The Alarm sounded at exactly 4:30 in the morning.
1st Lt. Neo Ukazi woke up, startled. He sat on his narrow bed, the kind of bed a naval base can offer to its soldiers. He sat down for a while, still groggy from slumber. Even at his sleep covered with military-issue blankets, anyone can see how military training has shaped him. He is a well-built soldier, not hulking but not lanky. Old crones of the Asgarn countryside would have regarded him as one of those warrior-heroes their folklore is swamped with. His bread tan skin complements his dark brown hair. His sensual face, unscarred by adolescence, does little to hide his ebony battle-hardened eyes. The eyes of a soldier.
A voice called him.
“Hey, Neo, get up already. Get dressed; the Commander’s got something for us.” Neo looked.
It was 2nd Lt. Kiel Kiaro, his number-two man.
Kiel was lankier than Neo, thinner, paler, an inch taller. His wavy, wine red hair was at shoulder’s length, a unique feature considering military haircut standards.
But they were an elite unit; this was one of their perks.
He had a long face, but there was only a fraction of Neo’s sensuality. Kiel was a colder man by look and nature. Cunning and calculating. He had unusual dark-blue eyes that can stare you down coldly when in disagreement, but also eyes that could melt in warmth when intimate or friendly with him. Everyone who knows him in the military knows him to be a gambler, a gambit of the battlefield.
“Well, I think it’ll be just another scouting mission, the usual.” Neo replied, running his left palm through his medium cut hair. Kiel looked to his wristwatch and said
“Oh I doubt it; he wouldn’t give this to us so early in the day. Usually, he sends us scouting at around 6 in the morning just after the night scouts finish their shift.” Neo went to the mirror to wash his face and brush his teeth, the first things he’d usually do when waking up.
“Well, who knows what he’ll give our crew today. Hey, are the two already there?” Neo finished up and wore his uniform, while still listening to Kiel.
“It was Tony who told me about the meeting, he always was the early chicken in our crew.” Neo was nearly done combing his hair; he was almost ready to go.
“What about Jerry?” Kiel turned and went out the room with Neo.
“He’s already at the briefing room; you’re the only one we’re waiting for. Hey, let’s hurry up; we don’t want to keep the old man waiting.”
The two left the living quarters, then drove off in a humvee. They were driving straight ahead; the command center of the base was just straight ahead when coming from the soldiers’ living quarters.
Grizna base is a heavily defended fortress, walled and manned at all times. It was once an old fortress, and its strategic value proved more valuable now than then.
Just beside the soldiers’ quarters was the truck hangar of the base. Ammunition, weapons, dismembered mobile suit parts, and debris were usually picked up or delivered by huge military trucks, so a hangar for these trucks were made, each as huge as a commercial airplane’s.
Behind the soldiers’ living quarters was the recreation area. It is filled with various sports equipment, books, and other hobby knick-knacks for soldiers to enjoy when not in duty. There was also a war games’ maze and a shooting range; there in the recreation are. Neo loved spending his free time there. He was well practiced in using an assault rifle; he’s an accomplished virtuoso in urban combat.
Needless to say, this skill may only prove to be but a hobby, mobile suit combat plays a little differently from personnel combat.
Beyond the recreation area, though not too far away from the command center are the mobile suit hangars. There are numerous hangars for the base’s combat mobile suits. Each hangar can hold 5 mobile suits, their equipment always stored in an adjacent hangar. It was the hangar and the mobile suits that kept Kiel Kiaro busy. He loved tinkering with his mobile suit. He was their unit’s close range specialist. He fine tunes his mobile suit for maximum agility and blade aptitude. For some reason still unknown to Neo, Kiel never uses a gun when in combat. But his skills with the blade are invaluable to the crew, especially when taking down incoming ships or anything else that requires any hands-on action. His mobile suit is equipped with 10 melee weapons: 2 short swords, 4 combat knives stored at the hips, a hydraulic launched grappling hook, 2 shin blades mounted on the shins, and one long anti-ship sword. Just beside the mobile suit hangars is the ammunition dump and the armory. This place is a well-fortified bunker, with walls thrice as thick as the already formidable walls of the mobile suit hangars. The guns, missiles, rockets, ammo, and special; equipment are stored there. It is always guarded by two heavily-armed Jagers, the standard infantry mobile suit units.
The Jager, as a technical note is said to be worth two Aresian Orcs, the standard mobile suit of the Empire, in quality.
