Set page style to Cave Set page style to Fanfiction Set page style to Parchment
Interlude 14 Main Chapters Advent Chapter 1


Chapter 15

The debriefing was done within a few hours of the mission's end. Kent put his arms around Mitsuki Rara's shoulders as the tale of his disappearance concluded. "That explains why there was no damage to anything- it never had been damaged in that world. I can see why you all sounded so upset," Kent commented.

"You were upset too," Pres. Rara pointed out.

"It was an unnerving time," Kent agreed.

"I'm very happy that you're back with us now," Mitsuki Rara said, out of her Ms. Rah garb.

"I am too," Kent agreed. "So, where did I end up? Back in my own world?"

Dr. Rara leapt out of his chair, excited. "That's almost the most extraordinary part! The readings allowed us to compile a dimensional signature for the parallel world that you visited, and it was markedly different from yours! It was yet another parallel world that you arrived in!"

Kent was surprised. "It seems like a long time ago that I was surprised to learn that there was another universe in parallel with my own. Sir, are you telling me that, counting this universe we're in now, there are at least three universes in parallel?"

Pres. Rara nodded emphatically. "Yes, at least three. We've managed to confirm three! Ha!" Sobriety returned to him for a moment. "I'm sorry we can't yet put you back there more permanently."

"Don't worry," Kent said. Indicating Mitsuki Rara, he elaborated, "We agreed that, as soon as the technology is available we'd end up visiting both worlds a lot. People important to both of us are in both worlds, and that seemed the best thing to do. I don't mind waiting a little bit longer, if it means I can get the best of both worlds!"

They all laughed at the joke, but Pres. Rara's laughter, and his daughter's, was more muted. It seemed Kent was far less daunted by the experience than they were.

Sensing this, Kent tried to reassure them further, "Hey, having done it three times now, I've definitely proven that dimensional travel is safe for human beings. Even if it happens again, it should be all right."

"I hope there isn't another time," Mitsuki Rara breathed softly, and Pres. Rara added, "I agree. The transporter you used to get here seems fairly sound. What happened today was far more powerful and had more long-ranging effects. There could be terrible results if it were to happen again. I'm trying to find out why it happened and how to prevent it, but we don't have the data or the theory to figure either out."

All three fell silent for a moment, until Mitsuki Rara's bodyguards burst in to greet their leaders and welcome back their dimension-traveling comrade.


Ayuko was speaking privately to Kumu. Kumu's appearance had long since returned to normal, but she definitely remembered the odd events that had been occurring. Kumu correlated what Ayuko was telling her with information she was trolling from the RaRa databanks. In a little while she'd try hacking into Earth Defense Force and independent researchers' scientific databanks for their information.

"Bizarre, but of little consequence," Kumu concluded when Ayuko had finished telling Kumu about the experience.

"There aren't any advantages we can exploit out of it?" Ayuko inquired out of habit, but since Himc and Slade had returned intact, she also had little concern over the dimensional disturbances.

"No. You told me a few minutes ago your daughter is getting married." Kumu's abrupt change of subject was normal for her.

"Yes, she is." Ayuko was not prepared to concede to Kumu anything on the subject. Binding Slade inextricably into the RaRa Army was exactly in line with her plans. In fact, she thought Kumu would approve.

"You still do not comprehend the danger, do you? Surely some female could've been found to pilot Himc." Kumu was speaking barbs.

"Maybe we could have. After trying many, many pilots, though, we were beginning to lose all hope. I don't know why someone would make such a powerful robot able to reject pilots, but there it is. The best weapon in our arsenal is the only robot known to prevent pilots from operating it. You said yourself that Himc was childish in that way," Ayuko stated.

"It is selective," Kumu corrected her crossly.

"We finally found a pilot," Ayuko went on, "who could use it. He could use it immediately, without any rejection or difficulty at all. Kumu, it's in our best interests to keep Slade on our side by any means necessary."

