three hundred. At first he thought the lights had gone out. report! Sousuke quickly looked around for the number of the passageway. detonation. and Sousuke felt its full strength. In reality. There was no one around. Emergency lighting finally turned on.I know where you are..This is Sagara. Sousuke got up. A jet of vapour came from ruptured pipes a couple of meters behind him.. at the entrance of the hangar. one hundred. and through the buzzing in his ears. two hundred.fifty. full rudder! . the left wall suddenly came at him.. as if gas was escaping from somewhere. I'm currently in--. he got up. bringing the rudder to its maximum possible angle. brace for impact! . 2010 The helmsman brought executed her order.Tessa's voice resonated through the ship's intercom speakers. The ship continued to tremble. ...No casualties! Five metres from the entrance of the hangar deck. He remembered that there was an intercom just ten steps away. slipping sideways through the water.. but the bare minimum was on board.. and answered: . it just looked like hot vapour. As soon as he was thrown back onto the floor... This was the time to call crew to help.Hard to port.All hands. Distance one fifty.This is damage control! Report on situation! . some pipe ruptured.. I don't know the name. The damage control officer answered first. . now.. ~ 92 ~ . It was still pitch black. he himself was bounced around like a doll with incredible force. The impact came only a few seconds later. dammit.. and finally the ceiling came down and crushed him. Would it be better to try and stop that? But how? He knew next to nothing about the operation of the submarine. and vapour is coming out! Otherwise--. practically sending the ship in a spin. the..

.empty? There was one person who was still working down here!. Only the sounds of battle resonated in the empty deck. The water quickly rushed in and was alaready ankle-high. transport and scout helicopters and STOVL attack craft. and managed to slip under the door. is anyone else there? . . not hearing any screams or shouts after this severe shock. . He wanted to ask about the battle. The AS. were closing down with frightening speed. the maintenance and deck crew had left the ship earlier. .Negative! I'm alone! The water had already risen to his knees. and started looking for him. some containers and various equipment.. which closed behind him.Lieutenant!! Are you here? . He ran towards the Laevatein. it was lucky that the hangar was empty. 2010 A thunderous roar interrupted him in mid-sentence. There was nothing apart from the Laevatein. . It was strange. Out of the wall where the pipe was. the situation on the ship. kicking up water. was securely anchored to the deck with cables.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. The wide space. the main watertight bulkhead began closing down.We've got flooding! It's coming from the left wall. now! I'm locking this down! . had turned over and fallen near its leg. but the external power supply unit. in its typical kneeling posture. there could have been serious injuries. The massive double bulkheads.Into the hangar. that looked like it was coming from a large fire hose. There seemed to be no flooding in the hangar. If something like this was flying around at the time of the impact. . as thick as a national bank’s safe doors.Roger! Even before Sousuke answered.. The stream was flowing into the hangar with a force that almost kicked him off his feet. which should have been connected to the machine. but was nowhere in sight. under high pressure--. one transport helicopter. following the ship's inclination. It was the size of a large refrigerator. would under normal circumstances house a unit of AS. the casualties. ~ 93 ~ . There was no one in sight. but he didn't have time. Sousuke ran towards the exit.shouted Sousuke. but no answer came.Got it.Lieutenant Sax! He had to be here for the final adjustments on the Laevatein. much larger than a school gym. but was now deserted. The container in front of Sousuke was sliding down with a metallic grating noise to the starboard side. burst a torrent of water. Wait .

He called him in hushed whisper..... this is bad.. on the right. .. Sax was alive. then the APU will start.. and on one of its corners..I. Behind the smashed power unit.. He ran back to Sax.Shit..murmured Sax.. He could only get a glimpse of it..顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. help is on the way. is it.. It's broken. near the leg of the AS.This is. . Sagara. hah. remove it.. . He rushed to the intercom and called the ship's chief medical officer.. but only barely. innit. and grabbed his shoulder. ..Hold on there.Shut up. .. but said that she will run to the hangar immediately. almost done. He couldn't do anything with the first-aid kit he had on his hands. . don't screw this up.. stuck between the power unit and the wall. Sousuke wouldn't be able to do anything. I'll call lieutenant Goldberry. .... An ordinary man would have been killed instantly. so..The plug...... It looked like an artery near the heart might have been damaged. Sax suddenly grabbed Sousuke's hand with surprising strength.. the locker. useless. ... my mistake...Saga. He wiped the blood coming from the biggest wound with some gauze..Sousuke moved his hand away.Lieutenant. Al can't move.. too slow. please... get it out. having crushed some parts and equipment. and tried to inspect his injuries closely. and listened to his explanation... . his voice barely audible. . and it was likely that some protruding parts had pierced his body. continuing his first-aid procedure. third cable. It sounded like she had other casualties there.ra.. disconnected.. unit wasn't fixed...without explanation. His crushed chest was likely causing massive internal bleeding. This was extremely important . Sousuke saw fresh blood.. Blood was flowing from his mouth... socket's here. and listen. plug in. Judging by its amount and his body weight. 2010 and looked like it had fallen from some height. found a firstaid kit in the equipment around them.. it was a miracle he could still talk. ~ 94 ~ .. power unit... before blood poured out and covered it again.. Lieutenant Sax was lying in a puddle of blood. He couldn't resist cursing.. then rushed over to him. .... lieutenant. the adjustment is.. .. don't move.Don't talk. he looked at the puddle of blood surrounding Sax.. but. and onto his beard.Lieutenant!.

