Dagda: How She Strode Onward

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Operator Record
How She Strode Onward
Dagda icon.png

Unrealistic delusions in her brim of honor, duty, and patriotism. Reality, meanwhile, endlessly tortures her: the Sarkaz invasion, the sacrifices of her mentors, and lies just as much for herself. It's time she made a decision.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Dagda to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Dagda.
Characters
Siege icon.png
Siege (Past)
Female R.I. Logistics icon.png
Intern Operator
Blank icon.svg
Finn
Backgrounds
Cabin
1
RI Training Compound
2
Glasgow Room
3
Battleship Deck
4
Through four critical junctures in her time with the Glasgow Gang, Dagda comes to realize the true purpose her fellows had in seeing her off, even if it meant them perishing in battle: To forget her position as tombkeeper of this waning empire, and rediscover her life.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 1>
Morgan Hey? M... Madam Dagda?
You still want us to keep calling you that, right...? I'm here to apologize for the scrap yesterday. Hannah's too embarrassed to come herself, but she did help pick out these clothes and all.
Um, that whole malarkey yesterday, that's just how the Glasgow Gang does nice-to-meet-yous. If we're not all in agreement, then we let fists do the talking first. I've not got anything against you in actuality, love!
So, want to give these clothes a peep?
Dagda I'm sorry, Madam Morgan, but I don't think I should be here or be party to these. It's not in accordance with etiquette.
The principal source of any friction with me was Madam Indra. There's no need for any apologies from you.
And these clothes are hardly suitable given my current standing and circumstances. I won't be wearing them, and I won't be forsaking my rescue of Her Royal Highness.
Morgan Wait, pause it with the "etiquette" and the "standing" and whatever. You're just going to turn these down, out of hand?
Dagda Madam Morgan, I really apologize, but I shouldn't...
Morgan One sec!
Look, we're giving you this to say sorry! It's a whole outfit, all brand-new! The least you could do is look first before you decide!
Dagda ...Nh! ...Ah...
This... I...
Ahem! Madam Morgan... it's the duty of we Knights of the Tower that we support Her Royal Highness in Her accession to the throne. My mentor has consistently impressed the matter of the vacant throne on me, that it rests barren.
It's a mission and a responsibility I take incredibly seriously, and I'm very thankful for your help these past few days, but...
[Indra angrily kicks something.]
Indra Oh, stuff this and stuff you and STUFF YER MOUTH! You like it, I can tell! So put it ON!
[Dagda begins to put on the clothing given to her.]
Dagda Guh!
It's not right for a Knight of the Tower to—
[Dagda has problems with the clothing.]
Dagda Wait, just one moment...!
[After a while, Dagda manages to put it on.]
Morgan —Well!
Dagda *cough*...
Indra Ha-ha-HA! Now that looks bang-up on you.
Dagda Well, thank you. Now that I've tried on your gift, I think I should change back into my original clothing.
Morgan Let me root around... Got a trimmer here! I can do up your eyebrows one sec.
Dagda Wait, I don't—
Morgan Stop blinking! I'm just trimming your brows, love, calm down! I've got my studs here too, if you want me to pierce you up? I'm telling you, earrings would go smashing with this outfit!
Once we're all done here, you'll be a member of the Glasgow Gang just like us!
Dagda I—
Indra FINE! If you hate it, then I'll bloody take it off for you!
Vina gave me half an earful yesterday and I'll admit she talked some real sense, but if you're dead set against us, then let's go for round two! Let our fists do the talking!
Eyy-up—
Dagda No!
Indra Flip's sakes, what now?
Dagda I'm keeping it on!
Thank you, Madam Morgan. I do love this outfit, and these earrings.
Also... could you help fix up my brows for me...? I'll try not to blink.
Indra ......
Morgan Wait, so you accept Indra's apology?
Dagda ......
I do.
Morgan I knew it! You were never narked at us really!
Hannah's just loud-mouthed and cocky in spades. If you went serious one-on-one, she'd never beat you.
Indra 'Scuse me?!
Morgan Dagda... Madam Dagda, that is, you might want to slow down too. You just arrived and all—Vina's still thinking it over herself.
And I mean, Hannah too. You spouted all that "protect the honor of Victoria" guff at her and you could see the dynamite go off inside her, but she doesn't hold it against you. She'd just rather kick any noble in the gonads, that's all.
Indra Hmph!
Dagda Madam Morgan, I feel we can refrain from keeping our distance. You can simply call me Dagda.
Morgan And Hannah? Can she call you that too?
Dagda She... can, I... suppose.
