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Season Finale: The Truth is Out There
Klara positions her reticle carefully, and reaches for the gun control panel. Breathe, she reminds herself. You can do this.
Suddenly, a bullet whizzes past her ear and she swivels reflexively to see an enemy sneaking up behind her. How did they even find me?
Arlette (through the radio, urgently): Klara, get out of there! 2 more approaching from your six! Mikhail, Nikolai, backup at…
Gritting her teeth, Klara kicks her engine into high gear and dives for cover as her foe fires again, this time at her tracks. The grass bursts into flame right where she was standing, and for a moment she freezes in bewilderment. Incendiary ammo? It can’t be! But this technology isn’t available for use by teams in the ACAA yet… is it?
She fires a shot and pivots to escape, but it’s too late. Her internal alarms sound and the control panel flickers red – her fuel tank’s been hit!
As Klara scrambles to activate her repair module, she senses a great wave of heat from behind her. Fire! My fuel tank’s on fire! She pummels the buttons for the fire extinguisher module, but the puny amount of foam it’s producing isn’t enough to quench the flames licking around her. Overwhelmed by the smoke and heat, she has no choice but to bail out, and soon collapses on the arena floor.
When Klara comes to, the first thing she sees is Rin crouching over her, her face etched with worry.
Rin (relieved): You’re awake! Thank goodness… oh, Klara, I tried to tell you…
Klara (shakily): Did we… win?
Nikolai: We lost… but what matters is that you’re safe, kiddo.
Elenor (glaring at Rin): How did your team get the incendiary ammo, anyway? I read on the news that it was still being prototyped, wasn’t it?
Rin: Our... sponsors sent it.
Mikhail (frowning): And who might those sponsors be, hmm?
Rin (stiffly): I’m not at liberty to say.
Elenor (angrily): Oh, really? So you’ll do anything to win, won’t you…
Rin: I came back to warn you, didn’t I? Even though I would’ve been expelled from the team if they knew… And I fought them all the way on this, but we didn’t have a choice…
Everyone falls silent.
Rin (choking back angry tears): You don’t know how worried I was. I didn’t want any of this to happen… not to you, anyway!
Arlette, who’s been watching quietly from the sidelines, rushes over and throws her arms impulsively around Rin.
Arlette (pleading): If you don’t like it there, you can always leave. Right? Rin… c-come back to us. Come back and help us revive the team… we’ve missed you.
But Rin shakes her head sadly and gently pulls away.
Rin (quietly): I can’t… not right now. I’m sorry. There are still things I need to do. And once I’ve discovered the truth, I promise I’ll tell you everything. So for now… please trust me.
Things aren’t what they seem – what dark secret lies at the end of the road for the Gun Striders? Can they trust in the enigmatic Rin? And will the team ever be whole again? Stay tuned as the mystery unravels…
But for now, congratulations to our winning teams, and thanks to all for your participation. Be sure to bookmark our tournament page for more exciting events and more chances to win great prizes!