Full Metal Panic!

A Dancing Very Merry Christmas Chapter One, Part A September 05, 2004

Translator’s Forward:

Well, here it is, as promised, the next installment of the Full Metal Panic long story novels, “A Dancing Very Merry Christmas”. I do want to make a few notes beforehand: 1. In Japan, Christmas is considered more of a “lover’s holiday”- it does not really hold the same meaning in Japan as it does in Western culture. 2. This novel will be released in the same format as the last one was, with each chapter broken into two parts. However, because the last novels were actually one extra-long novel, those chapters were much longer. So don’t be disappointed that these chapters are considerably shorter. I also cannot guarantee that we will be able to release these every two weeks as we did the last ones (b/c of school and work time constraints), but we’ll try not to leave anyone hanging for too long ^^ Hmm, I guess that’s really all. Again, I will apologize beforehand for the inevitable mistakes, and I hope you enjoy this new story in the continuing Full Metal Panic! saga.


Full Metal Panic! A Dancing Very Merry Christmas Story: Shouji Gatou Illustrations: Douji Shiki

"We are a treacherous, inhuman terrorist organization. We are taking over this ship starting now!" At the serious-faced masked man's words, the Jindai High School students yell out in a fed up voice, "Again?"

my 17th Christmas Eve!?" . why does it have to be Christmas!? "What about my youth.Really.

. .A mid-air rendezvous..his lips gently touch Tessa's earlobe as they fall.

Full Metal Panic! A Dancing Very Merry Christmas ***** Table of Contents Prologue 1. This Holy Night is Rather Noisy 3. A Sleepless Holy Night Epilogue ***** Afterward Special Project Douji Shiki Illustration Collection . The Two Captains 4. The Executives 5. The Plans Are Not Yet Fixed 2.

we realize that this is sudden.. and was wearing a simple suit. "It's an important memory for young people. And if this field trip that has been so painstakingly arranged for them is spoiled. Tsuboi. . and students at other schools." Principal Tsuboi said in a faint voice.. Before worrying about the wounded hearts of the students. She seemed to have aged suddenly because of the waves of trouble that had hit her school ever since this year had begun." "Thank you. Instead of the original plan to tour of the Okinawa front. there weren't any innocent students whose hearts had been wounded by the affair. She was a middle-aged woman over 50. And the hijacking..Prologue "There's no way we could reject such an invitation." "Ahh. stressed to Principal Takako Tsuboi. But next year our second year students will have to prepare for examinations. she wanted some compassion for her position of having those kids as students. No one cared." a few of the members sent from the Board of Education. along with several officers from the parents' association. I express my sympathy once again. Honestly." Principal Tsuboi said for now. But to her knowledge. Ms. so this will be the only opportunity they get. The scars on the students' hearts must be immeasurable. In fact. it ended up being like a ride at a strange theme park. I’m sure the students would be very disappointed. Principal Tsuboi thought deep down. they bragged about it to the seniors.. juniors. "Of course.

Yokohama. either. How about it. how about it? Mr. Ms. "It's called the 'Pacific Christmas'. We want the Jindai High School students to have memories of a modest trip. medical support for poor . cruise ships have become popular all around the world. And the departure place. Recently. And Principal Tsuboi had not heard anything bad about the Mishima Memorial Foundation.. he laid a pamphlet on the reception table. it isn't a formal thing. They were a legitimate organization that did a whole lot of charity work. First she saw the picture of a beautiful. has made special arrangements. Its streamlined bow was kicking up the white waves. underneath a clear blue sky.even though it's a luxury liner.this luxury liner for my students?" "Yes... who was grieved about the incident. enormous boat." "Ahh.. This around-the-world cruise liner is planning to leave from Yokohama Port on December 24th for a short overnight cruise." Of course. "Well. is not far by train. it's completely safe.The man from the Board of Education continued.when you look at it. Kaneyama from the Mishima Memorial Education Foundation. as well a complex tier of decks. I urge you to think positively about it. They have been invited. basically. it really wasn't a bad idea. Since there are no airplanes involved. Tsuboi? This is a great favor from the Mishima Foundation. Their efforts at international goodwill. It's the same cost per person as a domestic trip. it's a theme park on the ocean. It was a cruise boat sailing along over a deep blue ocean. There were a ton of windows." "." "It'll be enough if you just think of it as a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Well. But don't worry. Wearing casual clothes is okay." As he said this.