Morgan Here, you can have these earrings now.
Looking good, right fit! You were made for this style! Shame Vina's not a patch on you.
She's dressed like the arse-end of Bottom Alley right now. How about sometime we give her a makeover like yours?
Dagda Ah... If it would be for Her Highness...!
<Background black>
Adhering by your counsel, I have found Her Royal Highness Alexandrina. However, it shocked me to find that she did not wish to leave her present companions, to travel with me.
Your teachings are still writ in my head. It was every one of you that broke the capture and delivered me out... (The text is struck through.)
(Fresh handwriting follows.)
Her Highness's present companions are a cohort of gang members, with Her as their leader.
Madams Indra and Morgan have given me new uniform, the latter of whom also gifted me her earrings. They say that from today forth, I may consider myself too a member of the Glasgow Gang.
I'm reminded of the time Master Bailey first taught me makeup, as well as her taking me to see the fashion show in secret. I had all but forgotten those memories.
Yet I have not forgotten the vacant throne I am entrusted with, being that I cannot let the Knights fall in further disgrace. I know I can never accomplish this alone no matter what, but this purpose has brought me to this day, and is what I exist for.
I will see our liege back, and Victoria's throne will be vacant no more.
<Background 2>
Indra ......
Dagda ......
Indra Bloody Morgan had me on! I just knew it, I could see her dying to laugh when she agreed! Stunk of evil, that!
Dagda I don't think I should be teaching a class right now, though. I wanted to prepare a little before we return, plus I never hang around the Training Room in the first place...
Indra Gonna do Vina's work, then? Talk with the Doctor about heading back to Londinium?
Dagda What talks are they even having? We're heading back, full stop. As a Knight of the Tower, don't you think I should be elsewhere...?
Indra Cork it! You're here, with me, so let's try these lot on for size! Now no more chatter!
[Jackie and an Intern Operator approach Dagda and Indra.]
Jackie ...Indra?
Intern Operator (Jackie, is Instructor Indra always this testy?)
Jackie (I think some stuff happened in Victoria...)
Indra Gah! Whatever, you bloody lot don't know how long the story is. Here's the deal! We're going, so today's the last chance you get to fight us!
Our little girl here can explain the rest to you. I... am DONE talking now!
Dagda Ahem. Er... I'll be your opponent for today.
......
Right. You can call me Dagda.
I'm not too sure what you've been doing before, so we'll go through some daily exercises for today. I'd like all to follow along properly, if you'd please.
Now then... let's begin.
<Background fades out and in>
Dagda Based on my experiences being trained, you'll first want a grasp on your swimming, lancing and fencing skills, as well as learning how to wipe off your weapons, and fight in coordination.
Er, I'll demonstrate them to you one by one now... no, wait. You don't need to be studying this...
I'm imagining—you're here to learn how to engage in practical combat.
Indra, can you help me one second? I want us to demonstrate for them how I used to spar in training.
Indra You're on!
[Indra charges at Dagda.]
<Background black>
Finn This is your first training session, Isabelle Montague. Before you formally begin training as a Knight of the Tower, I want you to always keep this in mind—
Victoria's throne will not be vacant forever.
Isabella Yes, Master!
...My mother instructed me that we nobles should be the pride of Victoria.
But more than that pride, it's duty I hope to succeed. Though the Palace stands empty, the honor I protect is all the same! Disgrace will never fall on our name again!
<Background 2>
[Indra and Dagda spar.]
Indra Now watch and bloody learn!
[Indra hits Dagda with a heavy punch.]
Dagda Hngh—!
(Abdomen, face, both exposed points...)
(I'll focus on them...)
<Background black>
Finn Isabelle Montague—
Dark be the lights of the Palace. It falls to me, upon this hour, to anoint thee as a Knight of the Tower.
Isabella Yes, Master!
Finn You have wiped clean your weapon. Do you swear here and now, that you will uphold the peace?
Isabella I swear.
Finn Do you swear here and now, that you will relinquish your personal greed, that you will inherit the spirit and honor of the Knights of the Tower, that you will pledge fealty to the Kingdom?
Isabella I swear.
Finn Do you swear here and now, that you will devote the remainder of your life to protecting Victoria, to protecting this nation?
Isabella I swear.
Finn Your oath is made.
Isabelle Montague, no longer are you apprentice under the Tower. You are now a Knight of the Tower, in all trueness and formality.
<Background 2>
Dagda
[Dagda blocks Indra's attacks and counters with a heavy punch.]
Jackie Whoa! That one was crazy!
