Frost tried to sit up in the stretcher but Yoshika forced him back onto it. He nodded and wryly said, "Well, this isn't how I would have anticipated this meeting. I thought I would be… less dead." He sighed and said to the doctor and the nurses in the room getting ready to operate, "I want some privacy."

The doctor protested but Frost shook his head sadly and repeated his request. They left the room. Without people inside the operation room looked lonely and strange. Frost moved his head to face Yoshika.

She came closer to Frost who was breathing very quickly. "Yoshika, you must listen to me, there isn't much time. This is a moment that will be with you all your life, and you must know this; do not blame yourself for my death. I chose to die, so please, so I can leave in peace, let your conscience be clear." Frost coughed up a small amount of blood.

Yoshika wiped off the blood with her gloved hand and said, "Frost, you are in no condition to talk right now! Stop this right now!"

Frost grabbed her hand and pulled himself up. She was startled, but didn't show it to him. "I refuse. This is my objective from Ma."

Yoshika raised her eyebrows wondering what he meant by "Ma".

Is he talking about his mother? What mother would make him do that?!

Frost started laughing. "I bet you're wondering why I said "Ma"… I meant M.A. but before I explain that, we need to start at the beginning of this story. Why? Because you need to know everything about people who will be your greatest allies here." Frost grunted and covered up his wound, which had grown steadily redder as his story moved on. Yoshika moved to help, but Frost stopped her. "I don't need help."

Before he started Frost took off his glasses. His eyes were a shining light gray which was surprisingly hidden by his glasses. "I don't need these anymore." He put them down and sighed. "A while ago, I was a student at this academy of gifted students. This academy however, was a face for its real purpose: Training young mages to fight in the army. Unfortunately, male mages are extremely rare, and I was the only guy in the school. I hated being singled out, mainly because half the girls jumped on me. I didn't really have any true friends, most people I met were only using me to do something. I never really liked that, so I started pushing people away in High School. After my freshman year of high school there, I met 2 people that were in the sky today: Alice and Justin Hall."

Frost coughed up blood. He wiped it off quickly and kept talking to prevent Yoshika from intervening. "Stop it, this is serious. I don't have much time. As it is, those two have very powerful parents. I didn't find this out until a few months back, but their parents are part of a secret organization called the MA: The Magic Association. The Magic Association is a shadowy organization, but I'm sure that I was enrolled in that school because they found out I had powers somehow. But back to the other two people. Justin and Alice were twins but they weren't identical. Justin was more brute force and emotional, while Alice was more of the cool and calculating type. You may have seen them." Yoshika wracked her memories for the siblings. She remembered them looking alike yet having a feeling they were two distinct people. Frost continued on. "Yes, we met in class and I was sitting in the back with the empty desks minding my own business. The teacher put them there. It seemed like it worked out for the best because Justin and I have been very good friends since we met that day, but Alice... Alice is a different story."

He smiled. Yoshika guessed that it was due to the memories. Frost looked down, apparently blushing as she continued. "We didn't get off on the right foot. She's very independent and stupid, yet… " He sighed looked back at Yoshika, "Shes a unique person, and I know she'll be a use to you in some way. There was this one time-"

"What the hell are you talking about Frost?! We're wasting time!" Yoshika grabbed the bandages and tried to tend to his wounds.

"GODDAMN IT YOSHIKA, LISTEN TO ME! This is your life that hangs in the balance! If I don't tell you what will happen soon, this whole world will fall to the Neuroi do you understand?!" Frost grabbed her wrist to prevent her from using the bandages.

"Then get to the point already!" Frost's reactions throughout this had been annoying and she was stressed out already from the visions earlier.

"Fine. Here's the point. The three of us were inserted into the first wave of recruits. The MA specifically told General Eisen to not add any more than 100 for this round. During school, we were the top students in all categories, leading to our recruitment into the MA as juniors. The MA started sending out docs on people who fought in Britannia and Romagna against Neuroi units, and they wanted us to extract a person. The person who would be extracted would be specified by the Librarian at some point. Alice and Justin may not look like it but they are high level mages who are exceptionally quick on their feet. Justin is a combat mage and he is suited for that role. Alice however is a normal Witch like many of the girls here, but she is very crafty and sees her way though. The MA dossiers said that upon extraction the two would then look for the second person and protect her or him with his life. This is a lot to take in, I know, but there's a big reason I'm telling you this. One of the two people we are supposed to find is you. You begin the end of this war."

Yoshika stepped back a little and slowly said, "But I lost my magic... What makes you think that it will be me?"