"Males are always the enemy, always seeking destruction," Kumu refrained.

Privately, Ayuko was surprised that Kumu had backed down so fast. Was she beginning to trust Slade? Ayuko hid the surprise and agreed with Kumu, "That is what makes them unfit to rule. Yet they can be useful when their instincts are given control by us."

She chuckled. If they had put a monkey in the cockpit of that powerful behemoth, Himc still would probably have been able to give them all the victories Slade had. Still, she had to give him his due: she said aloud, "He certainly has an aptitude for combat piloting," Ayuko commented.

"Of course," Kumu returned witheringly, "men always have an aptitude for destruction. A close eye must always be kept on his activities, though he can hardly threaten us now. His destructive impulses, used on our side, has helped the forces of our technology to rule the world. One human cannot stop our cause. The world is beginning to turn against the Earth Defense Force. Even if that male became a hindrance or opponent, our victory would be close at hand."

Ayuko smiled.


There was a lot of shuffling of papers in the map room of the Earth Defense Force Base. Cmdr. Sanada wanted to see how long he could look officious by shuffling them. He had hoped that constantly ruffling them would irritate Akane, but she didn't seem to mind. Inspector Akane Yamano, Lt. Yayoi Schwael, and Mrs. Reika Nanjyoin were eventually all present in the room for the meeting.

Inspector Yamano spoke first. "Commander, can we beat the RaRa Army with the forces at our disposal?" Her question was mostly rhetorical but slightly pleading.

Commander Sanada considered for a moment. "Well, I don't know. We haven't tried everything up our sleeves yet. We haven't even fully exploited what we've already used. Take today, for instance. All those new Core Units helped us deliver the biggest defeat to RaRa that we've been able to since that hulk showed up."

Mrs. Nanjyoin nodded. "That is true, Commander. However, I must report that we cannot receive any new Core Units for another two months. RaRa Army blockades cannot be broken until we retake the territories where the raw materials are located, forcing our opponents to withdraw. The factories friendly to us are working at full capacity but with few materials. We cannot count upon new equipment for the robots, let alone new robots. Soon our ability to manufacture replacement parts will also be imperiled."

Inspector Yamano turned to Yayoi. "Lieutenant, do you or anyone on the command staff have any new or old tactical tricks that might be of use?"

Yayoi shook her head. "There have been no ideas that can solve our main tactical problem, which is the large enemy robot. Old and new tactical ideas have proven effective against the smaller robots, but not against the large one."

Mrs. Nanjyoin turned to Cmdr. Sanada. "Commander," she spoke calmly, "I suggest that we use the last piece of ancient technology left to us. Perhaps the ancient warship's main guns will be able to breach the shields of the large unit."

Cmdr. Sanada wisecracked, "I never imagined you could be so violent, Mrs. Nanjyoin. Perhaps I should've made you a pilot."

He was the only one who laughed, so he spoke seriously. "If I use my warship, Mrs. Nanjyoin, then we risk that idiot Rara using his. The rules of war we made together allow us to use them. His is a lot bigger than ours, and probably has more powerful weaponry. That thing alone could have conquered the entire planet. He's just never used it because he wanted to keep an ace in the hole. He was and is strong enough to afford to keep it in reserve. Rara and I did draft the rules for this war, but we both knew they were ridiculously in my favor. There are only two reasons he agreed to them. One is that he was so confident that he could win even if we just had robots slowly fighting each other, inching their way across territory. The other is that, like myself, he didn't really want anyone to get hurt or die in this war."

"If I used the battleship," Cmdr. Sanada continued, "and he used his, there's a much greater possibility that someone would get hurt or die on either of the ancient vessels. In any case, from what studies Rara and I conducted on both vessels, both of us know perfectly well his ship can handily defeat the one we've got now."

Akane glared at the commander. "You're not contemplating surrendering to that ugly old man."

