Continuum Turbulence/Chapter 1 Story
Chapter 1: Dawn Break on the Opposite Coast
Chapter 1 begins shortly after the end of Chapter 10 Emergency. The protagonists for this chapter are AR M4 SOPMOD IIM4 SOPMOD II , SOP2, and Commander, stranded on the battlefield for an inordinate time, tearing apart wave after wave of an onslaught of Sangvis Ferri units until no one was left in the vicinity-- not one signal from neither friend or foe remaining.
- 1 E1-1 Abandoned Object
- 2 E1-A1 Nightfall
- 3 E1-2 Safe Room
- 4 E1-3 Spare Power Unit
- 5 E1-4 Storage Point
- 6 E1-B1 Farewell, Scarecrow
- 7 E1-B2 Battlefield with no Blood
- 8 E1-5 The Last Day
- 9 E1-6 Peaceful Negotiations
- 10 E1-7 Lucky?
- 11 E1-8 Sangvis Ferri Elite Gathering Point
- 12 E1-9 Digi-mind Fragments
- 13 E1-10 The Darkest Desires
- 14 E1-11 Final Destination
- 15 The Punishment
- 16 The Interrogation
E1-1 Abandoned Object
Gravely wounded, collapsed on the floor, a familiar voice called out to you from an open channel. You awaken once again, you check the signal, but the signal itself is red... AR M16A1M16A1 ?! Sangvis Ferri?!
"I don't have much time, this is an open channel. Fix yourself up and make your way to the safe room, she can still be saved." the voice speaks, sister M16 speaks. "You have the best compatibility with Sangvis Ferri modules out of the entire AR Team, so you should make yourself operational again by using nearby S.F. corpses." Isn't that ironic coming from someone who practically radiates Sangvis Ferri signal, but still looks like a T-Doll?
Did M16 betray us? Can I still trust her even after she has become a Ferri android? You cut off the communication out of fury and confusion, you don't know what to do from here, it was never your task to make decisions, AR M4A1M4A1 did that for you back in AR Team, even when she was gone, SMG RO635RO635 decided for you. But now, the only one present to make a decision is yourself.
"TRAITOR!! YOU TRAITOR!! I WILL NEVER LISTEN TO THE WORDS OF A TRAITOR!!" You continue your rampage on the battlefield... "KILL... KILL ALL THE SANGVIS FERRI..."
"No... M4A1, M4A1 where are you..."
"No, I cannot listen to the words of a traitor, I have to make my own decisions, I have to..."
One hour later, you assault and breach the S.F. gathering point and start to wreak havoc.
"Haven't... found... M4A1... isn't here..."
You are struck by a gunshot from behind, you crash to the muddy ground, with all the Sangvis Ferri remnants strewn around you. The majority of your functions are cut off, and you do not have the time to react to the situation. You remember something M16 said, but it doesn't matter anymore. You are now broken, you are now alone, you are unable to proceed further, the cold nightfall swallows you and this cruel world, you are not able to get up again. Was this the ending you were looking for, or was it the answer?
E1-2 Safe Room
You struggle towards the point marked by M16, who asks you whether you can perform self system diagnostics. You report multiple sections are critically wounded, and that you are below 10% operational capacity. M16 has lead you to a recent battle zone, full of available parts. "You have the best compatibility with Sangvis Ferri modules out of the entire AR Team, so as long as you fix yourself, you can save her," M16 reminds you. Can you really trust her you ask, but then M16 reminds you of your core order, the singular order binding the AR Team together, to protect M4A1 under any circumstance.
"If you still wish to trust in me, then fix yourself, and hurry back to her side."
You begin the process of integrating modules and during the process you ask M16 about why she became a Sangvis Ferri unit. Was it because of Parapluie? She tells you it was her will. You tell her you can no longer trust her from now on since she now serves Sangvis Ferri. She forgives you, as this was the bottom line order programmed into you. She urges you to hurry up with the repairs, since you know exactly which parts your body is missing and exactly how to handle Sangvis Ferri components.
You tell M16 that you cannot act without any additional background information. To this, once again M16 urges you to hurry up with your repairs, amd says that she will tell you once you finish. You ask her since the core order is still in place, why can't she go and rescue her, M16 told you that she cannot appear just yet, they are counting on you.
You rip off a limb from a nearby S.F. android's remains and aim the connecting points to your arm sockets. "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...", you let out a scream from the pain induced, but you have restored basic operational capability. Realizing that you are by yourself and everyone in AR Team is gone, you let out a small weep. M16 asks if you are crying, and you deny it. M16 does not persist further, but tells you to toughen up, to remember the last known coordinate of M4A1, and to get there now so that perhaps you can still make it in time.
"M4... RO... Wait for me..."
You arrive at the safe room, and see a familiar T-Doll in front of you, but her Digi-mind is completely inactive. "M4A1, what's wrong, answer me...". She stays silent, so you lean in closer in attempt to shake her, but you are stopped by M16. You ask if M16 knows what happened to M4, and she replies that M4A1 entered anti-stimulation mode. M16 asks you whether if you can access her Digi-mind via level 2 connectivity. You try doing so, but M4A1 isn't accepting any external connections.
