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Recap / Albedo Erma Felna EDF Volume One Number Ten

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Nope guys. Erma is not doing a cast for The Matrix or Ghost in the Shell.
This issue marks the end of the Ekosiak sub-arc, albeit most of the issue takes place outside this system.
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Two weeks later after the events from the last issue, we see Erma escorting Shato to the Ahnomia solar system, when he will be handed over to the EDF's authorities for the murder of Aito Kho. Meanwhile, Shato is still quiet on Erma regarding his crime, a fact she points out. Erma also ask Shato why he did meddle in Ekosiak's internal affairs despite being forbidden for him to do so. Shato quickly lambasted Erma by using her naivety on regards of being from Dornthant and he explained that the only way to solve the whole ruckus in Ekosiak is by kiling Aito, since if they had taken too long to investigate him, Aito could have hidden himself and managed to defend himself legally. Erma points out what he did was still a crime, something he admited. Shato also revealed that a secret sentence will be waiting for him when will sent to Arras Chanka, the EDF's headquarters, something that catch Erma off-guard.

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Erma demands an explanation why Shato will receive a secret sentence and he explained the EDF hates him for what he did, even if they recognize that killing Aito was the only way to solve the Ekosiaki crisis, and he also explains he will be under house arrest for the rest of his life, because if he reveals that he murdered Aito, the political fallout could be too much for the EDF to stomach, especially in other similar places like Ekosiak. Erma also demands why she, from all the people from the EDF, was chosen to escort Shato, while taking her out from Ekosiak. Shato explains that the real reason was to keep her in line with the EDF's plans regarding Erma, since her reasssigment to Ekosiak was supposed to be punitive for her role in Derzon, and, while what she did currently in Ekosiak was not exactly unexpected, her role could be done by any other EDF officer.

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Erma is completely shocked by the sudden turn of events with that revelation, and she demands further explanations from Shato why he was reffering with that part of her being in the plans of the EDF. Shato decides to finally reveal what he knows: The Netnot only has the control of over the EDF and the ConFed, but it also was controlling her, from a strict point of view, something that creeps the hell out of Erma. Shato explains tha The Net is a centuries-old entity who controls everything electronic for all the sides of the conflict, but he doesn't see The Net could have any other plans under its sleeves. and another role of The Net is advise the members of the ConFed, not to mention The Net seems to be helping people with noble ideas and efforts, like Erma. In few words, Erma is The Chosen One of The Net.

After hearing such revelation about her life, Erma went straight to her bunk and request to talk with The Net directly. The Net (or more accurately, someone else controlling it) decides to tell the truth to her and The Net confirms what Shato said about itself and its role on Erma's life, and how "they" (at least that's the way how the person or persons using The Net as proxy describe themselves to speak with her) are did the same with other people. The Net explains to Erma that what they did with her and others is outside normal parameters and it can get The Net into trouble (but it doesn't explain with which kind of trouble The Net could get). Also, the Net explains what they did with Erma was never intended to manipulate her life, but to encourage her talents and having her in a position when she could use them in the best way possible, but without explaining who were their role in Erma being sent to Ekosiak.

When Erma ask The Net how much of her life was "manipulated" by them, they gave her a long list of their actions who influenced on Erma being able to ascend within the still very sexist EDF. They also explain while technically EDF is supposely egalitarian, in reality it's not and they also explain how her father's generation, when they were young and the EDF was still younger, was a very idealistic organization in their earlier days, but how the people inside the EDF, after the First Lepine War, decided to do things for more selfish reasons. The Net also reveals to Erma that the real reason why Erma was able to join the EDF in first place was because of political reasons related with her father Kanoc, who already had many allies and enemies by his own rather than her performance. The Net, after seeing Erma's true potential, simply "manipulated" the odds on her favor. The Net finally explains, despite its or their efforts, were unable to prevent Tavas Ikalik, Erma's former boyfriend from rising to power, and also to prevent Tasak Felna, Erma's younger brother, to join the EDF.

Erma is deeply surprised to hear both names of the two closest persons in her life being bent to do something against her, and The Net explains that supposely, Tasak wasn't supposed to be able to join the EDF, despite being better qualified for the job than her older sister, on the grounds he is mentally unstable. To make matters worse, Tasak was supposed to be the one whose supposed to succeed his father Kanoc as a member of the EDF, not Erma on the grounds of Tasak being male, but somewhat or someone manipulated the system so people like them could join the EDF, despite The Net's opposition.

Meanwhile in Dornthant, we see Eda Felna and her son, the aforementioned Tasak, discussing bitterly on regards of him being stranded in home rather than being sent to another planet to see action against the ILR just like her older sister Erma. Eda reminds him he should be grateful of this, otherwise he could end like his father Kanoc, or dead. Tasak doesn't seem to mind doing a sacrifice if he can take some Lepines with him to hell. Eda quickly call his ideas as "romantic non-sense" and she asks Tasak to call his father and his Honorary Uncle Joseph Arrat (Itzak Arrat's father) to lunch. Both men were chatting and Joseph asks Kanoc if he's hungry. Kanoc cannot avoid to remember his time as a war prisoner of the ILR during the First Lepine War and recalling all the brutal torture he received from them, something that annoys Joseph and disgusts his son Tasak to no end. While in the lunch, Joseph asks Eda for her work as a school teacher, while Eda herself also says that Kanoc has written and uploaded some poems to The Net and receiving good reviews to boot, a fact that Joseph doesn't know because Kanoc doesn't like to speak about it. In that moment, Eda receives a message from Joseph's son Itzak, who is returning home after finishing his tour of duty in Chishata.

