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 Post subject: Tales from the Cockpit
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Lackey GM Pilot
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:49 pm
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Location: The Last Outpost of Empire
The entirity of my Tales series can be found over at Gundam Evolution here I'll just post some of the more recent ones.

Tale: 23 - Ensign Arthur Raynor - MRC-F20 SUMO - Asteroid Investigation

Ensign Arthur Raynor was somewhat less than pleased with his current assignment. He considered it a substantial waste of his abilities. He was a member of the elite Royal Guard and one of only a handful left on the Moon after Queen Diana went to the Earth. It was his purpose to protect the White Palace not to go off on some stupid survey mission. However the order had come from directly from Harry Ord and Arthur was not about to start disobeying the Queen's personal bodyguard.

An asteroid known as M-O-V.I had a very erratic orbit around the Earth Sphere and for the first time in thousands of years it had gotten close enough to the Moon for an expedition to be sent to it. The Moonrace's various scientists and astronomers had shown a great interest in M-O-V.I for reasons that were quite beyond Arthur. All he knew was that he'd been assigned to the Aspite cruiser dispatched by General Ghingnham to investigate the asteroid. Naturally Arthur had encountered hostility from Ghingnham's pilots on the cruiser. They were famously arrogant and abrasive and this group were certainly living up to their reputation.

"Raynor there will be no need for you to launch," barked Edmund Curran, the leader of the Aspite's Mahiroo squadron. "It is just a simple fly by. We don't need the Royal Guard butting their heads in where they aint wanted."

"I will be the judge of that Curran," replied Arthur sharply. Queen Diana's Royal Guard had a great deal of autonomy within the Moonrace military structure. Arthur easily had the authority to do what he pleased on this mission.

Curran didn't reply. Instead his Mahiroo stormed out of the hanger followed by eight more of the dome headed machines. Arthur gave them a few minutes head started before following them. It wouldn't be a wise idea to antagonise Curran too much. However Arthur didn't want the Ghingnham pilot to think he was a push over.

The asteroid was a big black beast that filled Arthur's monitors. It was a lot larger than he expected at roughly one hundred miles in length. Long range visual scans from the Aspite had discovered several fissures that could lead into the interior of the asteroid. The SUMO's own sensors showed that the Mahiroos were heading towards the largest of these fissures. Arthur triggered his thrusters to help him catch up with the Mahiroos. He did not want to let them out of his sight.

Suddenly a wall of interference sprang up around the asteroid. The SUMOs sensors no longer detected the asteroid let alone the Mahiroos near it. Visually Arthur could just about make out the silver mobile suits. He swore to himself quite violently. Clearly this was not a natural phenomenon; something on the asteroid was generating an interference field. That could only mean that someone had got to the asteroid first since it was extremely unlikely that there was anyone resident.

Before long Arthur's SUMO passed through the interference field. Instantly communication was cut off with the Aspite and he was down to just visual sensor information. He noted that the Mahiroos were just milling around at the opening to the fissure. Obviously Curran was hesitant to carry on without instant support from the cruiser.

"What's the matter Curran? Too chicken to go in and take a look?" sneered Arthur. The message barely got through. The interference was affecting local radio communication as well. Arthur increased his thrusters to two thirds max output and sailed passed the silver mobile suits into the fissure. Incensed by the slur Curran led his team into the fissure as well.

After the wide open spaces of space the fissure was surprisingly claustrophobic for Arthur. After descending for a couple of hundred meters the fissure began narrowing. It got quite snug in places but the SUMO was able to comfortably fit through. Eventually the rock walls gave way to metal plating. More and more of it appeared before, after a few minutes, Arthur reached the 'bottom' of the fissure. The SUMO gently touched down on the metal floor and Arthur was forced to activate a light because of the darkness. A quick survey of the area revealed several mobile suit sized doors radiating off from the main room.

"Raynor, what is meaning of this?" barked Curran as his Mahiroo descended into the room quickly followed by the rest of his team. "There isn't supposed to be anything like this here."

"I don't know Edmund," replied Arthur. He was already forming his own ideas about that he was seeing. "I've got a feeling that we've just discovered something very old." Next to one of the mobile suit doors he found what looked like an control panel. With a careful hand movement the SUMO pressed the controls. After a few seconds of rumbling the door slowly opened. "I think we should have a look around. I'll take this door."

Before he received an answer he set the SUMO to walk into the dark abyss. There was even less light behind the door than there was in the main chamber. The light on the SUMO scarcely seemed sufficient. However the beam of light was already illuminating objects. They were, on the whole, mobile suit shaped. Some had a green paint scheme others were blue and yet more were purple. The purple ones had an additional backpack that appeared to have directional thrusters on them. A lot of them were also sporting damage consistent with heavy fighting. The beam of light fell on a pile of broken mobile suit parts in the corner of the massive room. Next to it was an extensive pile of weapons ranging from machineguns to bazookas to strange looking long barrelled rifles.

A little further into the room Arthur found a data bank of computers. Using the SUMOs systems he hacked into the ancient computers. Information soon filled his monitors. Some of it had been corrupted and was illegible but one bit come through in the clear. "After Colony 196: The launching of resource satellite MO VI into the Sun sees an end to the horrific age of mobile suits. May Humanity For Ever Live In Peace." Arthur read aloud. He couldn't help but think how wrong they were. Just by looking at the damaged mobile suits Arthur could tell that these people had been involved in some heavy fighting. It looked as though they had tried to solve their problems by simply throwing away their mobile suits. However that had backfired quite spectacularly. Some how this MO VI had missed the Sun and had finally returned to the Earth Sphere. He made sure to download as much information as possible since any scrap could be useful in the future.

"Sirs. I've found something odd," reported Kim Jong. Radio communication seemed unaffected by the earlier interference inside the asteroid.

"What is it, Kim?" asked Curran. "Mobile suits? I've found plenty of them."

"Sort of sir," replied Kim uncertainly. "They don't appear to have any cockpits...hey wait one of them moved...what the..."

The communication was cut off by a rather loud explosion that rippled through the asteroids interior. Immediately Arthur turned his SUMO around and had it running back to the main chamber. As his silver mobile suit pounded through the massive doors he'd opened earlier he almost ran straight into two black mobile suits. They were of a rather bulky and crude construction with huge round shoulders; mounted on their right arms appeared to be some sort of cannon. As the SUMO approached both the black mobile suits turned around and point their cannons. On the right shoulder a hatch opened and something began charging up. Instinctively Arthur activated the IF generator mounted on his left arm. The I-Field barrier formed just moments before the two cannons fired. The yellow beams were a lot more powerful than Arthur expected and he thought that perhaps his field wouldn't be able to withstand them.

Fortunately the field stood strong. Rather than risk a reactor detonation at such close range Arthur activated his heat fan rather than his beam gun. Using his superior manoeuvrability he plunged his heat fan deep into one of the black mobile suits. The armour plating melted under extreme heat and with a small explosion the mobile suit crumpled into a heap. Just as swiftly he decapitated the other mobile suit which promptly stopped moving.

Standing over the destroyed mobile suits Arthur could see that they did not have cockpits just as Kim had said. He had heard of remote controlled mobile suits before but none that were being used at the moment. That led him to conclude that this whole asteroid was a relic from the Dark History, considering the orbit of the asteroid, maybe even before. This made things very difficult. It was hard to predict such old technology. Even more so if someone was controlling these machines by remote though Arthur had a hard time believing anyone else was actually on the asteroid.

"Curran, I think it's time we left," said Arthur. He could see into the chamber where the black mobile suits had come from. More and more of them were activating and marching towards to entrance.

"I do not run from my enemies," fumed Curran as his Mahiroo returned to the central chamber. "That might be what they do in the Royal Guard but not in our unit."

"I do not doubt your bravery," snapped Arthur. "But this place is too cramped for your Mahiroos. These things aren't very manoeuvrable but they are pretty powerful. If we get them out into open space you'll take them apart."

"Agreed," grumbled Curran. "Come on men draw them out of the asteroid and we'll show them what we are made of!"

The Mahiroos began retreating back up the fissure as quickly as they could. Arthur had to admit that Ghingnham's soldiers were very brave but they weren't stupid either. There was a distinct tactical disadvantage in fighting inside the asteroid. Six of the black mobile suits clunked into the main chamber just as Arthur's SUMO took off up the fissure. They fired as soon as they detected the silver mobile suit but fortunately Arthur was clear long before the beams reached where his suit had been. Naturally they gave chase but despite their best efforts they were unable to hit the SUMO in the fissure.

After several minutes of frantic flying the SUMO emerged into space. It was an exhilarating experience of Arthur. The sense of freedom was palpable and very sweet indeed. However he knew full well that he couldn't relax yet. Moments later the six black mobile suits emerged from the fissure as well. Immediately Curran's Mahiroos set upon them. Arthur was suitable impressed by the display of individual flying skill. The first black mobile suit was downed by a pin point shot that ripped through the shoulder mounted generator which caused the whole machine to explode. The next was felled by a rather martial kick to the head that destroyed the control mechanism.

Arthur himself quickly joined the proceedings with his beam gun blazing away. Three shots hit one of the black mobile suits in the chest causing it to explode violently. The cannons mounted on them gave them impressive firepower but in the openness of space the Moonrace mobile suits had the advantage in movement. As if to prove the point the remaining black suits were quickly dispatched with little fuss.

"What now Royal Guard?" asked Curran harshly. "There were hundreds of those things down there. You can't expect us to fight them piecemeal like this. It'll get boring quickly."

"I'm sure they'll give us plenty to worry about," said Arthur. He was right. Before his words had even stopped more and more of the black mobile suits were emerging from the fissure. First six, then twelve, the twenty-two, then forty-eight. A seemingly endless torrent spewed forth. Increasingly there were brown mobile suits as well; they were of similar design to the black ones but they had some sort of booster on their backs and lacked the built in beam cannon. "This enough of a challenge for you Curran?"

Curran snorted before speaking. "It's a start. Maybe the brown ones will be more of a challenge." Before a shot could be fired strange red disks began popping off the shoulders of the enemy mobile suits. A blue energy field arced between the disks linking them all together. Curran took aim with his shield mounted beam gun and fired. The powerful yellow beam struck the energy field a few meters in front of the enemy mobile suits and fizzled out. "Now it's a challenge." The Moonrace mobile suits immediately scattered as the asteroid mobile suits let rip with a massive barrage.

