Operation story: 10-3

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Male Londinier A icon.png
Londinium Citizen (A)
Female Londinier icon.png
Londinium Citizen B
Victorian Partisan A icon.png
Londinium Citizen?
RI Operator icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
Dublinn Soldier icon.png
Dublinn Soldier
Sarkaz Warrior icon.png
Sarkaz Warrior
Londinium Port
Londinium Port Containers

Before operation

Amiya's team arrives at the port, but they encounter a Sarkaz patrol searching people trying to leave the city. The guide flees in a panic, and runs straight into Dublinn soldiers led by Mandragora.
<Background 1>
9:09 A.M. \ Overcast
Port 309, Sudean Borough, Londinium
[Amiya looks at the port.]
Amiya The port... is right ahead.
Doctor Are you worried about something?
Amiya Hm... Actually, things have been going pretty well so far...
With one exception.
Doctor, the Messenger who's been in contact with you and Dr. Kal'tsit should've reached out to us as soon as we arrived at the adjacent plate.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor I remember that arrangement.
Amiya We're just waiting here... with our hands tied behind our backs.
I thought we'd be able to see her in person, or at least get some kind of message.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor ......
Amiya Doctor, I can't say any more about our current situation to the other operators.
We've already gotten this far, so we can only keep moving forward.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor Think something happened to her?
Amiya If we can't get in touch, we can't know for sure.
But I can only hope that nothing happened to her...
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Amiya We'll enter the city as we originally planned.
Ugh, look at how long that line is. They're all coming from the direction of the city...
<Background 2>
Londinium Citizen A We're really going to run away like this?
Londinium Citizen B This way's safe. My neighbor's whole family left this way last week.
As long as we've applied for an exit permit, the soldiers won't give us any trouble.
Londinium Citizen A That... That's not what I meant.
Londinium Citizen B I know. We're thinking the same thing.
Four years ago was when I first heard about the Sarkaz army on the news. Didn't think much of it back then.
Londinium Citizen A Yeah, same here. With Her Majesty gone, everything's turned to shit. Who could've expected that some duke would invite the devils into the army on a whim?
Londinium Citizen B Two years ago, I saw Sarkaz troops walking down the streets of Trenfield. Everyone was talking about it as we walked home from work.
Londinium Citizen A I also remember... It was as if things quietly changed overnight. Those of us who lived by the duke's estate in Camden wouldn't see these changes until a bit later.
Londinium Citizen B Something like half a year ago, the Sarkaz army stood in front of our bank. They took away our manager because her husband held an important position in the city's defense forces.
Londinium Citizen A Whew. Did you ever see them again? The police force in our estate was replaced with all new faces, plenty with horrible horns on top.
Londinium Citizen B And then there's... yesterday. I saw the Sarkaz going to the corner opposite my home. They were... knocking on doors.
Londinium Citizen A So that's why you decided to flee?
Londinium Citizen B Actually, my parents left a long time ago. I just... couldn't put down my banker's salary.
Londinium Citizen A None of us wanted this. Londinium... If we leave, we'll never be able to go back to our old lives, right?
Londinium Citizen B Let's not worry about that for now. We should get going. I'd rather stay alive than make money.
[The Londiniers leave.]
<Background 1>
Amiya ......
Is it like this every day?
Siege More or less, since a certain point.
Amiya Theresis's army... They're not stopping the civilians from leaving the city?
Siege By the looks of things, he doesn't seem to care about letting outsiders know who holds the reins of power in Londinium now.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor And the other nobles don't care?
Siege I'd assume they always have an eye on Londinium, which is why they have troops stationed outside the city.
But they're more concerned about watching each others' moves.
For the dukes who've been trying to get into Londinium, whoever gets ahead in taking down the Sarkaz inside the city will gain the upper hand in this power struggle that has lasted over twenty years.
Who would want to see the throne claimed by someone else, when in their minds, it rightfully belongs to them?
The way things are now, anything a duke might pull can be stopped by a few messages, an invitation to a party, or even a little bad news from their own demesne.
