The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 76: Chapter 76 (Intermission) - Seeking Forgiveness


The voice cuts through the corridor, causing Lucy to turn around just before she steps into her room. It’s not one that usually calls her name - it’s male, and deep, and a little raspy. She spots the voice’s owner walking up to her, a streak of black in his grey hair: Iago.

“Oh, Iago! Uh, everything OK? I was just about to go to bed.”

“Things are not ‘OK’. There is a wrong that must be righted.” Iago says seriously.

Lucy blinks. “Uh, right?”

“Our conversation from a while ago… it has played on my mind ever since.” Iago says. “You asked me what I love… and what I am fighting for. I had no answer.”

“Oh, yes, I recall… did you think of something?” Lucy says.

Iago nods, and places a hand on Lucy’s shoulder. “I did. I spoke with the pirate about it, and I came to the realisation that it was myself I was angry at. I lashed out at others to hide my hatred towards myself, for how I ended up in the army in the first place. I resented you and the others for being so heroic and well-regarded.”

“Ah… I can understand that.” Lucy murmurs, thinking back to her own childhood. “Not everyone is in the army for a happy reason…”

“Now that I have made this realisation, I have been able to make changes in the way I think about things. I… have even considered seeking counselling once this campaign is over. And it has worked, too; since my change in outlook, I have been more positively regarded by others, including my commanding officers.”

“I’m glad to hear it!” Lucy says, beaming. “Glad I was able to get through to you, then, and Lloyd too!”

“And so… I must apologise.” Iago says. “I was… out of line. I spoke without thinking. My resentment should not have been directed outwards.”

“Iago! I’ve already forgotten about all of that - you were forgiven a long time ago!” Lucy says, giving him a gentle smile. “But thank you… I appreciate that.”

“Good. I see now that the 11th Division does not have an inflated sense of self… everyone else may whisper of you all in legends, but the 11th Division themselves… they’re surprisingly modest.” Iago replies. “I misjudged you. And I hate admitting that I was at fault, so you should understand the value of me saying this.”

“Hahah!” Lucy says, filling the corridor with her sweet, high, giggles. “I get it, Iago. I’m very grateful you’ve said this. So, you’ve started facing battles with more vigour, then?”

“I am fighting for myself. To one day be someone that others can rely on. And that begins with me beginning to rely on myself… I no longer wish to resent myself.” Iago says. “What I did when I was younger… I cannot turn back the clocks. But I can begin making improvements to my life and my situation.”

“That sounds wonderful.” Lucy says, smiling fondly. “I had to do that. My home life… wasn’t great. My ma wasn’t the greatest person, to put it simply, so when my dad joined the army, I followed him. Anything was better than being at home with her.”

“I see…” murmurs Iago.

Lucy leans against the door to her room. “Eventually, though, I found a place here. Even though I didn’t really want to be here, I gave it my all, and I made a bunch of wonderful friends. My father eventually divorced my ma and went travelling, like he’s always wanted to do… and I stuck around the army. I’d found my place here.”

“Perhaps I will someday find my place, too.” Iago says. “Lucy… you are strong. Far stronger than you look.”

Before Lucy can reply, Iago begins walking away. She blinks a few times, then shrugs, stepping into her room. Rin’s sitting in her bunk, reading a book, but she gives Lucy a nod as she comes in.


“Where’s Selena?” Lucy says, looking around. “She’s usually back in the room listening to music around now.”

“I don’t know. I’ve not seen her since I came back to the room.” Rin replies. “I’m sure she’s fine, though! Who were you talking to out there, anyway?”

“Oh, well, actually…”


Selena feels a bit nervous as she walks up to the higher-ranking offices - normally, when she comes up here, it’s to stop by my dude’s office and say hello. But today, she’s bound for a different destination.

Knocking on Rachel’s door, she hears a voice say “Enter.”

Selena steps inside, spotting Rachel sitting at her desk on the other side of the room.

“You wanted to see me?”

“I did. Sit down, soldier.” Rachel says, gesturing to the chair behind her desk. Selena takes a seat, staring up at Rachel awkwardly. The only things she can think about is her argument about my dude losing to Rose, and the letters she hadn’t censored, and her saving of the Director.

Rachel seems to be thinking about the same things, as she leans back in her seat and raises an eyebrow at Selena.

“You’re an excellent soldier, you know. I’ve had nothing but glowing reports from the moment you joined - winning battles, leading the troops, performing tactical submarine operations without fail… it all speaks of a soldier of the greatest capability.” Rachel says. “And yet… in this campaign, we’ve had some trouble here and there. You spoke back to me about my dude, when I suggested he was not as he seemed. I said you’d bought into his superficial charm.”

“I… recall. I’m sorry for that, Commander.”

“Don’t.” Rachel replies. “You’re not here to apologise to me. I’m here to apologise to you.”

Selena’s eyes widen and she lets in a small intake of breath. Rachel stares at the table for a moment, then back up into Selena’s eyes.

“I told you that if my dude exited that office, if he proved he had the strength to move past this, that I’d eat my words. So I’m doing that now - I’m sorry, Selena. I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge my dude.”

“Oh, that’s…” Selena murmurs. “I can understand it. He’s… not exactly got the best first impression.”

“And I was far too harsh on you for defending him. You and the other members of the 11th Divsion have served him for years. You already knew what he was like… but I’ve only started seeing it recently. His skill, his determination…”

“Of course. We fought Sturm without my dude’s help, back in our first campaign… and it was a massacre. My dude stepped in and singlehandedly turned our fates around. I have nothing but respect for him.” Selena replies. “But someone who hasn’t seen that… I can understand why you might doubt him.”

“I shouldn’t have. That’s not to say he isn’t an annoying little-” Rachel says, holding her tongue. “But whatever I think, and however unsuitable for Commander Nell he might be… he’s a decent ACO, and I should have recognised that. Can you forgive me, Selena?”

“I should be asking your forgiveness, Commander Rachel.” Selena replies. “I… was able to save my sister thanks to you giving me a chance. Not every commander would have allowed such a risky plan.”

“Ah, well…” Rachel replies. “Selena, to be honest… I saw a lot of myself in the Director. I joined the army myself to follow in my sister’s footsteps, but I was always a step or two behind her.”

“Oh, I see.” Selena breathes.

Rachel nods, shrugging. “That was OK, though. I wasn’t intending on joining the army to outdo my sister - I was joining in order to help her. To be there for her. I’d have done anything for her, just like you did for the Director.”

“I can understand that. The bond between sisters…”

“...It’s stronger than words can say. So yes, Selena… I was happy to be able to help you. I think that’s everything, anyway. You should get some sleep - it’s late.”

“Thank you, Commander Rachel.” Selena says, nodding her head as she prepares to leave. Rachel nods back.

“No problem. Thank you, soldier. I feel better now.”

Selena smiles. “I’m glad.”