"I-Field up. Set to auto reaction. Auto on!" Arthur barked. Even on the auto reaction setting his I-Field generator could only provide so much protection. He squeezed off a couple of shots that were easily deflected by the energy field. As far as he could tell it was quite different from the I-Field generated by his own SUMO. One of the brown mobile suits suddenly appeared from behind and lunged at Arthur's suit with a beam sabre in hand. Instinctively Arthur went for his heat fan; the super heated blade went straight through the energy field and pierced the mobile suit's reactor. He jetted away before the reactor exploded.

Off to his left Arthur noticed a Mahiroo firing on one of the black mobile suits. The beam was naturally repulsed but Arthur spotted that the energy field had to be entirely directed in one location. Leaving it vulnerable to a rear attack. Dancing his SUMO to avoid incoming fire Arthur waited for the Mahiroo to fire again. When it did Arthur seized the moment to deliver a killing blow.

"Everyone coordinate your attacks. The energy field can't cover every direction at once," he ordered. Promptly his heat fan sliced a black mobile suit in half as it tried to take aim at one of the Mahiroos.

"Sir, you can destroy the disks if you sh..." the communication was cut off as a beam tore through the armour plating protecting the Mahrioo's cockpit. Arthur swore violently and chased after the machine that had killed his comrade. He fired two shots with his beam gun. The first was deflected by the energy field but the second struck one of the disks which promptly exploded. At that moment the field around the enemy mobile suit failed letting Arthur riddle its torso with more beams.

Arthur knew things weren't going well. There were just far too many of the enemy machines. The survey mission had only been given a handful of mobile suits and losses were mounting. If the enemy machines were remotely operated there had to be a central control point somewhere in the asteroid. He pulled up the information he'd obtained from the asteroid's computer banks and tried to find something relevant. It was, however, difficult to concentrate on the information while constantly having to avoid enemy fire. Then he spotted a schematic of the asteroid; near the centre was a room marked Mobile Doll Control Centre. That seemed as good a target as any.

"Curran! I think I know how to stop these things," yelled Arthur as he gunned down another enemy mobile suit. "Help me clear a path back to the fissure. I need to get inside."

"I hope you know what you are doing," remarked Curran as he and his remaining Mahiroos joined up with Arthur. The five machines formed a rough vee formation and charged towards the fissure at full thrust. The shield mounted beam guns of the Mahiroos flared repeatedly. Most of the shots were deflected by the energy fields surrounding the enemy mobile suits however a couple were able to slip through and cause significant damage.

As they neared the mouth of the fissure the Mahiroos split off allowing Arthur's SUMO to descend. The SUMO hurtled down at a far greater pace than when it had first ventured into the darkness. This time Arthur had his heat fan ready and it came in handy about half way down. A pair of the brown mobile suits were heading up the fissure and so when the three machines crossed paths Arthur lashed out. His heat fan succeeded in cut one of the brown mobile suits clean in half while the other was mortally wounded.

The central chamber, at the bottom of the fissure, was surprisingly empty apart from the destroyed mobile suits from earlier. This made it a lot easier to Arthur to navigate his way to the Mobile Doll Control Centre. He had to travel through a rabbit warren of corridors, tunnels and passageways some of which were scarcely big enough for his SUMO to fit down.

Eventually he reached his destination and found it guarded by a quartet of the black mobile suits. Immediately Arthur started firing with his beam gun. He was able to knock out the energy field for one of them and then blast it's head off but by then the other three had opened fire. His I-Field generator kicked in and blocked the shots but it was under a great deal of strain to repulse the three powerful beam at point blank range. As the black mobile suits stopped firing to recharge Arthur took the opportunity to leap forward. With his heat fan out stretched he plunged the super heated blade down into one of the enemy mobile suits. Unfortunately the black mobile suit next to it recharged its cannon faster than Arthur anticipated.

The blast vaporised the SUMOs left arm taking the heat fan and the I-Field generator with it. The sudden loss of the limb caused the SUMO to loose its balance and fall to the ground with a metallic clunk. Arthur grumbled at his own stupidity but was rewarded with a golden opportunity. From the ground he could see through the enemies defences to his target. While the two remaining black mobile suits took aim he swung his beam gun around and let rip at the Mobile Doll Control Centre facility. After the beams penetrated the flimsy outer metal walls they found no resistance and quite happily trashed the inner mechanisms.

The effect was almost instantaneous; the black mobile suits stopped dead in their tracks. Arthur suspected that the same was happening outside the asteroid. He would have to get in touch with Curran soon but he had one last job to do. After getting the SUMO back up on its feet he set it on course to another part of the asteroid. He'd noted on the schematics that there was a propulsion room as well. He had the feeling that someone in the upper echelons back on the Moon had known exactly what was in M-O-V.I. Someone on the Moon wanted to control this 'mobile doll' technology. That must have been why Harry Ord had arranged for his transfer to the mission. It didn't take long to get to the propulsion room and Arthur immediately set about programming the ancient nuclear pulse engines to carry the asteroid into the sun where it belonged. Once that was done he travelled back to the central chamber where he lingered only momentarily to look upon the distant past. Thousands of years ago these people tried to find peace the only way they knew how. Arthur hoped that in the present day they would be able to find a more effective way of securing peace.

End of the Tale[/url]

_________________
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:40 pm 
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Lackey GM Pilot
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Location: The Last Outpost of Empire
Tale 24: Captain Robert Croft - OZ-12SMS Taurus - The Eve Wars

Robert Croft often wonder what it was he'd done in a past life to deserve all the crap that had happened to him. His tenure as chief representative of the United Earth Sphere Alliance hadn't lasted very long. The last remnants of that organisation had finally gone the way of the Dodo thanks to the World Nation. His only achievement in that office had been to successfully negotiate an amnesty for his surviving followers with Queen Relena of the World Nation. He had thought that the amnesty might have meant he'd have been able to give up fighting. Unfortunately it seemed the world had other ideas. After Treize Khushrenada's return from exile and his seizure of control of the World Nation he contacted Croft. Now there was a price for the amnesty he'd won for his men.

The conflict that had been brewing between the Earth and the space colonies ever since the Artemis Revolution had finally spilled over into open hostilities. Treize wanted soldiers who had experience of battling the mobile dolls in his new World Nation army. Croft, and many of his followers, had that experience. And so in no uncertain terms Khushrenada had made it very clear that it was in Croft's best interest to join him.

Now Croft found himself leading Khushrenada's 'commando' unit which comprised just eight transports carrying a mere 24 Taurus mobile suits. Despite the fact that between them Oz and Romefeller had built hundreds of Taurus mobile suits the World Nation was only able to gather 24 of them. They certainly weren't going to be wasted as mobile dolls. Croft's fellow Taurus pilots were all veterans who'd survived encounters with mobile dolls before. The black coloured mobile suits weren't exactly standard issue any more. They had all been modified to carry a beam sabre at their waist. Mobile dolls were vulnerable to close combat the only tricky part was getting close enough to take advantage of it. The World Nation's engineers had also spent plenty of time working on the ranged weapons of the Taurus'. Their beam cannons had been tweaked and enhanced. The engineers claimed that it would now be able to overwhelm even the planet defensers of the Virgo II mobile dolls. Finally laser rifles rounded off their armaments together with the standard beam rifle.

"Robert, it looks like the battle has already begun," said Sara Cambridge. The red haired young woman was Croft's eternal comrade. She had been with him since the earliest days of the war and it seemed like she'd stay with him forever.

"Good," replied Croft. "This is where things get interesting. Lets see if Khushrenada's plan actually works."

"Do you really think we have any chance?" asked Sara. "I mean come on, how on Earth are we supposed to get anywhere near Libra. I can't see how we're supposed to cause any damage to that battlestation. This hardly seems like the right way to win a war."

"Sometimes I get the felling that we aren't meant to win," replied Croft wistfully.

"What's that supposed to mean?" quizzed Sara. She had a rather perplexed look on her face.

"Don't worry about it my friend. All we have to worry about is surviving," said Croft with a reassuring smile. "When this battle is over I'm sure it'll all make sense."

"Captain! Mobile dolls inbound! There are loads of them!"

"Thank you Corporal Berghahn," replied Croft. He eyed up his sensor display showing all the incoming dolls. "I bet they spotted us a little while ago. Boy that looks like a heck of a lot of dolls."

"Not as many as Khushrenada is dealing with," commented Sara.

"Well I yes I suppose there is that," admitted Croft. "All units, launch from the transport and prepare for combat."

All the Taurus' peeled away from their transports. Once all the mobile suits were clear the mushroom shaped transports all fired their engines and charged at the dolls. The crews of the transports had disembarked long before reaching the battlezone. Three of the transports were gunned down by the Virgo IIs. The others, however, made contact and rammed into the dolls destroying them completely.

Croft dropped his cross-hairs onto the leading Virgo II. He pressed the trigger and fired off a blast from his beam cannon. The massive beam seemed to envelope the brown coloured mobile doll and after a few scant seconds the doll simply disappeared. To Croft's surprise the same happened to all the other dolls his men shot at. He knew the cannons had been improved but this just seemed somewhat excessive.

His next shot fell between two Virgo IIs. Neither doll received a full blast but both were destroyed anyway. It was now that the mobile dolls started fighting back. An impressive barrage of beam rifle and cannon shots was flung out towards the Tauruss. With his machine still in the fighter mode Croft was easily able to avoid the incoming attacks. One of Croft's subordinates, however, was not so lucky as he noted an explosion to his rear.

Pushing his feet down hard on his thruster peddles Croft sent his Taurus zooming through the mobile doll's battleline. Once he was clear of it he triggered the transformation system on the black mobile suit. As it changed into humanoid form he swung the suit around to face the backs of the dolls. Taking aim with both his beam cannon and rifle Croft loosed a lethal volley that caught several Virgo II and blew them to pieces.

His immediate area was effectively cleared when Sara's Taurus drifted close to his own. She immediately posed a question that had been nagging in the back of Croft's mind.

"They don't seem to be using their shields," she said, "What's the deal with that?"

"To be honest I just don't know," replied Croft as he set his Taurus back on course for Libra. "Maybe White Fang isn't taking us seriously. They might not thing we're worth the effort of setting the dolls to use the shields."

"More fool them then," scoffed Sara. Her Taurus dropped into formation with Croft.

Even now they could see another formation of mobile dolls lining up to face them. They were still some distance away and the time gave Croft an opportunity to run a few quick tests on his Taurus' systems. From what Croft could see they were mainly Virgo IIs but there were a handful of Virgo Is lurking at the back. Proof, Croft thought, that White Fang might be reaching its resource limit. The original Virgo had been more or less withdrawn after the advent of the Virgo II. Croft assumed that White Fang had wasted many of their newer dolls by launching numerous failed attacks on Peacemillion and the Gundams operating from there.

