The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 58: Chapter 58 (Intermission) - The Victory Feast

The party, celebrating the end of Black Hole’s ambitions and the destruction of the black obelisk, is in full swing back in the barracks. Whilst the COs enjoy themselves in a separate area of the barracks, the main barracks room throngs with soldiers from all countries, enjoying drinks and food as they relax, properly, for the first time in many months.

As per usual, the gentlemen of Orange Star are hosting a poker game - Dave, Michael and Alfonse are joined by Carter, Eva, Rin, Ingo, Von Panzer and Mulligan, and as the chips fly thick and fast, the cards determine the gamblers’ fates.

“Three-pair, sevens.” Alfonse says confidently, and Eva sighs - she, Alfonse and Von Panzer were the only ones who didn’t fold that round, and she’s regretting it.

“Urgh. Two threes.” she sighs, throwing down her cards.

Von Panzer chuckles. “Harrumph! Look upon this, then, Alfonse - three of a kind, nines!”

The table gasps as Von Panzer puts his cards down, raising an eyebrow at Alfonse.

“Oh, excellent play!” Mulligan says.

“Goodness! Von Panzer wins again!” Rin replies, shoving all of the chips in the middle over to the mustachioed player, who seems very pleased with himself.

“This game is starting to make sense to me!”

“Yeah, I can tell…” Michael replies, chuckling. “Just you wait until I hit my stride again. I’ve just had bad cards the last couple of rounds…”


At the bar, Valeria walks up and barks out her order. “Four pints, and two champagnes, please.”

The barman walks away, and Valeria turns to see Diana, waiting for her own order.

“On the drinks run, I see.” Diana says wryly.

“I am the only person in the whole of the Snowbound Free Company who gets anything done. If I don’t buy drinks, they’ll never get bought.” Valeria remarks.

Diana nods. “I get that. I feel the same about Dimitri’s Mercenaries. I’m the one who’s always got to be there.”

“I must admit, I’m impressed at your devotion. Sometimes, I wonder if I should really leave our company’s fate in Alina’s hands, and other days, I’d die for her. You seem to be ready to do anything for Dimitri, at any time.”

“I suppose.” Diana replies, shrugging. “A lot of it is just that we have similar goals. Dimitri tells me to shoot something, I’m usually already preparing to do so. The only thing he doesn’t tell me to do is save his ass when he gets into danger, but he can’t stop me.”

Valeria allows herself a chuckle. “Hah! Yes, I suppose not. The most loyal soldiers are usually the hardest to control, I find. Alina tells me what to do a lot of the time, but I have no qualms about disobeying her if I think she’s being a fool. And she often is, bless her.”

Diana’s drinks arrive, and she picks up the small serving tray they’re on, looking sidelong at Valeria. “Well, in battle or out of battle, we at least know our role: making everything tick over nicely.”

“Indeed.” Valeria says. “I feel I have a kindred spirit in you, Diana. I’ll see you later.”


Lena is sitting on her own, enjoying the vibe of the party, but she’s soon disturbed by Lucy arriving.

“Oh! You’re… Lucy, right? I thought you were dancing with that boy.”

“That’s Ingo!” Lucy says, pointing to the ginger man dancing with a few of the Orange Star soldiers in the middle of the room. “I just wanted to drop by and make sure you were OK!”

“I’m here by choice, don’t worry.” Lena replies. “I joined the others for poker earlier, but frankly, I couldn’t afford to play for very long…”

“Ah, even if you bet with fake money, they usually let you play. They very rarely actually chase up the money they’re owed, you know.” Lucy says, hopping up on the table that Lena is sat at, and letting her legs dangle over the side, kicking them out in time with the music. Lena glances at her curiously.

“You know, whilst I have you here, could I ask something?”


“What’s… Selena, um, like?”

“Ooh, that’s an interesting question.” Lucy says, pausing for a moment to think. “Selena never used to be too confident - she was nervous, and often blamed herself when things went wrong in battle! She was a perfectionist through and through, and if she was ever at fault, she was pretty hard on herself.”

“...Huh.” Lena murmurs.

“But at the beginning of our second campaign, one of our strongest soldier, Tina, left us!” Lucy says, getting into the swing of the story now. “Orange Star needed a new Head, um, B-word, and Selena stepped up! She took command and began doing her best in battle!”

“Took command? I couldn’t imagine that.” Lena replies. “Her letters used to talk about things as if she was just a soldier on the sidelines.”

“Oh, no, Selena’s a core part of our army! She’s one of my dude’s favourite soldiers - and she kinda pines for him too!”

“I know; she talked about him a lot in the letters, too…” sighs Lena.

“But yeah, Selena is one of the greatest soldiers I’ve ever known, and it’s her that keeps this army together, for the most part! Look at her now!”

