The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 32: Chapter 32 (Intermission) - Surpassing All Expectations

“You wanted to see me?” Arqa says as she pokes her head into Vanessa’s office. Vanessa looks up at her and nods, putting aside some of her files.

“Arqa, there you are. Please, come in.”

The beautiful pink-haired soldier strides across the room and looks up blankly at her superior. “Uh, you feeling OK?”

Vanessa nods, clenching her teeth as she thinks back on the final desperate transceiver message. “Today was… less than ideal. But I’m determined to keep doing better, for everybody. I won’t make those mistakes again… for Minerva, I’ll improve.”

“I’m glad.” Arqa replies. “I was kinda worried when you got so mad, but I guess you’ve always had a bit of a temper. Oh - uh, no offence meant, ‘course. What did you need? Have I done something wrong?”

Vanessa smiles. “Quite the opposite, Arqa. I actually just wanted to take you aside and let you know how pleased I am with you.”

Arqa’s eye opens - the other one is hidden behind her locks of hair, but Vanessa sees movement that seems to be Arqa’s eyebrows shooting up. She chuckles.

“Are you so surprised?”

“I mean, yeah.” Arqa replies. “I know I didn’t start out as the world’s best soldier or anything, but… nobody’s ever taken me aside and said they’re pleased with me before.”

“It’s taken a lot of work, but I always saw that potential in you.” Vanessa says. “I do get it, you know. Joining the army was just the only option left for you, and it was never what you wanted to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take pride in your work.”

Arqa nods. “I wanted to be an influencer or something, you know? But… I guess it was you that showed me how much I can contribute here, just by putting in a bit more effort. I feel like I’m doing more than I ever thought I could.”

“Good. Keep contributing, Arqa. You’re a credit to the Yellow Comet Army, and now that we’re working with the rest of the Allied Nations, I want you to be at your best. We have to show them why Yellow Comet soldiers are worthy of respect.”

Vanessa meets Arqa’s eyes, and sees a flash of motivation in them. Arqa lifts her hand and stares at her pristinely-painted nails for a moment, then closes her hand into a fist. She grins at Vanessa.

“Of course! I’m a good soldier who can do anything you ask of her - and, as a bonus, I look good doing it.”

“Does all of your money go towards beauty products?” Vanessa asks wearily. Arqa laughs.

“No, no! …I also buy food, too.”


There’s a knock on Inessa and Klara’s room door, and both of them stare at it in confusion. It’s about 11PM - far too late for any regular visitor. Inessa bounds out of bed.

“I’ll get it!” she says, and Klara nods, yawning.

“Th-thank you… I’m too tired to do much right now…”

When Inessa opens the door, she is surprised to see her twin brother, Yakov, standing there, looking uncomfortable.

“Kov? You OK?”

“Ness. I just, um…” Yakov mutters, then moves forwards and embraces Inessa. It’s a surprisingly sweet gesture from Inessa’s normally-abrasive and grumpy brother, so she hugs him back, her face twisting. Something’s wrong.

Eventually, Yakov mutters his problem into Inessa’s shoulder.

“I couldn’t sleep. Nobody’s in my room at the moment, and…”

Inessa nods, smiling gently. “And ever since we were kids, you’ve been unable to sleep without someone else in the room, right?”

Yakov is silent, but Inessa knows she’s right already. She detaches herself from him and looks back at Klara. “Hey, I’m gonna go sleep in Yakov’s room tonight. I’ll see you tomorrow!”

“Oh, um, sure.” Klara says, nodding.

Inessa follows Yakov through the winding corridors of the barracks. “We haven’t roomed together since we were kids. I didn’t realise you still needed someone in the room.”

“I know. It’s stupid.” Yakov replies. “It’s just the way my brain works. Something about listening to someone else’s breathing makes me feel… safe.”

As they reach Yakov’s room, he enters, and gestures to the empty bed on the left.

“There it is. I think I’m supposed to be getting a new roommate soon, but… I don’t know.”

“No worries, I’ll hop in! Looks comfy!” Inessa replies, springing into the bed. Yakov gets into his own bed, pulling the covers over himself and glancing over at Inessa before turning the light out.

In the darkness, he can hear his sister’s breathing, and remembers the nights when he was a child, afraid of the dark, and the closet, and the things under the bed, and Inessa would sleep in the bed across from his, promising him between every breath that he was safe. Yakov allows his eyes to close.

“Thanks.” he murmurs.

“You’re welcome. What are siblings for, huh? Now get some sleep, it’s already late!”

Yakov smiles and nods. “Alright. See you tomorrow.”