City Series:Volume6c Chapter8
Chapter 8: The Requiem Rises
05/31/1942 04:18 – 04:44
An ending is a beginning
A beginning is an ending
So do they cancel each other out?
I said it myself
But I’m not really sure
The Second Gard-class Warship
The Gard-class aerial warship was constructed to be an Eingeweide ship, but construction of a second one began in ’42 as a spare and as an aerial fortress with the original’s high mobility removed.
But by mid ’42, the construction and purpose of the second ship was thoroughly rethought.
The ley line pressurization reactor planned for construction near Germania was supposed to power the city’s word weaponry, but that was deemed insufficient and the plan was changed to use the Gard-class’s Babel Kanone instead.
The pressurization conduit used to boost the Eingeweide’s power used ley lines passed through the Vaterlands built across Europe and even in parts of Africa and Japan. That required the conduit to be 800 yards tall, but the top connector was swapped out to permanently attaching the Gard-class there. That created Tristan, the fortress and ley line pressurization conduit that stood more than a mile tall and resembled a giant cross.
Darkness filled a large corridor.
The lights were out.
The metal walls were torn in places and pieces of the walls and bundles of cables were strewn across the floor.
A transport vehicle lay on its side in the center of the corridor. The vehicle’s front surface was four yards tall and wide, yet there was still plenty of space in the corroder.
The corridor was designed for giants.
Suddenly, that vehicle was shoved over to the side.
A giant made of metal appeared behind it.
The giant was the silver Grösse Panzer named Silber Löwe.
But it was no longer just silver.
Silber Löwe had lost its right arm and left side and oil soaked it like blood. Its Panzer Kleid had torn away, revealing that even its limbs were spewing smoke and trembling.
The tip of the sword in its left hand scraped along the floor, making a distorted sound.
But it was still walking. It took a step at a time, moving forward.
The walking Panzer had a white light glowing atop its left collarbone.
That was Rose.
The transparent girl sat on the silver lion’s shoulder.
She reached out and stroked the silver Panzer’s cheek with her intangible hand. Then she bowed.
“I’m sorry. If I wasn’t here, the city wouldn’t have been attacked and you wouldn’t have been hurt.”
“It is a double-edged sword. The city was attacked because of our presence, but we did manage to protect some small part of it.”
A pipe-like component about 2 feet long dangled from Silber Löwe’s side and then fell away.
He didn’t even look down at it. Instead he faced the right wall in a fighting stance.
“I will be waiting.”
Before she was even done speaking, Silber Löwe attacked the wall with the force of a tackle. The sword easily sliced through the wall, but it broke just as the full circle was complete.
The snapping sound echoed down the corridor.
Silber Löwe tossed aside the broken sword and slammed his right side into the wall with the sword’s blade still embedded in it.
The wall broke apart with a sound like tearing fibers.
The bent metal wall collapsed into the space beyond.
Silber Löwe parted the white smoke bursting from the wall and stepped through to a room far too small for a Grösse Panzer.
“This is my room.”
A flower with mechanical petals blossomed at the center of the small, 6-yard room.
This was the central room that controlled the Requiem’s will. This was the ceiling of the deep pit located directly above the observation room at the bottom of the ship.
There was a hole in the center and the domed barrier wall that had plugged the hole now sat open. The hole contained plenty of cables and cushioning, but it was all spewing white smoke at the moment.
A small red gem was suspended from the cables at the center.
“All of the coolant has been removed, so I have a really bad fever and I’m feeling chilled.”
Silber Löwe reached toward the center of the smoking flower.
He touched his sister’s body. Countless cables extended from the bottom of the red gem which was far smaller than the Panzer’s fingertips, branching out and connecting to everything else.
When Silber Löwe touched the gem, the Rose on his collarbone blurred.
When Silber Löwe pulled his hand back, Rose smiled.
“Don’t worry. Grab that cable you were touching. Yes, that red one. And slowly pull it out along with the root block. I will last a little while as long as that block remains.”
