The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 26: Chapter 26 (Intermission) - The Measure Of A Man

The door to my dude’s office is still closed. Selena and Lucy are hanging around outside it, and Lucy looks fretful.

“Selena… is he gonna be OK? I’ve never seen my dude lose, but… looks like he’s taking it pretty hard.”

Selena nods. “Yes… he’ll be fine. It will take some time, but I’m sure that when he exits that room, he’ll be filled with renewed confidence. You know him - he’ll bounce back.”

“Oh, of course! I don’t know why I’m worrying so much.” Lucy replies.

“I’ll tell you why - because you’re wrong!”

The voice comes out of the darkness, and Lucy and Selena jump, before turning to see Rachel walking up the corridor towards them. She glances towards my dude’s closed office door with disdain.

“Men like my dude are all show, all fluff. The moment they actually face a loss in their careers, they never recover. All that bravado goes away, and they realise just how much of their career was a fluke. Face it, he’s not coming back out. Men like him don’t.”

“How dare you?!” Selena says, the words bursting out of her before she remembers who she’s talking to.

“Excuse me, soldier?” Rachel asks, rounding on Selena. Lucy raises a wavering hand.

“Um, with all due respect, Commander Rachel, I don’t appreciate the way you’re talking about my friend.” Lucy adds, nervously looking up at Rachel’s impassive stare.

“Your friend?” Rachel asks. “You think of your superior officer as a friend?”

“We do.” Selena replies. “My dude is more than an ACO to us.”

Rachel growls. “He’s an idiot! He’s a half-decent strategist who lucked his way into a position way higher than he deserves. He tricked my sis- Commander Nell into somehow falling in love with him, and he can’t handle a single loss, moping in his office like a child! What is there to respect about him?”

Selena’s eyes flash, and Lucy sees a fury rise up in her that she’s never seen before, like the broiling of the ocean, threatening to bubble over.

“...I won’t argue with you, Commander Rachel.” Selena says, letting out a long breath. “But I will tell you that you’re underestimating the sheer strength of will that my dude possesses. He defeated Sturm, and saved the world. He fought CO after CO tirelessly, trekking across the world at Nell’s request. Because if she asked him to, he’d stride to the gates of hell and knock them down.”

“He saved Selena’s life! He’s saved all of our lives, really - we wouldn’t have made it through those campaigns unscathed without him!” Lucy says, her eyes shining brightly. “He’s truly incredible. Why can’t you see that?”

Rachel closes her eyes and glances down, shaking her head. “...I see. He’s managed to trick you two, as well. Just like Nell, you’ve fallen for his superficial charm.”

“What if it’s real?” Selena asks. “What if he leaves his office, his vigour renewed? What if he isn’t the man you think he is?”

Rachel locks eyes with Selena. “Then I would admit I’m wrong. But I’m not - and he won’t.”

Selena looks back coolly, unflinching. “I suppose we’ll see which of us is right.”

“You’ve really got a lot of faith in him, huh?”

“My faith is unwavering.” Selena says.

Rachel nods. “In that case, we’ll put that to the test. We’ll see which of us is right.”

The two women walk away, leaving Lucy stood outside my dude’s door. She slumps against it, before turning and placing a hand on it.

“Come on, my dude… you can come back from this! We all believe in you! I… I believe in you. Just like I always have, and always will!”