City Series:Volume6b Chapter8
Chapter 8: The Wheel Rises
07/29/1939 01:02 – 02:17
Can you hear it?
Strange how asking that question leads to the answer
So reach out
With destiny by your side
The thousand years of peace promised from the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire created by Charlemagne and established by Empire Otto I.
A concept born from the story where the Messiah, after subjugating the chaotic German lands, promised a millennium of peace to the emperor and then went to sleep in the Black Forest with the one-armed young man. The thousand years is said to begin in the year 962, when the Holy Roman Empire was established. In the late 30s, when the Millennium was coming to an end, the tension between nations was growing and a possible manifestation of the Twilight of the Gods spoken of in the Edda and sagas of Norse mythology was feared, so Germany strayed from Christianity and worked to bring back the mythologies of their past.
The idea of the Millennium spread across the globe and government officials eventually stopped referring to themselves as the Third Reich and instead presented themselves as the Greater Germanic Reich “so that this peace will last forever and no Fourth Reich will be necessary a thousand years from now.”
The black and the white clashed a second time just as the AIF’s final soldier began to escape into the Black Forest.
The Kaiser ran to the main gate to prevent their escape, but the Schwarz Löwe blocked its way, forcing the Kaiser to make a sword pressure attack.
But the Schwarz Löwe leaned its body to dodge the sword pressure. The remnants of the main gate took the blast instead, reducing them to rubble.
“Why are you trashing your own territory, moron?”
The Schwarz Löwe prepared to fight. Its left hand grabbed the conduit extending from below its clenched right fist and attached it to the external power port on its side. That port was usually used to connect lights, but here…
<Destiny is to fight.>
A black sword extended for more than 8m. A light swing sliced through the air, creating a low frequency noise similar to a vibration.
The Kaiser responded by gripping its Werkzeug in both hands. And…
“I should’ve known an intruder wouldn’t be above thievery, but did it have to be my old machine?”
“By fighting you here, the base’s guards can’t get outside. Sounds like the world’s second best way of letting the others escape, don’t you think?”
“Do you ever take anything seriously?”
The Kaiser moved, using its full power right away. It used its leg propulsion devices to strengthen the twisting of its body as it attacked.
<The Emperor allows no enemy to stand before him.>
<Destiny cannot be bent by even the greatest power.>
White and black lights crashed together.
With a sound similar to shattering glass, the white light scattered and the black light was broken away.
Before the black blade could even unravel in the empty air, the two lights returned to normal.
Hazel heard Berger’s voice from the speaking tube in the small, inertia-reduced secondary cockpit.
“Sorry, Hazel, but can you do me a favor?”
“Wh-what kind of favor?”
“Let’s have a nice chat to distract me. I’d forgotten how badly injured I am. This Barrel feels weirdly heavy in the gut and I accidentally wrote the pain from that attack into its memory.”
“Um, you don’t sound in pain.”
She heard a loud crash from outside. The wind could move through the ventilation pipe and reach her dimly-lit secondary cockpit.
As could the Erklärungs.
<The Emperor is a conqueror.
He always advances and always conquers.>
The wind moved thrice in quick succession.
A great gale blew into the secondary cockpit, but not a natural one. This was an artificial destructive wind created by movement and tremors. The tone color was a piercingly sharp light blue. The tempo was large and deep but only lasted a moment.
…That’s nothing like Sylphide.
“What is it, Hazel? I’m a bit busy dodging right now. Stay quiet.”
“You just told me to talk with you.”
<Destiny clears the way forward.>
<The Emperor never backs down.>
The wind blew through and the secondary cockpit shook and swung around unpredictably.
Her confusion was answered by the enemy’s voice.
“See, that’s what happens when our Erklärungs collide. In the Geheimnis Agency, we have trained for this and learned the advantages and disadvantages. You cannot catch up to us.”
“Don’t brag about having an unfair advantage!”
“Says the loser who can never win!”
