Operation story: 9-13

From Arknights Terra Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Previous 9-12 Next 9-14
RI Operator icon.png
Operator Fred
RI Guard icon.png
Operator Oliver
Reserve Operator - Sniper icon.png
Operator Shredder
Hillock Operations Center
Hillock Square Aftermath

After operation

The colonel releases Horn, and Horn leads her squad to take the city's communications center. In the warzone, Outcast finds the Dublinns' "Leader," now heavily injured and undergoing acute infection, and heads to the injured woman's rescue, steadfast in her beliefs.
<Background 1>
Horn Colonel Hamilton, I hope you understand what you've done.
Colonel Hamilton What I've done? I've succeeded in defeating Victoria's enemies, and brought us an all too rare victory.
Horn You truly think you'll win?
Colonel Hamilton We have eradicated the rabble occupying the city hall and our other important facilities. You can hear it, can't you? Our troops are taking back the city, bit by bit.
Horn Suppose things do go as you intend, the spectre force never recovers from this, and you successfully defend County Hillock
You will still have brought Victoria a terrible, irreconcilable defeat!
Colonel Hamilton What nonsense are you spouting? I see. You're still soft on those commoners.
Let me say this again, Skamandros. This is war, and victory comes hand in hand with bloodshed.
Horn Enough rationalizing your actions. The locals here have always been part of your plan.
When you ordered the artillery battalion to make those dirty bombs in secret, the spectre force wasn't anywhere close to infiltrating County Hillock!
Colonel Hamilton Not one to give up easily, are we?
But fine. All has gone without a hitch, and there's no opportunity left for you to get in the way.
Horn Without a hitch? Because you fanned the flames of war you saw before you?
War is not an end, but a means.
The wars we fought over the past decades were meant to safeguard Victoria's peace and prosperity. But you? In an afternoon, you laid waste to lifetimes of hard work.
How dare you blindly attack the common folk in the name of the Victorian Army? Regardless of ancestry, these people are still Victorian citizens!
Colonel Hamilton They call themselves Tarans!
Horn And how much of our country's population is Taran? One-tenth? One-fifth?
Right. You see them in the minority, but when the ire of so many is set alight, it could very well burn down the whole Empire!
Colonel Hamilton Hmph. They stand no chance against the might of the Victorian Army.
Horn They should never have had a need for that chance!
Look at that book you're reading. You marvel at the achievements of the first Aslan king, but did you ever consider what it was that propelled a foreign Aslan to become ruler of Victoria?
If the Aslans hadn't signed an armistice with the Dracos, and if the Draco King Gaeil hadn't yielded to the royal family's decision, the Victoria we know today would never have existed in the first place!
What right do you have–to push Victoria to the brink of civil war once again, all for your own hatred and prejudice?!
Colonel Hamilton Do you really believe everything you've just spouted, Skamandros?
Do you really believe that I, the commander of a single garrison in the countryside, could steer the Empire of Victoria with a wave of my hand?
Have you ever wondered, why... why Londinium is so deafeningly silent?
Horn ......
Colonel Hamilton I could have killed you. Even being the noble you are, Londinium would never hold me accountable for the death of a lieutenant to rebel cannon fire.
But I didn't. I respect your loyalty to Victoria, and I cannot bear to see so-called human nature blunt Her blades.
Open your eyes. The war began long ago! And until the last of our enemies lies dead, we will never have true victory!
Horn Have you ever considered that all you do could be playing right into those enemies' hands?
Colonel Hamilton What you fear is, in fact, my greatest hope–
I wish for the fate of the Tarans to be known across all of Victoria!
It is not the people I want to destroy. No, I look to destroy their courage.
I want the whole world to know that, should they dare to turn against us, they must be prepared to withstand the fire of Victoria's rage!
Horn ......
How much innocent blood will it take to douse these flames you started today?
Grand dukes with sinister motives, all the surrounding countries with their hidden agendas, and the outsiders teeming with ambition–
–With all these ill-meaning sides gathered in one spot, Londinium, maybe even all of Victoria, endures far more pressure than one place should bear.
All those parties, biding their time, need just one little push, and, bang–
The fire will spread, and it won't stop at the Tarans, it will spread all across the once-prosperous lands, sparing no one in its path.
Colonel Hamilton And how... is that worse than letting the parasites chew you hollow from the inside-out, not doing a thing to stop them?
Horn It seems there's no going back for you.
In that case, we have nothing further to discuss.
Colonel Hamilton Perfect, then. I have no need to keep you locked up here. Away with you, if you please.
Horn Once you release me, I will make sure you answer for your crimes.
I swear this on Triangle's team–No matter what happens, as long as I live, I will see you court martialed!
Colonel Hamilton Hah. You think that's enough to frighten me?
