City Series:Volume5a Chapter12
Chapter 12: War
06/02/1944 – 06/06/1944
Failure in this mission is simply not an option.
June 2, 1944
Beretta’s Letter: To the Old Man who Calls Himself a Former Noble
What’s up? (Wait, is that the right way to give a casual greeting in French?) I’ve skipped the formalities, but whatever. Anyway, I’m going to get right to the point: I have something to ask of you. Once my exams are over and summer break begins, I want to take Rosetta on a trip.
We’ll be going to the Bourgogne Region for about a month. To expand Rosetta’s experiences, I want her to see what France’s rural areas are like. So how about it? Is that OK? (Oh, do non-English-speaking regions know what OK means?) Anyway, that’s my request.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
Today at 07:28, I attended a meeting with the division leadership.
I confirmed with one of General Rommel’s direct subordinates that the general headquarters ordered us to focus defense on the Calais region and to remain on normal alert on the coast of Normandy.
At 11:20, I gathered my unit and reviewed our plans.
“Regardless of what HQ says, we can remain on heightened alert.”
We all agreed to that point.
After a break, we ended the meeting at 15:04.
At 20:35, I made some final adjustments to Rot Löwe’s coastal equipment. I worked out the result of the anti-moonlight equipment and recorded that formula and format. I will use that as the basis when changing equipment to match the weather.
At 23:20, I sorted my luggage in the temporary barracks and discovered a photograph. It pictured two female individuals, but I had no memory of either.
My Psyche Outer system is functioning properly. I will now go to sleep.
June 4, 1944
Guilliaum’s Letter: To the Rude Delinquent Girl
I read your letter. So you want to take Rosetta on a trip?
Then how about I only give you permission if you pass every single one of your finals?
That sounds like a good idea to me. I can’t let you turn her into an idiot. Oh, and make sure you plan to return Rosetta before I starve. Also, I will repair that Lourd de Marionnette soon. Because things are looking ominous. I need to hurry. The parts will arrive on the 5th and I will spend all night fixing it. It might come in handy somewhere. I intend to keep it hidden until then.
Secret Message from the Allied General Headquarters: To All Commanders Stationed in the UK
At 6/6 00:00, Overlord is scheduled to begin. The weather should be bad, but tell all of your men to remain on standby in a Closed state to avoid any information leaking out. Wait for word from command.
Everything in that land is established by writing, so all soldiers are to prepare the writing tools needed to write a will. Tell them the dead are to record their own deaths.
Failure in this mission is simply not an option. The landing operation will continue until it succeeds.
Mallette’s Answer Sheet: Industry Theory – Final Exam
43-A0169: Mallette Harculia
Chosen Topic (2): The History of an Industrial Product I Know Well
One of my friends is an industrial product. I am referring to Rosetta Balleroy, the Belle de Marionnette friend of Beretta McWild who you might remember from the festival’s closing ceremony – I believe you were there, professor.
I have been her friend ever since that incident. Some of my relatives have Belle de Marionnettes at their homes. I will be writing about what led to that, the questions that have occurred to me, and how that relates to the topic.
The history of Belle de Marionnettes is said to have started along with that of Appareils. They are said to have come about during the Edge era, the third age and world of destruction that existed even before the Obstacle and Genesis eras that themselves are older than the times spoken of in the Bible and such books.
People were destroyed along with the world countless times and they evolved along with the world, but Belle de Marionnettes and Appareils were one element of that evolution. Those without a will of their own remained in the world as Appareils where they continued to evolve. Those with a will of their own remained in the world as Belle de Marionnettes where they continued to evolve. Unlike humans who were destroyed, continued to reincarnate, and gathered in heaven, they were more like stones, air, or water. They were machines and thus they continued to exist in the world for the sake of humans.
These facts from ancient times and from the eras of repeated destruction are known due to the evidence discovered around the world, in space, or from careless statements of the gods.