Just behind the command center was the airfield. This airfield housed the various civilian airplanes, warplanes, and transport helicopters (of course stored in hangars). Even though the development of mobile suits revolutionized warfare throughout the two worlds, the kind of speed and support that the warplanes give to Grizna Naval Base is invaluable. Just outside the base are 12 Helix anti-missile installments. The Helix are the base’s EWS, anti-missile, anti-aircraft, and sometimes anti mobile suit turrets, firing only when an enemy target gets within its range. The 12 Helix are equipped not just with missiles, but also with anti-aircraft beam quad-guns, a radar dish, and a com link, which pinpoints any target within range, guiding the other Helix to killpoint. Each Helix is strategically positioned just in the outskirts of the base. They are not too visible to the enemy, some hidden in nearby forests, but not too hidden, and some just near the base’s gates. Aside from the Helix, the base has many any air and anti-mobile suit guns mounted on the walls. Overall, Grizna Naval Base is a powerful fortress, built especially to thwart off any Aresian advances further into the kingdom of Asgard. This base is also used as a staging point for any reclamation attempts. In Asgard’s geography, it is one of the most powerful military bases in Asgard.
Neo and Kiel arrived at the command center. They exited the humvee, and went into the front door of the command center, saluting the two guards stationed. The inside of the command center itself is an admixture of rough and hardy military designs with but a very small tinge of elegance to it. The command center itself was bustling with activity, with soldiers and officers at every corner, moving like people in a very busy city. Neo and Kiel made their way to the building’s lobby. They referred to a hanging floorplan of the command center. They needed to go to briefing room no. 5. The command center has 9 different briefing rooms, which were little sophisticated versions of any conference room in any hotel. Each room had equipment such as microphones, hologram displays for any personal messages, a hologram projector to visualize any special parameters needed in some missions.
The two made their way into the door of briefing room number 5. There was a wooden U shaped conference table there, with the hologram projector on the middle of that U. There were also communication equipment there, radios and receivers. In the ceiling of the room were four fluorescent lamps illuminating the room quite brightly, and in a really serious mission briefing, add to the heat of the room. There is also a platform there for the commander of the operation to speak and describe whatever parameters and details that needs to be explained. The room has a total of 10 office chairs there, with a separate seat for the commander of the operation. There is also a built-in computer there beside the projector that received and opened-up the files from the commanders’ file storage disks. The computer is linked directly to the projector in the room.
When Neo and Kiel entered the room, they were welcomed in by 2nd Lt. Jerry Mierne, Neo’s number three in the squad.
“Hey! What took you two?” He asked cheerily. Jerry was a little rounder than both Neo and Kiel. If he and Kiel were faces of the moon, Kiel was the sharp crescent; Jerry was the near-round gibbous. He has short, pasta gold hair and brown eyes, alongside his almost pale complexion. He is a native of the Grange state of Asgard. He is slightly taller than Neo, but a little shorter than Kiel. Jerry is the clown of the group, the most light-minded in every battle. He goes into his mobile suit with a joke and leaves with one. He even cracks jokes while shooting down Aresian mobile suits.
To Jerry the battlefield was just another big party, though this party had already an estimated 12000 body count on both sides.
On the serious side, he is the group’s explosives expert. His mobile suit is always rigged to the teeth with bombs, missiles, and rockets. This is also the reason why he rarely engages in direct combat. He likes to fire either on the move or when he’s far away. It’s not that he’s afraid, but the knowledge of being a walking ammunition dump can set you back in trying to engage directly enemy mobile suits.
His mobile suit also has a special Fire Control System that has a digital explosion radius display, or DERD. The FCS contains data from different kinds of mobile suit munitions and their radius of damage. The FCS syncs with any explosive the mobile suit is equipped with, provided that it is being used by the Asgarn military (Note that “Asgarn” is the adjective from of the name “Asgard”).
On the other side of the room sat 2nd Lt. Antonio “Tony” Creops, rolling a soda bottle cap in his fingers.
Tony is the hothead of the group, which is ironic because he is their long range specialist. Snipers are supposed to be cool and focused, but Tony is an exception. He has a darker tan than Neo, and he has chestnut brown hair. He has a long bony face, with a small shrub of a beard in his chin. He is built a little less robust than Neo or Kiel, and this is made more obvious when he is near Jerry. As said before, Tony is the long range specialist of the unit; his mobile suit is equipped with a radar disk on its back (similar to aerial AWACS radar disks), a LUPOS beam sniper rifle, which has a range of 4 km, a 70 round beam pistol as a sidearm, and combat knife for an unwanted, but vigilantly expected close-range encounter. The head of his Jager is equipped with a special camera rigged to its “eyes”. This camera enhances the head’s Night Vision, Infrared, zooming, and lock-on capabilities (from the standard 20x max. zoom to 35x max. zoom).