Intern Operator Wow, she almost sent Instructor Indra flying... Is Instructor Dagda just this powerful?
Dagda (This won't do. Master Finn taught me that modesty was a knight's virtue...)
(I'm here to assist. Knocking Indra away is far from right.)
(And she'd buy a ceiling lamp and end with a bath heater if she just gets angry enough...)
[Dagda blocks again but Indra manages to hit her.]
Dagda
Indra Oi, oi, now I've got you wide open!
My turn!
[Indra hits Dagda hard making her fall down.]
Indra Hahaha! How LONG'S it been since I went like this? This is the STUFF!
Give your hand here, I'll pull you up!
[Dagda gets up.]
Intern Operator Wow... You can tell Instructor Indra's got real-deal talent, though! What a turnaround!
Jackie I know, right! Why else would I recommend her to you?
Indra Yeah, yeah, I heard that! So you lot were doubting me just now?
Jackie Erk!
Intern Operator No, no, we weren't! You Glasgow Gang people are all incredible examples!
Dagda You're calling us... "examples"?
Intern Operator Of course I am! Everyone knows how amazingly strong each of you are, and I hear you're a knight too... a "Tower Knight", was that right?
Not to mention Instructor Indra! Joining up with a street gang's always been a childhood fantasy of mine!
Jackie I can imagine the look on my dad's face...
Intern Operator I seriously can't thank you two enough, I've taken so many notes! Instructor Indra, I'll be even more powered up by the time you're back again!
Dagda ...Pff.
Indra What are you gigglin' for? About time someone sings my bloody praises, right?
Dagda Yeah, you are right tough!
So, let's get back to it?
<Background black>
Master Finn,
As mentioned in my previous memorandum, I boarded a landship by the name of Rhodes Island, together with Siege. Today we depart it, and return to Londinium.
Indra asked I hold her final class together with her, and bid farewell to her sparring partners. It was a deliberate move of her so that I'd shake some of my nerves, I know.
I taught them how the Knights fight. I never imagined anyone would care what combat lessons a "Knight of the Tower" had to teach.
They all know Victoria has its Steam Knights, those tremendous heroes that soar through the air, rumble-ye-rumble. People seem more keen to believe their stories.
But these operators, sparring for practice? The name of "Tower Knights" is familiar to them too, and their notes hold our combat characteristics as you first taught me. All while they're not even Victorians.
I seem to understand why Indra loves boxing with them so much now.

I apologize, Master.
It's been so long that I'm bound to forget some of what you first taught me. But I still remember how you entrusted me with the matter of the vacant throne, though I can't remember the words in concrete any longer.

<Background 3>
[Indra enters.]
Indra Found ya, you sneaky bastard! That should be our last drop of the good stuff!
A shot for each! Here's to us, together once again!
Morgan My giddy aunt, why've we still got this blanket?
Baird It's been hard getting new supplies in these past few years. It's still usable if you care.
Siege I'm supposing Hannah still doesn't admit she caused the gashes in it?
Indra Wasn't me! Like I'd even bleeding remember!
Morgan Shh, keep it down! We'll have another scene if that little arsehole out there hears you!
Indra What, scared he can take me? Back when we moved this gym sofa in, he was still in nappies!
Baird Hannah, calm down. I can go talk to him. Too many people we've been unable to save in recent times, that's all, it's getting to him...
Indra Who gives a shit about him, let's drink! C'mere, don't just stand around like an idiot! Haven't introduced you yet, even—here, this is Baird, here, this is Dagda!
Dagda How do you do, Madam Baird. I've heard plenty about you before. They say you do very pretty work with butterfly knives, and you make good drinks too.
Indra Here we go again... bleeding "Madam"...
Baird Er, I suppose...
Shame I can't make you lot anything right now. Too low on goods, and everything we've scavenged is filthy.
Dagda That is a shame... Indra's eyes light up every time she recalls it. I've always wanted to...
Indra Okay, okay! Nice to meet each other, ain't it? You're not getting her drinks, nah? So let's just down this stuff!
Morgan I'll fetch you a glass, Dagda. How much can you take?
Dagda Just a little'll be fine. I don't really want to get drunk.
Indra Baird, how tough's your liver these days? Used to be we could each drink half a crate by ourselves, remember!
Baird I'll take just a little too. I don't really drink much as of late.
Siege Baird, want to take a walk with me?
I'd like to see what this place has become. I've been away so long.
Baird ...Sure.
[Baird and Siege leave. Morgan blocks Dagda from following them.]
Morgan Let them go!
Dagda ......
