City Series:Volume5b Chapter20
- 1 Chapter 20: Separation
- 1.1 July 31, 1944
- 1.2 German Army HQ Telegram: To the French Branches
- 1.3 Guilliaum’s Letter: To a Far Distant Friend
- 1.4 August 1, 1944
- 1.5 Rosetta’s Journal
- 1.6 August 2, 1944
- 1.7 Message from the German Army Paris Branch: To the Other Branches
- 1.8 Beretta’s Journal
- 1.9 August 3, 1944
- 1.10 Message from the German Army Paris Branch: To All Personnel
- 1.11 Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s First Entry
- 1.12 Message from the German Army Paris Branch: To the Attesor Project Investigation Team
- 1.13 Beretta’s Journal
- 1.14 Jean Missel’s Telegram: To Guilliaum
- 1.15 Jean Missel’s Wort Bombe Telegram: To Guilliaum
- 1.16 Heinz Berge’s Journal
- 1.17 August 4, 1944
- 1.18 Beretta’s Journal: Today’s First Entry
- 1.19 Phillip Missel’s Letter: To Beretta
- 1.20 Telegram from the German Army Combat Engineer Unit: To the Paris Branch
- 1.21 Beretta’s Journal: Today’s Second Entry
- 1.22 Rosetta’s Journal
- 1.23 Heinz Berge’s Journal
- 1.24 August 5, 1944
- 1.25 Guilliaum’s Letter: To a Far Distant Friend
- 1.26 Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s First Entry
- 1.27 Heinz Berge’s Report: Attesor Project Investigation Report
- 1.28 Beretta’s Journal
- 1.29 Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s Second Entry
- 1.30 Letter from Sword Lady #13: To Beretta who Inherited my Name
Chapter 20: Separation
07/31/1944 – 08/05/1944
I think I will
Prepare to fight
July 31, 1944
German Army HQ Telegram: To the French Branches
Based on the reports received from you all, we have determined that armed uprisings and a great quantity of materiel transportation are rapidly occurring across France. A covert Allied unit may be working behind the scenes, so a military blockade must be immediately set up around France’s major cities, particular Paris, and defenses must be fortified. Our troops stationed in France must gather at those major cities and prepare to fight back. Some are attempting to exploit and requisition the local population, perhaps out of unease, but to preserve the order of our troops, that should be avoided unless specifically ordered to do so. Also, a document on a classified military project was stolen during the upheaval in Paris. Redouble your efforts to search out any Allied spies at every checkpoint.
Guilliaum’s Letter: To a Far Distant Friend
My friend, I feel like I have been using you as an outlet for my frustrations of late. Sorry.
The German Army is panicking and has placed Paris under martial law. That would explain all the transportation vehicles. They must want to do a very thorough job of locking down Paris.
A lot is happening in France right now. The Allies had been moving south from Normandy, but they suddenly decided to turn toward Germany and are moving toward Paris further to the north. Similarly, the Resistance cells in other regions are joining with the Allies and causing uprisings all over the country.
Our failure the other day seems to have actually ignited their spirits.
I somehow managed to contact Old Blue Eyes with the communicator.
His grandson Phillip was discovered to be a central figure in the uprising, so his mansion is apparently being closely watched by the Germans. He is effectively under house arrest until the Germans can regroup and perform a proper raid. He tried to sound cheerful about it all, but I could tell it was an act. I mean, once they raid his mansion, all his possessions will be confiscated and that’s the end for him. The Germans are only sticking with house arrest for now because we blew up the police station, destroying the holding cells in the process, and because he has the influence that comes with being the former Chevalier de Paris.
You know what that old man told me while looking down on the Germans from the second floor of his mansion – yes, from the very same dance hall we demonstrated our pathetic dance skills in so long ago?
“The Chevalier de Paris hasn’t given up yet. We may have lost the Expert de Épée, but I managed to obtain the Third Flame Emperor in the midst of it all. I will use that to have revenge.”
He said he had contacted the former Chevaliers of the other cities before the uprising began. He told them to gather their forces under the Royal Chevalier and begin fighting for France’s liberation if the liberation of Paris were to fail.
Also, one of his men managed to obtain a certain document during the uprising. It described a weapon secretly developed by Germany’s Geheimnis Agency. Yes, the very same Wort Bombe that Rose Francisca had mentioned. From what he sent me, it seems to still be in the prototype phase, but it could perhaps destroy all of France.
According to Rose Francisca, that is what destroys France’s Formule structure, allowing France to be enveloped by the Rondeau.
The old man said he would send me more information once he had the details in order. He apparently has a lot he wants to discuss, such as its timed fuse and how to defuse it. Basically, he seems to want to send me all the important information because he thinks I am bound to survive.
Just like Phillip, he always thinks about what happens if he loses too.
That must be what Rose Francisca mentioned about sacrifice.
The Allies are currently approaching Paris.
And just as Rose Francisca hoped, I have lost and experienced so many sacrifices, yet I still seek France’s liberation. So I think I will once more prepare to fight. I have a way to do so.
Yes, you worked so hard to erase the fact that we converted so many heroic minds into weapons, but I plan to admit to all our sins. I am prepared to say that old project should not be abandoned.
But all of this requires one horrible condition and it is not up to me.
You must know what I mean. You must after sending her to fight that black dragon before she was ready 25 years ago only to have her lose control. You must know all of the conditions must be fully met if we are to create the strongest Appareil through the Attesor Project.
If only she still lived, we could- no, forget that. I have Rosetta who might as well be her daughter and I must remain Rosetta’s guardian.
But that introduces a new problem. Rosetta and that girl have yet to return. Will they even be able to make it back with martial law in effect? Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do unless they return.
I will now equip the Protected Empress with all of the exterior parts the Allies provided me.
The only weapons I have at home are that Lourd de Marionnette and the cheap Liberator handgun the Allies airdropped over the city. But that is enough.
I will settle everything once those two return.
If I do not, I doubt anything will change and France will once again be rolled back in the Primitif.
But is it even possible to break free of that pattern?
August 1, 1944
We are on the train to Paris. I believe it is around 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
This our first time to really relax in two days so I will use this time to write my journal entry.
First I will write about the day before yesterday. Early in the morning of July 30 Lady Beretta spent around an hour flying around after defeating the black dragon until finally crash landing in a vineyard in the mountains of Auxerre. She ended her Recréa and appeared from a closet-like box on the floor of the secondary cockpit. However she had passed out from exhaustion. I managed to carry her about a mile away from the Lourd de Marionnette before the sunrise. It took her a full day to recover.
I was glad I had brought her luggage – including a change of clothing.
She woke up late last night. She returned to the Lourd de Marionnette to try and Recréa into it again – I did not accompany her – but she returned after giving up because the spare fuel tank was almost entirely used up. She said the Excède Emblème – the transformation that let her fly and run really fast – burned through the fuel like crazy.
We discussed a great many things in the darkness last night.
What had happened to the people of Herlde. How far this vineyard was from the closest town. That I felt bad we could not return the Lourd de Marionnette to the Germans. Whether Mother Rose was okay or not. How we would get back into Paris. And more.
She thanked me once during it all. She remembered everything I had told her during the battle with the black dragon.
And she told me something else.