Silber Löwe did as instructed. He moved all the non-red cables out of the way with one hand’s fingers.
“Once you have it out, connect me to your copilot cockpit. There isn’t much to do after that since I have already completed all the preparations, so…” She took a breath. “I have one last selfish request. Take me outside. I want to see the sunrise.”
Once Silber Löwe pulled the 2 yard red cable from the base of the structure along with its connection block, Rose disappeared.
Shortly afterwards, the lights gently illuminating the room vanished.
“Emergency. Activating Panzer Emblem Sturm Drache based on final instructions. Opening radio on all bands. All surviving units will now be commanded by HMS-083S Silber Löwe.”
Silber Löwe stood back up and left the room.
Back out in the corridor, he removed the cover at the bottom of the copilot cockpit on his back.
The removed cover revealed a few plugs and a fuel port. Silber Löwe took the block at the end of the red cable and attached it to the leftmost plug.
He walked forward in silence.
His legs were unsteady, but he walked toward the outside.
On the way, he tore away the Panzer Kleid remaining over his chest and stabbed his left hand’s claws into his left chest’s armor.
He tore the external armor away, destroying it.
He jammed his hand into the hole in his torn left side and tore the hole open wider. More and more armor fell to the floor and bounced as he walked.
The exposed interior of his chest contained Grösse Panzer materials and a heart device. There were metal blood vessels resembling a water clock, a cooling device, and a primary engine that sent power across his body. They heated up when exposed to the outside.
Silber Löwe placed the red gem inside his chest.
“I will take you outside, my sister. I will grant you your final selfish request.”
A white light reappeared above his left collarbone. It was Rose. She had faded so much she was barely visible, but her voice echoed down the ship’s corridor.
Her voice seemed to rule over that dark and silent space.
“After that, it will be your turn, bigger brother.”
“So it would seem.”
His voice also came from the corridor’s speakers. He was already indirectly controlling the Requiem as an intermediary for Rose.
Rose stroked his cheek and smiled.
“What do you think, bigger brother?”
“Did I do the right thing? Or should I have focused on defeating the enemy over protecting Cologne? Should I have prioritized your idea of a Neue Kavalier’s spirit over protecting the lives of the people like big brother does? If I had, Cologne would only have been bombed.”
“Whatever the result, you still tried to protect Cologne.”
Rose shut her eyes.
“My surviving exterior sight devices tell me I barely managed to protect any of the city. Despite taking so much damage. It tells me a lot more was lost due to my presence.”
“Why is it so difficult to protect things even with great power?” asked Silber Löwe, still walking.
Rose thought about that one for a bit before answering.
“Well…probably because wielding power makes it difficult to leave things as they are.”
“Then what is the Messiah’s power? What is the power of the Messiah who chose something as poorly defined as destiny?” He paused. “Is it different from the power held by our older generation? Is it something new held by the younger generation?”
The silver Grösse Panzer was finished talking, but he continued to walk.
Each step destroyed him further, but he continued to move outside.
And finally, he spoke again.
“Opening radio on all bands. Silber Löwe to all of Germany.”
After a beat, the surviving communication equipment inside the Requiem activated and a burst of static came over the ship’s internal line.
But that was all. Everything was connected. Rose nodded with a smile and Silber Löwe nodded back.
And he spoke.
“I have a message for all Neue Kavaliers still living in Germany.”
Hazel watched the badly damaged Requiem from atop Scwharz Löwe’s shoulder.
The moon was fading from the sky as morning approached.
A powerful wind surrounded her.
The colossal aerial warship could no longer fight and shimmering heat rose from where it had been hit.
Scwharz Löwe passed by its port side at a distance of more than 300 yards.
“It’s so big.”
She could appreciate its size from up close now that they were flying at the same altitude.
A powerful air current had formed around it.
The atmosphere had already been forced out of the way to the point of an explosion, so the air current wasn’t going to settle down for days to come. And once the wind did die down some, it would begin to rain.