"No, actually, I have a new plan," Cmdr. Sanada told them, unruffled.

"What is it?" demanded Inspector Yamano.

"Guess," requested the commander.

Inspector Yamano gasped in disbelief and irritation. "For a hint: I just came from the scientific department," Cmdr. Sanada spoke to them all.

"It involves new artifact technology you've just learned how to use," guessed Yayoi.

"No," smiled Cmdr. Sanada.

Mrs. Nanjyoin calmly stated, "I don't know, Commander."

Cmdr. Sanada shrugged and looked inquiringly at Inspector Yamano, who cried, "As U. N. Inspector, I have the right to know all of your plans!"

"If you guess the plan, then you'll know it," smirked the commander.

Mrs. Nanjyoin interceded. "Commander, we cannot guess what plan you have conceived of. Please inform us."

The commander settled down and informed them. "I'm sure you all recall the spacetime disruption that occurred on the battlefield recently. The data from our instruments, as well as the pilot's story and Unit 2's Core data indicate that Unit 2 and that hulk were unintentionally drawn into a parallel universe! A final confirmation of my theory at last!"

He had leapt out of his seat with this last sentence, and now began to pace around the room.

"I now have evidence indicating the existence of at least two universes parallel to our own! What I propose to do is to scour those worlds for help!"

"What exactly do you expect to find in two other worlds that could help?" Yayoi asked.

"Maybe we could find more artifacts," Cmdr. Sanada suggested. "Or perhaps we could get more pilot volunteers. There might even be factories and raw materials we could buy!"

Mrs. Nanjyoin looked at him. "Commander, although I would appreciate any relief on that front, I must state that it would be a very difficult process to move manufactured goods or raw materials from one universe to another. I'm not familiar with the physics involved, but that seems like a fairly logical consequence of the size of the things we need manufactured, like Core Robots."

Yayoi nodded. "The most practical course would therefore be to search for pilots in these other worlds."

"I concur," nodded Mrs. Nanjyoin.

"We're not talking sensibly," Inspector Yamano said painedly. "The commander gave up his research into parallel universes a long time ago. We don't have any way to get to any other world!"

"Ah, but that's the most exciting part!" Cmdr. Sanada declared. "Months ago, when you, Yayoi, were injured, D found a strange device near Unit 1. It doesn't work any more, but it seems to have been a product of a parallel world, designed to let a human being travel from one universe to the other!"

Yayoi leaned forward. "Did someone use another device to put Himc and Unit 2 into another world?"

Cmdr. Sanada stopped short in his pacing and considered a moment, then disagreed, "I doubt it. Mrs. Nanjyoin is right, it'd take an enormous amount of energy to transport two large robots. This device was clearly made for only a human to use. It looks like what happened to Unit 2 and the hulk was just a natural phenomenon. There's also the fact that the device's settings were for a parallel world different from the one Unit 2 briefly visited."

Inspector Yamano glared at the commander. "You were obliged to tell me about any new technology you acquired, Commander!"

The commander looked sheepish. "We've all been working very hard. It was only just now that we managed to figure out this much about the device. I didn't want to bring it up when we didn't know what it was or if we could make a second one ourselves."

Mrs. Nanjyoin again spoke to keep the meeting on track. "Commander, what exactly do you expect this device to do once we make a duplicate?"

Cmdr. Sanada faced her from his standing position, glad to move on. "It looks like the me from that other world made it. It's a portable device that calls the main transporter which must be in his world. Then that transporter takes you to his world."

"In what manner would the traveler return to our universe?" Mrs. Nanjyoin asked.

"That's easy; we'll just use the main transporter again. To get to the third parallel world, we'll have to change the main transporter so it can take us there."

Yayoi looked at him inquisitively. "Will the people in the other world just allow us to use the transporter all the time and modify it to our whims?"

Cmdr. Sanada waved this off. "I own the transporter in the other world," he reminded them, "I'd gladly help myself."

