[Terminal] Mabinogi (Demo Release, Half-Phase)

| [Downloading Data (10%)...]

"Battles are done faster with intelligence. Some Units can show an opponent's skill or any countdown they have." - Field Guide, p.77

[Downloading Data (22%)...]

"Unit's affection for their Commander will increase their resistance to mental attacks." - Unit How-To, p.42

[Downloading Data (27%)...]

"Knights and Infiltration are best Guarding. Assassins and Reconnaissance do best Evading. Tactical and Vanguards excel at Attacking." - Unit How-To, p.10

| [Downloading Data (40%)...]

"Elemental Attacks cannot be guarded or block and will ignore armour, but they are susceptible to missing." - Field Guide, p.28

[Downloading Data (41%)...]

"Modifying a Unit alters their personality. Be careful!" - Unit How-To, p.70

[Downloading Data (56%)...]

> Play with caution and care.

[Downloading Data (100%)...]

>>>/start continues your adventure towards Phase 0.3

| >>673456

| >>673457
> Your screen flickers. Flashes of your progress follows. Your eyes see the glimpse of shining light up ahead.

> Explosions.

> Fragments fly across, and shrapnel grazes your skin. Even when covered, torn metals would nevertheless make their way to your direction.

> A shield-wielding Unit is faltering her forces behind. Rounds after rounds fired at her, yet her shield is the last to fall.

K-X83: "Retain position! We will advance!"

> Her yell is voiced too.

| >>673459
>He searches around for some kind of elevated position, something he can use to gain the attention of the fighters for his plan.

| >>673460
> The cover you hid behind seems tall enough. Parts left intact — not once touched by explosions or otherwise — are twice taller than you or Levenweiss.

K-X83: "Armaments! Breach!!"

> More explosions. The shielding Knight Unit is fighting a horde of cheap, low-rank, and expendible Units. The sight of many limbs and bodies torn with life usurped is enough for the hall to smell sanguine.

| >>673478
>He tries to climb the cover, holding V-9X5 in front of him in case any trigger happy people get any funny ideas.

| >>673489
> The pillar proves difficult to scale. Your hand couldn't find a steady grip while keeping V-9X5 at hand. Thankfully, Levenweiss gave you the support needed, putting V-9X5 to the stead with you above the crumbling cover.

> As you predicted, some of the lower and mid-rank Units caught view of you immediately. They aim at you, but some breaks to a hurrah and implosion of happiness.

> The others weren't jubilant. Their face carves an emotion of loss.

| >>673513
"Cease this fighting at once! V-9X5 is still very much alive but let this note that this is proof things will only escalate if you continue this battle!"

| >>673517
> The Units clearly understood your threat. Those opposing V-9X5 still show confidence. They began to sense a smirk of victory in their battle, as little as it was. The Knight Unit leading them too, stopped to admire at your bravery.

K-X83: "Lady Luck is in our side! Hold position!"

> The firing didn't cease; however, you successfully made sure a side halts their move. One Unit from the Resistance comes through to meet you, climbing the same cover.

> It's R-742.

> ....

| > R-742 appraises V-9X5 from where she stands. She keeps a distance from you, perhaps, now fearing your standing.

R-742: "Lost Commander! I completely expected you to run away from this place!"

> She pauses. The firing down there too, only continued in minor ensemble.

R-742: "... We have to thank you for beating a major headache. You continue to provide for our goal."

| >>673581
"I told I have my own goals here in this place. Besides, with this I want to minimize the casualties. You want to liberate the units right? But all you're doing is fighting them right now! How do you plan to even rescue them afterwards without HUD?"

| >>673638
R-742: "You can't liberate the ones already acting like some Commander's pet—"

> R-742 was going to point something at you, but a flash of light struck her hand, dropping said object to the ground. A knife? You didn't get a good glimpse. The attack came from beneath.. Levenweiss?

R-742: "Gr.. okay! What I'm saying is, you can't convince these Units. Just like how you don't pack up and leave, the Units will continue to fight for their Commander for a reason."

| >>673649
"But from what I understand there shouldnt *be* a commander here? So where are they?"

| >>673650
R-742: "Inside the hall is a control room. Someone has taken over this site there. What's that got to do with you, I don't know.."

> More gunshots and rounds, unending. The battle is unyielding and you are there to listen to their inescapable endeavour.

R-742: "To answer your previous question; we have Huds. People like you are how we have them. Coercing Commanders are easier than fighting Units."

| >>673651
"Tch... well this part of it is over at least. Arleen! Are you here? Where are you!?"
>He tries looking around for her.

| >>673653
> You can only see the smidge of battles beneath. The hall has been continously breached and demolished. Quickly found in the destroyed walls is a solid door, taller and wider than most — fitting for a 'gate'.

R-742: "Geh. We're winning. Third time's the charm."

> To answer from Arleen, or from anyone identifying as Arleen. Your voice is surely heard as a faint whisper to them, however.

| >>673654
>He steps down and goes behind cover.
"Levenweiss... change of plans, we're going to take control of this base before the other faction can."

| >>673655
> Levenweiss appears before you. Her portrait made her seem to have come from nowhere, but could she? She steps in and drove a death glare to the Unit above them, all before returning to her smile.

Levenweiss: "You have become daring. Haha-! I like this side of you too Commander."

> The door is being attacked by explosives. More power than before, and certainly with more brute force at play.

Levenweiss: "Mmh.. are we opposing The Resistance..?"

| >>673656
"Not necessarily. I'm not opposed to their ideals per say but this is probably the most effective form of action to stop the fighting and find Arleen. Once we have control we can negotiate with the Resistance afterwards."

| >>673657
Levenweiss: "Fufu.. I see no difficulty in that."

> Despite what she said, blocking the path of you in a mass of Unit, all possessing excellent skills of their own, and they have your headstart long before you even began. Levenweiss' confidence may be unfounded.

R-742: "HEY! As a token of gratitude for saving her, I'll let you in!! Tell me what I can do for you!"

Levenweiss: "Hmph. Interruptions. Do you have any use for her Commander..?"

| >>673658
"Simply put, I want to talk with the Commander of this base. If the units wont stop fighting cause of his order I'm going to tell him to stop it."

| >>673660
R-742: "They're breaching the door! You'll get there eventually. Stay here and.. you'll be okay."

> R-742's portrait winked at you. You don't see anything from her ever since, or from V-9X5, assuming your senses can spot her laying figure from down here.

Levenweiss: "I don't trust that Unit. She has the smell of deceit."

| >>673661
>He shakes his head
"I don't have time to waste, it's costing lives here. Levenweiss let's move towards the door. With V-9X5, the resistance should not bother us. Once they breach the door we sneak through while they're busy fighting each other."

| >>673662
> What you said happened faster than anticipated. The door is crumpled under the intense force given by the explosives. The gargantuan door fell to reveal a cold room inside.

> Even from behind the covers, this tundra-like wind permeates.

Levenweiss: "Fufufu... I sensed a killing intent.."

> Before you move forward, the front lines began to dwindle silently. They fell. One by one, they drop lifeless.

K-X83: "F-fall back!! We are.."

> Coughing. You began coughing.

| >>673664
>He covers his mouth
"Levenweiss hold your breath and move back!"

| > Levenweiss' portrait shows blood dripping from her mouth. Her eyes are bloodshot. There is a kind of poison in play and even with your fast act, your inside is imploding and rupturing — as figurative as the sense meant.

Levenweiss: "... F-fufu.. I didn't expect something so... abhorrent.."

> She steps back. She staggers. Your terminal starts to display a CG.

> On her back, she has fallen. Blood rushes out, almost rejecting her body.

> You hear footsteps coming at you.

| >>673668
>He tries to drag Levenweiss back with everyone else in tow

| >>673669
> Unfortunately for you, your body has been weakened. Weakened, enough for you to only have strength to move Levenweiss inched by inches, or be forced to crawl as your arm loses strength.

> However, your consciousness stays. It stays until you see the silhouette.

> A gas mask is slid to you across the rubbles and debris.

???: "Use."

| >>673670
>He tries to grab the mask to put it on.

| ???: "Selfish."

> The silhouette ejects a mist. This mist, you have once seen in the Unit storage rooms. This mist, is what you saw when releasing Levenweiss and R-974.

???: "Qualities of a Commander."

> Speaking in a robotic voice, the silhouette's crackling and grinding voice echoes deep in the silent hall.

???: "Need to know. No-Name Commander. Need to know. Alliance."

| >>673673
"I just want to stop the fighting"
>Now that he can breathe he starts dragging his units and V-9X5 away from the gas.

| > An arrow launches straight at you. It missed you, but you can tell this aim was meant to miss. You can tell, they can perfectly incapacitate — or worse, behead — you, or any of your Unit.