And even if one of them decided to march on the city, they'd be walking right into a defeat. The Sarkaz regent wouldn't lose a single man.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor What's going on in Parliament?
Siege I'm not sure.
When we left Londinium, the city seemed like it did on any ordinary day.
And I always figured that if Parliament could convene for a day, nothing too crazy could happen to Londinium.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Siege As for the specifics of what's going on inside the city, we won't know until we see for ourselves.
Londinium Citizen Excuse me, I've brought you all the way here... You'll be able to go the rest of the way on your own, right?
Amiya Yes, sure. Thank you, Mr. Thomas. You've done us a great favor.
All squads, listen up. Follow the plan and mingle with the flow of traffic ahead in batches––
Closure's squad will go first to make sure the road ahead of us is clear. Then Siege's squad will follow up, with me and Doctor's squad behind that.
Recon squad, keep a close eye on our surroundings, and report any abnormalities right away.
Balin, you'll be in charge of taking Mr. Thomas back the same way we came.
Rhodes Island Operator Amiya!
Amiya What is it?
Rhodes Island Operator There's a disturbance up ahead! Looks like Sarkaz fighters incoming!
Amiya What?!
Everyone, the infiltration operation is on hold. Take cover, hide yourselves!
<Background 2>
[A group of Kazdelian Sarkaz soldiers move in.]
Sarkaz Warrior ......
Grab that one, right there!
Londinium Citizen A What... What's going on? Why are the Sarkaz here?
Didn't you say this way was safe?!
Sarkaz Warrior I'm talking to you. Stop right there!
Londinium Citizen A Hurry... Hurry... We're almost out... of the city...
[The Sarkaz soldier kills the escaping male Londinier.]
Sarkaz Warrior ......
Wrong one.
Londinium Citizen B S-Sir, please... D-Don't hurt me, I'll go... Did we do something wrong?
Sarkaz Warrior Go, scurry off. Don't stand here blocking our way.
Listen up, nobody move!
Stop what you're doing and stand still. You, you, and you. Turn around and let me see your face!
What's in your bag? Is it a weapon? Pour everything out and let me see!
Why's there a burn mark on your face? Looks pretty fresh too... Yeah, you. Get out of the line!
[The Sarkaz soldier looked at a Londinier's burnt face.]
Sarkaz Warrior You burned your face baking bread? Do you take us for fools?!
Hmph... Guess it really wasn't our weapons. Just to be sure, you're not a rebel, right?
Got too scared and passed out, huh? Whatever, we'll bring this one with us.
[Horn and one of the rebels looked at the situation unnoticed.]
Horn ......
Londinium Citizen? Lieutenant, we're stuck here.
Horn It's my fault. Before I brought you here, I should've made sure we weren't being followed.
Londinium Citizen? Please don't talk like that.
We've all been through worse. Whether it's my bunch that got captured by Dublinn, or Old Tom's group who were tortured by the Sarkaz, we were pretty much dead men walking until you rescued us.
That really was a taste of despair... I'd rather die in battle than live inside the enemy's cage, powerless and addled.
Horn You are not to blame for Londinium's fall, not in the slightest.
Londinium Citizen? And you are even less to blame.
You were the one who pulled us out of a desperate situation. At least I was able to get here on my own two legs, and got to live an extra hour.
I said I didn't have the will to fight anymore, but you didn't blame me. You even risked yourself to bring us here.
Leave us, Lieutenant. If you're alone, you can hide. Avoid their line of sight, and find a safe place.
We're sickly and chewed up. We'll only slow you down.
Horn I'd never leave any of you behind.
Londinium Citizen? Hah... If our officers back there were like you, then maybe... we wouldn't have lost so quickly and disastrously.
It took meeting you to make me realize that I wanted to make a difference, to be like you...
Horn You mean... No, you mustn't!
Londinium Citizen? Hey, if the few of us charged at once, how many Sarkaz do you reckon we could take with us?
Horn Listen to me, right now.
None of you move. That's an order.
Londinium Citizen? An order...?
Fine. You're my commanding officer right now. I'll obey your orders.
