Chapter 10: One Last Friendly Match

(A/N: This is after the Dandarius incident. Simply put, Avan finally solved his brother 'll have to play the game for details.)

Anisette hadn't seen Cosette since their conversation in the hospital. Now that she was fully healed, she had only one last thing to do. She kept putting it off, but, its name tarnished by the news of human experimentation and its campus destroyed by the rebel attacks, Lanseal announced that it would be closing its doors on the last day of the year. Class G had decided to hold their own graduation ceremony under the shadow of Lanseal's bell tower. Anisette knew that she might never encounter her friends again, and she was determined to leave Lanseal on a good note with everybody. She wondered what she was going to do after she left Lanseal, under whose shelter she had lived for two, turning into three, years. She knew that she would always find a way though. For now, she had to focus on the job at hand.

The day before Lanseal would be closing, she found Cosette in the drill grounds. Cosette, too, showed none of her former hostility towards her.

"Hey, looks like we'll never meet again," Anisette said.

"That's the best thing I've ever heard," Cosette joked.

"So, I want to say, sorry for having given you a hard year," said Anisette.

"Nah, you made it fun for me," said Cosette. Both of them walked forward and hugged. Anisette felt the final weight she had on her mind being lifted.

"Tomorrow, we're going to have our last drill, and I'm going to make sure we even the score against each other," said Anisette.

Cosette laughed. "For sure!" she said.

The build-up to any drill between two teams usually involved open hostility between the two factions. This time, however, both detachments were friendly. They even wished each other good luck.

December 31st dawned. Anisette woke up feeling as if she was in Wonderland. A good many of the Lanseal students were already up and were embracing each other, and saying goodbye.

Anisette got into her squad leader uniform, and walked out to where Zack and the rest of the squad were assembled. "Good luck, guys," was all what she said.

In the drill grounds, their instructor, Calvaro Rodriguez, was shaking hands with many of the students, none of his usual anger in him. Cosette and Anisette's squads assembled in front of each other, Cosette and Anisette shook hands, and the match started.

Immediately Anisette issued orders to her squad. Leaving two of them to protect the base camp, she told the remaining four to spread out over the drill grounds. Cosette seemed to have done the same. Already students were firing at each other.

Half an hour later, only Cosette and Avan from Squad Jarde remained. Avan was about to capture The Anisette Detachment's base camp, when Zack struck him in the back, so that only Cosette was left. Ten minutes later, Anisette found her and shot her, giving the Anisette Detachment their first, final, and only victory.

Everyone cheered light-heartedly as Anisette skipped for joy. There were no bitter rivalries; no enmities now. Everyone knew that this was the last day of Lanseal, and was determined to leave on a good note with each other.

Anisette, Cosette, Zack and Avan hugged each other, as all enmity forgotten, they headed for the Lanseal gates.

In the last few minutes, Professor Brixham gave a moving farewell speech, which would have reduced them to tears if Avan hadn't interrupted it. The students cheered and threw their graduation hats in the air. Jarde soared joyfully among them as they set out to the wide-open world.

Epilogue: Anisette and Zack married in 1940. They still keep in touch with Avan, Cosette, and their other friends at Lanseal.