Then came a few days of relative downtime. We wouldn't enter into our next battle with Fomalhaut and his Imperials until the 12th. However, it wasn't as though that period of time was easy. Gears were spinning, and soon the focal point of our conflict with SECT11 would become clear.

—Much of what happened in that time, I might ascribe to our acting president. I think Emille is an admirable person in many ways, but those admirable traits are the same traits that lead her astray or into senseless fury. She's hardheaded, stubborn, and dead-set in her plans, but she'll also never give up on her beliefs. At the same time, that sort of all-consuming imperative... it can be dangerous for more than one reason.

But, I digress. The date was September 8th.


But now this new problem's arisen, and our military might isn't up to snuff. It's time to implement our strategy.

...I didn't ask for your input. Stop whining! You'll finalize it for deployment as fast as humanly possible, is what you'll do!

I—no, we—are going to kill that True Dragon, and we'll do it right, thoroughly and permanently, no matter what needs to be done to do it.


Hm. An Imperial dead on your first day there... not a bad pace, but don't lose sight of your true objective.

I haven't forgotten. Practice makes perfect, right? I'm just antsy waiting for the fight.

Very well, then. Everyone expects great things from SECT11. We're counting on you.

Sho! Will just finished bugging the Diet Building. So she's making some kinda secret weapon, huh? God, I can't wait to get in there and beat their asses.

Finish it up as quick as possible, and that'll be more than enough fun for us.

Aww, c'mon. Can't I at least make that one bitch cry?

If she cries, you're not allowed to stand around gawking at it.

Fine, fine. I'll just laugh about it on the way home.



Part 57: 15 Acres of Broken Glass

Yeahhh! It's that time again, minna! It's Sharon In The Morning! Oh, hi, yo Tokyo! All y'all up yet? Yeah, looks like the Dragons are back again, but hey, mondai no biggie!

We're always in need of reconstruction volunteers! Just come on down to the World Relief Organization! Let's helping!



We're up! We're up!

We'd all crashed at basically the same time, so we were all able to leap out of bed and get out as quick as we could.

We got a bento. I'll keep it in storage.



How is he? How's Kirino?!

Is our little guy doing okay?!

Nami: Visitors for Mr. Kirino? His condition has stabilized, but...

Yuki: If it's you guys, it's probably okay. Just... be careful, alright?

We headed back behind the curtain to see him.

Oh, thank god. I'm so glad you're alive, sir.

Yeah... you too—tchhh!

You okay?

Sorry. I'm... still not used to this. Still hurts.


Kirino's right arm was gone. He had a cane in his left hand to stabilize himself, but... even when he returned after the mass disappearance, I'd never seen him look so small and frail.


You're kidding!

Then, it was—

I touched it while we were escaping the Skytower. You can... see the results. Touching those flowers is tantamount to death—I suppose I'm lucky to be alive.

That's ridiculous! You're our friend first, and a scientist second, sir. Of course it's lucky you're still here with us!

What he said! He probably would've cried if you'd died!

So would he!

...P-probably, yeah.

You guys... Thanks. I don't know what else they can even do, but I'll try and get better soon—?!

Kirino began shaking wildly, flailing his one remaining arm at the other side of his body.

Yuki: He's experiencing phantom pains! Sedative, stat! Sorry, visiting hours are over!

It's on fire! My arm! My arm's on fire! Help! Help me! Gaaaaaaaahhhh!


I saw Richter wipe away the beginnings of tears.

Damned Fomalhaut. How could this have happened?

That bastard's gonna pay for this.

Poor Kirino...

...Is that the next mission? We'd... also better get back to work.


Hey. It's gonna be okay, guys.

Those are big words, Mio.

Something'll turn out. It sucks now, but... something'll turn out. We gotta keep things running for when he's feeling better, right?

Mmhm. We do.

Well. That was one way to wake up.


Y'all wanna go do some menial work for Sharon to take our minds off of this?

That might be nice.

Yooooooo! If it ain't my lovely hero-tachi! Ehh, but my friends're looking kindashii desu... Richter-kun! Up top!


Boys, be ambitious! Ain't nothing can't be helped!


Thank you. Thank you, Sharon. I think?

I need a he-ro! And I don't have all night! I know that's sudden, but kitte kudasai! Did you see, did you hear, did you know it was coming? Our transports got caught in a tragic jam! We're in a secret supply pinch!