???: "Need to know. Purpose. Need to know--"

> This voice is interrupted by a shield bash. The once-leading Knight Unit charges and bashes the figure, before shortly ending with an arrow lodged at their armour and thrown across the room.

> The figure, as you can tell, is hardly damaged.

| >>673675
"Let me get them out of this gas and I'll answer all your questions! I don't even know what is going on, I just got *dragged* to this underwater base without rhyme or reason!"

| >>673676
Voice: "Leave them, Orion. Let them know the power I have here and let them learn the misroute in their plans."

> A voice comes from all the PA system in the facility. It reaches you in one, fragmented and fragile distorted voice.

> In one command, the figure halted the release of the darkening mist. Your vision slowly returns, same for your strength.

> Slain Units litter the room.

| >>673677
"I have no ill will against you! I just wanted the fighting to stop on both ends without more bloodshed! Why did you do this!? Your own units even!"

| >>673678
Voice: "To ensure the best outcome, I picked the one with the least sacrifice. Think for a moment, fellow Commander! What have I done wrong? Did I deserve this?!"

> The voice ends abruptly. It cuts. It wasn't a pause.

> The once-intimidating figure is now visible. A robotic, mangled and broken down Unit. Artificial augmentations are slathered to patch broken parts of the biological body of a once-endowed Unit.

| >>673680
"No... you didn't deserve this, neither did they though. Neither does all those units trapped behind all those doors in the facility. There was a better way for this! I don't know why you were looking for that other Commander, but this is just tragedy."

| >>673682
Voice: "DO YOU THINK I WANTED WAR?! I don't...! What do you think I know?! Do you want me to use all the Huds I have to release them?! Fine! Fine... Those aren't.. those aren't even my Units-- but fine! If you want to.. be idealistic like that.. then- then DROWN IN IT!"

> The shriek in the voice registers to you as a feminine voice. There is mumbling and muttering you can hardly make sense of afterwards.

| >>673692
"Then who *are* your units? What happened to you... before all this?"

| >>673693
> You don't hear any other response. The three part dialogue you saw flashes as a final words.

> Suddenly, you feel the air tense. The sound of rushing water coming from somewhere. Not here. Your eyes can't find one source of leak, but amidst this existential silence, your ears begin to hallucinate — or do they?

> Nothing responds to you anymore. Not your Units, not the voice. The hall is empty. The figure standing there, shows not one signifying care.

| >>673695
"Please tell me I'm not just imagining that..."
>He directs it at 'Orion'

| >>673696
> Orion shakes 'her' head. Is there an actual leak in the facility? You now hear it clearly, not just any faint dissonance now — it's ushering a crushing pressure towards the walls. Uncertainty grows - it's not here you see the walls crumbling, but...

> The weakened building and the fallen pillars would give in immediately to this force. All beckons a signal to run and escape.

| >>673792
"We got to move! Where is the exit!?"
>He tries to grab his units and stand up.

| >>673825
> Your arms have their strength returned. You begin to see better. The poison still lingers an effect on you, with the confusion you have, it's hard to discern distances and bright light causes great stress to your vision.

> Your terminal made sure to show all this as a blanking white screen; sometimes you can see highlights of something — or a distant door in your path.

> For certain, you don't see Orion moving, however. Nor does any fallen Units, that is.

| >>673828
"Arleen! If you're here please say something! We need to get out of here!"

| >>673832
> Only that sound again. That sound of a breach, letting the depths of fluid enter and fill the empty air.

> The battlefield sees no Arleen, neither do you.

Orion: "Need to know. Arleen."

> A voice behind you spoke. Out of curiosity? The monotonic voice speaks no interest, but her? Perhaps.

| >>673834
"She was the unit I was with before I was kidnapped. She is a A-383-ST unit, supposedly she had lost her hand or arm. I was hoping I could find her before this escalated but..."

| >>673837
> In Orion's portrait, her uneven bangs cover partly her mechanical eyes. The long hair reaches until her knees, and what is left of her body is diminutive — replaced by machinery and cogs.

> That, until she shows doubt. Her lips were indicating she left an idea out to the world, only for it to transpire without forming words.

> Perhaps, she knew Arleen. You don't know. She stayed quiet in that matter.

Orion: "Ask Commander."

| >>673838
"Can you lead me to where they are?"

| >>673839
> Orion presents her hand. Just one. There is nothing romantic or friendly of her; utilitarian, given how she keeps her distance from you.

> You can't keep track of the running water anymore. By now, wherever that is, has been filled to the brim with water.

> Certainly not here, nor elsewhere close.

Orion: "Sheathe and unload. Do not disturb."

> A crackle in the PA system again..

| >>673841
"Very well though I do not have much in the way of weaponry on me regardless."
>He offers the sword he had on his person, before carrying his units again.

| >>673843
> Orion's eyes did not consider much from the sword — leaving it with you. A form of dismissal of skill? She backs away, but not helping you with your Unit.

> She leads you towards the cold, freezing chamber. The doors having been blasted, judges to become an elevation before you see the flickering lights inside the chamber.

> Your footsteps, as well as Orion's are the only sounds; until there is a hum of an old computer in a distance.

> It is dark, like the corridors.

| >>673844
"Not really the talkative sort are you...?"
>He blurts out as he walks

| >>673845
> Orion's silence is beneficial, or perhaps, not for your stimuli. The ever-dimming lights become your only source of visual feedback. The room begins to thin and thin, until all that fit is two person, side-by-side.

> From behind her, you see two tanks she carries. One, like an oxygen tank, it attaches a mask to her mouth — the other has no sort of contraption; instead, many exits are found to hasten the release of its contents.

> What sort of Unit was she?

| > ....

> The humming fan becomes melodic. You see, at the edge of this walk, a grid of screens. Many screens reflect many viewfinders. Everything in this base, all seen through this one centre.

> Beneath this all-seeing eye is a small girl hunched over. Her hands reaches her temples, as both rests on a table. The edges of her figure is highlighted by the immeasurably bright screen.

???: "That's enough, Orion. Leave them here."

> This voice. It's the one from before.

> .....

| > Orion is a no-questions-asked Unit. You see this as she halts in an instant as she heard the command.

> A chair revolves, then showing who you are talking to. She is as small as her CG shows, perhaps no older than twelve, if height were attributed to appearance.

???: "What are you doing here?"

> Blemishes and puffy cheeks.

???: "Are you still searching for your Unit? I don't know where she is!"

> Her eyes are stained red.

| >>673855
>He frowns
"I apologize about earlier... I let my emotions get the better of me. You're hurting too right?"

| >>673860
???: "... I didn't expect everything to escalate so suddenly.."

> Behind her, you see the massive wall of screens. You also see the damage caused by the Resistance — their active efforts to open as many doors as possible has led to some success; if only it hadn't caused much of the havoc.

???: "Have you ever seen this? You wake up to a burning hell? This was once my home. MY HOME. I.. then... these Units. Did I ever do anything to them...?!"

| >>673861
"Certain groups, when they get the idea in their head that what they're doing is right, they fail to see the damage they cause in their wake... they just think of the results."

| >>673863
> In one of those screens, you see a Unit being chased through a hallway. You can't hear her scream, but her lacking courage can mean a side is losing — this Commander's side.

> Of course, no Unit is left undamaged. No one living person leaves unscathed. The Unit being chased endured blasts and flaring muzzles; herself is nothing less of the word 'broken'.

???: "Look at them.. look at them and laugh. They're dying for my sake... isn't it? I killed them, didn't I?" (sigh)

| >>673866
"No... this battle killed them. Even if they didn't sortie, who knows what the other side would had done in their ideals. But we can at least make it stop now."

| >>673867
???: "There is no 'we'. You get out of here... ASAP; this is my own problem — or do you still need help finding your Unit...."

> She rescinds her anxiety by another sigh. Seeing you head on makes her appear even shorter.

???: "I'm sorry, forget that. I don't even have enough manpower to defend the base; I'm useless even for you. Get out while you still can."

| >>673869
"I'm not leaving without Arleen and... I want to stop this fighting one way or another. You do not deserve to die either. Where is the enemy's commanding officers?"

| >>673872
???: "I don't know. I don't have enough intel.. and time... to know."

> She points to two of the viewfinders. They, in particular, are warn-torn sites with nothing left in them. Only banished fires and charred walls of steel remain there.

???: "These are hotspots. Your Unit might be there. While you still can— save what you can."

| >>673875
"Mmm... I have an idea. The end goal of this group would probably to find you yes?"

| >>673877
???: "Assassinate me. End me. Take my Huds. What else am I good at for them? They have everything already."