" "Of course." From the side. Tsuboi." "However. Even though she thought that her school didn't need any more publicity. we will consider the offer. Please know that the Board of Education welcomes this proposal. I cannot make the decision completely on my own. In a staff meeting several days later. well. the quiet but genial members of the parents' association each nodded. When she thought about the country which had become the setting for the hijacking drama. just that wouldn't be too bad.countries. The rest is up to the Jindai High School students." "Good! I knew you would. during homeroom for second year. as well as see how it affects the year event schedule. The following week. receiving this kind of proposal didn't seem all that unnatural. Tsuboi didn't know of any way to resist after that. This officer's talk seemed to suggest the possibility that this invitation matter might be announced as a small article in the local news section of the newspaper. and cultural exchanges were well known. "We are of the same opinion. Discuss it thoroughly with them. Ms. I have to discuss it with the faculty. Before final exams. And since it was true that the students were very unhappy about having their field trip cancelled without having anything to make up for it"Very well. class four- . even in North Korea. the invitation to take the hopeful students on this trip was approved." both the Board of Education and parents' association urged strongly." "Please enjoy yourselves by all means.

this and that. Exciting. "It's sudden. hey. There will also be events like a concert or a musical. movie showings. People with chronic diseases or allergies should consult with their physician in advance. the consent forms from their parents. Well. Kyouko Tokiwa. It overlaps with the last day of school. That day would be Kaname's 17th birthday. And it's free. that.oh. whispered. as long as it's free. keeping her eyes glued to the agenda for the cruise trip printed on the handout. but instead of a field trip. Kaname Chidori stared absent-mindedly at the handout. everyone read over it carefully" said their homeroom teacher. Kaname. sports facility. of course!" "Oooh~" the students all exclaimed at the same time. who was sitting in the seat next to her. like a pool. and the photographs for their on-board ID cards. Christmas Eve was her birthday. . Those wearing altered uniforms would not be allowed to board. shall I explain the important points?" Eri began the detailed explanation. "Since participation is voluntary. December 24th. Because of the kindness of a certain organization. Eri Kagurazaka. it seems our second year students have been invited on this ship's Christmas cruise.. Without really hearing any of the explanation. "Hey. Okay. I'll go. game center. and much more.. fill out the forms I've given you thoroughly and get your parent or guardian to sign them. we've decided to do this.are you going?" "Hmm? . I guess."Oka-y! Is everyone ready? Okay. They had until sometime the following week to prepare copies of their insurance cards. as well as a present raffle. isn't it!? Such a large luxury ship! There's smorgasbord of fine cuisine! There are also plenty of amusements." she replied. shopping center. but it departs on the 24th. after passing the printouts to the students.

. Now.Most people might think it had a romantic feel to it.Sousuke Sagara. on the other hand.when Kaname was a child. Her parents would give her both her Christmas presents as well as her birthday presents together.. are there any questions?" "I have one." . He had a serious look on his taciturn face." Sousuke said as he flipped through the forms he had received. with a "Kaname. "That’s all the details. What is it?" "There are some imperfections in these consent forms." "What are you talking about. you're the oldest. as he immediately raised his hand." said the male student sitting in the chair by the window. with whom she didn't have a very good relationship.?" "Just this year our school should have learned a harsh lesson. and there is absolutely no explanation as to how the school will respond in the event of terrorist activity. whose birthday was in May. Kaname was fine with not seeing her father. he was the only one wrinkling his brow and making a difficult face. These fights always ended the same way. this was the beginning of many fights. Out of all the students who were ecstatic over the spontaneous event. While Kaname mulled over these thoughts. her sister. "It does not touch on the subject concerning what to do in case of some kind of trouble during the trip. "Sagara. but she only had memories of being at a disadvantage because of that date. Eri topped off her speech.. would receive her presents separately.." Now it seemed that her father and sister would be staying in New York for Christmas this year. Live with it.

