Volume 12

…And this particular book starts out with a bang, namely the Ashura Temple getting it’s 28th consecutive victory by finishing off a challengre in the middle of the desert. No sooner does the Temple pick up the defeated MH sword as a trophy when the suit’s Fatima, a boy typed named Ananda picks up another challenger on his radar. Happy at the thoought of gaining a 29th victory and in trying out a weapon that hasn’t been tested yet, Iller sets his sight on the new arrival….then tells Ananda to beat a hasty retreat. The suit that has been waiting in the wings is an A-toll, with Jabo Beat and Concord in the cockpit. Realizing that the new weapon is no match for an A-toll, he flees the battle. Jabo then takes note of the one who was killed and returns to the Doorey Garage. She has some words with the man tending to the garage and heads for Wax Trax.

The attendent notices that a piece has fallen off of the Doorey belonging to Reyback and goes to replace it when he spies something under where the plate had fallen off: the emblem of the Bang Doll. He seems puzzled: the size of the trailer isn’t condusive to the regular size of a MH carrier bust since he’d never seen a Bang Doll there is really no way to tell….

Jabo is telling Kaien about the recent trouble but elsewhere in the city someone else has made a….better find. Muse walks into a crowded marketplace when he hears a woman arguing with a vendor about some prices. He wanders over and finds the woman who flashed him going down the stairs a few days before. They set up a date for later that night so he calls Ssizz to let her know that he’ll be home later that night. The woman in question, Aisha, has other plans, calling Alekto to tell her that she won’t be home that night at all…..

….Next panel…you see a rather embarassed looking Muse covered with bites and scratches in bed with Aisha the following morning looking like a mere flavor of the Knight. Good for you, Aisha!

Later that morning, Kaien, in disguise as Von Hitter meets with a cute young girl, who unbeknownst to him is also in disguise. The ninja who was hired by the Mejojo Empire is cuddling up to Hitter in search for info on new challengers for the Ashura Temple. He’s looking for Muse so they could go out and see if they could find the MH that’s doing all the damage when she sees him having breakfast with “That bitch from Delta Belun”. Kaien lets it slip that the Mirages are here, a fact that Tomoe listens in on with glee, realizing that the woman on the table is Aisha Condonte. The Ashura Temple has just found it’s next opponent…. Muse, while not having the experience to know who Aisha really is, is a little peeved that she’s a Headdliner and not a Headdliner Groupie. She doesn’t have much shame, however and laughs it off in her evil face of hers. Hitter then suggests something to Reyback….

Not long afterward, Kaien, Muse and Ssizz are out in the desert, at the location of the Ashura Temple’s most recent battle looking for clues. The are surprised to see that they are not alone to their horror: the Thunder Dragon is at the scene as well and he is certianly not happy. Ssizz is quickly put into a trance and is unable to move. Muse and Kaien are quickly paralyzed trying to help her. Crying, she telepathically speaks to the dragon that she is there to help and wants another chance to fix the situation. To the amazement of the others, Thunder takes off and leaves, sparing thier lives when he could have killed them very easily.

At the base of the Ashura Temple’s operations, Iller gripes about the fact that he’s not really had any true challenges for the Ashura Temple. The suit’s technician from Mejojo then tells him of his new prey….Aisha Condonte of the Mirage Corps. Iller doubts that she will walk into battle with no provocation and he is asured that Tomoe has a trap in mind….

Elsewhere, at the Floating Palace, One of the Mirages, Lie Ex, is having a bit of a moment trying very hard to look for something. Her Fatima partner, Icarus tries to help her out but she tells him everything is ok for the moment…
It’s then that Amateratsu wanders in, asking her how the LED mirages are coming along. There’s something she’s trying to tell him but he asks that she come closer to him. She sends Icarus away and Amateratsu asks that she come over to sit on his lap and perhaps for a little company later that night….
Redfaced, she sits on his lap and he slants her eyes saying that she looks just like his Mother. In reality, the death of Ballance has made him feel very alone in the universe and he’s looking more for a friend than anything else. He then asks her if she’ll leave him and die like all the others before her have. She assures him that even when she can no longer serve him and dies that her family will always be there to serve him. She compares herself and the other Mirages to MH parts and that they are servants. He comes to and apologizes to her, saying that he’ll concentrate on finishing the Jagds from here on out. Lie Ex then tells him what she was doing before he came in and that something has come up missing and the one that Aisha took with her……was the Cross Mirage that he was working on. No doubt, Amateratsu’s scream of horror could be heard all over the Joker Galaxy….^_^’

In Aisha’s bachelorette pad, Alekto is doing some dishes when she hears something at the door. Thinking it’s her master, she heads toward it when the doorknob is blown off. Tomoe has the advantage and pins her against a wall. Tomoe holds the same ideals as the Knue Syltiss and doesn’t care for Fatimas at all, telling Alekto that if she wants to live that she’ll get her fatima suit on and come with her. Full of contempt, she tells Alekto that the reason that some won’t become Headdliners is that they can’t be in the same machine with a Fatima. Tomoe leaves a disc and kidnapps Alekto. The detective looking guy sees everything and wonders what the ninja is up to….