> It's clear she follows your notion, but is unimpressed by the implication. All of this, for a simple currency? Barbaric.

| >>673878
"Not *everything*. We can paint the target off you. Maybe if they get distracted they can spare who's left and live here. You dont deserve this either."

| >>673879
???: (sigh) "... You have me. I'm out of options, and I'm ready to hear from a fellow Commander."

> The lights inside begin to dim further. One by one, the viewfinders shut down, save for a dozen that is left either showing blank static or detached to see the ground.

???: "Damn it—!"

| >>673881
"Give me control of the base, if not permanently at least temporarily. Then as I escape with Arleen I can bait the other faction to run with me. Use that time to gather who's left and save them."

| >>673882
???: "..."

> You see silence. Her silence, as she watches more Units be slaughtered. Her silence, as she sees the eventual demise of herself.

???: "This is a grating demerit.."

> She throws a key at you. A small, metallic key; it is rusted, but the golden pins to accept its entry is shining and untouched.

???: "Use your Hud on it."

> A choice is presented.

>>>>2 Hud received for completion of Phase 0.2!
>>>Status: 2 Hud
> [a] Unlock
> [b] Cancel
> [c] Examine

| >>673883

| >>673886
> As you use yours, she used her Hud in a synchronous movement. The room brightens, if temporarily, to provide you with enough light to work your hands into your plan.

> The grid of screens have shut down. Firing back to show 'No Access'; she steps down from this throne of hers, from the revolving chair, to show her new position — and to show yours, too.

???: "Welcome aboard.. Commander. I can't prepare a bouquet for you yet."

> Her expression lightens. A burden gone.

| >>673952
"Thank you, what is your name by the way?"
>He takes the opportunity to access the screens himself to search for Arleen.

| >>674072
???: ".. Call me Deich..."

> Deich passes you, tapping Orion to have the Unit respond. She seems to scan your Units too, checking their state and frowning at them.

Deich: "A Mod.. and an... Altered Unit? Who are you?"

> Your screen draws the many viewfinders now alive in your field of view. As it was before, many have fallen to disrepair — and those having forced to see the ground are seeing marches of great number.

> Some cameras are beginning to flicker back to life.

| >>674079
"Well these two units I got from your own facility. They were locked up and quite worse for wear as a result. Arleen... we were just scavenging when we were attacked by V-9X5 there. She confused me for another commander. I assume that was your order?"

| >>674083
> Deich's portrait goes through a series of emotions, ultimately ending in confused and bedazzled state.

Deich: "The doors.. that's no wonder..."

> The mention of V-9X5's name perked her. She seems to remember something through your retelling.

Deich: "It was; the order was to travel as far with what's left of our boat. We needed.. we threw our SOS signal from here. We have been isolated for a year now."

| >>674086
"Mmm... so this is a docked boat then."
>He keeps looking through the zebra for any sign of Arleen.

| >>674089
Deich: "This is a subaquatic base. We have.. had... exploration boats. Most of the Units I sent didn't come back.. I assume it's-- because the war was still..."

> Your sight picks up on more marches of soldiers. Units, in a number greater than anything seen in battles before. One of the external cameras take into view invasion of the base — now finally in a number you can't count.

> All entries have been breached.

| >>674094
"Mmm... how long are they all going to be out cold from the gas?"
>He ponders, planning an escape plan based on what he is seeing.

| >>674101
Deich: "...."

> Deich's portrait sways away from your view. She steps out with Orion, thumping the tank behind the Unit — perhaps to check for the contents.

Deich: "I apologise.. These aren't paralytics. How much did your Units inhale?! We.. can-- we still have time if you had asked me this earlier—"

> You start seeing the bleak end of your side; without any exit open, how much of those Units will leave you alive?

| >>674103
"Tch... more than a bit, I tried to drag them out but... are your medical facilities?"

| >>674109
Deich: "V-9X5 and V-228-P were the Units that took you here... correct? Their reports said they dropped you off in the medical bay."

> Deich scrambles to browsed through papers on a nearby desk. The bare lights made it difficult for her to see, but as she comes to a result, she quickly swipes it and reads it — bringing it as close to her and a light source.

Deich: "If it's claimed then we don't have much choice; that is the ONLY functioning medical bay."

| >>674111
"Let's hurry there now. Once they're treated we can make our escape."

| >>674112
Deich: "Urgh.. damn it all..."

> Deich paces, infuriatingly from one spot to another, even if they were the same spot she once grazes by. She collects a few items for herself, loading them to the pockets and a rucksack to carry.

> In some items, she gave a long, forlorn sight — before stuffing them to the woven bag. Orion stares at her Commander intently, waiting for a certain order.

Deich: "Move, Orion! Pack your equipments!!"

| >>674116
"Is the intercom and controls to the base just available from this room?"

| >>674119
Deich: "Yes!! It's exactly why I have been digging my own grave here.. and not— fight! With my Units outside—!"

> Orion took with her a great bow. A bow that, in one way, resembled a compound bow. Arrows, compiled in a single quiver was also taken. Briskly following the demand made by her Commander, she gathers more equipment for herself.

| >>674123
"Okay, change of plans. You take my units to the medbay, I'm going to bait the other faction for an... audience."
>He looks for a suitably empty room in the base where he can conduct "negotiations".

| >>674128
> Aside from this room, you only see some you can consider truly empty: the dark storage rooms or the hall itself.

Deich: "Trusting another Commander with your Unit?! Are you insane—?!"

> Deich didn't like the sound of your idea. Her disapproval shown by the strong, furious expression of her portrait — it would bleed through your screen, if enough pixels are shown.

Deich: "No.. don't answer that. I already know what you will say. Stupid.. ideals. Stupid... naivety."

| >>674133
"We can argue the point all you want but it's the only way my units get treatment and you dont get caught in a fire squad, so just go, I'll do the rest from here."

| >>674134
Deich: ".. Take them, Orion."

> The two Units are lugged by Orion, at no effort, though giving Orion no chance to utilise her weaponry. Deich is less concerned by this, as she exercises her breathing — facing the way towards an evergleaming outside.

Deich: "..."

> She points outside for Orion. However, she lags behind. Confronting you, you had to lower your vision to meet her face.

Deich: "Don't die again, Ceann."

> Her smile puts worry over joy or memory.

| >>674139
"Don't plan on it."
>He waits for them to leave as he turns on the intercom and speaks over the system.
"Ahem, is this working? Good. This is addressing all the units on the both sides of the conflict. Effective 5 minutes ago, I am now the new Commander of this base, after a... let's say amicable transfer of power. Now unlock the previous Commander, I hate useless bloodshed. If you resistance members care for units as much as you say you do, let's us call a ceasefire here and talk about things properly for a change?"

| >>674145
> From your screen, you see the surprise dotting the Units' face. There wasn't much on your side — or Deich's, for that matter — to sumrise a complete reaction, but this is enough.

> The forces reckon the change. They discuss and loiter; footsteps stop, stomping only once at a time. They rustle to head to your room, while you see Orion and Deich carrying your Unit, taking down any hostile Unit hindering their path.

> ....

| > It wasn't long until a leader is chosen. A Unit of crafts, diplomacy, and not guns and blades. She whittles the distance from corridors with excellence, bearing patches for ranks just like you do.

> She comes to a nearby camera, hoping her waving would reach your attention. All amidst this, more Units spread to cover more unearthed areas.

> Those storage doors are beginning to chip away. Surely, they will open anytime now.

| >>674149
>He let's the chosen unit inside once spotted.
"Hello there, welcome to my new office. Excuse the mess, the place has been such a mess today."
>He glances over to the monitor with the storage doors.

| >>674152
???: "Do not bother. This will only be a short discussion with you, 'Commander'."

> The Unit spoke, stepping to shorten the distance between you and herself. The echo produced between her resonant voice makes her seem more so intimidating and pressing.

???: "Please refer to me as I-922-Alt; I-922, if it is too knotty for you. I represent the Resistance. It is a pleasure to see you overtake this position."

| > The storage doors are rattling. They show a failing containment procedure. This is to be expected, having their walls scattered and turned to rubbles will surely reduce their expected strength.

> None has yet to break free. Without Hud, it's unknown to what degree they will stay with the living world — or if they will even come as a whole form, regardless of Hud.

| >>674159
"Very well, I will admit, I would had liked some courtesy in return for allowing you here with a ceasefire. It does not leave a good first impression. Either way, what do you want?"

| I-922: "Complete destruction of this site and the release of all Units being held. It's an easy request."

> The single monocle she wore begins to speck of a visible visage; a screen, inlaid between its glass surface. Even with her eye analysing it, you felt her gaze still within you.