Regarding Itzak, we see him and his ship, the DH270, in course to the Aeostah solar system, when DH270 will be repaired there after the bloody events from Chisata. The ship docked in the Aeleta space station in Aeostah, and Arrat chats with a Feline EDF officer named Ungar. Arrat is somewhat surprised that someone like him being his guide and he ask if he did something bad, something that Ungar denies, but Ungar himself asks Arrat his impressions on regards of the events of Chishata and he also asks Arrat why he still dressed in battle gear, rather than using formal clothes. Arrat answer that he is still in shock by the whole incident and he gives his opinion on the incident, bur rather than blame the ILR, he blamed some outworld separatists for the massacre, very probably to avoid the EDF to going into a full-out war against the ILR. Ungar still asks Arrat regarding his battle gear he's wearing, but Arrat ignores him and keeps talking anyways. After finishing chatting with Arrat, we see Ungar furious with Arrat behind his back, while taking with a fellow EDF officer, and he considers Arrat as a lunatic, war-mongering paranoid due to the fact Arrat was still wearing his gear inside the station. The EDF officer Ungar was talking to thinks that they cannot let Arrat to sour the EDF's relations with the outworlds and they decided to smear his name by trying to give him a negative psychological report, so no one could take him seriously and also taking into account his father was discharged from active duty for the same reasons.

But before anything of this could happen, The Net warns Arrat that the local EDF officers in the station are planning to send a negative psychological report, albeit they haven't sent it yet to the central HQs. The Net also warned him his crew has been dispersed and reasigned to other ships instead. Arrat cannot believe thet could do that, but the Net confirms they can do it with a special report, so he can be accused of being delusional due of his role in the Chishata incident. The only thing The Net could do is delay the report for a while so it couldn't be sent via a message torpedo to the central HQs. The Net also recommends Arrat to avoid going to Dornthant and he should take another ship to a safe place instead, very likely to avoid any attempt against his life.

While all of this was happening, the story switchs back within the ILR, when we see two ILR intelligence officers discussing about the current situation between them and the EDF, since officially they are still in peace, but in reality, the ILR was plotting against the EDF, albeit in a very careful way, since the EDF still overwhelms the ILR by many miles, but they noticed the events in Ekosiak and they wonder if they had to bother to do something, if the EDF themselves are doing the dirty job for them. One of them asks if they had something to do in all of this, a fact quickly denied. They also explain if their general population knows about the whole thing, since they were worried if they don't support their military operations or if the things goes south and explain they could if they are motived enough.

Meanwhile, in a... rather anachronic scene, since it takes place when Erma was still in Ekosiak, we see both Erma and Col. Hitzok practicing "stick fighting", a fighting style that mix Kendo with Bojutsu, except with large sticks rather than a shinai. Both characters end very tired after a long session, and Hitzok congratulates Erma for her fighting skills, and Erma returns the favor. Erma noticed that Col. Hitzok has notable accent in his voice and he explains he worked in the Konattahtzah Home Guard before returning to his native Ekosiak.

Later on, in another scene, Erma is talking with many Ekosiaki people on their opinions about the current, since they are worried about the current events that happened in their planet and they were suggesting they should switch to a much controlled society, just like Erma's Dornthant. Erma disagrees and she thinks each planet's laws and rights are inviolable by the ConFed Charter Laws (a kind of constitution). The rest of the Ekosiakis were angry of hearing such answer, because they think the actual laws are giving the people too many freedoms and many of them are abusing those freedoms for they own purposes, so its better have a more stricter laws than having too many liberties. Erma quickly fulminated against them for such idea and angrily replies such idea could end in a dictatorship. After that, she stormed out of the room after hearing such stupidity. All the Ekosiakis were surprised of Erma, a native of a planet that is basically Japan and the U.K. in space, could not agree with them.

The issue (and the whole arc) ends with Erma considering herself as a Hypocrite after saying all that to the Ekosiakis, while The Net is trying to confort her, since Erma was trying to defend the Charter Laws, but she is afraid of compromise it if someone finds out she is involved with The Net, but the Net kindly advices her about the consecuences of doing that.


Tropes:

  • Anachronic Order: The scenes when Erma was sparring with Col. Hitzok and chatting with some people are supposed to happen when Erma was supposed to be in Ekosiak, buy they happen at the end of the issue when she was supposed to be on her way to Ahnomia with Shato. It also overlaps with Plot Hole, since at the end of the issue, after Erma had an argument with the Ekosiaki citizens, she speaks with the Net when it already revealed the truth regarding The Net, when it was supposed to happen, chronologically-wise, much later.
  • The Chosen One: Erma Felna is this for The Net, on the grounds of her noble personality, to the grade it manipulated most of her life just to her being able to join the EDF
  • The Masquerade: Erma finds out that her whole life and the universe when she lives aren't exactly normal by any means and someone else is having a word on her.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Discussed at the end of the issue, when the Ekosiakis prefer to having to deal with a dictator than having liberal rights and dealing with the side effects of those rights.
  • The Unchosen One: Tasak Felna, big time. And even with that The Net cannot prevent him to join the EDF, but at least it prevent him to be him who replaced his father Kanoc as the heir of the Felna family and Erma took his place instead thanks to the Net.
  • Wham Episode: The whole issue changes the status quo established from the very beginning of the story, and reveals the whole setting has being controlled by The Net from centuries ago, and the fact Erma was chosen by it because of her noble ideals. It also reveals someone else, besides The Net, is having somewhat control of it for some unknown reasons.
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