Akane sighed. "We're really left without any other options. I must insist, Commander, that you not dwell overmuch on being a pioneer, and waste time going there yourself. You are supposed to be working here."

Cmdr. Sanada protested, "I'd just be going long enough to set everything up on the main transporter, and to help identify any significant artifacts or scientific discoveries in the other world. Mrs. Nanjyoin, will you please be the person who more thoroughly explores these other worlds?"

"I am dependable," he added insistently, sensing general amazement at his acceptance of spending more time being a commander than an explorer of other worlds.

"Thank you, Commander," Mrs. Nanjyoin told him, "I will gladly help you in this task."



RaRa Army ends here, but it is only the first part of a larger story. In the next installment, Advent, the main characters will all return to the main storyline. The first chapter of the next story will be posted tomorrow. The main characters will return!


Credits:

Great minds think alike. I did read several Dual fanfictions after I had the ideas for writing mine, but I had my ideas first and tried not to steal. Xtor49 and Thorin Blauvelt's "Interstellar Dual!" reminded me to figure out what the Rara's living arrangements were after Zinv knocked over their house. Clayton Overstreet's "Dual Episode 15 Decision" came to the same conclusion I had independently; Yayoi would be able to pilot a robot in the synthesis world.

About Chapter 6: Yes, I made up the whole joint pilot testing thing. I was just trying to figure out a way that everyone could be so dead certain that there were no male pilots, and the guard's conversation was what I came up with. I'm not trying to cast doubt on the premise, I'm just trying to explain how everyone learned about it when apparently neither D nor Kumu mentioned it to anyone.

Acknowledgements:

I'd like to thank and acknowledge my beta readers Blue Comet and Shiori Hitohana for putting up with my initial versions of my stories. If you think it stinks now, just imagine what it was like before they improved it! They did their best, but when you make as many mistakes I do, it's easy to miss some, so any remaining mistakes are my fault.

The Dual DVD (Digital Video Disc) extras and the "Dual! Ultimate Fan Guide" by Guardians of Order proved extremely helpful to me. If I misinterpreted them, it's my fault.

Thanks to Kenneth W. Iliff and Curtis L. Peebles for their book From Runway to Orbit, which really helped me to understand what flight simulator regimen is like. I ought to emphasize that basically this was only used for my own comprehension. What actually occurs in the story may differ significantly from real flight simulators are like, even in NASA. Any discrepancies or errors are my own fault.

Also, thanks to the movie "Frankenstein" and its parody "Young Frankenstein," for madly scientific inspiration about labs, Igor, and morbid portrait conversations. I don't know how I could mess up inspiration, but I'm sure it's possible.

Thanks to "Star Trek" for the transporter. I'd like to assure everyone that I'm not trying to steal from it: it was Dual that had the Super Ultra-Deluxe Parallel World transporter before me. Why I feel the need to reassure everyone on this point I don't know.

My gratitude also to Robert Louis Stevenson and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Although I haven't actually read the book, I know it is a good story.

The following articles helped me to have a somewhat factual basis for this science fiction story. Blame me first for inaccuracies or insanities. I deserve it.


On Color blindness:

Wikipedia: Color blindness

with special thanks to Wikipedia user Chinasaur


On Korean proper names:

CJK.org

Wikipedia entries for famous Koreans


On Japanese proper names:

www.freedict.com/onldict/jap.html

Dual DVD Extras: Character Profiles Vol. 2


On Richter scale:

www.neic.usgs.gov/neis/general/richter.html

Wikipedia: Richter magnitude scale


On The Use Of Characters:

Finally, please feel free to use these characters and ideas in your own fanfictions. Do it in your head or in writing, whether you liked how I did the story or not. As I understand it, since it's a fanfiction, I own nothing within the story anyways. Of course, I haven't exactly consulted a lawyer about that. Don't depend on me for your legal advice!

Interlude 14 Main Chapters Advent Chapter 1