I will remember.. again and again.. . she was out of breath.... I.What else. Everyone knows that. His eyes were looking at something very far away..He was a good man. careful. didn't wake Al up yet.. Sax did not hear him anymore..顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. but he tried the defibrillator. but it was futile.The IME15 cable is still attached...he said. .I.. 2010 He quickly set up an intravenous drip. She'll... leave it to Al. .Just don't touch.. performing mouth-to-mouth on me.. Shock Absorber Liquid.. and artificial respiration.. motion management system... and did not move.Got it.... Sax suddenly stiffened.the AS came first. So hold on there. . Sousuke looked up at her. Golberry came running out of a passageway. from the control panel.. .What about the SAL16[17] tank? Do I need to set it to decompression? .. He knew it was useless. remove the auxiliary line. don't blame anyone... What do I do with it? .. Sousuke stopped in mid-sentence.. ..Damn it!.. I.. an AS system. Goldberry somehow made it here in a couple of minutes... bus with one that has a.. but circumstances dictated the priority .Tell her that yourself. you should still be able to move..... I've replaced the. Goldberry is coming. when disconnecting..Yes. larger width..her shoulders were heaving..Sagara. 15 16 Integrated Motion Equaliser.. and the strength left his limbs. you're our bravest mechanic... if there's a problem.. but. she would probably be too late already.. . She must have been running the whole way there .. ~ 95 ~ ..Yes. don't want to have the grandma. don't know if he will. . . Normally he should have been asking "where do you feel pain?" and other questions like that. It was as if the explanation had drained the last drops of life he had. . you'd have to abandon the XL-3. Even if Dr.. .

twelve "Black Mamba" anti-aircraft missiles under the wings. the Lambda Driver cancellation device "Fairy's Feather".What..It's time to prepare for out sortie..only his usual frown became even more grave. fully equipped: AS-size buckshot. incorrigible. He took the cable of the auxiliary power unit from the locker.. It was time to restart the activation sequence from the external control panel. The generator started working.Golberry sounded like all strength had been drained from her voice. Can it even walk. Everything was in place. and the startup data showed in text form on the screen of the maintenance terminal. who was smiling even though tears ran down her face. with this pile of weapons on top of it? Sousuke felt even more the difference in strength and preparedness between them and the enemy. and plugged it into a socket near the waist of the machine. And following the late Sax's will. then an indicator finally showed that the activation was a success. and the human-like silhouette was barely visible. From a distance. He wiped Sax's blood from his hands and face. he began the start-up procedure of the Laevatein. two smaller Gatling guns in the back. *** The ARX-8 "Laevatein" was waiting for him. ~ 96 ~ . it looked like it was hurriedly put together. . and did not dare cursing .He's terrible..... . the disposable rapid deployment booster XL-3.He said he didn't want you performing mouth-to-mouth on him.. The voice interface was not connected yet. and sighed deeply. It looked like the extension of the data bus had gone well.. the gigantic demolition gun. . assault rifle. 2010 He bore the tragedy well. > Status check in progress. He tried starting up Al. .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. even though Sax had doubts. really. . Sousuke was continuing his work behind the back of the chief medical officer.. "> Connection confirmed.. A long silence followed. what were his last words? .

. one would extend the tube before shooting). Sousuke was silent. the rest was up to him. when he noticed that Dr. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.I'll leave it to you. Apparently. . Goldberry was packing her instruments and was going to leave the hangar. The locker wasn't that large.顔 掌 ○○Translations > Restarting APU. He was just putting on the familiar headgear..about the size of a camping rucksack but enough to hold an old rocket launcher that Sousuke always kept with him. .I'll be going.Not the captain? .Have a little faith. . . well. He proceeded to strip off all the ribbons and labels with "REMOVE BEFORE LAUNCH" on them. The palladium reactor's hum filled the hangar.. It was best that he wasn't the one to report it. of course. Absolutely necessary.No. .. . ." . disconnecting the IME and other cables as instructed. ~ 97 ~ . Lights ran down the machine as Al assumed control. With the low growl of the cooling unit. the Laevatein awakened. not if she said it was necessary.Ah. formerly used by the US Army. It was weaker than modern anti-tank weapons systems. Laevatein's prototype reactor was not designed to be nearly soundless. He didn't answer. but it did have one major advantage of being so compact as to fit in that locker (in the collapsed state. finally locking down the access panel and the pieces of armour that were removed for maintenance. checking and removing that tank valve.He said he didn't blame anyone.. before climbing onto the back of the unit's head to close a small weapons and equipment locker that was on the other side of the cockpit hatch. It was an M72 LAW oneshot unguided missile launcher.. Sousuke. 2010 > Commencing activation of vetronics systems.. and continued working. me neither. .. like most conventional models. Goldberry was a much more suitable person for that. About Sax.