Horn We still have a few minutes until we face the Sarkaz.
Keep your heads down. Remember what I told you – you're all vagrants from the neighboring estate. You got hurt fighting each other over a piece of bread.
Londinium Citizen? You... expect the Sarkaz to buy that?
Horn Sudean is a complete mess these days. They've probably seen it all.
Doesn't matter if they buy it or not. Even if they try to interrogate you, just... bear with it for a while.
And if you can't take it anymore...
Londinium Citizen? We understand. If the Sarkaz find out, no one betrays the others.
Horn If you can't take it anymore, that's when I'll make my move.
Londinium Citizen? Lieutenant...?!
Horn Let's wait and see for now.
<Background 1>
[The Sarkaz soldiers searches the area.]
Sarkaz Warrior Nothing over here.
What about over there? There are a few more over there, and behind that elevator too. This damned place has too many hiding spots!
You lot, go take a closer look over there!
[The Sarkaz soldiers leave.]
Amiya Those fighters seem to be looking for someone.
Squads, report your current position.
[Amiya received a dispatch from other Rhodes Island operatives.]
Amiya Positions confirmed.
Doctor They don't seem to be after us. / Think we haven't been made yet.
Amiya Seems like it.
Doctor, do you still remember the table-top exercise we did with Dr. Kal'tsit before we left?
One possibility is that the Messengers we had active around Londinium and Victoria all failed.
They didn't have time to provide us with the accurate intel, and Theresis was able to see all our moves.
In that case, Theresis's personal guard would be there waiting for us the moment we set foot in Londinium.
But it doesn't look like that's what's happening...
Doctor Actually, I thought it'd be a Confessarius. / ...... / Surely we wouldn't be that incompetent?
Amiya I think we've more or less reached the same conclusion.
Theresis doesn't know we're here yet. Otherwise, we would've had a very hard time even making it this far.
If that's true, then these Sarkaz fighters up ahead must be searching for someone else who could potentially come this way...
Londinium Citizen ––!
Amiya Huh, Mr. Thomas...?
Rhodes Island Operator Amiya, he tried to bolt! I barely managed to stop him!
Londinium Citizen No, let me go! I can't stay here...
Amiya Mr. Thomas, you'd best not run off on your own! That'd be terribly dangerous!
I promised you I'd send an operator to escort you... I'm really sorry, but that's not something we can do right now...
Rhodes Island Operator Ouch!
Amiya W-Wait, you can't just take our operator's weapon––!
Londinium Citizen Sorry, b-but, I don't want to die!
[The Londinier guide tries to run away.]
Amiya What's going on here...?
Doctor It's pretty obvious. / He thinks the Sarkaz are after him.
Amiya ......
Londinium Citizen I don't want this either... I was just their driver for six months, that's all!
They took over my candy plant and forced me to ship things for them. I have a family... what am I supposed to do?!
That day I took a tiny peek, just one glance. How could I have known what they were doing with my plant?
They've been chasing me ever since! If they catch me, they're going to kill me for sure!
Why'd you have me do this anyway... I'm going to die, no matter where I run!
I... I can't just sit here and wait to die...
Rhodes Island Operator Mr. Thomas!
Amiya Balin! Don't chase after him, we can't afford to blow our cover.
<Background 3>
[The Londinier guide made it out of Londinium...]
Londinium Citizen Ha... Haha...
I'll just... keep running away from Londinium... I don't even care about Dublinn anymore...
[...but a familiar Feline and a Dublinn soldier comes across him.]
??? Huh?
Londinium Citizen Eek––!
Dublinn Soldier ......
Londinium Citizen You... How could... You're...
Mandragora It's not up to you to decide whether or not you care about Dublinn.
––Get him.

After operation

The Dublinn soldiers are at tense standstill with the Sarkaz troops. At the same time, Horn remains blended in with the crowd. Incited by her and the mysterious figures in the shadows, Dublinn and the Sarkaz clash.
<Background 1>
Rhodes Island Operator Amiya, at this rate, Mr. Thomas is going to get captured by Dublinn again!
