The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 62: Chapter 62 (Intermission) - The Biggest Girl’s Night

“Goodness, Selena,” Michael says as he re-enters Selena’s bedroom, only to encounter twice as many girls as there had been previously. “Everyone started showing up, I take it?”

“Seems like it.” Selena replies. She’s sat on her bed with Lena, Rose and Vanessa, sharing some chocolates and chatting. On the other side of the room, Lucy, Eva, Alina and Zlata are watching TV on Lucy’s bed, and in Rin’s bunk above them, Rin is giggling with Quincy, Adelaide and Cassandra. Michael heads over to Selena’s bed, and Lena shuffles up to make room for him, giving him a brief smile.

Michael produces some bottles of wine. “Got the goods, anyhow!”

“Oh, fantastic!” Vanessa says, eyes glinting with excitement. Rose shakes her head.

“Not too much, Vanessa, do you hear me?”

Vanessa, who allows Michael to pour her a glass, shakes her head. “Can’t hear you, Rose, I’m off the clock. Can’t stop this!”

The group chuckle as Rose puts on her Most Unhappy Frown, glaring at Vanessa.

“It’s nice to have everyone here.” Michael says. “I have to ask, though, Selena, how did you know everyone would fit into your room?”

“Oh, simple; I knew that not everybody would be able to make it.” Selena says.

Lena issues a brief laugh. “Heh, you’d have been in trouble if they all showed up, then?”

“Certainly.” Selena says. “We’d have had to spill out into the corridor, most likely. Anyway, the gathering only just began - I believe Ludmilla and a few of the other girls are coming over later.”

Lena nods. “Well, thanks for inviting me. I won’t lie, I feel a little embarrassed.”

“Embarrassed? How so?” Rose asks.

“Just thinking about how angry I used to be. Imagine being so furious with somebody that you couldn’t bear to even think about them… and now, I can just sit here, and enjoy a drink with them. I’m starting to see just how misguided I ended up, y’know?”

“I don’t have to imagine.” Vanessa says. “I used to feel like that about my CO, Sonja. I was so angry, blinded by my hatred. It almost ruined our friendship… but that’s the thing about people. We’re built to forgive.”

“Built to forgive…” Selena murmurs.

“I’m glad we could forgive each other.” Lena says. “And the rest of you for accepting me, too.”

“Of course!” Michael replies, beaming. He sips his wine. “Lena, we totally understand why you threw your lot in with them. After hearing about what your home life was like… people are growing, and changing, and forgiving all the time.”

Lena closes her eyes, and rests her head on Selena’s shoulder. “Growing and changing… you’re right. Selena, you’re very different to when you left.”

“You think so?” Selena asks. Vanessa, Rose and Michael look over, curious about what their Head Bitch was like before she joined the army.

“Yes. You were silent.” Lena says, her eyes still closed. Selena reaches up and strokes her sister’s hair as she listens. “I resented you for being so perfect, so utterly untouchable… and I thought you felt the same way as my parents. I thought you had bought into the idea that I wasn’t as good as you.”

The others wince as they hear the wavering emotion in Lena’s voice.

“And it was because you never corrected our parents. You told me in moments of quiet that you felt like I mattered, but you never stood up to our parents. I get it now - you were just as much under their heel, being their dancing monkey. But at the time, I was frustrated because you never stood up to them. And then you left.”

“I did.” Selena says quietly.

“I thought you were running away from your responsibilities. And in a way, you were… but I can also understand why you thought that would be the ultimate way to stand up to them. And now I see you here… you don’t hesitate to speak your mind. You don’t stress about being perfect. You’ve become the sister you wanted to be, didn’t you?”

Selena gives a grim smile, and Michael breathes out slowly.

“I feel I have, yes. I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a sister you could be proud of, a soldier my friends could be proud of…”

“You’ve succeeded, Selena.” Michael replies. Nobody else can say it as simply as that, and they all nod in agreement. Vanessa lifts the wine again.

“Well, let’s celebrate being built to forgive, then! More wine, Lena?”


Rin bops her head in time with the music as she sits with Quincy, Adelaide and Cassandra. Adelaide lets out a long, relaxed sigh.

“It’s been a little while since I felt like I could relax properly. This campaign has been tough.”