Some ten minutes passed before they got close enough for him to ready his beam cannon and charge towards the dolls. He mused on the thought that the dolls on the Earth were much more of a threat. In space his Taurus was infinitely more manoeuvrable than the slow and bulky Virgos. On the Earth the slow relentless pace of the dolls had meant they could easily steam roll an enemy. In space, however, dodging was much easier. He didn't really consider whether he'd perform as well against the dolls in a Leo as he was in the Taurus.

When he got into range he let loose with his beam cannon again. This time he held the trigger longer and tried to spray the beam around. The fearsome orange beam did indeed strike a swath of dolls taking out about six in one go. Just as he was congratulating himself a beam shot from a doll he missed lanced through space and his the cannon square on. Fortunately Croft was able to throw the ruined weapon away before it exploded. Cursing his own stupidity he sent his suit into a series of evasion manoeuvres as the Virgo II kept firing at him. In return Croft fired off a trio of shots from his own beam rifle. The first hit the dolls on it's left shoulder which knocked it off balance slightly and allowed the other two shots to nail it in the chest.

Almost at the same time, however, a Virgo took a pot shot at him with it's powerful beam cannon. Croft was just barely able to avoid the full blast but it cost him his mobile suit's right foot. The offending Virgo was dispatched by Sara who'd caught up with him and sank her beam sabre into the doll's head.

Off in the distance Croft noticed that Libra was starting to move under her own power. The enormous battlestation appeared to be trying to move around the battle. Wherever it was headed it was moving away from the World Nation commando team. That troubled Croft. They weren't exactly making a great deal of headway anyway but now it was going to be even more difficult to get anywhere near Libra.

"Sir, Libra is moving away! What are we going to do?" this was Corporal Berghahn again. The commando team had once again made short work of the dolls. Croft sometimes wondered why this bunch of pilots seemed so skilled at taking on the dolls. It wasn't just a matter of experience. He'd known quite a few veteran pilots who'd been killed by the dolls. Then there were the Gundam pilots. Rumour had it that they were just kids. Croft didn't think it was just because of their mobile suits that they were so good.

"We keep fighting," replied Croft. "Our target it Libra and we're not going to let it get away. Chances are we're now going to have to pass through the main battle. That's okay, it'll just give us a chance to help out."

The Taurus' formed up and they sped after Libra. Croft was impressed by sheer size of the main battle. Little explosions seemed to fill all of space. Off in the distance he spotted a damaged Space Leo careen into a Virgo I with the resulting explosion destroying both machines.

Here a number of the mobile dolls were using their shields and it looked like the World Nation army was suffering for it. As the Taurus' swept past Croft triggered a few short shorts with his laser rifle. The pin point blue beam punched through the defences of a number of the dolls. Few were actually destroyed but the others were damaged sufficiently to allow the Space Leos to finish them off.

Almost straight away Croft and the rest of the commando team ran straight into a veritable wall of mobile dolls. The volley of fire from the dolls was the most intense Croft had seen in a long while and as if to prove a point two of his pilots were cut down. He returned fire with this beam rifle and the tight orange beams burned through the thin armour plating of a Virgo II easily. However before long many of the dolls had their shields activated with those pesky planet defensers float about.

Croft swung his laser rifle into a firing position and fired at the nearest doll. The tight blue beam drilled through the brown Virgo II's head. As the mobile doll's control systems died the limbs of the mighty war machine jerked violently before going limp. With its thrusters dead the doll's momentum allowed it to start spinning. It kept spinning until it collided with another Virgo II. The new comer didn't even react to the bump and just kept on coming. The damaged doll merely drifted away before it was hit by a stray beam rifle shot and was destroyed.

Some of the commandos still had their beam cannons. Croft could see them lighting up the battlefield with their very distinctive light. As it happened the engineers had been right, the cannon was powerful enough to overwhelm even the planet defenser shield. It was so distracting that Croft failed to notice Peacemillion ramming itself into Libra. The enormous battlestation and equally large spaceship crushed together were quite the sight to behold. When Croft finally noticed the event he quickly surmised that the great white spaceship had more or less done his primary job for him already. He doubted whether the Libra would be able to fire her main cannon with Peacemillion sticking out of it. Over his radio Croft could make out a somewhat ragged cheer coming from the nearby World Nation soldiers. The battle was far from won but a blow had been struck to White Fang that would be difficult for them to come back from anytime soon.

There were, however, some more pressing matters closer at hand. The mobile dolls were closing in on his position again. Off to his right a trio of Space Leos were gunned down in quick succession by a single Virgo II. With both beam and laser rifle Croft destroyed the offending doll but the revenge was little consolation for the loss of three soldier's lives. At pretty much the same time a Taurus was decapitated then riddled with holes just above Croft's machine. For a moment he wondered whether it was Sara's mobile suit. He'd lost track of her during the battle and he hoped she was safe. He couldn't bare the thought of losing her.

He turned his attention to the doll that killed his comrade and got ready to seek out revenge once again. However the Virgo I was destroyed by a well place shot that tore through its defensive shield. It looked to Croft like a tracer round from a dober gun. he turned quickly to see a quite remarkable sight. A squad of Space Leos had just turned up and were laying into the mobile dolls. They were all equipped with dober guns. The other thing that Croft noticed was that they were all painted green and they all had shoulder shields.

"It looked like you could use a hand Captain," said a voice over the radio. Croft could detect a distinct Eastern European vibe to the man's voice.

Almost instantly Croft let his Taurus fall into formation with the Space Leos. He didn't really know why but it seemed like a good idea to stick with these guys. There dober guns were making short work of the dolls. Croft couldn't understand why their shells passed through the defensive shield so easily.

"Impressive firepower you've got there," he commented as he fired on a Virgo I. The black machine was hit twice in the torso and exploded as a result. "How come the shells aren't stopped by the shield?"

"The finest anti-mobile doll shells," replied the eastern European pilot. "A gift from his excellency Trieze Khushrenada. I don't know how they work but by god I'm glad they do. I'm Major Viktor Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and this is all that is left of my battalion. Looks like this battle has been just as tough for you boys of the commando team." He aimed his dober gun and fired again. The special anti-mobile doll shell tore through the thin armour of a Virgo II and went straight on into the dolls behind it.

"Oh yeah this has been hella fun," replied Croft as he finished off a doll that had been damaged by one of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's men. "Can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing on Christmas Eve."

By now the rest of the commando team had formed up around the Viktor's Space Leos. The old and older mobile suits worked well together in taking down the myriad of mobile dolls. It was not without loss though. Two more Taurus' were felled and four Space Leos bit the dust but it only made the survivors fight harder.

Suddenly a quartet of Virgo IIs came rocketing out of broiling battle from directly above. To Croft's surprise these dolls were armed with beam sabres and it looked like they knew how to use them. Within seconds they were amongst the formation of World Nation mobile suits. The Virgo II closet to Croft immediately skewered a Space Leo. Croft stowed his laser rifle and activated his own beam sabre. He swung the bright pink blade towards the Virgo II. It turned out to be a rather clumsy effort as his first attack merely chewed up the Virgo II's backpack thruster racks. He second attempt was more refined and punched through the doll's torso.

He could see across the group that Viktor was struggling against his opponent. The little green Space Leo had several chucks missing from various parts of its body but it was still going. The Virgo II and the Space Leo were locked together with their sabres unable to move. Pressing down on his foot peddles Croft rushed over to assist. He plunged his sabre down into the Virgo II's head as soon as he got close enough. When the doll stopped moving his yanked it again from Viktor's machine.

"You should try and be more careful Major," he said jokingly.

"No ZOINKS; I'm supposed to be visiting my kid sister for New Years," replied the Major, "She'd never forgive me if I died out here to one of these soulless beasts."

Both men laughed. The best cure for fear some say. However in this case it was nearly fatal. A volley of beam rifle shots rained down from above. The thruster binder on the right hand side of Croft's Taurus was blown away along with the suit's left arm. Viktor's Space Leo lost both its legs and the dober gun was totally destroyed. Croft wasn't sure but it looked like a few more of his comrades were killed. Things were to confused to get a clear picture of what was happening.

About ten Virgo IIs were bearing down on the little group of World Nation mobile suits. They were all heavily armed. He retrospect Croft thought that it had been a nifty bit of planing to use a close combat attack to break up their formation before sending in a heavily armed ranged squad to finish off the survivors. He wondered idly who was dishing out the orders to the dolls. The killing blow, however, didn't come. Instead the dolls merely stopped, well within range but they weren't firing. Croft couldn't understand it until he received a radio message.

"This is MO II to all World Nation units. His Excellency Treize Khushrenada has fallen in battle. I repeat His Excellency Treize Khushrenada is dead. By order of Lady Une the World Nation has surrendered to White Fang. This message has already been communicated to White Fang. All units stand down and return to MO II."

"What the ZOINKS! We surrender just 'cos that pompous little arse gets himself killed?" exclaimed Viktor.

"What do we do sir?" it was Corporal Berghahn. His Taurus was beaten up but still working. Croft was somewhat surprised; he'd been expecting Berghahn to be one of those who died in the battle.

"You heard what the man said," replied Croft. "We've surrendered so we head back to the barn. Doesn't look like the dolls will stop us." He was right. The dolls were just maintaining their position. "Oh Corporal, have you seen Lieutenant Cambridge anywhere? I can't seem to find her."

"Lieutenant Cambridge was wounded earlier, sir," replied Berghahn smartly. "She tried to barge her way through a trio of Virgo IIs in order to reach you sir. They didn't seem to like it too much and she was hurt badly. I got a couple of Space Leos to escort her back to MO II though, they should be there by now."

"Good work Corporal," replied Croft. He turned his mobile suit around and pointed it towards MO II. "Will you be joining us Major?"

"I don't have much choice in the matter do I?" said Major Viktor Saxe-Coburg-Gotha bitterly. Corporal Berghahn's Taurus swiftly came in and grabbed the Major's Leo. Given how badly damaged it was it would certainly need help in getting back to MO II.

Robert Croft let his hands drop away from his Taurus' controls. He'd already locked in the coordinates for MO II and the automatic pilot was more than capable of getting him there. So it seemed as though the battle and even the war was over. It wasn't the outcome he expected. He pondered on what the future might hold for him. Knowing that Sara was safe was enough to satisfy him a lot. As long as he could be with her he didn't really care about the greater politics of the Earth Sphere.

End of the Tale

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'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


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Special Tale 2: Lieutenant James Keffer - VF-1S "Super" Valkyrie - Final Battle of Space War One

James Keffer's VF-1S "Super" Valkyrie soared through the enormous battle that was unfolding in Earth Orbit. The Zentradi's Bodol Main Fleet had defolded into the Earth's orbit and then proceeded to pulverise the planet's surface. Nearly 4.8 million ships were ranged against the SDF-1 Macross and her handful of allied Zentradi renegades from the Adoclass Fleet. If James had actually stopped to think about what was happening he probably would have gone insane. Fortunately he was too focused on getting revenge for the Earth to think about anything else.

