Part 27: The Mile High Club
Welcome back. Last time, Isabella was chased off the by civilians, after they discovered she was a clone. We had bombs dropped on us by the Great Owl for a bit before ultimately beating Tabitha down. Will left to go look for Penny.
: She was a walking library with every conceivable military fact downloaded into her.
: Well, she's different now. Where can I find her?
: She is presently inside the Great Owl. I can get you on board.
: Why should I trust you? Why would you betray your own father?
:A miserable little pile of secrets!
: Is it blood? Emotions? DNA? Is it heredity or memories or just their very environment? What decides if a human is good or evil?
: I'm sorry, I'm a bit lost.
: I am a clone of Dr. Caulder.
: I was created to aid his quest for immortality. Nothing more. And yet, I feel that there is more to me than that. And I will prove it to him. Come. Time grows short, and we must hurry.
A fate worse than death: To literally be Caulder.
Inside the hangar...
: All security systems and surveillance are computer operated.
: Why is that?
: My father does not trust other humans. But machines, too, have their drawbacks. If I can hack into the system, we can board the Great Owl without detection.
: I see.
: We are close. I ask that you follow me.
: ...I hope you're right about this.
: Lin! What are you doing here?
: You followed me!
: Not just me. I brought a few units along for the ride. It's not an overwhelming force, but it should be enough.
: I told you! I don't want your help! I don't want to risk anyone else.
: Everyone made the choice to come with me. They want to be here.
: I... I can't...
: I am envious of you. Such companionship is an experience that will forever elude me. Enough. We have no more time to waste. Follow me, and quickly.
Still inside the Hangar
: ... ... ... ...
: I hear from Father that you will spend the rest of your life on board this plane! If you are lucky, he will find a use for you in one of his experiments. I can't wait to find out what it will be... Maybe he'll drop you out of the Great Owl with no parachute! How about that, hmmm?
: ... ... ... ...
: Poo! You're so boring! Haven't you got anything to say after all this time? Are you even awake? Hellooooooo! Hello in there!
: Y-you are... Tabitha... You are my sister.
: Sister?! Your SISTER?! Me?! Ha ha ha! Oh, you do make me laugh!
: Why do you laugh? We are sisters.
: You are so very naive! You have no concept of how the world really works.
: But you are my sister. We even look alike.
: People are so funny sometimes... You see someone who looks familiar, and you say to yourself, "Hey! She looks like me!" But did you ever stop to consider another possibility?
But... she didn't say you looked like her. She just said you looked alike.
: I-I don't understand...
: SIIIIIGH! All right, let me try to explain this to you. I'll use small words, OK?
: Then Lutaria died when I went too hard on her in a training battle. All terribly sad... But it was fine, because there were lots of spare Lutaria clones stored on the Great Owl. Just another lab rat, which is what you are! A lab rat!
: That was... That was me?
: That's why you have no memories, little rat. Because you were nothing! You have no life, no name, no feelings, no nothing! Just another rat raised in a tank of goo by Father.
: I always...wondered who I was. And now I know.
: Oh, little rat! This is too much! Tell me, does someone who is no one feel sad? Do they fear death?
: I... I don't know.
: Tee hee hee!
: ...Must you insist on giggling like a crazy person all the time? Really! Did you understand Father's instructions? He wants you to put little rat on board and then prepare for takeoff.
: Penny knows! Penny is good! Tee hee hee! Sister is coming?
: No! Sister is not coming! Sister is helping Father with very important experiments.
: Tee hee hee! Sister is smart!
: Hmmm? Was that a squeak, little rat?
: ...Will? Penny, is there anyone else in this hangar?
: ... ... ... ...
: You better be right. About the people, I mean. ...I couldn't care less about your stupid bear. I'm sure little rat is just seeing things. And take a bath, why don't you! That dirty old uniform really smells!
:The Great Owl will now be switched to autopilot.
: Goody goody! Mr. Bear is sleepy.
: What in the...? Commander! We have an emergency! There are intruders on board!
: The fighting has damaged the fuselage of the Great Owl!
Oh IDS agent. I may gush on Lin, but in all honesty YOU are my favourite character in the game, IDS Agent. She only gets better through the mission.
: Mr. Bear said no one was here! Mr. Bear is a big liar!
: Permission to engage, sir!
: Tee hee hee! Playtime! Playtime! Yaaaaaay!
: It may be difficult to bring our forces back together. Every man for himself! Fight your way to a better defensive position!
This mission. This mission is a fun mission. I love this mission. It's probably my favourite mission, just because of what it is. It's a massive battle of attrition. This is the entirety of the map. The tiles like the one the cursor is on are impassable. Aside from that, go nuts killing dudes.
