With the Janitor dead and the other Neo Arcadian forces already evacuated the factory had been captured. And since the Janitor had failed to destroy the facility it could now be used to produce much needed energy for the resistance effort. It was a big step towards gaining independence. Victory was short lived however as Ciel had a new task for them.

“Neo Arcadia has deployed two gigantic mechanaloids to attack Resistance Base, one from each side. However, they didn't expect the factory to be taken so quickly and one of the mechanaloids has been diverted over there to take it out. They must think that by attacking two areas and dividing our troops that they'll defeat us in at least one of the locations. Zero is already back at the base and will deal with that mech, I need you all to defend the factory from the second mechanaloid, we need those energy crystals… Hang on, Cerveau wants to say something..”

“Team this is Cerveau, I have another objective for you, one that I need someone to complete even before dealing with the mechanaloid. The command room that the Janitor was running to should be close by, I need one of you to go there quickly and download the data within, it is absolutely crucial that we have this. After that's done you must hurry and do what you can to stop the mechanaloid from harming the factory. Now head out, you've precious little time.”

Working together, the team was able to destroy the Arcadian Mechanoloid and save their newly acquired factory.

Cerveau and several maintenance specialists met the troops outside the resistance base. Those with medical training quickly escorted the wounded away for treatment. Cerveau stepped forward and took the data that Rai had recovered.

“Thank you dear boy for procuring this for me. With this data I'll be able to create elemental chips for our soldiers to use, this should prove invaluable in the coming battles.”

Several hours later, Cerveau and his assistants had returned from the factory and the old technician was giving his report to Ciel.

“As expected, there was more going on than just the harvesting of energy. The basement that team two investigated was used for secret weapon R&D. Unfortunately they moved most of whatever they've been working on away before we got there and the only technology we could salvage were the elemental chips.”

“Why are the elemental chips important?” Ciel asked confused, “Zero already has the Thunder and Fire chips.”

“Yes he does, but only he had them m'lady. Now we can build as many as we want and distribute them among the other troops. That is, if we had the funds. They will be expensive to create.”

“But what about the factory?” asked Ciel. “Surely we have the crystals required now?”

“Yes, we have more crystals m'lady, our stock has tripled in fact because of our acquisition of the factory. But its best to make the individual soldier pay for their own, we need the crystals to bolster up this base. We've still not recovered completely from the attacks recently.”

Ciel considered, realizing that he was right. “Alright then, inform the troops.”

“I've already put out word that I can create the chips in my shop, not to worry. And I've another idea to get us some money, a sort of fund raiser you might say.” The tech held up one electrified mop. “I found it in the factory, I figured we'd sell it and use the cash to up the defenses around here. And speaking of defenses, I got the idea of putting turrets in the walls should we raise enough money to pay for them. Might help in the likely event that Neo Arcadia attacks us again.”

Ciel was quiet for a moment. “Is defense the best policy Cerveau? If our next mission is successful our we might be able to end this war.”

“If its not successful and they brush off our best shot then they'll come at us full force before we recover,” Cerveau countered. “Now I'm a tech worker, not a tactician but this plan of yours makes me nervous. You're our leader, you do what you want but I want your leave to prepare this place should the worst happen.”

Ciel looked hurt and turned away but Cerveau didn't regret his words. He wasn't the first person to question placing the mantle of leadership on a little girl. But without her there would be no resistance, she'd brought everyone together. She'd found Zero and now they'd destroyed the reploid disposal facility and captured the energy crystal factory. But even with all these victories Cerveau knew, one loss could end them.

“We go through with the plan,” Ciel said turning back around. She had a note of finality in her voice. “If we don't attack and keep them from mobilizing they'll be at our door soon enough anyway. And I'd rather the battlefield be on their land than ours.”

Cerveau nodded, stone faced. “And what does the legendary hero think about this plan?”

“Zero? He's still kind of confused, he's still got memory loss. But he's agreed to lead the troops in.”

“She's decided, we're going ahead with the plan.”

“With these troops?” scoffed Elpizo. “Impressive as they've been, they are still no match for the guardians!”

“Her faith in Zero is unshakable,” Cerveau answered, “And when you put it that way I guess there is some hope.”

“Bah, she's putting all her eggs in one basket,” Elpizo scoffed, “And until his memory returns he knows nothing more than she tells him. I don't suppose he contributed anything to the attack strategy?”

“Nope, he just agreed to do what Ciel asked of him.”

“Bah!” Elpizo spat. “She is no commander… This settles it. Its time we expanded.”

“What do you mean?” Cerveau asked.

“Think about it. Neo Arcadia knows exactly where we are, and this base is nothing more than a hole in the ground. If they somehow blocked off the transerver we'd have nowhere to run if they attacked. And as I said, I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. Its time we went out and built a second base, a proper base! One that Neo Arcadia knows nothing of where we could strike in secret! We could build it up and fortify it enough so that when they eventually find us we'd have the strength to repel them! Come with me Cerveau, what do you say?”

Cerveau considered. It was tempting, it was exactly what he wanted to do but something about it didn't seem right. “I will… stay here with Miss Ciel. I think leaving at a time like this would crush her. But I agree, the time has come to build a second front. Take Dgoit with you and enough soldiers to get the place up and running. I'm sure they will come in useful in the future.”