Event synopsis: Beyond Here

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Beyond Here

Beyond Here is a collection of tales surrounding various Operators in the form of road trips and field operations, spotlighting daily lives of various characters since the aftermath of the Chernobog-Lungmen crisis with two notable events: Iris' search for a friend in Rhodes Island who has long deceased and Hildegard's journey of fundraising for the Landen Monastery of Laterano which brings her to the other side of Terra beyond her homeland.

No Sequel

Since the conclusion of the Chernobog-Lungmen crisis, only Hoshiguma and Swire remain in the Lungmen Guard Department after Ch'en's resignation. The two have to try to get along with each other without her mediation, but sometimes they can't as Hoshiguma could not understand Swire's burden in cleaning up Ch'en's mess. Even during off days, She could have arguments against Swire over many little matters like fashion choices. Nevertheless, both agree that things have changed since Ch'en's departure; it seems more quiet than before. After having a short breakfast, Swire hurries for an important meeting, and Hoshiguma reminds her to take more rest.

Hoshiguma continues to scroll around to meet some of his coworkers. They too agree that without Ch'en, the L.G.D. becomes busier, so they do not have the time to rest. Fortunately, they recall that they had a brief drinking with a passing-by Lateran cleric who wants to sell her beer, so they are still fine. Hoshiguma suggests they should take a break during the off day and then leaves the building.

After having her motorcycle ride, she sits somewhere in the street for resting, commenting that she is getting older because of exhaustion. Just then, there appears a kunoichi who is none other than Shirayuki. Shirayuki sends her report to Hoshiguma of Ch'en life in Rhodes Island. When asked about whether she worries about Ch'en, Hoshiguma replies that she need not to, thanks to her natural-born bravery like the heroine of a comic, yet sometimes she too needs to give herself a rest as well. Before departing Shirayuki offers her the latest maan waa from the Tai Kam Road bookstore, and she smiles that this time, the heroine of the comic becomes a character resembling her with a giant shield.

Hoshiguma continues her motor ride, and this time, she sees someone surpassing her which reminds her of the legendary "Ghost Driver" who could "tear the vacant streets in the dead of night" and speeds in "the flashes on the winding roads." Turns out the rider is none other than Fumizuki with her "Stream-35LL Luminous Luxury." Being amazed by Madam Fumizuki's, she wants to have a simple motor race with her, and so the two enjoy the remaining afternoon in the abandoned racecourse.

Boundless Wilds

The story focuses on the aimless journey of the Chiave's Gang in the Siracusan wilderness. After Chiave and Broca were diagnosed with Oripathy, they were banished from Famiglia Trin as disposable pawns, forcing them to flee from the city of Vite in a stolen car to avoid the hitmen sent by their boss Layton. Along the way, the car suddenly breaks down, forcing them to halt for repairs. During the break, the trio are having fun by making various vulgar jokes against each other.

Upon reactivating the car, the Gang continues the ride and plans to head towards the nearby Locomotiva. They first chat about the origin of the long disbanded Sicilians whose ancient influence still remains in the ruling Dodici Famiglie. An idea comes into Chiave's mind and he propose to form the "Famiglia Chiave" only reserved for themselves, and their "famiglia" will be a heroic one who aims to "eradicate Oripathy," but Aosta and Broca treat his words as mere joking ostentation.

Just then, the gang notices a caravan being robbed by bandits. Wishing that the caravan will reward them, the gang bravely fight against the bandits, but their sheer numbers force them to flee from their attack in their car. Aosta then proclaims the bad news: their car is running out of fuel, but they can have the chance to reach Locomotiva before exhaustion.

Chiave then complains how he hates Oripathy since his contraction due to poor precaution as a car repairer, but his ranting disturbs the driving. So, Aosta orders Broca to tie Chiave and put him in the car's back seat as a funny punishment. By nightfall, Chiave has fallen into a deep sleep, yet the other two worry that his heavy coughing could be a sign of his worsening symptoms. Fortunately, they encounter a passing-by R.I. van, allowing the trio to arrive at the R.I. landship, ushering their new life there.

Fairytale Everlasting

Iris, the inheritor of the legendary "Castle of Dreams," is on her way to search for her friend Mabel Grimm, a Feline girl with brown hair and green eyes, who has long disappeared for twenty years after entrusting an old radio to her. She first finds her search in the village of Tonnerre in the former Gaulish region where she was supposed to live, but the place has since turned into an industrial region, and she faces hostility from the local factory workers. Nevertheless, she bears the bitterness and searches for any clues in nearby settlements since Mabel might have moved out from Tonnerre, or the village might have migrated to somewhere else.

