Operation story: 10-16

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Injured Victorian Soldier icon.png
Rescued Soldier
Eartha Partisan A icon.png
Self-Salvation Corps Soldier
Male Victorian Soldier icon.png
Victorian Officer
Confessarius Guard icon.png
Confessarius Guard
Sarkaz Warrior icon.png
Sarkaz Warrior
Londinium Fortifications Indoor
Londinium Fortifications
Londinium Tube

After operation

Siege, who stayed behind to help the Self-Salvation Corps' retreat, along with Clovisia's forces, are pursued by the Sarkaz Sanguinarch.
<Background 1>
[A Victorian Army officer is arguing with a Kazdelian Sarkaz soldier.]
Victorian Officer Do we... Do we need to keep increasing our reload rate?
Are you seriously trying to eradicate every mobile plate in the city?
Sarkaz Warrior Got a problem with the general's orders?
Victorian Officer I... I'm just concerned that bombardment on this scale will have an effect on the walls...
Nothing like this has ever happened before. If Londinium wants to swap out plates inside the city, we'd simultaneously have to shift around the walls...
Sarkaz Warrior Didn't ask.
Are you going to obey, or are you going to die? Those are your only two options.
Victorian Officer I...
[The Sarkaz soldier draws his sword...]
Sarkaz Warrior What's the matter?
[...as Horn reveals herself...]
Horn I think he still has a third option.
[...and the officer attacks the Sarkaz soldier...]
Sarkaz Warrior You––! Urgh...
[...killing him.]
Horn Can you still stand, Captain?
Victorian Officer I... I'll be alright. Who are you?
Horn An old battle buddy.
Sarkaz Warrior Over here! Someone snuck in!
Sarkaz Warrior This shield? Where the hell did Victorian soldiers come from––
[Horn takes out the Sarkaz soldiers with her hand cannon.]
Horn It feels pretty nice to use a weapon I'm familiar with.
Captain, can this model of cannon... take out the control system of the city defense artillery?
Victorian Officer No... It's not possible...
Horn I was expecting as much.
Rescued Soldier Horn, we've mopped up the Sarkaz outside!
Horn Make sure to thank Mr. Misery again on my behalf.
Captain, is there any other way to deactivate the artillery?
Victorian Officer ......
Horn No need for the long face. You've been praying that we'd come.
After all, you didn't even cover up your old ID from the city defense forces.
Victorian Officer This is just a blunder. The Sarkaz... won't kill me over something like this yet.
Horn But if you help us, you'll be put to death?
Victorian Officer And my family too.
They'll get dragged in. The Sarkaz can kill them off at any time.
Horn I understand.
[Horn orders one of her comrades.]
Horn Carle, put your sights on this traitor.
Rescued Soldier Um, Lieutenant... Where am I supposed to aim...?
Victorian Officer Here. At my heart.
If I die... Perhaps only then, the Sarkaz will forget about me, and stop haunting my family.
Horn ......
If you've made up your mind, we'll work with you.
Victorian Officer Alright. Thank you, Lieutenant.
If you want to turn off the cannons, there are only two ways.
One, is to have the Sarkaz general stop them himself... The other, is to completely destroy the control room.
Horn For the first method to work, we'll have to defeat Manfred.
Victorian Officer That's right. As for the second option... We don't have enough firepower. And besides... Are you prepared to tear down a cornerstone of Londinium's walls with your own hands?
Horn ......
I know it's what we should do.
What about you, Captain? Are you prepared?
Victorian Officer I've been waiting for this moment... for a long time.
[Horn fires at the officer before he could do something against her, but missing his vitals and incapacitating him.]
Rescued Soldier Lieutenant, you missed.
Horn Bloody hell, I suppose my hand slipped.
Help him down the lift. Whether he lives or dies... should be in his own hands.
Too much has happened on these walls today. We don't need to add another traitor.
Rescued Soldier What about us? Should we head up as well?
Horn Let's go. We're going to pay Manfred another visit.
<Background 2>
[The elevator is taking the Doctor, Amiya, Closure, and Feist to the surface.]
