EP. 08-6  Mission (1)

Ten minutes later. Retreat route mapping complete.

RO635 Commander, the data finished downloading.
We're in the process of retreating. The plan isn't too practical, but this is the best we can do.

M4 SOPMOD II Bad news, RO!
A gate on our retreat route has suddenly been shut!

RO635 Dammit, Dreamer! If we make a detour right now...
SOP-II, keep tracking their movements. I'll discuss this with M16!

M16A1 Calm down, RO.
I have a rough idea of the schematics of this base. There's a chance to make it out if I blast through the side of the gate.

RO635 It's too risky to split up, M16!

M16A1 That's exactly why I have to do it.
Who do you think is most up to this job?

RO635 Will it...really work?

M16A1 It's worth a try, but first we need to get there.

RO635 The Commander is sorting it out.

RO635 Our reinforcements are engaging the Sangvis Ringleader in battle.
They're doing their best to fend off Dreamer and Destroyer to give us a window to make our retreat.

M16A1 That's good to know. Then this is the only immediate danger we're facing.
RO, just a word from you and I'll get it done.

RO635 Understood... Then let's wait for the signal!
We'll set off once the Commander repels the enemy forces for us!

EP. 08-6  Mission (2)

Combat over. Dreamer and Destroyer are temporarily repelled.

M16A1 We're going!
I'll start prepping for the blast!

RO635 ...

M16A1 RO... Is something wrong?

RO635 Sorry, M16. I'm just feeling uneasy. I just can't shake off the feeling that there must be a better solution...

M16A1 This isn't the time to be plagued by a guilty conscience! We're in the middle of a mission!
I'll fulfill my duty, and you'll fulfill yours! Understood?!

RO635 But we could still find another route!

Persica enters the channel.

Persica RO, let M16 go.
Bring File No. 7 back safely. That's your priority.
This is a direct order from me as well as Kryuger.

RO635 Huh? Miss Persica...

M16A1 Don't think too much. You'll get your answers.

RO635 ...Since it's an order...
M16, we're going with your plan. Blast through the gate.

M16A1 That's what I've been waiting for.

M4 SOPMOD II M16...
You...

M16A1 You're back from scouting, SOP-II?
I'm gonna blast through that gate. Listen to me and stay with RO, okay?

M4 SOPMOD II Hey, since when have I not listened to you?
But will you...be fine on your own?

M16A1 Haha, have you seen a T-Doll more dependable than me?
Then I'll see you soon, RO!

M16 leaves the team and starts moving on her own.

RO635 Then let's get a move on ourselves!
SOP-II, stop spacing out! Watch out for my signal!
Move fast and we'll get to meet up with M16 once we get up there!

...

M16A1 SOP-II...
I'm sorry. I hope you'll understand why I'm doing this...

...Half an hour later.

...BOOM!
The gate has been destroyed. RO and SOP-II successfully make their way out.

M4 SOPMOD II It's open! Let's go, RO!
...Look, our carrier! Our carrier is right ahead!
Where's M16?! Where is she?!

RO635 Get on the carrier, SOP-II!
M16, we've passed through the gate! Where are you?!

M16A1 ...

RO635 M16?
M16?! Where are you? Answer me!

M16A1 Sorry, RO. There's been a little accident...
The blast seems to have sealed off my escape route...

RO635 What...

M4 SOPMOD II Hey, M16! Are you in trouble?!
Get to a high vantage point! We'll come get you!

M16A1 Leave it... Neither you nor the carrier can get to me here.

M4 SOPMOD II How could you not make it out?! You must be joking, right?!!

RO635 Be quiet, SOP-II! Let M16 move on her own!
M16, find somewhere safe to hide! The Commander will think of a way to rescue you!
And Miss Persica! Surely she'll...

M16A1 ...RO, enough.
Keep SOP-II safe. Fulfill your duty.

RO635 M16...

RO635 Is that what you mean...by enjoying the moment?

...M16 gives no reply other than a single gesture.
...An incredibly ordinary gesture.

RO635 M16A1...
...Thank you for your words.

She hears me and answers with a most sincere smile.
As the carrier flies away, her figure grows smaller, until it finally fades into a tiny spark in the distance...
In the midst of smoke and desolation, the spark becomes submerged in Base 0...
Will we meet again? I don't know...
All I know is that she's been lying since the start.
She never intended to return. Everything she did is for the sake of saving that girl.

And she knew better than any of us how important that girl is...
"I have my own priorities and considerations."
"I alter my course of action depending on the situation. You may not know this, RO..."
Indeed, I found out way too late.

...Episode 8 - Spark, to be continued.
Please read on in the Emergency battles.