That's bad!

Right, so we should go talk to the ration manager, right?

Yeah, yeah, you got it! Thanks very much, hero-tachi!

It's kinda funny to be part of 'hero-tachi' now.

Eh? You always were, Mio-chan! Itsumo itsumo in the backstage, keeping the rig propped up, now in a starring role, they're both hero-tachi roles!

Kitte kudasai! There's crazy crazies coming out, danger in Marunouchi! Beat feet and get to it! I'm counting on ya, hero-tachi!

Huh. That's fewer than I expected, somehow.

Still getting the word out on where your new office is, huh?

Sou, sou, you got it, Youka-mama.


Yes, you're allowed to chime in at these times. Knowing when to chime in when you're at the same desk as Sharon is an important skill. Ask Miya for pointers if you want some.

Y-yes, ma'am.

Oh, no.

What? This is good for us.

Yes, I know, but that means we'll need to see Masaki.

The real ultimate lifeform, the only one able to cow the 7th True Dragon...

Ah, I see.

We waited around for a bit.

Conveniently for me, in this one, upgrading facilities like this doesn't have extra animations.

Please give me some time to prepare.

All the time you need, babe.

Though you know, Sumie, it's funny you say that when you hate needles as much as she does.

if i lovingly poke fun at her it makes me less scared

You know it! What's the damage?

Eloquent Man: The trouble is, without proper laundry facilities, we've a major clothing shortage. It's quite a problem. Fortunately, this one has a simple solution—I know where we can find some.

Eloquent Man: But they'd just turn a deaf ear to me. Perhaps you'd have better luck?

Maybe. I know a few of them. Don't have the best luck with politicians, though.

Hey. It's Ukai, right? You got any clothes we can distribute to the Res Ward? I hear you've been hoarding.

MP Ukai: Clothing to be redistributed to the Res Ward... yes, hoarding clothes would be quite scandalous, but that's simply a misapprehension.

MP Ukai: If they're saying there's a shortage, it only means they overindulged earlier while ignoring the schedule we prepared.

Former Coach, current MP Fujita took this moment to step into the conversation.

MP Fujita: When I reviewed the transport invoices, I found a discrepancy explaining the shortage.

MP Ukai: Hm. Is that right?

MP Ukai: Hmph. Impertinent little novice.

MP Fujita: Apologies about that, everyone. At present, we'll please just have to make do with what we have here.

That's pretty decent of you, Fujita. Thanks.

MP Fujita: It's been a year since I became a citizen MP, hoping to represent the will of the people...

MP Fujita: Tensions between the two only increases. I guess that's what's really being rebuilt.

I think you're doing an alright job, considering.

MP Fujita: Thank you. Be seeing you.

Eloquent Man: Everyone else is going to be real happy too, now that we get clean clothes again!

Transport is in a tough situation at the moment, so you may have to make do with this for longer than you'd like.

Eloquent Man: It's still much better than we had. It isn't much, but please, take this as a thank-you gift from all of us here.

We also get three Nano Fixes. Thanks. I needed those after Tiamat.

Alright. It's time to face the music, I suppose.

And go see what Emille wanted.

Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.

If she hears you say that she'll try and kill you again!

When we came in, Emille had gotten on call with President Griffith again.

I'm well aware in what aspects SECT11 has the advantage at the moment, but I will not have them entering our territory, pursuing their own missions, taking no orders! What kind of relief effort is that?!

You appear to have misunderstood me from the beginning, Emille. SECT11 is US military, through and through. We're cooperating to defeat the True Dragon in Japan, but command is our prerogative.

Emille slammed her fist down on the console, startling Jeanne a bit.

You damned fool! You know this is a life or death matter for humanity, right?! And you're talking about national interests?!

I saw Emille grit her teeth and ball her fists.

Inasmuch as we're both fighting to protect the peace of this world, we're the same.

Big words for someone who hid in a bunker while we did all the work. Where do you get off lecturing Emille on what it means to be human?

Ah, that would be Unit 13, then. I would say to that that none of you and yours have ever had to consider such national interests, and if a force led by an alien and a dragon don't understand this matter, then that is the most obvious reason. But I digress.

The feed was cut off, and Emille slammed her fist again.

