Story and art by Ryuko Azuma
See the original pages at Web NewType here
Narrative reads right to left
Lunar Base Anumati. Officials from Earth review the losses suffered so far, including the trillion dollar Vimana base at Jupiter. NerfThis leader Carlos Jones sits and listens, disinterested in their complaints.
Right side: Jones doesn’t see what they have to gripe about, since his unit has intercepted the enemy Seireness seven times in six months. The complaint is that now the front line has moved to Earth orbit, and it’s “his fault.” He responds that they’re only sitting here today because of his group. An aide whispers something to him.
Left side: He rises and says a new wormhole has been detected opening at Jupiter and excuses himself. As they protest, he dares them to fire him or dismantle NerfThis, which would seal their own fates. As he walks to the new command center, he muses that the enemy has returned quicker than he thought.
Chapter title: Danish Gambit
Left side: Abbey briefs the Topness pilots, saying that a new platoon of Seireness is on their way to Earth, and the ships are being prepared for launch. Marina reminds everyone that they don’t have Laine or Yu to rely on any more, but Abbey just assures them that the ships will be ready in time.
Right side: preparing for attack (montage)
Left side: Hugo finds Marina feeling helpless, unable to sleep on the eve of a new fight. Hugo offers to get her some medicine to help, but she declines. “I wonder if we’ll disappear one by one, like the teeth of a comb falling out…”
Right side: She’s on the verge of tears and he admits understanding why Laine would want to protect Yu so desperately. She’s angry that he sacrificed himself. He says only the Seireness are at fault for what has happened, and she suggests that he get some rest. “Tomorrow will be much harder.”
Left side: She leaves him with a can of cocoa that she couldn’t drink and says good night. Hugo looks heavenward. “Hey, Laine…I wonder what’s gonna happen to us now…”
Right side: next morning, the fleet prepares for launch (montage)
Left side: Jones watches from his command chair as Nina gives everyone their marching orders.
“Everyone, this time, we’ll focus on the zones compacted around Linne and drop them all one by one. Don’t rush it. Don’t push it too hard. Second Sight will be used for some attacks, so watch out for marker leaks. Linne will switch shields frequently to assist the attackers. Hugo, use the Gravity Ballet as insurance. Marina will coordinate with Linne and Frost Aster. Please switch your support between them.”
“Aisha will deploy inside the fleet. Any incoming Seireness will be dealt with by the ribbon. Hugo will coordinate with Second Sight to lure the enemy into a single unit. Drop their Aria with Lightning Bolt. It’ll probably be a long, crowded fight. We need to stay focused. No more casualties. So let’s all get fired up.”
“Anti-Seireness Fleet, NerfThis…Launch!!”
With that, their five ships take off to intercept the enemy.
Abbey and Alexei watch as they converge. Hugo opens with a salvo of Thunderstorm missiles. The largest of the Seireness creates a ring of drones and initiates a counterattack.
Right side: Hugo watches in shock as the sawlike drones slice his Thunderstorms in half. He warns Marina that she’s vulnerable.
Left side: Marina puts up her Frost Aster shield, but the drones cut right through. Nina’s Second Sight satellites are the next to go. “They’re fast!” She calls out to Line…
Right side: …who actives her Gravity Shield. She tells Hugo to round up his errant Thunderstorms before they can be taken out, or their joint attack (Lightning Bolt) can’t be used. Uncertain that he can manage this, he calls out to Nina for help. She offers to create a barrage with her Second Sight satellites.
Left side: Linne’s shield is blown away by the aria coming from the lead Seireness. Another enemy charges up at her from below, but Marine throws up a Frost Aster shield to block it.
Right side: More enemy drones cut through her shield, then damage both her and Linne’s ship. This battle is rapidly deteriorating.
Left side: Nina watches the scales tip in the enemy’s favor. Hugo says Thunderstorm is their only move left as a Seireness giant looms up behind him.
Right side: The alien punches his ship, sending it out of control. “Thunderstorm has been disrupted!” Aisha rushes toward Linne’s ship to conduct emergency repairs, and her vessel gets struck by Seireness drones, too.
Left side: The command center is filled with the cries of the beleaguered Topness pilots being overwhelmed. “How are we supposed to fight back? We’re gonna get wiped out!”
Right side: And then, suddenly, a new ship appears, firing a massive energy blast directly at the back of the lead Seireness’ head.
Left side: It flies past as the enemy dies a quick death. Everyone listens, stunned, to the voice of the ship’s pilot. voice comes from the mystery ship. “Marker, give me a marker! I’ve never been in a real battle before. Their song should be sealed for the moment. The Drones should be slowed down, so you can deal with them. Mark 3, Lightning Bolt, please!”
Right side: the new ship and pilot are revealed…
MARK 8: Powerful energy rounds. Shotgun to scatter. NerfThis affiliate. Strongest Super Closeup attacker.
“Sorry I’m late, guys! I’ll get rid of them all at once!”
Exclusive passenger attacker. Mikhail Letvaizan (12). Russian.
Left side: “A NEW SHIP!!!” The two supporting Seireness look toward their slain leader.
“The mistake is there, waiting to be pointed out,” Mikhail says. “That was a bad move, Seireness!”
Right side: Mikhail reveals his special attack. “GENERAL PAUSE!!” His ship seems to flit out of existence. “A TEMPO!!” It reappears right next to one of the enemy and blows its head off.
Left side: Mikhail repeats the maneuver to decapitate a second Seireness. Aisha is astonished. “Such a distance…how can you travel that far in an instant?” Mikhail answers: “It’s not instant!”
Right side: “I’m stopping time! GENERAL PAUSE!” His ship vanishes from their midst…
Left side: “A TEMPO!!!” …and pops back into view near the last enemy. “I’m out of ammo, so…KNIFE KILL!!!” Without stopping, He takes off its head and hands at incredible speed. Hugo watches with amazement and Mikhail asks him to finish things off.
Right side: Hugo charges up for a lightning blast that will atomize the enemy bodies in their midst.
Left side: A bright flash, and “Mission complete. The enemy Seireness have been deployed.” An aide standing next to Carlos Jones mutters, “As they say…the most powerful Topness.”
Right side: On the moonbase flight deck, the Topness pilots gather around Mikhail, amazed by his technique. He explains that rather than stopping time, he creates a time fault to dive in and out of, which seems instantaneous. The drawback is that cooldown takes a while, and he can’t reload in the time fault. “But you really helped us today,” Nina says. “If it wasn’t for you, we would’ve been wiped out.” Linne reacts to something else.
Left side: A shuttle has landed. Yu Yamato is revealed. “YU!!?”
Right side: “Yu! Why did you come back?” Linne rushes up to him, stopping when she sees his artificial limbs.
Left side: “It’s fine,” he answers coldly. “I can still fly the Mark 6. Linne…we need to talk later.” Everyone is shocked as he just brushes past them. Mikhail watches from the sidelines. “I see. So he’s Maya Yamato’s son…”
TO BE CONTINUED