Volume 20

This book starts with the Buster ordinance explosion: Lonn was indeed successful and it looks like Barrow’s Seable forces have been vanquished by the might of the AKD. Outside, the shadowy cloaked figure of Barrow stands alone on a rocky ledge, his advisors in the mothership begging him to come inside. This figure is no longer Barrow, and he salutes the AKD for having the balls to turn him away once again. He’s going to leave them with a parting gift, one to let them know that he’s still a force to be reckoned with. He uses his last blast of power to fry the inside of the Jagd Mirage’s cockpit with a powerful psychic attack. Sopp wonders where this burst of power has come from sicne no one has seen nor picked up on it. At the moment, he has other concerns: this battle is over.

We’re greeted next to the aftermath of the war in Kastenpo: the ground forces packing it up to go home. All the casualties accounted for and packed up to return home. Tocatta, who managed to make it, getting weepy upon seeing Elena, or Miss Space Force hurt but ok. Seems he got that she loved him after all.

Sopp’s busy looking at Swe, who’s pulling something out of his mouth. He brings out a Vermillion Dragon Drop, a treasure in Joker due to their rarity. Swe can’t talk all that well, but tells “Soap” to give it to “Lacky”. Sopp hugs Swe, telling him that it’ll just be him and AT from here on out. This goodbye is a short one as Allecto runs up. There’s a problem.

When they get to the scene, they see the usually loud Paltenon crying quietly in front of Schaft’s corpse. The Jagd, which being a MH does have some sentient thought, is also in shock that “papa” is dead. MH cockpits are sealed from Diver power but someone got through this time. Doesn’t take him long to figure out who as there’s only one Diver strong enough to do this….Bojasthfort! Holding Paltenon, Sopp summons Braford to his side. He orders him to take Kyo to Dr. Prisen Corks for treatment and to take the Apache’s battle recorder and install it in the Terror Mirage. It’s his now! Braford is confused: the Terror is a Mirage Corp MH, after all. Sopp then informs Braford that Ladios Sopp was his childhood name and that he’s really Amateratsu. Meaning when he pledged loyalty to Sopp, he automatically became a Mirage Knight. Needless to say, the poor boy’s frozen in shock. Tricked into joining the Corp! Time to go home.

Back at the Floating Palace, Sopp is first greeted by Spector and Potar. They aren’t particularly nice to him, saying that with the casualties they faced, it really wasn’t a bad outing…not that he should care being immortal and all. Sopp still has much to learn. Sarion isn’t too happy to see him return as he watches Sopp make his way to the throne room. Now that he’s returned, everything is back to normal for the most part. After asking Lachesis how things were in his absence, she naturally tells him that all has been well. So fragile yet keeping things together.

Sopp hands Lachesis the Dragon Drop that Swe gave him…which promtly breaks into two pieces. Sopp’s horrified that it broke, but knowing Swe he really isn’t all too surprised. Lachesis tells him that perhaps they were meant to break in the first place as the sound the pieces give off is that which will transcend time. Sopp plans on getting his half made into a necklace and Lachesis will put hers on her Opera Pink Fatima suit. As Lachesis listens to the sound the stone is making, a sound that only her and Sopp can here we’re taken to the future…

What a future it is.
The scene is from the distant future and the planet of Kallamity is on the brink of destruction. We see a very old Rogner having a few words with Green Left Jagd Mirage Knight Velvet Weismell as Teata tells them both of Lachesis and the KoG’s whereabouts on the planet. The KoG seems to be in stasis, and has been encapsulated in a shock resistant gel to withstand the impact of the planet’s destruction. Although Velvet isn’t hearing Rogner, he eventually agrees to withdraw to the spaceship The Will, which Ballance originally designed. As the planet and encapsulated KoG jettison off into space, we’re returned to the present, with both Sopp and Lachesis each holding their pieces of the broken Dragon Drop. No matter which time period that the two will end up in, the song of the Dragon Drop will always attract each other and bring them together again.

