[c] “Of course! I can’t possibly turn down my comrades, can I?”
“Of course! I can’t possibly turn down my comrades, can I?” The fairies clap their hands giddily in response to the remark. “Besides, soldiers of the Red Army are supposed to help each other, because we always work together as a team.”
“Awesome! Then we can start working right away,” Ekaterina says and takes away your axe as she replaces it with her chainsaw. “Lead the way, captain! We’re counting on you.” You stare at her confusedly, causing the fairy to scoff at you. “Come on! You said you agreed to help us.”
“I did, but what I supposed to do with this… um, tool?” you ask.
The three fairies stare at one another; realizing the mistake they’ve made they giggle. “Oh, that’s right. I forgot that we live in a different era than the captain’s,” Ekaterina says.
“See? I told you he wouldn’t know how anything about modern machinery,” Anastasia tells her.
“Hush you, I know that already,” Ekaterina replies.
// girls are explaining… //
The fairies are done briefing you about the knowhow of chainsaw and so on. You’re prepared to start what you’re supposed to do, and with that in mind you approach the nearest tree. “So, all I have to do is to pull the cord and let it run?” you utter.
“Yeah, that’s how you start a chainsaw, captain,” Ekaterina answers.
“Alright, then. Let’s see how this thing works.” You grab the cord head and yank the heavy-duty string as hard as you can. Nothing. You reset and pull the cord again. Nothing. You turn to the fairies who are equally as worried as you are. “Did I do it wrong?” you ask.
“No, that’s how you’re supposed to get it started,” Anastasia answers. “Try pulling the cord again, captain.”
You repeat the process, yet after tens of attempts to get the chainsaw running it’s starting to get into your nerves. You don’t have time for any fixing in case the tool breaks down, so you ask Tesla to carry the chainsaw while you take your axe back from Ekaterina. “When in doubt,” you say and take your position near the tree. “Always have a backup plan.”
“But captain, how are you-” The fairies jump off their feet in surprise when you bellow a loud yell and slam the sharp blade of the axe into the tree trunk. You pull out, let out a war cry of sort and swing the axe onto your wooden victim; a loud thud that results from it echoes through the forest, and before you know it the commotion has attracted some curious onlooker.
“Oh, whatever do we have here?” You pause and turn around to see the owner of the voice. “Oh, I thought it was just a regular logger!” Marisa says. “Never thought to see the Russian soldier himself doing some woodcutting job.”
“What brought you here?” you ask.
“Who, me? I was trying to get some sleep but these unusual sounds kept annoying the heck out of me,” she answers. She catches the sight of your comrade fairies, and you can’t help noticing the knowing grin that’s creeping upon her face. “I thought those threes are the only troublemaker in the forest!” she laughs.
“Hey, these fairies you call troublemakers are your comrades, mind you,” Tesla tells her threateningly.
Marisa laughs again. “Come on, little bunny! You aren’t possibly going to threaten me with that thing of yours, are you?” Tesla glowers at the black-white witch, prompting Tatyana and your comrade fairies to restrain her.
“Stand your ground, everyone. There’s no need for unnecessary confrontation right here,” you remind them. You put down your axe and turn yourself to Marisa. “I hope you don’t have any reason to walk out today.”
“Am I now?” Marisa fixes the scarf around her neck. “And what about you? I thought you’d spend the whole winter with your lovey-dovey Kaguya.”
“I don’t see any reason why I would do that,” you answer. “Besides, someone has to find some work and feed the entire family.”
“Hah, I like that, but unfortunately I’m not here to listen to a housewife’s tale,” Marisa says. Just then Alice and her puppets show up, and the contempt look on her face is as visible as you can see. “Thought you wouldn’t show up. I was starting to get bored from standing out here,” Marisa says.
“I’d like it if you please think of your own health for once,” the exasperated Alice says. “This is why I don’t like the idea of babysitting someone…”
“Hey, I didn’t ask you to become one, so yeah,” Marisa interjects. “But anyway, since we’re already here and the captain’s present, you think it’s appropriate for me to have a spellcard battle with him?”
“Marisa,” Alice calls out. “Forget it. You already have, how many is it, four victories? Give the gentleman a break; he has someone to take care of.” Nicely said, Alice. Nicely said.
“But Alice, duelling with him is very fun! I wouldn’t mind fighting him all day long,” Marisa answers.
“Jeez, you really need to have your reality checked,” Alice grumbles. “If you lose, I swear to God I won’t let you use my shoulders to cry on.”
Marisa ignores her partner and steps forward as to face you. “So, captain! Think you can keep up with this ordinary magician this time?” she asks as she fixes her hat.
[ ] Accept, but go easy. [ ] Accept, and don’t hold back. [ ] Decline, and tell her you want to finish your work first. [ ] Ignore her. You don’t have time for this.
System Date: 20th December Time: 08:00 hours Location: Forest of Magic
Touhou present: + Tatyana + Tesla + Ekaterina + Anastasia + Sasha + Marisa + Alice + Shanghai + Hourai
[c] Decline, and tell her you want to finish your work first.
“I'm very sorry, Marisa, but I have to finish what I started first,” you speak. “If you're really keen into having a spellcard duel, why don't you wait until everyone's done with their work.”
“Aw, why not? I’m really bored right know, you see,” Marisa states and sits on one of the tree trunks. “If I can't make myself busy, what else I can do?”
“Whatever, just don't distract me or anyone else, okay?” you say and swing the axe onto the last tree standing. The fairies have their chainsaws running, and you can hear amidst the purring sound of the engines the girls giggling in excitement; you have an ominous feeling about this…
“Captain, can I ask you something?”
“Yeah, sure, shoot.”
“Do you still think of me as your emergency ration?”
You halt. You turn around and stare at Tatyana in disbelief. “What in the world is that question for?” you ask.
“Well, I was thinking that you're still thinking of me as food after all these times,” she answers. “What's the problem with that? I'm no longer your emergency food?”
“The problem isn't why I don't see you as emergency food anymore,” you answer. “It's why you'd ask that question in front of these people.” You pause, as to glance at the fairies. “Also, why are we speaking in Russian right now?”
“Why? Don't you want to have a piece of me anymore?” Tatyana puts her hands on her petite chest, and the way she's staring at you foxily makes you blush. “I can let you savour me right now, if you like~”
“Why in the world are you doing that” you demand.
“Because…” Her ears droop, and she gives you the most alluring gaze you can imagine. “…because I've done so much just to make you feel happy… I even offered you my body, my heart and my soul just to fulfil your needs…” You can actually see tears hanging at the corner of her eye.
“How could you…” She starts crying. “How could you abandon this little zaichata and go for the princess? Captain, you're the worst person in the world ever!!” You drop the axe into the snow. At once you feel all the blood rushing up your body and into your face; the blushing sensation is so intense the heat's actually melting the snow in and around your head. Your tongue is shackled, your body feels numb, and your vision starts getting blurry; you can't believe what you're facing, and you're certain everyone else is sharing the same sentiment.
Tatyana jumps towards you and pokes you on the nose as she's at the same level as your face. “I was kidding! There's no way I can take you away from the princess, because she likes you very much,” she utters as she lands back on her feet. “But I did make you scared, didn't I?” At that very moment your knees weaken, and you drop on all four in the snow, head hanging in defeat. You wish you hadn't fallen to such trick but you did; the insult to your Russian pride only gets worse as Tatyana and Shanghai are dancing around you victoriously.
“Don't give up, Captain! Please fight back!” Anastasia pleads as she, her fellow fairies and Tesla gather around you as to give you the morale support you desperately need.
“Hey, Alice, what are talking about?” Marisa asks.
“I don't think you'll understand even if I explain in details,” Alice answers.
“Aw, come on! Just tell me what it is!” Marisa insists. - - You've chopped the tree down, and together with your comrade bunnies and fairies you cut the tree into manageable sizes to be carried home. Marisa and Alice are also helping with the chore, although the witch's insistence for a spellcard match with you only gets in the way. Nevertheless, you're able to get the work done, and all that's left to dfo is to figure out how to carry all the woods to Eientei.
“We're going to need all the manpower to carry them,” you say. “Any idea on who we should look for?”
“I don't know,” Tesla answers. “How about the fairies? We can rely on them.”
You look at the Russian fairies. “Us? Excuse me! There's only three of us here, how can we possibly carry all those woods?” Ekaterina interjects.
“The oni? What about her?” Alice suggests.
“Suika? We have to go to Reimu's place first,” you answer. “Assuming she's even there in the first place, but having her in the team will certainly be very beneficial.”
“I can ask Big Sis Meiling to help us, if you like,” Ekaterina says.
“The more hands we can get, the easier we can accomplish this task,” you utter.
“Then we'll bring her right away! Please wait here,” Ekaterina says and returns to the Scarlet Devil Mansion with her friends.
You and your comrade bunnies look at the piles of woods. “Well, I think I should bring in the cavalry, too,” Tesla says. “What do you think?”
“Whatever you think is the best, comrade,” you answer.
Both Tesla and Tatyana head back to Eientei to get the reinforcements needed, leaving you with Marisa and Alice at the open field. You turn to the witch, and there's something about her grin that's bothering you. “I hope you aren't going to do what I'm thinking right now,” you tell her.
“Am I?” Marisa fixes her hat's position once. “You shouldn't really ask when you already know, obviously.”
“You're looking for a fight, aren't you?” you ask.
“Well, who else can I rely on to complement my training regime?” she states, even as she slowly takes out her Hakkero.
You turn to Alice, hoping that she will do anything to prevent Marisa from starting the fight. Instead, she shrugs her shoulders, as if she's saying it's no use to stop the witch from doing what she wants. You shake your head. “It can't be helped, can it?” you say and put down everything you're holding. “State out your price.”
“Price? What kind of price? I don't need to- oh! I know! Let me think for a second.” Marisa goes into a thinking mode, and it only takes a few seconds before she comes up with an answer. “If I win, you must let me help you with your quest to win your moon princess' heart,” she says. “Deal?”
You frown. Somehow, you suspect that she's been waiting to say that, but you can't say no to her in this situation. “Fine. It's a deal.”
“Excellent!” Marisa claps her hands giddily. “What about you? What will your price be if you win?”
[ ] Write-in. Name your price, captain.
System: Date: 20th December Time: 0930 hours Location: Forest of Magic
I'll have to think on it... though that bit with Tatyana brings up a good point about little sister figures: They're prone to start seeing their 'big brother' in a romantic light. Sure it might have been a joke but still...
[X] "If I win, you have to go through my Red Army boot camp. Deal?" [X]“If I win, you must let me help you with your quest to win the Rainbow Puppeter's heart. Deal?" [X] Somehow combine these to make them even MORE awesome.
[c] “If I win, you have to go through my Red Army boot camp. Deal?”
“A price, eh? Well, I think I already know what it’s going to be,” you say and switch to your Saiga. “If I win this duel - and I will - you have to go through my Red Army boot camp. Is that a deal?” Both Marisa and Alice blink in surprise, as you notice. “What’s the matter? Are you not ready to answer the call for duty?”
“Call for duty? What are you talking about, captain?” Marisa asks.
“Your lack of discipline is disturbing, that’s what,” you answer. Marisa laughs, and you’re offended by the way she’s making fun of it. “What’s so funny?”
“Me? Not disciplined? Come on, am I not disciplined enough as a magician?” she asks.
“Because.” You leap off the ground and pounce toward Marisa; Alice seems to understand the situation as she steps aside, allowing you full view of the shocked magician. You somersault over her head, land behind her and seize her arms. “Hesitation and negligence in the battlefield will only lead to death,” you speak into her ears.
“I was not even prepared!!” Marisa cries out and yelps as you tighten the arm-bar.
“So says the girl who had started out duels pre-emptively,” you tell her and perform a throw, tossing your opponent across the ground. Marisa makes a quick recovery before crashing into a tree, and you watch cautiously as she corrects her snow-covered attire.
“Now you’re playing rough,” she chides.
“A boot camp isn’t a boot camp if my recruits aren’t willing to take physical and mental punishments,” you reply. “If they can’t face them, they should walk away and return to their old life. I suggest that you think about it very deeply before you accept the deal.”
“No need, captain; I’ve already thought about it,” Marisa replies. “But that’s all? I’m going to have to join your boot camp if you win, right? You know I’m not going to let that happen, don’t you?” She turns to Alice, who is as less amused as you’d expect. “Want to place a bet, Alice?”
“Forget it, Marisa,” Alice answers while throwing her arms upward in the ‘I give up’ gesture. “You can’t win five times in a row. Leave this gentleman alone for the lunatic princess’ sake.”
“Come on, Alice, you’re not being supportive here,” Marisa utters and whips out a spellcard. “Three out of four, captain. It’s your call.” You nod, even as you’re drawing out a card of your own and putting it on the receiver of the Saiga. “That’s the spirit. You better get ready, because I’m going to win this duel certainly.”
She smirks, and to your intrigue, her body starts glowing in yellowish light, and you can feel the intense pressure wave that’s coming from her. She’s holding the card high, and crushes it beneath her hand. “Come forth,” she says and opens her stance.
Marisa pounces at you. You don’t have the time to prepare your spellcard, so you graze the human shooting star, almost losing your left arm in the attempt. She’s fast, and she’s coming too fast for you to even do anything, so you jump off the ground and head for the skies while continually avoiding getting hit by your opponent. You manage to keep yourself at a safe distance, but with the lack of long-ranged weapons you’re forced to use the Saiga as a primary weapon.
And that means you have to let Marisa come at you.
The blazing star’s coming back at you. Amidst the deafening roar of its magical flow, you can hear Marisa shouting enthusiastically “you can run, captain, but you can never hide!” as the distance between the two of you is decreasing.
“Not if I can allow it,” you mutter. “Artillery Sign 「Curtain of Flak」” Shot after shot of flak rounds are fired from your weapon, exploding over and around the blazing star in an effort to slow it down. You leap over your opponent to avoid collision and open fire again; you score direct hits but the comet doesn’t seem to be affected whatsoever. “Is she a truck or something?!” you yell and reload the Saiga.
Marisa turns around and heads back at you. Both of you are in a collision course, and you’re throwing everything you have against the blazing star. “Haha! Got you!!” The spellcard collides, and both of you get engulfed in an immense explosion of magical energy. You barely have the time to block the head-on attack with the shotgun and are pushed across the skies. Amidst the blinding flash you can see the ordinary magician grinning at you, and that’s seconds before a second explosion sets off and sends you crashing into the snow.
“Knocked out already?” Marisa asks as she makes a soft landing on the ground. “Jeez, I was expecting you to go full blast on me.”
As the snow and dust are settling down, you find yourself lying down in the impact crater. You’ve survived the spellcard, that’s for sure, but your pride is hurt by the fact that you were standing at the business end of the gun and didn’t do anything about it. You slowly rise on your feet, using the Saiga shotgun as support stick, and turn yourself towards Marisa. “Full blast? I’m afraid the repercussion of the Red Army going all out will be too much for you to handle.”
“I’m always ready for any repercussion,” Marisa replies. “But I’m telling you this: that was just a warm-up.”
“Marisa!!” Alice calls out as she wades through the snow and makes her way to the crash site.
“Oh, hey, you just missed the fun part,” Marisa tells her.
“Are you out of your mind?” Alice barks in dismay. “You used Blazing Star on him! You could’ve made him killed, you know that?”
“Take it easy, Alice, I didn’t use all my strength,” Marisa replies. “Besides, he’s still in one piece. You should be grateful of that, at least.”
“A warm-up? You said it was a warm-up? Get a grip of yourself, Marisa! You’re not dealing with a youkai, good grief,” Alice says.
“Miss Alice, thanks for the concern,” you tell her. “But let me handle this.” You grin when you notice the concerned look on the puppeteer’s face. “Don’t worry; I won’t die easily today.” You take a step forward stop just as you’re a stone’s throw away from her. “I’ll show you the consequences of underestimating the might of the Motherland.” You replace Curtain of Flak with a new spellcard, and slowly lift the shotgun over your head.
“Counter Sign「Operatsiya Uran」”
[c] To be continued.
System: Date: 20th December Time: 0935 hours Location: Forest of Magic
Morning looms over Mayohiga. The warmth of the winter sun penetrates the bamboo curtains and heats up the room. The owner of the purple nightgown moans in her sleep and outstretches her limbs underneath the blanket, laziny trying to wake up in the cold morning. “Uuu... Ran, I still need to sleep~” you grumble and pulls the blanket over your head. “I want to enjoy this delicious dream for a bit longer~” You hear no one responding to the monologue, and peek out of cover to check the room. “Where is she when I need her? Hmm~ I wonder if I should gap her in~”
“No need to,” Ran speaks as she opens the door. “I had to wake up early to attend the garden, clean the kitchen, wash the laundries, things that you would never consider do.”
“Oh, good morning Ran,” you greet your nine-tailed servant. “What time is it today?”
“You missed the breakfast, and you almost missed your daily walk in the garden,” Ran answers.
“Ran~! How could you not wake me up! Is this how you're supposed to treat your master?” you whine.
Ran sighs exasperatedly. “How was I supposed to perform my duty when you were busy calling Mister Ivanov's name in your sleep?” She turns her head around, and you can't help noticing the vivid blush that's creeping across the face. “And you were... umm... doing...”
“Doing what? Tell me, Ran! Tell me!” you demand.
Ran sighs again. “Right, I suppose it's time for you to quit fantasizing over him once and for all,” she says. “Like he's going to answer your one-sided love and all. You know he already is committed to Miss Kaguya, isn't it?”
“Aw, Ran~! Stop stating the obvious already,” you grumble. “Is it wrong for me, his ever-caring, understanding and responsible host to express my concern for the little soldier? What's the problem with that?”
“The problem is that you're trying to act that Mister Ivanov is all yours alone,” Ran answers. “Besides, it's you who create all the mess he has to endure on daily basis.”
You blink. “I have?”
Ran shakes her head. “I can't believe I'm actually living with the self-proclaimed keeper of the boundary under the same roof,” she utters. “Whatever. I'm not here to argue with my master, not when I brought you news from the Tengu Society.”
“Oh?” You find the prospect of having the Tengu Society share information with the Yakumo House very intriguing. “It's rare to hear this kind of thing. What have they brought to us?”
“Their messenger reported to me that they've confiscated a huge numbers of weapon cache near the Youkai Mountains' border, and they request that you send an expert to identify the weapons. So far, the Moriya Shrine has been informed about the discovery, but the resident goddesses haven't done anything about it.” You grin knowingly, and Ran notices the expression on your face as she later adds: “I assume you already have a name inside your head, yes”
“Always the observant one, aren't you Ran?” you utter and kick the blanket away from you. “Right. I almost forgot I have an appointment with little soldier today. I wonder if he's available for me~”
“Again, Miss Yukari?” Ran asks.
“Why, Ran, I can't possibly sleep all day long, can I?” you say. “This ever youthful lady has to make sure her body, mind, heart and soul are fully worked up once in a while~”
“Very funny, Miss Yukari,” Ran utters. “The next thing I know, you'd dress up as Miss Patchouli's servant and try stealing Mister Ivanov away from Miss Kaguya.”
Your eyes brighten. “Koakuma? That's a very good idea, Ran!” You conjure up a gap next to you, and out of it the familiar black-white librarian uniform with matching frills and thigh-high socks fall down onto the floor. You glance at Ran who just offers you one of her dismayed glares. “Well, let's see if I still can fit in this kind of dress~” - - You're finally dressed up in Koakuma's uniform, and are now examining your new look in the mirror. The dress fits yo up to its minute detail, and you giggle as you've noticed how it actually highlights your figure. “I sure hope I don't have any troubles walking around in this~” you remark and spin on your feet once. “Well, it's still missing the little devil's head-wings, but I'm all good to go~” You turn to Ran, asking her for opinion, but instead you get reprimanded by your servant. “But Ran~ I just want to hear your opinion~!”
“If it involves stealing people's clothes right off their body, my answer will be a definite 'no',” Ran tells you. “Seriously, Miss Yukari, you should start acting your actual age, but NO! You still want to act like you're seventeen! Get over it, for God's sake.”
You pout. You find the remark an insult to your pride, and it hurts you even more to know that it's spoken by your very own servant. “Ran,” you call her.
“For once, will you stop giving me puppy eyes?” Ran retorts.
“Do you want me to strip in front of little soldier?”
“I-what? HELL NO!!” Ran screams with such force that you get knocked over and falls flat on your ass, and you find yourself at the mercy of the angry kitsune. “If I find you trying to act lewd in front of people again, I swear to God I have to send you over to the Xanadu Court! Jeez, what the hell are you thinking?”
“Uuu... Ran~ you don't have to be this mean~! I just wanted to make sure little soldier would accept me~” you sob.
“I demand that you change back to your clothes or I have to strip the uniform off your body,” Ran orders.
“Ahn~ even though I'm technically your master~” you utter and look away from Ran in embarrassment. “But if it's you, then I'm more than willing~” You, then, glance at her and offer her your 'I'm all yours' expression. “Please be gentle, though~”
“Will you please stop being a drama queen FOR-” You cut off her words by stealing her pointed hat and throw it out of the room. “What? WHAT? Miss Yukari, please give back my hat! Give it back!” she cries in panic.
You chuckle. “See, Ran? That's why shouldn't take everything very seriously,” you tell her, even as you're hiding your amused smile behind the frilled sleeve. “Now look at you, all helpless without the presence of your precious treasure. It's not like you're going to die if you lose it.”
“The same cannot be said about you,” Ran protests.
“Now, now, Ran.” You approach Ran and extends your hand forward; she flinches when you place your hand between her ears, but then calms down as you start patting her scalp. “I was only kidding. There's no way I'd resort to this measure just to get his attention. I have many better ways to do that than just to dress up as the little devil.”
“You better be,” Ran utters and giggles when you give the back of her ears a gentle scratch. “Miss Yukari, it tickles... please stop...” You ignore her plea and continue petting her, ultimately reducing her into a stuttering wreck. You snicker as Ran's begging you to stop playing with her ears, and you let go off her only when she starts panting. “Right. I better stop playing with you,” you utter and return her pointed, in which she quickly fixes it on her head. “Want to come with me, Ran? I'm going somewhere, and I thought I could use some company.”
“Seeing Mister Ivanov? I think I'll pass,” Ran says.
You giggle. “Silly Ran, who said I'm going to see little soldier?” You open up a gap in front of you and step into it. “As a matter of fact, you may be interested in this person.” You wink at her. “Make up your mind, Ran~ time awaits no one.”
“Only if you change back to your dress and return the uniform to its respective owner,” Ran points.
“Aw, Ran~! Where's the fun in that?” you retort.
[ ] To be continued.
This should do for now, so please wait warmly while update #2 and #3 are prepared.
Cold mist is seeting in over the Misty Lake’s frozen surface. From faraway one can see two fairies skating across the surface of the lake, undeterred by the cold weather as they’re chasing each other in the game of tag and freely enjoying the arrival of morning. Everywhere else, all living being are preparing to start their day, hoping for a prosper day to come ahead of them.
And she isn’t an exception, too.
Ever a self-disciplined person, Anne never fails to begin her day as the combat maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion with a couple of lapsa round the residence and follow up wuith completing the obstacle course that has been purpose-built for her. She never complains about having to divide her time between her duty as a maid and her role as a soldier, and she doesn’t mind being different from the rest of the tenants. It does not matter, so long as she can do things she likes the most.
And then she remembers her conversation with the scarlet devil earlier the day... - - “Weapons exhibition, Miss Remilia?”
“Of course, Anne! Who the hell do they think I am?” excitedly Remilia answered. “To think that the Moriya Shrine would organize such an event and not inviting me as their honorary guest… it’s like they’re not inviting me to their tea party! This is a disgrace to my dignity as the lord of the mansion!”
“Now, now, milady,” Sakuya said as she was preparing the table for breakfast. “Even if you have the chance to be an organizer, does that mean Reimu would agree with your decision? I should remind you that the Moriya folks almost got reprimanded due to the very reason.”
"Uuu...” Remilia grumbled. “When I thought I could have some fun with the Soviet soldier...”
“You will, milady. By the way, Anne.”
“Yes, Miss Sakuya?”
“Aren’t you supposed to run your obstacle course this morning?”
“Ah! I almost forgot. Thank you for the reminder!” She bowed to the maid chief and made haste to the courtyard, leaving Sakuya to pour tea for the vampire mistress.
“Seriously, Sakuya, you should stop pampering Anne,” Remilia grumbled as she took a bite of the pancake.
“It's called showing your subordinate that you care, milady,” Sakuya pointed. “Maybe I should put you in the same shoe as Anne, then you will understand what I'm talking about.”
“Hah! As if this charismastic vampire mistress will ever fall into such trick,” Remilia scoffed. - - “Anne~!” Her concentration disturbed by Meiling’s call, she turns to the direction of the voice and finds herself buried in the gatekeeper’s warm mound as Meiling pulls her into her arms. “Good morning, Anne! How is my little tiger doing~?” the Chinese girl purrs as she tightens her embrace.
“Uhh… Miss Meiling…” Anne utters as she’s struggling to flee Meiling’s almost possessive hug. When she lets go off her face from her chest, Anne takes a deep, heavy breath as she looks up at the redhead. “G-good morning, Miss Meiling. You look… cheerful today. May I ask why?”
“Aw~! You pretend that you don’t know?” Meiling hugs Anne a second time, tighter than before. “Of course I am cheerful, because I get to hug my little tiger like this every morning~!” She smothers Anne beneath her arms, affectionately rubbing her cheek against the tank girl’s face, making her blush brightly. “Grr~! How I wish Sakuya could understand the joy of having a little sister like you~!”
After a very long time of hugging, smooching, kissing, and snuggling Meiling at last releases Anne from her embrace and brushes the piling snow off her scalp. “So! I presume you’re going to break your own obstacle course record, yes? Big Sis Meiling is going to give you all her supports!” she exclaims.
“T-thanks, Miss Meiling,” Anne utters. She stares at the gatekeeper’s face for a long time, and when Meiling giggles at her she has to hide the bright blush that’s tinting her face. “I... I guess I should get started right away.” Taking a step away from Meiling she stands near the starting like and observes at a series of friendly and enemy targets, as well as various obstacles that are set up along the course. She looks back at the Chinese redhead, who in turn flashes a thumb-up at her, and she nods at her before she fixes her tactical headsets.
“Good morning, soldier, and welcome to the Scarlet Devil’s Killhouse,” a voice in the earpiece greets. “For today’s exercise, your objective is to complete the obstacle course in the fastest time possible while minimizing collateral damages. Please check your weapons and make sure they’re fully loaded.” Anne takes out her USP handgun and its tactical knife attachment. “The clock will start ticking once you hear the buzzer going off, so get ready.”
She nods. She's more than ready to take on the obstacle course.
She rushes into the pit and takes out the first targets that pop out of the barricade. She preses on, dodging obstacles and civilian targets as she knocks down two more targets behind a crate. She shot down another set of targets on the rooftop as she enters the building.
She approaches the stair when an enemy plank pops out. “Take out the enemy with your knife!” She doesn't have enough time to switch weapon, so she knives the target and enters the rooftop. She continues engaging the enemy until she runs out of ammunition, and she switches to a Five-seveN while keeping her forward momentum, engaging more and more enemies while evading civilian targets.
“You’re almost there! Go for it!!”
She makes haste for the finishing line, but it feels like forever as she has to force herself through the thick snow. The clock is ticking fast, and she wants to break the obstacle course record in the fastest time. She doesn’t want to disappoint everyone who has rooted for; she can’t afford to let anyone of them down.
The panicked criy startles Anne so much she misjudges her steps and falls flat into the snow, barely an inch away from the finishing line. Distraught by her botched effort to complete the course, she turns to the source of the intervention. “Uhh... Cirno, what was that for?” she asks as the ice fairy and her companion arrive at the mansion.
“Trouble! Someone's trying to take your, uhh, tank!” Cirno snatches her hand and pulls her off the now before she can have a say. “Quickly! We've got to stop her!”
"Cirno, calm down. There's no need to hurry.” In spite of her concern, Anne tries to keep as composed as possible. She knows the residents of Gensokyo very well, and she's well aware that none of the girls would try stealing the property of the Third Reich. “I think I need to rerun the obstacle course again.”
“But we don't have much time! Come on, Anne! We've got to go!” Cirno drags Anne with her and makes a quick dash to the Misty Lake. They make haste to where the Tiger tank is stranded, and Anne can see the sight of Team Nine (minus the absent Wriggle) surrounding a girl with twin braids, who is freaked out by the fact that she's outnumbered.
“A mechanic?” Anne ponders after noticing a wrench in the girl's left hand.
“That's what she claims, Anne,” Daiyousei informs. “She said she can fix the tank, but Cirno just doesn't buy it.”
“She's a thief, that's what!” Cirno exclaims.
Anne lands near the commotion, and can hear the girl with twin braids saying aloud “and unlike you shallow-minded, I happen to have the qualification to perform this operation!”; she can also hear Cirno replying almost instantenously “who are you calling us shallow-minded?!” She tries understanding the situation but the stress she can feel emitting from the girl with twin braids makes the task difficult.
“What's going on here?”
Anne turns to the voice and sees Letty walking into the area. “Hey, Letty! Thought you wouldn't show up,” she says.
“I was, but I saw you girls gathering here,” Letty answers. She notices the girl with twin braids, who's busy exchanging words with Cirno, and motions at Anne to come close to her. “I have met the girl before.”
“You have?” Anne asks.
Letty nods. “Some years ago, when the old Hakurei was in charge of this land.” She approaches the girl with twin braids and greets her. “Rika, isn't it?”
“Oh, hey! Miss Whiterock! Goodness gracious me, I never thought I'd see you again,” the girl remarks. “You look gorgeous as usual.”
“Thank you, Rika, and you look as youthful as ever,” Letty replies. “So, what brought you out here after all these years?”
“Ah, you know me, an anxious mechanic who needs to vent out her frustration by fixing stuffs,” Rika answers. “But I'm running out of spare parts to restore my flower tank into combat-ready condition, so I come out of my lair to collect anything useful.” she notices Anne next to Letty and waves at her. “A friend of yours, Letty?”
“Indeed she is,” Letty says and pats Anne on the head. “Anne, why don't you get acquainted with Rika?”
“O-of course!” Anne replies and quickly fixes her attire. “Anne-Marie Braun, 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, Waffen-SS. Pleased to meet you, Miss Rika.”
“Anne, she's the thief I told you about!!” Cirno remarks and points at Rika's face. “Go get her!”
“Haha, as if I'm going to take this wreck away,” Rika boasts. “For you information, ice girl, I only seek for the best products, not some old and rusty piece of junk.” The comment makes Cirno snap and angrily she tackles Rika into the snow as to wrestle her; Anne tries her best not to laugh over the affair, which fails miserable as she falls into the snow, clutching her tummy in a fit of laughter. Both Cirno and Rika stop wrestling on the snow and turn to the tank girl, and they look at each other in guilt. “Maybe I shouldn't mention the word 'junk'.”
“Ah, I see something~” Rumia says and points to the sky. Everyone else is following the direction of Rumia's finger and spots two figures clashing onto each other in a distance. None of the spectators can figure out what's happening, but it isn't long before Cirno realizes what it is.
“Spellcard battle! Cool! I haven't had one since forever!” Cirno exclaims. “Come on, guys! Let's go challenge them!”
“Hang on, Cirno! We don't know who they are or what they're really doing!” Daiyousei tells her. “We could get caught in a crossfire.”
“I don't care! I want to have a spellcard battle, and that's it!” Cirno insists. “Rumia, you're with me, right?”
“That is so~” Rumia replies.
“Spellcard battle is a messy affair, but I'll join ♫ ” the night sparrow utters.
“Everyone hold your ground.”
Team Nine, Rika and Letty turn around and see Anne looking at the spellcard battle. “Uhh... Anne, you want us to stay?” Cirno asks. “What for?”
“I... I don't know,” Anne utters and frowns slightly before she lifts her face back. “But I get this feeling that it's important that we don't interfere.” Team Nine is looking at her, puzzled by the reason, and she just smiles. “Maybe it's because I'm a soldier?” she says with a chuckle.
Letty chuckles as well and places her hand on Anne's shoulder. “So why don't we all sit down and enjoy the sight while we can?” she suggests.
“Awesome! Let me get my gadgets first,” Rika says.
“Well, whatever Letty says, I'll follow,” Cirno shrugs and sits on the Tiger tank's turret. “You're weird, Anne.”
Anne laughs. “I wish I am.”
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/06/19 (Sun) 15:25No. 23669▼
The monthly ritual to the death you had with Kaguya last night has left you with aching limb and dire headache; it doesn’t help that your body has gone through countless regenerations and reincarnations that also put you in one of your worst morning sicknesses. It was a good thing Kaguya got interrupted before she delivered the finishing blow, and you can still remember her distraught face when her husband-to-be Yuri reprimanded her. You almost wish to see of them getting married, but that would be like waiting for the cat to grow antlers on its head.
Maybe you should let them hear the suggestion.
“Right.” You get up from the straw mat and walk out of the small shack you call home. Winter has arrived, and you can’t help feeling in the blues seeing the snows. You have lost the count on how many winters you have greeted and left, and you don’t want to know how many more will come and see you.
And you’ve just realized how unbearably cold this morning is.
Taking out a cigarette, you light it up with your fiery finger snap and smoke. You dispose of the resulting cigarette butt and smoke another, and then another one, and you repeat the cycle until you’ve finished your entire Lucky Strike pack. You should get yourself a new supply from Rinnosuke soon.
Your eyes spot something. It might be another person getting lost in the bamboo forest, and that makes you wondering when the people will ever stop losing their sense of direction. You approach the person, and you notice that it’s a girl.
She’s making snow people.
“Hey.” The girl jumps off her feet and turns around to see you in fright. “I’m not going to jump on you like a hungry bear, so chill out,” you tell the girl. “What are you doing here? And where’s your winter clothing? You’ll freeze to death if you stay out here in those… pyjamas.” The girl looks all over herself, and then laughs silly; you find yourself blushing over the sight and force yourself to get rid of the blush.
The girl stops giggling afterward and stares at you. You look back at her, and for a long time both of you are staring into each other’s eyes. Once again, you blush and groan at your inability to keep yourself calm. “Right, I suppose I should take you to the Human Village; your parents might be worried if you don’t show up.” The girl frowns, to your dismay, and suddenly you feel guilty for mentioning the word. You have to come up with something to cheer her up.
“If you don’t have one, who do you stay with?” you ask. She looks back at you and points at your face. “Who, me?” She nods. “Haha, who do you think I am? Your caretaker?” She nods again. You scratch the back of your not-so-itchy head. This girl doesn’t speak, and already she has thought of you as someone special? This is ridiculous.
“Forget about it, what are you doing out here?” The girl smiles and shows you the snow people. You look at the figures that are sticking out of the white field and see two people each other’s hand; behind them is an incomplete aircraft. “So, which one is you?” She points at the snow girl and then at the airplane. “Oh, come on, which one is you?” She gives you the same answer, and again, and again, until you decide to stop asking her. “This isn’t going anywhere. You can’t tell me who and what you are, and I obviously can’t understand what you’re trying to say,” you grumble. The girl merely smiles, and once more you have to prevent yourself from blushing in front of her.
An idea strikes you. “Listen, whoever you are, I have a friend who may know how to talk with someone like you,” you tell the girl. She tilts her head in confusion and points back at the snow people, almost as if she’s saying “but I don’t want to leave them behind! They’ll get cold.” “So what? It’s not that they’re going to live forever, are they?” you say and pull the girl off the snow before she can protest. “Come on; I want to give her a bit of surprise.” - - You can’t believe what you’re witnessing.
Kaguya, in all her regal as princess of the moon, is mobilizing her earth rabbit troops around Eientei, and she’s so absorbed in what she’s doing she doesn’t even notice you or the girl in the courtyard. You call one of the rabbits and ask what the fuss is about. “They’ve got to be kidding me,” you say when told about Eientei’s upcoming Christmas party. “She must have some screws stuck inside her head. Let’s meet her.”
You approach Kaguya, and swing your knuckle onto her head, promptly knocking her off her sense of duty. “What was that for... hey! Who do you think you’re...” She looks up at you, and you almost want to burst into laughter at her reaction after seeing you. “Oh, it’s just you,” she utters and gets back to her feet.
“Well, yeah, it’s your ever infamous rival,” you shrug. “What’s up with that enthusiasm? You look like you’ve cracked the pot or something.”
