============================================================================== Advance Wars: Days of Ruin - Game Script v1.76 January 2008~February 2008 Written by: JustChillin aka "JC" email: jchanaki@gmail.com ============================================================================== ================= Table of Contents ================= 1. Version History 2. Introduction 3. Script 4. Credits =============== Version History =============== 1.0 - Initial release 1.1 - Fixes and finished known optional dialogue and cleaned the format a bit. 1.11 - Few more typo fixes. Added thanks for people contributing to helping fix the typos I had. 1.76 Fixed more errors, and added half of Dark Conflict's Script (13/26). (02/19/08) Expect it to be done by around the 25th. ============ Introduction ============ The game script faq will contain spoilers in the story. So please be aware that if you have not completed Campaign mode you shouldn't read this guide unless you don't care about having the story ruined for you. Tactics dialogue was included, as are unit selections/introductions. And optional dialogue and even lose dialogue. If I made mistakes, please point them out, and email to me. Preferably point out the line or point out the mission, etc. Dark Conflict's script has been added as well, so people can compare both scripts if they wish, or simply read their respective script if they live in Europe. If you wish to skip to Dark Conflict's Script, search for: AWDC Enjoy. ========================================== Game script for Advance Wars: Days of Ruin ========================================== Prologue: Our world is destroyed. Fire rained from the sky. The land burned... The earth shook.. The oceans raged... THe devastation was total. Dust coverred the earth, blotting out all traces of the sun. it seems impossible that anything could survive. But amid the destruction, there is hope... ==================== *****Chapter-01***** ==================== Days of Ruin Will: Please... Please let me find someone... ~~~~~Cutscene of Will, dirty and shocked~~~~~ Will: ...There's no one here. The whole world is dead. HELLOOOOOO!! Help me, please! I don't want to be alone... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Will: Wait! There's someone there! Where's my radio?! Maybe I can call them and tell them I'm here... Help me! My name is Will! I'm a cadet at the Rubinlle military academy! Um, do you read? Over. The Beast: Gwar har har! Will: ...What's so funny? The Beast: Look sharp, roaches! We got us a live one! And he's just a punk kid. You know the drill! I want his food, and I want his weapons! Leave his corpse where it falls! Ain't no one going to complain! Gwar har har! Will: No! Don't do this! *****Day one***** Will: There are too many of them! I've got to get out of here! Ok... hold, on Will. Focus. Remember your training. What's the first priority in a combat situation? Right! Examine your surroundings, and gauge the strength of the enemy. *****select Bike unit***** Will: I can't take them on, so I need to fall back. There's a good spot. *****moved***** Will: Ok! What's next? *****If a unit is damaged***** The Beast: Gwar har har! That's what I'm talkin' about! It's blood-and-guts time! We just keep killing 'til there's no one left to kill! =====Tactics War Room===== Will: ...Huh? Where am I? What's this room doing here? Lin: This is the war room, Will. You can come here to learn tactics for the current battle. Will: Oh, that makes sen... Wait a minute! How do you know my name? And how did you pull me off the battlefield like that? And who are you anyway?! Lin: Please. Now is not the time to worry about minor details. You don't need to know my name. You just need to take my advice. Will: Um... OK? Lin: Now, let's get down to brass tacks. It's tactics time! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Position your units next to the enemy and attack them. That's it. Will: ...What do you mean, that's it?! Lin: What? It's a perfectly good strategy. ...Oh fine, I'll tell you more. The more damage you do to an enemy, the weaker its counterstrike will be. Striking first is very important Make your first hit count. Will: I think I understand. Thank you. Lin: We'll take care of this battle for you, but remember these tips in the future. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: ...That's it. You can go now. Oh, and try not to get killed, all right? =====End Tactics===== *****Day two***** Brenner: Give me tactical, Lin. Lin: I've got a single solder being pursued by a pack of raiders. The soldier appears to be one of ours. Shall we intervene? Brenner: Do it. Lin: Yes, sir, Captain. Will: Who are you guys? Brenner: Skip the introductions. Fall back, and let us handle this. Will: Umm... OK. *****Bike leaves***** The Beast: What's the big idea, dogface? This got nothin' to do with you! Brenner: It's got everything to do with me. I'm a soldier. It's my duty. You remember what duty is, don't you? I think you used to be soldiers. The Beast: Duty? Gwar har har! Don't make me laugh! This world's dead, soldier boy, and so is your precious duty!! We stopped being soldiers when the meteors hit. We're survivors! This is our time, and there is no law! We rob! We kill! We're kings! Brenner: Not anymore. The Beast: And who's going to stop us? You? Brenner: That's right. Your days of preying on survivors are over. We're going to put you down like the rabid dogs you are. You may have forgotten your duty, but we have not. The Beast: Gwar har har! Keep talking loser! I need a place to aim! Brenner: Move out, Lin. Let's end this quickly. Lin: Yes, sir. *****First enemy unit destroyed***** Will: This... this isn't like training at all! This is the real thing! *****Day three***** Lin: All units have unique specs. Make sure to check the intel on each one. *****Attacking a 2nd unit***** Lin: Familiarizing yourself with the different terrain types is essential as well. *****Day four***** Lin: Battlefields can be chaotic, confusing places. If you are at a loss for your next move, there's a way to get advice. (Open the menu, select Mission info, then choose the Tactis option to receive strategy for the current battle.) *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: GYAAAA! Stinkin' soldiers! Head for the hills, roaches! We're outmanned! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: Oh no... After all I've been through? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: This will teach them to prey on survivors. ~~~~~A ruined City in Northwest Rubinelle~~~~~ Brenner: You all right, kid? Will: Yeah, I... I am now. Thank you. My name's Will. I'm a cadet at the academy. ...I mean, I was. Before the meteors. Brenner: A cadet, huh? Thought I recognizd that jacket. So what happened? Will: The academy is gone. One minute I was eating lunch and then... Everyone died. Instructors and friends... everybody. I was buried in the mess hall. I've been digging myself out for... I don't know. Weeks, I guess. I looked for survivors, but I only found rubble and bodies. ...I thought I was the only one left. Brenner: You did well to stay alive. I'm impressed. Will: I didn't want to die. Brenner: I'm captain Brenner. I command the 12th Battalion, pride of the Rubinelle Army. And this is my second in command... Lin:First Lieutenant Lin. Welcome to Brenner's Wolves. Brenner: We've made it our mission to seek out and aid survivors of the disaster. The world is a dangerous place now. I suggest you come with us. Will: Yes, sir! That would be fantastic! You won't be sorry about... Uuurrrr... Brenner: Are you all right? Will: Sorry. I haven't eaten in a long time. Brenner: That was your stomach rumbling? I thought we were under attack. Come on. We'll get you some spare rations. Just don't get too excited. All we have is canned bread. ======================== *****End Chapter-01***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-02***** ==================== A single Life ~~~~~12th Battallion Base Camp~~~~~ Brenner: You've got permission to leave camp, Will. Don't wander too far away. Will: Sure thing, Captain Brenner. Brenner: I'm glad you've recovered enough to be up and about. Will: I've got you to thank for it, sir. Brenner: Well, don't push yorself too hard. And be careful. This area's not safe. Will: Yeah, I... I know. Brenner: What's wrong? Will: The world really has changed, has it? This ash is everywhere. The sky is dark. It's like a never-ending twilight has fallen. Even the ground is coated in it. I've never seen so much gray. Brenner: Ashes to ashes... Lin: When the meteors struck, huge clouds of dust and ash filled the sky and blocked out the sun. We've haven't seen a single ray since. Will: When will the sky return to normal? Lin: Years? Decades? Who can say? Will: Decades? Brenner: Don't make that face, Will. We'll be OK. As long as there's life, there's hope. Will: As long as there's life... Brenner: Right. The world we know is gone, but we can't give in to despair. Someday things will be set to right. We'll have peace, and the life we had will return. That's what I believe. That's why we must help everyone we can. Will: Um... Brenner: Keep it simple--never give up. If you can do that, anything is possible. Got it? Will: Got it! Brenner: That's the spirit! Now let's get to work. Lin, I want recon units canvassing the area. Lin: Yes, sir. Will: Captain! I want to help too! Brenner: No, I don't think so, Will. It's too dangerous. Will: Oh, c'mon! Look, I know I'm still just a cadet, but that doesn't matter! I can drive or search or wash dishes or whatever. I just want to help. Brenner: ...You've got spirit, I'll give you that. OK, you're in. But if anything happens, get your tail back here. You're too weak to fight yet. Will: Yes, sir! ~~~~~ Will: Hey! Are you alright? Can you hear me? Rubinelle: Hang it up kid. We're too late. He's dead. They're all dead. Will: No... Rubinelle: All these towns are the same. No survivors anywhere. Will: That can't be true! There have to be people out there who need our help. What is captain Brenner had given up on me? We have to keep looking. ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Will: Hello? Is anyone there? Rubinelle: Move it, kid! Mission's over! We got raiders coming. Let Captain Brenner step in and take care of the hostiles. we stay out here any longer, and they'll be sizing us for body bags. Will: Just a little more time. I've got a feeling about this. Captain Brenner always says to never give up. *****Day one***** Brenner: All nonmilitary personnel, fall back! This is now a combat zone! Get that tank up there and block the road! Keep that artillery safe! =====Tactics War Room===== Will: This is...? Lin: This is the war room. It's a place to learn battle tactics and strategies. If you've already been here, then welcome back. If it's your first time, I hope it's useful. Will: So...you give me hints on how to defeat enemies and win battles? Lin: Smart kid. Now listen up. ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Lin: Artillery has a long range, which makes it very useful. However, it can't attack adjacent enemies. Block the road with your tank, and pound enemies with the artillery. Don't allow the tank and artillery to get separated. Will: OK. Got it. Lin: You seem like a fast learner. I hope that translates to battlefield success. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: Feel free to visit the war room anytime. Now get out there and do good. =====End Tactics===== *****Tank is selected***** Lin: Captain, the tank's main cannon is out of ammunition. We can attack with the tank's machine gun, but it's far less powerful. Brenner: Then that's what we do. Get up there and open fire! *****Enemy unit is attacked***** Brenner: Be sure to check the attack range of both enemy forces and your own. *****Artillery unit is selected***** Lin: That's an artillery unit, a power indirect-attack unit. Take care of it. *****Day one, The Raiders***** The Beast: Gwar har har! You ain't getting away this time! You hear me, solder boy? You and tht punk kid are gonna pay! *****End of Day one, Raiders***** Will: Hey! There's someone over there! Hold on! I'm coming! *****Day two***** *****Infantry moves to highlighted circle***** Will: Can you hear me? Hold on! Rubinelle: Is she alive? Will: I... I think so. Her breathing is really faint. Come on! We've got to get her back to camp! Rubinelle: It ain't worth the trouble, kid. I doubt she's long or this world. Will: I'm not giving up! If you won't help, I'll carry her myself! Rubinelle: Are you serious? Will: Hey! Can you hear me? Give me a sign, will you? Rubinelle: That's it! I ain't sticking around to rescue a corpse! Will: Open your eyes... I know there's not much to see, but you can't give up. You're alive, you know? And where there's life, there's hope. ~~~~~Cutscene of Will, holding a girl~~~~~ ???: ... Who... Who are you? Will: Yes! You heard me! You're alive! ???: P-please tell me... Who are you? Will: I'm Will. I'm with Brenner's Wolves. What's your name? ???: I... I don't know. Will: What do you mean? ???: I... I don'tremember. I don't remember anything. Will: OK, OK, don't worry. You've been through a lot. Everything's going to be fine. Just come with me. ???: ...All right. ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ *****End of Day two, the Raiders***** ???: What's happening? Will: Don't worry, you're safe. You're with the Rubinelle Army now. ???: Rubinelle... Rubinelle is one of the two main countries on this continent. At the last known date, the army employed 1,296,973 men. Will: What the... How do you know that? ???: Rubinelle and its neighbor have been at war for a century. Despite several armistices, the fighting has never truly ended. Ten percent of Rubinelle's GDP is expended on weaponry and research. The last recorded assessment of its military strength was "Excellent" Will: Where did you learn that? ???: I...I don't know. I don't understand. Will: Yeah, OK... Let's talk about it later. Right now we have to get back to camp in one piece. ???: All right. *****Day three***** Lin: All units! Study the terrain, and use it to your advantage. *****End of Day three, the Raiders***** Lin: Like ammo and food and everything else in this world, fuel is scarce. Avoid unnecessary movement, and keep an eye on your fuel gauge. *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: GYAAAAA! NOT AGAIN! How did those dirtballs survive? This ain't over, ladies! You ain't seen the last of The Beast! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: I'm sorry, Captain. You saved me...and I've let you down... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: Make sure the civilians are cared for. ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Brenner: You OK, Will? Will: I'm fine, sir. But the girl we found... Brenner: Who is she? Will: I don't know. I fond her unconscious near some ruined buildings. Brenner: Good work bringing her in. ???: ... Brenner: What's your name, sweetie? ???: Umm... I don't know. Brenner: You don't know? Listen, kid I-- Will: Captain Brenner! Let me explain... --- Brenner: She lost her memory? Is that what you're saying? It's not surprising, with all that's happened to this world. Sometimes I wish mine was gone too. Lin: There's more, sir. It seems the girl has detailed knowledge of our army. I would be interested to know where she obtained her information. ...Very interested, sir. Brenner: Easy, Lin. She's a survivor who needs our help, not an enemy combatant. Will saved her, and we're going to see that she gets someplace safe. Clear? Lin: Sir. Brenner: She's your responsibility now, Will. Stay with her, and see that she's taken care of. Will: Understood! ======================== *****End Chapter-02***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-03***** ==================== Freehaven ~~~~~12th Battalion HQ~~~~~~ Brenner: OK. See this spot on the map? That's our next destination. It's a small village. Will: A village? With people? Brenner: That's right. The earthquakes and tidal waves destroyed most of the cities, but... In some places,srvivors have begun banding together. This village is one such area. Admist the anarchy and chaos, they've come together to reestablish laws and government. Will: Laws? Why do they have laws? The world's been destroyed. There's no one left to help them enforce their laws. Brenner: That's why they're doing it on their own. They need some way to create order. No one forced them to do it. It's just natural to try to prevent murder and other crimes. You see, Will? Even in the most unexpected places, humanity shows its inherent virtue. Lin: Permission to disagree, Captain? It's not proof of virtue. It's simply a survival strategy. A society that doesn't punish murderers is a society where anyone can be murdered. A society of sleepless nights, where people live in fear of everyone around them. When faced with tht, it only makes sense to band together and agree to prohibit murder. People are motivated by their own interests. The meteors didn't change that at all. Brenner: They certainly didn't change you, did they Lin? I see yo still don't factor in human decency. As for you, Will, you and the girl will be safe once we get you to the village. You're civilians, so they'll welcome you with open arms. ~~~~~Freehaven~~~~~~ Civilian: Hold it right there! Identify yourselves! Youth: D-don't try anything funny! We've got snipers watching you! Brenner: My name's Brenner. I'm captain of the 12th Battalion of the Rubinelle Army. I need to talk to your mayor. Tell him I'm here. Civilian: What if you're with those raiders? What if you're here to attack us? Youth: Yeah, I bet that's it! You came back to kill us all, didn't you? Brenner: Listen, we don't want trouble. Your mayor owes me his life. Tell him my name, and I'm sure he'll agree to see us. Will: C'mon guys! Help us out, will you? Civilian: Hey... You're too young to be one of them raiders. Maybe you're OK after all. Wait here! We'll go get the mayor. Brenner: About time... ~~~~~Freehaven~~~~~ Mayor: So it really is you. Your weapons and uniforms have my people scared half to death. What do you want, Brenner? we're trying to live in peace. We don't need your kind here. Brenner: So it seems. Don't worry, we'll move out as soon as we finish what we ame here for. We rescued some civilians a few clicks back, including an injured girl. I want you to take them. Mayor: I hope you're not marching in here and giving us orders. I truly don't. Things aren't that simple, friend. My village is barely getting by as is. Brenner: No one's giving orders. I'm asking for your help. They're just a couple of kids. They're not going to make it out there alone. Mayor: And that's not our fault! We didn't make this world, but we have to live in it. That's reality. Brenner: Reality? The reality is that there's nothing out there but cockroaches and corpses. These people survived. They're alive, and it's up to us to keep them that way. Mayor: Maybe that was true before, but now? I don't think so. Millions and millions of people are dead. I don't think a couple more is such a tragedy. The more people we have living here, the more mouths we have to feed. We can't afford it. Brenner: So you think they're not worth saving? Mayor: That's not what I'm saying! We don't want to see anyone die, Brenner. You know that. But you don't know what you're asking. We simply don't have the means to take them in. I'm sorry. Brenner: I see. Mayor: You're soldiers. You can use your weapons to take what you need. All we want is to be left in peace. Now do us a favor, and take your troubles elsewhere. Civilian: You heard the mayor! Hit the road! We don't need warmongers in our lives! You read me? Brenner: I read you. Sorry, Will, but it looks like you're going to be traveling with us until we find another village. Will: Don't worry, Captain, that's fine with-- Youth: Head for cover! Those raiders are back! Where's the mayor?! Mayor: The raiders? Are you sure? ~~~~~Flash to map~~~~~~ The Beast: Look at this, roaches! Soldier boy's visiting OUR village! Nothing like a nice day of raiding, murder, and revenge! Gwar har har! Brenner: Of all the luck... Mayor: Dear mother of mercy! Look at those savages You've got to help us, Brenner! They've destroyed every village in the region, and now they've come for us! Brenner: All those innocent lives... Mayor: They have tanks! We have sticks and rocks! Please! You have to help us. Brenner: All right. Leave them to us. You get your people out of here. Start evacuating! Mayor: In regards to payment... Brenner: There's no time for that now! Get moving! *****Day one***** Lin: Captain, we have only five units at our disposal, while the enemy has nine. They enjoy a significant advantage in firepower. Brenner: Bullets don't win wars. Soldiers do. And I'm bettingours are smarter! =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: Oh. Hello again. I was wondering when you were going to drop by. Ahem. Welcome to the war room, the place to come for tactical advice and strategy. Will: You're going to help me with this battle, right? I'm still kinda new at this... Lin: Patience, grasshopper. All will become clear... ~~~~~Flash to map~~~~~ Lin: There's a narrow pass through the mountains at the top of the map. Position a tank and artillery there, but watch out for the enemy artillery. Place your mechs in the mountains to make their attacks more effective. Will: Got it. Lin: Are you sure? That's a lot to absorb. Will: I'm sure! Lin: All right! Well, if you forget something, feel free to ask. ~~~~~Flash to War room~~~~~ Lin: I'm chock-full of helpful advice, so come back anytime. =====End Tactics===== *****Mountain mech unit attacked***** Lin: The enemy has units in the mountains. That terrain weakens our attacks. Brenner: We can use the woods and mountain, too. I want casualties at a minimum. *****Day one, The raiders***** The Beast: Gwar har har! Is that all ya got? We're gonna slaughter you! Move! I want that dogface's head on a plate! *****Day two***** Brenner: We're still outnumbered, and these scum will fight to the last man. Lin: That's right, sir. I think we'll have to eliminate them all. *****A mech unit is damaged***** Will: One of the mech units has been hit. It's not looking too good. Lin: There's another mech unit. Units of the same type can be joined together. Combining two damaged units will give you one stronger unit. See how the battle unfolds, and join units if you feel it necessary. *****End of Day four, The Raiders***** The Beast: What are you waiting for? Kill 'em! Kill 'em all! Brenner: I'm going to wipe you out if it's the last thing I do. *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: NOOO! Yer gonna pay for this! Head for home, roaches! We'll feast on these fools another day! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: Sorry, Will... I guess this old soldier wasn't able to find a safe place for you...after all... Will: No! Captain Brenner! I just wanted to stay with you... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: That's how the 12th Battalion fights! ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: We're awaiting confirmation on the enemy withdrawal. Will: Sir, they're gone! There's not a raider to be seen for miles! Brenner: Good work, everyone. Mayor: Captain, Brenner, I'd like to revisit our earlier conversation. I'm not above reconsidering my position on your refugees. Brenner: Is that so? Mayor: It is. However, there is one...condition. Brenner: Go on. Mayor: As you've seen, we live in constant danger from those raiders. They may well regroup and attack us again tomorrow. Do you really think it's a good idea to leave your kids in such a situation? Will: Kids? Hey, I can look after-- Mayor: We know where the raiders' camp is. They've taken over an old army base east of here. Unfortunately, we don't have the weapons or training to go after them. Brenner: I get it. So we wipe out the raiders, and you'll agree to take in-- Mayor: Something like that, yes. If you agree to my proposal, I'll consider your request. ======================== *****End Chapter-03***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-04***** ==================== Moving On ~~~~~Raiders'Base Camp~~~~~ The Beast: Listen up, roaches! We're low on supplies, so it's time to swarm a village! Take what ya want! Steal what ya want! Kill who ya want! There's no law but The Beast's law! No prisoners! No mercy! Gwar har har har! ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: Sir, the mayor was right. Those raiders are camped at an old army base. That's probably where they scavenged their weapons and vehicles. Brenner: They lack the discipline of a comptent army unit, but not the fighting skill. Lin: Agreed. And we know there are former soldiers and mercenaries among their number. Brenner: They may have been fellow soldiers once, but they're just a pack of dogs now. Let's put them down before they do any more harm to the survivors. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~~ Will: Captain Brenner! All units have been deployed, sir! Brenner: Good. Still no sign of the enemy? Will: No, sir. But this dust prevents us from seeing much of anything. Of course, it keeps us hidden too, so I guess it's not all bad! Lin: My training was in reconnaissance and intelligence. Leave this to me. All units, move out! *****Day one***** Rubinelle: Scount unit Bravo reporting. Visibility is poor, and we've lost visual contact with the enemy. I can hear something out there... I think they know we're here, sir. Lin: Understood, Bravo. Get somewhere safe. We're on our way. Rubinelle: Watch the woods, sir. I think the raiders are hiding there. *****Selecting the Flare***** Lin: The flare unit is ready to fire. Will: Oh! We studied this at the academy! Flares can help reveal enemy positions in poor-visibility conditions. Lin: Smart kid. Maybe you'll be some help to us after all. Aim the flare anywhere you think the raiders may be hiding. This unit could be the key to our victory today. *****Select an infantry****** Lin: Get those foot soldiers into the mountains, now! Will: Into the mountains? Why? Lin: Did they stop teaching basic recon tactics at the academy? Infantry and mech units can see farther when stationed on mountains. =====Tactics War Room===== Will: Lin? Uh, I mean, sir? Hello? ...Lin, is that you? The Beast: Gwar har har! Guess again, loser! Will: Eep! ...Wait, what are you doing here? The Beast: Givin' tactical advice! What does it look like I'm doin'? Will: You're giving me... Wait, is this a trick? Where's Lin? The Beast: GWAR HAR HAR! So ya want yer mommy, huh? Well, tough beans! This is Beast country, and no one knows it better than me! So listen up! ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ The Beast: If there's one thing I love, it's ambusing little chumps like you! So don't move without thinkin'! Use yer flares to see what's up ahead. And get foot soldiers into the mountains to give yerself a better view. Now do as I say! ~~~~~War Room~~~~~~ The Beast: Gwar har har! I'm The Beast, and I love me a good tactics session! Later, little man! Will: ...OK, that was kind of weird. =====End Tactics===== *****Get surprised***** The Beast: Surprise, little man! The Beast is coming out of his cave! *****Day one, The Raiders***** The Beast: No one attacks The Beast in his own home! No one! Swarm, roaches! Show no mercy! *****If Bravo unit is destroyed***** Will: Scout unit Bravo has been hit! Lin: I'm trying to raise them on the radio... Bravo, do you read? Over. Rubinelle: Scout unit Bravo reporting! We're taking heavy fire! We can't continue the mission! We have to retreat! Lin: Understood. Double-time it back to base, soldier. Rubinelle: Roger that, sir! Lin: Pay attention, Will. Remember that soldiers are a precious resource. We know there is risk in war, and some casualties are inevitable. But it's our duty to get as many of them home as possible. *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: GYYYAAAAA! They defeated me! This ain't happenin'! The world is over! Why do these do-gooders care what we do?! I'm The Beast! No one says no to me! Not even a bunch of soldier boys! I'll be back, losers! And I'm gonna kill every last one of ya! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: Fall back! All units, fall back! Captain Brenner... I failed. I'm sorry... Brenner: Lin? Are you there? ...Lieutenant Lin, respond! LIIIIIIN! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: I never miss a thing. ~~~~~Freehaven~~~~~~ Mayor: You did it! You drove off those savages! Brenner: I don't think they'll bother you again. Mayor: Thank you, Captain Brenner! I think my village can sleep soundly tonight. Brenner: I'm glad. Now let's talk about your side of the bargain. We drove them off. Now you need to provide Will and the other civilians with shelter. Mayor: I didn't agree to that. Brenner: ...What are you doing? We saved your village. You promised to take in the civilians. Mayor: I said nothing of the sort, Captain. All I said was that if you scared off those savages, then I would CONSIDER it. Isn't that right, people? That's what I said! Your mayor is a man of his word! Civilian: Yeah! That's right! That's what he said! Brenner: I don't believe this! Mayor: Captain, please! Control yourself! Even you can see that this "bargain" of yours affects my entire village. I may be the mayor, but I do not rule by fiat. We are civilized men, after all. We will come to a decision in due course. Until then...you must be patient. Brenner: Why, you double-crossing-- Mayor: You have only yourself to blame for your anger, Captain. If you misunderstood my words, then the fault is yours alone. I have done nothing wrong. Brenner: I see. Mayor: Will you threaten us now? Will you let your guns take the place of your honor? Perhaps we should have taken our chances with the savages! Brenner: ...No, Mayor. I won't threaten you. I won't do anything to unnerve these people that you pretend to care for. Mayor: Wh-what? How dare you! Brenner: I remember you. I remember how you were. Scared. Alone. On the verge of death. Do you remember your words to me when my men gave you food and shelter? "I will save others as you have saved me, Brenner." "I will construct a village where all can live in peace and rebuild their lives." Do you remember that? Or did I misunderstand your words again? Mayor: Who are you to say such? You're a killer! A soldier! A relic of the past! I give these people peace. I give them hope. You give nothing but horror and death! Will: Captain Brenner! Brenner: ...Will? Will: Sir, I know you have our best interests at heart, but it's OK. Look, I know it might be safer here in this village, but I don't want to stay. I want to serve with you, Captain. You and the battalion. Brenner: Out of the question, Will. It's too dangerous. People who truck with us don't live very long. You're young. Your life is ahead of you. Will: Please, Captain. Please. Let me stay. Let me fight with you. Brenner: Honestly, I don't seem to have much choice. And I admire your courage... All right. Lin! Will! Prepare to move out! ...Good luck, Mayor. I think you'll need it. ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Will: Hey. How's she doing? Woman: Oh, Will! Thanks for coming again today! She's going to be very pleased. Will: I hope so. Sometimes, I... I just don't know if she even gets it. You know? Woman: She looks forward to your visits, Will. When you're here, she is bright and cheerful. Otherwise, she seems a bit...sad. Will: Really? Woman: Really. But don't worry about it. We'll take care of her. She's going to be OK. ------ Will: Um... Hi. How's it going today? I... brought you something! I hope you like it. ???: A flower? Will: Yeah. Well, it's not a real flower. It's plastic. You can't find many real flowers anymore. I found it while I was on a recon mission a few miles over. ???: It's... It's beautiful. What do you call it? Will: Huh? Oh, I don't know. I'm not much of a flower... scientist...guy. Let me ask Lin. ???: No, I wait! I remember... This is a Cattleya isabella. It's a natural hybrid of the orchid family. Cattleya... Yes, that's it! That will be my name. I will be named after this beautiful flower you brought me. My name is Cattleya! Will: Uh...Cattelya? Wow, that's...that's uh... That's kind of hard to say, actually. How about we call you Isabella? That's really pretty. It fits you better. Isabella: Isabella? Oh! I love it, Will! I'm so happy! Will: Yeah? Oh, good! I think it suits you. Isabella: Thank you, Will! Lin: Boy meets girl. Boy gives girl flower. Boy names girl. ...What's wrong with this world? Will: Lieutenant! Um...what are you doing here? Lin: I've been here. The whole time. Juuuust keeping an eye on you. ======================== *****End Chapter-04***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-05***** ==================== New Allies ~~~~~New Wolfington~~~~~ Brenner: We're here. Will: There are still some buildings standing. Maybe the people survived too. Lin: At first glance, this city seems extraordinarily well preserved. Brenner: All right. Spread out and look for survivors. Move slow and easy. I don't want anyone to mistake us for raiders. ----- Dr. Morris: Hello! I say, you there! Can you hear me? Brenner: Yes, I hear you. Are you hurt? Do you need assistance? Dr. Morris: Please, my good man! Not one step further! Do you come in peace? Brenner: I do. I'm Captain Brenner. I lead the 12th Battalion of the Rubinelle Army. Dr. Morris: You don't say! Why, that's simply marvelous! Welcome, Captain Brenner, welcome! It is a great honor to have you here! Brenner: Thank you. Who are you? Dr. Morris: My name is Dr. Morris. I was elected to speak for the free citizens of New Wolfington. Brenner: Are you in charge here? Dr. Morris: Oh ho ho! I guess you could say that. I told them I wasn't really the man for the job, but they chose me anyway. I used to be a resident...but now I'm a PRESIDENT! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho ho! Brenner: ... Dr. Morris: Hmm... Perhaps you didn't hear me correctly. I SAID that I used to be-- Brenner: I heard you. My unit is desperately short of supplies. Can your town spare food, medicine, or weapons? We will repay you however we can. Dr. Morris: Supplies, eh? Well, you see... Oh ho! Giving yourself a twenty-one-gun salute, eh, Brenner? Brenner: Those weren't my men. I think we're under attack. I suggest you make yourself scarce, Doc. This could get ugly. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Intel reports that the raiders have regrouped to attack this city. They're tenacious. I'll give them that. Stupid...but tenacious. Brenner: Stupid can still kill you, Lin. Let's move out! That factory seems undamaged. Can we get it up and running? Dr. Morris: Oh yes, it works. And that's a FACT! ...Get it? Fact? Factory? ...Ahem! ~~~~~Flash to Factory~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Countless automated weapons factories were built during the Great War. But I'm sure you are more familiar with that than I am. If you have the materials, you can use them to produce units. Brenner: I've heard of such factories, but I've never operated one. Dr. Morris: Oh ho! It's easy as pie! We just need someone to capture them. If you do so, we will turn control of the factory over to you and your men. We will also provide you with what few troops we have. Brenner: That will help. Thank you. Dr. Morris: I assume I can leave the military decisions to you, Captain? Brenner: I think that's for the best. But at the risk of sounding ungrateful, why are you doing this? Dr. Morris: This is no ordinary band of soldiers you command, Captain. Am I right? Stories of Brenner's Wolves have spread across this ruined land. This world is destroyed, yet you devote yourself to helping survivors. The people of New Wolfington saw fit to trust me. I hope I can trust you. Brenner: I'll do all that I can. Now get to safety. There isn't much time. *****Day one***** Dr. Morris: I would strongly suggest that you move a foot soldier or bike to the factory. Once captured its automated systems will become fully operational. This will allow you to produce more units! Brenner: Got it! Let's capture the factory! *****An infantry is selected***** Brenner: Infantry, mech, and bike units can capture factories and cities. *****Capture is started***** Will: The capture is under way! Lin: You can't capture a factory or city in a single day. You have to keep at it. Select Capture again on the following day to finish the process. =====Tactics War Room===== Brenner: Hmmmm... Let's see here... Will: Captain Brenner! Brenner: Hello, Will. Will: I'm really looking forward to learning some great strategies from you, Captain. I'm sure you'll know how to deal with all of those enemies. Brenner: Yeah... Look, Will? I'll be honest with you. The thing is... I haven't decided on a strategy for this battle quite yet. Will: Haven't...decided? Brenner: Don't worry! As long as there is hope, we will prevail! Will: Ummm... If you say so, Captain. ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Brenner: All right. Our first priority is to capture that factory and produce new units. We can use the terrain east of the fatory to build a line of defense. We'll use tanks and artillery to take out enemies as they approach. Then we'll march on their HQ. If units are damaged, they can recover in cities or join with other units. And watch out for enemy artillery! Got it? Will: Yes, sir, Captain! Brenner: If we do that, we should be able to win. ...I think. Will: Um, you don't sound very confident, Captain. Brenner: Mmmm... I'm not much for talking and speeches. That's more Lin's specialty. Will: Never give up hope! Right, Captain? ~~~~~War Room~~~~~ Brenner: Yes, Will, well said. Never give up hope. Without hope, victory is impossible. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, The Raiders***** The Beast: Gwar har har! No one makes a fool of The Beast and lives to tell about it! Swarm, roaches! Take what can, and leave no one alive! *****A city is captured***** Will: The city has been captured! Dr. Morris: Good! Restoring power to cities will boost your factory production. You see, factories use hard resources to generate a recalibrated-- Will: Whoa, wait. What? I'm sorry, I... I didn't understand a thing you just said. Dr. Morris: Funds! Capture more cities, get more funds, build more things! Sometimes I'm a bit too clever for my own good. Oh ho ho! *****Factory is captured***** Will: The factory has been captured! Now we can produce more units. Dr. Morris: Yes, although the kinds of units you can produce are limited at the moment. But I'm sure you'll take what you can get, eh? You can begin production the day after you capture a factory. *****A unit is damaged***** Lin: This unit has taken damage, but it can be repaired. Position a damaged unit on a friendly city or factory so it can recover. Be smart. Don't push your units too hard. *****Factory has no unit covering it***** Dr. Morris: Ah ha! Success! Now you can produce units in this factory. Select a factory to see what units it can produce. (To produce units, move the cursor onto the factory with the +Control Pad and press the A button, or just touch it with the stylus.) *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: No! Not again! GYYYAAAAAAA! The Beast is invincible! Brenner: Your road ends here, Beast. Dr. Morris: Captain Brenner? I'm afraid you'll have to return the units you produced. Automated units only function near the factory where they were made. Stay too far, and you'll be left with useless lumps of metal! Brenner: Thanks, Doc. This is a huge help. *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: No! I failed... Dr. Morris: No! Captain Brenner! Please don't give up! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: Now, where were we...? ~~~~~New Wolfington~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Before all this, I worked as a medical researcher. My days were spent running small rats through large mazes. When the world was destroyed, I dug out of my ruined lab and made my way here. There were so many sick and injured people... I just did what I could. Youth: We owe our lives to Dr. Morris! He saved us. Dr. Morris: And I didn't even run them through a maze! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho ho! Will: ... Dr. Morris: Laughter is good for you, you know. You should try it sometime. Will: Um...Heh? Youth: He's an amazing man, but his jokes are TERRIBLE! Will: Dr. Morris, you remind me a bit of Captain Brenner. I was near death when he found me. He saved my life. It's good that there are still people like you and him in this world. Brenner: ...Yes, but my sense of humor still works... Dr. Morris: Well you shouldn't make me out to be some kind of hero, Will. I was a selfish man. I entered medicine to satisfy my curiosity, not help people. I'd never even seen a patient before the meteors struck. I guess such situations teach you what really matters, eh, Captain? Brenner: I know what you mean. Dr. Morris: Yes! Exactly! But I fear we have other, more pressing issues to discuss. With your people and my people combined, we have several hundred mouths to feed. However, our supplies are running lower than a snake in a wheel rut! Brenner: A shortage of food is hardly a joking matter, Doctor. Dr. Morris: Huh? Did I make a joke? Anyway, I think I know how to solve our little problem. But I will need your help... ======================== *****End Chapter-05***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-06***** ==================== Fear Experiment ~~~~~Near Automated Crop Factory~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Tell me, my boy, do you know why it is dinosaurs became extinct? Will: Huh? No, but I bet Captain Brenner does. Brenner: Not likely. Lin! Front and center. Lin: There are many possible explanations. I assume you're referring to the meteor theory? Dr. Morris: Oh ho! Right you are. The theory states a meteor struck the planet millions of years ago. The impact caused megatsunamis upward of 300 feet in height to sweep the globe. The shock waves spawn earthquakes reaching 12.0 and 13.0 on the Richter scale. Pieces of the meteor ignited global wildfires, causing enormous devastation... Dinosars, without the benefit of fireproof surfboards, were ill equipped to survive. Lin: Fireproof surfboards? Whatever. The point is, most dinosaurs prished. One day they ruled the world, and the next, they were a few pages in our history books. Will: But we survived our meteors. Dr. Morris: So we did, so we did. Cockroaches aren't nature's only durable creature, are they? Three cheers for mankind, and for much smaller meteors too! Ho ho! Brenner: Can we move this along, Doc? What is it you want to tell us? Dr. Morris: Yes, of course. Meteors...dinosaurs...cockroaches... Oh yes! The clouds of ash! That's it. The ash blocks out the sun, which of course means that plant life withers and dies. Some may say the fate of the dinosaurs was sealed by similar sunlight-blocking clouds. Brenner: So you're saying we're going to share their fate? Is that it? Dr. Morris: No need to panic, Captain. Unlike the luckless dinosaurs, we possess knowledge and science. If we can get the automated crop factory running, we'll have as much grain as we want. Brenner: Automated what? Dr. Morris: A factory with an environmental system designed for the cyclic cultivation of genetically... Brenner: Whoa! Spare me the scientific mumbo jumbo. You're giving me a headache. Cut to the chase, and tell me what I need to know--no jokes, no science. Clear? Dr. Morris: Yes, of course. Ahem. If we can get the systems running, we can produce food. We won't be able to sustain a population of millions, but we'll be able to feed New Wolfington. I trust that was clear enough. Oh, but there is one thing I worry about... Will: What's that, Dr. Morris? Dr. Morris: Hmm, I wonder... Yes. Let me ask you a question, young man. Do you believe in evil? The kind that revels in the destruction of the world and of mankind with it? The kind of evil that thrives on the pain, suffering, and sorrow of innocents? Will: Uh...what are you talking about? Dr. Morris: Oh, I'm just thinking out loud. Pay me no mind at all. I've actually forgotten what it is I asked you. Ho ho! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Brenner: Status report, Lin. Lin: Unidentified units in the field, sir. They're ignoring all communications. Brenner: They're advancing on our positions! Move out! =====Tactics War Room===== Brenner: Oh, Will. Come in. Will: Captain Brenner? Can you give me any tips for the upcoming battle? Brenner: Of course. I'd be glad to. Hold on one second... ...Blast! Now where did I put those... Will: Did you lose something, Captain? Brenner: Lin gave me some notes for this tactics session, but I can't seem to find them. Ah ha! Here they are! ...Oh, wait. That's just a drawing of a tank I made when I was bored... Will: Um...Captain? Are you really getting all your strategy from Lin? Maybe you should keep that a secret from the rest of the troops... Brenner: She's a natural teacher, Will. I'm just not much for that kind of thing. Yes! Here they are! OK, let's see what she has to say... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Brenner: "Captain. Tell Will to quickly capture factories and cities. He needs to defend his foot soldiers with other units as they do so. The area southeast of the factory will make an ideal defensive perimeter. If the enemy swarms you, retreat to this area and regroup. And have him build an anti-tank unit for the enemy's war tank." That's it. Will: Is that all? Brenner: Yes, that's... Oh, wait a second. "P.S. Don't just read this to Will. Pretend you thought of it yourself." ...Damn. ~~~~War Room~~~~~ Brenner: Let's just keep this to ourselves, all right? =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS***** [Paranthesized names are unknown at the time] (Penny): Tee hee hee! Is it OK, Daddy? (Caulder): Of course, little one. Play to your heart's desire. Do remember to record the battle, though. I must know how each soldier fights... and how each one dies. (Cyrus): Father, I cannot condone this. I can see no reason for us to attack these people. It is meaningless-- (Caulder): Meaningless? Whatever are you babbling about? Is there a more meaningless expenditure of energy than life itself? I think not! (Penny): Get 'em! Get 'em! Boooom! Tee hee! *****All enemy units destroyed***** (Caulder): What's wrong, pumpkin? Did those bad people blow up alll your toys? I suppose you'll be wanting more. Well, what's the magic word? (Penny): PLEEEEEEEASE! I wanna big BOOOOOM! (Caulder): How could I deny such a well-mannered little girl? I look forward to seeing how they respond to the world's mightiest tank. This should prove to be most enlightening. Will: Look! Reinforcements! And... Ohmygosh! Th-that tank! It's enormous! Brenner: Bring us to speed, Lin! Give us what you have on that monster. Lin: I'm sorry, sir. Our database has no intel on that tank. Isabella: That is a...war tank. Dr. Morris: A war tank? Isaballa: Compared with standard tanks, it has vastly superior armor and firepower. It is currently the most powerful ground unit in the world today. Dr. Morris: And how are we supposed to stand against it? It's too darn big! Isabella: ...I don't know. *****The Day after the reinforcements arrive***** Isabella: Oh... Will: Isabella! What is it? What's wrong? Isabella: It's...nothing. I'm fine. The factory... Its systems have been updated. It can now produce anti-tanks units. Will: What? Dr. Morris: She's right. The system just rebooted. Isabella: Anti-tank units will prove to be very effective against the war tank. Dr. Morris: I think she may be right. Amazing! We may have a chance after all! Lin: Isabella, I want an explanation. Now. How in-- Brenner: Later, Lin. We've got a battle to fight. Anti-tank units, huh? Let's see how tough that war tank really is. Isabella: yes... *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Will: That's it! All enemy units have been defeated. We won! Brenner: It wasn't a walk in the park, but you're right. We won. Will: And it was all thanks to Isabella! If it hadn't been for her... Isabella: No...I didn't do anything. Dr. Morris: Don't be modest, dear. Now let's check on those crop-growing systems! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: They're too strong. Who are they? (Caulder): This will never do. I'll get no useful data from such paltry foes. Come now! I require an enemy that will satisfy my intellectual curiosity. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: Now if we can just find that factory... ~~~~~Near automated Crop Factory~~~~~ Brenner: What's the word, Doc? You and Lin give that system the once-over? Dr. Morris: Yes, well, hmm... I've got some good news, and I've got some bad news... Lin: The system's useless. The factory has been destroyed. Dr. Morris: What are you doing, Lin? I had a joke I wanted to tell first! Brenner: Save your jokes for when I'm not around. What do you mean, destroyed? Do you mean we can't repair it? Dr. Morris: That would be quite difficult, I'm afraid. The factory was extremely sophisticated. The components needed to repair it are not likely to be found at the corner grocery. Not that we have one anymore! Oh ho! Oh ho ho... You're not laughing. Will: That's terrible, Dr. Morris. What are we supposed to do now? Dr. Morris: I'm afraid I don't know. And to tell the truth, there's something else that truly disturbs me... Will: There is? What? Dr. Morris: It appears the enemy's goal was to destroy the factory all along. If we had gotten the factory up and running, we could have solved our food-shortage problem. We could have lived here peacefully. What did they gain by destroying our factory? It's as if... Lin: It's as if they wanted us all to die. ~~~~~Near Automated Crop Factory~~~~~ Will: Well, look at this... Lin: Flowers. They're quite beautiful, aren't they? But there's something odd about them... Dr. Morris: Whatever you do, don't touch those flowers! Will: Dr. Morris? Dr. Morris: Pardon me, Lin, but I must ask you a personal question. Are you over twenty years of age? Lin: ...Maybe. I'm not as young as Isabella, but... Are you implying something, Doctor? Dr. Morris: No, of course not! And there's no need to glare at me so. It's quite unsettling! I only ask because these flowers have yet to infect anyone over the age of twenty, and... Lin: Infect? What are you talking about? Dr. Morris: Have you heard of Endoflorescens terrbilis virus? It's common name is Creeping Derangea. ~~~~~Flash to Photo~~~~~ Lin: Oh. Look at that. How pretty. Dr. Morris: This young man was about your age, Will. Will: ...He WAS my age? Dr. Morris: The flowers aren't decorative. They're the result of a parasitic virus. And there is nothing beautiful about them, Lin. This boy is dead. Lin: Wait, so the flowers...came out of his body? Dr. Morris: It acts like a parasite, but it spreads like a virus. I don't claim to know how it works, I just know that it does. Since the meteors fell, I've buried many victims of this scourge. Lin: He had roots and leaves growing under his skin... In his ears... In his eyes... Little roots creeping behind the eyes... ...What if you could hear them...? Dr. Morris: Lin, please! Stop talking about it! Curiously, the virus seems to only infect young people. You're in the right age range, Will, which means you're at risk. If you meet anyone suffering from this, you must stay away! Is that clear? Will: Oh yeah. It's clear... ~~~~~Near Automated Crop Factory~~~~~ Lin: Starvation, raiders, and flowers that kill you. Gotta love this place. Brenner: The world's certainly not making it easy for us, is it? But we can't give up. Will: As long as there's life, there's hope. Brenner: Exactly. ======================== *****End Chapter-06***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-07***** ==================== A Kind of Home ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Brenner: So we've hit a snag in our supply-procurement plan. Got any suggestions what we do now, Doc? Dr. Morris: Oh ho! Yes...um...no. No, I don't. We're in trouble, no doubt about it. Lin: Are there any other factories with the systems we need? Dr. Morris: No, not to my knowledge. Isabella: Automated...crop factories? Will: Do you know something, Isabella? Isabella: Yes...I do. Will: What is it? ~~~~~12th Battalion HQ~~~~~ Brenner: You're absolutely certain about this? Isabella: Yes. Dr. Morris: This is no joking matter, young lady! I...I can't believe I just said that. You're saying you know the location of another factory, is that correct? Isabella: Yes. It is located at latitude 25.345 degrees north and longitude 131.035 degrees west. Dr. Morris: Oh...um... Well, as long as you're sure! Lin: That's in the Seratta mountain range. Isabella: There is an underground nuclear shelter at the coordinates I have given you. It contains a subterranean farm and small-scale factory capable of feeding 1,000 people. Dr. Morris: Do you really expect us to believe that? I've never heard of such a place! Lin: Nor have I. Isabella: It was constructed or Rubinelle's senior cabinet ministers and captains of industry. In the even of an all-out nuclear war, they would be able to live in the shelter for decades. Its existence is not known to the general public. Access requires a grade 4 security clearance. Dr. Morris: Oh ho! Now we know! You must be the president's secret daughter! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho! Isabella: The construction contract for the shelter was awarded to a private military firm...IDS...IDS...IDS... IDS... IDS... ID... Will: What is it, Isabella? What's wrong? Isabella: I'm sorry... It's my head. It's pounding so hard... I can't think. Will: Captain Brenner! I'll take care of Isabella. Brenner: You do that, Will. Dr. Morris: That girl may be a complete mystery, but I feel strangely confident she's not lying. Perhaps those coordinates will lead us to the answer to our dilemma, hmmm? Brenner: Could be, Doc. It's worth checking out, that's for sure. Rubinelle: Captain, sir! One of our recon units just pulled in. It's reporting a firefight in progress! There's a lone unit running or its life. It's a Rubinelle unit, sir! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Waylon: Would somebody tell me why these Lazurians are up in my business? Did they not see the meteors? The fires, the floods, the dead people? They act like there's still a damn war goin' on, and... Hey! Who are you? Brenner: This is captain Brenner of the 12th Battalion. Waylon: Aw, yeah! Now, we're talkin'! The cavalry arrives! Brenner: Name and rank, soldier. Where's the rest of your company? Waylon: Name and rank? Listen up, brother man. That's all ancient history! I ain't heard a peep from the big brass since the sky fell in. How 'bout you? Nothin', right? Yeah, I thought so. Brenner: You're right. We've been operating on our own. It seems Rubinelle's government is gone for good. Waylon: Cheer up, Brenner! Ain't nothing wrong with that. The name's Waylon. Oh, right... Captain Waylon of the 13th Airborne! Ha ha ha! Lighten up, will ya? We're survivors! We're lke lottery winners! Ain't much left of the old world. Least we can do is enjoy the new one. Lin: Captain! The enemy has spotted us and is moving to engage. Brenner: Understood. Get 'em ready, Lin. *****Day one***** Lin: Attention, all units! The yellow fighter is a friendly. Do not, repeat, DO NOT use it for target practice. Waylon: Right kindly of you, baby. I owe you one! =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: Welcome back to the war room. Today, we have a...special guest. Dr. Morris: Oh ho ho! At last, it's my chance to share some pearls of wisdom with you! But first, let me entertain you with some of my trademark wit! Lin: That's not necessary. Can we just hear your tactical analysis? Dr. Morris: So! A priest, a Lazurian, and a chicken walk into... Wait, that's not it. Oh! Right! A chicken and a Lazurian are crossing the road-- Lin: Fine. I'll do it myself. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: If an enemy planes attack, strike back with anti-air units and missiles. Keep other units nearby to defend them from ground-based attacks. Once you're settled, head for the enemy HQ, taking cities as you go. That rocket could be trouble. Use multiple units to take it out. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Oh ho! Now I remember! It wasn't a chicken at all! It was a pony! Lin: Dr. Morris? We will pursue the issue of the pony another time. Understood? Dr. Morris: Honestly! Where is your sense of humor? Lin: It was shot off in the war. Very sad. Thanks for listening, everyone. Come back again if you need more tips. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Lazurians***** Tasha: More Rube forces... My prayers have been answered! Rejoice, brothers and sisters of Lazuria! Our enemy is before us! In the names of our ancestors, let us sow the soil with their bones! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Tasha: Gya! Those Rubes may have won the day, but we shall fight again! Retreat! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: So this is the end... There's so much left to do. Ah... Waylon: Hold on now, brother man! You can't leave me hanging! You hear me? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: We drove them away. For now... ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Brenner: The enemy's been routed. Will, I want you to make sure the wounded are taken care of. Will: Yes, sir! Waylon: Thanks for the assist, brother! Who's the runt? You got yourself some sort of cabin boy? Will: Cabin boy? Brenner: He's one of us. We've been patrolling the region looking for survivors who might need our help. Waylon: "Helping" survivors? Helping yourself to their money, I hope! Ha ha ha ...whew... Wait, you serious? Brenner: Of course. We'd be more effective with air support, though. Why don't we join forces and-- Waylon: Time out, Captain Courageous! You want Waylon to join forces with YOU? Listen to me now. I think you're a good man. I'll even give you a standing ovation. Clap, clap. But if you think I'm going to do charity work, you need to think again! I didn't survive the meteors just to risk myself for a bunch of chumps! Brenner: What in the hell are you babbling about? Waylon: Are you truly so blind, Brenner? There is no more central command! No orders, no missions... I do what I want! Got it? Brenner: No, I don't think I do. And you've got it wrong. The world's been broken. But that doesn't mean you're free to do whatever you want. The ties that bind people together can be reestablished. We have to do that. Waylon: And why would I want to do that? You want to clip my wings, brother? That it? I won't live in a cage! You can do what you want, but just leave me be. By the way, you know a fat cat named Greyfield? Brenner: Admiral Greyfield? Yes, I served under him for a while. What about him? Waylon: He's set up shop in the capital. Word is, he wants all surviving Rubinelle soldiers to come join him. Wants to start what he's calling the "New Rubinelle Army." Creative genius, he ain't. Now I ain't hip on takin' orders, but I could make a pretty penny as a mercenary. I'd have all the food I could eat, and the ladies love a man in uniform. Know what I'm saying? Brenner: There's no accounting for taste. Waylon: Aww, that's just cold, brother man. Ain't no call for that. Looks like you and I ain't gonna be friends. And with that, the sky calls. Good luck with the charity work. Brenner: Wait a minute! What about your wounded? Waylon: What's done is done. Wounded ain't dead, is it? I got places to go, things to do. You feel like playing nursemaid, go right ahead. Brenner: You'd abandon your own men? Waylon: You think you can guilt-trip me? You got another thing coming, brother man. My only responsibility is survivin' to eat, drink, and be merry another day. Brenner: Is that so? Waylon: Uh-huh. Know what responsibility's gonna get YOU, Brenner? A broken heart and an early grave. Brenner: ... ... ... ... Lin: Are we letting him go, sir? Brenner: We can't force him to stay, and we can't force him to care. Will: Is that guy really a soldier? He's nothing like you, Captain. He's nothing like any of us. Brenner: Soldiers are people, Will. You have to take the good with the bad. Each of us has to choose how to make it in this world, and Waylon's made his choice. Try not to let it bother you. ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: We located and extracted Waylon's downed air units. His men are resting comfortably, sir. We've also found some airports. Perhaps the men can be convinced to join us. Brenner: What do they want? Have you heard any talk about them rejoining their captain? Lin: Not a peep, sir. Apparently they want nothing more to do with him. It seems he's used thm poorly, risking their lives for nothing more than his own amusement. Will: I can't believe him! Brenner: Let Waylon's men know they're free to join us if they wish. Now let's head out for that nuclear shelter. It may give us reason to hope for a better day. ======================== *****End Chapter-07***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-08***** ==================== A New Threat ~~~~~Raider's Base Camp~~~~~ The Beast: GYAAARRR! The Beast is hurting! I need medicine! What are you waiting for, roaches? Swarm and plunder! And don't come back without something to ease my pain! Raider: Um... It's not that easy. We're low on fuel and ammo. And most of our weapons were destroyed in the last battle, so-- The Beast: You're THIS close to dying, boy! Whatever you need, you steal! UNDERSTOOD? Raider: Y-yes, sir! The Beast: My leg's on fire! I can't believe those soldier boys hit ME! GYAAARRR! Gotta kill this infection and then kill me some dogfaced do-gooders! Caulder: Do you truly harbor such hatred for Captain Brenner? The Beast: HEY! Wh-where did you come from, you freakin' ghost? Caulder: My dear Sergeant... Wait, you have no nme now, do you? You're just The Beast. How appropiate. Your propensity for violence saw you expelled from the military, yes? And these past few years, you've spent each day slaking your thirst for blood and mayhem. The Beast: B-but...how do you... Caulder: All in good time, my friend. When the meteors came, you knew just what to do, didn't you? You stole weapons and access codes, then began plundering whatever you could find. For most, the world was a living hell, but for a man like you, it was paradise. At least until Captain Brenner and his good samaritans arrived... The Beast: GYAAARRR! I hate him! He ruined everything! When I find him, I'm gonna rip-- Caulder: You will have your vengence. I will provide you with supplies and weapons. You desire chaos and destruction, yes? I shall see you are equipped to sate that desire. ~~~~~12th Battalion HQ~~~~~ Lin: This is the quickest route to the Seratta mountain range. Brenner: So we'll be passing by Freehaven again, will we? I doubt they'll be happy to see us, but we should check to see if the people are safe. Lin: Permission to speak out of turn, sir, but I believe you're too forgiving. How can you be concerned for their welfare after the way their mayor behaved? Brenner: That doesn't mean we can abandon them. Lin: Doesn't it? They insulted you, sir. I for one couldn't care less if they were wiped from the earth. Brenner: That's enough of that, Lin. Will: Captain Brenner! Brenner: What is it, Will? Are we under attack again? Will: Huh? No, it's those villagers. Remember the ones we met before? They say they want to speak with you, sir. Brenner: Is that so? _________ Mayor: So this last quake destroyed the remaining buildings, leaving us without food or shelter. We can't survive without assistance. Brenner: And what has this got to do with me? Mayor: Please, Brenner... Captain. We need your help. You have my apologies for any past-- Brenner: Understood. Pack your things. You're coming with us. If we can locate that factory, there should be enough food for everyone. Mayor: Factory? Brenner: That's right. If you need details, find Dr. Morris. I deal in weapons, not test tubes. All I can tell you is, it's key to getting the food we need to survive. Clear? Mayor: Yes, of course. You have my gratitude. Speaking of food, my people haven't eaten in days. May I ask-- Brenner: If we'll feed you? Ask away... All right. We're running short ourselves, but I'll see to it. Lin: For someone who hasn't eaten for days, you look pretty well fed to me. Mayor: I-I beg your pardon? Lin: I'm rather curious as to what your villagers are carrying in all those trucks. It wouldn't happen to be provisions, would it? Mayor: N-no, it's merely... How dare you? Are you implying that I'm lying? Lin: I said no such thing. I merely inferred from your robust condition that you've been eating-- Mayor: Enough! You...you uppity-- Rubinelle: Attack! We're under attack! Brenner: Gather your people and take cover in the rear. We'll continue this later if we survive. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: It's that same group of raiders. How is it they're still operating? And they're using this poor visibility to cover their attack. Someone must be helping them... All units, advance! Keep your eyes peeled! *****Day one***** Lin: Mark that pillar of fire! See how it illuminates the surrounding area? Looks like there's an enemy infantry unit on the other side of the river. And...there are factories there too. We need to capture them ASAP! Let's use our transport helicopters to airlift some infantry up there. =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: You know, Will, you should be grateful that I'm such a nice instructor. Will: Oh? Lin: Mmm-hmmm. When I was in the Rubinelle military academy, I had very strict instructors. If you missed a question, they'd have you doing push-ups and running laps. You're practically on vacation in comparison. Will: Wow. Well...thanks for being so nice. Lin: Once I forgot how many ball bearings are in a tank thread, and my instructor screamed at me. Not nice screaming, either. Nasty stuff. Things you're far too young to hear. Will: Ok, now I'm scared. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Don't go storming across that bridge. Let the enemy come to you. Build some indirect-attack units to weaken them as they approach. Use transport copters to move soldiers into distant cities and factories. Then focus on producing additional tanks and indirect-attack units. Once your force is ready, move east as a group and engage the enemy. Will: Understood! Lin: Now give me a thousand push-ups! Will: Uh...OK? One...two...th-threeeeeee... Ow ow ow...F-f-f-foooourrrr... Lin: Will? You can stop. I was kidding. Will: ...Huh? Oh! Oh yeah, I... I knew that. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: Stop by again if you want more tips. ...Or exercise. =====End Tactics===== *****Select an infantry***** Lin: Infantry and mech units can be loaded onto transport copters. This is the easiest and fastest way to transport troops over long distances. *****Select a transport copter***** Brenner: Move 'em out and drop 'em off. Make sure you find someplace safe! *****Day one, The Raiders***** The Beast: Gwar har har! They ain't happy to see us, roaches! Let's bury... ungh... Ungaah...my head...so dizzy... Must be the medicine that freak gave me... But it feels good! My blood's on fire. The rage is burning me up! YESSSSS! I am reborn! The Beast will not be denied! GRAAAARRR!!! The Beast will hunt! Prepare...to...DIE! *****Capture a property***** Lin: Capture successfully completed! This improves visibility in the area near the base, giving us an advantage! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: NOOOOOOO! Must...escape... But this was just a taste, losers! Now that I've got a weapons supplier, I'll be making your lives miserable. Sleep lightly, soldier boy! The Beast rules the night! GYAAARRR! Lin: All enemy units have been accounted for. This battle's over. Brenner: Somebody tell me where those raiders got all that firepower? Lin: I can't understand it, sir. We destroyed everything they had... Will: Captain! The raiders' leader managed to get away. Looks like he hid in a pile of corpses, then snuck off when it was safe. Brenner: That doesn't bode well... I'm sure we'll see his ugly face again. But we've got our own goal to reach. Let's move out! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: I'm sorry, Captain... My mistakes were too great. Please forgive me... That's all I need. Your forgiveness... Brenner: LIN! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: That went just as I planned it. ~~~~~Civilian Base Camp~~~~~ Isabella: Oh...I... What's... Ungh... Will: Isabella? Is something wrong? Are you feeling all right? Isabella: I d-don't know... Will: Isabella! Talk to me! What is it? Isabella: So...dizzy...my head... 9693872914... 9693872914... I feel... funny... Will: Wait a minute... ~~~~~Flashback of photo with infected boy~~~~~ Dr. Morris: This young man was a victim of the plant. He was about your age, Will. Curiously, the virus seems to infect only young people. You're in the right age range, Will, which means you're at risk. If you met anyone suffering from this you must stay away! Is that clear? ~~~~~End Flashback~~~~~ Will: No! It can't be! Isabella: W-Will? Will: I'm going to get Dr. Morris! Wait here, Isabella! Isabella: Please...don't leave... Brenner: What's all the commotion over here? Oh no... Get the doc over here! On the double! ~~~~~Base Camp~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Captain Brenner... Judging from the symptoms, there's a good chance Isabella's infected with Creeping Derangea. Brenner: The plant virus? Dr. Morris: Yes. I've placed her in a quarantine in a temporary laboratory. She must stay there for now. There's no danger of us getting sick, but young people like Will are at risk. Brenner: What are you doing for her? How long until she's cured? Dr. Morris: Will's right about you, Captain. You truly are a caring man. But to have any hope of curing her, I would require highly specialized equipment and facilities. Brenner: You've got what you've got, Doc. Do your best. Lin: If I may, Captain? I have a thought. Brenner: Go ahead. Lin: The shelter the girl told us about. If it truly does exist... Perhaps it contains the medical equipment Dr. Morris requires. Dr. Morris: You may be onto something there. A shelter like that would be completely airtight... Which means an infectious disease would spread like wildfire... Yes, they must have considered it. It's very possible they would have a contingency plan for a situation such as this. Brenner: I see. Good work, you two. As long as there's a chance, we keep moving. ~~~~~Base Camp~~~~~ Brenner: Will? What are you doing out here all alone? Will: Nothing. I'm just... Brenner: I know you're worried about Isabella. That's a normal reaction. But listen, I don't want you to lose hope. As long as there's life-- Will: I ran away. I... I ran away from her. Brenner: What are you talking about? Will: When I knew...when I knew Isabella was sick. I didn't go to her. I didn't want to get sick too. I was only thinking about myself. She was really scared, you know? I could see it in her eyes. She wanted me to help her, but... ...I ran away. Brenner: You did the right thing, Will. If you'd gone to her, if you'd come into contact with her, you'd be in quarantine too. Will: But you would have stayed with her, Captain! You help people. That's what you do. You're committed. You're not like me... Brenner: I've spent more time running than you'll ever know, kid. Hell, I'm still running. Will: What do you mean? Brenner: All the people I couldn't help, all the soldiers who died because I wasn't good enough... I've spent many a sleepless night telling myself it couldn't be helped, that I did all I could. That's just the sound of me running, Will. Running from a past I'll never escape... Will: Oh... Brenner: You disappointed? I was hoping I could protect the illusion for you. No matter how I grieve or regret my actions, the men who've died because of me will still be dead. But Isabella's still alive. You've got nothing to regret. There's plenty you can still do, right? For her? Will: Sir... Yes, sir! Brenner: Just remember, Will. Where there's life... Will: There's hope! ======================== *****End Chapter-08***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-09***** ==================== The Beast ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Mayor: Brenner! I need to talk to you! Is it true that the girl traveling with you is sick? Brenner: Yes, it's true. It's nothing you need to worry about, though. The virus only affects people under a certain age. No one in your group is in danger. Mayor: That's not the point! Sickness and disease make people nervous, and nervous people panic. We can't have that! You've got to get rid of her. We can't afford the risk. Brenner: I think you need to stop talking now. We're in this together. All of us. Is that clear? Mayor: No, it's not! Would you put us all in danger to protect one girl? We don't know who she is or where she came from! She has to go, Brenner! Brenner: Listen carefully, because I'm only going to say this once. No one gets left behind. Not you, or your people, not Will, and not Isabella. If you have a problem with that, you're free to leave whenever you want. Mayor: You...you fool! You're too soft, Brenner! If this goes wrong, it's on your head! I'll hold you personally responsible! ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Will: How's Isabella doing, Dr. Morris? Dr. Morris: You're going to worry no matter what I tell you, so here's the truth. It's not good, Will. She needs medicine, and she needs it now. Will: Can I see her? Dr. Morris: Absolutely not! We've had this conversation before. This virus is most dangerous to people of your age. I won't allow you to see her. Will: But, Dr. Morris, I-- Dr. Morris: Once we get to the shelter, there's a good chance I'll be able to treat her. But until then you have to stay away. You don't want to get sick too, do you? Will: I don't care! What would it matter anyway? If I don't see her now, I may never get the chance to apologize. So please... Dr. Morris: Your apology can wait, boy. I'm more concerned with her well- being, and you should be too. Will: What's that supposed to mean? Dr. Morris: I don't wish to betray doctor-patient confidentiality, but I have spoken to her. What's troubling her most is the fear that she's become a burden to us. She thinks it would be better if she'd died before you found her. Will: How can she think that?! Dr. Morris: But she hasn't given up hope. She never even complains about the pain. The other Creeper patients I've treated have all begged me to...end their suffering. But Isabella has chosen to live. And do you know why? It's because she owes that life to you. Will: ... ... ... ... Dr. Morris: She believes that if she refuses to give up, we'll find a way to cure her. Her first memory is of you telling her she was going to be all right. She trusts you implicitly, the way a newly hatched chick trusts its mother. She believes everything you told her about having hope. I suggest you believe it too. Will: You...you're right. I'm sorry, Dr. Morris. Thank you. Dr. Morris: No need to apologize. I can't allow you to see her, but... Oh ho! Yes, you could try speaking to her through the door. Will: Really? Would that be OK? Dr. Morris: Certainly. Just for a little while, though. ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Lin: This route leads directly to the foothills of the Seratta mountain range. However, recon reports those raiders are back and blocking the way. Brenner: Set up an ambush, have they? Seems they really are hell-bent on revenge. We're going to have to finish this once and for all. Advance! *****Day one***** Dr. Morris: Come in, Captain Brenner! Dr. Morris here, and I've got great news! This airport we found is in fine working condition. You can produce new air units whenever you need them! Brenner: Roger that, Doc. Air support will be welcome. *****Rig is selected***** Lin: Rigs can be used to build temporary airports. That looks like a good spot. Move there and commence construction. *****Bomber is selected***** Lin: With bombers, you can attack ground and naval units. Bombers are very powerful and can even take out tanks with one strike. Utilize your bombers to attack the enemy's ground units. *****Duster is selected***** Will: This unit must be... Lin: It's a duster. It can attack ground units as well as other air units. It's not as powerful as a fighter or a bomber, but good to have nonetheless. Will: Right, I studied them at the academy. They're inexpensive and versatile. Lin: Good memory, Will. Now use them to attack those nearby ground units. *****Fighter is selected***** Lin: With fighters, you can take on other air units. When it comes to air combat, fighters are second to none. Now let's take out the enemy's air units! *****Rig starts construction***** Lin: Good. The rig crew has gotten started. Select Build on your next turn to continue construction. Dr. Morris: That's right! Keep building! we've all got to do our part! =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: Come on, Will! This one's a cakewalk! You shouldn't need my help! I'm disappointed in you. Brenner: ...I'm not Will. Lin: C-Captain Brenner? Sir! I'm sorry, sir! I spoke out of turn. I just wanted to encourage Will, sir! There are no easy battles, sir! Not even the easy ones! ...Sorry, sir. Will: Hey! You never apologize to me! Lin: Stuff it, soldier! Will: SEE?! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Yes. At any rate, this stage lacks factories. Guard your infantry units carefully, or you won't be able to capture cities. Use fighters and dusters to strike the enemy early and often. And strike his anti-air and missile units as soon as you can. Bombers work well for this purpose, especially against missiles. Brenner: That's solid strategy, Lin. Lin: Thank you, Captain. My pleasure. Will: She never tells me it's her pleasure. Lin: Stop that grumbling, soldier! ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: I hope my tips help you win the day, sir. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, The raiders***** The Beast: GYAAARRR! Where the hell am I? Where did all these copters and tanks come from? Oh, my head... Wait! It's SOLDIER BOY!!! Time for The Beast to hunt! GYAAARRR! *****Rig finishes construction***** Dr. Morris: Excellent work! That temporary airport is open for business. Lin: Temporary airports allow air units to be refueled and repaired. Brenner: Looks like the rig's run out of building materials... *****Day two, The Raiders***** The Beast: 'Bout time you showed your ugly mugs! Will: Why are you doing this? Get out of our way! We have to save Isabella! The Beast: Isa-whatta? You think I care about what you're doing? I want BLOOD! Will: You may have tanks and guns and men at your command, but... You're not a soldier! You're nothing but a murderer! The Beast: Gwar har har har! Murderer? ME? And you're a snot-nosed punk! Will: I... The Beast: War IS murder! You hear me?! Soldiers are trained to KILL! That's battlefield learnin', punk! Your textbooks teach you that? HUH?! You wanna learn 'bout war? Fine by me! The Beast'll teach you good! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: GYAAARRR! You're dead, punk! The Beast will destroy... Destroy... I'm...coming for...you... NO! My head...urgh... *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: Go on, Will... You can't stop now... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: Now, let's investigate the shelter. ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Entrance~~~~~ Lin: This is it. These are the coordinates Isabella gave us. Dr. Morris: Oh ho! There really is a shelter here! What did I tell you, folks? That girl hasn't got a lying bone in her body. Knew it right from the start! Lin: All we need now is a way to open the security doors. Ideas, anyone? System: Welcome to Fortress. Enter access code. Lin: The access code is of standard military issue, but I don't have the proper security clearance. Captain, do you think your clearance is high enough? Brenner: I doubt it, but we've got to try. I'm only a captain, but here goes... Code number 0848124390. System: Identification error. Access denied. You have one chance remaining to enter a valid code. Brenner: Damn... Guess the politicos never planned on letting grunts into their private club. Looks like I should have taken those promotions when I had the chance. Lin: More importantly, Captain, we only have one chance remaining. I think we're done. Will: No! Don't say that! We've come so far... There must be something we can do. We have to get inside. We have to! Otherwise, Isabella will...she'll... Dr. Morris: We need someone with the right clearance, but... Lin: I don't see any generals or high-ranking government officials in the area, Doctor. Did you happen to see the president's corpse on the way here? Perhaps he's carrying the code. Dr. Morris: That's morbid, Lieutenant. And decidely unhelpful. Truth be told, we don't have time to go looking for the code. It's not sophisticated, but how about starting at 0000000000 and working our way up? Lin: Now who's being unhelpful? We only have one chance left. Dr. Morris: I'm merely offering suggestions! There's no need to upbraid me so! Lin: I'm merely stating the facts. And the fact is, we have no chance of guessing the correct access code. We have one more try to get a ten-digit code correct. The odds of guessing it right... ...are almost zero. Dr. Morris: We're talking a probability of one in ten billion. Now, if this was just a story and I was the hero, something miraculous would happen... Brenner: I'd rather try and fail than just walk away. Anyone have a favorite ten-digit number? Will: Ten digits... Wait a second! Brenner: What is it, Will? Will: 9693872914... That's ten numbers, right? Lin: Don't tell me you actually HAVE a favorite ten-digit number. Will: Um...Not exactly, no. I just have a feeling. I think that may get us inside. Brenner: Well...what have we got to lose? Go ahead, Will. Will: Right. System: Welcome to Fortress. Enter access code. Will: Please let this work... 9693872914... System: Identification accepted. Security locks disengaging. ~~~~~Door opens~~~~~ Dr. Morris: What in the world? Brenner: You did it, Will! Lin: ...I don't know what to say. Dr. Morris: Are you some sort of idiot savant? Or wait... Perhaps YOU are the president's secret child! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho ho! Will: What?! No...that's not it. It's the number Isabella was whispering. Lin: What are you talking about? Will: She's been saying it randomly ever since she remembered this shelter was here. In fact, she said it again just before she got sick. Brenner: So once again, it's Isabella to the rescue. I feel like we've got our own guardian angel. Do you think she really is the daughter of some high-ranking official? Lin: That's the one explanation I would be comfortable with. Dr. Morris: Well, in any case, we're in! And that's something to celebrate, my friends! Oh ho ho ho! ~~~~~Inside Nuclear shelter~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Now that we're in, we should be able to find the machinery and medicine we need. Will: I'll go back down and get Isabella. Dr. Morris: No, you won't You're not allowed to have any contact with the patient, remember? I'll take care of Isabella. It'll give me the chance to tell the mayor that we're inside. Brenner: Take some of the men with you. There's no sign of hostiles, but we can't let our guard down. Lin: I'll take charge of reconnoitering the shelter. Will, you're with me. Will: Yes, sir! ======================== *****End Chapter-09***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-10***** ==================== Almost Home ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Control Center~~~~~ Lin: There are ten levels to the shelter. They're all clear. Brenner: How about the medical facilities? Will: The medical bay's in D Block, Sector 1, sir! Lin: It's filled with antiviral medicines and the latest medical equipment. The government spared no expense in its preparations to safeguard the political elite. Brenner: I hear you, Lin. Now let's get Isabella and the rest of the civilians in here. On the double! Will: Right away, sir! Rubinelle: Captain! The rear guard's under attack! Looks like those raiders are back again! Brenner: What? Someone want to explain how they snuck up on us? Lin: I...I don't know, sir. They didn't appear on radar... Brenner: That's just great! What are you standing around for? Let's move! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Civilian: It's those raiders! We're done for! They'll kill us all! Rubinelle: Calm down! Just follow the evacuation procedures we practiced. Do as you were told, and you'll get out of this just fine. Isabella: Unnnhhhh... Dr. Morris: It's all right, Isabella. Try thinking of something pleasant. That should help. When I'm stressed, I think of my lab. And perhaps some nice rats or robots! Isabella: I-I'm OK... If we never give up... Dr. Morris: Yes, of course. We must never give up. That's the key. Of course, some reinforcements would help raise my spirits, but... The Beast: GYAAARRR! Ungyaahh...graar... Gwar har har! GYAAARRR! Will: The raiders are closing in on the civilians! They're going to attack! The Beast: GYAAARRR! Civilians? You're worried about them? Gwar har har! That settles it! KILL 'EM ALL!! War lesson number one, punk! NEVER CARE! GYAAARRR!! Will: Leave them alone! They're not soldiers! THEY'RE CIVILIANS! The Beast: It doesn't matter! They're weak! They're defenseless! They're the perfect prey, and that's why they're gonna bleed! Will: But why? Why would you... I'm not letting you touch them! We're going to stop you! The Beast: Gwar har har! I'd like to see you try! Do your worst! GYAAARRR!! *****Day one***** =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: ...Iiiiiiit's Lin... Isabella: ...Aaaaaaand Isabella... Lin: ...With today's... Isabella: ...Tactical Tip Show! Lin: We rehearsed that, you know! Anyway, on with the strategy. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: First, have your frontline units fall back immediately. Strong units can build a defensive line near the central mountains. Oh, and keep an eye out for enemy aerial attacks. Use planes and anti-air units to keep them busy. Isabella: Capture the airport and factory, then build indirect-attack units and tanks. Once you have a good-sized force, strike for the east. And don't worry about the war tanks, your bombers can take care of them. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: See you next time on... Isabella: The Taaaaactical Tiiiiip Shooooow! ...Hee hee! That was really fun, Lin! Let's do it again! =====End Tactics===== *****An infantry dies***** The Beast: GYAAARRR! YES! YES! YES! First blood to The Beast! Take them all! Don't let them die easily! Will: NOOOO! Get out of there! Do you read?! You have to evacuate now! Dr. Morris? Isabella? Please, someone answer me! You've got to get out of there! Hello? Is anyone there? The Beast: Gwar har har! They're all dead, punk! Your pretty little girlfriend too! You couldn't save 'em. How's it taste? Burns, doesn't it? Will: WHY? Why did you do that? There was no reason... The Beast: Reasons? I don't need reasons! I kill because I can! And now I'm gonna kill the rest so I can hear you cry some more. How's that sound? What's that? I can't HEEEEAAARRR you! C'mon, punk! Don't you have anything to say? I wanna hear you beg! Will: I...I want to kill you. The Beast: You threatening me, boy? Will: You were right. I had no idea what war was really about. But I get it now. It's about anger and fear. It's about hate! My friends weren't looking to fight. They were innocent... You want to live like a beast? Fine! You can die like one too! The Beast: Gwar har har! Now you're talkin', punk! Now you're worth killing! GYAAARRR! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** The Beast: GYAAA... Uuurrrgggh! NOOOOOO!!! Caulder: It seems my little experiment has come to an untimely end. Oh well... You served your purpose well, my savage beast. I am quite satisfied. But you are no longer of any use to me. You may continue dying... Will: Hello! Is anyone there? Did anyone manage to survive? Hello? HELLO? It's...it's no use. They're dead. I failed them all... Dr. Morris: Don't be so quick to bury us, Will! We were just lying low until we could be sure it was safe. Will: Dr. Morris! Dr. Morris: No time for lollygagging! I've got wounded coming out of my ears! And Isabella is faring poorly! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: Isabella... forgive me... The Beast: Gwar har har har! GYAAARRR!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: We must never give up hope. ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Control Center~~~~~ Lin: The wounded are in sick bay, sir. The civilians came through largely unharmed. Brenner: Where's Will? Lin: He's with Isabella. Her condition has deteriorated badly. She was hurt in the skirmish, and the virus is continuing to develop. Brenner: Will she make it? Lin: It's touch and go. She's in Dr. Morris's hands now. ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Medical Wing~~~~~ Will: Come on, come on... What's taking so long? Dr. Morris: Will. You're still here? It's been hours. Will: How is she, Doctor? Is Isabella all right? Dr. Morris: I'm...I'm sorry, Will. Try and calm down, all right? I don't know if I'm the right person to tell you this, but... Will: Oh no... Please, Dr. Morris! It can't be! It can't! Dr. Morris: Listen, I... No, I don't have the words... I think I'll leave it to Isabella to tell you how she's made a full recovery! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho ho! Isabella: Will! Will: Isabella! Isabella: I'm going to be OK, Will. I owe it all to Dr. Morris's help and to everyone's kindness. Will: That's great news! Isabella: It is, isn't it? ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Control Center~~~~~ Brenner: You're a real piece of work, Doc. Why didn't you just tell the boy she was better? Dr. Morris: Come now, Captain! Where's the drama in that? Did you see the joy on Will's face? I felt like the director in one of those TV medical dramas. Oh ho ho! Brenner: Unbelievable... Lin: May I assume Isabella's no longer contagious? Dr. Morris: You may. The virus incorporated the nucleoside analogues into its genomes, halting its life-- Brenner: Stop! Is she OK or isn't she? Dr. Morris: You are a most impatient man, Captain. Yes, yes, she's fine. Although I must confess I had my doubts there for a while. She was on the verge of death, and then... Something changed within her system. While I was recovering from my surprise... Voila! I can offer you no explanation for it. Brenner: Why not just call it a miracle? Sounds to me like Will's prayers were answered. That's all the explanation I need right there. Dr. Morris: I'm a man of science, Captain. Miracles are not something I deal in. However... Truth be told, I feel rather superfluous in that I truly did nothing to heal her. The one thing I can say for certain is that she's cured. So... Hip hip hoo-rah! ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Living Quarters~~~~~ Mayor: Where've you been, Brenner? I've been waiting to hear your report for hours! Brenner: Calm down. Everything's fine. The girl made a full recovery. Mayor: The girl? Who said anything about her? I want to know about the food! Is the factory in working order? Will we be able to grow crops? Brenner: Yes. That's what I've been told. You'll be happy to learn you don't need to worry about food anymore. Mayor: That...that is good news. Now, we've got some additional business to attend to... As the civilian represenative, there's something I need to discuss with you. Brenner: Go on. Mayor: It's about this shelter. Do you think it can sustain this many people living here? We've assessed the situation and feel we need to cut our population roughly in half. There's-- Brenner: You can't be serious. Do you realize how big this place is? There is more than enough room for all of us. Mayor: Listen, Brenner. This is the collective opinion of the entire civilian population, understand? And having soldiers living here is problematic as well. Are we supposed to live in fear of being attacked? Brenner: Is there a point to all this? Mayor: You're soldiers. You have the weapons and training to survive anywhere. But we civilians are powerless. This shelter is our only chance for survival. We believe the solution is clear. Am I right, everyone? Shall we vote and decide like civilized men? Lin: That's not a reasonable proposition. In terms of numbers, you civilians have an overwhelming majority. Additionally, a large number of our people are incapacitated by their wounds. Would you use that to your advantage? Is that the type of people we're dealing with? Mayor: How disrespectful! I'm not trying to set up a dictatorship! This new world should be built on democracy. One person, one vote! That's what I say! Or would you rather threaten us with your guns and bully us into submission? Brenner: ... ... ... ... Lin: OK, yeah. I'm comfortable with that. Brenner: Stand down, Lin. Mayor: Very well, then. We vote, and majority rules. Does that sound fair to everyone? All in favor of having the soldiers leave the shelter, raise their hands. ...Come on! Lets see hands! Civilian: I don't think so. Youth: Me either. Mayor: Wh-what are you doing? Get your hands up! I gave you the plan! Now do as I told you! Woman: But...they fought for us. They risked their lives for us. Youth: Some of them...died for us. We can't just throw them out of here. Woman: I want them to stay. Civilian: I'll second that! Brenner: You listening, Mayor? Lin: It would appear we have a clear majority. Mayor: B-b-but, how can you...? Wh-what are you thinking?! Fine! Do as you please! I don't care! Brenner: Thank you, everyone. You have my gratitude. As you know, my people and I have been on search and rescue 24-7 since the meteors struck. But most of the folks we've "saved" didn't last too long after the fact... To be honest, there've been times when I've questioned the value of what we're doing. But knowing that you understand makes it all worthwhile. Thank you. Lin: Well said, Captain. ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Medical Wing~~~~~ Will: So we're going to stay here for a while. There's plenty of food, and there's safety in numbers. Isabella: We can stay here together? Me too? I...I had nothing. I didn't know where I was or what I should do. I didn't even know my own name. Yet you took me in and cared for me, and now you say I can live here with you. Are you sure? Is it truly all right? Will: Of course! And now that you've recovered from the virus, I'm sure you'll get your memory back. Isabella: Perhaps... But I really don't need my memory back. I'm fine not knowing what happened before. Will: Really? But... Isabella: You've given me all the memories I need. I'll never forget the kindness you've shown. Will: Isabella, listen. I want to... ...Um, Lieutenant? Are you... Lin? Hello? Lin: Yes? Will: GYAA! How do you do that? And why are you eavesdropping on our conversations? Lin: Are you talking about something you don't want me to hear? Will: Well, no, but... That's not the point! It was a private conversation, and-- Lin: Whatever. Captain Brenner sent me. We're to report to A Block immediately. If we're going to be living here, we need to set up rules and regulations. Will: Fine. We'll be right there. C'mon Isabella. It's time to go! Isabella: Yes, sir! ======================== *****End Chapter-10***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-11***** ==================== A Storm Brews ~~~~~Lazurian/Rubinelle Coastline~~~~~ Brenner: Any news, Will? Will: No, sir. Nobody's here either. Brenner: I see. We'll just have to keep looking. Will: It's been a whole year since the meteors came down, and we still can't see the sun. How long will it be before we see another blue sky? Brenner: Don't give up hope. The sun will find a way to break through again. However, I think it's time to increase our search radius, even if we have to leave the shelter. What's our supply situation, Lin? Lin: We have enough for another three months. But more and more refugees have been coming to the shelter. We're already over capacity, and they are still coming. If we keep taking them in... Brenner: We'll figure something out. We're not turning anyone away. Will, what's the current status of the civilian population? Will: Everyone seems to be getting by, and they're all helping each other. But, then again, they don't know just how low our food supplies are... Lin: There's a growing faction of civilians who follow that idiot mayor. They sit around all day waiting for us to feed them and keep them safe. If they knew about the supply situation, they would likely turn on the newcomers... The situation isn't good. I worry it could deteriorate to infighting at any time. Will: I won't let that happen! We'll just find a new place to live! We can't resort to fighting our own people. Lin: I'm worried that Will is pushing himself too hard. I know he wants to help, but he puts a lot of pressure on himself. Brenner: He still sees himself as a civilian, not a soldier. That's why he's worried that the other civilians might become a burden to us. Lin: He doesn't make things easy for himself. Brenner: No, he doesn't. Lin: Captain... I've started hearing some disturbing rumors from incoming refugees. They say there is a war raging in the north. Brenner: War? The world is in ruins. There's no one left to start a war. Lin: Regardless, there are rumors that the survivors have been banding together. And that someone has dragged them into a full-scale war. However, it's only a rumor. Will: Captain! Brenner: What is it, Will? Will: Ships have been sighted off the coast! I can't be sure, but it looks like some Rubinelle Army survivors are under attack! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Davis: Aw, man. This ain't good, man... C-Captain Brenner! HELP! They're attacking us! Brenner: Davis?! Is that you? Will: You know him, Captain? Brenner: I do. Davis used to be under my command. Davis: The Lazurians are all over us! We need support now, Captain! Brenner: Why do the Lazurians have to keep throwing fuel on this damn war? Davis: Please, Captain! Take 'em out before it's too late! We're gettin' torn up! Brenner: Hang tight, Davis. We're on our way! *****Day one***** Lin: Remember, your forces are in red uniforms. The enemy is wearing blue. Davis's forces are yellow. Don't forget that they are our allies. =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: Welcome to the Tactical Tip Show. We have a special guest today... Davis: Ummm...yeah. Hi. I'm...I'm Davis. I work for Admiral Greyfield. ...And I'm not that special. I'm actually just a guy. See, my boss-- Lin: OK, too much info. Let's talk strategy, all right? Davis: Uh... Look, I thought... I mean, I was just... I thought you were here to help! You know, with my problems? Yeah, 'cause I've kinda been thinking about a lot of stuff, and I hoped someone would-- Lin: Are you still talking? Davis: Hey, look, I'm... You could at least pretend to care... See, my boss keeps losing his temper and yelling at me and calling me a big-- Lin: Yes, yes. Terribly sad. Now on to tactics! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: A gunboat-and-rocket combo will work wonders on enemy cruisers. Your gunboats have only one shot, so you'll need to resupply them. Use the rig to build a temporary port on the nearby beach. At the same time, move troops to the central peninsula with landers. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: That's it for today. Thanks for coming. Davis: Um... Look, can I... Can we talk now? I really need someone to listen to me. Lin: I'm afraid you'll have to keep looking. Davis: B-but, I thought... I thought you cared. Lin: Not really, no. Anyway, that's the Tactical Tip Show for today. Thanks for the help...um... David? Damon? What was your name again? =====End Tactics===== *****Gunboat is selected***** Isabella: Gunboats can strike other naval units with missile salvos. They carry only enough missiles to fire one full salvo, so use it wisely. They can also transport one infantry or mech unit. Lin: ... ... ... ... Will: Are you OK, sir? Lin: What, me? Oh yeah, sure. No worries. Now that Isabella is training, I'm ...not quite sure what to do with myself. ...Maybe I need a new hobby. Like...knitting. Will: Don't say that! *****Lander is selected***** Will: Can you tell me more about this unit? Lin: It's a lander. Will: Right. Uh...could you give me a little more information? Sir? Lin: ...I guess I could. But I think I'll let Isabella talk now. Over to you, Isabella. Isabella: You can load up two ground units onto a lander. Run the lander onto a beach to unload or pick up units. *****Day one, New Rubinelle Army***** Davis: My forces have taken heavy damage! You're going to have to take over. No offense, but my priority right now is gettin' outta here in one piece... *****Day one, Lazurian forces***** Tasha: More Rubes joining the fight? Good, keep them coming! Come on, Lazurians! Let's wipe 'em off the map! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Gage: Tasha, we have to retreat. Tasha: What? Why?! Call in reinforcements, Gage! I want to keep fighting! Gage: Orders from General Forsythe. Tasha: But...WHY?! Look at them! Those Rubinelle forces are lame ducks! Gage: Tasha? It was a direct order. Tasha: Dammit! Gage: Calm down. There's no place for emotion on the battlefield. Stay cool, follow orders, and eliminate the enemy. That is all we have to do. Tasha: Gya! I'll get revenge on all those Rubes! I swear it! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: I don't know anything about naval battles. It costs us lives. Davis: Oh, man! This is it, man! We're goin' down! Somebody save us, man! ...Anyone? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: That was a success. ~~~~~12th Battalion HQ~~~~~ Davis: Oh, man! I thought we were goners! Brenner: Good to see you alive, Davis. What have you been up to? Davis: Me? Aw, I'm commanding a force for Admiral Greyfield. I've been looking all over for you, Captain Brenner! Look, I'll come straight out and say it...we want you and your men to join us. Brenner: Explain. Davis: A huge war's broken out between Rubinelle and Lazuria. Greyfield took command and formed the New Rubinelle Army so we could take it to 'em! Brenner: This world is a slag heap. What could you possibly be fighting over? Davis: Well, the... The Lazurians started it! So now we gotta wipe 'em out! And the Lazurians are led by the legendary General Forsythe. They rallied behind him and hit us but good! Truth be told, we took some lumps... Brenner: Continue. Davis: Look, we...we have tons of supplies! Food, fuel, weapons...everything! Join us, and you won't ever have to worry about shortages. They can all live easy! Brenner: "They"? Who are you talking about? Davis: Captain, we know you've been protecting a big crowd of refugees and survivors. But you have to be running low on food and supplies, yeah? C'mon! Join us! Brenner: Our situation is none of Greyfield's concern. Davis: Look, man... Er, Captain. We need you just as much as you need us, and that's no lie. But we're both Rubinelle through and through! Not even doomsday can change that. Join us, Captain Brenner! ======================== *****End Chapter-11***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-12***** ==================== A History of Hate ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army Headquarters~~~~~ Davis: Admiral Greyfield, the 12th Battalion commander has arrived. Greyfield: ...WELL?! Don't just stand there like a slack-jawed idiot! Send him in! Brenner: ...Admiral. Greyfield: So you're the leader of the so-called Brenner's Wolves. Frankly, I'm surprised you're still alive. Brenner: For now. Greyfield: Yes, I remember you now! An adequate soldier, but crippled by ideological limitations! Your lack of patriotism and devotion was an insult to your Rubinelle heritage. Brenner: The 12th Battalion always fought with honor and respect for the rules of war. Greyfield: Rules of war? Ha ha ha! Rules... You really are a relic from another age, Captain. Davis: Hey, uh... Come on, now. We're all soldiers of Rubinelle, yeah? We should all pull together against the enemy. Waylon: I don't think much of Davis, but the chump's got a point. We gotta plow the Lazurians into the ground. There's time for dancing when that's done. Brenner: Oh, good. Waylon's here. Waylon: Oh, you know it ain't a party 'til I arrive, brother man! That's straight-up truth! Oh, yeah, and thanks for bailing me out of that jam. The ladies of the world thank you. Brenner: Couldn't resist the draw of the high life, huh, Waylon? This paycheck help you sleep at night? Waylon: Like a baby with a bottle! Only a fool'd miss out on this kind of livin'! Round here? They treat me right! Give me anything I ask for. I do whatever I want, too, and everyone's too scared to say boo! Brenner: Typical. Davis: L-look...Admiral Greyfield has taken over the former military and built the New Rubinelle Army. But we need help to beat those crafy Lazurians. ...N-not that you need any help, Admiral! Um... Oh Great One... Greyfield: The Lazurians are an enemy to freedom-loving people everywhere! There can be no peace until they are wiped from the face of the planet. Davis: Yeah, so, it's like a war for peace. Right? The enemy forced us into it. Are you with us, Captain? Brenner: ...I don't want this idiotic war to continue any longer than it already has. If my men can end this fighting a day sooner, then we will help. Davis: Yes! I don't believe it! Greyfield: Hmmm...yes. I suppose you may be a modicum of help. But we will have to wait and see... Go to the Rubinelle Sea. The hated Lazurians have been seen in the area. Send them a clear signal that you now fight for Admiral Greyfield! And show no mercy! Brenner: ...I hope this is over soon. Greyfield: For a man of Rubinelle, he lacks moral flexibility and respect for power. Davis: Y-yes, sir! B-but I always remember him as a good fighter... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Brenner: Have all units been deployed? Lin: Yes, Captain. They are awaiting your orders. Brenner: One wrong move, and the Lazurians will be all over us. Greyfield sent only a handful of units, and this force is formidable. Will: Captain Brenner? Brenner: Yes, Will? Will: Why did the Lazurians start this war? Why would they do that? I don't understand what there is to fight over. Brenner: I imagine they saw this as a chance to settle some unfinished business. Sometimes I can almost understand the feeling. Will: I still don't get it... Brenner: Will, I know how you feel. I know this war seems senseless. But the Great War caused unspeakable horror for our two countries. We've traded black eyes with the Lazurians for over a century. The meteors changed everything but the hatred between our nations. Will: But still... Brenner: I fear this war won't end until one side secures military victory. We have to force them to surrender. We have no other choice. Now let's move! *****Day one***** *****Submarine is selected***** Lin: Dive subs after moving them to avoid detection. *****Battleship is selected***** Lin: Battleships are the only units that can launch indirect attacks after moving. A smart CO can use them to completely change the outcome of a battle. =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: Welcome back to the Tactical Tip Show. Today we have another special guest... Isabella: Hello! It's me! Isabella! Lin: She's going to give s a fascinating lecture on how to strip and clean a field rifle. Isabella: Actually, I want you to teach me how to cook. ...I just made that other stuff up so you'd invite me here. Lin: Oh. Well..all right. Sure. Change of plans. We'll talk about cooking. It's not tactics, but cooking is still important. A well-fed unit has high morale, after all. Isabella: Yay! OK, I'm taking notes. Lin: Let's see... Cooking... Well, to master the art of battlefield cuisine, you need to use whatever is at hand. ...Oh look! A rat! That's great. Today we'll make a rat stew. Isabella: Rat...stew? Lin: Yes. Rats are an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Isabella: Um...OK. Well, I guess I'll try to... Ew! Please don't give that to me! Lin: Now, while our rat is simmering, let's discuss the upcoming battle. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Subs should dive and focus on torpedoing enemy battleships. And your battleship should focus on enemy cruisers or battleships. Lastly, your cruisers should hit the enemy subs. Battle copters can be very helpful, but keep them away from cruisers! Oh, and use fighters to strike the enemy bomber. Aaaaaand, that's it for now. ...Is something burning? Isabella: Um...maybe? Lin: Well, it's not bad for a first attempt. Who's for rat stew? Isabella: Oh! I'm... I'm really full. But maybe next time you could teach me other dishes? Lin: Sure. I can make snake stew, frog stew, roach stew... Oh, and boot stew! Which should we try next? Isabella: ... Can I get back to you later? ~~~~~War Room~~~~~ Lin: Well, that's enough adventure for today. Isabella: I don't think the troops are going to enjoy my new recipe... =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Waylon's forces***** Waylon: Woo-hoo! Let's hit 'em where it hurts! *****Day one, Lazurian forces***** Tasha: Requesting permission to engage the Rubinelle forces, sir. Forsythe: Granted. Caulder: General Forsythe? If you like, I can boost your chances of victory. I have prepared some special gifts for you and your men. Forsythe: Gifts? Caulder: Yes, gifts! Weapons with the power to grant you an effortless victory! Such as a device with the power to freeze troops solid? It uses a specially developed formula created in my labo-- Forsythe: Good chowder, man! That is enough! I will hear no more talk of this! Weapons of that ilk are banned by international and military law. Caulder: Law? What does that mean now? There is no law in this world! A wise man would use all means at his disposal to ensure victory. Forsythe: I am an old, tired soldier, Caulder, but one who fights with honor. I will not sully the proud name of Lazuria with your foul weapons. Caulder: I don't think that position will prove popular among your troops. Forsythe: My good man, I am grateful for the aid you have given my army. It is thanks to you that we occupy a position of superiority over Rubinelle. But I simply will not abide the use of such terrible weapons! Caulder: That is regrettable. Tasha: General Forsythe, leave it to me! I'll destroy these filthy Rubes! *****Day two***** Will: Um...hello? I mean...attention? Come in, please. I want to speak to the Lazurian commander. Can you hear me? Why are we fighting? The war is over. None of this matters. Tasha: Huh? ...John? ...John? Is that you? JOHN?! Will: ...What? Tasha: No, that's...that's impossible. John is... Will: What are you talking about?! Tasha: This is Wing Commander Tasha of the Lazurian Airborne. Identify yourself! Will: Um...I'm Will. I'm a member of the 12th Battalion. Uh...of Rubinelle. But listen! I don't want to fight! The Great War is over! Tasha: It's not over... It's NEVER over! This is about revenge! We fight and fight until Rubinelle is destroyed! Will: Look, I know our nations have been at war since before we were both born. And we've all lost friends and family... But revenge won't bring anyone back. Tasha: It may not bring them back, but it will avenge them! And that matters! Could you just forgive and forget! Pah! What a hypocrite! Will: I'm not a hypocrite! Tasha: You're a kid! What do you know about war or revenge? You think you know right and wrong, but you've never been tested! All you have are your words and your false bravado. John was my brother. He was killed by your Rubinelle Army. Revenge! Death to all Rubes! Reveeeeenge! Will: But wait...! Tasha: I've said all I'm going to say. I don't want to fight a kid, but if you're with the Rubes, you're going down! *****If Waylon's Forces are destroyed***** Waylon: Waylon don't like this none, no sir! Let's get out of here! Retreat! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Tasha: No! Those filthy Rubes beat me again! I'm so sorry, General Forsythe! I swear we will have revenge! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: How could I lose... Tasha: YES! Revenge! Revenge is mine! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: How long must this war go on...? ~~~~~12th Battalion Base Camp~~~~~ Brenner: Will, Lin. Look to the wounded. Will: OK. We'll split up and begin searching for survivors... ~~~~~Rubinelle Seacoast~~~~~ Waylon: Well, look what the cat dragged in! It's Captain Courageous's cabin boy. And look at you! Running all over hell and breakfast helpin' the wounded. Will: Captain Waylon? Waylon: Waylon, kid! Waylon! No need to sound so uppity! I ain't some fancy-pants general. So how is the good captain, eh? Still tryin' to save the world like a chump? Will: Captain Brenner is a great man! Waylon: What?! Will: You can call me a kid or chump or whatever, but never speak badly of Captain Brenner. Waylon: Pshaw, kid! I'm just pullin' your chain a little. That's all. But that reminds me... Ol' Greyfield himself wants to see you. Will: He wants to see me? Waylon: 'Fraid so. And he ain't a fella that likes to wait, if you know what I mean. So hit the road, and tell the great man that I said hello. ... What are you still doin' here, brother man?! Get going! Go on! Shoo! ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army HQ~~~~~ Will: You wanted to see me, Admiral? Greyfield: Hmm? Ah, yes. Will, wasn't it? Yes, yes. Please, do come in. You kept a cool head in that battle, my boy. I'm impressed. Commanding an army at your age is no mean feat. But you are Rubinelle, and the proud blood of this nation flows in your veins! Will: Umm... Thank you? Greyfield: What do you think of this life, Will? What do you think of the destruction which gave birth to this brave new world? Will: I... I think it's terrible-- Greyfield: WRONG! You have made a fundamental error! Do not do so again! Will: An error? Greyfield: Only the weak view this destruction as terrible. Some defeatists may even claim we deserved it... But they are fools! All of this has been but a test! Will: A...test? Greyfield: Yes, a test. A test to see who has earned the right of survival. The weak see it as a catastrophe, but the strong see it as opportunity! You, Will! You could be one of the strong! You passed the test with flying colors. Will: But people died! They lost their lives! Greyfield: It is natural that the weak should perish! Will: I... I don't... Greyfield: This world as it is now demands strength. It demands the strength of Rubinelle. Our long years of war with Lazuria, and the destruction that followed, were all tests. Those who cannot cope with the harsh reality of today do not deserve to survive. Will: ...You're wrong! Greyfield: What did you say? Will: My parents were killed in the war! My friends were killed by the meteors! You think it is natural that they died? You think they failed some crazy test? You're wrong! And I'm not afraid to say it! Greyfield: How dare you speak to me in such a way! I am Admiral Greyfield! I will rule this world! Will: ... Greyfield: I thought you were different from that fool Brenner... But I see he has brainwashed you with that nonsense about protecting the innocent! Begone! Leave my sight! If you dare return, I'll see you hanged for treason! ======================== *****End Chapter-12***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-13***** ==================== Greyfield Strikes ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army HQ~~~~~ Greyfield: WELL! Don't just stand there, fool! Give me your report! Davis: Th-thanks to the brave effort of all our units, we crushed the hated Lazurians. Brenner's Wolves fought particularly well. It was only due to their-- Greyfield: SILENCE! I did not summon you before me to hear you sing that damn fool's praises! Where is the 12th Battalion now? Davis: On...on the coast, Admiral Greyfield. L-l-looking for the enemy... Greyfield: Send units to assist them. Make it clear that Admiral Greyfield is in command! Brenner will obey my orders to the letter during the next battle! Davis: B-but, Admiral... Greyfield: Do you question me, Davis? Armies need discipline and leadership, and I provide these things! Rogue elements like these...Wolves of Brenner's... must be brought to heel. Davis: Y-yes, sir! Absolutely right, Admiral. I'll... I'll get right on it. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ *****Day one***** Will: Captain, we have completed the capture of the port. We can now produce naval units! Brenner: Well done, Will. But the enemy possesses ports also. This may be a long battle. Lin: Greyfield has sent a token amount of funds and military support. But I think it's mostly for show. I doubt he really supports the 12th Battalion. We'd better make plans to secure our own source of funds and materials. Brenner: Got it. Thanks, Lin. All units! Spread out and capture as many neutral bases as you can! *****Select Carrier unit***** Lin: That's a carrier. We can use carriers to build seaplanes. Seaplanes will provide our air force with a significant boost. =====Tactics War Room===== Will: Huh? Where's Lieutenant Lin? Lin: ...Sorry I'm late! Will: Hmmm... There's something different about you today... Isabella: Oh! Hey, Will! Will: Isabella! What are you doing here? And what's that on your eyes? Lin: It's called mascara. ...What? Don't stare at me like that. Isabella asked me for help with her makeup. Poor kid found some in the rubble and thought it would be fun to try it on. Isabella: Hee hee! This is fun! Although Lin doesn't know much about this kind of thing. She told me that axle grease makes a fine skin-care product. I'm not sure that's true... Will: Um... Are you sure there's nothing more important you should be doing? Lin: Please leave the prioritizing of tasks to your superiors. Will: Oh! Sorry, sir. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Use gunboats to transport troops and secure the islands. Greyfield's bizarre orders are going to immobilize units from time to time. But you can plan for that by building a wide variety of units. Will: Understood! Lin: Sink the enemy carriers and battle ship with your sub and battleship. Then station a carrier, sub, and rig on the western island. That will prevent enemy naval units from sailing through these waters. Use battleships and seaplanes to pound ground forces near their HQ, then transport a contingent of ground forces and capture the enemy HQ. Now, if you have no...objections...Isabella and I have more to discuss. Will: Please! Go right ahead! ~~~~~War Room~~~~~ Lin: Is there something else I can help you with, Will? Will: No! No, I think I'll be OK. Thank you. Lin: So anyway, Isabella, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted... White is a great color for summer, but never wear it into battle. Are you taking notes? Isabella: I sure am, Lin. Oh, Will! Maybe we can color YOUR hair, too! That would be fun! Will: Time to go... =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Greyfield's forces***** Greyfield: Advance, my New Rubinelle Army! Failure will not be tolerated! Prove yourselves worthy of my glorious leadership! *****Day three, (And every three days from now)***** Greyfield: Report on the units in Brenner's group. Where does their strength lie? (Random Unit name)Battleships? Understood. Ensure you relay my orders tomorrow! *****Before Day four***** NRA Guard: Captain Brenner! We're receiving orders from Admiral Greyfield! He says they must be obeyed under penalty of death, sir! Brenner: What?! This is our battle! What does that idiot think he's doing? NRA Guard: Sorry, sir! But I'm just the messenger! Please do what he says, sir! I have a wife and kids! Will: Wait...the penalty of death applies to you? An enlisted man?! Brenner: I think it applies to all of us, Will. There's no choice. The admiral clearly doesn't like me very much. Will: This is my fault, Captain. I was disrespectful to the admiral... Brenner: Don't blame yourself, Will. Things can't be changed now. I could risk my own neck, but I won't endanger the lives of my men. We'll follow his orders. ...No matter how crazy they are. Will: Yes, sir! *****Day four***** Greyfield: All (Previously mentioned unit) Battleships, halt! Don't move an inch without my leave! *****Day four, Lazurian forces***** Gage: The enemy units are behaving oddly. Tasha: Great! Maybe there's a problem in the ranks! Gage: I wouldn't want to speculate. Let's just finish the job at hand. *****Before Day six***** Will: Attention, Lazurian commanders! Can anyone hear me? Gage: ... Will: I just hear static... Is this dumb thing broken? Gage: ...What do you want? Will: Hey! You heard me! Gage: I'm switching the intercom off now. Will: Wait! Please, hold on! I have to talk to you! I need to know why the Lazurians started this war again! Gage: I obey orders. I don't engage in policy discussions. Will: Orders? But Lazuria is destroyed! Both of our nations are in ruins, and yet we're still at war! Orders don't matter We don't have a reason to fight. Gage: ... ... ... ... Will: Surely you thought about this! You must know this war is pointless! Gage: That's not my concern. Soldiers follow orders, not their hearts. If soldiers acted as they pleased, armies would collapse. We're tools of the government. They tell us what to do, and we-- Will: But there IS no government now! I mean, not a real one! Gage: Not my problem. *****Before Day eight***** NRA Guard: Captain? I have more orders from Admiral Greyfield. Brenner: ...Not again! This idiot is risking all of our lives! Will: Captain, we can do it anyway! Brenner's Wolves won't be beaten by the Lazurians OR Greyfield! Rubinelle: Captain, he's right! We can win this! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Gage: Clearly the enemy had a method to their madness. We have no choice. We must retreat. *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: I let my troops down... I let everyone down... Gage: This is a hollow victory. The enemy command was in disarray. I take no pleasure from this... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: Tell Greyfield what happened here... ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army HQ~~~~~ NRA Guard: Admiral Greyfield! Brenner's Wolves have won the day! Er...I mean... It was probably due to your leadership, s-sir! Greyfield: ...I see. NRA Guard: A-Admiral? You're not...upset at our victory, are you? Greyfield: No! Of course not! How dare you! I am merely displeased Brenner allowed the Lazurians to escape. Until they are wiped from the face of the planet, we will know no peace... ~~~~~Ruined Coastal City~~~~~ Civilian: Oh! Oh golly, it's you! Isabella: I'm... I'm sorry. Do you know me? Civilian: Oh, I doubt you'd be remembering me. I used to run the bakery in this city, don'cha know! Isabella: Oh... I'm...I'm sorry. I can't really remember anything. Will: Wait! You know Isabella? She's lost her memory. Anything you can tell us about her would be a big help. Civilian: Well, that's just a shame, it is! But I'm afraid I won't be of much use t'ya. I only saw this young lady and her family a few times. Never bought m'pies, don'cha know! Will: She has a family? Civilian: Oh yah! Had herself a couple'a sisters and a brother, if I'm rememberin' rightly. Isabella: ...I had a family? Will: Do you know their names? Or where they are now? Civilian: Oh no! I don't think anyone here will be tellin' ya any of that. Not quite sure the best way to tell ya this, but... Ya had a bit of a creepy family, if I remember rightly. Folks were scared of 'em. Isabella: Why? Civilian: Oh, I don't wanna be talkin' poorly about someone's family! Wouldn't be right. Isabella: No! Please tell me! I want to know! Civilian: Yah well, we had all kinds of strange rumors flying about! Folks said your family wasn't human! Said they were monsters and the like! ...Don'cha know. Isabella: That's...horrible. Civilian: Oh golly, now I gone and done it! But yah, there were a buncha rumors! Folks said that a buncha tough guys caused ya trouble and then died all mysterious-like! And some folks said that if ya got near weapons, they'd explode and such! Isabella: ... Civilian: But they're just rumors, yah? Don'cha be payin' these things no mind. Isabella: Will... Will: Listen, Isabella, I'm sure that-- Isabella: Who am I? What am I? What if I did terrible things and don't remember it...? ======================== *****End Chapter-13***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-14***** ==================== A Hero's Farewell ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: We are approaching the main Lazurian base. This will not be easy. Their forces are led by General Forsythe. Will: I learned about him the academy. He was the hero of the Lazurian Seige! But that was twenty years ago... Is he really still fighting? Brenner: Forsythe... What are the chances I would be facing him? And here of all places... Will: What do you mean, Captain? ...Captain? Brenner: Lin, have we heard anything from Greyfield? Lin: He's on his way here with the main force of the NRA. We have been ordered to carry out... active surveillance. Will: Um...what's active surveillance? Brenner: It means we push directly into the enemy to assess their strength. Will: that doesn't sound like a very good strategy. Lin: It's a horrible strategy. At least for us. It would be better to wait for Greyfield to arrive before attacking. I can't figure out if he's a coward or he wants us to die. Perhaps it's both. Brenner: I don't think we can rely on his forces anyway. Lin? I'm going to need you at your best. Look sharp and think of a plan. *****Day one***** Will: Hey, is that a meteor? Lin: A fragment of one, yes. Brenner: If we destroy it, we'll be able to capture that airport. But sometimes it's best to leave such fragments to slow the enemy. We'll need to be careful about which we destroy and which we leave. =====Tactics War Room===== Forsythe: I say, good day to you. I am General Forsythe, an old dog who has spent his life fighting fot the Lazurian Army. I was asked to share some of my tactical knowledge with you. Being all too familiar with this terrain and its dangers, I agreed. I shall treat this as a war game and advise you as the course of action I would undertake. Smashing! Let us begin. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~~ Forsythe: First, secure the cities and airport to the east with your infantry units. Then gather your men just outside the range of the enemy rocket. These units should always be backed by indirect-attack units. The rocket unit behind the plasma beam is a right nasty piece of work. Destroy the meteorite on the right with bombers and long-range units. This will cause the plasma to vanish and let you move on the rocket. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Forsythe: As you were. Lin: General Forsythe, it has been an honor. Forsythe: Oh, my dear. The pleasure was all mine. Lin: I can see why you have gone down in history as a master tactician. Forsythe: The judgement of history is none of my concern. I wish only to fight with honor for my country. Lin: There should be more like you, General. Forsythe: And now, I take my leave of you. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Lazurian Army***** Caulder: Ah, General Forsythe. How goes your little battle? Forsythe: You again, Caulder? Caulder: Are you still not tempted to try my exotic weapons? You could alter the course of this war with the touch of a button. Forsythe: Now see here! I told you already-- Caulder: Of course, if you used my weapons now, you would kill scores of your own men. But I'm sure that is a sacrifice they would gladly make. Forsythe: Twenty years ago, I faced Rubinelle in this very spot. Though the battle was long and bloody, it was fought with honor on all sides. No prisoners were killed. No unlawful weapons were used. And when the enemy surrendered, we treated them with dignity! War is cruel and pitiless, but soldiers are still men. Your suggestion is an insult to all who lay their lives down on this soil. Caulder: ...You are a strange old man. But it seems clear your mind is made up. Farewell, General. *****Before Day ten***** Brenner: General Forsythe, can you hear me? Forsythe: I say! Am I speaking to the Rubinelle commander? Brenner: You are. I want to talk to you about the battle that took place tweny years ago. Do you remember who was leading the Rubinelle forces? Forsythe: I never knew his name, but he was a truly great soldier. The battle raged for a hundred days, with neither side willing to yield. Our only pause came when we declared a cease-fire to bury our dead. He was a man of honor and courage. I feel I almost knew him. Brenner: He was my father. Forsythe: I see... Please know I took no pleasure in his death. Brenner: You have nothing to apologize for. He understood the path he walked. After he died here, our government blamed him for the defeat. It seems only his enemies saw him for the good man he was. Thank you for your words, General Forsythe. May luck be with you. Forsythe: I wish it had not come to this. But it cannot be helped now. If you are truly your father's son, I"m proud to face you in my final battle. *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Forsythe: What an extraordinary display. You are too much for this old soldier. The war is over for me... *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: You were too strong for my father... And you proved...too strong for me. Forsythe: All I want is for peace to return to this world. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: Finally, the war is over. ~~~~~Near Fort Lazuria~~~~~~ Forsythe: Tasha. Gage. I'm leaving you in command. Protect our troops and our people. Tasha: But, General-- Forsythe: We have no choice. We must surrender or face annihilation. I'll tell them I started this war and that it was my responsibility. I'll tell them that I forced our people to arms. Tasha: Never! You fought to protect us all! You can't take the blame for a war you didn't want! Forsythe: Stand down! That's an order, Flight Lieutenant. My final order... Tasha: General, we can't-- Forsythe: Do not despair. This Captain Brenner is a man of honor. I shall speak to him and stop this madness. Gage? Do you hear what I"m saying? Gage: It is an order, sir. And we will carry it out. ~~~~~Near Fort Lazuria~~~~~ Brenner: I would ask that you accept defeat and bring this war to an end. There is no need for further bloodshed. Forsythe: You are correct, sir. And I will surrender my forces to you on one condition. Brenner: What is that? Forsythe: Responsibility and blame for this war rests with me alone. I ask that you show mercy to all troops who served under my banner. Brenner: ...A fair request. I accept your terms. Forsythe: I'm grateful to you, Captain. I had heard about you, you know? Of the battalion know as Brenner's Wolves. ...And now I know that everything I heard was true. You are a man of unimpeachable honor. Brenner: Please, do not praise me. I wish only to end this idiotic war and return to helping survivors. Forsythe: And, Captain? I am grateful that my last opponent was you. Your father would be proud. ~~~~~Near Fort Lazuria~~~~~ Tasha: All right, Rube! I'm ready! Now you'll see how a Lazurian faces death! Will: Um... I'm sorry, what? Tasha: Do it! Pull the trigger! I know how cold blooded you Rubes are! What, do you want to shoot me in the back? Fine! I'll turn around! Now do it! Will: Um... Look, I don't know what you think I'm like, but the war is over. You surrendered to Captain Brenner, and he's going to honor that. We're not going to shoot unarmed prisoners. That would be horrible. Tasha: Ha! Where were your noble thoughts after the meteor strike?! You started this war! You offered peace and then stabbed us in the back! You killed CIVILIANS! You and all the other Rubes! I saw it with my own eyes! Will: What? No! No, we would... Rubinelle would never attack civilian targets! Tasha: Tell that to your beloved Greyfield! He spared no one. Women, children...even my own brother, John. Will: That's...that's not...possible... Tasha: Oh, really? It's not? You don't sound very convinced of that, kid. Listen to me. Greyfield is evil. There is nothing he won't do to seize power. I can't forgive him, and I can't forgive you for fighting at his side. That's why we fought you. To avenge the deaths of the Lazurian innocents! ~~~~~Near Fort Lazuria~~~~~ Rubinelle: Captain Brenner? Admiral Greyfield has arrived. Brenner: ...Too late to help us... Greyfield: Brenner. ...I suppose you did passably well. Hear me! The New Rubinelle Army has won a decisive and historic victory! And now I, Admiral Greyfield, would speak to the leader of this Lazurian rabble! Forsythe: I am General Forsythe, commander of the Lazurian-- AAAAAARRGGH! Greyfield: You and your wretched army are a pathetic spectacle! A disgrace! Brenner: Enough! General Forsythe has surrendered honorably and brought the war to an end. Striking a prisoner is against all rules of military law! Greyfield: Military law? Meaningless pieces of paper! We are the victors! We have crushed our enemies likes flies! The only law of this land is the law of Greyfield! Brenner: ...What? Greyfield: Now, Captain Brenner!I will usher in the rule of King Greyfield the Mighty! Waylon! Dispose of this trash. Forsythe: Aaargh! Brenner: General Forsythe! Forsythe: Captain Brenner.. R-remember... Your p-promise... Brenner: Damn you, Greyfield! He had surrendered! He was unarmed! Why did you shoot him?! Greyfield: He was a Lazurian, and death is all he deserved. Brener: You're no leader...you're a coward! And if no one else will stand up, I'll stop you-- Waylon: Aw, shucks. I hate to be the bad guy and all, but you're gonna have to stop right there. Don't make me shoot you now! It's been a long day, and I'm tuckered. Brenner: You will pay for this, Greyfield... Waylon: Listen to you! Squawkin' away like a crow on a wire. This is Greyfield's world now, brother! Ain't no one going to help you! Greyfield: Take the Lazurian dogs to the internment center for execution. My great victory is almost complete! ======================== *****End Chapter-14***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-15***** ==================== Icy Retreat ~~~~~Internment Center, Northern Ice Plains~~~~~ Tasha: ...General Forsythe has been executed? Are you sure? Gage: Yes. Tasha: Those dogs! We must avenge his death! Gage: I hear that Greyfield has ordered us all to be executed. Tasha: Rubinelle filth! They were planning this eve as they accepted the general's surrender. Will: You're wrong! Captain Brenner would never allow that! He promised to protect you, and that's what he's going to do. I'm sure of it. Tasha: Like he protected General Forsythe? Ha! You Rubes were killers before the meteors, and now your true colors shine again... Will: You're...you're wrong! Tasha: What do you know, kid? No one tells you squat. ...Stupid. I should have seen this coming. Will: OK, yeah. You're right. There's a lot of stuff that I don't know. But I do know Captain Brenner, and I know he would never betray you! Gage: Regardless, General Forsythe is still dead. Whatever your feelings for Captain Brenner, he's a soldier, and soldiers follow orders. Will: You're wrong! Both of you! The captain... Th-the captain... Brenner: That's enough, Will. Will: Captain Brenner! These people are saying that-- Tasha: I'm only going to ask you this once. If you can't give me a straight answer, you might as well shoot me now. Is it true that General Forsythe was executed? Brenner: ...Yes. It's true. Tasha: I'll kill you! Gage: Tasha! Stand down! Who was responsible? Brenner: Greyfield gave the order, and Waylon pulled the trigger. But the final responsibility for his death lies with me. I underestimated Greyfield. I didn't think he would kill an unarmed man. But I accepted your general's surrender, and now he is dead. I can make no excuse. I'm sorry. Tasha: How do we know you're telling the truth? Brenner: Believe me or not. I don't care. I'm not here to justify myself. We're out of time. The 12th Battalion is leaving, and we're taking the Lazurians with us. Tasha: ..You're doing what? Brenner: Greyfield is going to execute all of you in about six hours. But I've had enough. I'm not going to sit around and wait for his orders to be carried out. You need to escape. Now. Tasha: Why should we trust you? Brenner: Because if you don't, you'll die. General Forsythe entrusted you with the safety of your fellow troops, right? Tasha: ...I still don't trust you. Gage: What's your plan? Brenner: This place is surrounded by Greyfield's men. My battalion can't possibly take them all on. We're going to make a break and smash through their rear defenses. Once we clear the Northern Ice Plains, you're on your own. Gage: That's a risky plan. Who's going to provide covering fire? Brenner: We will. Tasha: You're going to fire on Greyfield's men? Aren't they your own people? Brenner: I promised your general that I would protect his troops, and I keep my word. Besides, Greyfield is mad. I can't accept his command anymore. Tasha: I... I don't know... Brenner: Well, you've got about ten minutes to make up your mind. Prepare your men. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ NRA Guard: Hey... HEY! Escape! The prisoners are escaping! And Brenner's Wolves are with them! Greyfield: BRENNER! What in the name of Rubinelle do you think you're doing?! I order you to turn around and-- Brenner: The 12th Battalion doesn't take orders from you anymore, Greyfield. Greyfield: This is high treason, and the reward shall be death! Death for you and every member of your pathetic battalion! Brenner: You're a coward, Greyfield. And you don't frighten me. Greyfield: How dare you! Brenner: You're a strongman who seized power on the backs of others. I'll die before I serve you for another second. Greyfield: Dog! Prepare for your final hour! Brenner: All units! Make for the city to the west! Once you clear it, push hard and don't look back! Tasha: I... I... Gage: Understood, Captain. Tasha! Let's go! Come on! *****Day one***** Brenner: Don't worry about me. Save yourself! *****A unit is destroyed***** Gage: This snow requires extra caution. Brenner: Never give up! As long as there is life, there is hope! =====Tactics War Room===== Brenner: So you must be Gage, the Lazurian Army CO. Gage: Yep. Brenner: No matter what you think of me, we need to leave the past in the past. Now we work together or face destruction. Gage: Agreed. Brenner: I'm going to outline a strategy that should let your forces escape. Gage: Understood. Brenner: You're a man of few words, aren't you? Gage: ...Yep. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Brenner: Our first task is to eliminate the enemy rocket. Once it's gone, concentrate fire on the meteors to clear that plasma. The recon units to the west will have to be dealt with as well. Once the plasma is gone, fall back and make a defensive stand. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Brenner: Does that work for you? Gage: Yep. Brenner: Good enough. Let's go. =====End Tactics===== *****Before day two***** Brenner: I'll keep Greyfield busy. Now make for the city! Go! *****Day two, New Rubinelle Army***** Will: Captain Brenner! Come on! You have to go now! Waylon: Brother man, I don't think this little bird's flyin' anywhere. We got some business to settle... Ain't that right, Brenner? Brenner: Why don't you come down here so we can talk that over, Waylon? Waylon: No thanks, brother man. My mama didn't raise no dummies. Why are you sticking your neck out like this anyway, Brenner? You think any of this makes a difference? I just don't get it. Brenner: And you never will. Waylon: Fine by me, brother man. Fine by me. Say, you remember what I said the first time we met? I TOLD you this responsibility gig would lead to an early grave. Brenner: Better early to the grave than late to your own humanity, Waylon. Waylon: Ain't that a thing. Almost makes me feel bad about what I'm gonna do. All units! Target Captain Brenner! Time to bag ourselves a hero! *****Brenner's CO Unit is destroyed***** Brenner: Will! Lin! I'm abandoning the tank and continuing on foot! Will: Captain! Come on! This way! Brener: I told you to run, Will, and that's a damn order! Will: But, Captain-- Brenner: Lin! Get him the hell out of here! Lin: Brenner! Brenner: Listen, Lin. There's...there's a lot of things I never got a chance to say... But I know you. And I know you understand what I'm about to do... Now move! MOVE! Lin: ...Understood, Captain. We're gone. ...Good-bye. *****Lazurians escape/Brenner's Wolves win***** Gage: We're clear! Now move! Get out across that ice! Tasha: Move it! We can't let Brenner's sacrifice go to waste! Lin: Will! Take command of the left flank! We're getting out of here! Will: But, Captain Brenner-- Lin: Brenner made his choice. Now move! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: We lost! I'm sorry, Captain... Waylon: Hit me! Ungh! It's waylon time! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brenner: Keep moving! I'll buy you time! ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Tasha: I think we lost them. But they're going to be looking for us. Lin: Probably. Gage: Any word from Captain Brenner? Lin: No. Will is trying to establish radio contact, but so far, nothing. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Will: Captain! Captain! Come in! Can you hear me? ???: ... ... ... ... Will: Captain Brenner, this is Will! Please respond! Please! ???: ... ... ... ... ...Will, come... Capt... Will: Lin! I got him! I got him! Captain, where are you?! ???: ...126...272... Derelict building in... ...south of ...ice field... ~~~~~Cutscene to Brenner laying against a wall~~~~~ Brenner: ...I'm surrounded by...enemies... ...They shot me...couple of times... ...Things didn't go...quite according to plan...eh, Will...? ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army HQ~~~~~ Greyfield: Idiots! Mule-brained bumblers! Pathetic, useless, lack-willed imbeciles! Brenner cannot be allowed to live! I want him found if you have to search every inch of this country! Davis: W-we think he's somewhere in the ruined city south of the ice, sir! We...we're getting close to-- Greyfield: I didn't ask for excuses! I asked for results! Bring me Brenner! King Greyfield will brook no disobedience to his supreme rule! If he is not found within the hour, I will begin executing commanders! Is that clear?! caulder: If I may, Admiral... This seems to be a perfect opportunity to test the device we discussed earlier... Greyfield: Yes.. Yes! YES! That is the key! Get me your device! Let nothing live! I want not so much as a blade of grass left in that area! Caulder: YOu will not be disappointed, Admiral. I look forward to seeing the results. Davis: B-but, Admiral... Our forces are surrounding the city. Your...your men are there. Greyfield: ...And your point is? Davis: It's just that... Well, if we set the device off with all of...your troops...they're... Nothing, sir. Nothing. No problem. Caulder: Tabita, can you hear me? Are you ready to play with Daddy's new toy? Greyfield: I can't wait! Do it! Raze the entire area to the ground! ~~~~~Cutscene to Brenner laying against a wall~~~~~ Will: Captain, we're heading to your position now! You have to hold on! Brenner: ...No, Will... Don't come...back for me... ...Stay...away... ...Greyfield...wants me... I can... ...buy you time... ...That's... an order... Will: We're not leaving you, Captain! Brenner: ...I'll...join you later... ...Just need to...rest here... ...for a while... Will: Captain! Brenner: ...Never wanted you to...see me like this... ...It's... up to you...Will... Will: NO! Captain, please! Don't give up! There's still hope, Captain! There's still hope! Greyfield: BATHE HIM IN FIRE! Brenner: ...Look at that... It's...beautiful... ...It looks...like the sun... ~~~~~White flash and explosion sound~~~~~ Will: Captain! Captain Brenner! CAPTAIN! ======================== *****End Chapter-15***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-16***** ==================== Hope Rising ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Lin: What's our status? Rubinelle: Sir, following our escape, some troops have deserted. Also, some of the civilians are struggling to keep up with us. Lin: They'll have to be abandoned. Our priority is to keep moving. Rubinelle: Sir?! Dr. Morris: Now see here! I know I'm not a tactician like you, but we can't simply-- Lin: Yes. We can. We can and we will. If we stay here, we die. If we wait for the civilians to catch up, we die. A commander makes difficult decisions, Doctor. That's part of the job. If you don't like it, you're free to leave. Dr. Morris: ...So it's like that, is it? Lin: We have Lazurian troops, but no time to assimilate them. We have civilians and wounded in our ranks, and no way to keep them safe. We're in a bad spot, Doctor. This is far from an optimal fighting force. Right now we need time and space to hunker down and reorganize. Dr. Morris: Lin, I know you're in a difficult position, but I just can't stomach abandoning people. Why, if Captain Brenner were here, I think he would find a way to... Lin: ...Go on. Dr. Morris: I'm sorry. That was thoughtless of me. Lin: We're all tired, Doctor. Manners are the least of my concerns. Talk to me. How are the civilians coping? Dr. Morris: They're scared and restless. All of this running has worn them down to the last nerve. I understand their fear. That Greyfield fellow is a complete madman. Lin: Yet you don't seem frightened, Doctor. Dr. Morris: Me? I didn't realize I was that good of an actor! Oh ho ho ho! No, I'm afraid I'm as scared as I've ever been. But it would do no good to panic. As the civilians' representative, I must maintain an air of calm at all times. I think they just want to know what is going on. Lin: ...All right. I'll tell them. Dr. Morris: Yes, but... Please, Lin. I know that soft speech is not your forte, but do try to tread lightly. With Greyfield's men on our heels, the slightest shock could send them into a full panic. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Civilian Camp~~~~~ Lin: ...So that is our current situation. Unfortunately, we are going to be low on time, food, and manpower for the foreseeable future. Until we get through this crisis, things will be difficult for us all. Dr. Morris: Please, good people! We must listen to Lieutenant Lin and pull together. This is our darkest hour since the meteors, but we can get through it if we work as one! Lin: Your key to survival is following orders. Do what you're told when you're told. Your main task is providing support to the combat units. Is that clear? Civilian: Bah! This isn't our war! Why ya have to involve us in your fight?! We ain't soldiers! We're victims! Why we gotta follow your orders?! Civilian: I blame this on Captain Brenner! His ego got in the way of his judgement, and now we're on the run! That Greyfield is a lunatic! He'll track us down and kill us all! Lin: Let me ask you a question. Do you value your lives? Civilian: What? What kind of question-- Lin: This is not a camp of slaves. This is a camp of free men who can live or die as they please. Anyone who doesn't wish to obey my orders can take their chances with Greyfield. But know this... I am not Captain Brenner. If you can't cut it out there, you're on your own. I won't come back for anyone. Dr. Morris: Lin, please! Must you be so harsh? Lin: That's reality, Doctor. I won't temper it for them. Dr. Morris: Well, yes, but pehraps you could be less confrontational? You know, throw in some jokes, like I do? Lin: ...Perhaps you're right. How would you suggest I go about being more... gentle? Dr. Morris: I think it's a bit late for that! Isabella: I-I... Dr. Morris: What is it, Isabella? Isabella: Listen, everyone... Lin is right. We have to work together. We have to help each other. Dr. Morris: Oh ho! Now that's the attitude we need! Come on, everyone! Let's pull together! ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Dr. Morris: I think we just prevented a rebellion. Lin: The danger's clear to us all, Doctor. It's only a matter of time before this all blows up. Will? Will: ...Mmm? Dr. Morris: Will! Snap out of it! Will: B-but... Dr. Morris: I know how you feel about Brenner, but we've no time to grieve. The enemy is closing in. We need a plan to evade them for a little while longer. Will: Y-you're right. I'm sorry. Lin: If the enemy finds us now, it's all over. We need a way to conceal ourselves. Rubinelle: Sir! We have an emergency! Dr. Morris: Oh, what now?! Rubinelle: Some of our rear-guard units have been captured by the enemy! Lin: ...Damn. I hoped we had more time. We can't worry about them now. We have to break camp and get out of here. I want-- Rubinelle: Too late, sir. We're under attack. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: This is bad. The vanguard's surrounded. All right. First, we need to pull our infantry back to a safe position. *****Day one***** =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: Welcome to the Tactical Tip Show. Our guest today is... Tasha: The name's Tasha. The things I love are my brother and my fellow Lazurian soldiers. The things I hate are the Rubinelle Army and...er...the Rubinelle Army. My hobbies include professing my love for the Lazurian Army and vowing revenge. Lin: A bit surprising that we've ended up on the same side, isn't it? Tasha: Huh. Yeah, I guess it is. Lin: To think you once swore death on all who dared to call Rubinelle home. Tasha: Yeeeeah... Yeah, I seem to remember saying something like that. Anywho... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Station Infantry in the woods or other places where they can hide. Once they're safe, fan them out and capture factories and airports. The woods around the central mountain range provide good cover. Transport troops to the distant cities to gain extra funding. Once you're set, strike by ground from the NW and air from the SE. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Tasha: I changed my mind. I think I'll just vow revenge on Greyfield and not you. How's that? Lin: Tasha? I think you and I are going to get along just fine... =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, New Rubinelle Army***** You treacherous swine are about to get your punishment. Prepare to meet your precious Captain Brenner...in hell! *****Before day two, Brenner's Wolves***** Will: We can't give up. We can't! *****Before day three***** Will: Captain... Why aren't you here? I can't do this without you... Isabella: Will? Will: Isabella: Oh, Isabella. Hi. Isabella: Will, I'm worried about you. Will: I'm sorry, Isabella. I didn't mean to worry you. I'll pull myself together. Isabella: It's OK... Will: No, it's not. Dr. Morris is right. I can't afford to act like this. It's just that... When Captain Brenner saved my life, everything seemed so clear. Isabella: What do you mean? Will: I owed my life to him. I knew my role was to help him however I could. But now he's dead, and I'm just...lost. I don't know what to do. Isabella: Will, I... I don't know what you should do either. All I know is that... I'm sad. I'm sad because you are. Will: Isabella, look-- Isabella: I don't know why I feel this way! I don't know anything, and I HATE IT! But when you're happy, I am too. And I don't want to be sad anymore. Will: ...Thanks, Isabella. You've made everything clear. ~~~~~Cutscene of Will standing talll~~~~~ Will: I have to go. Isabella: Where? Will: Captain Brenner saved my life. Now I must use it to save others. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ *****Day three***** Will: Lin! Everyone! Hold on! I'm coming! Isabella: If you position a unit in a factory or other place of production, then your CO can board it and boost the strength of your forces. Each CO boosts the other units in their own unique way. *****CO Power is charged***** Will: Greyfield! You will never defeat us! *****Brenner's Wolves Win***** Davis: Aw, man! No! No, don't do that! Aaaaawwww...crud. We gotta retreat! We need reinforcements! Greyfield: Bah! Unacceptable! You weak-minded, cowardly, pathetic simpletons! I took care of that traitor Brenner and yet you cannot finish the job?! I'll see you hanged for this! All of you! No one fails Admiral Greyfield! Will: Shup up, Greyfield! Greyfield: WHAT?! How dare you address me like that! Will: YOu'll never defeat us, you bloated gasbag! You hear me? Never! And you're going to pay for what you did to Captain Brenner! Greyfield: What an insolent whelp you are! Davis! Gather all of my forces! I want these worms crushed NOW! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: I can't go on... Isabella: Will? Are you OK? Will?! ...Please talk to me... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Vicotry page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: Captain, we won't let you down! ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Will: Hey, Lin. Um...I mean, sir. Lin: At ease, Will. I'm glad to see that you're looking better. Will: Yeah. I know I've been pretty pathetic lately, but I'm pulling it together. Lin: Don't be too hard on yourself. This is a rough patch for everyone. It has only been a few days since Captain Brenner... Well, since... Will: It's OK, Lin. Really. Lin: I know you took his death harder than most. To be honest, I wondered if you would be able to fight for us again. Will: Yeah, I was in a bad way. But I thought about what the captain would say if he was here, and... Well, that turned it around. I guess I kind of idolized him, huh? Lin: You could do much worse in that department. Will: He would have told me to stop being such a big baby and get to work! Of course, he would have been nice about it... Anyway, that's why I decided to fight. I'll make time to mourn the captain later. Lin: I may have misjudged you, Will. You're stronger than I thought. Will: Not as strong as you! I saw how you pulled us together after we lost Captain Brenner. I know people say you're kind of coldhearted... Well, never mind. Whatever they say, you're a great leader. Lin: Actually, Will, that brings me to my point. I have something to ask of you. Will: Yeah, OK. What is it? Lin: Let's go inside. I don't want any little birds overhearing this. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Will: YOU WHAT? Lin: ...You're not filling me with confidence here, Will. Will: B-but, Lin! You can't be serious! I can't lead an army! Lin: Brenner's Wolves has lost its commander. We need to find a successor. After considering various options, I feel that you are the best choice for the job. Will: That's crazy, Lin! YOU should be the leader, not me! I'm an idiot! Lin: Will, are you aware of how many people are currently in this camp? Will: You mean exactly? Um... Well, let me think... ~~~~~Cutscene of the camp and its people~~~~~ Will: OK, there are 259 men in the Wolves and 232 civilians in training. Let's see... Oh, we've also got 709 noncombatants. Lin: There's also 613 Lazurian troops waiting to be integrated. Add them up, and we're actually larger than a standard battalion. But putting all these people together is going to require a delicate touch. And a young man like you is more likely to be accepted by the Lazurians. Will: Yeah, but... Lin: And there are civilians to think of. They like and trust you. ...They don't like me. I left some of them behind. They think I did it out of spite or malice. They think I'd leave them all if it was in the best interest of the Wolves. Will: But that's wrong! Listen, I'll talk to them, I'll tell them-- Lin: No, it's not, Will. It's not wrong. If I had to, I'd leave every single one of them behind. Brenner didn't abandon anyone, but he wasn't a typical soldier. Will: Lin, I can't believe... ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Lin: Do you think me harsh, Will? If so, you should become our leader. Will: No one will understand why I'm in command instead of you. Lin: I'll talk to the Rubinelle soldiers. You can talk to the Lazurians. A few civilians may gripe, but they'll follow you in the end. Will: ...I don'tknow, Lin. This seems like a bad idea. I'm just a kid. Lin: That's right. You're a kid. You're a wholesome, likeable kid, and that's what we need. We need someone that all of us can rally around. That's all a good leader really is. Will: Sooooo... I'm in charge, but you're really in charge. Is that it? Lin: Precisely. I know you lack military knowledg and all but the most basic tactial awareness. Right now, I'd only trust you with low-level military tasks. Like cleaning. Will: Ouch! Geez, Lin, don't sugarcoat it for me or anything. Lin: ...What? Too harsh? OK, hold on a second. OK, imagine that I'm a big car, and you're a little car. Now, when the big car-- Will: Stop. Please stop right now. I get it. Please don't talk to me like a little kid. Lin: We have to tread carefully. Between the civilians and the Lazurians and the lack of food... Our force should be on the verge of collapsing from the inside out. Will: Really?! You think they might... Lin: Mutiny? Yes, I think they might. That's why you need to hold them together. At least until we can deal with Greyfield. Will: If it helps to keep our forces together, I'll do whatever I can. Lin: Good. Thank you, Commander. Will: Commander...? Huh. It's going to take a bit for me to get used to that. Lin: You'll get used to it, Commander. You have to. Commander. Will: OK, OK! I'll get used to it! Lin: I'm glad, Commander. ======================== *****End Chapter-16***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-17***** ==================== The Creeper ~~~~~Brener's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Lin: Commander, tihs is our present location. We're heading toward this village in the north. Will: Do you know the village? Lin: It's a small trading post. The community has always been friendly toward us. We should be able to resupply there. ~~~~~Outpost~~~~~ Will: I don't get it. There's no one here. Lin: ...I don't like this. Something's wrong. Will: Do you think they were attacked? Maybe Greyfield bat us here. Dr. Morris: Blast it all! Well, whatever happened, we need to look for survivors. Let's split up and search the village. Isabella: I can help too. ~~~~~Outpost~~~~~ Will: Anything? Lin: All we found are bodies and traces of small-arms fire. It looks like these people tore themselves apart. Will: Why would they do that? Lin: Who knows why these kinds of civil wars start? It could have been hunger or disease. Or maybe they just couldn't stand each other anymore. Will: This is terrible... Isabella: They're all dead. I'm sorry, Will. ~~~~~Outpost~~~~~ Tabitha: Father! How long must we stay in this wretched place? I'm growing weary of all this muck and dust. And my shoes are in a terrible state! Caulder: My dear, be patient. There is a wealth of information for us to discover here. By the way, it seems that we have visitors. They are standing in the central square. Tabitha, would you like to test out that new toy of yours? Tabitha: Oh, Father! Can I really? Caulder: May I, Tabitha! May I! Good grammar is important for a little girl. And yes, you may. Nothing is too good for my little Tabitha. But remember, this is serious work! I must watch and record the results. I am fascinated to see how they will react to this little weapon of mine. Tabitha: You never tire of your research, do you, Father? ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Tasha: Commander, come in! Commander! ...Dammit, Will, talk to me! Will: Tasha! What's wrong? Tasha: Someone's trying to kill me, that's what's wrong! I hate it when people do that! I'm going to take command and make 'em pay! Oh, and Will? Will: Yes? Tasha: I was... I mean... Look, this ain't easy for me, but... I... I said a lot of bad things about Captain Brenner, and I was wrong. You were right. He was a good man. ...Sorry. Will: You don't have to apologize, Tasha. I'm just happy that you know. Tasha: The captain gave his life for us, so now I'll fight with you. You may be Rubinelle, but we're all on the same side now. I will find the people who killed your captain, and I will have revenge! *****Day one***** Tasha: All right, you devils! I'm gonna come in there and blast every last... ...The hell is THAT thing?! Gage: It looks like a weapon. Lin: I've never seen anything like it before. Isabella: It is a Talon Gun. It was developed by the private defense contractor IDS. Will: Isabella? Isabella: Development began six years ago at the request of the Lazurian government. However, the cost of the project quickly spiraled out of control. Work has halted after only a few prototypes were constructed. That is one such prototype. Tasha: How the heck do you know that? Isabella: I...I don't know. Lin: It is odd that you know about both Rubinelle and Lazurian weaponry. Very odd. Isabella: I-I'm sorry, Lin. I'm sorry. I don't know why I know all these things... =====Tactics War Room===== Tabitha: Finally! It's ABOUT TIME someone invited me to this! Sooooooo... Will, is it? Such a common name. Have you come to beg for forgiveness for your pitiful weakness? Will: ...I'm sorry, what? Tabitha: I totally pity the weak. It must be so sad to be so poor and weak and whatnot. But because I'm such a nice person, I'm going to give you a few priceless battle tips. Will: Um...thanks? Tabitha: And in return, you get to be my servant for the rest of your life. Will: That's a terrible deal. Tabitha: You'll clean my room every day, cook for me, do my shopping... It'll be wonderful! Don't frown like that! You're not just any servant!. You're MY servant! Will: That's even worse! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Tabitha: Secure the east side of the map and build defenses in the mountain pass. You'll want anti-air units and missiles in both the upper and lower halves. Once it's safe, build bombers and have them make a run at the Talon Gun. Will: That's...that's actually good advice. Thank you. Tabitha: Now you're my servant for life! Will: I did NOT agree to that! Tabitha: I need my dress ironed and ready for me to wear every morning, servant! And I need breakfast in bed. Except on Monday, because that's waffle day... Will: ...My head hurts. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Tabitha: And that's the end of Tabitha's Tactics! Until next time, my faithful servant! =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS Forces***** Tabitha: That's all the enemy has? Pssh! This is too easy! I feel insulted! But Father must be obeyed! I will swat them like the puny flies they are. *****Day two, Brenner's Wolves***** Gage: This weapon is huge, but structurally similar to regular cannons. Tasha: Great! If it bleeds, we can hurt it! I mean...if it bleeds oil. Or something. Never mind! Can we check its attack range? Will: We learned how to check attack ranges in the military academy. Um...hold on. Lemme get my textbook here... Darn, where is it? Lin: Ahem. Try page ten, Commander. It was a basic lesson. Of course, I'm not suggesting that our commander has forgotten this... Will: No, of course not! No, I was just... seeing what the textbook said... *****Day three***** Isabella: The prototype was never fully armored and contains a weak spot. If you focus attacks on the center, it can be destroyed. Will: Tasha! Focus all attacks at the base of the Talon Gun! *****Talon Gun destroyed, Brenner Wolves win***** IDS Agent: Sir, the Talon Gun has been destroyed! ...Please don't hurt me. Tabitha: Drat! They looked so pitifully weak, and yet they broke my toy! Hmph! I clearly was going too easy on them. I'll teach them to be so mean! Initiate plan Ultra! Let's hit them with something harder! Caulder: That's enough, Tabitha. Today's experiment is complete. We must retreat so I can analyze these new numbers. Tabitha: But, Faaaaaather! I wanted to crush them like flies! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Tasha: I wanted to fight... I wanted revenge for Brenner... Will: Tasha, you're breaking up! Come in! Come in! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tasha: Fight for Captain Brenner! ~~~~~Outpost~~~~~ Lin: Commander, we should return to base camp. Will: Where's Dr. Morris? Isabella: He's in one of those buildings, looking for survivors. Will: He really is a good person. Though you wouldn't think so from his jokes... Lin: Agreed. Dr. Morris: Everyone! Listen up! Will: Dr. Morris? What's wrong? Dr. Morris: We have an emergency! Come to my mobile laboratory now! Isabella: Why? Dr. Morris: Come on! Come on! There isn't time for this! Don't just stand around! Will: Doctor, please! What's going on? Lin: This better not be one of your jokes. Dr. Morris: Look at this picture... Will: Oh... Oh no. ~~~~~Picture of infected Person~~~~~ Dr. Morris: I found it in the village's medical center. I think it was taken recently. Will: It's the Creeper. But it looks different... Dr. Morris: Viruses are capable of mutation, so that's what I thought this was. But this is a dramatic change. It's too perfect. Lin: Explain. Dr. Morris: A virus needs a long incubation period and mild symptoms to thrive. If it kills its host quickly, it has no chance to be passed on. I don't think this is a natural mutation. I don't think Endoflorescens terribilis is natural at all. Lin: Then what is it? Dr. Morris: I think it's a biological weapon. Will: No, that's... That's impossible! Who would do such a thing?! Dr. Morris: I haven't even told you the worst part. Will: There's a worst part? Dr. Morris: This victim was twenty or thirty years old. He was an adult. Will: ...That's bad. Lin: So the new disease is no longer restricted to children. Dr. Morris: This is a very serious problem. I'll start working on a cure right now. But first we should see if anyone else has been infected. ======================== *****End Chapter-17***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-18***** ==================== Panic in the Ranks ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Gage: Greyfield has found us. Recon units report a large enemy force approaching from the southeast. Lin: This is a long way to come just to wipe out our merry little band. Will must have really ticked him off. Tasha: He won't stop until he's destroyed every last Lazurian. I think he's kinda crazy. Lin: Any farther north and we'll be swimming. We're out of places to hide. Commander? What are your orders? Will: What can we do? We make a stand here and hope for the best. Lin: They have more troops, more experience, and better weaponry. I don't think we can win this fight. Will: I know, Lin. But we don't have a choice. Tasha: No. There is a choice. Will: What is it, Tasha? Tasha: Hand us over to Greyfield. Will: Out of the question! You're our allies. Our friends. We would never do that! Gage: It's your best option. Greyfield is obsessed with Lazuria. Once he has us, he'll likely back down. Tasha: What about it, Lieutenant? I bet you thought of this a while ago, huh? Lin: I considered it. Will: Lin! Tasha: Look, Will... I mean, Commander. We're grateful for all that you've done for us. You taught me that every nation has its flaws. And you taught me that there is some good in Rubinelle. Don't worry. I've had a good run. Gage: I'm ready. Will: Tasha! Gage! No! This is madness! Tasha: Will, listen-- Will: No! I won't listen! We're not doing this! Captain Brenner saved your lives. He would never hand you over to Greyfield, and I won't do it either. We live together and we fight together. And if we die together, so be it. Gage: Are you sure? Will: I'm sure. But that's not going to happen. Greyfield isn't going to beat us. Lin: If that is your decision, Commander... Then we will follow you. Dr. Morris: Oh ho! Sorry to interrpt, but I have to speak to you right now! This can't be good. Dr. Morris: I've finished screening people for the Creeper, and the results are disheartening... ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Lin: ...Half of us are already infected? Dr. Morris: I'm afraid so. The virus has spread to civilian, Rubinelle, and Lazurian alike. I think the infection started before we even entered the trading outpost. ...I can't even think of a joke for this. And I've been trying for a while! Will: But everyone seems fine! Dr. Morris: It seems the disease now spreads without detectable symptoms until it is too late. If we don't find a cure soon, it's going to kill us all! Oh ho ho... Wait, that isn't funny. Will: This is not what we needed... Rubinelle: Sir, the enemy has mobilized. We are awaiting your orders! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Greyfield: Ho! What a splendid sight! Look at those treacherous dogs who dared to betray me! This will be fun! Give my regards to Brenner, swine! Lin: ...I knew we were outgunned, but this is absurd. First the meteors, then the virus, and now this. I've had better years, I'll tell you that much. Dr. Morris: At least Greyfield's guns will be quick and painless. Unlike the Creeper... Will: No! What's wrong with you! Stop talking like that! We still have hope. We will find a way to win. *****Day one***** Commander, remember that the blue forces are on our side. These troops are a mix of civilian, Lazurian, and Rubinelle forces. In truth, they could use a lot more training, but we have no choice... I just hope they can hold it together. *****Before Day one, mixed forces (Blue)***** Lin: Commander! We've got a problem. Our western front is in chaos. The units are ignoring our orders. Will: What are they thinking?! We're in the middle of a battle! Lin: Word of the virus has spread, sir. The people are terrified. I think they're looking for someone to blame... Will: Open a channel! We have to talk to them. Lin: I already tried, Commander. There is no response. It's utter chaos out there. I think they've lost the will to fight. Will: No! This isn't happening! *****Day one, Mixed Forces (Blue)***** Youth: Aaaaaah! It's over, man! It's all over! We're dead meat! If Greyfield don't get us, that virus will! Rubinelle: I heard the Creeper turns you into a plant! A freakin' plant! My eye itches! I think I got it! Noooooo! NOOOOOOOO! Lazurian: We got no chance! We're all gonna die! We're all gonna die! Youth: We've been tricked! Someone has done this to us! Rubinelle: It's your fault! You civilians! You brought the Creeper into camp! Youth: No way! It was you soldiers! You brought it from the battlefield! I heard you gave it to us to try and keep us in line! Lin: Our allies are in complete disarray. Our orders can't get through to them. *****Day two, Brenner's Wolves***** Lin: Our western front won't even fight. I... I'm not sure what to do, sir. Will: There must be something... Will: Wait! That communications tower! If I can get to it, I can convince them to fight! =====Tactics War Room===== Tasha: Who better to talk strategy than a pair of proud Lazurian commanders? I'm Tasha! I love fighting, old war movies, and dumpling soup. And this is... Gage: Gage. Tasha: Come on! After my great introduction, that's all you can say?! You have to win people over, you know? Sell yourself! Gage: ...That's not my thing. Tasha: We really have to work on your people skills. But don't worry! I'll show you how it's done. Intelligent, fun, and a little bit dangerous... It's time for Tasha's Tactics Hour! Gage: ...Yay. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Tasha: Get your CO to the com tower as fast as possible. That's priority one. Then move southwest and join forces with the blue army. Once you meet up, protect the anti-air units with your ground forces. Gage: Good advice. Tasha: You have nothing to add? Gage: Nope. Tasha: Bah! You're hopeless! Anyway, you should let the blue army handle the air units and war tank. ~~~~~War Room~~~~~ Tasha: That's all for today. I hope you enjoyed Tasha's Tactis Hour! I'm going to go find something fun to do. Gage is going to go be depressed. =====End Tactics===== *****CO Unit arrives at the Com tower***** Rubinelle: My eye! It's watering! I'm gonna turn into a plant any second now! I'd rather get shot than have that thing take me! Youth: It must be the Lazurians! We never should have trusted them! Lazurian: Ha! You blame us when your own leader is trying to kill you? We should never have joined you! Rubinelle: That's right! You never should have joined us, losers! It was bad enough when we had these useless civilians to deal with! Youth: Don't call us useless, you gun-toting warmongers! You're the ones who dragged us into your stupid battles! You should have left us in peace! Now I'm gonna catch the Creeper and die! Will: Listen to me! Everyone! Stop arguing. Stop looking for people to blame. Rubinelle: ...Huh? Youth: It's him! It's the commander! He's responsible for this! Who put that kid in charge anyway? No wonder we're all gonna die! Will: I... Wait, listen, just... Just hold on one second... Rubinelle: Forget this, man! I'm outta here! Will: What do you mean? Rubinelle: I mean that I'm gone! I quit! Presto! Poof! See ya later, chumps! I ain't letting some kid send me to die. I'll take my chances on my own! Will: Really? What's your plan? Are you going to walk over to Greyfield and tell him how sorry you are? Rubinelle: ...It's better than staying here. Will: If you want to leave, that's your choice. Good luck. But I won't abandon anyone. I'm tired of running. Lazurian: Big words from a small man! You think you're noble? Is that it? Will: This isn't about sounding noble. It's about survival. We either pull together and make a stand, or we die here and now. Youth: ...I don't wanna die! Will: Look, I won't lie. Greyfield has us outnumbered, and this won't be easy. But if we fight among ourselves, we don't have any chance. Fight for yourself or fight for your friends. I don't really care. Just fight! Don't lie down and die! Rubinelle: I dunno... Will: It doesn't matter where you're from or what has happened in the past. We're done talking. It's time to stand together and fight! Lazurian: I... I guess... Rubinelle: Er... Sorry, Commander. Got a little freaked out there for a second... Let's do it! Let's get Greyfield! Lazurian: Yeah! Let's do it! Youth: Yeah! We're with you too! Let's take him down! Will: ...My throat hurts. Lin: Well done, Commander. ...A bit crazed, but well done. Will: Sorry. I got a bit carried away there. This would never have happened if Captain Brenner was still here... Lin: Believe it or not, emotion has a place on the battlefield. But that time has passed. Your men are ready. Let's finish this. *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Lin: Enemy reinforcements will be here in thirty seconds. Will: All units, regroup! Regroup! We're not going to surrender! Lin: Wait! Commander... Will: What is it...? Lin: The enemy appears to be retreating... ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army Base Camp~~~~~ Greyfield: Traitors! I ordered you to fight to the death! Advance ADVANCE!! You spineless cowards! You dishonor the proud name of Greyfield! I'll see you all hanged for this! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: I couldn't do it... Captain... I failed you. Lin: Commander! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: I don't know how we survived... ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Will: ...What the heck happened? I thought we were done for. Lin: I may have an idea. We intercepted some enemy communications as they were retreating. It seems there was some unforeseen event that demanded their full attention. We captured a number of retreating soldiers. Let me talk to them. ...And if that doesn't work, I'll have Gage talk to them. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ NRA Guard: I don't know what happened. Some urgent order came in and told everyone to pull back. Bush league, if you ask me. We were about to steamroll you guys. Gage: Save the commentary. Why did you pull back? NRA Guard: Not sure. I heard rumors that the rear guard had rebelled against the admiral. My guess? They sent frontline units back to put down the uprising. Last I heard, things were getting out of hand pretty fast. Gage: You were on the verge of destroying us. That's an odd time for an uprising. Your troops seemed to be in high spirits, and their health was good-- NRA Guard: Ha! What, you ain't heard about the disease? Lin: Are you referring to Endoflorescens terribilis? Will: We call it the Creeper. NRA Guard: Yeah? We call it the Green Thumb, and it's spreading like wildfire. Folks are scared. Panicking. They were starting to desert even before that last battle. Greyfield is executing anyone who catches it. He says they're weak and they deserve it. High spirits? Ha! We don't know if we're gonna get shot or have plants explode outta our heads. Will: That must be why they withdrew... This shows there is always hope, even in the worst situations! Lin: The same virus that almost caused rebellion in our ranks ended up saving us. ...Huh. You know what? Life's a funny thing. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Dr. Morris: I have the final test results. I think it's best to tell everyone at once. The infected will be quarantined while we look for a cure. Those who aren't infected yet are free to stay or go as they see fit. I hope this doesn't plant a...SEED of dissent! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho... What? You're not laughing. Will: ...Thank you, Doctor. Dr. Morris: But seriously, I am concerned that this could cause much unrest among your troops. Will: We have to take the risk. We can't force healthy people to stay with us against their will. Well, I guess I should know. Do I have it? Dr. Morris: Let's see... Nope! You're as healthy as a horse. Maybe I should get you some hay! Oh ho ho ho! Will: Er...yes. Thanks. Dr. Morris: What is your plan, Will? If you stay here, you will most likely contract this disease. Will: I'm not going anywhere, Doctor. I command this unit, if in name only. I will face the risk along with the troops. Dr. Morris: Blast! I thought you were going to say that! Under normal circumstances, a doctor would never allow a patient to take such risks. Will: But these are not normal circumstances. We will stick together. Whatever problems face us, we will overcome them as one. The clock is ticking, Doctor. You must find a cure for the virus. There's no point in my survival if I lose all of my friends. Lin: Are you scared? Will: Lin? Lin: Are you scared of the Creeper taking over your body? Of those flowers blooming? What if there is no cure? What if we all suffer that fate? I know a lot of ways to die, but having flowers burst out of you... If you aren't scared, Will, you're a fool. Will: Of course I'm scared! But that's why I need to find a cure. So no one else has to suffer that. Lin: Will, I... I talked to Dr. Morris. I have the virus. Will: Oh, Lin! No! Lin: Are you sure you don't want to leave? No one would think less of you. Will: No. I won't run away. We will find a cure. I have hope. ======================== *****End Chapter-18***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-19***** ==================== Salvation ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ NRA Guard: Pssst! Hey, listen! I have some more info for you. The guys that deserted Greyfield's army were heading to a town called Salvation. Will: That's a weird name. NRA Guard: Yeah, well, this place is special. Seems that someone there has learned how to cure the Green Thumb. Someone MAGICAL! Dr. Morris: What rubbish! What unscientific balderdash! Who would ever believe such nonsense?! Our hope lies in science, not some snake-oil-peddling witch doctor! Only slow, painstaking researching can hope to present us with a cure. NRA Guard: Easy for you to say, sawbones! You ain't got the Green Thumb! And what if ya did have it? Huh? I suppose you'd just sit in your lab and run tests, yeah? Maybe read some books or somethin'? Well, nuts to that! I'd do anything I could to get cured, even if it sounded crazy. ~~~~~Salvation~~~~~ Will: I wonder if someone here really can cure the virus? Lin: Doubtful. Dr. Morris: Yes, I am afraid that this is simply a refuge for desperate, gullible people... There is no scientific explanation for this. ...Magical cures. What rubbish! ???: Worship him, my children! Praise him, my children! Dr. Morris: ...What in the world was that?! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Fanatic: Worship him! Worship the Worm! Will: Where's that voice coming from?! Lin: There are loudspeakers set up around the village. Although I have no idea how they are getting power... Fanatic: Do you believe in magic, my children? Do you seek a cure for your illness? The Worm demands sacrifice! Only then will you be cured! You must spill blood in the name of the Worm! Only then will you be free! Will: ...Ooooookay. I could be wrong, but I think this guy's crazy. Dr. Morris: I don't like this one bit. This kind of fanaticism is completely outside my field of expertise. Lin: There's something on the radar... Something big. It's coming this way. *****Day one***** Gage: I'll deal with this. Tasha: What's worng, Gage? Feeling jealous of my awesome commanding skills? Gage: I think that mob is going to attack us. Tasha: Poor guys. That disease is driving them insane. This is going to be a weird battle. Is that why you want command? Gage: We can't afford to hesitate. It could give the enemy a chance. Will and his men may have concerns about fighting armed civilians. But I do not. I am a soldier, and I will do what is necessary. Brenner's Wolves saved us. I will take command to repay my debt. Gage: All units! There are missile silos. Foot soldiers and bikes can use them. Launch the missiles to damage the initial target and the surrounding area. Silos can only be used once. Reach them before the enemy does. =====Tactics War Room===== Tasha: Aaaaand now... Get ready for the finest commanders in the whole Lazurian Army... Taaaaaaasha and Gaaaaaaaage! Whooooooooooooooo! Unfortunately for all our fans, this is the final episode of Tasha's Tactics Hour. Gage: Yep. Tasha: Come on, Gage! Everyone's watching! This is your chance to shine! Show them some of that famous Lazurian pride! Gooooooo Lazuria! Gage: ...I don't get you. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Tasha: Move your infantry down to the missile silos as fast as you can! Then unload the missiles on those enemy tanks. Gage: That's good advice. Tasha: Anything to add? Something witty, perhaps? Gage: No, I think you got it. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Tasha: Come on, Gage! Please? ...For me? This is our last moment in the spotlight! Always leave 'em wowed, right? C'mon! Say something awesome! Gage: Um... ...This has been Tasha's Tactical...show. Thanks for watching. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Fanatics***** Davis: I dont't wanna die! I don't wanna die! I always sided with the winning team! I did my best to protect myself! But look at me now! LOOK AT ME! Will: Davis?! Davis: There's no hope for me now! I've seen what the Green Thumb does to people! I've seen the flowers! I got the mark, man! I got the damn mark! Will: Wait! What mark?! Davis: I saw it! With my own eyes! Once the mark appears on your flesh, the flowers start to blossom... They're gonna burst, man! Gonna burst right outta me! Will: Davis! Calm down! We're here to help you! Davis: I don't wanna die! I don't wanna die! Dontwannadiedontwannadiedontwannadiedontwannadie GYYAYAAGGHHAA! *****Before day three***** Fanatic: Go, my children! Destroy the intruders! The Worm demands it! Will: Stop it! You're insane! None of this will cure the virus! Fanatic: You say it will do nothing... But who will believe you? NO ONE! My children need a cure! They need their precious hope! Would you steal that from them? My children need hope to live! They need my lies to live! Will: ...Wait. So you don't believe what you're saying? Why would you fool people? Fanatic: I fool no one! They want to believe! This world is cold and hard! I give them peace! In truth, they cannot be cured. But if I told them that, they would despair. So I gave them hope! I gave them... Salvation! Who would not choose to live in a dream over this cruel world? Will: B-but... Fanatic: Without my Worm, all these people would have perished from grief. I give them hope! Without hope, there is nothing! Will: But it's wrong! Fanatic: No! It is YOU who are wrong! You demand that people face reality! That's why you must be wiped out... You know the truth. Take up your weapons, my children! The Worm demands it! *****Brenner's Wolves Win***** Fanatic: Nooooooooooo!!! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Gage: Go! GO! Save yourselves! Don't worry about me! No! NO! Get off me! Noooooo! Fanatic: Praise him, my children! PRAAAIIIIISE HIIIIIIM!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gage: We don't need that kind of salvation. ~~~~~Salvation Village~~~~~ Lin: The rest of the mob has lost the will to fight. And we have located this worm that they claimed would save them. Will: Is he the one behind all of this? Lin: Actually, it's... it's... Just come with me. ~~~~~Salvation~~~~~ Will: ...There's no one here. Where is he? Where is the Worm? Lin: Right there. In the corner. Will: Wait, but that's... Lin: According to the villagers, this is the one and only Worm. The one that was supposed to save them from the Creeper. Will: But it's... It's just... It's an earthworm. Lin: Yep. Will: They were prepared to kill for that?! Lin: Once people lose all hope, they become willing to believe anything. Let's go. There's nothing here for us. ~~~~~Salvation~~~~~ Civilian: It was a lie... All a lie... Youth: Who will save us now? Who can we believe in? What's the use of going on? Dr. Morris: Oh ho ho! My friends, please! You mustn't give up so easily! After all, there's no "you" in surrender! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho! Youth: What's that supposed to mean? You were lied to! The mark has appeared on skin, and now the flowers will blossom! Dr. Morris: Wait! Wait, listen to me! I'm a doctor! I will find a cure for this plague! I need you to hold on to your hope! Youth: You're a doctor...? Civilian: He can cure us! Youth: Hurry up! Cure me! Cure me! I don't want to die! Cure me! Dr. Morris: I'm sorry, but it's not that simple. I am looking for a cure. I haven't found one yet. You'll have to be patient. Youth: How can we be patient?! Dr. Morris: I am just a human being. I don't perform magic, and I can't cure you instantly. I won't tell you what you want to hear or make false promises I can't keep. I offer no guarantees. Only hope. In truth, some of you will perish before I am able to find a cure. Civilian: That's no good! Dr. Morris: But I do promise you this! I promise that I will never give up. As long as there is breath in my body, I will work to heal as many as I can. Youth: But... Dr. Morris: Trust me. Be patient. Try to hold on until I can find a care. Will: It's OK, Doctor. Go to your work. I'll make sure these people are comfortable. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Lin: Say... Will? You remember when Davis talked about "the mark"? I think I know what he was talking about. Will: Oh yeah? Lin: There's a diamond-shaped mark on my left shoulder. Will: ...What? Lin: I think this mark is the only visible symptom of the virus. And if I'm right, my flowers will bloom soon. Not very comforting, huh? Will: Oh, Lin. Lin: We'll find this mark on some of the infected. But it probably doesn't appear until late... I'm running out of time. Will: OK, so we work harder! We help Dr. Morris, and we work to-- Lin: Why won't you leave, Will? Why won't you go? Are you trying to prove something? I know I asked you to be our commander, but this is beyond duty. It's suicide. No one doubts your commitment or your courage. Go, Will. Go. Walk away and don't look back. We'll be OK. Will: No. Not after all this. I'm not staying here to sacrifice myself, Lin, or to be...noble or make a point or something. I'm staying here to help. Where there's life, there's hope. I believe that. And if I run, I... I take that hope from everyone. Does that make sense? Lin: ...Brenner had you pegged from the start. OK, Will. I get it. I won't ask again. And I'll try to pretend that there's still hope. ======================== *****End Chapter-19***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-20***** ==================== Waylon Flies Again ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Dr. Morris: We have made a small breakthrough and slowed the progress of the virus. By using a few common materials, we've managed to create a vaccine of sorts. Will: That's great news, Doctor! Dr. Morris: Unfortunately, we are running low on materials to create more of it. The nearby medical facilities have all been looted, most likely by raiders. Lin: Greyfield. Dr. Morris: Hmmm? What do you mean? Lin: Admiral Greyfield's number-one priority is his own safety and well-being. I'm sure he is behind the looting of those facilities you mentioned. And I have no doubt he possesses huge quantities of the vaccine. Will: First Captain Brenner, and now this?! I'll kill him! Lin: Remember how I said emotion had a time a place, Will? This isn't it. Will: Sorry! Sorry. You're right. Let's just track down Greyfield and finish this once and for all. ~~~~~Flashback of Will and Brenner~~~~~ Brenner: Keep it simple--never give up. If you can do that, anything is possible. Will: Got it! Brenner: That's the spirit. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Will: I understand, Captain. Isabella: Will? Are you all right? You seem distant. Will: ...Huh? Oh, sorry, Isabella. I was just remembering what Captain Brenner said after he rescued me. Whenever things are at their darkest, I try to think about those words. I owe my life to Captain Brenner, so it's just... It's my way of remembering him. Isabella: Can I... Can I help, Will? Will: No. Don't worry about me. I know what I need to do. Greyfield and Waylon are responsible for Captain Brenner's death, and it's time for them to pay. I'm going to end this war. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Lazurian recon units... I mean, OUR recon units have spotted the enemy. ...Wow, that's going to tae a little getting used to... Commander! Enemy units are attacking from the rear. Will: Ground or aerial? Lin: Aerial. Will: Is it Waylon? Lin: Looks like it. Will: Let's go! All units, move out! And show no mercy! *****Day one***** =====Tactics War Room===== Waylon: Laaadiiieees and gentlemen! Put your hands together, 'cause the travelin' Waylon show is in the house! Are you ready to rooooooooock?! Will: Waylon! Waylon: Easy, brother man! I paid a lot for this haircut, and you're spittin' all over it. So how goes the charity work? Keeping busy making soup and handing out blankets? Will: Get out of here, traitor! Waylon: Easy, brother man! The war room's neutral ground! No need to yell at little ol' me. No? Still angry? All right, I get it. I can dig where you're coming from. Guess I'll make like a bakery truck and haul buns! Later! Whoooooooo! Will: Wait! Isabella: Will? Who are you yelling at? Will: Huh? I was... He was just here... Isabella: OK. Well... If you're done being crazy, I think I know how to win this battle. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Isabella: First, capture both factories, then the airports. Build anti-air and ground units in the lower factory, then take them to the center of the map and defend the pass. Build foot soldiers at the top factory and send them over the mountains. Once you take and hold the center, pound the enemy with air units. ...I hope that helped. Will: Thanks, Isabella. I really appreciate it. Isabella: Hee! My pleasure! ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Isabella: That's all for now! Bye! =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Waylon's Forces***** Waylon: One more mission and I can retire to my burned-out mansion! Life of luxury, here I come! Now hit me! Whooooo! *****Before day three***** Waylon: Well, I'll be dipped in nacho cheese... Someone put the damn kid in charge! You think you got a chance against me, brother man? Think again! I'm gonna get you like I got Brenner! Whoooooo! Will: Keep talking, Waylon! It'll be the last thing you ever do! Waylon: Aw, don't sound so hostile, kid! I know you missed me! You gotta live my life, brother man! Food, drink, girls... I got it all! I'm living the high life while you're out there eatin' bugs and whatnot. So how about it? Make things easy on your old selves... Just hand over the Lazurians, and I'll see that Greyfield rewards you. What do you say, brother man? Will: Save it, Waylon! We're going to fight and we're going to win! Waylon: Aw, hell! You're as bad as ol' Brenner! All ready to die just to defend a buncha damn Lazurians. Well, nothing for it! Looks like I'm gonna have to teach you a lesson! Will: I don't need your lessons, Waylon. Waylon: Stuff it junior! You and your little toy soldiers make me sick! All self-righteous... Struttin' around like you own the damn joint... You ain't helpin' people because you care! You do it to feel important! You're a hypocrite, and you ain't better than me! Least I'm honest! Least ol' Waylon's honest about who and what I am. Will: ...Maybe you're right. Waylon: Praise Greyfield! The boy sees the light! Will: Maybe we are the same. You do what you want to do, and so do I. You fly around and act like a jerk because it's what you want to do. And I help people becase it's what I want to do. Waylon: ...Why, you little sack of crap. Will: Does that make me a hypocrite? If I do nothing, people will suffer. People will die. You say I do this to feel important, and maybe you're right. But if that saves even one life, then it's worth it. Understand? Waylon: Aw, nuts! I heard enough! Folks like you never live very long, anyway. I'm gonna bury you, kid. Give my regards to Captain Courageous! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Waylon: I just don't get it! I just don't get people like you! The world's gone, brother! Ain't nothing out there worth fighting for! And yet here you are with your friends and your...hope! I don't get it! You oughta worry about YOU! Just like me! Will: We'll need our hope when we rebuild this world. That's what you'll never understand. *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: No! Not Waylon! Not like this... I wanted to avenge Captain Brenner... Waylon: Sorry, kid. Ya got hopes and dreams, and then life kicks ya in the butt. Now it's my time! Whoooo! Hit me! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: It's time to take down Greyfield! ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: We got the wounded off the battlefield... Is everyone accounted for? Isabella: Um...Will? Will: What is it? Isabella: Over there... There's someone in that building... Will: OK. Let's check it out. ~~~~~Ruined Building~~~~~ Will: ...Sorry, Isabella, but I just don't see anybody. And I can't imagine anyone would be here during a battle-- Caulder: Good day. Please, don't mind me. I'm just conducting a little research. Will: Um... Hi there. Caulder: Ah, Will. It is so very good to finally meet you. I believe you are the new commander of Brenner's Wolves. Congratulations are in order. Will: What in the... How do you know that? Who are you? And why are you taking notes in the middle of a war? Caulder: My name is Dr. Caulder. And as for my copious note taking... Well, I am researching the effects of warfare of the human spirit. Will: You're doing what now? Caulder: Ever since the meteors, I have traveled this world observing and recording. Those falling stars were a true boon for men of science like myself! I have always wanted to observe man in a world reduced to utter chaos and destruction. In truth, I have never been so happy! Will: You're...researching us? Caulder: I have been able to witness and documents the true nature of humankind! I have watched people fight among themselves as their food supplies ran dry... I have seen villages panic at mere rumors of disease and famine... I have observed it all. And I have found it to be FASCINATING! Will: You're disgusting! Caulder: No! Merely curious. At first, I allied myself with the Lazurian Army. I wanted to see how war would be conducted in a world without law. But that Forsythe had a misplaced chivalrous spirit and was of little use to me. I offered him all manner of terrible new weapons, but he denied me at every turn. Little men such as he have always stood in the way of human progress. Will: General Forsythe was a decent, honorable man. Caulder: Qualities that I hope will no longer be respected in this new world of ours! At any rate, I had no use for him. So I turned instead to one devoid of all morality...Admiral Greyfield. He embraced my weapons! Even now, he prepares to use my masterpiece! Will: You... You're evil! Caulder: Eh? Will: Dr. Morris once asked me if I believed in evil. In people who felt glad the world was destroyed. Now I know they exist. I'm looking at one. Caulder: Were I a more emotional man, I might be hurt by such words! I have done nothing wrong, Will. I am the very model of an objective, scientific observer! Like all men of science, I have merely followed my heart and studied what interested me. But I see you will never understand that. A pity! Will: Wait! Caulder: Oh, before I forget... I must recognize all the hard work my daughters have been putting in... Isabella: ... ... ... ... Caulder: We are making steady progress. Do carry on. Isabella: Aah... AAAAAAAAAAA!!! Will: Isabella! What did you do to her? Caulder: I suggest you speak to her instead of me. She doesn't have much time left. Will: You! Caulder: Greyfield is on his way with my masterpiece in his hands. Whatever will happen...? Hmmm... I think I will need more notepads. ~~~~~Ruined Building~~~~~ Isabella: ...Ungh... Will: Isabella! Can you hear me! Are you OK? Isabella: Y-yes... I'm s-sorry, Will. Will: I was so worried. Isabella: That man... I've seen him before. Will: Where? Isabella: I don't know. I don't know who he is or where I met him. But I know him. He is a very, very frightening man... ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Dr. Morris: Good heavens! Dr. Caulder is alive?! Will: You know him? Dr. Morris: I know of him! And more than I'd like... Caulder is an infamous figure in the medical world. A mad genius despised by all his contemporaries. He was thrown out of the medical academy for conducting bizarre, unethical expermients. A year later, he sustained terrible injuries in a suspicious plane crash. But this is only emboldened him to continue his horrible research. This world is a much more dangerous place with him in it. Lin: Wait. Are we talking about the same Caulder? The one in charge of IDS? Will: IDS? ~~~~~Cutscene to Picture of an Owl~~~~~ Lin: IDS stands for Intelligent Defense Systems. Before the meteors, they were the world's largest military contractor. They had connections at the highest levels of Rubinelle government, with contracts in everything from weapons to medicine to food. The war between Rubinelle and Lazuria was especially profitable for them. Dr. Morris: Why, he's nothing more than a common war profiteer! Will: Caulder said he gave Greyfield all of his new weapons. He was happy too. Like a kid with a new toy. He said he wanted to study the results when Greyfield used his masterpiece. Dr. Morris: Oh dear! I don't even want to know what that is. Lin: Isabella? Something tells me you know about this. Isabella: His masterpiece... It must be the Caulder Missile. Will: That doesn't sound good. ~~~~~Cutscene of Explosion and Flamed Buildings~~~~~ Isabella: Both nations possessed enough missiles to destroy the other ten times over. Caulder Missiles were developed by IDS and located in Rubinelle and Lazuria. They were designed to launch at the same time. All of them. In theory, they functioned as deterrents. But now... ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Will: Greyfield, you madman... Dr. Morris: If those missiles launch, it's going to make the meteors look like...like FUN-teors! ...Sorry. Even I thought that was bad. Will: We have to stop him. ======================== *****End Chapter-20***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-21***** ==================== Lin's Gambit ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army HQ~~~~~ Caulder: Ah. Admiral Greyfield. How can I help you? Greyfield: Caulder! What in the name of Rubinelle do you think you're doing?! Caulder: Whatever do you mean? Greyfield: Don't play the fool with me! That virus is tearing through my troops! Where is my cure? I ordered you to find one! Caulder: Ah yes. The Creeper. The Green Thumb. I hear it is causing...problems in the ranks. It seems your policy of executing the infected has actually worsened morale. Fascinating... Greyfield: How dare you question me?! Who are you? Just some pathetic man in a lab coat! Caulder: Treating your infected troops in such a manner has sowed the seeds of discontent. Rather than seek help, infected soldiers conceal the truth for fear of the firing squad. This has allowed the disease to spread almost unimpaired through your army. Greyfield: S-silence! I will hear no more of this! I am not a man to be taken lightly, Caulder! If you had done your job, none of this would be a problem. Get me a cure by the end of the week, or I will have you executed! Caulder: Hmmm... Is everything all right, Admiral? You look somewhat unwell. Greyfield: Wh-what do you mean?! How... How dare you mock the mighty Greyfield! Caulder: Ah ha! Not another word, Admiral! Your eyes tell me all I need to know. You too are infected with the virus! And that vaccine of yours can only hold it off for so long... Greyfield: B-bah. Bah! Admiral Greyfield will not be brought low by some common virus! Only the weak succumb to this disease, and I am not among their number! I am strong! Caulder: Your fear is palpable! If word spread that you had been infected, your army would crumble. You said yourself that this virus affects only the weak, did you not? I wonder, Admiral... Will you order your own firing squad to execute you as well? Greyfield: Insolence! I'll see you hanged for this! Caulder: Tsk tsk, Admiral. If you set me to swing, you will never find your cure. But worry not. Your little secret will be safe with me. And as we speak, I am but hours away from perfecting a cure. Greyfield: ...T-truly? Caulder: Truly. Greyfield: Then all is forigven! Ha ha ha! Oh, Caulder, you devil! I was right to trust you! I want this cure delivered to all of my troops without delay. ...But first, give it to me! N-not that a man of my strength will need it! It's just to show the men that I am one of them. Caulder: Yes, yes. You and your troops will get your medicine in due time. But first, we must discuss my masterpiece. The preparations are almost complete. Greyfield: Ha ha! My time of destiny is at hand! Admiral Greyfield shall rule the world as king! Show me how to operate it! Show me your masterpiece... ~~~~~Caulder Missile Command Center~~~~~ Caulder: From this room, you can control the launch systems for the Caulder Missiles. You will rain destruction down upon the entire world. Greyfield: You outdo yourself, Caulder! No leader has ever wielded the power I now possess. With this button, my destiny is fulfilled. I will become King Greyfield the Mighty! Now where are those miserable traitors cowering? They shall get the first taste... Caulder: Do calm yourself, Admiral. The launch system was heavily damaged by the meteor strikes. There are a number of locking mechanisms that must be bypassed before it can be used. My staff estimates that it will be forty days before the launch can commence. Greyfield: That is unacceptable! Tell them to hurry! I want those wretched traitors to feel the full force of my wrath! Make them hurry! Tell them King Greyfield orders it to be so! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Commander? Greyfield's army is here. ...All of them. Will: That force is huge. Maybe we should retreat and plan a strategy. Lin: There isn't time. We must strike them now and find Greyfield. We need to learn the status of those Caulder Missiles. Isabella: I... I can help. The launch system was damaged but is being restored as we speak. The process will be complete in forty days. Once launched, the missiles will cause anyone in the blast range to suffer-- Lin: Thank you, Isabella. Don't think I need to hear all the details. Will: All right. We have to stop him. I'll take the troops and-- Lin: No. I'll do it. I mean... Permission to lead the troops, Commander? Will: Why? Lin: I know you and Brenner were close, but he was my...my captain. I failed him. I owe him this. Plus, I have the virus and you don't. ...I have nothing to lose. *****Day one***** Lin: Greyfield's strength lies with his navy. Move your ground forces with care. We must gain control of the seas. Use rigs to build temporary ports. =====Tactics War Room===== Greyfield: All hail! You stand in the presence of Admiral Greyfield, the world's one true king! My grand plan to bring this pathetic planet under my boot heel is nearly complete. The sad remnants of Brenner's Wolves will be put down like the dogs they are! Then all will bend the knee to the awesome might of me! Greyfield! Lin: Hello. Greyfield: Ahhh! Who are you?! What do you want? Guards? Guards! ...Where are my blasted guards?! Ahem! I must...um...retreat! Yes, a strategic retreat to consolidate my men! ...All hail Greyfield! Lin: Keep running, little man. I'm coming for you. I have come up with a strategy to defeat you and your forces. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Shore up your defenses in the east and take the central island. Take the western island at some point, but don't make it a top priority. Build subs and carriers, then start producing seaplanes ASAP. When you finally storm the HQ, have battleships support you from the inlet. Will: You seem kind of serious today, Lin. Lin: I'm always serious. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: That's all. Make it happen. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, New Rubinelle Army***** IDS Agent: Restoration of the Caulder Missile launch system is now 2.5% complete. It will be fully operational in 39 days. Greyfield: Splendid! I can hardly wait! My glorious reign as king is about to begin! Those traitors will serve as an example for all the world! *****Before Day three***** Greyfield: Treacherous swine! Inglorious, backstabbing vermin! Lin: You are one charming fellow, Greyfield. Greyfield: You pathetic traitors understand nothing! You can't see that war is caused by the fact that other nations exist. I shall be the man to unite all the world into one nation! I will be the man to end all war forever! Lin: And humble too. I like it. Greyfield: Save the sarcastic asides for your tombstone, dog! That meteor strike and all that followed was a test! The situation demands that a natural leader unite the survivors below him. And I, King Greyfield, shall be that leader! Lin: That is a great plan. Let me ask you something. Once everyone is below you, will you stop being sch a coward? Greyfield: Wh-what...?! You dare to-- Lin: I've seen your records. I know you were a subpar commander at best. And you know it too. That's why you strut around like a playground bully. You hid your shame by faking results and taking credit for the work of-- Greyfield: Silence! Enough of your loathsome falsehoods, you treasonous hound! Lin: No! That's enough of YOU, you lying, sniveling, fat man! You're a coward and a liar and I have had enough of it! You started this fight. Now I'm going to end it. *****Day ten, New Rubinelle Army***** IDS Agent: Restoration of the Caulder Missile launch system is 25% complete. It will be fully operational in 30 days. Greyfield: Music to my ears! Now work harder! *****Day twenty, New Rubinelle Army***** IDS Agent: Restoration of the Caulder Missile launch system is 50% complete. It will be fully operational in 20 days. Greyfield: Did you hear that, you treacherous rabble? I shall rule as your king! *****Day thirty, New Rubinelle Army***** IDS Agent: Restoration of the Caulder Missile launch system is 75% complete. It will be fully operational in 10 days. Greyfield: Soon! Soon all will bend the knee to the glory of King Greyfield! *****Day thirty-nine, New Rubinelle Army***** IDS Agent:Restoration of the Caulder Missile launch system is 97.5% complete. It will be fully operational in 1 day. Greyfield: Did yo hear that?! Tomorrow, I will rule the world! My time has arrived! *****Day forty, New Rubinelle Army***** IDS Agent: Restoration of the Caulder Missile launch system complete. System fully operational. Greyfield: Launch! Launch them now! Aaaaaah ha ha ha! I have done it! I am KING! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Greyfield: No, no, no, no, no! Idiots! Wretched, lousy, foul, incompetent idiots! All my dreams... Rubinelle: We did it! We actually did it! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: No! No... I'm sorry, Captain. I couldn't make it right... Dr. Morris: ...What hope is there now? What hope is there for any of us? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: Defeat is not an option. ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army Base Camp~~~~~ Greyfield: Retreat! Retreat! All units, retreat! When I find out who is responsible, I will have them executed immediately! I am the supreme leader of the world! I am the strongest of all men! Defeat is only for the weak! Lin: You're right. Greyfield: EEEEEK! Lin: Defeat is for the weak. You were defeated because you were weak. And now you're going to die. Greyfield: Y-you wouldn't dare! Lin: Actually, I would. Will wouldn't. Will would try to put you on trial or something. ~~~~~Cutscene of Lin aiming a gun towards the viewer~~~~~ Lin: But Will isn't here. Is he? Greyfield: You wouldn't dare...! Y-you can't...! You can't do this! Lin: You are responsible for the death of Captain Brenner. You killed him, and now I'm going to kill you. Will and the others won't like it... But it's what needs to be done. Greyfield: Stop! I... I... I surrender! I surrender my forces to you! Th-there! You can't hurt me now! I am a prisoner of war! C-C-Captain Brenner would never hurt a prisoner! It's murder! If you kill me, you're as bad as me! You'll be just the same as me! Lin: ...Huh. I guess you're right. *****Gunshot is heard***** ~~~~~New Rubinelle Army Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: That was for you, Brenner. ...I think I'll see you soon. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Rubinelle: We did it! We won! Youth: The war is over! You did it! Hurrah for Brenner's Wolves! Dr. Morris: Will! Everyone! Listen up! I just discovered huge stocks of the vaccine we need in Greyfield's headquarters! I think we can keep the infected alive long enough for me to find a cure. We did it! We did it! Oh ho ho ho! Will: Yeah, we... We did. Dr. Morris: Oh ho! This is no time for frowns. It's over! We won! It's time for the biggest celebration this world has ever seen! Isabella: Dr. Morris? I don't think Will... Dr. Morris: He should turn that frown upside down! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho... ...I'm sorry, Will. What is it? Will: We... We lost so many. So many people. A better commander could have prevented such losses. I'm just...not in the mood for a party. I'm sorry. Lin: Typical. If you were bigger and had better hair, I'd swear you were actually Brenner. Will: Lin, I... Lin: We all love ya, Will, but please... Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You're the cadet who defeated an admiral. I think that's good enough. Will: But without you and Isabella and-- Lin: What you lacked in talent, you made up for with heart and guts. And you inspired every soldier to do the same, even those who never came home. That's what led us to victory. Not my tactics. Not Isabella's...whatever she does. It was you, and you should be proud. So let's go have a party. Will: ...Yeah, all right. Dr. Morris: Oh ho ho ho! Now THAT'S the spirit! Let's party! I've got a few classic jokes that I save for special occasions... ======================== *****End Chapter-21***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-22***** ==================== The Great Owl ~~~~~Cutscene of Cyrus, Penny and Tabitha~~~~~ Caulder: How odd. The war is over. Penny: Who wins, Daddy? Caulder: The side that lacked military might but had superior tactics. I am surprised. They may prove worthy specimens for further research. Tabitha: May I play with them, Father? Please? I promise to be ever so good! Caulder: Oh, Tabitha. You know I can't say no to you. Of course you can play with them! Cyrus, Tabitha, Penny... Daddy has a present for you! It's a new toy. I think you will enjoy it very much. Tabitha: Oh, Father! I do love you so! I just hope it doesn't break like the last one... Caulder: You must treat this one mor carefully than you do your other toys. I want you to take your time and really enjoy it! Have fun! Penny: Tee hee hee! BOOOOOM! Cyrus: ... ... ... ... Caulder: Now, my children, let us prepare the next experiment. ~~~~~Cutscene of the Great Owl plane~~~~~ Rubinelle: Unidentified plane inbound! Dr. Morris: I say! Is it one of ours? Lin: I don't think so. It looks like a bomber, but... This is impossible... No plane is this big. Rubinelle: The plane is parachuting troops! They've taken up battle positions. They have twice our numbers, sir. And they're still coming! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: ...I don't get it. Where did an army of this size come from? Caulder: Why, from me, of course! My new automated troops are on the front line of military technology. With them, a single commander can give orders to every unit at once! Will: You! Caulder: I took the liberty of recording your previous battle. It was a fierce fight, and you sustained a great deal of damage. Now I wish to see if your decimated forces can rally. Will: No! You can't! Caulder: But first, I hoped to have a talk with you, Will. Will: ...A talk? Are you serious? Caulder: Oh, yes. I have something important that I need to discuss with you. I will tell you the location now, and you will come to me. Alone. If you do not agree to meet me, I will attack immediately. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Will: I'm going. Lin: Caulder isn't a man you can reason with. Or one that you can trust. This meeting of his is all wrong. Will: I know. But I'm going anyway. Lin: I thought you'd say that. But I'm afraid I can't allow it. Will: Well, I don't think it's up to you. If I go, it buys us time to prepare our troops. It gives us hope. Lin: It does that, yes. But I don't think it matters. He's toying with us. Will: Probably. But it's still going to buy us time. Lin: Will, if he takes you hostage, if he starts making demands... I won't rescue you. You know that. Right? Will: I know. But I've made up my mind. I'm going. ~~~~~The Southwest Lazurian Mountains~~~~~ Caulder: Ah, Will! Please, come. Sit down. You truly are a wonder. I don't know how you managed to defeat Greyfield. Will: What do you want? Caulder: Patience, Will, patience. I just have a favor to ask of you. Will: Really. Caulder: I need to observe your troops, but my current equipment is somewhat lacking. Would you mind if I attach these small devices to your men? They allow me to monitor heart rates, perspiration, and fear levels. Will: ...You can't be serious. Caulder: They won't affect your fighting capability in any way, I assure you. Doing so would compromise my position as an impartial observer. I will attack you regardless, but this way science can benefit. Do you see? Lin: That's a great offer, but I think we'll have to pass. Will: Lin! Caulder: I thought we agreed that you would come alone. Lin: I don't give a damn what you thought. Will, this man is a psychopath. Don't listen to another word he says. Caulder: Please! I am a scientist! I seek only to learn! But it seems you don't want to cooprate. Very well. Lin: Are you really just walking away? Caulder: That was my intention, yes. Will and I had an arrangement. Lin: I'm not Will. And I'm not letting you leave this mountain. Caulder: Ah, yes. I figured that something like this might happen. Tabitha: Hello, Father. Will: Um... Who are you? Caulder: This is Tabitha, my first daughter. ...First daughter? Third? I've lost track. Her reflexes are far superior to yours. If you reach for your weapon, she will kill you. Oh! I almost forgot. I have one more request... The girl you call Isabella. I want you to give her to me. Will: I don't believe this! Caulder: Will you hand her over to me? Yes or no? It's a simple question. If you give her to me, I will guarantee the survival of your people. Lin: How's that? Caulder: I will call off my forces. I can also provide a cure for the virus you call the Creeper. All at the cost of a small girl who can't even lift a rifle. It is a very generous offer. Will: Isabella stays with us. Caulder: Such a fascinating little man... I thought you might say something like that. But I think you will reconsider once I introduce you to the Great Owl. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: All units, prepare for battle! We still don't know the size of the enemy forces, so be careful. Caulder: The Great Owl is ready... Let the bombing commence! Rubinelle: Sir! That huge plane is bombing the hell out of us! The entire center of the battlefield was devastated! Will: Proceed witih caution! All units, avoid the impact area! *****Day one***** =====Tactics War Room===== Penny: Tee hee hee! Will: Um...hey there. Are you lost or something? Penny: What's your name? Will: I'm Will. Who are-- Penny: Penny is a good girl. She will tell you what you need to know. Tee hee! Penny likes you. ...But Mr. Bear HATES YOU! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Penny: The Great Owl drops big, bad, scary bombs! BOOM! Don't touch the bombs! Go around! Move ground units on the bottom! Shoot down planes with anti-air units and missiles! Get the SE factory! Shoot down enemy bombers! Hit anti- tank units with bombers or rockets. Pchew! Pchew! Boooooooooooooom! Tee hee hee! Will: Um...thanks. But why exactly are you telling me all this? Penny: ...'Cause Mr. Bear told me to. Will: Penny, you are one weird kid. ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Will: Aaaaand she's gone. Of course she is. Well, that's it. I hope you're as creeped out by that as I was. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS Forces***** Penny: We bomb now? BOOOOOOOOM! Tee hee hee!!! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Lin: Reinforcements have been sighted. Will: Pull back! Pull back! We need more time to prepare our forces! Caulder: Yes, you probably do. Will: You...! Caulder: We are readying another attack, but I will ask you once more... Will you give me the girl? In exchange for the safety of your troops? Will: Why do you want her? Caulder: I don't want her. I own her. She is one of my products, and I need her back. Will: One of your products? Caulder: Why, yes. Surely you sensed something strange about her? That girl is my daughter, though not in the sense that you imagine. I built her. I created her. Will: Oh no... Caulder: My daughters are clones. I created them in my laboratory. They were the final step in building an army of low-cost, cloned soldiers. ~~~~~Special IDS Screen~~~~~ Caulder: IDS specializes in products that give generals control during battle. Armies have long been ungainly things with many communication problems. Even modern armies suffer from late or misunderstood communications. But my products--my children--can control entire armies single-handedly. Like a giant with a hundred arms, they can wield innumerable weapons! ...Although I must admit, they have been abject failures as humans. Will: Isabella is a clone... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Caulder: Whyever did you give her that insufferable name? And yes, she is a clone. A mere doll designed and controlled by me. But one day she went... haywire and fled my laboratory. This was highly unusual, and I must discover its cause. I need to disassemble her and locate the source of the malfunction. Will: ...You can't! Caulder: I can and will, and you will give her to me, or I will take her by force. It seems you have developed a certain attachment to my daughter. You are being too emotional. She is a product! An experiment! A nothing. And she belongs to me! Will: Enough! Caulder: I await your answer. *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: Too much... It was too much... Cheer up, Brenner... You're about to have...company... Will: Lin! Lin, come in! LIN! ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ Lin: We need to assess our damage. ======================== *****End Chapter-22***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-23***** ==================== Sacrificial Lamb ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Dr. Morris: ...She's a clone?! Will: According to Caulder, yes. She's one of group of mass-produced clones. And his daughter. I guess that makes her a clone of Caulder... Dr. Morris: Hmmm... I'm not sure that is completely accurate. Will: What do you mean? Dr. Morris: Technically, it is possible to create human clones. But even if you duplicate the DNA... The clones are not perfect copies. They're more like a set of twins. We don't know if he used recombinant DNA or an extrachromosomal-- Will: Wait, stop. Small words, please. Dr. Morris: Well, if I were to make a clone of myself, I would have a baby with my DNA. But we would have different ages, different environmental influences, and so on. It would not be possible to engineer a perfect copy of my adult self. That's why I think each Isabella is a unique, individual person. Will: But Caulder talked about them like they were interchangeable. Lin: There is another possibility. What if you took those cloned babies you were talking abouut and isolated them? Completely cut them off from the outside world, like rats in a maze. By eliminating all outside influence, you could theoretically mass-produce identical clones. Dr. Morris: Well... I suppose... In theory, that might work, yes. But such an existence would likely shatter the mind of anyone who had to undergo it! Only an unethical monster would think of doing such a thing! Lin: We're talking about Caulder, Dr. Morris. I don't think he's ever been concerned with ethics. Dr. Morris: Yes, but... Lin: Never mind. We're getting distracted. Isabella is what she is. That's not the problem requiring our attention right now. We need to figure out how we're going to survive. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Gage: Caulder is threatening to bomb us again. If we don't hand over the girl by tomorrow, they will launch an all-out assault. Dr. Morris: I know I'm not a military man, but I don't see how we can survive another assault! ~~~~~Cutscene of the Great Owl~~~~~ Lin: As long as the Great Owl flies, we have no chance of victory. Dr. Morris: But we won the last battle! Lin: True, but in that battle, bombs were dropped on a fixed area only. They weren't trying to win. They just wanted to display their power. If they decide to start bombing our forces directly... Well, like I said. Victory would be impossible. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Tasha: I can't stand this! That man is simply toying with us! He can just bide his time until we surrender Isabella to him! Lin: Commander? What are we going to do? Will: Isabella stays with us. We aren't going to abandon anyone. Gage: Perhaps you think it is noble to die for your principles, but I disagree. Tasha: Gage! Gage: I am not going to lead my people on a suicide mission. The life of one girl against the lives of all of us seems an easy choice. Tasha: What's wrong with you, Gage? How can you think of handing her over to that monster? Gage: General Forsythe ordered us to protect the lives of his troops. That is our only duty. Or has your newfound love of Rubinelle clouded your judgement? Tasha: You're a jerk. You know that? And did you forget what happened to Forsythe? He surrendered with honor and got a bullet in the back for his troubles. Caulder isn't going to take the girl and just walk away to let us live in peace! He'll take her and then bomb us all into the ground! I say we fight to the last man! Lin: Commander? We need a decision. Will: I made my decision. She stays. We all stay. Things looked bleak before, and yet we managed to come around. Right? As long as there is life, there's hope. Mayor: That's enough! The civilians are tired of your fighting and your lies! Lin: ...Who let him in here? Mayor: The civilians are agreed! We should hand over that stupid girl and end this! Then all our problems will be over! Lin: Get him out of here. Mayor: What?! Hey now, stop... Get your hands off me! Don't you know who I am?! Lin: Ready yourselves. I think Caulder is coming. ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Civilian Camp~~~~~ Woman: ...It's her. Isabella: ...Mary? Why are you looking at me like that? Woman: Like you don't know. Mayor: There she is! Go! Get out of here! Shoo! Isabella: Wh-what?! Mayor: You heard me! You're not wanted here anymore! You're going to get us all killed! Now get out of our sight! Isabella: But... I don't understand! Mayor: Everyone agrees with me! You're useless baggage! What are you still doing here?! Get out of here! We can't stand the sight of you! Isabella: But I... I didn't... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: The Great Owl is approaching. Will: I know. I can hear it. *****Day one***** =====Tactics War Room===== Tabitha: It's me again! Thank you, thank you. Please, hold all applause until the end. Will: Not again... Tabitha: I just came by to see how my faithful servant is doing. Will: I was fine until you showed up. Tabitha: Quiet, servant! I have a list of complaints about you! My dresses aren't ironed, my bed isn't made, my room is covered with dust... My breakfast isn't prepared, my floors aren't washed, my windows aren't cleaned... My tub isn't grouted, my shower is covered in mildew, the septic tank needs a good scrubbing... Will: STOP! Please, just...just stop. I really have a lot of other things to be thinking about right now. Tabitha: I gave you wonderful advice, and still you refuse to be my servant! It's not a dead-end job, you know. There are career-advancement opportunities. If I like you, you might become my Chauffeur. Or my scullery maid! Will: That's really OK. Tabitha: Well, I'll give you one more chance. I'm going to give you some great battle tips, and if you think they're useful... You agree to enter a lifetime of servitude! Totally fair, right? Will: Please stop talking. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Tabitha: Transport your infantry to the missile silos in the NW and SE, then fire missiles at the rockets to reduce the risk of indirect attacks. Oh, and keep your units separated until the Great Owl has finished attacking. When you're ready, take the enemy's west port and head toward their HQ. So, are you my servant now? Will: Look, I appreciate the advice, but... Tabitha: Great! You'll do it! I'm so happy, I'll even give you a little shed to sleep in. Will: Maybe she'll stop talking if I pretend to fall asleep... ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Tabitha: And that's all for today! Now, servant go get my shoes! =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS Forces***** Tabitha: Oh, this is so exciting! I can't wait! *****Day two***** Lin: The Great Owl will be in attack range within minutes. *****Day three***** Lin: The Great Owl is starting its bombing run ... It's targeting our troops. Will: All units, disperse! Large groups are an easy target! *****Before day six***** Isabella: I... I am here. Can you hear me? Caulder: Ah! It's you! So you remembered how to make emergency communications! Don't push yourself too hard, dear. You know how fragile you are. Isabella: Promise me. Caulder: Hmmm? Promise you what, sweetie? Isabella: I don't care what you do to me... I just want you to leave them alone. Caulder: You're a curious specimen aren't you? Your sisters love chaos and death, whereas you embrace mercy. This is a worse design flaw than I anticipated... Isabella: I'm... I'm not like them. Caulder: Listen to me, Isabella. ...Bah! What an absurd name... I want you to join us on the Great Owl. I'm sure we can find something for you to do. Some experiment or other... Isabella: What? Cauler: You seem confused. Isabella: You said you wanted to dissect me! To analyze my malfunction! ...Isn't that why you want me? Caulder: Hmmm... I did say that, didn't I? Well, I'm afraid that was a lie. Caulder: You are not important to me in the least. I have countless identical copies of you! What's another, more or less? Isabella: Th-then why...? Caulder: Dear girl... I was interested in THEM! I contrived a moral dilemma to make those people fight among themselves. I was curious how they would react. That is all. Isabella: You're terrible! Caulder: Don't take that tone with your father, young lady! ...You're an odd one, aren't you? What did those people do to you? But we can experiment on such things later! Cyrus! Turn about! Secure the product and fly to the nearest base. Cyrus: Father... When will your madness end? Caulder: Eh? Do you have something to say, Son? Cyrus: I know I am not human. I know that you made me in a lab. But I will no longer stand idly by and let you do this! You treat us like puppets! Toys to be used and broken and then discarded. Caulder: My my, Cyrus, you are a perceptive boy. That's exactly what you are to me! A puppet! A plaything! Cyrus: No! I am a person! I am real! Caulder: Hmmm... I don't much care for this line of reasoning. I may need to get another model. Lin: I don't understand why, but it seems the Great Owl is retreating. Will: Who cares why! Let's take our chance and finish this! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Tabitha: No no no! This is so unfair! I let my guard down for an instant, and you go and smash all my nice soldiers! Poo! If I had reinforcements, I would squash you like bugs! But Father wants me to spare you. So I guess I will this time! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: Aaargh... I refuse to... Caulder: Yes, yes. You refuse to abandon anyone. I know this story well. You suffer from a regrettable human affliction...the concern for others. You think this is an admirable trait, but you are mistaken. Excessive empathy is an illness. And I am afraid that both you and Captain Brenner were terminal cases. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: That was a costly victory... ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves Base Camp~~~~~ Will: What do you mean, she's gone? Dr. Morris: I'm sorry, Will. I guess I should have kept an eye on her. Lin: There is no evidence that our camp has been infiltrated. It looks like she left of her own volition. Will: But why? Tasha: Perhaps she thought she was saving us. Will: Dammit! This isn't the way it was supposed to happen! I didn't want to abandon anyone, and now Isabella abandoned us! Mayor: You! You are to blame for all this! It's all your fault! Will: You again? Mayor: Look around you! Look at the wounded and dead! Look at the civilians on the brink of starvation! No one had to fight. No one had to die. If you had just surrendered and handed that girl over, this would never have happened! Will: ... ... ... ... Lin: You are a sad little man with no idea what he is talking about. Mayor: Save your words! All I know is that we can't trust this brat with our troops anymore! Why, if I had been in command, none of this would have happened! Even without training, I would be a far superior commander to this one! No one wants you in command, Will. I speak with the voice of all the people on this matter! ~~~~~Brenner's Wolves HQ~~~~~ Lin: ...Packing up, huh? Will: That's right. Lin: ...I see. You know, a long time ago, I advised you to walk away and not look back. So I guess it would be hypocritical of me to make you stay now, huh? Just tell me you're doing this for the right reasons. Tell me it isn't because of that idiot who calls himself a mayor. Will: No, it's not that. It's just... I've learned some things about me, Lin. I don't think I"m the kind of person who should be in charge. I want everyone to be safe, but I'm unwilling to sacrifice even a single person. I fought a needless battle where many people were hurt and killed, and... And I think it was wrog. I should have sided with the group istead of the individual. Lin: I never expected to hear that from you, Will. Will: I wanted to be like Captain Brenner, you know? Strong and generous and...well, perfect. But I kinda made a mess of the whole thing. I'm appointing you as our new commander, Lin. These people need your logic and good sense. Lin: Where will you go? Will: I'm going to save Isabella. Lin: By yourself? I thought you had seen enough needless deaths. Are you really so eager to check out? Will: No, Lin. I'm not. But I know it's a possibility. But at least this time, I'm the only one being put at risk. Lin: OK. I won't get in your way. You're free to decide your own path. But for what it's worth... I'm sad to see you go, Will. ~~~~~Great Owl Hangar~~~~~ Isabella: Father... Caulder: Please don't call me that. I regard you as an object, not as family. Isabella: So I am a clone? Caulder: Yes, you are. And you served your purpose well. I am satisfied with what I have been able to learn from you. Isabella: But... Why did you create me? Caulder: I needed someone to experiment on. Isabella: Th-that's the only reason? Caulder: That isn't enough? Isabella: So that's... That's all I am. ~~~~~Southwest Lazuria~~~~~ Will: OK... If I was Isabella, where would I be? Cyrus: Where are you going? Will: Gyaaa! Who are you? Cyrus: You should be careful. What if the enemy were to find you here? You are William. You are their commander. Will: OK, let me ask this again. Who are you? Cyrus: I was given the name Cyrus. I am a creation of Dr. Caulder. Will: You're one of his clones?! Cyrus: Wait! Please do not be afraid! I want to help you. Will: ...Why would you want to do that? Cyrus: The girl you call Isabella... I don't know her, but she is my sister. I know how you can save her. ======================== *****End Chapter-23***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-24***** ==================== Crash Landing ~~~~~Great Owl Hangar~~~~~ Cyrus: ...We knew her as Lutaria. She lacked emotion or subtleness of any kind. She was a walking library with every conceivable military fact downloaded into her. Will: Well, she's different now. Where can I find her? Cyrus: She is presently inside the Great Owl. I can get you on board. Will: Why should I trust you? Why would you betray your own father? Cyrus: How to explain... Let me ask a question of you. What is it that makes a human being? Will: Huh? Cyrus: Is it blood? Emotions? DNA? Is it heredity or memories or just their very environment? What decides if a human is good or evil? Will: I'm sorry, I'm a bit lost. Cyrus: I am a clone of Dr. Caulder. He conducted experiments to see if he could transplant his mind into a younger body. I was created to aid his quest for immortality. Nothing more. And yet, I feel that there is more to me than that. And I will prove it to him. Come. Time grows short, and we must hurry. ~~~~~Great Owl Hangar~~~~~ Cyrus: The Great Owl is repaired and refueled by machines. There are no people here. All security systems and surveillance are computer operated. Will: Why is that? Cyrus: My father does not trust other humans. But machines, too, have their drawbacks. If I can hack into the system, we can board the Great Owl without detection. Will: I see. Cyrus: We are close. I ask that you follow me. Will: ...I hope you're right about this. Lin: Me too. Will: Lin! What are you doing here? Lin: Oh, just...you know. Hanging around. Will: You followed me! Lin: Not just me. I brought a few units along for the ride. It's not an overwhelming force, but it should be enough. Will: I told you! I don't want your help! I don't want to risk anyone else. Lin: Too late, Will. You resigned, remember? You don't give the orders anymore. Everyone made the choice to come with me. They want to be here. Will: I... I can't... Cyrus: I am envious of you. Such companionship is an experience that will forever elude me. Enough. We have no more time to waste. Follow me, and quickly. ~~~~~Great Owl Hangar~~~~~ Tabitha: And how are we doing today? Isabella: ... ... ... ... Tabitha: I hear from Father that you will spend the rest of your life on board this plane! If you are lucky, he will find a use for you in one of his experiments. I can't wait to find out what it will be... Maybe he'll drop you out of the Great Owl with no parachute! How about that, hmmm? Isabella: ... ... ... ... Tabitha: Poo! You're so boring! Haven't you got anything to say after all this time? Are you even awake? Hellooooooo! Hello in there! Isabella: Y-you are... Tabitha... You are my sister. Tabitha: Sister?! Your SISTER?! Me?! Ha ha ha! Oh, you do make me laugh! Isabella: Why do you laugh? We are sisters. Tabitha: You are so very naive! You have no concept of how the world really works. Isabella: But you are my sister. We even look alike. Tabitha: People are so funny sometimes... You see someone who looks familiar, and you say to yourself, "Hey! She looks like me!" But did you ever stop to consider another possibility? Like, YOU look like HER! Get it? Like SHE'S the original, and you're nothing but a copy? A fake? Isabella: I-I don't understand... Tabitha: SIIIIIGH! All right, let me try to explain this to you. I'll use small words, OK? Father had four children. Cyrus, Penny, Lutaria, and Tabitha. ...That would be me! Then Lutaria died when I went too hard on her in a training battle. All terribly sad... But it was fine, because there were lots of spare Lutaria clones stored on the Great Owl. Just another lab rat, which is what you are! A lab rat! Isabella: That was... That was me? Tabitha: That's why you have no memories, little rat. Because you were nothing! You have no life, no name, no feelings, no nothing! Just another rat raised in a tank of goo by Father. Isabella: I always...wondered who I was. And now I know. I am nothing. Tabitha: Oh, little rat! This is too much! Tell me, does someone who is no one feel sad? Do they fear death? Isabella: I... I don't know. Tabitha: Psh! You're so boring, it's not even worth the trouble of picking on you. ...PENNY! Penny: Tee hee hee! Tabitha: ...Must you insist on giggling like a crazy person all the time? Really! Did you understand Father's instructions? He wants you to put little rat on board and then prepare for takeoff. Penny: Penny knows! Penny is good! Tee hee hee! Sister is coming? Tabitha: No! Sister is not coming! Sister is helping Father with very important experiments. Penny: Tee hee hee! Sister is smart! Isabella: ...Will. Tabitha: Hmmm? Was that a squeak, little rat? Isabella: Will. Tabitha: ...Will? Penny, is there anyone else in this hangar? Penny: Hold on! Let Penny ask Mr. Bear! ... ... ... ... Mr. Bear says no! Mr. Bear says we are all alone. ...He also hates you. Tabitha: You better be right. About the people, I mean. ...I couldn't care less about your stupid bear. I'm sure little rat is just seeing things. And take a bath, why don't you! That dirty old uniform really smells! Isabella: ...Will... ~~~~~Inside the Great Owl~~~~~ IDS Agent: Commander, all systems are go. Takeoff has been successflly completed. The Great Owl will now be switched to autopilot. Penny: Goody goody! Mr. Bear is sleepy. IDS Agent: What in the...? Commander! We have an emergency! There are intruders on board! There's a firefight in progress in Sector C! ...Oh good gravy, they have TANKS! The fighting has damaged the fuselage of the Great Owl! Penny: Mr. Bear said no one was here! Mr. Bear is a big liar! ...Daddy is going to be mad. IDS Agent: Sweet corn casserole! They have freakin' ROCKETS! Permission to engage, sir! Penny: Tee hee hee! Playtime! Playtime! Yaaaaaay! ~~~~~Flash to Inside the Great Owl~~~~~ Lin: Our units shifted during takeoff. Now they're spread all over the place. It may be difficult to bring our forces back together. Every man for himself! Fight your way to a better defensive position! *****Day one***** =====Tactics War Room===== Cyrus: William. We meet again. Will: Cyrus! Hey, what are you-- Cyrus: I will now explain the optimum strategy for this stage. Your attention, please. Will: Wait, hold on. How did you get on board the Great Owl? And why is there a big war room inside a plane? Cyrus: William, please. You must not ask such questions. Will: Why not? Cyrus: The war room is a place of strategy. We would do well not to get bogged down in details. Lin: He's right, Will. Listen to him. Tabitha: Yes, servant! Act your age! Will: Why's everyone ganging up on me?! What did I do? And why is SHE here?! Cyrus: In the war room, things are not quite as...strict as they are in the rest of the world. Will: Yeah, but... Cyrus: I am glad that you understand. Now we must discuss the strategy for the battle. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Cyrus: Your initial attack is crucial. Minimize damage by thinking about which units work best together. Indirect-attack units can be ignored until you are in range. The enemy will send reinforcements, so be ready. Time your attacks so it's still your turn when they arrive. And try to take out one whole side before the enemy can strike! Will: Understood! Cyrus: And as Lin said, try not to worry too much. Let your instincts take over. Will: Got it! ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Cyrus: That is all. Good luck, William. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS Forces***** Penny: Tee hee, Mr. Bear! It's a Great Owl fight! Pschew! Boooooom! *****Most enemy units destroyed***** IDS Agent: Er... The enemy has wiped out almost all of our units, sir. This isn't good. Penny: Boo! Get more units! IDS Agent: We're preparing more units to enter from the left and right sides, sir! But I fear that continued fighting may result in the plane losing-- Penny: Yaaaaaaaay! More units! Mr. Bear loves units! *****First wave of enemies destroyed***** Lin: The enemy is sending reinforcements! Engage them immediately! *****Half of the 2nd wave destroyed***** IDS Agent: Er... Our reinforcements are being destroyed, sir. Penny: MORE! MORE! *****2nd wave half destroyed***** IDS Agent: OH NO! The second wave is going down, sir! And the Great Owl is barely holding together! Penny: More more more! Mooooooooore!! *****Second wave destroyed***** Lin: More? ...Are you kidding me? *****Third wave destroyed, Brenner's Wolves win***** Rubinelle: All enemy units destroyed! Lin: All units, to the cockpit! We have to seize control now! *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Lin: ...I hate flying. IDS Agent: The enemy has been exterminated. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: ...I hate flying. ~~~~~The Great Owl~~~~~ IDS Agent: Sir, Sector C sustained severe damage during the fight. Um...yeah, we're in trouble. I don't think we're gonna reach the airfield. Suggest emergency landing procedures, sir. Penny: NO! NO NO NO! Mr. Bear doesn't want to land here! Mr. Bear hates it here! Fly more! Fly more! IDS Agent: Um... But, sir, I reeeeeally think... Oh dear... ~~~~~Great Owl Laboratory~~~~~ Isabella: ... ... ... ... Will: Isabella! Isabella: Will? Why did you come...? Will: We're here to rescue you! Come on! Isabella: ...No. You must leave me. I am not a human being. I am a clone. A thing. A little rat. I don't deserve to be rescued. Will: What? No, you're one of us, and we're getting out of here now. Isabella: I don't even have a name... Will: Your name is Isabella! Isabella: Since I came back, I... I remembered things. We were raised in this laboratory. All the Isabellas. All the same. Caulder created lots and lots of us and experimented on us. I saw...horrible things... I always knew it would be me someday. Will: Listen, I know things were really bad, but you have to-- Isabella: They meant nothing to me. They were spare parts, just like me. That's why I exist. I have no memory. I have no soul. I am nothing. You must leave-- Will: NO! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Your name is Isabella! You are the first person I ever saved! You joined us and traveled with us and fought with us! You are one of us! I know you remember that! Isabella: I-I remember... But...why do you help me? You know-- Will: What, that you're a clone? So what? I don't care if you come from a mother or a tank! Isabella, you're a person! A real living person with ideas and dreams and...and stuff like that! You have meaning and strength and beauty and...and I... I... Isabella: ...Will... Oh, Will... Will: Come on. Don't let that freak Caulder decide how your life plays out. You decide. Right now! What do you want? Come or go, you gotta decide. Isabella: I...I want... I want to live! I want to live with you, Will! Forever! Will: YES! I knew it! I mean... I hoped you would say that, but part of me really knew, and... Listen, never mind. We gotta run. Come on! Isabella: I... I can't believe it! ~~~~~Cutscene of Isabella tearing a bit~~~~~ Isabella: No one has ever wanted me before... Will: Yeah? Well, I do. Now come on! Isabella: Oh, Will... ~~~~~Great Owl~~~~~ IDS Agent: We're losing altitude! Oh man, I knew this wasn't going to end well... 7,500 feet... 7,000 feet... 6,500 feet... Penny: Tee hee hee! Daddy will be happy! Daddy gets to watch the BOOOM! Isabella: Penny! Penny: Who's there! I don't like you! Isabella: Penny, listen to me! I know you think you have to do what Daddy tells you. But you mustn't obey him anymore! He is evil! Do you understand? Penny: What is the strange girl saying? Mr. Bear doesn't understand. IDS Agent: Um... 4,500 feet! 4,000 feet! 3,500 feet! ...Screw this, I'm getting a parachute. Isabella: I understand you, Penny. We're the same. I want you to come live with us. Penny: You're weird! Mr. Bear doesn't like you! ...And your jacket smells bad! Why are you saying these things to Penny? ...P-Penny? Mr. B-B-Bear? ...EEEEEEEEE! No one understands anything! I HATE ALL OF YOU! IDS Agent: 2,500 feet! 2,000 feet! 1,500 feet! ISN'T ANYONE ELSE WORRIED ABOUT THIS?! Isabella: Please, Penny! Listen to me! I want to help you! Penny: B-but Daddy told me to... IDS Agent: Wait, this isn't a parachute! It's a sleeping bag! ...Ah, crap. ~~~~~Cutscene of Great Owl exploding~~~~~ ======================== *****End Chapter-24***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-25***** ==================== Lab Rats ~~~~~IDS Research Facility~~~~~ Mayor: I'm here as the civilian representative. We fulfilled our side of the bargain, Dr. Caulder. Now we expect you to be true to your word and give us what we need. Caulder: Of course, of course! I am a man of science, not some kind of despot. Mayor: We need medicine! We need the antidote to that wretched virus. Caulder: Yes, I understand. Without this antidote, you will surely die. But this is not easy to mass-produce. It will take time until I have enough for all of you. Right now I have just this single dose, which is surely-- Mayor: Give it to me! Caulder: But, Mr. Mayor, this is only enough for one person. And without it, I may have trouble producing enough for the rest of your people. Mayor: That's fine, that's fine! Just give it to me! Caulder: Very well. Just press this against your skin to inject it. Mayor: That's it, right? Now I won't die from that terrible virus? Caulder: That is correct. Congratulations. Mayor: Now, about food supplies. We require a large quantity of... Ho, there! Where do you think you're going? Caulder: I'm sorry, I have an experiment that is about to begin. It involves those remaining soldiers from your battalion. Mayor: Wait a second! What do you mean by that! You said that if we handed over the girl, you would give us what we needed! Caulder: Hmmm? Oh, yes, that. I'm afraid I was lying. Mayor: B-but...you promised! We gave you the girl! You have to help us! Help me at least! This will not... Not... UUUURRRGGGGHHHH! Caulder: Oh, and that medicine you took was not the antidote. Hello? Can you hear me? Mr. Mayor? ...Fascinating. Cyrus: ... ... ... ... Caulder: So, young Cyrus. It is your turn to die. Does my treacherous son have any final words? An apology perhaps? Cyrus: I do not fear death. And I do not fear you. My death will not be in vain. They will defeat you. Caulder: It is too late, Son. Your champions perished when the Great Owl crashed. Cyrus: I do not believe you! You are capable of nothing but falsehoods and lies. Caulder: No, I speak the truth. Your pitiful attempt at a rebellion was entirely meaningless. I will live on, Cyrus. But this represents the end of days for you. Have you no desire to apologize for all the trouble you've caused me? Cyrus: I'll never...urgh...apologize to you. They are...alive. And they...will defeat you... Caulder: Are those truly your final words? Oh, how you disappoint me. The end will not come quickly. That's not how this particular poison works, you see? You will suffer terrible pain, and death will be long in coming. I must record it all, you see. Cyrus: ...They will...defeat you... ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Tasha: Gage! Gage: Tasha, the enemy forces are mobilizing. It seems the girl was not all they wanted. Tasha: I told you we couldn't trust Caulder! We never had a chance. Gage: So it seems. Tasha: Everyone criticized Will, but I knew it would end like this. Oh well! What are you going to do? Let's go down swinging, eh, Gage? Gage: Agreed. *****Day one***** Gage: All units...you're on your own. Try to hang on as long as you can. Tasha: Don't give up! There still might be a way for us to pull this out! ...And if not, let's give 'em holy hell! =====Tactics War Room===== Tabitha: I'm baaaaaaaaack! Yay for me! Oh, my adoring fans must be so happy to see me again. Will: Not really, no. Tabitha: Hey now! YOu're supposed to be my servant! Will: I remember you saying something about that... Tabitha: Well, you have been a poor, inattentive servant! In fact, you are the worst servant ever! For that reason, this is the very last time I will grace you with my fabulous advice! Will: I can live with that. Tabitha: Leave the meteor fragments to slow down the enemy. Destroy the missiles and take the central cities and airport. When you get the chance, use bombers to take out the war tanks. This will be a long battle. Be patient, and let the enemy come to you. Will: Mmmm. Tabitha: That's it? That's all you have to say? Will: I appreciate the advice, but I don't think we have much in common. Maybe you could find someone else to talk to? Tabitha: Such a rude servant! ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Tabitha: That's the end on the Tabitha's Tactics! I hope to see all you again. Except for my rude servant! =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS Forces***** Tabitha: Once you are out of the way, Father's experiments will be over. Then the world will belong to Father and me, with no one around to bother us! *****Before day three***** Tabitha: Oh, poo! Father! Caulder: What is it, my dear? Tabitha: I just heard that additional enemy forces are heading this way. Caulder: Sweetheart, you must be mistaken. There are no soldiers left to... Will: Tasha! Tasha: Will! Holy cow, is it really you? Will: The Great Owl has been destroyed, and we're here to help! Let's take down Caulder and end this thing right now! Caulder: But this... This is impossible! I ordered Penny to crash the plane and kill everyone on board! Isabella: Thank you, Penny! Thank you for listening to me! Penny: ...Penny doesn't understand! Daddy told Penny to die, but you told Penny to live! But then Mr. Bear said he didn't to die and Daddy was stupid! Penny is confused... Isabella: It's OK, Sister. Everything is going to be OK. *****Before Day five***** Tabitha: Why do you care so much about her, little boy? Will: You must be Isabella's-- Tabitha: My name is Tabitha, and I am a true little girl! The one you call Isabella is nothing but a lab rat. Will: You're wrong. She's a human being. Tabitha: She is nothing more than a mass-produced imitation. A cheap toy! She was created as a subject for my father's experiments. Nothing more. I suppose I should feel sorry for her, but that was her fate. Will: You never had a chance, did you Tabitha? Tabitha: Quiet, you! Such experiments benefit all mankind. Sometimes sacrifice is necessary in the name of progress. My father says so. Will: Isabella is one of us. Tabitha: Ha! I could make ten more tomorrow and you would never know the difference. Will: Wrong. I would know. There is only one Isabella. She is unique. Tabitha: Psh! This is like trying to reason with an infant. I grow weary of talking to you! *****Brenner's Wolves win***** Tabitha: Father, do something! This can't be happening! Caulder: Failures... FAILURES! All of my children... Abject, useless FAILURES! I must retreat to The Nest and plan my next move... *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Tabitha: This was too easy! Why are the weak and stupid so weak and stupid?! Gage: I thought...there was hope... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: Is everyone OK? ~~~~~IDS Research Facility~~~~~ Cyrus: ...William... Good to s-see you again... Will: Cyrus! Cyrus: ...Knew you would...survive... Will: Help! Medic! Someone get Dr. Morris right now! Cyrus: Don't worry... T-too... Too late for me. ...You survived. That is...enough... Will: No, Cyrus, don't give up! You have to hope! There's a doctor on the way right now! Cyrus: ...Have one...request. Please listen... Will: We owe you everything, Cyrus. I will do whatever you ask. Cyrus: ...Live. Will: What? Cyrus: ...I'm dying. Death should...should mean something. Defeat...Caulder. L-live in...in peace... That is my wish... Will: We will defeat him, Cyrus. I swear it. Cyrus: ...Good. He is...north of here. His main lab...called...The Nest... Antidote...there... Enough for...for all... Will: Cyrus, hold on! Cyrus: ...My life has...meaning...now. That was all I ever wanted. Will: ...He's gone. Cyrus, I will keep my promise to you. We will live. Your death will have purpose. ======================== *****End Chapter-25***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-26***** ==================== Sunrise ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Will: Caulder! We've come for you! Caulder: Hmmm... I did not expect you to find my nest so quickly. Perhaps you were not the ideal test specimens after all... Will: What is this place? Caulder: This is the central research facility for Intelligent Defense Systems. It is my playground. A place where I can satisfy my insatiable curiosity. Perhaps you would like to come in and...take a look around? Will: Ha! It's time to close up shop, Caulder! Your clones are human beings, not property. You have no right to experiment on them. Caulder: The man in the armored tank speaks of rights! How very tiresome... Whatever you may think of me, I have always been faithful to my curiosity. I am not motivated by greed, or fame, or the interests of society. If my research causes suffering or moral quandaries, I care not. I seek only to learn. In that sense, I am a pure and simple man. Will: Your curiosity comes at the cost of people's lives! You have no concept of what it means to be human. Caulder: Pah! Spare me your overworn lectures and tired morality. You have simply been conditioned to accept the values of society. And now you unthinkingly spout those same values to me. Do you not fight? Do you not kill? Is this not for selfish reasons? You cannot justify your war while condemning my research! Will: I fight to help others, and I take no joy from it. It's not because I've been conditioned... It's because I am a human being! Caulder: Merely the ideals of a selfish society has imprinted on your young mind! Such ideals were constructed by society to ensure its survival. They serve only to channel people's energies away from killing each other. Did you not lose both of your parents in the Great War? Will: ... ... ... ... Caulder: With no one to care for you, you joined the Rubinelle military academy. They clothed you, fed you, and taught you to fight for your country. Will: ...That's right. What of it? Caulder: Such a life has turned you into a foolish, naive young man. You were conditioned to believe the greatest of lies... That a soldier's role is to protect people. When you were saved by Brenner, this ideal was only further cemented. None of your ideas are your own! You are simply conditioned to believe. Will: Are you done yet? Caulder: Listen to yourself! Then look about you! How can you possibly believe in hope? You think yourself the heroic successor to this Captain Brenner, yet-- Will: No. I don't. I'm not a hero, and I'll never be the man Captain Brenner was. But the lessons he taught mean everything to me. He proved that hope is good. He taught me to leave no one behind. If those ideas aren't my own? If he conditioned me? Then that's fine. Keep your theories, Caulder. What's important is that I help people. I have no other ambitions. That is what my heart tells me to do, and my heart is my own. Caulder: You are clearly no logician, so I will speak with simple words. Morals or values that impede the march or progress must be stamped out! Otherwise we end up with hideous, self-righteous people like you! *****Day one***** Tasha: Ha! That's the best you can do? We're not scared of that thing! Gage: We will achieve victory. Lin: Brenner's Wolves fight hardest when pressed against the wall. Isabella: We can do it! I know it! Will: This is it! We win this battle and end the war! =====Tactics War Room===== Lin: This is it. Our very last tactics session... Will: Really? Lin: It's almost sad. I've had a good time making fun of you. Sometimes it was the only thing that got me through the day. Will: Yeah, I'm going to miss you-- Hey! What do you mean, you enjoyed making fun of me?! Lin: I can't be the reality-check girl all the time, now can I? Will: You surprise me, Lin. Lin: All right, enough mushy stuff. Let's talk tactics. Will: I'd appreciate it. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Capture cities with infantry and bikes, but watch those lasers. Attack The Nest from the west, ignoring the enemies to the east. Bombers are the best way to destroy the lasers, but keep them protected. The enemy has a ton of units, so keep cranking yours out. Try to plug those holes The Nest uses to build units. That'll be a big help. Will: I've got it! Lin: You're sure? Will: I'm sure! Lin: YOu're sure you're sure? Will: Stop making fun of me! ~~~~~Flash to War Room~~~~~ Lin: Thus ends our final tactical briefing. It's been a pleasure, Will. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS Forces***** Caulder: Welcome to The Nest! She is my crowning achievement... I've armed her with five powerful lasers and two mortar launchers. And she possesses the ability to produce any new units I wish. Good-bye, my self-righteous friends! This world grows weary of you. *****Before Day two***** Isabella: The Nest channels all of its energy into those five laser cannons. If you can destroy all five, it should overload the system. Will: Isabella, you shouldn't be here. It's dangerous. Isabella: I want to live together with you and the others, Will. That is my dream. But if everything ends here for me... I'm OK with that. *****Left laser cannon destroyed***** Lin: The laser cannon on the far left has been destroyed. *****Before day four***** Will: I was on the Great Owl, Caulder. I know about your experiments. You think you're a man of science, but you're just a selfish monster. Caulder: You didn't have to journey there to see the fruits of my labors! You can find evidence of my work far closer to home. In fact, you can even look... inside yourselves! Will: What did you say? Caulder: I told you that all my dreams came true when the meteors struck. I had designed a virus that I thought to be a colossal failure. It had a fragile genetic structure and was unable to survive direct sunlight. But then the wonderful meteors fell to earth and choked the world in dust. It created the perfect conditions for my delicate virus to thrive! Will: The Creeper! It was you! Caulder: Temperatures plummeted. The sun was lost. Lives died out by the millions. But my flowers bloomed! I seized the chance to refine my virus, and now you have seen the results! I no longer need a laboratory! I have all of you! Will: You're worse than I thought... Caulder: In its original form, my virus affected only the young. But with a bit of fine-tuning, I learned how to target anyone. It has been a tremendous boon to my research. And so fascinating... Will: Without respect for life, your science is pointless! Caulder: What is life? Merely a protein-based mechanism for energy consumption. It is really nothing special. Will: Enough! Stop talking! I can't stand hearing you anymore! You look like a human, but you're not! I don't know what you are... Caulder: What you think I am is the least of my concerns. I care only about how you face your imminent demise. *****Before Day eight***** Caulder: In my youth, enormous progress had been made in the field of cloning. But while technically feasible, there was ethical resistance to the idea. ~~~~~Cutscene of a grinning Caulder~~~~~ Caulder: I rejected such pretty concerns and chose to clone myself! Will: Y-you cloned yourself? Caulder: After countless failed experiments, I finally realized my ambition. I then used my own clones to further my research! Do you know what it is like to watch yourself die? ...It is FASCINATING! Will: You're insane! Caulder: Do not interrupt! These clones were used to grow organs that could be transplanted into me. But then something went wrong... The clones began to...feel. They resented being used in such a way...and they fought back. After a brief, fierce war, only one cloned survived... AND I AM THAT SURVIVOR! Will: But that means... Wait, you're-- Caulder: Yes. I am a clone. And I killed my creator! ~~~~~Cutscene end~~~~~ *****Before Day twelve***** Caulder: Yet you stll fight on! You can take a lot of punishment... I think it is time for you to accept the inevitable. This planet no longer needs weak, mortal people like you. Will: We won't surrender! Caulder: I have important research to do, and you continue to disturb me! This planet is not yours anymore! It belongs to me! It has evolved! There is no place for selfish, naive humans in this new world. Will: You don't know the first thing about humans. We are not selfish. We simply want to live in peace with our fellow human beings. No matter what happens, I will always believe this. People like you, people who see only evil... You are the minority. Caulder: Even by your standards, such a position is absurd! Will: Your research interests no one but yourself. But my dream is shared! That is why you will never win! *****Far right laser destroyed***** Isabella: The laser cannon on the far right has been destroyed. *****Left middle cannon destroyed***** Tasha: The left laser cannon has been destroyed. *****Right Middle laser cannon destroyed***** Gage: The right laser cannon has been destroyed. *****Middle laser cannon destroyed***** Will: The central laser cannon has been destroyed. *****All 5 lasers destroyed, Brenner's Wolves win***** Caulder: N-no... NO! What have you done?! I'm...I'm dying... I'm DYING! I have killed so many clones, but I am different! I am unique! I am ALIVE! Help me! Please! Someone! Help me! I don't want...to die... *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: We've come so far... We can't give up... There is still hope... Caulder: What an absurd set of final words. You really are beyond help! You were an interesting specimen, but... Farewell! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~White flash to Victory Page: Grand Finale~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will: Finally... We did it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One year later~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~New Hope~~~~~ Will: Another cloudy day... Let's see how everyone is. ~~~~~Cutscene of farms and windmills~~~~~ Youth: Hey, Will! Take a look! Woman: We finally got some crops to grow! It's not much, but still... Will: Are you kidding? That's wonderful! I know it wasn't easy. Civilian: Those meteors actually fertilized the soil somehow. The plants love it. But without sunlight, I just don't know... Will: Don't give up! Keep at it! Remember, where there's life-- Woman: ...There's hope! Don't worry, Will. We'll keep at it! ~~~~~Outskirts of New Hope~~~~~ Penny: Mr. Bear loves the fields! Mr. Bear wants to play hide-and-seek. Will: Heya, Penny. Penny: Who are you? How do you know Penny's name? ...Did Mr. Bear tell you? Will: I'm Will. We talked yesterday. Remember? Penny: No! Remembering is hard. And you smell like cheese. Come on, Mr. Bear. Let's go away from the stinky cheese man. Will: Don't worry, Penny. You'll remember someday. Penny: Daddy went BOOM! Cyrus went BOOM! Sister went... Sister went... No good! Mr. Bear doesn't know. Do you know? Will: We think Tabitha's still alive. We just aren't sure where she is. Penny: She IS alive! We can feel her. Sister and Penny and Mr. Bear! All one big system! Whrrrr! Cliiick! Booom! Tee hee hee! Will: ...Really? Huh. That must be what Caulder meant by one person controlling an entire army. Penny: Sky! Will: What? Penny: Sky! Black! Black sky! Other sister wanted to look at the sky! We looked! ...It's dirty. Mr. Bear hates it. Then Mr. Bear was bored, so we left. How much is that sandwich? Trees! Big Trees! Tee hee! Will: ...Sorry, Penny. You lost me. Penny: Tee hee! Stinky cheese man is funny. Come on, Mr. Bear! Will: Well, at least she seems happy. ~~~~~New Hope Medical Center~~~~~ Dr. Morris: The last infected person has just tested clean. Caulder's antidote worked. It seems we've...uprooted this flower! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho! Will: Hey, Doctor! That's actually kind of funny! And I'm glad the cure has worked. We owe a lot to Cyrus, don't we? Dr. Morris: It's hard to believe that upstanding young man was a clone of Caulder. He was created to be a killer, but he ended up having a true and good heart. I think it proves that there is more to a human than their DNA. Will: You're right, Doctor. Dr. Morris: And now that we have a moment, Will... I've been meaning to talk to you about Isabella and her sister. Will: What is it? Dr. Morris: Well, you see, it is common for clones to have shorter life spans than the original organism. In the case of cloned mammals such as sheep, the aging process is usually accelerated. There are sections of DNA called telomeres that act as buffers during cellular... Hmmm... I can see I'm losing you. Let me try again. Basically, clones have genetic problems that cause them to have shortened lives. And clones made from other clones have even shorter life spans. Were this true with Isabella, she would even now be at the end of her life span. Will: No! You have to do something! You have to-- Dr. Morris: Will, Will! Please! Let me finish... There have been cases with certain mammals, like cows, where cloned genes function better. If the same quirk occurs in cloned humans... Then Isabella may outlive all of us! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho... Wait, that's not funny. Will: OK. That's all a bit weird, but I think I understand. Dr. Morris: I don't know how well Caulder's clones will function, or how their genes are faring. But that means Isabella is just like us. Her future is uncertain. And in the end, perhaps that's for the best. Will: I agree. I think Isabella has many happy years ahead of her. And she believes it too. Dr. Morris: That is good to hear. ~~~~~New Hope Dairy Farm~~~~~ Tasha: Status report, Gage. Gage: Critical. I think this is...dammit... Hold still, you! Tasha: Aw! My two favorite big, dumb animals are together at last! Gage: I'm a soldier, Tasha. I wasn't trained to milk cows. Tasha: Are you worried it might ruin your image? Lin: Good morning. Is there enough milk for everyone? Gage: I'm...working...on it... Stupid cow! I think it hates me. ~~~~~New Hope~~~~~ Will: Isabella! Isabella: Will! Good morning! Will: Lin and the others are on their way, but I think we can wait for them here. Isabella: Yes, sir! What's wrong? You look upset. Will: No, it's just... The war is over, and the virus has been eliminated. But this doesn't mean that our work is done, you know? This world is still full of people who need our help, and... we may never find them all. Isabella: You're right, Will. We may not. But we will keep trying, and that is what matters. Will: ...You're right. We can't give up. After all, where there's life, there's hope. Isabella: Yes, Will. There is always hope. Will: Hey, enough about me. How about you? Are you doing OK? Isabella: Oh, I'm fine! You know me! Just...one day at a time. As long as I'm here with all of you, I'll be all right. I mean...as long as you are here with me. Then I can be happy. Will: ...Me too. Isabella: Oh! Oh my gosh, Will! Look! Will: What? What's wrong?! Isabella: Look! It's... It's the sun! You were right, Will! There IS hope! ~~~~~Cutscene of Will and Isabella laying down looking up at the sunlight~~~~~ Isabella: I think we're going to be OK. ======================== *****End Chapter-26***** ======================== ~Credits Roll~ The END! Thanks for playing! =End Script of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin= ================================================== Game script for Advance Wars: Dark Conflict (AWDC) ================================================== Prologue: Our world is destroyed... After the meteors struck... ...the land blazed... ...the earth shook... ...the oceans boiled... 90% of mankind is gone... Dust covers the earth, blotting out all traces of sunlight... What will come next? No one can answer that... But among the destruction, there are survivors... ==================== *****Chapter-01***** ==================== Destroyed World Ed: H-Hello? Can anyone hear me? ~~~~~Cutscene of Ed, dirty and shocked~~~~~ Ed: There's no one here either... Maybe no one else survived... Hello! Can anyone hear me?! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Ed: Over there! There's someone there... If I can just get this radio working... Can you hear me? My name is Ed. I'm a cadet at the Laurentian Military Academy... Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Ed: Wh-What?! Drakov: We've found our next victim! Looks like it's our lucky day! Take his supplies and weapons - they belong to us now! And while we're at it, we'll take his life! Har-har-har!!! Ed: W-Wait! *****Day one***** Ed: I can't take on that many enemies. I need to escape... Okay, focus. Remember your training at the Academy... The first thing to do in a battle situation is to... ...take stock of your surroundings and gauge what you're up against. *****select Bike unit***** Ed: Okay, I need to move over there! *****moved***** Ed: But what should I do next? *****If a unit is damaged***** Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Direct hit! How'd you like that?! This battle's not going to end until one side crushes the other! =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Ed: Where am I?! What is this room?! Lin: This is our Briefing Room, Ed. You can come here for tips on tactics for the current battle. Ed: Wait! How do you know my name?! And I was just in the middle of a battle, you know! I don't even know your name! Lin: Please don't concern yourself with such minor details here. You don't have to know my name. Suffice it to say that you will find my advice useful. Will: Okay... Lin: Now, let's get down to business. I have some tips on tactics for you. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Position your units beside the enemy and attack them. That is all. Ed: Th-That's all you're telling me?! Lin: I thought it perfectly clear and concise. Well, if you insist on knowing more... The greater damage you do to an enemy, the weaker its countstrike. So make those attacks count! Ed: I got it! Thanks! Lin: You don't have to do this battle right now, but this will be useful in the future. ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: Okay, that's all from the Briefing Room for now. Good luck out there! =====End Tactics===== *****Day two***** O'Brian: Lin, talk to me... Lin: It appears a fellow Laurentian soldier is under attack by a gang of bandits. Shall we prepare to intervene? O'Brian: Do it. Lin: Yes, Captain. Ed: Who are you? O'Brian: Let's skip the introductions. Fall back and let us handle this. Ed: Okay, I understand. *****Bike leaves***** Drakov: Who do you think you are?! This isn't your fight! O'Brian: You made it my fight when you decided to prey on the weak and helpless... You must be former soldiers... Where's your pride? Drakov: Pride? Har-har-har!!! Don't make me laugh! Look at the world. It's destroyed! And you talk to me about pride?! We're not soldiers anymore. We're survivors. We obey no laws! We rob, we kill - we live as we want! Har-har-har!!! O'Brian: Not anymore, you don't... Drakov: Try and stop me! O'Brian: You attack the weak, steal their possessions, take their lives... ...and all you can do is laugh?! You disgust me! Where's your pride? Your pride as soldiers... And your pride as human beings... Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Have you said enough? They'll be your last words! O'Brian: Lin, advance and bring the fight to the enemy. Lin: Preparing to begin the assault on the enemy's forces... *****First enemy unit destroyed***** Ed: This is the real thing! This is no training exercise! *****Day three***** Lin: Each unit has its own unique features. Ensure you check each one's data. *****Attacking a 2nd unit***** Lin: Pay attention to the info about each type of terrain. *****Day four***** Lin: When you are at a loss as to how to proceed in battle... ...there is a way to pick up valuable tactical tips. (Select Mission from the Menu, and choose the Tactics option. You'll get useful advice there.) *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: No!!! This can't be happening... Retreat! They've taken out my units! *****If Independent Legion loses***** Ed: Darn it! How did that happen?! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: This will teach them to prey on the innocent! ~~~~~A ruined city in Northern Laurentia~~~~~ O'Brian: Are you okay? Ed: Yes, thanks to you! My name is Ed. I was a cadet at the Laurentian Military Academy... O'Brian: You were a cadet at the Academy? Ed: That's right. When the meteors struck, the Academy was destroyed. I was the sole survivor. I crawled inside a food storage room in the kitchen and somehow kept myself alive... I don't know how long I was there for, but when I finally ventured outside... ...I found only destruction. I thought that no one else had pulled through. O'Brian: I see. You did well to stay alive... Ed: It was all I could do... O'Brian: My name is Captain O'Brian. I command the 12th Laurentian Independent Legion. And this is my second-in-command... Lin: ...First Lieutenant Lin. O'Brian: We come to the assistance of survivors of the meteor strike. If you haven't got anywhere else to be, you should consider joining us. Ed: I would be happy to! Thank you! But it's just... O'Brian: What's the matter? Ed: It's just that I haven't eaten in so long... O'Brian: So that's the noise I heard? It was your stomach rumbling! I think we can find some spare rations for you. Just don't expect too much from the flavour! You'll get used to it... ======================== *****End Chapter-01***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-02***** ==================== One Life ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ O'Brian: Ed, take care when you leave the camp. I don't think you should wander too far. Ed: Yes, Captain! O'Brian: You think you've recovered enough to travel? Ed: Yes, thanks to you and everyone in the Legion. O'Brian: Still, you should take it easy. Don't overdo it. Ed: It's just... O'Brian: What is it? Ed: The world has changed so much. I can't get used to it... The sky is full of ash, and it's always dark... O'Brian: Ah yes, the ash... Lin: When the meteors struck, a vast cloud of dust and ash filled the atmosphere. It blocked the sun, and even now no rays of sunlight can break through it. Ed: When will the sky return to normal? Lin: It will take a number of years. Perhaps even decades... Ed: Decades?! O'Brian: Don't make that face, Ed! As long as there is life, there is hope... Ed: There is hope... O'Brian: That's right. The world we knew is gone, but we must not give in to despair. Peace will return. The sun will return. The life we had will return. This faith is what drives me to continue seeking survivors to help. Ed: I think I understand... O'Brian: Don't give up and one day all your hopes will be realised. Never forget that. Ed: Never give up... O'Brian: You've got it! Now we have work to do. Lin, begin preparing to search the surrounding area. Lin: Yes, Captain. Ed: Captain! I want to help too! O'Brian: No, it's too dangerous out there. Stay here in the base camp... Ed: Please take me with you! I know I didn't even complete my cadet training... ...but I still want to do whatever I can to help you. O'Brian: You're determined, I'll give you that. Okay, you're in. But if things look dangerous, you'd better run. Don't think about fighting. Ed: Yes, Captain! ~~~~~A ruined city of Northern Laurentia~~~~~ Ed: Did you find anyone? Laurentian: There's no one here... They're all...dead. Ed: Not again! Laurentian: This town is the same as all the others. There's no trace of any survivors. Ed: But there must be people out there who need our help... People struggling to hold on, just like I did. That's why we hve to keep looking... ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Ed: Is anyone there? Laurentian: The search has been called off. Those bandits have regrouped. We have to get out of here and let Captain O'Brian deal with them. It's not safe to stay here any longer. Let's move! Ed: No, let's keep searching for a little while longer. Remember what the Captain said: "Never give up hope". *****Day one***** O'Brian: All civilians are to fall back! We'll deal with this... Block the enemy with the Tank and defend it with the Mech Gun! =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Ed: This is...? Lin: This is the Briefing Room, the place to come for tips on tactics for the current battle. If you've already been here, then welcome back. If it's your first time, I hope it's useful. Ed: Tips on tactics? So you'll give me hints on how to defeat enemies and win battles? Lin: That's right. Now listen carefully... ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Lin: Block the road with the Tank and use the Mech Gun to attack. It's a good plan to move the Mech Gun in tandem with the Tank to support it. Don't allow your Tank and Mech Gun to become separated! Ed: Understood! Lin: You're a fast learner. Now let's see you put it into practice on the battlefield. ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: Come and visit the Briefing Room again when you want more tips. =====End Tactics===== *****Tank is selected***** Lin: Captain, the Tank's main cannon is out of ammunition. It has a secondary gun but it is much less powerful... O'Brian: We have no choice. We'll have to use the secondary gun to attack. *****Enemy unit is attacked***** O'Brian: Be sure to check the strike range of both enemy forces and your own. *****Mech Gun unit is selected***** Lin: The Mech Gun is an indirect attack unit. Learn how to employ it. *****Day one, The Bandits***** Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Get ready for payback time! We're going to take no prisoners! *****End of Day one, Bandits***** Ed: Look! Over there! Someone needs our help! *****Day two***** *****Infantry moves to highlighted circle***** Ed: Can you hear me? Are you okay? Laurentian: It looks like a young girl... Ed: Her breathing is very faint, but she's still alive. Let's take her back to the camp. Laurentian: Is it worth the trouble? I doubt she's going to pull through... Ed: We hve to help her! We can't just give up on her! Laurentian: But...! Ed: Can you hear me? Answer me! Laurentian: We've been here too long already! I'm going to get back to base. Ed: Open your eyes... I don't think you'll like what you see. Things aren't looking too good... But you're alive. And where there's life, there's hope... ~~~~~Cutscene of Ed, holding a girl~~~~~ ???: ... ... ... ... Who... Who are you? Ed: You're alive! ???: P-Please tell me... Who are you? Ed: My name is Ed. I'm a cadet in the Laurentian Army. Who are you? ???: I-I... I don't know... Ed: You don't know?! ???: I don't know... I don't know who I am... I don't remember anything... Ed: You've been through a lot. I'm sure your memory will return. But until then, you should stay with us. ???: Stay with you? Are you sure? I understand. ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ *****End of Day two, the Bandits***** ???: Wh-What's going on? Ed: Don't worry. You're safe. You're with the Laurentian Army. ???: The Laurentian Army... One of the armies of the two main nations of this continent... It is an army of 1,296,000 recruits. Ed: ...How do you know that?! ???: Since the last century, Laurentia and Zephyrus have been at war... Despite several armistices, the war was never brought to a conclusion... Expenditure on new weaponry rose as high as 7% of Laurentian GDP... Laurentian military strength was rated as A-Grade at the last assessment... Ed: How do you know these things?! ???: I-I don't know. I d-don't understand... Ed: We'll talk about it later. For now, our priority is surviving the enemy's onslaught... ???: Okay... *****Day three***** Lin: All units, check the surroudning terrain. You can use it to your advantage. *****End of Day three, the Bandits***** Lin: Just like ammunition, fuel is limited. All units, avoid unnecessary movement. Watch the fuel gauge! *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Gaaargh! Not again! How can this be happening...?! I will have my revenge! I will destroy you all! *****Independent Legion loses***** Ed: I'm sorry, Captain O'Brian. You saved my life, and now it's come to this... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: Check that no civilians were harmed. ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ O'Brian: Ed, are you okay? Ed: Yes, Captain. I'm fine. But I'm a bit worried about her... O'Brian: Who is she? Ed: We found her in a ruined building. She was unconscious. O'Brian: You did well to bring her back alive. ???: ... ... ... ... O'Brian: What's your name? ???: I-I don't know... O'Brian: What do you mean, you don't know?! Ed: Captain O'Brian, let me explain... --- O'Brian: I see. So she's lost her memory. With the shock of all that's happened in the world, it doesn't surprise me... Lin: According to Ed, she has detailed knowledge of the Laurentian Army. I would be interested to know how she obtained this knowledge... O'Brian: All I know is that she is a survivor and she needs our help. Ed saved her life. Now take her somewhere safe. Lin: Yes, Captain. O'Brian: Look after her, Ed. She's been through a lot. Ed: Yes, Captain! ======================== *****End Chapter-02***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-03***** ==================== The Closed Village ~~~~~Independent Legion Headquarters~~~~~~ O'Brian: We've arrived. This is the village we've been heading towards. Ed: Village? O'Brian: After the earthquakes and tidal waves, most cities were completely destroyed. The survivors banded together and formed small villages. Among the chaos and anarchy, they established laws and systems of self-government. Ed: Laws?! Are there really still laws?! But there are no police left to go around making sure everyone obeys the law. O'Brian: That's precisely why the villages have had to establish and enforce their own laws. No one forced them to do it, but laws against theft and murder emerged completely naturally. That shows that human beings are fundamentally moral creatures... Lin: No, it's simply a sensible tactic for survival. In a world where murder goes unpunished, everyone ends up fearing that they're next. People wouldn't even be able to sleep - they'd spend their time wathing their neighbours. That's why they agreed on a law to forbid murder and to punish any transgressors. Human beings are motivated by their own selfish interests. They will never change... O'Brian: You're as rational as ever, Lin. But you never let human goodness enter the equation... Anyway, you'll be safe in this village, Ed. The villagers will be sure to welcome civilians like you warmly. ~~~~~Sundown Village~~~~~~ Civilian: Stop! Stop right there! Who are you? Youth: Don't move another inch! We're armed, you know! O'Brian: My name is Captain O'Brian of the 12th Independent Legion of the Laurentian Army. I want to talk to your Mayor. Tell him I'm here. Civilian: Maybe they're with the bandits who attacked our village! Youth: Yeah, they've come back for more! They want to wipe us all out... O'Brian: Listen to me! I'm not here to cause trouble! I once save your Mayor's life. Tell him my name - he'll know me. Ed: Please do as he asked you! Civilian: Look - there's a kid with them! It's not those bandits after all. Wait there! We'll get the Mayor... O'Brian: About time... ~~~~~Sundown Village~~~~~ Mayor: O'Brian, what do you want? You scared our villagers witless. We only want to be left alone to live in peace. O'Brian: I know. We won't be hanging around any longer than necessary. We rescued some civilians, including an injured girl, and I want you to look after them. Mayor: Do you think it's as simple as that? We're struggling to get by as it is... O'Brian: I'm asking you to help me. These civilians include children. They won't survive unless you are prepared to take them in. Mayor: O'Brian, that isn't how the world works. Look around you! Stop ignoring reality! O'Brian: I know reality all too well. All I see are death and destruction... But if there are people in trouble, we must do what we can to save their lives. Mayor: Saving lives? That was important once, but not now. Millions of people have lost their lives already. Why worry about a few more? The more people who join the village, the more mouths we have to feed... O'Brian: You think these lives aren't worth saving? Mayor: That's not what I'm saying! We've taken in people in trouble before... But there are limits! This village is bursting at the seams... O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Mayor: You have weapons. You can look after yourselves... All we want is to be left in peace. So don't come here causing trouble again! Civilian: You heard him! Get out of here! Let us live our lives in peace! We don't need you warmongers here! O'Brian: ...I see. I'm sorry, Ed. It looks like you and the others will have to wait till we get to another village. Ed: Captain, I will stay with you as long as... Youth: It's th-them! Th-They're back! Mayor, it's them! Mayor: What?! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~~ Drakov: Am I dreaming?! We go out on another village raid and look who we find! Revenge is going to be sweet! Leave no one alive! Har-har-har!!! O'Brian: They're back... Mayor: B-B-But what c-c-can we do?! They'll kill us all! C-Captain O'Brian, you've got to do something! Help us! They've attacked all the villages in the area, and they're back for us! O'Brian: They keep attacking the innocent... Mayor: P-P-Please help! They've got tanks and we've got nothing! Do something! O'Brian: Okay, we'll deal with them. Begin evacuating the villagers! Mayor: Concerning repayment for helping us... O'Brian: There's no time for that now! We'll discuss it afterwards! *****Day one***** Lin: Captain, we have only 5 units on the battlefield. The enemy has 9 units, so we are at a significant disadvantage. O'Brian: Victory is not decided by who has the most units. We have to use our heads. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: I was wondering when yo were going to drop by here. Welcome to the Briefing Room, the place to come for tips on tactics for the current battle. Ed: Tips on tactics? So you'll give me hints on how to defeat enemies and win battles? Lin: Be patient. All will become clear... ~~~~~Flash to map~~~~~ Lin: At the top of the map, there's a thin pass through the mountains. Position a Tank and Mech Gun here and try to avoid the enemy Mech Gun. Use the mountainous terrain to make Bazooka unit attacks more effective. Ed: I've got it! Lin: You're quite sure you understood? Ed: I'm sure! Lin: Well, in case you forget what I told you, feel free to come back again. ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: Come and visit the Briefing Room again when you want more tips. =====End Tactics===== *****Mountain Bazooka unit attacked***** Lin: Enemy units are in the mountains. That makes our attacks less effective. O'Brian: We'll use the woods and mountains too! Avoid all needless loss of life! *****Day one, The Bandits***** Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Is that all you've got?! This is going to be a lot of fun! Destroy them! Destroy them all! Har-har-har!!! *****Day two***** O'Brian: They still have superior firepower and these bandits will fight to the death! Lin: Agreed. Our only choice is to wipe out all of the enemy units. *****A Bazooka unit is damaged***** Ed: A Bazooka unit has been hit. Their condition is critical. Lin: There is another Bazooka unit. You can join units of the same type. By combining forces, you can help damaged units to recover. When you judge it to be necessary, experiment with joining units. *****End of Day four, The Bandits***** Drakov: What are you waiting for?! Destroy them! Don't let them win! O'Brian: You haven't got a chance. Your days of preying on the weak are over. *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Gaaargh! I can't believe this! You will pay for this! All units get back to the base! You haven't seen the last of us! *****Independent Legion loses***** O'Brian: I'm sorry, Ed... I wasn't able to find a safe place for you and the others... Ed: Captain O'Brian, you have nothing to apologise for! I just wanted to stay with you and the rest of the Legion... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: The Independent Legion fights with honour. ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: We're awaiting confirmation that the enemy has completely withdrawn... Ed: They're gone! We did it! O'Brian: Good work, everyone! ~~~~~Sundown Village~~~~~ Mayor: Captain, O'Brian. About the issue of allowing those civilians to stay here... I may have been too hasty in refusing to give you a fair hearing... O'Brian: I see... Mayor: However, there is one condition... O'Brian: Condition? Mayor: As you've seen, we live with the constant threat of raids by bandits. They may be back tomorrow. We can't guarantee the safety of anyone staying in the village. Do you really think this is the best place to leave the civilians? Ed: Don't worry about me... Mayor: We know that the bandits are staying in the former Laurentian Army base to the east. But we haven't got the weapons or training to take them on... O'Brian: I get it. We take out the bandits, and in exchange for that you'll... Mayor: Right... I will reconsider my decision concerning the matter we discussed earlier... ======================== *****End Chapter-03***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-04***** ==================== Next Destination ~~~~~Bandit's Base Camp~~~~~ Drakov: Listen to me! We need to steal more! We need to attack more villages! Whatever you want to take, it's yours! Har-har-har!!! And remember - we take no prisoners! ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: The bandits' base is where the Laurentian Northern Legion used to be stationed. The bandits must have armed themselves with the weapons which were stored there. O'Brian: Seeing how they do battle, it's obvious that they know what they're doing. Lin: Right. There must be former soldiers or mercenaries among their number... O'Brian: Whoever they once were, they are mere bandits now. It's time to get them! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~~ Ed: Captain! All units have been deployed! O'Brian: Good. But still no sight of the enemy? Ed: No. But with this cloud of dust, the enemy won't be able to see us either. Lin: My training was in reconnaissance, so leave locating the enemy to me. Now, let battle commence. *****Day one***** Laurentian: This is the Advance Infantry unit reporting... Visibility is very poor. We have lost all sight of the enemy. But there is a real danger that the enemy knows our position... Lin: Understood. Time is not on our side. We will begin our advance. Laurentian: Roger that. The enemy is hidden in the woods. We need to stay alert... *****Selecting the Flare***** Lin: Is the Flare unit ready to launch the flare rocket? Ed: Flare rocket? We studied this at the Laurentian Military Academy! When visibility is limited, firing flares can help reveal enemy positions. Lin: Right. Locating hidden enemies with flares gives us a huge advantage. Aim the flares at where you judge the enemy to be hidden. Mastering the use of the Flare unit could be the key to victory here. *****Select an infantry****** Lin: Position units on the surrounding mountains. Ed: On mountains? But why? Lin: They didn't teach you this? It's one of the basics of reconnaissance work. Infantry and Bazooka units can see further if stationed on mountains. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Ed: First Lieutenant Lin...? Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Guess again! Ed: It's you! What are you doing here?! Drakov: I'm here to give you advice, of course! Ed: You?! Advice?! What do you really want? Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Prefer Lin would you? Well, tough! This is my turf, and no one knows it better than me. So listen up! ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Drakov: Don't move without thinking first! Use flares to see what's up ahead. Use the terrain to your advantage, but watch out for hidden enemies! You'd better do as I say! ~~~~~Briefing Room~~~~~~ Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Till next time! Ed: ...Wait! Too late! He's gone... =====End Tactics===== *****Get surprised***** Drakov: Har-har-har!!! They didn't see that coming! Wipe them out! *****Day one, The Bandits***** Drakov: Gaaargh! They think they can attack our base, do they?! Let's give our visitors a welcome they'll remember! Show no mercy! *****If Advance Infantry unit is destroyed***** Ed: The Advance Infantry unit has been hit... Lin: I'm trying to get in radio contact. Can you hear me? Laurentian: This is the Advance Infantry unit. No fatalities, but we've taken heavy damage. Cannot continue mission... Lin: Understood. Return to the base by the route we decided on. Laurentian: Roger that. We're heading back... Lin: Ed, always remember that your soldiers are a precious resource. Of course you must send troops into harm's way and risk is unavoidable... But we have a duty to get everyone we can back alive and earn their trust. Now, let's get on with the battle! *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Gaaargh! They defeated us... This can't be happening! Why did they attack us?! With the world destroyed, we did what we wanted... We stole what we wanted, we attacked who we wanted... And then those do-gooders came along... But I won't let them win! Gaaargh! *****Independent Legion loses***** Lin: Captain O'Brian, I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry I failed you... O'Brian: Lin! Are you there?! Lin, respond if you can hear me! Are you there...?! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: On the battlefield, I never miss a thing. ~~~~~Sundown Village~~~~~~ Mayor: You did it?! You defeated them?! Can it be true?! O'Brian: Mission accomplished. Those bandits won't be troubling you again. Mayor: Thank you, Captain O'Brian! Thanks to you, we can sleep soundly again... O'Brian: Now, about our agreement... We fulfilled our side of the bargain. So make sure Ed and the other civilians hve adequate food and shelter... Mayor: ...Agreement? I don't recall agreeing to anything. O'Brian: ...What?! You said that if we accepted your one condition, you would give shelter to Ed and the others. Mayor: I think you jumped to the wrong conclusion. I said nothing of the sort. All I said ws that if you took care of those bandits, I would think about it again. Am I right, everyone? I'm not a liar, am I? Civilian: That's right! That's all he said! O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Mayor: You must understand, Captain O'Brian, that this is an issue that affects the whole village. It's not something that we can decide on without proper consultation of every villager. We will decide in due course. Please be patient until then. O'Brian: Why, you...! Mayor: Why are you reacting like this? What have you got to be angry about? You simply misunderstood my words. I have done nothing in the least wrong... O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Mayor: Don't tell me you are threatening me! So you are letting your guns do the talking? You're no different from those bandits... O'Brian: I am not angry. And I am not threatening you. It's just that I'm remembering you as you were only a short time ago. Mayor: Wh-what? O'Brian: You were on the verge of starvation. I can still recall your words when I gave you food... "I will save others as you have saved me. I will build a village where we can live in peace." Do you still remember that? Or have you decided to forget? Mayor: How dare you speak to me like that?! I am the Mayor of this village! Who do you think you are?! Ed: Captain, it's okay. O'Brian: Ed...? Ed: I know you have our best interests at heart. But you don't have to worry anymore. I am sure that if we were to stay here, it might as well be safer for us... But I want to stay with you, Captain O'Brian. You and everyone in the Legion. O'Brian: Ed, that's not an option. It's just too dangerous. Stay with us and you'll be caught up in battles again. You have your whole life ahead of you... Ed: Captain O'Brian, I am a soldier just like you. Let me fight alongside you. O'Brian: But... It looks like I have no choice. You're brave, I'll give you that. Sorry for the trouble, Mayor. Lin, prepare to move out! ~~~~~Independent Legion Civilian Camp~~~~~ Ed: Hello. I'm here to see how she's doing. Woman: Ed, thanks for coming again today! I know she'll be very pleased. Ed: I hope you're right. It's still so hard to communicate with her. Woman: But I know she looks forward to your visits. When you stop by to see her, she seems to brighten up a bit. The rest of the time, she looks a little lost and lonely. Ed: Really? Is that true? Woman: Yes, it is true. Ed, I know that you are a soldier... ...and you need to keep your mind on the job. Please don't worry too much about her... ------ Ed: Ummm... I brought you something for today. I hope you like it... ???: A flower? Ed: It's not a real flower. It's just plastic... I picked it up during a routine scouting mission... ???: A flower... It's beautiful... What type of flower is it? Ed: I think it's called a Catleia. That's what First Lieutenant Lin said. ???: Catleia... Catleia... I will be Catleia! That will be my name! I'll be named after the flower you brought me... Ed: Catleia? That's a great name! Catleia: Do you really think so? I'm so happy! Ed: Catleia! It really suits you! Catleia: Thank you! Lin: It sounds like you two are having fun. Ed: Yes... ...First Lieutenant Lin?! What are you doing here? Lin: I've been here all along. I'm just keeping an eye on you... ======================== *****End Chapter-04***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-05***** ==================== A New Ally ~~~~~Lotra City Industrial Zone~~~~~ O'Brian: We're here. Ed: There are buildings still standing... There must be people who survived too... Lin: At first sight, this city seems to be extraordinarily well-preserved... O'Brian: We'll find the local inhabitants. Let's hope that no one misjudges us from our appearance and thinks we're bandits. ----- Dr. Moritz: Hello! Can you hear me? You over there! Can you hear me? O'Brian: ??? Dr. Moritz: I represent the inhabitants of Lotra City. Do you come in peace? O'Brian: I am Captain O'Brian, and I lead the 12th Independent Legion of the Laurentian Army. Dr. Moritz: Really? That's simply marvellous! Captain O'Brian, you are very welcome! It is our very great honour to have you here! O'Brian: And who are you? Dr. Moritz: My name is Dr. Moritz. I act as a kind of representative for the citizens of Lotra. O'Brian: Which makes you their leader? Dr. Moritz: I suppose you coul say that! I don't know if I'm really up to the job, but they chose me! I suppose the main reason I was chosen is obvious! Because I'm just so good looking! Ha ha ha!!! O'Brian: ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Dr. Moritz: So you don't appreciate my brand of Laurentian humour then? Or perhaps you didn't hear me properly! I'll tell you once more I was chosen... O'Brian: We can discuss your reasons for election later. First of all, we need to discuss supplies. Of course, we don't expect this for free. We will repay you in whatever way we can. Dr. Moritz: That should be no problem. We'll... What was that?! I didn't ask for a cannon salute to welcome you! O'Brian: We're under attack. Find somewhere safe. This is going to turn into a battlefield... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Initial reports say it is the bandits. We believed we had destroyed them as a fighting force, but they're back... O'Brian: Let's move! That factory looks to still be in good condition. Can we use it? Dr. Moritz: Yes, it is fully functional. ~~~~~Flash to Factory~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: Countless automated weapons factories were built during Zephyrian wars. I'm sure you are much more familiar with their workings than I am... Although it will cost you, you should be able to produce weapons and units. O'Brian: Really? You're sure we'll be able to control the production? Dr. Moritz: Engineers from the city have repaired the automated systems. In the factories in this area, you should be able to control production. We can also provide you with fully trained, battle-ready troops... O'Brian: That's a big help... Dr. Moritz: Captain O'Brian, can I leave all of the military decisions to you? O'Brian: I think that's best. Excuse this question, but do you really trust us that much? Dr. Moritz: Captain O'Brian, I have heard a lot about you and your Legion... With the world devastated, you still devote yourself to helping people... In this world where it is no longer safe to fully trust anyone... ...I want to put my trust in you. I hope that is okay. O'Brian: I appreciate the cooperation. Now, we have work to do! *****Day one***** Dr. Moritz: I would strongly suggest that you move an infantry unit to the factory. Once captured, its automated systems will become operational. Then you can produce more units! O'Brian: Got it! Let's capture the factory! *****An infantry is selected***** O'Brian: Infantry, Bazooka, and Motorbike units can capture factories and cities. *****Capture is started***** Ed: Capture has commenced! Lin: You cannot completely capture assets in one day. Continue in subsequent turns. Select Capture again the following day to progress in capturing assets. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== O'Brian: Hmmmm... Let me think... Ed: Captain! O'Brian: Ah, it's you, Ed. Ed: I'm really looking forward to picking up some great tips from you, Captain O'Brian. Let me know how to deal with all the enemies back there on the battlefield... O'Brian: Look, Ed, I've got to be honest with you. You see, the thing is... I still haven't decided on a strategy for this battle yet. Ed: You haven't decided yet? O'Brian: But don't worry. As long as we don't give up hope, I know we'll be just fine... Ed: Hmmm... I've started to feel a little worried about this battle, Captain... ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ O'Brian: Our first priority must be to capture that factory and produce new units. We can use the terrain to the east of the factory to build a line of defence. With the Tank and Mech Gun, take out enemies as they approach that line. Then we'll march on their HQ. If any units become damaged in the the battle... ...they can recover in our cities or we can join units. And always stay out of range of the Mech Gun! Got it? Ed: I've got it, Captain O'Brian! O'Brian: I think if we do that, we can win... Ed: But Captain O'Brian, you don't sound too confident... O'Brian: It's just that I prefer action to words... I'll leave the tactical talks to Lin... Ed: Whatever you say, Captain! ~~~~~Briefing Room~~~~~ O'Brian: The main thing is to not give up hope. Without hope, victory is impossible. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, The Raiders***** Drakov: They think they can make fools of us! But their luck has run out! Show no mercy! Destroy them all! *****A city is captured***** Ed: The city has been captured! Dr. Moritz: Good! By restoring power to cities, factory production is boosted. By utilising physical resources obtained in the city, the operational status... Ed: Sorry, Doctor. Could you use simple words? Dr. Moritz: I'm talking about military funds. Capture more cities, get more funds! *****Factory is captured***** Ed: The factory has been captured! So now we can produce more units? Dr. Moritz: That's right. But the range of units you can produce is limited right now. But even so, the factory will no doubt give your forces a major boost. You are able to begin production on the day after capturing factories. *****A unit is damaged***** Lin: A unit has been hit. But it can be repaired. Position the unit on your cities or factories and it will recover. Don't push your units too hard. Give them the chance to recover. *****Factory has no unit covering it***** Dr. Moritz: At long last, you can produce units in the factory! Select the factory to see the units which you can produce. (To produce units, move the cursor on to the factory or alternatively touch it with the stylus.) *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Why?! How?! Not again... O'Brian: This is the end of the road for you. Dr. Moritz: Captain O'Brian, I'm afraid you'll have to return the units you produced. The unit can only be used in ranged of the factory where they were made. Go too far from area, and you're left with useless lumps of metal. O'Brian: Yes, I am aware of that. Now we just need to resupply and repair our units. *****Independent Legion loses***** O'Brian: I'm sorry! My strategy failed... Dr. Moritz: C-Captain O'Brian! D-Don't give up! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: Now, where were we...? ~~~~~Lotra City Industrial Zone~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: Before the meteor strike, I worked as a medical researcher, mostly with lab rats! But when the world was destroyed, I made my way to this city... There were so many sick and injured people. I did what I could... Youth: We owe our lives to Dr. Moritz! If he hadn't helped me, I wouldn't be here today... Dr. Moritz: Well, humans are easier to deal with than rats! At least I speak their language! Ha ha ha!!! Ed: ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Dr. Moritz: What's wrong? Don't appreciate my Laurentian humour? Feel free to laugh as much as you like! Ed: Er... Thank you... Youth: If only he didn't insist on telling those awful jokes all the time... Ed: You are like Captain O'Brian... If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here. He saved my life. Even with the world in this state... ...there are still those like you and the Captain who want to help other people. O'Brian: I may have something in common with Dr Moritz, but at least I don't tell terrible jokes. I have some pride, after all... Dr. Moritz: Ha ha ha!!! Well, you shouldn't make me out to be some kind of hero, Ed. I entered medicine not to help people, but to satisfy my own interests i research. I held medical qualifications, but I'd never even seen a patient before the meteors struck. But I suppose that in extreme situations, you learn what is truly important... Do you know what I mean, Captain O'Brian? O'Brian: I know exactly what you mean. Dr. Moritz: It's good that we see things the same way! Now, there's an issue I need to discuss with you. Your Legion and the citizens of this city combine to make a group of several hundred people. Each of these people requires food in order to live. Which means we have a problem... O'Brian: A shortage of food is a very serious matter... Dr. Moritz: But I know the perfect place to go in order to solve this problem... Captain O'Brian, I want to ask you for your help. ======================== *****End Chapter-05***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-06***** ==================== Observer of Fear ~~~~~Outside the Bio-Corp Research Facility~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: Do you know why the dinosaurs became extinct? Ed: Ummm... Captain O'Brian, do you know? O'Brian: Don't ask me things like that! Lin, tell us! Lin: There are a number of theories, one of which is that there was a meteor strike... Dr. Moritz: Right. The dinosaurs may have witnessed the same destruction which we saw. According to this theory, a meteor hit Earth some 65 million years ago. It set fire to huge areas of the planet's surface, causing enormous devastation. Earthquakes of 12 or 13 on the Richter Scale caused tidal waves 100 metres in height. It seems that surfing was not one of the strong points of the dinosaurs... Lin: Most dinosaurs are believed to have perished because of that catastrophic event. Although they had ruled the Earth up to then, their reign came to a sudden, brutal end. Ed: But humans managed to survive. Dr. Moritz: That's right. We have survived. Let's hear it for mankind! Ha ha ha!!! But I still think we've got nothing on cockroaches when it comes to survival skills! O'Brian: And what exactly was your point again? Dr. Moritz: Let's get serious for a moment. As you know, there is a huge dust cloud above us. Without sunlight, humans cannot grow crops. Plants wither and die with no energy source. It may be that it was the cloud of dust and ash which actually caused the end of the dinosaurs. O'Brian: So what can we do? Dr. Moritz: There's no need to panic. We are humans and are blessed with knowledge and science. We are nearing completion of our research into Bio-Crops. They will give us plenty of food. O'Brian: Bio-Crops? Dr. Moritz: Bio-Crops were developed after research into anaerobic and non-photosynthetic catalytic... O'Brian: Dr Moritz, I'm starting to get a headache. Your explanations are worse than your jokes. Could you get straight to the point? Dr. Moritz: If we can grow Bio-Crops successfully, we will have enough to eat. Simple, right? We won't be able to feed millions of people, but we can produce food for Lotra's citizens. But there is one thing I worry about... Ed: What's that, Dr Moritz? What are you worried about? Dr. Moritz: Let me ask you a question, young man. Do you believe in demons? Do you believe there are those who are glad that our world - our way of life - was destroyed? Do you think there are people who thrive in this devastation and chaos? Ed: Wh-What do you mean? Dr. Moritz: No, it doesn't matter. Forget I said anything! In fact, I've forgotten what I was saying myself! Ha ha ha!!! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ O'Brian: Lin, talk to me! Lin: This is strange. There is no response to our calls to identify themselves... O'Brian: They don't look friendly... Let's move! =====Tactics Briefing Room===== O'Brian: Ed, come in. Ed: Captain O'Brian! Can you give me any tips on how to handle this battle? O'Brian: Yes, that should be no problem... Er, one moment... Gah, where's it gone? Ed: Captain? Have you lost something? O'Brian: Er, yes. Lin made me some notes on tactics tips. But I've lost them somewhere... Ed: Captain O'Brian? I didn't realise that you were getting tips from First Lieutenant Lin! Maybe you should keep that a secret from the rest of the troops... O'Brian: I guess I just prefer to let my actions do the talking. I'm not a natural teacher like Lin... Ah, I've found her notes! Let's see what she has to say... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ O'Brian: "Capture factories and cities. Defend Infantry units with other units while they are capturing these assets. The terrain south-east of the factory is ideal or setting up defences. If the enemy produces more units, retreat to the area by the factory. Produce Anti-Tank units to take on the enemy's Mega Tank." That's it. Ed: But Captain, you just repeated what First Lieutenant Lin wrote! O'Brian: I guess words aren't my strong point! ~~~~Briefing Room~~~~~ O'Brian: That's it for now. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, IDS***** [Paranthesized names are unknown at the time] (Lili): Tee he he!!! Daddy, is it really okay? (Stolos): Of course it's okay! Enjoy yourself! But remember to record the battle. I want to see how the soldiers fought... ...and how they died! (Cyrus): ...I am sorry to speak out of turn, but I simply cannot agree, Father... Why must we start this fight? What meaning does it have? What necessity is there to inflict this suffering? It's a terrible waste... (Stolos): Waste? You talk to me about waste? What greater waste of resources is there than people themselves? (Lili): Tee he he!!! Here I go! *****All enemy units destroyed***** (Stolos): What's wrong, sweetheart? They blew up your toys already? It would be a shame to end the battle so soon. Let's spice things up a bit! (Lili): Daddy, can I use that new toy now? Tee he he!!! This is so fun! (Stolos): Anything you want, my dear! Let's observe how they respond to the world's most powerful tank... This is most interesting! Ed: The enemy has sent in reinforcements! Th-That tank...it's enormous! O'Brian: What is it?! Lin, any information? Lin: No, that tank is not listed in the database... Catleia: That is known as a... Mega Tank. Dr. Mortiz: A Mega Tank? Catleia: It has vastly superior armour and weaponry compared to regular tanks. It is the most powerful ground force unit in the world today... Dr. Moritz: What are we supposed to do gainst it? It's too big! Catleia: I-I don't know... *****The Day after the reinforcements arrive***** Catleia: ... ... ... ... Will: Catleia! What's wrong? What's the matter? Catleia: My head hurts... The factory systems have been refined and can now produce Anti-Tank units. Ed: B-But how did you know...?! Dr. Moritz: She's right! The Error Message is gone from the factory computer... Catleia: Anti-tank units will prove extremely effective against the Mega Tank. Dr. Moritz: She's right! She's right! We can do it! Lin: Catleia, I want you to explain right away... O'Brian: Lin, we need to focus on the battle. We'll use Anti-Tank units to destroy that Mega Tank. Catleia: Yes... *****Independent Legion wins***** Ed: We did it! We won! O'Brian: That wasn't easy... But we did it. Ed: It was all thanks to Catleia! We owe it to her! Catleia: No, no! I didn't do anything... Dr. Moritz: We did it! Now let's check on things at the Bio-Crop Research Facility... *****Independent Legion loses***** Ed: The enemy is too strong... Wh-Who can they be...? (Stolos): I am afraid this enemy is far too weak to even arouse my curiousity. At least put up a fight, will you! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ed: Now we just need those Bio-Crops... ~~~~~Outside the Bio-Crop Research Facility~~~~~ O'Brian: Dr Moritz, Lin - how are you progressing with the Bio-Crops? Do you think we can grow them? Dr. Moritz: Captain O'Brian, I have some good news and I have some bad news... Lin: The Bio-Crop Research Facility is destroyed. Dr. Moritz: Wait! I had a joke I wanted to tell first! O'Brian: Save your jokes for when I'm not around. What do you mean destroyed? Can't we repair it? Dr. Moritz: That will be quite difficult, I'm afraid. The factory was extremely sophisticated. Its components are not the kind of things you can just pick up at the supermarket Ed: What are we going to do, Dr Moritz? Dr. Moritz: I really don't know. This is a most alarming development... Ed: Alarming? Dr. Moritz: The enemy did not come to invade this city. Rather, they came to destroy the Bio-Crops. If we had successfully grown the Bio-Crops, we could have lived in peace with ample food. What did they have to gain by destroying them? It's almost as if... Lin: It's almost as if there is someone who desires the complete destruction of mankind... ~~~~~Outside the Bio-Crop Research Facility~~~~~ Ed: What is this? Lin: It's a field of flowers. They're beautiful. But there's something strange about them... Dr. Moritz: Whatever you do, don't touch those flowers! Ed: Dr Moritz? Dr. Moritz: Lin, I will have to ask you a personal question. Are you over 20 years old? Lin: I beg your pardon! Why are you asking me that? I may not be as young as Catleia but... What business is it of yours anyway?! Dr. Moritz: Don't look at me like that! You're scaring me! I didn't mean to sound rude... The thing is, these flowers have only ever infected people under the age of 20... Lin: Infected? What do you mean? Dr. Morris: Have you heard of Parasiticum Floritis, more commonly known as the Floral Virus? ~~~~~Flash to Photo~~~~~ Lin: ...Flowers? Dr. Moritz: This is a victim of the Floral Virus. He was around your age, Ed. Ed: B-But... This can't be! Dr. Moritz: The flowers are not for decoration. They take root in the human body. The flowers then bloom, leaving the victim in this pitiful state... Lin: Flowers...? Growing from a person...? But how can this be possible? Dr. Moritz: I would love to tell you it's impossible. Parasitic growth of plants on mammals is very rare. This is quite exceptional. I have seen too many young people fall victim to this since the meteor strike. Ed: This is too much! Dr. Moritz: Curiously, this virus only seems to spread among young people. You are still young, Ed. Which means you are still at risk. If you meet anyone suffering from this sickness, stay away from them. Ed: I understand... ~~~~~Outside the Bio-Crop Research Facility~~~~~ Lin: So we aren't only threatened by starvation, but also by a mysterious virus? O'Brian: Sometimes it is hard to remain positive about things... But we cannot give up... Ed: Where there is life, there is hope... O'Brian: Exactly. ======================== *****End Chapter-06***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-07***** ==================== A Place to Live ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ O'Brian: So it seems we're short of food. What do you suggest we do, Doctor? Dr. Moritz: I'm afraid I'm out of ideas... We're in trouble, I can't deny it. Lin: Were Bio-Crops grown in any other location? Dr. Moritz: Not to my knowledge... Catleia: Bio-Crops? Ed: Catleia, do you know something? Catleia: I-I might. Ed: Tell us! ~~~~~Independent Legion Headquarters~~~~~ O'Brian: You're absolutely certain about this? Catleia: Yes, I am. Dr. Moritz: Listen up, you enigmatic young lady, this is no time for jokes... You are really saying there are Bio-Crops located elsewhere? Catleia: I think... The latitude is 25.345 degrees north and the longitude is 131.035 degrees west. Dr. Moritz: Those are fairly precise coordinates! Lin: That's in the Seratta mountain range... Catleia: If you go to that location, you will find an underground nuclear shelter... It contains a small-scale Bio-Crops plantation which could feed approximately 1000 people. Dr. Moritz: Do you really expect us to believe that? I've never heard of such a place! Lin: Neither have I... Catleia: The senior ministers of the Laurentian Cabinet had it built for themselves and their families. In the event of an all-out nuclear war, they would be able to live in the shelter for decades. It was constructed covertly - its existence was an official Grade 4 Laurentian state secret. Dr. Moritz: I've worked it out! You're the Prime Minister's secret daughter, aren't you?! Ha ha ha!!! Catleia: The construction of the shelter was carried out by the private military company, IDS... They cooperated in... Ed: Catleia, what's wrong? Catleia: I'm sorry! My head hurts! I can't think... Ed: Captain, I'll look after Catleia. O'Brian: You do that, Ed. Dr. Moritz: I've no idea who that strange young lady is, but she certainly doesn't appear to be a liar. I have a feeling that we may find what we're looking for at those coordinates... O'Brian: It has to be worth checking out. Laurentian: Captain, we have a report in from a Recon unit! There is a battle in progress involving a former Laurentian army unit! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Finn: These darned Zephyrians! They just don't give up! The world ends and they still want to keep the war going! ...Eh? Who's that? O'Brian: This is captain O'Brian of the 12th Independent Laurentian Legion. Finn: Ah, the cavalry has arrived! Just in the nick of time! O'Brian: Identify yourself - name and rank... Finn: Do things by the book, don't you? You want my name and rank?! Ever since the meteors crash-landed, no one's been giving me orders... Not a single word from High Command. You heard anything from them? O'Brian: I've received no communication either. It seems that our nation was wiped out. We have to accept that... Finn: You sound so unhappy about it! I'm Captain Finn of the 13th Airborne. We survived the meteors - I feel like I've won the lottery or something! The least we can do is enjoy this wreck of a world we've been left with! Lin: Captain, the enemy has spotted us... O'Brian: Roger. Prepare to engage. *****Day one***** Lin: Remember, the yellow unit is on our side. Be sure to defend it from the enemy... Finn: I owe you one! =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: Welcome back to the Briefing room. Today, we have a very special guest... Dr. Moritz: Ha ha ha!!! At last, it's my chance to share some pearls of wisdom with you! And I'm going to spice it up with some of my trademark wit... Lin: That will not be necessary. Dr. Moritz: So, why did the Zephyrian cross the road? This is a good one... Lin: Another time, Dr Mortiz. Let's talk tactics. ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: If enemy air units attack your forces, meet them with Anti-Air tanks. Be sure to defend Anti-Air tanks and Missiles from ground force attacks. While defending our allies, move forward to take the enemy HQ. Beware the range of the enemy Rocket unit. Use multiple units to take it out. ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: But wait! I didn't tell you why the Zephyrian crossed the road... What?! You aren't interested?! This is comedy gold... Lin: We will pursue the issue of Zephyrian road-crossing at a later date... Is that understood? Dr. Moritz: Honestly! Some people have no sense of humour! You have to lighten up a bit! Lin: Humour has no place on the battlefield. Come back to the Briefing Room again when you next need some hints. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Zephyrians***** Zadia: This is turning into a great day! More Laurentian Army dregs joined in the fight! Let's wipe them out! Come on, my Zephyrian brothers and sisters. Let's do this! *****Independent Legion wins***** Zadia: That Laurentian rabble have won the battle, but they won't win the war! All units, retreat... *****Independent Legion loses***** O'Brian: So this is the end? Can it really be all over? Finn: Hey, stop your whining, O'Brian! You just couldn't cut it... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: We drove them away. For now... ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ O'Brian: We saw them off, but now our priority is to attend to the wounded... Ed: Yes, Captain! Finn: Hey, that was a big help! But who's that kid with you? You keeping him as a pet?! Ed: Pet...?! O'Brian: He's with us. My Legion has been rescuing civilians who survived the catastrophe... Finn: Are you serious?! You're helping people?! You deserve some kind of medal, O'Brian! O'Brian: We would like to ask for your cooperation. An air force would really help us out... Finn: Cooperation, you say? How can I put this...? I admire you, O'Brian. In fact, you deserve some kind of standing ovation. But the thing is... I'm going to have toleave the charity work to you and your fine bunch of soldiers. I'm not going to get tied down with anything that limits my freedom. You see what I'm saying? O'Brian: Your freedom? Finn: That's right. I've never been so free! No orders from High Command, no missions, no nothing! I do whatever I please! O'Brian: I think you've got things wrong. In a world like this, there is no freedom. All law and order have disappeared... The bonds that tied people together have been severed. We need to repair them... Finn: I never heard such... Whatever. You're free to think what you like. And so am I! By the way, you heard of Admiral Sigismundo? O'Brian: Yes, I once served under him. Why, what about him? Finn: He's installed himself in the Laurentian capital. I heard a rumour that says he's gathering troops from across the country... ...to form what he calls the New Laurentian Army. Catchy name, huh? I'm not keen on starting to take orders again, but maybe I'll sell him my services... As a mercenary, I'll be able to do whatever I like! And the ladies love a guy in uniform! O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Finn: What are you looking at me like that for? It seems we just don't see things eye to eye, do we? I guess we ain't going to be friends... Anyway, good luck with all the charity work. I'll leave that stuff to you! O'Brian: Wait! What about your troops? Were any of them wounded in the battle just now? Finn: Huh? Why should I care? If they survived, good for them. If they didn't, oh well... You think I've got time to look after them all? I'm not their mother, O'Brian... O'Brian: You'd just abandon the men who serve you? Finn: Look around you, O'Brian. The way things are, it's each man for himself. Seems like you're stuck in the past... O'Brian: Stuck in the past? Finn: You're like some kind of dinosaur. And I think you'll be extinct before long... O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Lin: Shall we just let him go? O'Brian: Yes. We can't force him to help us... Ed: Is that man really a soldier? He's nothing like the troops in the Legion... Brenner: An army is simply a collection of people. You'll always find a few like Finn. Everyone has to make their choice about how to live in this world. He has made his... Try to not let him bother you. Now, let's attend to the wounded. ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ Lin: We were successful in aiding that airborne squadron led by Captain Finn. There are airports in this area, and with luck we will be able to receive air support. O'Brian: What do members of the squadron think? Do they want to rejoin Captain Finn? Lin: Apparently they want nothing more to do with him. They say he seemed to enjoy risking their lives by sending them on reckless missions. Ed: He really is nothing like you, Captain. O'Brian: Anyone in Finn's squadron who wants to join us is free to do so. Now, we head to the nuclear shelter. That could be the answer to our prayers. ======================== *****End Chapter-07***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-08***** ==================== Flowers of Evil ~~~~~Bandits' Base Camp~~~~~ Drakov: Gaargh! Don't tell me we're out of supplies! What are you waiting for?! Go and steal more! Gaaargh! Bandit: Umm... It's not that easy... We're low on fuel and ammo... And most of our weapons were destroyed in the last battle... Drakov: Gaargh! Steal whatever we need! Do you understand?! Bandit: Y-yes, sir... Drakov: No food! No drink! No fuel! No ammo! Gaargh! And I've got a wounded leg! I need medicine! Once I find them, I'll tear them limb from limb! They're going to pay for this! Gaargh! Stolos: Do you really harbour such hostility towards Captain O'Brian and his Independent Legion? Drakov: Gaargh! Who the hell are you?! What do you want?! Stolos: Sergeant Drakov, I know all about you. I know how you were expelled from the armed forces due to your propensity for violence. I know that despite your struggle to rebuild your life, no one would give you a chance. Drakov: Wh-Who...?! How...?! Stolos: And I know that when the meteors struck the Earth, you got the chance you'd waited for. You stole Commander Access Codes to gather weapons and former soldiers to fight for you... You did whatever you pleased. For most, the world was a living hell. For you, it was paradise. Then that do-gooder Captain O'Brian appeared with his Independent Legion... Drakov: Gaargh! He ruined everything! When I find him... Stolos: Good! I can feel your desire for vengeance. I can help you, Sergeant. You will have medicine... But more importantly, you will have weapons to keep living a life dedicated to pure destruction... ~~~~~Independent Legion Headquarters~~~~~ Lin: This is the quickest route to the Seratta mountain range. O'Brian: This route will take us by Sundown Village once again. I'm not sure they'll be pleased to see us, but we should check that they're safe. Lin: I don't mean to speak out of turn, but I think you are far too forgiving, Captain O'Brian. Even after the Mayor's dishonourable behavior, you remain concerned for his village's welfare? O'Brian: I won't lie. I was angry with him. But we should still check if they're okay. Lin: Do you really think so? I believe that they insulted you, Captain. I really have no interest in whether their village prospers or is destroyed... O'Brian: Lin, please don't get angry. Ed: Captain O'Brian, I've got news... O'Brian: Enemy activity? Ed: No, it's from Sundown Village. The villagers want to speak to you... O'Brian: What do they want? _________ Mayor: ...and because of the earthquake, our village was destroyed and our supplies ruined... Without your help, we are doomed. Captain O'Brian, please help us! O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Mayor: I'm begging you, Captain O'Brian. Help us! I'm sorry for everything I did... O'Brian: Okay. All of you, come with me. Once we locate the Bio-Crops, there will be enough food for all of us. Mayor: Bio-Crops? O'Brian: If you want details, ask Dr Moritz. Science isn't really my thing. But basically our goal is to find those Bio-Crops. Then everyone will be able to eat. Mayor: I understand. I am deeply grateful, Captain O'Brian. Ummm... We haven't eaten for days. I wonder if you could see fit to... O'Brian: ...Okay. We are running short of supplies too, but we will find food for you and the villagers... Lin: Hmmm... For someone who says he hasn't eaten in days, you look pretty well-fed to me... Mayor: Wh-What did you say?! Lin: The villagers have a convoy of trucks which seem to contain a lot of sacks... They wouldn't happen to contain food supplies, would they? Mayor: N-No, that's just... How dare you?! Are you calling m a liar?! Lin: I don't remember calling you anything... Mayor: Don't you know who I am?! Laurentian: We're under attack! O'Brian: Gather the other villagers and hide in the rear. We'll talk later, if we're both still alive... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Reports suggest that it is the same bandits we defeated previously. The poor visibility can be used to our advantage. All units, advance! But be careful out there! *****Day one***** Lin: This pillar of fire illuminates the area surrounding it. It's revealing an enemy unit on the other side of the water... It also looks like there are factories in that area. Capture them ASAP! You can use Transport Helicopters - load infantry units onto them. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: You know, you should be grateful that I am acting as your teacher, Ed. Ed: Why do you say that? Lin: When I was in the Laurentian Military Academy, I had much stricter teachers. If you didn't pay attention when they spoke, they'd have you doing push-ups... Really, you have it very easy. Ed: I'm very grateful, First Lieutenant Lin. Lin: Why, once when I got a question wrong in class, I was screamed at for ten minutes. Those teachers didn't mince their words either. My ears were ringing for days... Will: I really do appreciate your teaching methods! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: There's no need to rush to cross the bridge. Wait for oncoming enemy units. It would be a good idea to produce indirect attack units for this job. Use Helicopters to transport Infantry units to capture cities and factories. Focus on producing additional Tanks and indirect attack units. Then go east and engage the enemy! Ed: Understood! Lin: Now give me twenty push-ups! Ed: Wh-What?! Lin: Just my little joke... Ed: I was worried for a second... ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: Come and visit the Briefing Room again when you want more tips. =====End Tactics===== *****Select an infantry***** Lin: Infantry and Bazooka units can be loaded onto Transport Helicopters. This is the easiest way to transport your troops over long distances. *****Select a transport copter***** O'Brian: After moving the Transport Helicopter, find somewhere to drop your troops! *****Day one, The Raiders***** Drakov: Har-har-har!!! They must be pleased to see us! Gaargh! I feel strange... That medicine Stolos made me take... My heart's pounding... I can't control my rage... Gaargh! Things will be different this time! I have been reborn! First O'Brian will pay. Then I'll make everyoe in his Legion pay too... *****Capture a property***** Lin: Capture successfully completed! This improves visibility in the area near the base, giving us an advantage! *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Gaargh! I've got to escape! But this was just a sneak preview - we've got tonnes more weapons... And we're going to enjoy using them all on you! Har-har-har!!! Lin: There are no signs of enemy activity. Our mission has been successful. O'Brian: But how could those bandits still have had that amount of weaponry left? Lin: I can't understand it. We completely destroyed most of their forces... Ed: Captain! It seems that the commander of the bandits managed to escape... Apparently, he played dead to avoid detection and then fled... O'Brian: So, he's still at large... I doubt we've seen the last of him. But for now, we have achieved our goal. Let's advance! *****Independent Legion loses***** Lin: I am sorry, Captain. My strategy failed us all... I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me... O'Brian: ...First Lieutenant Lin! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: That went perfectly according to plan. ~~~~~Independent Legion Civilian Camp~~~~~ Catleia: ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I-I... ... ... ... ... ... ... Ed: Catleia? What's the matter? Catleia: I-I feel... Ed: Catleia...! Be strong! Tell me what the matter is... Catleia: I-I... Ed: What is it? ~~~~~Flashback of photo with infected boy~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: This victim... He was around your age, Ed. Curiously, this virus only seems to spread among young people. You are still young, Ed. Which means you are still at risk. If you meet anyone suffering from this sickness, stay away from them. ~~~~~End Flashback~~~~~ Ed: No! It can't be...! Catleia: E-Ed... Ed: I'll get Dr Moritz right away! Wait here, Catleia! Catleia: ... ... ... ... O'Brian: What's going on here? What's the matter? ... ... ... ... Someone get a doctor! Right now! ~~~~~Independent Legion Headquarters~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: Captain O'Brian... I am afraid that judging from her symptoms, there is a high possibility that it is the Floral Virus. O'Brian: The Floral Virus...? Dr. Moritz: She has been placed in quarantine in my mobile laboratory. For now, she should remain there. There is no risk of adults contracting the virus, but young people like Ed are at risk... O'Brian: Is there any way to cure her? Dr. Moritz: Captain, you are an honourable man and I know your concern is genuine. But what can we do? To have any hopes of curing her, I would require highly-specialised equipment and facilities... O'Brian: There must be a way! Lin: Captain, I don't know if it will work, but I have an idea... O'Brian: What is it? Lin: If we do locate the Laurentian government's nuclear shelter which Catleia spoke of... Perhaps it contains the medical equipment we need. Dr. Moritz: You're right. The nuclear shelter would be a completely sealed off space... If one person was infected with a disease, it would spread to everyone in no time. That means they may well have prepared for that eventually. It's highly possible! O'Brian: As long as thre is some slim hope, we can't give up. Let's find that shelter! ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ O'Brian: Ed? What are you doing here, all alone? Ed: I'm j-just... O'Brian: I understand that you are worried about Catleia. That's normal... But don't look so downhearted. As long as you don't give up... Ed: That's not it! Captain O'Brian... I ran away... O'Brian: You ran away? Ed: As soon as I realised she was ill, I stayed away from Catleia. I ran away because I wanted to save myself. I didn't think about her feelings. She was suffering so much, and all I could think about was myself. I'm gutless, Captain O'Brian. I ran away. O'Brian: Ed, what you did was right. If you had tried to comfort her, you could have ended up infected too. Ed: But... I know you would have stayed with her, Captain. You always try to help people, whatever it takes. I haven't got guts like you... O'Brian: If I were you, I would have run away too. I've spent my life running away... Ed: C-Captain? O'Brian: There have been countless people I couldn't help. My mistakes have sent troops to their deaths. "It couldn't be helped..." "I did everything I could..." Every night, I tell myself that. I'm running away from the past, Ed... Ed: Captain O'Brian... O'Brian: You're disappointed, aren't you? You thought I was better than this, right? But it's too late. However much I regret it, that won't bring my troops back... But Catleia is still alive. So what have you got to regret? There are still things we can do for her. There is still hope... Ed: Yes, Captain! O'Brian: That's more like it... Ed: There is still hope! ======================== *****End Chapter-08***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-09***** ==================== Gate of Steel ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ Mayor: O'Brian! I've been hearing worrying rumours... I heard that one of the civilians traveling with you is infected with something... O'Brian: Yes, she is... But don't worry. It can only affect children, and you have no children with you, right? Mayor: That's supposed to make it okay?! We don't want to be around any sick people! Kick her out of the camp! Let her fend for herself! We don't want her near us! O'Brian: I think you've said enough. We are all in this together. Mayor: All in this together?! Don't talk such nonsense! We're just trying to survive. If some girl is sick, we have to get rid of her fast! O'Brian: Listen to me very carefully. No one gets left behind. Not you, the villagers, Ed, Catleia, or anyone. We are in this together. And if you really have a problem with that, you are free to leave whenever you want. Mayor: You're too soft, O'Brian! Okay, I get it. You're not going to budge. But if the virus spreads, it's on your head! ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ Ed: Doctor, how is Catleia doing? Dr. Moritz: You're going to make yourself sick worrying about that girl... I'll tell you straight - things aren't looking too good. We need medicine, and we need it now. Ed: Can I see her? Dr. Moritz: Absolutely not. You can't go in there. I told you that already. Young people are at risk of infection, and you cannot be in the same room. Ed: But...! Dr. Moritz: Once we arrive at the nuclear shelter, there is a good chance we can treat her... But until then, you stay away unless you want to catch the same disease... Ed: What does it matter even if I do catch the same disease? If I don't meet her now, I might never be able to apologise to her for not doing more... I need to see her... Dr. Moritz: It sounds like you're thinking of yourself more than you're thinking about her. Ed: What do you mean?! Dr. Moritz: Without wanting to betray doctor-patient confidentiality, I have spoken to her. What is troubling her most of all is the fear that she has become a burden to you all. She keeps saying that mybe it would have been better if you had never rescued her... Ed: How can she think that?! Dr. Moritz: But she has not given up hope. She never complains about the pain. All of the other victims of this virus that I have seen were begging me to end their misery... But she has chosen to live. Do you know why? Because she owes that life to you. Ed: ... ... ... ... Dr. Moritz: She believes that if she refuses to give in to despair, we will find a way to cure her. After losing her memory, the first thing she was aware of was you reaching out to rescue her. She trust you implicitly, the way a newly-hatched chick trusts its mother. She believes everything you told her about not giving up, about having hope. So you'd better believe it too. Ed: D-Dr Moritz... I-I'm sorry. Thank you... Dr. Moritz: You've got nothing to apologise to me about! Look, you can't meet her directly, but if you were to speak to her through the door.. Will: Really? Would that be okay? Dr. Moritz: Just for a little while, you understand? ~~~~~Flash to field~~~~~ Lin: This route leads directly to the foothills of the Seratta mountain range... But advance troops are reporting that those bandits have regrouped. O'Brian: So it's an ambush, is it? It seems they're hell-bent on revenge. We're going to have to settle this once and for all...Advance! *****Day one***** Dr. Moritz: Captain O'Brian! I've got some great news for you! This airport is all ready to use! You can produce new air units whenever you need them! O'Brian: Thanks for letting me know. This will be a ground and air battle. *****Mobile Workshop is selected***** Lin: Mobile Workshops can be used to build Temporary Airports. That looks like a good spot. Move there and commence construction. *****Bomber is selected***** Lin: With Bombers, you can attack ground and sea units. Bombers are very powerful and can even take out Tanks with one strike. Utilise your Bombers to attack the enemy's ground units. *****Duster is selected***** Ed: This unit must be... Lin: It's a Fighter. It can attack ground units as well as other air units. But its attacks are not as powerful as those of the Bomber or Interceptor. Ed: Yes, I studied them at Military academy. They're cheap and versatile... Lin: Or jacks-of-all-trades, masters of none. Attack near-by ground units. *****Interceptor is selected***** Lin: With Interceptors, you can take on other air units. In an aerial battle, Interceptors are your most powerful weapon. Take out the enemy's aerial units! *****Mobile Workshop starts construction***** Lin: The Mobile Workshop has begun construction. Select Build on your next turn to continue construction. Dr. Moritz: Keep building! we'll do our bit too! =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: Come on, Ed! You can win this one! You shouldn't need my help! I'm surprised and disappointed.. O'Brian: I'm not Ed... Lin: C-Captain O'Brian? I'm sorry. I spoke out of line. I just wanted to encourage Ed... There are no easy battles, and I shouldn't have spoken as I did... Ed: She never apologises like that to me! Lin: Ed, that's quite enough! Ed: You see how she speaks to me?! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: This stage has no factories. Be careful to not lose Infantry units - without them you can't capture cities. Strike early against enemy air units with Fighters and Battle Helicopters. The enemy has no factories, so try to destroy its Anti-Air and Missile units. Use Bombers to reduce the enemy's capacity to strike your aerial units. O'Brian: Thanks for your advice, First Lieutenant Lin. Lin: It's my pleasure, Captain O'Brian. Ed: She never talks to me like that... Lin: Stop that grumbling, soldier! ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: That's all. I hope those tips help you in the battle. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, The Bandits***** Drakov: Gaargh! What am I doing here?! Where did I get all these Tanks and Helicopters from...?! Who cares anyway?! Har-har-har!!! It's payback time! *****Mobile Workshop finishes construction***** Dr. Moritz: That's quite an airport you've come up with! I'm impressed! Lin: Temporary Airports allow air units to refue and recover. Brenner: Looks like the Mobile Workshop has run out of building materials... *****Day two, The Raiders***** Drakov: We've been waiting for you! Ed: Why are standing in our way? Let us through! We have to save Catleia! Drakov: You think I care who you have to save?! Har-har-har!!! Ed: You command an army, but you're not a soldier! You're nothing but a thief, a bandit and a murderer! Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Don't make me laugh! What do you know about war? Ed: ... ... ... ... Drakov: Listen up, brat! Whatever you read in comic books isn't the real world! Soldiers aren't heroes! War isn't honourable! It's about destruction! I'm going to teach you the real meaning of war! *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Gaargh! This can't be happening! All those beautiful weapons trashed! Gaargh! I can't take it! *****Independent Legion loses***** O'Brian: Ed, I won't make it... You have to go on. Don't give up... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: Now, let's investigate the shelter! ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Entrance~~~~~ Lin: This is it. This is the place Catleia spoke of. Dr. Moritz: Well, I never! There really is a nuclear shelter! I mean, I never doubted her for a second... Anyway, that mysterious young lady has really come up with the goods this time! Lin: Now if we can open this gate, we can gain access to the nuclear shelter. But... System: Welcome to the Fortress. Please enter your Laurentian Military Code. You have two chances to enter a valid code, otherwise all access will be denied. Lin: I am sure my rank is not high enough for my code to be valid. Captain, do you think yours will work? O'Brian: I doubt it, but it has to be worth a try. Captain O'Brian, 12th Independent Legion. Code number 08481-24390. System: ID error. Access denied. O'Brian: My rank obviously isn't high enough... I never thought I'd survive the apocalypse and still regret my lack of career ambition... Lin: It looks like we will have to accept defeat. Ed: No! We've come so far! We can't just give up! There must be a way! If we don't get in then C-Catleia w-will... Dr. Moritz: But who can we get to open it? Lin: You would need to be an admiral, general or senior government minister to gain access... But it's not like we can just call the former Laurentian Prime Minister! Dr. Morris: Unfortunately, he's not one of my close friends! And we just haven't got time to head to the capital and try to locate important people... How about just starting at 0000000000 and then working our way up? Lin: Don't be absurd. After a certain number of attempts, access will be permanently denied. Dr. Moritz: Don't be so negative! You can't just give up! Lin: I don't mean to sound negative. I am simply stating the facts. And the fact is, we have no chance of guessing the correct access code. We have one more try to get a 10 digit code correct. The odds of guessing it right... ...are almost zero. Dr. Morris: We're talking a probability of one in 10 billion. I don't like those odds... Now if this was just a story and I was the hero, something miraculous might just happen... O'Brian: But surely it's best to enter something? Some 10 digit number... Ed: A 10 digit number? Wait a second... O'Brian: What is it, Ed? Ed: 96938-72914... Lin: What is that number?! What are you basing this guess on?! Ed: I just have a feeling. I have a feeling that this number will get us inside... O'Brian: Okay, Ed. We've got nothing to lose. Enter the number... Ed: Yes, Captain. System: Welcome to the Fortress. Please enter your Laurentian Military Code. You have one chance to enter a valid code, otherwise all access will be denied. Ed: Okay, here goes nothing... 96938-72914... System: ... ID Accepted. Doors opening. ~~~~~Door opens~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: Well, I never! O'Brian: You did it! Lin: I must confess, I am surprised. Dr. Moritz: Are you a genius?! Or are you the Prime Minister's secret son...? Ed: No, that's not it. It was the number Catleia was whispering... Lin: ... ... ... ... Ed: She was telling me the words she remembered, and then she just said this number... O'Brian: It's all thanks to her again! She must be our guardian angel! Does that mean that she is actually from a high-ranking government family in Laurentia? Lin: That would explain a lot. But I don't think so... Dr. Moritz: Well, in any case, the point is that we're in! Ha ha ha!!! ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Interior~~~~~ Dr. Moritz: So in here we should find Bio-Crops and medicine for our guardian angel... Ed: I'm going to go and fetch Catleia Dr. Moritz: Wait! You know you're not allowed to have any contact with the patient! Leave it to me. I'll let the civilians waiting at the foot of the mountain know we're in. O'Brian: Bring some soldiers with you for protection. We can't let our guard down. Lin: First, we must thoroughly investigate the shelter's interior. Ed, come with me. Ed: Yes, First Lieutenant Lin! ======================== *****End Chapter-09***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-10***** ==================== Day of Rest ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Control Centre~~~~~ Lin: All ten levels of the nuclear shelter are clear. No sign of the enemy. O'Brian: And how are the medical facilities looking? Ed: Sector 1 Block D is a dedicated medical bay! Lin: It is well-stocked with anti-viral vaccines and a wide range of other medicies. The Laurentian government spared no expense in equipping this place... O'Brian: Then let's get the rear-guard units to bring Catleia and the other civilians here. Ed: Yes, Captain! Laurentian: Captain, we have received a report from the rear-guard units. Those bandits are attacking again! O'Brian: Again?! How did they sneak up on us without us noticing? Lin: We don't know. The radars showed nothing... O'Brian: All units prepare for battle! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Civilian: Th-They're back! We're done for! They'll kill us all! Laurentian: Calm down! Just follow the evacuation procedures we showed you... In the event of a serious attack, you will be able to escape safely. Catleia: ... ... ... ... Dr. Moritz: Catleia, you've been through a lot. Try to think of something you enjoy. For me, thinking of being in my lab with my rats always calms me down. Catleia: I-I'm okay. We must never give up... Dr. Moritz: You're right, of course. We can't give up hope. But I must confess, I'm not exactly optimistic about things right now... Drakov: Gaargh! Grrraaah! Har-har-har!!! Gaaaaaarrrrgh! Ed: The bandits are closing in on the civilians! They're going to attack! Drakov: Gaaaaaarrrgh! You're worried about those civilians? Any friend of yours is an enemy of mine! We'll show no mercy! Har-har-har!!! Prepare for the end! Gaaaaaarrrrgh! Ed: Stop! They're not involved in this! Leave the civilians in peace! Drakov: Do you thik we're following rule book here? Har-har-har!!! Those civilians helped you and they are going to pay for it! Gaargh! Ed: Why...you... I won't let it happen! We're going to stop you! Drakov: Har-har-har!!! I'd like to see you try! Gaaaaaarrrrgh! Come on! *****Day one***** =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: First Lieutenant Lin... Catleia: ...and Catleia present... Lin: ...the Top Tactical... Catleia: ...Tip Corner! Lin: We rehearsed that, you know! Anyway, on with the tactics talk... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Firstly, you need to get your frontline units to fall back immediately. Use units with firepower to build a line of defence by the central mountains. All the while, you should watch out for enemy aerial units. Keep them away from your ground units by using planes and Anti-Air units... ...to attack them and keep them pinned down. Catleia: Capture the airport and factory to make indirect attack units and Tanks. Once you have built up your forces, head east... You'll find Bombers are effective against the enemy Mega Tank. ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: See you again next time. Catleia: Good luck! =====End Tactics===== *****An infantry dies***** Drakov: Har-har-har!!! How'd you like that? There's more where that came from! The civilians don't have a hope! It's all over for them! Gaaaarrrrgh! Ed: They have to get out of there! Can you hear me? Begin evacuation procedures! I repeat... Begin evacuation procedures! Dr Mortiz! Catleia! Answer me! You have to get out of there! Drakov: Har-har-har!!! It's too late for them! You're wasting your breath! And now that we've taken care of them, it's your turn! Ed: B-But how? How could you do something like that? Drakov: Har-har-har!!! Because we can! They helped you out and we made them pay the price for it! And you couldn't do a thing to protect them! Har-har-har!!! How do you like that, boy? Ed: Y-You will pay for this! I'll make sure of that! Drakov: Are you threatening me?! Ed: Everything you said was true. I didn't know what war really was... But now I do! You took innocent lives, and I will make you pay for it! I never wanted to fight before, but now I do - to rid the world of you. You must be punished! Drakov: Gaaaaaarrrrgh! You're all talk! Show me what you've got! *****Independent Legion wins***** Drakov: Gaaaaaarrrrgh! Noooooo!!! Stolos: It seems my little experiment has come to an untimely end. Oh well... Sergeant Drakov, you have served your purpose well... But you are no longer of any use to me. Your life is of no consequence... Ed: Is there anyone there? Did anyone manage to escape? There's no response... It's no use! I couldn't save anyone! Dr. Moritz: Don't be so negative, Ed! We saw all that you did to defeat the bandits... Ed: Dr. Moritz! Dr. Moritz: Now, come and get us right away! There are many casualties. And I'm afraid that Catleia is not in good shape... *****Independent Legion loses***** Ed: Catleia... I'm so sorry... Drakov: Gaargh! Grrraaah! Har-har-har!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ed: We must never give up hope. ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Control Centre~~~~~ Lin: The casualties are currently being treated. The civilians came through largely unharmed. O'Brian: Where's Ed? Lin: He's with Catleia. Her condition has deteriorated badly. She was hurt in the battle, and the Floral Virus is continuing to develop. O'Brian: Will she pull through? Lin: She has a 50/50 chance of surviving. We have to leave her to Dr Moritz. ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Medical Bay~~~~~ Ed: ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Dr. Moritz: Ed, you've been waiting there for hours... Ed: Doctor, is Catleia okay? Dr. Moritz: I'm sorry, Ed... I don't know if I'm the right person to tell this to you... Ed: What?! You mean?! No! It's not possible! Dr. Moritz: I don't think I'm the best person to say this... I just think you'd rather hear the news from Catleia herself! Ha ha ha!!! Catleia: Ed... Ed: Catleia! Catleia: I made a full recovery! I owe it all to the doctor's help and everyone's kindness. Ed: That's great news! Catleia: I'm going to be fine... ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Control Centre~~~~~ O'Brian: Dr Moritz, you should have just come straight out and told Ed she was better. Dr. Moritz: Oh come on! I just wanted to make it a bit more dramatic, that's all! You have to admit that I really built up the suspense! O'Brian: You're really unbelievable... Lin: So there is no risk of infection from her? Dr. Moritz: Right. All malignant traces of the virus have left the patient's system, meaning... O'Brian: Meaning she's okay? Dr. Moritz: Yes, to put it simply! I must confess, it was touch and go there for a while. I thought she might not make it. But her body fought back against the virus. It was almost as if she chose life... I was astonished by the speed of her recovery. Truly extraordinary... O'Brian: Sounds like a miraculous recovery! I guess Ed's prayers were answered... Dr. Moritz: Well, as a doctor I can't accept such explanations, but who knows? I certainly can't take credit for her recovery. She did that herself. Anyway, all's well that ends well, right? Ha ha ha!!! ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Living Quarters~~~~~ Mayor: What have you been doing, O'Brian? Why didn't you report to me sooner? O'Brian: Don't worry. Everything's fine. The girl made a full recovery... Mayor: I couldn't care less about that! Tell us about the food situation! Have you found the Bio-Crops yet? O'Brian: Yes, they have been located. You'll be happy to learn that they will be able to provide enough food for all of us. Mayor: Ah, I see... But actually, O'Brian... As the civilians' representative, I need to discuss something with you... O'Brian: What's that? Mayor: It's about this shelter. Can it really support this many people living here? We were thinking that half of the people currently here need to leave... O'Brian: What?! That won't be necessary. This shelter has enough space for all of us. Mayor: O'Brian, you don't understand. I am speaking on behalf of the entire civilian population. And on top of that, we feel that having soldiers here causes a lot of problems... We don't want to get caught up in your fighting anymore. We've all had enough. O'Brian: Get to the point, Mayor! Mayor: O'Brian, your Legion has weapons and military training. You can survive anywhere. But we are helpless. We won't be able to survive outside the safety of the shelter. The question is, who should remain here? We believe the answer is clear... What do you think, everyone? How about putting it to the vote and deciding democratically? Lin: That's not reasonable. You and the other civilians form the overwhelming majority. You must also factor in those troops who are too injured to be involved in any vote. To make use of that to boost your majority is dishonourable in the extreme. Mayor: Are you not listening to me? I am not deciding anything... I am merely saying that the only way to decide is democratically. One person, one vote! What is your alternative? You think because you are armed, you can push us around? O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Lin: Who is pushing who around?! O'Brian: Lin, calm down. Mayor: So, it's decided. We vote and the majority rules. Does that sound fair to everyone? Hands up who wants the soldiers to leave the shelter! Come on, let's see your hands! Civilian: ... ... ... ... Youth: ... ... ... ... Mayor: Come on! What's the matter?! Why...?! Come on! Do as I told you! Woman: These people fought for us! They risked their lives for us! Youth: Some of their comrades didn't make it back from the battle. And you want us to throw them out? Woman: I want to live here alongside these soldiers! Civilian: Me too! O'Brian: Are you listening, Mayor? Lin: It looks like we have a clear result... Mayor: B-B-But how can you...? Wh-What are you thinking?! Alright! Do as you please! I don't care! O'Brian: I am grateful to all of you. Since the meteor strikes, I have devoted myself to helping the survivors. Perhaps most of the people we helped did not survive for long after that... ...and there have been times I have questioned the value of what I am doing. But listening to all of you, I now know that it was worth it. Thank you all. Lin: Captain O'Brian... ~~~~~Nuclear Shelter Medical Bay~~~~~ Ed: So we'll be able to stay here together for the time being. There is plenty of food. We are safe... Catleia: We can stay here together...? I had nothing... I didn't who I was... I didn't know where I had been... And yet, you let me join you and now you say I can live together with all of you. Is it really okay? Ed: Of course. You recovered from the virus, and you will get your memory back soon! Catleia: I believe you. But I don't need my memory back... All I need to know is that I am here, with all of you... Ed: But without memories... Catleia: You have already given me so many wonderful memories. I will treasure them. I will never forget all you have done, and all you have taught me. Ed: Catleia... Er... First Lieutenant Lin, are you here by any chance? Lin: How did you know? Ed: I just had this feeling you were here. Why did you feel the need to eavesdrop? Lin: Do you have a problem with that? Is there something I shouldn't hear? Ed: No, of course not... But it was a private conversation... Lin: I've got orders from Captain O'Brian. Everyone must report to Block A immediately. If we're going to live here, there's a lot that needs to be discussed... Ed: Understood! I'm on my way. Let's go Catleia! Catleia: Yes, sir! ======================== *****End Chapter-10***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-11***** ==================== Storm Clouds ~~~~~Coast - Former Laurentia-Zephyrus Border~~~~~ O'Brian: Any news, Ed? Ed: No. We found no one in the port... O'Brian: I see. So there's no one here either... But we must keep looking... Ed: It's been a whole year since the meteors struck, and still we can't see the sun. How long is it going to take before the clouds clear and it returns to normal? O'Brian: Never give up hope, Ed. The sun will break through again. We need to increase the range of our search, even if it takes us away from the shelter. Lin, how is the supply situation looking? Lin: We have enough for another three months. But recently, more and more refugees have been coming to the shelter. It's already occupied far beyond its capacity and yet they keep on coming... If we continue taking them all in, the burden will become too great. O'Brian: But we can't turn them away. Ed, how are things among the civilian population? Ed: Everyone seems to be getting along well and they're all helping each other. But they don't know how low food supplies are running... Lin: There is a faction among the civilians centred on the village mayor. They lounge around doing nothing, relying on us for their food and safety. If they knew that we are short of supplies, they would no doubt turn on the new-comers... The more people that come, the smaller their share will inevitably become... There are already severe tensions and this situation could deteriorate... Ed: I'll do whatever I can to prevent that! We will find a new place to live... We don't need to fight among ourselves. I'll continue searching the area! Lin: I'm concerned that Ed is pushing himself too hard. I appreciate that he wants to help, but he puts himself under a lot of pressure. O'Brian: He still sees himself more as a civilian than as a soldier. That's why he is so concerned that the other civilians might become a burden to us. Lin: He doesn't make things easy for himself... O'Brian: He certainly doesn't. Lin: Captain, I forgot to ask you. Have you heard the rumours from the refugees... ...about the huge war raging in the north? O'Brian: War? But there are no nations anymore. Who would have started a war? Lin: As you say, after the meteors struck, our nations and their armies collapsed. But rumour has it the survivors have been gathering... And that they have been brought together into a large-scale army. But this remains an unconfirmed rumour. Ed: Captain! O'Brian: What is it, Ed? Ed: Ships have been sighted off the coast! It seems that former Laurentian units are under enemy attack! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Cole: H-H-Help! Captain O'Brian! O'Brian: Cole?! Can that really be you?! Ed: You know him, Captain? O'Brian: Yes, he used to be under my command. Cole: We're under attack by the Zephyrians! Captain O'Brian, you have to help! O'Brian: Why do the Zephyrians insist on keeping this futile war going? Cole: P-Please, Captain O'Brian! Do something before it's too late! O'Brian: Hang on, Cole. We're going in! *****Day one***** Lin: Remember that on the map we are the red force, while our enemies are blue. Cole's forces are yellow. Don't forget that they are our allies. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: Welcome to Lin's Counseling Corner. I have a special guest today... Cole: Ummm... Hello. My name is Cole. I work for Admiral Sigismundo. Lin: So, let's discuss battle strategy. Cole: Ummm... I thought that you would listen to my problems... You see, I've had a lot on my mind recently and I wanted someone to... Lin: If you want to talk, I won't stop you... Cole: Hey! I'm opening my heart up here! You don't sound that interested! Anyway, my boss keeps losing his temper with me, and I'm not sure why... Lin: Now, moving on to battle tactics... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Mobile Workshops can build Temporary Ports on Shoals. Missile Boats have 1 shot - so resupply using Mobile Workshops or at ports. Transport ground units to the central peninsula using Landers. Combine Missile Boats and Rockets for powerful attacks on enemy Cruisers. ~~~~~Flash to Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: That's all for today. Cole: Ummm... Can I tell you about my problems now? I need to find someone who'll share my burden... Lin: I'm afraid you'll have to keep looking. Cole: B-But, I thought you were different... Lin: I'm afraid there are limits to my patience. The tactic talk is over for today! =====End Tactics===== *****Missile Boat is selected***** Catleia: Missile Boats can attack other naval units. They are armed with just one missile, so think carefully before you use it... They can also transport one Infantry or Bazooka unit. Lin: ... ... ... ... Ed: Are you okay, First Lieutenant Lin? Lin: I'm fine... It's just that with Catleia taking over as teacher, I feel like a spare part... Ed: Don't say that! *****Lander is selected***** Ed: Tell me more about this unit... Lin: This is a Lander. Ed: Ummm... First Lieutenant Lin, could you give me a few more details please? Lin: Of course, I am well-versed in naval units as I am in ground forces... But I'll give Catleia a chance to explain further. Over to you... Catleia: You can load up two ground units onto a Lander at any one time. If you move the Lander to a Shoal, you can load and drop units. *****Day one, New Laurentian Army***** Cole: My forces have been heavily damaged! It's up to you to engage the enemy! My priority is to protect my forces and keep them out of harm's way... *****Day one, Zephyrian forces***** Zadia: More Laurentians joining the fight? That's great news! Come on, my fellow Zephyrians! Let's wipe them all out! *****Independent Legion wins***** Trak: Zadia, we have to retreat. Zadia: Why, Trak, why?! We could call for reinforcements! I want to fight on! Trak: Those are General Carter's orders. Zadia: But...why?! The dregs of the Laurentian army are sitting ducks! We must destroy them! Trak: Zadia, are you disobeying a direct order from General Carter? Zadia: No, of course not... Trak: You're too emotional. Feelings have no place on the battlefield. Stay calm, follow orders and wipe the enemy out. That is our only task. Zadia: Y-You're right... But mark my words! I will have my revenge on the Laurentians! *****Independent Legion loses***** Lin: I don't know anything about naval battles. It costs us lives. Davis: Oh, man! This is it, man! We're goin' down! Somebody save us, man! ...Anyone? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lin: In naval battles too, the best mind wins. ~~~~~Independent Legion Headquarters~~~~~ Cole: It's been a while, hasn't it, Captain? O'Brian: Cole, it's good to see you alive and well. Cole: I now have a force under the leadership of Admiral Sigismundo. I have been looking for you, Captain O'Brian. I heard that your Legion was in this area. I'll come straight out and say it - we want you and your Legion to join us. O'Brian: Explain. Cole: A major war has begun between the remnants of the Laurentian and Zephyrian armies. We have formed the New Laurentian Army, and are battling against our old enemy. O'Brian: ...War?! You are still at war?! Why?! Who started it?! To what ends are you fighting it?! Cole: Needless to say, it was the Zephyrians who started it. We must defeat them. The Zephyrian forces are led by the legendary General Carter, their foremost military hero. They have united around him and their morale is high. We are in a bad position... O'Brian: Continue. Cole: Captain, we have ample supplies. We have food, fuel, weaponry... If you join us, we can guarantee that you will face no more shortages. They can all live in comfort. O'Brian: "They"? Who do you mean? Cole: Captain, it is well known that you have been aiding large numbers of refugees and survivors. But you can't have unlimited supplies of food. For their sake, join us! O'Brian: It's true that we are concerned by our dwindling supplies of food. But... Cole: Captain, we need your help just as you need ours... We are fellow Laurentians. All that has happened has not altered that fact. Please, join us Captain O'Brian. ======================== *****End Chapter-11***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-12***** ==================== History of Hatred ~~~~~New Laurentian Army Headquarters~~~~~ Cole: Admiral Sigismundo, the Independent Legion has arrived. Sigismundo: Good. Send in O'Brian. O'Brian: ... ... ... ... Sigismundo: Captain O'Brian, leader of the 12th Independent Laurentian Legion. So you're still alive... O'Brian: So it seems... Sigismundo: I remember you well. A brave soldier, let down by severe ideological problems... You always seemed to lack patriotism and devotion to the Laurentian cause... O'Brian: The Independent Legion always fought with honour and respect for the rules of war... Sigismundo: The rules of war? Truly, you belong to another age, Captain O'Brian... Cole: Is everything okay? You both seem a little tense. We're all Laurentians. We have to pull together against the common enemy... Finn: He's right! This isn't the place for high-falutin' talk about ideology and patriotism... First we wipe out the Zephyrians, then we can talk all we want. Right, Captain? O'Brian: It's you... Finn: The one and only! I'm sure you haven't forgotten your pal, Finn. Thanks for getting me out of a fix that time... O'Brian: So you joined Sigismundo's forces after all? I thought you might... Finn: It was just too tempting. I'm living in the lap of luxury now! The military top brass are treated like royalty. I've got all I want! I can do what I want, and the weak are too frightened of me to complain. O'Brian: I expected nothing more from you... Cole: The Admiral has gathered the former army and forged the New Laurentian Army... In order to stand up to the enemy, we needed a hero to take charge... Sigismundo: Our only enemy is the Zephyrians. The world will not be at peace until they are wiped from the face of the planet. Cole: Until we deal with the threat posed by the Zephyrians, war will not end. This war is for peace. It was forced upon us by our enemies... Captain, will you join us? O'Brian: Okay, Cole. I understand. I don't want this war to go on any longer than necessary. And if my joining you will hasten the end of the fighting, then I agree. Cole: Thank you, Captain O'Brian! Sigismundo: Your first mission is to head to the Barum Sea, where enemy units have been spotted. Send them a clear signal that you are now fighting on our side. O'Brian: Let's bring this war to an end... Sigismundo: He remains insolent and severely lacking in Laurentian moral fibre... Cole: But he still knows how to fight. For now, let's make use of him... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ O'Brian: Have all units been deployed? Lin: Yes, they are awaiting orders. O'Brian: The Zephyrian forces will be unforgiving if we make any wrong moves. Admiral Sigismundo has lent us troops, but we still face a formidable foe. Ed: Captain O'Brian. O'Brian: What is it, Ed? Ed: Why did the Zephyrians start this war again? What do they want? The world we knew has been destroyed! What reason is there for more war? O'Brian: I'm sure they saw the war as unfinished business... As a soldier, I must confess that I can understand that feeling... Ed: But I still don't get it... O'Brian: Ed, I sympathise with you. I know that this war seems futile... We already fought on and off with the Zephyrians for over a century. The meteors changed so much - but not the hatred between the two nations. Our words along cannot end wars, or the world would be at peace. Ed: I know. But still... O'Brian: Look, in order to bring this war to an end, one side must emerge victorious. We must force the enemy to surrender. As soldiers, what else can we do? Now, let's move! *****Day one***** *****Submarine is selected***** Lin: Avoid enemy detection by ensuring you dive straight after moving your sub. *****Battleship is selected***** Lin: Battleships are the only units that can launch indirect attacks after moving. Utilise them well and you can completely change the outcome of a battle. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Lin: Welcome to Lin's Counseling Corner. I have a special guest today... Catleia: Hello! It's me, Catleia! Lin: So, tell us what's on your mind at the moment. Catleia: I just want to be helpful so I was wondering if you could teach me... ...how to cook. Lin: I see. You want to make delicious meals to keep our troops happy. Okay, let's see what advice I can give you... Catleia: Thank you so much! Lin: To master the art of battlefield cuisine... ...you need to learn how to cook a good mouse stew... Catleia: M-Mouse stew?! Lin: That's right! Mice are an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Catleia: I-I'll do my best... Lin: Now, while the mouse is cooking, let's discuss some battlefield tactics... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Submarines should dive and aim to take out enemy Battleships. Your Battleship should focus first on enemy Cruisers and Battleships. Your Cruiser should aim their fire on Submarines to begin with. Battle Helicopters make good walls, but should avoid attacking Cruisers. Use Fighters to attack the enemy Bomber. That's it for now. Is something burning...? Catleia: Er... Lin: Well, it's not bad for a first attempt, I suppose. Who's for mouse stew? Catleia: Thank you very much! But maybe next time you could teach me some other dishes? Lin: Certainly. Snake, frog, bear... Which one do you prefer? Catleia: ... ... ... ... Can I get back to you later? ~~~~~Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: That's enough for today. Catleia: I'm not sure the troops are going to enjoy my new recipe... =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Finn's forces***** Finn: Woo-hoo! Let's hit them where it hurts! *****Day one, Zephyrian forces***** Zadia: Requesting permission to engage the Laurentian forces. Carter: Permission granted. Stolos: General Carter, if you like I can boost your chances of victory... I have prepared some extra-special gifts for you... Carter: Gifts? Stolos: How does this one tempt you? A weapon with the power to freeze troops solid on the battlefield. It uses a specially developed formula created in my laboratories... Carter: No more of this! Weapons of that type are banned under international law. Stolos: International law? What does that mean now? There is no law in this world! Anything that increases your chances of victory is permitted! Carter: I am a soldier, Stolos. You clearly are not. A soldier fights with honour. I will not sully the proud name of Zephyrus with your foul weapons... Stolos: Perhaps the time for these weapons has not yet come... Carter: Doctor, I am grateful for the aid you have given my army. Thanks to you, we now occupy a position of superiority over Laurentia. But I simply will not countenance the use of the weapons you speak of... Stolos: That is deeply regrettable... Zadia: General Carter, leave it to me! I'll wipe out these filthy Laurentians! Just watch me... *****Day two***** Ed: I want to speak to the Zephyrian Commander. Can you hear me? Why are we fighting? The war is over. Victory and defeat don't matter. Zadia: Huh?! Wait a second...! Is that you, Jonathan?! Ed: Who?! Zadia: No, no - that's impossible. Jonathan is... Ed: What are you talking about?! Zadia: This is Flight Lieutenant Zadia of the Zephyrian Airborne. Identify yourself! Ed: I am Ed, a member of the 12th Independent Laurentian Legion. But I didn't come here to fight! The war is over! Zadia: It's not over... This is about revenge. We fight until Laurentia is destroyed. Ed: I know our two nations have been at war since before we were both born. We have all lost friends and family... It's not easy to simply stop fighting. But to fight for revenge? That won't bring back the people we've lost. Zadia: You think revenge is meaningless...? You think we can just let it go...? Wake up! As if you could just forgive and forget! You hypocrite! Ed: I'm not a hypocrite! Zadia: You're just a kid. What do you know about war or revenge? You were taught right from wrong, but have those beliefs been tested? Those shallow, pretty words of yours are completely worthless! Jonathan was my brother. He was killed by the Laurentian Army! I cannot forgive the Laurentian Army. Revenge will be mine! Ed: But wait...! Zadia: I've said all I have to say. I've no time to talk to a kid! Prepare for annihilation! *****If Finn's Forces are destroyed***** Finn: Woo-hoo! Looks like my goose is cooked! Let's get out of here! Retreat! *****Independent Legion wins***** Zadia: Lost! To the filthy Laurentians! I'm so sorry, General Carter. I will make this up to you... *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Will: How could I lose... Tasha: YES! Revenge! Revenge is mine! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory Page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ed: How long must this war go on...? ~~~~~Independent Legion Base Camp~~~~~ O'Brian: The battle is over. Our priority is attending to the casualties... Ed: Okay, let's split up into gropus and begin searching for casualties... ~~~~~Barum Coast~~~~~ Finn: So, it looks like the good Captain is still keeping you as a pet. I was impressed to see you running around helping the casualties. Ed: Captain Finn? Finn: No need to sound so unfriendly! How is the good Captain? Still think he can save the world? Ed: Never speak badly of Captain O'Brian! Finn: What?! Ed: You can say what you like about me, but never speak badly of Captain O'Brian. Finn: Sorry, kid! I was just fooling around! Don't take it so seriously! I've come to tell you that Admiral Sigismundo wants to see you... Ed: Admiral Sigismundo wants to see me?! Finn: Apparently so. And he's not a man you want to keep waiting... So hit the road and send the great man my regards... What?! Are you still here?! ~~~~~New Laurentian Army Headquarters~~~~~ Ed: You wanted to see me, Admiral. Sigismundo: Ah, yes. Ed, wasn't it? You kept a cool head in that battle. Commanding an army at your age is no mean feat. I must say, I'm impressed. But then, you are Laurentian and the proud blood of our nation flows in your veins. Ed: Umm... Th-Thank you... Sigismundo: But I didn't summon you here just to praise you. What do you think of the world as it is now, Ed? What do you think of the destruction which gave birth to this new world we live in? Ed: I think everything that's happened is terrible... Sigismundo: Wrong. You've made a fundamental error. Ed: An error? Sigismundo: The weak view this destruction as a terrible event. Some defeatists even think we deserved it... But they are all wrong. Everything that has happened has been a test... Ed: A test...? Sigismundo: Yes, a test to see who is worthy of survival. The weak see it as a catastrophe. The strong see it as an opportunity. And you, Ed, are one of the strong. You passed the test with flying colours. Ed: B-But, all those people who lost their lives! All of the destruction and chaos... Sigismundo: It is natural that the weak should perish... Ed: H-How can you...? Sigismundo: The world as it is now demands strength. It demands the strength of the Laurentians. The long years of war with the Zephyrians and the destruction that followed were tests. Those who cannot cope with the harsh reality of today will not survive. We will... Ed: ...No! You're wrong! Sigismundo: What did you say?! Ed: Both of my parents lost their lives in the war. None of my instructors or fellow students at the Military Academy survived the meteors... You think it is natural that they died?! You're wrong! I'm not afraid to say it! You can't say it was a test! Sigismundo: W-Why you insolent, wretched...! How dare you address a superior like that?! Ed: ... ... ... ... Sigismundo: It looks like I was wrong about you. I thought you were different from O'Brian... It looks like he has brainwashed you to believe that nonsense about protecting the innocent. Get out of my sight! ======================== *****End Chapter-12***** ======================== ==================== *****Chapter-13***** ==================== Rearguard Action ~~~~~New Laurentian Army Headquarters~~~~~ Sigismundo: How are things on the battlefront? Cole: Thanks to the efforts of all our units, we are managing to repel the Zephyrian threat. Captain O'Brian and his Legion have fought bravely and we couldn't have done it without... Sigismundo: I didn't call you here to listen to you sing O'Brian's praises! Where are the 12th Independent Legion now? Cole: The Shard Coast, looking for the enemy... Sigismundo: Send units to assist them. But I want to make it clear to O'Brian that I am in control. He will obey my orders to the letter during the next battle... Cole: B-but, Admiral... Sigismundo: An army needs discipline. Don't you agree, Cole? Rogue elements like O'Brians Legion must be brought under our tight control. Cole: Y-yes, sir! You're absolutely right... ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ *****Day one***** Ed: Captain, we have completed the capture of the port. Now we can produce naval units here! O'Brian: Good work. But the enemy possesses ports too. This will be a long battle. Lin: We have received military support and some funds from Admiral Sigismundo... But I think it is mostly for show. I doubt he really supports the Legion... That's why we can't rely on hand-outs. We need to secure our own funds... O'Brian: Right. Capture neutral bases and don't let the enemy take them from us! *****Select Carrier unit***** Lin: Carriers can produce Ship Planes. Produce Ship Planes to give your air force a significant boost. =====Tactics Briefing Room===== Ed: Huh? Where's First Lieutenant Lin? Lin: ...Sorry I'm late! Ed: Where did you go? You know, there's something different about you today... Catleia: Oh, Ed! It's you! Ed: Catleia! What are you two up to? Lin: We may be in the middle of a war, but it's not good to neglect your appearance. We were just exchanging some make-up tips, to look good on the battlefield... Catleia: I have forgotten so much. First Lieutenant Lin was just showing me the basics... Make-up, hair, nails - I'm very grateful to her! Ed: Make-up?! Are you sure there's nothing more important you should be doing? Lin: Please leave the prioritising of tasks to your superiors. Ed: I understand! My apologies! ~~~~~Flash to Field~~~~~ Lin: Missile Boats can transport troops. Use them to secure the islands. Who knows which units that devious Sigismundo will target next? To counteract his orders, we need to produce a wide variety of unit types. Ed: Understood! Lin: Sink the enemy Carriers and Battleship with your Sub and Battleship... Then station your Carrier, Sub, and Mob. Workshop on the western island. That will prevent enemy naval units from sailing through these waters. Your Battleship and Ship Planes can hit enemy ground units near their HQ. Transport your ground forces and focus on capturing the enemy HQ. That is all. Now back to our make-up... Ed: I'm saying nothing! ~~~~~Briefing Room~~~~~ Lin: So don't you have something you should be doing? Or did you want some make-up tips? Ed: No! No! I'll be okay... Lin: So anyway, Catleia, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted... If you want to look cool-headed and collected in the heat of battle... Catleia: Wait, I'm going to take notes... Ed: I'm going to leave now! You're right. This isn't the place for me. =====End Tactics===== *****Day one, Greyfield's forces***** Sigismundo: New Laurentian Army, advance! Failure will not be tolerated! Prove yourselves worthy of my glorious leadership! *****Day three, (And every three days from now)***** Sigismundo: Report on the units in O'Brian's Legion. In which units does their strength lie? (Random Unit name)Infantry units? Understood. Ensure you relay my orders tomorrow... *****Before Day four***** NLA Guard: Captain O'Brian! Orders from Admiral Sigismundo... Your Independent Legion must obey all of his orders during the battle... O'Brian: What?! This is our battle! Why is he interfering?! NLA Guard: I am simply communicating the Admiral's express wishes... If you don't obey his orders, he will blame me for neglecting my duty... Ed: So what you're saying is that if we don't follow his orders, you will be... O'Brian: ...Executed. It looks like we don't have a choice. The Admiral clearly doesn't like me... Ed: No, Captain. It's all my fault! I showed disloyalty to the Admiral... O'Brian: Ed, don't blame yourself. We must accept things as they are. We must obey Sigismundo's orders, and ensure the safety of our troops! Ed: Yes, Captain! *****Day four***** Sigismundo: (Previously mentioned unit) Infantry units remain stationary! Don't move an inch without my say so! *****Day four, Lazurian forces***** Trak: Some of the enemy units are behaving in an odd manner... Zadia: Does that mean there is disunity in the enemy ranks? Trak: It's difficult to say. But our job is not to speculate about this or that... We simply have to carry out the orders we have been given... *****Before Day six***** Ed: I want to speak to the Zephyrian Commander. Can you hear me? Trak: ... ... ... ... Ed: I can't hear anything... But the lines of communication should be open... Trak: ... ... ... ... What do you want? Ed: Y-You're there! You heard me! Trak: I'm switching the intercom off now... Ed: Wait a second! I have to talk to you! Why did the Zephyrians start this war again? I have to know! Trak: I am a soldier. My job is to obey orders. Ed: Orders? But Zephyrus is destroyed! Neither of our nations exist now, yet we are still at war?! Whatever orders you are following there is still no reason to fight. Trak: ... ... ... ... Ed: You must have thought about this! You must know this war is pointless! Trak: It's not my job to decide whether something is or isn't pointless. We are not paid to think... If every soldier did what they thought was best, an army would collapse... An army is nothing more than a tool which the government uses... Ed: But there is no government now! Why are you obeying orders?! Trak: It is not my job to think about that. *****Before Day eight***** NLA Guard: I have been given a new order from Admiral Sigismundo to relay to you... O'Brian: ...Not again! Why is he telling us not to move units during a battle. He's risking our lives! Ed: Captain, we can do it! Our Legion will not be beaten by the Zephyrians. Or by Sigismundo... Laurentian: Captain, he's right! We can win this! *****Independent Legion wins***** Trak: The Laurentians seemed to be moving their troops in an odd manner... Keeping certain units stationary seemed futile, but clearly it was their plan... We have no chance against this enemy. We should retreat immediately... *****If Brenner's Wolves lose***** Brenner: I let my troops down... I let everyone down... Gage: This is a hollow victory. The enemy command was in disarray. I take no pleasure from this... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~Victory page~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O'Brian: Tell Sigismundo what has happened here... ~~~~~New Laurentian Army Headquarters~~~~~ NLA Guard: Admiral Sigismundo, the Independent Legion were again victorious. They obeyed your orders and were able to repel the Zephyrian forces... Sigismundo: Grrrr... I see... NLA Guard: Admiral? You seem displeased... Sigismundo: Er... No, no - I am only displeased that the Zephyrians remain at large. Until they are wiped from the face of the planet, we will know no peace... ~~~~~A village on the coast~~~~~ Civilian: It's you! You've returned! Catleia: What do you mean?! Wh-Who are you? Civilian: Ah, perhaps you don't remember me. I used to run the bakery in the city that once stood near here... Catleia: I-I'm sorry... I am afraid I don't remember anything... Ed: Wait! You know her?! You know Catleia?! Tell me! She has lost her memory. Maybe you could tell us who she is... Civilian: She lost her memory? I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm afraid I won't be much use to you... I just saw this girl and her family a few times in the street... Ed: Family...? Civilian: I seem to remember you had an older sister, a younger sister...and a brother! Catleia: Brother...? Sisters...? Can it be true? Ed: Do you know anything about her brother and sisters - their names or whereabouts? Civilian: I don't think anyone here will know that. I'm not sure what the best way to tell you this is but... Everyone was... Everyone was frightened of your family... Catleia: Frightened?! But why? Civilian: Ummm... It's difficult to say this to your face, but it's just... Catleia: Tell me! I want to know! I remember nothing! You have to tell me... Civilian: Well, there were all sorts of strange rumours flying about... People said that the four of you were... ...not human! They said you were monsters! Catleia: ...Monsters?! Civilian: Please don't take it to heart! But there were other rumours... I heard that a bunch of tough guys caused you trouble...and they all died mysteriously. I heard that if you came close to weapons, they might be accidently triggered... Catleia: ... ... ... ... Civilian: Look, these are only rumours... I'm sure there's no truth in them! Catleia: ... ... ... ... Ed: Catleia... Catleia: Ed! Tell me! Who on Earth am I?! ======================== *****End Chapter-13***** ======================== ================= Credits ================= Intelligent Systems - for their great game. GFAQs - for hosting this omgElliot - for helping with mistakes.</p>