EG-4: Burnt Fragment 4

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EG-4
Burnt Fragment 4
Episode 08
Previous JT8-3 (Story)

SPOILER
This interlude is only accessible by clearing JT8-3 with the Guard version of Amiya in the squad.
Characters
Reserve Operator - Melee icon.png
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator
Reserve Operator - Sniper icon.png
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator
Reserve Operator - Caster icon.png
Steady Rhodes Island Operator
RI Operator icon.png
Tired Rhodes Island Operator
Sarkaz Mercenary A icon.png
Sarkaz Mercenary
Backgrounds
Chernobog Control Tower Outside
1
A matter of trust.
<Background 1>
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Hey. What's the situation?
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Not too good. There's only a couple of devils left on the lower level...
But they're all battle-hardened mercenaries, and horrible at that. Give them a single screw, and they'd come up with a hundred ways to kill you with it.
In terms of combat ability, we're about even. In terms of numbers, we've only got half theirs.
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Uh, do you have a but? I'm gonna lose all the feeling in my legs...
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Yeah. "But" the mercs are having some interteam strife. At least the bunch outside are. The ones below us right now, I'm not too sure.
Tired Rhodes Island Operator You know that's not good news, right? Ugh, ow... that guy just now was a ruthless bastard...
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator If you've done emergency treatment, you're good. Think of something else for now, distract yourself.
Tired Rhodes Island Operator ...It's gotten hotter and hotter up above. Ever since just now, the action up there's gotten a little scary... and, uh, well, how do I put it? Makes it a little hard to breathe.
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator I said distract yourself, not think about it all!
Tired Rhodes Island Operator ...Amiya. Amiya's alright, isn't she? And that Lungmen officer. Uh, I only met her once... but when I think about how they're dealing with... with... uh, what was it?
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Give it a rest, you're starting to talk in tongues. Actually, you've lost plenty of blood—hold on, we've got news.
[Someone contacted the Rhodes Island operators through radio.]
Panicked Voice It's me. I'm nearly at ground level—
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator ...What's the situation? The enemy?
Panicked Voice Stroke of good luck. The Arts explosion just now at the top of the tower was like a volcano erupting. Engulfed the floor we were holding. We dispatched a few sentries in all the chaos, and the rest of them had to evacuate down to open ground—
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator I thought they'd be defending this place to the death...
Panicked Voice Maybe they all had a premonition of sorts. They all know, what's going on up there is beyond any "tactical" level of foresight now—
[An explosion is heard, which also starts fire on the area.]
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Wait... what's going on! ?
Wha—
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Grab on to me!
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Wait... the—the fire's spreading?! What the hell's even flammable here?!
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator High heat... It's just like the intel said, this is Talulah's doing...!
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Quit standing there! What do we do now?!
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Oh—let's go this way, join up with everyone else! Wait up, is your leg okay now?!
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Distracting myself!
[An explosion is heard.]
<Background fades out and in>
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Confirm all comms! For the time being, no casualties!
Steady Rhodes Island Operator Calm your hustle. Those mercs haven't gone far. They're confirming the situation, prying for opportunities...
Command tower got caught up in a sudden explosion at the top, and now it's fallen into... momentary peace.
[Another explosion is heard.]
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator What part of this screams peace to you?! A—Amiya's group are okay, right?
Steady Rhodes Island Operator Mm... well, with that going on at the tower top, I'd say we're practically the picture of peace.
[Another explosion is heard.]
Tired Rhodes Island Operator F... finally—!
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Don't drop your guard, we're still—
——
Tired Rhodes Island Operator W—why'd you go mute? Hello—?
What's so interesting about the sky? Is something going on at the tower...?
...Wait, i—is that an... orb of light? A ball... a ball of fire? A halo? What IS that?
Steady Rhodes Island Operator Arts.
Tired Rhodes Island Operator ...Arts?
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Ah! I've been making a record. Since the start, that first huge sound, the flames and heated airstreams have burst through the building's dome. From beneath the tower, to the naked eye, it looks like...
Like the afterglow of the setting sun.
Like the death of Infected as successive as the waves.
Like rage.
Like this city placed in ruin.
Tired Rhodes Island Operator ...I don't think I'm particularly perceptive compared to the rest of you, but I know more or less what you want to say here, really.
Steady Rhodes Island Operator That'd be the leader of Reunion's
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Heat and flame.
But heat and flame... shouldn't be things so fearful.
Steady Rhodes Island Operator Mm. That ball of light. That's one... two people's. No, perhaps even more than that, even more rage...
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator So that's... Talulah?
Steady Rhodes Island Operator It isn't. Or put another way, it's not just her. Not by far. Everyone knows the leader of Reunion as the intel described her, but I can't draw a line between that young little dragon and what I'm seeing now at all...
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Just what... just what happened up there?
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator ......
Steady Rhodes Island Operator ...I don't know.
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Amiya...
[Another explosion that starts fire is heard.]
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Is there anyone else in the command tower?!
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Yes!
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Then we need to go help them!
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Wait! Keep your head down!
Sarkaz Mercenary —Enemies have left the command tower! Go find them!
Block this place off. Don't give them the chance to seek aid.
[Another explosion that starts fire is heard.]
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Wh—what do we do now?!
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Maybe we should go back and help Amiya—
Steady Rhodes Island Operator —No.
Only Amiya... Only Amiya can do this. She can. I'm sure of it.
I believe in her. That's the only reason I have for standing here now.
And...
And she promised me. On my next paid leave, she'd tag along with me to hit the streets... and no leader's allowed to eat their words.
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator ...Okay.
Then until Amiya comes back clutching victory, we can't relinquish the control tower. At the very least, we hold on until Dr. Kal'tsit arrives.
We—
[The sound of an Arts-infused slash is heard.]
Tired Rhodes Island Operator Wh—wait, something's cutting the sky apart! Uh, that—whatever that is!
—Did you hear that! ? It happened again!
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator ...A sword? Right, that Lungmen officer's a sword-wielder, isn't she...
[Another sound of an Arts-infused slash is heard.]
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator C-Could a sword do this?!
Steady Rhodes Island Operator ...I'll hold the mercs off outside the control tower. You guys, back in. Rescue the remaining people. Secure an evacuation route that hasn't been destroyed.
Tired Rhodes Island Operator How are you gonna hold alone against that many Sarkaz?
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator I'll go with her.
You guys, go back in now. Move.
Sarkaz Mercenary ...Rhodes doesn't have many left. Tell the other teams to haul the net in. We'll be going this way...
Crash their defensive line ASAP. Their deaths will be our greatest bargaining chips.
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator Move!
Tired Rhodes Island Operator ...Alright!
Panicked Rhodes Island Operator Don't you push it now! They've got a lot of people!
Steady Rhodes Island Operator ...It's been forever. Us two, fighting side by side, eyeing for a chance to ambush the enemy.
The two battle-hardened Operators hold tight their weapons in mutual rapport, and the Sarkazs' press on towards them menacingly.
Neither side takes their eyes off the other.
Seasoned Rhodes Island Operator ...For sure.
So about your vacation. You two still need a bag-carrier?