“What? Who do you think I am? Drug junkie?” she barks and proceeds to prod her finger on your chest. “Listen, immortal bird, I’m preparing this mansion for the biggest Christmas party one can ever imagine, and you don’t even try crashing it. Oh, and one more thing:” She, then, whips out her paper fan and taps it against your forehead. “I’m not inviting you.”
“Hah! As if I’ll be going to your party in the first place,” you scoff. “Also, where’s your precious husband-to-be? Can’t see him anywhere, is he chasing after another girl again?”
“Hey! Don’t ever talk about him like that,” Kaguya scolds. “He may be surrounded by many women, and he may have many female friends, but his heart stays loyal to only one.” She emphasizes the last sentence by placing her hand on her chest, but this causes you to laugh instead. “W-what? Mokou, stop laughing at me! Is it wrong for me to show my concern for him?”
“Not really, but you look really cute when you made that face,” you say with a smug. “Look, I didn’t come here to pick a fight with you. There’s someone I want you to meet.” Somehow Kaguya isn’t look amused by the explanation. “Now don’t give me that kind of look.”
“Someone? Mokou, you can’t be smoking again, can you?” she asks. “There’s no one with you right now.”
“You say what?” You look to your side. To your disbelief, the pyjama girl has disappeared. You look around the area, but the girl is nowhere to be found. “Crap. I’m very sure she was with me a minute ago.”
“Well, there goes your problem,” Kaguya says. “Because if you don’t have anymore business with me, I suggest that you leave.” You stare at her strangely due to the suggestion, and she fumes at your unassuming reaction. “Oh? So you want to pick a fight with me, huh?” she says and folds her sleeves upward. “Come on! I’m always ready to take anything you throw.”
“Oh, Princess Kaguya?” One of the servants calls her from the door. “Someone wants to see you at Mister Ivanov’s room. She has something to ask about-”
Almost in an instant you and Kaguya rush past the servant and head to wherever the room is, pushing each other out of the way. Both of you kick the sliding door out of the way and force yourself into the room. “I’ll be darned,” you utter in both relief and surprised. “Damn it, you, you shouldn’t just disappear and make me worried!” The girl in pyjamas just smiles, even as she’s sitting on the floor with a bolt-action rifle held in her arms.
“Hey, Mokou, who is this girl?” Kaguya asks.
“That’s what I’ve trying to tell you,” you utter. “You go talk with her. She didn’t say anything when I met her at the bamboo forest.” Kaguya approaches the girl and takes a seat beside her, and you just watch from the side as she starts having conversation with the girl; you’re surprised as the girl becomes very vocal and energetic and responds to each of Kaguya’s word with her own answer.
After a few minutes Kaguya approaches you. “You aren’t going to believe this,” she says in amazement. “She claims to be the Shturmovik, and she said she had seen service during the battle of Kursk.”
You arch an eyebrow. “You’ve got to be kidding me. That girl is the tank-destroyer? There’s no way she can be that airplane. Did you ask for her name?”
“She told me her name is Sacchin,” Kaguya tells you. “And why didn’t you speak with her in Russian? I thought you’re very good in that language.”
You pay Kaguya’s no attention and look at the girl over her shoulder. “Hey, Sacchin.” The girl stops examining the rifle and looks back at you. “You’re Russian, right?” She nods. “Well, I think I know the person who can help you with... whatever problem you’ve got.” Her eyes brighten, almost as if you’ve given her the present she cannot refuse. You approach the girl and offer a lift, and happily she takes your hand to be pulled from the floor. “You’re one strange girl, you know,” you comment, in which she just smiles.
“Mokou, where are you taking her?” Kaguya asks as you and Sacchin are taking your leave.
“Where else? To find your husband-to-be and introduce this girl to her,” you answer. You’re intrigued as Kaguya seems hesitant to tell you his whereabouts. “You’ve giving me that kind of look. Again. Come on, Kaguya, look at me. Who am I to take him away from you, huh?”
Just as Kaguya is about to answer you, you hear a distressed scream from the courtyard, followed by the sounds of feet trampling the floor in rush. Then the umbrella girl Kogasa shows up, and you can’t help wondering the trouble she has gone through. “Thank God there’s someone here,” Kogasa utters in heavy breaths. “I saw the captain having spellcard battle with Marisa at the forest, and I came here to tell you that-”
Without any warning Kaguya rushes to the outside and flies off the ground, too fast for anyone of you to catch up. “There she goes,” you comment as you throw your sight at where she’s headed to. “Always getting worried over her most significant other, even when she’s the one who’s strongly denial about it.” You look back at Sacchin, who is happily holding your hand. “You can’t deny the charm of having a big brother, can you?” She nods and smiles; you can only smile back at her.
“Should we follow her, like, right now?” the worried Kogasa asks.
“As a matter of fact,” you say. “I have something to show him. Come on, everyone; let’s roll.”
The battle has been on for two hours already. Neither combatants have backed off nor showed any signs of fatigue. Bullets have been shot, spellcards have been declared, punches and kick have been parried, and weapons have been disarmed. None of the two persons who are standing in the middle of the clearing seem to want to admit defeat, and both of them are determined to win the battle at all costs.
“Can’t believe you’ve come this far,” Marisa utters in amazement; her amused grin does nothing to mask the fatigue that’s visible on her face. “I thought I could bring you down in three rounds. Guess I was wrong about that.”
“Soldiers of the Red Army are never to be underestimated,” you speak. “But don’t get me wrong. I respect you as an opponent, and to be honest you’re the toughest I have met so far.”
Marisa snickers. “Thanks, captain, but I don’t plan to extend this fight for too long. It must end now,” she says and aims the Hakkero at you. “And I’ll be the one who will end it in glory.”
“Don’t get too cocky,” you utter. “I’ll show you how it’s properly done.” You aim your PPSh-41 at Marisa and steady your stance amid the difficulty in aiming down the sight due to your vision getting blurry.
“What’s wrong, captain? Already thinking of giving up?” she asks mockingly.
“I will make you regret saying that, Marisa,” you reply. “And you’re treading a dangerous road by underestimating our strength. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Are you?” she asks back with a smug.
You say nothing, choosing instead to keep aiming at your opponent, and for a long time both of you are locked in a stand-off, each watching and waiting for the other to make a mistake and strike. The silence is disturbing, and not even a sudden gust of chilly wind can budge anyone of you.
The clock is ticking.
You take a deep breath
Time to finish this.
[ ] Go all out. Damn the spellcard, time to show Marisa the true strength of Mother Russia. [ ] Draw out a quick plan. War isn’t only about using brute force against the enemy. [ ] Write-in?
System: Date: 20th December Time: 1110 hours Location: Forest of Magic
[x] Keep standing there and don't move. Wait for Marisa to fall over from exhaution. [x] If she fails to fail, keep dodging and looking for cover to preserve your energy; Marisa is a hothead who never holds back. Use standard human exhaustion-hunt technique and finish her off when she gets sloppy.
To say this in a trademark russians' words, SHE IS TINY LEETLE BABY GIRL. The captain here is a full-grown man and technically should be able to just out-endurance Marisa easily. I'm expecting her surprisingly large endurance to be part training, part magical assistance, the latter of which seems to be used up now.
[c] Draw up a quick plan. War isn’t only about using brute force against the enemy.
A realization hits you. Your chance of winning this battle in your current condition is very close to nothing, and there’s no way you can achieve victory without proper tactics. Staring at your opponent long enough to make her snicker at your apparent ‘unwillingness’ to start the fight, you soon figure out that she’s anticipating an all-out attack, something your body isn’t capable of right now.
After all, war isn’t only about overwhelming the enemy with brute force alone.
Your lower your aim. As predicted, Marisa is surprised and starts jeering you. “Aw, come on! Already deciding to give up and give me free victory? Where’s the fun in that?” You choose to stay silent, even as you’re slipping your hand into your trench coat, searching for anything that you can utilize.
“Hey! What’s taking you too long? Are you going to fight or what?” She’s starting to lose her patience, and you know it’s a matter of time before she snaps. You continue searching your trench coat, paying the black-white magician no attention whatsoever, and you don’t even bother glancing at her.
Your finger bumps on something. This may be something you could use. Keeping your hand hidden, you aim back at Marisa and slowly march forward. “Now we’re talking,” she utters and tosses magic bombs at your direction. Too easy. Several short bursts are fired, and the incendiaries explode in midair, blinding you and Marisa with bright colourful flash. Chyrot, now you can’t see what’s going on in front of you.
A hard tackle, and you’re sent flying up in the sky. Your ascent comes to a stop, and you find yourself floating in a state of weightlessness; there’s no time to rest, as you spot Marisa high above you, and she looks like she’s about to perform a diving attack.
And you only have seconds to react.
You withdraw the item you found earlier. It’s an unused stun grenade; perfect, just what you need.
“Victory is mine! Blazing Star!!!”
Marisa comes down at you, rocketing through the air and piercing invisible barrier that later leads to thunderous boom echoing across the area. A loud, deafening sound of impact can be heard the moment the ‘human comet’ makes contact, and you’re driven all the way into the ground while blocking the attack with your PPSh-41. The golden yellow light is blinding, but you still manage to fix your eyes on Marisa.
You shove the stun grenade past the barrier between you and her. You bring it right into her face.
You pull the pin.
The stun grenade detonates.
And both of you get caught in a burst of pure energy, which later knocks you away from each other. Marisa’s hard landing is softened by the snow, but you aren’t very lucky as you crash into a pine tree that breaks in half due to the impact before diving into the snow back first. You struggle to crawl out, and amidst the pain all over your body you throw your sight at where Marisa is.
She’s as cross as you can imagine.
“You dirty cheater!!” she barks. “Nobody uses a bomb to defeat my spellcard!”
“War isn’t fought and won with sheer force, Marisa!” you reply. “I only did what a wise commander would do to secure his victory.”
“Damn you, captain!” She pushes Alice aside and walks forward; you notice that she’s now overcoming her fatigue with her willpower alone. You should give her some credits for the effort, but you’re in the best position to take victory away from her. “You know what I hate the most?” she mutters. “People who don’t play game by its rule, especially you.”
“Easy now, do you want to be hospitalized?” you ask.
“Why do you think they call me the blazing star?” She whips out Hakkero; it’s now clear to you that she’s getting too desperate to win, and you cannot allow that to happen. “I’m going to win, and you cannot stop me now.”
You shake your head. What a pity, she doesn’t realize the consequences of belittling the might of the Soviet Red Army. “Forgive me.” You leap off the snow, rushing Marisa with an oncoming tackle. You knock the Hakkero off her hand, grab her by the collar and jump upward, higher and higher until you can barely see the ground below.
You lock your legs around her in a scissor takedown.
“For Mother Russia!!!”
You dive back into the ground.
And crash spectacularly.
It seems to be eternity, but you finally get back on your feet. You look up at the skies, basking in the aftermath of glory. After four winless fights, you have finally overcome the odds and defeat the black-white magician. “You have fought valiantly, Marisa,” you speak as you look at her. “It is an honour to battle with you. You can rest for as long as you like.” Giving her an honorary salute, you turn around and walk to Alice, who is appalled by the outcome of the battle. “Do not worry,” you tell her, even as you’re starting to lose your conscious. “Both of us have fought many times before, I know what she’s capable of.”
You fall onto your knee; fatigue is quick to overpower your limbs, and your head starts spinning. You wave your hand dismissively at Alice just as she’s offering to help, asking her to look after Marisa instead. “She may feel very devastated by her first loss to me,” you mutter under your breath. “Having you as her close friend consulting her and giving her the moral support she needs the most is the best-”
“Perverse Sure Fire.”
Your eyes widen, as so are Alice and the dolls.
Slowly you turn around.
She’s aiming Hakkero at you.
The largest energy beam ever fired blasts across the forest, annihilating anything - and everything - that stands in its path of destruction.
And it catches both you and your partner.
Pick only three:
[ ] General Winter. [ ] Baba Yaga. [ ] Mother Russia. [ ] Vasilisa the Beautiful. [ ] “They are as essential to the Red Army as air and bread.” [ ] Blitzkrieg. [ ] Nutcracker Suite. [ ] Ilya Muromets, Dobrynya Nikitich, Alyosha Popovich.
>>23943 >That "emergency food supplies rabbit" (forgot her name off hand) Tatyana. I think Blitzkrieg is Anne: German for "lightning war", the tactic relied on armor to break through enemy lines, encircle their forces and hit weak points. Nutcracker Suite is probably Alice: a number of dolls appear in the first act, including dancers, tin soldiers and the eponymous Nutcracker.
Very nice update, but one thing... >And both of you get caught in a burst of pure energy >burst of pure energy >pure energy >PURE ENERGY OH COME ON!
Also, “They are as essential to the Red Army as air and bread” makes me think you're going to let us have an update with PPSh-41-kun as the protagonist. Reminds me of the constant jesting about a hat-update in Compensation: Adequate.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/08/02 (Tue) 02:52No. 23952▼
>>23950 Welp, I guess I have to repost it next time.
Blitzkrieg and General Winter win by four and three votes each. Mother Russia, Vasilisa and Nutcracker Suite are tied with two votes each. I need a tie-breaker for the last three options before I can proceed with the update.
Regarding the characters option, they are as follows:
[c] (ON HOLD) Blitzkrieg. [c] (ON HOLD) General Winter. [c] Mother Russia. [c] Vasilisa.
You feel warm.
You feel so comfortable, secure and relaxed.
Where are you now? Are you dead? Impossible; you can’t feel warm if you’re already dead. Then it must be a dream, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to explain the warm, angelic touch that’s caressing your face, or the soothing lullaby that’s sung into your ear. You chuckle; how you wish you could open your eyes and stare into the face of this guardian angel, whoever it may be.
Or better, guardian of the Motherland. That would be nice, getting pampered while waiting for the wounds to heal-
“I suggest that you move yourself away from him, little devil.”
“Oh~? Am I really going to remove him from this warm, comfy lap? Look at him; he’s obviously enjoying my company~”
-wait a minute. Are those voices Kaguya’s and Koakuma’s?
“Well, excuse me, little devil! I was the one who is supposed to nurse him! Why are you so determined to deny me of the responsibility? I can’t understand your true intention!”
“Why, Missus Houraisan, if he was to be brought to your place, it would be a different story, but they took him here, so the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”
What are they arguing about?
“Responsibility? You call putting his head on your lap and massaging his head while ignoring his significant other a responsibility? I think you’re messing with the wrong people, you temptress.”
“My~ a temptress, you say? Well, then, why don’t we ask him? I’m sure he won’t have difficulties choosing which one of us can treat him better~ besides, he’s already thought of me as his Mother Russia~”
“What?! You… you…”
This is getting a bit out of control. You have to stop them before their argument escalates. But how are you supposed to do that when you’re too immersed in enjoying the warmth of this comfy lap?
“Oh, I see our guest has regained his conscious already.” You turn to the voice and see Patchouli and Alice showing up, along with the company of Kogasa, Flandre and Shinano. You soon realize you’re inside the library – a strange place for you to receive medical treatment, when you should have been at a field hospital. Nonetheless their presence means that you somehow survived the Master Spark Marisa had shot at you in desperation.
“You look like hammered shit!” Flandre exclaims, much to the chagrin of Shinano and Kogasa. “Come on! He obviously looks like one! Can’t you see how screwed up he is right now?” she exclaims
“Flandre, it is of our best interest that you keep your voice down,” Patchouli speaks in commanding tone, only to be ignored as the younger sister starts talking stuffs you can’t understand. The librarian shakes her head in amusement and turns to you. “I presume that you’re curious about what happened to you, yes?”
You get up, reluctant at first to leave the comfort of Koakuma’s lap. “I believe so, but firstly I must thank you for the… hospitality,” you utter. “It was surely weird to receive medical treatment here, but I appreciate it.”
“It was my assistant who insisted that you be treated here,” Patchouli answers. You turn to Koakuma, who just gives you her more sympathetic smile. “Disregarding that, your action has brought pain and suffering upon many, and you must know that you cannot be allowed to walk away without accepting the consequences.”
“Excuse me? How is being forced to accept Marisa’s challenge bringing pain?” you ask.
“Because,” she says and approaches you before nudging your head with the tip of the book she’s holding; is it you, or does its title read “How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days”? “You have committed a serious offence by making the girls who like you worried.” She stares at you long enough not only to discomfort you but also causes Kaguya and Koakuma fume at the librarian. “What’s wrong with that unassuming look on your face?”
“What are you? Love advisor?” you ask.
Patchouli frowns over the moniker. “I wasn’t implying that I am, Mister Ivanov, but the point of this whole thing is-”
“Uhh… what is Patchy trying to say is that we both almost didn’t make it,” Alice speaks as she pulls Patchouli aside. “Good thing Meiling’s apprentice showed and deflected the Master Spark.”
“Yeah! Anne was totally awesome!!” Flandre exclaims excitedly. “He should see how Anne did it! She was like how the Spartans faced the Persian zombie ninjas!”
“Flandre, for a hundred times, please keep your voice low,” Patchouli speaks. “Or must I tell your oh-so-precious Anne that you violated Voile’s rule number one?” You slightly chuckle as you see Flandre sticking her tongue at the librarian in disgust. “Sigh… at this rate…”
“At least the captain is safe…” Kogasa says. “…I think.”
“Forget about her, you said that we got saved?” you ask.
“Correct,” Alice answers. “I thought it would be impossible for us to escape Master Spark, but the girl proved me wrong; oh, speaking of Marisa, you shouldn’t approach her for a couple days, she’s really angry that you bested her.”
“How was that possible? I mean, both of us were got caught in line of fire, so there was no way we could escape it, right?” you ask.
“That is why you should forward your thanks to Anne instead of us,” Patchouli says. “We just did whatever we could to pull out of danger; she should be the one getting the credits for actually blocking Master Spark.” She pauses. “Though she did take some serious beating.”
“Uh-huh, losing her right arm must hurt a lot for her,” Alice adds. “But she quickly recovered after that.”
“Note duly taken,” you reply.
“Regardless, you seem to have some issues with Kaguya and Koakuma, correct?” Patchouli asks amusedly.
“Why are you asking that question?” you ask back.
“Because that’s exactly what’s bothering us,” the librarian answers. “All of us here.”
“All of you?” You didn’t think that matter would be an issue for them, but somehow you feel suspicious. “What do you mean I made all of you worried? I didn’t even do anything that would lead to this... circumstance, did I?”
Patchouli smiles and points you to Kaguya and Koakuma. Reluctantly you bring your sight to Kaguya and Koakuma, the latter batting a rather inviting eyebrow. For a minute or two, none of you are saying anything, and already the tension is rising.
“Oh, alright! You guys are being pushy when it comes to this, right?” Kaguya grumbles, even as she corrects her sitting position. “Yuri, I’m going to ask this only ONCE, okay? So please listen carefully.” You have no other choice but to nod. “Alright, then! Here we go.” There’s the unmistakable determination flashing in her eyes, as burning greatly as the never-ending spirit of the Motherland; she even puts her hand on her chest as to emphasize her intention. You just hope she doesn’t ask trivial or sensitive questions.
“Which one of us do you choose?”
“Koakuma, or me?”
You blink. You didn’t think you would hear such question straight from her mouth, but you do now. You look back and forth between Kaguya and Koakuma, and you can’t help feeling “overwhelmed” by these two lovely women’s eagerness to hear your answer. This is way too bothering, not to mention that Alice, Patchouli, Kogasa, Flandre and Shinano are waiting for the answer as well.
“I do believe the option should have been Vasilisa and Mother Russia,” Alice comments.
“Vasilisa the Beautiful? Oh, you, you just had to say that, hadn’t you Alice?” the amused Patchouli replies.
“Come on! Why must he choose one when he can have BOTH instead?” Flandre scoffs.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Flandre,” Shinano tells her.
“Come on! Two is always better than one! I know many people out there who likes double combo,” Flandre adds.
Screw this. You’re getting out of here.
“I think I should find this Anne person,” you say and get up from the floor. “Let’s go, Kogasa.”
You pay everyone no attention whatsoever as you and your umbrella apprentice leave the library, going to wherever your foot is taking you, walking past some curious fairy maids. “You sure we should leave them behind, captain?” Kogasa asks.
“And getting bombarded by questions I shouldn’t answer? I better spend my time cleaning my gun,” you answer. You later ask her of how the news of your duel with Marisa reached Kaguya, and she points to how she was goofing around over the forest when she spotted the fight. “With that observation skill of yours, you could apply for the position of artillery spotter,” you say jokingly.
“T-thanks, captain,” shyly Kogasa replies. “So, umm, where are we going to now?”
You look around. “I have no idea,” you reply. “I’m supposed to look for this Anne, but… let’s keep on walking. We may bump into someone who can help us.”
You and Kogasa continue your aimless walk, asking every fairy maid you stumble across about Anne’s whereabouts, and you use the information you acquired for the purpose. In spite of the effort, you soon realize you’ve spent too much time looking for Anne, and you can’t afford to waste anymore time.
“I’m hungry, captain,” Kogasa utters. “I haven’t eaten anything since this morning.”
“I thought umbrellas don’t need to eat,” you say.
“Captain, that’s not funny at all,” she retorts.
“Sorry about that,” you apologize. “We better find the kitchen. I could really go for some vodka right now.”
You arrive at a crossroad at the end of the seemingly endless road. Looking to the left and right, you can’t see anything that indicates a kitchen is nearby; even the sign “Kitchen Fifty Paces Ahead” isn’t comforting you in any way. This is starting to get frustrating.
“Uhh…” Kogasa closes the distance between you and her. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but…”
She nods. “…I don’t like this… should we go back to the library?”
You throw your sight forward. It’s faint, but you can spot two pairs of eyes glowing in the dark. “Someone is there,” you mutter and withdraw your bayonet. “Stay close to me,” you tell Kogasa.
Then you hear it.
“Ring-a-ring-a-roses, a pocket full of posies~”
Amidst the girlish, childlike giggle, and playful tiptoeing that echoes across the road, the glowing eyes approach you.
“Atishoo! Atishoo! We all fall down~”
Then everything goes quiet. The song, the laughs, the footsteps, everything. All you can see are the glowing eyes.
“Heeey~ let’s plaaay~~~”
You bring your bayonet forward. You can smell murder coming from those eyes.
“Oh~ he’s missing his big gun? That’s too sad~”
Another giggle, then the glowing eyes disappear. You don’t know who you’re facing, but whoever – or whatever – they are, you don’t have time to play with them.
“C-captain?” Kogasa asks in trembling voice.
You need to come up with a plan. Fast.
[ ] Escape. [ ] Hold your ground. [ ] Write-in?
Was supposed to post this as a massive wall, but I lacked the required materials for such purpose. Also, sorry for the delay.
Cause a distraction (feint holding ground perhaps?) before/while escaping. The person that wishes to 'play' is probably expecting us to run away from them like everyone else before us. A blind run out won't work, we run slower than most things in Gensokyo, and it will probably intercept us and proceed to blow our comrade up, escpecially since his only means of defence is a bayonet.
I concur that Comrade Yuri should have said "Kaguya"
Yes, this is my pitiful attempt at a semi-write-in in hopes of someone making a better write-in.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/08/22 (Mon) 01:55No. 24017▼
[x] Lay down a suppressing fire and fall back to the library individually. -[x] Do not be afraid to requisition SDM property (e.g., china closets, bureaus, etc.) in the halls as impromptu cover/barriers in the name of the Great Cause. -[x] If you succeed in reaching the library, silently draw the enemy toward Head Librarian and wait for them to break Voile's 'Rule #1'.
Assuming the enemy is overwhelming, one person withdrawing while the other returning fire in a staggered fashion will not clear distance the most quickly, but it will buy the most time, and create the most noise. The more time you buy, the more noise you create, the greater the chances to link up with another unit.
The waiver for destroying mansion property comes from this, where the mansion claims implicit responsibility for his health: >“Why, Missus Houraisan, if he was to be brought to your place, it would be a different story, but they took him here, so the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/09/06 (Tue) 07:14No. 24135▼
[c] Escape, using whatever necessary means to keep the voice away from you.
“We need to run away from her,” you utter, keeping your voice low enough so that only the two of you can listen.
“But how?” Kogasa asks. “Do you have a plan? I mean… can we ever outrun her?”
“I… I don’t,” you answer bluntly. You throw your sight back at the glowing eyes. Whoever is there, she is expecting an answer from you. You’re going to voice your thought and let her hear it. “I’m very sorry, whoever you are, but we do not have the time for your playtime,” you speak. “Please let us go.”
“Well, that sucks.” The voice falls silent. For a while you thought she’s bought your excuse, but after ten minutes she isn’t saying anything. You and Kogasa look at each other, and back at the voice. What’s keeping her?
Then she giggles.
“Because you’re coming with me~♥”
And that is when streams of danmaku are shot out of the darkness.
“Hit the deck!!”
You grab Kogasa and dive into the floor, barely a hair breadth from losing your life as the initial stream flies over your head. For a minute or two, you’re forced to keep your head low as the mysterious voice is shooting airplane-shaped danmaku at your position. Laughs of maniacal nature can be heard from where the danmaku is shot, and it gives you the chill just listening to it.
“We need to distract her.”
“I don’t have a gun with me, so I’m relying on you.”
“But captain, how am I supposed to fire my danmaku at her when she’s shooting at us?”
“Do you want us to get pinned down for the entire day?”
She’s reluctant at first, but Kogasa later concedes and aims her folded umbrella at the direction the danmaku is coming. “Wait until it dies out – if it ever dies out,” you instruct. She nods and keeps her aim steady, occasionally flinching when a stray danmaku explodes overhead.
The danmaku dies out. You assume that the girl is cooling down. You give Kogasa a pat on the shoulder, and she wastes no time firing umbrella-shaped danmaku into the darkness. You hear an explosion, followed by a shocked yelp and the sound of equipment falling onto the floor.
Now is the time!
You grab Kogasa’s hand and immediately make haste to the direction you had come from. “Keep up the pace!!” you shout at her, who is frustratingly lagging behind you. “We need to get out of here, or we’ll be dead in an instant!”
“But how?!” Kogasa replies, and yelps when you take sharp turn to the left, running past a group of fairy maids. “Captain! Where are we going?!”
“Anywhere! As long as we can hide from the girl!” you reply and take another sharp turn to the right.
“Hey! You aren’t supposed to run!”
She’s closing in? She’s fast! You’re not sure if you can keep on running under your current physical condition, so you jump off your feet and fly over the floor. “I didn’t know you could, fly too. Cool~ maybe I should do this!” This proves to be difficult, not to mention how you have to avoid various obstacles up ahead and taking sharp turns while dodging all sorts of projectiles the girl is firing at you. Chyrot, at this rate-
“Captain! Up ahead!” You look up front and spot Koakuma a few feet ahead. Shit, you’re just seconds away from colliding with the little devil, and you can’t turn around to avoid her, either. “We’re going to crash!!”
There’s no time!
You grab Koakuma’s hand and drag her along as you increase the running pace. You don’t know how long or how far you’ve run, but by the time you’re out of the dark alley you find yourself at the very place you’re supposed to go to. You turn your attention to Koakuma, who is as confused as you can imagine. “We don’t have to answer your question, if there’s any,” you utter and grab her by the shoulders, almost causing her pain when you tighten your grip. “So listen to whatever I’m going to say, if you value your life. Am I clear?” you tell her.
“Oh, hey Flan!”
“What are you doing in the kitchen?”
“I’m playing the game of cat and mouse.”
“With the captain, of course! You want to join?”
“Cat and mouse? Cool, I’d like to~”
Even she’s in, too?
You quickly usher Koakuma and Kogasa to stay behind you, while you take a quick glimpse of the girls from behind the oven. You’re not mistaken; it’s Flandre and her friend Shinano. The strong chemical smell coming from Flandre’s crystal wings is overpowering, almost choking you in the unpleasant odour, forcing yourself to fall back further into the kitchen.
“C-captain, I don’t like this…” Kogasa murmurs as the three of you take refuge behind the steel cabinet. “Why are they chasing after us?”
“Uh… why am I getting dragged along?” Koakuma finally asks.
“Shut up, both of you,” you reprimand in low voice. “Do you want to get caught?”
“Fee, Fi, Foe, Fump! I smell the delicious smell of a frightened soldier~”
“You’re a giant now?”
“Of course~! I like everything big and intimidating. And dragons are cool, because I can beat the crap out of everything! Rawr~ ♥”
This isn’t helpful. As if being chased by the aircraft girl is not enough, you now have to be content with dealing with her somehow ‘lunatic’ friend. It doesn’t really help that both your umbrella apprentice and the adorable little devil start onto you, further distracting you from your goal to keep yourself alive.
“What do you think of him~”
“He beat Marisa~ he must be goooood~ ♥”
“Should we flush him out of the foxhole?”
“I don’t know~ what about you?”
“Hee~hee~ I have just a perfect way to do that~ want to see?”
Now you regret not staying at the library.
[ ] Stay hidden. Don’t make any noise. Pray that they’ll get bored and leave you. [ ] They want to play with you, right? You’ll show them how to “properly” play a game. [ ] Do something, as long as you can get past them and bring you (and your companions) out of danger. [ ] Others?
[X] Do the following, as it will allow you to bring your comrades out of danger.
[X] They want to play with you, right? You’ll show them how to “properly” play a game.
--[X] Now they have threatened not only your safety, but that of your comrades. Be the distraction to grant your comrades safety and so that they can get support to stop this madness (Remilia). This is all because of your pitiful attempt at escape was a cowardly failure. This is your Fault. THE MOTHERLAND WOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR COWARDICE! 'Remember the order: NOT ONE STEP BACKWARDS!' If you cannot follow that, at least redeem yourself by securing the safety of your comrades!
--[X] Get the first strike while they are not expecting you. Ask your comrades for one last stream of covering fire, and then have them run to get help. Then get the attention on you, then disappear into the darkness. Continue your hit and run strategy. Use guerrilla warfare tactics to trick them into thinking that you are somewhere you are not, such as reflecting light with the hand mirror in your pocket, and then reflecting light off other objects to confuse them of where your position is, or perhaps a few things you had learned from comrade Tewi. Remember to not overexert yourself after the initial Assault. You are still unsure of how injured you are. You use a strategy similar to your Chinese comrades own Patriotic war of resistance: hold out until help arrives.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/09/08 (Thu) 13:11No. 24155▼
>>24155 Hello, this is the anon that had wrote the write-in, I just wanted to say the following: after reading the "Ace Combat: Gensokyo" archives, and the older threads of this story I had noticed something: it seems as if though there are less Soviet patriotic write-ins to the glorious motherland, or at the very least, in its memory and more importantly in its spirit. Sure the Soviets collapsed, and such a system isn't great in even a perfect society because sentient beings are not perfect. We always want more than what we have. Think about it, we only need food, water, and a small shelter. But of course, if you are reading this you probably have a computer or a libery membership. However, this does not change the short glorious period of the Soviet union, during world war two. Where and when our Comrade Yuri hails from. They say in capitalist, but then patriotic America "You can take the man out of an army, but you can't take the army out of a man". Well, you can take the Soviet out of the land of people with big hearts and heroic sacrifices, BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE BIG HEART, PATRIOTICNESS, AND SELFLESSNESS OUT OF A TRUE SOVIET! This man, Captain Yuri, the man I seek, is one of these qualities. He is not a pathetic coward that would let his friends into danger unwittingly, and then force them into more danger to attempt to cover his pitiful mistake of cowardice and further back, of reluctance to answer his lover's question with an obvious answer. NO, this is a man that would give his all , not only to protect the ones he love, but all and any of his comrades. How dare people think that he will resort to a lowly capitalist attack, by throwing his friends in harm's way. He is not such a person, He can and will redeem himself from his errors, He can and will assure the safety of his comrades, for his life is not above theirs. And he will beat Flandre by out lasting her until help arrives, for as the communist Chinese said, and ended up proving to the Japanese with devastating guerilla warfare; when their entire coast line, industrial regions, and farmlands were occupied by the invading Japanese; when the Chinese capital had been "raped" with the Nanjing massacre and the provisional capital had the most amount of sheer bomb mass dropped on any city: "YOU CAN OCCUPY THE LAND, BUT NOT THE PEOPLE!" This man will prevail, and will survive well and good to see Kaguya! URA COMRADES! TO YURI'S REDEMPTION!
Comrade Soviet Writer responded to my write-in. happiest day of my year
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/09/09 (Fri) 06:17No. 24158▼
>>24158 Comrade, I truly, TRULY, wish that I did not have a Write-in block at the moment.
The best that I can come up with at the moment is something to do with the lunarians coming down and attacking eientei for housing a Soviet, and explain in a flashback/ conversation that the Soviet Space missions to the Moon were actually sucessful, but seen as an attack to the Lunarians, and therefore they caused the slow but steady decline of the Soviet Union. Seeing that Yuri, a member of the faction interpereted as hostile, has "infected" Gensoyoko with communism, they come down and delcare/ initiate full scale war, and if they are to win, Yuri will be forced to renounced communism and work slave labour while Kayguya is forced to agree with their demands/ Gensoyoko is forced to live under their fascist strict rule.
Sage because this could possibly be the stupidist idea I have ever thought other than attempting to revive a dead author's thread by writing updates for it.
I'll tell you what I think up later when the block passes me by. Usually I leave these plot twists for the comrade author, and then send in a write-in on how to take action to the events properly, with the spirit of Mother Russia.
I was going to make a coherant conclusion here, but then the write-in block came back in full force.
>>24158 >Still waiting for feedback about Yuri solving incident, though.
It's a little extensive, but...
Fairy Wars: Eastern Front
The Fairy Axis of Luna Child, Star Sapphire, and Sunny Milk have razed the home of Cirno and claimed the Misty Lake as their own, planting the flag of their fairy nationalist movement. Cirno, inspired by recent large-scale danmaku warfare, rallies the Lake fairies and her traditional Allies (⑨-squad) from the surrounding locales en masse.
Things are made worse as the Hakurei shrine maiden disregards the incident, declaring neutrality in a 'war between fairies'. Combat threatens to spill from Misty Lake, Spring Path, and Magic Forest over into Bamboo Forest. The second front has opened! Does Yuri have what it takes to turn back an invasion?
Essentially take Touhou 12.8 and Strange and Bright Nature Deity 2 and make it your own. Yuri already has a number of fairy friends, including Cirno, and the 3 potential belligerents haven't been mentioned yet I don't think.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/09/15 (Thu) 08:20No. 24176▼
[c] They want to play with you, right? You’ll show them how to “properly” play a game.
“Do me a favour and get out of this place. Bring Koakuma with you, and find anyone who can help us.”
“But captain! What about you?”
“…it appears I have committed a serious mistake. I should have known.”
You turn to Koakuma. “I’ll tell you the answer after I’m done with this. Oh, tell Kaguya I won’t be back for a while.” She’s about to voice her opinion but you cut her off when you shove her away from you. “Now, go! I’ll distract them for you.”
You grab the first thing your hand can reach at. It’s a frying pan; better than nothing. You signal at the girls behind you to get ready while you take aim. The tension is rising, since you want to make sure you get the first shot right and become a decoy, so that Kogasa and Koakuma can escape to safety.
Looks like Flandre and her friend are still engaged in their vibrant conversation. Good, there’s another favour you want to ask your comrade.
“Provide covering fire for me.”
“…you sure it’s alright to do that?”
You flash a smile at her. “I believe in you who believe in yourself.”
She stares at you. You stare back at her, and then at Koakuma; the little devil seems to understand your intent as she quietly gives Kogasa some space. Squeezing herself between Koakuma and you, Kogasa aims her umbrella at your opponents as if she’s holding a Mosin-Nagant (you feel a tinge of pride blooming inside you).
She looks at you. She nods; that’s all you need.
You tighten the grip on the frying pan.
“Let’s do this!”
And both you and Kogasa attack the girls.
A volley of danmaku is shot and explodes over Flandre’s head. Kogasa backs off, allowing you to charge forward and swing the frying pan at her partner, directly hitting her in the face. “Go! Don’t ever turn around and come back!!” You continue the manoeuvre with a tackle and push the girls out of the way; the resulting chaos is enough to buy you some time to retreat into the obscurity of the kitchen.
“F-Flan! He… he hit me in the face!!
“Are you alright?”
She’s clearly angry, judging from the voice you hear. She’s going to hunt you down, that’s for certain. As silently as you can, you walk behind the preparing tables in low posture, going around the girls until you’re directly behind them. It’s amusing to see them bickering over the surprise attack they had faced, and not realizing they’re exposing their vulnerable back.
