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GATE: The Janus Campaign


And the last official omake to date is a little short by SpaceKoKonut

Lessons in Bureaucracy

Gabel Ze Huntel stared at the small mountain of paper on the table in front of him.

“Is something the matter sir?” The soldier-clerk, Sanches, the tag in her uniform provided, asked in what Gabel identified as professional courtesy

“Oh no! Not at all! It’s just-“ Gabel dismissed sheepshily

“Too much paperwork?” Sanches said, raising an eyebrow as she provided the merchant a pencil

“...Well, yes”

Sanches gave a mirthless chuckle “Oh, you haven't seen the last guy who brought blasting powder through. He stayed here for five hours. That reminds me...” She reached under his table

As Gabel began writing, the woman across from him put a half-full clear bottle of what was clearly alcohol on the table. “What is... this for?” The merchant tentatively asked

Sanches took a swig of the sweet smelling liquid “Trust me, doing these-” she pointed to the papers “-in triplicate will grate on any person’s nerves”

The merchant gave a shrug “I share the feeling”

Then I have to go get it approved by my company’s CO, who has to get it approved by his CO on the battalion level. Then, and only then, is it approved. In your case. Otherwise it goes up to Regimental and/or Brigade level for approval, like with that poor blasting powder guy”

Gabel stared at the blonde woman in utter disbelief, he knew Saderan bureaucracy could be bad at the worst of times and if these Otherworlders organized anything like the empire, some of these papers went straight to a Primus or a Praefectus! Just how did they get anything done?!

“Just how do you get-?”

The woman smiled “We just do. If we don’t, it would be a problem of accountability”

Gabel decided that his mind could do without thinking on the minutia of Otherworlder paperwork, for the well-being of his sanity.

That evening the merchant found himself drinking copious amounts of wine on one of the local taverns.

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
I'm kind of afraid if I let up I'll let this story fizzle out.

Speaking of stories, I saw your 'Iron Pact' in the edits for TV Tropes Gate page but not added. What's the deal with that?
A stupid rule about not recommending your own fanfics sadly enough. :( I was thinking of working on a TVTropes page but... that didn't really go anywhere.
Chapter 29: Mama Mia! (Here We Go Again!) Part 1


]Chapter 29: Mama Mia! (Here We Go Again!) Part 1

It was morning and the alarm by Taylor’s bedside sounded only briefly before being ruthlessly silenced. Taylor had little doubt as to the finality of the alarm clock’s fate as his eyes focused on Aurelia and the savagely satisfied glare she was giving at the wreckage of her enemy.

“Aurelia?” Taylor spoke as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Yes, My Lord?” She could not quite get the touch of satisfaction out of her voice.

There just wasn’t any fighting it and besides, it had been a cheap alarm anyway. “Nicely done.”

“Thank you, My Lord.” The smirk was evident in her voice.

Still, it was time to disassemble the tangle of bodies as everyone started to rouse. At the center of it all, Taylor couldn’t move until enough of the rest of the pile got up. Aurelia was naturally already up. She walked over to the remains of the alarm clock and after giving one last satisfied look, scooped it up and unceremoniously dropped it in the trash. Aenaire now slowly got up, gently waking her son.

“Galador, time to get up now. We have a busy day ahead!”

Her son nodded and came alive as if someone had flipped a switch, much in the same fashion that children greet any anticipated day.

Then Panache stood up. She needed to check the polish on her armor. She had debated between the blue and gold formal dress of the Rose Order or the highly polished ceremonial armor which she had, at last, managed to bring with her. In the end, the armor won out. And Panache was glad for it. The formal dress would be packed anyway, just in case, but so would some more comfortable clothing.

And Nayu…

Honestly, Taylor didn’t remember getting many, if any, words out after Nayu had made her declaration of devotion before Panache had firmly instructed that Aurelia should see to herself and Taylor getting a good shower while she and Nayu went to see Aenaire. Pretty much by the time Taylor caught up with everyone, he was told that Nayu’s presence was acceptable for now. Aurelia nodding in agreement and then the four ladies all acting as if it was no longer a matter.