launching three.Roger. unidentified target . The "De Danaan" was still in combat.. 2010 The screens inside the cockpit flickered to life. ~ 98 ~ . were coming in for an attack. sergeant.Three o'clock. The remaining Leviathans. . they mostly got rid of the US Navy warships. sonar reported a distant explosion . They launched torpedoes. Accessing data circuit. Another one was trying to avoid the self-propelled mines that Tessa had launched. . Connection priority C. .Sergeant.Affirmative.speed and low noise level . Again. They had destroyed two of the Leviathan high speed submersibles. I've a question. and they couldn't hope to deliver surprise attacks any more.Al? . Information about the vessel's current situation flowed onto one window in a side screen. The "Pasadena" seemed still willing to attack. . The vessel obviously wouldn't sink from one hit. . the familiar feeling of the M9 series master control suite. with his left thumb he operated the cursor and began the final start-up procedure. grabbed the levers and stepped on the pedals.one more down. On the other hand. .Yes. Tessa counter-attacked. .. four of them. but its two main characteristics . The screen showed part of the blooded maintenance tunic.body. Really..Roger that.顔 掌 ○○Translations .said the familiar low voice of the machine AI . and going into a dizzying evasive manoeuvre. she was a monster. What happened?. human. Take care.were now compromised. get data about the ship from Dana.Chief Maintenance Officer Edward Sax was killed in action? . avoided two of them and got back into combat. Sousuke. but couldn't pursue them immediately.Hm? . It was the time for a direct confrontation of skill and firepower. testing their responsiveness. Connection established..Establish datalink.All right. that familiar cockpit. He put his arms though its fixations. male.. FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. .It's the body of lieutenant Sax. Finally. distance zero. The voice interface activated immediately. however.

A short silence followed. Sousuke was astounded. He could only stand by in the elevator. but they ran the tests again to make sure. .Is it my fault? ..No. He must have been so busy fixing you. Continuing to rerun tests. They really had no way of knowing if the machine will fly or not.What?. The test of the rapid deployment booster. he forgot the safety measures. but a system developped by Sax. Another enemy torpedo exploding at close range. he released the knee joint locks and guided the machine towards the main elevator.. The damage was insignificant. but he was still a machine.The ship was hit. .said Al. It was theoretically possible for the Laevatein to take flight using the XL-3.Could I ask about the cause of death? FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and continue to run tests on the XL-3. while the test continued to run.顔 掌 ○○Translations . . ~ 99 ~ . watch it. but the functioning of the EMFC array seemed to be mostly disrupted. then Al said: . after all. Al. .This equipment was put together in a hurry. Errors again. was not official manufacture. and tests only involved computer simulations. which in itself was almost a miracle. Meanwhile.. feeling responsibility for the death of a person? Of course.Roger. and the external power supply unit fell onto him. The aileron control linkages and auxiliary systems continued to remain unresponsive. but there seemed to be no reason for this question. attached to the back of the machine. This equipment. however some errors were left. I meant Lieutenant Sax. Another impact. "De Danaan"'s mobility suffered another hit. . If it was something related to tactics and the current operation. he forgot to anchor it properly. it would be understandable. . 2010 . Most of them checked out. his speech programs were very advanced.Because he was trying to activate me as fast as possible. you can't avoid bugs.Well. without any field trials whatsoever. Thank you for answering me. but Sax's extraordinary efforts at least allowed them to connect the booster properly. finally began. the activation was proceeding smoothly. Sousuke couldn't help with the naval battle.

Let's concentrate on the job. .Urz 7! Are the preparations for sortie complete? . She had written that it was just some things she found on the Internet. There was probably no time to look through it now. The submarine vibrated as compressed air was pumped into the ballast tanks.Simultaneously. . could not imagine that Al was such a perfect copy of a human being. sergeant. And Al fell silent. The role of the maintenance personnel in the operation is almost over. as I am sure you know."I don't blame anyone. Al continued. . Losing Lieutenant Sax. One could say that this was already an imitation of emotions. . so probably no crucial intelligence. ~ 100 ~ .that was the meaning of my original question. He would understand if it was a small feeling of attachment. and nothing concerning the Laevatein.This is an extremely important piece of information to me. something completely different from an ordinary M9 series machine AI. Sousuke suddenly remembered the letter from Mira Kudan. Al's core unit was a quite unique device . It was a mechanical answer . when he returns. . all right.All right. On standby in elevator zero. but here were feelings of responsibility for the death of a person." .made from liquid metal to imitate the human nervous system. He.Sax said it himself .like a person's favourite gun. He was doing what was necessary. better than anybody else. He had been taking care of me since I was in the "Arbalest". does not affect our military strength. never talked to me. 2010 . however. But before he could intervene. and Sousuke felt a slight flicker of irritation . continuing to run checks on his equipment. . . do you feel grief? Because of his death? .It's not your fault. perhaps.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Not once. Sousuke. I feel a much more significant loss.Why are you asking this? Worried about something? .. I feel that the cause of his death might have been the low efficiency and hard maintenance of this body . He'll do it later.even too machine-like.However. without any deep thought involved . or car. trying not to give away his thoughts and suspicions."just say that you feel it!".said Sousuke.Roger that.Affirmative. Well. If he returns. was it "my fault" or not. knew the state of my "body". What I feel is on another level than tactical data. .No. and the memory card she had sent with her letter.. He never inspected me.came the voice of the operations officer through the intercom.