<The Emperor allows no enemy to stand before him.>
A slight vibration through her seat told her the Schwarz Löwe was backing up.
Wind blew through the ventilation pipe at the same time, so she could see the wind’s tone color.
…This is coming from the right, not up ahead?
“Escape to the left!!”
She shouted on reflex and the secondary cockpit briefly came to a stop. She felt like she was floating, and then…
…To the left.
A great pressure tugged the entire secondary cockpit to the right.
Even in the inertial negation of the cockpit, her hair was tugged over and she nearly fell over. The clothing Berger had stripped off when Write Bringing was pulled from the floor at her feet and splatted against the right wall with the blood soaking it. However…
“You dodged that!?”
The enemy’s voice arrived from the right, along with the sandy explosion of rubble.
She looked out through the viewport on the side and saw the fire-illuminated crimson smoke created by the enemy’s attack.
“Hazel.” Berger’s voice reached her through the speaking tube, along with somewhat elevated breathing. “Hazel, how did you predict that attack?”
The next one came before she could ask what he meant.
<The Emperor allows no enemy to stand before him.>
She again saw the wind blowing in through the ventilation pipe.
She calmly reached a hand out to touch the wind Tons floating in her cockpit.
“From the left this time.”
The Schwarz Löwe took rapid evasive action. It moved back and spun just a bit to the right.
The light blue Tons in her hand burst and vanished.
A beat later, she heard an impact from the left. They had dodged it.
…I know what this must be.
“Can you see it, Hazel?”
“Y-yes, I can see the wind dancing!”
“Then I might just be able to dodge these attacks even with a Barrel so heavy. …Keep reading the wind for me.”
Her heart pounded as she answered him.
The wind danced again, oblivious to how she felt.
She reached a hand toward what she saw.
<Destiny always advances.>
A solid sound rang out as one of his attacks finally landed. Their opponent took his first hit.
Her heart skipped a beat when she realized what this meant. And…
“Mr. Berger! I want to get out so I can see the wind better!”
It took two full seconds for him to reply, but reply he did.
“Then get out, Hazel. I asked you to read the wind, didn’t I!?”
She opened the hatch and emerged.
While the Schwarz Löwe fell back to buy time and with the inertia nearly flinging her away, she placed herself in the gap between the secondary cockpit and the head. She held the frame between her legs to steady herself.
The wind blew all around her. It was so much more vivid and plentiful than inside her cockpit.
“If you blackout, I’ll begin our escape. If you don’t, then read the wind for me! Even 10 seconds will give me a chance to attack.”
Schwarz Löwe raised Gelegenheit before he was even done speaking.
Kaiser took a defensive stance in return.
“Is that the Messiah girl?”
Hazel leaned against Schwarz Löwe’s head and placed her hands on it as she nodded.
Their opponent shook his head once to reject this idea.
“Get down. You can’t win. …Predicting some of my movements is not enough. That Grösse Panzer belongs to me and it was meant as a prototype for the Kaiser, so it contains several functions Berger can’t use.”
“Is that why it feels so heavy in the gut? I’m betting it has a prototype for the Kaiser’s Eingeweide component. Did I guess right, Alfred?”
“Yes. Which is why that Panzer will never do what you want it to.”
“Sounds like a fair handicap to me, Kaiser. Meanwhile, I’ve got the Messiah who can predict your movements. Let’s see who comes out on top.”
“Prepare yourself. Our commander made a prophecy 2 weeks ago that she said would trigger the return of the Messiah once fulfilled. But, Berger, that prophecy makes no reference to the one armed man with the divine name.”
In the deep darkness of the Black Forest
Born from the abyss
The wheel emerges
- It whips up the wind and speaks with the dragon
- It reads the wind and weeps
- It carries power in its hand and hesitates
“This is the end for you, Berger – man with the divine name.”
“Divine name?” repeated Hazel.
She looked to Schwarz Löwe’s face, but Berger said nothing. The Kaiser, however, did.
