Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 18

Story and art by Ryuko Azuma

See the original pages at Web NewType here

Read Chapters 1-13 here | Chapter 14 here | Chapter 15 here | Chapter 16 here | Chapter 17 here

Narrative reads right to left

This chapter opens on the remaining five Topness pilots, grieving at Vimana station. Nina informs them that the NerfThis fleet has decided to withdraw from Jupiter for a base on the moon. Linne says that Yu is not coming back, and they have to stick together until the Mark 8 is completed and can join them.

Abbey and Alexei say their last goodbye to Laine and the fleet departs. Vimana is scuttled behind them.

Everyone looks back at their disintegrating base. Even Carlos Jones is solemn. Chapter title: Jupiter Withdrawal

14 years ago, Eastern Mexico. We find Maya Yamato (Yu’s mother), a much breezier Carlos Jones, and a wheelchair-bound man named Seth Cardinas. Maya previously had a relationship with Seth, and is fuming that Carlos invited her here under false pretenses. Nevertheless, the three of them look forward to an imminent meteor shower.

Carlos tries to mollify Maya by saying Seth is here on medical leave, and he thought it would be a nice change of pace for them both. Maya takes a drink of the tequila, and is shocked that Carlos could afford such a good blend – not to mention this vacation home – on a UN Space Force salary. They watch as the meteor shower commences.

Seth and Maya ruminate on how ancient peoples thought meteor showers signalled the end of the world. “Even the end of the world can be seen from a distance,” he says, then starts coughing uncontrollably. “I’ve been sick, but I’m feeling good today,” he says. “And I’ve got to keep an eye on the world to make sure it doesn’t end.” With that, they move inside.

Right side: Seth has retired early, leaving Carlos and Maya to talk.

Carlos: That was a lot of meteors. If even one of them hit, we’d be in trouble…

Maya: Those meteors are only the size of nickels. They’ll burn up in the stratosphere. If you want to end the world, you have to drop an asteroid the size of Everest. Like 66 million years ago…the God of Doom who destroyed the dinosaurs. But that God of Doom was the reason we humans were born. That’s why we have to push forward with science. We can’t let humanity die out. Eventually, we’ll have to leave the solar system. The universe will be filled with civilizations created by humans.

Left side:

Carlos: For example, in a black hole? What do you think?

Maya: A black hole is a unique object, but there’s a stable planetary orbit inside. Even if all the stars in the universe were to burn up. A black Hole’s massive energy might be enough to sustain civilization.

Carlos: So maybe the reason aliens haven’t come to Earth is because we’re inside a Black Hole.

Maya: Hahaha… I don’t think so. Because there are many stars available in this universe. Unless there is some special reason

Then talk turns to Seth.

Right side: Carlos reveals that it was Seth who asked him to invite Maya here, since she wouldn’t have agreed to it otherwise. Carlos thinks Seth has something to tell her.

Left side: Seth awakens Maya the next morning.

Seth asks Maya to keep him company. Nervous about being alone with him, she suggests they wake up Carlos, but Seth only wants her. As he leads her down into the house’s basement, she marvels at how much deep it goes.

A chamber opens, an inside a strange glowing crystal hovers in midair.

“It destroyed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago,” Seth explains. “The guardian of mankind…”

“…A space-time crystal.”

Maya says it can’t be the killer meteorite, that would have evaporated.

“If it was a known object, then yes. But this thing has been at the center of the Chicxulub Crater for 66 million years. It’s been lying on the ocean floor 600 meters down.”

Right side: Seth says that his family (an oil-baron dynasty) discovered it while surveying off the Yucatan Peninsula.

“A great discovery that will change the history of the earth, but my family did not disclose that fact. They were good at business, but very selfish. They wanted to study this unknown object and exploit it exclusively.”

Left side: Maya marvels at the crystal, which is shapeshifting before her eyes.

“And it’s releasing unknown particles,” Seth says. “I consider this unknown object to be another universe that exists within this universe. I believe it to be a micro-universe.”

Maya says that’s a ridiculous theory as she reaches out to touch the crystal…and witnesses something inside.

A circle of Seileness is gathered around the crystal. Their leader speaks:

“When the flowers bloom …When the fruit is ripe…Yuga will end…The tenth and final Avatara. Eternity…Time…And Kalki, destroyer of chaos…Awaken…”

The crystal reshapes itself into a child. Linne Aegis…?

She drops to the ground, and the leader speaks again.

“Kalki…The end of Yuga is near…Leave this cocoon of intelligence again…Bring order to our universe again…”

She screams, NOOOOOOOOOOO

Right side: the vision fades. Seth has seen it too. He thinks it may be a memory stored in this object. Maya demands to know why he brought her here. “I want you to be her mother.”

Left side: Seth says it was just a little joke. He actually wants her take over his work.

“My research on space-time crystals will change the course of human history. It could be the key to saving humanity. But I don’t have time for that anymore. My body is suffering from a disease…one that will never be cured. Eventually, I won’t be able to move my limbs, talk…I won’t be able to speak or breathe. My soul will be trapped in my body…and I will lose everything forever. This research…and all the beautiful memories I have of you.”

Seth asks Maya if she remembers the last present he left her when they broke up. She does. It was a book titled Snow Daughter (see in Chapter 17).

“I knew you’d delete my contact info, so I put it on the last page. I’ve been waiting to hear from you. But I guess you threw it away.”

Right side: “No,” she says, hugging him tightly. “I still have it.” He stares resolutely at the crystal.

Left side: Some time later, Carlos joins Seth.

“Did you succeed in convincing Maya?”

“Yes…thanks to you, Carlos.” He has another coughing fit, then says “This is the last ‘birth’ and it will never be born again.”

Right side: “Salvation for all the mass in the universe,” Carlos says.

Left side: another time. Carlos finds an older Maya at Seth’s grave. She just returned to Earth, but she didn’t arrive in time for the funeral. Carlos mentions the Deus Project, and she just says she’ll be on Earth for a while.

“Even if it is a vacation, it’s maternity leave.”

“Oh, well…I didn’t know you were going to be a mother.”

“I’m a single mother. Isn’t he cute? His name is Yu…”

TO BE CONTINUED

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