Except for the one old man in a wheelchair." Before anyone knew it." Sousuke stated very knowledgeably. I will protect everyone without fail. Their fear was probably indescribable. who knows how many innocent people would have been brutally blown up. and directivity landmines. Such a thing doesn't happen two or three times! If people worried about every little thing. If we make good use of our weapons and tactics.. no school anywhere would ever be able to go on a field trip or outings!" "It's dangerous to underestimate. Fear and confusion. peoples' lives ending in agony. Pieces of brain and internal organs would have been scattered everywhere." "The terrorists made three of the hostages carry hand grenades with the safety removed and gather the remaining hostages in their area. As the aide to the student president in charge of the security problem. Do you remember the sea jacking affair of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985?" "T-the Achille Lauro. but the next time could end up a real tragedy. a heavy atmosphere had settled over the room. were as silent as if they had just been splashed by cold water... The students. "Last time we were lucky." ".. who had been so excited over the news about the extravagant affair. C4 explosives. we will completely exterminate any seajackers. one of the hostages was shot in the chest and head and thrown into the sea."Please don't say such an ominous thing.." "In that incident. I would like to request permission to bring along machine guns. and try to suppress the bloodshed-" . If one of the people carrying the hand grenades had been just a little careless. "But don't worry.. We must not forget that. Those are the tools that terrorists use. there was almost no resistance.

" "You're the one who's the pain!" Kaname charged Sousuke and tackled him using sumo maneuvers (*1) until her classmates restrained her. Chidori?" "Shut up! Just when everyone was so happy. Sousuke laid on the floor wrapped up in the middle of several desks. Chidori. 0135 Hours (Local Time) Spratly Islands (They've really done a number on this island setting up a base) Sousuke Sagara thought admirably.why don't you use some common sense!?" "But the warning signs of a tragedy are-" "Don't talk about warning signs or tragedies!!" "But the Achille Lauro-" "I said shut up!! Take that. and that!" "Ouch. "What are you doing. without even thinking about the island that his own unit used as their base. That hurts. ***** Chapter 1: The Plans Are Not Yet Fixed December 21st.Gesh!! Kaname had rushed over to Sousuke and kicked him over. .

There were a few radar antennas that had been set up in some high locations. Sousuke was grappling his way up the foot of a very steep cliff. one could say that it had some very strong security. The white-crested waves violently broke over the rocks. several-hundred meter tall rocky mountain there was a thick growth of a few shrubs and dry grass. There were a lot of magnetic sensor mines floating in the ocean which surrounded the area. This was the corner of the numerous islands that made up the Spratly Islands. Rising from the middle was the problem island. that is. Sousuke climbed up the north bank cliff like this. there was a small harbor and dock on the south bank of the island. . supplies. had just arrived on the north bank of the "Pirate's Island". At the top of the rugged. making it incredibly difficult for a special purpose submarine to approach. According to the mission briefing. which was barely two kilometers in width. For several months. high-speed ship that the pirates had been using to attack merchant ships that had been passing through the adjacent waters had been anchored there. he looked over the dark green sea. A run-of-the-mill force.the ARX-7 Arbalest. For a pirate's hideout. planning to assault the hideout on the south bank side from behind. He could see the figures of sentries wearing night vision goggles. the small.Using the AS's night vision sensors. as well as a storehouse of weapons ammunitions. There were also pillaged articles. The Arm Slave which Sousuke piloted. An ordinary force would not have been able to get close to it.

He then groaned under his breath. Just then. Sousuke turned the Arbalest's ECS on to Invisibility Mode. cutting the transmission. He was in a sniping position on the south side of the island. the power of the waves would repeatedly throw them up on the ominously shaped rocks and kill them. "Urzu 6 to Urzu 7. Remain on standby. and its form blended into the surrounding air." Sergeant Kurz Weber pressed him. There was no light other than the dim clouds which were hiding the moon in the night sky. A hologram screen enveloped the AS.in the middle of the calm waves. the dark gray silhouette of the Arbalest crawled up the rocky area. I'm not there yet. the sound of the propulsion drive for its electromagnetic muscles humming faintly. Various parts of the armor moved. I swear you really are-" "Over and out." . exposing a lens-shaped part. then." "Damn it.." "If some rocks were to fall." "Then just shut 'em up with a taser. he received a communications from his allies.If flesh and blood soldiers were to try to land here." Sousuke said. When he arrived at a place high enough that the spray from the raging waters wouldn't reach. right? You could hurry up and climb that kind of cliff with it. get a move on. "This is Urzu 7. then the enemy guards would be alerted. In the pitch darkness. A secret landing on this kind of terrain could only be attempted by the human-shaped weapon known as the AS. You have a wire gun. Haven't you gotten there yet? I'm tired of waiting.. "Really.