Amiya ......
Rhodes Island Operator Are you planning to...
Indra That bloody bugger!
I'll bring him back.
Dagda No.
Indra Why are you stopping me? Didn't we go through all the trouble to rescue that bloke?
Dagda The situation's changed. We can't blow Siege's cover.
Indra So you're just gonna let him go? That's not how the Glasgow Gang does things!
Morgan Don't make a ruckus here, either of you.
Siege Listen to Amiya and the Doctor.
Amiya ......
Sniper operators, on the enemies holding our mark.
Doctor The important thing is that caster.
Amiya Caster......
If I recall correctly, Doctor.
According to Misery's intel and Bagpipe's report, she's the leader of Dublinn's forces inside Londinium.
And one of the instigators of the County Hillock incident.
Rhodes Island doesn't put the blame for Outcast's sacrifice entirely on her shoulders, but it's not just Misery and Bagpipe who hold a grudge against her.
Doctor Mandragora.
Amiya Bagpipe tells us she's very hard to deal with.
We could get into a fight with Dublinn here, rescue Mr. Thomas, and even eliminate Mandragora, a formidable enemy who may pose a significant threat to our future operations.
Rhodes Island Operator The Sarkaz are coming!
Amiya We're too late.
All squads, continue to conceal yourselves––
Be ready to engage.
<Background 2>
[The Sarkaz soldiers show up as the Dublinn soldiers from earlier took the Londinier guide back to the port.]
Sarkaz Warrior What's going on over here? So noisy.
Londinium Citizen Ugh...
Dublinn Soldier ......
Sarkaz Warrior Oh, if it isn't you traitorous lot.
Dublinn Soldier Don't you dare use that word.
We have nothing to do with Victoria now, devil.
Sarkaz Warrior Hmph... Who said you could call us that?
Dublinn Soldier Hah... A motley band of exiles, taking advantage of the chaos to occupy a city. What made you delusional enough to think yourselves the masters of Londinium?
Sarkaz Warrior Haha, don't lump me in with your sorry band, thinking we actually give a damn about Londinium.
The place is shiny and clean, isn't it? Doesn't reek of death. But if you ask me, it'll be more pleasing to the eye once it's burnt to cinders.
The Sarkaz are only here because our King is here.
<Background 1>
Amiya Their King? The Sarkaz King?
Doctor Are they talking about Theresis? / The regent finally decided to crown himself?
Amiya I haven't heard anything about that.
But a lot of intel reports disparate Sarkaz fighters gathering in Londinium from across Terra, and it's not just the mercenaries we're familiar with.
There are... older, stronger powers now hovering around the heart of this city.
Doctor, I can feel it.
Since coming here, with each step closer I take, those emotions flow into the depths of my heart... tangle around my thoughts, and grow stronger and stronger.
Doctor Amiya! / Are you alright?
Amiya I'm fine, Doctor.
It's just that... for a split second, it's as if...
When I heard those Sarkaz mention their "King," a wisp of those emotions... sprung up and latched onto me.
I don't think I can give a better description of what I felt...
Doctor We need to discuss this.
Amiya I'd love to spend some time talking this through with you... but not now.
Even if there were... a Sarkaz King who now controls Londinium, that doesn't change our mission.
We came here to prevent a war.
We need to figure out exactly what they're doing, and what they're trying to do.
––And that has nothing to do with what Theresis decides to call himself.
<Background 2>
Sarkaz Warrior So, can we skip past the shitty pleasantries, Dublinn?
Turn over the man you captured.
Dublinn Soldier Why should I?
Sarkaz Warrior We'll take good care of your old home.
Dublinn Soldier You bastard––!
Mandragora Stop.
Dublinn Soldier Captain...!
Mandragora Not just you. You too, Sarkaz.
Sarkaz Warrior I know who you are, Feline. You're their commander.
But why should I listen to you?
Mandragora Because I've been to the Palace of Westhaleg.
Sarkaz Warrior Haha, we've all heard the story. You wanted an audience with His Majesty, but he had you escorted out.
