-This fic begins during the events of episode 13 of Aquarion Evol. It represents a divergence from the storyline of Evol. Think of it as a world line shift, borrowing the term from Steins;Gate. I do not own any of the characters associated with Aquarion or Aquarion Evol which were created by Shoji Kawamori. This is simply a fan-made work.
Chapter 1- Divergence
Jin Muso flew his Vector through the dimension gate, leaving behind the world of Vega and those he had come to know as friends. In his arms he held a small girl, Yunoha Thrul. No! He couldn't afford to think of her as a friend or a girl; doing so would mean turning his back on his world, Altair.
"Please Jin-kun," Yunoha pleaded, "You have to turn back. I know you don't really want to leave your friends. You know that they care about you. I'm not asking you to go only for them. You seemed so happy when you began to open up to them. Don't go back to being alone…please."
The last word came out in a sob. Jin looked down at the controls of his Vector. He couldn't bear to face the girl directly. He knew that the moment he did, he would see her tears; those same tears that first made him waver in his dedication to finding a Rare Igura capable of surviving on Altair. He had to stay strong. He had to remember what it was like when the people of Neo-DEAVA were his enemies. He had to.
A nasty little voice in his head asked, "Then why are your hands shaking so much? Do you really think that bringing one lone girl, tearing her apart from her friends and her past life, do you think that will change anything on Altair? Tell me Jin Muso, so proud of your logic and analytical skills, do you really believe that a single woman is enough to restore the population of an entire planet?"
"Be quiet!" Jin shouted at the voice. Yunoha looked up at him in shock. Concern was etched on every feature of her face. And down in his heart, Jin knew that the concern was not for herself or the friends they had left Vega, but for him.
Jin kept his hands as steady as he could on the controls. The ship bounced around in the tunnel between dimensions, heeding the commands of a pilot who was utterly torn between what his heart was telling him and what duty compelled him to do.
Back on Vega, the fight was going poorly for the pilots of the Aquarion. Try as they might, they couldn't seem to land a decisive hit on the enemy. What made things worse was that strange beacon of light that radiated from the dimension gate to the enemy machine. With every passing moment, the movements of the beast-like mech, Mithra Gnis, seemed to grow faster and every strike it delivered seemed stronger than the last.
If they had the third Vector for a second combination, it might have been a different story. If it was two against one, they might have a chance against this enemy. But Jin had disappeared into the dimension gate along with Yunoha; they were on their own.
Amata Sora's hands were feeling very sweaty and he was starting to run out of breath. That red-haired beast-like pilot was a lot stronger than when they had last fought. What made things even worse was that strange reflection ability he was using. Projectiles, melee, even the MUGEN Punch, nothing seemed to be able to overwhelm that ridiculous defensive power. But finding a way around that power was only second on his mind. He still had to find a way to defy fate; otherwise, Mikono-san would be taken away by that man. A stray thought entered his mind; that Mikono-san might not mind too much if she was captured if it was by that man. Amata shook his head, he couldn't let himself think such thoughts in the middle of battle.
He focused on the task at hand. That light coming from the dimension gate, they had to stop it somehow. The only person he knew that might have that ability was MIX-san, but she had disappeared into a hole along with Andy a while back. Even if she was able to close the hole, she would need to be within the Aquarion to access the needed power and switching pilot mid-battle against this foe, assuming she could even make it to the control room without being trampled or running into dead ends in a locked-down base, might present a fatal opening.
Another heavy blow knocked the Aquarion Evol back two steps. Amata managed to avoid the brunt of the force, but even so, he didn't think that he could take much more of this. He was feeling very drained. The screens into the other two cockpits told him that Mikono-san and Zessica-san were as weary as he was.
"Amata," Zessica cried out, "I don't know how much longer we can hold the Union together for."
The Mithra Gnis swung it's axe overhead aiming straight for the Evol's head. Amata somehow managed to catch it by the handle before it could connect but he felt his mech being pinned down from the force behind the weapon. The Aquarion Evol sank to its knees, straining to keep the blade from completing its descent. The angry red eyes of the Mithra Gnis glared at him through the viewing monitor, looking very much like an executioner that had decided to pass judgment.
The enemy let go of the axe and leapt forwards, knocking the Aquarion to the ground. Straddling the Neo-DEAVA machine, it began pounding away relentlessly. As the cockpit shook around him, Amata could hear the screams of his co-pilots. He tried desperately to ward off the blows when, in a flash of light, the three units of the Evol split apart and launched outwards—only to crash land into the ground.