Iris's search eventually reaches a local R.I. outpost. Pitying her situation, a field operator offers his help despite Iris' refusal. Just then, the two hear a girl crying inside a house, and the duo proceeds to check out. The crying girl reveals to be an Infected girl named Dora who has been refusing to go for treatment in R.I., so she wants to comfort her as part of her job in the Castle. Even though her parents refuse Iris' help out of fear of inspection by officers, she reassures that nothing bad will happen. Iris performs her Arts to entertain the girl, narrates the story of the Moving Castle to her, and finally makes a promise that she will bring Dora to the Castle if she behaves.

Upon leaving Dora's home, Iris and the R.I. operator are glad that her parents could entrust their daughter to R.I. for treatment, thus sparing them from punishment. Now turning back to the topic, the operator recalls that he does remember who Mabel is, but it might be very unfortunate. Later on when Iris goes aboard the landship, she learns that Mabel Grimm is in fact Operator Bluishsilver of the Rosmontis Squad who perished in the Chernobog-Lungmen crisis; the radio Mabel entrusted to Iris has now become her only memento. Nevertheless, Iris will continue to spread the fabulous tale of the Moving Castle to children despite hardship.

A Streetcar Named Faith

The Landen Monastery of Laterano, a monastery with a long history of training Apostolic Knights, has long suffered from financial problems in recent years after the Lateran Curia refused any grants to them in the name of teaching the monastery the lesson of self-reliance. So, the monastery is forced to turn into a winery, but their sales dwindle each year, resulting in them facing an eventual bankruptcy. To save this historical place, Hildegard is forced to work aboard by becoming a saleswoman to promote their beer.

Hildegard finds herself in Lungmen to meet with Eurill Pides of MountainDash Logistics who too is seeking for foreign partnership to expand his transborder logistics business. Bison warmly welcomes her and offers a place to stay in a hotel where she will also acquaint with Snowsant. Out of curiosity, Snowsant learns from Hildergard of the religious yet bizarre culture of the Lateran City. Yet most of the time, it is Hildergard who rants on about the bitterness she has to go through.

On the day of business meeting, Hildergard could finally get the chance to negotiate with Eurill at Emperor's "The Ends of the Earth" bar. He is impressive by the cleric's business strategies, and he wishes the cooperation between the two companies could open up a trading route between Laterano and other foreign nations in this Catastrophe-ridden land, hence fulfilling his dream of connecting every race and nation across Terra via trade. Hildegard too ensures that Laterano will respect their trade.

Eurill's words inspire Hildegard to enlarge her vision in her journey across Terra; she must no longer confine her mind back to Laterano only. She watches television programs and is impressed by the beauty across Terra. After being bored in her hotel, she decides to take a walk in the street, only to encounter Emperor. She is surprised that it is this strange "Liberi" who owns the bar, but before Emperor begins to rebukes her, he has to leave for urgent mission, but as the "Lord of the Beast," he reminds her to see the world around her just like Paul Landen, the monastery's founder centuries ago, who put down his firearm to write his travel account.

Before Hildegard's departure from Lungmen, Eurill asks her whether their business cooperation will be accepted by the Laterans. In return, she reaffirms that Laterano will respect any promises even before the results. Being impressed by her politeness, Eurill introduces Rhodes Island to Hildegard after listening to Emperor's recommendation for future expansion and comments that he might even send Bison to Laterano to master his talent as a Messenger. She is glad that both parties have a rewarding result.

Blind Journey

Leonhardt and Ayerscarpe conduct a field operation of Catastrophe evacuation in Rim Billiton upon receiving a distress signal, and they bring along Greyy as part of his lesson. They observe an approaching Catastrophe within twenty hours and bring reports to a nearby Rim Billitonian settlement as they drive their car along its outer zone. Being a machinist who spends most of the time on the landship, he is given the privilege to witness it in such a close proxy, yet he is puzzled by the role of a Catastrophe Messenger. In turn, Leonhardt and Ayerscape educate him the importance of a Catastrophe Messenger who needs to wander around to report weather forecasts to every nearby nomadic city, yet sometimes the people have to cooperate as well which in turn affects their livelihood.