Too bad for them, because you’re going to show them how to properly play this game.
You grab the next thing your hand can reach and throw it at the girls. You quickly hit the deck just as the impromptu projectile hits Flandre, and remain hidden as she gets too worked up over the distraction. “Somebody threw this apple at me,” she tells Shinano.
“We’re not supposed to play with food,” Shinano adds.
Flandre giggles. “But you know what this means~”
You throw the frying pan away. It proves very useful, as the girl quickly makes haste to the direction of the frying pan, and you use the opportunity to find your way to the storeroom. You take cover inside the room, but still keeping an eye at the girls who are, as you’d expected, occupied in searching for the assailant. Adorable or not, they’re your opponent, and the Red Army doctrine expects you to treat them as such.
Your heart is pounding hard against your ribcage; it’s the same feeling you got during the ‘spellcard exhibition’ at the Moriya Shrine and when you were duking out with Marisa prior to this. This is somewhat disturbingly exhilarating, and knowing that you finally get to redeem yourself for escaping like a coward, but you have to be careful. You’ve barely recovered from your duel with Marisa, and you must not overexert yourself after providing distraction for Kogasa and Koakuma to escape.
“You’re not supposed to sneak up at us like that~”
You’re stumped. How is it possible that she can sneak up at you when she’s outside the storeroom?
“And you’re not supposed to waste food. Sakuya will be angry~”
And why is your face suddenly all sweaty?
“But you’re fun! Let’s play!!”
Before you can react, something hard connects with your torso and knocks you out of the storeroom, sending you across the kitchen. You crash onto the cabinet at the opposite end of the kitchen and fall flat on your face. There’s no follow-up move after that, allowing you to recover and kneel, and you look at the culprit.
You can see four.
There is four of her.
“Oooo~~ he’s tougher than I thought,” Flandre speaks, and gets imitated by three figures that strikingly resemble her in various ways.
“Give him hell, Flan!” her partner tells her. “He must pay for hitting me!”
“Hang on, Shinano~ I have something to do first.” Giggling, Flandre tiptoes towards you, mimicked by her duplicates, and she stops a few feet in front of you. “You shouldn’t be this easily defeated, mister,” she says as she bends down, her hands placed on her knees. “I was just getting started.”
“Really now? I thought you’re going to kill me,” you utter, wincing at the end of the sentence due to the pain on your abdomen.
She laughs. “We are? The game will be over if you’re done, and we don’t like to end it too soon~” she answers. For someone looking awfully young and childish, her words contain some degree of maturity, and this frightens you a bit. No! You’ve seen worse than this! To face two girls whose powers have yet to manifest themselves in front of you is child’s play!
You stand up, struggling at first to get your stance right. You lift your face and come face to face with Flandre and her duplicates, and you hesitate for a while before you bring your empty hand forward in a battle stance. “Uhh… you look kind of hurt,” Shinano says matter-of-factly. “Flan, we should take him back to the library.”
“Nuh-uh, he said he wants to play with us,” Flandre answers, licking her lips rather suggestively (it doesn’t help that her duplicates are staring at you in such manners that would make most men pounce at them).
“But Flan, we can play with him later,” Shinano insists.
“Come on, Shinano, who else can keep up with Marisa and still has the balls to spend time with us?” Flandre asks.
“Uhh… Flan, there’s something wrong inside your head,” Shinano points.
“Why, my friend! I am always at the highest peak of health, such things like loose screws are just trivial,” Flandre boasts. “Unlike you, I happen to understand the concept of redundant system.” The girls start arguing with each other not too long afterwards, and soon they lose their attention on you.
This is your chance.
Slowly you scoot away from them, trying to keep your profile as discreet as possible. You feel your shoulder being grabbed, and before you can turn around to see who it is, you’re forcibly yanked away from the door and tossed across the kitchen. Again you crash at the opposite side of the room, and you let out an anguished cry as one of the duplicates sits on your pained chest. “Jeez, I told you not to run away, didn’t I?” the duplicate asks and bounces up and down your chest, causing more pain. “We’re just getting started~”
“Like this?” Another duplicate appears and pulls you off the floor, only to throw you onto the table, causing it to actually bend at the middle. The duplicate laughs and exchanges high-five with her partner, paying no attention whatsoever to you. The third duplicate shows up over you and performs an elbow drop, making you scream in agony.
“Flan, please stop!” Shinano pleads. “She’s going to be mad at us if she sees what we’re doing!” The girl with inorganic wings ignores her plea and tosses you across the kitchen, treating you like a ragdoll as she pleases and laughing as she and her clones wrestle you on the floor.
You grab Flandre’s collar and throws her over you, consequently freeing yourself off her duplicates. You struggle to get back on your feet, but as you do, you can see the shocked face on her face as she turns back at you. She must be shocked by your resilience, and you can tell that she isn’t expecting to see this.
You wipe a trace of blood off your lips. “Just because I am alone, just because I have chosen to escape doesn’t mean I am going to defy her will again,” you speak. “What’s the matter? Never seen someone who can shrug off your wrestling?”
Once again you withdraw your bayonet and open a combat stance. “You said you wanted me to play game with you, right?” You snicker, not paying attention to the fact that your vision starts blacking out. “I’ll show you how to properly play this game.”
For a while Flandre and her apparitions are staring at you in disbelief and amazement. Then, her snicker widens as she lifts her hand in ‘spellcard declaration’ pose. “You’re way too cool, mister! I like you! Let’s play this game until one of us gets knocked out!”
And that’s when the door is forcibly kicked open.
With the kind of anger that can scare off even a hungry bear, Kaguya steps towards you and places herself between you and Flandre. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she reprimands.
“Kaguya, can I… explain this situation?” you ask, overwhelmed by her sudden presence.
She prods her finger on your chest. “Do you think you could get away with this and leaving me in the dark? Do you think you can go and play with these girls when you are STILL injured?” Trying your best not to avert your gaze from her, you glance at the door and see Kogasa offering an apologetic gesture; standing behind her are Koakuma, the head maid, your comrade fairies and a backpack-wearing maid slightly taller than them but shorter than Sakuya.
“Hey! HEY! Look at me, damn it!” Reluctantly you turn back at Kaguya. “Oh, so you think you can be tough and challenge people in non-spellcard battle? Some tough guy, you are,” she jests. “And look at you! You don’t even bother to apologize for leaving me without telling me the answer. Stop running away, for God’s sake.”
Well, this is kind of anti-climatic.
[ ] Allow Kaguya to continue her banter. [ ] Interrupt her by… - [ ] …countering her with your own words. - [ ] …giving her a hug. Lunatic princess needs to chill down. [ ] Ignore Kaguya and approach the backpack maid.
Touhou Present: + Kaguya + Kogasa + Koakuma + Sakuya + Comrade Fairies (Ekaterina, Anastasia, Sasha) + Flandre (in her Four of a Kind spellcard mode) + Shinano + Anne
Note: Despite how long it is, this is just a write-in
Comrade Anon has equipped: Soviet Ushanka (not a joke, actually wearing one), listening to “Russian theme” by Sean Murray from COD:W@W, and That flag MUST fall + NOT ONE STEP BACK, from the COD: Finest Hour soundtrack
"We have lost many brave men, but their sacrifices are not in vain" Reznov, K.I.A. "Our write-ins now form a Wall of Text, so great and patriotic, that even Soviet Anon would be proud"
[☭] Interrupt her by… - [☭] …giving her a hug. Lunatic princess needs to chill down.
- [☭] Once's she has cooled down, explain to her that this was by no means the result of you "being a tough guy":
"This was completely a defensive maneuver because Flandre not only threatened my safety, But that of our comrades." Points to Koakuma and Kogasa. "While my safety is something that should be protected because it is valued by the People of Eientei, such as you, The life of a single fellow comrade, not even say multiple as in this scenario, and general well being of the comrades of Red Army of Gensokyo, precedes my own life. I had tried to run away in peace, perhaps in cowardice, and I am ashamed of this. However, despite not aggravating the assailant in any way, shape nor form, and clearly attempting to stop any interaction with her, she continued to pursue My comrades and I, upon which her presence, intent in her eyes, and language had implied that she was to hurt not only me, but comrades Kogasa and Koakuma. While a man may deplore a faction in the world, THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN A MAN THAT BETRAYS ONE'S COMRADES. EVEN AMONG THE FACIST HORDES, THERE WERE BRAVE TANK WOMEN THAT FOUGHT NOT FOR THE IDEALS OF THE CORRUPT LEADER, BUT FOR THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS THAT WERE FORCED INTO ARMS WITH THEM. THERE IS A LINE PEOPLE CROSS. THIS LINE, HATING ON A PERSON, THREATENING THE WELL BEINGS OF A MAN, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THREATENING HIS COMRADES, IS WHERE ONE MUST STAND UP. FOR HIMSELF! FOR HIS IDEALS! FOR THE TRUTH! FOR HIS VERY FRIENDS, BROTHERS, SISTERS, AND COMRADES! EVEN RATS WOULD STAND UP FOR ONE ANOTHER. THIS BROTHERSHIP IS THE ONLY THING THAT KEEPS THE PEOPLE AS PEOPLE AND NOT MONSTERS. When people grow apathetic of their neighbors starving next to them, for they profit off of the suffering, WHAT GOOD IS LEFT IN THIS CRUEL WORLD? THEY CLIMB TO THE TOP, BUT ONLY AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM! WHAT MEANING IS THERE IN MY LIFE, IF I HAD SACRIFICED MY COMRADES FOR MY OWN? NOTHING. IT WOULD MAKE THE FASCISTS HAVE EVERY RIGHT IN THE WORLD TO PUT ME OUT OF MY SUFFERING. STALIN CAN TRICK THE PEOPLE, but NO ONE CAN CHANGE THE HEART OF THE RUSSIAN SPIRIT. Why did the motherland collapse? BECAUSE THE PEOPLE DEMANDED SO, THAT THE EVIL SOCIALIST FASCIST DICTATORSHIP DONE BY STALIN BEGONE! Since you, a person of the People, has called for me to keep safe, I shall do so, if just for you. I am a man that will carry the good virtues of the Russian Spirit and Heart into the future, and leave Stalin’s dictatorship in the Past. You need not jest about me being a “Tough guy”, for if I am, I need not prove myself with needless actions endangering my comrades, but WITH THE SACRIFICE, THE EXTRA STEP, TO PROTECT MY COMRADES AND YOUR INTRESTS. If I need to be strong, I can prove it with words, NOT WITH PITIFUL SELF-CENTERED ACTIONS! I acknowledge that I have run away, from you, from Flandre, from my Russian Heritage, but that is now in the past. As ironic as it seems, I must thank Flandre, for setting back upon my course. I have an answer for you. An answer that will change your perspective of me forever. An answer that I apologize for not have telling you back in the Library.”
[☭]RUSSIAN COURAGE: MAN UP. ACTIONS MAY SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, BUT IT IS WORDS THAT SOLVE A PROBLEM AT ITS ROOT.
“Although the Great Plan makes people equal to each other in actions and weight, the same cannot be said of the Glorious individuality of this land, of its multiple Religions and different relationships of the people. Marriage is not something to be dictated by laws, nor doth the Great Plan need to become a law. The Great Plan must manifest itself as an Ideal, as a spirit in all of our hearts. Yet that is only part of it. There is still room for choice, individuality, religions, and love amidst the Great Plan. The people can live in Harmony, peace, and equality even if they have their differences in views of religion, economics, politics, and most importantly love. This need not be a lifeless land in which people have true “equality” because they are void of rights and the ability to choice, write and think. The world needs not true equality, for such a thing is always impossible. However, the world needs a place where everyone has a chance to do as they want, inspire to be as they want, where the playfields are level and everyone has a chance, not suffering under the rule of less than benevolent ‘rulers’, such as these ‘corporate owners’ this ‘Modern America’ you have told me stories about.
Kaguya, Although my relationship with Koakuma runs as deep and long as the very Volga itself, as it does with all my fellow comrades, The one I have made room for in my heart is you. Our relationship is more entwined than that of the Moon and Earth, Bound together endlessly, circling and spinning together, but unable to meet due to great leaps of differences of Rank, one being a satellite, and the other a Planet. When the Great plan’s ideals and its light, but not its dark, spreads across Gensokyo, all the people of this realm will see the pointlessness things such as of discrimination, caste systems and many more archaic things. With rank no longer separating me from you, nothing can stop our love, as strong as the basis it is founded on, the Power of the People”
And what the **** I can’t write an update but I can write a “write-in” for this story. Sorry for the wall, but I had to say my point. Happy voting, and May the power of the People be with you, student of Soviet anon’s inspiring work, ComradeWriter.And yes, no proofreader.
From the original post >“Do you think you could get away with this and leaving me in the dark? Do you think you can go and play with these girls when you are STILL injured?” and “Oh, so you think you can be tough and challenge people in non-spellcard battle? Some tough guy, you are,” she jests. “And look at you! You don’t even bother to apologize for leaving me without telling me the answer. Stop running away, for God’s sake.”
For some reason that really, Really, REALLY, REALLY angered me. I'm sorry, but it just did more than strike a nerve. If she honestly loves Yuri, I cannot see why she would make fun of him when he is "still injured". She assumes that we had challenged Flandre. We can obviously see that it is impossible to escape Flandre, as attempting to do so multiple times has done little more than come to a fail. Flandre cannot be reasoned with, given that even the slightly insane girl of the Imperial navy, who would give her life rather than surrender, said that Flandre has a few screws loose in her head. Thus, the only way to winlivesurvive is to fight until help arrives. If Yuri simply runs away, he will be toyed with until he is killed. He will die a meaningless death, like a dog, on his knees. Meaningless.
I concede that Kaguya has every right in the world to feel angry about Yuri leaving without giving an answer, but that was the very reason I say Yuri should take care of it in his speech.
I disagree that Kaguya is 'justified' in insulting Yuri for standing up for his life and his comrades' lives. As far as I am concerned, "It is better to live on your feet, than to die on your knees." The insults are a misunderstanding of Kayguya being clouded by rage, thinking we actively went looking for a fight. There is a line between courage and stupidity. Stupidity is going after Flandre to fight her. Courage is the willingness to go above and beyond what another man would do, even if it is self-sacrificial, to save your fellows, even if it means taking on Flandre. Since Yuri only went full out in order to have the chance, no guarantee, to be saved, but he can insure the safty his comrades, whos' lives are not only more numerous, but are at least as, if not more, valuable than his own. Furthermore, Yuri is just in fighting in self defense. Despite what Kaguya thinks, Yuri is not the aggressor here.
None the less, I thank you for providing insight through another angle. This insight is valued and appreciated greatly by the motherland
>>24245 >"I'm sure he will blackout within 2-3 sentences of that write-in." Thank you for pointing that out, I completely forgot Yuri's condition after Kaguya continues to make fun of Yuri's ideals as he is bleeding to death in a round against a murderous vampire. Therefore I'm changing my vote to:
[X] Interrupt her by… - [X] …giving her a hug. Lunatic princess needs to chill down.
- [X] Faint/ Rest.
- [X] Once's she has cooled down and you have awaken/ are rested, explain to her that this was by no means the result of you "being a tough guy": [speech from previous post]
- [X]RUSSIAN COURAGE: MAN UP. [speech from previous post]
I'd prefer to solve this misunderstanding now rather than later. Yuri is not a wimp, not a man to run away from a question, not a man that can be drowned by doubt in his ideals. If doubt clouds his mind's beliefs, his heart's light will shine right through it. Yuri can't stay as this indecisive person forever, it is out of character. Regardless if he follows his Red Army background or his loyalty to Kaguya, it is not of his nature to not answer such a vital question. It is a characteristic of brave men, men like Yuri, to make the decisive decision in a split second. This write in not only defuses the misunderstanding and shows Yuri's love to Kaguya, but also show's Yuri's determination and decisiveness, to pull himself together, after a period of muddled choices and, in essence, an identity crisis.
In the end, this is just my two cents. My two cents should not be valued any more nor any less than anyone else's two cents. Feel free to use as much or as little of it as you want. Remember, it is in the end what choice that the People choose to be.
>>24248 My update has angered some people? ಠ_ಠ Besides, wouldn't it be natural for Kaguya as Yuri's waifu to express her concern for him, even if it means questioning his reasons of fighting Flandre? I was actually the one to be blamed for the wording, though.
>That write-in I like it, but I think I'll have to tone it down a bit. Yuri doesn't possess enough charisma to deliver such speech but that may change soon.
Right, writing now, but don't expect it to be ready soon. Sage for not actually updating.
Yeah sorry about that. Please do tone it down if you plan to use parts of it. I think I was on the point where the corners of the borders of rage, insanity, stress, and frustration converge. I am much more chill now, because I decided to follow the motto: Take it easy So please tone the speech down to an appororiate level. Really, I just wanted Yuri to get over his indecisiveness, explain the truth and reasoning behind Yuri's actions, and brave up and overcome his fear to answer hard questions and hard situations. Yuri needs to brave his problems head on. That's all I really wanted, for him to hace his life's issues like a man. Running away won't make the problems go away, so facing them is what is needed to be done.
Connotation 'Nazi', you've been warned. Feel free to skip this, because Serial ATA already has said that this is just a mix up of words.
>Besides, wouldn't it be natural for Kaguya as Yuri's waifu to express her concern for him, even if it means questioning his reasons of fighting Flandre?
Perhaps my English needs to be updated, but I always thought that concern[u] was't mocking, or jesting at, the person and their ideals and reasons to stand up and fight. I also thought that [u]questioning did not mean making accusations and acting as if they are true. But one again, this is just a word choice error, so I'll just take it easy
>>24254 >well the issue that instead of trying to buy time for refineforcements, the write-in basically had Yuri going gung-ho.
I had intentioned for Yuri to lay back in stealth to buy time after suprising the girls. However, that ended up as a fail, as seen when Flandre catches him again. If one can't stealth out of Flandre's wrath, how does one survive? I do believe it takes a complete and total pro to defeat Flandre, or any extra boss, on a pacifist run. And since Yuri has not his danmaku weapons, He is essentially limited to a pacisfist run in terms of Danmaku. I do think that even pros need to try quite a bit to get the run complete. How can a man that is not a top-tier, not haxxor powered, but rather just an average man from the Red Army survive? I think that he would not have survived should he have not given his all. Once again, I assert that going Gung-ho after the initial suprise attack was indeed a last ditch effort to continue Yuri's existance, after staying in the shadows had failed. Alas, this is just my two cents.
That is all. I look forward to the writer's response to The People.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/10/07 (Fri) 07:54No. 24315▼
Bumping this almost dead[/spoiler ] thread with announcement that update is on the way. I can't guarantee about its dateline, though, since my schedule next week is going to be very, very packed.
[spoiler]For those who are very hungry to see Winemaker/Yuki/Mai threesome scene, I am sorry for the indefinite delay.
Also, a somewhat trivial question: supposed that I manage to finish Little Soldier Lost by the end of this year (hopefully) and write a continuation of the story (or perhaps a new story entirely), which soldier (from which faction) Anonymous would like to see as the new MC, and which Touhou everyone would like to focus on? The attached picture is not an indication, by the way.
>>24315 >Also, a somewhat trivial question: supposed that I manage to finish Little Soldier Lost by the end of this year (hopefully) and write a continuation of the story (or perhaps a new story entirely), which soldier (from which faction) Anonymous would like to see as the new MC, and which Touhou everyone would like to focus on?
How about open warfare amidst the ruins of Makai in /underground/? I mean, they're a different race, in different country, and they've 'invaded' Gensokyo once already in canon. We haven't met any of the other named demons, and there's also a selection of unnamed denizens that can be given monickers: Nameless Midboss Fairy from MS, Nameless Midboss Demon also from MS, and the Dark Sunflower Fairy from UFO.
The flaming skyline of Berlin Pandæmonium would make a bitchin' backdrop for a fight.
Obviously, it would have to focus on Alice, and being forced to choose one home over another. Yuri would find out her family affairs, and it would be revealed how she came to be with Shinki (basket on the porch? runaway? war orphan?).
I like the idea in >>24324 but as >>24330 said, Yuri isn't going to be involved in the second LSL (as the MC, at least, but that doesn't mean he won't get cameo). There's a reason I posted the picture in >>24315unless modern warfare isn't Anon's taste.
>>24339 I think the reason modern warfare factions aren't used because it'd be closer to a normal story and most modern solders aren't exactly super passionate sorts like their predicessors. In fact some may be very jaded by being dragged into pointless conflicts (Thanks, George W Bush!)
> finish Little Soldier Lost by the end of this year
> About 2-3 updates per month
> 3 months including this one, which is about 1/4 over
> updates are humane, not walls of text updates.
Unless you start writing faster than a German Blitzkrig, This means you are ending your story after the Koakuma-Kayguya conflict(?)
As for a new faction, I think it would be interesting to see a patriotic French person. From The Great War or World War two. Asserting that his country is still the strongest country on the planet, and is not a coward. Or if World war two from the background of soldier turned guerilla fighter.
I stand with everyone else, modern warfare's soldiers are simply past the days when The People put aside their differences, in ideology, in race, in sexuality, etc. to fight a for a common cause. Now, as a previous poster stated, the soldiers are apatheic, if not against the war that they fight.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Time for an emotional...thing in the spoilers. Don't read if you don't want to be sad
finish Little Soldier Lost by the end of this year Little Lost Soldier finish end end is synonymous with die END
Isn't it sad, Sacchin and Alek ;_;
Somewhere across Gensokyo, Alek Ivanov felt a chill go down his spine, as a wind that made a sound, that of a sad man crying, that of a brother dying, as the gust went past him. This chilled him to the bone. It was a gloomy day, yet he could not place why. He had released Sacchin from the realm of darkness, made friends with The People of this land, and secured the harmony among The People and the rebirth of True communism, yet he, no all of The People were depressed. The People were free from the chains of oppression and were able to do, speak, write, and overall live as they pleased. Peace and order were in place as well, for no crimes occurred save for the normal teasing pranks of the fairies. Yet the world remained bleak. Why? What was missing? What thing were The People missing? Was it friendship? No, he had constant companionship from Reimu, Suika, and Yukari, not to mention all the comrades and people of this land. Was it Freedom? No, he had removed all the chains that tied The People to serfdom. What is it? What is this thing that is so far removed from him yet do close to him. Family. He had no family that he could relate to, no people that have shared his experiences. He was truly unique and alone in this cruel, brutal world. Yuri Ivanov. The name of his best friend, his older brother, his comrade in arms. He had lost him once at the Battle of The Kursk, and although Alek had yet to be informed of it, He knew that had lost him yet again. Alek called all The People from across the now solemn and gloomy land that had become Gensokyo, for one final speech.
"Citizens, Residents, and Comrades of this land, I have a called for all of you here as the final announcement, final speech, final meeting of the True Communism party of Gensokyo. Even thought I had promised myself to never misuse his memory, to never GRIEVE at this, I must break that. As You all may or may not know, we have lost a brave soldier, my brother, once again. He may have once been little and lost in the eyes of some people in this land, but his actions and his final, noble sacrifice prove him to be more of a man, more of a human, more of a person than any of us here today. Although with his sacrifice We have had enduring peace and harmony, the price of his life to achieve such a tranquil life is not just. We have all worked together, in the snow, in the sun, in the rain, when we are happy, when we are sad, when we are hurting, when we are grieving, when we are alive, and when we die. As of now, that is no more. Everyone gives their greetings and their goodbyes. Everyone has paid, but nobody had known the price. Now we know this price, this grave price of sacrifice. By the time we had gotten to ask our question, we have already gotten the answer first. By the time knees hit the ground to pray, there is nothing left on this Earth but this air, this atmosphere that chills us to the bone. So comrades, watch this Flag burn, as it burns in this fire, as this fire of True Communism burns its last flame, as its last spark is extinguished and as we exhale our last breath as comrades." You watch the last spark become extinguished in the ashes of the The Flag, along with The Great Cause and The Motherland's ideals itself. "The Party's final meeting is adjourned. Signing out for the very last time, Lieutenant Alek Ivanov."
And then there was nothing left. The People left for their homes, but with a hole in their hearts. But there is nothing The People can do. People die when they are written offtheir story has endedKILLED. Nothing can bring Yuri Ivanov back.
Except Serial ATA. You better not Sad/Bad end this story. Or that's going in as Canon in Ace Combat Gensokyo.
You know something is wrong when you cry to your own post.
Yes. A diehard believer in the Revolution who fought from the mountains of Italy, to the deserts of Egypt, to the heights of Austerlitz, to the forests of Russia, and finally at Waterloo itself. That would be so awesome.
>>24347 I'm impressed yet annoyed at your ability to go hyper-dramatic at a drop of a frilly hat. I wouldn't worry about this story as I'm sure even if this little tale does end (which isn't too soon), I'm sure he may have some sorts planned.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/10/09 (Sun) 07:13No. 24353▼
>recommendations about French patriotic and Prussian Junker
I'm familiar with French (especially those who served Napoleon's army; in fact, I like the idea of future MC being a veteran of Austerlitz and such) but I'm in the dark about Prussians. So if anyone can point me to any war/campaign Prussians were involved and being a badass, too, I'll gladly credit the person.
>Unless you start writing faster than a German Blitzkrig, This means you are ending your story after the Koakuma-Kaguya conflict(?) >Poster being sad that LSL is coming to an end.
Alas, I'm but a normal human plagued by everyday problem.
And no, the story won't end after the Koakuma-Kaguya conflict. As a matter of fact, I have plans for an incident-solving event that may finally bring Yuri to light about the fate of Motherland, his comrades, and ultimately, himself as the "only" surviving member of the Red Army, the "only" person who has the task of keeping the spirit of Red Army alive.
Actual update is on the way, please wait warmly~
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/10/09 (Sun) 07:41No. 24355▼
Oh, what the hell. I’ll just modify the write-in and put it in this update.
[c] Interrupt her by… - [c] …giving her a hug. Lunatic princess needs to chill down. [c] And apologize for worrying her, realizing that you'd understand her reaction if the positions are reversed. [c] Insert that write-in. [c] Faint/Rest.
This is ridiculous.
You stare at her, even as she continues her rants. You realize you’re being reprimanded in a way even your commissar would balk or shake his head in shame. If it isn’t for the fact that she’s basically scolding you for your recklessness, this would have looked like a scene that comes straight from a soap drama. Maybe you should scold her for not understanding the situation that you’re forced in, when you interrupted her in the middle of her ‘ritual of death’ with Mokou.
Right now, though…
You reach forward, and immediately pull Kaguya towards your body. She gasps, and her protests get silenced as you wrap your arms around her shoulders. You opt to say nothing as you tighten your embrace, holding her as close and tightly as you can. You don’t care much of what the people may think, and you don’t care much of how Kaguya reacts to this.
After all, lunatic princess needs to calm down.
You loosen your embrace and push her slightly away from you. “Listen now,” you speak as you stare into her eyes. “I understand you’re mad at me for going gung-ho without your permission, and I understand you’re angry at me for fighting these girls and risking my life.”
You interrupt her again; no use leaving her in the dark about this confrontation’s nature. “I understand your reaction if our position was reversed, and I’m certain I’d do the same thing. I apologize if I have worried you, but you seem to completely miss out the whole point.” You motion Kaguya to look at Kogasa and Koakuma. “You see, my dear Kaguya (you swear to yourself she starts blushing when you use the moniker “dear”), this was completely a defensive manoeuvre, as Flandre not only threatened my safety, but that of our comrades. I only did what a respectful squad leader should do to get them out of danger.”
“Hey! We were just playing with him,” Flandre protests.
“I understand my safety is something that should be protected because it is valued by the People of Eientei, such as you,” you continue. “The life of a single fellow comrade – or multiple in this situation – and general well being of the comrades of Red Army of Gensokyo, however, precedes my own life.” You pause, as to gather some breath. “I had tried to attempt a peaceful retreat, and I realized it was perhaps in cowardice, and I am ashamed of this act.”
Kaguya blinks. You’re certain she doesn’t get the last sentence, but you digress.
“My only intention was to get myself and my comrades out of harm and back to the safety of the Library, but she had persisted to go after us, upon which her presence, intent in her eyes, and language had implied that she was to hurt not only me, but comrades Kogasa and Koakuma.” At the corner of your eye, you can see Shinano frowning and scratching the back of her head in a mix of guilt and shame. “As if it wasn’t enough, her ‘maniacal’ friend decided to join in and tried to turn the table against us.”
“Hmph! As if I’m going to hurt him in the first place,” Flandre boasts defiantly. “Oh, come on Shinano! Man up! It wasn’t entirely your fault!”
“While a man may deplore a faction in this world, I must stress here that there is nothing WORSE than a man that betrays his comrades and values his own ass over the others,” you say in a calm yet firm speech. “Even among the fascist horde, there were brave men and women who fought NOT for the ideals of their corrupt leader, but for the brothers and sisters who were FORCED into arms with them. I know, because I had personally met this people in spite of the difference in our ideologies.”
Your heart skips a bit, and for a second you thought your head was going to split in half. You disregard the pain and press on. “There is a line people can cross, Kaguya. This line, hating on a person, threating his well beings, and most importantly…” You glance at the girls, who are as bewildered as you can imagine, then turn back to Kaguya. “And most importantly, threatening his comrades, is where one MUST stand up. For himself. For his ideals. For the truth. For his very friends, brothers, sisters, and comrades. If lowly rats can stand up for one another, why can’t I? This kinship is the ONLY thing that keeps the people as people and not as monsters.”
Your vision starts getting blurry. You have to hold on, perhaps a few more minutes, so that you can clear things up, so that she can finally understand the reason behind your ‘last stand’. “I will be very ashamed of myself, and the Motherland will be very ashamed at me, if I had sacrificed my comrades for the sake of my own. Do I have the right to live and breathe on her sacred land if I ever did that? Hell, I would even allow the fascists to put an end to my suffering.”
“Yuri! Y-your head is bleeding!” She starts panicking. Oh, boy, she must surely be freaked out by sudden twist of this event.
You dismiss her with a grin. “Da, my own pain is nothing compared to the misery my comrades will have to endure. If I am allowed to put my own life in their place, I will gladly do so, for every soldier in the Red Army is supposed to care for one another.” You let go off her shoulders, only to put one hand on her scalp and begin petting her. “However, since you, a person of the people, has called for me to keep so, I shall do, if just for you. I am but a man who will carry the good virtues of the heart and soul of Mother Russia into the future, and leave the dark past behind.”
“I acknowledge that I have run away, from you, from Flandre, from Shinano, from everything, but that is going to change,” you utter. “As ironic as it seems, I must thank them for setting back upon my course.”
“Did you just hear that, Shinano?” Flandre gasps. “He just thanked us! He just thanked us! I’m so excited!!”
Your body is on the verge of shutting down. There’s one final thing you want to tell her before you pass out and greet Hypnos and his relatives. “Kaguya, I must apologize for not telling you the answer back in the Library, but now I am ready.” You grin at her one last time. “So, Kaguya Houraisan, this is my…”
And that’s when your time runs out.
Everyone in the kitchen is startled, more so since you just happen to lose conscious and collapse on top of Kaguya, almost knocking her off her feet. She is shocked, as so are your comrades. You don’t care much of how their reaction, as you fall asleep, finally getting the rest you so deserve after going through this hectic day.
“W-w-w-w-w-what was that about???” Kaguya asks in panic, unable to shove you away from her. “What’s up with his sudden inspirational speech, and why did he decide to faint and use me as his resting post?!”
“He obviously likes you, princess! That’s what!” Flandre shouts aloud. She laughs as Kaguya yells in protest at her and takes Shinano’s hand, running away from the kitchen.
“Umm… what now?” Kogasa asks.
“I believe we should put him in another medical observation,” Sakuya replies. “I guess what Koakuma said about it’s the Scarlet Devil Mansion’s responsibility to look after him rings true right now. If he and his ‘significant other’ don’t mind spending a night here.”
Koakuma claps her hands giddily. “And I can’t wait to hear his answer~”
“Good thing they didn’t completely trash the kitchen, or I’ll have to personally reprimand them,” Sakuya adds jokingly. “Anastasia, Ekaterina, Sasha, give me some hands; we’re going to bake some bread for today’s evening tea.”
“Hooray for bread and tea!” the comrade fairies cheer.
“Uhh… what about me?” Anne asks.
The head maid turns to the tank girl. “Well, I believe it’s time for you to get acquainted with the man you have saved,” she tells her. “Come on, girls. Let’s not waste anymore time.”
Who is this Alec guy? Did I miss anything? Also, I kinda am confused on this Saccin stuff. Who is that?
>“Even among the fascist horde, there were brave men and women who fought NOT for the ideals of their corrupt leader, but for the brothers and sisters who were FORCED into arms with them. I know, because I had personally met this people in spite of the difference in our ideologies.”
Take the hint here and make the next character an ex-Wehrmacht soldier. Alternatively, make the person he met an old Prussian veteran from the First World War that had been to Gensokyo before but never told him of it, then describe those travels in the next story. Make the story end with the honorable sad death at Ivan's hands, in the middle of Stalingrad.
Don’t expect friendly banters coming from them, though. I expect nationalism and ideologies to crash together at ludicrous speeds, buddy. Don't dissapoint.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/10/09 (Sun) 11:58No. 24358▼
>>24356 ComradeWriter was talking about Alek & Sacchin from Ace Combat Gensokyo thread at /shrine/, which has been resurrected after months of hiatus. PaperBoy, how could you leave us ;_;
>Take the hint here and make the next character an ex-Wehrmacht soldier. Alternatively, make the person he met an old Prussian veteran from the First World War that had been to Gensokyo before but never told him of it, then describe those travels in the next story. >Make the story end with the honorable sad death at Ivan's hands, in the middle of Stalingrad.
I like this idea very much, but I'm kind of torn about the part in spoiler, but I won't complain.
>I expect nationalism and ideologies to crash together at ludicrous speeds, buddy. Don't disappoint. I shall try my best.
>>24353 "Other states possess an army; Prussia is an army which possesses a state".
Prussia was one of the five great European powers, with Great Britain, France, Russia and Austria. Prussia had a much smaller population and was poorer than the other powers but made up for it with a superior army.
Prussia was pretty much awesome in every war it fought in, with a blip against Napoleon. But even then, Prussian forces occupied Paris and fought alongside Wellington at Waterloo. Many of the Russian generals were also Prussian.
Until 1701, the Hohenzollerns of Prussia were dukes who had had to give homage to Poland- the last Hohenzollern ruler of Prussia was Kaiser Wilhelm II of World War I fame. So in 200 years, Prussia came from a duchy to an empire via force of arms and military conquest.
During the Seven years war, Prussia (with no more help then British subsidies) fought Austria, Saxony, Russia, France and Sweden at the same the same time and won.
During 1866 Prussia beat the crap out of Austria and in 1870 France, and formed the German Empire.
The German Empire of 1870-1918 was essentialy Prussia. So World War I can be considered the last hurrah of Prussia.
The German stereotype of stoic, displicined and highly competent men was originally a Prussian stereotype.
The Junkers were the elite Prussian military families and it was said "if Prussia ruled Germany, the Junkers ruled Prussia, and through it the Empire itself". People like Bismarck and Hindenburg were Junkers.
List of famous badass Prussians (by no means comprehensive):
-Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron: Top scoring ace pilot of World War One -Otto von Bismarck: Singlehandedly backstabbed two major European powers to create the German Empire -Frederick II, the Great: King of Prussia during the Seven Years' War and quite possibly one of the greatest tactical geniuses who ever lived
One of the few places on Earth that qualifies itself as Hell. Formerly a symbol of power and prestige for the Soviet Union, it now lies in ruins, a fact that is contributed by Nazi Germany and its unstoppable blitzkrieg. Thousands, if not millions, soldiers are sent to defend and retake the city, losing their lives in the attempt, and thousands more suffer under the invaders’ oppression. It serves as a reminder to the world that relationship based on distrust and paranoia toward one another is prone to be broken, but also a symbol of determination, courage and hope, for every defender of Stalingrad is firmly adamant to liberate their homeland.
Even though they have to pay for the price with their own life.
You have less concern about sacrificing yourself for the cause, however.
You turn to the Private-ranked soldier that is following you. He’s shivering, although you have a hard time to tell whether it’s because of the cold weather or of fear. “What is it, comrade?”