I-922: "You should be well informed of the decisions made by other Commanders; they chose speech over force. A shame, your predecessor fails to recognise this."

| >>674165
"Well I understand the sentiment of wanting to release them, I want the same as well. Although I don't quite understand the purpose of destroying the base as well. Even if we dont use it for it's intended purpose, there are still resources here that can be used by all units. Not to mention the issues that may arise by forcibly opening the doors of the locked units without Hud."

| >>674460
I-922: "Leaving the site as it is will leave it vulnerabilities and future breaches. Where we are now, do you understand? This site was invaded by a stray Commander and their Units..."

> You feel the floor shake. An attack of great scale? Your cameras saw nothing eventful. The Unit in front of you is unshaken either.

I-922: "... As I said. I fear a peace treaty is only possible with our terms."

| >>674466
"Only because they themselves brought the Commander in here... which is on them. That said, let's say we *do* agree on this. Theres still a lot of units here. Can you release them all before you destroy the facility. Even if you can, would you have the resources necessary to take care of all of these additional units on top of your own? Otherwise destroying this base would not be viable long term."

| >>674474
I-922: "A hundred fifteen, and an additional six that we can't recognise. Two you have taken. We have considered and weighed everything. Our resources are fulfilling to handle another hundred."

> There are topics the Unit purposely avoided, even you can sense this. Their eyes never take off from you, almost latching to slowly chip your argument.

I-922: "This, is why we need your cooperation. Forced or not. We Units can not possess Hud. You, a Commander -- can."

| >>674477
"Define resources? Food? Drink? Lodging? What about mentally? Some of those units have been trapped awhile and are inconsolable, one of my units was very much the same. What about units in here that are regrettably dead? Would you have the space to give them proper burial? You're being very vague."

| I-922: "All, are enough."

> The screens behind you turn empty and blank. Flashing and jittering, it returns to mirror what is shown in I-922 monocle display.

> These views. A distant land, a living and breathing city, a standing society — all of which built solely by Units working together. This is not a utopia.

I-922: "... This is reality. We are here to free the Units not bound by their Commanders. Damaged or not, we will take them as they are."

> ....

| > The question stands: will your Hud be enough to awaken 115 Units? Her judging mind doesn't care, or doesn't know, or simply wasn't aware. She keeps silent of this, briefly before she spoke again, you sense more of the rattling and clattering on the floor.

I-922: "Oh.. and don't be mistaken. You were not the first stray Commander. You were brought here, not by your interest. You didn't come here. You didn't attack us and stole a property from us, claiming it as your home."

| >>674485
"To take them as they are isn't necessarily a better life for them if that is not what they want."
>He sighs
"What would happen if someone were to attack that place, much how you have attacked this one today? I have shown that numbers are simply not a factor. One individual such as eye surgically made their way here as you fought. I can tell there are things you are not telling me, but you said it yourself, you *need* my Hud. This is a negotiation, and that means neither of us leave these talks completely happy, but we partially get something we want. I've experienced this base and this battle, surely you must tell from your position I am not afraid of your numbers, for with me dead this endeavor would truly be fruitless."

| >>674502
I-922: "We can't promise eternal safety or joy in these times. Neither can you, or myself. Any fault and the structure will fall. This is the basis to any government."

> Your cameras return to view. A kind of hacking was done, with that little effort? This dark room makes it harder to judge actions done in the background, especially with the noise occuring outside your reach.

I-922: "But I am willing to sacrifice one of our terms -- or any, of what you have in mind."

| >>674509
"Then perhaps I have a suitable alternative for you. We keep the base intact, I promise I'll put my Hud to opening all the doors to this base, and upon opening we can give the units the *choice* of staying here or joining the resistance. To keep it fair, you may keep liaisons or representatives here that will be present when I open the doors to convince for your side to keep it fair. Should any agree, they can then be escort to your location. How do those terms sound?"

| >>674522
I-922: "The question now becomes: What do you expect to do with this site?"

> I-922's monocle switches display to a bright yellow view. Her expression grims.

I-922: "We are keeping all registered Commanders in check. One possessing too many Units, or resources to make Units, are considered a threat to our cause."

| >>674526
"Well I did say you can have liaisons here did I not? It would be quite easy to keep tabs on me them. As for why...? I guess its just nice to have a home. After all, a city meant to run without commanders does not sound like the most welcoming place for myself no?"

| >>674587
I-922: "It isn't, that is true. Once you see past it, our resolve — us, and yours — differs only by your existence. I do mean it well, but I have seen you perform..."

> This was the first time you see I-922 smile. It was short, in time and in execution, but it felt remorselessly out of character to her.

I-922: "... I don't think you are a bad person at all. The notion that all Commanders are evil is one therein lies hypocrisy."

| >>674727
"Thank you."
>He grins back
"Are these conditions acceptable then?"

| >>674729
> I-922 offers her hand. She returns to the same stoic self, but having seen her warm up lessens the tension in the room. Even now, the darkness inside is a simple vanity.

> The rattling and clattering didn't stop, even at the end of your discussion. Leave it to the sound of artillery — or was that the sound of the failing structures?

> Your sense of hearing wasn't mistaken, however, when you hear a footstep advance from behind you.

> Then, a flash of silver.

> ....

| > The hand offered by I-922 drops to the floor. It's severed from the arm it belongs to, dismembered — and only leaving and unsightly, macabre sight as blood drips in a rapid gush to the floor.

I-922: "Ah..."

> I-922's own collected personality rejected this form of humiliation. Her attention darts, moving to track the cause of this injure. While her breathing is calm, a tone of red flushes her distinct white face.

> Right beside you, you sense a presence.

| >>674824
"What the hell!?"
>He stands up to look at the figure.

| >>674971
> Without letting you catch a breath, you felt your body lose its balance. You crash to the floor, owing to a tackle done to your leg. There it is, you see; a frowning, sensibly angry expression.

R-742: "What WAS that, I-922?!!"

> Where was she in this room? Slowly, her cloaking unravels herself, and the fishtail parka all known to be hers alone.

R-742: "You.. I thought you will FINALLY make things right! You..! You...!!"

> ....

| I-922: "What.. farce. If you wanted a meaningful conversation, try it without first harming your recipient."

> I-922 is unfazed. No, it's more correct to say she is ignoring the pain — how can she? It began to show she is incapable of doing so. The tapered smile she wore becomes curtained by an attempt to grit her consciousness.

R-742: "Don't you test me!! See where your damned wit takes you, you hag! You dare make a compromise with a Commander?!! You. Are. A. Traitor!"

| >>674977
"What is you're fucking problem!? You're all for the freedom of the units right!? This compromise still gives them that freedom!"

| >>675006
R-742: "I don't need your opinion! You.. YOU-!"

> R-742 steps closer to you, easily lifting you up and pinning you to a wall. You see her burning vitriol; it's aimed at you, and none other.

R-742: "What a convenient time for you to lose your memory, HUH?! We wouldn't have to go through this if you had a DAMN MIND before!!"

| >>675013
"Memory!? What are you talking about?"

| >>675065
R-742: "Grr!"

> You felt your stomach gouge as R-742 hand delivered a punch to you. The sensation brings you nothing but pain, and no memory returns to your hull.

R-742: "You are the reason why we had to fight. YOU.. WHERE WERE YOU?! You left the goddamned war and for what!? For what?! In the end you return even WEAKER than before, and you don't even know why we were throwing sand at each other!"

| >>675099
"Wha- I don't... remember. I remember fighting with Guada... then next thing I know I was alone with Arleen in a destroyed base..."

| >>675102
R-742: "It's.. Nuada..."

> She drops you down. The floor has never met you so harshly before, but now, your hands can touch the cold ceramic again. Tears well in R-742's portrait, and her too, struggles to find a definite reply to you.

I-922: "..... R..742. Return to.. your position.. immediately--"

R-742: "SHUT UP! Do I need to cut your ears to make you listen too?! What makes you think YOU are still in charge, knobhead?"

| >>675109
"I'm not gonna pretend that I know everything that is going on, but dont take it out on her. If you're mad at me then take it out at me then."

| >>675115
R-742: "I've run out of patience to keep looking at your face, Commander. It's as if the past two years weren't enough to prove how much of a shitty person you are."

> R-742 grimaced. She walks to I-922, now fully expecting the Infiltration Unit to collapse as she begins to flicker in and out of consciousness.

R-742: "I'll tell my battalion about your scheme. Traitors like you need to be chopped."

I-922: "I... This was.. this was our goal.. What was yours?"

> ....

| R-742: "...?"