On the personal side, Tony is the hothead of the unit; his short fuse of a temper is legendary in Grizna base. What makes him an efficient sniper, so far, is his ability to use his temper to focus on a target. He hunts down that one target that has gotten to his nerves and doesn’t stop until it’s destroyed or Neo and the rest restrain him. He has a soft side for innocents, especially women and children.
It is a fact that Neo’s squadron members are all orphans, kids who lost their parents during some of Aresia’s earliest raids. Commander Klaus adopted these kids, and somehow they chose to be soldiers by their own free will. Tony was orphaned during the 3rd year of the war; he was the eldest of his family’s siblings. His entire family was killed by a ground missile from the Aresian mobile suits, and his young eyes witnessed this tragedy.
Commander Klaus called the men into order. They all sat in the semicircle row of chairs in the room, while the Commander was briefing them about their next mission.
This sortie concerned enemy movement across the Speilig ruins.
The Speilig Ruins, as it is now called, was once Speilig City. It used to be one of the most progressive cities in the kingdom of Asgard, with a bustling metropolis and almost 12million residents. This city housed some of the most valuable mining sites in the area, and was vital to Asgard’s military and economy alike. It was attacked 4 years into the war. The city was defenseless during the time; all of their mobile suit defenders were preoccupied in Grizna where a diversion was set. The Aresians desolated the city, and the people evacuated in the midst of battle. The invaders destroyed the mines, seeing that they cannot actually set up a mobile suit repair station in this region of Asgard. The city was abandoned. All that remain are the silent ruins and rubble from the city. When the Aresians pillaged Speilig, there was an estimated 50,000 civilian deaths, due in part by the Aresian Artillery hitting the many buildings once filled with people.
This caused an unprecedented degree of protests and loathing from Asgard’s citizens. Within two months from the attack, a force of 300 mobile suits and 50 other mobile armors were sent there. This force successfully annihilated the legion that pitched camp there.
Ever since Asgard retook Speilig, it has been buffer zone between the kingdom of Asgard and The Aresian occupied Asgard. As what the Commander has briefed to Neo’s squad, there have been sightings of enemy troop movement. According to the data gathered by the unmanned recon drone stationed there, at least 9 mobile suits are hiding in the ruins and waiting to charge into the Spelig mountain range. (This mountain range stretches 1000 miles across Asgard, and is what separates Speilig from Grizna, Grizna is just past the mountain range and adjacent to the Eastern Coast). Grizna naval base is only 200 miles from Speilig ruins, the nearest military base to respond to any attack staged from Speilig.
“Alright, I think you all know what to do right now. You better get moving, time is of the essence!” Commander Klaus ordered, finishing his briefing. Neo and the others never doubted his judgment, his graying hair was proof of his age and wisdom and many years of experience in the front lines have made his thinking impeccable. He is, after all, a first-generation mobile suit pilot, though now he rarely uses one. The Commander knew that even a force of 9 mobile suits trying to move in a buffer zone was a prelude to another larger operation. These guys mean business.
It was this paranoia and his military cunning that makes him a one-of-a-kind military leader.
Neo Ukazi’s squadron was under his direct command; they were his eyes, ears, and guns in the battlefield.
The four men stood up and saluted the Commander. They left the briefing room and got on the humvee Neo parked just outside the command center.
The Commander was now alone, and he made his way back to his office in the 5th floor of the Command center (there were 8 floors). As he walked, he observed the different faces that moved about in the corridors, everyone who saw him saluted as they passed by. Klaus was pondering on how the war was at the time, on how it began.
He was one of the first mobile suit pilots of Asgard. Now in Grizna base, while his brood of four was on a mission, he felt a sense of loneliness. It is true that he was a very skilled pilot during his time, but then he was one of the last “old guards” of the military.
He no longer recognized most of the faces in Grizna, for his old allies have either been long dead or are fighting in another part of the country. In short, he felt a distance between himself and the other soldiers of the base.
Yet he felt a sense of fatherly joy when he was around Neo Ukazi’s squad. They were his boys, his adopted sons. From the time he was still a lieutenant in the army; his path was intertwined with some of the orphans of Asgard.
It began from Tony, then Jerry, and then Neo.
Kiel had recently joined their squad some months ago, but he was quick to attach himself with the squad, the “brothers”. All the 3, except for Kiel, knew each other from childhood and were childhood friends.