Hazel looked through the wind to see the aerial warship starting to list.
It slowly tilted to port with the city it had protected below.
“I-isn’t there something we can do, Berger?”
“Oh, I don’t think it’s over yet,” muttered Scwharz Löwe so quietly the wind nearly drowned it out.
She looked out ahead in confusion.
Then she noticed a girl standing atop the bridge of a broken aircraft carrier.
Her body was transparent like a ghost.
…Who is that?
She didn’t know, but the girl was looking her way. With a blank expression.
Feeling uncomfortable, Hazel brushed back her windswept hair and lowered her head a little.
The girl smiled at Hazel’s action.
She grabbed her skirt and calmly curtsied back.
Then she disappeared.
Hazel’s eyes darted across the top of the ship to see where the girl had disappeared to, but she soon gave up.
She no longer sensed anyone on the ship.
But there was a different change. Light began to glow from the gaps in ship’s damaged armor. It appeared especially bright to Hazel’s eyes.
It covered the entire ship.
Pale opened the copilot cockpit and stuck his upper body out to shout what it was.
“That’s an Armed Emblem!!”
“But why!?” asked Berger. “Does it want to fight!?”
“No…it must be to protect the city. To ensure it doesn’t fall on the city it shielded from the bombing and the Babel Gun.”
Hazel’s response silenced Berger. She narrowed her eyes a bit before continuing.
“Sorry, Berger, but can you keep us up here for a while longer?”
He didn’t sound displeased. The light covering the massive ship slowly and gradually grew before their eyes. It was the bluish-white of ether light.
The flow of light was supported by the girl’s voice ringing through the sky in a song covering a sound range similar to a brass instrument.
She spoke her Aerial Words.
<The Requiem march traverses the sky.>
A deep male voice spoke over hers.
“I have a message for all Neue Kavaliers still living in Germany.”
A voice spoke into the sky.
“Can you hear me? We are the old-fashioned knights who survived the previous war.”
The wind blew and a girl’s voice joined his.
<The Requiem song traverses the woods.>
“So many of us have been lost since that war.
“Our order has faded and many of us have returned to live among the people.
“We are no more than the vestiges of a bygone era.
“Let me ask again.
“Can you hear me?
“Yes, you, the new knights. The descendants of the old. The lions hidden among the people.
“Do you remember the previous war? Have you heard the stories?
“Young lions. Aged lions.
“The previous war was the last time we will ever lead the people and fight as knights.”
<The Requiem tune traverses time.>
“Do you understand what I mean? A new kind of war is upon us.
“And I shall give you our answer here.”
Jeanne and her exhausted subordinates listened to that voice after leaving destroyed Cologne and taking shelter in the mountains. She gasped and looked up at the Requiem above Cologne.
“Can you hear me?” repeated the voice on the radio. “Our country was burdened with massive debt after that war. In the war where we tried to stand above the people and create a country that allowed for that. That attempt was a failure and the ruin it wrought has led to the current war. …Are we fighting this war for the people or for ourselves?”
“Can you hear me? Yes, you, the many knights living in Borderson territory.”
The seated soldiers looked up too.
“The head of the Karlsruhe family asks that you look to Cologne’s sky if this speech has inspired anything within you. Look to this land. This is the result of the old knights failing to protect your land.”
Jeanne took a step toward the Requiem.
<We travel together.>
“Cologne was bombed because its people chose to fight and it was destroyed because we were here. The old knights were with the people, yet we could only protect a small handful. …The time has come to make a choice. Who is it you should protect and who is it that can protect them?”
Someone shouted their approval and then everyone stood up.
“I say this as an old knight who has fought for twenty long years.”
The morning sun was starting to rise into the eastern sky.
<We sing together.>
“Can you hear me? It is no longer land that we must protect. I have one request for all of the new knights out there and all of the lions slumbering in Borderson. Use your power to resist the Allied forces and their superior numbers.”
