Story and art by Ryuko Azuma
See the original pages at Web NewType here
Narrative reads right to left
The pilots of the NerfThis fleet are preparing to face an incoming Seireness attack. As Yu listens to controllers going through procedure, he thinks back to the conversation he just had with Linne.
“Linne,” he said, “We’re fighting Seireness over and over again in a repeating universe. Is the human race being destroyed over and over again…?”
She tells him to stay calm, and that she’ll tell him the whole truth after this mission. She vows to always protect him. (As the pilot of the Mark 7, one of her functions is to shield him in battle.)
Right side: All seven ships power up and launch from Vimana station. Nina (in Mark 1) confirms that the wormhole is open.
Left side: Three giant Seireness sirens emerge from the wormhole in Jupiter orbit.
Right side: The battle begins! Marina (Mark 4) boxes them in with Frost Aster and Laine (Mark 2) uses his Disjunct manuever to teleport in close and open fire.
Left side: Despite the attack, the Seireness begins to vocalize. As Hugo’s ship (Mark 3) is buffeted, he tries to power up his Thunderstorm weapon.
Right side: Hugo launches three projectiles, which impact the enemy.
Left side: The enemy flees toward a gap in the Frost Aster field. Marina is alerted and rushes to cut off the alien.
Right side: Marina stops the alien temporarily and calls on Nina to open fire with her Second Sight drones. Nina calls on Yu to ready his ship’s Wave-Motion Gun. But Yu is caught up in a flashback to something she told him earlier: “According to this book, this is the 49th universe.”
Left side: Yu’s power is dropping as he is distracted by his thoughts. He remembers Nina saying, “Come and get me when it’s all over.” On Vimana, Abbey is shocked to hear that Yu’s vitals are erratic, and the WMG output is unstable.
Right side: Linne shouts at Yu to concentrate, and he tries to shake it off. Meanwhile, Nina tells Hugo to prep Thunderstorm and take out the alien. She orders Linne to fall back and protect Yu, who is still unable to focus.
“I want to buy some time for the lightning bolt,” Nina says, telling Laine to move in and hold off the siren.
“Come on, Yu,” Laine mutters, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Left side: The alien (referred to as a Aria) is charging them. Laine tells Marina to stay back and prepares to fire his Bind Needles.
Right side: Suddenly, the alien teleports away, using Laine’s own Disjunct manuever! He and Marina are shocked.
Left side: The Aria gets in close to Marina’s ship and unleashes a vocal attack. Aisha (Mark 5) charges forward to heal Marina’s ship, calling on Linne to give her cover with her shields.
Right side: Laine watches, stunned, as the alien uses Disjunct again to get behind Aisha.
Left side: Adding another surprise, the alien fires Bind Needles at Aisha. “It’ll tear her apart,” Laine shouts.
Right side: “Shield Bash!!!” Linne flies in to protect Aisha’s ship, managed to deflect further needles. But the Mark 5’s systems are down and Aisha is passing out. Nina orders Hugo to deploy Thunderstorm and move to protect Aisha.
Left side: Laine informs everyone that this Aria is using his weapons, both Disjunct and Bind Needles. “If you get hit by a Bind Needle, you’re dead in the water!” He shouts at Yu to get it together, but Yu is now being subjected to something else entirely. A huge shape moves in over his ship, the Mark 6…
…and he’s horrified to see his recurring nightmare come to life! The massive Seireness wraps its body around the Mark 6. Yu can only blurt out: “This is…”
Chapter title: The Dream Continued
Left side: Nina can only gape helplessly at the situation. On Vimana, the control team grapples with the crisis.
“Losing connection to Yamato ship!!! The Core ship is pinned down and can’t escape!” Carlos Jones realizes what’s happening. “They’re trying to take over the Yamato ship…!”
Linne announces that she’s heading to Yu’s rescue and warns Carlos Jones that if he dares to deploy the Mark X, he’s dead.
Right side: On Vimana, Alexei listens as Linne completes her threat: “I’m gonna find out where you are and smash you at the molecular level!” Jones goes silent.
Back outside, Nina cruises alongside Hugo’s ship as he tells her his Thunderstorm isn’t going to work on its own against the enemy holding Yu; he needs to combine it with her Second Sight Drones to be effective. “All right, let’s do it!”
Left side: The Seireness opens its mouth and shrieks, destroying all incoming projectiles. Nina and Hugo are shaken.
“Nelson ship and Richelieu ship have been hit hard! All Second Sight Thunderstorms have been dropped!”
Laine reacts with a shock.
Right side: Everyone watches, helpless and distraught, as Yu screams in pain.
Left side: Laine flashes back to an earlier time, on a Hawaiian beach. He’s looking at his phone as his girlfriend Naya approaches. She yanks it away, demanding to know who “Yu” is.
Right side: Confused, Laine says Yu is his best friend. Naya doesn’t believe him, demanding the truth. He bursts out laughing and says, “Naya…Yu is a guy.”
Left side: The two sit together and talk.
Laine: “I get why you didn’t understand. There are also Japanese women named Yu…”
Naya: “I’m sorry…I’ve been looking at my phone too much lately. What’s this Yu guy like?”
“He’s a jerky genius and a recluse.”
“How can someone like that be your best friend?”
“There are things I can’t tell him. But he told me something that he only wanted his friend Laine to know. That must have taken a lot of courage.”
Laine: “Yu needs an outlet for his anger…he’s become a convenient scapegoat [for the “crimes” of his mother]. I listened to his story…and wondered what I could do to help. Japan and Hawaii are too far apart to call it that. But I’m going to be his best friend till the end of my life.”
Naya: “That’s a nice relationship. I’m jealous.”
“Nice, huh? He beat up a schoolboy the other day. EH!!? You really shouldn’t get involved with someone like that!”
Left side: Laine tells Linne she has to cancel the alien’s song, but Linne doesn’t know how.
“I’ll jump in and shoot it with all the Bind Needles I’ve got,” he says. “That’s the only way!!!”
The Seireness opens its mouth, energy pouring out.
Right side: Wave-Motion energy. It has taken control of Yu’s prime weapon, preparing to fire it directly at Linne. Her shield comes up just in time to deflect the shot.
Left side: “That could have been it for me,” she thinks. Laine teleports in front of Linne’s ship using Disjunct. She says she can’t shield him, but he continues forward. “I can’t wait! If it keeps firing, Yu won’t last!!!” Yu’s body is subjected to extreme stress every time the WMG fires. And now it powers up for a second shot.
Right side: Laine teleports in close. “Gotcha!” But the alien controls Yu’s shock cannons as well, and opens fire on Laine. He takes a hit.
Left side: On Vimana, a controler says Laine’s ship has been damaged. Abbey watches helplessly as the WMG powers up to fire on the station itself. “All hands, brace for impact!!!”
Right side: Some have been thrown to floor by the impact. Alexei drops to Abbey’s side and she groans. “Thank god… she’s alive.”
Left side: But as he glances back at the main monitor, he sees that the commandeered WMG is already powering up again.
TO BE CONTINUED