Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 21

Story and art by Ryuko Azuma

See the original pages at Web NewType here

Read Chapters 1-13 here | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20

Mikhail sits in his quarters on the NerfThis fleet’s moonbase, studying the data he hacked in the last chapter, noticing that several files have been given Sanskrit names. He reacts to something shocking.

“This isn’t a dedicated program. The startup process is disguised. Inside this battleship…there’s no Space-Time Crystal?”

In other words, one of the ships in the fleet does not contain a crystal for its Topness pilot to sync with. For some reason, it isn’t needed.

Chapter title: The most important person in the Universe

Right side: elsewhere on the base, Alexei and Abbey pore through the same data, obtained by Mikhail. They are peering directly into the secrets of Nirvana.

The data describes the “cocoon of intelligence” we’ve heard Nirvana members mention abstractly. Its description reminds Alexei of a black hole. He deduces that the Seireness must reside inside of one, using a wormhole to cross into Earth’s solar system.

Left side: Wondering why the Seireness would shut themselves off in a black hole, Abbey asks a Mifune robot what he thinks the “cocoon of intelligence” could be. He suggests that it is a form of protection; to protect intelligence. The Seireness are trying to protect themselves from something.

“What is the crisis that approaches them?” Alexei asks. “The ultimate physical phenomenon that even the most advanced intelligence can’t control…?”

Right side: They continue reading the stolen data: “Our sword, NerfThis, will break the cycle of the universe. Free us from the Seireness universe. The Topness children will fulfill our wishes. This universe, for the 49th time…salvation for all souls…”

“No way,” Alexei marvels. “The end of the universe…?”

Left side: “The end of the universe is when all the stars burn out,” Mifune says. “No life forms will be able to survive. Even Seireness. Destined to disappear with the rest of the universe.”

Alexei disagrees that the “big freeze” is not the scenario for the end of the universe. Instead, “It’s a cycle of big crunches and big bounces. A cyclic universe of death and rebirth. The 49th universe…Nirvana knows for some reason that this is a cyclic universe.”

Right side: Alexei forms a hologram of a black hole. “NGC613 is a black hole at the center of the galaxy that is older than the age of the universe. Perhaps this is the cocoon of intelligence.”

Left side: “This black hole. The cocoon of intelligence is the end of this cyclic universe.”

Right side: “It survived the big crunch. Seireness is averting the end of this universe via the cocoon of intelligence.”

Left side: Abbey is astonished. “So you don’t think Seireness is…”

“No,” Alexei answers. “Seireness is not future humanity. It’s past humanity, born 49 universes ago. It’s Topness.”

Right side: Yu Yamato stands before his battleship in the hangar bay, thinking of the girl in his dream. A version of Linne.

“I…everyone…Earth…I couldn’t protect you.”

Left side: Mikhail Letvaizan enters and greets Yu. They introduce themselves, Yu noting that they are the same age.

Right side: Mikhail is glad to finally meet Yu, mentioning that the only other Topness pilot he hasn’t met yet flies the Mark 7 (Linne). After an awkward moment when Mikhail focuses on Yu’s mechanical hand, he asks what the Mark 7 pilot is like.

Left side: “Ah…Linne. She’s…the most important person in the universe.”

Right side: “That’s in very bad taste,” Mikhail says after Yu walks away.

Left side: the control center is staffed up as the NerfThis fleet flies off to confront incoming Seireness.

Right side: Nina issues orders to the Topness pilots, saying that Mikhail will take the lead. Marina and Hugo will support him. Linne will launch her gravity shield to protect all of them. Once Mikhail succeeds in blocking the song, Linne should drop the shield and join the attack.

Left side: an “ensemble” of Seireness approach, six supporters flanking a “Diva” as they emerge from a wormhole. Linne (in Mark 7) launches her micro black holes to activate the gravity shield.

Mikhail shouts “General Pause” to hyper-accelerate, but the “diva” instantly coats herself with armor, a new move from the Seireness. Mikhail realizes that she is a Space-Time Crystalline entity and ceases his attack run. Marina erects Frost Aster to cover him, blocking the enemy.

Mikhail opens fire on the armored Seireness, chipping away the armor and shouting, “Don’t underestimate the Mark 8’s firepower!”

Right side: Mikhail breaks off to reload his ammunition, and Hugo moves in to hold off the enemy in his Mark 3.

Left side: the supporting enemies are turned back by Hugo’s Thunderstorm attack. Nina urges everyone to press the advantage.

Right side: Linne drops her shields to move in, not noticing that Mikhail is right on her tail.

Left side: As Yu powers up his Wave-Motion Gun, he notices Mikhail’s strange behavior. He has disconnected from the rest of the fleet and is now powering up to fire at Linne.

Right side: Mikhail suddenly shouts at Linne. “You were the original space-time crystal!!! I’ll end you right here and now!”

Left side: He fires, striking Linne’s ship at close range.

Right side: shocked by this, Nina quickly orders Marina to block Mikhail with Frost Aster. Mikhail’s ship stops firing and flashes away, leaving everyone in chaos and confusion.

Left side: in the control center, Abbey and the others are equally confused. Mikhail is no longer detected.

Alexei ponders what his younger brother said. “Mark 7 is the original…?”

Carlos Jones and his hit man stand in the background, observing in cold silence.

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