Closure Woah, this lift is going up way too fast––
Feist L-Let's not talk right now... or I might vomit all over the Doctor.
After all, we've been dragged several hundred meters via zipline...
Doctor Don't do that again. / You'll get used to it.
Amiya Everyone catch your bearings? Enemies are approaching!
[Sarkaz soldiers rushed to the elevator's exit.]
Sarkaz Warrior We've got more intruders here! Report to the general immediately!
Doctor Amiya, intercept the attack!
[Amiya uses her Arts to protect the group from the Sarkaz soldiers' attack.]
Doctor We'll catch up to the runner.
Amiya Closure, we need to find some way of shutting down those cannons––
If that means we have to take out Manfred, we'd better make it quick.
The longer we take, the more the remaining Self-Salvation Corps on the ground will be at risk.
<Background 3>
[The injured Hoederer rises up...]
Hoederer *cough* *cough*...... *cough* *cough* *cough*...
[...as a familiar woman shows up.]
??? To think you'd get blasted like this by a boy who's barely seen a fight... What an embarrassment you are.
Hoederer Even a tiny metal crab, when backed into a corner... will pinch your hand.
??? You'd better hope Manfred buys your story.
Hoederer You shouldn't be here. It's too risky.
??? So you'd rather lean against rubble gasping for breath than let me lend you a hand?
Hoederer *wheeze*... If you wanted to hold me up... the other side would be better.
Thanks to her, I can't move this arm anymore.
??? You ran into her. What did you think?
Hoederer Well, she noticed "Her Highness."
??? Then, she...
Hoederer Didn't change at all.
??? You're positive? We all saw what she was like back then.
Even when she was chasing down those assassins, her body riddled with wounds, could she have imagined... that Her Majesty wasn't dead?
Hoederer She's not the volatile, impulsive mercenary she used to be.
??? So, she's getting even crazier?
Hoederer Who can say?
The truth is in front of us. She snuck into Londinium by herself and didn't toss a single bomb for two weeks. Not even Manfred noticed her.
The way she was before, she would've rushed straight into Westhaleg and buried a hundred landmines under Theresis's throne before getting herself killed by Confessarii.
I can reasonably assume she's formed some wiser plans with those folks from Babel... Or rather, Rhodes Island.
??? You almost traded your life away just to make sure of that? Aren't you playing it a bit too fast-and-loose?
Hoederer Manfred's underlings always have eyes on me. This was the only safe way we could meet.
??? Too bad for Schwab...
Hoederer He made his peace the moment he sided with W.
Or should I say... We've all made our peace.
??? I sure hope so.
Hoederer Who's there?
??? I smell... Confessarius!
[A Confessarius Guard shows up.]
Confessarius Guard I told Manfred you can't be trusted.
Hoederer, did you really think you could hide your clever little gestures from our eyes?
Hoederer This is all a misunderstanding.
Confessarius Guard Oh? Unfortunately for you, you won't have another chance to twist words around in front of the leader and the Regent.
You don't need to pretend to bow your head anymore. Pick up your sword and revel in your last battle, mercenary.
Hoederer If that... is an order, then...
[The Guard strikes at Hoederer, who can't defend himself due to his injuries...]
Confessarius Guard You are powerless.
You can't hope to protect your companions.
Not a single shadow here... can escape my eyes.
[...allowing the Guard to slashes him.]
??? Hoederer...
Hoederer Run!
??? No, you're not giving the orders here. It cost us a lot to come this far––
Hoederer Even more reason why we can't both die here!
Confessarius Guard Worry not. I'll execute both of you here, together.
You may take a moment to decide who goes first––
[Suddenly the Guard is stabbed by someone from behind...]
Confessarius Guard Nngh?!
[...killing him.]
Hoederer He went down... without a struggle?
You... It's you.
[Ascalon reveals herself as the one who saves Hoederer.]
Ascalon He got too cocky.
No one can claim to master all shadows. Infinite possibilities lie where the eyes cannot perceive.
Hoederer *cough*... *cough* *cough* *cough*...