"Mikono-san!" Amata screamed as he watched the enemy turn and head straight for her Vector. Amata exited his cockpit just as the red-haired man exited his and stood over Mikono's machine with a triumphant expression on his face.
The man had somehow opened the cockpit of the craft and was taking Mikono out when Amata began to fly towards him, using every ounce of energy he could muster up to boost the speed of his wings. It worked. As he was looking down at the girl in his arms with an expression that could only be described as half-crazed and half-adoring, Amata grabbed Mikono and carried her away without losing any speed at all.
The poorly planned rescue lasted only half a second longer than that. As he flew away, the red-haired man raised his arms up and used his power on Amata, stripping him of his wings almost instantaneously. Amata crashed to the ground hard, barely managing to turn around so that he could at least shield Mikono from some of the impact. That meant that she landed on top of him, knocking the air out of his lungs and dazing him. Through blurred eyes, he could see the enemy slowly approaching, walking towards them as if he had all the time in the world.
Cayenne urged his Vector to go faster as he raced to his sister's rescue. It was going to be risky, but he would have to trust in his skills and his 'Prophecy of Despair' in order to chase off the enemy pilot, who had left his machine, without hitting Mikono or Amata. A few weeks ago, he probably wouldn't have minded if Amata got into the crossfire, but the soldier-in-training had to admit that the boy was a pretty good influence on Mikono and that he was starting to grow on him.
He fired off a few shots, but they none of them came close to either the enemy or the two grounded pilots. Trying to avoid friendly fire was going to make hitting the enemy impossible, especially at the speeds Cayenne was travelling at. Still, the intruder from Altair seemed to have gotten the message and scrambled for his own machine.
Crap, Cayenne thought, without an Aquarion, there's no way we stand a chance against that machine.
Chairman Crea's voice spoke over the intercom, "We need to close the dimension gate."
Cayenne agreed but had no idea how the hell they were going to accomplish that. As if in answer to his question, a split screen opened up in Cayenne's HUD, revealing a pair of familiar faces: Yunoha and the Altair spy, Akbarjin.
"I'll do it," he declared, "with my 'Power of Isolation.'"
"Why should we trust you Akbarjin?" Cayenne barked. He had no attachment for the spy and if it wasn't for Yunoha's presence in the same machine, he would have pulled the trigger and turned Jin's Vector into scrap metal without hesitation.
"I'm not Akbarjin. My name is Jin…Jin Muso. I'm not asking you to trust me," the boy declared, looking down at Yunoha affectionately, "just to Union with me. It's the only choice you have right now if you want to close the gate."
As Jin said those words, Cayenne was seized by one of his visions: In it, a formless shadow took hold of the one-eyed giant and strangled it. Cayenne heard the sounds of mourning, but as he turned around, no one else was to be seen. He snapped out of the vision as suddenly as he was engulfed in it.
"Cayenne-san, are you alright?" Yunoha called. The invisible mourner, it couldn't be…
"Watch out!" he shouted at them through the communication link, "Something dangerous is heading your way!"
Even as the words left his lips, Cayenne wondered why they had formed in the first place. Surely he didn't care what happened to Jin. He rationalized it; if something happened to Jin, it would probably happen to Yunoha as well. And Yunoha was a comrade; even if he wasn't friends with her, Cayenne had an obligation to protect her. Good enough, he thought to himself.
A brief flash of light shone from the cockpit of Yunoha and Jin's Vector. Shortly after, a form floated through the machine itself. Cayenne caught a glimpse of it before it disappeared. It looked like a person with bluish-white feathers instead of hair. That small glimpse along was enough for every honed instinct in Cayenne's body to scream, "Enemy."
"Thank you for the warning," Jin said. He looked rather shaken but both him and Yunoha seemed alright for now. Cayenne would have to put him to question later. If he knew anything about that ghost-like person, that information could prove crucial.
Of course, this entire interplay gave the red-haired pilot enough time to take off in the Mithra Gnis. It also looked as if Amata and his sister had enough time to get back in their own Vectors. Between himself, those two, Zessica, and the returned Vector, they had nearly enough to form two Aquarion units. Shrade was flying about somewhere as well, which made all sic they needed.