“Do you think… we should take a break now? I’m kind of… cold right now,” he speaks, coughing between each sentence.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/10/23 (Sun) 14:49No. 24431▼
One of the few places on Earth that qualifies itself as Hell. Formerly a symbol of power and prestige for the Soviet Union, it now lies in ruins, a fact that is contributed by Nazi Germany and its unstoppable blitzkrieg. Thousands, if not millions, soldiers are sent to defend and retake the city, losing their lives in the attempt, and thousands more suffer under the invaders’ oppression. It serves as a reminder to the world that relationship based on distrust and paranoia toward one another is prone to be broken, but also a symbol of determination, courage and hope, for every defender of Stalingrad is firmly adamant to liberate their homeland.
Even though they have to pay for the price with their own life.
You have less concern about sacrificing yourself for the cause, however.
You turn to the Private-ranked soldier that is following you. He’s shivering, although you have a hard time to tell whether it’s because of the cold weather or of fear. “What is it, comrade?”
“Do you think… we should take a break now? I’m kind of… cold right now,” he speaks, coughing between each sentence.
You don’t have time to rest, but seeing your comrade having to endure the harsh weather gives you a second thought. “Let’s get some rest,” you say and sit down, leaning against a walled structure. “But be wary of the environment. We have a mission to accomplish, don’t let your guard down.”
You close your eyes. You try to remember the events that lead to this; apparently High Command has done an evaluation based on your previous performance during your deployment in Siberia, and they were impressed by your so-called ‘game-hunting’ skill. They decided to put your skill to the test by assigning you to track and assassinate a high-ranked German officer, who they claimed to be one of the masterminds behind the destruction of Stalingrad. You had no qualm when you received the ‘assignment’ and merely treated it as a mission to be accomplished, although you did question the effectiveness of the intelligence circle when you only had the name “von Hillenbrand” to start with.”
The coughing of your comrade brings you back from your self-thought moment. You look at him, who is struggling to keep himself warm by rubbing his palms against each other. A sense of pity envelops you, so you take off your winter coat and put it over him. “Don’t mind me, I’m used to it,” you answer when he looks up at you in confusion and delight.
After thirty minutes of resting you stand and withdraw your PPSh-41. “Break’s over, let’s go,” you say to your comrade. “Check every corner you find. Just because this is our turf doesn’t mean they’re unfamiliar with it,” you remind him as you head to the direction you’re supposed to go.
You halt. Your ears catch the faint footsteps over the corner. There’s no mistake about it; Germans. You signal at your comrade to stay with you while you make haste to a nearby hiding spot, barely getting spotted by German patrol. Anxiously you wait, as the patrol unit investigates the area for tell-tale sign of Soviet soldiers, and your heart skips when one of the patrols comes dangerously close to your hideout. The game of waiting is intense as it is frustrating, as it takes almost forever for the patrol to leave.
“There is no one here.”
“Of course it is. Nobody would be a fool to gamble his life staying in this abandoned building.”
“We should get back and report to Colonel Hillenbrand after this. I heard he’s going to treat us with Oriental tea-something.”
“Ja, having something warm and refreshing wouldn’t be that bad.”
Colonel Hillenbrand. This patrol may work under him. You turn to your comrade, who’s nodding nervously at you. “We’ll follow them, but keep low and stay out of sight,” you whisper and peek out of cover to ensure the patrol has walked far enough from your hideout. “Good, they don’t seem to notice us. Let’s keep moving.”
Slowly, and carefully, you and your comrade walk the trail left by the German patrol, and along the way you never stop reminding your comrade the emphasis of stealth in this mission, and how it’s important to keep yourself hidden, just like how a patient hunter would conceal himself while stalking his prey.
You turn back at your comrade; he’s stepped on a pile of bones. “What the hell is that for?” you reprimand. Before he can answer, you hear someone shouting in indistinctive language, followed by frantic footsteps coming at your way.
You realize you’ve just lost your element of stealth.
Acting on instinct, you yank your comrade by the arm and dive to the left, barely getting hit by the patrol’s gunfire. “Chyrot, I didn’t come all the way here to be wasted,” you curse and toss a grenade over your head. It fails to set off, but is enough to force the German patrol to fall back.
“I’m sorry, it was an accident,” your comrade apologizes in frightened voice.
“Apology accepted,” you utter and peek out of cover to shoot back at the German patrol. “I see five armed personnel behind the boulder. Kar98, hand grenades, one German Shepherd.”
“Dogs? Ugh… I hate dogs,” your comrade whines, even as he’s helping you with suppressive fire.
“It’d be better if you didn’t steps on those bones,” you reply dryly and continue firing at the patrol.
The firing exchange lasts for a few minutes, before the German patrol finally falls back. “Good, they’re getting away. Let’s keep it this way,” you utter and turn to your comrade. He’s giving you one of the shocked look on his face, and when you examine him closer you discover a wound on his left shoulder. “You’ve been shot.”
“I was being careless, wasn’t I?” he says and laughs miserably. “But it’s okay, since this mission is more important than my own life. I can live with it-”
You cut him off by hooking his arm over your shoulder and pulling him on his feet. “I’m not going to leave you behind, a hindrance or not,” you utter and start walking. “I still need you to keep me company, am I clear?”
“Sorry for being a troublesome, comrade captain,” he apologizes.
You take a detour and head into a tunnel. It seems to be headed to an unknown direction, but you figure out that you can find your way out of it and continue your hunt for the Colonel Hillenbrand. The silence is disturbing, and you don’t like how dimly lit the tunnel is, as it hinders you from looking up ahead. As if it’s going to stop you from carrying your wounded comrade to safety.
Your steps come to a dead stop.
Ahead of you is a German army officer.
And he is as equally surprised as you are.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/10/23 (Sun) 14:51No. 24433▼
> "I heard he’s going to treat us with Oriental tea-something" I see that our Colonel Hillenbrand has a fine taste in tea and culture.
>“Kommunistan!!” This is memorable. Still remember it from CoD2. Now I feel old
>“I was being careless, wasn’t I?” he says and laughs miserably. “But it’s okay, since this mission is more important than my own life. I can live with it-”
What the response might have been if Yuri wasn't busy fighting the war at the moment: Do not be a Defeatist, comrade. If you truly think that the mission was more important than your life, then you will keep going, keep walking with the damned bullet inside you, to complete the Motherland's mission. If you are to die, then you are to die with your hands around the throat of the enemy. Remember what the commissioner had said: 'Cowards, Defeatists, and Traitors will be shot'. If you are truly thinking about The Motherland right now, the silly transient and mortal wound can't stop you. Hails of The Brutalized Fascist Hordes can't stop you. Do not laugh miserably, comrade, for the wound is not fatal. The only fatal wound there is is to give up hope for The Motherland, to accept your fate as to die in this ruined building by a lone bullet of a wretched Fascist. The Motherland needs you alive, Needs you to keep The Nation, The Great Land of Mother Russia safe from The Fascist Invaders. These are the most glorious moments of our lives, and to waste it by dying needlessly in a ruined building is to make your life in vain. We have been tasked to hold the city of Stalingrad at all costs, to prevent The Invaders from reaching the Volga. There is no land behind the Volga River. If you truly value The Great Motherland and its mission that it has assigned to you greater than our minuscle lives, Then Take Action with to do it, Kill the Invader, instead of complaining about a wound, complaining and miserably laughs will not help. So long as your heart can beat, you brain can think, your lungs can breath, and your hand can pull a trigger, you CAN and WILL fight For The Motherland. To give up and accept death is to take a great step back, against Direct Orders from Our Great Leader. You have been privileged to take part in this battle, and to even have a gun with bullets to fire and a leader to direct you. There are the civilians that are fighting the Germans with little more than their bodies and their Wills For The Motherland. There are Guerilla fighters that fight and live by the tools and food of their enemy. Yet you are well supplied in comparision to all of them. The German's Dash to the Volga has left them with not enough supplies for themselves, and this is only increased by our comrades behind Hitler's lines. Their tanks and blitzkrieg tatics are of no use in a city like this. We are at great advantage here. Yet you decide to bring up some wimpy 'patriotism' dying needlessly? To die is an honor, but only if it can give the opprotunity for your fellow comrades to Kill The German, to Stop The Invader, to Reclaim Stalingrad. To die meaninglessly here is a waste. I'm not leaving you behind. Not a single comrade is left behind to the clutches of the Evil Hitlerites. I'm not leaving you behind, hinderance or not. The Motherland needs you alive, needs every defender of its glory to fight until the end.
I think I've realized that it is much easier to write a patriotic write-in/comment than to write a patriotic story. Salutes Serial ATA
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/11/05 (Sat) 01:39No. 24521▼
For Pete-knows-how-long-it-is, both you and the German officer are staring into each other’s eyes, yours filled with hatred and mistrust for the enemy, his full of sympathy (or mockery, so you believe). You slowly bring your hand to your belt and reach for the standard-issue TT-33, ready to withdraw and take the shot, and you pay no attention to his calm response to you apparent ‘defensive manoeuvre’.
“Your friend,” the officer speaks in accented Russian and points to your comrade. “He’s been shot, isn’t he?”
“What do you want to know?” you snarl.
The German officer smiles and waves his hand dismissively. “This isn’t the place to attend his wound. I have emergency kit, but it isn’t with me right now.” He brandishes his own handgun, causing you to flinch. “This is just a precaution, don’t worry about it. Come with me.”
You refuse. There is absolutely no way you will follow an enemy, let alone someone who you’re ordered not to trust. Yet hearing your comrade groaning in pain due to the bullet wound makes you relent, and you throw your free arm upward. “Fine, but don’t expect me to thank your hospitality,” you utter.
The German officer merely smiles. “I expect nothing in return from my enemy, either.”
You follow the German officer, as he walks through the tunnel with apparent ease despite the lack of lighting. You keep yourself alert to any possibility of being lured into a trap, although his never-ending assurance that he’s not going to turn you in is half-heartedly convincing. You swear you can almost hear your inner self laughing at you for siding with the enemy.
After walking through endless labyrinths and concealed junctions for what seems to be an eternity, you reach the end of the tunnel and walk into a relatively small indoor space. It’s a bunker – or at least that’s what you want to think. There’s a small window at one side of the bunker, which allows for a clear view of the battlefield, but apart from that there’s nothing special about it. “My makeshift home in Stalingrad; the Generals are too busy licking the Fuhrer’s shoe to think of our welfare here, so I had to use my own arms to dig this space,” he says and gestures at you to lie your comrade on the nearby bed. “Unattended wounds can be fatal, especially in this environment,” he speaks.
“How do you know?” you ask.
“Before we can begin any conversation, perhaps you should take a seat first,” he says and points to an empty chair. You oblige his request without further questions and sit, adjusting your position so that you can have a clear view of your comrade. “There, isn’t that better? Now, where were we? Ah, yes, the question.”
He takes a bottle from the medical kit and brings its lid to your comrade’s nose; you watch in intrigue as he stops groaning in pain and begins lulling into a sleep. “Painkiller, I learned to make it from a friend,” he speaks and pats your comrade’s forehead soothingly. “It helps you when you’re going to perform a spot-on surgery.”
He lifts his finger, as if asking you to keep quiet. After making sure his patient has fallen asleep, he brings out a pair of tongs and diligently pushes it through the wound; your comrade twitches at the sudden intrusion but doesn’t otherwise notice the procedure. The ‘field doctor’ twists the small device, and then pulls an object out of the wound. “We have found it,” he utters and shows you a small-calibre bullet. “He’s fortunate that the bullet didn’t hit him on the artery, or he’d suffer massive blood loss.” He puts it on your palm. “This may be a useful lucky charm for him,” he utters and continues attending the wound.
After half an hour, which includes checking your comrade’s health the surgery is done, and he’s just finished stitching the scar. “And there we go,” he says. You’re amazed that he can perform the delicate operation under intense pressure, and without batting a single sweat. “Your friend will be alright. I’ve made sure he won’t suffer any aftershock, but it will take at least a couple of days before he wakes up. Oh, one more thing.” He throws a blanket over your comrade. “Don’t let him do all the heavy works. He needs to have sufficient rest before he can resume his duty.”
Your tongue is shackled. You want to thank him for saving your comrade from certain death, but your sentiment’s telling you not to express your gratitude towards your enemy. The German officer seems to notice your dilemma as he waves his hand at you. “You don’t have to thank me, it’s my duty as a doctor to look after my patient’s wellbeing,” he says as he wraps bandages around the surgery scar, fastening it with – of all things – one of the medals he unpins from his shirt. “Life is tough, even for a seasoned field medic, and more so since I just happen to be one of the dying breed. How long do you know him?”
“Barely a few hours; the selection was random, and they didn’t give me a chance to pick my own men.” You don’t understand what he meant by ‘dying breed’, but…
“And yet already you look upon him as a close kin, a brother,” he speaks. “That, my friend, is what a soldier should really do.” You scratch the back of your head, feeling slightly flustered by the praise. “You seem to have travelled abroad, I see.”
He points to an amulet hanging over your neck. “That necklace… it’s obviously of Eastern design. Where did you get it?”
“Oh, this?” You find yourself laughing. “My father gave it to me; he said it’s a gift from someone during his travel to Japan. A woman, I think, but he didn’t tell anyone in the family about it.”
He smiles. “A traveller, I see.” He takes something out of the small luggage, which you immediately recognize as a tea set – meagre in size, but sufficient to treat two people. Then he takes out a flask, along with a pack of tea, and you watch from side-line as he’s preparing the beverage. “Silly British, they think they’re the only people who’re allowed to bring tea and muffin to the battlefield.”
“Wait, I don’t understand.”
“Ja, don’t worry about me,” he speaks, even as he’s fallen into the melancholic mood you’re so used to. “This is but the life of a soldier; sometimes he can choose to disobey orders, and sometimes he can’t choose to disobey. We, for the most of the time, fall under the latter, and for the most time we…” He’s trailing off-topic, and you wonder if you should stop his pointless banters.
He finishes preparing the tea and offers you a cup. “I pity those young souls who are often forced into conscription and forsaking their future in the process. Sure, it’s not wrong for them to devote their life for the greater good, but…” He’s trailing off again. You can’t help asking yourself whether this is his trait; if it is, he does a pretty good job at keeping his professionalism his top priority.
There’s a nagging question you need to ask, however.
“The German patrol that we encountered, they mentioned someone’s name…” You pause as to take a sip of the tea. Chinese tea; goodness, this brings back the memories of your first tea session with your father[i]. You put down the cup and stare into his eyes. “Colonel Hillenbrand.” He stares at you, and for a while you can see the singe of pride coming from his eyes. “You are [i]the Colonel Hillenbrand, aren’t you?”
“Alfred von Hillenbrand, veteran of World War One, member of the Hillenbrand House, a nomad who has travelled half the world.” He lifts one finger, pointing it upward. “And despite what they want you to think, I’m but a regular soldier who chooses to stay with his brothers-in-arm.” Your hunch was right. This is the very man you’re sent to assassinate, and what a luck as you happen to be sitting in front of him. “Now tell me, what kind of business you have in this no-man’s land?”
You cough. “I don’t usually let my enemy know the nature of my mission, but I’ll give you an exception,” you answer and hold the scoped Mosin-Nagant between your arms. “And I’m not going to lie to you about it. I, along with my comrade here, have been sent by the highest command to assassinate you, for you have been assessed as a potential threat to the Motherland.”
He snickers. He just snickers. Either he’s making fun of your mission, or he has foreseen the end of his road. “On what reason were they sending you to take out my life?” he asks.
You find yourself at loss of words. “I… I don’t know.” You scratch the back of your head. “Sorry.”
“Ja, there’s no need to apology,” he dismisses. “It’s only natural that they’re sending their men to remove one of their obstacles. And it’s only natural that I, as a Prussian, must face those obstacles without fear, without retreating.”
“Prussian, sir?” you ask, finally deciding to address this man accordingly.
He nods. “So, since we have a lot of free time until your comrade wakes up, why don’t we sit down and listen to each other’s story?”
You put down the cup, as to allow it to be refilled. “I… I don’t see why not.”
He smiles, even as he’s offering you one of the muffins. “The story began when I was around your age… how old are you again?”
“Twenty-five,” you answer.**
“Ah, I was seven years younger back then,” he utters. “It was nineteen-sixteen, and I was at the Western Front, doing what you would call ‘suicide messenger’. I still remember, it was a cold and rainy day…”
**Author’s note: this is just my estimate on how old Yuri would be during his deployment in Stalingrad.
This should do to keep this story alive and kicking. Also as a reminder, I won't be around for two days due to tomorrow being public holiday. I may use this chance to work on the next update, as well as updates for Stardust Halley and Winemaker's story.
And, yes, you may speculate on what story Hillenbrand is going to share with Yuri.
I seriously have no idea what he did with (or to) whom. If it had anything to do with Gensokyo, I'd say it had something to do with honor and pride and getting gree for a slight inflicted on him by the ever-trolling Yukari, but that would be a pretty long story. Something more domestic, hmm... maybe he meets the previous (or, given the time scale, the fourth- or fith-last) Hakurei Shrine Maiden in the Outsde World, Japan, and has an interesting chat?
But FUCK ALL THAT, this story is set on the western front, this is about cruel hand-to-hand combat, using sharpened shovels as improvised battleaxes, people choking out chunks of lung in a gas attack if they get lucky and having their skin acid-burned off from head to toe if they are not and it is some more modern chemical. Meaningless last stands, seemingly never-ending arillery bombardements, ancient tactics in face of modern weapons. The perfect massacre.
Maybe he meets one of the death-related youkai, out on the no-mans-land, frolicking over the craters like nothing wrong is going on? Maybe a gas attack occurs, and in the smoke, he spots Medicine Melancholy doing what she does best? I have no idea.
Incidentially, did you guys know that Hitler spent his combat deployment in the exact same way, as a messenger/runner, until he was wounded in a gas attack? I'd so laugh my butt off if he had met him and would wrap up his description of the mustachioed nobhead with "Weird guy. Never found out what happened to him, though."
Yes. We need some brutal, pointless wafare over ground that has been fought over for so long it's become nothing but corpses and mud. It can go a long way to explaining his apathy to the current situation.
The hitler thing would be amusing. I'm not sure about the whole Medicine and Youkai thing, though. I doubt they would be off on the western front, especially considering Japan hoined the war. They would probably be closer to home, possibly the eastern or african front. If they decided to get involved, which I don't really see.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/11/19 (Sat) 14:12No. 24581▼
These are four scenarios I thought of to conclude this story, all of which will have major impact on Yuri's life in Gensokyo. Tagged for everyone's convenience.
+ Rogue youkai faction has stolen weapon caches from Moriya Shrine and declares war on the Gensokyo. Is Yuri a determined soldier enough to stop terrorism from destroying his new homeland?
+ Lunarian threatening to launch a full-scale invasion, in part as a revenge for Yukari's (thwarted) invasion of the Moon a thousand years ago, but also since they discover that Soviet Union is still alive - in Yuri. This is also possible due to Reisen's relationship with our MC.
+ The second Great Fairy War, as an Anonymous suggested. Nothing very special about this one, it's just another fairy war. Or is it?
+ Reliving the memories of Great Patriotic War - especially Stalingrad - and finally putting an end to any and all hostilities between Anne & Yuri (this may or may not happen, depending on whether all future votes will lead to these two soldiers meet after the flashback sequence).
>>24581 I'm voting for option two, coupled with option four and some mods. Don't threaten the invasion, make it happen ASAP. Then Yuri gets stuck together with Anne while fleeing cross-country towards Eientei and they have to overcome their differences to survive while at the beginning the two are as much a threat to each other as the low flying lunarian fighter-bombers are to them.
Feels good to see my idea >>24356 put into motion >>24521. Stealth-writan, what a past-time.
“It was a cold and rainy day. Just thinking about that day sends chills down my spine. The soldiers continued to fight, machine guns continued to rain lead on both sides, men continued to be wounded and killed, and medics continued to try to save them. The Somme, perhaps the name rings a bell inside your head.” You nod. The Somme, one of the bloodiest battlefields in the Western Front, your father had talked about it a lot.
He continues. “Of courses, messengers such as I had to keep on running. We were in danger of being shot; everyone was in danger of being shot. Despite the agreement we had with the Allies, as they called themselves, on not shooting unarmed personnel, both sides violated the treaty made at the Geneva Convention. Such a useless game of politics, played by power-thirst leaders who think nothing but filling their own corrupt belly with-”
You nudge him to get back on topic and stop rambling. “Alas, back to the topic. I was in the trench, having finished my run ten or so minutes prior. I had watched many people die in this brutal war… right before my very eyes. It was like Stalingrad today, except that the entire front was involved. The ground… the ground became nothing more than mud and bodies, and you can just imagine the harsh condition we had to go through, smelling the wretched stench of decaying flesh while having to duck low to avoid having our head blown off.”
“There was a medic,” he continues, “and he was trying to save the wounded as their job requires them to. He was running like the wind, with all the proper identifications that showed he was a medic and shouldn’t be shot under all circumstances, and he was running like the wind to get back to the trench with the wounded over his shoulder.” You can see a sense of sympathy, awe and inspiration coming from his eyes as he starts talking about the medic. “The other soldiers in the trench were doing their best to try and cover him, but their bolt action rifles were no match against their machine guns. And their artilleries… oh God, don’t even get me started on their artilleries…”
“Yet there was still hope. The medic had made it within a couple of metres off the trench. He had thrown the wounded guy into the trench, and he was caught by a soldier next to me. I was ready to catch the medic, who I assumed would follow suit.” He pauses again, and you wait for him to continue, though you can’t help noticing that his hands are visibly shaking. “And you know how it is, don’t you? When you dive into a prone of sorts, making you a smaller target to enemy machine guns…”
You clear your throat to make it obvious that he’s rambling. “Alright, alright. The medic never umped, but he landed in my hands, alright. Dead, with his head’s content spilled all over my face and uniform.” You try not showing your visible horror over the mental image, although it’s something that you’ve used to since your deployment in Stalingrad.
“Then what happened?” you ask when you notice that he doesn’t continue.
“…and it was from that point that I had come to a conclusion that war was meaningless,” he answers. “The bravest of the braves, the people who headed out without straight into enemy’s line of fire, giving up their lives to help another. I never knew what the man’s name was, but he had inspired me to become a medic myself.”
“Two weeks after my tour at the Somme ended, I was asked to be relieved off duty on medical leave, and I used the opportunity to travel all over the world learning all kinds of language, meeting all kinds of people-”
“Hold on,” you interrupt. “Wouldn’t your family object your decision to desert the war?”
“My friend, perhaps you should know that I’m the last surviving member of the House of Hillenbrand,” he tells you. “My father died of old age, my mother was killed in train crash, and my two brothers were tried and executed for murder.” Your stomach churns; now you feel guilty for asking. “Now where were we? Ah, yes, my travel.” He pauses as to refill his and your teacup. “I had met the wealthy, the poor, the men, the women, the children, the feeble, the strong, the young, the old. Such a wonderful time for someone so young and recently stepping out of warzone. Eventually, though, my trip took me to the great land of Asia.”
“Asia?” you inquire.
He nods. “I found a place that was completely different. The people were not interested in exploration or expansionism… or imperialism. They were content with what they had; well, most of them were. But anyway, I had come to a revelation about the war: life isn’t just about killing, and your enemy today might be your friend tomorrow.”
You sip the tea quietly. The story he’s sharing sounds awfully similar to your father’s account of his travel to Asia, and you’re curious to hear more from Colonel Hillenbrand about his travel.
“So, being the last of the Hillenbrand I am, I decided to spend a few years in Asia and learned all sorts of thing:” he speaks. “You know, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, peace, equality, loyalty, and all that. I also had met a woman… in Japan, I believe. Funny, because she was a Russian, and was actually a child with her family. Such a happy family, I envied them.”
“Russians? What were they doing there?” you ask.
“Business, I believe, her father was a merchant and he had a shop at the capital city.” He pauses again, only because he takes a piece of dried bread out of his pocket and shares it with you. “They were all artisans, great at crafting necklaces, jewellery, dolls, tea set - you name it - they crafted them with near perfection. Her name is Alice, and I do believe she hails from this city, as she once told me about the great city on the bank of river Volga. She moves here with her father two years before the invasion.”
“It’s a shame to have her workshop here being raided by both Russians and Germans. I’ve ordered my men to call of the assault, but the other German leaders were all adamant to take every last stone of this city.” He frowns. “The worst part of all? Your Commissars used her and her father as sacrificial lambs, using her home as a decoy so that they could mount a counterattack on us. It was just three days ago when the assault took place; I’ll show you her workshop when we have the time.”
At this very point you feel your blood boiling in anger. Angry at the Germans for destroying her home, but also at your Commissars for treating her as if she were an object. This is unacceptable; the Soviet Doctrine demands that all soldiers protect the innocents and the unarmed. How could they use civilians as expendable pawns to gain their military objective?
“Anyway, back in Japan, I decided to stay with her family, learning all sorts of skills and helping them with their business. Good thing they spoke fluently in German or we’d be talking like ducks and chicken; Japanese was a strange language to master, and even now I have difficulties saying the basic words,” he speaks. “You speak Japanese, by any chance?”
“My father taught me,” you answer. “He said it was essential to know the enemy’s strength and weakness.”
“Ah… The Art of War. I’ve read it before, it was a nice book, you should have it,” he remarks. “Before I left to continue my travel, I bought a necklace from Alice. Her family was surprised to know that I’d buy from their youngest artisan instead of them, but they changed their mind after I offered to buy the tea set that we’re right now from them as well.” He unclenches his hand as to show you the necklace. “Anyway, this necklace is the one that Alice made, and I believe it was her second ever. This is why I wear it; not only does it serve as a reminder of my memorable experience with her family, but it also reminds me that I’m not just a brainwashed Nazi that fanatically likes that silly moustached guy’s salute. Oh, did I tell you that they also recommended that I go find the best tea brewers in the region and learn the secret of tea making?”
He finishes his tea and refills his cup. “Alas, however fond I am to Asia, however deep my love for the region is, I am still a soldier, and my heritage guarantees that I’d stay a soldier until the end of the day,” he says. “So I was called to arms by that guy with the funny moustache, almost looked like a guy I saw back in the first war, except that he was all bandaged. Told me in his raspy voice that he really always wanted to go to art school.” You can imagine the shocked look on the silly-moustached guy when Colonel Hillenbrand introduced to him as his old friend.
He looks outside the window. “Oh, dear me. It seems we have spent too much time inside this cramped bunker; look, the sun’s already setting. I suggest that both of us take a walk and enjoy the fresh air as much as we can,” he suggests.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” you decline.
“I see.” He smiles and excuses himself. “I’ll be back in two hours, perhaps. I suggest that you stay inside and avoid contact with anyone – Stalingrad is a dangerous place to walk around in the night.”
“Like that’s going to stop me,” you chide.
“Well, then.” He waves his hat and steps out, leaving you with your comrade to look after. You haven’t felt sleepy, although being seated down for hours have taken a toll on your limb. You outstretch and take position near the door, holding the PPSh-41 close to you, ready to response to any imminent threat.
Serial ATA!umMKyLfC5.2011/11/21 (Mon) 08:20No. 24603▼
Your comrade is sleeping soundly, undisturbed by the occasional explosion that rocks the hideout. You envy him for so being able to enjoy his sleep, while you have to stay awake for the sake of his and your safety. Colonel Hillenbrand hasn’t returned yet, and you start to fear that he’s set you up and is sending his men to capture you and your comrade. You try not overthinking about it and focus on getting enough rest.
What you don’t understand is this.
When Colonel Hillenbrand showed you the necklace, its design bears a lot of similarities with the necklace you have. Could the woman he’s talking about, and the woman your father had met, be the same person? And there’s also something that’s bothering you: for some reasons, he didn’t bother sharing with you what else he did during his stay in Japan, something a traveller would not even think of doing. You wish you could inquire him for more, but you realize time is against you. There’s a mission that needs to be accomplished, and you can’t afford to not accomplish it.
You hear footsteps coming from the door. With your finger hovering near the trigger, you cautiously open the door, and find yourself face to face with Colonel Hillenbrand carrying… a girl in his arms? “Quickly, prepare the bed,” he instructs you and brings the girl in.
“What happened?” you ask while helping him with the bed.
“I was too late,” he speaks solemnly and puts the girl on the mattress. “We found her father buried under the ruins, dead. My men who were stationed there informed me that they got hit by Soviet artillery, and her father was caught in the explosion while holding her in his arms.”
“Did she know that…”
“Ja, I was there when she was crying over her father’s body,” he answers. “She refused to let go off the corpse, even after we were warned that a Soviet armoured division was approaching, and I had to do everything I could to convince her to follow me.”
You look at the girl. So this girl is Alice? You can hardly believe that she would be the same person who gave your father the necklace, and you’d be even more surprised if this is the very same girl Colonel Hillenbrand has talked about. You want to inquire her about the necklace, but knowing the trauma she has to endure gives you a second thought.
“So what now?” you ask as you watch him attending the girl, who is by now sleeping.
“This city is becoming too dangerous for her to live; her peace-loving heart is simply not created to accept this cruel fate,” he answers as he pats the girl on the head. “Tomorrow, at the first sunrise, the three of us will bring her out of Stalingrad; I have a contact in Berlin, she will help me taking Alice away from the war, away from this horrible memory, away from the bloodshed the rest of us have to deal.”
You arch an eyebrow. “Three of us? You’re talking about…”
He nods, even as he hastily starts packing his belonging. “I have no reason to stay hidden, either. Sooner or later, they’re going to find me, and you know you’ll end up hunting me, too. Get enough rest for tonight, and don’t forget to tell your friend about our mission.”
“Sir, if I am allowed to ask, why would you-”
“Ah, there’s no need to worry,” he cuts you off. “After all, who’s going to listen to someone whose adventure includes meeting a woman who can alter reality as she wishes?” There’s a sad smile visible on his scarred face, and you regret yourself for asking. You decide to keep mum for the rest of the time, helping him cleaning the hideout and waking up your comrade, who’s expectedly surprised as you inform him about your new mission.
“Do you have a reason?”
“Do you have a reason to help this girl?” Colonel Hillenbrand asks.
“I… I don’t know if I ever have a reason,” you answer. “But my responsibility for the Motherland requires me to protect the innocents from all forms of harm, even though I have to take the bullet for them.” You stare at him. “If that answer doesn’t satisfy you, I don’t know what else I should say.”
He smiles. “Good, that’s what I want to hear from a Red Army soldier.”
“Alright, everyone, our mission today is going to be simple and clean,” you speak as you, your comrade, Colonel Hillenbrand and the girl are gathered outside the hideout. “We’re going to take this girl out of Stalingrad, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to avoid confrontation. We can’t afford to engage the enemies, and we don’t have time for that, so we have to do this quietly. Remember, no kills, no alerts. ”
“Going stealth, aren’t we? Well, I thought for sure we’d go all guns blazing,” Hillenbrand states jokingly.
“There are times and place for everything, sir,” you reply grudgingly. “Going all out in the presence of this girl is not an option. Do you expect I to let her see more bloodshed?” You turn to Alice, who has been sticking to the Prussian veteran since daybreak. “I assume you’re already familiar with this hell on earth. If you don’t, I suggest that you stick close to… your friend here all the time,” and you point to Hillenbrand, “and you will listen to my order, whether or not you like it.”
“Uhh… Comrade Captain, maybe you should be… less strict to her?” your partner suggests.
You shoot him an annoyed glare and focus back at Alice. She’s still staring at you, as if your presence is unwelcomed, but you understand her; having gone through such traumatic experience would make even a hardened war veteran cower. Hillenbrand seems to notice her plight when he kneels down and whispers into her ear; she hesitates for a while before she lets go off his hand and approaches you, although she quickly shrinks into a stuttering wreck when you stare at her.
“Come on, my friend, be considerate and tell her you’re a friend,” Hillenbrand says.
“Whatever.” You kneel down so that she can look at your face easily. Those eyes, those bright, inquisitive blue eyes that are staring straight into your soul. “You,” you speak. “If you have any doubt in our capabilities to take you out of-”
“I trust you,” she cuts you off, even stepping forward and taking your hand, clenching it firmly between her fingers. Her soft touch is soothing, a stark contrast to your hand that has pulled the trigger too many times, and has been soaked with the fascist’s blood. “He said that you’re his friend, so you’re my friend, too.”
Friend, eh? You merely smile at her naiveté and put your free hand upon her tiny fingers. “Thank you.” Letting go off her hands, you correct your uniform and step out of the makeshift hideout, gesturing at them to follow you closely. “It’s still early in the morning, now is our chance to go undetected.”
“Where are we supposed to head to?” Hillenbrand asks.
“We’ll go to the railway station. From there we’ll head straight to the Volga and take the first boat we see,” you answer. “Assuming that we can get out of here in one piece.”
“Hang on, I think I have something to help us along the way.” Hillenbrand approaches a crate you didn’t think you’d seen before, and takes some items out for view. It takes you a few seconds to understand his intention. “American journalists,” he answers smugly when he shows you a camera.
“You’d expect us to carry these?” you ask.
“Well, what’s better to conceal ourselves in sheep herd than to dress like a sheep?” he states. “I can guarantee you that both sides won’t even think of shooting at unarmed news reporters.”
You shake your head. This isn’t a part of the plan, being disguised as American reporters sent to cover the invasion, and you have to swallow the bitter fact of not using your weapons for self-defence purpose, forcing you to rely on your diplomatic skills. Alice, Hillenbrand and comrade Illiyich don’t seem to be bothered by the new outfit, even acting like dedicated war correspondents.
At least you don’t have to leave your weapons behind as Hillenbrand agreed to let you disguise them as filming equipment.
“Alright, playtime’s over,” you grimly remind them. “Let’s get out of this place.”
Walking past smouldering metals, stepping over dead and decaying bodies, and avoiding unstable ruins, all while leading a team of individuals you want to call ‘misfits’, you can’t help feeling angry at the Germans for destroying this once beautiful city and ruining the lives of many peace-loving people. You recall having visited Stalingrad years before war broke out, and you once remembered enjoying imported tea at one of the cafes and having friendly chatters with some of the patrons.
It was half a year ago, and you’d just finished your Siberian tour when new of the fall of Stalingrad reached Vladivostok. With very little briefing about the situation, you, along with thousands of other fellow soldiers, were transported to the western frontier and immediately pressed into service, with the objective to liberate Stalingrad from the iron claws of the invaders. It was also during the returning trip that you received news that the great leader Stalin himself had evaluated your performance in the Siberian frontier, and that you were selected to conduct secret missions under his directive. You at first declined, saying that your only reason to return to Stalingrad was to drive the invaders out of the city (the fact that many soldiers before you who had ‘volunteered’ to accomplish the missions never made it to base alive did not help, either). He had insisted that you accept the ‘special privilege’, even promising that he himself would personally award you for the completion of the mission. You relented, not wanting to upset the man who had driven the people to defend freedom and peace, and seeing him smiling to you, like a father would to his son, served as a reminder for you not to fail this mission.
Never before in your life would you expect such mission to take an unexpected twist…
Your steps halt. From faraway you can spot the silhouette of soldiers heading your way. Shit. Germans! Without any second thought, you grab Alice’s hand and drag her to the nearest wall, just as Hillenbrand and your comrade do the same and dive to the opposing direction. Her shocked yelp gets silenced as you put your hand over her mouth to keep her mum. You’re not sure whether it’s because you’re holding Alice too tightly, or the patrol is walking dangerously close to your position, because you can hear her moaning in distress, but you hold your breath, preparing for the worst.
Finally the patrol leaves. There’s a heaping sigh of relief from everyone, and you can’t be lucky enough to avoid confrontation in early hours. “That was bloody awful,” you utter and let go off Alice. “Sorry for strangling you,” you apologize.
“I thought your men wouldn’t carry out a patrol in early morning,” your comrade says to Hillenbrand as all of you gather up.
“Well, I could say the same thing if I encountered Soviet patrols,” The Prussian veteran replies cynically.
“We better get moving,” you remind them. “The sooner we reach the Volga, the sooner we can get this mission done.”
You’ve lost track of time. You only know that the grey skies have begun to lighten up by the time your group’s taking a break at an abandoned building as Hillenbrand suggested. Immediately after having everyone seated down, you head to the top floor to observe the battleground in front of you. Viewing through your sniper scope, the railway station can be seen from a distance, albeit shrouded by mist, and further away you can spot the mighty Volga. You know you’re almost close in completing your objective, and you’re confident you can do it without necessary engagement with enemy soldiers.