If you don't.if he were to be noticed by the guards. a piece of advice first. in response to the movement." <I interpret that message to be a joke. Another joke is an effective counter-measure." <It is not a problem. I have prepared 50 volumes of jokes to make humans laugh. I'll destroy you for the sake of the mission. Inside the cockpit. the Arbalest's AI. <Alert message. It only takes up a mere one or two gigabytes.He had gone through a lot of trouble up to this point in order to slip through the enemy's alarms. he would have tripped up one of the mines and been killed a long time ago. but Al's very deep.. You must soon maneuver to Way Point Foxtrot." "Roger.> After that. so if you have a request-" This kind of joking attitude helped a little." <Excuse me. in this kind of situation. now even Al. In order to calm the mind. it's a threat. I recommend singing a song. the Arbalest also moved its head in the same way. monotone voice started to get on Sousuke's nerves. I have prepared 50 of the latest hit numbers. It is now fifteen minutes past time of scheduled attack. "I didn't give you any orders to prepare music. however.> It wasn't just Kurz. the danger of making a mistake doubles because of the feeling of impatience to complete a mission. Al was quiet. According to statistics. If he had been an average pilot. . Don't waste storage capacity without approval. the mission would be cancelled. was rushing him. so if you have a request-> "It's not a joke.> "Delete them all. "Shut up.. Sousuke wearily shook his head.

" "Gebo 3. do a final check and report. ready.Really. There were several times it seemed he would fall while letting the sentries on the cliff above him pass byFive minutes later. He then informed the team leader of his position. The technicians said that. ready." "Gebo 4. an AI that gives that kind of ridiculous advice? The controlling support system of this machine saying "sing a song". which was all the more puzzling since there were no obvious malfunctions detected." The two helicopters waiting on standby over the sea two miles from the island answered after Kurz and Sousuke." said Second Lieutenant Melissa Mao without riding on Sousuke for being late. The ECS was operating without any problems. of all things. let's get this party started." He received an answer shortly after. Sousuke finally reached the determined point." "Urzu 7. "Urzu 6. I have reached Way Point Golf. Since Hong Kong. "Urzu 7 to Urzu 2. nooo problems. Everyone. alright? Preset your ADM. Using its manipulators and leg spikes at the same time. ready. Thanks to the new low sound system that had been introduced recently.but perhaps Sousuke should have them stop that from now on. It increasingly would talk without permission. the Arbalest carefully made its way up the cliff. roger. this AI's speech and conduct had become stranger day by day. . by Al's request. "Urzu 2. Well then. they would connect the circuit to FM radio or BS television so that it could receive the programming on them.

. old. On each of those helicopters were 20 members of the land force unit. go. and change battle maneuvers to military power. ". military master mode 2. Under the lavender night sky.> Linked to Sousuke's arms in the cockpit. go!" "Al. appearing on the summit of the rocky mountain. Sousuke pulled the trigger. and all power switched to battle maneuvers.> The ECS cancelled." <Roger. Aligning his sight with the roof of the munitions storehouse. Ahem. <Roger. Oto Melara-manefactured "Boxer" shot cannon at the pirate base below him. ECS.Okay. cancel ECS. begin attack! Go.." Sousuke said without the man ever seeing him. When the one sleeping pirate in the nearby watchtower noticed.. The command center. the white AS surged up from the blue harbor front. GPL. . The panicked guard was indecisive as to whether to reach for his machine gun or the alarm switch. He aimed his Italian. and in the end screamed and fainted without touching either. He had his choice of targets." Mao cleared her throat after everyone had finished reporting. off. ready to gain total control of the enemy base after the AS attack. his jaw dropped. "It's begun. munitions storehouse. then raised her voice.even the Arbalest's hearing sensors were barely able to detect the sounds of their rotors and engines. unmanned ASes. the Arbalest's arms moved. anti-aircraft vehicles. "Well then.. The built-in taser in the Arbalest's palm had knocked the man out with a glaring current of electricity.