All of the facts we understand at the moment suggest the ancient humans had some reason for making a division between Belle de Marionnettes and Appareils and that continued division has allowed our City era to inherit two types of machines as a part of our world.
Belle de Marionnettes and Appareils were reset when the world was remade, but they were reborn into the world during the City era due to the power of their Concept Existence Formules. According to a certain Concept Existence Formule researcher, more than 98% of what exists in the current world was not initially created in this world but came about during the previous 5 eras where they became built into the world’s Concept Existence Formules. Whenever the world was destroyed and remade, the things with powerful Formules were inherited by the next world – in other words, the concept of their existence was reincarnated. According to that researcher, the concepts of wheels, writing, lights, and even spirit fuel are all from a previous era, but the things with weaker Concept Existence Formules, or that take time to develop, take longer to appear after the world is remade.
When Belle de Marionnettes were created in this era depends on your interpretation of the Bible (as some theorize that the Adam created by god was a Belle de Marionnette), but they are confirmed to date back to 5th or 6th century BC in western Asia. Moving mud dolls known as golems existed there. The name of god was divided into 72 names and carved into those dolls. That basic technique was confirmed and strengthened by Alexander the Great during his campaigns and by Aristotle, so the mud dolls became soldiers made from metal.
Those thousands of undying troops known as Marduk’s Army can be seen in mosaics of Persian cathedrals. But with Alexander the Great’s death, Marduk’s Army was destroyed along with the Macedonian Empire and the technique for carving the Shem ha-Mephorash was lost. Thus, Belle de Marionnettes became people instead of powerful warriors.
Of the 72 names of god carved into the golem, the word “emeth” (meaning truth) was always written on the forehead. We write it as “emeth”, but it only had three letters in Hebrew: e/me/th.
If the golem was no longer needed, the initial Hebrew letter would be erased, leaving only “meth” (meaning death). That would destroy the golem.
That means that Belle de Marionnettes are easily destroyed – Marduk’s Army were made of metal and thus the “e” was hard to erase.
For that reason, it became a tradition for Belle de Marionnette creators to hide their Belle de Marionnette’s true name or official designation.
The Airam and Aileppoc type of Belle de Marionnettes are common these days, but those names come from Maria and Coppelia spelled backwards. That tradition came about in BC times and is still going strong today.
The method of creating golems was lost with the Macedonian empire, but people continued to create Belle de Marionnettes. Many varieties beyond just mud dolls have been created. The Homunculus and Armed Flesh varieties still exist today.
But in 11th Century, the Persian Belle de Marionnette engineers hired by brothels began a conceptual revolution: Human creations must be even more beautiful than humans.
They would resemble humans but be greater than humans.
The Dazarhahs-type Belle de Marionnette (named after the princess who acts as storyteller in One Thousand and One Nights) was very unlike the Homunculi being researched in Europe. They used woodworking and porcelain techniques imported from China and elsewhere to create a “pure doll”. This technology was brought back to Europe during the Crusades and a new era of Belle de Marionnettes began.
The European and Middle Eastern doll technologies were combined during the middle of the 14th Century while the Habsburgs were taking control of Europe and the Hundred Years’ War against England was intensifying. Once Belle de Marionnettes had both form and function, they were gifted as toys to the sons of influential individuals. Appareils had gone through a similar development, so their evolution was completed in that era and they spread across Europe.
The most popular Belle de Marionnettes at the time were the Ereveniug-type (named after a well-known wicked woman in England) and – while this one only came about a while later – the Ennaej-type (named after a girl known as a messenger of god).
These Belle de Marionnettes were known for completing any job given to them and for a complete inability to adapt. They still had their origins as industrial products.
The next revolution took some time.
It was predicated on the existence of Aerial City.
Worn down by the Hundred Years’ War, England sought a new realm for sea trade, eventually discovered the New World, migrated there, brought in other species to make up for that, and became the fictional world of Aerial City – London due to the intervention of the gods and demons.