Heading back to the town, Kaien and Muse ponder their next move. Muse is apprehensive to help further as he’s tied to the laws of his country of operating independantly. Kaien suggests another option, when said option speeds by him in a Doorey. It’s Aisha, in her Mirage Knight gear. Kaien is happy to see that she’ll help and Muse is amazed that Kaien knows “Sandra” as she introduced herself as.

Back at the garage, Kain apologizes to the attendant about bringing the hover back late and asks if a woman left with a Doorey in a hurry. He says she did…and without her Fatima. Emerging from the shadows is Prince Ting, who informs them that it’s too late to help her as the woman left with her machine still in wraps. The problems would be negligable if she had a Fatima to help prepare for battle but that she was in too much of a hurry for that. Kaien thinks for a minute…then says that she’s walking into a trap. He then jumps into the hover and gets ready to head out. He then asks Muse what he’s going to do but Muse has no answer for him. Kaien then lets Cardinal Muse know that if he doesn’t wish to do anything that he understands as the Papalcy is on the line for him. Muse is horrified that Kaien knows who he really is. Kaien then calls Jabo who isn’t happy that he’s not been home in a few days….he asks for her help…

Arriving on the battlefield is Aisha, with Tomoe and Allekto waiting for her. Tomoe takes out Allekto’s legs, telling her that she won’t need them to pilot a MH. She crawls back to Aisha and they prepare to battle. As Aisha is tending to Allekto, she is formally greeted by Iller the Bishop as the one testing the Ashura Temple. He asks for a duel to gain his 30th sword and 30th Victory.

Back at the garage, Muse contemplates what to do. The attendent doesn’t have a good feeling about this but remembers a note that the woman gave him before leaving. Muse reads it and is very shocked to see that the woman who had his way with him the other night was none other than Mirage Knight 2, Aisha Condonte. She asks for him to inform the AKD and for help saving Allekto. The Attendant is more horrified that about Aisha as she’s the same age as his wife. Confused, he begs Ssizz to tell him what he is to do as he is not supposed to let his emotions cloud his judgement. Ssizz quotes Canon Law, saying that he can not act without the consent of the Pope and the people of Kblarcan….but after she says this, she hears a familiar voice asking if she’s sure of what she’s saying. It’s then she remembers the promise she made out in the desert to the Dragon and becomes afraid. The attendant then says that a Fatima is programmed not to say anything that would put her master at risk. Muse understands and tells her that he wishes to help, even if it means getting excommunicated. Ssizz will follow her master anywhere and agrees to help as well. They pick up the Doorey and head to the battlefield.

Back on the battlefield, Allecto is now safely with Aisha in the Cross Mirage, preparing to battle the Ashura Temple. Iller is impressed with the fact that he’s about to battle the AKD’s latest but inside the Cross, Allecto is concerned about the fact that it isn’t working as it should. Aisha doesn’t seem concerned and is convinced that they can finish this quickly. She parries his initial attacks with ease, but it becomes apparent that the new Mirage isn’t in full working order. After a few charges, she decides a convervative battle and hope that the Ashura Temple doesn’t catch on. Heading toward the battle, Muse and Ssizz realize that there’s no energy coming from aisha’s Doorey and that the battle has already started. The attendant from the garage is driving the Muse’s Doorey and is horrified to hear that Muse is suggesting that the Bang Doll teleport to the battlefield as it will take him some time to regain power from the teleportation. Kaien has arrived at the battleground on foot and realizes that he really can’t do anything without Auxo, who at this point is still with Dr. Prison Corks recovering….

The Doorey carrying Muse and Ssizz stops close to the scene and they prepare to depart. A top secret weapon is attached to the Bang Doll even though it has not been authorized for use. Upon startup, the garage attendant is disgusted at the looks of the Bang Doll and doesn’t seem to think it’ll be of any use. At least he has a good vantage point to see the action!

Aisha was starting to realize that she wasn’t up against some upstart Headdliner or some weak MH. She played a good game, telling him that it would take her precious little time to defeat him but soon realizes the problems with the Cross, which was still under development. She says in disgust that had she known that she was going to go up against such an opponent, she would have brought a LED with her insead of this thing. Allecto tells her not to say such a thing to the Emperor but Aisha says angrily that he could care less about her…

On the sidelines, the Bang Doll undergoes an impressive transformation as Ssizz speaks to the MH in the language of their country. The Bang Doll goes from being a drab and ordinary looking machine to one that is very elegant in design. It should be as 3 of the best Meights in the Galaxy designed it. Muse prepares to Teleport…

…And not a minute too soon. The Cross Mirage soon becomes inoperable, overheating then taking a lethal blow from the Ashura Temple. Aisha ejects, but there is no more power and Allecto is trapped inside the destroyed suit. Iller and Ananda go to finish off Aisha and as she stares death in the face she bids goodbye to Amateratsu.