When we were in Herlde she had said there was something she had to tell me. She began that discussion by asking me a question.
“Rosetta. What if you had to kill someone? What would you do if you knew the only way to have what you wanted was to erase someone from this world?”
My answer was simple. A method requiring that must be wrong so you would need to come up with a method that allowed you to remain with that person.
She looked troubled when I said that but she also nodded in a satisfied way.
And she said something else.
“You see Rosetta. I think I want to liberate France…and to fight toward that end. But doing that might mean losing someone.”
“Can’t you think of some way to not lose them?”
“I can try. I didn’t make it in time for Phillip though. But I think I still can for her. I won’t give up and I’ll fight. Because I want to save her too.”
That seemed like the Lady Beretta I knew.
I had no idea what she was talking about but I will try to remember it. I asked her who that person was and she said they were a relative of hers back in America. When I asked if they were close to death due to some kind of disease she smiled a little and rubbed my head.
I was apparently reading too much into it.
We then ate some of the vineyard’s grapes for a late-night meal and walked throughout the night. We used the position of the moon to leave the mountains to the east and arrive in the city of Auxerre. Lady Beretta sold some grapes she had gathered in her coat without me noticing and used that money to buy train tickets. A lot happened.
<Right now Lady Beretta is jotting down some kind of notes in her own journal on the side table by the window. She is writing her own name and some names I do not recognize and joining them with lines while also writing down a lot of years and dates to make some kind of calculation.
But she must not like the results she is getting because she occasionally sighs.>
She seems to be worrying over something. But I am sure she will find an answer eventually. She always does.
She opened up to me. But. But there is one thing I have not told her. It is true I told her so much while inside that Lourd de Marionnette. I truly believed everything I said. But I was also afraid.
I was fine at first but I realized something upon hearing the dragon’s scream.
–I was inside a machine designed to bring harm.
From that moment until we crash landed I clutched Lady Beretta’s stripped-off clothing to my chest and trembled there in the secondary cockpit. Whenever she moved and beat down that dragon I would either hear it screaming or begging her to stop and I had to bite down on her sleeve to bear with it. She did not like the screams either but she thought they were necessary to protect us.
I do not know why it scared me so much.
I have felt like this in the past. Like when I thought about the blood while cooking and wondered what would happen if I cut my own hand with the knife. The difficulty breathing I felt then was very similar.
When Lady Beretta finally ended the Recréa I wept and held her unconscious body to me. I was so happy that she was no longer fighting and no longer part of that weapon. It was such a relief.
And when I carried her outside I screamed at the state of the Lourd de Marionnette I had been riding inside. I slumped to the ground with Lady Beretta in my arms. The Lourd de Marionnette that had been wielding that spear and soaring through the sky had its clothing torn and its cream color stained with dark blood.
Something about it made no sense to me.
Lady Beretta had managed to protect us by doing all that but she could not have known that would be the case until it was over. What was she thinking when she began to fight? Why was she so confident that fighting would have such a positive result?
It makes no sense to me how you can know an unseen result will be a positive thing.
If that is what it takes to protect people then I must not be able to protect anyone. Lady Beretta said some cool things and thanked me but I could not even say that and felt a mixture of guilt and satisfaction from her praise.
I was briefly glad that I am a Belle de Marionnette. I might be a machine but I can continue to evolve in accordance with my will and feelings. I am different from those weapons – such as the handgun that fell from the sky on the night of the Normandy landing operation – that have no will of their own and simply exist to kill people.
I cannot tell Lady Beretta how much of a relief that is.
She is so much better than me. She has the confidence to properly use such great power and I simply do not. Sir Phillip had that same ability. They are both so strong in a way I am not. During the school festival I wrote in my journal how much I hated simply being protected by her but now I am not so sure what to think.
Maybe I only exist to be protected. Maybe I am only a Belle de Marionnette which makes me less than them.
August 2, 1944
Message from the German Army Paris Branch: To the Other Branches
The uprising within Paris on July 29 is confirmed to be the work of a single Resistance cell hoping to liberate Paris. It was led by the Missel family, a former Chevalier de Paris family, and we fear their actions may influence the other Resistance cells or other former Chevaliers.
We will maintain martial law in Paris. We are unlikely to receive more combat engineers, so all units will work to clear the rubble and wreckage from the streets so the city can recover swiftly.
HQ is taking this seriously, so set up military blockades around all crucial points around France and work to shut down any Resistance forces. We will hurry to lock down Paris while preparing for the approaching Allied forces.
Starting today, we must be prepared for battle at any time.
It is 11 PM and I’m writing this in a vast field on the outskirts of Paris. We’re only a mile from Paris right now. This late at night, the moon provides the only light to see with. We’ve been living a pretty wild lifestyle lately.
The plan is to get about 4 hours of sleep and then enter Paris at 3 AM. Even the German patrols should be laxer at that early hour. I’ll take Rosetta to the mansion, but I need to figure out what to do after that.
<Rosetta rolls over under the blanket next to me.>
Sorry, Rosetta. I should really be taking better care of you, but I feel like I keep giving you a lot of work to do.
On that note, Rosetta has been awfully gloomy ever since we the train ride last night.
I know why: because she rode along in that Heavy Barrel. Seeing it soaked in blood afterwards must have been a shock. Also…yeah, we lost Mallette.
Last night, the train stopped in Fontainebleau. There was no train route taking us any closer to Paris than there. While trying to find a place to spend the night, I remembered that Mallette’s family home is there.
She had told me how to get there before, so we followed the maple-lined central street on and on into the mountains. After about two miles, we indeed found a large mansion in the woods.
We were concerned when we did not see any lights on and what must have happened became clear once we approached the entrance. I still remember the Point I made back then.
<I saw a trashed mansion. Almost all the windows were broken. What I had thought was gravel underfoot in the yard was actually shards of glass and what I had thought was the wind on my cheek was a tattered curtain.
The mansion was deserted and utterly destroyed.
The crest on the main entrance said it was indeed the Harculia home and a large Star of David had been painted on the door in a bright enough white to see clearly at night.>
Rosetta clung to me in fear of the wind blowing all around us, so I held her shoulders and explained what this meant. I explained that Mallette was Jewish and the Germans tended to take out their frustrations on the Jews when things were not going their way.
But this never happened to Mallette in the history I had been taught.
History really was changing. It wasn’t just Heinz Berge. If things were changing for Mallette too, then the Germans must have been feeling greater fear than they usually did at this time.
I checked inside the mansion – Rosetta was too afraid to follow me in – and found a tear-off desk calendar that told me when Mallette had been taken away.
It had happened on the 30th. The Germans must have done it as a way of striking back against the uprising in Paris. Too much time had passed to chase after her. There is only one way left to save her.
We have to end this war.
I can’t believe this. Mallette will return to her usual self once the Format happens, so why am I taking this so seriously?
But while speaking with Rosetta during the battle with the dragon, I realized I do want to liberate this world.
I won’t hesitate any longer. I have a pretty good idea how to liberate it. My presence is what is changing history, but that also means I can make this history real.
1. Stop the detonation of the Wort Bombe.
2. Spread a spirit of liberation to the majority of the people in France.
3. Prove that fully closing up the city is not possible.
#3 will be the most difficult one.