You return to your group. To your amazement, Alice is entertaining Hillenbrand and Illiyich with a simple puppet show. You at first want to remind them not to fool around, but seeing the girl’s delighted smile as Illiyich praises her for her puppetry skills has you thinking the otherwise. It’s amazing to see a girl who has lost her parents to man up, for the lack of better terms, and able to make people around her smile.
You let them enjoy the show and stand near the window, scoped Mosin-Nagant held between your arms, ready to take on any stragglers. Time passes slowly, as your mind wanders to the peaceful times that could have lasted if it wasn’t for the war to break out…
Your stomach churn. For some reason, you have an ominous feeling swelling inside of you. Not wanting to alert Alice or your fellow soldiers, you peek outside the windows. You aren’t sure if your eyes are tricking you, but you spot several black dots on the ground. “What is that?” you ask and use the scope to identify the targets.
And all hell breaks loose.
The building shakes violently when it gets hit by a mortar round.
“WE’VE BEEN COMPROMISED!”
You jump away from the window and immediately grab Alice’s hand, just when another mortar round explodes near your position. You barely have time to react as another shell lands at the same spot, and more and more mortar shells are being fired at your position, tearing the building to pieces. The floor underneath you crumbles under extreme pressure. You must get out alive before everyone falls to the indiscriminate firing.
Then the floor decides it’s had enough and collapses.
“EVERYONE HANG ON!!”
You and your group fall down the hole, and in the middle of the havoc, Alice slips away from you, and she screams for help as she falls away from you.
“Is everyone alright?” you shout after struggling to open your eyes. You stand up and find yourself deep in the ground, surrounded by rubbles and debris.
“Ja, I’m right here,” Hillenbrand answers. He appears to be shaken by the mortar attack, as his shocked face’s telling you.
“Damn those mortars,” you curse and kick the collapsed walls to no avail. “Illiych! Alice! Are you there? Answer me!!”
“Comrade Captain!!” Illiych answers.
You head straight to the voice. “Are you alright?”
“Y-yes, we’re fine! The girl is fine, too,” he shouts back behind the ruins. “We got attacked by German mortars. We’re cut off.”
“I figured it as much,” you say.
“Alfred! Mister Ivanov!” Alice shouts. “Are you alright?”
“We’re fine, don’t worry about us,” Hillenbrand answers.
“We’ll find another way to catch up with you. Take the girl with you and go to the railway station. Stay on track and don’t let the enemies see you,” you tell him.
“But Comrade Captain, how are we supposed to find our way OUT?” he asks.
“Use your own damn hands to dig yourself out if you have to!” you answer. “Once you arrive, go straight to the Volga and take the first boat you see. Do not wait for us. I repeat: DO NOT wait for us.”
“Comrade Captain, are you saying that we should go and NOT wait for you first?” he asks in shock.
“Don’t ask anymore question, this is an order,” you reply. “Now go! The future of the girl is in your hand. Mother Russia will honour your deed. Understand?”
After an understandably long silence… “Understood, Comrade Captain. I’ll protect this girl with my life,” he answers in solemn voice. “Come, Alice. Let’s go.”
“No! I’m going to stay!” the girl shouts in protests.
“We have to leave!” he tells her. “It’s too dangerous to stay here! Let’s go!”
“I’m not leaving! I want Alfred to come with me!!” she shouts.
“Alice, my dear,” Hillenbrand calls her. “We’ll be alright, so please don’t worry about us.” She tries to protest again, but he cuts her off before she can speak. “You’re accompanied by a good man, so be a good girl and don’t cause too much trouble, alright?”
There is no answer, then a few seconds later… “I will, brother.” You’re not mistaken; she just called him with the Japanese honorific.
You turn to Hillenbrand. It suddenly falls upon you that you’re now alone with the man you’ve been assigned to assassinate, and he seems to realize this fact when he points at the scoped Mosin-Nagant. “Well, I guess you can finally complete your mission and not having to worry about Alice seeing me dead,” he says.
You seize his collar. “Useless bastard,” you bark into his face. “You knew those Germans would send their mortar units here! You knew those shots would bring the building down and separate us! You’ve planned this all along!”
“I didn’t say I would bring all of us to our demise, my friend.” He snickers. “Whatever it is, sooner or later, one of us will have to go meet the Creator, whether we like it or not,” he says matter-of-factly. “I know this fact better than you from the moment our paths crossed inside the tunnel.”
“Then what about Alice? You promised her that you’d come back to her alive! Now you’re telling me that you’re going to break that promise? What the hell is wrong with you?!” you spit.
To your annoyance, he dismisses your rage and pushes you away. “I’ll show you a place where we can pull this out, but first we better find our way out before this place becomes a death trap.” He turns around and runs his hand on the ruins, as if looking for an escape passage. “Well, are you going to just sit down and let this old man do everything?”
The silence is unbearable. Neither you nor Hillenbrand are saying anything, even as both of you are digging your way out of the tunnel, even as you are aware of the risk of getting buried underground. Hillenbrand doesn’t seem to be affected by the adverse condition as he keeps on digging, using whatever his hand can get. You really want to tell him not to overexert himself, but seeing the determined look in his eyes forces you to keep the thought. You still have to be careful. Ally or not, Hillenbrand still works for Nazi Germany, and the possibility of him leading you into a trap cannot be ruled out. You keep your hand within reach of your handgun, in case everything is going south.
The ground above keeps shaking. You realize you don’t have time to bicker over your paranoia and hasten the digging. “Come on! Can’t we do this faster!?” you yell at yourself.
“Trying to outdo me in digging tunnel, eh?” Hillenbrand utters. “Let’s see how your survival skill compares to my years of experience in the western front!”
Finally you reach the end of the road. It could not have been a better moment, because as soon as you and Hillenbrand step out the tunnel behind you caves in. “That was close,” Hillenbrand speaks as he looks at the remains of the tunnel. “We’d be dead if we were a minute late.”
“Well said, Hillenbrand,” you chide. “So what now? We can’t sit down and let them find us, can we?”
He looks around, as if scanning for potential threat. It doesn’t take long before you spot a group of soldiers coming at your direction. Chyrot, just has you have feared the worst! Quickly you take out your handgun, only for Hillenbrand to tell you to stand down. “I know them,” he tells you and waves at the group. Your curiosity gets piqued when the group responds to the wave and approaches your position. After a few exchanges, Hillenbrand turns to you. “We’re in luck, my friend,” he says with a smile.
“Who are they?” you ask.
Hillenbrand merely laughs and introduces the group to you. “We, my friend, are the Children… no, the Orphans of the German Dream. Not the same as the Nazi Dream, mind you. Fascism is in fact what orphaned us.” You take a close observation at the men, and realize that most of them are around the same age as Hillenbrand, as far as their appearance is concerned. There are a few young soldiers among the mix, and none of them are pleased by your presence.
“Hey, Alfred, who is this? Your friend?” one of the soldiers asks.
“No way he’s his friend, old man,” another soldier replies. “He must have kidnapped him from the frontline.”
“By bribing him with tea, what else?” the soldier from earlier says, followed by everyone’s laughter.
He ignores the banter and continues: “They are truly all that remains of the Fatherland. These are the few that still fight for a better tomorrow for all. We don’t fight Russians; we fight those that have committed crimes. We are only aligned with the Nazi state in name, for we have disobeyed orders many times to let civilians evacuate. But your army, as well as mine, is ruthless.” He pauses, only because he’s taking his seat next to one of the young soldiers, who understandably gives him the space he needs. “Soldiers fire upon innocents and kill them without mercy. In the Nazi army, they ship ‘undesirable’ races, innocent civilians, to death camps. You can’t escape the fact that both of our armies, Red and Nazi, have invaded sovereign states. The Hitler state invaded France, Poland, and, of course, Russia. However, the Stalinist state also invaded Poland and Finland as an aggressor nation.”
“Bullshit!” you bark. “We don’t hurt people, we liberate them! How could you accuse us with such atrocity?”
“This is war, anything can happen!” he answers with such angry tone that it takes you and the young soldier by complete surprise. “I’ve seen too many people slain for crimes they never commit, too many women brutalized in the name of racial supremacy, and children forced to abandon their future to fight a war they’re never supposed to! Do you think I’d allow myself to sit down and pretend it never happens? DO YOU?”
He calms down. For a while, you and the rest of the soldiers just stare at the Prussian veteran in pity. You can’t help imagining the trauma he has to endure, the nightmare he has to deal with. It amazes you that he manages to stay composed and join the fight with soldiers he never really wants to trust.
“We no longer fight for sides,” he continues after a long pause. “We no longer fight for everyone. We fight for what is right. We will fight against the Soviets; we will fight against the Nazis. What we seek is an end to these infernal wars. What we try to accomplish is the protection and rescuing of innocent civilians, regardless of side. It hurts me to see the youth of this world head into this war of expansionism, but it hurts me even more that innocents die for this war that they never wished to be a part of.” He looks up at you. “I know that it is your mission to assassinate me in cold blood, and I understand that you cannot object your order, but will you murder people simply because your state tells you to, or will you put your trust in me?”
At the mention of ‘assassinate’ everyone in the group withdraws their weapons and take aim at you. They’re outnumbering you, and no matter how good you are at handling multiple threats, you’re digging your own grave.
“Should I put this shovel this into his guts, Alfred? I’m dying to do that since I left the Somme.” The soldier even brandishes his said tool to clarify his intention.
Hillenbrand waves his hand. “Keep your sentiment for the Nazi scums, Sigmund. This man here poses no real threat to us.” He looks back at you. “Well, why are you standing there like a log? Come over here and sit down, we still have time to spend before we make our way to the Volga.”
“The Volga? Doc, what would you do once you’re there?”
“Why, to bid my friend here farewell, for he has a better task to do. Does anyone of you bring their kettle? I’m going to serve everyone with tea and biscuits.”
As Hillenbrand is preparing afternoon tea for the group, you distance yourself from the ‘ragtag misfits’ and lean against a dead tree. Alice and Illiyich must be waiting for you at the dock, and you can imagine the annoyed look on the boatman’s face when the girl insists that they stay until you and Hillenbrand show up. It doesn’t matter if you show up, because you’re certain one of you is not going to make it to the river.
Your daydream is disrupted. You look up at the voice and see the young soldier who earlier sat beside Hillenbrand. With the hat removed, you realize you’re talking to a young woman, probably younger than you by a few years. “Colonel told me to give you this,” she says in broken Russian while showing you a teacup. “He said… you should join us back there. So…”
You take the tea cup, but not looking at the soldier. “Danke,” you reply. “And no, I have no time talking with old rusty veterans. Not even you.”
“Oh! You speak German!” The soldier rubs her hand on her chest, breathing out in relief. “I was afraid you wouldn’t understand a thing if I speak in my language. Thank god…”
What is she so excited at?
The soldier sits next to you. “My name is Charlotte Johansson. What’s yours?”
“Yuri Ivanov,” you reply. “Captain Yuri Ivanov.”
“Thank God!” She again breathes out in relief. “I always feel like a stranger in the group… finally I find someone of my interests. May I know what business you have with Colonel?”
“Didn’t he make himself clear? I’m on a mission to kill him,” you answer and show her your scoped Mosin-Nagant. “And why you’re so eager to know? You want to be in the line of fire, too?”
“But you don’t look like you want to do it,” she says, even as she brings her face forward until you can see your own reflection in her golden eyes. Chyrot, she’s starting to get into your nerve. “I can tell it from your eyes. Your pretty eyes are telling me that-”
“Look, I don’t care what business you have with him, or why you join those old men and fight this war,” you utter and push her away. “I have my own reason, and that’s it. What’s your rank, soldier?”
She seems hesitant when she answers, “I’m a Private. Well, I’m still working hard to get a better rank, so that I can fight on the same level with Colonel!” For some reason, the honesty in the answer is irking you.
“Well, then, Private Charlotte, do me a favour and leave me alone,” you order. To your chagrin, she decides to stay with you. “Didn’t I make myself clear, private? Now go, I don’t need your presence here.”
“Now, now, my friend, you shouldn’t be rude to her,” Hillenbrand says as he approaches you. Charlotte jumps onto her feet and excitedly greets the war veteran – with a hug, of all things. “She has her own reasons to pester you, so please excuse her for her childishness.”
“But Colonel, I’m not a child! I can fend for myself!” the soldier protests.
He laughs and pats her head. “Yes, dear, I know you aren’t. You’re seventeen now, of course you can look after yourself.” He sits in front of you and refills your teacup; Charlotte keeps hugging him for a few more minutes before she lets him go and heads back to the group. “Please forgive her for her inquisitiveness. She lost her family when the SS attacked their home. She survived, only because I stepped in and prevented them from killing her.”
“I…” Now you feel sorry for shouting at her. “Then why she became a soldier? She doesn’t belong here, she’s supposed to stay behind the frontline.”
He chuckles. “That’s the same thing I told her, but she insisted that she joined the army,” he answers. “Ironic, isn’t it? For someone like me who abhors the idea of forcing young generations to fight the war, letting her join the army… and eventually my group…” You decide not to interrupt his monologue and let him talk his mind and heart out. Occasionally you throw your sight at the group, and you can see Charlotte talking with the old men, sharing her laughs with them.
Hillenbrand nods. “And I’ve met children younger than her who have to take arms.” Your mouth feels sour, and you no longer have the mood to enjoy the afternoon tea. You put the teacup aside and throw your sight into the bleak skies. After all that’s happening, you’re not sure if you want to carry out your mission anymore.
“Remember, my friend,” Hillenbrand speaks, even though you don’t want to pay attention to him. “That you will meet someone in the future. Someone, who may or may not share the same opinion of this wretched scum of war as I do, and I’m sure you won’t find any friendly conversations like this…” He pauses as to refill his teacup. “If you meet this person, never forget to remind yourself that you are soldier, and that person is a soldier, so please respect whatever belief this person has.” He chuckles. “Seems my words always go unnoticed, don’t they?”
“Whatever,” you shrug.
“I told you earlier that we Prussians are fighting to end this war, didn’t I?” Hillenbrand says. “Well, there is another war that we’re fighting… a war that only I know.”
You look back at him, and notice the look of scorn on his face. “Another war? You’re already fighting the Red Army and… the Nazis, what do you mean you’re fighting another? And what do you mean only you know about it?”
“Because nobody,” he answers. “Nobody – not even Charlotte or Alice – is allowed to know. Do you have any idea how messed up my head is just to keep it secret from everyone? DO YOU?” He sighs. “Well, since you’re the first person I ever put my trust on, I guess there’s no use keeping it hidden anymore.”
He takes out something out of his pocket and hands it to you. A diary? “Everything about this war I’m talking about is written in here. I don’t have time to tell you right now, because I’m very certain they’re going after me, right…”
He withdraws his handgun.
He points it behind him.
A thud, and a person falls flat onto the ground. You immediately rush to examine the downed person, even as Hillenbrand and the rest of the group are approaching. He’s still breathing, but barely; somehow the shot missed his vitals and hit him in the lungs, but he’s still in pain. “You’re not a Nazi,” you utter. “And you’re not from the Red Army, too. Identify yourself!”
The person mutters something, but only gurgled voice comes out of his mouth. Even so, he manages to grin when he notices Hillenbrand, and he makes a pistol gesture with his fingers before his hand drops onto the ground. He’s dead, and when you thought you could get vital information from him!
“Alright, everyone, pack up. We better get on moving, time awaits no one,” Hillenbrand tells the group. “My friend, leave the body. They’ll find us if we carry it with us.”
“Hillenbrand…” You seize his him by the collars and shout into his face, “what’s the meaning of this?! Who is this man?! Why isn’t he from either army?! And why is he mocking you!? Tell me!!” He doesn’t answer, even when you start yanking him in anger. “Goddamn it!! Tell me everything! NOW!!”
And that’s when a mortar strikes near the tree.
Serial ATA!n7aMCKsvzM2012/01/21 (Sat) 10:37No. 24930▼
You have been taught to always be aware of this military tactic. In peace or in war, one must be prepared for anything the enemy might throw at, and not dropping his or her guard in the worst possible time. The consequences of ignoring ambush are dire, as history has taught every military planner.
And today, you’re learning such lesson the hard way.
You and the Prussian group are pinned down. The mortar strike only intensifies with each passing minute and shows no sign of receding. Getting caught in open area while the enemy is firing mortar rounds at your position is never a fun idea, and you’re struggling to find a way to crawl to safety while dodging mortar rounds. You have no idea that you’d be discovered by the phantom mortar squad, and you’re not going to let them stop you.
“Any idea on who these guys are?” you shout while ducking low to avoid a flying debris.
“We’re dealing with the party’s uninvited guests,” Hillenbrand answers. Shoot, even in this situation, he still manages to be metaphorical?
“Uninvited guests, huh? I guess we can kick their ass out of the house,” you reply with equal cynicism.
“Doc! We’re going to die out here if we stay for much longer!!”
“Colonel! Do something!”
“They must have spotters watching us,” you utter. “Anyone who has smoke grenades, use them now! We’ll move under the cover of smoke!” As if on cue, several smoke canisters are tossed into open area and burst, creating smokescreen that conceals the area. “Wait for the smokes to fully deploy, and then run to the building over there! I’ll cover your exit!”
“You can’t take on the spotters on your own,” Hillenbrand says, even as he prepares his group to make the run.
You pull and lock the bolt. “Do you have a problem with that, Colonel?” you question with the straightest poker face you can make.
The smokescreen dissipates. You usher the remaining Prussians to run for cover while you take firing position behind the tree (that has miraculously survived the initial strike). Viewing through the sniper scope, you can see two individuals kneeling on top of a building wearing the same attire as the unknown person who Hillenbrand had shot. You line up your aim. You pull the trigger – BANG – and one of the spotters is knocked off his feet. You reload and pull the trigger again – BANG – and the second spotter gets hit on the chest, stumbles and falls off the building.
Just as you’d expect, the mortar strike ceases. You’ve effectively denied the phantom mortar squad their eyes and ears. Looking around for more possible ambushes, you walk away from the tree and approach the downed spotters. Their appearance is unlike anything you’ve ever seen: dark purple/grey combat fatigue with armour attachment and gas mask, binocular and other range-finding devices, and weapons you never see before.
Your eyes, however, catch a very familiar sentence on one of the spotters’ armband. Some of the characters are ineligible, but you can clearly read the rest of the sentence.
Who are these people?
“That was a close call,” Hillenbrand says as he and his entourage approach you. “Without your assistance, we’d be blasted away to kingdom come. Thank you, I owe you.”
“These people are scouts,” you reply and swipe sweats off your face. “They are many more out there. Don’t let your guard down just because the mortar strike has stopped.”
Hillenbrand rallies his compatriots. “Alright, everyone, the enemy is still out there, and they may be rallying for second round,” he speaks. “I know we are severely outmatched in term of firepower, and I know we are unfairly outnumbered, but does that mean we’ll back down? No, because we are Prussians, and that’s what we do: never giving up. And I understand that each and every one of you is still in doubt over my friend’s presence,” and he points at you, “but do not fear him. He’s with us.”
“But Alfred, he-”[spoiler]
Hillenbrand waves his hand at his fellow. [spoiler]“Have you forgotten? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That’s more than enough to quiet the elderly man, as you notice. “Please, everyone, if we have to argue about involving him in our fight, then let’s argue after we’re done with this.”
You’re about to speak when you hear footsteps coming from behind. You immediately turn around and see a group of soldiers dressed in similar manners as the spotters. “Damn it, I don’t have time to fight an unknown enemy!!” you scream and fire a shot that forces the group to duck. “All of you! Get back to cover!!”
And then you hear a sharp, deafening sound.
The next thing you know is that you’re tossed many feet into the air, tumbling like a beaten ragdoll before your crash onto the ground. The head-splitting sound of exploding bombs is filling your head, and you’re temporarily blinded by a blinding flash that seems to envelop the entire area.
Your vision recovers, just in time to see the Prussian entourage engaging the mysterious soldiers in vicious hand-to-hand combat. Is that Hillenbrand using a sword to hack and slash the soldiers? You struggle to get back on your feet, even though the surrounding area is full of screams and explosions and whizzing bullets, but you fall back on all four. Your head is bleeding, your arm is broken, your eyes are filled with blood.
Like those are going to stop you.
With all your might…!
You grab your Mosin-Nagant, use it as walking stick…
You push yourself upward…
You hear your ribcage breaking, but you don’t care!
You’re back on your feet.
Just as one of the mysterious soldiers manage to break through the entourage’s defence, and he’s charging right at you.
“Out of my way!!”
You swing your Mosin-Nagant’s butt-stock at the soldier’s face. A direct hit! You can actually hear the skull cracking on impact with the solid stock, and the soldier is knocked out cold in no time. You step forward and club the next oncoming soldier, shattering his face in one hit. You turn around, grab your next hapless victim on the neck and knee him on the groin.
You finally approach Hillenbrand, who has finished stabbing the enemy. “I thought you’d pass out for a bit longer,” he says sarcastically.
“Not until you answer my question,” you reply.
The skirmish lasts for a few minutes, but the combined strength of you and the Prussians has managed to drive the ‘uninvited guests’ out of your turf. With the threat taken care of, Hillenbrand instructs Charlotte to attend your wounds while he looks after his fellow comrades. You have to ask yourself who in the name of Mother Russia you have dealt with, and why they were attacking you and the Prussians. You’re not sure if the Great Leader is aware of this, too.
“You’re awesome!” Charlotte exclaims while tightening the bandage on your head. “You were caught in the explosion, but you stood back like you got hit by nothing. You’re tough!”
“Look, I don’t care what everyone thinks about me,” you say and glare at her, causing her to flinch. “Especially you; don’t even think of anything weird between me and your oh-so-precious Colonel.”
“Hey! He’s not my precious,” she protests.
“Yeah, right he is. But the thing is, I’m a Soviet sniper, and I’ve been entrusted to get rid of Mother Russia’s sworn enemies,” you say. “And I’m going to accomplish it no matter what.”
“Do you hate us that much?” You stare at Charlotte. She’s pouting. You’re not sure whether your comment has offended her, but she needs to understand the true nature of your mission. Before you can answer, she continues: “Then… if you hate Germans, does that mean you hate me, too?
“No, you understand it wrong,” you say. “My mission is to kill him only. You are not my target, so I’m not going to hurt you.”
She doesn’t seem to be satisfied. “You’re lying,” she retorts and takes your hands, squeezing them very hard you think she’s going to hurt you. “You don’t want to kill Colonel. You’re just saying that so that you can become his friend. Right?” She stares into your eyes, and you stare right back into her eyes. For a minute or two, none of you are saying anything (although you don’t feel anything funny inside of you), despite the fact that the Prussians are talking ad lib over the ‘surprising development’.
Your brain starts blurring out. You can’t think clearly, you can’t see her face clearly, you can’t hear everything around you. Goddamn it, Yuri, get your sense back! This isn’t the time to allow yourself fall into this girl’s gentle warmth! Calm down, Yuri. Just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and hope that she’ll let go off your hand.
You don’t know what happens after that, but all that you know is that Charlotte has fallen limp onto you, and that you can feel something wet soaking your hand.
As if on cue the Prussians make haste to the building and shelter themselves behind the walls. You carry the wounded girl in your arms and jump behind cover, barely getting hit on the leg. “Hillenbrand! Goddamn it, get over here!”
The Prussian doctor immediately instructs you to place her on a makeshift stretcher. “Don’t worry, the bullet missed her heart,” Hillenbrand says while applying pressure. “Didn’t your instructors tell you not to let your guard down?”
“How was I supposed to remember all the lessons?” you bark, and instinctively hit the floor when the sniper takes another shot. “Damn it! Charlotte, get a hold of yourself!” you yell while clenching her hand tight.
“How many of them out there?” Hillenbrand shouts; the way he speaks while calmly sealing and bandaging the bullet wound only amuses you, and it amazes you how he has to deal with chaotic situations in utmost professionalism.
“Alfred! I’m hit!
You turn to the voice. One of the Prussians has been shot and is lying on his back, clutching his bleeding chest. There’s a hole in the barricade; he got hit by a wall-piercing shot? Impossible! How can a sniper shoot through walls?
Another shot, then another groan. Another Prussian is shot, and he lies flat on the ground, unmoving. Blood is flowing out of his chest wound and dampening his winter cloth. Is he dead? Is he still alive, breathing but in pain?
“Get them away from the wall, now!” Without questions, the soldiers fall back, bringing their injured fellows away from line of fire. Hillenbrand himself instructs you to take Charlotte (now fully patched and is unconscious but stable) with them while he covers your exit. You refuse and instead tell him to go with his comrades while you provide covering fire. “Don’t be an idiot! You don’t know what you’re dealing with!” he barks.
“No, Colonel, you are an idiot,” you reply and shove your PPSh-41 into his arms. “We’re dealing with a sniper. Only a sniper can take on a sniper.” You push the sub-machinegun further in. “Do you think you can leave your comrades – and Charlotte – to bleed to death while you go run out there like a madman? You’re a medic, not a superhero. Let me take care of this.”
You leave Hillenbrand behind and approach the wall, crawling low to avoid being shot. You arrive at your rendezvous point and view the battlefield through the scope. The fog of war makes observation difficult, and the occasional ‘pot shots’ are further complicating your effort. To be honest, you were lying when you told Hillenbrand you’re dealing with a sniper, and you clearly have no idea who you’re dealing with.
A faint flash catches your attention. You immediately view down the scope and aim at the direction of the flash. It’s no longer there, but you know the enemy sniper is somewhere, out there. Carefully, you crawl to another position to get a better view; once again you get the glimpse of flash, and once again you take aim at where the flash is at, only to find it disappearing in plain sight.
Clearly, your opponent is playing a ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ game. And you’re going to outwit him no matter what.
You see it again. The tell-tale flash. You quickly take aim, and for a split second you can finally identify your opponent. A soldier wearing the similar combat uniform in dark purple/grey camouflage but lightly armoured, and he’s looking through his sniping scope – at you.
The shot misses. It ricochets off the boulder and flies over his head, but it’s enough to foil his aim, and he immediately ducks for cover. You snicker; you’ve identified your opponent.
The game is on.
You take off your hat. You dangle it on a stick and wave it over your hat. In less than a second, it gets shot – and the enemy sniper’s exposed. You take aim, and BANG! His helmet gets kicked off his head. It’s another miss, but you know your opponent is now panicked and is trying all his best to outdo you. Too bad for him, because one of sniping’s main rules is not to panic.
And you’re going to exploit that.
You wave your makeshift decoy again. He’s not taking the shot; that means he must have not fallen into it like he did the last time. You crawl toward your next shooting point, ever careful of not exposing yourself to him.
Stay calm, stay focused, and stay hidden.
That’s the name of the game.
You arrive at your rendezvous point. You aim down the scope and observe the enemy sniper’s movement. He appears to have calmed down, and is on the lookout. You’re in the best position to take the shot, and it’s best not to waste the opportunity.
A rustling sound distracts your focus. You turn around. Bloody hell, what is he doing out there? He’s supposed to stay behind with his comrades!
Wait. He’s taking off his hat. He’s brushing it and placing it on his chest. He turns himself around and faces the enemy sniper. Then, he turns his head to the left; you don’t want to know whether he has noticed your presence, because he seems to be looking straight at you.
A genuine, honest smile.
The kind of smile you would see from someone whose faith is-
He’s making himself a decoy?
He closes his eyes.
[[TO BE CONTINUED]]
Serial ATA!n7aMCKsvzM2012/02/10 (Fri) 00:50No. 24962▼
Author’s note: this update contains spoilers. You have been reminded.
[[A few minutes ago…]]
“This… should do for now.”
You sigh in relief. Just a few seconds ago, Charlotte, Siegfried and Adler were on the verge of dying due to blood loss, but your expertise in combat medicine has ensured that they will live to see another day. You just hope they won’t have to return to this wretched wasteland anymore.
Your mind becomes hazy.
It has been three months since you arrived at Stalingrad; it has also been many years since you started your one-man crusade against ‘them’. After all those times fighting and evading the so-called ‘highly advanced military organization’, you realize it isn’t going anywhere, what with your commitment of defending your Prussian pride from the Nazis and all. ‘They’ have the upper hand, and you have lost all your edges, being an old man and all. You feel sorry for dragging everyone who has trusted you into this meaningless war.
Including your Soviet sniper friend.
He may have known your grudge against the Nazis, and he may have tolerated your rants, but he should never know your own war. You never want him to be involved, and you never want him to ever learn the truth. How you wish you had never stumbled across him in the tunnel.
“What now, Alfred?”
You turn to your remaining (and presumably shaken) fellow Prussians. “Well, you know what they say about old warhorses,” you utter and tighten your clench on the PPSh-41’s grip. “Once fighting, continue fighting, even when Death is waving at us.” You, then, throw your sight at the battlefield, watching and waiting for the duel to the death to end. For a minute or two, none of you are saying anything, not even when the two snipers are exchanging shots.
One of your old friends laughs. “That look in your eyes, I know what it means,” he utters.
You snicker. “Always the observant one, aren’t you, Altman?” You look back at your Soviet sniper friend. He’s taking too long, and he’s not going anywhere if he doesn’t take out the enemy sniper. “It’s been a while since we last gathered like this; remember the Somme? Yeah, that’s the time each and every one of us will miss dearly.” You fasten the knot on Charlotte’s bandage. “Please forgive me for everything that I have done along this time. Everything that has been a burden to you.”
You feel your shoulder getting patted. You look up; it’s your old friend, and he’s smiling at you. “Ah, don’t you worry about us,” he says in confidence. “We’ll follow you, even if you have to go to the end of the world.” The rest of your old friends nod in unison. “Just tell us what you want us to do this time.”
You smile. “Thank you, Altman. Then I have a request for you.” You stand up and face the battlefield. “I’m going to help our sniper friend, so should anything happen to me,” you say and give your old friend your military badge, “take this and bring all the wounded to the Volga.”
He seems reluctant to accept the offer but he nods in the end. “Going down in the blaze of glory, aren’t you?” he chides. “Charlotte isn’t going to be very happy when she knows what her precious one has done.”
You chuckle. “Well, I’m sorry for that, but that’s the way of life. Once a Prussian, always a Prussian.” You throw your fellow Prussians your final salute. “It’s time for me to live up to my family’s name and face the full-life consequences. Farewell, brothers.”
You step outside. The two snipers are gridlocked in a standoff for how long it has been. You’re going to break the stalemate, in one way or another. You hesitate for a while, before you take position in the middle of the arena and stand still.
“My name is Alfred von Hillenbrand! I am a Prussian, and I fight for the greater good of the Fatherland!!”
It does its trick, because you can spot the flicker of sniper scope up ahead. The enemy sniper is momentarily distracted by your presence, and is aiming at you.
You take off your hat. You glimpse at your Soviet sniper friend. It’s a pity that you didn’t learn of his name – and you probably never will. It’s better this way; after all, who would have thought of befriending the enemy of your enemy?
You close your eyes. In an instant, your life flashes before your eyes. Everything that has come and passed, all the memories, all the nostalgias, all the precious times you had spent and shared with your friends and family… and did you just see a road stretching far ahead of you? Oh, look, someone at the end of the road is waving at you, almost as if the person’s inviting you to go to the other side of the hill. Is it her? You surely hope it is her.
Something warm is flowing down your scarred cheek. Is it your tears? Is it something else? It doesn’t matter now. This is the end of your path, the end of your struggle, and you’re going to face it like a dignified Prussian.
“Goodbye, my friend…”
You smile, for one last time…
“…and I’m sorry, everyone…”
Serial ATA!n7aMCKsvzM2012/02/10 (Fri) 00:54No. 24963▼
The all-too-familiar cracking sound of gunshot drowns your yell. It only takes the blink of an eye, yet for you it takes almost eternity, as Hillenbrand gets hit on the chest, faltering and tumbling…
And he drops flat on the ground.
You dash out of cover and take a quick aim at the enemy sniper, who has just gotten ready for a second shot. “Eat this, svoloch.” You pull the trigger, and in less than a second the bullet zips across the area and hits his upper chest, knocking him out of action. You, then, approach the fallen war veteran and kneel next to him. He’s still breathing, but gasping for air as the bullet has punctured a hole that goes through his lungs.
“Goddamn it! What was that for?!” You shake his limp body to get him back to sense, yet it only worsens the wound. As you frantically try to figure out how to seal the open wound he grabs your hand and clenches it tightly. Your voice trembles as you ask “damn it… don’t you just walk out and become a decoy, you…” and you tighten your grasp on his hand, even as his clench starts weakening. “No! Get a hold of yourself, damn it! You’re a doctor, you can get through this!!”
His lips form a word that you can barely understand, while his hand is struggling to keep clenching yours. Even in pain, even in his dying moment, he’s still smiling, and it alone hurts your heart more than anything.
His eyelids close shut. His chest stops moving. His hand becomes cold, weakened and slips off your grasp. His pulse has ceased to exist. He is… gone.
You frown. How are you supposed to accept this? How are you supposed to explain to Charlotte and Alice that their most important person has left the world and never coming back again?
You rest his limp hand upon his chest. “I’m so sorry…” After a few minutes of silence, you stand up and head to find the enemy sniper. You discover blood trails as you arrive at the position, and follow it until you reach the end of the open structure.
You approach the enemy sniper. His back is against the wall, stained with blood that runs down to the floor. He’s still alive, but barely breathing, yet he notices your presence as he looks up at you. His ruby eyes, his dark purple hair, his grim expression; he’s not an ordinary human. Who is this… man?
He opens his mouth, and speaks in the language you understand all too well.
“They’ll get you after this…” He makes a gun gesture and points it at your face. “You… your Red Army… your freedom… all shall bow down before the L______ns…” He grins. “You’re doomed, human.”
You prod the muzzle of your rifle onto his head. “You will be sorry for underestimating the might of the Soviet Union.”
Then you silence him for good.
“This is for Hillenbrand.”
You leave the dead body and return to the square. The Prussian entourage is gathering around Hillenbrand to pay him their last respect. You decide not to approach them and turn away; even though you never made the shot, you have, in a sense, accomplished your mission. You will leave them to decide on their own fate from now on.
You feel your shoulder tapped. You turn around and realize the hand belongs to one of the old soldiers. “He has longed to end his days as a true soldier, a true Prussian,” he speaks in surprisingly good Russian. “He said you’re his friend, so please tell me your name, son.”
You shake your head. “I am no one… just a regular sniper sent to put a bullet into his chest.” You clench the hand that’s still holding your shoulder. “I’m sorry… it’s just…” You’re unable to say anything, overwhelmed by the fact that you have met the most honest enemy in your entire life. His pride as a Prussian, his honest-to-goodness generosity and fair treatment to you and your comrade, his sincere concern for Alice, everything about him is something that you never expect to see in this hellish battlefield. Something that does not deserve a place in this world of brutality and pain. An innocent water lily, untainted by the pool of blood, untouched by the corrupted world, as your father once said.
There’s no time to lament. Both the Germans and the Soviets would surely have taken notice to this unknown skirmish, and are sending troops to investigate. You quickly dry your tears and approach the temporary altar where his body is laid on. “He’s the last person I’d ever expect to become a friend, and he… he’s the only person among the fascist who has been… sincere to me,” you tell the old soldiers. “It’s a pity both of us were working at the opposite side of the river, because I’m certain both of us could work together as a team.”
You take out an item. After hesitating for a while, you place it on his chest, near his military cross. It’s the piece of bullet that was meant to be used to assassinate him, and it would never see its intended task. “It’s been an honour to know you, Colonel Hillenbrand.” You stand up and give him a farewell salute. “You’re my friend, my brother, and above all, my comrade.”
“What’s your name, son?” the old soldier asks as you’re about to leave. “If you must leave, then please let us know your name. The Colonel would be rolling in his grave if he never learnt of his adversary’s name.”
You turn to face the entourage, who has lined up to bid you farewell. “Captain Yuri Ivanov, Third Guards Rifle Division, Soviet Red Army.” You return their salute. “Goodbye, everyone. May our path not cross in the future.”
It seems to be an eternity, but you finally arrive at the railway station. There’s no sign of your comrade and Alice, and you presume that they’ve already left for the Volga. You immediately make haste to the river, and you meet them at the jetty.
“Comrade Captain!” Illiyich greets you in excitement and worry. “Thank goodness you show up! The boat is due to leave soon!” You don’t respond to him and approach Alice, who’s as anxious as you’d expect. You choose not to speak as you kneel down and pull her into your arms, embracing her so tightly you think you’re going to hurt her.
“What’s going on, sir? Where’s Alfred?”