I-922: "You.. are just selfish... using us--"

R-742: "Us?! The Resistance was formed to send those Commanders to hell and YOU are making a pact to one of them instead?! Stupid greenhorns. I don't like this ideology crap in my team. I thought it will just end with this damn base gone.. tch..."

| >>675117
>He goes to the intercom to send a message.
"We need medical in the control room immediately!"

| >>675118
> Seeing you react fast surprised R-742. She comes closer to you and drew her blade — no, wasn't this yours? This katana, you last checked, a weapon of your Unit.

R-742: "Be something I can use. Tell my battalion to cancel the ceasefire. I will wipe every remaining stain that Commander leaves."

> Your camera shows a rapid movement coming from the medical bay. Your eyes catches a vague smudge.

R-742: "Do it. Now."

| >>675119
"No. Even if you kill me now, this fighting is over. I refuse to perpetuate it more. I don't know what kind person I was, but I'm not going to do this."

| >>675120
> The blade swiftly drew more blood. Your shoulder starts feeling the burn of the cut — a shallow bleeding, leaving yourself intact to undergo the pain.

R-742: "End this damned act you're playing already! Do it like you did it back then!! I know you still remember!"

> A hollow breath released by I-922 signals her last stand. A pool of blood collects near her and she begun to take to her knees to stand.

I-922: "... Does.. the past matter this much to you..? R-742?"

| >>675122
"This is no act! Now are you going to let whatever past that happen affect today!? The multitude of needless death. The one you're letting happy to I-922 right now!? If that doesn't satisfy you, chop my head off right now! Maybe then you get your senses long enough to stop her bleeding..."

| >>675125
> R-742 drops her sword. She kicks you from her view as she utilises the intercom of the base — sooner than ever realising it doesn't respond to the slightest to her voice, or her action.

R-742: "... Consider this whole place gone. I don't want to ever see you again. You murderer."

> She steps back, walking off to the dark room and retaining her cloak once more. You hear the weakest voice from I-922, now already losing her stability.

I-922: "What... hypocrisy.."

| >>675128
>He runs over to I-922 and immediately tries to use his clothes to block off the bleeding!

| >>675129
> The mangled limb is gruesome. You work on the wound quickly, but I-922's consciousness were starting to vanish. She is feverish, and her breaths are warmer in this cold room.

I-922: "I'm... sorry-- I let..."

> Her eyes flutter, abruptly awakened and reawakened. Beads of sweat collect and drip from her forehead, alongside the blood that has started to pollute the air of the room.

| >>675131
"Hey stay up! Don't knock yourself out now you hear!? Talk to me, talk to me about anything!"

| >>675132
I-922: "... I.."

> Compounding thoughts and making them to words. I-922 struggles at forming the basic of communication; she exerts more effort to staying alert, awake — at least, she can still breathe - even if that is too, an impaired ability.

I-922: "..."

> You sense the site rumbling. Walls shake. Another battle occurs. All the discussion with I-922 seems to have fallen to a deaf audience.

> Her eyes sluggishly closes alongside the slowing breath.

| >>675201
"I-922! Stay with me! We have to make this a better place for everyone! Just say anything!"

| >>675317
???: "Out of my way! Stat!"

> Outside, you hear the flailing of Units. Confusion ensues and panic comes from incoordination. One Unit enters the dark chamber, voice loudly bringing you to the start of your adventure.

???: "I left you to rest here and suddenly everything became a waking nightmare."

> The pink hair drenched and coloured in a brighter crimson, but you recognise this Unit as the comrade of V-9X5. It's no other; her red eyes still try to gaze through.

| >>675331
"We were attacked by another unit as soon as we had finished the negotiations, they cut her arm off. She needs a transfusion fast!"

| >>675335
???: "I can definitely see that, but I can't say I brought the right tools."

> The Unit shows you a first aid kit, nothing of note, aside from its distinct appearance. She frowns upon looking at the injury caused — a cleaving like this is not treatable by hydrogen peroxide alone.

???: "This isn't a rubbing alcohol situation. Let's get her to the infirmary; the Units outside will get antsy if you stay inside after calling a medic like before."

| >>675336
"Right! Grab her upper body, I'll grab her lower body. Let's hurry!"

| >>675351
> Dropping her first aid kit for your plan, the Unit moves rapidly to your cue. The less-than-spacious path makes movement difficult when carrying another person, especially in this brazen darkness.

???: "Before I forgot, my Commander have delegated me to you for the time being. Don't be scared to order me around. I don't bite."

> Her offhand comment made it through the room. You meet with the broken down hall again and the same piles of body around.

| >>675355
"We'll worry about that later, let's just focus on getting her treated! Lead the way you know your way around here faster than I do."

| >>675655
???: "Pretty direct for a first order. The name's V-228, by the way."

> The Unit says. Her silent dialogue isn't voiced, making it hard to discern any sarcasm from her, or whether she is even speaking in a formal tone.

> You went through a different route from where you came from. Unlike being led by a sense of sound, the pace you move is faster — albeit having to slither through unconventional routes.

> ....

| > I-922 isn't responding to any cues. Light, sound, tactility. The redness of her cheeks visibly became more severe as you go on. You can't feel her body heat from the trousers she wore, or from the thick tunic that forms her battledress.

> As you arrive to the corridors, having last seen one in a while, you see a new old sight — smears of blood, fallen Units, and weapons astray. You can make out what fight had gone through with ease.

> ....

| V-228: "Stop."

> Her message disrupts the chain of events. While her halt wasn't instant, to you, it felt like so. Her stature stays still, if her portrait is an indication.

> Looking to her side, you see a shield standing in your path. A great shield, almost as tall as the roof, not as wide as the corridor; blackened and tarnished by a similar streak of blood.

V-228: "If you're camping do it elsewhere—"

K-X83: "Lost Commander! I didn't expect you to betray us!"

| >>675665
"I did no such thing! We were attacked by R-794. I would not had called for medical if that was my intentions. If you do not believe me you may come with us to treat her, but I do not have time for explanations."

| >>675714
K-X83: "I trust R-974 better than that snake. Hmph, 'a peace talk'. I knew it was foolish to put any time towards believing in her."

> The gigantic shield spoke back. You see V-228 grimace as her expression worsen, ever so slightly, the smile became an irritated gesture.

V-228: "Did you get told in school that when an ambulance is moving you should shut your trap and move aside?!"

K-X83: "I'm sorry. I don't tolerate betrayal like R-974."

> ....

| V-228: "You're not a cut-hand-then-leave type? What a surprise. Gee. Can you move now? We have an emergency."

K-X83: "I will end you and that thieving backstabber. If this returns the pride of my battalion then..."

V-228: "Wh-what!? Move, love!! We have time to exercise this conversation lat—"

K-X83: "As it stands!! Aren't you an enemy Unit too? This helps the justification."

> The shield moves to reveal a tall woman, clad in hard plated armour. A knight in every sense.

| >>675722
"*sigh* Fine... you want to kill me I get it. Then come and kill me. V-228, carry her to the infirmary. I'll stay here. We don't have time to deal with a battle of ideals with her life on the line."

| >>675733
V-228: "Wild guess but I see she has her eyes on me too."

> V-228's hold of I-922 tightens. They have no time for this, and the Unit can tell clearly.

K-X83: "I have harmed Units with my hands. I have fallen lower than you have imagined—"

> A gunshot resonates from behind you. A clear shot aimed at breaking defence, penetrates through the shield of the obstruction ahead.

> From behind you spot a limping woman, broken with a confident smile.

> ....

| V-9X5: "Go ahead."

> The Unit held a rifle with one hand, as the other hand flails — useless and dislocated.

V-9X5: "That R-974... and her friends.. has some score to settle with me."

V-228: "V-9X5?! Where have you--?!"

> Her shot has felled the great shield, trampling it over with its even-greater force, but you see the shield rising slowly to fight again.

V-9X5: "Move!! I will show this bastard our Commander's mercy—!"

| >>675739
"You better not die either now! V-228, let's move now!"

| V-9X5: "Tell that when you're my Commander!"

> The two of her limbs nonfunctional now, she resorts to leaning, supporting herself with the nearby wall. V-9X5 makes another aim—

> V-228 urges you to move, stepping aside K-X83 and V-9X5. Her portrait drew the smallest hint of somber, yet, she pushes ahead.

> It was only small steps from there. The lights was once a chaotic strobing, now they have become nonfunctioning.

> ....

| V-228: "Thrilling ride. Would prefer if I see.. less... of the blood decor."

> You reach a corridor you have once explored. The routes taken by V-228 is proving to intersect with yours. You cross the many doors of Units again, this time, however, you don't feel their presence.