“You hadn’t noticed, Messiah girl? His name is Dog Berger. Reverse the first name and you get the name for England’s god.”
She gasped when she realized what that meant.
“Th-then when Mr. Berger fulfilled the prophecy two years ago…”
Berger’s voice left Schwarz Löwe with a tone of resignation.
“The symbolism lined up by coincidence. But…” He took a breath. “I will reject this destiny. Wild Hund is enough for me. More than enough.”
“So you rely on Gelegenheit and the Messiah!?” The Kaiser suddenly raced forward. “What kind of man needs a woman’s help to fight!?”
The wind moved and its tone color reached Hazel’s eyes.
The wind danced.
The powerful inertia nearly threw her from the Heavy Barrel’s shoulder as she viewed the wind.
The white Kaiser created a powerful gale rushing in toward her.
The black Schwarz Löwe created a pleasant wind that surrounded her.
Both winds were dancing.
The gale produced by the Kaiser was primarily caused by its propulsion devices. It whipped up the wind along a straight line as it charged in, breaking through the wall of air standing in its way.
The wind blew out for just an instant and broke, sending out the straight-line gale.
<The Emperor always advances.>
It was the pleasant wind’s job to redirect that wind away.
The pleasant wind was weak. It was caught in the gale and nearly broken, but Hazel guided it.
She spoke the words needed to send it on its proper course as the two winds were entangled.
Schwarz Löwe skillfully took the shortest path possible. Anything else would mean defeat against this opponent. The Schwarz Löwe contained a device that only Alfred could use.
Berger had identified it as a High Organ prototype and Hazel thought on that now.
…It does seem to be holding him back.
She was here to negate that handicap, so she read the wind. That was the only thing she could do.
She had him step forward and chose the wind current that gave them the fastest possible movement.
The faster they moved, the more chance they had to fight back against the powerful gale. The pleasant wind was mostly swept aside by that wind, so they needed to take control of a wind more capable of fighting it.
She viewed her surroundings while tossed about by the inertia.
The sky was crimson, the wind was loud, and the rumble of Heavy Barrel operation was incessant.
The scenery spun around her as the Heavy Barrel made a turn. Flames rose from the destroyed base and the collapsed Vaterland tower was visible further back.
The wind was growing stronger.
For a brief moment, the wind grew red.
…A scorching wind?
As soon as the thought reached her, the barrier at the center of the base was blown away from below.
A great roar burst out, followed by a shockwave. The 50-yard metal door was blasted into the night sky in four pieces.
The gray rectangles looked so small as they hovered in the distant sky, but…
They began their descent in the very center of her vision.
The wind buffeted them, altering their descent, but they fell all the same.
One piece fell like a leaf fluttering into the Black Forest, felling several trees.
One piece fell straight down, bisecting the command tower.
One piece spun down into the airfield, its corners gouging holes like a sewing machine as it rolled.
One piece gained a gentle twist as it fell toward the two Heavy Barrels below. Schwarz Löwe used everything it had to leap backwards.
The Kaiser used its leg propulsion devices to slide right and behind the metal panel.
The giant metal panel stabbed into the ground like a wall between the two Barrels.
The asphalt meant nothing against that 50-yard blade.
Schwarz Löwe took repeated evasive actions to avoid the resultant wind and rubble pieces, but its movements were wild. It was a disjointed series of reflexive evasions, not a flowing series of movements.
“That idiot! How tightly did he set this thing!?”
Schwarz Löwe’s movements fell apart and its wind scattered. Hazel panicked.
“Mr. Berger!? The wind is-!”
The enemy took action before she could complete her warning.
The powerful gale blew in from above. The white Heavy Barrel had jumped over the metal panel and now dropped down from 50 yards overhead. Wind blew from the wings on its back as it charged straight toward Schwarz Löwe.
Schwarz Löwe took evasive action, but it was too slow.
Hazel realized the attack was aimed for Schwarz Löwe’s head.
The scattered wind was partially to blame for their delay.