M16 tells you this is for the best, and you should leave her be for now, even with the enemies around the doorstep. You call her out, thinking that M16 wants to turn M4A1 in to the Sangvis Ferri. She simply retorts that Sangvis Ferri has already retreated, and she promises you that this is the safest place for M4A1. You trust M16 again, you walk up to RO who is lying unconscious next to M4A1. "RO, let's go!", you exclaim as you pick her up and walk out of the safe room, ignoring everything else M16 is saying.
But you don't get far, for your body cannot hold RO's body weight, which causes both of you to collapse in the rain. "Don't waste your effort on meaningless actions--" "THEN WHAT DOES HAVE MEANING?!", you yell as you can no longer hold back your anger against M16. "Everyone's left me... No one is with me anymore... Then what's the difference between you lot being alive or dead?" You start to question your will to live. "Let me save one friend at least!" You understand that even if RO can restore her Digi-mind functionality, she will not retain the memories of you and M4A1 during this sortie. You apologize to RO for what you are about to do, and rip open RO's body to recover her Digi-mind core. "We can go home together like this..."
You decide to leave this sector, M16 bids farewell to you as she can no longer reach you from the communications. You thank her for waking you up this time and disappear into the rain. From here on you will be making your own choices, and you choose to return to G&K. As the rain continues to pour, you recall that forcefully removing a Digi-mind core for an extended period of time means the cessation of neural processes, so you immediately try to formulate a list of possible ways of powering up RO again, but thinking was never your thing. You continue down your journey while trying to figure out this problem at hand.
E1-3 Spare Power Unit
While later, on your travels you are suddenly reminded that G&K T-Doll power units are usually with the logistics department, they often put them in storage, that isn't something the military need, so there should still be plenty. You opened your electronic map and located a few resupply points, you plotted a course to the closest one, but you also detected a lot of Sangvis Ferri unit signals. It's time to be more tactical, learn from M4A1! "Let's go RO, we'll wake you up soon enough!"
Fighting through the Ferri forces, you gained access to the G&K storage, however you discovered all the power units are missing, and the footsteps on the ground. "The Dinergates!", Ferri must have stolen all the supplies with their Dinergate units!
E1-4 Storage Point
You located the Sangvis Ferri storage, you also realised there aren't really any high end units guarding it. You double checked your electronic map just in case, scanning result shows that the Ferri main forces are gathering above the storage, "We'll soon be together again RO!".
You joy was cut short, you noticed a couple of G&K unit signals on your electronic map, "Could they be the echelon that had to abandon this supply storage to escape the siege? So thats why the Ferri had left their own base to attack them...", You hesitated, you were never good at decisions, you tried to imagine what RO would do under these situations, RO would definitely say: "Our friends are in trouble, no matter how dangerous we must go save them, because we are comrades on the battlefield.". But you hesitates still, you believe that those T-Dolls can back up their memories, while you only have one chance, you also think that you lack the command module to effectively command them, you also believe there is a Ferri Ringleader present and it would be too risky to take that route.
You were never good at making decisions, you stood still waiting for an answer, the world remained silent to you. "Let's just get going, I'll decide when it comes to it."
E1-B1 Farewell, Scarecrow
You sneaked into the Ferri storage with ease and located a power unit, just when you were overdosed in the joy of reviving RO, you noticed the nearby G&K unit signal disappeared after a loud explosion. Scarecrow detected you within their storage, she questioned your motive of hiding in their storage, she commented that you extended your life by a fair margin by sacrificing your G&K comrades. "SHUT UP, YOU BASTARD! I WILL END YOU IN WAYS YOU CANNOT EVEN PROCESS!". You rushed into the battlefield against Scarecrow, after the fight against G&K, her remaining unit count are low enough for you to take her head on.
You've cut through the remaining Ferri units and reached Scarecrow, you avenged your fallen comrades. "This won't be the end, with your current body shape, you cannot leave here alive.", you don't care about that, you just want to go as far as you can, and now you've completed the vendetta, "Why revenge? Do you even know who they are? Did you see their faces before their death?"
You cannot reply to this.
"I saw it... I saw all of their faces... I understand those T-Dolls better than you, those T-Dolls you call comrades."
"Did you ever cared about them? You were always by yourself... for yourself..."
"I did the unimaginable for someone I care for!", you barked at Scarecrow.
"Really now, can you say her name? Can you say this name without any regrets?"
You cannot, you pointed your weapon at Scarecrow, she's laughing at you... Her last word to you was: "Pitiful..."
What is this? SOCOM communication chatters? Damn it, they must be drawn in by the sound of the battle... They're after you...
E1-B2 Battlefield with no Blood
You are surrounded shortly by KCCO ground forces, your struggles were worthless, they captured you so easily.
"Target located, requesting orders."
Their radio chatter were merciless, you think to yourself, is this the end?
The soldier aimed the weapon at you. Haaa... I did my best, I guess...
Gunshots was the last thing you heard.
Nothing left behind, nothing changed, the gunshots stopped your footsteps in a battlefield with no blood, forever.
