Volume 18

On the front lines, one of the other AKD platoons have captured some of the Seable enlisted and request that Commander Tocatta be on the scene. When they arrive, they’re witness to something of a bloodbath as the AKD troops shoot Seable’s men for not talking or speaking of their mission. (And shot in the back like cowards, no less.) Miss Space Force is horrified at what she’s seeing but Yury does nothing to stop them. She then pleads with them to stop after a few Seable men remain. The AKD enlisted brass speak of no decorum on the battlefield, but Elena breaks down, saying that it’s not the brass who are currently in a life and death battle. The remaining Seable soldier drops his icy front, saying that the AKD’s tactics are dirty as they brought a sexy Leiutenant to cry over their death. He tells them what they want to know, that they’re in search of a Dragon Nymph and a female headdliner with it. This is all he knows, and they thank him, offering him safe passage. Tocatta is amazed that he decided to talk to them but realizes that it was all Miss Space Force’s doing. Perhaps bringing her to the front was a good thing!

To bolster the morale of the remaining AKD ground troops, some “encouragement” is doled out…in the form of battle drugs. Courage in pill form? This can’t possibly be good…. At this moment, Tocatta is trying to pursuade Ellena to stay behind and not to follow him out to the front. She refuses and a Seable missile hits the dig they were one, blasting it. They survive, (with less clothes on) and Tocatta tells them that they’ll have to do more to kill them. Ellena lets slip that she may have the hots for Tocatta and that she’ll stay with him “till death do they part”. Tocatta angrily asks her if she’ part of the promotion committee and it seems like he didn’t get it at all. Lost cause, folks.

Just then, a much more serious attack is launched on them by Seable Calvary who knows that they’ve just surprised some of the AKD officers. They move to paralyze the officers and kill the enlisted. Tocatta is hit and tells Ellena to make a run for it, pushing her out of the way before going down. Miss Space Force is more than she appears and takes care of the enemy machines with her fists. They go down with ease. It’s then that she stips out of her Officer uniform coat to reveal a hidden Spaad as she bids Tocatta goodbye. With saddness, she annouces that it’s time for the Headdliners like her to take over this battle and that at least he’ll survive.

On the frontlines, things are going poorly and there are many casualties. Seable is putting up a nasty fight. Just when all seems lost, a Blood Temple appears to shield the men from further harm. The AKD has sent out its Mortarheadds! Just as quickly, Maessen and Konig jump into theirs as well in their Blue Armor and Va O La.

Sopp sees them as wel from his perch and realizes that they’re in for trouble: the Pied Piper’s reputation has spread far and wide. He wonders why the AKD only has sent out the Blood Mirages and no LEDs. Something must have happened to put them out of commision. While he’s trying to put two and two together, a small search probe is looking frantically for his location. Swe has been tied up to keep him out of trouble and he sees it, giving it the biggest creepy face he can muster, which sends the probe off scampering. The probe was sent by Allecto, who in fright is knocked out of her seat and square on her ass in fright. Poor girl.

Did not take long for Konig in the Vai O La to come across his first opponent, Gods Knight Vogin Leibuch. Vogin puts up a fight but even the Blood Temple is no match for the superior Va O La and he goes down fairly quickly. Konig teases him telling him to stand down but Vogin refuses to be embarassed in front of the Emperor. Shame the Blood Temple is now in no shape to battle further…

In a ground skirmish, Braford comes across Ellena, who is continuing her search for Sopp. She found his position and hopes that by using her Spaad that someone will have seen her location. Braford is impressed that someone was able to spot him and uses his abilities to subdue her. She knows that she is outgunned by Braford but makes a desperate move. He uses a powerful attack to rupture her insides to keep her from attacking further and she falls. He never draws his own sword on thie encounter and apologizes. The look in her eyes before launching into her attack saddens him as he knows she’s fighting for someone. All of these hired battles have left him feeling empty and the stress is showing.