and the sky came into view. LT?. Sousuke did not want to lose a second.Roger. The "De Danaan" trembled under the assault of mighty waves. Equipment. "Bruiser" Sax. and that the auxiliary one wouldn't be needed. the cleaning up on the island's left to you. launching in such conditions without preparation. in the posture of an Olympic sprinter at the start line. 2010 . Flaps in take-off position. affixed to the deck by lieutenant Goldberg. and once you get launched. parts and other junk was flying around the hangar. fortunately.the auxiliary system seemed to be failing every time. Sousuke switched the machine to manual control. XL-3 rocket engine on idle.Opening flight deck hatch! Urz 7 . but the machine effortlessly found its balance. Lieutenant Sax's body had been.Well. on the double! The Laevatein practically jumped out onto the flight deck. . He checked the status of the machine.] ~ 101 ~ . purplish gray.a single gesture is enough.in the catapult. Right. . the ear-splitting alarm siren was going off. Overhead.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.the hull jolted one last time. The elevator started going up at the same time. I'll be going.. The wind was not that strong.. but for him it would be the first time. Sousuke gave up and stopped the tests . we're diving again. The flight deck will open as soon as we're up. We don't need words to express how we feel . This meant that he couldn't do much but pray that the master system would not be damaged. Rotor blade extension to automatic mode. The elevator's warning light was blinking. [Connection established. As planned. and did not move. . The "De Danaan" had probably surfaced . and quickly got the Laevatein fixed onto the catapult. It was a dark.it flew out of the water like a rocket. the gigantic flight hatch was opening. Laevatein's right arm followed. and it looked like the sun had not yet risen.. The control linkages that had been giving errors were still not operation. The vessel's nose was pointing upwards at a very steep angle . still kneeling gave a final salute to the lost comrade. Heavy raindrops were being blown into the flight hatch by the winds of the sea. and the machine. The elevator with the Laevatein was moving with speed well above regulations. and lightly shifted his right arm. Any submarine was at its weakest when surfaced.We are currently performing emergency surfacing. It was necessary to reduce the surfacing time as much as possible.

and more of a "projection" along a trajectory. As expected. their movement was less of a proper "flight". however as the machine accelerated.A. and the onboard navigation system. or at least a regular M9. usually part of a navigation system. I suppose it stands for Take-off Launch Signal.Unknown. Sousuke felt extreme G-force of the acceleration. Same type of contact at bearings oh-eight-one and oh-nine-three. and looked like it was going to crash into a huge black wave. Shall we request the TLS?17 ... towards Merida island. but as they shot up straight through the rain-heavy clouds. The machine was propelled from the deck.a thermal imaging device. built for operations on land. installed as part of the XL-3. and the rocket motor kicked in at the same time as the catapult with a deafening howl. Were they about to crash now? No. constantly trembled. on our path. they could get more information. The end of the flight deck came up in the blink of an eye. At this distance. The operations officer replied immediately: . like a giant hand. almost crushing him in his seat. . In the rear observation monitor. All on-screen indicators. Typical good-luck wish for landing operations. . the "Tuatha De Danaan" could be seen closing its flight deck hatch. bearing oh-eight-six. the Laevatein was very unstable in flight.Requesting TLS. this is Control. at least for the time being. appears to be a military vessel or similar vehicle. preparing to dive. Right now they had to depend on the FLIR19. Even though the AS had wings. they showed signs of stabilising.Contact. didn't look like it. vessel?! Sousuke had to shout over the awful noise. the catapult released automatically. 2010 .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. See you on the beach!18 The alarm buzzer went off. Starting TLS sequence. 19 Forward Looking InfraRed .Do it.Urz 7. . If they only had the sensor array of the Arbalest. a "military vessel or vehicle" was already a pretty good result. The powerful thrusters of the XL-3 were pushing the unstable craft.We are ready for take-off. It was a wonder it could fly at all. 18 17 ~ 102 ~ . but then soared into the sky on wings of fire. . it soon vanished out of sight. on many ships and aircraft. Distance three-one-seven. but it could not keep on an even keel.

with their advanced electronic warfare systems. at this height and speed. detecting launch.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. on standby.] . and could only pray for them to reach the drop zone safely. and a normal radar wouldn't be able to pick it up. So what was waiting for them there.. .muttered Mao.Anti-ECS missiles? That's quite a welcome . and besides. twelve in total. alarms also went off in the C-17 that was transporting Mao and her team. Those coastal waters were shallow.No time for that! It was not easy to evade a modern anti-air missile. or their wings would come off.Detecting lock on. Still.. even against anti-ECS missiles. They're Behemoths! According to latest intelligence. exactly three of those gigantic AS remained. that was not natural. salvo of four. probably an anti-air missile... With this craft. Impact. .Did we get hit?! ~ 103 ~ .These aren't warships. they were greeted with this fireworks show.. muffled roar of an explosion .. and an inexperienced crew would have been afraid to manoeuvre in them. Shall we take evasive action? . . [Missile warning. The twelve missiles were approaching fast. 2010 Three warships on their course. Mao couldn't see what was going on for herself. Their transport plane was equipped with the ECS. Brace for impact.that was a missile that ended up detonating in the vicinity of the plane.. They had no electronic warfare suite to speak of. From her cockpit. they weren't exactly a fighter jet to begin with.. Taking evasive action. Thirty-five seconds to impact. a poorly executed high-G turn meant that they would either stall. who was sitting in the cockpit of her M9. However.. ***** Around the time when the Laevatein was locked on by the Behemoths' anti-air missile systems. which would mean a crash in any case.. they would probably be able to avoid direct hits. as soon as they arrived near the landing spot.