Most of the time. the surprise attack from Sousuke and the others destroyed the pirate's control center. There was a tremendous explosion. blew the roof off of the storehouse.> "Quit talking nonsense. which was loaded into the Boxer. "Urzu 6. don't get careless. Without any resistance." Al's words were sounding like Kurz's jokes. munitions storehouse.There was a heavy shock. Sousuke aimed for the next target.was submerged up to the hip in the ocean water. and high speed ships which had been anchored down. it slowly advanced towards the pirate's harbor. Rk-89 Shamrocks. The anti-armor shrapnel. causing the pirates to collapse into a state of chaos. just when we get all caught up in the moment. then-" . Kurz. and Sousuke. Ten seconds into the battle. "Hah hah. who was behind her in a sniper's position. While Mao's AS. <E3 destroyed. Great balls of fire. who was at the summit of the mountain. which were lined up in the center of the base.an M9 Gernsback. were destroyed before the pilots could board them by the ruthless marksmanship of Mao's AS from the sea. Clicking his tongue. We still haven't taken control of the base yet. A pillar of fire scorched the night sky. What was this kind of solitary island equipped for? The old Soviet made ASes. provided cover-fire for her. and ignited the ammunition inside. This is like playing at a game center!" Kurz laughed over the radio. informing everyone that the battle had started. the victor was already pretty much decided.

and attacked Mao with various weapons.. "Stop complaining and do something!!" .. As these new enemies showered her with a barrage of concentrated fire. of course. Eight high-speed boats approached." Kurz muttered. "Urzu 2! From the direction of 3 o'clock.A loud roaring sound cut her off.. It was the worst timing. Since it was also a blind spot from where Sousuke was. but it seemed that they were equipped with 20mm Gatling guns and bazookas.. It was caused by a detonation at point-blank range. what the hell happened!? All their boats are anchored at the base. Their speed was 40 knots. he had been late in detecting them.!! What was that just now!? It didn't come from the base!" Mao's machine turned aside as it was doused in a sheet of spray. the pirates were on their way back from a raid. wrapping around the island's west bank.. whose position at the top of the mountain gave him a wider field of vision than Mao below him. distance four. Eight high speed enemy ships. That would be about 74 kilometers an hour (*2). ". Al silently forwarded the information caught by the Arbalest's sensors to the ally units. The eight ships kicked up the spray from the waves. They were rather small. "Ahhh.. she cursed out loud. and a large waterspout rose up close on the right-hand side of her machine. Using the high speed ADM (advanced data modem). right!? Why are new ones coming!?" "Same thing as usual. turning its head radar left and right. More than likely. I wish they'd give us a break already." warned Sousuke. son of a bitch. The information was wrong.

. the M9 bravely took up evasive maneuvers as violent waterspouts spurted up one after the other all around it. "Eeei. Urzu 2 is in danger."Do something. already filling one of the boats full of lead. Those six boats made a dash to surround Mao's M9.> .and the target is fast.. Fire at the enemy high-speed boats.! . but it wasn't suitable for aiming at high-speed targets moving at forty knots." <Fire at the enemy high-speed boats. There were still six left. and the pirate ship blew up. "Hellfire" and "Versailles" were the names of guidance missiles that the ASes used. <Sergeant. Damn it. those restless sons of. I'm far away. "It would be useless from this distance. and mercilessly bombarded her machine with shells and rockets. Even though the M9 was agile and impervious to bullets.this is really bad!" Slashing through the heavy ocean water. The position in which Kurz was assigned to provide cover fire was at a perfect distance for secure aim. she says. The machine gun on the head area of Mao's machine roared." Kurz said as impatiently as usual... who was only watching from the rocky mountain without even providing any cover fire. You could almost call it a miracle that Kurz had been able to sink two of them already..> Al said to Sousuke. "You're only on two!?" "Don't be absurd. it was probably impossible for it to beat the enemy's fierce attacks. I'm already on number two!" The 76mm bullet shot by Kurz's machine hit.but there were still five left. if only I had a Hellfire or a Versailles. There are no other options.. There's also not enough ammunition left.

