Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 3

Story and art by Ryuko Azuma
See it in larger format on Comic NewType here
Back up to Chapter 1 here, or Chapter 2 here
Narrative reads right to left

Right side: On the space station Vimana in orbit around Jupiter, the seven Topness members of NerfThis are being introduced to the staff. The introduction concludes with Mark 7 Topness Linne Aigis, who blankly says, “Nice to meet you.” The other Topness members applaud, all except for a defiant Hugo.

Left side: Chapter title Catcher in the Jupiter

Right side: Later, Nina (Mark 1) and Marina (Mark 4) have a swimming competition.

Left side: The “raccoon” robot Mifune declares Nina the winner. Aisha (Mark 5) says she never swam before coming to Jupiter, and she’s no match for Malina.

Right side: As Malina climbs out of the pool, she berates Aisha for being slower than a sloth that fell in the water. She is berated for knowing nothing about sloths, which move three times faster in the water. Aisha changes the subject, sharing gossip. Evidently, Linne (Mark 7) never played the Star Sailor game before coming here.

Left side: The others are stunned. They’re unaware of any other way someone can be appointed a Topness. Linne went into battle (the day before) without qualifying in the game. Conversation turns to others. Malina mentions that Hugo is “crazy jealous” of Linne. Aisha says he’s not all bad, but Malina counters that yes, he actually is.

Right side: Yu wanders into the station’s convenience store and is amazed to spot a bin of Sky Ice, his favorite dessert.

Left side: He buys every single one and waits for an elevator to take him somewhere he can eat.

Right side: Later, he sits on a bench happily eating his ice cream and wondering if someone else ordered it. Whoever it is just improved the quality of life on Vimana. Hugo wanders by, looking upset. He notices Yu and the bag of ice cream.

Left side: Hugo yells at Yu for buying up all the Sky Ice, revealing that he’s the one who ordered it. Yu understands, but doesn’t apologize, instead asking if Hugo is still a cadet. (Meaning a beginner.)

Right side: Hugo shoots back that Yu’s got a big mouth and this is no place for an elementary school kid. “Don’t get cocky after yesterday’s fluke.”

Left side: Linne appears, telling Hugo to knock it off. He insists that juniors should listen to their seniors, and she points out that as Topness Mark 7 she’s his senior even though she’s younger than him. Hugo boils while Yu giggles.

Right side: Linne walks away and Hugo slumps, declaring that anyone with the name “Yamato” can’t be any good. “It was a Yamato that dropped Deus on America. If Deus hadn’t fallen, I’d be France’s best soccer player right now.” He digs in, asking Yu if he’s related to Maya Yamato (who was excoriated for causing Deus to fall).

Left side: Yu flings his ice cream at Hugo, huffing angrily.

Right side: Hugo insists it was a joke and Yu storms off. Overhearing, Linne returns and says that joke wasn’t funny. His behavior could become life-threatening in the future.

Left side: flashback to Chapter 2, when Yu fired the Wave-Motion Gun at point blank range and nearly killed himself. Linne continues: “His mother…was Maya Yamato.” Hugo is shocked.

Right side: High above Jupiter, a scouting ship approaches a giant, severed hand. Mifune is perched outside with forceps to grab a tissue sample. Inside, Abbey Yang (Operation NerfThis HR manager) congratulates new character Alexei Retvizan for finding the hand. (His title isChief of Information Technology Operations Dept. UN Space Force).

Left side: They discuss the fact that Seireness resemble the human form and wonder what motivates them to attack. It could be that they’re trying to migrate to Earth. But what would an advanced civilization that travels through wormholes want on Earth?

Right side: Alexei speculates that Seireness are luring humans to their doom with their singing voice, like sirens. Abbey thinks it’s ridiculous, but answers that human development is rapid, already managing to repel the enemy.

Left side: Using the powerful energy of the spacetime crystals built into their ships, the Topness pose a real threat, and if the human race obtains faster-then-light travel, they’ll become a singularity that Seireness cannot overlook. Mifune calls in from outside that he has obtained the sample.