Nayu stood, straightening herself up and headed to the room next door where she was certain that her mother and grandmother had been listening in. She was glad that everyone was feeling more relaxed around each other now, especially Galador, as it was with her son in mind that Aenaire had consented to Nayu joining the House. If anything happened to Aenaire, she would now hopefully rest assured that Nayu would raise Galador in a stable home.

At any rate, knocking on the adjoining door, Nayu found her mother Indras and Grandmother Kyas trying and failing to look innocent.

“We’ll be more than happy to look after the little one tonight, dear,” Indras purred.

“I’m sure that won’t be necessary but thank you all the same,” Nayu replied drily. “And try to be on your best behavior, mother, grandmother, please?” We’re supposed to meet Taylor’s mothers. I want to make a good impression.”

“Oh, dear!” Kyas smiled. “We’re always on our best behavior!”

“That’s what worries me,” Nayu sighed. “Come on. Let’s get ready…”

Of course, for Itami and the rest of Third Recon, it was back to business as usual. Princess Pina had sent word that she was ready to receive the Japanese Emissary, Koji Sugawara and the American Special Ambassador, William Russell at the Jade Palace and it was time to escort them discreetly to Sadera, where Pina hoped to persuade certain Pro-war Senators to reevaluate their continued support for the war and convince them to open a formal dialogue to negotiate peace with Japan. Third Recon would handle the escort detail as well as the delivery of certain materials to Her Imperial Highness. As they approached Sadera, they would rendezvous with Hamilton and a detail of Pina’s knights, who would escort the diplomats the rest of the way to the Jade Palace.

Seeing the soldiers a bit uncomfortable around him, Ambassador Russell gestured to the case of Manga carefully translated by volunteers at Alnus. “That’s rather unusual reading material, wouldn’t you say, Lieutenant?”

Itami had no interest in the Princess’s fascination with Yaoi. It was an unfortunate effect of her contact with Risa, Itami judged. What she judged as art was well outside his tastes. Well, he was a delivery boy. He didn’t have to read the stuff. But still, a senior diplomat, a foreign diplomat at that had addressed him with a question.

“Those kind of stories are not my thing, sir. I’m afraid it’s something my ex-wife introduced her Imperial Highness to. She calls it art.”

Russell casually picked up one of the books and thumbed through it with a smile as he noticed some of the edits inside. Putting it back down, he looked at Itami with a fatherly smile. “Your eyes look like they’re about to fall out of your head, lieutenant. While I agree it isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I’ve seen much worse things in my day. And art is subjective they say. One man’s trash is another’s masterpiece. And who are we to judge but for ourselves?” He shot Itami an appraising look.

“So, you’re the ‘Hero of Ginza’. And the locals are calling you the ‘Savior of Italica’. So, tell me Mister Itami. Is it that you like going where angels fear to tread or that you just can’t keep out of trouble?”

“Definitely the latter, sir,” Kurokawa remarked as Itami mentally squirmed.

“I’ll say,” Kuribayashi agreed.

“Good,” Russell declared. “I’ve got no use for a man who deliberately goes looking for trouble.”

“What about you and Mister Sugawara?” Kurokawa asked. “Aren’t you basically walking into the ‘Lion’s Den’ as it were? While we trust Her Imperial Highness from personal experience, I think it’s fair to say that not everyone will be so welcoming.”

“Very true, but we’re not looking for trouble. Every step has been meticulously planned out. There’s a detachment of your Special Security forces and a few of our Marines are already in place, waiting for us and there are other security measures in place in the meantime.” They didn’t need to know that Agent Poole, from the Department of State Security, was carrying an emergency beacon in addition to a concealed Heckler & Koch HK45. Also, now having returned from Mount Tybe, Captain Willis and Lieutenant Jansen had their drone, now christened ‘Lil’ Rory’ and carrying a rather risque portrait of the Apostle herself, trailing them, making casual circles at 30,000 feet. They would look for any signs of trouble and if necessary, a payload of Mark 82 mod 7 bombs would create carnage on a hostile column. It was fervently hoped such precautions would prove unnecessary but caution was the watchword for now. In addition,, a special unit from the 101st Airborne was also following them with orders to extract the two diplomats if needed.