You pull her away. “He didn’t make it,” you lie. “We got ambushed, and he got caught in the crossfire. I wanted to bring him along, but he insisted that I go without him. I then told him I should stay with him while he attended his wound, but he said he’d only hinder my escape, so-”
“But he’s a doctor! How could he not heal himself?” she asks, her face contorting in disbelief.
“How the hell should I know!?” you reply, making her flinch. “I really didn’t know what happened to him, because I heard gunshots soon after I left! I couldn’t turn back because they’d released their war dogs, so I had to outrun them!” Calm down, Yuri, you need to calm down and stay focused. Take a deep breath, relax and speak coherently. Don’t panic. Just don’t panic. “There, I told you everything you wanted to know. Satisfied?”
Her eyes widen. “You mean he’s…”
You nod solemnly. “I’m sorry, Alice.” You brace yourself for anything that might happen.
Then it happens.
“Idiot…” Alice throws herself back into your arms. “You said both of us could stay together like we used to be at Tokyo… you promised you’d come back and live together as a family…” She clings onto you, and then…
“Alfred, you idiot! IDIOT!! ”
You let her spit her anger however she likes, even as you loosen your embrace but still allowing her to cry upon you. You let her, even as the rain finally comes, pouring from the grey skies and showering away all traces of blood and flesh from the bleak battlefield. The cries of agony continue, echoing across the land and not drowned by the sound of raindrops trickling all over you.
You really wish you could tell her the truth…
There is one more flashback scene to be posted before we return to the present and focus back on the main story, so please wait warmly.
Serial ATA!n7aMCKsvzM2012/02/12 (Sun) 08:37No. 24968▼
Two weeks have passed since the faithful day. You never heard of anything about the Prussian entourage or Alice ever since, and you never encounter the mysterious soldiers again. You continue your one-man mission, hunting and killing high-priority targets that include, unsurprisingly, defecting Soviet officers. You become infamous as Stalingrad’s ghostly hunter, and your reputation earns yourself nothing but hatred from the Germans, who themselves have put a high reward on your head for your notoriety. Even among your comrades you receive cold shoulders, and they steer away whenever you’re present. Only a few would understand your plight (or misery), and Comrade Stalin was one of the more unexpected persons.
You remember visiting him once to report in. He had personally reviewed your performance, and stated that Mother Russia would not abandon her children even when they have soaked their hands with the blood of the enemy. He even offered to award you with the Medal for Valour, but you told him (politely, of course, lest you would invoke his wrath) that you were not worthy of such recognition and preferred to stay in the shadow, watching over your comrades from faraway. You did, in the end, ask to remain in Stalingrad before you’re assigned to other locations, saying that you had an unfinished business to settle.
You visit the square where the faithful sniper duel had taken place. A makeshift tombstone is erected in place of Hillenbrand’s grave, and it is littered with flower wreaths, bullets and badges that were clearly made in Prussia. You approach the tombstone and unpin the medal that Comrade Stalin had insisted you to keep; you never wanted to be awarded for your effort, so you place it on the surface of the stone and back away before throwing a salute. “Farewell, Colonel,” you speak, finally addressing him properly. - - Eight weeks have passed since you left Stalingrad. You’ve taken many assassination missions that took you criss-crossing the frontline, and you’ve put so many bullets into your target’s heads that you stop counting your kills. You occasionally had unpleasant encounters with the infamous Waffen-SS, who had been given a specific instruction to “track down the ghostly hunter of Stalingrad and exterminate with prejudice”. They had given you hard time, but they could not prevent you from reaching your targets and assassinate them.
Eventually, your tour would bring you to this place.
You don’t know anything much about this place. All you know is that the Germans had planned to eliminate the Kursk pockets and annihilate the Red Army in two-way pincer movement, and that the Soviets had the initiative to construct a series of defence lines and assembling large reserve forces for a counterattack.
And all you know is that you were to be assigned with a friendly division at an outpost near Kharkov.
Serial ATA!n7aMCKsvzM2012/02/12 (Sun) 08:52No. 24969▼
Both you and the Commissar duck low when an artillery shell explodes near the bunker. “This is an order! Fall back and return to HQ! They must know that the Germans are already attacking!”
“What about reinforcements?!” you ask, your yell drowned by explosions. “We’re supposed to wait until they arrive!”
“We don’t have time for reinforcements!” the Commissar yells back. “Go, just go! We’ll hold them back for as long as we can! They must not be allowed to get past this outpost!!” No sooner than that an artillery piece lands right in the bunker, exploding and sending both of you flying many feet in the air. You crash a few yards away from where the bunker is used to be, and get knocked off further away when another shell explodes near you.
You recover from the explosion, only because you faintly hear the Commissar groaning. With great pain you crawl towards him and haul him up your arms before retreating into the forest. Only when you’re certain you’re out of the Germans’ firing range do you sit down, and you waste no time assessing the Commissar’s injuries.
“Didn’t I tell you… to return to HQ, Comrade Ivanov?” he asks, his voice bearing so much pain he can barely move his lips.
“Order or not, I won’t leave anyone to fend off the Germans on his own,” you reply and wrap bandages around the exposed wound on his chest. “Have you forgotten Stalingrad, Comrade Commissar? Leave no one behind, they say. Leave. No! ONE!”
You get pulled down to his face. “Comrade Yuri…” the Commissar speaks your name into your ear and cough again. “…you must know something… about this war…” You tell him to shut up and continue wrapping the bandage before you again get pulled down. “…listen, Comrade Yuri… the Germans… they’re not the only ones we’re fighting…”
You look at his face. Who… what?
“…they… we’ve fighting them…” He coughs again and struggles to keep your face as close to him as his remaining strength can muster. “…you’re… the only one… we can hope… to…” His head drops onto the ground, his clutch on your uniform loosens before his hand follows suit.
You’re dumbfounded. There’s another war the Soviet Red Army is fighting? It’s definitely not the British or the Americans; they’ve helped your nation in the early times of the Great Patriotic War. The Japanese? They’re too occupied with fighting the Americans at the Pacific. The Italians? They’re out of question.
Then who is it?
“Two heat signatures up ahead.”
“Two? Last time we counted the bodies there were fifteen. Are you certain your device isn’t failing again, Sergeant?”
“I’m certain, sir. Look for yourself.”
Whoever the Red Army is fighting, you don’t have time to stay in the open. You bid the lifeless Commissar your farewell and head deeper into the woods, going to wherever your foot is leading, walking and walking and walking…
…until you discover a cave.
You walk into the cave, hoping that your pursuers will give up chasing you and return to do whatever they’re supposed to do. You keep on walking, and walking, and walking, until you arrive at a completely pitch black room.
Chyrot, are you lost?
You hear a giggle. A sinister, scheming giggle. “So, Stalingrad’s ghostly hunter, I bet you’ve enjoyed reliving your past. How was it? Did you have a lot of fun?” a voice asks. You never recognize who the voice belongs to, but for some reason hearing sends an unknown fear down your spine.
“What kind of flashback I’m having right now?” you demand.
The voice giggles. “Silly ghostly hunter, trying to deny the truth that has cost the lives of your friends. Now who was one of them… Alfred? Or was it Charlotte?”
“You DO NOT talk about dead people, damn you!” you shout. “Reveal yourself and face me!”
The voice giggles again. “I can talk about dead people however I like, you silly.”
You’re not. You’ve had enough of this.
“Oh, don’t ever say that you’ve had enough! Silly ghostly hunter, look at those tears. Look at them!”
You’re not crying.
“See? You’re crying and that’s because you’re unable to avenge Alfred’s death. You’re crying, because you had to hide the truth from Alice. Right~?””
Damn it, you’re not crying!
“Say whatever you like, little soldier. Lie however you desire. The truth will come to surface, whether you like it or not.”
Damn it! Just leave already, please…!
“You’re hurt, both on the outside and on the inside. And yet you manage to keep it hidden, away from everyone, because you don’t want to burden them. You want to carry the responsibility on your own, even though it destroys you in the end.”
You’re faltering. You’re on the brink of defeat. How you wish you could fight back…!
“Mother Russia doesn’t want you to get hurt. She wants you to smile, to live the present peacefully and not be shackled by the guilt of the past, to embrace the soothing light of the future. She wants to see you always smiling, always in happiness.”
“Do not be afraid, little soldier. I will take this horrible dream away from you. I will take this nightmare away from you, so that you will no longer be hurt. I’ll help you facing your past like a real man, like a true soldier who fights for those he wishes to protect.”
A gloved hand appears in the darkness, right in front of you. It opens up, almost as if it’s expecting you to take it.
“Come, you must have been tired. Everyone’s waiting for you, let’s not waste anymore time.”
[ ] Take the hand [ ] Hesitate.
Alright, this marks the end of our trip down the memory lane. Starting from the next update, the story will proceed as it usually is, with votes and all. Again, I'm sorry for taking so long to finish this flashback arc.
Do not let pride blind us, comrade! Take the hand and embrace progress! We must not flag nor falter, We must not stall nor hesitate, We must show no fear nor weakness. We have been weak. Yuri has been so very weak in the face of undeserved grief, and understandibly so. We have not been strong enough to protect the happiness, the comrades that we have cherished. We have fallen from courage. We have also fallen from honesty in lying to Alice.
But Our Greatest Glory, as Confucius says, "...is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall."
The Past is something we cannot change. But the Future is something we forge with our own hands. The Future is what we must embrace in our Blaze of Redemption. Do not fear Yukari, comrades. Do not doubt in oneself. DO. NOT. FALTER!
Something deep inside your subconscious self is telling you that you should trust the owner of the hand and take it. You reach for the hand but pull back, as you feel reluctant to take it. You reach for it again but you pause; you’re not sure if it’s worth taking the hand and getting out of this nightmare, but…
You hear something behind you; it appears there’s a party happening. You turn back as to look at the occasion. Your heart skips; you’re actually being presented with a projection your comrades, all of whom have fallen in the battlefield, all of whom are treating themselves what can you only imagine as the best feast in their whole life. One of them notices you and lifts the vodka bottle he’s holding, as if he’s making the ‘toast’ gesture. The rest of the crowd seems to take note and mimics the gesture, not even taking into the account that you’re unable to join them in the fray.
Is that Hillenbrand among the partygoers?
He seems unfazed by the chaos around him as he’s quietly enjoying his cup of tea. The Prussian entourage is present, too, but Charlotte isn’t with them. Where is she? You only hope she’s-
Wait. Can this be…
“Well? Don’t you want to say goodbye to them for the last time, little soldier?”
You frown. So… this is what they often call. You’ll never see your comrades again, and you’ll never be in touch with your past after this. No matter; if this is goodbye, then goodbye is what you’ll tell them.
You lift your head. With your best effort, you throw them a farewell salute. Tears? What tears? All you know is that you’re smiling; all that matters that this is your last moment with your comrades, and you’re going to cherish it no matter what.
They smile. Even Hillenbrand, who is occupied with his tea, puts down the teacup and looks at you, and smiles – just like the first time he smiled at you back in Stalingrad.
Then they begin to fade. Slowly, so slowly, until they vanish into the darkness. Until all that’s left are the memories of the Eastern Front.
You turn back to the hand. You take it, and clench the slim yet firm digits in your hand. “I’m ready,” you speak. “Please take me to the future.”
The voice chuckles and clenches your hand as tightly as you can imagine. “Hold on tight, little soldier, this might get a little bumpy~”
You feel yourself being pulled forward and dragged towards the light at the far side of the dark room. You start running, struggling to keep pace as the owner of the hand is increasing the running speed.
“Just a little bit~ we’re almost there~”
You hold on. You can see your destination coming into view. You hope that the grip doesn’t give away and leave you alone in the darkness.
The grip suddenly loosens. You’re losing momentum. For a second, you thought the light is distancing itself from you. No! You must not lose it! You must not lose the only path to the future and be left alone in the dark of the past!
You kick the invisible floor and dive into the light. And then…
…there’s only light everywhere.
You made it. You’ve really made it. Clenching your hand into a fist, you throw it into the air, and declare aloud:
“My name is Yuri Ivanov! I shall carve out my own future, and fight to protect it!!”
Your hand, together with your head, drop. You strangely feel at ease after shouting your heart out. Yeah, this must be the feeling of triumph, the kind of feeling that’s very difficult to understand except to those who have gone through very difficult times.
It’s time to move on and march forward to progress.
You look up front. There’s a door not far away. You approach the door with confidence, assured that the door will bring you back to Gensokyo, back to Eientei, back to your home. Everybody’s waiting for you, and you can’t afford to delay the homecoming anymore.
You grip the doorknob. You slowly turn it, and gently push the door. You open the door wide and walk in, ready to embrace the future, however painful it may be.
You open your eyes. You have difficulties identifying objects in front of you as they’re blurry, but as your vision improves, you notice the familiar patterned wooden ceiling above you. You soon realize you’re being laid on a futon, and it doesn’t take too long before you figure out the reason.
You have returned.
You close your eyes again. Amidst tears that start flowing down your cheek, you smile. It’s good to be home.
You get up from the futon. You feel week, and barely able to sit upright, but you manage to stand on your feet. You approach the sliding door, and…
…fall back onto the floor as Tatyana, Kogasa and the Russian fairy maids tackle you en masse. “You came back!! We were worried that you wouldn’t show up again!!” they cry out together. You struggle to slip away from their tight embrace when you notice Kaguya and Reimu approaching you; somehow it strikes you as weird to see the representative of the Hakurei Shrine at Eientei, but it has to do something with the duels you went through.
“Told you he’d wake up,” Reimu chides.
“Of course he is! He’s the Red Army soldier,” Kaguya answers in your defence.
Reimu shakes her head and smacks the ofuda onto the clinging girls’ head. “Buzz off, girls, you’ll end up killing him,” she says and shoos them away.
“Thanks, I can’t tell you how much I owe you for that,” you say.
“Yeah, right, since you were foolish enough to make me investigate the incident,” Reimu says, even as she and Kaguya help you getting back on your feet. “Just… what the hell were you thinking? I can understand if it’s Marisa, but Flandre?”
“Every soldier has his own reason, and words aren’t the best way to describe it,” you tell her.
She throws her hands upward in defeat. “Seriously, stop making everyone worried over you. It’s bad, and you should feel bad about it.” She pinches the bridge between her eyes, shaking her head as if she doesn’t approve of the situation. “I need to sleep, goddamn it. Give me a break, will you?”
“I’m sorry for causing you too much trouble,” you apologize.
“And you better be,” Reimu answers. “Whatever. I’m going back, so don’t go look for me if you ever get into trouble again.” She walks away, but returns to you after only a few steps. “Actually, I need to talk with you. Drop by at the shrine and we’ll discuss about it in details.”
“But Reimu, he just woke up! How could you be so harsh to him?” Kaguya protests.
“Oh, hush you eternal princess, did I ever say you have to show up tonight?” Reimu replies and prods the ofuda against Kaguya’s forehead. “As for you, you should quickly learn how to become a responsible wife. I’m getting tired of taking care of domestic affairs.”
You laugh as the flustered Kaguya shoos the shrine maiden away. “And don’t ever show up at the party!!” she shouts, in which Reimu replies with a simple hand wave. She pouts indignantly at Reimu’s indifferent attitude before facing you, and she’s as angry as you can imagine. “Alright, Yuri, you made me worried, and for that reason you need to be punished,” she says.
You can only nod. After all, you were responsible for creating the fuss. You brace yourself for anything that she may throw at you.
And she does the unthinkable.
She throws herself at you, and encircles her arms about your waist as she hugs you tightly. “You heard what Reimu said, stop making everyone worried,” she murmurs as she buries her face beneath your robe. “Seriously, Yuri, why? You didn’t wake up for two days, and Yukari said I shouldn’t wake you up during that period. I got the impression that it had to do with the injuries, but…”
You need not to say anything. You gather the strength you have and wrap your arms around her. “I’m sorry,” you mutter and embrace her. “I… I really am.”
She tightens the clench on the clothes. “You owe me a lot, Yuri. You really are,” she murmurs.
You nod and tighten the embrace. “I understand.” She hums happily and hugs you again, murmuring something you wish you could understand.
After a few minutes of holding onto each other, Kaguya lets go off you, wiping off her tears and smiles. “Now that you’re awake – and I’m surprised you can stand up after being bedridden for two days – do you need anything?” Oh, Kaguya, she never fails to cheer up with her smile even after going through such hardship.
“Anything, huh? Let’s see…”
[ ] You feel miserably hungry. Go have breakfast and take Kaguya along. [ ] Go outside and take fresh air. Bring Kaguya with you. [ ] Kaguya cuddling time~
If option 1 and 2 are chosen: [ ] Ask Kaguya what has taken place in your absence. [ ] Let her know what you’ve gone through in your comatose.
System: Date: 22nd December Time: 09:00 hours Location: Eientei
[c] You feel miserably hungry. Go have breakfast and take Kaguya along. [c] Let her know what you’ve gone through in your comatose. - [c] After that (if possible) ask her what has taken place in your absence.
“You hungry, Kaguya?”
“No, I’ve just had my breakfast. Why?”
You rest your palm upon your belly. It’s grumbling, a sure sign you haven’t had anything to feed on. “I need to get refilled. You think there are still leftovers?”
“Leftovers? Oh, get over it, Yuri!” Without giving you any chance to speak your mind Kaguya takes your hand and drags you to the kitchen. “We’re having full-fledged breakfast, and you’re going to love it!”
“But Kaguya, you said-”
“Don’t worry about me! Besides, I’ve wanted to spend the morning with you,” she answers. “So! What kind of breakfast you wish to have? Apple pie? Fried rice? Meatball and mushroom soup?”
“Actually…” You scratch the back of your head; you’re unsure if your body can accept anything heavy. “I was thinking to go for meat sandwich, so…” She pouts. It appears the answer has disappointed her, and you kind of feeling guilty for that. “Uhh… anything you want to make for me, I’ll take it,” you sigh.
At once her smile returns. “Good! I’ll make apple pie for both of us! I guarantee it will knock you off your socks.” - - This is delightful. You haven’t had proper meal for as long as you can remember, and to have it handmade by someone you’re most comfortable with only makes your morning better. You’re so focused on eating the pie you don’t realize that Kaguya is watching you; even if you do, should you be worried? The only important thing right now is to get filled before starting the day.
“Well, I hope you like the pie very much,” Kaguya says. “I just learned how to make it yesterday, hope it turned out good.”
“You’re kidding, right? This is the best pie I’ve ever had,” you answer in mouthful, only to get choked on the food you’re trying to swallow. Hurriedly you empty the drinking glass in one gulp, and you let out a triumphant groan as you put the empty glass down. “Good grief! I almost got killed.”
“Jeez, you shouldn’t talk while you’re eating,” Kaguya says while she’s rubbing your back. “Say, Yuri, you… you were talking and screaming in your comatose. Did something happen?”
You frown. Of all things you wish you could forget… “Kaguya… I’ve strived to make sure I’m no longer bound by the past… and that I should walk down the path to the future…” You put down the cutleries. “And you’re saying that you want to know what had happened?”
“Of course I am!” Kaguya answers and wraps her arms around your shoulders; somehow, you feel very comfortable and at home when she does that. “I’m the one and only person you always feel very secure with, so it’s not a problem when you tell me everything, right?”
Putting your hand upon hers and squeezing it tightly (in which she returns double as much) you sigh. “It’s a very long story, but… I guess we have a lot of time to spend, aren’t we?”
“We have the whole time in the entire universe, Yuri.” Kaguya rests her chin upon your head. “Now, go on. Tell me. I’ll be your listener.”
Time passes by so slowly inside the kitchen. By the time you finish the story with your final moments with your wounded commissar, the sun has passed over bamboo’s height. You’re stumbled, both by how slowly time has passed, and how peacefully quiet the surrounding is. Does it really matter, losing your sense of time and all, when you have the immortal princess of the moon with you?
“Well, how do you feel now?” Kaguya asks.
“Better, I guess,” you answer. “Thank you for listening. I… I really appreciate it.”
“No problem, it’s only natural that I like to listen to people’s stories,” Kaguya remarks.
You smile. “Thank you, again.” You fall silent afterwards. You don’t know what else to say. You’ve told her everything she needed to know about your journey down the memory lane, and there’s no need to. As you and Kaguya keep holding hands, your mind wanders out of the window and into the bamboo forest, thinking about something or someone.
“I just wonder if she’s still alive and all…”
You shake your head. “The girl I mentioned in my story… Alice. She was… an interesting little girl with the liking for dolls. It’s unfortunate that both of us never met after Stalingrad, because I really needed to tell her the truth about Hillenbrand.” Your heart skips when you mention the name, and at once the painful memory of him dying in your arms starts flashing before your eyes. You shake your head in dismay; this is not the time to lament over the past, soldier. Get over it and march forward to the future!
“What is it again?”
“Is this Alice you’re talking about the Alice?” Kaguya asks.
“You mean puppet master Alice?” You shake your head. “No, no. That Alice is different from this Alice I’ve. Even if she turns out to be the same Alice…” You smile dejectedly. “…would she still recognize me?”
“Well, we won’t know for sure if we don’t ask her. I know! What if we go visit her after this?” she suggests.
You smile, albeit reluctantly. “Yeah, I guess we should.”
You and Kaguya keep on chattering about other matters when Mariel steps in. “Princess, the guests have arrived,” she informs. She later snickers at the scene she’s watching. “Oh, I guess I shouldn’t interrupt your quality time~”
“Cut it out Mariel,” Kaguya tells her. “I’m just doing my responsibility to keep him content.”
She nods. “Representatives from various circles are coming over,” she answers. “They want to talk with you over something that… they wouldn’t even bother telling me.” She pouts indignantly. “What? Just because it is top secret, highly classified, and Roswell-like doesn’t mean I have no rights to know. Jeez, what’s up with people these days?”
You just smile. “Whatever their intention is, I better get myself bathed and properly dressed,” you utter. “Can’t afford to ruin the image of a well-disciplined soldier, can I?”
After taking care of your hygiene and attire, you meet up with Kaguya and follow Mariel guestroom. You’re really hoping that Koakuma isn’t showing up because you know for sure she and Kaguya would get locked in an argument that would go for an entire day (and you don’t have an entire day for that).
“Good news, Yuri, you’re going to be introduced to Anne!” Kaguya says.
Anne. Anne. Now where did you hear the name… ah! “Anne, the girl who saved me from Marisa’s wrath?” you guess.
“Ding dong! Ten points for you,” Kaguya utters. “And guess what? She’s been looking forward to meet you, too, so you should be happy for that.” She opens the sliding door, and you can recognize the people who are already seated around the table. There’s Ran and Youmu (and the latter isn’t amused when Tatyana shows up and starts bothering her); there’s also Sanae and Byakuren (you just hope the shape-shifting UFO girl isn’t with her). Even Iku and Satori are present, too, but what catches your attention the most is the brunette girl fully dressed in proper military uniform-
“Oh, hello, sir!” Flandre says while waving her hand at you.
Of all people, why is the young Scarlet among the guests?
[ ] Entertain the young Scarlet. (write-ins are allowed) [ ] Ignore Flandre and talk to: - [ ] Ran. - [ ] Youmu. - [ ] Sanae. - [ ] Byakuren. - [ ] Iku. - [ ] Satori. - [ ] Byakuren. - [ ] The girl in full military attire. [ ] Excuse yourself while you return to your room. And genuflect.
System: Date: 22nd December Time: 11:00 hours Location: Eientei
Touhou present: + Kaguya + Mariel + Ran + Youmu (bothered by Tatyana) + Tatyana (bothering Youmu) + Sanae (chatting with Byakuren) + Byakuren (chatting with Sanae) + Iku (spacing out?) + Satori (reading Iku’s thought – and is not amused) + Anne (right now, she’s the girl in full military attire to Yuri) + Flandre (waving excitedly at Yuri)
As I said in my previous update, the next update will feature Anne, and it’s going to be her first meeting (or reunion) with fellow soldier/former enemy Yuri in this story. Don’t expect them to engage in friendly banters, though.
[c] Entertain the young Scarlet. - [c] Or rather, in Soviet Gensokyo, young Scarlet entertains YOU! -- [c] Ask her why she’s here, politely.
“Hey, pick up the phone.”
You blink. “Huh? What are you talking about?”
“I said, pick up the phone,” she utters.
You find yourself scratching your head in confusion. “I… I’m sorry, I really don’t know what your intention is,” you tell her.
She pouts. You gulp; this isn’t a good sign, since you understand very well whenever she goes ill-tempered. “Oh, for cry’s sake, just pick up the- oh.” Flandre turns to the military girl and whispers something into her ear, and giggles when the girl stare at her, apparently as confused as you are. You really wish you could know what’s going on inside the young Scarlet’s mind…
“Alright, then!” Flandre stands up, jolting Sanae who’s seated next to her, and approaches you with something held in her hand. She gives it to you – it’s a headset – and instructs you to wear it while she brandishes her own. “Now we can begin!”
“Hush you, I’m trying to think,” she replies, much to the amusement of the guests (and possibly even Kaguya). After fiddling with her fingers and twirling her nice hat, she giggles and motions at you to stand near the door and take a kneeling position. You do so, and you wait for the girl to give out her signal…
“Well, what are you waiting for? Use the Codec!” You sigh. Whatever, young Scarlet. You press the button, and instantly you hear a ringing sound inside the earpiece. You wait for the recipient to pick up the call, and… “Come in, Snake.”
Snake, eh? Looks like she wants you to play along with her, after all. You wait for a few seconds before you answer. “You’re not in pain, are you?”
You can hear the genuine voice of confusion as she replies “huh?”
You adjust your kneeling posture, making yourself as less ‘discreet’ to the spectators as possible. “You feel okay? Nothing bothering you?” you ask.
“What’s wrong? Getting all friendly all of a sudden,” Flandre answers.
“Oh, nothing. I’m glad you’re alright.” You snicker when you notice the slightly flustered look on Flandre’s face, as well as the guests’ giggles.
“You’re strange…” she retorts.
“I’m a little nervous,” you speak. “Everybody else I’ve saved suddenly dies.” There’s a moment of genuine silence that envelopes the guestroom as everyone stares at you. Even Flandre is dumbfounded by your response, more so with Kaguya.
“You’re bad luck.”
“Sorry,” you apologize. “So tell me, what brings you here? You’re not usually seen without your… cute but crazy friend, so it brings suspicion to everyone here.”
“I’ll tell you one thing, Snake:” Flandre speaks. “Shinano’s my friend, and she’s cute, but she is NOT crazy, end of discussion.”
You snicker. “Figured out you’d say that,” you reply.
“I’m here to ask you a question, and I want you to answer it honestly,” Flandre continues. You turn your sight a bit and notice the girl whispering to Sanae, who is at first confused before whispering her suggestion back to her, giggling all the way.
“So, Snake! Have you ever loved someone?”
You don’t want to know if this is just a part of the play, but you decide to go long with it. “That’s what you came to ask?” you reply in the most ‘not amused’ voice you can muster.
“No, I was wondering if even soldiers fall in love.”
This is getting a bit personal. “What are you trying to say?” you ask, wary that she might be directing the question at you.
“I want to ask you. Do you think love can bloom even on a battlefield?”
“Yeah.” You shrug. “I do.” The answer earns yourself an awkward silence from both Flandre and the guests. “I think that at any time, any place, people can fall in love with each other.” You pause. “But if you love someone… well, you have to be able to protect them.”
You place your fingers over the headset, ready to call off the conversation. “Is there anything else you want to ask?”
“No, not at all. Thanks.”
You switch the Codec off, and then you stare at Flandre. For perhaps the longest minute in your life, you and the young girl are staring at each other, equally dumbfounded, equally amused and equally satisfied with the outcome.
“That wasn’t that hard, was it?” Kaguya asks, unable to hide her giggles and her blush.
“Yeah, if you decided to play with this Codec-Snake-love-battlefield-whatever thing,” you retort. “Seriously, if she wanted to ask me that kind of question, she could have, I don’t know, said it aloud.”
“But I don’t want to!” Flandre protests. “I’m bored, Shinano hasn’t shown up for two days, and Big Sis wouldn’t let me go to her place.” She grumbles indignantly, folding her arms as to emphasize how she feels. “What? It’s not like I’m going to trash the house or something.”
“But seriously, love?” You shake your head. “Of all questions she could’ve asked…”
Flandre giggles, in her usual childish mischievous manners. “Of course, we have wanted to make the soldier and the princess an eternal couple,” she boasts. “Hurry up! Get married! Have lots of children! Spread the love!” She gets shushed by the military girl before she can continue, but not before she has managed to make Kaguya turn beet red (and you having to cough many times in discomfort).
“Of course they should!” Sanae suddenly speaks. “I don’t see anything wrong with a soldier and a princess leading an eternally happy life! It’s the most romantic thing ever!” She suddenly goes into daydream, clasping hands as she starts mumbling over things you wished you didn’t have to hear.
“You’re not helping, Sanae,” Youmu comments.
“Why?” the dejected-looking Sanae asks.
“Because you’re only pouring the gasoline onto the fire,” Ran answers.
This isn’t going anywhere. Either you can let the young Scarlet overwhelm you with nonsensical ‘marriage’ affair, or you can start asking the guests the reason they’re present. The first thing you want to do, however, is to get to know the military girl, so you motion at her to follow you to the outside. “No better place to start a conversation with a military person than to be at the shooting range,” you answer Kaguya’s question (who decides to tag along), and points the girl to a watermelon that’s conveniently placed atop of the table. She appears to be unfazed by the instruction as she knives the fruit effortlessly. “Nice, your fruit-killing skills are remarkable,” you comment.
“I’m a soldier, that’s what I’m trained for,” she answers.
You smile. A soldier, eh? You think you can live with it. “Your ID, soldier,” you speak and throw her an assault rifle.
“Anne-Marie Braun, Special Environmental Response Unit, Scarlet Devil Mansion.” She pulls, releases the charging handle, and takes position near the starting line. “Captain Yuri Ivanov, yes? I was in charge of your safety after the ordinary witch incident. I was informed that you wanted to thank me, so I’ve taken my day off just for that reason.”
You take your own position, as well. “Yes, indeed I am, and I thank you for saving me. I don’t know who you are, and you obviously don’t know who I am, but I get this feeling that we are… similar in some ways.” You smile. “Thank you again.”
In spite of the vivid blush on her face, the girl manages to remain calm. “It was nothing. I was… I just got this feeling that I had to look after a fellow comrade.” She shakes her head, presumably to shrug off the blushes. “I’m sorry. It’s the first time I’ve talked to a man, so… please, forgive me.” She frowns. “And I’m sorry on behalf on Flandre, too. Ever since her friend didn’t show up, she’s starting to get… fidgety.”
You decide that words aren’t going to be enough, so you point at the shooting course up ahead. “Think you can keep up?” you ask as you take your position.
Anne smiles. “No offence, sir, but I think you’re the one who better keeps up,” she answers.
It’s time to clear the shooting course. Both you and your newfound comrade are waiting for Kaguya’s signal to start the challenge, and just as you and Anne are leaning forward, wanting to jump the starting line…
Distracted by the unwanted interference, you turn to the source of the voice and see Kogasa descending from the air and running at you. “Captain! Come with me, quickly!”
“Calm down, comrade,” you tell her. “What brings you here in this snowy hour, and what’s going on?”
“Something terrible is going on at the graveyard!” Kogasa tells you in panic, her breaths erratic as if she has gone through a mad dash across the airspace. “It’s… I don’t know what’s really going on, but-”
“Graveyard?” Anne asks.
Kogasa nods frantically. “Anyway, please come with me! This is very important, a matter of life and death!”
On one hand, you’re just waking up from your longest comatose yet, and you’re just getting to have a conversation with the guests. On the other hand, however, her worries are genuine and honest, as her eyes are telling you.
[ ] Go help Kogasa. - [ ] Ask if your comrade-in-arm would like to lend her hand. -- [ ] Bring your team along, just in case. -- [ ] You and Anne probably can handle this matter just as fine. [ ] Assign someone in your team to help Kogasa instead. - [ ] Reisen. - [ ] Comrade Fairies (if they’re still present). - [ ] Tewi. [ ] Your soldier’s hunch is telling you something’s amiss. Perhaps you should ask the guests if they’re willing to assist. - [ ] While you’re at it, send someone to inform Reimu.
Name: Yuri Ivanov Rank: Captain Unit: Thirds Guard Rifle Division, Soviet Red Army Allegiance: no longer aligned to anyone, but perhaps one day… Health: 80%, recovering Magic: Medium Stamina: Medium-high, recovering Emotion: High-spirited
Current Equipment: + Winter uniform (minus the coat) + AN-94 w/ Red Dot Sight (30/90) + M1911A1 (7+14) + Bayonet
Skills + Machinery I + Night Warfare I + Camouflage II + Danmaku II + Firearms II + Flight II + Leadership II + Outdoor Survival II + Public Relationship II + Spellcard II + Close Quarter Combat III + Sniping/Marksmanship III - - Name: Anne-Marie brown Rank: (undecided, suggestions?) Unit: Special Environmental Response Unit Allegiance: Scarlet Devil Mansion Health: 100% Magic: High Stamina: High Emotion: High-spirited
Current Equipment: + Tactical combat maid suit + HK 416 w/ Red Dot Sight & Fore Grip (30/90) + M92FS (13/39) + Knife
Skills + Camouflage II + Combat Engineering II + Cooking II + Home Management II + Danmaku II + Firearms II + Flight II + Leadership II + Outdoor Survival II + Spellcard II + Anti-Armour III + Close Quarter Combat III + Machinery III + Public Relationship III + Tank Warfare III
Note about the equipment: [ ] They should be adequate for the task. [ ] Not enough firepower. There’s always room for more Dakka.
[X] Go help Kogasa. - [X] Ask if your comrade-in-arm would like to lend her hand. -- [X] Bring your team along, just in case. [X] Your soldier’s hunch is telling you something’s amiss. Perhaps you should ask the guests if they’re willing to assist. - [X] While you’re at it, send someone to inform Reimu.
Helping Kogasa is a no-brainer. When a comrade asks for help, you don't ignore them for selfish interests; you answer their call and help them. Bringing Anne along will hopefully build trust among them that they can work together. Prejudice is a horrible thing, but Yuri and Anne could overcome their differences in past allegiances if they were to build a bond of camaraderie before prejudice kicks in. Both characters are above the level of suddenly hating someone they had trusted before merely because of former allegiances. Mistrust may occur after the reveal to Yuri that Anne was a Nazi, but that can be overcome far easier than open hostilities. I also think Flandre may be of great assistance here (think about who this probably is: Graveyard. "Shinano hasn’t shown up for two days"). Keeping Reimu in the loop and having her become slightly exhausted from a possible false alarm is better than shit hits the fan and Reimu not knowing/ beating up everyone.
Also, if this soldier's hunch can get Yuri through The Eastern Front, it's one hell of a good hunch
Note about the equipment: [X] Take a danmaku weapon just in case. (Preferably a Kar98k, the ones used for training your squad from way back when)
Running out of ammo is always bad, and if we are up against something we don't want to main/kill, real bullets and bayonet are probably out of question. And therefore, without a danmaku-arm, Yuri is thereby without means of non-lethal combat save for attacking with his body (punches, kicks, etc.) That looks like a recipe for disaster, so take a weapon capable of firing danmaku and avert that situation. The Kar is a good old Bolt action rifle, and if Yuri's been through Stalingrad and the ammo shortages, and survived a good chuck of the Eastern Front, he's almost certain to have experience with this rifle. The Kar is a fine weapon, and can cover the long range engagement distance that Yuri is currently missing (Short is M1911A1/ AN-94, Mid is the AN-94, and long range will now be covered by the Kar). Plus, it will probably score a few points with Anne as a friend. In any case, showing reverence for a WWII era Soviet gun will most likely drop the ability for Yuri and Anne to cooperate and/or create mistrust.
Anne was part of the SS, right? If so, then: [X] Anne's rank: Hauptscharführer (About equal to Master Sergeant)
Anne seems a bit more mature than a plain old sergeant, like she worked her way up the ranks, but not so much 'in the know' as some of the higher, commissioned officers might be.
Just because she's a lower rank doesn't mean she'll be taking any orders from anyone not part of her current allegiance to the SDM.
[x] Go help Kogasa. - [x] Ask if your comrade-in-arm would like to lend her hand. -- [x] You and Anne probably can handle this matter just as fine.
The more people we bring along, the less time we have to interact with them individually. The purpose should be on establishing camaraderie between Anne & Yuri, but that's difficult to do when she's just directed as one of a myriad of subordinates, as opposed to depending directly upon each other for survival.