Right side: Now heading back to Vimana, Abbey asks if they’ll get in trouble for coming out here. Alexei admits that he did not get permission from Carlos, the commander, because he’s hanging out with some shady people lately and Alexei wants to keep the true identity of Seireness a secret.

Left side: Alexei talks about an earlier expedition, in which he tried to look for copies of the spacetime crystal that fell with Deus in North America. Abbey reacts sharply, saying that the existence of copies was top secret. How in the world did he find out?

Right side: Alexei cautions Abbey, saying there are some questions that shouldn’t be asked. He explains that Maya Yamato tried to save the human race by releasing the original spacetime crystal in exchange for her own life. When Deus crashed it set off the “Yellowstone eruption” that probably buried the copies of the crystal.

Left side: He says, “The UN forces recovered all eight copies in just six years, and they became the cores of the NerfThis ships, up to the Mark 8 which is still being built.” Abbey asks what he’s getting at, and he theorizes that someone may have carried away the original spacetime crystal before Seireness attacked. He really wants to find out.

On the station, Commander Carlos Jones ponders the fact that “Someone hung a veil over the truth…”

Right side: Yu has returned to his quarters to find Linne looking through his belongings. She asks him, “Is this Star Sailor?” and he tries to rush past her.

Left side: She grabs and holds him tight. He demands that she let go, but she answers in a motherly fashion. “When Yu needs me, I’m always there. I’m sure of it.” He relaxes in her arms.

Right side: Yu flashes back to younger days, being held by Maya. “Yu…I’m sorry I can’t be there all the time.”

Left side: Elsewhere, Laine (Mark 2) finds Hugo still cleaning up the ice cream. Hugo admits that he lost his temper with Yu, just as he did on an earlier occasion with Malina. “Hey, Laine,” Hugo asks, “What’s the deal with Yu’s mother?”

Right side: Laines asks why Hugo is so worked up about Yu, and Hugo recounts his past. “I used to play soccer. It was street soccer with no coach or referee. There was no one in the refugee camp who could beat me. They said I could go pro one day, a golden boy inside the fence. One day a little Asian kid came in. Now that I think about it, he was like Yu.”

Left side: “I lost the lead in an instant. I was no longer going to be the number 1 pro. I kept chasing behind that kid. Since then, no other pro has come out of that camp. He became a hero of France, and I was just another refugee kid. I was so stupid and miserable. I made it here, but I’m no match for Nina or Malina. Or you, Laine. It’s miserable to be an incomplete talent. The real thing snatches the dream right in front of me. I feel worthless.”

Right side: Laine tells Hugo that talent isn’t the meausre of a human being. It’s just a tool. What you do with it is what matters. “Take a look around.”

Left side: “The scenery has changed, hasn’t it?” “Maybe so,” Hugo admits.

Right side: At the spaceport, Alexei has returned. He and Mifune are greeted by Carlos, who wants to know why he took out a survey ship without permission. Alexei just answers that he wanted to collect EVA data on Mifune. Carlos orders them patted down.

Left side: Nothing unusual is found, so Carlos lets them off. “Make sure to get permission from now on.”

Right side: Alexei breathes a sigh of relief, and Mifune tries to imitate him. Mifune asks what this is all about. “Don’t you think there are some questions you shouldn’t ask?” “I think there are…”

Left side: Later, Abbey enters the station through an airlock from outside. She reunites with Alexei, complaining about what he’s gotten her into. “Trouble always follows us around,” he answers breezily. “What matters is the ability to respond.”

Right side: She hands over a case and berates him for being no good at lying. He opens it to reveal the samples Mifune recovered. “It’s Seireness DNA. Their true identity.”

Left side: Abbey protests that it’s just human DNA, but Alexei says it’s uncontaminated because only Mifune touched it. The readout shows something astonishing. “Seireness is a kind of human genus, like Neanderthals. They’re sapiens, like us.”

TO BE CONTINUED

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Return to Star Blazers Lambda Year One

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