and relayed the information to the two escorts. were shouting for an extinguisher. and trust the plane's crew. They could only wait.. copy that we'll. . were flying on two engines. . high-pitched whine. As the pilots shut down both right-hand-side engines. .answered the pilot. An explosion. This was bad.we don't have the time for that. "Come on.acknowledged the pilot of one of the Harriers..we'll provide escort as long as we can.This is Raguz two. All of their training and acquired skills were useless.. shutting down engine.interrupted her Clouseau. and one could bite their tongue if one wasn't careful. I have visual on one more only--. To a soldier. we'll be too far from the target. Mao couldn't do anything.Ben?! .two AS. Bit by bit. ready to go at any moment. . that was stressful in the extreme.this time further away. somehow. launching a hologram decoy. all systems green. The transport plane made an impressive turn. The incoming missile alarm sounded again. checking if there were no casualties... the vibration was increasing. One more moutain to climb over ... the sound gradually stopped. hurry. that joined them over Pakistan's airspace.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. but the body of the aircraft started shaking violently.No.This is Raguz one. All of them ." Everybody was exceptionally tense. Think you can do it? . preparing for a jump. destroyed two enemy SAM sites.. His argument was tactically sound. ~ 104 ~ . . but small fragments rained down onto the fuselage.Right. starting fire extinguishing system. Only ten clicks until the drop zone. She only grabbed the joysticks a little harder. try to make it to Point Echo--. They had already been sweeping down to dangerously low altitudes to take down enemy SAM sites. and started checking the status of the machine. interrupting him. A small fire broke out in the cargo bay. One of the right-side engines was emitting a shrill.. copy that. again . . .. and couldn't do anything. and they could crash at any moment. hold. 2010 .If we drop now. Only fifteen klicks left.. Yan and the rest of the soldiers. looks like it was just a fragment. just drop us--. hold on for a bit longer.they were getting hit by the enemy. . No damage. These were Mithril's last remaining FAV-8 "Super Harrier" attack aircraft. Fire in engine two. . You get ready to jump any time. thirty-two soldiers and crew.No..It's all right. .

it was already enough. . . Repeat. unable to confirm parachute. Good luck. The locks on the side of the M9 released. and it was unclear whether he had survived or not. and dropped outside head first. Clouseau's "Falke" slid down the rails. and into this darkness the M9s would have to jump.. Urz one.she felt her machine sliding into the back of the plane. Six kilometers until the drop zone. coordinates twenty-one . Three kilometres until the drop zone. drop us. unable to maintain altitude. Raguz 2? Can you hear me?. this is the pilot speaking. ready for drop! It was definitely not the time to follow proper procedure.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. even though they had descended. 2010 A jarring noise interrupted his communication. this will have to do. Mao released the locks on her machine as soon as Clouseau disappeared overboard. leaving a thin trail of smoke. its righthand engines ablaze.. respond. Tremendous impact .Separating from rails! I'm going first! . the C-17 was flying away. . Engine one output is dropping.Ben!! . Then. Unable to maintain altitude. A warning buzzer sounded. .Urz two. Raguz two is under fire. and in a shower of sparks.. and was just as suddenly replaced by the sky. disregarding all airdrop procedure and regulation. an explosion . The rear cargo hatch started opening. . It was at times coloured in scarlet by the bursts of flak. then suddenly the left wall blocked her field of vision.Raguz two. I repeat. Unable to confirm parachute release.Yes. The pitch blackness outside and the roar of the wind created an unsettling resemblance to the maw of some legendary monster. . "Hurry! Please!.Raguz two has crashed. and the cabin was decompressed... Pilot. I can see smoke .she didn't know if it was a missile ~ 105 ~ .This is Raguz one. Between the starry sky and the pitch-black tar that was the earth." .Copy that. One of the Harriers had crashed.eighty-two.yelled Clouseau through external speakers. The fire in the cargo bay didn't stop.All units.