Lieutenant Klaus first took them in off the ruins of battle, then let them live in his home in the countryside of Asgard. The boys were raised up by Klaus’ family, and soon they grew up and all wanted to follow their “surrogate father” into the military. This was first opposed by Klaus, saying that these kids have seen enough violence. But then the three persuaded the lieutenant, reasoning that there would never be a good future for them if the country should be defeated. Seeing this as a sign of destiny, he agreed.
They were sent off to Grizna Boot Camp, where they were taught the principles, the skills, and the tactics needed to fight a war. There they learned how to pilot mobile suits, and pretty soon were on the battlefield.
Neo, Tony, and Jerry worked with such cohesion and ferocity that they were soon promoted to lieutenants and were assigned together in an elite squad in Grizna base (with a little help from Lieutenant Klaus) within a year of service. During this time too, Lieutenant Klaus was promoted to Commander, and was assigned to Grizna as well.
The four men drove from the command center to their squadron’s mobile suit hangar. Tony volunteered to drive, saying that it had been a very long time since he drove a “vehicle”. Jerry sat shotgun, while Neo and Kiel sat at the passenger seats. It would be a short drive, but they still took the time to chatter.
“Hey, I heard there’s a new addition to our squad, a communications officer.” Tony announced to the three.
Kiel leaned forward in surprise and asked “Really, Tony? Where’d you know?”
Jerry butt-in and said “Oh, Tony, this is bad news for you. You’re our unofficial com officer right? We get our Intel from you yelling at your targets! Ahahahaha!”
Jerry’s laugh got everyone laughing except the hotheaded Tony.
“That’s not funny you clown!! Hey, maybe that com officer will be like you, ‘ya know. Maybe he’ll be a better joker than you, and then you’ll wind up like me!” retorted Tony, with a mixture of annoyance and affection in his tone. Kiel then asked
“Hey, are you guys sure that guy’s a he, not a she? I hear that there are plenty of good-lookin’ girls that volunteered for intel roles in the military. Just a few months ago, there were 86 graduates from the academy, with 67 lady officers...” Kiel said in a discreet and almost lusty way, with a soft chuckle to top it off.
“Where’d you get this stuff Kiel? I gotta’ know! Hehehe!” The driver asked.
“Just keep driving Tony, let me worry about such things...”
Tony grumbled smilingly at Kiel.
It’d be good to have female companionship in their group, Kiel thought. What Kiel said was true; Asgard’s women do have such roles in the war. If the men are the brute force behind mobile suits, then the women are the brains that help these units achieve their missions.
While the rest were excitedly talking about the possibility of getting a girl in their squadron, Neo silently sat the ride out staring through the window. He was looking at the base’s surroundings, and observing. He was thinking about something, something none of the three will ever know. Something in his mind mesmerized him into silence. As Kiel stopped laughing, he noticed Neo was (as he usually was in these situations) quietly thinking about something, oblivious to everything that had happened in the humvee. Kiel motioned to Neo and shook his shoulder.
“Hey, is something bothering you Neo?” He asked.
“No, it’s nothing…” Neo answered, a little rattled himself.
Jerry then looked both Neo and Kiel at the passenger mirror of the humvee.
“Hey Kiel, your friend over there’s probably imagining what kinda’ woman we’ll get for the team. Am I right Neo? Eheheheh!!!” Another one of Jerry’s crack-ups, which got everyone laughing again, but this time with Neo included.
As they were driving by, a small stray dog ran across the road, briefly glancing at the humvee before being barely missed being run-over by Tony.
“Hey Tony, the road!!!” Jerry yelled. “SHOOOOOOT!!!” Tony took a sharp evasive right turn. The dog and the humvee darted in opposite directions. The four men were thrown to the left side of the vehicle. As Neo bumped at the door when Tony turned, a small amulet leaped from the breast pocket of his uniform. It landed on Kiel’s lap. It was a shiny blue amulet, one that looks like it’s a missing piece of another amulet. It looked like half a heart.
“Hey Neo, what’s this?” Kiel asked while taking a better look at the amulet.
“Oh that… never mind that. Give it here Kiel.” Neo answered with an extended right palm in Kiel’s shoulder.
“Hey guys! Check it out; Neo’s already got a girlfriend!!”
“Really? Wow, that’s great!!” Jerry answered, with a smile.
“I knew he was thinking about something… Hmmmm… how come we never heard of her before?” The driver looked at his watched, and it was almost time to start the operation. “Aw, crap, we gotta’ hurry up guys, we still have a mission to finish. Sorry to cut this trip a little short.” Tony shifted gears to accelerate; they were only a short distance a way from the hangars.