Do you really think you mean anything to the Sarkaz?
Mandragora ......
Dublinn Soldier Captain, why do we just sit here and let the devils mock us?
I can't take it anymore. Ever since we came to Londinium, we've had to live with this inferior race–
Mandragora Not one more word.
Dublinn Soldier We can go back and bring this up with the Leader...
Mandragora I said, not one more word!
[After silencing her Dublinn comrade...]
Mandragora Sarkaz, no matter how hard you try to provoke me, I'm not leaving.
We are your guests, as the one you call 'His Majesty' and his privy council agreed.
Sarkaz Warrior Do you really want to find out how the Sarkaz deal with rowdy "guests?"
Mandragora Well, at least one of us understands proper etiquette.
We promised your regent and your generals that Dublinn's troops would not set foot into Central Londinium.
Likewise, you should not be detaining me here, Sarkaz.
Or, do you devils struggle to keep your word? Can you even spell "trustworthy?"
Sarkaz Warrior Hah, you uppity Feline... Isn't the fact that I haven't chopped you into pieces right here and now already proof that I'm honoring our little pretend friendship?
If a Sarkaz ever forgot his objective and started picking fights, he'd be found dead in a bar near a warzone pretty quick.
We're here to root out some bottom feeders. These nobodies haven't learned their place yet. They're sneaking around, making a mess of our work––
<Background 1>
Amiya By the sound of things, they're not looking for Mr. Thomas either.
Could that be the friends the Messenger mentioned, the ones who can help us with our operation?
The Sarkaz certainly would call them an enemy.
If they really are right here, maybe we could help them...
<Background 2>
[Horn noticed something.]
Horn The line stopped moving.
I hear fighting... the Sarkaz must've gotten into a row with someone.
Londinium Citizen? Lieutenant, I saw their uniforms... it's Dublinn!
Horn Her.
Londinium Citizen? The Dublinn caster?
She... She's a scary one...
She's killed some of our people. She impales them on stone pillars that come out of nowhere. Her methods are even more brutal than the Sarkaz!
Horn I know.
Londinium Citizen? Lieutenant, have you fought her too? What am I even saying? You've saved so many from Dublinn, you must've beaten her...
Horn I lost.
Londinium Citizen? But you... still managed to get away from her with your life. That's already amazing enough.
Horn I'm still not exactly sure why she didn't kill me on the spot... but I have my guesses.
At the Barracks outside Londinium, I saw them having secret meetings with a count's Messenger.
I figured she must've shown me deliberately.
Or maybe it wasn't her. Someone like her would have no way of knowing that my grandfather and the count's father served together. They were very close.
And the count himself... If I recall correctly, was squire to a duke.
Londinium Citizen? Lieutenant...?
Horn Sorry, I shouldn't be saying all this.
During the long period of time I was hiding in the dark bowels of this city, I... got used to talking to the metal crabs. They didn't have much to say back.
I didn't have to worry about my words casting a shadow over anyone else.
Some things, I just had to say to myself so I wouldn't forget them.
Londinium Citizen? I didn't mean to interrupt you, Lieutenant!
I'd actually like to hear more. For the longest time, I've been wanting to know who's pulling the strings up there, causing us all this misery!
Horn The duke I was thinking of isn't even in Londinium right now. Or rather, I should say... he never cared a lick about the vacant throne in the city.
If he really were secretly supporting Dublinn, that would answer a lot of questions. But at the same time, it would also greatly complicate the crisis we have on our hands...
Listen to me. Everything I've said to you up to this point is just baseless speculation. If you want to hear more, we'll continue another time.
Provided... you're willing to follow me into the shadows.
Londinium Citizen? What are we going to do now?
Horn Right now... we need to find an opportunity to escape.
Dublinn has been trying to get something from the Sarkaz. It might be one individual or several, which is why they've set up in Sudean.
In addition to troops like you, hunted by the Sarkaz, they've captured a good lot of civilians with some connection to the Sarkaz.
Whatever Mandragora is trying to accomplish...