Vogin is still fighting Konig with a bum machine and trying to stall until Lonn gets there with reinforcements. Konig asks why they’re fighting them knowing that their MH’s are better and refuses to let up on his attacks. The Blood Temple is in pieces when he goes in for the checkmate. All looks lost for the AKD until….

….The Vai O La is stopped by a weird looking boomerang. Braford stops to star at the new MH too. When the smoke clears, we are greeted to an aweseome large panel of…the Terror Mirage! Impressive looking machine, it stands wielding two homing boomarangs..which its pilot promptly tosses, saying that she doesn’t know why Sopp crates useless things and would Allecto please fire some flares. Three flares are fired, in different colors: pink, violet, vermillion. The colors decoded by the surviving grunts, they realize with joy that Princess Condonte has joined the frey, and in a new MH too!

Braford gets the order to retreat, but is awestruck by the Terror Mirage, wishing that he would one day get the chance to pilot an elegant MH like this. While he’s admiring, something bizzare happens: the Terror Mirage winks at him! Braford is shocked…and Aisha is creeped the hell out, wondering if the damn thing is glitchy.

Sopp’s a bit relieved that Aisha’s there since the Terror has as much power as an LED. The problem is that until he’s found, Aisha can’t use the full power of the mH for fear of hitting him. Since he knows that the AKD is in his vicinity, he tells AT to grab Swe and try to make it to friendlier territory. Reluctantly, she leaves him.

Sopp lays on the ground and thinks about the last time he’s been all alone. This train of thought doesn’t get far as some of his own groundtroops come across him. He tries to tell them who he is but it does no good: they’re high on the battle drugs that their superiors forced them to take and Sopp realizes that they have no idea what their real mission on the planet is anyway. As they go to fire on him, Atropos leaps in front of them and takes them out quickly. This exchange leaves her saddened and she begs him not to be left alnoe again saying that she feels like crying like a human. He agrees and they stick together.

The Terror is still engaging the Va O La during all of this. It’s more of a game of tag as Aisha commands Allecto to search for Sopp while she pilots the Terror herself. The joints on the Terror might not last all that long since it’s still being tested so Allecto knows she must hurry. Konig realizes that the Terror isn’t using all its full power and launches into a Sonic Blade, the effects of which are felt all the ay up to the Headdliner cockpit. Sopp and At look on and Sopp swears he designed the Terror with a tracker…which Swe originally scared off. Swe notices a shiny photo that the dead AKD soldier had on him and starts waving it frantically. Allecto spots the glimmer and sends out another tracker, seeing Swe and Sopp. Having tracked him down, Allecto rejoins the battle against the Va O La and with one well executed slash immobilizes it. Konig is horrified that he’s been defeated and Allecto wonders why they didn’t go in for the kill. The Vai O La is an antique and it would have saddened Sopp to have seen one of the few in existance destroyed in front of him. She asks Allecto to keep the Blue Armor in check while she exits and retrieves Sopp. Allecto’s not sure what to feel about letting an opponent just go like that and sends a smokescreen cover.

The Blue Armor will have none of this and fires on Aisha as she tries to leave saying that he has to fight her to avenge Konig losing. She’s not sure what he’s getting at but another Mirage Corp MH takes him on instead. Lonn has arrived in the Schepeltor but she’s none too sure about controls on the thing since it had another cockpit installed before arriving there. Aisha thinks she’ll be fine but you never know.

Suiting up is Sukat along with Linsa, who we see in the Zakker for the first time. Sukat is insane with anger that the AKD headdliner dismounted her machine and cals her insane. It then comes to him that perhaps the AKD aren’t after the Dragon Nymph at all but the two women with him. Perhaps they might be royalty! He commands Braford in the Apache to join him in racing to the battle and Kyo assures him that she is opperating normally….

At this moment, Allecto and Aisha are being contacted by Commander Yury, who has been rescued and is asking for the location of their “target” Aisha gives them the go ahead and Yury commands his troops to do their best to defeat the enemy MH’s. The enlisted are scared, they still don’t know why they’re here and it’s then that Yury clues them in: that they are here to rescue Amateratsu…and that they’d best not embarass themselves before their Emperor.