The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 60: Chapter 60 (Intermission) - On A Night Like This

Petra sits and stares at her drink, a swirling mug of hot chocolate, and sighs. She knows that after what happened in the battle, she wants to talk to Conrad, but after their kiss, she isn’t sure how to approach him.

To her surprise, a CO enters the kitchen - it’s Eagle.

“Petra.” he says, spotting his young protégé. “Is everything OK?”

“I just… he just went. Abelard.” Petra says glumly. “Like it was nothing.”

Eagle sits down beside her, and fixes her with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes.

“But it wasn’t nothing, Petra. He went out grandly, and opened the way to win us the battle. And that, in turn, is going to help us turn the tables on Black Hole.”

Petra sniffles and looks up at Eagle. “R-really..?”

“Of course. Abelard has been in the military almost as long as my father and Edgar - 33 years of service to Green Earth and her people. That is something to celebrate, not mourn.”

“I suppose.” Petra says. “I just wasn’t expecting it.”

“Nobody does. When my father-” Eagle says, then pauses, and takes a breath. “When my father fell, it felt similar. All I had were his lucky goggles, passed down to me, and Edgar telling me that I was ready to take up his mantle.”

“Gosh… and now… me.” Petra says.

“And now, you. One day, I might meet my end on the battlefield, and when I do, you will have to carry on, and become the protector of Green Earth.” Eagle says gently. “Look, you’re an ace pilot - almost as my capabilities, despite being so much younger. I know losing someone is difficult, and it can make things feel hopeless, but you’re still here, Petra.”

“I’m still here.” Petra repeats, feeling a little better after saying it. “I hope you don’t go away for a long time yet, Eagle. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“I didn’t know what to do when I lost my father. But Edgar and Abelard guided me - they helped me find my footing. So… I guess if you need to find your footing, just let me know. Alright?”

Eagle stands up and begins to walk away. Petra nods.

“Th-thank you, Eagle! I’ll be sure to celebrate Abelard… just like he’d want us to!”

“Atta girl.” Eagle says, grinning as he exits.

My future is in safe hands. Petra’s got what it takes, and experiences like this will only make her more mature and capable.


When Arqa drops by the post-sorting room, where letters pile high on every table as they get sorted into bags to be sent home to the soldiers’ loving families, she’s surprised to find Shaia there, helping sort some of the letters.

“It’s a bit late to be on the job, isn’t it?” Arqa says.

Shaia fixes her with a glare. “Oh, you. Of course it’d be you that comes in right now.”

“I was just dropping a letter off for my sisters back home.” Arqa says, shrugging. “I think that’s pretty normal.”

“No, I mean-” Shaia replies, sighing. “Look, you’ve been getting into my head. And I don’t like it!”

“Is this about our chat the other day?” Arqa says.

Shaia nods. “Ever since then, I keep… feeling bad for taking advantage of people? And wanting to do things myself? And putting effort in?”

Upon hearing this, Arqa can’t help but let out a delighted laugh, a giggle that echoes around the room. Shaia pulls a face. “It’s not funny.”

“It is, isn’t it, girl?” Arqa replies. “I got through to you. That’s what happened. And I’m glad to hear it!”

Shaia continues sorting the letters, musing on these words, and as she tosses a few Blue Moon letters into the corresponding mailbag, she looks sidelong at Arqa, who is putting her letter into the right mailbag.

“I guess. I just… I was thinking about what you said about that Alfonse guy. How he wasn’t even interested in me, and he was just a nice guy. And… yeah, turns out a lot of people in this army are just genuinely nice.”

“Took you long enough to realise.” Arqa says.

“I don’t enjoy it. I’m still going to take advantage of people when I get the chance.” Shaia mutters rebelliously, and Arqa shrugs.

“I can’t stop you.” she says. “But I’m pleased to see there’s something resembling a conscience in there. And hey, you know that doesn’t stop you doing anything fun, right?”


“You said I was pretty shameless for fawning over Rose and Vanessa all the time.” Arqa says, leaning back against the wall and playing with her hair. “But you know, I really do all this work to make money to go shopping. I’m glad I can contribute, don’t get me wrong, but…”

“You seen the new online store that opened, Infatuated?” Shaia replies excitedly. “They have this new line of jumpsuits that I am just dying to get…”

“Oh, I know the ones! Actually, these shoes are from Infatuated, look at these…”

The girls, their differences cast aside, begin talking about online shopping, and as she chats with Arqa, Shaia soon realises that she’s smiling.


Elsewhere, late in the evening, Mulligan and Cassandra are doing as they often do: getting a few glasses of wine and sitting on the rooftop of the barracks to enjoy the night air.

“Looks like it’s almost a full moon.” Mulligan says, gesturing up at the bright circle in the sky. Cassandra nods.

“I’d say… two days from now? I’m no expert, though.”

“We must make sure to see it when it happens.” Mulligan replies, taking a sip of his wine. “I’m sure it’ll look magnificent.”

Cassandra nods, continuing to stare up at the sky. Her mind goes back to the battle, when she and the other soldiers had received the news about Abelard.

“Do you ever think about what we’ll do after the war?” she says. “Or… if we’ll see it through?”

“I’d like it to be over.” Mulligan replies quietly. “Yet I fear we may never be rid of Black Hole. But if we are… if it does end… and we’re still here…”

Mulligan falls quiet, and Cassandra gives him a few moments to sit and think.

“Would it be a foolish thing to say that I’m thinking of asking Howard to marry me?”

Cassandra laughs aloud. “Not at all! I’d say that’s a very smart thing to do. You’ve found a good man there, Mull.”

“Yes, that’s what I was thinking.” Mulligan says. “Thanks, Cass. I… haven’t told anybody that’s what I plan to do yet.”

“Your secret is safe with me.” Cassandra replies.

The pair continue drinking their wine for a while, but Cassandra’s mind is racing. She hasn’t considered what she’ll do when the war ends, despite posing the question to Mulligan; for so long, she’s been a soldier, and she isn’t sure if she can be anything else. For a moment, she wants to express these feelings to Mulligan, but then she wonders if it’s worth mentioning. Instead, she lets out a long breath.

“It’s been quite a journey, at least.” she says eventually. “Our adventures in Orange Star, our battle to free Green Earth, and now we serve the Allied Nations, fighting Black Hole once more.”

“You’ll pass into legend for your accomplishments.” Mulligan says seriously. “Soldiers like you don’t come along very often.”

“Oh, stop it, Mull. I’m just doing what anyone else would do. Though…”


“I was just thinking.” Cassandra murmurs. “I… think I’d like to teach. At the military academy, you know?”

Mulligan smiles. “That’s a lovely idea. I think you’d be great, Cass.”

“I’ll have to think about it.”

“Hey,” Mulligan says suddenly. “We’ll still stick together, no matter what. And we’ll come through it just fine. Alright?”

Cassandra smiles; it’s as if Mulligan read her mind and saw what she was fretting about, and she shakes her head.

“I’m glad. Thanks, Mulligan. I couldn’t do any of this without you.”

“Oh, you’re exaggerating… the Morningstar could take out Black Hole on her own - by lunchtime if she wanted to!”