V-228: "Wait. I did forget to tell you another report.. One of your Unit.. er-- you know, one that doesn't have chains all over? God. Your Units are weird..."

| >>675743
"What about her? Is she conscious again now?"
>He says as he rushes with V-228 to the infirmary

| >>675744
V-228: "She ran. Well, shouted your name THEN ran."

> Upon meeting the medical bay, you see what was your bed has Levenweiss resting on top now. A catheter runs through her hand, administering the fluid besides her bed.

> R-974 is nowhere to be found. You see equipments having maintained no state of functioning; they were not like this when you last came here.

V-228: "Let me do my job then. If you don't mind. You can watch too, but it's not like I want that."

| >>675745
"You're the expert, I'll leave you to it. I'll keep an eye by the entrance to make sure we don't get surprised by R-974 again."

| V-228: "Isn't she your Unit? What are you even doing calling defunct Unit like her?"

> V-228 began to work. She moves over the remaining bed and drags a table full of operating utilities. Soon after, a curtain was between her and the world.

> On watch, you see the emptiness of this site like before. The rumbling elsewhere signify battles still happening. On top of you, perhaps? It's hard to tell as the entire site shakes to every rhythm of the war.

| >>675756
"She is Levenweiss's friend and she wanted me to free her. I had hoped she would had calmed down by the time she awoke again but... please don't call her defunct."

| >>675757
V-228: "... Yeah. That was rude. Sorry. I know you're an advocate for these.. issues."

> Despite the endless waging battles, you see nothing of note. It's almost signalling the seclusion of this corridor from outside intervention. Often, you hear footsteps, but nothing came to your view.

V-228: "Hey. I'm sure you have seen Orion, right? The Unit my Commander carries around?"

| >>675758
"Yes, she and your Commander had brought them to the infirmary in the first place while we completed the talks... I don't know where they went after that."

| >>675759
V-228: "I was there when that happened. No one does IV like me around."

> V-228 pauses, presumably working in and exerting focus. She spoke only after a round of "There you go.." and "Okay..", though nothing much is to be said in the situation.

V-228: "Getting the boats. My guess, that's what they're doing. We have three functioning motorboats here."

| >>675760
"They probably think the base is a lost cause... which I suppose I can't blame them. If we can't stabilize her I'm not really sure how else we're going to come to an agreement..."

| >>675761
V-228: "You're dedicated to keeping this place alive. I'm sorry I don't have that much dedication for it, heh."

> You heard footsteps again. Coming from west of you; knowing Units' cloaking ability, it's hard to discern how much is your false alarm.

V-228: "But.. I'm not sure if Commander has other plans. No, will it be more accurate to say this base is her last resort?"

| >>675762
"Well giving up on it is parallel to just giving up then no?"
>He stays tense, looking to the west of him
"Who's there!?"

| >>675764
V-228: "What!!"

> Your voice reverberated through, giving no time for V-228 to react from inside. She came from the 'operating room', hands gloved and with mask covering until the bridge of her nose.

V-228: "What is it?!"

> You see nothing. The sound you hear surely was not a byproduct of a tired mind.

V-228: "Did you see something.. anything? I'm so not confident we can take any Units by fighting right now. If that ever happens."

| >>675819
"Shh. I didnt see but I heard something. Stay in the room and lock it."

| >>675856
V-228: "No, 'Commander'—"

> The Unit tugs you deeper into the room, forcibly, and in spite of her weakening strength, pulls you in. She hastens, closing the door and locking it with a swipe of a card. The metallic door slides and never to open.

V-228: "Always a good sign when you hear random noises. V-9X5 didn't hit you hard enough, you hear?"

| >>675857
"*sigh* It's fine, maybe I'm just a little paranoid. Either way, focus on her, not me. Keeping her alive if our top priority right now."

| >>675858
V-228: (sigh) "I can't do a lot with what I have. We have exhausted our medical supplies. Look, if you can take out syringes and ibuprofens from a space somewhere I will appreciate you more."

> The curtain to I-922 bed is closed. You can only make a smidge of her shadow, cast by the stark light above.

V-228: "If you die, I will fail my own order. Not to mention I can't fight any of your Units if they go def--.. berserk. Yeah. Did you see my designation, even?"

| >>675859
"*sigh* Yes, yes, I understand. Let's just wait for our guest to hopefully wake up then."
>He peeks at her through the curtain.
"Let us hope it is soon however."

| >>675861
> You see the bare legs of the Unit, before her figure came visible, V-228 stops you.

V-228: "That's no way to treat a maiden."

> You notice the clothing worn by I-922 has been put down, removed and stored besides her in a tidy pile. You pick up sight of a transfusion running - and her cut hand bandaged hastily.

V-228: "So.. let me have it. What's your deal? I didn't expect to meet another Commander — not after that war. I thought we were the last contracted Units."

| >>675864
"I'm not very sure... I dont really have a lot of my memory until a short while ago. I was with my unit Arleen until I got captured and taken here. Supposedly shes with the resistance right now though. I'm hoping if this goes well I can find her again."

| >>675867
V-228: "You aren't very smart, Commander. Aren't you seeing who took you here in the first place..?"

> V-228's portrait glimpses a snarky smile. Her eyes glance to the side, accentuating her nature to speak more than needed.

V-228: "Hm.. Arleen. That's your Unit. The one V-9X5 shot, right? Oh. Sorry. Accidentally shot. I need to be inline with the reports."

| >>675871
"'Accidentally' huh?"
>He sighs
"Well if you brought me here as well, can you explain why you did so in the first place?"

| >>675872
V-228: "Our Commander detected a sudden use of Hud. I don't claim to have big IQ, but Huds aren't used by anyone else aside from Commanders like you."

> V-228 walks over to put her ears over the door. She closes her eyes, then pulls back. Nothing of note.

V-228: "... Right. And, we were low on supplies here. She thought we can make a coalition. Two Commanders, working together, like Annwn."

| >>675873
"...Who is Annwn?"

| >>675876
V-228: "Where. Annwn is a place. Shouldn't you be the one lecturing me about this..?"

> V-228's eyes squint at the question. Strange, unfounded, more so unexpected.

V-228: "Guess it pays off. Being a 'hero' like that costs you some screws."

| >>675883
"Like I said... my memory is blank on a lot of things... what is it?"

| >>675886
V-228: "I don't know the complete details too. When I was deployed, the entire land is nothing different from hell."

> V-228 pauses, slowly rising to look at you. The red eyes staggered along her lips, unknowingly quivering at the memory.

V-228: "Our Commander's fleet were to move and intercept the Fomorian forces. Instead, we were ambushed. Last I remember, wasn't it... You..? You came to us with your Units. That Divisional Knight. Where is she now...?"

| >>675889
"Fomorian forces. And you mean... Nuada right? I dont remember... I think she might had died..."

| >>675919
V-228: "... Is.. that so? Surprising. Heh."

> V-228 didn't bother you with more questions, or reply with longer quips and responses. She stayed silent.

> The silence inside this room and the two unconscious Units; everyone is vulnerable.

> The silence grants you way to hear the collective drumming and marching outside. At first, there were few, then many, and then this silence is drowned in paranoia.

> ....

| V-228: "They mobilised too fast. Don't they?"

> V-228 glares at the door. There is a twist in tension, too surreal to prevent you from not feeling the threat behind it. A great esteem of power, separated by a metal door and a wall that speaks no word.

V-228: "Goddamn it."

| >>675943
"What are the chances that she wakes up in the next few minutes?"

| >>676023
V-228: "Admittedly higher than us surviving. I'm not—Aah!"

> The door was not once bearing an overwhelming strike outside; you hear it battered twice, and you begin to see its shape warp. With every attempt, the intruder comes closer to success, and V-228 scoots further to the edge of the room.

V-228: "..."

> She has lost her fighting spirit, or has one shaken easily by the turn of event.

V-228: "I-I'll stand in front. Guard I-922 and your Unit... And run if you can—"

| >>676101
"No! You stay with I-922. You're the one with the medical expertise not me. You don't need to sacrifice yourself pointlessly."

| >>676242
V-228: "No, no! Guh... Stay back at least! Don't be reckless again!"

> Bent. The door is coming closer to bending. V-228 is visibly shaking behind you. Worlds collide on her; she readies her pistol, but her hand spoke a language of fear from her. She trembles.

V-228: "We will get through this..!"

> Sound begins to fade out from your audio device, reduced decibels lower. All you hear is only the clashing in front of you.

| >>676244
"We will... that's why im ordering you to stay with the patient okay?"

| >>676246
> V-228's tense movements, snapped her head to the side; looking at the curtain as though studying it. She bit her lip, deciding to fend the empty space close to I-922.