Frost replied, "You've already made First Contact with the Neuroi. According to the MA researchers, it means there is a division in the Neuroi somewhere. A weakening. However, we also have our own..." Frost started coughing. "We have... *cough*... traitors... They hide... in plain sight... watching... watching us..." Frost coughed up more blood. His breathing became more labored as he kept going; Yoshika realized he wouldn't stop even if she tried to treat him. "Shit… Yoshika… Urrgghhh… There is another force… others…" The machines connected to him started beeping rapidly. Frost's eyes started closing.

"Frost! We must get you care!" Yoshika shouted. The doctors and nurses burst in.

"It's a one way trip. I wish I could stay… Listen to me… Another force... is working… with… the Neuroi…" His coughing became harsher as the nurses held him down. "You must be careful… The war you know of… it's a lie… "

Yoshika stared at him not knowing whether to believe him or not. "Your way of life hinges…" He stopped. Frost blinked a few times and continued weakly, "It hinges upon your powers… you will be found by the Librarian… She will explain this… FUCK!"

The nurses injected morphine into his heart.

"Let me die peacefully damn it…" He laughed, not a dying man's laugh as Yoshika expected, but a laugh befitting of his age. Even if the mood didn't fit the situation, Yoshika laughed as well. "Yoshika… don't worry about me… You cannot blame yourself… please…" Frost voice trailed off. "Goodbye… and good luck…" He closed his eyes.

"Frost…" She looked at him, not believing her eyes. "FROST! GOD DAMN IT FROST WAKE THE HELL UP!" The machines emitted a high pitch squeal as the ECGs started to lower in intensity.

"Nurses, we're losing him! Beginning chest compressions!" The doctor started pumping on his chest. A nurse stood at his side and waited for him to stop to check the pulse. She shook her head. He did it again. And again. And again. Yoshika stared on as the doctor became more frantic, the machines whining to no end, and the nurses tears sliding from their eyes. She knew something they didn't but she wished for a miracle, anything to take her out of this nightmare. "Nurse! 100cc Morphine!" The doctor shouted again after stopping compressions. The nurse injected the Morphine. The doctor read the ECG and screamed out, "GOD DAMN IT BOY, WAKE UP! WAKE… UP…" He started doing chest compressions again but started becoming desperate as the machines didn't change.

He turned to the Nurse to tell her something but saw Yoshika. She shook her head with tears glistening into her eyes. He nodded. "Nurse. Stop the machines… It's over. Time of death: 1628." The moment after he said that he heard the doors slam behind him. "Poor girl…" He sighed.

Schmidt and his squad touched down at Hangar 4 where a full medical team was ready to see them. As they had came in over the base the first hand damage of the Neuroi ambush. The biggest thing missing was tower guidance. Multiple buildings were damaged, some even collapsed and the runway was slightly damaged as well. However they came to a smooth stop in the undamaged hangar.

Haji came out and shouted, "Wooo, that was some nice work out there Red Wolf! Command has given you all commendations for today. Schmidt and Hall, you can leave for the hospital immediately, everyone else already landed."

Schmidt nodded and left the hangar in a jeep. Red Wolf Squadron was the last one to land from the original first waves, and the other squadrons were already out of uniform. The air raid sirens were turned off as the remnants of the battle were fought off by reinforcements from allied countries. Airplanes flew overhead defending the base from further attacks. The hospital went unscathed, but Schmidt knew there were a huge amount of casualties inside. He steeled himself as the Jeep stopped to drop him off. Schmidt and Justin walked inside and saw everyone from his original group there, including Alice. Justin walked over to his sister who was sitting quietly, looking a bit disheveled.

A voice chimed out, "Took your sweet time didn't you?"

Takashi smacked him upside the head. "Shut the hell up." Schmidt didn't want to deal with Bates considering all the crap he had been through and was thankful Takashi had been able to pick up on that.

"What? I was just trying to ease the tension!" Schmidt nodded; he knew that Bates was the only one of the group to not know what had actually happened to Frost.

"Whatever," he said, "How is he Takashi?" He looked over at Takashi who pointed at the doctors standing outside the door muttering. "What the hell…" Schmidt started to walk over towards them and roared, "WHY HAVEN'T THEY-", but was pulled back by Alice.

"Schmidt quiet down, it's not their choice!" Alice pointed at the shadows behind the doors. "Frost is taking the opportunity to talk to Yoshika. He doesn't want to be bothered." She put a hand on his shoulder. "I'm worried too, but he knows what he needs to do right now."