“We’re not done with this little topic Neo. The three of us are going to put you to… well let’s just say interrogation.” Kiel told Neo, before he placed the blue thing in Neo’s right palm. Neo shrugged.
The four reached the mobile suit hangars. They saluted every soldier and guard that passed by, as to be expected of the military. They reached their mobile suits’ hangars. There were dozens of Jagers in the hangar.
The Jager looks like a hulking mechanized infantry soldier. It has robust legs and oval boot-shaped foot units. It has a bulging cube-like core part with two round exhaust tubes beside it. Beside each exhaust tube is a hexagonal plate, the arm braces. It has (proportional) spherical shoulder units with three attachment ports at the side. The shoulders can carry a variety of equipment from shields, to missiles, to small boosters, etc. The arms are robust and bulky, even for a mobile suit. The head part is shaped like a helmet with a slightly elongated and pointed front tip. Below that is a face, a triangular shield-shaped plane pointing down with two parallel horizontal slits for the eye camera, curved inward and bending downward.
The Jager, like other Asgarn mobile suits, are coated with a thick layer of Azurium.
Azurium is a very tough but reasonably light metal used to coat all the mobile suits Asgard has ever made. It is also very resistant to beam attacks. (This metal was first used for then prototype but now outdated tanks and machinery of Asgard 400 years ago, but was discarded for high cost.)
After space explorations began almost 250 yeas ago, it was discovered that there was a gigantic supply of Azurium on Aethien’s nearest moon, Krateos (There are 3: Demios, Krateos, and Aresia.)
On the rear side, the Jager has two large boosters mounted behind the shoulders aside from the auxiliary thruster on its back. It also has two attachment ports on its back for large weaponry (such as railcannons, missile launchers, large beam cannons, etc.).
Beside each leg unit, just at the hips, are two (on each side) small rectangular storage units for extra ammunition, grenades, pistol sidearm, or combat knives. When deployed for combat, it wields the CANUS beam rifle on its right arm, and a small hexagonal beam shield at the left. The CANUS beam rifle is the standard infantry weapon of Asgard’s mobile suits. It has an effective range of 1.5 miles and can be mounted with a scope to increase accuracy.
It is a beam rifle, but it has a magazine, an energy cell. A CANUS’ energy cell has a capacity of 50 shots before “drying out”. The shield on its left arm can deflect both solid and energy projectiles. The color scheme of the Jager varies depending on the geography of the area where it is deployed. In Grizna, it has the blues and the grays of the urban camouflage. Aside from this, there are also units with the green forest camouflage, and those with yellow and brown camouflage for the desert front of the war.
The squadron’s mobile suits were equipped with various weapons, and just to say, they were one of the best in Grizna.
Kiel first approached his mobile suit and gave it a tap on the cockpit. “Well buddy, here we go again.” Kiel’s mobile suit was a custom red Jager. It’s specifically equipped only with melee weapons: 4 combat knives stored at the hips, 2 short swords, 2 beam sabers, a large anti-ship sword, and a grappling hook inbuilt in the left hand. Aside from the weaponry, Kiel’s Jager has two additional burst boosters mounted below on each of its elbows. Their main purpose is to add force to every strike. Kiel’s mobile suit is specifically built to destroy enemy units at point-blank range.
Kiel hopped into the open cockpit of his red mobile suit. He flicked on a switch, then lights and screens began to illuminate within the cockpit. He sat and looked above his head, then flicked on some switches. Those switches were for the joint locks that disabled mobile suit movement when shut off. Kiel then grabbed 2 control sticks, similar to an airplane’s, but with 5 finger buttons, each corresponding to a finger on the mobile suit. He rest his feet on two large pedals at the bottom of the cockpit. The two pedals are for controlling the boosters on the mobile suit (With Kiel’s red Jager, there is a separate control mechanism for the arm boosters mounted on the two control sticks). On the upper part of the pedals are grooves meant for shoes. These can be controlled to make the corresponding leg bend or flex.
On the HUD of the cockpit read:
“ AVMS - 003 JAGER
The central screen of the cockpit blinked and then displayed the surroundings of the hangar. Then two thick green crescents diverged from the center of the screen. A square orange crosshair appeared at the center of the screen, then two orange brackets beside them (when locked-on to a target, the brackets turn red and envelops the crosshair.
Aside from the central sight gear, there are also various gauges for measuring the machine’s internal makeup like the round grid-based radar screen on the top left.
