HEAVY OBJECT:Volume8 Epilogue
“A new treaty is needed.”
That comment led Frolaytia to hold her head in her hands.
She was on the bridge of the Scarlet Princess which she was using as a flagship. The low voice of the colonel who acted like a sister-in-law came from her personal laptop which was not military equipment.
“That…Amaterasu was it? Anyway, the global weather control weapon. Work is underway to remove the Twelve Earthly Branches reactors from the ocean, but it is still undetermined whether they will be returned to the Capitalist Corporations. The Megalodiver controlled them, so its loss seems to mean the remnants of Ichirei Shkon cannot control or detonate them. However, it would be a problem if the other world powers constructed ocean fortresses at those points and dropped reactors down. Something is needed to put an end to this.”
“I’m sorry about all this.”
“There is no reason for you to apologize. Ichirei Shikon is the one at fault in all this.”
“The self-defense PMC that they were using seems to have lost the will to fight. We’re providing food and beds for a large number of POWs, so our accountants are starting to wish we had just killed them all.”
“Well, these are nothing more than people who thought they would all be led to heaven if they followed a charismatic leader. With the Object and leader both gone, it’s only natural they are straying. Perhaps we should compliment them for being intelligent enough to not throw a temper tantrum and keep fighting.”
Incidentally, Frolaytia had intended to order the Object to relentlessly hunt them down had they tried that. She was merciful enough to respond to the white flag signal, but she would not hold back if faced with continued resistance. While the modern battlefield was clean, it was not necessarily kind.
The only remaining problem was Amaterasu.
Or rather, the possibility of a copycat system being created.
“Will anyone really enter into an international treaty in this era of war?” asked Frolaytia. “Everyone will want to expand their military. Even if it is highly destructive, won’t they want to copy this possible new weapon?”
“Strange as it may seem, all of the top level military commanders stand at the peak of politics rather than the military. They do not want to destroy the world, so they will quickly work together if the possibility of a desert planet is presented to them. They’re even more likely to work together when there is a common enemy they can defeat together.”
“You mean Ichirei Shikon will be made to take responsibility?”
“The Capitalist Corporations have already purged them. Of course, if your report is true, an international search is pointless.”
Ichirei Shikon was a prediction search engine not even on the level of an AI.
The entire incident was similar to terrorists being moved to action by the diary left by some long dead geniuses.
The true masterminds were all in their graves which made it difficult to say who to put on trial.
“Difficult to bear, isn’t it?”
“It really is,” answered Frolaytia.
“This incident reminded me that the Island Nation seems open on the surface, but it’s actually a giant black box. I suppose I should expect nothing less from the group of engineers who first released Objects on the world. Just the notes left behind by the dead were enough to cause a war twenty or thirty years later. I can’t even imagine what else lies hidden there.”
“And yet as a black box, it holds too much possibility to be cast aside.”
“It really is a mixed blessing.” The old colonel breathed a heavy sigh on the screen. “This will probably all be resolved where neither of us can see it. We won’t even be able to view the reports. There’s someone originally from the Island Nation in your unit, isn’t there? Talk to them while you can. A gag order might be put into effect before long.”
“I won’t be able to tell anyone, so what’s the point?”
“That much harassment can’t hurt, if you ask me. Your unit was the one that actually worked to put out this fire.”
The transmission ended without any of the usual complaining.
That showed just how cornered the old colonel felt.
Frolaytia placed her long, narrow Island Nation kiseru in her mouth and spoke.
“It isn’t the center of the world, but it’ll probably be one of the more important points. Scary to think it’s left to its own devices so much.”
The old maintenance woman guided in the Baby Magnum as it returned.
This had been another horrible battle. Three of the seven main cannons had been twisted and blown away. Just because it was a first generation, the higher ups tended to use it on dangerous missions as if it were expendable. That did not please someone who worked to maintain it.
When the princess left the Object, a female maintenance soldier placed a towel over her shoulder and someone else handed her a bottle of sports drink. She was being treated like this was the end of a marathon. In truth, the slender girl was even more exhausted than that.
The princess spotted the familiar old woman upon stepping onto the small aircraft carrier’s deck.
She approached on slightly unsteady footing and spoke honestly.
“That was a close one.”
She would not show this side of herself to Quenser, Heivia, Frolaytia, or the others in her unit.
“If Quenser and Heivia hadn’t ended that, I don’t know if I could have won.”
“But you survived. Using what opportunities you have and making it back alive is another part of an Elite’s skill,” replied the old woman. “No easy miracles occur on the battlefield. You need some skill to grasp the good fortune that does present itself.”
Hearing that, a very slight smile appeared on the princess’s face that was pale from exhaustion.
“It seems that kid used an open frequency for that last transmission,” continued the old woman.
“Is that so?”
“Thanks to that, Ichirei Shikon’s Elite managed to eject just before the reactor exploded and the intelligence department managed to capture them. By the way, it seems this Elite was female.”
“I need to go punch anything and everything I can find.”
The princess found some extra energy somewhere and stomped away.
After watching her departing back for a while, the old woman pulled a handheld device from her pocket.
She switched it on and displayed the chat log from her conversation with Ichirei Shikon.
She displayed the last vestiges of the man she had once walked alongside.
“The future you dreamed of was destroyed,” she said quietly.
She operated the device with her fingertips and erased all the logs in a few seconds.
With that, she erased Ayami Cherryblossom’s lingering regret.
“Although I have a feeling you saw visions of this as well.”