It’s true, if I become my grandma, that will mean someone from before the Format is here in France, thus proving that fully closing the city down isn’t possible. But that will make me a resident of this world and it will erase my grandma from history.
Starting last night, I wrote out my family tree and made some calculations based on when my grandma probably left France, but it didn’t work out.
If France is liberated, six billion people will have to redo the last 55 years of history, but that is hitting the rewind button, not the delete button. They should be able to redo things well enough. But my grandma and her son, my dad, will be erased.
I am performing a tricky tightrope walk here. Deciding whether or not I want liberation is the same as whether or not I can state with confidence who I am. Yet if I tilt the scales in that direction, my grandma and dad will be erased and I feel like I will cease to be myself. It’s a contradiction.
What am I supposed to do? I want to liberate this world, but I also want to save my grandma.
I keep worrying over this. Is that because I’m a mother now? Still, I have to give it serious thought.
I need the help of the Allies to liberate France. Both to stop the transport plane carrying the Wort Bombe and to provide the broadcast station needed for my words to reach all of France so I can inspire a spirit of liberation in the people and so I can claim to be my grandma.
That will be tricky, but I want to do it so badly.
I am carrying Phillip’s child inside of me and I want to raise that child in this era. As selfish as that is.
<Rosetta is groaning in her sleep. She may be having a nightmare.>
Sorry. We slept outside last night too since we were too afraid to stay in Mallette’s mansion. We borrowed this blanket from the mansion, but it still isn’t exactly comfortable.
<Rosetta rolls over in her sleep. She grabs onto my clothing and does not let go.
Something is scaring her, so she clings to me as if rubbing her cheek against me and refuses to let go.>
Hey, stop that, Rosetta. Since when did you become a sleep hugger?
Not that it matters. Maybe the child I’m carrying has got me thinking about these things more, but I know what to do here. If I hold her tight, she’s sure to feel better. She’ll be fine.
So it’s time to do just that and let my body rest. I doubt we’ll be getting much in the way of rest once we enter Paris.
August 3, 1944
Message from the German Army Paris Branch: To All Personnel
Starting today at 21:00, all special vehicle units will coordinate with the transport vehicle units to quickly complete the blockade of Paris according to the provided map. The Allies are approaching Paris and gathering the Resistance cells in each region they pass through. This is a dire situation. Any units that are free or off duty must gather and provide assistance. Any unidentified vehicles or individuals that approach while the blockade is being set up may be eliminated without providing a warning. We have been warned that it appears someone managed to enter Paris without passing through a checkpoint earlier today.
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s First Entry
We somehow managed to get back to the mansion. The sun has yet to rise. We arrived in the Châteaufort commune south of Paris only an hour ago and ran through the vineyards to reach the city. Once in the city we immediately made our way to the park in Mouton but the German soldiers heard our footsteps and chased after us. The Seine was not far past the park and crossing the Seine would take us to the Boulogne forest so Lady Beretta told me to run. I adjusted the bag on my back and began running as fast as I could.
We jumped into the Seine just as we heard a dog barking behind us. Our travel bags worked as floats as we crossed the 100-yard width of the river that smelled strongly of mud. Once on the other side we looked back to see lights moving around and hear a dog loudly barking where we had jumped in.
“We might’ve been caught if we were any slower.”
Lady Beretta’s comment told me just how much danger we had been in.
Once back at the mansion I opened the back door with the key hidden in the eaves and was greeted by the muzzle of a gun.
We had woken up my master and he thought it was a burglar.
I thought he was going to scold me but he laughed as soon as he shined his light on the two of us. We were both covered in mud from head to toe.
I started up the boiler and drew a bath and then took a bath with Lady Beretta.
We rapidly grew sleepy afterwards and we ended up sleeping in the same bed. She apparently wanted to ask my master what was happening in Paris but he told her to wait until the morning for that.
She is currently asleep next to me. I was tired too but I decided to stay up and write this first. I slept while holding onto her last night and she slept while holding me back. Does that mean I caught her habit of holding people in my sleep?
I know that habit is common in people who are worried about something and I do not want her to realize I am worried. So I think I can keep her from having to hold me back if I let her go to sleep first.
<The handgun left out on the bedside table gleams with a dull light.
The morning sun is slowly shining in through the window.>
That gun dropped from the sky during the Normandy landing operation. Unlike me that machine has no will of its own and solely exists to harm people. It must have been sitting there on the table for nearly two months now. Come to think of it I am also curious about the Lourd de Marionnette in the storeroom here.
There is a lot I want to check on tomorrow. And to clean. I also want to search for the ring Lady Beretta lost so I should probably get to sleep soon. My head kind of hurts. Only a little bit though.
Message from the German Army Paris Branch: To the Attesor Project Investigation Team
Report. At 16:00 two days from now, an Attesor Project investigation report meeting will be held in Conference Room 2 on Floor 3 of the branch office. It will take the form of a question and answer session, so come prepared.
It’s still morning, but a lot has already happened. Rosetta can’t move right now, so I need to write this for her sake.
She just had her first period. It sounds so simple when I write it like that and, in a way, it’s a happy thing, but the way she’s staying in bed doesn’t seem quite so happy.
We discovered it at around 9 this morning. I was sleeping quite comfortably when I was woken by a tap on my shoulder. I found Rosetta crying and looking to me.
“What am I supposed to do?” she said. “I think I might be dying.”
I pulled back the covers to see what this was about and found her curled up as if to hide something. I figured out why soon enough and I kind of regretted removing the covers. Well, I know she has the emotion of embarrassment at least.
I told her not to worry, gave her a hug, and then boiled some water in the kitchen. I made a few steamed towels and returned. I stuck the pillow under her back and wiped the blood from her legs while telling her what a period was and what it meant. Come to think of it, I had told her how to write and stuff like that, but never anything like this. This evolution was probably the result of hearing all the talk about my pregnancy in Bourgogne. She had not even evolved genitals before, so this was a big change.
Does this mean she wants to be a mother too, even if only on a subconscious level?
These evolutions are the result of a powerful thoughts after all.
All the blood seemed to have scared her a lot, so she remained very pale and dazed as I helped her change – I know now isn’t the time, but man does she have the ideal body – and asked where the spare bedding was so I could change that.
When I went to report this to the old man, he wasn’t in his room and I found him performing maintenance on Protected Empress’s parts in the storeroom. Unsurprisingly, an old man like him didn’t have any medicine for menstrual pain on hand, so I had to grab some headache medicine instead. I whipped up a light soup in the kitchen before returning to her.
“Was it like this for you too, Lady Beretta?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t really remember.”
This was probably how it usually worked, but no one had ever taught her about it and she so hated hurting people that finding herself bleeding must have been terrifying.
She had a desire to help people, but she wasn’t used to hurting others or being hurt by others.
The thought of her freaking out like this at the start of every month was kind of amusing or even adorable…but I guess it won’t happen again if she’s Formatted. I can’t hope for anything yet.
She’s sleeping in front of me right now. The old man popped by real quick but he left it all in my care and went back to the maintenance work. I wonder what he’s planning to do with Protected Empress. Is he going to give it to the Resistance? Regardless, I’m going to ask him what happened in Paris later today. I hate how carefree he seems living his reclusive life holed up in this mansion.