James dropped his Valkyrie onto the tails of a quartet of Gnerl fighter pods. Rather than waste bullets or missiles on such small fry opponents James coaxed some more thrust from his engines and closed into to use the Valkyrie's quartet of head mounted Mauler ROV-20 anti-aircraft laser cannons. Even in fighter mode the laser cannons were operational and thus James used the rapid firing laser beams to shred two of the Gnerls into nothing more than space debris. The other two managed to avoid his attacks and slipped off into the battle. James thought better than trying to chase them down. In a battle such as this there were more then enough enemies to go around.

As if to prove the point five Reguld came out from behind the wreckage of a large Zentradi warship. James sent his Valkyrie off in an arcing dive as the Regulds chased after him with their electron beam guns firing. Using the Valkyrie's superior speed James was able to loop back around the Regulds before they could turn to keep up. The human fighter plane's targeting computer locked onto the enemy tactical pods and James switched his weapon selector over to missiles. In an instant five missiles were sent rocketing through space from their wing mounted micro-missile launcher pod. Four of the Regulds were destroyed outright when the missiles hit their targets. The last one, however, managed to shoot down the missile with its anti-aircraft laser guns. James smiled slightly he liked the idea that this particular Zentradi wasn't a completely useless pilot. Of course that didn't help the Zentradi much when 55mm bullets from James' Howard GU-11 3-barrel Gatling gunpod tore through the Reguld's armour.

James was so pleased with himself that he nearly flew straight into a Zentradi Quiltra Queleual class landing ship. At what seemed like the last possible moment he transformed the Valkyrie to GERWALK mode to do some heavy breaking and then to skim along the surface of the Quiltra Queleual. It occurred to James that he didn't have a clue about how you were supposed to pronounce a name like that. The only reason he knew it at all was because his combat computer told him so. He guessed that it had already been updated with all the latest information from the Adoclass fleet.

Across the green armoured surface of the Zentradi warship James noticed a domed structure emerge from within. He guessed it was a weapon emplacement of some sort and thus spared no time at all in loosing a volley from his gunpod at it. The resulting explosion blew away pretty much all of the weapon housing. James brought his Valkyrie to a halt next to the new hole in the hull. He tried peering inside but couldn't get a clear view. In the end he decided just to poke one of his Valkyrie's arms into the hole and fire off a couple of micro-missiles from the arm mounted launcher. After a few brief moments he was sure he could feel the distant vibration of explosions come from within the Quiltra Queleual. He promptly transformed his machine from GERWALK mode back to fighter mode and raced away. James was rewarded a few minutes later with the sight of the landing ship being ripped apart by internal explosions.

As James jetted away through the space he was joined by a pair of VF-1A Valkyries. He didn't recognise either machine and it make him acutely aware that he didn't have clue as to where his own squadron was. A huge wave of Regulds had made their formation break up earlier in the battle and since then James hadn't seen any of them. He hoped they were okay. He trained them as best as he possibly could but in a battle like this that only counted for so much.

All around them the battle raged. It seemed as though space itself was on fire from all the explosions. Even if beams, bullets or missiles missed their intended target chances were they'd hit something. There were so many Zentradi ships around that it seemed impossible to miss. An enormous Nupetiet-Vergnitzs class battleship was torn asunder by a pair of Quilltra-Quelamitz gunboats firing their main guns at the same time. James didn't know whose side any of the Zentradi ships were on. But that didn't matter as far as he was concerned the only good Zentradi was a dead Zentradi.

A stray beam punched through the cockpit of one of the VF-1A Valkyries. The stricken fighter carried on flying in formation before eventually she exploded. James swore and tried looking around for where the beam came from. It was, however, impossible to tell so he just took off after the nearest Zentradi unit which just so happened to be a Nousjadeul-Ger battle suit. The purple coloured battle suit was, as far as James could tell, acting somewhat erratically. It seemed to be flying and firing randomly. James guessed that it's pilot was being affected by the singing of the pop idol Lynn Minmay. He had cut her transmission from his radio as he found it somewhat distracting. Of course it didn't affect him the same way it did the Zentradi.

As James zoomed in close to the Nousjadeul-Ger he fired his gunpod. The bullets ripped through the battle suit's armour giving it the same appearance as Swiss cheese. However as it died the Nousjadeul-Ger fired off all its weapons and a rogue beam struck James' Valkyrie in it's port engine. James cursed his own bad luck as he immediately began to feel the power loss from the damaged engine. The damage wasn't enough to destroy the fighter but it was enough to slow it down. He tried to radio to his new found wingman that he would have to return to the Macross for repairs but it seemed as though his transmitter had been damaged as well. In the end James resorted to hand signals to get his point across.

Trying not to draw too much attention to himself James turned his fighter around and headed back towards the Macross. He could see the giant humanoid shaped warship surrounded by the green Zentradi warships of the Adoclass fleet. The Macross was a reassuring sight. Knowing that she was still fighting was enough to keep James going. He was, therefore, somewhat annoyed to discover a Quilltra-Quelamitz class gunboat steaming towards the Macross with its main beam gun charging to fire. Despite the damage to his Valkyrie James banked it down towards the gunboat and pushed his thrusters as much as he dared. He could feel the whole fighter vibrating under the strain but it was worth it. Dropping his targeting retinal onto the gunboat James switched his weapon selector onto missiles and then onto his four RMS-1 large anti-ship reaction missiles. With reckless abandon he fired off all four. All the missiles struck home. Two hit the main structure while the other two slammed into the maw of the cannon. The Zentradi gunboat was vaporised in an explosion as bright as the sun. James knew, of course, that using all four missiles was overkill even for a ship that size. However as far as James was concerned protecting the Macross was paramount.

James lined his Valkyrie up to land on the deck of the CVS-01 Prometheous. It was at that moment that he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a large formation of Regulds and Nousjadeul-Gers. They were approaching the Macross from directly below. From the looks of things no-one on the Macross herself had spotted them. Breaking off his landing James orientated himself towards the approaching enemies. There were a lot of them. His targeting computer had at least fifty targets highlighted. James looked around for any other allied strike craft but drew a blank.

He gritted his teeth and rammed the thruster control up to overboost and screamed towards the enemy battle pods. As soon as the targeting computer started beeping to confirm lock on James fired off as many mirco-missiles as he possibly could. It looked like some amazing aerobatics display as dozens of missiles burst forth from the "Super" Valkyrie and James flung the machine about to avoid incoming enemy fire. In a matter of moments James had fired all his missiles and it turned from an aerobatics display to a fireworks display as the missiles started hitting home. Unfortunately for James, however, it was not enough. Coordinated fire from a pair of Regulds tore through the fuselage of his VF-1S "Super" Valkyrie. "Raima, I l..." were James Keffer's last words before the explosion extinguished his life once and for all.

End of the Special Tale

_________________
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


Last edited by Pegasus on Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tale 25: 2nd Lieutenant Ana Saxe-Coburg-Gotha - AEU-05 AEU Hellion - Operation Containment

2nd Lieutenant Ana Saxe-Coboug-Gotha was reading a letter made all the more unusual by the fact that it was also hand written. She looked up for a moment and gazed out of the small porthole like window to her left. All she could see was a sea of white clouds that seemed to surround the transport plane. She supposed that far beneath them was Eastern Anatolia; it certainly felt like they'd been in the air for hours.

"Hey newbie, who's gone to all the trouble of writing a letter to you," asked Lieutenant Kole Idromeno. "Don't tell me you left a boyfriend pining away back home."

Ana looked at her commanding officer. Idromeno was the senior officer of the mobile suit team she was assigned too; he also happened to be the executive officer for the battalion's A Company. She considered him to be generally an okay officer but she did not like being called newbie. It was true that she was barely a month out of the academy and the newest pilot in the company but it wasn't nice to keep reminding her.

"I already told you that I don't have a boyfriend, Lieutenant," replied Ana. "The letter is from my older sister. Sofia is a bit old fashioned so she sends me letters rather than emails."

"Gee newbie, how old fashioned is she? " Idromeno started to say but was interrupted by warning lights flashing throughout the cabin. They indicated that the transport plane was nearing its destination. "Okay people lets get a move on you all know the drill."

Shoving the letter into a pocket in her pale blue uniform Ana rushed out of the cabin and down the narrow corridor towards the locker room and hanger. She joined Lieutenant Idromeno and 2nd Lieutenant Boris Trajkovski in the locker room where all three quickly changed into their pilot suits in silence. There was, undoubtedly, tension in the room and Ana knew that it wasn't just the thought of the upcoming mission that was causing it.

Each member nation in the Advanced European Union maintained their own standing armed forces. However the AEU parliament authorised the creation of several multi-national units that formed a united rapid reaction force. One particular unit was the 2nd Balkan Battalion to which Ana and her comrades belonged. The battalion was an attempt by the Advanced European Union to foster a sense of unity amongst the diverse ethnic groups of the Balkan peninsula. The thought was to use the military to encourage cooperation and comradeship. It worked after a fashion but was hardly perfect. Idromeno was Albanian, Trajovski was Macedonian and Ana was Bulgarian. They worked together fine as a military unit but Ana would hardly call them friends.

The three pilots left the locker room and made their way down to the hanger of the transport plane. Inside jammed inside the large hanger were three AEU-05 Hellions. Although now somewhat dated the Hellion was still the frontline mobile suit of the AEU. Ana liked it as a machine. It was simple and easy to use but she did admit it lacked power in places. There was talk of a replacement being developed that was going through trails and that would be unveiled soon. Of course she longed for a new suit but she knew that she'd miss the Hellion when it finally left them.

She clambered into the cockpit of her machine and got to the start up checklist. It was rather cramped in the hanger. All three machines were on their backs in a complicated rack arrangement. They were going to be launched in mobile suit mode; rather than flight mode. It was all part of Lieutenant Idromeno's plan.

"Is everyone ready?" asked Lieutenant Idromeno over the radio. Ana voiced her confirmation and so did Trajovski. "Good. Remember intelligence tells us that the enemy has between six and nine Hellions. We can expect them to be older models with obsolete weapons and that they'll have been poorly maintained." He uploaded a copy of the map for the operational area to his subordinates. "3rd MS Team will be launching from the other transport and providing air support for us. They will soften up the enemy with bombs but the grunt work falls to us. When we drop don't activate your flight engines until you have to soften your fall. The enemy will pick us off if we start lumbering around in the air in mobile suit mode."