Ascalon Hurry, get out of here. If you want to live, return to the sunlight.
Hoederer What about you?
Ascalon I still have other things to do.
I'll have you know... Confessarii underlings aren't the only ones here.
<Background fades out and in>]
[The defense guns fires close to the Eartha hideout, the shock causing rubble to fall.]
Clovisia What's that sound?
Self-Salvation Corps Soldier Commander, the metal structure behind us just fell––
Clovisia That's not all...
Siege He's here.
Clovisia You feel it too?
Morgan Vina, I didn't hear anything except the sound of shelling.
Siege The sound of his heartbeat disappeared.
Morgan What?
Siege Run!!!
[Realizing a mortal danger is imminent, Siege and the Eartha partisans immediately run away.]
<Background fades out and in>
Clovisia We've lost contact with the 12th––
Siege They've all been sacrificed.
Clovisia Yes...
Their voices completely vanished.
Siege These... pitch-black pipes should amplify any and all sounds.
Breathing or footsteps, the clacking of a metal crab crawling through the pipe, or the rumble of machinery––
These pipes will record the vibrations of any signs of life.
And in an instant... all of those voices were devoured.
Morgan You mean to say, this darkness behind us––
Siege Is all the life it has devoured.
Clovisia Just like what happened at that banquet three months ago.
Engineering team, close the first safety lock!
Self-Salvation Corps Soldier Yes, Commander!
[The Eartha partisans seal the door.]
Clovisia Miss Siege, you've... got sharp senses.
Are you familiar with Londinium's underground structure?
I remember Feist saying... you're from around these parts?
Siege I've... only been here once.
But I've heard a lot of stories about these pipes.
Clovisia A hundred years ago, a terrible fire ripped through the heart of Londinium. Only the royal family and a few nobles managed to escape the flames.
After that, a legend began to circulate that a magic circle was hidden beneath the palace that could allow the royal family to escape any disaster.
When I first heard that story, I couldn't help but wonder... would our royal family also use these very same pipes for their escape?
Siege Hmm... The story I heard was very similar to your version.
Clovisia The workers who built Londinium, the posh aristocrats and nobles, and the royal family itself–– are all forced to take the same route during times of crises.
That already is a story that writes itself.
[Something is trying to break through the sealed door.]
Self-Salvation Corps Soldier Commander, the safety lock is starting to give!
Siege This door cannot hold him back.
Self-Salvation Corps Soldier Are you serious? This door's thickness can withstand seven or eight salvos from an armored vehicle!
Siege Retreat! Fall back!
With a sharp, earsplitting noise, a fissure appears in the middle of the metal door.
Under the tearing and folding of the tremendous force behind the door, the thick metal sheet seems thinner than paper. The fissure continues to grow, the dark void behind it like a monstrous, abyssal maw.
Clovisia Close the second safety lock!
[An Eartha partisan heads to seal the second door.]
Self-Salvation Corps Soldier Understoo–– Arrrgh!!
The door slams shut with a heavy thud, but the person sealing the door suddenly slips. Before he has a chance to scream, something invisible drags him into the shadows behind the door.
A smudge of blood seeps through the door's crack.
But not even the pool of blood is allowed to escape. In an instant, the shadows lurch through the door and instantly devour half the passageway.
Another massive roar rings out, though it is unclear whether it came from overhead or behind.
The pipe shudders, and the shadow's edge blurs like a predator's mouthparts, extending to latch onto its prey's ankle.
Siege I... I've also heard of another story.
During a battle two hundred years ago, the Victorian Army joined forces with two other nations to lay siege to a city called Kazdel.
One night, an entire army of heavily-armed troops disappeared in the valley where they were stationed.
The count who had dispatched the army sent men to investigate their whereabouts, but only saw the crimson of the setting sun reflected against the mountain walls.
And as everyone remembered, that day... the sun had not come out at all.
Clovisia The third safety lock––
[Whatever that kills the Eartha partisans try to breach the second door.]
Siege Is this... the last one?
Clovisia doesn't answer her.
Just like her answer... Devoured by the monster flooding through the pipes.