Along the road trip, their discussion shifts to various topics from treatments of the Infected in the outside world to as R.I.'s mission due to Greyy's curiosity. The two Cautuses first comment that how the Infected is depicted by others is often erroneous with prejudices, just like how one could not differentiate a Lateran firearm and a firearm imitating Arts Unit, but this is usually caused by ignorance and lack of contact. Then, they comment that R.I.'s mission is simply to resist the unfair fate, just like a Catastrophe Messenger facing a Catasthrophe, but they will never accept missions that are too risky. To ease the dense topic, they shift to jokes in the Mechanical Department concerning Closure's latest inventions.

Upon arriving at the destination where the signal lies, they simply see nothing. Greyy is a bit disappointed, but Leonhardt reminds that they have to stay alert, for it might be a trap by bandit groups or even the anarcho-primitivist Rusthammers, or maybe the destination might be further away that is not caught by Leonhardt's Arts. Leonhardt then cheers up Greyy in which he has many lessons to learn in the future, but he will become the reliable operator he dreams of someday.

Sword and Scale

Ch'en is on her first field mission to a Columbian city as an R.I. operator. Her job is to apprehend an Infected fugitive running away from the police who escaped from an armed escort in a daylight attack. Upon surrounding the fugitive, he proclaims that he is simply innocent because he was not involved in the murder of a foreigner, but the police suspects him just because he is an Infected. Ch'en reassures that the Columbian jury will be fair in the trial, yet he rebukes that those jury is nothing more than pesky people who hold prejudices against the Infected. He further laments that those people he acquaints with were long gone, including Old Tom who was unfortunately lynched by the police to death after offended someone.

Ch'en does sympathize with the innocent fugitive, yet he mocks her that she is still able to work with the non-Infected simply because she still has value. Nevertheless, she recalls the hardship she went through throughout the Chernobog-Lungmen crisis, and Amiya and Rosmontis commented that sometimes systematic justice, one that is by the book, will not work if it is unfair to anyone. She realized that her own justice is, in the end, as childish and idealistic as R.I.'s ambition which she mocked in the past. Upon receiving reports from the nearby squad, she has to apprehend the fugitive, yet she promises that he will not be lynched and be set free soon.

Days later, there is a rumor surrounding the continuation of the incident. The fugitive was eventually apprehended, but later on, the real murderer somehow surrendered themselves to the police, and the fugitive was proven innocent. The city council clerk whispers to Ch'en that she knows the behind-the-scenes secret of the incident through accounts from her relative working in the police force: the preparator was not willingly surrendered, but rather being brought to the police station by a mysterious masked vigilante.

After leaving the building, Ch'en and the R.I. operators are glad that the city council does not uncover the truth—it is in fact Ch'en who is that masked vigilante. Inside her heart, she makes a promise that she will still uphold her own justice even if everything seems unpromising to her.

For a Better Self

Beanstalk, Utage, and Myrrh are having a mission to collect herbs for the Medical Department. The trio somehow stumble upon the border of Iberia. Suddenly, the girls have a chat about rumors surrounding Iberia that Iberia is a nation filled with abnormal phenomena such as barren landscapes filled with alkaline soil, "nomadic cities" being able to change colors, and even monstrous beings. Myrrh then offer her account which she believes to be much more realistic: Iberia is filled with numerous ghost town, yet it has remnants of golden statues with jewelry decoration – a remnants of Iberia's bygone Golden Age – and people there will do nothing but chanting religious prayers, bringing an eerie feeling to Utage and Beanstalk. Utage also recalls a forgotten festival in Iberia in which it celebrates the presence of the deceased, though this is just a distorted rumor of an actual celebration celebrating its prosperous Golden Age in the past. All these cause the girls to be more interested in Iberia.

The story then shifts its focus onto two children chasing around in an Iberian town, José and Antonio, and Antonio accuses José for badmouthing him in school. Just then, the boys accidentally stumble upon a priest wearing an eerie green robe carrying symbols of the old Lateran Church. The priest proclaims he is here to conduct a chapel to the townsmen. Together, the three sit down with the priest preaching to the boys. He preaches that confession is good, but sometimes a "white lie" is necessary if it does not contradict the scripture. He wants to use his preaching to spread love and strength to the people in the era of lawlessness. Through his words, both boys confess, and they promise they will always follow the scripture's law. Upon hearing someone calling him, the priest proceeds to head towards the square while bringing along the boys as his religious witnesses.

Little did the boys know that the city will become a prey of a wicked cult, one that believes in the absolute hivemind of the threats beneath the ocean.