"4th MS Team to Control we are ready to drop on your instruction," Idromeno informed the mission controller on the bridge of the transport plane. Ana didn't listen to the rest of the conversation. It didn't involve her much and anyway she was far more concerned about the impending drop. They had done simulations in training but the idea of deliberately not using the Hellion's flight capabilities seemed somewhat wrong to her. That said the enemy probably wouldn't expect to see Hellions used in such a way.

So interested in her own thoughts Ana nearly missed the green light for the drop. Not that it would have mattered anyway as her Hellion was flung from the transport without any input from her. However her Hellion hurtling towards the ground like a oddly shaped green rock focused her senses brilliantly. She used the control sticks to bring the Hellion into formation with her team mates.

The Hellion's panoramic monitor granted Ana amazing range of vision but all she could really see at the moment was the ground getting ever closer. The altimeter on her controls was spinning faster than she thought possible. Later, once the adrenaline had left her system, Ana would admit that she was petrified and that this drop was the most terrifying thing she'd ever done.

The operational area was the foothills to the north of Lake Urmia. All three of the Hellions hurtled towards the area at impressive speeds. They all also waited to what appeared to suicidally late before firing their thrusters to slow their fall. However they all succeeded in not becoming large metal pancakes. A huge cloud of dust was thrown into the air as Ana's Hellion skidded to a halt on the dry earth. Simultaneously the three Hellions from the 3rd MS Team screamed down from high altitude. In flight mode they carried a variety of bombs under their wings and in sequence they dropped them onto the enemy positions. This resulted in a fairly impressive pyrotechnics display.

Ana was surprised at how quickly the enemy seemed to regroup from the bombing which surely must have caused much confusion. It hardly felt like any time at all before the enemy Hellions opened fire. Tracer shots came in fast and in great numbers chewing up the ground around Ana's Hellion. Straight away she knew the shots were coming from machine guns rather than linear rifles. She also noted how exposed she was so with the pushing of buttons and a shifting of control sticks her Hellion lumbered off to make better use of the terrain for cover.

The enemy mobile suits were entrenched, after a fashion, on a ridge above the three AEU Hellions. Ana didn't expect to see Lieutenant Idromeno's Hellion stand up straight in the open and take aim at the brown mobile suits. That was, however, exactly what he was doing. His linear rifle was pointed straight at what appeared to be the lead enemy machine. Ana guessed it was because her combat computer was telling her it had a different, more advanced, head to the others. No matter how advanced the head was, however, it could not withstand the direct hit from a linear rifle round. The delicately crafted electronics within the thinly armoured head were torn to pieces as the electromagnetically fired projectile struck home. The whole machine shuddered slightly before slumping backwards out of sight. Ana noted a pillar of smote emerging moments later suggesting that the brown mobile suit had caught fire.

2nd Lieutenant Trajovski also opened fire but from a much better protected location than the team commander. He was just as accurate as Idromeno and downed one of the enemy Hellions with two well placed shots to its upper body. Feeling a bit left out Ana took aim and opened fire herself. She squeezed off several shots at the Hellion that was closest to her and not one of them hit it. The rounds went above, below and to the sides but didn't actually come anywhere near hitting it. Somewhat surprised at that Ana quickly checked the targeting system to see if it was working properly. It was only then that she noticed that her hand holding the trigger was shaking quite violently. It was this that was throwing her aim off. As with all modern military equipment it was possible to have the mobile suit's computers to do all the targeting for you so that if the trigger was pressed the machine would make sure a target was hit. That, however, was not how Lieutenant Idromeno liked his team to work. The 4th MS Team's mobile suits were all set up for manual targeting. Therefore if Ana's hand was shaking when she pressed the trigger it wouldn't go where she wanted it to.

The part of Ana's brain that wasn't petrified and that was operating quiet normally was throwing every insult under the sun at her commanding officer. Her silent confusion / anger was broken partly by the sight of an enemy Hellion bounding down the hill towards her own machine. This was the first chance Ana had got to give the enemy a good look over. She could tell that it was an older Hellion. It lacked the flight wings, most likely long since broken, had a crude head with old large cameras and what appeared to be a cobbled together machinegun which used parts from a Human Reform League Tieren's gun.

It was firing that strange weapon at her as it scrambled down the hill side. Gravity was helping it along the way and a cloud of dust was billowing out behind it. Now Ana couldn't move a muscle as the brown mobile suit came bearing down upon her. It seemed illogical to her that just moments ago she couldn't stop her hands from shaking but now she couldn't move them at all. It hadn't been like this in the simulations. Once again that little bit of her brain that was operating normally pointed out that this was real combat not some game.

Everything changed when the enemy scored a lucky hit. The shell hit Ana's Hellion on its left shoulder. The majority of that arm was smashed beyond recognition and what was left dropped away as so much scrap metal. Inside her panoramic cockpit Ana closed her eyes screamed in shock and fright at the top of her voice. At the same time, however, she pressed the trigger for her linear gun twice. This time the two electromagnetically fired projectiles hit their mark. The mark in question being the knee caps of the oncoming Hellion. With both its knees torn to pieces the Hellion left its lower legs behind as it plummeted to the ground head first. There was a loud and very definitive crunch as it struck the ground. It was the kind of crunch that suggested the machine wasn't going to be getting up any time soon.

Ana did not open her eyes until Lieutenant Idromeno's voice came wafting through her cockpit. "Hey newbie don't scream so loud. My ears are ringing."

"Sorry, sir." she managed after a few seconds of recovery. "The enemy sir?"

"We've got them all newbie," said Trajovski. "The one you bagged was the last one trying to leg it."

"Yes it was a bit easier than I expected," said Idromeno. "The 3rd Team did more damage to them than we planned. Anyway we can leave that for the debrief. Not bad going for your first combat mission Saxe-Coburg-Gotha but I think we've got a way to go yet before we stop calling you newbie."

End of the Tale

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Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


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Tale 26: 2nd Lieutenant Ana Saxe-Coburg-Gotha - AEU-05 AEU Hellion - The Bachwezi Intervention

It was hot, very hot indeed. In fact it was much hotter than 2nd Lieutenant Ana Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was used to. She was sat on a canvas folding chair under the cover of a khaki tent that was serving as the 4th MS Team's briefing room. Ana was fanning herself with her briefing documents. Ana was a Bulgarian born and bred and therefore was used to the temperate climate of her homeland. The sub-tropical heat of the Great Lakes region in central Africa, in which the small Kingdom of Bachwezi lay, was not something that Ana liked. She had always wanted to visit Africa but this wasn't exactly what she had in mind.

One of the tent flaps was pushed open and a man Ana didn't recognise entered who was followed by Lieutenant Idromeno. It took Ana a few moments to spot the slight differences on the new man's uniform that indicated that he was a captain from the general staff. It took her even longer to snap to attention but she managed it in the end.

The black haired staff officer was immaculately dressed in full uniform and looked as though he had never encountered dirt before in his life. Ana meanwhile was feeling particularly grubby in her dirty and sweaty tropical duty uniform having spent most of the morning helping the mechanics run maintenance on her Hellion. The staff officer introduced himself as Avrid Posse and launched into the mission briefing. The gist of it was that the Bachwezi king, Ndahura XI, had recently put in a formal request to the Advanced European Union parliament for military aid and assistance. Ndahura's small kingdom was under siege from rebels that wanted to overthrow him. The intelligence reports suggested that the rebels, calling themselves the Bunyoro-Kitara, were equipped with mobile suits. They were unable to identify what type or how many mobile suits they rebels had but that alone set them well above the Bachwezian military that could only field a menagerie antiquated tanks.

"What I don't get is why the hell we are out here risking out necks for this Ndahura guy," It was 2nd Lieutenant Trajovski that spoke and it came as a bit of a surprise to Ana as it wasn't exactly the norm to interrupt mission briefings. "From what I've heard he's a total ass hole that has run this country into the ground. He lives in a palace while his people starve."

Captain Posse looked non-plussed for a moment before replying. "It is true that there have been some food shortages in recent months but it is hardly fair to blame King Ndahura XI. He and his government are doing the best they can with what resources they have."

"That's bollocks. He's corrupt and a dictator that oppresses his own people," snapped Trajovski. "At least the Bunyoro-Kitara want democratic parliamentary government. We are only here because this stinking country is near the elevator."

"Boris shut the hell up," shouted Lieutenant Idromeno. "We are soldiers. We follow our orders and let the politicians worry about the higher stuff. Captain Posse allow me to apologise for my subordinate speaking out of turn. He will be punished."

"It's alright Lieutenant. There are those at headquarters that agree with 2nd Lieutenant Trajovski. Major Saxe-Coburg-Gotha of Section 11 in particular has been vocal on the subject," said Posse. There was a shift in his features as though he was fixing himself on a idea. "The truth of the matter is that King Ndahura XI is indeed a dictator he is as corrupt as they come and couldn't careless about the general public. That is why so many people hate him. However he is a friend to the AEU. He has made it clear that he wishes to cooperate with us. Being this close to the orbital elevator we need friendly leaders. The Bunyoro-Kitara have publicly declared that if they overthrow Ndahura they'll cut all links with the AEU. That isn't something we can allow," said Posse. "You might not like it but they are your orders. We can not, however, actively go after the rebels. We are here to provide support to the Bachwezi military and protect the combat engineers that are currently building the base that will be the home to an AEU peacekeeping force."

Ana's attention shifted away from the briefing. Captain Posse had said that Major Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had been opposed to this mission. There was only one person who that could be, her older brother Viktor. She knew he worked at the General Staff though he never said exactly what he did do there. Was he opposed to the mission because he knew that her unit was being given it and he wanted to protect her or did feel it was morally wrong like Trajovski? Ana would be the first to admit that she'd never been very close to Viktor; he was a clear twelve years older than Ana and had been something of a golden child for their parents. She hadn't seen Viktor for at least two years and she doubted he'd oppose an operation just because of her. In many respects that made things worse for her.

The tent flap was pushed open again and a rather flush faced soldier burst in. "Lieutenant Idromeno, sir, we've just got word from Colonel Kutenu. Two companies of Bachwezi armour are engaging the rebel's main force about twenty miles north of our position. Details are sketchy but apparently the rebels have four to six large mobile suits."

"What already? ZOINKS. Get the techs to prep the Hellions for immediate launch," ordered Lieutenant Idromeno. "Captain Posse if you'll excuse us; whatever mobile suits they are will butcher those tanks if we don't support them."