Lucy points across the room, and Lena spots her sister chatting with Rose and Vanessa on the other side of the room, with several papers about.

“My guess is they’re talking about the tactics they used in that last battle - Selena’s the one who reports the battles to my dude, and she really does her research! My reports are a bit more… Lucy-esque, let’s say, hee hee!”

Lena chuckles. “Heh. I see. Sounds like she takes her work very seriously.”

“She does. And she’ll keep working hard now that you’re here!” Lucy says. “I know you’ve had a rough history together, but I really believe that you two can make it work. I can’t wait for when you’re friends again!”

Lena casts her eyes downwards, reaching up and placing a hand around her drink. “...Yeah. The more I hear about what Selena’s like now, the more I think ‘yeah, that’s the kind of sister I want’.”


Peregrine and Andromeda are sitting with a few of the other girls - Ludmilla and Adelaide - as they enjoy the music, letting it wash over them as they eat some food. Ludmilla, partway through her meal, looks up with a grin at the pair of Yellow Comet girls.

“You must be glad you don’t have to do any of the reports like poor Rose and Vanessa, huh?”

“Oh, hell yeah! I’ve not got the head for reports.” Peregrine replies. “Andy probably could though, whaddya say?”

“I could, um, do, complete, write the shit out of some files, reports!” Andromeda announces proudly, and Adelaide chokes on her food as she hears Andromeda swear.

“Whew! Well, I wasn’t expecting that…” Adelaide says. “You two seem quite close, Peregrine. Did you meet in the last campaign?”

“Sure did! Andy got the short end of the stick from a few people, and Rose suggested I’d be a good fucking friend for her! And you know what? She was right!”

“She was…” beams Andromeda. “Perry is… a good ally, pilot, friend! We have shared many adventures together now.”

“I can tell.” Adelaide replies. “It’s nice that all the girls seem quite close.”

“Oh, definitely.” Ludmilla says, licking her lips as she finishes off her food. As she leans back in her chair, she gestures around the room. “Look at them all. Plus, we all like to get together for girl’s nights.”

“Oh yeah, haven’t the Orange Star girls and Michael been planning something for that?”

“They have.” Ludmilla replies. “The biggest girl’s night, they’re calling it. They’re inviting everyone from every country, and… somehow, they plan to fit everyone into Selena’s room? I don’t quite recall what the plan was there. I look forward to that, though. Sounds magical, right?”

“It’ll be nice.” Andromeda says. “I love spending fun, moments, um, time with friends!”

“You said it, Andy!” Peregrine replies, punching the air. “But hey, we’ve got a pretty great party going on right here, so let’s focus on that, huh? I need another pint before I do any dancing!”

“Next round’s on me. It’s the least I can do.” Adelaide says, standing up.

Peregrine sighs in appreciation. “Girls helping girls! That’s what it’s all about - thanks, Addy!”


Kyril spots another Yellow Comet soldier, Lowell, heading out of the main barracks room. He heads over and catches him before he reaches the door. The green-haired soldier turns to look at him, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, Kyril?”

“Lowell, are you leaving so soon?”

Lowell nods. “The party is of no benefit. I’ve shown up to ensure that everything is going smoothly, and now I intend to retire. I’ve lots of work to do.”

Another figure comes striding over - Quincy, the strangest member of Green Earth’s forces. “Couple of party poopers over here, huh?”

“Urgh,” Lowell says, rolling his eyes. “I’m just excusing myself to get something done this evening. I don’t plan to rest on my laurels. There’s much to learn.”

Kyril turns to Quincy. “Can you help?”

“Sure can!” Quincy says, winking. “Lowell, isn’t it? Look, I get that you’re all logical and stuff, but you really can’t see what we’re doing here?”

“Having a party?” Lowell says. “There’s not much else going on.”

“But it’s about why we’re celebrating.” Kyril replies. “If we constantly worked, constantly stressed over things, we’d never feel happy. These celebrations are just as important as all the reports and work.”

“Yup! It’s a release of all that stress, letting all the soldiers get out of their heads for a while!” Quincy adds. “You aren’t gonna be successful if your mental health is at an all-time low, y’know!”

Lowell looks back over the party. He sees Dimitri and Zlata dancing together, whilst the rest of the mercenaries share drinks at a table nearby. He sees Selena, Rose and Vanessa finish their meeting and begin mingling with the other soldiers. He sees some poker games going ahead, everyone enjoying the risks and rewards together. He sees Klara and Anna excitedly chatting whilst a few Blue Moon soldiers play a card game on the table next to them.

“...I see.” he says. “A release of stress… I suppose you’ve convinced me. I could stay for a while longer.”

“That’s the ticket.” Kyril says. “Come on, Lowell. You’ve worked hard - now go and enjoy yourself, OK?”

“Very well, Kyril. I will… have some fun. It’s a good night for it.”