E1-5 The Last Day
You rushed back to the G&K defense line, you acted quickly to shot down a Golyat bomb that was about to detonate and kill the G&K T-Doll echelon. It didn't stop here, you leaped and tackled a Dragoon rider, dismounted her from her ride, you ripped her to shreds. You enjoyed that, you always enjoyed ripping Ferri made androids to spare parts. "HAAHAHAHAHAHAAA... IS THAT ALL! WAS THAT ALL?!", you let out your battle cry as the last Ferri android dies by your hand.
A voice spoke to you, it wasn't an enemy android, the doll looks confused, she ask you whether you are one of them. You remembered your original objective, you turned to G&K doll who spoke to you, she appears to be the leader of this echelon. "...Kyaa!", she let out a scream, you realised you still had your war-face on, you adjusted your facial expressions and asked her whether she was alright. "Umm... No problem, the signal is blue... A little bit red but mostly blue...", the doll initiated a Friend-or-Foe check on you, "So... You're a G&K T-Doll, right?"
You formally introduced yourself to the doll, the doll introduced herself to you, she is SMG Cx4 StormCx4 Storm , the leader of Division B, 17th logistical support echelon, "Well, should I say, ex-logistical support... The Commander sent all the combat ready dolls to the front line.". Division B is not under the Commander you know, but at this point, you don't really care anymore, you finally met a friendly unit.
The celebration was cut short, you opened a public radio channel and taunted the Ferri Ringleader: "Scarecrow! Your weather forecast today is, Extremely unlucky! As long as I'm here no matter how many units you send, outcome will be the same! You're just a forward recon unit, you dare deploy such a large scale siege?"
"Oh really? I'd consider myself lucky to meet a prey like you here."
You continues to taunt Scarecrow: "Did they downgrade Sangvis Ferri processing ability? You started believing in luck? I should shred you, send you back to the factory line and have them install a wooden head for you, that will improve your processing speed!"
"I'll remember what you said, and play it back to you when I rip your head off."
Scarecrow's reinforcement unit approaches your location, Cx4 grabbed your arm and said to you, "M4 SOPMOD II, come hurry come this way!", but that's too long, you told her she can just call you SOP2. You are escaping the area with Cx4's unit, on the way you explained why you are here, your task of securing a power unit for RO, you decided to help your comrades in need and you are glad you made it just in time. Cx4 weeps in appreciation to you, she kneel down and grabbed your legs, you're not so use to dealing with T-Dolls outside of AR Team.
Cx4 brief you on the current situation on the battlefield after she calmed herself down: she is unable to make contact with the Command due to the devastation on the battlefield and a source of radio jamming is in place within the vicinity. Their echelon are barely managing to operate on their own with a combining their processing powers, the efficiency is nowhere near having a human commander in charge. Their echelon's original objective was to rescue someone else, but as soon as they entered this region their communication was cut off, around the same time they were attacked by Sangvis Ferri, they had to abandon their gathering point and escape.
You may not have a command module installed, but you know a bit about tactics, after all you spent your entire career with an elite squadron. Cx4 asks for you to command their units, you're not entirely confident but you took up the task in the end after thorough begging from Cx4. She suggest currently they are too low on manpower, they should rescue their original target, regroup then break through the siege together, Cx4 relayed their position to you on the electronic map after you agreed to this arrangement.
"It's an honour to fight with a spectacular T-Doll like you, after all, this might be the last day we spend in G&K...", the last day battle? You always thought they could back up their Digi-mind, "G&K HQ... Might have encountered an accident... We couldn't upload our latest Digi-mind before we met you. So this might really be our last day of service."
You asked her whether they are truly prepared for this, she giggled and replied, "To be honest, not really, but maybe it's better this way, instead of being some cold data recording, someone can actually remember our deeds...", Cx4 shared her feelings with you, as logistic dolls, they'd often escort combat echelons to their sorties, sometimes seeing their broken body parts when they return, the very next morning they'll appear brand new again, but also forgotten a lot of things... "Isn't this like a curse...?"
You cannot relate to this feeling, you never had to chance to back-up your Digi-mind and you were never intentionally on the battlefield as cannon fodders... You apologized for being unable to relate... Cx4 comforted you, after all, she is the same as you now, having only one chance at life. You are encouraged, the dolls are also encouraged, your temporary task force depart to save your comrades.
Even without a command module, relying on your tactical experience, you commanded your comrades with vocal commands and hand signals. With the improved combat efficiency, you managed to rescue the captured T-Dolls, you retreated back to a safe position and instructed everyone to set up defense perimeter against potential counter attacks from Scarecrow.
Moments later Cx4 approached you and informed you that the defense perimeter is almost complete, you tried to reply but your voice module finally gave out. Cx4 inquires what is wrong, you explained to her that you had to remove a lot of non-essential components earlier to repair yourself. You told the team to get some rest, the defense perimeter is not permanent, the best way out for everyone is to find a chance and retreat. At this moment, gunshots can be heard from the side of the defensive perimeter, initially thought to be Scarecrow's vanguards, but soon you had realised KCCO mechanized forces never left the area.
Thinking was never something you were good at, but this time you came up with a cunning plan and you are fairly confident that it would work out. You calmed your adjutant Cx4, explaining that KCCO units have Ferri units set as prioritized target, so they will not attack G&K dolls directly...