Posse simply nodded and the three pilots raced out of the tent. Ana was hit by a wave of heat as they exited and made their way to another tent that was serving as a makeshift locker room. She didn't like the idea of having to don her pilot suit in these temperatures but it was unavoidable. It did, however, also double as a G-suit without which piloting the Hellion would be impossible. It took the pilots only a few brief minutes to change into their pilot suits and so almost straight away they were off running to their mobile suits.

The three Hellions were all kneeling in a clearing down a slight incline from the AEU forces main camp. Out here in the wilderness they did not have the facilities to convert the Hellions between their humanoid and flight modes. Ana knew that the flight mode would have allowed them to reach the Bachwezian tanks faster but their options for mobile suit combat once reaching the battlefield would be limited. She had heard that the new Enact mobile suit could transform freely between the two modes. She could scarcely begin to imagine how advantageous that would be. She trotted up the metal gantry that gave access to her Hellion's cockpit. The technicians and mechanics had already got the machine warmed up and ticking over. Ana dropped into the seat and let it slid back into position as this happened the panoramic monitor blinked into live and the cockpit hatch closed itself. Her hands darted over the controls of her mobile suit as she did a quick systems check. The linear rifle had a fully charged battery and its magazine was fully loaded.

Lieutenant Idromeno's Hellion was already starting to stand up. Ana was always amazed as how quickly he seemed to be able to get into a mobile suit and have it operational while she was barely half-way through her checks. It did not, however, take her long to catch up and once all three Hellions were ready they gently lifted off. In flight the Hellion wasn't exactly a graceful machine but it did its job well enough. Ana liked it because it was simple and easy to control sure the Union's new Flag mobile suit made the Hellion look like a flying brick but it was good enough for Ana.

As the AEU mobile suits rose higher in the distance they could spot billowing clouds of black smoke at the battle site. Ana could see at least half a dozen of them. She prayed that some of the crews had managed to escape their doomed tanks. Images of the battlefield taken by satellites were transmitted to Ana's Hellion from a monitoring facility contained within the incomplete orbital elevator.

She studied the images intently before speaking on the team communication channel. "Sir, the satellite image shows four Anf mobile suits attacking the tanks."

"That's just the small fry, newbie," it was Trajovski speaking now with his usual condescending tone of voice. "There are a pair of Tierens on the ridge behind the Anfs."

"I guess that explains who is funding this rebellion," replied Idromeno calmly. "Not that it matters really. We've still got a job to do. Newbie you take the Anfs, we'll deal with the Tierens."

Ana sounded her confirmation of the order. The casual observer might have considered it odd that the "newbie" was given four enemies to fight while the two experienced pilots would duke it out one on one with their opponents. Ana, however, was fully aware that she had been given the easy job. The Anf was an old, slow, poorly armed and lacklustre enemy for a Hellion. The Tierens were much more challenging and clearly Lieutenant Idromeno didn't think she was up to the task. Her ears burned at the thought of being considered inadequate but deep down she knew that her performance in the last mission had hardly helped her at all.

By now they were practically on top of the battlefield. As it became clear that they were moments away from getting involved in the battle Ana could feel both excitement and fear building up. Her heart had started the pound so fast she thought it might burst out of her chest. She swallowed hard trying to keep her emotions in check; self control was an important part of being soldier. That was something that Lieutenant Idromeno had drummed into her since the last mission. She had to admit that he'd done a pretty good job of helping her overcome her fear of real combat. They'd even gone so far as to conduct live fire exercises with Trajovski playing bad guy; Ana suspected the Macedonian secretly enjoyed it a bit too much.

On Lieutenant Idromeno's order she broke formation and headed towards the Anfs. Ana could see a pair of Bachwezian tanks making an attack on one of the sand coloured mobile suits. She didn't recognise the design of the tanks, they had a high profile and what almost looked like wings sticking out of the turret, but they were both quickly felled by a hail of heavy machinegun rounds from the Anfs. Anger raged inside of Ana this wasn't a fair fight at all. From the looks of it the tanks hadn't even been able to scratch the Anfs. It was a total one sided slaughter. She forgot all about the moral and political trappings surrounding this battle. All she could think about was the injustice of using overwhelming force against an enemy that could barely defend themselves.

She was still afraid, nothing could get rid of that, but it was different from last time. Now it felt more like to was fighting for the right reasons. While the motives of their leaders were suspect she couldn't help but feel a bond with the luckless tank crews as they fought desperately for their lives. She took aim with her linear rifle; as she descended she took all the variables she could think of into consideration and then fire three times. The first electromagnetically fired projectile smashed through the elongated head of the nearest Anf. The second two impacted with the lumbering machine's backpack, totally destroying its power plant. The sand coloured mobile suit slumped to the ground and burst into flames.

Upon witnessing the demise of their comrade the remaining Anfs turned their attention towards Ana's Hellion. They raised their arm mounted machines guns and opened fire on the AEU mobile suit. Fortunately for her the Hellion's speed and manoeuvrability far out shone the Anfs. Ana kept moving at a pace that the Anfs could only dream of and made fortuitous use of the terrain to keep her hidden as much as possible. She zoomed around a low hill with her Hellion mere metres off the ground, she was using the craft's powerful engines to essentially hover, and took aim again. The Anfs were still shooting back but she was moving too fast for them to hit her. The opposite, however, was not the case. Her first volley of shots hit the lead Anf in the torso. It's armour was design more to protect against small arms fire than the mighty slugs thrown out by a linear rifle. As such the damaged machine fell backwards and it too burst into flames.

A beeping on Ana's console alerted her to the situation of her team mates. Lieutenant Irdomeno's Hellion had just been punched by one of the Tierens. Evidently her commanding office had got in a little too close to the hulking Human Reform League behemoth. The punch threw the comparatively lightweight Hellion off balance and caused it to drop its linear rifle. For a moment Ana considered moving to assist Irdomeno but he helped himself before she could. The suit's powerful thruster were used to bring the Hellion back under control and in a swift movement Idromeno took out and activated his suit's primary melee weapon, the sonic blade. Though small when compared with the Tieren's massive carbon blade the Hellion's sonic blade was non the less still deadly as Idromeno demonstrated when he sank the blade into the Tieren's torso. The high frequency vibrations allowed the blade to cut through the Tieren's thick armour with ease.

Ana dreaded to think what the Tieren's pilot must have experienced when that blade plunged into their cockpit. Unfortunately this distraction had caused Ana's to come to a virtual stop and the remaining Anfs had made us of this to make a move against her. The two rebel machines had split up and were attempting to contain the AEU mobile suit in a pincer movement. At the moment Ana realised what had happened the Anfs opened fire with both their 200mm x 25 calibre-length smooth-bore guns and their 30mm machine guns. Ana struggled to get her machine moving again. The Hellion could easily run rings around the Anfs but it still took time to reach top speed. Some of the munitions thrown at the 2nd Balkan mobile suit struck the defence rod sending it spinning rapidly. Then, just as the Hellion was reaching for the sky, a smooth-bore round struck the suits right foot. The heavy shell tore through the armour plating and delicate machinery.

Ana screamed and swore loudly in equal measure as she tried to recover from the disruption to her flight. She returned fire but missed with her first volley. The loss of the foot was not a terminal problem for the Hellion but it had thrown the machine off balance. Fortunately for Ana assistance came in the form of a trio of Bachwezian tanks. Unlike the earlier ones she'd seen these were short and stocky with twin barrels in their turrets. They opened fire on one of the Anfs causing it too halt its attack on Ana. One of the tanks scored a lucky hit on the Anf's right elbow which caused the entire forearm, along with the smooth-bore gun, to fall to the ground. Ana took advantage of this to open fire again, having regained full balance, and this time she did not miss her mark as the rounds from her linear rifle tore through the Anf's torso. The rebel machine quickly burst into flames before finally exploding.

By now the sole remaining Anf was trying to back away from the battle. It was hinder in this, however, by the pilot's desire not to leave his back exposed to the combined AEU-Bachwezian forces. Both its guns blazed away but to not effect. Ana had got her Hellion back up to full thrust and she rocked towards the Anf with wanton abandon. She held her fire until she was right on top of the sand coloured mobile suit. As she passed over it her linear rifle fired four times. Seconds later she was gone and the Anf was a pile of scrap metal.

As Ana's Hellion crested the ridge, upon which the Tierens had stood earlier, she caught sight of 2nd Lieutenant Trajovski deliver a knock-out blow to the last Tieren. To her surprise though it was not a kill shot. The Macedonian had skilfully disabled the Tieren by shooting off its limbs at the joints. Assuming the pilot was still alive they'd be able to extract some useful information from them.

The battle was over. It had been short but quite brutal. Ana was relieved that no one from the 4th MS Team had been killed, or even seriously injured. Unfortunately the same could not be said of their Bachwezian allies whose tank force had taken heavy casualties. With a little difficulty Ana landed her machine and for a moment took stock of what had happened. She took off her helmet and loosened her pilot suit. There was a rather ripe smell in the cockpit and Ana knew that she really would have to get a shower once they made it back to base.

End of the Tale

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Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


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Special Tale 3: Flight Lieutenant Rutger Harken - VF-11A Thunderbolt Super - Long Range Patrol

The three VF-11A Thunderbolt Super fighters cruised through the depths of space. They were on a perfectly ordinary patrol; the sort of mission that colony ship pilots performed every day. Their frigate come carrier was in orbit of a nearby planet conducting a survey of suitability for colonisation. Flight Lieutenant Rutger Harken suspected that it would end up a yet another inhospitable dust bowl. The last four promising planets had all ended up with one terrible drawback or another; he was still having nightmares about those giant worms. He yawned lazily and turned his attention back to flying his fighter.

"So, what do you think Flight Lieutenant?" asked Flying Officer Piete Falance, his voice cutting through the silence that had been permeating Rutger's cockpit.

"Sorry did you say something?" the slightly startled Flight Lieutenant replied.

"Were you even listening, sir?" asked Falance.

"No I wasn't," replied Rutger. The sniggering of Rutger's other subordinate, Flying Officer Terry Urban, could be heard over the radio. "What do you want Falance?"

"I was asking whether you think we should petition the Wing Commander to change our team name," said Falance.

"You have a problem with it?" asked Rutger.

"Well yes, sir, I do. I mean, come on, Beige Team? It is hardly the most awe-inspiring or fear inducing," ranted Falance. "I think we deserve something better."

"I kinda like it," prompted Urban. "It's understated. No one expects us to be as awesome as we are with such a dull name like that."

"Oh yeah you would like it wouldn't you!" snapped Falance.

"Okay you two lets cut the chatter. We are supposed to be on a mission," said Rutger trying to keep some order. "We don't want Lieutenant Herrin chew us up for blabbing too much."

"Give us a break Flight Lieutenant there's nothing out here but us and some damn rocks," said Falance. "More exciting things happen while watching paint dry."