Dave... you bastard.

What a prick. Giving his guys a free pass to fuck around in our neighborhood.

If he wishes to make enemies of us, then he's doing a wonderful job.

Well... I guess there's nothing to be done about SECT11, is there?

We ought to leave them to their own devices unless they show back up to bother us.

Mm. That's probably all we can do. ...Anyway. You have a curious definition of 'immediately'.

Don't you know? It's in the rules and regulations for our unit that 'immediately' can come with up to three asterisks, especially when we have menial do-goodery to do.

Is that a joke?

No, actually. It's been formally instated in our directives as of three months ago.

Huh. Anyhow, for some time I've foreseen another war, and have developed an according strategem. If you would please direct your attention—

Whoa, hey, take a breath, you good.

I'm fine, I'm... I'm fine.

Oh, that's bad!

The old residential ward is still over there. We'd better hurry.

Ah, how convenient.

Besides my responsibilities as head of research for Murakumo, I'd say reacquiring those over there is a necessity to support this war effort.

A bit blunt of you, isn't it?

Would you prefer I dressed it up?

No, I just think it's funny.

We'll continue this discussion afterwards.

...And it's not like you have any room to lecture me, either.

I just thought I'd be offended if someone said that to me. Especially someone I'd formerly worked with.

Hm. I see. Well, then.


Masaki: Now, unfortunately, for the time being I don't have much to do for young miss Nagataka, seeing as she's feeling things out the same as you are, Captain Inomiko. But! I happen to have repaired slash recreated a number of pieces of technology that were stuck in storage units we can't reach now. Mis-ter Esslinger!

Yes, sir.

Masaki: You put in that request a while ago for a version of the YUUHI firmware that could do that TROY thing you were toying around with, and my friend, it's been done! We've also managed to key into the basic frequencies of Fomalhaut's spawn, so your basic hacking kit will be back online. Unfortunately, it seems the Regenerator subroutine is still on the fritz, but Ignite Mode should be working again, too.

Oh, thank goodness. I'll admit it's been rather difficult working without that.

And thank you for the specialized firmware. I apprecate it.

Masaki: And as for you, Agent Kazuki, I've got a few things. I got that funny little lifestealer doohickey repaired, and I did also take a crack at doing something myself. I got you this little vial here, see? This'll turn off your foes' optical nerves for a bit! Eh? Eh?

Hey, that might come in handy! Neat!

Masaki: Second, that schematic of yours for the concussive ammo worked great! So here you go! A bunch of concussive ammo! For concussion! Whatcha gonna do with it?

Shoot people in the knees and floor 'em when I snipe, mostly.

Masaki: My dearest Madam Fudoji, you're still cleared for most things, our lawyers would just request that you give us advance notice if you come up with any funny new tricks. We got that 'Earth Breaker' trick of yours cleared, too, very fascinating stuff!

Oh, good. See, I was thinking of trying out this thing where I choke them out when they're sick with something.

Masaki: Uh-huh, uh-huh, I see. Give me a demonstration later, come up with a funny name for it. But of course, I've left the best for last! Mio! Akaneno! Now, obviously young sir Saingreed is quite the marvel. Anything we make is.

Darn right he is!

Masaki: So I consulted with Toranosuke from Unit 10, and we thought about applications for the cord you had us add. Based on the properties of that blinding toxin I gave Kazuki, I figured if you went like... this!

Masaki struck a pose.

Masaki: You might get something done that's similar by transferring informational energy through that cord you spin around with, you see. Many possible utilities for that cord! Maybe try swinging it at someone when you're ailing, see what happens. Oh, and what's more, see, methinks if you do something like, huh!

He started dancing.

Masaki: You might have some fascinating ability to render temporary buffs to your allies' informational fields!

Lots of 'mights' here, aren't there?

Masaki: I don't understand the things you do! That's the fascinating thing about it! I can develop skills based on complete supposition and they work! Get out there and groove, girl! Anyway,

Masaki: You were open! Hiyah!


Masaki: That's Masaki, batting six for six! My needle technique is second to none! Perhaps I could go into combat myself, become Murakumo's primary Needler...


Wait, Masaki made Saingreed?

Masaki: A masterwork, isn't he? The runic symbols on the interior of the chamber are designed to amplify the sonic properties of the crystallized fragment of Warcry's larynx we used in the internals!