E1-6 Peaceful Negotiations
Cx4 was initially surprised, but eventually she agreed to your plan, after all, you are their trusted comrade now, you thought to yourself as you initiate the radio contact with Scarecrow, the Sangvis Ferri Ringleader.
"Good afternoon!", you greeted without knowing exactly what time of the day it is.
"Are you here to surrender?", Scarecrow asked boldly.
"No, I'm here to negotiate terms, under the current situation we have to sneaki..."
"I see no values of collaborating with you." Scarecrow interrupted you.
"Collaboration? What, no! How could you even suggest that!", you began dealing with the Ringleader, "You see, you stolen our supplies, but that's not a problem, I'm willing to let you have everything except one, a T-Doll power supply unit, just one. You deliver that to me, I'll let you leave, we both get to leave this place alive, isn't that a sweet deal?"
"Under the condition that I can trust you."
You negotiated further with Scarecrow, eventually you struck a deal with the Ringleader, you now prepare to make your way across the battlefield without you weapon to retrieve the power unit, in the process you will be leaving your comrades behind undefended. You comforted your adjutant, promising that the Ferri will definitely honor the deal. You are now crossing the battlefield.
"Yo Scarecrow!", you greeted the Ferri Ringleader.
"Where are your companions." Scarecrow have very little time for jokes.
You said you left them behind, only you and her in the middle of no man's land.
"And you didn't bring your weapons?"
(Lie) "I did."
"You have truly gone mad SOP2."
You replied: "You haven't seen me mad."
Scarecrow did not reply, she merely waved her hand and a Dinergate appeared behind her, the Dinergate carried a doll power pack and walked in front of you. "This is the power unit you asked for."
You picked up the Dinergate and confirmed the contents of the package, it is indeed the power unit you asked for, but you inquired further: "Aren't you curious about what I'm gonna use this for?"
Scarecrow's reply is cold as ever: "That's none of my concerns.", your deals with the Ferri Ringleader ends here, Scarecrow turns around and departs, "Our forces are withdrawing, get out of here."
You yelled: "You know I don't like doing this right? I prefer to communicate with your body parts!"
"There won't be a next time."
You decided to chat more with the Ringleader: "You know the KCCO are on to you right? Do you think you can get away?"
"Why do you care?"
"For us, you are a really good bait, if you end up dying we'll be sad!"
"I will escape, you won't have the chance to mourn me."
"I know your plans, you plan to escape from that airfield and extract, but KCCO won't let you off easy, they're more mobile than you are, you cannot get away."
"Again, it's none of your business."
"I just wanted to thank you for this power pack while I still have the chance! You don't know much it means to me!"
"I will remember what you said after you disappear.", Scarecrow disappeared behind the Ferri facility buildings.
Your adjutant Cx4 contacted you, she informed you that KCCO had began their operation. You told her you got what you came for and is on your way back. "SOP2, KCCO had began to surround the area, we have to leave via Sangvis Ferri controlled zones when you return!".
"EEEEHHHHH??!?!?!?!!", your adjutant let out a surprised scream after you brief her on your escape plan, you reminded her that you may seem like an easy going T-Doll but you never joke around when issuing orders.
"Then why, why are we drawing fire away from KCCO for Sangvis Ferri?"
You explained further on your plan, "Well it's not as bad as you make out, I will go alone to draw their fire because I have Sangvis Ferri signal on my body.", "You guys make a run for the gathering point over there while I'm out drawing fire."
Cx4 had more questions on her mind: "We will be crossing Sangvis Ferri controlled territory, wouldn't they just fire on us?", you told them that Ferri might be too focused on KCCO forces to care about them, after all, even if they eliminate G&K forces, KCCO will take them out shortly after. "This is just a massive gamble... What about where to go after we reach the destination? Have you planned that far?", you replied that you did not, but this is the only viable route at the moment, you instructed the T-Dolls to fight off the KCCO on the way if they run into them, but try and avoid Ferri forces.
"Then, you mean to buy time for Sangvis Ferri retreats?", you explained your theory, if the KCCO units were to annihilate Sangvis Ferri units in time, they will have plenty of time to regroup, the next target on their order of destruction will be G&K T-Dolls. "Scarecrow probably wouldn't appreciate our actions...", Cx4 still seem to hesitate, she questioned your stand point on Sangvis Ferri.
To think of it, you do not truly hated Sangvis Ferri, all the Ferri units that wronged you in the past, you disposed of them. You merely enjoy hunting Ferri units, and retiring them, not like the G&K T-Doll retirement, like retirement by ripping them to shreds. "You ONLY do that to Ferri, right...?" Cx4 sounds concerned. You ponder on the subject, you are actually fairly interested in KCCO units, especially Major Yegor...
"What about G&K... Are we amongst your preys...?", Cx4 continues to express her concerns, about your hunting desires. "What, why would I, you girls are so good! You girls greet me everyday, provide me with yummy snacks, commend me on my performance, why would I do anything like that to you girls! Even though I just met you girls, but I know, the more Ferri I take out, the more you guys survive, the more I'm liked by everybody right? So right now, protecting you girls are my top priority, Ferri are just a mean to the end."