"Errrrm that might not be entirely accurate," said Urban. "Sir, I've just picked up what might be a fold signature near that planetoid at point 153 Alpha 23.

"Confirmed, I'm getting it as well," said Rutger. "Well we'd better check it out." He switched his radio channel from team level to that of their home ship. "Queen-One this is Beige-One. We are altering our flight plan to investigate a possible fold signature."

The image of the frosty Lieutenant Miriam Hirren appeared on the video screen of Rutger's control console. "Copy that Beige-One, we have detected it as well. Investigate and report your finding as soon as possible, Queen-One out."

The three tan coloured Thunderbolts broke from their assigned course and shifted to head towards point 153 Alpha 23. The planetoid itself was a rather nondescript rock, detritus from aeons ago when this particular solar system formed. As the trio neared the planetoid, however, a green smear became apparent contrasting against the planetoid's grey mass.

"That looks like a Zentradi picket ship," commented Falance as the green object came into view on his radar. "What the hell are they doing out here. We don't even have any in the fleet.

"Maybe they are from another colonisation fleet?" piped up Urban. "Some of the early ones used a lot of Zentradi ships."

"That may be so but command would have told us if there was another fleet in our general area," said Rutger. "We are just going to have to find out the old fashioned way." He switched his radio to an open channel and began broadcasting. "This is Flight Lieutenant Harken of the UN Spacy to Zentradi vessel please respond. I repeat this is Flight Lieutenant Harken of the UN Spacy to Zentradi vessel please respond." The green ship broke orbit and began slowing moving towards the trio of Earth fighters.

"Well you got their attention, sir," commented Falance snidely. "Wait they appear to be launching strike craft. Hang on, those are Reguld battle pods. Who the hell still uses those piles of junk?"

"And those piles of junk are coming at this way in battle formation," advised Urban cautiously. "Might I suggest, sir, that these guys are hostile?"

"That does appear to be the case. Urban contact the Bess and appraise them of the situation," ordered Rutger before licking his lips. "Hey Falance, fancy bagging ourselves a few renegade Zentradi?"

"It's like you read my mind, sir," laughed Falance.

At the same moment both pilots opened up their throttles and burst forth from the stately cruise speed they had been maintaining. They were now rapidly eating up the distance between themselves and the four dozen or so Reguld battle pods. Rutger toggled his weapon selector from his gun pod to missiles. He dropped his targeting reticle over a score of enemy machines and waited for the reticle to go from green to red. Once that happened he loosed his first volley and off to his right Falance was doing the same thing. Spewing forth from the Hughes HMMM-Mk 6 launchers the micro missiles streaked through the void towards their targets.

To Rutger it looked like the whole of space in front of him was lighting up when the missiles struck home. The potent little missiles easily penetrated the lacklustre armour plating of the Regulds. Unfortunately for Rutger, however, the remaining Regulds were now well within range for their electron beam guns and they opened up with a most fearsome barrage. The Thunderbolt's impressive array of vernier thrusters allowed Rutger to throw his machine into a series of erratic manoeuvres that got him clear. However it also allowed the Zentradi battle pods to get into close range.

Accommodating the changing battle situation Rutger transformed his Thunderbolt to battroid mode. With gun pod in hand he deftly twisted the tan coloured machine to avoid an incoming attack. Pressing his trigger in he let rip a short burst of 30 mm bullets at the nearest Reguld. As with the missiles the Zentradi battle pod had no defence for this attack and quickly disintegrated sending the remains of its giant pilot tumbling into space.

Rutger could see that over to his left Falance was still trying to fight with his Thunderbolt in fighter mode. He had to admit that his subordinate was putting on a pretty impressive display of flying. The younger pilot's luck couldn't hold out forever and inevitably a electron beam struck his fighter. Mere feet from the cockpit the beam struck the fuselage at the base of the fight side canard wing. A glancing blow at best the beam caused sufficient damage to weaken the joint between the canard and the main body of the fighter. What followed was more likely to be dreamt up by a film director than happen in reality. Nevertheless the canard broke loose of Falance's fighter and spinning through space it embedded itself, tip first, into the torso of the Reguld that had fired upon it. Falance himself took advantage of the Zentradi's momentary confusion by finishing it off with a short burst from his anti-aircraft pulse laser gun. He quickly changed his fighter to battroid mode which now looked somewhat odd with a canard missing but it was still able to operate effectively.

Rutger gunned down another battle pod with a hail of bullets from his gun pod. He followed it up with another volley of micro missiles. These too did a good job of thinning out the ranks of the Zentradi Regulds. However it seemed to Rutger that there was no end to them. As another pair closed in on his tan battroid he swung his gun pod around and opened fire. The first Reguld went down in flames no bother unfortunately the gun pod chose that exact moment to run out of ammunition. Rutger cursed his luck and immediately hit the reload macro that automatically reloaded the gun pod with a fresh magazine. All the while the other Reguld continued to advance firing its electron beam guns.

Rutger's avoidance manoeuvres were not overly impressive as he took two direct hits. Luckily they did strike the arm mounted shield but they hit with enough force to knock him off balance. Which allowed a third shot from the Reguld to pass straight through his right side Super Part binder. Rutger swore loudly as he saw flames flick across the binder. Instinctively he hit the control to jettison the damaged part before switching the Thunderbolt back to fighter mode and jetting away before it exploded. He didn't get far enough away and his Thunderbolt was knocked off into rough spin. While he struggled to regain control a trio of Regulds closed in for the kill. Much to Rutger's surprise, however, all three of them were dispatched by a timely volley of 35mm bullets from Terry Urban's Thunderbolt.

"Urban!" exclaimed Rutger. "When did you get here?"

"Just now, Flight Lieutenant," replied Urban as he loosed a barrage of missiles into the Reguld swarm. "I brought along a few friends as well!"

"Flight Lieutenant Harken, I give you an easy patrol mission and you have to turn it into a full blown fire fight!" The rather angry face of Wing Commander Raynor, the group commander, appeared on Rutger's communication console. Rutger noticed on his radar screen that there was now a large formation of friendly blips entering into the fray. "I'll deal with you later. Beige Team withdraw back to the Gloriana."

"Yes sir," replied Rutger dejectedly. He hauled his battered fighter around and started to make his way away from the battle. He was quickly joined by Falance and Urban.

"This is Raynor to the 605 and 606 Squadrons target that picket ship, I want it out of our skies. The remainder of 603 Squadron are to clean up the Regulds with 604 Squadron. Get to it people!"

As Rutger's Thunderbolt made its way back to the Gloriana he had all his attention fixed on his radar screen. One by one the red hostiles were destroyed until just one remained. The Zentradi picket ship was a lot harder for the Thunderbolts to taken down as they lacked the heavy anti-ship munitions that earlier Valkyries had available to them. Their micro missiles were little more that bee stings to a vessel that size. Of course enough bee stings can be fatal and Wing Commander Raynor's men proved this quite succinctly.

End of the Special Tale

_________________
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


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Tale 27: The Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Siblings - AEU-009T Enact / AEU-009OA Enact - The Hunt for Suzuhara

Lieutenant Ana Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's Enact cruised high above Africa. Five more of the green European mobile suits joined her machine in formation. Even after two years it was hard for Ana to believe that she now served in a United Nations Army. The call had gone out across the world for skilled pilots to volunteer for a special unit whose mission was to hunt down terrorist organisations. This unit, known as the Anti-Terrorist Mobile Suit Squad, operated under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.

Ana enjoyed the new role even if it had taken her away from her comrades in the old 2nd Balkan Battalion, she still wore her old unit patch on her uniform. ATMSS wasn't as harshly regimented as the AEU military and that suited Ana's temperament much better. Having five subordinates had come as something as a shock but being an actual leader of men was something she found comparatively easy. She was head of the AEU pilots at ATMSS even thought she was only a lieutenant. The Union had sent a stiff-necked Major to handle their side of things. Ana wasn't sure if it meant the AEU wasn't taking it seriously or whether the Major had been given the assignment as a punishment for some reason.

"This is Delta-One to all units. We are approaching the target area," said Ana on the secured video channel to her subordinates. "Make your final checks and prepare to start the third phase of the operation."

"Delta-One this is Delta-Four,"

"Go ahead Four,"

"Ma'am, I'm picking up eight mobile suits on the ground. Looks like a mixture of Anfs and Tierens," reported Delta-Four. "There are no aerial assets, repeat they've got nothing in the sky."

"Copy that Four," replied Ana. So this supposedly deadly terrorist group only had a few Anfs and Tierens? It hardly seemed this mission was worth the effort. They had taken down bigger groups using fewer ATMSS suits before.

"Errrm One this is Six, I've got two unidentified Enacts approaching from above. Did anyone call for backup?"

"I'll handle this, the rest of you keep you eyes on the enemy," Ana ordered before turning her attention to the newcomers and switching to a private channel. "This is Delta-One to approaching mobile suits please identify yourselves, you are entering a United Nations Army operation area."

After a brief silence an audio only reply crackled into Ana's cockpit. "This is Angel-One to AEU mobile suits. Withdraw now, you aren't ready for this yet."

It was, at least, a female voice that replied but Ana was rather annoyed at the arrogance of the statement.

"Negative Angel-One. We are operating under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. What authority do you have to order us about?" she demanded.

"A higher authority than your stupid United Nations. This is revenge. You kids aren't ready to play with the adults. Go home." replied Angel-One.

"If you are just some crackpot then get the hell out of my sky," snapped Ana. "We're on an important mission and I won't let you screw it up!"

"Damnit you little brat. Go home Ana, we don't need you here. We can handle this."

Ana! She said Ana! And that voice, oh yes, that voice. All these years. "I never told you my name." said Ana calmly. "Sofia, is that you?"

There was silence again for a few moments before Angel-One finally answered. "Yes Ana, it's me. But that doesn't change a thing. You can't take this guy down. He's too good for you."

"Oh and I suppose you're the greatest pilot ever eh?" said Ana harshly. "We can take care of ourselves. How can one man be so tough anyway?"

"Look Ana, I've fought against him before. Ichiro Suzuhara isn't your average mercenary mobile suit pilot. He's a monster when he gets into a cockpit," replied Sofia. "He killed six of our best pilots before we damaged his suit sufficient to make him withdraw."

"And what are you going to do with just two suits then Sofia?" said Ana. "If he's as powerful as you say!"

"I'm going to kill him," replied Sofia flatly. "Like I said, Ana, this is revenge and you can't stop me."

"Lieutenant, I'm sorry to interrupt but we are now over the target area," reported Delta-Four.