…That and he still hasn’t gotten the hang of using this Barrel.
She was reminded of a similar situation from two years ago.
…The Sylphide tried to protect me over the North Sea, but it was still incomplete.
“I was only a guest – a component…but I couldn’t do anything.”
She looked up. A thought broke her mind out of the past and she spoke in the present.
The enemy’s white blade was approaching. In that instant, she shouted the words she had used to say goodbye to Sylphide.
“I will use this power as it’s meant to be used!!”
At the same time, an Erklärung rewrote that space.
But this Erklärung did not belong to Gelegenheit or the Kaiser.
It was a simple statement.
<The Messiah seeks the power meant for her.>
The change was dramatic.
In a moment of supposed impossibility, Schwarz Löwe’s Over Emblem fully activated.
Ether light raced across its body, creating black skin, and two sharp wings appeared on its back.
Then it moved its wings to leap backwards.
The wind moved. But this was not a pleasant wind. Nor was it a powerful gale. It was even more intense and unceasing.
It reminded Hazel of a certain ship as she stood on Schwarz Löwe’s shoulder.
“I can read this wind! So now-”
“I get it already!”
Schwarz Löwe’s sight devices glowed with the light of their wide-range mode.
Hazel leaned against its face structure to fight the inertia and shaking.
Her right eye felt hot. Tears were flowing from it.
She could see the footage from Schwarz Löwe’s sight devices in the back of her mind.
She knew that had to be the Messiah’s power. Just like two years ago.
…My right eye must be crimson right now.
The footage in her mind aligned with the wind Tons she could see with her own eye.
Two years ago, the Geheimnis Agent named Schweitzer had told her the Messiah implant could sync with and operate Eingeweide devices. And that power was a cornerstone of the Panzerpolis Project.
…Can you see the winds I see with the Heavy Barrel’s eyes?
“Understood, Hazel. I can hear your voice…and see the wind.”
She smiled and faced forward with the Messiah eye synced with Schwarz Löwe.
The Kaiser was there.
Her racing vision accurately rode the wind. It twisted somewhat to charge at the Kaiser from the left.
They were about 100 yards away. Their run grew to a sprint and then joined the wind itself.
Hazel reached her right hand out into the wind. She could see more than she could 2 years ago.
She could see the wind.
This was more than just a movement of the air.
It danced playfully and surrounded them teasingly.
Tears flowed from her right eye and she sang a song as if to answer the wind.
In the deep darkness of the Black Forest
Born from the abyss
The wheel emerges
- It whips up the wind and speaks with the dragon
- It reads the wind and weeps
- It carries power in its hand and hesitates
She clenched the hand held out into the wind, grabbing it.
“If that is a prophecy the Messiah must fulfill, then let’s fulfill it.”
In the shaking of the Barrel’s speed, she pulled her right hand back and grabbed the card stored in her breast pocket: the Wheel of Destiny.
“I will not hesitate to seek power.”
“Then…then what will you do, Hazel? Hazel Mirildorf!?”
She answered Berger’s question by gathering strength in her gaze.
She saw an explosion of wind out past their wind.
It was the gale.
The explosion could not destroy their wind, but it broke a hole and moved in.
Their relative speeds closed the gap in mere moments.
To her right, the base’s ground belched flames and exploded. The Gard-class warship had detonated. A shockwave blasted out along with a scorching wind.
But the two combatting winds blew it away. White light wrapped around the approaching Kaiser’s sword.
<The Emperor is never vanquished.>
Gelegenheit’s darkness emerged to form an 8-yard blade.
<Destiny always catches up to you.>
On Schwarz Löwe’s shoulder, Hazel shut her eyes with her wind-grasping hand to her chest.
She left everything in Berger’s care as she leaned heavily against Schwarz Löwe’s facial structure.
<The Messiah travels with Destiny.>
<Destiny will never abandon the Messiah.>
The two winds crashed together, creating a shockwave and an almost metallic groan as they bent and raced outwards.
