Part 2: Interview 1 BonusDudecon 01 - Old Friends Reunited
The sub-dimension is a plain white space, with spotless floors and walls throughout. The place has several light fixtures hanging above, giving the rooms a bright atmosphere. It’s not a large space - there’s an entry hall that leads into the main living room, with two corridors going off from that. One of the corridors has several bedrooms along the wall, with a luxurious bathroom at the end of the hall. The other corridor leads to the kitchen and back room, which has more moody, romantic lighting and is made from dark panelled wood rather than fluffy white carpet.
There is a banner hung in the living room with a single phrase written on it in big letters: ‘DUDECON 2019’.
Commander my dude, leader of the bunch, observes the sign and gives a satisfied nod. He wears a long black coat with a red star emblazoned on one arm, and a pair of expensive headphones. “Mm! Not bad at all.”
The other my dude with him, a girl with the light armour of a paladin, shrugs. “It’ll do.”
“Don’t be like that, Dudette. This is gonna be a good year!”
“That’s fine,” Dudette says. “But you’d better make sure of it. We can’t have a repeat of last year’s antics.”
“Come on, nobody even got hurt, and the fire damage was only mild. I think we’ll be fine this year.” Commander says gaily. He turns as he hears the front door of the sub-dimension open: the first my dude has arrived.
“Hey! Welcome!” he says, walking over. The my dude in question is a nervous-looking schoolboy, but he perks up once he sees the familiar form of Commander.
“Oh, Persona! Haven’t seen you since last year, dude! How the fuck are you?” Commander replies, high-fiving the younger my dude. Dudette waves to Persona; they had met the year prior.
“Not too bad. Am I the first here?”
“Yeah, me and Dudette were just setting up the drinks and music; if you have any complaints about the music, blame Dudette, she chose them.”
“Hey!” Dudette says, looking at Commander reproachfully. “Together We Ride is an absolute classic. It’s milord Marth’s favourite song!”
“Oh, I don’t doubt that,” Commander says as the three of them walk over to the sofas in the middle of the room. There’s four huge sofas facing a big television screen, and the two coffee tables have several glasses and drinks, ready to be poured. “But any song grates on you once you’ve listened to it for four hours.”
“Counterpoint - those videos that replay a song for 10 hours.” Persona says. Commander scoffs and sits down.
“Oh, yeah,” he says as Persona pours himself a glass of lemonade. “Celestrian’s just gone out to get some more supplies, but he’ll be back soon.”
“Ah, yeah, I was wondering where he was. Did he help you organise it this year?”
“He did!” Commander replies.
Dudette studies the glasses for a while, then eventually chooses a nice wine to pour. She smiles to herself as the blood-red liquid flows into her chosen glass.
“Oh, and the all-important question.” Persona says, grinning as he sips his lemonade. “Any special brew this year?”
“Oh my god.” Commander sighs, and Dudette laughs.
“We’re still having the special brew, but we’re not letting Twee anywhere near it this time.” she explains, and Persona nods with satisfaction.
“That’s good. Twee’s an absolute nightmare. What world is he even from?”
Commander pauses, and tilts his head. “I… don’t actually know. He mentioned being the mayor of a town once… something about a dog called Isabelle? I dunno.”
“We can ask when he arrives.” replies Dudette, sipping her wine. “I’m very excited to be able to relax this year!”
“It’s the one night of the year all the my dudes get to relax.” Commander replies, grinning. He leans back on the sofa and sighs with bliss. “Ahh… yes, it’s gonna be a good night. I can tell.”
Barracks 01 - After the Cleanup
“Hey, so you’re the new kid, right?”
“I, um,” Fliss says as she turns to Alfonse. “Y-yes.”
Alfonse gives her a friendly, disarming smile. “It’s OK, you don’t need to worry. You’re in safe hands.”
Michael and Dave grin at him.
“You’d know that firsthand, wouldn’t you, Alfonse?” Dave says.
Fliss tilts her head, curious, and Alfonse chuckles. “When I first joined the army, I was also pretty scared and nervous! But Dave and Michael were some of the guys who helped me find my feet.”
“...You s-seem so brave, though.” Fliss murmurs.
“Not always, Fliss.” Dave replies. “He was just like you when he arrived.”
Fliss’ eyes widen. “I can’t imagine that.”
“Anyway, Alfonse. You’ve been working out, haven’t you?” Michael says, looking sidelong at the young man. Taken by surprise, Alfonse nods.
“Yeah, just a little. I wanted to get stronger.”
“You’re sure as hell done that, kid.” Dave replies, nodding, impressed.
“I just can’t believe war’s starting back up again.” Alfonse murmurs. The group fall quiet as the reality unfolds. Fliss is shaking.
“At least we’ll be reunited with old friends.” Michael says.
“If we’re lucky.” Dave says.
“Don’t act like you don’t care, Dave!” Alfonse replies. “That bracelet right there - that’s a friendship bracelet, isn’t it?”
Dave sighs and puts the bracelet behind his back. “I… yeah, fine. Rin made it for me before we were sent to different areas of Orange Star.”
“You’ll get to see her soon. You’ve missed her, right?” Michael says.
“I suppose.” Dave replies, shrugging. “Sheesh, when did I get so sentimental..?”
“He’s always been sentimental.” says Alfonse to Fliss in a loud stage whisper, eliciting a happy giggle from her and a laugh from the other men. Fliss feels slightly more at ease now.
“Let’s get g-going.” she says. She’s ready to move out.