if enemies remained in the area. The parachute detached. and Mao saw sparks in her eyes as she was thrown forward in the cockpit. the enemy's aim was quite inaccurate. she has to recover a proper flight posture.. Gritting her teeth.. and the M9 adopted a proper posture. scanning her surroundings for any signs of Clouseau or the other soldiers. She moved her hands and feet with all her strength.. and her sensor couldn't pick up the aircraft. It was still to early to open the parachute. but she pulled out her assault rifle and fired. and significantly reducing her drop velocity. Her machine was finally in equilibrium. including the screens. and activated ECS.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. her weapons control system compensating for the unsteady movement and the weapon recoil. If they were fine. beyond it lie a deep and wide canyon. It soon reached its limit of usefulness. The 40mm shells from the AStype assault rifle rained down upon the enemy position below. The primary parachute opened.. either. a huge mountain rose into the clouds. She swung her limbs and the machine abruptly turned over several times. limbs spread out. and the machine rolled from right to left. Now. that was still shooting at her. but she could not find them. Her speed dropped again . Below her stretched a frozen mountain ridge.. and just behind it. and she cut it off. She checked indicators. The metal frame screamed under the impact. which effectively stopped the irregular rotation. Oh yes. Thanks to the ECS.she couldn't go any lower. and exploded. the ground drawing near. and she landed. This happened every time. She brought in her right hand a little. she could see one. Shells passed the spot where she was a second before. The M9's joints were saved by the reaction of the shock absorber liquid. and looked monstrous from the distance. No enemy units were in sight. Mao's M9 was spun around by the shockwave.it was a flak installation.the whole mountain was the target. After the gentle slope where Mao had landed. and extended the other. now was her weakest moment. sliding to the left. Even so.. 2010 or flak. she was in free fall for the last few meters. but she discovered a heat source .. was spinning around and shaking so badly. The machine was still unsteady.. she immediately started getting away from the landing spot. The transport plane was nowhere in sight. no. The altitude was five hundred metres . That was Ishkashim . that she couldn't read what was written on the indicators. then set her sensors to passive infra-red.. opening the secondary parachute. and she was one and a half thousand metres above ground. and their proximity fuse made them detonate too close for comfort. Everything. the posture. that turned into steam from the impact and gushed out of the joints. They had to ~ 106 ~ . the wind pressure was too much for the feedback systems. they had to be somewhere close. and where was the ground? Where was Clouseau? Did Yang and the other manage to jump off safely? What about her own machine? What was the altitude again?. speaking about targets. She remembered that she had done this so many times. there was a low mountain ridge. It was black.

he would have no choice but to try and withstand the impact with the help of the Lamdba Driver. ***** Six missiles from the Behemoths were closing in. One 76mm Boxer shotgun in each hand. one GEC-B 40mm assault rifle in each sub-arm.Ready GEC-B. trying to stabilise the machine using its control surfaces. .Ready "Zeroes".. And if something got through. . The clock in a corner of the screen continued ticking away the seconds. weapon D. GAU-19. They were optional weapons for the M9 series. 2010 climb up to the base entrance. it was far from genuine laughter. but they somehow managed to adopt a proper posture.Don't be too cautious about ammo. and while their firepower was relatively weak. I'll handle the others. I want them all prepared to fire. fire all at once.. then assault the underground fortress itself.such as by taking evasive action or using the electronic warfare suite . ready to fire. No. The two 20mm Gatling guns. only fifty minutes. .. mounted in the lower back of the Laevatein.Roger.. The flight computer of the XL-3 was loaded to maximum. Boxer 2. Mao laughed dryly. the craft became very unsteady. The Laevatein. At my signal. they had the advantage of a very high rate of fire. spitting out up to a hundred rounds per second. both sides. . not being able to counter them in a proper way . .Copy. that they called "Zeroes".顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.You take care of the Zeroes and the GEC. and two GAU-19 12.7mm Gatlling guns in the head of the machine.. He was going to intercept the incoming missiles with all eight guns. Sousuke finally made his decision: . Setting an AS to intercept posture in high-speed flight was not simply a matter of moving the hands a little. From the turbulence.Fifty minutes left.. . and closer to a spasmatic cough. ~ 107 ~ . swung around and locked in a forward-facing position.Roger. getting to the control room and stopping the launch.was pushing on in the grey morning sky. They had no choice but to go through them. Weapon C. .

as if holding the forcefield.one. Impact in two.jpg 20 ~ 108 ~ . 2010 The missiles were coming .he could already spot them with some difficulty on the FLIR..: http://upload.Damage to left wing of XL-3. but the wings were left out.from which weapon he couldn't be sure. .. but if they were just a little stronger. and then four others detonated somewhere in the vicinity. three thousand. Focus. A bad vibration started to shake the machine. they shot around twelve hundred bullets towards the targets. if it wasn't for the flight computer. And the Laevatein continued its flight. The machine raised its right hand forward. There was no avoiding the ones that were left. and five missiles exploded in the same instant.Fire!! Eight guns opened fire simultaneously.No damage. two.spun around and broke into fragments. patiently compensating every second. he turned the machine's head to inspect it visually. which are on the trailing edge... Anti-air missiles had a relatively weak charge. Moments remained until impact .. was gone.. This rapid Control surfaces on the leading edge of the wing.20 . The AS was an extension of the pilot's body.slat. The space in front of the machine warped.600pix.they were at four thousand. One more was shot down. .org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Wing.Five missiles approaching. leaving him unable to protect the XL-3 with his forcefield. The machine would have rolled over to the left. damaged in the attack. One was hit . Slats actuator unresponsive.Damage report! . Damage to the left wing. it was just on the verge of stalling. as opposed to flaps. Another one fell to pieces quite a ways ahead.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.. The missiles went straight into the hail of bullets. .. The Lambda Driver was fortunately able to protect the Laevatein from the shower of fragments. First aileron unresponsive. thus he was able to defend himself. everything from three. .. He could create a powerful image in his mind to protect the body of the machine itself. In three seconds. the powerful boosters of the XL-3 kept propelling it forward... visualise it. However.. plummeting down into the sea. Lambda Driver fully operational.. Of the wing's four sections.. See for ex. he would now be a burning wreck.The main body? .. and because of the recoil alone the speed dropped significantly.wikimedia..