“So, what about the rest of you?” Russell asked. “What impression do you people have of this strange world we find ourselves in?”

“Professionally or personally?” Kuribayashi asked, throwing a wicked look at Kurata.

“Either way, sergeant. In Diplomacy, both can be very relevant to understanding the folks you’re dealing with.”

“In that case, Kurata is our resident expert at making good relations with the locals. A couple of them in particular.”

Kurata blushed a little and then yelped as Master Sergeant Nishina congratulated him with a slap on the back.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to look at your back?” Kurokawa asked with motherly concern.

“It’s nothing! Just a little too much sun in Italica.”

“Right,” Shino doubted.

“Anyway, Kurokawa has her own boyfriend now,” Kurata replied. “That Drow, Fen that came back with her from Schwarz Woods.”

“He’s not a Drow, Kurata and I explained to him that I’m simply much too busy to get involved with anyone right now. We’re friends,” she said simply. And it was true, although Fen hoped that given just a little time, she might change her mind.

“Well, I’m not your father and I’m not your General, so your secrets are safe with me,” Russell told them as they settled in, just a bit more relaxed for the rest of the journey.

Meanwhile, back at Alnus, after the mandatory medical checks, Taylor’s party was cleared to cross the Gate to Tokyo. Once more, Yeoman Locke would be accompanying them. Taylor did not expect to need her much but some leave in Tokyo was certainly well deserved for her. Of course, they needed to report to Camp Augustus first. Colonel Mihara had dispatched a van and driver.Taylor mentally thanking her, knowing what a sight their little group would make walking the streets of Tokyo down to the subway. It was enough to handle the shock and astonishment of the five elves in their party without the distraction of others watching them.

By now, while still awestruck by the massive steel and stone buildings all around them, Galador was becoming an experienced hand at riding in horseless carriages. Knowing the rules, he got in and proceeded to help Kyas with her seatbelt.

“Cars go very fast,” he warned her seriously. “You always have to wear seatbelts.”

The Dark Elf Matriarch smiled fondly on him, “Oh! I promise! I will!” The boy was smart and thoughtful, Kyas thought. It would be an honor to claim him and his mother as part of her family.. The boy nodded and then turned to buckle his own as Aenaire watched her son with a touch of pride.Taylor then came and checked that everyone was buckled in. With Aurelia helping Indras and Nayu, everyone was secured and Taylor sat next to Panache for the drive to Camp Augustus.

“The towers rise as high as the trees of Foundation,”Kyas remarked.

“Yes,” Aenaire agreed but frowned slightly. “Though the air smells a bit.”

Taylor frowned, realizing things did smell a little different now but he refrained from comment. He didn’t want to sound like he was either sermonizing or selling anything. Besides, he was hardly anyone’s wiseman.

They reached their destination soon and once waved in by the gate guards, they were ushered into the main hall.

“Welcome home, my son,” Lady Octavia greeted as they entered the hal. Lady Octavia and Taylor embraced as family even as Panache saw and embraced her brother, Tiberius. Panache noted how Taylor’s sister, stood close, almost possessively of Tiberius.

“So I may write our mother and tell her that you have found a worthy bride?” Panache asked as Lucilla practically grinned even as Tiberius blushed.

“Not for a little while yet,” Tiberius explained. “Lucilla still wants to join the Rose Order and train as a knight.first.” His eyes glanced longingly over at Lucilla. “I’ll wait.”

“A wise young man!” The booming voice of Legate Germanicus laughed as he entered the hall, supporting himself on a custom ordered walking stick. While he was in much better shape than he had been, even the miracles of this world had limits and took time.