The what?

Yeah, we still had the pieces laying around and I figured we should do something with them, and Chelsea said if she tried really hard she might be able to make something for a sonic device in it. So she took a bit of Warcry and turned it into the voice box Saingreed uses.

And you use that thing to do concerts?

Only the best for the dark queen of Tokyo.

We've got Tier 2 skills. This is the tier that includes things like Chisa's elemental Iai skills, the basic Hacking suite for Richter, Hiding and Bush Trap for Satsuki, the specialized counters for Youka, and Koron's veils. Koron doesn't get any new skills here, but Richter gets a few, Chisa and Youka get one each, and Satsuki gets one for each weapon class. We'll get to each one in time.

...Oh, but Plasma Jolt, the Aerial spell for Koron in the first game, no longer exists. Considering Koron only got a useless new skill in Tier 1 and actively lost one in Tier 2, she's been a bit nerfed in the earlygame relatively speaking, but don't worry, her later new skills more than make up for it.


Alright, we'll hit Marunouchi first for that errand, then swing over to City Hall.

Anyway remember how I mentioned I forgot a path and a dragon here? It's over here. We're going there now.

Man, I'm already feeling more limber. Guess that big lug was good for something after all.


You okay?

I'm concerned. As I ever am, I suppose. To think such a toxin could ever come to exist on Earth...

Against such a force, what is a man such as myself to do, do you think? It can't be enough to continue subsisting.

Youka, what would you say defines me as a person?

Where's this coming from?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

I guess... Well, you're probably the smartest guy I've ever met. And you get excited over these weird little things. You're sweet. Great fashion sense?

Man, I'm not good at this. Why are you asking me?

Ahaha. That's fair.

...I'm sorry, Youka. I've simply been unable to leave my own head. Meeting SECT11 has... brought up some unpleasant memories. And now, Kirino...

Hey, it's alright. Hey, someone tell him it's alright.

Sorry, what? She's hunting.

Ah, let me help with that.

Unfortunately for this fellow, he perishes before a single attack is made. Get wrecked.

Manic Pixie: Huh? You must be here to save me! Thanks bunches!

Anyway, our goal for the quest is actually over here.

Downcast Girl: S-stop... don't come any closer...!

With all due respect, ma'am, that's our job!

Internally the Hammerhead is level 22, and statistically it's pretty obviously meant to be fought after City Hall, but I'm a true doom murderhead. It's got 1039 HP, but otherwise it's about identical to how you might recall this type working in the first game—big guy clunk hard.

I suffered a few game overs to this thing on my recent playthrough of 2020-II. This is not the last time the game will give you a quest that pits you against an enemy you're meant to fight a fair bit after accepting the quest.

Youka, if you would?

Oh sure, sure.

Huh. Bit sturdier than these ones used to be.


You're back to iaido, are you?

These moves are mine. It may have taken a moment, but I wouldn't completely unlearn them so easily.


Sorry, took one too many lumps there. Help.

Incideeeeeeentally, it's worth mentioning that the first two turns restriction on dragon AI actually isn't present anymore as a hard and fast rule. You'll get similar patterns of behavior, but many dragons won't do the same thing every time.

I do think changing dragons to no longer be completely predictable at the start of the fight is, ultimately, better from a game design perspective, even if I do miss being able to trounce dragons with 100% certainty.

Damn you!!

Alright, get on up, you two, get back in there.

Get over here!

I saw the hammer on the dragon's head begin to tear itself off from the force of the impact Youka delivered to the side of its head.

Pow, right in the kisser!



Don't think I like this one much. This is a problem.

Leave it to me!

I'm... still standing!

Ignite Mode, engage!

Man, I'm glad that's back.


Oh I love Techne Makre

It's nearly down! Just keep swinging!


You good, Youka?!

Just gimme a second... lemme get up off the floor...

Alright, that's taken care of.

Hey, folks! It's your friendly neighborhood Unit 13 here to help!

Downcast Girl: You... came for us? Really...?

Pale Man: Unit 13 really came... I thought our luck had run out.

Western Woman: Phew, you guys really came. You really are still the best!

We'll head in to report the quest when we head back to the Diet, but for now it's probably best to head over to City Hall. Which we'll do... next time.

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