Once again, you ensure that you will be fine carrying out this dangerous task, convinced by your speech, Cx4 lead the T-Dolls to the designated point, while you departed to draw the attention of KCCO units. "We won't extract until you return to us SOP2!"
You carried out your plan while the G&K dolls carried out theirs.
"Alright good job everyone, it cut close a couple of times, but with SOP2's communication helps we pulled through, now we just waiting for her to...", your sudden appearance surprised the dolls, "EHHH when did you...!", Cx4 began humping your legs again. After all it was a fairly trivial task for an elite doll like you, operating on your own, all you had to do was swing around their unit's back and make a run for it, that and KCCO lost interest after realising your SF signals were fake.
You plan out the next step for you and the dolls, but once again, planning really isn't your forte, but you all agreed that your best chance is to return to a G&K forward base, you plot a course with Cx4's last known map intelligence.
On the way there, slowly you began chit chatting with Cx4. The scouts learnt that KCCO slowed their movements and began to scan the region more frequently, Cx4 mentioned that one of the G&K Commander engaged in firefights with them near by, KCCO are probably rescuing their comrades, after all, a human life worth much more than a doll. "Have you ever attacked a human SOP2?", strange question, but you replied negatively. "We were worried about encountering the humans actually... without direct orders and the protocols from G&K, we can't attack them... not like we want to either, they created us and gave us so many precious things.". "We should avoid them, I almost got killed by them last time, I'm not sure if I will be so lucky next time.", "... Also when necessary, let me take the shots, I'm not like the average G&K doll with all the restrictions. If they have hostile intentions then they are not so different from the Ferri, well apart from that I can't steal compatible body parts from them.". Cx4 let out a awkward laughter, none of them will ever try to dissassemble Ferri units, thats your hobby. "I can't help it, Persica made me this way, what a strange hobby!".
You continue to chit chat with Cx4, speaking of hobbies, "Yes, ever since I began remembering things, I've collected tobacco labels, went pretty crazy with it, if I come across any labels I haven't seen I'd go crazy!". What a strange hobby, you asked whether she is a smoker. "Oh no, of course not, in fact it is dangerous for dolls to smoke. I just like collecting and putting them together, I feel happy when I do that, no real reason behind it. It might be a factory setting...". Ahh yes, a bit like that sweet tooth of a doll you met before, AR FNCFNC and her insatiable appetite for chocolate, even though dolls don't need human food... "It can be rather annoying actually... back when I worked in civilian sectors, a lot of humans laughted and made fun of my hobby... I wanted to burn my entire collection before, but what good would that do, my 'factory settings' are set in stone...", Cx4 pours her heart out to you, "But around that time G&K were buying up all the civilian dolls, my previous owner then realised my digi-mind and physical attributes were unexpectedly fitting for the advert, and after that..."
"After that we're here on this crappy battlefield, running for our lives."... Cx4 giggles, she comments that she don't consider herself strange anymore, after meeting you and your perculiar hobby. "HEY thats MEAN! I'm loving it, besides it greatly improves my combat performance!". Cx4 comments unlike the her pointless hobby, this hobby of yours serves a purpose in the end. As expected from a dolls designed for elite squadrons, she is a bit envious of you, even when you don't think of it that way. "You girls are the chosen ones after all, and treated differently, different from us common dolls... that's just lucky don't you think?". Even though you enjoys ripping things to shreds, you believe that for a common doll, the peaceful life of carrying logistic boxes at the rear line is the luckiest life. "Carrying boxes you say...? It was pretty boring running logistics back then, but now, I do miss that life...".
Almost arriving at the destination you encouraged Cx4, once we safely regroup with G&K, she can live the logistic life again! Almost arriving at the destination, if there are still anyone waiting at that forward base. But now, between you and the forward base lies several Ferri rally points, it is too late to turn back now, so it is best to scout ahead and avoid them. Cx4 steps up, "You should let me scout ahead, it is safer that way, what if...", Cx4 is interrupted by a sudden incoming communication signal, source is within the local area, it's can't be the Commander, who could it be... you advised your group to slow down and watch the perimeter.
E1-8 Sangvis Ferri Elite Gathering Point
"Scarecrow... didn't you say we won't meet again?". She didn't reply. "If you're regretting that deal we had, it's too late now!".
Scarecrow didn't reply to that, "According to the calculations, you are close to the S.F elite garrisons, correct? You should be afraid.". It's better than turning back and bump right into the KCCO units... "Your death will be pitiful.", Scarecrow's monotone remains unchanged, so she is here to congratulate us?
"Open your electronic map."
"Continue down this path, I will inform you of the alert distance of the elite units. Should you wish to avoid further engagements with us, you will plan accordingly."
Didn't she say 'there won't be a next time'?
"Still haven't fixed your hearing module? I won't repeat myself... Also this time it's different."
You felt the need to clarify, "You know I didn't go with the deal because I like you right?"
"I didn't either.", Scarecrow terminated the communication.
You question Scarecrow's motives, Cx4 confirms that the path will indeed lead to their previous base. Even if their Commander had already left, there should still be some dolls and supplies left over there for them. But the real question is can they trust this Ringleader, the same Ringleader that tried to kill them a couple of hours ago, "No we can't! But we really don't have a choice here...". The dolls placed their trust in you as their leader, but you think to yourself, this responsibility weights really heavy, does M4A1 go through this every operation? You looked spaced out, Cx4 grabs your attention again.