Listen, Skamandros. If Victoria wishes to lay down judgement, She knows where to find me.
Horn And I can't wait to see it done.
[Horn walks out and bangs the door.]
<Background fades out>
Horn Cello, Oboe, we're making for the communications center.
If Bagpipe fails to escort the Messenger out of the city, then that will be our last chance, and we must seize it.
Considering the situation, the communications center has most likely fallen to the enemy. This will be a difficult battle.
But we've never been the type to shy away.
Forward, soldiers of Victoria! We do this for Triangle now, for her team!
[Horn and the survivors of the 2nd Tempest Platoon move out.]
<Background fades in>
Colonel Hamilton What's the situation?
I'm not getting a response–Hill?
You're not here. How dare you desert your post?
Where did you go without my specific instruction?!
<Background 2>
Janie Phew... There's way too many wounded here...
Outcast We need to get the ones with light wounds into the buildings that are still standing. Anyone with more serious injuries or symptoms should be taken to the closest clinic–Remember to quarantine them.
Janie There aren't enough beds in the clinics.
District Seventeen, the Taran quarter, suffered the worst of the damage in the bombardment.
Some residents cleared out an area to set up a few tents with a few dozen beds, to act as a temporary base.
I've passed on all the prevention methods you've taught me, and a few volunteers are moving the less gravely injured to the tents now.
As soon as I finish taking care of the first aid supplies we have left here, I'll go join them.
Outcast You're good at this, and they trust you too.
Janie Haha... One of the things I learned in the army over the years is how to make friends.
They always tell me the guards of honor are the face of the military, and I never doubted it. I've got used to them praising Victoria's glory and prosperity with their applause and cheers.
Outcast That's definitely part of what Victoria means, say what they will.
Janie But it's not... the whole story.
After the conversation we had, I remembered some things from ages ago I'd forgotten.
My da's a lawyer, and he used to tell me stories about how my grandda's grandda came to Victoria with nothing. He went from rags to riches.
The Victoria he described was an advanced, open-minded, prosperous country.
Here, technology and capital conquered savagery. The people's hard work and wealth wouldn't be destroyed just like that by Catastrophes or racial conflict.
In making it to such a magnificent land, we Vouivre were able to live a "civilized" life, compared to one of barbarism and violence in the old country.
Outcast Victoria was the most advanced industrialized nation in the world, for a very long time..
Janie But we had to give up a lot, in order to become Victorians...
When I was five, I climbed to the top of the tallest tree in our garden. My da caught me having a blast and gave me a good scolding.
Then he locked me in my room and gave me dozens of books to read. The next day, he hired a Leithanien piano teacher for me.
I missed the view from the top of the tree, but I didn't give it much thought. I knew my da was doing it for my own good.
Outcast He was helping you to get used to the rules.
Janie That's right. Books, piano, the garden... He understood that those were all things we'd need to know, in order to enjoy the life we had.
And, I also remembered another thing...
This one time after school, I saw a few older kids bullying a young Feline girl behind my favorite bakery.
They laughed at her, saying her clothes were dirty and that she didn't know anything.
After they left, I went up to her and gave her a few novels I had in my school bag.
I thought she'd be able to talk to the kids her age once she finished reading them, and the others wouldn't pick on her anymore...
About a week later, I was all excited, went looking for her so we could talk about the books, but she just shook her head and handed them back to me.
I could tell right away. She never even flipped them open. I was really mad. Here I was trying to befriend her, lending her my books, and she wouldn't even accept my kindness.
It wasn't until much later, I realized...
She couldn't read.
Outcast She was the child of a bakery worker, not even a baker. How was she supposed to get an education? Forget enjoying any of the same things you did.
Janie It turns out, even being able to read a novel is a luxury.
Victoria's always been an unequal society, hasn't it?
I wasn't willing to accept that before... I'd let myself grow accustomed to the "rules," and that was how I became a proper Victorian. And those who live outside the rules, well, our country would never accept them.
Outcast It takes courage to open your mind on your own like that.
Waking up from a dream of a glorified imagination of a civilization, shaped by a people's collective consciousness isn't easy. Trust me, I know that better than anyone.
Janie Because you're from Laterano?
Outcast Because I left Laterano.
Janie If we get the chance, I'm hoping to hear about your past... instead of having you listen to the silly troubles of an ordinary girl.
Outcast You're not ordinary, Jane. No one should call herself ordinary.
Janie Thanks. All your comfort's keeping me from wasting away, honestly, wallowing in my misery.
Outcast You've never stopped putting in the effort to do your best work.
<Background fades out and in>
Janie I've got everything packed. I'll take it over to the temporary medical base now.
Outcast Stay alert on the way.