“I know what you mean.” Cassandra replies. “We’re getting closer to the end, though. And perhaps it’s a bit trite to say, but fighting alongside every country makes things easier, don’t you think?”

“I agree!” Rin says, beaming. “I love partnering up with the other countries. The Allied Nations can’t be stopped when we’re all together!”

“I’ve no particular love for my country, but I do like all you gals.” Quincy says, looking out over the bedroom, a cheeky smile on her face. “If our fighting makes the world a safer place, then I guess that’s what it’s all about!”

“I’m fond of you all, too.” Adelaide replies, looking at Cassandra and Quincy gratefully. “I’ve never thanked you both for reaching out in the last campaign, but it’s nice to have people I can trust now. I never used to be trusting. It seemed… weak.”

“It’s never weak to put your trust in someone. I trust everyone I fight alongside - that’s one of the marks of a hero!” Rin says.

Quincy pops a chocolate into her mouth, raising an eyebrow at Rin. “You think so?”

“Yup! Heroism’s not about being invincible or godlike, or doing crazy things! It’s just about having trust in people, and being kind. That’s what I think!”

Cassandra smiles. “I see. I like that idea, Rin.”

“Of course, I have a lot of respect for people who are one-woman armies on the battlefield!” Rin adds. “You, Cassandra… I’ve heard a lot about you!”

“Oh, I don’t know about-” Cassandra starts, but Adelaide nods.

“The Morningstar is a legend amongst the Green Earth recruits. She fought an entire oncoming army in the previous campaign, right down to her last few shots of ammo and her last gallon of fuel. It was… remarkable.”

“Whoa…” Rin breathes. “Incredible!”

“I did what anyone would have done. I am just a soldier, after all.” Cassandra says modestly, shrinking away from the adoring gazes of her friends. “Oh, come on, don’t look at me like that…”

There’s a giggle amongst the girls, and Quincy grabs another chocolate. “We’re glad you’re on our side, Cass! Take another chocolate, o mighty hero, why don’t ya?”


The television crackles a little as the characters on screen stare at one another, with dramatic, tense music in the background.

“Tell me it’s not true, Eleanor. Tell me you weren’t the one who broke into my office.” a business-suited man says. The girls, watching the television, give a faint gasp.

The woman, Eleanor, gives a tearful sob, though her acting is less than stellar. “James… I know about the affair with your secretary. That’s why I had to take your architectural plans; because I won’t let you tear this family apart!”

The screen fades to black, and Lucy, Eva, Alina and Zlata all look at one another with shocked faces.

“Oh my god, she knows!” Lucy gasps. “Er, oh my gosh, I mean.”

“OK, I had my doubts, but season one of Spann Island has been amazing.” Alina says, nodding. “James is going to win in a legal battle, though, isn’t he?”

“Not if Eleanor sabotages the new factory he’s building. Without those plans, he won’t have enough money to afford a good lawyer. It could go either way - a coin flip.” Eva replies, shrugging. “When’s season two dropping, Lucy, do you know?”

“I don’t!” Lucy says glumly. “Oh, man, I hope it’s soon…”

Zlata eats some of the popcorn, sitting in a bowl around the girls. “I think I saw something on the news; it was greenlit for another season, but that won’t be until early next year.”

“Aw, man.” Alina says. “First Tabitha High and now this. Still, it’s cool of you to rewatch this with us, Lucy. Didn’t you already watch it when it aired?”

“I did! But here’s the thing,” Lucy says, giving the girls a brilliant smile, “Shows like this aren’t about what happens in the show! It’s about who you watch them with!”

Zlata chuckles. “I get what you mean, actually! Normally I find trashy shows like this a little boring, but it was fun to watch the season finale with you guys.”

“Exactly! Nobody watches these shows for the plot… it’s for the experience.” Lucy replies with a flourish.

“What now, then?” Alina says. “I, uh, didn’t really do much in the way of girls’ nights with the Snowbound Free Company. Valeria’s not big on cuddling and popcorn.”

“Whatever you like, hon.” Eva answers, laughing. “Seriously! It’s our night, so we can enjoy it any way we want. And you know what I want?”

Lucy glances up. “No, what?”

“Some of that wine Michael’s serving. What do we say, shall we go say hi?”

Zlata gives Rose, on the other side of the room, a wave. “Yeah, let’s do it! After all, if we don’t drink it now, there won’t be any left once Ludmilla gets here!”