The black and white paths intersected, bringing the battle to an end.
Hazel opened her eyes and saw a red dragon before her.
That was Schwarz Löwe’s left arm. It had thrust that arm out as a shield.
But their wind was still blowing.
She looked back to see the Kaiser about 100 yards behind them. A sword devoid of light hung in its right hand and it slowly – ever so slowly – turned around.
It faced them, revealing a destroyed right shoulder. And…
It roared and threw away its sword, which was missing half its blade. Before Hazel could realize it had been sliced through, a voice spoke from Schwarz Löwe’s vocal device.
“Our job is complete. Time to fly.”
Before she could respond, Inertia pushed her down onto the great metal shoulder.
The flapping of the two wings beat at the Schwarz Löwe’s severed left arm fallen on the ground behind them.
And they flew.
The scenery spread out below them: the burning base, the broken tower, the white Heavy Barrel looking up, and the red and blue Heavy Barrels.
The Alfheim Meteorite Pit was glowing to the west of the base.
“And the Black Forest covers everything else.”
Schwarz Löwe flapped its wings again and the winds of their great altitude came to greet Hazel.
With a roar, a giant object passed by below: an aerial transport ship.
It looked a lot like the Silber she had seen 2 years ago.
When it noticed Hazel and Schwarz Löwe, it wobbled in greeting and then flew straight toward the base.
Hazel looked silently up into the night sky. That dark sky was not illuminated by the crimson. The stars were the only light there.
She found the North Star and smiled in the wind.
She realized her right eye was no longer shedding tears.
The Messiah implant had lost its heat and ceased functioning.
As the Neue Silber flew toward the #8 Base, Heiliger sat silently on the bridge and Schweitzer asked a quiet question from the adjacent seat.
“We just received word that the black Grösse Panzer was stolen. Shouldn’t we pursue it?”
Heiliger did not answer him. He only sighed and gave an order to the people in the seats up front.
“Tell Air Force Division Chief Müller’s unit that the air is turbulent and they should land on the roads rather than the runway.”
Words of acknowledgement were followed by a hurried transmission.
Schweitzer sighed. This time, Heiliger asked him a question.
“Did you board the Neue Silber to provide a situation report and because there was little you could do thanks to the turbulence?”
“It seems Lieutenant Maldrick ignored me, his commander, and got ahead of himself.”
Heiliger cut off Schweitzer’s response with a glance.
There was a hint of a smile on his face.
“I have heard that Development Division 2nd Project Team Leader Marsch Gant did something similar. He let someone use his new equipment without permission and then went to apologize to their commander himself.”
“Acting rashly is a problem, but it can work out in some circumstances. …Let me guess what you are thinking. If what my brother and Sir Karl say are true, Lieutenant Maldrick will be a crucial member of the Geheimnis Agency’s Army Division. A trivial matter like this will not change that.”
“It is nothing.” Heiliger sighed. “The Messiah girl is the same. We will not give up on anyone.”
“You know about her?”
“I do. Two years ago, my…”
He trailed off and fell silent there. Instead, he simply faced forward.
Schweitzer followed his gaze to look out through the bridge’s viewport and see the base burning in the night.
“War is beginning.”
Everyone else on the bridge agreed with Schweitzer’s assessment.
Hazel had returned to the secondary cockpit as Schwarz Löwe continued flying.
It flew north above the Black Forest.
The voice from the vocal devices received no response.
“Did she fall asleep? I guess this was her first real battle.”
Berger kept the wings moving.
He did not know their destination, but he knew which direction to fly.
“A Verlsten Brief, huh?”
When he had Schreibened, he had taken a quick look at the letter from a thousand years ago that Hazel had given him. It had contained a map showing a road heading north from the Black Forest.
The map had shown several roads, but that one was the most complex and ran deepest into the forest.
The Verlsten Brief had said to follow that road. Even though the road would not have existed back when it was written.
Schwarz Löwe tilted its head in midair, which allowed it to notice some light far below.