"I guess you're right." He smiled at Alice who smiled back in return. "Are you going to thank him for saving you earlier today?"

"Yeah, why wouldn't I?"

"Oh nothing…" He blushed a little for saying something so stupid. He looked away quickly and noticed that the doctors were running in and heard faint beeping. "What the…"

Bates said solemnly, "He's in shock."

Schmidt turned around, "How do you know?"

Bates pointed at where the doctors were standing. "Isn't it obvious? Frost sent them out. Guy like him taking a full unshielded Neuroi hit shouldn't be alive right now. Somehow hes still kicking."

Schmidt nodded and they walked back to the rest of the group. Curiously the normally stoic Adagio started talking. "I have a feeling there's going to be a big change soon. When I landed, there was a full medical team ready to transport Frost, but I noticed Eisen talking to Crew Chief Ironse. I didn't get the full conversation, but it seemed like Ironse was pretty angry at Eisen."

Bates looked around quietly and said, "Don't tell anyone, but there's been rumors about a secret special forces being created to get our allies start helping our troops. I noticed a lot of intelligence officers entering the R&D building."

"What the hell, you guys shouldn't be gossiping about this now!" Takashi said harshly.

Schmidt wasn't listening as he was more worried about Frost as the situation didn't seem to be getting better as the shadows showed a frantic effort inside.

Adagio continued, "Takashi, I didn't finish. Eisen was saying something about grounding. I think that the Hangar might be grounded."

Schmidt snapped out of his daze quickly and asked, "Wait what are you saying?! We didn't do anything to cause that!"

Adagio nodded. "I doubt it was due to any one of us. We were up in the air behind enemy lines for far longer than anyone wanted. Eisen has a plan, and hes going to enact it soon."

"So," Schmidt said, "what's our next step then?" He was surprised at how perceptive Adagio was. Takashi was perceptive as well, but Schmidt felt that it was in a different way. Whoever had chose the squads had been paying attention, because Adagio had never indicated anything like this.

Adagio paused. Takashi turned around to look at the door. Bates gasped as he pointed, "Captain Miyafuji?!"

Schmidt turned around as well and saw Yoshika running out of the Operating room. He ran out and caught her before she ran out the door. "Yoshika! What happened?!"

Yoshika didn't say anything. Schmidt kept holding her shoulders so that she wouldn't run away while Alice and Justin came over to ask some questions.

Alice asked, "What happened? Hows Frost? Is he alright?"

Yoshika shook her head. Schmidt said gently, "Look at us Yoshika, and tell us what happened."

Yoshika looked up with tears in her eyes, "He's gone." She wrestled herself free from Schmidt's grip and ran out the door.

Schmidt slumped down next to a wall. "Shit..." He cradled his head in his arms.

It should have been me saving her... He didn't need to do that...

He heard some footsteps and looked up. Bates was extending a hand out to him. "Come on man... get up." Schmidt took his hand and pulled himself up. He felt a bit unsteady but Bates grabbed his shoulder and took him out the door. "I wanted to get you out of there man. You were about to have a nervous breakdown. Don't worry about the others, I've known Takashi since the 8th grade, he'll be fine." Bates pointed to the sky. "Look at those girls, the 501st. They lost two of their own but they still fight as if they have never left."

Schmidt looked up and saw the remaining 501st girls flying in the air fighting off the remnants of the Neuroi ambush. "Bates, what are you trying to say?" Bates was usually a jerk and a general idiot, but Schmidt appreciated his efforts to cheer him up.

Bates looked at him and said, "Schmidt, Frost may be gone, but he's going to be with us in our hearts. You need to believe that."

The rest of the group came out of the hospital. Everyone was quiet, but seemed to be over the initial shock about Frost. Bates tried to lighten the mood. "Okay everyone, lets get to the Dining Hall! I'll pay!"

Takashi quietly said, "Not now Bates. I think everyone wants to go back to their rooms right now."

Bates sighed and agreed. "Oh thats fine too, I guess. I needed to do some business anyway."

Schmidt, Takashi, and Justin walked towards Hangar 4. They were calm yet silent, even with the explosions peppering the sky around them. All of them were preoccupied with the death of their friend.

Justin was the first to talk. "It's a bit sudden isn't it? With Frost dying and all..."

Takashi said, "True. But everyone saw what he did. He saved someone at the cost of his own life."

Justin nodded and kept walking. Schmidt wanted to say something, but he didn't know how to start it. However, Justin did that job for him. "Schmidt, before Frost jumped in front of my sister, what was going through your mind?"