Rosetta started off groaning in her sleep and grabbing at the edge of the blanket, but she calmed down once I held her hand. Once she calmed down enough, I could let go without issue. I feel like this is a reversal of our previous roles since I had her do that for me in the past.
That might mean she’s going to end up like me.
Or maybe that’s the wishful thinking of a conceited young woman.
I’m honestly pretty satisfied just seeing her sleeping so peacefully in that soft blanket pillow. It makes me want to do the same thing.
<I hear something like radio static. It plays intermittently and is followed by a rapid typing sound.>
Does this mansion even have a radio?
Jean Missel’s Telegram: To Guilliaum
It is nearly time. They are parking several trucks in front of my home. They must intend to arrest me and raid my home in the name of “questioning” me and “requisitioning” my possessions. It is all in your hands now. I cannot allow myself to be captured, so it is time I fled. I will transmit the details of the Wort Bombe immediately after this telegram. Memorize it all so you know everything there is to know about it. And if the girl who was essentially my grandson’s wife visits you, tell her to visit my home. I have something to give her.
Jean Missel’s Wort Bombe Telegram: To Guilliaum
The Wort Bombe is the ultimate bomb which triggers a chain reaction of Formule collapse over a wide area by compressing and detonating the Yin Formules that cause Formules to change. But it is incomplete and the one currently in Paris is structured identically to an existing timed trigger bomb. Also, the Formule change cannot be controlled by whoever detonates the bomb. It instead responds to the willpower of the people and other forms of life in the area covered by the chain reaction. In other words, if it is detonated while the people of France are overcome by despair, all of France will be transformed by despair – although I have no idea what that would mean. But that leaves another possibility too. If the people of France instead hope for happiness, France will be transformed by happi- oh, I have to cut this short. The Germans are coming. Goodbye.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
At 09:25, I arrived at Paris’s general hospital.
At 14:32, the replacement of my left leg was complete. I left the hospital and arrived at the German Army Paris Branch at 15:21. The building’s repairs were underway, so there was no more rubble or wreckage on the outside. The intelligence division informed me I was summoned to a meeting the day after tomorrow.
They also asked for my view on locking down all information in Paris, so I urged them to fortify the blockade along the rivers and forested areas as strategic openings can develop there more easily. I also told them it was most realistic to maintain the blockade at a radius of 6 miles out from the center of Paris.
At 16:27, I began searching through the documents on the previous war. I searched for the name of the prisoner I took after battling that Attesor Project Grösse Panzer. At 19:35, that name leaped out at me from the page and the memories flooded back. Guilliaum Balleroy. That Panzer Kavalier served as commander of France’s 0th Grösse Panzer Brigade for the first two years of the war and was treated as a hero by France, yet he suddenly vanished without a trace. He was the one in that Grösse Panzer’s secondary cockpit.
At 20:15, I once more left for the German Army Paris Branch. I gathered information on the Balleroy family in the intelligence division. The citizen data told me he had lost a leg and had hired a Sein Frau. I asked to personally visit the Balleroy residence for an inspection as soon as I had permission.
At 22:52, I arrived at the barracks. I discovered some flowers on my desk. They were four o’clock flowers. My aide happened to be passing by and I asked him what they were doing there. Apparently, the family of that Klein Panzer Kavalier had stopped by before returning to Germany and they had left those for me.
I had also seen those flowers in the photograph of my family and they meant “shyness” in the language of flowers.
I once more began to consider my origins. I must have chosen the Panzer Ritter Project to rid myself of my scream. My memories of that time – including those of my family’s funeral – will never return to me. But I have encountered some who fight without screaming. Like Phillip Missel.
That means it is possible to conquer the scream.
Had I not realized that back then?
It is hard to say. It is possible for people to suppress their emotions. I do not understand it now that I have lost my emotions, but I can guess that I understood that back then.
So did I throw everything away and join the Panzer Ritter Project because I had screamed just the one time and lost a subordinate?
I do not know the details, but in the photo I found with my things, the woman and girl I can guess are my family are smiling at me. Without emotions, I cannot understand what those smiles mean.
I will now complete the rest of my duties and prepare for the meeting the day after tomorrow.
August 4, 1944
Beretta’s Journal: Today’s First Entry
It’s still 1 AM and the moon is the only light source, but I have to write about what just happened. I am currently sitting in the Missel mansion’s dance hall with my back against the wall. Jean Missel is sitting next to me with a rucksack in his arms.
As soon as I read the two telegrams coming from the communicator I heard in the Balleroy mansion, I grabbed my bag and ran out. On the way here, I walked through some catacombs, snuck through a forest, and kicked a German soldier in the nards when he spotted me – what I’m saying is, it was an eventful journey. The combat engineers blockading Paris were taking a break in the woods, so I was stuck there until the sun set.
I arrived here at 11 PM. I heard a few gunshots along the way and ducked down in fear, but that was Jean Missel taking out his pursuers and the guards on his way back to the mansion.
I cautiously approached the mansion that was in a similar state to Mallette’s family home and I spotted a trail of blood leading inside. On the way, I found two dead German soldiers and a communicator that looked intentionally broken.
The trail of blood led to the second floor where I found Jean Missel. He had been shot in the gut and had applied first aid, but he seemed well aware that he wasn’t making it.
He had apparently called the Chevaliers across France to gather here tonight and he could not back out of that, so he had returned despite his injury. Also…
“Someone left this with me, so I planned to give it to you.”
He pulled a letter from his rucksack and handed it to me.
Phillip had written it before that fateful battle and it was addressed to me.
I accepted it and we discussed a lot of different topics: Phillip, Paris, the previous war, the old man, and even Jack McWild.
“Yes, Beretta McWild, I knew your father well. But I also know things didn’t go well between Rose and Jack. Phillip told me how you act awfully distant when it comes to them.”
He also mentioned that he wasn’t sure if he should bring any of this up the last time we met. That made him sound like a coward but also surprisingly kind. And my distant attitude when it came to Rose Francisca and Jack McWild wasn’t some complex of mine. It was- well, maybe it was kind of that.
But this was the first I’d heard of the old man, Jack, and Francisca being friends. Why had he kept that from me all this time? It’s not like you run across as American a last name as McWild in France every day. Had it just not occurred to him we might be related?
No, that’s not possible. He must have his reasons. Like an important promise he made or something.
<Jean Missel is sitting very still with his eyes closed. He is not dead. He is waiting for the arrival of the people he called here.>
I’m sitting just as still next to him.
I’m holding the Wort Bombe document he had acquired. One of the telegrams I had read before coming here mentioned the bomb. In modern times, that weapon was banned as Death Techno.
That gave me an idea.
I might be able to use the Wort Bombe to save my grandma.
Specifically, its ability to change Lives.
I just had to recall what Jean Missel’s telegram had said:
<It instead responds to the willpower of the people and other forms of life in the area covered by the chain reaction.>
<If the people of France instead hope for happiness, France will be transformed by happi->
That seemed doable to me. The Rondo of France’s Format began because the bomb detonated while the people had given up all hope, so what if it detonated while the people were brimming with hope?
Why had it never occurred to me before? If all the people of France wished for no one to die, it could change the very laws of the world and allow my grandma to not be erased.
