Part 10: Paradise Found?
Last time, Isabella contracted Creeping Derangea, and Lin insulted the Mayor. Also, Caulder showed up in the Beast's camp. Today, we head towards the Seratta Mountain Range, which allegedly holds a bunker.
Of course you do, Mayor. Need more of our food?
: Is it true that the girl traveling with you is sick?
: Yes, it's true. It's nothing you need to worry about, though. The virus only affects people under a certain age. No one in your group is in danger.
: That's not the point! Sickness and disease make people nervous, and nervous people panic.
Let's see... We COULD get rid of Isabella, who let us know about the anti-tank, war tank, and bunker we're currently going towards. Or we could get rid of YOU, who has done nothing to help us. Decisions, decisions...
: I think you need to stop talking now. We're in this together. All of us. Is that clear?
: No, it's not! Would you put us all in danger to protect one girl? We don't know who she is or where she came from! She has to go, Brenner!
: Not you, or your people, not Will, and not Isabella. If you have a problem with that, you're free to leave whenever you want.
: You...you fool! You're too soft, Brenner! If this goes wrong, it's on your head! I'll hold you personally responsible!
What are you gonna do, Mayor? Attack us with your rocks and sticks?
: You're going to worry no matter what I tell you, so here's the truth. It's not good, Will. She needs medicine, and she needs it now.
: Can I see her?
: Absolutely not! We've had this conversation before. This virus is most dangerous to people of your age. I won't allow you to see her.
: But, Dr. Morris, I--
: Once we get to the shelter, there's a good chance I'll be able to treat her. But until then you have to stay away. You don't want to get sick too, do you?
: I don't care! What would it matter anyway? If I don't see her now, I may never get the chance to apologize. So please...
: Your apology can wait, boy. I'm more concerned with her well- being, and you should be too.
: What's that supposed to mean?
: I don't wish to betray doctor-patient confidentiality, but I have spoken to her. What's troubling her most is the fear that she's become a burden to us. She thinks it would be better if she'd died before you found her.
: How can she think that?!
: The other Creeper patients I've treated have all begged me to...end their suffering. But Isabella has chosen to live. And do you know why? It's because she owes that life to you.
: ... ... ... ...
: She believes that if she refuses to give up, we'll find a way to cure her. Her first memory is of you telling her she was going to be all right.
: She believes everything you told her about having hope. I suggest you believe it too.
: You...you're right. I'm sorry, Dr. Morris. Thank you.
: No need to apologize. I can't allow you to see her, but... Oh ho! Yes, you could try speaking to her through the door.
: Really? Would that be OK?
: Certainly. Just for a little while, though.
: However, recon reports those raiders are back and blocking the way.
: Set up an ambush, have they? Seems they really are hell-bent on revenge. We're going to have to finish this once and for all. Advance!
To battle! Brenner takes command for this battle against the Beast. He has a lot of units, but we have the only base in the map. Also, given over half his units are land based, we're in for an easy battle, I think.
The south end holds our bombers. The Beast's HQ is being guarded by the War Tank. Which... can't attack air. It's also within the area that the missiles cannot defend. Great planning there Beast. We also have ourselves a new unit:
The Rig is the APC from the older Advance Wars games. It can transport an infantry unit, has no attack, and pitiful armor. The AI still loves going after them at nearly any opportunity it can, though you can't use them as bait constantly like you could in Advance Wars 1. It also has a new ability, the option to build a Temporary Airport or Seaport using the Mtl number. These act almost like their permanent counterparts, repairing and refueling any air or sea unit that starts a turn on them. However, they can't build new units, and they don't give 1000G income every turn. Still useful to use near a frontline.
Since there's a river running between the two sides, I throw down a temporary Airport here in case I end up needing healing or ammo. It takes two turns to make one, then an additional turn to get the Rig out of the way. There is no way to restock the Material for the Rig at this point, so this is all the Rig will be seen doing this mission.
The missile launcher's range leaves a sizable portion of area to attack. I'll simply ignore it's existence for now, and deal with other enemy units.
More threatening is the Anti Air. It'll move out on the enemy phase, so I have to be cautious as to where I leave my planes sitting. There's still a good number of targets outside of both it and the missile's range, so let's get started.