At this moment, the Bang Doll teleports to her location and as the smoke clears, Iller sees one of the most fearsome Knights Flags in the galaxy: the mark of the Bang doll. Muse arrives right on time to take on the Ashura Temple. The developer of the Temple inside the base ship has gotten some choice data on the Cross Mirage and tells Iller to go after the Bang Doll. Happily, Iller obliges.

Muse is looking to avenge the lives of the headdliners and fatimas that this maniac has killed and engages him head on. Kaien thinks that he’s insane for going at the Temple this way and the Temple wastes no time using it’s secret weapon, the Dragon’s Teeth, which rips off the sholders of opposing MH’s. Doesn’t work that well with the Bang Doll as it’s untouched.

The attendant has arrived on a hill to catch the fight, but is surprised by some militiamen who are looking to get into it too. The very next panel, they are dispatched by the detective fellow, who reveals himself as Barbaluse V, one of the elite of Fillmore’s Kneue Syltiss to the absolute horror of the attendent, who didn’t realize who he was. Barbaluse regrets that he didn’t think to bring his fatima Machi or his Siren to take on the Temple and joins the attendent in watching.

The battle is over soon afterward, as Iller thinks he’s got it won with the Dragon’s Tooth. He didn’t take the Bang Doll’s secret Energy Sword into consideration and a few short panels later is dispatched with ease. Ananda ejects and the main command uses a self destruct mechanism to destroy the Ashura Temple so it would not fall into enemy hands. Tomoe, who has also been watching is disgusted that the two suits didn’t destroy each other but as her job is finished, she could really care less.

The battle is not yet over, as Barbaluse alerts Muse to the fact that the main command keeping tabs on the Temple have been monitoring the battle and have captured all the data on the bang doll. Kaien can’t belive that they would stoop so low as to do such a thing and without further ado, the ship rises out of the sand. The scientist aboard thanks them for all the choice data on the Klbarcahn’s secret MH and Muse attempts to hit them with mortar fire. It does no good as the Bang Doll doesn’t have that kind of energy left. Ssizz, remembering her promise, apologizes for not being able to keep it….

…Or does she? At this moment, a large object flies toward the scene at such a fast rate that both Aisha and Kaien are caught off guard. It’s the Thunder Dragon and he’s pretty pissed. The cocky scientist and crew fire on the dragon, realizes that they can’t hit it, then try to make a get away at the speed of sound. Doesn’t work as the dragon teleports and launches an attack more powerful than any MH weapon, the Thunder Blast. Scientist 0, Dragon 1!! Muse calls the attack Divine Retribution.

Kaien looks over at the wreckage when Jabo finally shows up noting that Aisha took quite a beating. Aisha is trying to free Allecto, who is being burned alive by steam inside the cockpit. The door won’t budge until she gets some help from the Dragon. After saving Allecto, he gives her a message for Amateratsu on behalf of the LED Dragon. While the dragons are content to leave humanity to their devices, the land of Kastempo belongs to them and will never come under the rule of the AKD. With this, he flies away. He has one thing to do before he leaves, bestowing Ssizz with one of the galaxies most valuable treasures, a Dragon Drop. He tells her that she fulfilled her part of the bargain and for that, she may call on him whenever she needs him from the realms of both living and dead, and from Fortune. Smiling, he leaves her. Kaien thinks about asking Muse to trade her for Auxo. The final scene here is the epilogue, talking about how Amateratsu will leave this land to the Dragons and how the anti-Amateratsu forces will eventually rise from this land led by Colus VI and Daizana.

Two weeks later, Kaien, as Hitter is reading the papers for news from Klbarcan but none is forthcoming. Muse seems troubled that no one has contacted him even though he violated Canon law to use the Bang Doll. He also wonders where Hitter gets his information. Hitter is surprised that he hasn’t figured out who he is, and tells Muse that his training will be formally over once he figures this out, to which Muse is puzzled.

On Klbarcan, a order for parts has arrived and the the rest of the Lown Knights have brought it to the attention of the current Pope. They wonder why he hasn’t said anything to repremand Muse and if he is to be contacted or even excommunicated. The pope will hear none of it and says to leave him be t figure things for himself. He also bids them to look at the pile of letter on his desk, sent without Muse’s knowledge, bidding him for leinancy. The notes are all from dignitaries, Princess Mugumica Collet of the A’P, Fillmore’s King Lader, The leader of the Jota Space Knights. The note from Hitter puzzles them the most until it’s pointed out that the crest under his name belongs to Dougulass Kaein, the last remaining Sword Sage. Finally, a signed letter from Amateratsu himself, which the the Pope says is now a national treasure. He’s envious of the peopel Muse has come in contact with and says it befits a future pope.

This part of the FSS ends in some small town with someone nasty causing trouble. An older knight, Black Knight Roards tells the youngster to quiet down and is challenged to a sword fight. The youngster dispatches of him and gives him no respect, saying that he’s Decors Weismal and for him not to forget it. He won’t as he’s been dealt a fatal blow. He dies in that town. Est, who’s outside town in the Doorey is concerned, but thinks he’s just decided to stay in town that evening. On a mountain top nearby, her protector, the Black Dragon watches on protecting….