And the smaller the group, the faster you can move, the less likely you are to be noticed, and the more easily you can hide or set up an ambush.
Both Anne & Yuri's assault rifles are capable of full auto, but they don't have a magazine size large enough for extended use in the support role. Even before the refit, it has low stopping power, but the danmaku PPSh-41 is capable of laying down suppressing fire indefinitely.
Anne isn't a marksman, but she has ranks in explosives. Yuri's PPSh can force the enemy to take cover, and then Anne would be able to lob a timed, air-burst grenade over the enemy's position.
Sorry for the delay, but the update is ready to be served~ also adapting a bit of Ten Desires scenarios.
[c] Go help Kogasa. - [c] Ask if your comrade-in-arm would like to lend her hand. -- [c] Bring your team along, just in case. [c] Not enough firepower. There’s always room for more Dakka. - [c] Take a danmaku weapon just in case.
“We should go,” you utter, remembering one of the Red Army’s basic rules.
“Right now? But I thought we could run the course together,” a dejected Anne says.
“The course can wait,” you tell her. You kind of understand her, since she’s been looking forward to complete the challenge with you. “We will do the obstacle course after we’re done helping Kogasa. She’s my comrade, and I’m expected to help her getting through the trouble. Did your employer not tell you anything about helping your own team-mate?”
“I… what? Nein! Miss Remilia never says anything about abandoning my own team members,” she defiantly answers.
You snicker. “As expected from a soldier like you. And speaking of which.” You turn to Kaguya. You’ve had enough leaving her at home while you go outdoors and settle all problems that are thrown at your face, so you approach her and grab her shoulders while you stare into her eyes. “You’re coming with me.”
She blinks. “Eh? Wait, what?”
“I’ll explain along the way, but it’s important that you take part in this operation,” you tell her. “Now I want you to switch to your uniform; you may not want to soil your regal attire.” You, then, summon Reisen and instruct her to go to where Kogasa was headed to. “Take this,” you say and give her your headset. “Keep me posted wherever possible, understood?”
“Understood, sir,” Reisen answers.
With Reisen leaving, and Kaguya heading back into the house, you rally the rest of your mean. “Everyone, listen up, we may have to get our hands wet and dirty, so grab your danmaku weapons and spellcards. I get the feeling we’re going to deal with an incident,” you tell them. “Tewi, I want you to go to Reimu’s place. Tell her I might need her assistance. My strength alone isn’t going to be enough to take care of it.”
“You can count on me, captain!” Tewi replies while pounding her knuckle onto her chest. She drags the hapless Tatyana and makes haste to the Hakurei Shrine, leaving you with your guests of the day. They seem to understand the situation you’re facing, but it’s better than you explain.
“Well, we’d like to help you, but I don’t think I can grasp with the whole affair,” Youmu says.
“Come on, Youmu! It’s just like the Paintball game people at our world often play,” Sanae tells her. “It’s going to be fun, trust me!”
“Even if you say so, we don’t know what we’re actually dealing with,” Youmu says. “Plus, where can we find the graveyard Kogasa had said in the first place?”
“Well, actually… there’s a cemetery near our temple,” Byakuren answers. “Come to think about it, Kogasa’s heading back to the temple. Maybe if we go to our place…”
The headset on Flandre’s head buzzes. She answers the call, but hands over the device to you. It’s Reisen, and she informs you she has found Kogasa at the cemetery near the Myouren Temple. “Alright, everyone, we should go to Miss Byakuren’s place first,” you utter, even as Kaguya returns in what appears to be a combat medic outfit. You never thought she’d take the whole thing seriously, but…
“What?” the understandably embarrassed Kaguya utters. “It’s not like that I’d let him jump into action and get trashed like a ragdoll.” You find yourself chuckling, as so are your guests (with the exception of Anne, whose eyes have the look of longing you wish you could understand).
“So… danmaku weapon?” Sanae asks.
You nod. “I’m not capable of shooting danmaku with my own strength, but I’m compensating it by modifying my weapon to shoot it.” You grab your modified PPSh-41 and show it to everyone. “A soldier has to do what he has to do to survive the battlefield, even if it means adapting to the enemy’s combat tactics. Anne, you might want to use danmaku weapon, as well.”
“Danmaku? I already mastered it,” Anne answers. “I learned it only from the best,” she continues with a giggle.
You roll your eyes inward. “…right.”
With the information on Kogasa’s whereabouts in hand, you and your guests head to the Myouren Temple. With the exception of Sanae and Flandre, who are expressing their excitement over the prospect of playing the so-called ‘Paintball’ game, none of you are holding a high expectation over what to expect.
About half an hour in flight, Anne suddenly takes a detour and heads west. You chase after the girl and find yourself arriving at an unfamiliar territory. The presence of ghostly apparitions quickly overwhelms your sense, and the rest of the entourage is also facing the brunt of the swarm. The sky is also dark, on top of that, and you feel uneasy just by being present.
“It’s the Netherworld,” Youmu utters. “Hakugyokurou is located here, but… what are these divine spirits that are scattered and swept away by the cherry blossoms?”
“Divine spirits?” Kaguya asks.
The swordswoman nods. “They… only activate moments before death.”
The sign is ominous. Whatever these things are called, you have to be careful. You look around and spot Anne near the stairways, surrounded by the ‘divine spirits’ but unharmed. She notices you as well and approaches you, leaving the apparitions behind. “When the umbrella girl said ‘graveyard’, this isn’t the first place I had in mind,” she says.
“Then why did you take a detour and go here?” Kaguya asks.
“Forget what she just asked, but there’s another graveyard in Gensokyo?” Byakuren asks.
“We don’t call it ‘graveyard’ per se,” Anne answers. “Anyway, I don’t think we’re supposed to be here. Has your… second-in-command contacted you yet, sir?”
“Reisen?” You tap the headset, but all you can hear is static noises. “Must be interferences from this area.”
“Ah! Something’s coming right at us!” Everyone follows the direction of Flandre’s pointer. You at first think it’s an enemy and quickly ready your weapon (Anne does the same, as so do Youmu and Sanae). The mysterious figure closes in, and you take aim, ready to pull the trigger at the first sign of threat. The figure reveals itself, and then…
“Oh? Do we have a visitor?”
“Miss Yuyuko?” the surprised Youmu asks.
“Ah, Youmu? Where are you going at this time?” Youmu answers the question but gets ignored as Yuyuko notices your presence. “Oh my! If it isn’t Mister Ivanov~ hold on a moment, I’ll prepare some tea.”
“Don’t mind us,” you speak. “But I have to apologize for walking into your property without your consent.”
Yuyuko giggles. “Oh, my, how polite of you~ Youmu could learn a thing or two from you,” she giggles, much to Youmu’s embarrassment.
Sanae steps forward. “I’m sorry to break the ice, but these divine spirits have suddenly starting gushing out everywhere, and some of them have also tried to overwhelm Mister Ivanov,” she speaks. “So I ask of you, would you know anything about the matter?”
“Hmm… divine spirits, you say~” Yuyuko hums while opening her butterfly fan and hiding her face behind it. “You want to know about divine spirits, do you?”
“If you please.”
“Then it’s a duel! Try and defeat me for it!” With the declaration spoken aloud, the ghost princess points the butterfly fan at… you. And she smiles. “Of course, since Mister Ivanov happens to be here, I hereby propose this challenge to him, as well!”
You don’t have time for this nonsense!
“Mister Ivanov, leave her to us,” Sanae speaks. “Miss Youmu and I will hold her long enough for you to escape.”
“Even I get involved? This is irrational…” Youmu grumbles.
“Miss Saigyouji. I don’t know if it’s truly your intention to challenge Mister Ivanov,” Sanae utters and points her gohei at Yuyuko. “But I will not allow that to happen!”
She springs into action before you or anyone else can have a say. Sighing in surrender over the reality of the situation Youmu turns around and bows to you apologetically. “I’m very sorry, everyone, it’s of your best interest that you leave the Netherworld. Your mission takes a higher priority than this challenge.”
You look at Kaguya, then Anne, Flandre, Byakuren, and then back at Youmu. “I understand,” you nod. “Please be careful.”
“You, too, Mister Ivanov,” Youmu replies before turning her attention to the on-going danmaku battle between Sanae and Yuyuko. Nodding to one another, you lead your team away from the commotion and leave the Netherworld. You continue your flight to the Myouren Temple and arrive at the said cemetery, where more of the divine spirits can be seen frolicking about. Byakuren excuses herself to return to the temple as to assess the situation, leaving you with Kaguya, Anne and Flandre to wander aimlessly around the area. There’s no sight of Kogasa, and Reisen is nowhere to be seen, either. The divine spirits start increasing in numbers, suggesting that its source may be nearby.
“So tell me anything about the ‘other’ graveyard,” you say.
“Miss Yukari calls it the Graveyard of the Abandoned,” Anne answers, “but if you ask me, it’s more of a junkyard.” Yukari. That lady of boundaries, you may never know what plan she’s scheming this time. “Flandre’s friend lives there with the older sisters-”
“-and I often go there when Shinano isn’t visiting!” Flandre continues. “Well… except for today, because when I went there the gate is sealed off.”
“Sealed off?” you inquire.
“Yeah, sealed off, like being closed with a magic spell… or defensive mechanism,” she answers. “Anyway, I’m bored! She hasn’t shown up for two days, and I can’t go to her place! Jeez, what’s up with everybody today…”
You continue walking, but you only see gravestones after gravestones the further you go. You start to wonder if you should establish contact with Reisen when a mysterious girl appears out of nowhere and attacks you with danmaku barrage. “Chyrot!!” You dive for cover, shouting at your team to do the same while keeping your profile low. “Is this how people often greet each other?!”
“I don’t know, but whatever her intention is, we’ve got to fight back!” Kaguya shouts.
Taking it as a cue, you lob a flash bang at the girl. It detonates and manages to drive her away. You take a peek at the girl who has retreated to a safe distance, and rally your team for briefing. “This situation is getting a bit risky, and I just remembered we went here without a proper briefing about this area.”
“What do you suggest, then?” Kaguya asks.
“Ah, has the party started already?” All of you look up at the direction of the voice and see the familiar sight of red-white and black-white floating down to the cemetery. “Well, I’ll be damned! It’s the Soviet soldier, again,” Marisa utters.
“Hello, Marisa,” you warily greet her.
“Come on, Yuri, don’t be that gloomy! The day is still young, we ought to greet each other more properly,” she says in her loudest, most pompous voice possible.
“Hush you, Marisa, you’re only making things complicated for him,” Reimu reminds her. “And here I thought you’d spend a few more days at the general ward,” she chides. “You’re crazy for trying to solve this incident by yourself, Mister Ivanov.” She notices your team-mates and shrugs her shoulders off. “I see. You decide to treat this as a mission. Go you.”
“I was only following Reisen’s lead, though she and Kogasa are nowhere to be seen,” you speak.
Reimu throws her arms upward. “Whatever, Mister Ivanov. Remember that you still owe me a meeting today, so don’t forget about it,” she tells you.
“Come on, Reimu, wouldn’t it be fun to let someone else solve this incident once in a while?” Marisa asks. “Besides, the Soviet soldier here is more than capable of taking a few shots before he has to go down. Right, Yuri?”
“No, Marisa, that would be like asking him to steal right under my nose,” Reimu answers, followed with a sharp jab on the magician’s waist. “When will you ever stop taunting him? Give him a break, he isn’t a superman, you know.”
“Ehehe… because it’s fun?” Marisa replies, wincing at the sudden pain.
[ ] Leave the incident solving to Reimu and Marisa. [ ] Offer to help in anyway possible.
If option A is chosen: [ ] Head straight to the Graveyard of the Abandoned. [ ] Fall back and gather at the Myouren Temple. Try to assess the actual situation before proceeding with the mission. [ ] Go to somewhere else? - [ ] Korindo. (Guns, lots of guns, but especially bandolier for your non-Danmaku Refit weapons) - [ ] Youkai Mountain. (The Environmental Awareness Battle Suit, you wonder if it’s been upgraded…) - [ ] Scarlet Devil Mansion (more combat-capable individuals to be recruited. Maybe Meiling and your comrade fairies are willing to help?) - [ ] Hakurei Shrine. (Tewi and Tatyana might still be there.) - [ ] Forest of Magic. (Settling your score with Alice once and for all…)
If Option B is chosen: [ ] Inform them about the sudden abundance of divine spirits. [ ] Offer to hold off the mysterious girl (should she reappear) so that Reimu and Marisa can go deeper into the cemetery.
[x] Leave the incident solving to Reimu and Marisa.
If option A is chosen: [x] Fall back and gather at the Myouren Temple. Try to assess the actual situation before proceeding with the mission.
In both the mission and the incident, gathering information would be a good idea. Reimu and Marisa are experienced experts at this, I doubt they'd need much help and we can use the info to help them later on.
[x] Offer to help in anyway possible. -[x] Offer to hold off the mysterious girl (should she reappear) so that Reimu and Marisa can go deeper into the cemetery.
Twiddle our thumbs in the rear-echelon while our comrades sweat and bleed before us? Youmu already fights a bitter battle so we can be here. Kogasa and Reisen are incommunicado and likely pinned down, but also probably nearby. So take this one down and comb the area.
>>25180 You seem to have forgotten what a leader's role is: gathering information as to best plan an assault. Being a Russian, I'm sure Yuri knows the importance of this as a lack of planning combined with the Russian Winter thwarted both Nepolean and Hilter.
In short it's not the vote that I take issue with but your reasoning (let's charge in recklessly!)
[x] Leave the incident solving to Reimu and Marisa.
If option A is chosen: [x] Fall back and gather at the Myouren Temple. Try to assess the actual situation before proceeding with the mission.
If possible: [X] Inform them [Reimu+Marisa] about the sudden abundance of divine spirits before heading to the temple.
We can clearly trust our comrades. Reimu and Marisa know what they are doing, for they are veterans at this, so we can rely, we can trust them to do their duty. Rather than put extra force on this front that we know will succeed regardless of our efforts, it is better to figure out what the status of our silenced comrades is so we can relieve them from suppression.
>>25180 Comrade, we will not be "Twiddling our thumbs in the rear-echelon". We shall figure out what is happening, where our missing comrades are, plan the counteroffensive, then take our plan into glorious action, to the front lines, in order to relieve our comrades. Marisa and Reimu have survived trials like this incident before, they shall be able to overcome this one as well. They shall make the enemy sweat and bleed. However, our pinned down comrades need our help, they trust us to be their in their time of need, so it is our duty to figure out what the heck is happening and help them now, not as an afterthought.
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/06/05 (Tue) 04:59No. 25304▼
[c] Leave the incident solving to Reimu and Marisa. [c] Fall back and gather at the Myouren Temple. Try to assess the actual situation before proceeding with the mission. - [c] Don’t forget to inform them about the sudden abundance of divine spirits.
“We better fall back.” You noticed the confused look on Kaguya and Flandre, although Anne somehow understands your words. “I know it’s unwise to leave our comrades in distress, but it would be suicidal if we charge the battlefield without a deep understanding about it.”
“Aw, man! When I thought I could kick some ass,” Flandre grumbles.
Kaguya looks dejected as well. “Are you saying that we should retreat?”
You merely chuckle. “No, I’m saying that we should take the mission from another direction,” you answer. “So unless we can gather enough information about the graveyard, we’d be walking right in the middle of a minefield.”
“I’m afraid Captain Ivanov is correct,” Anne says. You can only nod, even as the painful memories of the Great Patriotic War re-emerge at the back of your mind. The screams, the tears, the agony, the hardship, the atrocity, the sacrifice, the foul stench of rotting corpses as the fascist invaders ravage the land of freedom-
“Hey!” Marisa’s yell drags you back to reality. “Are you going to stay down there and let us do the wet work for you?”
As a matter of fact… “I wish I could contribute my strength for this effort, but you prove to be a better incident solver than I am,” you answer. “I’m very sorry, Reimu, Marisa, but I’m counting on you.” You can’t help chuckling when you notice the dejected look on Marisa’s face; maybe she was expecting you to tag along.
“Marisa.” She turns around, and is greeted with a karate chop on the forehead. “Cut that off. Your tendency to pick a fight with him will only bring you more defeats in the future,” Reimu reminds her.
“Eh, heh, sorry for that…” Marisa apologizes.
“We don’t have time to bicker around, and I assume Captain Ivanov is going somewhere after this,” Reimu continues and turns to you. “So why don’t all of you gather at Myouren temple and leave this incident to us? I’m sure you haven’t decided on a plan yet.”
You and your team nod in agreement. “Alright, then, good luck on your mission.” Reimu throws her arms upward and heads to the graveyard. You’re about to leave, too, when you remember something; hastily you catch up with the shrine maiden. “There’s something I almost forgot to tell you. It’s about the sudden abundance of divine spirits. Did you notice them when you arrived?”
“Come to think about it…” A bunch of spirits suddenly surrounds them, before Reimu quickly repels them with her gohei. “Yeah, thanks for the heads up.” Just then the same girl who attacked your team appeared, and Reimu immediately takes defensive posture. “I wonder if today’s a good day for donations…”
“You don’t say,” Marisa utters, a confident grin plastered on her face.
It’s time to get out of the line of fire. You bid them farewell and reunite with your team. “So what now?” Kaguya asks.
“You heard what Reimu said,” you speak and head back to Myouren temple. Your team follows suit, and it doesn’t take too long before you meet up with the temple residents. “I assume some of you are going to offer assistance, yes?” you ask.
“Yes, we are,” Byakuren answers. “If you don’t mind, I can ask Murasa to prepare the Palanquin ship at moment’s notice.”
“The more help we can get, the better,” you speak. “Anne, you know the graveyard better than anyone of us here, so show us its layout.”
With Anne setting up the layout of the graveyard (and Flandre becoming agitated by the lack of action), you sit down and contemplate on everything that you have gone through during your comatose, sorting all the pieces that are scattered inside your mind. You wonder how different your life would have been had you not been brought here, to this sealed land nobody knows it exists.
You feel your hand getting squeezed. “You alright?” Kaguya asks. “Your hand’s trembling.”
You shake your head. “I’m alright, don’t worry about me,” you assure her. “I just hope I don’t have to go through all these things anymore. I…” You chuckle. “I need to rest, that’s all I want.”
Kaguya squeezes your hand more tightly. “I’ll help you, but please promise me one thing,” she murmurs. “After you’re done with this… mission, promise me to lay down your weapons and stay out of troubles.” You’re not sure on how to respond to the request, but seeing the stern look on her face makes you want to tell her truth. “What’s wrong with you? It’s not that hard to say ‘yes’, is it?”
You’re about to give her the answer when Byakuren cuts you off. “I’m more worried about how you are going there,” the woman says. “Anne dear, how do you visit the place?”
“…Yukari usually gap me there whenever I need to,” Anne answers. “She never reveals the actual direction, though, and she doesn’t tell me, either.”
“Yeah, Yukari always does that to us,” Flandre adds. “But it’s so boring to be brought there! I want to visit Shinano on my own, because it’s more fun! Imagine, the adventures~” And she starts trailing off as she’s caught in the wave of her fantasy, but you’re more concerned about how you’re supposed to the place.
“She doesn’t?” an equally curious Shou asks. Anne merely shrugs her shoulders and continues with her explanation on the junkyard’s strikingly realistic layout. A quick look reveals several structures towering over the area, surrounded by wreckages that dot the land like dimples. Your stomach churns; it somehow reminds you of Stalingrad, and you don’t like it.
“This is Reisen! Can anyone hear me?”
About damn time. “Come in, Lieutenant,” you speak into the mouthpiece. “Where are you?”
“I’m at the junkyard, and I have Kogasa with me right now!” You breathe out in relief; thank goodness they’re still alright. “Please hurry up! We’re being attacked by-”
The radio is cut off. What you have feared the worst has become a reality. “We have to go,” you speak.
“But what about the briefing?” Anne questions.
“Forget the briefing, we have to go!” you bark. You don’t care if you can’t find your way to the junkyard, but you must not jeopardize your team-mates. “Miss Byakuren! Tell Murasa to get the ship ready!”
“Hold it right there.”
You and your teams halt. In front of you, a woman is seen walking out of a gap- oh, it’s just Yukari. Wait, what the hell is she doing here?
“Feeling a bit better now, little soldier?” You’re confused. You don’t know what she’s talking about, but you nod warily in response. “Good, that’s what I wanted to hear from you. Are you heading to the Graveyard of the Abandoned?”
“Yes, my team-mates are in danger and need to be extracted from the area,” you answer.
Yukari points the fan at you. “You can’t go. The place is far too risky for regular humans, much less a human soldier,” she utters. “Go back to Eientei, let me take care of this.”
“Svoloch! What do you mean I can’t go!?” you scream. “My team-mates are in danger, and you’re telling me that I should abandon them?!”
“Because you can’t go, that’s why,” Yukari answers. You promptly aim your assault rifle at her direction. “My~ you really have a short fuse, aren’t you?”
“Tell me a hundred reasons why I cannot go,” you mutter.
“Do you really want to know, little soldier?” Yukari asks almost threateningly.
[ ] No fighting in the holy ground. [ ] Fuck the holy ground. Your comrades are in grave danger!
System: Date: 22nd December Time: 11:30 hours Location: Myouren Temple
Lets try to be reasonable as I think trying to force our way won't amount to much. Still this doesn't rule out Yuri being in a more tactical role, though I'm not sure how to try writing such a thing in.
[X] No fighting in the holy ground. ---[X] We must fight together, live together, prosper together, or die alone. We are NOT abandoning our comrades. Order No. 227 of The Glorious Motherland. -------[X] Our Comrades are in grave danger!
Fighting Yukari with danmaku will get nothing done except injuring each other, wasting our energy, and wasting precious time. We can’t afford to get held up by Yukari. She is more ally than enemy, and fighting her is what the enemy wants: to cause chaos and the destruction of the People’s Bulwark from the inside. We must make sure there is no hint of discord, and no injury to the unity and thus strength of our defense. Save the hostility for the real enemy attacking our comrades.
In order to get to the Graveyard now, We Need Yukari’s Help. Otherwise, besides the physical travel time, we have the issue of searching for the damn place. We can’t afford that. We need to be on the front lines now, because out comrades are in danger now.
Also, let's not have Yuri piss off Byakuren. War Ship = important asset. Fighting Byakuren after fighting Yukari = waste of even more precious time and waste of even more energy.
Yukari is honestly just looking out for Yuri. Yuri’s a human that’s undeniable. Humans are squishy and easily broken like glass cannons. We don’t want to be a liability, for that defeats the point of us going. So how do we un-squish-ify?
[X] Power armor
Have Yukari quickly gap us to Nitori’s lab, hope that she’s not too surprised, don the Glorious Armor of Science, get gapped to battlefield. The enemy could be armed with precision lasers with the power of bloody anti-tank “rifles” / rocket launchers for all we know. Let’s try to go in somewhat prepared.
We are no longer a liability, we are able to face the enemy in the field of battle without fear of getting 1-shot, and Yukari’s reasons to keep us off the battle are thus invalid.
Yukari can’t complain - -We are a liability: no, Yuri puede defender con la potencia de magica-ciencia
- This isn’t our fight: We inherited the torch to continue the fight, to continue the struggle for freedom. He gave his life, and although he never intended nor wanted for Yuri to be involved, Yuri has not only become involved, but has (or will become in the extremely near future) a critical part of this.
-Kaguya: Yuri survived Eastern Front. He WILL survive this.
The Proletariat must arm himself hastily but as best as possible for War whenever possible.
This is where Yuri makes his stand. This is where WE make OUR stand! URA!
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/06/26 (Tue) 10:26No. 25354▼
“Do you really want to know, little soldier?” Yukari asks.
“Yes, I am!” you bark. “Even if I have to go to hell and kill its overlord, I want to know!”
She chuckles. “Too bad, little soldier, because you can’t go – and obviously I’m not telling you.”
“Why are you not TELLING?!” You aim the AN-94 at her. You clench the pistol grip so tightly you thought you’re going to break it. “Goddamn it, Yukari! Stop getting on my nerves, or suffer the consequences!!”
Your anger is distracted, only because Kaguya’s tapping on your shoulder. “Yuri, please. Let me talk to her.” She approaches the purple lady until she’s a foot in front of her. “What do you mean he can’t go?” she asks.
“Can’t you see, dear? He just woke up, his body has yet to adjust itself to the weather, and already he threw himself into fire!” She, then, fakes a pout. “He should be more considerate towards his own welfare, you know~”
“But his team-mates are in danger! Can’t you see how worried he is right now?” Kaguya asks again. “If he can’t go, at least please let us know how to find them.”
“Yes, I know he’s worried. Yes, I know he’s concerned over his comrades’ safety,” Yukari answers. “That doesn’t mean he can charge the battlefield blindly, though. Hasn’t he learned his lessons from the Great Patriotic War?” Bloody hell, you didn’t expect to hear that from her.
“Then what are we supposed to do, Frau Yukari? Just wait for the problem to solve itself?” the equally concerned Anne asks.
For the umpteenth time Yukari brings the fan to her face as to hide her grin from sight. “As a matter of fact…” She whispers into Kaguya’s ear, and it doesn’t take very long before the moon princess claps her hands in approval.
“Why, of course, we can always use that!” Kaguya exclaims. She returns to you and grabs your hand. “Come on, Yuri, let’s go meet her!”
“Wait, what?” You aren’t given a room to argue as Kaguya pulls you off the snow and flies straight to the Youkai Mountain. “What are we supposed to do once we get there?” you yell in the middle of the flight.
“We’ll see! Hang on tight!” She makes a sudden turn, and in the blink of an eye both of you dive towards the ground in high speed. Your stomach almost churns; fancy flight is not something you’re used to, and- fuck, you’re going to crash!!
“Alley-Oop!!” Kaguya makes another sudden manoeuvre. You try to grab onto something. Something! Shit, you’re slipping away!
And the next thing you see is plain whiteness.
“Is he dead? Let me poke his body.”
“Flandre, he’s still breathing.”
“Anne, you’re ruining the fun. Stop that.”
“My, my~ you surely had the nerves to toss your future husband around. As expected from the lunatic princess~”
“I told you it was not on purpose, okay!”
You open your eyes. Not only you find your body aching all over, you also notice you’re being stared down by four set of eyes with all kinds of emotion to show. You never thought Anne, Flandre and Yukari would be able to catch up, but you’re too concerned of your own body to think about anything else. “Next time… warn me about that sudden dive,” you grumble, still groaning at the funny feeling inside your stomach.
“I’m sorry if I ever scared the hell out of you,” Kaguya replies and pulls you off the snow. “For your information, we have arrived. Lucky for you, nobody has noticed us intruding the airspace. You can call it stealth insertion,” she says confidently.
“Who’s there?” Kaguya’s smile is instantly swiped off her face, replaced a second later with the look of absolute shock. So much for stealth insertion, princess.
You turn to the direction of the voice and see a girl approaching your position. A close examination reveals to you three things:
One: she has a pair of fluffy ears and an equally fluffy tail.
Two: she’s armed to the teeth.
Three: she is not happy.
“What business does a man, a vampire, a moon princess and two youkais have in the Youkai Mountain? Speak quickly!” the wolf girl demands. None of you can answer, except for Flandre who is too fidgety to pounce at her before being restrained by Anne. “You are not answering,” the wolf girl speaks and withdraws her sword. “I’m sorry, but I cannot allow all intruders to tread on this land. Please leave, before I resort to force.” Great, you don’t have time for another confrontation.
“Let me talk to her,” Anne says and approaches the wolf girl. After a quick salute she speaks something to the wolf girl. “Frau Momiji, we didn’t mean to intrude your turf, but the weather’s hampering our flight. We’re forced to make a landing here, so I hope you don’t mind.” You glance at Kaguya, who tries to look away from you; is she trying to hide her errs?
“Anyway, is Frau Nitori available? If she is, could you lead us to her?” Anne continues.
The wolf girl throws her sight over Anne’s shoulder. She doesn’t seem to be convinced by the explanation. “I’m very sorry, but unless they can identify themselves and state their actual reason, I cannot allow them to advance further,” she speaks.
“Not even when we’re in the middle of a dire crisis, Momiji dear~?” Yukari asks. The wolf girl’s eyebrow arches, and she stares at each and every one of the individual in the entourage. “Perhaps our little soldier here can explain in details,” she says and points at you.
Lazily you step forward. “I don’t believe we have introduced to each other in the past,” you speak. “Captain Yuri Ivanov, Third Guards Rifle Division, Soviet Red Army. I apologize on behalf of everyone present, but we have an urgent business with Nitori-”
The wolf girl’s ears twitch. “Captain?” Lowering the impossibly huge sword on the ground, she stands rigid and - with her face sweating profusely - gives you a salute. “Inubashiri Momiji, Second Division, Youkai Mountain Defence Force! I’m so sorry for my rudeness, sir,” she apologizes.
“At ease. We don’t want any trouble,” you wave at her dismissively. “We just want to see Nitori. Where can we find her?”
She drops her salute and rubs her chest, sighing in relief. “She’s busy fixing… stuffs at her place, but I can bring you to her if you like.” She lifts the sword and hooks it on her back (how does she do it is left to your imagination) and gestures at you to follow her. “Please follow me, but don’t stray from this path. The creatures of this area won’t hesitate to attack strangers on the spot.”
“To the bat cave, then!” Flandre announces.
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/06/26 (Tue) 10:41No. 25355▼
Led by Momiji, you and your entourage arrive at an unassuming-looking cave entrance. “This is where Nitori leaves,” Momiji speaks and walks in. You follow her until you arrive at a room filled with all sorts of gadgetry you cannot recognize. How can anyone live and breathe in this confined space- wait a minute. Did you just hear the first notes of Der Koniggratzer?
“Mind explaining these piles?” an amused Kaguya asks.
“Recently the guards division discovered box crates floating down the river and brought them here,” Momiji speaks as you carefully tread the floor. “Nitori was supposed to report to me what she could learn from the crates, but then she got absorbed in building something…” She clenches the bridge between her eyes, as if she’s grown tired explaining the same thing. “Anyway, Nitori should be in one of those piles, so if we can call her name loudly she should be able to hear us.”
“Is that you, Momiji?” One of the piles shakes until its top part falls apart. You watch in amazement as Nitori seemingly burst out of the piling debris like a monster from a cheap horror story. “Oh, hey, captain! I was looking for some spare parts when I heard Momiji’s voice! What brought you here?”
“I’ll cut short to the important point: is the suit ready?” Kaguya asks.
“Suit? What suit are you talking of- oh!” Nitori is stumped, if only because it’s as if she has remembered something. “You mean THE power suit? Of course it is!” she speaks in obvious pride. “I was going to see captain after this- whoa!” The whole pile crumbles under her weight, and she rolls onto the floor, her hair a fumbled mess. “Sorry for the mess,” she apologizes. “So many things stuffed inside, so little time to clean up. Terrible, terrible.”
“Stop playing around, is it ready?” Kaguya asks. “There’s a battlefield we need to storm today, and we’re going to need every piece of firepower we can get.”
Nitori jumps onto her feet. “One hundred percent functional and ready to be deployed at moment’s notice! Come with me, I’ll show you my latest RE-invention.”
You don’t have anything else to do. Anne and Flandre are already digging into the piles, and Yukari is sitting lazily on one of the chairs, waving dismissively at you. You nod at Kaguya and follow Nitori as she walks deeper into the cave. It doesn’t take too long before you reach a spacious, if not dimly lit, room, and Nitori asks that you wait as she approaches a switch.
“I always have this unhealthy habit of being overly dramatic, but behold!” She pulls the lever, and instantly spotlight shines over a holding rack in the middle of the room. “I introduce to you… Environmental Awareness Battle Suit Mark 2… powered by SCIENCE!!” Nitori speaks in her dramatic flair.
“Must you speak the word ‘science’ out loud?” you ask.
“Why, because SCIENCE! is awesome,” Nitori answers.
“Well, suit yourself.” You turn your attention to the suit. Mark 2, huh? You can’t really tell difference between it and the one that had saved your life during the skirmish with Kanako. You approach the power suit and give it a light nudge; it suddenly disintegrates, and before you can ask Nitori it materializes around your body, covering every inch of you like a jigsaw puzzle brought to life. You can only stay still as the suit’s otherworldly material seeps under your uniform and forms an extra layer of skin. You’re slightly overwhelmed when the same material forms a full helmet around your head. The transformation is complete after a minute, and you remain still, trying to ingest the fact that you’re covered in something totally alien.
“Awesome, isn’t it?” Nitori asks and presses a button on your wrist, which transforms the helmet into a more comfortable visor. “I’ve improved its structural design so that it’s slimmer but still retains the same properties of its predecessor. All its combat modes are now automatic, so you don’t have to manually change it in the heat of battle.”
“Clarify me on the automatic part,” you speak.
“I can do that, but where’s the fun of testing it yourself?” Nitori points out. “Forget about the combat modes. The best thing about this improved design? You can transform it into any form you’re comfortable with!”
You clench your hand. “This will do for now,” you say, shivering slightly when you feel a surge of energy seeping through your veins. “Definitely feels very different to have extra skin covering your skin, and wearing uniform to conceal it.”
“Well, you can always rip your clothes off if you like,” Nitori says.
“Very funny,” you reply.
You and Nitori return to the main room, and not everyone is thrilled by the power suit’s new look. “This is what you’ve been working for,” Momiji says.
Nitori grins. “And I’m very damn proud of it,” she speaks, “because I built it with my own hands, inside this cave, from these piles of junk, using the power of SCIENCE!!”
Flandre stares at you. “I was expecting something like the SPARTAN armour, and instead I got skin-tight body armour? You’re no Raven, captain,” she grumbles disapprovingly.
“Come on, Flandre, be more considerate to him,” Anne reminds her. “Ah, yes. While you were gone, we dug through the piles and found extra ammunition, as well as additional weapons for our mission.” You didn’t realize it before, but Kaguya’s armed with a sub-machinegun, and Flandre is dual-wielding an MGL and an MG42 (or is it the MG42? It looks as if it’s been modernized).
“Who’s your daddy now?” Flandre asks as she brandishes her weapons of choice. You’re slightly concerned over the little vampire’s ecstatic face, though…
“Captain, I believe you also need this as well,” Anne says and gives you a sniper rifle. “A sniper can’t walk into the battlefield without his trusted sniper rifle.” You give the girl a confused look, and she laughs as she points to Kaguya. “Her majesty taught me those words.”
“Whatever.” You fetch your weapons and turn to Nitori. “I can’t thank you enough for the improvements you’ve done. I appreciate it.”
“You’re kidding me, captain? I’m already working on a Mark 3!” Nitori exclaims. “And it’s going to be more advanced that it will… ahem; I’ll have to keep it. A. Secret.” You have to wonder where she got the materials needed for this home project, but you don’t want to think about it too much.
“Covered by second layer of armoured skin and covered by standard combat uniform, hmm~?” Yukari says amusedly as you leave the cave. “I say, that’s the most unusual combination I can think of.”
“You don’t say,” you reply. “So, are you going to take us to the graveyard or not?”
“Of course, little soldier, but I have to ask you something first,” Yukari says. “That is, if you can spend a minute or two with me.”
“Make it quick,” you speak. “The longer we stay, the longer Comrade Kogasa and Comrade Reisen will be exposed to danger.”
“I will not ask anything anymore from you after this, that I promise you,” Yukari says with a smile. “You ready?”
You nod. “Bring it on.”
“Little soldier…” She smiles once again. “Even though you no longer fight for what it’s worth for, even though you no longer have someone – or something – to pledge allegiance to…” She pauses, only because her smile falters a little. “Do you still want to continue this fight? Do you still want to fight this war, Yuri Ivanov?”
You’re stumped. [i]She… she just called you with your name.[i]
[ ] Write-in.
Touhou Present/Met: + Kaguya + Flandre + Anne + Yukari + Nitori (stayed behind) + Momiji (returned to her post)
[x]I fight only for the sake of my friends and others I care for these days. Otherwise, I am content with the peace I get. [-]You'll get no sympathy from me [x]If I were to swear allegiance again, it would be to Kaguya.
Not sure if the last part is over the line or not.
>>25359 No write in of your own? What happened to all the fans that used to read this, not even "not good with write ins" is a good excuse as I remember some of the fans having some nice insight of things.