The question remained though: Could he trust Jin to Union? One look at Yunoha through the split screen told Cayenne that she trusted him fully, but she had a biased view. The spy's actions in returning after reaching an escape path did suggest that he was willing to throw his lot in with Neo-DEAVA, but Cayenne wasn't about to let him be the one in control of the head in this Union.
"Fine. We'll go with your plan, but I'm going to be the leader in your Union, got that, spy?" Cayenne declared.
Crea's voice came over the intercom, "Double Union approved. Shrade Elan and Suzushiro Cayenne will be the heads of their respective Unions. Good luck to you all."
The cries of "Go! Aquarion!" filled the cockpits of all six vectors simultaneously. Shrade, Amata, and his sister formed the Aquarion Spada while Cayenne formed his preferred unit, Aquarion Gepard along with Zessica and the two returnees. As he fell into the bliss that accompanied every Union, Cayenne caught a glimpse of the affection Jin and Yunoha had for one another; that, if nothing else was as genuine as could be. It was breathtaking, pure and fierce, shy yet bold, forbidden yet allowed. It was a wonder that a girl shy enough to literally become invisible and a boy who was a friendless introvert not long ago could have developed such feelings for one another.
That passion now fueled the Gepard, powering it up to levels Cayenne had never experienced in a Union up until now. Over to his side, he caught a glimpse of Shrade keeping the Mithra Gnis occupied; elegant dodging and countering meeting pure bestial rage in a clash of steel. He trusted his friend to cover for him while Cayenne worked on closing the dimension gate. As the power filling the Gepard reached a peak, the entire unit reformed, constructing new weapons and entering a new conformation such that it resembled a tank turret on 4 spider-like legs. Although Cayenne had no idea what they were doing, he could feel something happening as Jin and Yunoha in the other Vector focused their feelings, channeling it towards forcing the dimension gate closed. And slowly but surely, the gate began to shrink until only the tiniest beam of light streamed through to the Mithra Gnis.
Moments later, their task was complete. Cayenne wanted to assist Shrade in taking down the Abductor unit, but it seemed that all three of his co-pilots were exhausted from their efforts up until now. He would have to trust in Shrade's skill in finishing the job. There was still one task left for him to complete.
Drawing his stun ray gun, Cayenne exited his cockpit and opened the hatch to the one Jin was in. Pointing his gun at the boy, Cayenne said calmly, "Now then, I'll have to ask you to stay put for now and keep your hands where I can see them."
Yunoha tried to get in between them, but Jin gently pushed her to the side. He rose to his feet and put his hands behind his head. He was a fellow soldier and understood the rules of engagement.
"Very well," he answered calmly, "I understand."
Chapter 2- Aftermath
Neo-DEAVA Academy awoke to a very solemn morning. The grounds were in utter ruins and several students were still missing. Never had they expected an enemy attack so suddenly and directed towards them at the start. They had always been a reactionary force, scrambling to counter the threat of the Abductors as they appeared. In hindsight, it was only reasonable that one day the enemy would direct their efforts towards them first; they had always taken that for granted and the previous evening's events was a heavy price to pay.
Clean-up had been delayed until morning. With the risk of collapsing structures, the higher-ups had decided that it was just too dangerous to commence with search and rescue during the night. Akbarjin… Jin Muso, had been apprehended by Cayenne and was awaiting a decision as to what to do with him in one of the detention cells. Yunoha Thrul had insisted on staying with him; she was given the room next to his (though she was not locked in) and a guard was posted to make sure that she did not try to release him.
Cayenne was the only pilot from the previous night's battle who was still fit for work. He wasted no time in heading out to help look for survivors and clean up the grounds. Amata, Mikono, and Zessica were all admitted to the sick room to recover. Shrade, whose frail body underwent considerable strain in the fight against the Abductor, was sent to a more private location to rest and get well.
Jin looked up towards the sound of footsteps outside his door. He hadn't gotten much sleep, choosing instead to think on what would happen to him. Most likely they would interrogate him first. After all, he had been one of the ones they called "Abductors" and only a complete fool would pass up the chance to learn about the enemy. Not that Jin considered them enemies anymore, it was up to him to persuade them that they shouldn't consider him one either.
He smiled slightly to himself as he listened to the soft sound of Yunoha sleeping in the next room. The walls were thin enough to transmit the quietest of sounds and he found that her relaxed breathing helped him to relax as well, even with the knowledge that he might be tortured or executed. She had stayed up most of the night, talking to him.