This was a gamble.
I have no idea what the people of France will actually hope for. This can save my grandma if it goes well, but it could mess France up really badly if it goes poorly. On the other hand, she will be erased if I don’t do anything.
Nothing is guaranteed in this gamble. It’s all about possibilities.
I need to read that document more carefully later. This is important.
Oh, and I have something else important to mention. When I told Jean Missel about the baby I’m carrying, he rejoiced but then grimaced from the pain in his gut. He then removed his sword emblem earring and gave it to me.
“This means the Missel family can continue. Can you wear this as you fight and eventually give it to your child? And make sure to tell the child all about Phillip and me.”
I’m wearing that sword emblem earring now to show I want to belong to this era and-
<I hear a horse neighing.
I also hear a lot of quiet footsteps on gravel outside the broken window. When Jean Missel hears it, he opens his eyes and looks to me.
“If you are indeed a Lourd de Écrivain, then you should read Phillip’s letter immediately. I do not know what it says, but that fool was a true Lourd de Écrivain. If you are the same, then you should get something from it.”
Then he stands up to meet his guests.>
Something important is beginning, so I think I’m going to read Phillip’s letter before then. Unlike Rose Francisca, I won’t hesitate to read it. Knowing his letters, it’s probably short but important, so I’ll read it. That should help me make a number of decisions.
Phillip Missel’s Letter: To Beretta
If you are reading this, then I suppose I will never again see you. Sorry about that. There is so much I want to say to you, but as usual, I can’t figure how to put it to words.
But I have a question for you since you have seen how it all turned out.
Did I manage to fight for someone else’s sake?
If you think so and you want to be with me, then you should understand what you must do.
I’m sure it won’t be easy, but since when has that ever stopped you?
If reincarnation is a thing, I hope we can be together again in our next life. If I hadn’t infiltrated the German Army, I was planning to invite you to the beach for this year’s vacances, but that clearly isn’t happening. As long as we remain Lourd de Écrivains, we can only be together in those memory banks filled with Signes and Ajouters. We only need be together in those thoughts that no one else can see.
Because in there, no one can tell when you are crying.
I will leave you something that will help you fight for someone else’s sake. Simply release the horse in the back garden and follow it. Since you were always so full of energy and flying off somewhere, I prepared the perfect thing for you.
This should allow you to grasp the heaven and the earth mentioned in the Lourd de Écrivain song.
Telegram from the German Army Combat Engineer Unit: To the Paris Branch
Report: Today at 12:08, the physical blockade set at a 6 mile radius around Paris was completed. 8 checkpoints have been set up and the rest has been fortified with vehicles and barbed wire. We expect the line troops to do the rest of the work.
Beretta’s Journal: Today’s Second Entry
I’m in the mountains about 20 miles out from the Missel mansion. It is 2 PM. I mounted the horse at the mansion and it started running all on its own, taking me here.
It didn’t take long to reach a mutual understanding with the Resistance representatives in the mansion by using Jean Missel as an intermediary. They all see me as the last member of the Missel family and a former Allied spy.
I came to France using my grandma’s identity. The faked documentation for that included making me a spy, but that should come in handy if I do meet up with the Allies.
And using that identity means I am taking my grandma’s place. I know exactly what that means. It might erase her from history, but I still believe I can change that using the Wort Bombe.
Jean Missel must not have wanted us to see him die because he returned to the dance hall alone after explaining the Paris Liberation plan to us all. He said that was where he first met his wife.
After seeing him walk down the hallway without looking back, I too left to come here.
The horse brought me to a spot in the middle of a mountain vineyard and I found the entrance to a wine cellar cleverly hidden there. The entrance was large enough to drive two trucks through at once.
But once I opened it, it wasn’t wine barrels I found.
It was a female Heavy Barrel. HLP018 77-LL Grazie.
That’s the very same Heavy Barrel I used at the school festival. Yes, it was sent to the Missel family for repairs and it wasn’t used during the uprising. Because the Resistance didn’t have anyone who could pilot a female one.
I towed it out with a truck and viewed it in the light of the sun.
The emblem painted on its right shoulder was the Missel family’s sword crest – the same as the earring I now wear.
The left shoulder was painted with a depiction of Marianne.
On closer inspection, I noticed that the legs, which had been Grazie’s weak points, were now reinforced. I could only imagine that customization was designed for throwing kicks. It also had an extra tank attached to the back, as well as small wings that were clearly meant for the Over Emblem. They were all German parts, but they had been modified to perfectly match the base Barrel.
A Device spear and a shield were stored with it. As well as the Third Flame Emperor, the Device passed down by the Missel family. That idiot. He already knew I was going to be using this when he was repairing it, didn’t he? There was no way of asking him now, so I’ll just assume that’s true. There were also plenty of anti-personnel and anti-Barrel weapons, so it was painfully obvious the Missel family had planned for every eventuality.
Anyway, Phillip had left Grazie with me.
<The Resistance men start up the truck’s engine. They must have finished loading up the weapons.>
I’ll be riding with them to their rendezvous point. They say the Paris blockade I saw last night has been completed, so I can’t get back inside Paris now. I’m worried about Rosetta. I ended up leaving her behind, so I hope she isn’t feeling too down with her period and everything else going on.
But for now, I can only accompany these people since they intend to break through into Paris.
We’re headed to a point about 10 miles south of Paris. The Allied forces are there.
I will be Write Bringing into Grazie to join the fight.
It’s time to finally make up my mind. I want to read my grandma’s letter, but she said I can only read it once I understand where her Urban Name of Sword Lady came from.
I’m sure I’ll figure it out somewhere, so it’s time to head out. I think I’ll read through the Wort Bombe document in the truck.
It is currently 11 at night. I am in bed. I am feeling better and a few important things have happened so I think I will write about them. I woke up at about 9 at night and got my heavy body moving so I could get dressed. I was hungry so I went to the kitchen. My master descended from the second floor and told me I had slept all day long and that Lady Beretta went to the Missel mansion on the outskirts of the city. He also told me Paris had been completely blocked off and no one – even Lady Beretta – could get in.
He apparently had work to do in the storeroom so he left after telling me to call for him if I needed anything. I sat in the kitchen chair for a long while. I did not do much other than drink a few glasses of water.
It must have been around 10 when someone arrived at the back door. I opened the door thinking it might be Lady Beretta but it was a stranger in white clothes. His long blonde hair was pretty. He was middle-aged and looked somewhat tired. He had distinctive almond eyes.
“Do you need something?” I asked him.
He let out a sigh of relief when he heard that.
“Please save my child.”
Hearing that I Ajoutered the child in his arms. It was a blonde girl wearing white. She had been shot in the stomach and her clothing was stained with blood. I took the child and placed her on the kitchen countertop to heal her. Then I turned back toward him.
Except he was no longer there. I Ajoutered that spot to figure out what happened and I saw a single male Fantasmé Renard collapsed at the back door. He was dead.
I recalled the legend that those foxes could transform into a person just once in their life.
I looked back to the kitchen countertop and saw the Fantasmé Renard child that Lady Beretta had named Mallette. The brown fur of her stomach was stained with blood and she was barely breathing. I could see the same color on the stomach of the father collapsed at my feet.