Schmidt stopped and the others didn't notice until they were a few feet behind him. Takashi looked at him with a puzzled look while Justin wanted to know Schmidt's answer.

Schmidt's mind raced, scouring his memories for that fateful moment. When he reached it, he fell to his hands and knees on the ground. They ran up to check on him. "Justin... that moment..." he said quietly

Justin replied back, "What about it?"

Schmidt tried to hold in tears as he said, "I... can't save her... I'm too late..."

Yoshika ran out the doors into the chaotic battleground between the Neuroi and the 501st. She had seen someone die first hand and the effect it had on their loved ones. She thought she could have done more, but she couldn't do anything else. Seeing the faces of Schmidt and his group had shaken Yoshika's fabricated stoicism, and for the first time she had shown true emotion since Romagna.

She ran out onto the road and followed it until she found a building next to a radio tower; the Communication building. It was mostly underground to prevent attacks, but it also was the only place to get an outside phone call to anyone in the world. Yoshika had made her decision, she would be calling Anna to regain her magic. Her personal demons had made her realize that she is not complete without her magic, but it took the death of someone to give her the motivation to regain it. Never again would she let another die so needlessly. This was her sole wish.

She flashed her identification to the secretary who nodded and let her into the crowded Communication building. The door opened to a staircase leading to the first level of the Communications building. She scanned the telephone personnel to see if there was an open terminal. This needed to go out secretly, as Guardian clearly wouldn't give her clearance to leave her position to chase a dream. Yoshika didn't want to be caged in her emotions anymore. She was good at her job and knew intricate details about strikers, but her heart wasn't in it.

She walked over to an open terminal. It was facing away from the entrance, so she was relatively protected. She dialed the operator. "This is Captain Miyafuji, ResDev Beta Clearance."

The operator responded, "What do you need Captain?"

"I need to be connected to an Anna Ferrara in Venezia."

"Hold on." A moment passed while Yoshika heard static. "Alright, connecting you now Captain."

"Thank you." A dial tone rang for a few seconds until someone picked up.

"Hello? Who is this?" a voice called out.

"Anna its me, Yoshika!" Yoshika said in to the phone. She looked around wondering if anyone had noticed her outburst. No one had.

"Ahh Miyafuji... What do I owe this call from you today?"

"Well... I was wondering if I could 'visit' you and get some 'advice' about strikers."

"Hmm... And what kind of 'advice' do you need?" Yoshika breathed a sigh of relief. Anna knew that she didn't really mean that, but Yoshika had been worried about the calls being monitored.

So this is what Frost meant about another force working against us... I have a feeling I have to tread carefully or I could be caught.

Yoshika replied to Anna's question. "Well I'm kind of trying to get a new 'design' for a striker and I was wondering if you could tell me you 'fly'." She facepalmed. That was way too obvious, even if she wasn't a spy, a kid would have asked questions about that.

"Ahh, that's fine. But I'll be busy 2 days from now, so I'll ask a friend to take you here. See you then Yoshika."

"Thanks Anna." She replaced the phone and walked out the Communications building without any more issues. She had a few more things to do before Anna had sent her friend to pick her up. First was to tell her friends in the 501st what she was going to do.

Anna put down the phone and turned around. "Well Mio. You got your wish."

Mio nodded, "Did she really want to do it?"

Anna said, "She was spurred on by something. I think someone told her something."

Mio sat down next to Minna who has listening to the conversation. "Meaning?"

Anna grabbed three books and opened them, revealing folders of 3 people. "I believe you have met those three people."

Mio grabbed the folders and read the documents. "Alice Hall, Justin Hall, Windsor Frost... Anna, what the hell is this? Why do you have these recruits information with you?"

Anna put up a hand to stop Mio from asking anymore questions. "There's something you don't know about me. I'm part of the Magic Association. My codename is Librarian."

AN: Im in college now! That's why this took so long. I'll try to keep updating but College is a new experience for me and I'm enjoying it! On to the story though.

Seriously, this is a wham chapter. I hope it wasn't too wordy, because after writing that whole giant monologue for Frost, I think it might be a bit much. Who knows. I do believe this ends the story arc and begins a new one. I showed a few different sides of characters today, like Frost's sentimentality or Schmidt's major insecurity about saving people. I also really want to go further into Yoshika's return to magic and show a bit of her very hidden ferocious character that I think she's built up over the course of this story. I also want to start getting into R.E.C.O.N. which is a major, if not a main part of this story that will be written for months to come. So yes, sorry for being late, but life happened!