On a human scale." and as soon as he said it. There was the shrill shriek of metal and a sheet of spray. and in a moment the boat was helpless. he suddenly sprinted forward.7mm machine gun on the Arbalest's head. was instantly pulled forwards and made a "landing" on one of the high-speed boats. there is one."Options. the Arbalest kicked off of the edge of the mountain and jumped towards the sea.!!" Kurz yelled in surprise. Sousuke thrust his monomolecular cutter into the deck. it was like someone jumping onto a rowboat. He aimed at the high-speed boat which was sailing ahead. skillfully balancing his machine.. "That's the gist of it. The men on the boat on which the Arbalest had landed were literally on their butts staring up at the Arbalest." A moment later. Now we're going to jump from one boat to another. This angle is-> "Shut up and help out. and once again fired . "Hey hey hey. huh? In that case. The boat sank down so far it almost capsized. jumping towards the next.. He quickly recoiled the wire. which had been swimming around in mid-air. then judging the timing. Sousuke made the Arbalest step back a few paces." The Arbalest then kicked off of the boat from which black smoke was now rising. and fired the 12. and the hull was crushed. Sousuke shot the wire gun located in his arm. The machine. The anchor on the end of the wire sharply pierced into one of the high-speed boats beneath him. The slim silhouette of the Arbalest danced in midair against the background of the silver moon. When the machine started to fall in an arc. <Sergeant. He made beehives out of the engine compartment and weapons equipment.

the wire gun from his left arm. The closest sailing ship shot a rocket in Sousuke's direction. and rushing down on it from the sky. This is nonsense.. The high-speed boat that he had just been on a moment earlier was hit by the rocket and exploded." <Unreasonable. lacking common sense. the Arbalest made its third successful landing. Sousuke jumped for a third time. ". The pirates scrambled to run away.> "You really are just a machine. With the flames to his back. tell me the meaning of nonsense. absurd.. He aimed at an enemy boat bombarding him with fire. <Sergeant." Taking aim at the now empty gun platform and engine compartment. . the Arbalest discharged its boxer canon. Landing! He used his machine gun to sweep across the violently shaking boat. A red light was coming straight towards him. The high-output motor in the gun then retrieved the wire very quickly.> "You think so?" Sousuke said as he maneuvered the machine.!" Just before the shell hit him. jumping into the dark sea. Sousuke twisted the Arbalest around in mid-air. The Arbalest's sensor quickly scanned the surrounding area. These kinds of tactics are unimaginable. destroying the engine and gun turret. "Well then.

and the pirates on the base were routed.After that. Mao's M9 landed on the island. and drops of water were trickling down here and there." Kurz's machine beat its way through the smoke to finally make it back to the island from its previous sniper's position in the middle of the ocean. She mercilessly called on her taser against those who stubbornly resisted. the mission was complete. that was an unexpected pain in the ass. who had thrown away their weapons and were sitting down. Finally. She then switched on her external speakers. and their almost squished hips. and in Cantonese. reports were received from every unit charged with gaining control of their respective areas. Then the support transport helicopter unit arrived. "We should be happy just because Venom wasn't here. The silhouettes of his and Mao's Gernsbacks looked very much like that of the Arbalest." Sousuke said as he returned the shot cannon back to the hard point on the Arbalest's waist. slender arms and legs. and raided a room that the ASes couldn't reach. a one-sided fight continued. Within a few minutes. . with their long. and proceeded to go around smashing the remaining weapons from one end. and three dialects of Vietnamese advised the pirates to surrender. To the Arbalest's side were the pirates. "Good grief. the surrendered pirates were tied together and gathered on the dock. And with that. The gray armor was drenched with ocean water. All of the high-speed boats were destroyed. as well as the land soldiers who were watching over them. One platoon completely armed with massive bulletproof clothing and bulletproof plastic shields dropped from the helicopters hovering under the protection of Sousuke's team. Mandarin.

" the leader of the infantry unit. The name of this one island.. had been so easily defeated by the weapons called ASes. they were people who attacked merchant ships and killed many of the crews on those ships. The land unit has gained control of every section. On the pirates' side. it would be difficult for a regular army to carry out a large-scale operation. There are no obstacles to our movements. Corporal Yan Joongkyu. There seemed to be some pirates who were shot to death resisting.. North and South China. Just because of that. This was explained in the briefing.The pirates had looks of discontent. However. The name of this island is very important. each nation's sphere of influence has been jumbled together into a mosaic. Taiwan. which they had thought to be impregnable.like they had just lost in an unfair game. reported over the radio. Using tasers and tear gas bombs to convince them to surrender. "This is Urzu 9. "But was there really a need for Mithril to get involved against these kinds of pirates?" Kurz complained." Sousuke said. which had become the base for a group of pirates. so any deaths were due to their own stubbornness. four seriously injured and ten with light injuries. looking down on the group of prisoners with the head sensors. this operation was not simply about suppressing the pirates. Vietnam." "Also. "This is the Spratly Islands.they had been nice until now. "I already know that. and Kurz's M9 waved its left hand impatiently. They just couldn't comprehend how their stronghold." Badamu Island. This island had many names from the countries that contended possession of the Spratly . there are eight dead. The damage to our side was only two with light injuries.