[x] I have never enjoyed “fighting for what it’s worth”, or “fighting for the sake of fighting” in the sense that you have put it in now. There are many kinds of fights, many kinds of wars. - An Unjust War is fought to gain: to gain land, to gain power, to gain entertainment from others’ suffering and pain, to gain wealth and fame, to gain manpower by forcing their unwanted and unjust ideology upon others and enslaving them. Some fight for only a lone reason, but others, in their greedy and ruthless fit, want it all. - A Just War is fought to protect: some fight to protect their homeland from the invader, others to protect their just ideals and bring liberation to the Oppressed. - I fight to protect my friends, my family, the ones I care for...and above all, my comrades. I will not sit by idly as they are insulted, attacked, and hurt. I will stand with them to the very end, beyond barriers of life and death. Our Camaraderie transcends mortality.
[x] However, I do want peace. Not any peace, however. A pure pacifist might say that the quickest way to end a war or conflict is to surrender, to lose. But what if that war is not just a war, not just a conflict, but a war of enslavement, or even worse, a war of annihilation, the very evil that Hitler wanted to do to the Slavic people in the Great Patriotic War? There will be peace; even Hitler’s Nazism was always heading for peace: a peace for the murderers, rapists and slavers on the bodies and corpses of The People that do not fit their “Aryan” race. Only after eliminating all Freedom and Self-Thought and enslaving or murdering all “Sub-humans”, all “non-Aryan”, not “racially acceptable” people, as according to them, will they have their so-called ‘peace’. I may have forgotten to be more far-sighted than merely getting to a planning room, but I have not forgotten The Great Patriotic War. The Bravery of Soviet Soldiers moving hand in hand as a literal human wall because they had no weapons, no ammunition, no food rations, and no plans after their pathetic, cowardly, and treasonous commanders abandoned them in encirclement... these things are never forgotten. It is because of The Great Patriotic War that I dearly want peace, much more than if I hadn’t been in the war.
[x] “Mother Russia doesn’t want you to get hurt. She wants you to smile,” you had told me. You have already told me to not be shackled by the past. I am not. I go forth to protect my comrades out of my own free will, for the future I want to create. I cannot smile without my comrades safe and free. I cannot smile under a rule of Oppression and Hatred. My own physical pain cannot compare to emotional damage if I were to leave my comrades behind, to let the Oppressors win and control my comrades and I. While I no longer believe in the past, about ‘spreading the worldwide revolution’, I refuse to let the enemy steal what is rightfully ours.
[x] You say I “no longer have someone – or something – to pledge allegiance to,” yet the underlying thought in that sentence is inherently wrong. Just because we do not physically pledge our allegiance, our camaraderie, does not mean we are without allegiance. I have been and will always be allied to my comrades, for they are worth fighting and dying for. Despite my love for Mother Russia, mere portions of land in Poland and Finland as well as corrupt leaders are no longer worth fighting for. (In that previous sentence, Yuri is shedding the past of Stalin and his un-communistic imperialism of Finland and Poland). If I must pledge allegiance to one person, it will be none other than to my beloved future wife, Kaguya.
[x] I had already told you my answer to your question but a short while ago. “My name is Yuri Ivanov! I shall carve out my own future, and fight to protect it!!” A Future of Just Peace and Freedom... A Future with my comrades... A Future with Kaguya... That is the Future I Seek. Perhaps this time I shall make it much clearer:
[x] “My name is none other than Yuri Ivanov! This, This Future of Just Peace, This Future with My Comrades, This Future with my Beloved Kaguya is The Future I forge with my own two hands, it is The Future I seek, and none can deny it from me.
I’m terribly sorry for the massive delay, but behold!
You lower your assault rifle. “What do you mean?”
“What do you mean what?” Yukari asks in mocking tone.
“What do you mean ‘do I still want to fight this war’?” you ask.
“Why, I thought I could hear your reasons before you go the battlefield,” Yukari answers.
“Don’t you get it? I’m a soldier, and if there’s anything that requires my service, I have to answer the call.” You shake your head. “…maybe I should rephrase my answer a bit, but… bah, I’m not a man of a thousand words. You know me already, someone whose action speaks louder than his words.”
“But I’ll let you know this one fact.” You throw your sight at the scenery. “Humans, monsters, ghosts, aliens, I don’t care who or what they are. If anyone of them dares to rob Gensokyo off its precious freedom, I will – and I WILL – use deadly force against them. This is my new home, my new turf, my new allegiance, and I will do whatever it takes to defend it.”
“But Yuri, your precious Motherland… what about her?” Yukari asks. “Surely you’re not thinking of ditching her, are you?”
You can’t help smiling. “Mother Russia wants to see me smiling, living the present and treading the path to the future, isn’t that what you had told me?” you ask back. “Mother Russia wants me to protect my new homeland, so I cannot do anything to upset her.” You turn to her. “Besides… I should never make her worried anymore.”
She smiles. A genuine, honest smile you don’t often see from this… woman. “Good. Never stop fighting, Yuri. Never stop.” She taps her paper fan on your forehead, though it’s more of a friendly gesture. “I guess that means you’re okay if I have to ask for your service in the future, hmm?”
“Whatever you say,” you shrug and rally your team. “Anyway, we don’t have much time to waste right now. You take us to the graveyard, and we’ll take care of the problem.”
“Cool! I can’t wait to kick some ass already,” Flandre says while wielding her weapons of choice.
“The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all return home,” Kaguya mutters.
“It’s your decision, sir,” Anne says.
Yukari gestures at you to follow her, as she summons a gap and walks into it. You turn to your team-mates, nod to each other, and approach the gap. Taking a deep breath, you step into the gap. The journey that follows is unsurprisingly short, and it only takes you a few steps before you step out of the gap and into an uncharted territory. “The graveyard of the abandoned,” Anne murmurs the name. “Never thought to come back here again.”
“Huh? I don’t think this place has changed this much,” Flandre utters.
You feel uneasy after seeing ruins and wrecked vehicles on either side of the road that leads to the gate. It reminds you so much of Eastern Front, and the unpleasant memory starts flashing before your eyes as you cautiously approach the gate. “Took you long enough,” Yukari says as she greets you. “Welcome to the graveyard. Enjoy the scenery while you can.” You try approaching the gate, only to be knocked back by an invisible barrier. “The circumstances in the past two days forced me to deny access to the junkyard. Nobody was allowed to enter the area until you recovered,” she explains.
“Why me?” you asked.
“Well, I figured you could identify the culprit who forced me to take this… extreme measure.” She clenches the bridge between her eyes, and seeing her doing this somewhat worries you. “Can’t believe I had to convince that old dragon to let me do this…” She puts her hand on one of the seals that keeps the door closed. “Stand back. I’m going to unseal the entrance, but you have to go in quickly. They’ve been locked in for too long, and are very itchy to get out of this area.”
“They’re what?” You’re not getting any answer when the gate bulges slightly, and the contorted look on Yukari’s face suggests that you must not delay your entrance. You signal at your team to get ready, and as soon as the gate’s fully ajar…
“Alright, team! We’re going in!”
As soon as you’re inside the junkyard, the gate behind you closes shut. “Oh, what now?” Flandre tries kicking the door, only to be bounced back by the barrier. “Great. She didn’t plan to lock us in, did she?” she grumbles.
You observe the surrounding area. “Lots of vantage point, plenty hidden corners, many concealed are. This is like heavens for snipers and guerrillas alike,” you comment. “Alright, squad. Let’s stick to the plan and start searching for them.” The buzzing noise in your earpiece interrupts you. It’s an incoming transmission, and it’s barely audible due to statics, but you know definitely it’s Reisen. “Come in, Lieutenant, where are you?” you ask all while trying not to be too loud.
“Oh, thank goodness!!” She sounds very delighted; she must have awaited your reply.
“Is Kogasa with you?” you ask, trying to assure her safety.
[/i]“Yes, she’s fine! She’s with me right now,”[/i] she answers.
“Aw, jeez! How long are we supposed to hold them off? I’m getting tired already!” That’s Shinano, so that means…
“Anyway, please hurry! We’ve been cut off, and the enemy’s surrounding us!” Reisen shouts.
“Give us your position, and we’ll reach you ASAP.” The transmission’s cut off before you get any response. “Lieutenant, come in! Do you read?” you shout into your mouthpiece. “It’s no good. We’re cut off again.”
“Captain, I’ve located the source of the transmission,” Anne says and relays the information into your visor, which automatically translates into an arrow pointed at the said source. Two hundred metres from your position, it doesn’t seem to favour air route. The enemy could be anticipating your arrival, but what other option do you have?
“Alright, everyone, we’re moving.”
You follow the direction of the arrow. The occasional gunfire and explosions can be heard from a distance, and you prompt your team to move faster amidst the risk of exposing yourself to potential ambush. Flandre is all too fidgety to get into immediate action, and you have to remind her that this is not a game. “But this is Gensokyo! People won’t die even when they are killed,” she answers. “Right, Anne?”
“Wait until you have to wash your hands with blood of the enemy,” you tell her.
“Captain, with all due respect, I do that all the time,” Flandre says, almost matter-of-factly. When you stare at her in horror due to the response, she puffs her cheeks and throws her sight forward. “Fine, I’ll do anything you say.”
You arrive at a vantage point. You activate the visor’s long-range mode and scan the area. You can spot a fierce gunfight near what can you only assume as a shipwreck, but the fog of war is preventing a clear view. “What kind of junkyard is this?” you ask while signalling your team to go prone. You remember walking past tanks, armoured trains and bombers, but a ship?
“I can lay down suppressive fire, but the fog’s affecting my line of sight,” Anne says.
“Or we can rush them and take them by surprise!” Flandre suggests. “And then we can kick their ass and make them go BOOM!”
Kaguya, who has been quiet since you entered the junkyard, speaks up. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Do we have any idea of their strength?”
“Enemy at two o’clock,” Anne reports and points to a building. “I can see them: four infantrymen on the third floor; one mortar tube, two rocket launchers, one mechanical device, and they’re preparing to fire at… our direction!”
“Looks like they’ve sniffed our presence,” you utter. “Anne, how far is the building from our position?”
“Thirty metres, sir,” she answers.
“We have to deal with the immediate threat, then,” you speak.
[ ] Send two of your team-mates to clear the building (specify who). [ ] Stick with each other, team. We do it together.
[c] Stick with each other, team. We do it together.
You turn to Anne, then Kaguya and Flandre. “We’d be a sitting duck if we stay outside,” you tell them. “And I’m not going to send my team to clear the building while I do nothing.”
“What do you have in mind? Kaguya asks.
“We go to the building and clear all the floors together. As a team,” you answer. “And nobody gets left behind, get it?”
You crawl away from the vantage point, keeping your head as low as possible to avoid detection. You arrive at the building – or what’s left of it – and stop near the entrance door. “Listen up, everyone. We need to get through the rest of this quick and clean. You hear me? Quick and clean.” you utter and ready your weapon. “Everyone ready?”
“Let’s do this,” Anne replies.
You walk into the building, and quickly coordinate your movement with your team-mates. With the enemy closing in to the shipwreck, you know you must act fast before Reisen is overwhelmed. You reach the third floor, and peeking through a hole, you see the mortar squad still preparing their shot, unaware that their targets have long disappeared. “I’m still not used to modern-day tactics,” you tell Kaguya jokingly while gathering a handful of pebbles. You signal at Anne and Flandre to take position behind a nearby wall. “So we’re doing it the old Soviet way.”
You toss the pebbles at the mortar squad. The makeshift projectiles hit their marks, momentarily distracting the infantrymen from their task. You immediately signal at Anne and Flandre to open fire. “I’ve been waiting for this!” she shouts and leaps out of cover, with both machinegun and grenade launcher loaded and aimed, and a gleeful smirk on her face. “Say hello to my little friends!”
“What the hell is she doing?” Your resent quickly fades away the moment she pulls the triggers. “She’s not going to do it all by herself! Give her some covering fire!” you yell.
“Roger that, suppressive fire,” Anne announces.
The three of you coordinate your attack with each other, while the young Scarlet laughs maniacally and spray hot lead at the enemy. The mortar squad takes out a device and deploys it into a shield. “What kind of technology do they possess?” you ask as you notice the shield’s rather futuristic design.
“Ah, hahahahaha! Who cares about shield when I can simply crush them?” Flandre boasts. She continues spewing hot lead onto the enemy until the machinegun overheats. “Che, when I was getting more pumped up,” she grumbles and tosses the weapon aside. “Time for some serious firepower!” she declares and summons a gigantic flame sword, the size of which extends almost beyond the combat zone. You notice the enemy looking at the flame sword with the most horrified expression you’d ever see.
The young Scarlet smirks. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”
[ ] Let Flandre take care of the mortar squad. There’s a more urgent matter to worry of. [ ] Help Flandre (pick one): - [ ] Flanking manoeuvre. - [ ] Continue engaging the enemy up front.
>”You hear me? Quick and clean.” [X]Damn It Polonsky, I told you to cover the Flamethrower!
[X] Help Flandre: - [X] Flanking manoeuvre. [X] Have Anne continue to cover with suppressing fire until Flandre or you manage to finish them.
Flandre’s cocky and overconfident, which spells trouble. The Flamethrower man at least knew he was walking straight to death while approaching the machinegun nest. While Flandre is not exactly comparable to a human in terms of durability, it is imperative that we help Flandre lest she become incapacitated, or worse, mad.
If we have Anne suppress or at least draw the attention of enemy, Flan will have enough time to unleash hell on them. Should she miss, Yuri would engage them at range from a flanking position. The flanking manoeuvre provides us the ability to surprise attack them on their flank with Yuri, while still engaging them up front with Anne.
[c] Help Flandre (pick one): - [c] Flanking manoeuvre.
She can’t be serious about taking the enemy head-on on her own, can she? “Anne, Kaguya, I’m going to flank the enemy! Both of you cover Flandre!” you shout amidst the exploding noise that rattles the building.
“What about you?” Kaguya shouts back.
You push a button on your left wrist. In an instant, the battle suit’s cloaking device is activated, turning you and your assault rifle invisible. “Don’t try following me, alright?” You jump over the ledge and approach the mortar squad from the left.
“Sir, Flandre’s already making a move.”
You glance to the right. The young Scarlet has started swinging her sword, unwary of your tactical manoeuvre. “Make sure she’s covered. Can’t afford to lose important war asset right now.” Your suit fizzles. It’s running out of energy, and you’re still not in the position to attack. Screw it! You jump a few feet forward and land near the nearest infantryman, just in time the cloaking device runs out of energy. “Hello, there,” you greet the mortar squad, who is caught off-guard by your presence.
“That suit!” one of the infantrymen shouts.
You punch the soldier off the building, and turn your attention to the rest of his squad-mates. “What about this suit?” you ask and punch the nearest soldier in the gut, again sending him off the building. You grab the mortar tube and swing it at the mortar squad, sending all but one soldier off the building. You approach the soldier, grab him by the collar and pin him on a wall. “You better have a lot of explanations at hand, because I’m getting tired of this-”
You pause. Dark purple and grey combat fatigue. Unidentified weapons. Traces of dark purple hair underneath the headgear. Wait, where have you seen these before?
You spot the armband. Written on it are Japanese characters that you clearly identify as 月隊. Underneath the characters is a word written in Cyrillic; your eyes widen as you identify what the word is.
You bring the soldier closer to your face. “What were you doing in Stalingrad in 1941?” you hiss as your grip tightens. “What were you DOING in Stalingrad?” You think you’re intimidating him too much, but you need to hear the answer. He’s still not answering, and you have no choice but to punch him in the face. “I’ll deal with you later,” you snarl as you leave him out cold.
“Aw, jeez! You just have to steal the spotlight, haven’t you?!” Flandre retorts.
“Sorry, force of habit,” you apologize.
“Sir, what to do about him?” Anne asks and points at the unconscious soldier.
“We need to bring him back,” you answer. “He knows something about Stalingrad, and I’m going to make him spill it out.” You go back to the edge of the building. The shootout has calmed down a bit; the enemy may have noticed the commotion above them and are shifting their focus on your position. “Kaguya, watch over the soldier for us. Can’t afford to let a prisoner of war escape. Flandre, Anne.”
“Yes? Yes? What is it?” she asks in excitement.
“I’m going to need superior firepower right now,” you tell her and draw out a spellcard. “You with me?”
“Does that mean I can spank their butt right now?” Flandre asks and spins on her feet once before she makes a pointing gesture with the flaming sword. “Sorry, I can’t hear the answer!” she exclaims before she jumps off the building and charges the enemy.
“She just can’t learn to behave, can she?” You focus your attention on the battleground, and announce your spellcard. “Sniper’s Sign 「Precision Shots」.”
Anne transforms a portion of her tactical vest into handheld cannon. “Langrohrgeschütz 「Barrierendurchbohrer」,” she says.
You look at Anne. You nod at her, and she nods in return. “Let’s do this.”
Author’s note: no votes for now, but part two of this update will be ready in a few days. Assuming I don’t get distracted by Halloween and Kamen Rider Wizard, that is. Also, you are now hearing Flandre in Ryutaros’ voice. Manually.
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/11/17 (Sat) 06:18No. 25574▼
You jump off the building, and start picking off targets as you hover high over the battleground. You don’t know why your radio’s picking up enemy frequency but you can hear them yelling at each other in incomprehensible jargon and such, even as artillery shells are exploding all around them. “Anne, keep up the suppressive fire,” you shout into the mouthpiece due to background noise.
“Roger,” Anne replies.
You land atop of the ship’s radar mast. You switch to sniper rifle and continue shooting your targets. From the position, you spot Flandre near Reisen’s hideout, wildly swinging the flaming sword at the enemy and completely disregarding her own safety. You jump off the mast and land on the steel deck, the impact of the landing actually making a dent on the structure. You approach the edge of the deck and take note of the enemy. They’re wearing the same uniform as the mortar squad, and most (if not all) of them are donning the same armband.
“Sir, enemy infantries at your nine o’clock.”
You turn around and see several soldiers climbing up the deck. You activate your suit’s speed mode and rush them, combining speed with closed quarter combat techniques. Another group of soldiers is seen climbing the ship, and you pick them off with well-placed shots on their climbing gear.
“Captain! Where are you?”
“Lieutenant Reisen, come in! Where are you?” you reply.
“We’re taking cover inside hole near the bow! Please hurry, the enemy’s closing in, and we’re running out of ammunition!”
“Stay wherever you are. I’ll be right there. Anne, do you copy? Can you see a hole near the bow?”
“Yes, sir. I spotted it, but the enemy’s blocking all ground passages. There’s no way you can advance, even with that battle suit of yours.”
Chyrot. How are you supposed to find way to Reisen’s location? You walk back and forth along the deck, until an inspiration strikes you. “Anne, I’m going to breach the hull. Cover me.” You whip out another spell card and slap it onto your rifle. “This better works. Counter Sign 「Operatsiya Uran」.” You shoot upward, and it only takes a few seconds before artillery-shaped danmaku start bombarding the area. One of the shells crash into the deck but does not explode, leaving behind its trail a gaping hole. You jump into the hole, following the direction of the arrow, until you spot three figures taking cover behind the hole. There’s no way you can distinguish friends or foes under the circumstance, and there’s only one way to find out.
“Umbrella!” You wait for a response, but nobody is answering. You start thinking whether you’re falling into a trap-
“Surprise!” a recognizable voice shouts. “Captain! Is that you?”
“Kogasa!” you shout back. “Are you alright?”
“Yes! I’m with Reisen and Shinano, too!”
You approach the trio, and are very relieved to know it isn’t a setup. “Sorry for the delay, everyone. Bad stuffs have happened.”
“It doesn’t matter! Please get us out of here!” Reisen pleads. She looks like she’s seen enough of the skirmish and wants to leave the graveyard as soon as possible. Shinano, on the other hand, is impatient to get into action.
“Anne, I’ve got Reisen, Kogasa and Shinano with me. Cover our exit.” You approach the hole and peek out as to inspect the fire fight outside. Random radio chatters can be heard inside your earpiece, and it’s amusing how the soldiers are having hard time with Flandre.
“Fall back! Fall back!”
“To where? We’re cut off from the outside world, remember?”
“Anywhere! As long as we don’t have to fight the crazy girl again!”
“Ah, hahahahaha! There’s no escape from me! I am Smaug, and I will crush you all! RAWR!!”
You turn to Shinano, who just shrugs her shoulders off. “You wouldn’t mind her thrashing your turf around, would you?” you ask.
“What? It was not my fault that big sisters and I were locked away,” Shinano snorts.
“We’ll deal with this later,” you utter. “Anne, we’re going to make a run to your position. When I give the signal, concentrate your firepower around my position.”
“Sir, that might be too risky for you.”
“Do you have any better suggestion, then?” You turn to Shinano. “What about your sisters? Can you contact them?”
“I tried, but they didn’t respond,” she answers.
A stray grenade detonates near the hole. It doesn’t affect the bow, but it’s enough to prompt the girls to duck. You remain on your foot, trying to locate the direction of the opposing force. Your suit’s warning system starts buzzing, indicating that the enemy is closing in.
Team A = Yuri, Kogasa, Reisen, Shinano Team B = Anne, Kaguya 'Team' C (Wildcards) = Flandre, Other 2 Japanese warship sisters.
[x]Plan 1: --[x] See what area the warning is coming from using the suit's functions. --[x] Using this information, make Team B distract the army of Lunarians with a feint and lure the enemies away from Team A --[x] Have Team B sneak away as Team A begins breakout offensive. --[x] As Team A breaks out, have Team B constantly harass enemies then disappear. This is to sow confusion and the feeling of a two front battle into the enemies. The confusion will allow for Team A to regroup with Team B. --[x] After Teams A and B regroup, plan and enact counteroffensive.
[x] Plan 2 (When Plan 1 becomes FUBAR) --[x] Of the members of 'Team C', Flandre is most likely to cause trouble, especially by driving enemy forces TOWARDS Team A right before/ during the breakout. --[x] Instead of retreating, have Team B pursue the Lunarians, following behind Flandre and her range of murder. Attempt to establish communications with her, but do not be surprised if it fails. DO NOT CONVINCE HER TO TURN BACK. Attempt to convience her to watch out and not hurt any friendlies. Once an offensive on this scale has begun and the original plan closed off, it is best to continue pressing this offensive. --[x] The Lunarians should be sandwiched between Team A and (Team B + Flandre) --[x] Raise Hell. The amount of people that we have to manage in terms of communication is 6 (Yuri, Kaguya, Anne, Kogasa, Reisen, Shinano). Even with Flandre and the two other warships, it is still a mere 9 people. In comparison, the Lunarians are committing an army much larger than ours to this battle. Chaos will destroy and hurt their army far more than ours, especially if Yuri decentralizes command of Team B to Anne, leaving specific decisions in Team B to Anne while still coordinating the major strategic goals together. --[x] Get in close and do some CQC. At long ranges, the Lunarians have the technological advantages with their fancy barrier gizmos and their photon-I-penetrate-everything rifles. At close range, this technological gap is removed as neither side can risk using guns without risk of friendly fire. Like the brutal street fighting in Stalingrad rendered the Nazi Panzers out of their element of superiority of mobility when they were confined to the same tight streets as Soviet tanks, getting in close here would neutralize the technological edge. --[x] Attack quickly and decisively, with overwhelming firepower. Do not pull out the supers or finishers out if not needed, of course, as this may not be the last of the Lunarians, but just the beginning. However, do make sure to crush the enemy force with superior firepower. This enveloping CQC combat should almost be like a blitzkrieg combined with encirclement.
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/11/18 (Sun) 06:46No. 25577▼
You point your gun at the direction of the threat, switching to low-light vision for better view of the interior. Six individuals are seen jumping from the hole, but the bulk of their equipment is preventing you from identifying them.
“There he is! Open fire!”
You quickly dive into the ground, barely missing bullet streams fired at your position. You roll to your right and take cover behind crates, taking pot-shots as to force them to disengage.
“Sir! Are you alright?” Reisen shouts.
“I’m alright,” you shout back. You peek above the crates and see the enemy directing their shot at your new position. You curse under your breath; you’ve been taught to avoid fighting in confined space, and now you’re doing the very same thing, but is there anything else you can do?
Screw this shit. This is Stalingrad all over again!
You engage the suit’s speed mode. You jump over the crates and rush the enemy. You rear up and throw a punch at the nearest enemy, and follow up with a sweep kick that knocks him and his fellow soldier off the floor. You pounce at the soldier next to and, like a beast possessed, punch him repeatedly in the face. You have no idea what you’re doing, but by the time Reisen and Kogasa are restraining you, you’ve beaten the soldier half-dead, his helmet broken into pieces.
“Sir, I heard you screaming in the radio. What’s going on?” Anne asks.
You let go off the half-conscious soldier. “I’m fine, I have everything under control,” you answer. “What’s the situation, Anne?”
“The enemy’s number has begun to reduce, but Flandre’s showing signs of fatigue.”
“We can’t leave her to do all the work,” you utter. “Anne, I need to talk to Kaguya first.”
“Roger, sir, hang on. Alright, she’s on.”
“Kaguya, you’re… you’re alright up there?”
“I’m more worried about you, Yuri! What’s going on down there?”
“I’m fine, just a bit shaken. Kaguya, do me a favour and help Anne. You’re fine with that, right?”
“Well, yeah, sure. What are you planning?”
“We’re going to coordinate our attacks, so we need you and Anne to provide artillery support.” You tell your team-mates to follow your lead as you leave the claustrophobic space. “Just make sure Flandre’s not passing out.”
“Alright, I’ll do that as well. Yuri?”
“What is it, Kaguya?”
“I know I’ve said this too many times, but… please be careful.”
Something just strikes the back of your head hard. During the brief indoor fight, you notice the enemy soldiers wearing the same kind of suit as yours, although it’s more advanced. The same also applies to their weaponry, what with the lack of magazine and all. If your hunch is correct, the group that’s engaging with Flandre is also similarly equipped, and despite what you want to believe about her strength, they’ll soon overwhelm her.
“Sir, what’s your plan?” Reisen asks.
“You heard what I’d said. We’re going to launch a coordinated, multiple attack,” you answer. “We’re going to use every arsenal we have; danmaku, spellcard, live ammos, everything. Are you fine with that, Reisen?”
She nods reluctantly. “I’ll be doing fine,” she answers.
You turn your attention to Shinano. “I’m going to need your strength, as well.”
“Took you too long, sir,” Shinano interjects, as cannons and artillery barrels are sticking out of both her arms, not to mention metallic wings growing out of her back.
“Sorry,” you apologize, slightly intimidated by her transformation.
“I’ll accept your apology,” she says. “After I kick their asses to pieces. I’ve been very pissed ever since they showed up.”
You hear thunders rumbling from a distance, and spot dark clouds moving in. It doesn’t take long before it starts raining, and in seconds you and your team are caught in torrential rain. “We have the elements with us, people. Let’s use them to our advantage.” You move to the strike point and instruct your team-mates to take position. “Anne, Kaguya, we’re in position. You’re ready?”
“Ready when you are, sir.”
You whip out your spellcard and place it on the assault rifle’s receiver. You murmur the name of the spellcard silently, before you nod at your team-mates. “Anne, Kaguya, smoke them.” At that instant the whole ground rocks with explosions as artillery shells and danmaku are showering the area. You remain in position as to wait for the artillery strike to end, not paying attention to flying debris all over you. Just a bit more, let the enemy be occupied…
You jump out of cover. “Onwards!” you begin. “For Gensokyo!!!” Together with your team, you unleash hell onto the enemy. You break through their formation, punching and kicking everyone out of the way while firing point blank at anyone your limbs cannot reach. You yell at your team to keep the momentum as you grab one of the infantries and toss him at his buddies.
“Reisen, Kogasa, flanking manoeuvre! Anne, Kaguya, keep up the artillery fire! Shinano, cover me!”
You activate the suit’s speed mode and runs through the enemy formation. You reach Flandre, grab her by the collar, and make haste to the flank – just as Shinano declares her spellcard. The ground behind you shakes violently as she fires volley after volley of danmaku at the enemy.
“Hey! Why are you taking me away?” Flandre asks. “I’m still not finished with them!”
“Unless you want to have your butt handed over, I suggest that you stay and recover your strength,” you tell her. “Now, go to that building over there and help Anne. Is that clear?” She tries to protest, but you already leave her as you reunite with your team. With Flandre safely out of the way, you can prioritize on clearing the area without inflicting casualties on the friendlies. The three-way attack is sending them into disarray, and their effort to regroup is hampered by the heavy downpour, not to mention the bulk of their armour.
“Hang in there! We’re coming for you!”
Amidst the chaos you spot two individuals arriving from the north. Shinano informs you that her sisters have arrived, and you quickly coordinate your attack with theirs. You press on the offensive, overwhelming the enemy from all directions in spite of your team’s relatively small number. Does it matter, when you want to crush their strength and morale in your hands?
“Leave no prisoner!” you scream. “Leave! No! Prisoner!”
“No survivors?!” Reisen asks in shock.
“Sir, we could take some of them as prisoners,” Anne suggests.
“This!” You grab one soldier by the neck and throw him into a train wreck. “Is!” You deliver a roundhouse onto the enemy next to you. “For!” You jump over a group of soldiers an empty an entire magazine onto them. “Stalingrad!!” you yell from the top of your lungs.
“Yuri, calm down!”
You don’t care. You just don’t care. The memories of Stalingrad, Hillenbrand’s sacrifice, Alice crying in the rain. Their suffering is your vengeance, and you will deliver your message to the damned enemy!
Finally, it’s over. You don’t know how much ammunition you’ve spent, or how many times you’ve declared your spellcards, or how long it lasted. You never thought that a simple rescue mission would turn into a no holds bared, violent closed quarter battle, but it doesn’t matter now. You’ve completed the mission, and now you want to get back home.
You turn your attention to your team. Anne, Reisen and Shinano’s twin sisters are counting the bodies, Shinano and Flandre are performing a war dance of sort, and Kogasa is searching the battleground for war spoils. Where’s Kaguya, though? Is she still attending the mortar crew you punched earlier?
Your question is answered when you see her walking toward you. You approach her and, without ever saying a word, you wrap your arms about her as you embrace her tightly. Her shocked gasp is ignored as you hold her as close as you can, and it takes a few seconds before she sighs and returns the embrace. “Jeez, Yuri, what happened to you back there? You were screaming like you were being possessed,” she utters.
“I’m sorry. I completely lost myself,” you answer. You don’t want to talk about it, but Kaguya’s presence demands that you do it. “It was… for what they had done in Stalingrad, so…”
“So you vented off your anger on them?” she asks. You nod solemnly and loosen the embrace, allowing her to look up at you. “Alright. I won’t ever ask again, but please… don’t do that again. You have no idea how scared I was.”
“Sorry,” you apologize. “Hey, what about the guy I punched to dreamland? Is he alright?”
“Anne has him restrained. She said she’s taking him back to the mansion as prisoner of war,” she answers. “We may not hear from him in a while, but it’s probably better that way, since you…”
You nod. “Guess I’ll wait for my turn to interrogate him.” You let go off switch on the communication link. “Yukari, can you hear me? he graveyard is under control. I repeat: the grave is now under control. Bring us out of here.”
“Hey, don’t you have a call sign for me~?” Yukari’s sing-song voice asks. “And you should have a call sign, too. This is a military operation, after all.”
You sigh. “Fine. Overload, this is Bravo Two-Zero. We’ve secured the area, and we also have prisoners of war with us. Requesting immediate airlift, over. And make it quick; we’re dead tired right now.”
“There, isn’t that better?” Yukari cheerfully replies. “Overload to Bravo Two-Zero, roger that. We’ll send in Big Bird to your position, over.”
You turn off the link. You take Kaguya’s hand and hold it tightly, as both of you are throwing your sight into the grey sky. “It’s been a long day, isn’t it?” you ask.
“Yes, it is,” Kaguya asks.
You tighten your clench. “Let’s hope we won’t have to go through longer days in the future.”
[c] To be continued in the next post. Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene.
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/11/24 (Sat) 02:34No. 25596▼
Night time in Eientei. You’ve had your dinner with the household (and several guests Eirin had invited), and are spending the rest of the time at the courtyard. From what you’ve gathered during the dinner, Reimu and Marisa (along with Sanae and Youmu) had solved the incident without any setback; Nitori had her hands on the exotic technology your team acquired from the battle (and excitedly declared that she’d mass-produce the battle suit); Flandre and Shinano vented their frustration by challenging Yukari in spellcard duel, while Anne’s keeping the mortar crew under constant surveillance while awaiting interrogation day.
You stare at the clear sky. You close your eyes, recalling the violent skirmish you had gone through. It’s been a very, very long time ever since you had such experience, and it certainly was a call back to the days you and your comrades were prowling through Russian streets, exchanging empty fists with German invaders in closed space. It was also a reminder that you’re still a soldier in heart, member of the proud Red Army, “beloved child of the Motherland” as Stalin once put in.
“Enjoying the night, I see?”
You turn to the voice. You can’t help smiling. “As always,” you answer and let Kaguya sit next to you. “I see you’re not joining the after-dinner party.”
“I wish, but I don’t want to,” she says. “Then why don’t you go join them? Besides, Alice and Reimu are here. You should talk with them.”
“To celebrate the success of the mission?” you ask. Come to think about it, you haven’t had parties in a while, but as much as you want to join the partygoers, you decide not to. “The party can wait,” you say. “Right now, I just want to spend some time with you.”
“I… I’d like to.” If her blush isn’t an indication about her feeling, you don’t know what else is.
You and Kaguya spend the next few hours chatting. By the time the party’s over, it’s already past midnight, and the partygoers are lying on the floor, smashed and drunk. Only Reisen and the Inaba bunnies are awake, working diligently to clean the mess they had made during the “wild and crazy” gathering. “You know, you should build a building just for having party,” you comment as you and Kaguya peek on them.
“But where’s the fun in having party in small space?” Kaguya asks.
“Because that means we have to wait for them to sleep or leave before we can-” you answer. You stop, only because you notice Kaguya blushing brightly, and you try explaining what you were trying to say before you give up. “Just forget it, okay?” you utter and head to your room.
You turn around, and get pulled away from the door as Kaguya drags you towards her room. “Kaguya, what are you-” She pushes you into her room, closes the door shut, and startles you by hugging you very tightly. Your mind is ordering you to flee, but the rest of your body finds itself unable to resist her warmth. “What’s wrong with you, anyway?” you ask.
“…just hold me,” she murmurs.
You hesitate for a while. Then, after taking a deep breath, you slip your arms around her, embracing her as she requested. The awkward silence that accompanies is unnerving, but you try not thinking too much about it. “You could’ve just asked nicely, you know,” you tell her.
“I’m sorry,” she apologizes. She remains silent afterward, and for a while you thought she’s going to ask you to leave her. Then, in a move so aggressive you never expected to see it coming from her, she drags you to the futon and throws the blanket over both of you. You stare at her in a mixture of disbelief and surprise.
“Hey, we’re not going to do that, okay?” Kaguya says and pokes you lightly on the nose. “At least, not tonight.”
You can’t help smiling sheepishly. “Sorry, it was the first thing that came into my mind.”
“You are forgiven, soldier,” she utters. She moves her body closer, allowing you to wrap your arms around her. “Yuri,” she calls your name almost in whispers.
“Sorry for startling you. I just wanted to see your reaction,” she says.
“Why? You were expecting me to flip out in anger?” you ask.
“N-no! That’s not what I meant,” she protests. “I mean… it’s not often that both of us share the same bed and still remain aware over each other’s-” She pauses abruptly, and you resist the urge to laugh as you notice her face burning brightly. “A-anyway, it’s going to be a cold and snowy night, so let’s huddle together!” she says.
You nod and rest your chin upon her scalp. “Thanks, Kaguya. I appreciate it.” She hums happily and squirms between your arms until her head’s rested comfortably upon your chest; you can almost feel her heartbeat in this position.
“Yuri… can I ask you a question?”
“When are you going to have a party like you used to?”
You chuckle and silence her with a kiss. “Of all questions you wanted to ask,” you utter over her warm mouth. “We’ll talk about this tomorrow, alright?” You kiss her again, and you can feel her lips forming a smile as she returns the kiss with affection. Your eyelids become heavy, you feel your strength slowly ebbing, and as you finally succumb to the warmth of the blanket, you hear her final words of the night.
You smile. Goodnight, princess…
// END OF DAY SEVEN //
And that's it for today. Officially, we've reached day seven of this CYOA, but the actual length of the story has taken almost a year to reach this far. This is not the end of the story, however, so please wait warmly while this useless writefag is preparing the new thread.