It functioned as a mini-map for the mobile suit, wherein the pilot sees the mobile suit’s position on the center of the disk,
round green blips for allied ground units,
round white blips for neutral ground units,
round red blips for enemy ground units,
square green blips for allied sea units,
square white blips for neutral sea units,
square red blips for enemy sea units,
triangular green blips for allied aerial units,
triangular white blips for neutral aerial units,
triangular red blips for enemy aerial units,
(The triangle widens as the mobile suit approaches the blip’s height and narrows when the mobile suit moves away from the height of the blip. It also inverts when the target is below the mobile suit.)
There were also two altimeters parallel to the center of the target screen. A speedometer displayed in miles-per-hour, digital of course, can be seen just below the radar disk. To the far right end of the screen, there is a small block display of a mobile suit. This display shows what part of the mobile suit is damaged or destroyed during combat. Below that is a green-lined square that displays what weapons the mobile suit carries and how much ammo there is left. This is configured automatically when the mobile suit’s hand sensors touch the weapon’s grip sensor. Yes, even the guns have small inbuilt computers that measure the ammo left. Below the weapon display is a space for audio-visual communications.
These were the parts of the Jager’s HUD.
The red Jager was brought to life, its thin slit camera flashed yellow.
“C’mon guys, let’s go. WE wouldn’t want to keep those reds waiting.”
Neo affirmed this, and told his squad to get to the transport plane assigned for the mission. The plane was already informed by the Commander and it had already been supplied since last night.
They then moved to the airfield to get on the transport plane.
The transport plane was already there waiting. It looked like a large boomerang-shaped bomber, with the exception of eight large loading docks, four on each side. To defend itself from aerial and ground attackers, it is equipped with 4 missile pods on its back and 4 small beam turrets below the wings. It can carry eight mobile suits plus ammunition and weaponry. Perhaps the most amazing feature of this aircraft is that it has VTOL capabilities. Aside from the 24 thrusters on both wings, it also has 4 large vertical thrusters at the center. These 4 thrusters can be turned horizontally in flight and vertically when taking-off. The Vulture is Asgard’s flying hangar, and it has been an indispensable part of the military for over 17 years.
Neo and his squad got behind the loading docks of the Vulture. He was immediately contacted by the pilot.
“Hey, you guys ready?”
“As we’ll always be Sil.”
The pilot of the transport, and also a longtime friend, was Silvio Arc.
“Great, now get your suits inside, we’re getting ready to leave.”
Silvio told them, looking up at the mobile suits and thumb-pointed to the Vulture.
The transport’s pilot is a thin, gray haired, 58-year old man, but he still has his touch with the flight stick. He is the trusty pilot of Neo’s squadron, once an ace in the Asgarn Air Force; he now uses his flying skills to deliver mobile suits in and out of many battles.
The four walked their mobile suits inside the transport plane.
“Ok, we’re getting ready to take-off. As always, I have tools inside here so you guys can make any last-minute tweaks on your mobile suits.”
The Vulture positioned itself on the runway. The powerful center engines began to light up. Slowly the roaring and hissing from the engines got louder. There was a large circle of gusty wind and dust around the Vulture, and then it began to slowly rise above the ground. As the Vulture slowly rose, the 4 lift-off engines rolled backwards. As soon as the Vulture flew from the runway, the other 24 thrusters lit up simultaneously. It would be a 30 minute trip to Spelig.
Inside the Vulture, Kiel approached Neo. Neo was inside the cockpit of his Jager doing some calibration for the FCS of the machine. Kiel moved towards the cockpit door, already seen by Neo via the HUD. He knocked at the cockpit door.
“Hey buddy, about that amulet...”
“What do you wanna’ know about it?”
Neo just finished up his work and got out of the cockpit. They talked by the catwalk beside the cockpit.
“Who gave it to ya’ pal? A chick on the outside or someone in the military?”
“It was a girl, but someone I knew a long time ago. I saved her from a mad dog. I can’t remember most of the details; I was still a kid back then.”
“Oh… is that so?” Kiel looked at Neo with circumspection.
“Well pal, being a boy scout scores chicks. We should try it the next time we take a leave. Help me with that.” Kiel suggested while giving Neo a light elbow to the gut.
“You said a while ago that it looked like a piece of a larger amulet. It is. It was a whole heart, but the girl gave me the blue half, she kept the violet.”
“You’ll meet her again buddy that is if she’s not someone else’s girlfriend.”
“Hey who knows? Maybe the Comm. officer being assigned to us will be a girl AND will be THAT girl you saved.”
