Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 17

Story and art by Ryuko Azuma

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Narrative reads right to left

After the horrific battle that cost them two ships, the mysterious Nirvana council tallies their losses. Yu Yamato (Mark 6) is back on Earth rehabbing with mechanical arms and legs. The sacrifice of Laine Missouri (Mark 4) “has taken a heavy toll on his psyche.” Carlos Jones adds that the Yamato ship is currently being repaired, but can’t be deployed without its pilot. The female scientist mentions that Yu’s family is opposed to him returning to Topness.

Right side: the NerfThis fleet is reduced by two Attackers, so the council leader (in the mask) suggests bringing in a new ship: the Mark 8 (implying its predetermined pilot as well). “But he’s already discovered Linne’s true identity. It’s possible he’ll kill her.” Another says: “If he were to summon the antimatter giant again, using Mark X for the second time…we can’t risk Linne finding out where Mark X is.” The leader responds, “Even a Topness is only a child of man.”

Left side: “We don’t need Mark X to dispose of it.” She introduces us to the “most powerful Topness,” a boy named Mikhail Letvizan.

Title: The Strongest Topness

Left side: On Earth, Yu seems dazed as he is driven home by his grandparents. His grandmother comments on the beautiful holiday lights, but he answers that Jupiter is more beautiful. “Yu…you can’t go back to Topness any more…”

Right side: Back on Vimana station, Carlos talks with Alexei Letvizan, who says that his brother has been wanting to join Topness for a long time. Carlos cautions him that they “can’t be too happy about Mark 8’s arrival.” Alexei comments that the station is at only 37% capacity, and the fleet repairs are going slowly.

Left side: Carlos remarks that they may have to withdraw from Jupiter, and Alexei is surprised to learn that Carlos is aware of his unauthorized “coffee tree.” He has a suggestion…

Right side: “If you were to lose your life, I’d like you to give me the coffee tree. You might also want to tell your brother that it’s not a good idea to get into trouble over a tree.” “Okay,” Alexei answers, “But living things don’t always behave the way you want them to.”

Left side: At the home of Yu’s grandparents, his grandmother is preparing dinner and he absent-mindedly says he’s going out for a walk. “Laine is still out there walking around.” She reacts sharply, shouting his name.

Right side: She begs him not to go out, saying she’s lost all her friends. (The family has been cursed ever since Yu’s mother Maya caused Deus station to crash and kill millions.) “Please don’t trouble grandma!” Yu responds coldly. “I’m the one in trouble, Grandma. I have to get back to Topness with Laine…” Yu’s grandfather offers to go with him on his walk so she won’t have to worry.

Left side: On their walk, Yu finally breaks down in front of his grandfather. “Instead of Laine…I should have died!”

Right side:

“Yu…! You can’t say something like that.”

“You don’t know what it’s like, grandpa! I killed my only best friend! If I had died, Laine would still be alive!”

“That’s right, Yu. Your feelings are your feelings. I’m just so relieved that you’re alive. If I was in your shoes, I’d be horrified. I don’t know how hard it is for you. Everyone who survives blames themselves. The only thing I can say for you is your best friend risked his life to save yours. You were precious to this Laine person.”

Left side: Grandfather continues…

“Everyone lives protected by many people. You’re still in elementary school, and if you didn’t go to Jupiter, you’d be protected. So don’t blame yourself anymore.”

“But, Grandpa…if Seileness comes, we’ll all die. I’m in Topness. I have to go back to Topness…”

“Yu, you’re just like Maya. Maya was like an alien from another planet. She was my child and I didn’t know what to say to her. When he was about your age, she said she was going to detect cosmic rays, so she built a lab in the yard…”

Right side: Grandfather continues…

“She touched the high voltage stream and got knocked out. I panicked and called an ambulance, but when she woke up, she started the experiment again. In middle school she started talking about building a fusion reactor. In high school, she actually finished it. She never stopped talking about it. And she really got it done. And the Deus experiment…if not for the accident, I don’t know if I would’ve actually saved humanity.”

“I…I don’t know anything about Mama…”

Left side: Grandfather surprises Yu by asking if he wants to go and see the apartment his mother bought before her death. It’s still hers, even though it’s empty. “I knew I had to tell you someday. Sorry it took me so long…”

Later that night, Grandfather stays in the lobby as Yu takes the elevator up to the empty apartment.

He spots a children’s book she used to read to him, in which a girl made of snow named Katya proves her bravery by jumping over a campfire, but melts in the process. In a flashback, he remembers her reading the story and explaining it.

“I think Katya will turn into snow and come back to her Grandma and Grandpa. Just as the seasons change, so do our thoughts and our lives. Mama thinks so.”

Yu finds his way to Maya’s study and discovers a photo that’s fallen off the corkboard. He’s surprised to find something written on the back.

“Yu, Dad, Mom…I’m sorry I’ve always been so rude to you…if anything happens to me, use this to open my PC.”

Yu gets right to work.

Right side: Yu discovers a conversation between his mother and a younger Linne in Earth orbit. Maya proudly shows Linne a photo of her young son Yu. Linne is uncharacteristically interested in it. “Why were mama and Linne together!!?”

Left side: Yu’s grandmother sits in sadness in front of the family shrine to Maya, feeling lost and lonely. Yu arrives home and she offers to start dinner if he takes his coate off.

Right side: Yu repeats that he wants to go back to Topness and she loses her temper, insisting that he’s only 12 years old. “Then how old do I have to be? Can I go if I’m a grandma? Can you save the human race, Grandma?” She finally slaps him, shocked at her own outrage.

Left side: “I’m sorry for speaking rubbish. I’m sorry I didn’t go to school. I’m sorry for being so selfish…but even if I lose a limb or my life, I have to get it back. Since the day of the Deus accident, I’ve been dead. Mama is still dead. I’m Yamato, Maya’s son. I don’t want to run around anymore, Grandma. I’m going back to Topness to get Mama back.”

Yu’s grandmother weeps in front of him. “Grandma…I’m not the devil’s child. Mama didn’t take anyone’s life. Grandma, trust me…I’ll get Mama back and I’ll come back for you…”


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