" "My. you gambling freak. There are also containers of vanadium. Because of the civil war in the Soviet Union. If all you do is fight. This is just an authentic pirate's safe house. are there? Precision machinery or AS parts?" "Nothing." "Shuddup. even Mithril probably had not noticed it.. it falls short of heroin. they couldn't disprove it." Corporal Spake. it was a different story that the island had been named the base of the pirates who were causing commotion in the Spratly Islands coastal waters. but. "There are no other important goods. aren't we just the expert?" Kurz groaned in a small voice. the island's name was "Badamu" (*3). who was investigating the warehouse area of the pirate base. "This is Urzu 8 to everyone. In Mandarin. but it's hard to trace. the word he had heard from Gauron in Hong Kong. you end up looking stupid. the price has been going up. "There's only weapons ammunitions and heroin here.Islands as well as from the Westerners who once ruled these islands.its just things they plundered. Well. reported over the radio just then. there seemed to be only a small possibility that this island was connected with Amalgam. either. "I've been trading stocks recently.. The M9's you guys are piloting even use it." . Since it was a commonplace name without any connections. Read the business section or something for a change." Sousuke then interrupted the verbal exchange between Kurz and Spake. the trouble in Nan'a. However." "Vanadium?" "It's a rare metal. After careful investigation and reconnaissance. There doesn't seem to be any connection with Amalgam.on the other hand. for the past four or five years. Probably the cargo from the Peru merchant ship that they attacked week before last. but.

. it doesn't look like he's among the prisoners. he noticed something. yet. He may be dressed up as one of the subordinates and hiding as one of them. Just as Sousuke confirmed it. Or he may still be somewhere on the island.. Her M9 then moved to the summit of the rocky mountain." Just as Sousuke said that. If he avoided it.. Ah."We don't know that for sure. but it seemed to Sousuke that the man was carrying an anti-tank missile over his shoulder..there was no mistake about it. but.. he wouldn't be on the base. It's not like. "Sousuke.. behind him.. However. there would be dozens of prisoners as well as allied infantry straight in the missile's path. and kept a lookout over the surrounding area. The Arbalest's sensors projected the slope of the mountain.. the man fired the missile. He saw a man's shadow moving on the other side of a bare rock overlooking the port. just now-" <Warning! ATM!> Kurz and Al alerted him at the same time." Mao said. No." "This is Urzu 7.about that commanding officer. but with the Arbalest's mobility. The darkness and the smoke from the fires made it terribly blurry.. "This is Urzu 9. they would all be hit by the missile. it would have been easy to quickly jump back and avoid it. It was at short range. We haven't tried questioning the commander of the base. well..in other words. He was aiming the anti-tank missile straight towards him from overhead.

". but there wasn't one scratch on the armor anywhere. In the middle of the clearing smoke.7mm machine gun on its head at full auto. and Sousuke had the Arbalest stand up." There was a small sigh of relief over the radio. "This is Urzu 2. turned to face the oncoming missile straight on. There was a bright flash and thunderous roar..there’s no problem.. The missile's explosion had been entirely stopped and dispersed by the invisible wall that had been created in front of the Arbalest. he saw the form of the Arbalest still intact. okay?" The communication ended.. looking back. It was standing with its arms crossed against its chest. without making any maneuvers to avoid. are you. Sousuke. Kurz's M9 fired the 12. scattering in all directions. "Urzu 2. We were attacked by a surviving enemy's missile. what just happened!? Report the situation!" Mao said in a tense voice." .. and the body of the man who shot the missile was blown off of the rock. No damages to our side. "Sousuke. a direct hit from a missile should have partially destroyed it. Kurz's M9 was just staring at him and the Arbalest. dozens of bullets about the size of tabasco bottles were discharged. "Damn it!" In the blink of an eye. Immediately. "Sousuke!?" Kurz yelled. The anti-tank missile had hit the Arbalest straight in the chest. Just now.It was a split-second decision. be careful. roger.. Ordinarily.. "This is Urzu 7. but Urzu 6 took care of it." Sousuke said.