As long as it creates conflict between Dublinn and the Sarkaz, it'll work in our favor.
Londinium Citizen? Sounds like you have a plan.
Horn Robben, did you make sure to hide the crossbow I gave you? Up your sleeves, right?
Londinium Citizen? Of course, Lieutenant!
Horn Aim at that Dublinn soldier, the one closest to the Sarkaz.
<Background 1>
Amiya It looks like Dublinn isn't backing down.
The Sarkaz have a limit to their patience. This is going to boil over into a fight, sooner or later.
Doctor, we're going to have to use our backup plan.
<Background 2>
[The argument between the Sarkaz soldiers and Dublinn grows intense.]
Sarkaz Warrior C'mon, turn him over and you all get to walk out of here alive. Let's make things easy for each other, why don't we?
Dublinn Soldier ...Captain, shouldn't we...
Mandragora No.
Dublinn Soldier I don't understand...
Mandragora No means no.
Dublinn Soldier Even if it fractures our relationship with the Sarkaz?
Mandragora You heard what they had to say.
When... have we ever been friends?
Sarkaz Warrior There you go. Those are your words, not mine.
––Formation! Round up these Dublinn wretches!
Mandragora He is absolutely critical to Dublinn. Non-negotiable.
If we can't bring him with us, our only option is to kill him here.
Londinium Citizen Waaaah!
Mandragora Shut your trap.
Actually, our other option... is to kill all these Sarkaz.
<Background 1>
??? Isn't it about time we make our entrance?
??? Hold on, we're still calibrating the aerial coordinates.
??? Look, if we don't act now, someone's gonna get killed.
??? Give me a sec... Seventeen meters in a straight line... Sixteen... Fifteen...
??? Best to get a bit closer or you might have trouble aiming, right?
??? No can do. They'll spot us if I get any closer!
??? Just do as I say. It won't miss, trust me, or I'll let you use my head as a rivet– Move it a little eastward and the reflection of light should cover its wings...
??? Rock-5, you're up!
<Background 2>
Horn That's our cue.
Robben, now!
[Horn's rebels fire at the Sarkaz and Dublinn soldiers.]
<Background fades out and in>
[The Sarkaz soldiers are struck by the arrows while the drone used by the unknown woman before observes...]
Sarkaz Warrior Hey, hey, hey–– Gah!
[...killing them as the Dublinn soldiers are struck as well...]
Dublinn Soldier Urgh...
[...and drops dead as the rest takes cover.]
Sarkaz Warrior What's the meaning of this?!
Dublinn Soldier The hell are you talking about? You're the ones who tried to snipe us––
Sarkaz Warrior Fight back!
Those who spill Sarkaz blood will pay the blood debt with interest!
Don't let a single one out of here alive!
Mandragora Remember, you started this.
Mandragora ––With me. Slaughter every last Sarkaz.
[The Dublinn soldiers cheer.]
Mandragora Don't let a single one live to tell the tale.
The devil leadership mustn't learn what happened here today.
[As a battle becomes inevitable, the Londiniers panicked.]
Londinium Citizen Aaaaaaaahhhh––!
Londinium Citizen Save me! Someone, anyone!
Rhodes Island Operator Amiya, these civilians have nowhere to run... It's not just Mr. Thomas, so many are going to get caught in the crossfire!
Neither the Sarkaz nor Dublinn have any regard for civilian lives!
Siege ......
Doctor, Amiya, I'm sorry, but I can't just stand by and let this happen.
I just can't.
Doctor We have no other choice.
Amiya I understand.
All operators, there's been a change in plans!
All non-combat personnel are to remain hidden. All combat personnel, save as many lives as you can. But mind your own safety!
<Background fades out and in>
[The Sarkaz soldiers are attacked by R.I.-Glasgow forces.]
Sarkaz Warrior Another bolt from behind?
It came from those ones, in civilian clothes... They're carrying unauthorized weapons!
Something's not right. We've got more hostiles in the elevator!
Hah... Looks like we've grabbed the pest's tail.
Turns out the rebels ARE here––
Report this to General Manfred right away!