"AHHHH bugger it!!! Be it traps or whatever else, if they lie to me they will never get away with it!", you began ordering your dolls, double check weapons, stick close, stay alert, and not to fire without you orders.
Operation complete, with the assistance of Scarecrow you and the dolls navigated through the battlefield, she kept her word. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!", relieved of the outcome, you let out a scream which startled Cx4, after all you were worried that this was a trap all along the way. Cx4 complimented you, it takes courage to make this kind of decisions, she wouldn't be able to give the order if it was up to her. You are suddenly reminded of what M16 once said, the only difference between the brave and the foolish is the outcome, back then you only did your thing, but now you are responsible for those under your command too, leadership was never your forte after all.
The scout dolls returned, but judging by their facial expressions you can guess what they were about to say, the forward base was empty, not a single doll in sight and not one box of supply left behind. No, we can't give up yet, you cheered the dolls up, "No, we cant give up here! There aren't many doll wrecks here, it must mean they relocated, Commander and Ms Kalina are waiting for us elsewhere!". Encouraged again, Cx4 suggests that they should rest here regardless, proceeding down this path will lead to a couple of KCCO gathering points, which they will need the strength to face. At this point you realised that you are forgetting something, the goal is to locate this forward base, find a safe room... and...
Cx4 comments, "SOP2 you mentioned that AR team had four members, I remember there was another...". Yeah, RO63... "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!", your sudden scream startled Cx4 once again, you suddenly remembered your original objective. You pulled out RO's exchange core out of your pocket and showed it to Cx4, you told the story of KCCO's betrayal and Major Yegor's attempt of killing you and RO. You pulled out the T-Doll power supply unit, connected a few links and prepared to reboot RO, informing Cx4 of your plan, you want her and the other dolls to guard the building while you enter RO's digimind to reboot her, in events of emergency, smack your body three times then cut the power link from the power supply. Cx4 accepted her task and headed outside.
You take a deep breath, "Alright RO, let me wake you up!", Ahh crap, that really hurts! The sharp pain surges through your body reminds you of the importance of proper maintenance equipment... but it matters little, you are connected to RO.
E1-9 Digi-mind Fragments
Never in your life you thought you could do what you did today, you helped so many others, you're being looked up to. Your desire to share this achievement grows, with this in mind, you are determined to revive RO.
Fragments of memories are emerging as you bypass the firewall and located her inactive digi-mind shard, you attempt to wake her up...
Atop a snowy mountain, the unfamiliar looking doll speaks: "Because you wanted to save everybody. That Commander spared no expense getting here, if he did not... then you would have killed us all."
I see, this is why you decide matters alone and operate alone...
"You are willing to lose yourself, and become a replacement for another?"
... Then what is myself... I was originally made for when this happens, I wanted to protect those M4A1 wishes to protect, I believe in this who she believed in...
"Either way, you made the choices in this operation."
Persica's voice appears: "She can do everything M4A1 can do, she can even do what AR Team and M4A1 cannot. I reorganised the files, she will contain less of that girl. Which means this model has higher performance and room for improvements, she will become the best helping hand for AR Team."
Persica continues: "The development path of AR Team does not allow mass production, the brain scan file usage is too limited... but this replacement simulation AI seems stable enough, if this continues this child might even become the framework to the 3rd generation dolls. She will protect M4A1 with her all, not because of an issued command but out of her own respect for M4A1... even if it is simulated data. But after all emotion is the ability to act on the spot no?"
You can see yourself, this is that time when you told RO about AR Team's story in that abandoned warehouse!
You said cheerfully: "...But she was really crying, and she was crying really loudly, and she kept going, “It’s my fault! It’s my fault! I’m sorry! I’ve only ever seen them in movies, but she looked just like a bullied kid. I can’t believe she could imitate it so well! Anyway it was super embarrassing, I couldn’t believe our leader was so useless! Hahaha, that was a disgrace. I really wish I could see it again, hahaha! Ha…"
You said depressingly: "Aw… Although… I don’t think that’s quite likely any more..."
You’ll have your chance. M16 must be waiting somewhere for us. And AR15… there’s a lot of things we haven’t verified about her, aren’t there? As long as we stay alive, there’ll be something we can do in the future.
You inquired: "Mm… RO, why do you think we have emotion modules?"
"I once asked M16, and he said that might be to prove that we’re not just killing machines. We have emotions, so we’re not like those cold, unfeeling military dolls... But some people also say that emotions are our weaknesses, a sign that we’re flawed products... What do you think? Are dolls defective because we have emotions?"
I don’t know... But the humans gave us emotion modules. Nobody would go out of their way to make their products inferior, right? So… there must be a purpose behind all that.