Elsewhere, still on Both, AT begins her travels with the Dragon nymph Swe. At gazes on the battle scarred surroundings when all of a sudden, she sees a glimmer of light in front of Swe. To her amazement, a vial appears in front of them….the other half of the Water of Life! Since Sopp’s powers had been regained and he no longer needed it, it reappeared beside Swe. Swe hands it to her as compensation, but being a Fatima, she has no use for it. After insisting, she takes it from him but as she does, she has a vision of her own. First, her sister Queen appears before her and then she has the equivilent of a waking nightmare as she sees her sister Clotho, in tears about all of the Fatima who had fallen in uneccesary battle. Once again, we are taken to the future, but this time it’s a different part of it.

At this point, we are taken to Delta Belun 4100 JC and to the Floating Palace.
Two kids, Roretta Randers and Way Rouath are making an attempt to escape the Floating Temple. Who should stand in their way, but Gods Knights. These are not the ones who gave their lives to save the Floating Temple during the Left’s coup, but hideous drugged up and mechanicall augmented Knights. They are here to stop them from leaving since they are responsible in part for an uprising against Amateratsu and the AKD. With this said, they attempt to attack Roretta, but Way does his best to stop them. He doesn’t stand much of a chance as they over power him. Just when they worry about their chances, a female Headdliner in a pantsuit appears before them, telling them to make their escape. A shadowy figure appears before Way, asking him if he is ok. He’s in shock as the woman who asks him is none other than his father’s Fatima (although he doesn’t know this), Maegella, who fights back tears. The Headdliner again orders them to make their escape. They thank her and leave. The Gods Knights surround the Headdliner, named Upizone Bardenbarg, and she wearliy tells them to go ahead and take her life.

Having safely made it outside, Way gloats a little that the female headdliner recognized him. He doesn’t get much opportunity however as they are greeted by a rather strange looking female, (Sopp, female form!) who tells them that their chariot has arrived! Roretta comments on her clothes, to which she says that they are just something that Lacky had…10 centuries before. (Sopp couldn’t have done more shopping in the meantime?!)

Back inside and dealing with the Gods Knights, they have surrounded Upizone, who again reiterates that she is tired of battles and to get this over with if they please. They won’t be able to grant her wish as they are disintigrated by a powerful force that is just behind her. Someone had been looking on, and was not amused at the manner that Upizone was willing to just throw her life away for. Rogner and Eatta appear from the shadows, saying that they must all leave now as Arart is about to blow the Floating Temple sky high.

She wasn’t far away, as it seems. We see the Wunderschatsz flying toward the Floating Temple with a teary Arart Ex inside…preparing to destroy the Floating Temple. We are also shown her getting this order from none other than Amateratsu, who not only orders her to destroy the Floating Temple, but also to destroy the AKD and wipe it from existance. (If that wasn’t Amateratsu ordering the killing of both Roretta and Way, then it makes you wonder who it was…) After this is shown, we see the destruction of the Floating Temple with Buster Rifles. The job complete, Arart breaks down. She doesn’t have any time to mourn as the Cloudschatz with Rogner, Eatta, Upizone and Maegella approach. They are now to meet up with Amateratsu and watch over the return of the Colus dynasty.

At the end of this, the aftermath of this battle is seen, with Queen looking on from history. She muses over their brother, Upandora, who was given control of the AKD only to destroy it. She then wonders how much more fighting that Fatimas will have to endure and when it will ultimately end. Both she and Clotho then ask Atropos to cut the strings of Fortune so that they may eventually have the peace and rest that they so desire.

As this vision fades and AT tries to make sense of all that she has been shown, she talks to Swe, who is playing in the flowers next to her. She doesn’t feel that she has the power to cut the threads of Fortune, but that she won’t stnd for a future that has already been planned out. Weeping, instead of the water of life, she asks Sew for her death, when she feels the time is right. Not just for her, but for all who ask for it. As it turns out, Swe can’t keep a thought in his head for any longer than a few seconds and wasn’t listening to any of it. Instead, he tells AT that they will be friends forever. She then picks him up and they start their journey together. Above them, the apparition of the grown LED Dragon hovers above them, as if he has heard everything she said. To end the Wandering Atropos section of the FSS, we are told that in JC 4100, not only will Atropos get her wish, but that Delta Belun will meet the same fate at that time.