All fictional things can exist in that world and it was an unnamed school of Belle de Marionnette makers who gave Belle de Marionnettes their next evolution. They adored the story of Coppelia and every last one of them worked nonstop until they had created Belle de Marionnettes who could evolve into humans.
That theory was born in that land during the 17th Century, but it was not completed until the early 18th Century. And the foundation of the self-evolving Belle de Marionnette was finally created in 1912. The three on which it was based were named the Aileppoc-type, revealed to the world, and became the foundation of the current mainstream style.
The old man who is the sole survivor of that school of Belle de Marionnette makers has created a total of 49 Aileppoc-types, including the 3 initial ones, and they are still functional today. Most of them work at England’s Oxford University or at Scotland Yard.
The foundational theory of the Aileppoc-type Belle de Marionnettes was brought to Europe and America during World War One and used in the weapons and prosthetics of the time. The most well-known examples would be the stateless self-evolving Kaiserburg airship, the 7 ships based on it, and Riryoku, the Card Device possessed by 6th Sword Master Souwa Kanou.
What does the future hold for these Belle de Marionnettes who can evolve on their own thanks to their history? I am sure my two friends will find the answer.
That which was created as a machine, modeled after humans, and can become something greater than human is approaching her true self. That is all it is.
My friend is nameless. I do not know if the creator she calls her father was unlicensed or if her current master has simply forgotten, but she has no designation beyond the name Rosetta. And I think that is just fine.
Her and her descendants (there was news of a Belle de Marionnette giving birth in England about 5 years ago. The idea weirded me out at the time, but it seems perfectly natural now) will evolve to the point that no designation is necessary.
That is the history of Belle de Marionnettes as I know it and my predictions for the future.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
Today at 07:00, I remained at level 3 alert on the Normandy coast. Nothing to report.
At 23:06, a report arrived of Allied ships seen in the Calais region. The general headquarters ordered all divisions between Calais and Normandy to move to Calais. Our 352nd Infantry Division did not move.
At 23:45, the platoon commanders gathered for an emergency meeting. We all see the movement near Calais as a diversion. The infantry and assault artillery units are to remain on standby in 6-hour shifts. The Panzer units are to remain on standby in 12-hour shifts.
I will not sleep tonight. I await the enemy.
June 5, 1944
Landlord’s Letter: To the Girl Who Once Lived in My Appartement
I have found your mother’s forwarding address.
I was unable to Ajouter the letter from her within my paperwork box and had no idea why, but the other day, I was redecorating the house and Ajouter-ed her postcard stuck to the wall.
The postcard was old and dirty from the kitchen, but I was able to read the address and name: Rose Francisca at Herlde 1-3, Morvan, Bourgogne.
The village of Herlde in the Morvan Mountains is the closest to the Black Dragon of Morvan. Based on the postcard, the scenery must be nice.
I hope you have a wonderful reunion and vacances.
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s 1st Entry
I have finished dinner.
This morning some things must have been taken into the storeroom while I was asleep. I awoke to the sound of carriage wheels. I rushed out into the hallway in time to see my master leaving the courtyard storeroom. He said a friend had brought some parts to repair that machine.
Lady Beretta visited at lunchtime. She helped me cook and broke a lot of plates. The biggest problem was when the coffee cup my master has long used – I would use it to make café au lait – broke cleanly in two. Lately Lady Beretta can neglect her work because she is so worried about the ring on her right hand. I cautioned her about that.
I will need to go into town to buy more plates soon.
But the city’s atmosphere has changed lately. Some stores have empty shelves and have closed up. That may explain what happened at the night market in front of Boulogne that my master and I visited the night before last. I had seen a knife I wanted at a store in the shopping district and there it was for sale in the night market. That store had empty shelves 3 days before. So its products must have been moved to the night market.
They are very kind to sell it for so much less.
Then we set up a table and chairs in the garden so Lady Beretta could use some books to teach me how to write. She was still acting weird sometimes.