A recording started playing, it's AR ST AR-15ST AR-15 's voice: "Long time no see, I'm don't know whether this will also be the last transmission, based on the current situation, I will keep it short. I... probably won't be able to return to AR Team any more. It be like this sometimes, you know that feeling don't you, tried your very best but things still turns out to be a mess. The enemies, orders, or just luck... too many variables will disrupt the plan... M16 once said the only choice we have is give up here, or plan for the worst possible outcome and continue. If I'm not there next time, then you know the worst outcome had happened... I am prepared for it, what about you? Are you prepared to return to AR Team? Of course, you have your way of thinking and choices... but I only wanted to tell you... sorry, forgive me for what I said before, you were always spectacular, I knew it.
Persica's voice is here again: "Don't worry too much about thatm, you are a spectacular T-Doll, you are more spectacular than those you will meet in the future!"
I... I don't understand... that other doll, AR-15, she called me a failure, even though I won the combat simulation...
"Because you chose to sacrifice M4A1, without hesitation, that was a terrible decision."
I did it to win... aren't dolls consumables?
"Not entirely, that's not the answer I'm looking for."
Protect M4A1 takes priority then right? Then set that as my new order, then I will understand what to do.
"No... that's not what I meant. Even though AR Team has that order, I won't give the same one to you."
I don't understand... If it isn't ordered, why would I do it...
"You need to understand why it has to be done. You will find the truth on the battlefield, and not a victory achieved through commands."
Then why not preset it for me? Just tell me what to do, then I will know what to do.
"You do not understand what you are good at, why you are spectacular... I will give you a chance, you will enter a real battle, you are to gain experience and learn... you need to fill up your emotions."
"Yes, a doll's emotion can be developed and changed over time. This is... Lyco's life's work... I hope I'm not using it wrongly.
"I will arrange you to a new position, this is real combat. Greet and interact with your new companions, and various humans... those humans that even I do not dare interact with, you must do better than me."
A new job... Can I get use to it? Why can't I return to AR Team?
"Not now. When you are prepared we will bring you back."
My new position... I'm not sure if I will like it...
"I don't know either, but I will not force you to do it with commands, but learning to like it is your mission. Learn to like M4A1, learn to like this world, learn to like yourself. Come with me, let's get you started right away."
HG Type 92Type 92 : "Yea, we've finally completed the mission... even though we will go our separate ways now..."
SMG Sten MkIISten MkII : "Ehh? Why is that?"
Did you forget Sten? This squadron was temporarily made for this one mission.
Sten: "Oh yea... we obtained file 36... even though SF blew this city to rubbles...
Type 92: "We won't let them get away with this, HG MakarovMakarov is taking this intel back to Headquarters. We will find a way to fight them, this massive artillery or the SF Ringleader behind this plot."
Sten: "Thanks to this operation, we all experienced a handful, and grew up a lot. Even if we go our separate ways, I will never forget..."
MG AAT-52AAT-52 : "Don't exaggerate too much Sten. it's not like we won't see each other ever again, let us celebrate tonight after return!"
... Yea, it's not like we won't see each other again... everyone, this isn't the end. We will all fight on our own battlefields, continue to grow and achieve victories, until the day SF is defeated.
Type 92: "...They said you were different from the other dolls, looks like they're right, you have a certain belief that Griffin dolls don't have."
... Just a little bit I suppose. This is why I've returned, for Griffin's triumph, and for justice... And... revenge...
They will... they must pay! No matter what weapons, what kind of tactics, and whatever strategems... as long as they caused destructions, any kind of harm done by them... I will make them answer their crimes!
You're getting close, Ms Persica's voice is here again: "You've finally... taken a liking to this world now? You finally understood the reason you fight?"
I... I don't actually know what I'm taking a liking to...
"Yourself of course, you are part of this world."
Myself... who am I...
"Your name, it's..."
"RO!! R! O! 635555555555555555!!!!!!"
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH", you both screamed out loud, and she questioned the reasoning behind your sudden yelling... But it matters little, you finally met her again, you dived towards her and gave her a big hug... The last thing RO remembered was making an attempt to revive M4A1, so you briefly explained to her what exactly gone on after she was forcibly shut down, about Major Yegor's betrayal, about how you left her body behind and made away only with her Digi-mind core, how you connected to her subconscious level in attempt to revive her. And now you are taking her out of this place, maybe you stood up too fast, an alarm was triggered, "Warning! Unidentified entities detected, signal identified as Sangvis Ferri, commence sweeping-"... on second thought it might be your new SF made limbs. RO told you to go with her, the two of you began running in her Digi-mind space away from the defensive mechanisms.
The system had already assumed RO to be KIA, so her authority over the defenses had been revoked. The next stage of the plan is escape the Digi-mind space, since there is a lack of available doll bodies, you said you will install RO's Digi-mind core on your own body, after all you freed up a lot of bandwidth by removing all the unnecessary modules, she will be powered by that power source still though... But thats for after you escape this place...
Smack smack smack
You are awaken in the real world, Cx4 shakes you in a panic, "SOP2! SOP2! The military dolls found us! Wake up please!", something slurred out some words. Cx4 actually smacked you four times because she panicked, she is now concerned about whether that brings consequences or not. Little did she know that's not you speaking, the voice came from down below, "Where is SOP2... I'm RO635... and you are...?". Cx4 looked down, only to be greeted by a Dinergate with a megaphone attachment... RO inspected herself quickly, she raised questions like why is she so short, what is wrong with her hand...