The Kaiser saw it happening with the blue and red Grösse Panzers behind it. The Requiem was turning into a dragon in the sky above broken Cologne.
The Kaiser did not at all hesitate as it flew toward Cologne now.
“It can’t be!?” it shouted.
The wall of turbulence was thick and tossed the Panzer about.
Graham’s voice could be heard over the powerful shaking.
“I have cast out my Tragisch to become a bridge between the new knights and the people and to become the gate leading the Messiah to the Neue Erde. I have two commands for you now.”
The Requiem dragon was broken and injured in a few places.
It didn’t look capable of flight, but it looked upwards all the same.
“First, I, Graham Karlsruhe, immediately pass the position of Geheimnis Agency second in command to the next in line.”
I walk the path of shared silence.>
“Sir!” shouted the Kaiser. “Lady Rose!”
It accelerated, rushed, and reached a hand out toward something it could never actually reach.
Past that hand, the dragon breathed a calm sigh.
“Heiliger Karlsruhe. Take my place and work yourself to the bone as a bridge between the people and the Neue Kavaliers.”
Rose’s warning had allowed Heiliger to avoid the earlier Kurz Babel attack, but when he heard Graham’s radio transmission playing in the bridge, he uncrossed his prosthetic arms while a word escaped his mouth.
“This command has already been sent to the military. Starting tomorrow, you and your men will officially be Neue Kavaliers.”
“Is that what that document was!?”
Heiliger was on the verge of tears as he slammed his clenched fists against the bridge’s front window.
Cracks radiated out through the glass, covering it with white, but he didn’t care.
“That’s not fair. It’s just not, brother.”
Heiliger fell to his knees, his fists still pressed against the glass.
“Why do you always force these things onto me?”
He voice was vanishingly quiet, but the voice on the radio was the opposite.
“Second, I have a request for Lowenzahn Naylor, who has already revealed herself as the Geheimnis Agency commander.”
Lowenzahn frowned as Schweitzer drove her down a winding mountain road.
The radio she had previously used to speak with Jeanne’s evacuation point was now playing Graham’s voice.
“Make sure you bring the Messiah in as our master. If that proves impossible, then open Neue Erde within yourself. …Reach for that which was already lost. Because if you lose it again, you will not have another chance.”
“I know that. I’m not an ignorant child anymore, Graham.”
Schweitzer decided to keep his mouth shut when he detected no emotion at all in her voice.
But he did turn to look at her.
He faced forward again without a word.
Lowenzahn was weeping.
The Kaiser heard the final Erklärung as the dragon took form.
<You walk the path of separated silence.>
The Kaiser raised its voice as if to reject the girl’s voice.
<The Emperor seeks the dragon.>
It opened all of its thrusters to push itself forward.
As it approached the dragon’s nose, its sight devices detected a girl standing on that nose.
It reached out its arm. The girl smiled and did the same.
They could reach each other.
Except that was an illusion. The dragon took flight with an initial acceleration the Grösse Panzer couldn’t hope to match. It used the wings on its back to instantly break the sound barrier, like it was sliding across the Tons forming the space ahead.
The Kaiser tried to pursue.
It could not catch up. Its outstretched arm found nothing as a voice rang in its ears.
“Can you hear me, Neue Kavaliers? Stand up and look to the western sky – the morning sky. There you should see the dragon we seek. The soaring dragon.”
“Inherit our will and face it just this once.”
Hazel watched the dragon’s flight from atop Schwarz Löwe’s shoulder.
The azure dragon tore a horizontal line through a sky growing blue as the sun began to rise.
It flew northwest, toward the Borderson Village of Pardons.
…That’s a mountainous area, so it can crash safely there.
She shut her eyes.
“A white Heavy Barrel was pursuing that dragon earlier.”
“It can’t catch up. And we need to hitch a ride here.”
Berger’s response made Hazel frown.
Something wasn’t right.