I don’t remember much of what happened after that. I do know I cried. I went to my master and received some healing tools and a sewing kit. I removed the bullet from Mallette’s stomach and sewed up the wound so she would not die.
I wrapped a towel around her stomach and placed her in an empty cardboard box to sleep. Then I vomited a little bit. I had so many reasons for that. Lady Beretta’s absence. My exhaustion. The nausea from my period. All the blood I had just seen. And the death of Mallette’s father – Phillip.
Lady Beretta had once told me the Germans would go hunting in the Boulogne forest for fun so was that what happened here? Does that mean all the Fantasmé Renards other than Mallette had been killed? There had been two other children named Jean and Jack. And there had been a mother named Beretta. Were they all dead?
Mallette is currently sleeping in the cardboard box under my bed. She is alive. After vomiting and drinking more water I buried Phillip in the garden.
Is this what it means to lose someone? For them to die? What will Mallette think when she wakes up? She is the same as me right now.
She no longer has her family with her. What will she do when she wakes up?
I do not know. I do not know what I will do either.
Everyone else knows what to do. My master is working on the Lourd de Marionnette so it is ready to run – probably for Lady Beretta’s sake – and Lady Beretta went to Sir Phillip’s home.
But I have nothing to do. I am starting to feel jealous of the gun sitting on the bedside table. That gun has no will of its own. It is a simple device. But that is enough to give it purpose. Even if that purpose is to harm people.
Now I am feeling sad.
Why isn’t Lady Beretta with me?
I know I am being selfish but there is still so much I want to ask her. I still haven’t learned how to use a comma. We were so busy during our trip I never managed to ask her about that.
I understand it indicates a pause for breath much like a period but I don’t ever see anyone put a comma at the end of a sentence.
But why not? Is a period meant to indicate the end of one idea? But the paragraph break already exists for that purpose. There is no need to further confuse things by creating a punctuation mark with the same function.
Why do two punctuation marks exist that both indicate a pause for a breath?
They have a saying in Aerial City – London: “No one needs two of the same word.”
So shouldn’t the comma and the period be combined into a single punctuation mark?
Ellipses. Em dashes. Questions marks. Exclamation marks. Parentheses. Tildes. They all have different meanings. Only the comma and the period mean the same thing. So why have both of them?
I do not know.
But answering this question is not my job. And it is not very fun either. Come to think of it I have not had anything to eat. I must be hungry so that is enough of this.
Heinz Berge’s Journal
Today at 10:05, I began putting together the report to be submitted tomorrow.
At 12:37, I received a telegram granting me permission to inspect the Balleroy residence. I was given a 2-hour block of time for it beginning at 06:30 on August 6.
At 21:33, I completed the report.
At 22:40, some sort of mental shock woke me while I napped. My prosthetic arm’s fist was lightly clenched and mildly damaged. I called a maintenance worker for some quick repairs. My heartrate remained high throughout the repairs, which was unusual. Viewing the flowers on my desk calmed me and my body and mind returned to their ordinary state.
After the maintenance worker left, I recalled the movement of my lips when I woke up.
I had mouthed what I assume to be two names: Belia and Susanna.
I have no memory of anyone with those names, so I assume they were my family.
I will leave a Lernen record of this in case it will be of some use.
After checking over my report, I will go to sleep.
August 5, 1944
Guilliaum’s Letter: To a Far Distant Friend
My friend, it is well past the point of lamenting how long since I last wrote to you or of complaining about anything else.
Old Blue Eyes almost certainly died yesterday. When the girl saw his final message, she grabbed her bag and ran from the house. It was all so sudden I just watched her go. Maybe I should have hidden the communicator.
I am currently making preparations to activate the greatest weapon in my home. Yes, to complete the Attesor Project. I am preparing that female Lourd de Marionnette for combat. I even added the extra tank and other things the Allies smuggled to me. The only flaw holding it back from perfection is the lack of proper device linkage.
But another problem has arisen. Starting this morning, two German military vehicles have been parked right outside my front gate. And the insignia says this is Heinz Berge’s Rot Löwe Unit. Has that old man regained his memory? However, it seems he still intends on demonstrating honor in battle as a Kavalier. They must not plan to make their move until some scheduled time.
But once that time comes, I may have to finally say goodbye to this mansion.
I had Rosetta cook some food without telling her about any of this. She seems pretty down after getting her period and having that girl disappear on her, but I’d like to know when she managed to evolve so much. I was trying to keep this from happening, but that girl made it happen and abnormally quickly at that.
I can’t believe this. She could have remained that blissfully ignorant Belle de Marionnette forever, but she’s so much like that one that died in Bourgogne that I couldn’t help but let her do what she wanted. But now I must tell her the truth about her destiny, as hard as that may be for her to hear. I must also tell her about the secret hidden in this mansion. But what will happen once she knows?
I don’t know. It might just save us, but it also might lead a poor Belle de Marionnette to wish for death. Still, telling her this is a duty that only I can bear. The one who once fought alongside me is dead, that girl knows nothing, and Rosetta chose to grow without knowing what any of it meant, so I alone know the whole truth at this point.
This is our sin. Yes, it is the sinful memory of when we drove hundreds of Belle de Marionnettes to suicide 25 years ago.
But now that Rosetta might die, she must learn of her roots from me, the sole survivor.
She must know where she comes from. She must know everything that had us so obsessed and that we eventually rejected.
I can’t believe this. I truly cannot believe it, my friend! Oh, my friend!
You were my greatest friend and the bearer of all our resentment, Jack McWild!!
I will clean up the rest of our mess in your place!
I must tell Rosetta the truth. I think of her like a daughter, so she must know the truth. Goodbye. I doubt I will ever write to you again.
Thank you for leaving Rosetta with me. She really is so much like that nameless Belle de Marionnette who was killed by Heinz after repelling that black dragon in Bourgogne.
Farewell. I hope this will be the last night that makes my drink taste so foul.
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s First Entry
It is still daytime and I am in the middle of cleaning but I am writing this already. I am feeling much better today. Mallette has also recovered so she finally barked at me at around 9 this morning. She seemed to be hungry so I soaked some bread in milk and fed her that. Once she had a full stomach she went back to sleep.
She is still asleep in the cardboard box I left in my room.
That alone would not have been reason to interrupt my cleaning to write this. I discovered something while cleaning. Thanks to the trip it had been about a month and a half since I last cleaned the mansion. I even had to open the windows to air things out. I was still not feeling well and Lady Beretta is gone – and my master says she will be unable to return because Paris has been locked down – so I may have been anxious about her.
I began cleaning after bringing an early lunch to my master who is assembling the Lourd de Marionnette below a tent in the courtyard. While I was cleaning the windows and table in the second-story study I saw something shining in the gap between the wall and bookcase.
It was a ring. A ring I recognized – the one Sir Phillip had given Lady Beretta.
It had rolled too far into the gap for me to reach. It must have slipped from Lady Beretta’s finger and rolled back there while she was cleaning. Once I noticed that I ended up focusing on retrieving the ring instead of cleaning.
Because I knew she would be delighted if I gave her the ring when she returned.
But I could not reach it and the window frame and bookcase prevented me from reaching it with the broom handle.