E1-10 The Darkest Desires
Much to RO's dismay, she consciousness is currently being projected inside the Dinergate, so she sees through the big frontal optic and speaks through the megaphone attachment. Though her Digi-mind core is connected inside your body, you question the physical size of RO's core. "YOU LIAR, THIS ISN'T EVEN A BODY!!!", your bodily function weakens as the processor load increases, you remind RO that she shouldn't process too much information, after all she is using your bandwidth... "I DON'T CARE! THIS IS SO STUPID! REMOVE ME AT ONCE!!!". Desperate time calls for desperate measures, you presuade RO to put up with it a bit longer, she expressed that she'd rather suicide, if HG MakarovMakarov sees her like this she would be the laughing stock for forever... but that's if you get to see her again... Didn't Cx4 say something about army units advancing on your position? Cx4 reported that the dolls went to investigate a large explosion, but they were detected by the military scouts, the army is approaching their position as they speak. You suggest to try and re-establish communication now.
Five minutes later, RO is trying to connect to the Commander, but even with the signal amplifier in the megaphone she isn't getting a reply, or their signal receiver is too weak to accept the reply. The KCCO units had completed their surround, there is no way of breaking through at this point, you suggest that the best the dolls can do right now is defend this location and trust that Commander is on his way. RO reminded you that there is also a chance that Commander didn't even receive the distress call, she asked you how you want to break the news to the dolls, if you lie to them saying that Commander is on the way, they might get a morale boost. You're not entirely sure of what to do, thinking was never your thing, you asked RO how she would handle this situation, but RO appears very pessimistic, she simply expressed the desire to rest. "Ahh... doesn't matter if we lose... with a body like this I'm better off dead...", you felt guilty because you hotwired RO and woken her up without her permission. Cx4 is about to return from her post, RO comforted you, she clarified that it's not the fact that they might die here together, but purely because she cannot complete her duty and die as a tactical doll.
Cx4 entered the room, she asked whether you were able to get hold of the Commander, you remained speechless, RO remained speechless. "SOP2?", you lead Cx4 out of the room. Grabbing every T-Doll's attention you cleared your throat: "Morning everyone!", you greeted them without knowing exactly what time of day it is... "I'm M4 SOPMOD 2! G&K Tactical Doll, part of AR Team, a comrade and friend. I have an announcement to make-!"
"We... are probably done for...", the dolls watches you in silence, no one uttered a word... You further explained the situation, about how you sent a distress signal but don't know whether the Commander received it or not. If lucky, the Commander will send reinforcement your way... But there are so many possible ways for it to go wrong, what if the Commander didn't receive the call, what if Commander can't spare the forces, what if they are too far away, and what if the Commander is already... "Either way... we're probably going to die here today..."
Cx4 tried to comfort you, you continue to speak but you can't hold back the emotions anymore: "I'm sorry... I'm not a very smart doll... I'm don't know how to lie, and I was never suited to be a captain... I wanted to lie to everyone, tell everyone that Commander will be here... but I'm scared, scared of the fact that we might not be so lucky... scared that everyone might die with hopes in their heart, just to tell me to live and hold out on my own...", Cx4 looked at you as you continued, "I don't want that, I don't want to be the only one to walk away with the truth, alone... I don't want to lost any more friends...".
You were never a good captain, you never really knew how to protect everyone and make sure how to keep them alive
E1-11 Final Destination
Nyto stopped you in your speech. "Commander, SOP2 did not die, she lived, you lied to us, this kind of actions are meaningless."
Nyto moved rapidly towards you, you did not caught glimpse of her motions but your body knows full well of what she did. Her actions continued, those arms are not arms, they are tools of interrogation.
Your punishment ended, the doll showed no emotions, no enjoyment and no mercy. You clench your teeth in pain, your body hurts, you're now bleeding. Your expressions looks horrid, possibly worst than when the Collapse bomb detonated...
"Interrogation continues. If speech does not fit our Intel, we will consider escalating further interrogating actions. Commander, please re-structure your speech."
You understood, you spit out the blood in your mouth, there was probably a tooth in there somewhere, a couple of deep breaths later, you kept on making up stories while enduring the pain.
You told your not entirely true story, a few lies in between here and there, but you are confident that it should more or less match the Nyto's intel. One of them speaks: "We believe this is the truth.", at this time the micro device near your ear speaks, you heard of this voice before, can't quite recall it, but she is a friend, "Commander, no need to reply, I understand that you are being treated as a guest of honor. We are currently identifying the facility's defenses so we can infiltrate, we will need more time, please buy us some time Commander.", that seems like all you can do right now. "I know this will definitely hurt, but there are no other options, try and enjoy it I suppose.". The voice disconnects, Nyto continues their work, today's interrogation might go on for a while...
"Now please, describe another event. Tactical Doll HK416, a member of the special operation team 404. She played an important role in the battle, we would like to know exactly what she did. "
"You don't know what she did, but you know that she is important?"
"You people should know more than I do on this topic."
"How did you learn of Task Force 404?"
"Now tell us, how did HK416 participate in G&K's operation, why did she rescue that many T-Dolls on the battlefield. Tell us, so you can live.