Janie Right. The whole city's in chaos. Thankfully, the garrison's stopped attacking, and the rioters have mostly dispersed. As long as the citizens can band together, there's still hope for County Hillock.
Outcast Man is far stronger than we can ever imagine. A lot of ambitious types find themselves on the wrong side of history when they underestimate that.
Janie *Sigh*. The biggest problem is we don't have enough medicine.
Outcast We can at least clean and bandage their wounds.
Janie I still have medicine with me. I don't need the ones you've shared just yet.
If I can use some of it, we might be able to save a few more souls.
Outcast Put it back. Don't even think about it.
Make sure you're safe before you go saving anyone else. So you can save even more of those who need saving.
Janie Yeah... Okay, I got it.
I'll come back once I'm done delivering this.
Outcast We've taken care of most of the wounded here.
Janie Are you going to head to the other side of the statue?
[Fred contacts Outcast.]
Operator Fred Oi, Lass, I'm scoping the area with my binoculars, and I'm seeing an injured girl not far away from where you are.
Outcast Any details?
Operator Fred She's young. I can't make out her race... Vouivre, maybe?
Outcast How is she looking?
Operator Fred Not good. I think I see a huge Originium shard sticking through her abdomen. Chances are she's infected now. Looks like she's lost too much blood and passed out as well.
Outcast I'm heading there now.
Operator Fred Wait... Lass, that's an active warzone!
I don't see any hostiles nearby, but that area was taken over by the rioters not long ago. Besides, the building right behind her is their command center!
Outcast So?
Operator Fred That wounded lass is very likely one of their key personnel.
Outcast Since when has Rhodes Island cared about sides when providing aid to those in need?
Operator Fred Sorry. This isn't a judgement I can make... Oliver, have you been listening in?
[Oliver patches himself in.]
Operator Oliver Yes... Lass, I'm not prepared to act rashly either. If she has to do with this whole mess, it might be risky for our company.
Outcast I get it. You see someone at the center of a power struggle, and who just got infected.
What I see instead is an Infected who is gonna die in the power struggle afterwards.
And before she finally dies, a whole bunch of other struggles will swirl around her, sending even more to their deaths.
But as long as there's still a glimmer of hope that I can stop that ugly mess, I can't give up.
Operator Oliver Lass... I can't talk you out of it... but I will follow your lead.
Outcast No, Oliver, I'm in no position to give you orders, and I certainly don't want to.
But remember, and make sure you write this in your after action report–
This isn't a Rhodes Island elite operator making a call. This is Outcast's personal decision.
Operator Oliver But...
Outcast Right, and don't forget your "but."
"Temporary Operator Outcast did not follow the officer-in-charge's evacuation orders and opted to rescue an individual who constituted a security risk." Something like that.
Operator Oliver Say what you want, even... Forget Rhodes Island. You're putting yourself in serious danger!
Outcast And that is why we can't drag even more people into this mess.
It's better if Rhodes Island has nothing to do with this operation. You and your operators can follow the original plan. As soon as the rescue operation is done, you get out of County Hillock with all the documents.
[Shredder patches himself in.]
Operator Shredder Lass... I'll stay with you.
Operator Oliver Shredder?!
Operator Shredder Oliver, feel free to add another note to the report, that you fired me here on the spot.
Operator Oliver You've got to be out of your mind!
Okay, yeah... Fine. Go. You're saving an Infected, aren't you? That's Rhodes Island's bread and butter!
I'm not leaving without any one of you. Get to the rendezvous point on time!
Outcast Thanks, Oliver. You're a great leader.
Shredder, I appreciate the help, but I hope you'll take my advice.
That is–Stay here.
I'll go by myself. Whatever happens, do not come after me. Go straight to the rendezvous point.
Operator Shredder Right... I'll be there.
[Outcast signs off.]
Janie Outcast...
Outcast Jane, you aren't trying to stop me, are you?
Janie Are you really going to save her? I heard she was one of the rioters' central figures...
She might even be the one who killed Saoirse!
Outcast Honestly, I doubt a mysterious group with big plans would leave their true leader to die on the street.
Janie Phew... That's alright, then... I–I feel much better now.
But what if she was the one who killed her? What would you do? Would you ask me to leave her to die?
Janie ......
To tell the truth... I don't know.
But I agree with what you said. She's a poor Infected girl who desperately needs our help.
I guess I might ask her once she's out of danger...
Never mind, I'm probably overthinking it. I'll stop wasting your time.
Outcast Off I go then.
Janie Hold on. One more thing...
Remember what you told me? Make sure you're safe yourself before you help anyone else!
Outcast Well, lookie here. Our little Janie's trying to educate me.
Janie No... I wouldn't presume to...
Outcast Don't worry.
It's just as we said–I'm saving a regular old Infected.