She would occasionally rest her head in her hand and stare into the city. Or she would stare at me. I think she was thinking about something. But I did not ask about what.
She did say this:
“Rosetta. Even if the old man leaves tonight you must not go outside. Just stay put.”
I do not know what she meant. But that is what she said.
The Fantasmé Renard children approached while we spoke. They played with us. They had avoided Lady Beretta before. But they must be able to relax around her now because they touched her hand.
The one female – the one with brown fur – especially seemed to like her. It climbed up onto her lap while she sat in her chair. She picked it up and held it in front of her face. It did not know what was happening and struggled.
“Let’s name this one Mallette. It has brown fur and it’s a girl.”
Since the other two were males we named them Jack and Jean. Jack is Lady Beretta’s father’s name and Jean is Sir Phillip’s grandfather’s name.
The parents were a male and a female so I named them Beretta and Phillip. Lady Beretta was clearly displeased but I do not mind. I think this is for the best.
After a while Lady Beretta lowered the Fantasmé Renard we had named Mallette – calling out that name felt weird. But Mallette immediately climbed back onto her lap and rested its chin on the table. It seemed to like her.
Lady Beretta held Mallette and looked up into the sky. Then she sang a song:
That which is filled with the blue sky.
That which is covered by the red dirt.
I name thee heaven and earth.
Where the wind howls bravely.
Where the sand dances gently.
I view thee as heaven and earth.
So that no one would grieve again.
That which is endless and cannot be grasped.
That which is vast and cannot be held.
I am with thee.
“Did I already teach you that? It’s a Lourd de Écrivain’s ode to the wide vision of a Lourd de Marionnette. It talks about the heavens and the earth as everything…but words can be so vague.”
Did she mean that words could mean more than one thing?
She opened her notebook and looked to Mallette in her lap as he spoke.
“This Mallette and the ‘Lady Mallette’ you refer to are different things. We can call them both “Mallette”. But they are different. If you only Signe-d ‘Mallette’ it might be unclear which you meant. But this isn’t the other Mallette. Right? Do you know what I mean?”
She smiled and rubbed Mallette’s throat. And she said more.
“I think it’s because our wills decide it. Our will to distinguish between things.”
I had trouble understanding her. But I will write it all here.
I kind of understood. I wonder if my will to become human is the same thing.
Lady Beretta is currently taking a bath. My master called for her before she left and asked her to help repair the big machine in the storeroom and to help pack some boxes.
I am a bit worried about what she said.
Is something going to happen tonight?
I will continue to think about that while heading to the kitchen to cook some food for the two of them.
Secret Message from the Allied General Headquarters: To All Commanders Stationed in the UK
The weather is bad, but today’s Operation Overlord will continue as planned. Everyone is to make a final check of the timetable.
All units are to obey the following with anti-moonlight equipment.
Naval Units: Today at 21:30, leave the naval construction unit. To prepare, the ocean port structure used for landing will be pulled up from the ocean and construction will begin. At 21:00, the cruisers will take the lead to protect the supply ships and fueling equipment unit and to follow after the landing ships. Tomorrow at 04:00, the ships will begin bombarding the Normandy coast.
Air Units: At 20:30, the division leaves. After securing air superiority above the ocean, begin dropping paratroops tomorrow at 01:00. At 04:00, begin aerial bombing of the Normandy coast.
Ground Units: At 02:00, the landing units will meet up at the ocean port structure. Confirm the four landing positions and perform a final roll call. Tomorrow at 05:00, begin the landing operation.
Today, I am writing this in the Balleroy house’s study. The second floor has a good view, but it’s kind of dusty and there was apparently a torture room next to this one, so what’s with that?
Europe is going to be thrown into chaos tonight thanks to the Normandy landing operation, but everything is peaceful within France. The Germans are in control, but the Resistance uprising isn’t for a while. So while things are tense, they’re the same as usual. All the problems are with me.
