Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 22

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 | Chapter 21

As the latest battle plays out over the moon, the voice of Mikhail Letvizan is piped in: “You were the original Space-Time Crystal! I’ll end you right here and now!”

The leader of Nirvana makes a decision. “The demon child who blocks our scenario…let death judge you.” With that, a massive machine rises from the surface of the moon.

The machine’s engine flares and it takes off over the horizon.

Chapter title: Antimatter Giant

Right side: someone calls out for Mikhail, but Nina tells them not to bother, the line is down. She orders Aisha in to repair Linne’s ship, in flames after Mikhail’s attack. Linne tells them to hold off. “Mikhail wants me. He won’t hurt you if you stay out of his way.”

Aisha wants to know what she’s talking about, but Linne just says she doesn’t have time to explain.

Left side: Suddenly, Mikhail’s ship phases back into real time and slices through the neck of a remaining Seireness. Yu reacts quickly.

Right side: Mikhail’s ship flashes past Yu’s ship, then tears apart the Frost Aster shield protecting Linne. He is about to phase out again when Yu threatens him.

Left side: Yu’s main guns take aim at Mikhail at point blank range. One shot will bring this to an end.

Right side: Yu fires and grazes Mikhail, but it’s a split-second too late. Mikhail phases out, raking Yu’s turrets with damage. Yu watches him climb away, trailing smoke. “I missed!!!”

Left side: Phased into “bullet time,” Mikhail curses Yu. “You’re a small fish! I’ll cut you up until you can’t move! Do you want to die with the original?”

As he phases back in, Mikhail shouts to Linne. “Checkmate, Mark 6!!!” But suddenly, his ship is pierced by a shot.

Right side: Mikhail’s ship suddenly goes dark, instantly losing power. He hears an announcement: “Full release of all space-time crystals has been approved.” Mikhail freezes. “What the…this mode…”

Left side: everyone watches in shock as Mikhail’s ship plummets away and is swallowed up by a sudden wormhole that appears out of nowhere.

Right side: Mikhail witnesses a horrific scene. A tortured figure approaches him from the dark.

Left side: from the moon base, Alexei reacts to a controller’s announcement: “We have a wormhole outbreak around the Letvizan ship!”

In his cockpit, Mikhail screams as his body disintegrates at the creature’s touch. “Somebody help me!!! It’s destroying my body!!! Somebody!!!”

“Brother…”

Mikhail’s body crumbles and the figure is revealed in giant form, swallowing his remains and destroying his ship.

Alexei shouts his brother’s name. Carlos Jones watches coldly. Abbey is transfixed by the image on the main screen.

“A giant…person…?”

Right side: above the lunar surface, the mysterious Nirvana machine phases out of existence (presumably having taken the shot that disabled Mikhail) and the giant faces off against the remaining armored Seireness. It’s hungry.

Left side: Linne names the beast: “Antimatter giant. We’re not gonna make it.”

The massive creature charges past a horrified Aisha.

Suddenly, the giant is on the armored Seireness, biting and embracing it.

The Nirvana leader speaks: “Repeated life is painful. O black one of destruction and slaughter, who will lead us to nirvana…drink up the blood of Seireness.”

A matter/antimatter reaction bursts to life like a hideous flower.

Right side: a controller shouts, “A massive anti-matter reaction centered on Seireness!” Abbey yells for everyone to run.

Left side: The Topness pilots stare in disbelief. Alexei is frozen and trembling. He doesn’t notice guards as they raise their pistols.

Right side: Abbey demands to know what’s going on. Alexei says it’s Nirvana’s doing. Carlos’ stoic enforcer says his first words: “I’ll save you the trouble of trying to figure it out. Alexei Letvizan, you’ll have to come with us.”

Then a shout from elsewhere: “Alexei!!”

Left side: the mini-army of Mifune robots drops hard into the control room, slamming the guards to the ground. Alexei makes it out of the room just in time to avoid being shot.

Right side: Alexei runs through the base, looking for an escape, but abruptly runs into Carlos Jones, weapon raised. A shot rings out.

Left side: Alexei drops, hit in the shoulder. “How dare you harm Mikhail…!”

“I warned you, Alexei,” Carlos says, “You crossed a line.”

Right side: Alexei shouts back, “YOU crossed the line! You’re the ones who killed my father. You killed my brother, you killed my best friend!!! Stole the cocoon of intelligence, trying to transcend the repeating universe!!! That’s what Nirvana is all about, isn’t it?”

“Alexei… I think you’ve got it all wrong…”

Left side: Alexei continues, “YOU’VE got it all wrong! You’re a cult of murderers!!!”

He screams in pain as Carlos grinds his heel into Alexei’s wounded shoulder.

“Alexei… Where does that pain come from? The pain of losing your father…mourning your lost brother…the grief of losing a friend…”

Right side: flashbacks from Carlos’ tragic past.

“The loss of a loved one…a soul with only time left to decay. You can’t escape it as long as you live. It is repeated over and over again.”

Left side: “Where does the suffering of all the souls in the universe come from?”

Alexei yells an answer: “You’re not going to tell me that it comes from being born!”

“No…all suffering stems from the fact that this universe was born.”

“This universe that repeats death and rebirth…back to nothingness again…that’s Nirvana.”

“…crazy” is all Alexei can say.

“Neither you nor I will ever be born again. I’ll give you one last death.”

Right side: Abbey shouts from nearby, aiming her own gun at Carlos, telling him to drop it. He responds by aiming back at her.

Left side: “You think you can shoot me?” She shouts at him again to drop the gun. Alexei suddenly realizes something.

Right side: Carlos freezes. Then drops, lifeless.

Left side: “My brother’s revenge…Mikhail’s gun…”

Abbey moves to Alexei’s side, then we cut to a space shuttle.

Right side: In the shuttle, Abbey patches Alexei up from a first aid kit, saying medical nanobots will take care of the rest. She then asks what they’re going to do now.

“I’ll go down to Earth to find their ship. If we don’t find Mark X, there will be more casualties like Mikhail…”

The lead Mifune says they’re ready to take off, but Alexei tells him to stay behind on the moon.

Left side: Mifune protests that Alexei will be in danger from Nirvana members on Earth, but Alexei says further action from Mifune and the other robots will only endanger them.

“I’ve turned you and your AI counterparts into spies. I know it’s been a psychological burden. But this is my last command…I need you to protect Topness and Abbey from Nirvana.”

Right side: Alexei is gone. Abbey and Mifune stare out at Earth.

“To turn the universe back into nothingness again,” Mifune muses. “Can we really call that salvation?”

“Mifune, It’s a sham salvation,” Abbey replies. “We feel worthless because we don’t see value in ourselves. What Nirvana is trying to do is just genocide.”

Left side: She continues, “If Nirvana denies us, I deny Nirvana. Sure, we’re imperfect, and we’re not gods. But we have the strength to accept our weaknesses. The weaknesses of others. Our own weaknesses. Mifune…how do you see us, the human race?

“You look so lovely,” Mifune says as Alexei streaks toward Earth and the enforcer finds Carlos’ body.

TO BE CONTINUED

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