Morgan Dagda, you want a little something to drink?
Dagda In a bit, maybe. How about after the two of them come back? Madam Baird doesn't look in the best of moods.
Morgan We haven't met for too long, is the thing. With how much's happened here...
I fancy we just need more time to chew the fat, but... that's not time we've got right now.
Indra Forget all that nonsense! Once Baird's back, you watch me give her a right proper hug!
Dagda I've heard no end about your boxing gym. Now I'm finally seeing it... I remember the huge row I had with you all back at first. And still, after that, you gave me these clothes of mine.
Since that day, I've reckoned you to be a bunch of... pretty alright people. Just a bit tempersome.
Indra Repeat that?
Dagda And it's been a long time, since I've... celebrated, with a group of people like this.
Morgan Is this how you and your Masters used to do dos? Drinking and all? Or was it karaoke? Maybe a little dance?
Dagda Well, drinking was a little...! I suppose they did have to tell me to loosen up all the time, but... we did mainly sing to celebrate.
Indra What kinda stuff?
Morgan Oooh! Alright, ahem... Isa, you're in charge of this get-together from hereon. Lead us all in celebration!
Haha, good impression, right?
[Baird and Siege return.]
Siege We're back. What have you been talking about?
Dagda We've...
Dagda remembers the final night she sang with her colleagues in merriment.
Her Masters nudged her to allow some air between her and the Knights' creeds, and they shed their armor, and led her on down to a cramped little basement bar.
They squeezed together on the seats and held each other shoulder by shoulder, so as not to be seen, and sang to the murky ceiling at the top of their voices, singing until the patrons all about them cursed at them for the noise—
By wild and a-yonder, by rage and a-galewards ♪
Red-ripper moons and the blackest of broadswords ♪
Death hangs above in the air and does eye me ♪
Here in the tower, Victoria be me ♪
Dagda Death hangs above in the air and does eye me ♪
Here in the tower, Victoria be me ♪
Morgan Death hangs above in the air and does eye me ♪
Indra Death hangs above in the air and does eye me ♪
*hic*!
<Background fades out and in>
Dagda ...Baird?
Baird ......
Dagda You don't have to come out if you don't feel like it, I just wanted to chat with you. Things like, um. "Siege and the gang mention you a lot, so even though this is the first we've met, I feel like I already know you pretty well."
And, um... "You speak about things a little differently to how they do, and I'd like to get to know you a little more."
Baird ......
Dagda *cough*... Okay! I admit, Morgan pushed me to see you, I don't actually... really know what to say. I'm sorry, Madam Baird.
Baird ...Pfft.
[Baird opens the door.]
Baird Sorry, I guess my mood's been spoiling it for you lot.
Dagda You say that... The first time I met them, we ended up in a huge scrap. Indra was in splints for weeks after. I think that would've spoiled their moods more, right?
Baird Oh, never knew about that... What did you say to set all that off?
Dagda Well, that I was a Knight of the Tower. And I'd sworn to succeed to the honor and the shame of Victoria, and I'd be leaving with Siege, so we could return to have her installed as monarch as soon as possible.
That was the sticking point. Even on the way here, Indra hasn't stopped arguing with me about that.
How about you lot? Did you tend to argue at first?
Baird Mm... we'd get Hannah to clean the room for once, and she'd just stuff away everything she didn't recognize into one tiny cupboard...
Dagda Eugh, I just knew she'd do something like that...
Baird Or... let me think. Hannah might've accidentally sprayed Vina in the face with fizzy pop one time? I remember they had a MASSIVE scuffle about that.
Morgan was pissed afterwards. Went up to me and asked, "how come I go in to mediate and they sock ME?"
Dagda Hahaha, that's the first I've heard of anything like that...
What about you, then? Did you ever have rows with them?
Baird Never. I've... never fought with them before.
Dagda In that case, I think maybe you could try having a quarrel? Er, not that I know anything, but...
After we first fought, Morgan gave me this outfit, and these earrings, and I was let into the Glasgow Gang. Indra started getting dead upset at all my 'knightly habits' after that, so I changed bit by bit...
In my mind, I'm a Knight of the Tower, one to Her Majesty, King of the Siege, but at the same time, we're Glasgow Gangers too. Just friends. Don't you think?
Baird ......
Dagda Ugh, Morgan couldn't give me a trickier mission... How am I supposed to be the comforting sort?
Baird ...Pfft.
I know what you're trying to get at. We just... me and them have been apart for too long.
Dagda What's to fear? Honestly, I bet Indra reckons everything's as usual as it could be. You're still just the same in her eyes.
