Thursday, April 2, 2015

Full Metal Panic! Volume 12

Chapter 3: Pale Horse (continued)

Kaname was still immersed in her work - she had barely noticed the fact that the ceiling of the control room shook slightly, and the structure’s pillar creaked a little. There was probably a battle raging outside - still quite far, but its impact could already be felt. The enemy was on the island.

The structure that housed the TARTAROS was meant to withstand any kind of bombardment, and so she wasn’t worried in the slightest. The machinery was also fitted with shock dampers, so measurement errors would be within acceptable parameters. As soon as the tremor from the explosion died, the sound of Kaname typing filled the room once again.

A knock came from outside. Kaname, not looking away from her screen, answered with a short “come in”, and Leonard quietly entered the room.

“What’s the progress?”

“Just a little longer,” Kaname still didn’t take her eyes off the screen, and her fingers were flying over the keyboard. “Should I hurry?”

“You already look like you’re pushing yourself, I wouldn’t look good if I told you to hurry up now, would I?” Leonard’s voice was full of self-derision. “The enemy has landed. Our Behemoths are destroyed - it’s only one machine, but it’s impressively strong.”

“Ah... that successor to the Arbalest...”

“Yes, the ARX-8, the one they call ‘Laevatein’.”

That machine, and the actions of the remnants of Mithril, had caused Amalgam trouble for a long time. For some reason, she did not have any interest in finding out who was the pilot of that machine.

“So, you can’t defend against it?”

“Of course we can,” said Leonard, but it felt as if he wasn’t convinced.
Kaname’s fingers suddenly stopped above the keys, and she turned to look at him. Leonard was in his pilot’s uniform - he was going out in the Belial.

“So if you can, then why should I hurry even more?”
“Well... I’ll speak frankly. I think we have a ninety percent chance of success.”
“But it’s ninety percent...”
“What, have you suddenly lost your confidence?”

Leonard smiled - it was an aggressive smile, with a hint of madness, somehow reminding her of the predator’s smile often appeared on Gauron’s face.
“Of course not. I’ll tear him to pieces.”
“Then what?”

“The enemy machine is equipped with a Lambda Driver nullifier, and the pilot is a master at AS warfare. On top of that, this island is practically home for him. From an objective point of view, I could be defeated, roughly one time in ten.”
“That is surprisingly modest, coming from you.”

“I’m always modest - but anyway, this is the reason why I’d like you to hurry. The chance of my failing is slim, but I’d like to be prepared for it.”
“All right.”

She turned back towards the screen, and started typing again. One line after another, formula after formula, all the different readings - and finally, the last command “Execute”.
“I just finished.”

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