. and could already distinguish its shape. . are you joking? It was obvious that he didn't believe what he heard. the machine will fall apart. and pointed in the direction of the target. and locked it in front of his chest.Damn!. However..Ready the Demolition Gun. The nearest Behemoth was approximately eighteen kilometres away. He had also probably recognised that in this worsening situation. The cannon. that could destroy a Behemoth in one shot.Roger. 2010 deployment booster. As they got closer. he ordered: . Extending them forward." he changed the machine's posture. and the vibration increased even more. Switch to Gun-Howitzer mode! . the recoil was extraordinary.. Shooting that while in the air. switching targeting systems to long-range Gun-Howitzer mode.. after all. though. and got assistance from Al. . began shifting to its firing position with the assistance of a mechanical arm..Don't worry about the recoil. with the AS bracing itself. .. The flight computer was not able to handle this on its own. He set the infrared sensors at maximum range. barely in range of the targeting system. was just as tough as its parent. stowed below the XL-3's wings. The machine was still in flight posture. even on the ground. This would normally be the last thing an AS pilot would do in flight.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. Sousuke finally caught its grip in his right hand. was their main weapon .practically an artillery cannon. ~ 109 ~ . including the Boxers in his hands. with a damaged wing. they somehow managed to keep the machine in the air. and stowed all weapons. just hurry! . Raising the engine output to maximum. The Demolition Gun. he set the targeting reticule on it. attack was the best defence. "It won't survive another attack.. and did not object to his orders again. The black barrel swayed a little. but they had no choice.they had to adjust the trim around thirty times per second..Sergeant. no matter how quickly it was put together. "Bruiser" Sax. and asked again.Sergeant.

on the sea several hundred metres behind the Behemoth. the machine dropped a little.. . . was pointing this way. . Perhaps they realised that anti-aircraft missiles were not strong enough. Sousuke thought he saw a shadow cross the optical sensor's field of vision. Its gigantic main gun. and he was able to hold back the recoil once again.. Loading cannon. yes. .On it.. The anti-aircraft shell exploded quite far behind him...I don't think we can.It seems that the shooting was successful. and knew its all of its peculiarities. then a shockwave came from behind and shook the machine.I'm going to fire! Focus. A fireball exploded before his eyes. As soon as the 165mm shell left the barrel. 2010 The enemy was preparing for attack. at Mach 3. based on his intuition. How will the cannon move in his hands? How strong will it be affected by the wind? He remembered that he shot it many times before. .Correcting targeting system. but that was it .. pray that it misses! A lump of destructive force was coming at him from that black sea. and a 300mm shell was coming his way. . ~ 110 ~ .. Only several seconds left.. he saw that the enemy fired.. He pressed the trigger. just observe the impact! .. but it was still a close shave. The shell from the Demolition Gun was flying towards the target Behemoth. they wouldn't be able to snipe him as deftly as Kurz. On the screen.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V.Yes. Surely.. too. his own shell had almost reached the target.Right. and would take around fifteen seconds to get there..Should we take evasive--.visualise. You seem to be at ease with using the Lambda Driver in flight. He looked at the data from the ballistic targeting system. . The cannon fired. Both impacted in almost the same instant. fifteen clicks away. and the machine creaked from the recoil. not too different from the main calibre on a battleship. and adjusted the gun. The gun barrel swayed.it was still flying. and impact.

Behemoth B . We're going to get through this breach in their defences. the twelve missiles were launched in one salvo. and even though his altitude was unstable. . Even with the Lambda Driver he wouldn't be able to withstand this amount of firepower. ~ 111 ~ . six attack helicopters.Contacts. He was practically caught in crossfire. with familiar words . Thick curtains of tracer bullets were very close to the Laevatein. however. . . The helicopters scattered. The enemy probably didn't expect any anti-aircraft capability from the Laevatein. The radar detected helicopters in the skies above Merida. . They were moving towards the shore.Hit on target.Ready. hit its target. and then collapsed into the sea. It was two missiles per helicopter. he would be able to make it through somehow. The two remaining Behemoths to the left and right started to move and were preparing their anti-air artillery. Explosions lit up the sky above Merida. It seemed to raise one hand towards the starry sky. . and they hit. Merida island was already in sight. . and the target boxes on the screen became red. let's use all of them. supported by the Behemoths.Roger. they headed for their targets at incredible speed. All the helicopters were crashing or falling apart in the air.Maintain engine output at maximum. their rocket engine ingnitions making for a spectacular fireworks display.confirmed destroyed. ejecting flares. and were it not in the middle of the battle. he would stop to admire the magnificient view. 2010 The shot he fired. Mi-28 Havocs. Leaving behind flamiing tails. and it started to slowly bend backwards.All targets confirmed destroyed."VALID LOCK" ."Black Mambas". .顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. and with the help of the FLIR marked the objectives. most likely preparing to strike as soon as he landed. but it was too late.appearing beside them. The twelve heat-seeking missiles under the wings of the XL-3 were all locked on. At this speed and range. The Behemoth's chest exploded spectacularly. As if he'd let them. The flak from Merida added to the intensity of the anti-aircraft fire. the booster's output remained at optimal levels.Fire! . dropping its cannon.