At first she had tried to reassure him that everything would be alright. She had sounded so desperate, trying to convince herself, that Jin ended up having to repeat exactly what she had told him back to her. In the end, they talked about what their hopes for the future were, their concerns, and their past experiences. Jin was surprised at how much he could open up to her without feeling vulnerable, he had always thought that trusting someone that much only invited pain.
The door slid open with a quiet hiss. The Igura, no- Jin couldn't think of them as such anymore. The woman in nun's clothing, Suomi Konepi, head of the girl's side of the school, walked in. She was followed shortly by Donar Dantes, head of the boy's side. As usual, Donar Dantes wore a military uniform, boots, and a grim look on his face.
"Akba—Jin Muso, come with us if you would," Suomi-sensei requested. From the glare that Donar-sensei was giving him, Jin knew that the request was only an effort to be polite; he had no choice in the matter.
The two instructors led him down the familiar path to the command room. "Well," Jin thought humorlessly, "at least I know there aren't any torture instruments there."
Inside, Jin found the headmistress, Crea, and the Supreme Commander Zen Fudo waiting for him. Judging by the half-eaten box of donuts between the two, they had been waiting for quite some time. Donar and Suomi-sensei took up flanking positions by the entrance to the room, presumably to cut off his escape if he tried; not that Jin would, since doing so would mean abandoning Yunoha.
"Have a donut," the headmistress said as she pushed the box a little closer towards Jin. She was a small girl, always dressed in a lacy black dress. It was hard to get a gauge on her age since she looked like she should be about 13 years old at the most but acted more mature than most adults Jin knew.
"What?" Jin asked, not sure if he heard correctly.
"A donut," the Supreme Commander stated grandiosely. "That staple food which loops upon itself, leading from the conclusion of one tale to the beginning of a new. Today we celebrate a new beginning for you, young man, and thus donuts are most appropriate. I trust you have not had breakfast yet?"
Headmistress Crea gave the Supreme Commander a look that managed to mix both exasperation and admiration. She then daintily took a chocolate coated donut from the box and took a bite out of it. Hesitating slightly, Jin took one for himself: a powdered donut seemed like a safe choice.
"An excellent choice, young man," stated Fudo Zen as he took the last donut, a frosted glaze, for himself.
"Is there some significance to powdered donuts?" Jin asked, confused. The Supreme Commander had a reputation for eccentricity around the Academy and only 2 minutes after having met the man, Jin already knew why.
Fudo Zen smiled mysteriously, "A donut is sometimes just a donut." Then, as if to further perplex Jin, he added, "but then again, you can never know when something is not what it appears."
Crea and Fudo waited as Jin finished his donut. After almost half a day without eating, it was the best meal Jin had ever tasted. He wiped his fingers off on his long coat when he was done to get rid of the powdered sugar that coated his fingers.
"Now then," the headmistress began, "Let us get down to business. Jin-kun, you have information about the world of the Abductors that we would like to hear. Are you willing to share it?"
From behind him, Jin heard a click as Donar adjusted his mechanical hand. His counterpart, Suomi-sensei admonished him sharply for the threatening gesture. To be honest, Jin didn't care about it at all. As a fellow soldier, he knew that sometimes, the best way to get what you wanted was through intimidation. Unnecessary in this case, but a logical course of action.
"I'm willing to share information," Jin said, "on two conditions."
"Hey, you. I don't think you—," Donar began.
"Donar," the headmistress interrupted. Then, turning back to Jin, she said, "And what conditions are those? If they're unsatisfactory, I just might turn you over to Instructor Dantes."
"Nothing of that sort," Jin replied, "The first is that I want the right to decline to answer if the answer represents an immediate threat to Altair."
Crea thought for a moment and then nodded, "That is acceptable, and what is your second condition."
Jin did not hesitate at all, "I want to continue as a student here in Neo-DEAVA."
At this, Instructor Dantes took a step forward aggressively before Suomi-sensei stopped him by grabbing his sleeve. That didn't stop him from growling, "I object to that condition."
Crea looked over to the Supreme Commander for his opinion. As usual, Fudo Zen had a smug smile on his face. He made no move to speak, instead fixing Crea with a look that said more effectively than words "You handle this however you see fit."