“Hehehe, what are the chances Kiel. What are the chances.”
The two laughed while walking to the Vulture’s cockpit to check on things. Neo and Kiel walked past the catwalk into a small common room. Tony was sleeping on the small sofa, while Jerry was reading the manual of his Jager.
Neo went to the cockpit of the Vulture. He saw Silvio piloting the controls as he always has.
“How long ‘till we get there Sil?”
“Just fifteen minutes more Neo. You guys should get your wits ready.”
“Right, aerial takeoff..”
During the whole flight, the Vulture maintained a strict 18000 feet of altitude. It would descend to 6000 when launching the mobile suits.
The Vulture just passed over the mountain range. They were now at Speilig Ruins.
“Saddle up guys; we’re almost at the drop zone.” Neo said through his radio in the Jager. His team was already inside their mobile suits. They were all ready to launch 6000 feet from the ground. The four hangar doors opened up. As the doors opened up, it revealed a clear blue sky ahead.
“You boys ready?” Silvio gave the catapult control to the pilots. Neo was launching first.
“Neo Ukazi, Jager, Launching!!”
“Kiel Kiaro, Jager, Launching!!”
“Jeremy Mierne, Jager, Taking off!!”
“Anthony Creops, Jager, Heading out!!”
The four mobile suits jolted from the Vulture at high speed. There was literally a trail of white cloud from each of the mobile suits. They were like four white comets falling from the clear sky.
“YAHOOOOO!!!!” Jerry screamed through his radio, like a kid sliding down a water slide. “Hey, don’t go and crap yourself when you land! AHAHAHAHHA!!” Tony yelled back. The sky and the wind blasted against the Azurium armor of the four mobile suits, causing them to shudder from the inside. As their altimeters reached 1500 feet, they quickly ignited their foot thrusters to full throttle. This would gradually slow down the mobile suits for landing. Even with the foot boosters countering the speed, the mobile suits were still going at around 350 miles per hour. The four Jagers slowed-down as they descended into Speilig city. They were approaching a flat plain with a nearby sign: Speilig city limits.
The four mobile suits landed with a loud thud. The Jager was designed to take more than this landing could do to it. The four Jagers got up and turned on their eyeshines.
“Is everyone OK?” Neo asked his squad, who were but a few dozen yards away from each other.
“I’m ok, just a little shaken up.” Jerry said.
“Tony, Kiel, how are you?”
“We’re good.” Kiel responded.
“Alright, let’s head out. Tony, scan the area.” Neo ordered to Tony.
Tony activated the radar disk on the back of his Jager. It started spinning very slowly. A new screen appeared on Tony’s HUD. It was a blue 3D map of the ruins. Suddenly, there were 4 red blinks on the screen, enemy units. Tony relayed the data to the others.
It was morning, but the city looked haunting, like a graveyard. There was rubble and debris everywhere, all covered in grass. There were the remains of once large buildings and highways, grassed-over. There were also the random billboards and signs that used to populate the skyscrapers of this city. The entire city itself is shrouded with morning mist, adding to the graveyard effect.
Now this place would turn into a battlefield once more.
“Lieutenant, we’ve got the 4 mobile suits where we want them”
“Good. Have your troop stay hidden until I say so, We’ll begin the attack.”
The troop Neo commanded were walking inside the city ruins, cautiously.
Tony detected 4 units heading towards them head on.
4 Aresian Orcs; robust, heavily-armed, mono-eyed mobile suits.
These 4 were packing twin heavy boosters, for high-speed engagements. These booster backpacks can be used like large missiles when disconnected while in flight.
“Everybody, find some cover!!”
Neo ordered, as he dashed his blue Jager to avoid the discarded “boosters” heading down on his unit. The jetpack rumbled nearby in an explosion.
Neo took cover behind the standing façade of the city hall.
Kiel took his suit forward and hid his mobile suit behind a fallen chunk of the city’s highway.
Tony took refuge above and abandoned tenement building, spared by the attack years ago, using the rooftop there as a spotting position.
Jerry hid near Neo in the city hall to provide support.
There were 8 boosters launched at them, all of which hitting their cover and reducing them to smoke and rubble.
His blue Jager shot out of the smoking façade, just behind the sun through the Orc’s point of view and began firing his CANUS rifle at the Orc nearby. He landed on the ground and began boosting to evade the other Orcs’ gunfire and missiles.
“Neo, your 3 o’ clock!!” Jerry shouted.
Just then and enemy Orc got to Neo’s right and began firing.