First, it’s great that the landlord’s letter told me where Rose Francisca lives, but it’s in Herlde. It’s true that mountain village is in Bourgogne where the Attesor Project was held, but what is my great-grandmother doing living in a village that’s going to be destroyed by a black dragon on August 1?
I checked on a map and it’s really deep in the mountains.
The exam results will be announced on June 20. I’ve decided to reserve tickets before then and leave on the 21st. It’s too far to take the roads and mountain passes, but it’s doable by train even if it will take a whole day. If not for the Germans, I could buy a ticket that moves between regions without having to submit paperwork for some weird inspection. Still, I want to take Rosetta with me and take a look at a lot of things. I invited Mallette too, but she’s taking a vacation at her parent’s house on the city outskirts.
I thought of inviting Phillip, but he wasn’t at his home. According to this grandfather, he’s working hard at his German job. I’m probably the only one that knows that’s directly related to his work as a spy.
I plan to return from Herlde on July 28. If I can drag my great-grandmother away, I’ll bring her with me on the pretext of visiting Paris so she won’t be around for the dragon attack. Phillip fights his final battle on the 1st. I doubt I can be by his side, but I want to see it.
After all, I still haven’t thanked him for the ring he gave me. I want to see him before June 21st, but I want to give his circumstances priority. (Wow, I’m being timid.)
Anyway, I’m going to be really busy. But that might be for the best. That way I won’t worry about myself. For now, I need to think about the Attesor Project and Rose Francisca.
My great-grandfather was involved in that top secret project throughout World War One.
The project increased the mobilization of Heavy Barrels to outdo tanks and fighters and to make them the strongest ground weapon. At the time, the Allies had few mass-produced forces compared to the Germans’ armored divisions, so Heavy Barrels were their trump card. But compared to the enemy’s numbers and mobility, Barrels were slow and made for large targets.
They needed the mobility to react to airplanes and avoid tank guns.
If they could reach the values given in the project paperwork, a single Heavy Barrel could destroy an entire army division on its own.
But after all that theoretical planning, the war ended and all of the paperwork was destroyed and the participants erased their own memories.
Yet my grandmother’s research suggests the project was nearly completed and the researchers abandoned it because their consciences demanded it. It was my great-grandfather, Jack McWild, who led the destruction of the paperwork, but he could not entirely put it behind him after the war.
The reason he did not tell my grandmother or Rose Francisca about the Attesor Project is directly linked to the reason he was killed.
That’s just how dangerous it is. So what is it?
I suppose I’ll find out if I go to the Bourgogne Region. If I can discover what definition of “strongest” Jack McWild was pursuing and I can meet Rose Francisca and fulfill my grandmother’s request, maybe I can solve some of my own problems too.
I’m sure Rosetta will grow a lot by accompanying me.
Now, it’s about time I got back to work. We need to work late into the night repairing Protected Empress, dismantling her, and hiding her in the storeroom. She’ll probably be Formatted without anyone using her again.
In a few hours, bombers will fly through the air.
Europe is about to move. Is there no way France can be truly liberated in response? If Rosetta grew, Phillip didn’t die, and Rose Francisca didn’t die either, that’s probably what I would want.
Setting aside that the outside world would be destroyed, I would want to liberate France.
June 6, 1944
Telegram from Allied General Headquarters: To All Troops
It is currently 00:00.
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s 2nd Entry
It is late at night but something happened that I must write about. I am currently in my bed. Lady Beretta is sleeping next to me. I plan to write what I must write in just a few minutes. Then I will turn off the light and go to sleep.
It is noisy outside.
I can hear the loud sound of distant cars driving. I can also hear airplanes flying.
When I look out the window I can see red lights and several white lights extending up toward heaven.
This night my master and Lady Beretta began assembling that machine’s lower body in the courtyard – they pulled a small crane and other work machines from the storeroom. They assembled it unbelievably quickly. I rushed to the kitchen to make them some food and then carried it out to them. Then I helped carry tools.