…I don’t sense a Live disturbance?
“Berger, are your gunshot wounds alright?”
“Hah. I can deal with those later. Right now, we need to get across the border while dangling from that ship.”
The Schwarz Löwe operated its wings to turn around.
A dark shape was visible in front of the rising sun. It was Corelle’s RB-21.
The Schwarz Löwe let it approach.
“This is the true beginning right here.”
Silber Löwe worked to reach its destination even as it shook within the rapidly flying dragon.
It planted its trembling legs firmly on the metal floor to walk.
Light shined into the corridor far ahead.
That was the exit.
“If only all three of us could have walked together,” said Silber Löwe after seeing that light.
“I know what you mean…”
Rose agreed but then raised her head.
“What do you need?”
“That almost sounded emotional. Has your Psyche Outer device broken?”
She looked to the back of Silber Löwe’s head.
The base of the cooling hairs was badly damaged.
She started to say something.
But she only smiled instead.
Silber Löwe continued walking.
It took another step as the entire ship shook.
Rose nestled herself against her brother’s face within that shaking.
“We had a lot of fun, didn’t we, bigger brother? With Sir Alfred too.”
“Don’t bother. I’m sure he was seeing someone else in me.” Her smile grew. “I couldn’t keep it together right now if I hadn’t convinced myself of that.”
“I see,” said Silber Löwe.
Rose mimicked knocking on its cheek several times.
“This kindness isn’t like you. But if you are going to do something for me…”
She breathed a false sigh. Even the sigh shook as Silber Löwe took a large step.
Rose shut her eyes.
“Will you sing that prophecy for me?”
Silber Löwe did not nod.
But it did sing.
“The party begins and the village dances.”
Rose sang the next line.
“The dragon roars and the knights gather.”
A short pause followed.
Eventually, the Panzer took another step and their voices joined together to eliminate the silence and shadows in the shaking corridor. They sang a prophecy. They sang the song of the Messiah.
“The party begins and the village dances / The dragon roars and the knights gather
“The bride weeps uncrowned / Her words go unsaid and he never arrives
“Thus she is alone / She weeps and sleeps in this land.”
After singing the last line, Silber Löwe noticed something and turned its sight devices toward its shoulder.
Rose had vanished.
Silber Löwe walked in silence.
It still had its left hand inside its left chest to hold something there.
Finally, it arrived at the exit that opened up onto the morning sky.
Just five more steps. Then it could jump out into the sky. It would arrive outside.
But instead it spoke with a smile in its voice.
“I can’t move any longer. I knew I didn’t have much time left.”
Slowly, very slowly, Silber Löwe spread its legs to shoulder width and stood firm.
The endless morning sky stretched out in front of it.
And the ground rapidly flowed by down below.
It saw the sky growing bluer by the moment and the dark forest down below.
It began to sing once more. This time a song passed down among Panzer Kavaliers.
That which is filled with the blue sky.
That which is covered by the red dirt.
I name thee heaven and earth.
Where the wind howls bravely.
Where the sand dances gently.
I view thee as heaven and earth.
So that no one would grieve again.
That which is endless and cannot be grasped.
That which is vast and cannot be held.
I am with thee.
Once the song was over, the man who had once been the Geheimnis Agency’s second in command laughed.
He laughed loudly.
“The last time I laughed the three of us were still together.”
After that, Silber Löwe’s sight devices began to go dark.
That was when a roar rumbled from the sky behind the dragon. Something was catching up to the soaring dragon by flying at even greater speed.
And catch up it did.
It raced between the blue sky and dark earth before ascending in a flash.
It flew faster than the Requiem dragon and took the form of the wind itself.
Those satisfied words marked the exact moment Silber Löwe’s sight devices went fully dark.
A moment later, the Requiem finally left its Panzer Emblem form and began to fall.
Two minutes later, the giant ship crashed into the mountains linking Berlin to Borderson and exploded, creating a massive crater.
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