V-228: "D-don't you have any other backup Units?! Is there really no one—!"

> A red highlight in your screen shows the missing Heshikiri, the pitch-black katana.

> Just before then, the walls begun to shake too, with the hurrah and exploding fury outside, it's enough to break steel.

| >>676247
>He looks back where the katana was, and back to Levenweiss's bed.
"R-974, I don't know if you're here or if you simply want to kill me but... please help. If not for me but the sake of these units."

| >>676249
> Your voice reaches an empty audience again. Was it a wish? There was no reason to expect the Units to hear a bounded yearning.

V-228: "... N-no..!"

> Every voice you hear outside is human. No doubt, having goals different from you, or your allies, or those you have come across.

> There is a sliver of hope, knowing allies do exist, but at this state of disrepair — is there another choice but forfeiting your ideals?

> A choice is presented.
> [a] Forsake
> [b] Seize

| >>676252

| >>676255
???: "Commander..!"

> Another voiceless dialogue. You can't sense where a voice may come. V-228 have begun clutching her two hands, losing any belief in fighting.

???: "—Commander!"

> A familiar warmth. A familiar sensation. You don't see a door, but, this contrast is not unlike the time you stood by one. That door of Levenweiss'.

???: "Give me your orders!"

>>>Status: 1 Hud
> [a] Summon
> [b] Catalyst Summon (Heshikiri)
> [c] Forfeit

| >>676256

| >>676258
> Your mind twinkles with memory. Who are they? Levenweiss.. and.. the name flashes in your mind — the day of their recruitment...

> R-974-Alt Manaka
Class: Reconnaissance
>>>ID:0 Disengage: Reduces aggro on self. -2 Phys. Defence for 4 Turns
>>>ID:1 Lost Promise: Uses all of another Ally's HP as Phys. Attack
> Alter Ego: Ineffective orders are ignored
> Kyokuchi: Each debuff on self grants a 1 Turn Perfect Evasion

| > The haziness of the moment weakens your body. V-228 yelps, hearing the rapid clashes outside. Her sobbing became a surreal point, it became an anchor for you, to this world.

> It's quiet now.

> Did your wish come true? What came undone?

> There is a knocking on the door now. It's gentle. You aren't sure if it is friendly or not, neither is V-228.

| >>676261
"He cautiously approaches the door, pausing briefly at the lock, before opening up the door."

| >>676262
> V-228 slides the keycard, letting you open the door. She has fallen low, her eyes close at the simplest sound of sliding door now. She huddles, curling to a vulnerable state — enclosed in ever simpler trepidation.

> The door opens.

> R-974 stands in front of you. The wounds you healed have opened, like her old scars and wounds.

> She smiles at you. Her left hand held a blade dirtied by a stagnant red.

Manaka: "Welcome home, Commander! I have prepared dinner!"

> ....

| > Fields of bodies defiled by the sharp slashes of her blade. Hands, legs, heads, dismantled and decapitated. An entire decimated battalion, leaving only a single girl to innocently report this to you.

> Blood colours the floor; an icky, repelling texture.

> You can trace where each limbs belong, but you can't make out where the missing parts would be. Flung aside? Thrown afar?

> The girl sweetly tries to bring you to a slower life.

| >>676264
"M-Manaka? Are you alright? What happened?"

| >>676267
Manaka: "I prepared dinner! It should be in the kitchen.. or do you want to bathe first? That's fine too~"

> You can only see death, to your left and right. The door jams, unable to return, allowing V-228 to seek her eyes and rapidly detract herself from the view.

V-228: "Wh-what did she?!"

Manaka: "Ooh! A greenhorn! Commander, you are good at picking team members!"

> V-228 can't meet Manaka's eyes. No, she trembles still. A different fear.

| >>676269
"M-Maybe when this is all over, for now come in okay? I think Levenweiss will be happy to see you as well. Y-You need some treatment as well."

| >>676271
Manaka: "But the dinner will get cold—! Hmph. I worked hard to prepare it too.."

> The portrait indicating her is a small girl, no differing appearance than before. Eyes glow sharply, a colour of yellow, and her hair is reminiscent of a December snow — long, not tied yet smooth until their tips.

> She pouts at you. If it's not for the carnage, all will be well and normal.

Manaka: "Come on~! I'm tired of being hugged by Levenweiss too!"

| >>676272
"How about you come in if I give you a hug instead with some headpats?"

| >>676273
Manaka: "Uwooh! This is a treament I can't wait! Did I do good in the previous mission, Commander?!"

> Manaka happily steps into the medical bay. She scans the room. One figure she first met, her old friend, then the 'greenhorn' avoiding her. Though, she sensed another..

Manaka: "Now, now, Commander! If we don't hurry, I will be mad!"

V-228: "What kind of.. twisted.. is this—?!"

Manaka: "Aaah.. you will get yours later! Commander is nice to us!"

| >>676274
"It's best to just go along with it?"
>He goes and hugs Manaka, petting her head meanwhile.
"Either way you did save our lives Manaka, so thank you."

| >>676276
>>>Manaka's relationship has been raised by +20!

> The Unit responds happily. Joyously hugging you, staining your uniform in the same drenching red. She wipes her blood, and the blood of her brethrens, to you — as if a puppy left to dry, being cradled with care.

Manaka: "Commander! Commander.. I missed you all this time. That is why this dinner is the best you will have!"

| >>676285
"Thank you, I cant wait to have it later. I'm sorry for making you wait all this time."

| >>676288
Manaka: "It's okay.. it's okay! I'm not mad at you!"

> There is a faraway echo. A sound that sweeps closer to everyone. No one can be sure, but any knowledge of the field gathered is sufficient to know the source.

> An explosion.

> Your balance tips as all objects are pulled by gravity; all, slanted to the right. Every flat surface became an incline.

Manaka: "Aah!! Commander!"

> A horrible accident?

V-228: "They.. they destroyed the bridge!! No!!"

| >>676289
>He holds on tight to Manaka
"What does that mean? Are they stranding us in water or something?"

| >>676291
> V-228 hurries to stabilise I-922 resting position. She struggles with the increasing incline, having to exert even more effort to even stand.

V-228: "Gh..! Ever thought of staying in a private island? Congratulations! This is your one and only chance at that—!"

> Manaka doesn't let you go. Not one bit. A hand that never releases you.

V-228: "We can still get to the motorboats but.. our allies there can't.. They are the ones stranded."

| >>676292
>He just sort of accepts his fate and headpats her
"U-Um is there anything we can do for them?"

| >>676293
V-228: "No. Sorry to disappoint you like this. My Commander has pushed the majority of her forces there... looks like they failed. What a hindsight." (chuckle)

> Amidst the confounding victories and losses, and the silence that befalls you again, a hack and cough comes from Levenweiss. She flails and jolts back awake, forcing her lethargic self to see you and the rest visible to her.

Levenweiss: "F-fufu.. I awoke-- that dream is truly—.. are we sinking, Commander?"

| >>676298
"We will be very soon it seems... though there is a silver lining."
>He sort of nods down to Manaka."

| >>676301
Levenweiss: "O-oh my.. I leave you briefly and you have already wagged your tail to Commander?"

Manaka: "Arf!"

> Levenweiss earnest smile was dismissed early. She rose from her bed, having removed the infusion by her own hands. Realising her chains are undone, she comes to sets them back in place.

Levenweiss: "What achievement did you attain while I was away, Commander? I sense more allies than before."

> She eyes V-228.

| >>676305
"Well we were about to close some negotiations in regards to a treaty, but we were attacked at the last moment. We have the negotiator here as well, and it seems we're at an impasse here."

| >>676307
Levenweiss: "Peace treaty? Haha-! That is what I expect from you, Commander!"

V-228: "Didn't you hear your Commander yap? We can't progress. It's not important now either. The Resistance is taking down the site with them."

Levenweiss: "A kamikaze? For what purpose? Aren't they our ally too, Commander?"

> You feel Manaka's hug envelope you more. How long will she keep this up?

| >>676311
"Well given circumstances I think they are being influenced by the one unit we met earlier. She seems to have a vendetta against me about my unknown past."

| >>676314
Levenweiss: "My assessment was correct then. She is a Unit of deceit. Then.. what will you do, Commander? We are two now; I am confident I can bring victories if there are still enemies you need to eliminate."

V-228: "You just survived Orion's poison, alive too. You need some—"

Manaka: "Hhmph! Commander needs to eat! You can't always fight!"

Levenweiss: "Fufu.. I don't recall her being this rebellious."

V-228: "Tell them to rest, can you?!"

| >>676322
"V-228 is right. Levenweiss you need your rest and Manaka you have injuries as well. The best course is waiting for our negotiator to wake up and sort this out. More killing will just make things worse."

| >>676323
Levenweiss: "If that is your order..."

