Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 23

Story and art by Ryuko Azuma

See the original pages at Web NewType here
Narrative reads right to left

Earth, somewhere in Asia. A taxi driver named Andy listens to a news report about a violent protest at the UN building and despairs that not even a common enemy of humanity could bring humanity together any more.

Right side: Andy’s meal is interrupted by a man we recognize as Carlos Jones’ bodyguard. Andy says he’s off duty, but the bodyguard holds up a photo of Alexei Letvizan. “Have you picked up this man in the last few days?”

Left side: Andy reacts with surprise, then covers up. “…There were probably gunshot wounds somewhere on his body.”

Andy says he hasn’t seen the man and the bodyguard thanks him.

The bodyguard returns to his team and says to follow Andy’s car.

Chapter title: Hidden Place

Right side: on the moon base, Abbey faces the Topness pilots while Mifune robots stand guard outside. Nina lists all the bizarre things they’ve seen recently and asks Abbey to explain.

“The giant that arose from Mark 8 was probably trapped in a space-time crystal by Nirvana, to self-destruct and annihilate Seireness.”

Left side: Abbey explains that Nirvana is a secret organization behind the UN Space Command, and many of its members are in the UN. It was their plan to build the NerfThis fleet and orchestrate the pilot selection that brought them here. Their late commander, Carlos Jones, was part of it.

“He was going to involve humanity in his false salvation.”

Right side: Abbey says Alexei attempted to stop this plot and Marina is afraid it got him killed. Abbey reassures her that she and a Mifune got him safely to Earth in the ship that killed Mikhail. Alexei is now looking for the rumored Mark X battleship to destroy it.

The Mark X, secretly built by Nirvana, will have its own Space-Time Crystal, but its Topness pilot is unknown.

Left side: Nina points out that only eight copies of the original Space-Time Crystal exist, and all are accounted for. Abbey says it’s a lie that the original disappeared: “Nirvana covered it up because it was in danger of being destroyed.” — by Mikhail.

“The core used in Mark 7 was the original. Apparently is was the will of his father, who died in the Deus accident, to destroy the original Space-Time Crystal.”

At the mention of the Deus accident, Yu flashes back to the crash he witnessed as a child.

Right side: Abbey says that Mikhail tried to destroy the Mark 7 (Linne’s ship) and Yu blurts out that he’s not sorry Mikhail is dead. “He’s just lucky I didn’t kill him.” With that, Yu marches out of the room.

Left side: “Either way, unless the Mark X is destroyed, I can’t let you guys get aboard your ships.” Hugo asks how they’re going to destroy the Mark X without ships, and Abbey says that Linne has already volunteered despite the danger.

“The core of [her ship] the Mark 7 is the original…”

Right side: “It’s the only ship that Mark X’s abilities won’t work on.”

Left side: after the meeting, Nina sits alone with Yu. “I don’t feel sorry for him,” Yu mutters. “He tried to kille Linne.”

Right side: “I never knew life could be so painful. Why didn’t mama tell me…?”

Left side: Earth. Alexei works at his laptop in hiding. He’s tracking “unknown particles.”

“Very similar to the particles that collapsed the Space-Time Crystals in the Seireness sample. Maybe Mark X is using this particle to lead to total liberation.”

Right side: “By tracing the direction of the rays that released the Space-Time Crystals in Mark 6 and Mark 8, I found out that it originated from the North American continent. So I borrowed a UNSCSF satellite and I’m analyzing it now.”

He is interrupted when Andy appears and tells him to pack and get moving. “There’s a guy looking for you.”

Left side: They hear voices outside their door (an apartment manager?) and snap to full alert.

Right side: Gunshots rip through the door and Andy’s unprepared body. The bodyguard’s men kick their way in.

Left side: A grenade is thrown as a distraction, and Alexei’s other ally is gunned down.

Right side: the bodyguard tells his men to fan out, but to be careful since Alexei is armed. He examines Alexei’s data when a man calls for him.

Left side: “The bathroom window is broken!” Alexei seems to have escaped, but the bodyguard senses something else.

Alexei is still there! Gunfire brings down the middlemen and he manages to escape, leaving a blood trail for the bodyguard to follow.

Right side: we shift into a flashback. Yu’s mother Maya on board a space station with the young Linne. They’ve dyed her hair pink. “It’s really beautiful, like a cherry blossom.” Maya promises to show her the real thing after they’re done here.

“I don’t think the Deus Project will set me free,” Linne answers.

Left side: “I’ll never let that happen. I didn’t join the project to study you. I was asked to be your mother. I have a responsibility to finish this project for the future of humanity.”

Right side: we jump forward to another time. Maya is examining something secret. “As expected…it’s very similar to Nirvana’s battleship plans. Deus wasn’t built just to copy space-time crystals. No wonder it was under construction forever. Even with my passcode, I can’t get in. Deus’ secret place…”

A voice calls out, demanding to know what she’s doing here.

Left side: it’s Carlos Jones, looking less like the friend he used to be. Behind him is another former friend.

Meanwhile, Linne stares at the photo of Maya and a young Yu. “Maya’s son…I’ve never even met him…I don’t know why I miss him so much.”

Abruptly, the picture slips out of her hands and breaks on the floor.

The young Linne flashes FORWARD to moments with Yu (real and dreamed) that haven’t happened to her yet.

Right side: the flash reaches a future dreamscape where she is with an adult version of Yu. “Why!?” she shouts. “Why did Maya bring me into this universe?”

Left side: “Because of me, humanity has been destroyed by Seireness over and over again! Why was I born? Why didn’t Maya tell me how painful it is to live!”

“Linne…no one knows what they were born for…”

“But until Linne finds out why she was born into this universe…I’ll always be there for Linne, no matter how many times I’m reborn.”

At that moment, the young Yu wakes up on Earth, having tapped into the same dream vision.

Right side: back in the secret location, Maya confronts the two men she used to call friends.

“SETH? You…I thought you were dead.”

“I am not Seth,” the long-haired man answers.

Maya realizes: “Space-Time Crystal!?”

Left side: “An information body implanted with Seth Gardinas’ pre-life data. For the salvation of souls…Nirvana’s Walking Scripture.”

Linne suddenly appears, shouting for Maya to get away.

Right side: Carlos aims his pistol at Maya. “I’m sorry. You betray us all over again.” Linne rushes forward…

Left side: …but too late to stop the shot. Maya’s last words are, “I knew it. You were right. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep…promise…”

“Seth” speaks to Linne, still kneeling over Maya.

“You seem to remember…Linne Aegis. Seireness will be here soon. I need your help.”


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