only six klicks away. then exploded high above. .. Sudden deceleration . The giant staggered. he'd be turned into Swiss cheese by the Behemoths and other flak. Without waiting for it to slow him down much. It wasn't that easy hitting them at this distance. shallow beach.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. The fire had now spread so much that Laevatein's right shoulder was black. in the right wing.Al immediately released the lock bolts. There was a danger of explosion in mid-air. and he opened the secondary one. Upon checking. and was in freefall for the last hundred meters. ~ 112 ~ . managing to deal with the recoil. The right engine and wing were ablaze. and the engines were emitting a strange whine. spiralling wildly. The machine was losing too much altitude and speed. It had already confirmed his position. He waited until the last second to open the primary parachute. in fact. Second Behemoth down. The recoil was very powerful.Too slow! He aimed and fired. The sound of the alarm mixed with Al's repeated warnings into a cacophony of noise. 2010 He felt a kick .Cut us loose! There was no time for argument . on the water. This shot hit it in the head.the parachute cut off. He can't wait any longer. he cut it loose. Eight hundred meters.a shell must have struck the machine. The vibration intensified. though for the AS it was not a problem. as if by magic. and if he cuts off the booster now. He loaded the cannon again. If he deployed the emergency balloons to slow down the descent. aimed. . With an incredible splash. where the shape of one of the Behemoths was visible.. but he didn't fall over. and pieces of armour fell off it. and the XL-3 came loose. Only three thousand metres to Merida.a large hole appeared. even with their monstrous size. the machine landed two hundred metres off the wide. One thousand metres. It was a sandy beach on the west coast of the island. The machine began its freefall. The shell hit the Behemoth in the shoulder. and was slowly turning towards him. where he had been explaining the basics of handling of an M9 to Tessa. and flames were licking the second engine. The very same beach. and fired. Shot again. which caught fire. ready to pound the beach with all of its artillery. . as the water level only came up to its calf. what seems like centuries ago. he will fall into the sea. and the booster soared up into the sky. Only two thousand metres until landing. it looked like it went through the engine cowling of the right booster. He immediately dropped the machine into a crouching posture and pointed the Demolition Gun towards the northwest.

2010 . . Sensors to passive. the risk of the enemy finding him. Many questions and doubts swirled in his head long before the sortie.. however.Are we going to reveal to the enemy the contents of our communications?. and if this communication.Let them hear it. played over and over for a period of time.. Scattering "seeds. If he used the forest to hide. the enemy would think it suspicious. .. you think I don't know my own back yard?. a small drum-like decoy rolled on the ground. To reveal their presence. they would simply outsmart him and drive him into a corner.Going to Phase two.. the small hatch of the grenade dispenser popped open. and I'm the DJ. How to contact Kaname? How to counter the enemies on Merida? Are his plans correct? What does she want. he could move around the island with his eyes closed. After this he proceeded South at high speed. from Behemoth C. and it was not just the main gun . . was not all. the decoys actively "communicated" with each other. to a certain extent. If he made mistakes. decoys included. It took him three shots to bring it down.Al. and what does he want for himself? ~ 113 ~ ." He loaded the Demolition Gun again. Then. one machine leading this lively exchange of information seemed very fishy.it looked like the pilot decided to open fire from all guns at once. sending bursts of encrypted data.. This. but it was enough to fool some enemies' eyes. that not only emitted the same signal wave as the Laevatein. normally restricted during operations.Roger. GPL on idle. Of course. He carried eight of these decoy units. to emergency frequencies. of course. The last Behemoth shot at them from the southwest. which turned out to be full of anti-AS landmines. he turned it towards the last "Behemoth". Shells of all kinds were ploughing the beach around the place where he had landed moments ago. "What.Gun target lock detected. He had practiced here so many times that from this rocky slope. and landed on a rocky slope near the beach. This machine is a radio station. Switch all communications. weapon discharge. Feeling as if he was protecting his old home.. avoiding its fire. remove encryption on circuit E2. And then there were Kalinin and Leonard.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. after which he turned the machine." . but also waves in the infra-red spectrum. Sousuke made the machine jump several times. recreate the shape and movement of the machine. . It couldn't. On the lower back of the AS. The decoys were also equipped with vibration sensors and could pick up the enemy's footsteps. this reduced. and disappeared into the jungle.

I am a soldier. the question that he had been asked many times before: who is he. or a teacher. when the battle started. a mental health counsellor. a politician. nor to a lot of other people that talked to him about many different things. in the end. most of them became clear as day. The reason for that was that that he wasn't a pastor.. really? He couldn't give a proper reply to Leonard's speech. nor to Mira's letter. Now. [To be continued.. who was he? Why.顔 掌 ○○Translations FMP! ZSBM [p1] Mister V. 2010 Somehow. in the heat of battle.] ~ 114 ~ . I feel my true self. that's obvious. So. Especially.

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