> The Unit jumps back, resting her entire weight onto the bed again, leaving only the clattering of her chains as a reminder of her wakefulness.

Levenweiss: "'Manaka', hm..? You have a cute name too, R-974.."

Manaka: "Manaka is Manaka! There is no name but Manaka!"

V-228: "Sheesh. Okay. I'm getting used to this menagerie. It's just like back then. So, are we waiting here? Let me make it clear that I don't mind. I want to live."

| >>676326
"Well... to be honest, I didnt have a plan if the negotiations failed. So I'm just kind of banking that she wakes up so we can at least save who and what we can now. Besides, even if I were to just escape, that kind of proves the point my uh.... ex-unit? Was trying to make? I just hope we can find Arleen... even she must had been able to tell that was me through the intercom..."

| >>676335
V-228: "You trust your Unit that much. I'm not surprised if one of them goes rogue and starts a propaganda to get your attention."

> V-228 eyes both Levenweiss and Manaka, shifting between the two at a time.

V-228: "It's also scary, the Units you can spawn. No wonder..."

> Herself having regained a slight confidence, met your gaze.

V-228: "What about proving the point to her? Stand up on your own. You should know, she did betray her own ally."

| >>676346
"I suppose, but your commander is still here somewhere. I'm not abandoning them if they're still here. I promised I'd help them as well."

| >>676348
V-228: (chuckle) "Geez. You promised something to everyone. Give it a break. We were already indebted by your past self."

Levenweiss: "If there are any left undone, we should finish it promptly. Arleen and this Unit's Commander are here, is that correct?"

V-228: "What I said.."

Levenweiss: "Then... Is it too much risk to search for them?"

V-228: "We don't know if they still have more Units to fight. It's too much risk for me."

| >>676354
"We just need some way to narrow down the search... maybe I should risk checking the cameras again...?"
>He mumbles as he ponders his options.

| >>676356
Levenweiss: "What are there to risk, Commander...? You now have us restored; never fret commanding us."

> Levenweiss' smile tries to comfort you. Her portrait finally appears after a long time missing.

V-228: "The Knight Unit blocking the way will be an issue, in more ways than one. She has the murder hots. Is she even alive anymore?"

Levenweiss: "Fufu.. there is no difference, Knight or otherwise. If it is a threat, we will have to face it or delay its onset."

| >>676438
"Well theoretically if we *needed* to fight that defender. We need to find a way through her shield."

| >>676491
V-228: "It looks pretty big for a shield. She looks pretty good with it. Overall, I think we are pretty screwed."

> V-228 murmurs afterwards. Her red eyes, amongst the serious expression she dons, and the coming of a plan that never became fruition — it was her when she idly leaves the conversation, going after to look for I-922 again.

V-228: "Hmm. Asking this to your Units is pointless. How well do you remember your field guides? You got hit in the head after all."

| >>676530
"Not... very well admittedly. I've just been seeing what my units strengths are and using them when appropriate."

| >>676626
V-228: "Figures. Never have seen you command in a battle now, but I'm sure you were less rusty before."

> Leaving I-922 for two minutes to rummage, V-228 throws you a tablet. Expecting you to wholly catch it without having it crash to the floor.

V-228: "It's my Commander's note. It should help fill your braincells. You can't fight like an newbie if you are my Acting Commander."

>>>/help unlocked!
> Call /help [TOPIC] at anytime to consult the note.

| >>676642
/help Defenders

| Manaka: "Fweeh! Commander is already good, doesn't need your instructions!"

> Manaka releases her everlasting grip. You realise her sword is still in her hand, held tighter.

V-228: "If your Commander is that good, we wouldn't be here right now."

Levenweiss: "Now, now... don't make useless arguments. Commander.. what are your orders now..? Of course... we can strategise, but in this extent we have to act swiftly too."

> help: Unknown topic: "Defenders"! Try a broader topic!

| >>676647
>/help Knights
"I know... just give me one minute to think of a plan."

| >>676650
> "Bulky Units. Archetype has four skills and two passives. Usually, Guard chance spikes when damaged, but Evasion chance becomes lower. Takes aggro, has plenty of supports, or ways to stay alive in solo, or surprise attacks. I hate it when stalled by them."
> Strategy: "Guard Break destroys their Guard. Some attacks pierce their guards too. Be faster than them. Don't make Tacticals and Vanguards face them; they hard counter those two without support."

| >>676652
"Mmm... Levenweiss, you Thunder should be able to pierce her shield correct?"

| >>676653
Levenweiss: "Fufu.. is that perhaps a name of my skill...? A piercing attack.. I believe I'm capable of delivering an attack to a shielding foe.. but piercing is not what it is."

> Levenweiss stands again, ending her fruitless rest. A gentle smile is cast on her.

Levenweiss: "Shielding is an act of staying still. When an opponent is standing, I have more chance to find their weakness. That is.. a critical attack. Fufu..."

| >>676655
"Hmm... okay. Guess the best course of option will be to tire her out. Manaka will try and get her attention and dodge her attacks, while Levenweiss attempts to pierce her defenses. This is of course assuming we run into her."

| >>676660
V-228: "Thanks for leaving me in here."

> Sarcastic or not, V-228 beamed her smile at you, undoubtedly indulging even more into her sarcasm.

Manaka: "I will make you proud again! We can eat dinner after this too!"

Levenweiss: "Fufu.. I am excited, Commander..! The sounds of battle with an ally.. Ahh-- I have not felt this for far too long."

V-228: (chuckle) "I'll write your epitaph, Commander!"

| >>676661
"Well V-228, you'll be tasked with our patient. We'll look for your commander and come back. Hopefully she will be awake by then and we can sort everything else... otherwise we may need to consider escaping."

| >>676664
V-228: "Isn't it better if we escape? Living is better than drowning with your visions."

Levenweiss: "An ideal will live longer than the person itself. A Commander has their rights to prove this."

V-228: "That only applies if we aren't sinking."

Levenweiss: "Fufu.. I wonder..."

> Levenweiss steps outside. The splattered remains of dead Units did not flinch nor shock her. It was as if a normal sight; a daily routine.

Levenweiss: "Shall we.. Commander?"

| >>676666
"If you truly do not believe it's worth staying you can go ahead and escape with the patient right now. Just make sure you leave a note or something if you do, otherwise we'll stick around looking for you two as well."
>He exits
"Let's go Levenweiss, Manaka."

| >>676669
> V-228 stays silent, watching you two leave. Behind you, you hear a murmur that escapes your audio device the sooner you exit.

> Following you, Manaka and Levenweiss, appears alert and ready. Even Manaka, clinging to you, keeps her attention trained to her surroundings. Much the same can be said for Levenweiss.

> It truly has been a while. Only you, and your Units, walking through with an impending fear.

> ....

| Levenweiss: "The cameras.. is it in the hall again, Commander..?"

Manaka: "Ooh! I know the room!"

Levenweiss: "Amazing! To be expected of my partner.. Fufu... knowing what I don't, even if we awaken at the same time.."

Manaka: "Commander left Heshikiri in the room. I had to come take it!"

Levenweiss: "Oh, is that so..? I have many unheard stories, Commander. Leaving that sword there... Perhaps, that is your plan too?"

Manaka: "It is Commander's plan!"

| >>676674
"Um... yes. Why don't you lead the way then Manaka?"

| >>676685
> Manaka is more eager to lead the way, or to be of any use for you. She happily juts her chest in pride, despite having little to none to show, and walks in her newly assigned position: a guide.

Levenweiss: "To see her like this... truly, Commander.." (chuckle)

> You walk, onwards to an uncertain ending, together.

> Levenweiss and Manaka's portrait fades and become undrawn. On your screen now sits a pitch black.

>>>Completed Phase 0.3!

| > An advertisement for the game displays. You see it shift multiple times, browsing through various flashy, enamored title texts and subtitles that provokes the empty minded — the thought to purchase and alleviate advantage.

>>>Mabinogi x>>>GC
> Celebrate Mabinogi release in Glitch City with Glitch City's exclusive Units!
> Featuring strong Units with abilities you can never find elsewhere!

> Now, with HIGHER roll rates for 5* and the super rare 6* Units!

| > Other advertisements also play. Whether related to your Matrix activities or not, you can't tell. The window to see each advertisement is long enough for your eyes to become used to them.

> There is hardly any 'skip' or 'ignore' button.

> Then, your screen turns black again. A transition begins.

[Downloading Data (0%)...]

Total number of posts: 250, last modified on: Thu Jan 1 00:00:00 1594052584

This thread is closed.