Some kind of large vehicle was driving along the road.
Schwarz Löwe ascended further to avoid being noticed. It closed its wings to reduce the noise as it looked down.
A Grösse Panzer transport truck was driving through the forest below.
He recognized the large form on its way to northern Germany.
“That’s the truck I saw before. The one Bermark Nein protected.”
Its only focus was on traveling north.
He realized he could see a small white color illuminated by the pale starlight.
White steam was emerging from below the black sheet placed over the rear of the truck.
Something was operating below that sheet.
Berger watched in puzzlement as a branch from the forest caught on the sheet.
The sheet was pulled back, revealing to the starlight half of what it covered.
Berger recognized it.
He cried out and ascended. He veered away from the road and flapped his wings to stop in midair.
The truck drove away below, even more white smoke rising from it.
A high-altitude wind blew across Berger as he spoke the name of what he had seen and why the Verlsten Brief had sent him here.
When leaving the Geheimnis Agency HQ building and walking south, if you turned east instead of toward the western runway, you would find the army hangar. The large building was primarily used for repairs.
The internal space could contain around 10 Grösse Panzers and it was currently wrapped in an unusual stillness.
There were noises, however. From outside, there was the blowing wind and the forest noises.
On the inside, there were the distinctive noises of Grösse Panzers in standby mode and of people talking.
The lights were kept off, so some people were speaking in the darkness.
The slender figure standing near the entrance was Lowenzahn.
“Almost everyone has left the #8 Base now. …Can I assume everyone here already knows the truth?”
She turned toward the shadows to her right.
The enormous, broad-shouldered figure there was Graham. Rose was clinging to him with her hands on his shoulder.
A woman in a blue dress stood next to them: Naval Division Chief Lillie.
She gave a quick bow without opening her eyes.
“I learned it all from the previous Sofort Leser, Lady Frobel. At the time I assumed she was joking because it seemed crazy to think you could be so important or that history would progress like this.”
“And my mom did love making jokes with a straight face.”
Lowenzahn gave a pure smile and then moved her eyes to someone else.
The skinny figure standing to Lillie’s left was Bermark Vier.
“Please look after Captain Hellard while I am away,” she said to him.
“No matter what might happen to me and even if the Panzerpolis Project causes another disaster in ’43, he still saved me…saved me twice.”
Bermark nodded and Lillie tilted her head.
“Twice? I thought it was just the once three years ago.”
She turned toward Graham after asking.
Graham did not nod and simply returned her gaze for a few seconds.
Then he turned his eyes toward something like a wall next to Lillie.
But it was not actually a wall. What looked like a steel cube at least 3 yards tall was actually a foot.
Everyone turned to view the thing the enormous foot belonged to.
It was a Panzer, but it could not be called a Grösse Panzer. It was so large it made the massive hangar look cramped. Even while crouched down with its hips to the floor, its head nearly touched the ceiling.
The green of its Panzer Kleid and the metallic gray and nearly ocher brass color of the Panzer itself glowed dully in the darkness.
It would tower over 25 yards tall when standing up.
The colossal Grösse Panzer had large, thick limbs and two Drache Kanone on its back. The plentiful armor placed over its Panzer Kleid was honeycombed with warship buoyancy emblem panels.
Two lights appeared in the darkness far above. The colossal Grösse Panzer’s sight devices had lit up. They were cold red lights.
Its gaze was directed toward the group gathered below.
A voice spoke from the external speaker on the Panzer’s chest. A male voice.
“Yes…it was twice, wasn’t it? Commander, I am glad you remembered what I told you.”
“Army Division Chief Karl Schmitt is well known for his strictly accurate stories,” said Lowenzahn. “Is that because you can extract just the facts from your memory? That may be one advantage to the Eisen Ritter Project.”
Lillie looked back in surprise.
“Are you saying something else happened with that air force captain?”
The response came from Rose.
