Full Metal Panic! - Volume 8 - Chapter Ep

In the midst of the street lights, light snow was fluttering slowly about. 
It was late at night. The port city was completely asleep. The moored boats and merchant ships were laden with thick snow on top. 
In the corner of the harbor, there was an old worn out warehouse. The exterior was brickwork, with tatters here and there, without even any hint of repairs being made. There was also a giant, five meter tall, rusted iron door. 
A woman who was known to be called “Wraith” stopped in front of that warehouse. She was driving a second-hand two ton truck that had dented panels. 
Leaving the engine on, she got out of the vehicle. She was heading towards the gate opening of the warehouse. 
In front of the gate, a man wearing a coat waited for her. He was short and stout. At a glance from afar, one might mistake him for barrel. 
“Right on time. Really conscientious,” the man said. 
Without replying, the woman carefully surveyed the surroundings of the warehouse. There were no observing eyes. Before she had gotten to this place via the vehicle, elaborate inspections had been made. 
“Where’s the shadow?” 
“If there is one it won’t be here” 
“That’s right. Inside the car.” 
The man retreated from the warehouses gate, pushing the switch for the front iron gate. The engine roared and the door 
opened. Because of the rust in the rails, the rubbing shrieks of the metal resounded to the nearby neighborhood. The woman returned to the driver’s seat and got the vehicle inside the warehouse. 
This time she shuts the engine off and got out of the vehicle. 
The iron doors closed behind her. The light shinning from the street lamps outside quickly became thin. At the same time, the thundering noise of the door could be heard and the interior of the warehouse became pitch black. 
She took out a red emergency lamp. Aside from the short statured man there seemed to be others there. There were three men with assault rifles. It must have been the minimum required. 
“Get the cargo,” the man said.  
The woman opened the rear of her two ton truck. In the cargo hold of the vehicle was a large wooden crate, like a large refrigerator. 
“Is this it?” 
“That’s right.” 
“Good job recovering it.” 
“Because the police were also in confusion it was troublesome getting this out of Japan.” 
The man did not verify the contents. This was because the woman had already said “that’s right” and would have already made certain of it. There was no reason to doubt her. 
“Mister Hunter. Before I entrust this to you, there is something I need to confirm” the woman said. 
“Please do so.” 
“Was this the general’s?” 
“I don’t think I know. If I knew, you and I would already be dead.” 
“What about you. I can’t understand your reasoning in going this far.” 
“That’s mutual. I was also abandoned.” 
The man smiled after saying it. 
“If it was a puzzle being assembled in front of you, you would want to see it completed. That’s what I think of as human nature.” 
“And that’s your only motive?” 
“Well there is one other; it would be good to retaliate. And about that girl, how do I say it, you’re also interested, right?” 
“Well, in any case, can you let me have a little look? Of course it’s still incomplete.” 
The woman nodded in consent, so he walked to the rear of the giant trailer. He opened the container door. Inside was a large mass, a kind of machinery that crouched and was covered with a black sheet. 
Hunter slowly unfastened the tarpaulin sheet. 
What the woman saw was the head of an Arm Slave- the top of its head. Inside the container, an AS was completely stowed inside. It was lying in a sprawled posture. 
She was barely able to distinguish it. This unit was the so called “Third Generation”. 
But it was not an M9. 
It was something she had never seen before. 
She did not know the whole story. She also didn’t know the unit’s functions. But could it be just her imagination? The coldness in the atmosphere was freezing, but it couldn’t be felt in the surroundings of this unit. From inside the container, there was some form of strange “heat” leaking out. 
This unit was burning in rage. Boiling in its fighting spirit. 
It had made an oath of revenge and hungered for the blood of its enemies. 
Why did she feel that way? 
“What’s this guy’s name?” 
“Doesn’t seem to have one. Because this is a project that doesn’t exist. It’s just, well, if we were to continue in its series-” 
Hunter narrowed his eyes, looking up at the unit. 
“It’s [ARX-8]” 
The End 

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