I ended up having to remove all the books from the bookcase so it was light enough to move. I think that took me about half an hour. Once I moved the bookcase I could finally reach the ring.
But that was not all I found.
There was a door on the wall behind the bookcase. I had been told there is a torture room next to the study but it had been filled in with concrete. I cracked the door and found there was indeed a room there. It was a dark and cramped room filled with books.
I am currently in the study trying to decide if I should ask my master about this or not.
He claimed the room had been filled in with concrete. But that was a lie. Why would he need to lie to me?
I think he did not want me interested in that room. I only peeked inside the windowless room for a moment but it only had a desk and bookcases covering the walls.
I do not know why but my heart is racing. I am also scared. Yes. The room beyond that door looked somehow familiar to me. Why? Is this a memory from before I grew self-aware?
I do not know. But I am unsure what to do. Should I ask my master about it or not? Should I see what is in that room or not?
My master has told me not to enter a few of the rooms on the second floor. But that is the only room he lied about.
I have so many questions and so few answers.
<My master is calling for me from the courtyard.
He says he has something to tell me.>
I am curious about that door. After I hear what he has to say I think I will try asking him about it. Today is a day for strange occurrences.
I will probably write a second entry about what happens.
Heinz Berge’s Report: Attesor Project Investigation Report
- The first thing you must know is that everything we thought we knew about the Attesor Project is inaccurate.
- We thought it was a project to increase reaction speed during Schreiben by using a new technology for the sensory devices.
- If my memories are accurate, the Grösse Panzer I encountered in the Morvan Mountains 25 years ago had abnormally high reflexes, which is why I lost a few of my men. I also lost an arm in the process, but I destroyed it with a slash to the hip. That Panzer and the wreckage my unit secured recently are undoubtedly an experimental Panzer for the Attesor Project.
- The prisoner taken 25 years ago was Guilliaum Balleroy, who currently lives in western Paris. He belongs to the former Royal Chevalier family and he was a Panzer Kavalier ace during the previous war. I am currently preparing to inspect his home, but I will explain why later.
- The wreckage recovered on July 20 was mostly too rusty to be much use, but our inspection revealed the remains of a mechanical doll within the Studio.
- It was unusually finely crafted, but it was a Sein Frau shaped like a girl.
- I will use the Panzer Ritter Project as a baseline to make this easier to understand. I had my entire body replaced with prosthetics to turn me into a machine. That was done to increase my reaction speed during Schreiben so I could draw out the Grösse Panzer’s full abilities.
- That has indeed proven that turning man into machine – or as close an approximation as we can manage – provides greater mechanical power during Schreiben even without the imagination and willpower usually needed to control that power.
- Thus, it can be predicted that the mechanical power can be drawn on in an even purer form if a machine is made human instead.
- To get straight to the point, the Attesor Project was not meant to develop the strongest Panzer.
- It was meant to develop a Sein Frau who would become the greatest Panzer Kavalier.
- They built and raised Sein Fraus with the primary goal of increasing their compatibility with a Grösse Panzer. Instead of creating sex toys or servants, they created Panzer Kavaliers born with all the necessary combat-related knowledge in their foundational memories.
- As they evolve into humans, they gain emotions and willpower, yet they maintain highly mechanical Tons. No matter what Panzer they Schreiben into, they can draw on its full power.
- I am unsure what righteousness can be found in leaving war in the hands of machines.
- Regardless, the Attesor Project remains unfinished. I can conclude it was never completed even after sacrificing hundreds of Sein Fraus.
- That must be why the Sein Frau went berserk while battling my unit 25 years ago. She did activate the Ober Emblem using human-style willpower during that battle, but that began a mistaken evolution and she lost control.
- Any Sein Frau that combines with a Panzer is fated to trigger an evolution in the Ober Emblem, which throws everything off balance.
- Sein Fraus are destined to evolve into humans, but the Attesor Project abused that destiny to make weapons out of them. When they wish to evolve into humans yet are only ever treated as weapons, it messes with their minds. And that ultimately leads those machines to commit suicide.
- Suicide of machines has in fact been seen in our enemy of America.
- However, the project does still exist. The aforementioned Guilliaum Balleroy has a single Sein Frau who works at his home as a servant. Her manufacturer is unknown, but her name is Rosetta. There is an old practice of using reversed names for Sein Fraus because a mere imitation of a human cannot be given a proper name.
- Rosetta = Attesor.
- I do not know if she is one final failure that was never destroyed or if she is the sole success. That is why my unit will pay the Balleroy residence a visit with our Grösse Panzers tomorrow to end this once and for all.
I’ve come to understand so much. And I’ve prepared myself for what’s to come.
It’s currently 9 PM, so 6 hours until our attack begins. I’m writing this in the field camp’s break area. It’s a pretty big collection of troops, so the break area is made up of several tents lined up in a wide space. For now, the fighting force is primarily composed of Allied special forces and an aerial assault unit. They are equipped with aerial tanks, highly-mobile armored trucks, transport vehicles, and more.
I can see the top of my Grazie in the distance. Including the Resistance forces, there are 1500 people here in all, so it’s quite a lot. I can see some with prosthetic arms, I can see some nonhumans, and I can see some people who seem to be Tuners and Busters.
They’re a lively bunch. Earlier, they held a strategy meeting with the leaders of each group. I was given a spot as the Missel heir and I was given a key position in the liberation operation. It helped that I – well, my grandma – was originally sent here as an Ally spy.
That means I really have become my grandma in this army.
This operation will let me kick out the Germans and liberate Paris while using her identity. Part of it is the plan originally developed by Jean Missel – I wish I could have called him grandfather just once.
There are still a lot of details to iron out, but if it goes well, nearly a third of Paris will be destroyed, but the enemy’s main force will be entirely neutralized. To accomplish that, I need to at least arrive at the Eiffel Tower’s Champ de Mars before 5 AM with Phillip’s Third Flame Emperor in hand. The others will lure the enemy’s main force there, where we’ll make short work of them. We’re calling that Operation Flame Glide.
I also proposed some other operations and they were approved too.
I can’t let anyone else know, but I incorporated the three conditions for liberating France into those operations.
The key is securing Paris’s central broadcasting station and preventing the Wort Bombe’s transport plane from taking off.
“If we take the broadcast station and transmit the fight to liberate Paris to the rest of France in real time, won’t the entire country yearn for liberation when we win?”
Everyone agreed with me there, but that had a double purpose for me. Not only would the broadcast spread a spirit of liberation throughout the people of France, but it would also let me proclaim to the country of France that I am Beretta McWild – in other words, my grandma.
A spy apparently provided intel that the transport plane taking off from Paris’s international airport at 5 tomorrow morning – the very one that will drop the Wort Bombe – will be carrying some members of the Geheimnis Agency, who are known as especially dangerous even for Germany. The others said that agency is secretly in command of the entire German military and it would be very dangerous to let them bring information on Paris back to Germany. They like to gather Death Techno, so if they are leaving from Paris, they must have found something here.
So we have to take it back.
I spread out the Wort Bombe document Jean Missel had given me, told them it was in an underground storeroom at Paris’s international airport, and said we needed to both stop that plane and secure the bomb.
Based on my examination of the document, the Wort Bombe does exactly what Jean Missel claimed.