“Father!” Aurelia exclaimed in delight. The old warrior beamed at seeing his daughter.

“You look well, Aurelia! I have been told of your new task.” He glanced over at Taylor. “It goes well?”

“Yes father! My Lord is a good man who honors me well!”

“Excellent! Have you had the opportunity to see your mother since your return to the Empire?”

“I’m afraid not, father. “My Lord and I were called to help slay an ancient Flame Dragon.” She smiled, retrieving the tooth Taylor had given her. “Proof of our victory, father!” She handed it to her father, who marveled at it.

”I await the telling of the tale at dinner tonight.” He smiled at Taylor. His wife had apparently done well in choosing an heir.

Octavia looked thoughtful. “And the Lady Agrippina, my son?”

“She is at Italica, training in martial arts with Corporal Nakamura.She has decided to acquire information before going to reclaim her home.”

“You will still accompany her there, I trust?”

“Of course and I have not forgotten the need to see to the family’s lands. Aurelia is anxious to see her mother and sisters.”

“Naturally, I think Videlia is going to love you, my son!” Octavia smirked at her husband. “I have found that she has impeccable taste!” She turned to greet the rest of her guests. “Lady Panache! It is a pleasure to see you again!”

Panache smiled and bowed her head. “And you, My Lady. I regret to inform you that even with additional aid,” she said, gesturing to Nayu and her kin. “Even with the combined efforts of Aurelia, Lady Aenaire,” Panache indicated the High Elf, “and myself. We cannot seem to keep My Lord out of trouble.”

“Oh? I shouldn’t wonder. A Flame Dragon! Naturally.” Octavia looked to the fair elf whose son stood fixed to her side. “You must be Aenaire then! It is a pleasure to meet you! And your son!” She smiled at Galador. “It is my honor to welcome you.” Octavia told them and then looked to Nayu. “And Uial! Welcome!”

Kyas bowed her head “We of the Burning Heart are honored to be here. We are indebted to your son for the survival our tribe.”

“There will be time for the tale but I know that my son has a very important matter to attend first. Be on your way, my son! In the meantime, We offer our hospitality to your guests and await your return with anticipation.”

“Shall I accompany you, My Lord?” Aurelia offered.

Taylor paused. He had originally thought to pick his mom up alone but perhaps it would be a good idea if his mom got to meet one or two of them instead of trying to introduce everyone at once. “If you want.”

“I will also join you then, My Lord,” Panache declared.

Taylor nodded, then looked to Aenaire and Nayu. “Why doesn’t everyone else stay here and relax? We won’t be long.” Besides, Aurelia and Panache had at least a small taste of being in a modern city. He really didn’t want to try taking a number of elves to the airport. The trick was to ease everyone into things.

Aenaire smiled, “That sounds like a very good idea.”

Nayu seemed a little less agreeable to the notion. She wanted to see everything and also she desired to stay with Taylor wherever he went but Indras nodded in agreement with Aenaire. “Nayu, you were there. While we await your beloved’s return, we can tell Lady Octavia how we became indebted to her house.”

“O.. Of course,” Nayu acquiesced. Her mother was probably right but she still didn’t like it.

“We’ll be back,” Taylor smiled as he, Panache, and Aurelia headed to check out a minivan.

On the one hand, I’m walking with a Bunny Girl and a literal Knight in Shining Armor… Not exactly discreet. On the other hand, it’s Tokyo. We’ll be fine. Mindful of Murphy, he mentally added, I hope.

The drive from Yokosuka to Narita International Airport took an hour and forty minutes, during which time Taylor was certain that he was being followed, presumably by agents of Japan’s Public Security Agency among others. As he parked the car, he gave a reminder to his Ladies.

