The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 22: Chapter 22 (Intermission) - Sleepless Night

The hustle and bustle of army life usually leads the soldiers to head to bed at a reasonable hour, knowing that they’ll have to be up in the early hours to march for the battlefield. Now and again, however, events will conspire to keep them up far longer than they should, and on the night where the barracks’ fire alarms begin malfunctioning, very few of the soldiers manage to get some sleep.

It’s every couple of seconds - the fire alarms beep loudly. As it happens again, well after midnight, Lucy groans and grips her pillow.

“I give up!” she says, flopping out of bed and landing on the floor. “I don’t think we’re gonna get any rest, you two.”

Selena and Rin, also in the room, nod in agreement. Rin hops out of her bunk and sits next to Lucy. “Question is, what do we do in the meantime, then?”

“Nights like this is why playing cards were invented.” Selena replies, sitting up and digging through her bedside table to pull out a pack of cards. Lucy claps her hands excitedly.

As Selena deals the cards, yawning, Lucy is reminded of something.

“Oh, right, Selena, I wanted to ask… you’ve seemed a bit off with people lately. Are you doing OK?”

Selena nods. “I, uh, yeah.”

Rin picks up her cards. “What are we playing, poker?”

“Eh, we’ll do Go Fish.” Selena replies. She turns back to Lucy, a pained expression on her face. “The Director… I just… had a weird experience with her. There’s something I need to tell everyone. But before I do, I have to be sure.”

“Uh, OK then!” Lucy says. “I trust you, Selena.”

Selena’s face falls. She lowers her eyes in shame and turns to her cards. “Let’s play, anyway. Rin, got any twos?”


In another room, Alfonse and his roommate Landon are lying in the dark, staring hatefully up at the beeping fire alarm. A few seconds of silence pass, and then it beeps again. Alfonse sighs.

“Man… I wish I was Dave. He could sleep through this, no problem.”

“Really?” Landon asks.

“Oh yeah. Michael’s roomed with him since forever, and he says Dave sleeps through pretty much everything.”

Landon closes his eyes. “Must be nice for some.”

Alfonse sits up, taking a glass of water from his bedside table and sipping on it. He puts it down shortly afterwards, and flicks on his lamp.

“Hey, Landon. You’re an ACO now, right?”

“I am, yeah. I mean, I was helping out during the cleanup of Macro Land, since my dude was busy at the capital.” Landon explains. “I’m not really acting as an ACO here, though. I mean, we have my dude. Not much need for me, skilled as I am.”

“True, but it must be good that you achieved your goal.” Alfonse says.

Landon falls quiet for a moment. He turns to put his glasses on, and looks up at Alfonse, illuminated by the warm lights of his lamp.

“You know… that’s the funny thing.” he says. “I’ve been working so hard to become an ACO, and now that I’m here, it feels almost the exact same.”

Alfonse remains quiet, prompting Landon to continue.

“Like… I thought that when I became an ACO, that’d be the start of my illustrious career. Legendary battles, incredible performances… but the pay grade’s not that much higher, and the battles are still the same. It’s all… not quite what I expected.”

“Regardless of what position you occupy, if you’re on the battlefield, the battles are going to feel the same.” Alfonse says gently. “I’d take that as a positive thing. It means that even as an ordinary soldier, you were partaking in legendary battles and giving incredible performances. Now you’re just in the right position to do that properly.”

Landon nods. “I see what you mean. I suppose you’re right… even as ordinary soldiers, we had some remarkable battles, didn’t we?”

“We sure did. So yeah, I wouldn’t worry.” Alfonse replies. “Things feeling the same isn’t always a bad thing.”

“What about you, Alfonse? You’ve been serving for quite a while, too. But you’re content just being an ordinary soldier?” Landon asks. “Your performance in the battles thus far… you really could be a leader of men.”

Alfonse smiles. “Hah… perhaps one day. Right now I’m content where I am. Besides, I have the one title that I want: one of the Big Three of Orange Star.”

Landon chuckles, lying back down in bed. “Yeah, I guess you’ve got that going for you.”

“I get more recognition here than I do back home, anyway.” Alfonse replies, mirroring Landon’s movement and lying back down. His hand reaches out to switch off the lamp, and they lie in the darkness once more.

The fire alarm beeps once again.

“God damn it. This is gonna go on all night, isn’t it?”

“Looks that way.” Landon replies. “They’d better be getting someone to come fix it…”


Dimitri and Ivan, in their room, have long since given up on trying to get some sleep, and are instead sat on the floor, tossing a bouncy ball back and forth to one another as they chat.

The ball lands in Dimitri’s hand, and he tosses it to the floor again, where it bounces up to Ivan, who lazily reaches up to grab it, misses, and then scrabbles around on the floor to pick it up.

“Nice.” Dimitri says, smirking.

“I’m tired, boss, cut me some slack.” Ivan replies. “Surprised you’ve not abandoned the room to go find Zlata yet, honestly.”

“Might do later. For now I just need a little me time.” Dimitri sighs. “Besides, if I don’t stay here, you might go harass Sasha again.”

“Hey, Lady Sasha might be totally into me, you never know. I’m a professional soldier, and ladies love a uniform.” Ivan says, giving Dimitri a relaxed, but impetuous grin.

“Firstly, the uniform isn’t impressive in the army where everyone is in uniform. Secondly, in all the time I’ve known you, I have never seen you be professional about anything.”

The ball bounces back and forth between the two men. Ivan shrugs.

“I’ve been doing better with that lately. There’s… things I want to protect in this army. So I’m fighting harder to protect them.” Ivan says, in a surprising moment of seriousness. “I know I’ve always been a slacker, but never too late to change, right?”

“I suppose not. You’ve definitely been fighting harder lately, for what it’s worth.” Dimitri replies. “God… thinking back on it, it’s been nearly ten years since we all met.”

“Man, really? Time’s flown, huh? All deployed together, tiny little kids…” Ivan murmurs.

“And then there was that debacle with Olaf joining and leaving Orange Star.” Dimitri replies. “Then the conflict with Orange Star a couple of years ago… the battles with Black Hole… it’s been quite a strange career all in all, huh?”

“You’re talking like you’re approaching the end of it.” Ivan replies. “Dimitri, I don’t know much, but I do know once thing - Dimitri’s Mercenaries are just getting started.”

“Hm. Suppose you’re right.” Dimitri replies. “Glad to have you along, Ivan. You and Boris… I know we’ve had a rocky time lately, but we all signed up together. We’ll carry on together.”

“‘Course.” Ivan says, grinning. He catches the ball and puts it in the pocket of his dressing gown. “Thanks, boss.”

“Anytime, Ivan. And… you know, you said before that there’s things you want to protect. Got someone in your sights?”

“Nah, nothing like that. Just good friends, that’s all.”

Dimitri smiles at his comrade. “They’re not ‘just’ good friends. Friends are just as important as romance; if that’s what motivates you to keep fighting, then you keep fighting for them, Ivan.”

Ivan grins back at Dimitri, shaking his head. “Damn, you talk like a motivational speaker, Dim. But you know what, you’re right.”

“Glad we could have this chat-” Dimitri begins, but the fire alarm beeps again, as it has been doing for most of the evening. “-and if that godforsaken thing beeps again, I’m going to shoot it.”

“Yeah, I get the feeling nobody’s gonna be sleeping tonight.”