“If we secure the bomb before it’s timed trigger is activated and then we detonate it when France has been liberated and everyone wants to be happy, it might change France for the better.”
The weapon sounds like something from a fairy tale, but everyone seemed both cautious of and curious about it. Unlike a normal bomb, this one emits the power to “distort concepts”.
“Wouldn’t it be safer to detonate it after using the broadcast to inform all of France about Paris’s liberation?”
That suggestion didn’t even come from me. Most of them are still opposed to the idea of detonating it, but since it responds to people’s wills, a lot of them were willing to consider it depending on how things go. But we can discuss that further once we have secured it.
Based on my suggestion and the intel from the spy, they split off a unit to secure the airport.
We never decided what to do with the bomb once we had it, but there was still a chance I could save my grandma.
All the preparations are in place now, so it all comes down to my own will.
France’s liberation is up to me.
If my actions are broadcast across France, it will give the French people a spirit of liberation. At the same time, we can stop the transport plane carrying the bomb from taking off.
That just leaves using the broadcast or something else to prove that France has not truly closed itself off. I only have to announce that I have come from outside and my presence means France is not closed down. It’s a lot like how my grandma came here from America and fought the German occupation because it was wrong. She too was trying to liberate France back then.
I will be doing that in two different ways at once.
And if it is possible, I also want to detonate the Wort Bombe in a good way so she will not be erased from history as a duplicate existence. To do that, I must first win this fight and bring the will of France in a positive direction.
I really hope I can manage that.
I’m sure I can convince everyone to do it. Maybe I’m being naïve, but I won’t let them give up and do nothing.
I mean, even if the bomb is detonated in a good way, that might not actually distort the world in a way that saves my grandma. It might become even worse or it might not change anything at all.
In the end, it’s a gamble.
But taking that gamble is far better than doing nothing at all.
And to make that gamble, I need to take action.
Yes. I realized something important: the origin of my grandma’s Urban Name. It was simple really. The Sword Lady name came from the Missel family’s sword crest on my Grazie’s shoulder armor.
Sword Lady was not an occupation; it was a simple codename based on that crest.
That means she and Phillip were – oh, there’s no use beating around the bush. He was the lover she’s mentioned before. But after seeing him die and hearing his dying words, she fled.
I wonder why that was.
I’m going to read her letter. I want to know so much more about her. So much more about that other version of myself.
Rosetta’s Journal: Today’s Second Entry
War is coming to this city. Things are so noisy outside even at this late hour and the sirens never seem to stop. I am hiding in the mansion’s best hiding spot.
I am in the room that I was told was a torture room. But instead of that it is actually a small study. All of the books in here are about Belle de Marionnettes and Lourd de Marionnettes. The diagrams stacked up and lined up along with the books all have the same name on them: Jack McWild.
That is the same name as Lady Beretta’s father and Mother Rose’s husband. It was my master who opened up this room. Not me. When he called for me I told him I had found the room. He immediately brought me to the room and opened it. Then he told me everything.
First he told me I am not a human. That much I already knew.
But he next told me that I am not a Belle de Marionnette either.
He says I am a weapon.
I did not understand most of what he said about the Attesor Project but I did understand that I am a Belle de Marionnette designed to Recréa into an Appareil.
He told me my body and foundational memories are based on my many predecessors in the project.
That is why I have dreams of walking in the forest of Bourgogne and why I fear harming people. Those are not simple instincts. They are images imprinted on my memories through the process that created me.
The Attesor Project ultimately failed. It is a Belle de Marionnette’s destiny to become human. But the Belle de Marionnettes of the Attesor Project were asked to become a weapon instead so they chose to take their own lives.
The solution to that problem was incredibly simple. You raise the Belle de Marionnette until she is human and then have her Recréa into the Appareil. Their failure was in having the Belle de Marionnettes Recréa into the Appareils before that growth was complete so it was thought the process would be safer if she was closer to being human first. My master apparently figured that out when he lost his leg and one of my predecessors chose to evolve mid-battle and lost control.
That happened at the end of the great war. To make up for all their mistakes they used the results of their research to create a single completed Belle de Marionnette. That Belle de Marionnette was left at the Balleroy residence where she spent 10 years without ever moving and only received maintenance from Jack McWild. But on his final visit before leaving Paris to return to America she awoke and began to move.
That Belle de Marionnette is me.
I was born in that lab that is now a pile of rubble and I am here now.
My master said his role in the Attesor Project was to teach the Belle de Marionnettes how to fight with a Lourd de Marionnette. He also said that knowledge remains in my foundational memories.
I am a weapon. That means I have been lying to everyone all this time. I cannot even cry. Because weapons cannot shed tears. The only things weapons are allowed to shed is blood.
What am I supposed to do now? Weapons are supposed to kill their opponent. I was born to kill people.
But. But. I want to deny it. Yet when I see everything in this room. It. It all proves what I am. It proves everything I never wanted to know about myself. The one ray of hope is about Lady Beretta. My master did promise me one thing.
“That girl is searching for the truth of the Attesor Project but she cannot have found it yet.”
I agree. The way she tried not to involve me during our time in Bourgogne and elsewhere tells me she does not know I am a weapon.
For that alone I am glad.
Otherwise I would have had to suspect she was only trying to make me human to complete the Attesor Project.
I am so thankful my master told me that.
I have a book and a gun in front of me right now.
The book is the old journal that was inside the room. Jack McWild’s name is on the cover. That is the name of the person who made me. The gun is the Liberator handgun that fell from the sky. I dismantled it earlier to see what exactly a weapon is. It is a very simple device.
Does that mean I too am simple?
I do not know what to do. I am a weapon. A weapon’s job is to kill people. I also wish to be a person myself so does that mean I should kill myself? If I reassembled the gun in front of me and pulled the trigger I could do just that.
What should I do?
…I don’t know.
I don’t know. I don’t know! I keep writing but no answer presents itself! I was born to kill people. But I lived my life to become a person. Which one was the right life for me?
It reminds me of the difference between a comma and a period. If Lady Beretta is a period with a clearly defined use case then I am the comma. The difference between us is slight but only I am so poorly defined.
Only I do not know what to do with myself.
Lady Beretta is not with me so I have to find the answer on my own.
I plan to read Jack McWild’s journal soon.
I hope that will help me understand why I was born.
Letter from Sword Lady #13: To Beretta who Inherited my Name
Are you reading this, Beretta who inherited my name? Now, this is the 13th of the monthly letters. At long last, you have reached the very end, Beretta. Since you have opened this one, I must assume you have finally discovered my past.
Make sure you remember what I am about to say.
You must have met all sorts of people and experience all sorts of things on your way to this point. But I never told you what was to come for any of it. I never told you what happened to me in the past or what I thought about anyone.
So all of your decisions were your own. Do not forget that.
Now, I am about to get to the main topic at hand, so listen up.
Are you interested in liberating France, Beretta?
You should already know how.
Can you raise your voice, Beretta? Do not worry about the rest of us.
If you can raise your voice, then do so. To assuage the guilt of the 6 billion who abandoned France, to soothe the sorrows of the people who have been forced to repeat their deaths 55 times now, and to save me from the shame of running away from it all.
Can you save us all from the past?
I hope from the bottom of my heart that you can.
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