Neo detected the side Orc just in time to jolt away from the shot. The energy beam hit Neo’s Jager on the arm, scraping off only a very thin part of the armor but leaving a blackened dent. Jerry jet his gray Jager sideways and fired 3 rockets at the Orc that outflanked Neo, destroying it.
Tony’s Jager caved knee-deep into the building, but was still in firing position. It began shooting down the enemy far away.
By then the other 4 Orcs started blinking on their radars.
“Man, Intel sure makes things terrible for us!! I haven’t eaten breakfast yet!!” Jerry shouted.
As the other Orcs began boosting themselves to the four, Kiel, from out of nowhere, burst through the rubble of the fallen roadway with blades ablazing.
“COME ON!!!” he screamed through the radar, making Neo glance to his direction. Kiel charged at 3 incoming Orcs, dodging enemy beamfire and beam lances. It sliced through one Orc sideways, but a second one lunged forward and gored the red Jager through the left leg, causing it to explode. Black smoke covered Kiel Jager.
“RRRAAGHH!!! IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO???” Just as sudden as he charged at the Aresian Orcs from his hiding place, he suddenly burst through the black shroud of smoke and planted a combat knife from its left hand deep into the second Orc’s torso.
“BRING IT ON!!!”
Kiel dashed forward and went sliding down the asphalt ground, sparks flying from both the ruptured leg and the grinding of Azurium into hard asphalt. It evaded the enemy lances and sabers and slashed the third Orc by the groin.
Tony, still stuck in the collapsed building was still in shooting position and was giving his squad some long range support. Some of the Aresian Orcs spotted Tony and flew toward him.
“These suckers just won’t give up!”
Tony saw 2 Orcs heading towards him, with guns bearing down on him. As they fired, Tony shot the rubble beneath his mobile suit’s feet. The building collapsed even further in, this time covering Tony and his Jager completely. The 2 Orcs approached just overhead of Tony’s position.
“That’s it, come just a bit closer…”
The sniper suddenly blasted through the rubble, tearing an Orc into pieces with the LUPUS’ shot. The second Orc tried to slash Tony with its beam saber, but the Jager quickly pulled out its sidearm and shot through the enemy’s chest.
“HOW’D YA LIKE THAT!!”
Jerry got beside Neo as both of them struggled to take down the Orcs bearing down on them. This time, they were using the ruins for cover, which gave Jerry an impossible time to shoot them with his missiles.
“Dang it Neo, I can’t get a shot at em’!”
“Hold on buddy.”
Neo jet his Jager forward, in the direction of the Orcs. The Orcs suddenly came out and began firing at him.
“There! destroy the blue Jager!!!”
As the two fired on Neo, the last thing they saw was a hail of missiles coming down at them, before they were made into ruins just like the city.
One of the last Orcs made his stand against Neo. The Orc bashed Jerry with its shield, throwing the heavily armed mobile suit on the ground. It then drew out its beam saber, crossing blades with the saber Neo pulled out. As the two struggled for a brief moment, the enemy pilot spoke through the comms. He laughed menacingly, as if his death or his unit’s was part of another greater ploy.
“you fools. You’ve taken the bait exactly as planned. You’ll never stop us--- *static*”
Tony shot the Orc from his position.
The ruins of Speilig were Asgard’s still.
“Hey, is everyone OK?” Neo asked.
“Man, these guys weren’t worth the bother!” Jerry retorted as he tried to catch his breath.
“You’re barely catching your breath there and you say they’re not worth the fight? C’mon. These guys put up a decent fight if you ask me, they got my leg”
Kiel said in return.
The four Jagers pulled together. Their mission was complete.
They contacted Silvio, who was just hovering 6000ft. above ground.
Silvio descended to about 500ft. from the ground. The four Jagers flew up to the Vulture and prepared for aerial docking.
4 of the 8 hangar doors opened from the Vulture. There was then two bright green lines beside each of the doors appeared. These were the docking lights, to help docking mobile suits to dock safely without running the risk of damaging the transport. As they entered, it was Jerry who noticed Kiel’s Jager was missing a leg.
“What happened pal? AHAHAHAHAHA! ‘Break a leg’ as they say!!”
“Well Jerry, they tore off my unit’s leg, what’d you expect me to do? Say ‘thank you?”
“Another day at the office…” Tony said, closing the conversation.
Neo then burst into the hangars, panting and trying to catch his breath, with a look on him that says “we’ve got bad news”.
“Guys, we’ve got bad news! Grizna’s under attack!!”
The three of them stood up, surprised.
"Don Corleone--I am going to leave you now--- because I know-- that you are busy"