"Your objection is noted, Donar," she said, "But I see no reason to disallow Jin-kun's enrollment here. After all, we allowed it when we discovered that he was an imposter under the name of Akbarjin, why should we do any different now?"
"With all due respect there is a slight difference between allowing an unknown student who passed the final exam to continue studies and allowing a known Abductor continued access to our facilities!" Donar pointed out.
"Nevertheless, my decision still stands," Crea replied unyieldingly. "Now then, Jin-kun. As we have accepted both your conditions, tell me this. What is the goal of the Abductors? What is the purpose behind launching these attacks to kidnap civilians?"
Taking a deep breath, Jin launched into a long explanation about the "Curse of Eve" and how the women of his home-world had all perished long ago to a mysterious ailment.
Donar Dantes stood with his arms crossed watching as the questioning continued. They had learned a lot over the past hour but as the answers came, more questions arose. It seemed that Jin Muso was a mid-ranked officer within the Abductor home-world, Altair. Jin's home-world was an odd one, almost entirely covered by man-made structures and powered by a mysterious engine called the Ianthe. Questioning Jin about the Ianthe didn't get anywhere; the boy admitted that he knew little about how it functioned and what little he did know he refused to tell, saying that it might put his world in danger. Possibly the most important thing they learned was the reason behind the abductions; to keep a world with no birth-rate alive until a solution could be found.
Such desperate conditions meant that reasoning with the leader of the Altair forces, Izumo, might be an option. Unfortunately, when Jin had tried to contact his superior using his recorder/hologram/communicator device, nothing but static came over the channel. Jin had seemed surprised and said something about never having experienced communication difficulties before. So, for the time being, it seemed as if diplomacy was not going to be an option.
Jin had also revealed two names that seemed to be important. Mykage, some sort of priest figure for the people of Altair, and Kagura, a pilot with a fiery temper who seemed to have his own agenda outside of finding "the True Eve" who would restore the world of Altair. Based on his description, Mykage must be the name of that man who had stolen away Donar's love along with his arms back when he was the main pilot for the Aquarion. Kagura was the one who had attacked Neo-DEAVA on his own last night. Although he had been defeated, Donar's gut instinct told him that they would be meeting that pilot again soon.
Even though he had been skeptical initially, Donar had to admit that Jin Muso was being very cooperative; almost eager to please, it seemed. How was it that love could change someone that much in such a short period of time? It had been so long ago for Donar that he had nearly forgotten.
"What do you think of all this?" he asked Suomi-sensei who was fidgeting about a little and adjusting her robes. It seemed that she was not used to standing still as a guard for such lengths of time.
"Well," she answered thoughtfully, "it would be nice if we could make contact with this Izumo character. It sounds like he might be reasonable enough to end the conflict if we promised to send help to their world. I don't know what to make of Mykage or Kagura though. Those two could cause a lot of trouble with how much influence they have on the other world."
Donar nodded. Those were his own thoughts as well. He leaned back against the wall as he continued trying to figure out how they could use all the information Jin had divulged so far. But, as he was thinking, the door to the command center hissed open and several students all rushed in at once.
"It seems like Andy and MIX haven't made it here yet," Amata said as he looked around the room.
Mikono followed after him closely, looking a little concerned about breaking into the command room. Her pet, Shu-Shu, a sort of puffball with rabbit ears (supposedly a cat) was balanced on her shoulder and hissing at Amata.
"Who cares?" Zessica said, "We just need to access the cameras to find where they're keeping Jin, right?"
Because of the way the command room was set up, it seemed that they had not noticed Headmistress Crea, the Supreme Commander, or Jin just yet. And because of how quickly they had rushed into the room, they had completely missed seeing Donar or Suomi behind them.
A shy voice said, "Um, Mikono-san, Amata-san. You should probably turn around." Yunoha appeared for a split second before disappearing again.
Mikono's sleeve moved about a little as if an invisible hand was tugging at it. All three of the intruders turned about at the same time.
"Whoa!" Amata jumped back and then flailed about as his wings activated and he was sent three feet into the air.
"Suomi-sensei! Donar-sensei!" the two girls said simultaneously. Jessica gave a weak laugh and then added, "Um…we can explain…"
Suomi opened her mouth to reprimand them but before they could be scolded, a sound drew their attention to the ceiling. A large circular hole had opened up there and a boy wearing a navy blue jacket and beanie jumped down, landing directly in front of Donar with his back facing towards him.