Lin's in Command here, given Will quit and she brought these forces here.
First off, indirect fire. Rockets open with a salvo on Penny's war tank.
The antitank scores the first kill of the map.
Western rockets shoot at the AA.
Playing it careful over here with her rocket range.
war tanks trade shots.
So far so good.
Recon isn't good for much else at the moment, so it chips away at the mech.
AA, meanwhile, annihilates the bike.
Didn't really need to be careful against the rockets, given I ended up making this move.
REALLY didn't need to worry.
Rule of thumb against tanks: When possible, fight one with a tier higher.
Really saves on the counter damage.
The more you kill in this first turn, the better. Just means fewer counters, and since we have no way to heal or build new units, less damage is the only way to reach an S rank.
Still damaging anything that could remotely be threatening.
The carnage is beautiful.
And I'm finally done with day 1 movements. Artillery could have gotten the kill instead of the antitank, but I want the antitank having the damage boost. It's far more useful.
Penny's Theme. Still as eclectic as the girl its for.
The aftermath of her turn. Our rockets have definitely seen better days. Everything else is fine though for the most part, so I can live with this.
More kills for the antitank.
Now, you might be wondering why I left the rig in range of this artillery. Simply put, I didn't want it running somewhere annoying. The rig lived, so I can at least rearm my forces.
Meanwhile, our AA gets started on the northwest.
Very much started. Poor infantry. All it wanted was a rocket kill to its name.
Rocket moves to the middle. It probably won't live, but hey. Everything needs to be in the middle eventually.
This tank thinks it can run. Our Md tank moves in to prevent it from moving anywhere this turn.
And the mech finishes the antitank.
Our war tank takes care of its counterpart.
Rocket kill in the corner.
More damage to this tank.
Derp. Left that rocket in range of the artillery. Guess neither of them are surviving the turn.
Yep. Both died, antitank takes a hit from the recon. Not cool.
May as well resupply now.
Look at this tank. Trying to escape the inevitable. How amusing. (it died)
AA kills the recon.
: Boo! Get more units!
: We're preparing more units to enter from the left and right sides, sir! But I fear that continued fighting may result in the plane losing--
: Yaaaaaaaay! More units! Mr. Bear loves units!
Well, you didn't expect mission 24 to be that easy, now did you? There's reinforcement waves. Hope you're ready for them. If you aren't, just hold off killing the last unit one turn.
War tank leaves Penny with a single unit. But a lot of our units can't move this turn.
We're going to fight on OUR terms, Penny.
Perfect. This leaves us ready to counter what Penny brings in at the sides.
Antitank still proving its worth. I love these units.
: The enemy is sending reinforcements! Engage them immediately!
Tanks to the left of me,
Rockets to the right, here I am,
Breaking out of the middle with you.
The objective on the right side is to clear out the corner rockets, since they have a great shot towards each other.
I mainly do this because of the fact my war tank is exposed to the northern rocket. Gotta keep the heavy hitter alive, right?
I originally planned to move the other war tank in after attacking with the recon.
While the regular tank finished off this northern rocket.
Really contemplating it here...
Ultimately, I decide that it would be better served fighting the west tanks.
Letting the tanks roll in after me proves worthwhile. Many options available already.
We kill this tank.
: MORE! MORE!
With the right side clear, I join the two tanks together. Having a full health level 2 tank is just so nice, knowing reinforcements are coming.
Antitank gets rearmed, ready for the next phase.
The artillery continues firing on the enemy.
Md tank covers the opening beside the artillery, while also weakening the second tank.
Our war tank just devastates this poor tank.
Which allows the Md tank to finish the job.
Sitting pretty for the next phase.
Penny joins her remaining two tanks together. Well this just makes my job so much easier.
Of course, joining means this tank can't be killed by the artillery alone.
That said, leaving it at 1 HP means I can consolidate our forces a little better without worrying about it actually killing anything.
It does take another chunk out of the rig.
NOW the artillery takes out the tank.
: More reinforcements arriving! Assume defensive positions!
And we go right into the third phase. Rockets are on the left this time.
While the tanks are on the right. I'll admit this screwed me up the first time I ever played this map. I sent a lot of my heavier stuff to deal with the tanks, so when everything died (the last unit suicided on the antitank, if I remember right), suddenly all my heavy stuff was staring at rockets, while my mech, light tanks, etc were all facing the tanks. Whoops.
This time, though, my split is a little better. The war tank opens the round with this attack on a rocket.