“All sorts of stuff! I doubt he remembers, but it was so important for Lowenzahn and for me as well. It’s a sad story, so I can’t get into the details…but let’s just say Lowenzahn and I can never thank the Schweitzer family enough. Especially Der Held.”
“Der Held…hm?” Lillie nodded. “That’s an Eingeweide device that rewrites a portion of this world, just like my Mondnacht and Lady Rose’s Requiem.”
“With Heiliger’s Tragisch, the Kaiser, the Vaterlands, and so much more, we really are gathering them together, aren’t we?” Lowenzahn gave a fearless smile. “But, Rose, I’m sorry to say I think the Gard-class Eingeweide aerial warship – the Requiem – was destroyed, so you’ll have to go back to sleep for a while longer. We can reconstruct that one piece of the composite ship in another year.”
“Yes, but I can’t stand to wait much longer! I don’t think I could bear seeing my bigger brother get any balder!”
Rose’s reply caused Lowenzahn’s smile to grow. Lowenzahn took a step back and placed a hand on her left chest.
“Only those of us here are aware that all of the prophecies end in ’43. …I apologize for leaving Jeanne out of it, Karl.”
“It was best to let her rush out to the #8 Base like she wanted.”
“Some things are better not known and some people are more able to stand being lied to,” said Lillie, looking away from Graham.
“I should really be telling them about my Eingeweide too.”
“Do you think Captain Schweitzer realized what was happening three years ago?” asked Bermark.
“That I was at Neuschwanstein’s hospital to be implanted with an Eingeweide organ? No, there is no way he realized that.”
“Anyone who learns the Sofort Leser Naylor girl has an Eingeweide organ is bound to assume its Ober Beweisen is used to make her prophecies…even though that isn’t accurate in the slightest,” she said.
“It is an unfortunate thing, commander, but it is understandable since the Karlsruhe bloodline has a shortened lifespan due to their inherited Words Warn disease. You too have inherited a disease. That is all this means.”
“But mine won’t kill me.” Lowenzahn took a step back. “The lie I live is what will kill me. And it is Heiliger who will do it.”
She leaned back against the edge of the container for the hangar’s opened sliding door and looked outside.
“In ’43…I will let Heiliger know about the lie – about the true form of this world, the true meaning of Germany, and the true reason for the Panzerpolis Project.”
“And he will still do it?” asked Lillie.
“He once fought over my mother with my father, with Bertecht, and – sorry, Lillie – with Graham there.” Lowenzahn’s shoulders shook a little as she looked outside. “So even if he forgives me for it, he cannot let me live. Once he learns the truth of my lie, why Graham chose to abandon his emotions and memories, and whose prophecies these are, I know for certain he will…choose my death.”
“And the Messiah, Destiny, and the Hero cannot save you?”
“I have my hands full simply bringing this world back into order…and they are the gears of the Nibelung needed to do that.” Lowenzahn turned back toward them with a smile. “Sorry for dragging you into this complicated destiny business. But this is an age of darkness and chaos for the world. New cultures are rising, the old ones are falling apart, and the Tons are disturbed on a global scale.” She took a breath. “The Sofort Lesers around the world should start panicking next year. And that will explode into complete ruin come ’43…but we and the Panzerpolis Project are both the cause and solution to that.”
“The Millennium is ending, isn’t it?” said Bermark. “The former Messiah subjugated Germany in the year 962. It would be wrong to assume the world revolves around Germany, but this must be the end of the promised millennium of peace. Germany is the only part of this world containing that Existence Ton, so we are destined to be envied and destroyed by the hostile Tons of the those without it.”
“You’re saying the Great War was part of that peace?” asked Graham.
“I am.” Bermark bowed. “I believe the next war will lead to unprecedented levels of inhumanity.”
“That’s where the Panzerpolis Project comes in. We must work with the machines to make up for all of that. …And that will require my death. That is the only way to activate the Ober Beweisen of what I carry in my chest.” Lowenzahn hesitated but shut her eyes. “Of the Eingeweide heart Neue Erde.”
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