“Remember: None of us are allowed weapons here. Leave it all in the car.” Glancing over at Panache, he was glad they were heading for the ‘Arrival’ gates and not departures. Any attempt to detain her and conduct a ‘personal search’ could get very problematic. Once assured that Panache and Aurelia had both put away their weapons, he led them down the long concourse to the United Airlines terminal. They seemed to be getting looks of curiosity more than anything else. Young children seemed fascinated by Aurelia’s long ears and fluffy tail, while older children and teens seemed fascinated by Panache. Those who hadn’t dismissed it as some sort of cosplay at least, although, of the ones who had, a fair number seemed curious about the degree of detail and seamlessness in the two girls’ costumes.

That just meant he had to face his mom.

After waiting about twenty minutes, Taylor spotted his mom: Short with brown eyes and long dark brown hair that hinted at the rumors of Cherokee or Apache in her blood, Her days of being meek ended with her marriage. She well remembered how her husband had told her that he wanted a divorce but since they could not agree, that she was to contest it. He also wanted her to use the same lawyer he had. Instead, she got a better lawyer and countersued. And after being granted the divorce in the countersuit and moving, she became almost like a new person, freer and happier than her son ever remembered.

And very willing to let her opinions be known. She watched anime with her son so to confound her somewhat older daughter, who thought her too stodgy for such things. She took to cleaning and painting apartments for extra cash and she shared stories about her childhood she hadn’t told before.

Ruth Taylor was a rebellion waiting for a cause.

And William Taylor was relieved to see her as much as he dreaded trying to explain how the threads of his life had gotten so tangled.

“Mom!”He called to her and her eyes lit and she beamed as he hugged her tight.

“So what’s this important news you couldn’t tell me on the phone?” She looked at Aurelia and Panache curiously. “You didn’t get drunk, did you? I’m not going through with you the same shit I went through with your brother.”

Luckily, this was in a mildly teasing tone rather than the steel blistering voice she had used on her older son when she informed him that she would not be a servant in her own home.“No mom, I promise. And well, like I said, it’s complicated but I’d like you to meet Lady Panache Fure Kalgi and Aurelia Co Germanicus. And like I said, we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s get your bags. What all did you bring?”

His mother pointed to a fair-sized suitcase and a large trunk. “You made this sound as if you wanted me here a while so I packed my clothes and my knick-knacks and the albums….A couple of DVDs and don’t tell anyone but my machete is in the bottom.”


“Just in case.”

“And the albums?”

“Son, when you tell me to come halfway around the world so you can tell me something you can’t explain on the phone and say you hope I can stay a while, then it must be about a relationship.”

“How did you even get this to the airport and on the plane?”

“I didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Now let’s find a dolley and You aren’t driving one of those little mini cars, are you?”

“No, I checked out something bigger.”

“Good.” Soon they found a dolley and loaded the trunk into the minivan. Panache and Aurelia actually loading it in.

As she got in, Taylor’s mom noticed the sword and other weaponry inside.

“What’s all this?”

“That belongs to them,” William indicated Aurelia and Panache, who then reclaimed their weaponry and buckled in. Making sure his mom was set, Taylor started the van and started the drive back to Yokosuka.

Panache broke the ice.

“We have wanted to meet you very much, My Lady,” Panache said with a tone of careful respect. William had told her that his mother was not a big fan of nobility but respect was a trait that would go far with her.

“My lord speaks of you with great love and respect,” Aurelia added.

Ruth looked at them and then her son and raised an eyebrow and shook her head with a smile. “I ain’t never been a lady. As for ‘My lord’, Son, you know I’m only holding to one Lord and last time I checked, you don’t walk on water.”

Panache didn’t miss a beat. “I call you My Lady only in respect. You have raised a wonderful son and the mother of such a man deserves great respect.”

“As for, my lord,” Aurelia said, “William explained the difference between my Lord, who has earned noble respect far more than most born to it, and The Lord Christ. While that is not our way, please believe we mean no disrespect to you or your God.”