The Md tank goes in to assist the war tank, heavily damaging the only unit capable of hitting it.
While the other Md tank gets in a spot to go after the other rocket next turn.
In the east, I amalgamate our forces, ready to lose a unit to the counterattack.
It was the war tank, of course. We're in a pretty good spot though, overall.
Antitank begins the turn with a shot against a full HP tank.
The mech goes in to finish the job.
While our tank attacks Penny's.
On the other side, our artillery attacks the enemy rocket close by.
Our recon attempts to finish it off.
And fails at that job.
So we let the Md tank show it how it's done.
: And the Great Owl is barely holding together!
I... I don't think Penny gives a damn at this point.
Killing off another rocket unit.
And supplying that war tank.
This'll be fine. Once again, always let the reinforcements come in on your terms. This will let us do just that.
Pretty sure both attacked the antitank. I will not complain.
I have a plan for the next phase though. Some finesse will be needed. We start with this Md tank wrecking the tank.
Then surrounding it with disposable units. This will allow me to have a decent split of power on each end.
It does mean I lose the AA, but now I'm ready.
Md tank initiates phase 4.
: More? ...Are you kidding me?
ROCKETS! Everywhere a rocket!
Next step is to clump up in the middle. They will all move towards us.
Just like that. Perfect.
Time to break out of the middle again.
Sometimes, I love the war tank. This is perfect.
Md tank goes out to attack the next one.
And the recon does something.
Regular tank also heads west, out of range of the eastern rocket force, and attacks the remaining rocket from the west end.
And as a result, the only unit that can attack us is the 1 HP rocket in the west, if it so chooses. Strategy!
It opts not to, and joins with the 3 HP rocket in the east. The other two rockets try to find an advantageous position. And fail spectacularly.
We'll start with this weakened rocket.
Then have the war tank take out number two.
Finally, between the Md tank in the east,
And the mech, we kill the final rocket, and the last enemy of the map.
: All units, to the cockpit! We have to seize control now!
: ...I hate flying.
Interestingly, Lin says this if you lose the mission. And despite losing a couple units, our technique isn't too terrible. I'm alright with this. Now, I hope you're all ready for my favourite dialogue in the game.
: Um...yeah, we're in trouble. I don't think we're gonna reach the airfield. Suggest emergency landing procedures, sir.
: Fly more! Fly more!
Inside the Great Owl Lab...
: ... ... ... ...
: Will? Why did you come...?
: ...No. You must leave me. I am not a human being. I am a clone. A thing. A little rat. I don't deserve to be rescued.
: What? No, you're one of us, and we're getting out of here now.
: I don't even have a name...
: Your name is Isabella!
: Since I came back, I... I remembered things. We were raised in this laboratory. All the Isabellas. All the same. Caulder created lots and lots of us and experimented on us. I saw...horrible things... I always knew it would be me someday.
: Listen, I know things were really bad, but you have to--
: They meant nothing to me. They were spare parts, just like me. That's why I exist. I have no memory. I have no soul. I am nothing. You must leave--
: Your name is Isabella! You are the first person I ever saved! You joined us and traveled with us and fought with us! You are one of us! I know you remember that!
: But...why do you help me? You know--
: Isabella, you're a person! A real living person with ideas and dreams and...and stuff like that! You have meaning and strength and beauty and...and I... I...
: ...Will... Oh, Will...
: You decide. Right now! What do you want? Come or go, you gotta decide.
: YES! I knew it! I mean... I hoped you would say that, but part of me really knew, and... Listen, never mind. We gotta run. Come on!
: I... I can't believe it!
: Yeah? Well, I do. Now come on!
: Oh, Will...
Back at the cockpit...
: 7,500 feet... 7,000 feet... 6,500 feet...
I think she planned this whole thing. Well, Caulder did, at any rate.
: Who's there! I don't like you!
: Penny, listen to me! I know you think you have to do what Daddy tells you. But you mustn't obey him anymore! He is evil! Do you understand?
: What is the strange girl saying? Mr. Bear doesn't understand.
: Um... 4,500 feet! 4,000 feet! 3,500 feet!
You must live, IDS agent! For the sweet corn casserole!
: I understand you, Penny. We're the same. I want you to come live with us.
: Why are you saying these things to Penny?
: 2,500 feet! 2,000 feet! 1,500 feet!
Nope, just you.
: Please, Penny! Listen to me! I want to help you!
: B-but Daddy told me to...
: ...Ah, crap.
The others cope with the loss of Will, Lin, and the unknown IDS agent. Or maybe it's just me that copes with the loss of Lin and the IDS agent. The Mayor does something everyone will be happy about.