A fighter takes out a B Copter, and the Duster and Bomber combine to take out a rocket. The duster couldn't reach any of the copters this turn anyway, so giving it's small damage to anything not an infantry or copter to help the bomber is alright in my books.
The bomber hovers over the mountains and takes out a small tank, just outside of the missile range.
In the north, a duster and fighter take out The Beast's own duster, and I give the kill to the Duster. The small boost to attack from experience will at least help it do something, and there's only a handful more copters left for the fighters to deal with.
One of two purposes the duster has in my eyes. It's damn good at taking out copters in strict air to air battles, as this map is more or less forced to become. Since it's a plane, the copters can't even fire back.
And here we are at the end of Day 1. Not a bad start.
: Where did all these copters and tanks come from? Oh, my head... Wait! It's SOLDIER BOY!!! Time for The Beast to hunt! GYAAARRR!
The copters don't take too kindly to my infantry, the only thing in range they can attack, so they advance on him. I check the rocket's range, and to my dismay it covers a forest I could use the AA in to take out one copter immediately. Damn.
But first, I finish the T.Air. It probably won't see use that often through the campaign, but still. I had to show it off at least once. More pressingly, the enemy AA is able to attack our bomber if we don't move it.
So I move it, and take out an infantry in the process. The infantry is standing on wasteland terrain, which slows treads down to 2 movement points. Since the AA can only go 6 tiles normally, it's safe there.
Meanwhile, our air force goes to work. Another B copter killed, a third left crippled, and an anti tank attacked for fun.
In the north, I move a duster to attack a B copter and defend the infantry up there, who begins capturing because why not.
The rest of the northern air force takes out another B copter and cripples the remaining full health one. The AA moves in to cover the south end of the infantry.
: Why are you doing this? Get out of our way! We have to save Isabella!
: You may have tanks and guns and men at your command, but... You're not a soldier! You're nothing but a murderer!
: Gwar har har har! Murderer? ME? And you're a snot-nosed punk!
: War IS murder! You hear me?! Soldiers are trained to KILL! That's battlefield learnin', punk! Your textbooks teach you that? HUH?! You wanna learn 'bout war? Fine by me! The Beast'll teach you good!
Well, the Beast DID teach Will tactics on the first Fog of War map, so I guess he can be a good instructor...
Well that's handy. The Beast retreated all the B copters and joined them together. Which makes it easy to fly in with a fighter and take them out.
Or I can ignore the fact that the Fighter is otherwise useless after this and go in with the Duster instead. Infantry also finishes capturing.
I have a plan at this point to finish this map off faster. To do so, I begin peppering the Rocket with the duster to at least cripple it slightly.
Meanwhile, down south, I place the bomber just on the outside of the missile range. My plan is to go in there next turn and take it out, opening up the southwest corner to an assault.
Fighter and Duster take out the remaining air units on the map. Infantry finishes capturing, and I move the T copter into it's range so he can jump in and be moved across the water next turn.
Bomber number 2 takes position outside missile range as well. We're ready to strike.
But first, Airport buying. These things are expensive. I grab another bomber, not that it sees much action.
Day 4, and the AA has moved up towards the northern bomber. Good, makes this a lot easier.
AA threat: nullified. It can't attack and kill in one turn now, which is the main thing I was worried about with it.
Infantry rolls into the T copter.
Bomber attacks the missiles, which will repair to 3 HP next turn. Recognizing this, I overload it's targets with everything I have, including the now worthless fighters. Last thing I need is it attacking my bomber and damaging it further.
Day 5, and the Missiles attack the Bomber anyway. Oh well, it's still deadly. The AA attacked a Fighter to stay alive. I'm SURE the fighters are still threatening to all those ground units.
Two dusters team up to take out a total of 30% HP on the missiles. There needed to be more worthwhile targets for these things on this map...
Bombers team up and take out the War Tank on top of the HQ, opening it for capture.