"Andy W. Hol has done it again," he declared proudly, "Hey come on down MIX!" Looking about at his friends, the boy said, "Darn it, I thought I could beat you guys to it."
The three just looked at him like he was insane. Donar had a predatory grin on his face as he cracked his knuckles and then spun his mechanical hands like a drill. The boy turned around slowly when he heard the whirling sound, his happy-go-lucky smile transforming into a look of horror as his teacher appeared before him.
"Andy…" Donar began in a dangerous voice, "Did you just dig a hole through the ceiling of the command center?"
Andy laughed nervously, "I'm sure that MIX can fix it up, right MIX?"
There was no answer besides the ceiling sealing itself up, good as new.
"Hey MIX! Don't just leave us in here! Help us explain," Andy shouted at the ceiling.
While he was distracted, Donar gave the boy a spinning noogie with his metallic hands. When he was satisfied with the amount of discipline given, he turned to the rest of the group of students. Yunoha had reappeared when it became apparent that the two instructors weren't too angry with them.
"So, what's this all about?" Donar demanded.
"Um, well," Yunoha said shyly, turning translucent, "It's actually my fault. You see, I was worried because Jin-kun had vanished when I woke up so I started looking for him."
"And then she ran into us as we were checking out of the sick room," Zessica continued, "so we offered to help. We figured that it would save some time if we just checked the security cameras…and…well…you know."
"You needn't worry," Headmistress Crea stated plainly, strolling over to see what the commotion was about, "Jin Muso is fine. We just had something to discuss with him. Please head on back to class."
Jin followed her, walking next to Supreme Commander Fudo. It seemed that the interrogation was over for now.
"Jin-kun!" Yunoha shouted in joy as she ran and hugged him about the waist. For a girl as shy as her, it was a bold move indeed.
Suomi-sensei cleared her throat, "That's enough of that sort of behavior you two. Got that Jin-kun? You're a student at Neo-DEAVA now and that means that boy-girl interactions of the romantic sort are forbidden."
Jin Muso nodded, but didn't really seem to be listening as he returned Yunoha's embrace. To further show that he wasn't paying attention to Suomi-sensei's mini-lecture, he and Yunoha were gently holding hands as they exited the room with their friends.
Donar caught Andy before he could blend in with the group. "Hold it right there Andy," he said, "You're not going to class today."
"I'm…I'm not?" he asked fearfully. Clearly he thought he was going to be punished in some way or form.
"I need you and MIX on the school grounds. Between using your power to find structural weaknesses and hers to fill them in, we can prevent any dangerous collapses now that we have enough light to see by," Donar explained. As he talked, Andy's expression softened, realizing that he was out of trouble and about to be assigned to a task along with the girl he liked. Really, the boy was so predictable sometimes.
"Anything else, instructor?" Andy asked.
"We'll probably need you later to dig out collapsed sections and look for survivors that may be trapped, but the first priority right now is to prevent further damage from injuring more students," Donar added, "I hate to be cruel about it, but we don't have the resources to do both at the same time so if anyone is trapped, they'll have to fend for themselves for a few more hours."
As Andy left, Donar turned his attention to the Headmistress. "Are you sure that this is the right thing to do?"
"Not really," Crea admitted, "but the boy has done enough that he deserves to have some measure of trust returned to him."
"I don't know," Donar said cautiously, "What if this Izumo person finds out that communications are blocked and decides to try to 'rescue' his subordinate?"
"Fearing the past may be wise," Supreme Commander Fudo said, "but fearing the future is a fool's errand."
As the Supreme Commander disappeared into the hallway with ninja-like skill, he left behind three very puzzled individuals.
"Did the Supreme Commander just say something that actually made sense?" Suomi-sensei asked incredulously.
"Someone should run after him and check if he's an imposter," Crea said, looking just as startled as Donar felt.
*Notes: The first two chapters became a bit more Jin-centric than I was planning on, but with how the premise of this story is a divergence starting from Episode 13, I guess there was no way around it. I'll try to give a bit more focus on the other characters in the next chapters, especially the Andy/MIX dynamic which allows for both comedy and drama. Hoping to make Amata less of an extreme doormat as well, but planning out how that's going to work is going to take some time. With this, I'll leave you with the working title for Ch.3 for now which, assuming you've seen the show, will be a major clue as to what will go on.
Chapter 3- Beyond the Grave