But they did not touch their food until they were done working. They made incredible progress. This must be their specialty.
I think it was 1 in the morning before most of the work was complete. That means they finished in about 5 hours.
My master went to take a bath and Lady Beretta looked up into the night sky from the courtyard.
I entered the courtyard to speak to her. That was when it happened.
I first Signe’d the wind. I was hoping there would be wind and that was why I Signe-d. Then I Ajouter-ed to see what was actually happening.
<A sudden rumbling transforms into a wind that blows down into the courtyard.
A sound so loud it shakes my body falls from the sky.>
It was a very very very loud noise. I had never heard anything so loud.
I looked up into the black sky and Ajouter-ed the noise and wind descending from it. It was a silhouette.
<An aerial bomber ship!? It’s the Allies’ anti-moonlight air division!”
Lady Beretta shouts that and several more identical airplane silhouettes fly through the night sky. They have large wings and bodies. Their silhouettes jut out of the rectangle of sky visible from the mansion’s courtyard.
They are too big to fit in that cutout of the sky.>
So very many of them flew through the sky.
My master shouted at us while running out of the kitchen.
“Are those the Allies’ B-17 aerial bomber ships!?”
“Don’t come running out in front of girls when you’re naked!!”
“Quiet, little girl. And don’t look!!”
I did not look.
I soon Signe-d that the city suddenly came to life. I figured that the people would be shocked into action like we were. I Ajouter-ed and that was exactly the case.
“The Germans are trying to shoot them down.”
“They’ll never reach them. Those can easily fly through the higher altitudes where the moonlight is strong.”
This was war. It had begun. No, it had already begun. I simply had not Signe-d it before. Because I lacked the information necessary to know what it was.
Lady Beretta spoke as if the noise and wind were enveloping her.
“I’m glad we got those repairs done today. They’ll have patrol planes in the skies from now on so we wouldn’t be able to use the courtyard as a workshop since it has no roof or cover.”
I Ajouter-ed the sky while listening to her.
Something other than wind was falling from the sky:
<A warning and metal objects attached to small parachutes.
The objects are about palm-sized.>
They are apparently known as handguns. According to my master…
“These are simple pressed handguns. It has the word Liberator carved into it. I suppose the people of Paris are supposed to kill the German soldiers with them.”
Papers the size of postcards also fell from the sky.
They had a short text written in French. I think it had something to do with the war but I still do not understand what it meant. I left it on the bedside table along with one of the handguns.
It is noisy outside. I heard the dining hall clock ring five times in the distance.
Lady Beretta will be going to school early in the morning. I would like to stay awake and begin fixing breakfast at 6:30. But…
<“What do I do…?”>
Lady Beretta muttered that while seemingly having a bad dream. She grabbed me and held me in her arms.
I cannot leave her now. Her expression softens so much when she holds me like this. I think it is the same expression as when someone rubs my head.
I might wait for morning while looking at Lady Beretta’s expression.
It is noisy outside. But the noise is no longer coming from the sky.
What has begun?
Heinz Berge’s Journal
Today at 04:05, the guard team sent word of an enemy attack. We shut off all the lights and relied on our sight devices’ infrared detection while preparing for an emergency battle.
At the same time, the enemy aerial force began bombing. Anti-air fire only revealed our position, so we stopped. As soon as each soldier was ready, they left in order to escape the bombing.
We heard enemy ships firing out at sea. Meanwhile, a messenger from the Geheimnis Agency arrived and gave me the following message:
“Destiny is moving such that you are certain to survive. Have an excellent battle.”
As I have no emotions, that holds little meaning for me.
Rot Löwe requires another 2 minutes to power up.
While preparing for Schreiben, a bookmark fell out of my uniform pocket.
For some reason, I remembered the name of the flower on the back: four o'clock flower.
I have confirmed that it means timidity, so I will now begin the Schreiben. I will get no sleep tonight.
|Back to Chapter 11||Return to Main Page||Forward to Afterword|