The T copter drops off our infantry in walking distance to the HQ, and the fighters surround it at the north to prevent anything from reaching it. This is indirectly the other main use I have for Dusters. Being planes, only AA, Missiles, a couple sea units we'll see later, dusters, and fighters can attack it. This allows it to sit in a choke point and not allow anything to pass. Because these planes fly REALLY LOW to the ground or something, I don't know.
Day 6, and the Md tank attacks our T copter. The AA attacks a Fighter again. Other things move up.
Remember that bomber I bought? It showed up after all. And takes out the rockets from earlier.
The infantry shuffles through our squadron and begins capturing the HQ.
The damaged bomber gets vengeance and takes out the AA, and the southern bomber and a duster take out an Md tank.
I think we've won this map guys. Just a hunch.
The tanks jump into our bottleneck, knowing they have to defend the HQ and are completely incapable of doing so.
Last second kill on the War Tank for our power score, then I capture the HQ.
: I'm...coming for...you... NO! My head...urgh...
And this is why you don't take candy from strangers, kids.
: Now, let's investigate the shelter.
Yes, lets. A turn short on the speed, it would seem. I guess they just want you to rush the HQ from day 1? Risky, but hey. Didn't lose a single unit this way, at least.
: Oh ho! There really is a shelter here! What did I tell you, folks? That girl hasn't got a lying bone in her body. Knew it right from the start!
: All we need now is a way to open the security doors. Ideas, anyone?
: The access code is of standard military issue, but I don't have the proper security clearance. Captain, do you think your clearance is high enough?
: I doubt it, but we've got to try. I'm only a captain, but here goes... Code number 0848124390.
System: Identification error. Access denied. You have one chance remaining to enter a valid code.
: Damn... Guess the politicos never planned on letting grunts into their private club.
General Brenner would be the best leader of the forces.
: More importantly, Captain, we only have one chance remaining. I think we're done.
: No! Don't say that! We've come so far... There must be something we can do. We have to get inside. We have to! Otherwise, Isabella will...she'll...
: We need someone with the right clearance, but...
: I don't see any generals or high-ranking government officials in the area, Doctor.
I wonder how many times this LP I'll use for Lin's lines. They're great.
: That's morbid, Lieutenant. And decidedly unhelpful. Truth be told, we don't have time to go looking for the code. It's not sophisticated, but how about starting at 0000000000 and working our way up?
: Now who's being unhelpful? We only have one chance left.
: I'm merely offering suggestions! There's no need to upbraid me so!
: I'm merely stating the facts. And the fact is, we have no chance of guessing the correct access code. We have one more try to get a ten-digit code correct. The odds of guessing it right... ...are almost zero.
: We're talking a probability of one in ten billion. Now, if this was just a story and I was the hero, something miraculous would happen...
: I'd rather try and fail than just walk away. Anyone have a favorite ten-digit number?
: Ten digits... Wait a second!
: What is it, Will?
: 9693872914... That's ten numbers, right?
Don't we all? Mine is 8402850157.
: Um...Not exactly, no. I just have a feeling. I think that may get us inside.
: Well...what have we got to lose? Go ahead, Will.
System: Welcome to Fortress. Enter access code.
: Please let this work... 9693872914...
: What in the world?
: You did it, Will!
: ...I don't know what to say.
: Perhaps YOU are the president's secret child! Oh ho! Oh ho ho ho ho ho!
: What?! No...that's not it. It's the number Isabella was whispering.
: What are you talking about?
: She's been saying it randomly ever since she remembered this shelter was here. In fact, she said it again just before she got sick.
: So once again, it's Isabella to the rescue. I feel like we've got our own guardian angel. Do you think she really is the daughter of some high-ranking official?
You and me both, Lin.
: Well, in any case, we're in! And that's something to celebrate, my friends! Oh ho ho ho!
: I'll go back down and get Isabella.
: No, you won't. You're not allowed to have any contact with the patient, remember? I'll take care of Isabella. It'll give me the chance to tell the mayor that we're inside.
Who knows, maybe The Beast is the President's secret child. And left men in here.
: I'll take charge of reconnoitering the shelter. Will, you're with me.
: Yes, sir!
Well, that was fun. Who knows what's lurking inside? Maybe the President is there, and we're being jerks and trying to take his food.
Things happen! Someone dies!