Panache nodded agreement. “Also, as for being termed a ‘lord’ in our culture,You see, Aurelia and I are not the only ones who feel that way. The Lady Octavia believed she needed a good, honorable heir to help protect her family. So she, how shall I say it? ‘Borrowed’ your son and declared him her heir.”

“Wait. What? Didn’t she have any kids of her own?” Ruth was puzzled. Her son sighed and answered.

“She has two sons, Antonius and Marcus, but they’re only seven and five years old and her daughter, Lucilla, is sixteen. Also, it seems that her father didn’t think that her husband was ‘noble’ enough so he signed in his will that her heir couldn’t be one of her husband’s children or on her death, his estates pass to the family of his cousin. So yeah… I kind of picked up an extra mother.”

“She and I are going to have to have a talk I see,” she chuckled. “We never discussed a lease agreement.”

Taylor relaxed inside just a little. His mother was making jokes. This was a good sign.

Panache smirked a little. “Shall the rest of us negotiate a ‘lease’, my Lady?”

“Call me Ruth," she replied. “And what do you mean ‘we’?”

Uh oh… Taylor thought. Here it comes.

Panache didn’t hesitate. “In accordance with the different laws, customs, and traditions of our peoples, I, Aurelia, Lady Aenaire of the High Elves, and Nayu of the Uial, all seek your son’s hand in marriage. We would all ask your blessing.”

All of you?”

“Yes, you see, while under the laws of my people, Aurelia, Aenaire, and Nayu cannot legally become his wife, the term ‘concubine’ is not a shameful thing and as long as a husband… Or wife, for that matter… can support them and their children properly, then one may claim any number of ‘companions’ provided the existing spouse consents. And your son has now become very wealthy.”

“How much is very?” Ruth asked trying to get a handle on all this.

Her son sighed. He knew that an obsession with wealth was hardly a thing with his mother but making sure her son did not get too big for his britches was.

“I checked the location of the Octavus lands on a map. Uh… it’s roughly the size of the state of Connecticut.”

His mother’s eyes went wide. “O...kay!” She then looked at Aurelia. “So the five of you seriously intend to live in the same house and all that? Are …. How well does that work? I mean I’m not against anybody’s race but… “

Aurelia smiled. “Quite well, actually My father is Lady Octavia’s husband. There really aren’t many males of our kind so many of us actually prefer human men.”

Ruth quirked her head, studying the Bunny Girl and Panache, both had been polite and neither had tried to put on airs. Panache actually reminded her a bit of herself in some ways and Aurelia was actually quite pretty. “Son…”

“Yes mom?”

“I always used to have a fondness for fresh rabbit back when I was growing up. I never figured you’d develop a taste for the whole rabbit!” She laughed. “So… Son, you mean to tell me, you’re planning to live in a foreign country with more than one wife, some of whom aren’t even human and have kids, right?”

“Yes mom.”

“And they aren’t Christian and you’ll be running a small state?”

“That’s about the size of it.”

“William, your Uncle Bill would have three kinds of fits and probably have a heart attack!” She got a sly look. “Can I tell him???”

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Thanks, that's better than most of the pep talk from anyone other than my parents at any rate... still, despite my Anno addiction, it has been going quite well if slow.
Better slow and good than fast and a mess. Damn... 125k words in and I feel like I've just started and yet probably skimmed too many important details! It is a paradox!

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Better slow and good than fast and a mess. Damn... 125k words in and I feel like I've just started and yet probably skimmed too many important details! It is a paradox!
I know the feeling, I'm just north of 47,020 words total right now and I feel like I'm missing details out the wazoo. It also doesn't help that I can perfectly picture it in my head and yet can't get it into words... stupid brain, stupid education inadequacies...

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
I think GATE fics are like overhauling an old muscle car. The potential is there. If you persevere, then you will create something impressive.
Now that I've been writing my GATE fic in actual seriousness, I have to wholeheartedly agree. To make a good -or great- GATE fic, you have to overhaul it, and I've seen an overhaul done by my dad, and it is hard, stressful, sweaty work just to get the engine properly overhauled.

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