Right side: Linne Aigis stands in an area, surrounded by interrogators
Left side: Carlos Jones asks her where she intended to take her assigned ship, the Mark 7, after she avoided surveillance to enter space station Vimana. She answers, “Out of your reach” and says her intent was to gamble on luring out Seireness. A new character wearing a mask (Cess Cardinas, chairperson of “Nirvana”) says she won the bet thanks to Linne and Yu Yamato.
Linne growls that Cess played a dirty trick, and Cess replies that it was the space-time crystal that chose Yu Yamato. “You boarded the Mark 7 to protect him, what’s your complaint?” Linne states that the game is well-designed to find candidates for Topness, but the members of Topness don’t know the real rules. Cess explains that the pieces in a game don’t need to know the rules. “Destroying Seireness…we are the players who perform the scenario of mankind. In this space, all souls are saved.” The scene transitions back to Linne in her own quarters on Vimana.
“The scenario of mankind…or the scenario of you and Nirvana?” Chapter 4 title: NIRVANA
The scene shifts to an unknown space. Yu Yamato wakes up being cradled by Linne. She tells him they are in the “Cocoon of Intelligence.”
He gapes at a huge, deformed version of her with an arm dropping off. When he turns back, the “first Linne” also loses her arm and tells him, “The diva is coming here soon. It’s chasing you. You’re really dumb, but…”
“I’m sort of happy. Goodbye, Yu.” Yu wakes from a dream and is startled to find the real Linne in his bed. He tumbles backward and hits his head on the floor.
Right side: Linne tells Yu that if he keeps hitting his head, he might end up as a college student. (Mifune pops up to explain that research proves most college students got hit in the head as children.) Yu gets an eyeful of Linne’s cleavage and turns away, embarassed.
Left side: She asks what’s up, and he describes his weird dream. Linne is shocked by the description and immediately calls up the command room. “Seireness is coming!”
Right side: Abby and Alexei rush to the command center to hear that energy readings have risen sharply, a sign that Seireness is attacking for the second time. The members of Topness have entered their core ships. As the core ships dock into the vessels of NerfThis fleet, Yu wonders how Linne knew this was coming.
Left side: The launch process continues. Abby tells Nina (Mark 1 pilot) to take careful measures, and she answers that there will be a delay before her “Second Sight” [overall field data] can be interpreted. All seven ships launch and Nina deploys her Second Sight drones.
The Seireness warp in, instantly attacking the fleet with a glowing sphere.
Right side: In the Vimana control room, all the pilots’ vital signs are spiking. Their connections will soon be lost. Linne names the enemy weapon: Magneta.
Left side: Alexei realizes that Seireness is attacking with a strong magnetic field. Marina (Mark 4 pilot) asks Linne what they’re facing, and she explains that it can de-magnetize water and destroy their cell tissue. She tells everyone to get away from the glowing sphere as fast as they can.
Right side: Hugo (Mark 3 pilot) doesn’t think they have a chance of outracing this attack. Nina says that the magneta is supported by a gravity field, which can be disrupted by combining the Yu’s Wave-Motion Gun with Hugo’s Lightning Bolt attack. Hugo launches his Thunderstorm.
Left side: “With the two of us together, we’ll grill them like fish! LIGHTNING BOLT!!!”
Seireness counterattacks, blasting their song at Hugo. Marina shouts his name…
…and deploys her Frost Aster shield in Hugo’s defense. Yu reacts as a Seireness pushes its giant arms through the shield and pursues him. Hugo tries to reach Marina, but she’s out cold.
Right side: the control room announces that the Fraser Ship (Mark 4) is down. Nina orders Aisha (Mark 5) to tow her out of danger. Yu is about to be caught when Linne calls out, “Deploy Gravity Shield!”
Left side: Linne flies in (in the Mark 7) and cuts off the Seireness chasing Yu. Nina tells Linne to break off as soon as Yu gets clear, but now it looks like Linne’s ship is about to be lost, too. Carlos Jones chooses that moment to leave the command room, puzzling both Abby and Alexei.
Right side: Carlos is back in the Nirvana arena from the start of the chapter. He updates Cess on the losing battle and says, “If a Cocoon of Intelligence occurs here, our scenario can’t be carried out.” She orders him to release their copy of the space-time crystal. “The anti-matter giant is the last dagger for the future existence of Seireness. The Mark X cannot be used.” Carlos protests that at this rate, the original will fall into their hands, and mankind cannot then be led into Nirvana. Cess answers, “Don’t worry. The Mark 3 Topness (Hugo) will know what to do in this battle. Leave this fight to him and Maya’s son.”
Left side: The four remaining Topness ships flee together. Hugo ponders their options, then asks Laine (Mark 2 pilot) to pierce his ship with Bind Needles. Laine says Hugo will be caught by the enemy. Hugo ignores him, asking if Yu is ready to fire the Wave-Motion Gun. He asks what Hugo is up to, and Hugo says that he will be the one to shield the fleet now. “If we miss this one chance, it’s team death. Shall we…?”
Right side: Yu answers in the affirmative, willing to go to Heaven. Laine fires Bind Needles into Hugo’s ship, saying this is crazy. Abby and Alexei watch, amazed.
Left side: The Seireness are incoming. Hugo stares them down, claiming that he learned Fleming’s Law in junior high.
Right side: Hugo dares the Seireness to come at him. In the control room, an observer says, “Electricity is flowing back into the internal circuit! The Richelieu Ship (Hugo’s) is generating a strong magnetic field!” Abby tries to stop him, saying it won’t be enough.
Left side: Hugo answers: “Why else am I here? I made it to Jupiter! Nobody else can beat them now! Good guys and bad guys…the guys who mocked me and the ones who don’t know me…I’m gonna protect all of them from this!! I was a lousy student, but the seniors have to protect the juniors!!!” Energy builds to a critical point.
“Catch this, Yu,” Hugo shouts as he releases his ship’s energy at the enemy, “a killer pass!”
Yu lets fly with the Wave-Motion Gun…
…and their combined energies wipe out the enemy. Alexei realizes it was a magnetic force that did it. Hugo is barely conscious as he looks out at Yu’s ship. “What a strange sight…”
Right side: Yu is exhausted after the battle. Hugo walks up carrying a bag of Sky Ice from the station’s single convenience store.
Left side: Hugo says the previous stock all melted, so he bought this batch before it could sell out. Staring off into the distance, he says, “There’s a lot you don’t know. I’m older than you…if there’s anything you’re worried about, talk to me.” Surprised to see Hugo’s guard starting to come down, Yu asks if he wants to eat some Sky Ice. Hugo wants to get it into a fridge before it can melt, but then relents. “Okay, just a little…”
TO BE CONTINUED