Baird That much I believe. That much, I do.
Dagda So, may as well scrap with her first! Right?
Baird ...Suppose so.
Dagda Feeling better now? Wow, I'm not even sure what I'm saying anymore... See you tomorrow, then?
Baird Right on. See you tomorrow!
Tomorrow... We've still got plenty that needs doing. It's down to us to distribute all the meds and supplies those people with you brought...
Baird pats her on the shoulders, cracks a faint little smile, and quietly hums through the tune Dagda sang when she first came back with the gang.
It stirs a memory in Dagda, of years and years ago. As if Master Finn had clapped her just as firmly on the shoulders, that final time they belted out their song.
Or perhaps, it was that encirclement, the last breakthrough, when his great bloodied hand gripped her shoulder as tightly as death.
"Isa! You... You brought us hope!"
"But you have to remember, the vacant throne..."
It's as if all this time an arrow has remained in flight, and here and now pierces true through her heart. At long last, she recalls the words that follow.
"It rests barren! Your duty is far more than to await a monarch!"
Dagda The throne has been a barren one...
That's what he meant by "vacant throne" all along...
His old and weary smiles. His each and every turn to her gaze. His final breaths. His lone dying request. He hoped to push her, to free her from this gravest burden.
Dagda places her hand across the "Book of the Tower Knights" forever on her person. A sturdy tome, a weighty one.
She continues to write no longer. In its stead, she forges one step forward, and that is all.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 4>
Dagda Siege, I... I've got some water. Have a drink.
The Duke of Windermere's got supplies enough on this ship. You can drink what you'd like. No need to save any.
Siege It's fine. I'm much better now.
How are you? And the others who boarded with us, are they...?
The soldiers lost their fellow men, and we've...
Dagda strokes lightly across her brows. Where originally they were neatly kept, new hairs are now growing out, a slight stubble against her fingers.
Dagda I can't quite remember properly. Why did Baird split up with us, back then?
Siege ...Because one more time, she just wanted to get word to McClaren.
She wanted everyone to come with. That's why she stayed behind. To fetch the bloke she knew from the video shop.
Dagda Her memory was never even that good.
I remember you all talking about how she got all careless once and let a basket of eggs slip. No breakfast for any of you the next morning.
But she remembered how I stamp my feet about when I'm nervous. No one else even noticed, but she came over to me. Comforted me.
Why's her memory so good one moment and so bad the next...?
Siege ...I should have gone with her...
Maybe I should've persuaded her just a little harder. I knew how she'd stayed there all this time. I knew she'd care for the people more than we could know...
Dagda But we did nothing. You did nothing.
Siege ......
Dagda Siege, how much longer will you keep hesitating? When are you finally going to think to make a choice?
You have to choose!
What IS your path in the end? Are you here as revenge for your friends, to be a king, to be a leader, or is it to see your moral code through? You can't just stay the way you are, not doing anything!
Siege I...
Dagda ......
You put a decision to me on the way here. You said you weren't the lord I was born to serve. Well, I've made my decision.
May the Knight die as vassal to her king. May the Knight die for her friends.
The Knight will abide by virtue, and the Knight will gladly sacrifice. That is my oath.
Siege But, Dagda... It doesn't feel to me like they need an Aslan King anymore. All of that's in the past.
I'll stand with you, with them, and with the people aboard this ship. That's all.
Dagda ......
I understand.
Siege, this Book of the Tower Knights is yours now. You must keep it safe and sound. That's my choice.
Siege What are you...?
Dagda I've realized what Master Finn was trying to tell me, and what it meant for them to stake their lives in order to rescue me.
They didn't want for me to inherit their burden. They entrusted a "vacant throne" to me, so I wouldn't deceive myself with the weight of it all like they did... They wanted me to see Victoria's future in their place, with clear eyes.
......
I give this book to you. No longer am I just Isabelle Montague, Knight of the Tower. Now more than ever, I'm Dagda of the Glasgow Gang.
I'm not protecting Victoria's king, no. I'm just protecting my friend.
Siege ...Alright.
The wind flies past their faces, endlessly for the yonder behind them, as if it blows everything away.
Dagda Once the war's over, I'll take you to visit the tower. Visit my masters.
Siege Sure.
Dagda Siege...
Never since I swore my oath have the lights in the Palace been lit, out behind the Tower. I've never guarded a Victorian monarch. We Knights of the Tower... long lost everything we ever protected.
So I have to ask. Have the Knights of the Tower accomplished their duty...?
Siege Yes.
Your duty is accomplished.