Are you okay?" "I think. I'm just babbling. "Al. "This is Urzu 6." "." "The first time I saw the ECS invisibility mode. Then go ahead and store all of the data from the previous 120 seconds uncompressed into file Zulu-1.?" "No. Was that it?" Kurz answered. "But if we do that. Sousuke and the Arbalest were getting used to handling the Lambda driver.." Kurz said over the radio with some discretion in his voice... They said that we still haven't found the commander of this base." <Roger. that might be true. even these ASes."Yes.. no matter what kind of outrageous equipment we have." Kurz said in admiration. I guess..> He felt like he had grown to understand the trick to it. I thought so.. It was operating. A direct hit from an anti-tank missile? And so easily. "seeing it from so close. "It doesn't require deep thought." Sousuke said. Main condenser output stable. that was really surprising. I saw it. there's some kind of malaise in them. I wanna go home and get some sleep already. Anyway-" Kurz said.> "Good." . wasn't it?" <Affirmative. changing the tone of his voice. "But. So let's hurry up and find him so we can interrogate him. The machines that we pilot.. too. if we were to think 'it's natural'. I have a feeling we will be forgetting something important. No structural damage detected. eventually." "Well. confused about the machinery he was not used to using. too? That's some frightening equipment.. This kind of thing may even become natural.

. dammit.next time you're buying me a drink! I swear. who Kurz just blew to pieces with his machine gun. didn't he!?" "Huh!? Then Sousuke. "What is it? Hurry up and tell us already.. then.."This is Urzu 9..was the person who shot that missile.. wasn't he!? He went fishing with 50 caliber bullets!" "That's not the problem.. there's an incurable.. "What did you say? Blew to pieces? You killed him!? Why didn't you use the taser!?" "How could I have known!? It was all so sudden!" "Shut up! We were told to bring the commander in alive. there's no meaning in becoming an officer! It's settled. Just then Mao's voice broke in. when we get back Ben's going to rag me about this for sure. is that right. how are you doing?" "No problems here. said over the radio. according the prisoners." Kurz said in a wretched voice. you bastard. With you giving me such problems. when it comes to you. isn't it!? 'Cause that's what I'm going to detail in my report! Ah." "See!? It's your fault. single-minded-" . simplistic." "The commander. who was standing in front of the group of prisoners." "Eh? .ah. and you go and do this! This was my debut fight as a second lieutenant!" "B-be quiet! He was a bastard who killed god knows how many innocent sailors. umm.. is it!? Are you suggesting we interrogate a corpse!?" "He shot Sousuke. The prisoners were exchanging glances and pointing in the direction from which the missile had come." "Ah. the commander-" Corporal Yan.

"Both of you. my credits will-" "Quiet! Part-timers should keep their mouths shut!" both Kurz and Mao yelled over the radio at the same time.I want to get ready to leave.> I should go ahead and destroy this AI.. If I go back now. Move past who's to blame. fed up with the two arguing back and forth.. I will be quiet. Sousuke thought seriously just then. it is prudent to maintain silence. Mr. excuse me! That was practice! This is the real thing!" Sousuke. ***** . Fujisaki is strict. you bastard-" <Excuse me. Sergeant. At this rate." <I agree. I can still make it in time for my Classical Literature make-up exam.> "Al."Shut up! Now you're just rattling on. ". interrupted the heated exchange. In this situation. yeah. you know! Just last week in practice you blew a car filled with hostages away with 40mm shells! That's-" "Yeah.

Boku-tachi http://www.boku-tachi.net Translated by Brandi. The author says that Kaname used a "ketaguri" move on Sousuke. 2. Since we're unsure of Gauron's exact meaning. ketaguri is a move in which the attacker leaps to the side and sweeps his opponent's lead leg from the inside while slapping the shoulder to pulling the arm closest to him. In the sport of Sumo.Translator's Notes: 1. Edited by Muka Proofread by Jekias . Due to my total lack of ability to describe this. That's 46 miles per hour :) 3. I've just simplified it for reading. this could simply just be a word that sounds similar to what Gauron said.

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