"What? Oh ZOINKS, Delta-One to all units. Start operation on my mark....Mark!" barked Ana.

In that instant a flash of red light burst forth from somewhere near ground level. It raced through the sky at a terrifying speed. Ana's Enact squad had broken formation at just the right moment to allow the beam to streak past harmlessly. Unfortunately the same could not be said for Sofia's wingman. The beam ripped straight through the torso of the black coloured Enact destroying it outright and sending a shower of debris falling towards the ground.

"Rutger! No!" screamed Sofia as she watched the slaying of her comrade.

"Where the hell did that come from?" asked Ana. She scanned her sensor map of the area and was alarmed to spot a new reading. The letters GNX-603T appeared on the map as her combat computer identified the new object. But that was impossible. Only the UN had control of the GN-Xs. There was no way a terrorist could get their hands on one. Yet despite that it was an undeniable fact that a GN-X was rapidly approaching their position. As the machine got closer it became apparent that it wasn't painted in the standard UN grey. No this GN-X had a silver on dark blue colour scheme.

"Suzuhara," muttered Ana. He was famous, after a fashion, as a mercenary terrorist. However he was also a relic of the old world order. Not something that the United Nations wanted any more. Sofia's black Enact raced forward as it charged towards the GN-X. She was already firing her linear rifle.

"Delta-Two through Six continue the mission as planned," ordered Ana. "I'll help Angel-One taken down the GN-X."

"Copy that Delta-One," replied Delta-Two, "Good hunting Ma'am!"

Ana turned her machine to face the GN-X and with a a spot of pressure on her thruster peddles she was well on her way. Sofia already had an impressive lead and Ana could tell that whoever Sofia worked for had enhanced the black Enact to a level far beyond her own commander type Enact. Of course the GN-X out performed both Enacts by such a margin that any fight would be difficult in the extreme.

As Ana got closer to the GN-X she could see that it was carrying two beam rifles. In its right hand was the standard stocky beam carbine but in its left was the long barrelled rifle. It was the long rifle that was destroyed by a shot from Sofia's linear rifle. The light blue projectile caught the beam rifle halfway along its length and snapped it in two. After a second or two the two halves of the rifle spontaneously exploded. This seems to knock the GN-X off balance for a moment which Sofia tried to capitalise on but the GN-X quickly recovered and accelerated away from her shots.

"So the Angel has come out to play has she?" Ana did not recognise the voice but the transmission was coming from the GN-X so it was fairly obvious who was speaking. "You should know better than to come after me Angel. You've never been able to beat me!"

"Just keep thinking that you arrogant bastard!" snarled Sofia as she fired again but unfortunately the GN-X avoided them easily. "I'm going to make you pay for everything you've done!"

"Everything I've do? Don't make me laugh Angel," replied Suzuhara. "Your hands are hardly clean, or don't you remember the Masaka Massacre? Ten thousand innocents butchered just because they refused to obey the AEU. You call me a terrorist but what does that make you my dear little Angel hmmm?"

"That was different! Voyvoda used them as human shields for his forces!" said Sofia. "We had to end the war."

"The ends justify the means? Oh come on! Is that the same for Wakiso, Manzini, Petauke, Izmir or Balzers? Everywhere the Obstinate Arrows go death follows in their wake," said Suzuhara. It was at this point that he stopped merely avoiding Sofia's attacks and went on the offensive himself. His first shot grazed her Enact's left shoulder while the second struck the defence rod which miraculously did as advertised. "You're no better than I am! I will tear down your organisation of death even if I have to kill you all one at a time!"

Now it was Sofia's turn to throw her machine into a merry dance to avoid the red lances of death that the GN-X brought forth to the battlefield. Ana had to admit that Sofia was putting on a very impressive aerobatic display to avoid the red beams. But that was all she was doing. The intensity of Suzuhara's attacks weren't letting her launch her own counterattack. Ana sort of rectify this situation. Thus far Suzuhara hadn't taken any notice of her green Enact and therefore she'd been able to get into a pretty good position. She levelled her linear rifle and prepared to fire.

At the right moment Ana pressed her trigger finger down and sent a steam of blue slugs flying towards the GN-X. In an instant they were there and she scored several direct hits. Unfortunately they caused no determinable damage to the GN-X. Slowly the dark blue machine turned to face Ana. It's eyes flashed for a moment.

"So what do we have here? A gung-ho grunt that thinks they can take me?" asked Suzuhara as he raised his beam rifle. "Oh but wait there's something special, oh yes the report did mention it. First the Angel and now little Baby Angel as well! I'm being spoilt today!"

Ana didn't raise to his verbal taunts and merely kept firing her linear rifle. It might not have been very effective but it was better than nothing. She kept her Enact moving, as well, trying to make it harder for the GN-X to hit her. Unfortunately it didn't do her very good. Suzuhara fired three shots in quick succession from his carbine. Ana dodged the first shot but the second hit her defence rod straight on. The thing metal rod was torn from its housing, damaging the arm joint as it ripped past. To make matters worse the third shot smashed through her linear rifle destroying it completely. In that instant she was rendered virtually defenceless.

The GN-X closed in for the kill but was thrown off when a blue slug struck its right shoulder. The slug hit with enough force to unsettle the pilot inside the machine. Once again the GN-X turned this time to see Sofia bearing down on his again. Evidently not only was Sofia's Enact more manoeuvrable than Ana's but its rifle was also more powerful.

"I'm your target you son of a bitch!" screamed Sofia as she charged in. Her rifle fired again but the GN-X dodged easily. She was trying to get in close to make it harder to dodge but that also made it a lot more deadly if she screwed up. "This is for Kampala!"

"I think I've had enough fun now," Suzuhara said. "No more games Angel. Now we end this!"

The GN-X suddenly had a burst of speed as if it hadn't even been going full speed before. He closed in to point blank range and kicked the linear rifle from the Enact's hand. Just as quickly as it advanced it retreated back to a more acceptable range and then opened up with its beam carbine. The first shot blew off the Enact's head before it could react. The second tore through the right knee; the three took off the left arm at the shoulder and the fourth shredded the left side engine causing the Enact to start loosing height. Inside her cockpit Sofia was being knocked about and then her main console exploded in her face; showering the whole cockpit with broken glass.

"Are you ready to die now Angel?" asked Suzuhara. "I'll make it quick for you. A reward. For all your hard work. You've made me laugh over the years you know that?. But now you aren't funny any more. So I'm going to kill you now." He matched the decent speed of the Enact and took aim with his carbine. The end of its barrel could hardly have been more than five metres from Sofia's cockpit.

"GET AWAY FROM MY SISTER YOU CRAZY BASTARD!"

It was scream laced with primal rage. It echoed and reverberated around Suzuhara's cockpit and distracted him for the second that Ana needed. Her Enact appeared between the GN-X and Sofia's. Lights streamed across the Enact's face plate before she swung her plasma sword. The GN-X's armour resisted for a second before the superheated blade sliced through the blue mobile suit's torso. It didn't take long for the blade to reach the GN Drive[T] and the drive did not take kindly to being damaged. Ana kicked the GN-X hard causing it to fall backwards as its energy supply was interrupted and its engines failed. She watched as electricity arched across the damaged sections before the whole mobile suit exploded in a dazzling red light.

Ana surveyed her handiwork for a second before turning her Enact around and grabbing hold of Sofia's machine. The damage it had received was not fatal but certainly prevented it from operating unassisted.

"Gee 'fia, you could do with loosing a few pounds. I'm not sure if I can carry both of us. You must be eating too many cakes in your old age," said Ana jokingly. In response the black Enact jettisoned its undamaged but currently useless limbs. "Just hang in there our base isn't far away."

"You really are an annoying brat aren't you," managed Sofia. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and she didn't know why. Were they tears of sorrow? Or was it joy? What they were doing was mixing with the blood that had splatted on her face. She was injured but not too badly. "But thank you any way Little Sis."

End of the Tale

_________________
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


Last edited by Pegasus on Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Tale 32: Alcott Smythe – Type–10R Burai – The Assault on the Tokyo Settlement

A hail of heavy fire from a Sutherland's assault rifle caused Alcott Smythe to throw the landspinners of his Burai into reverse. He swore under his breath as he directed his brown-grey knightmare frame behind the cover of a fallen building. Alcott could still hardly believe that Zero had managed to arrange for so much of the Tokyo Settlement to collapse in upon itself. He could scarcely imagine the number of Britannian army units that had been lost. Of course the thought had crossed his mind that the Britannians that survived were the quick witted and more skilled knightmare devicers. Just the sort of people would could turn this nightmare of twisted metal and ruined buildings into an impenetrable fortress.

The Britannian Sutherland was still blazing away with its assault rifle and, at the same time, doing an annoying good job of suppressing the rest of Alcott's squad. Looking for a way around he noted that there was only one direction he could go and that was up. The ruined building he was hiding in seemed sturdy enough he just hoped that it could take the seven and a bit tones of his Burai. He fired his slash harkens up into the ruined building as the anchors took the strain his machine was slowly raised up. After a few moments he reached a section of floor that was still intact. Swinging the Burai slightly he landed on the floor. Rolling forward slowly he reached and opening in the wall where he suspected a window had once been. It was now, however, a much larger and more ragged space. From this vantage point he could see the Sutherland more clearly. He took aim with his assault rifle and loosed a volley. Before the Britannian even know what was happening the heavy slugs from the Burai's rifle smashed the head of the purple knightmare. More bullets tore through the armour plating protecting the cockpit giving the devicer a quick death.

“Okay, 20th Squad move up,” Alcott ordered over the radio to his team as he used the harkens again to lower himself down to their level.

From Alcott's small prospective the battle appeared to be going quite well. His squad, along with many others, were pressing on towards the Government Bureau though resistance was stiffening the closer they got to it. His squad was certainly brave but he wouldn't have really called them Black Knights. They were just rebel Japanese that had crawled out of the woodwork and flocked to the Black Knights after Massacre at the Special Administrative Zone. They hadn't had to gain the organisation's trust and prove himself like he had. Though to be fair it was easier for the Japanese. Alcott came from the Commonwealth of Britain in the Euro Universe. That had brought him into conflict with Second Special Squad leader Shinichiro Tamaki who seemed incapable of seeing the difference between British and Britannian. The veteran Black Knight member had assumed that Alcott was a spy of some sort. Alcott, however, had his own reasons to fight the Holy Britannian Empire. Reasons that dated back a lot further than the Japanese. His forefather's had had their birth right stolen from them and he wanted revenge. He had explained himself to Zero and the leader of the Black Knights had at least seemed satisfied.

His squad of Burais pressed on through the ruined settlement. A massive heat reaction caught Alcott's attention. High above the battle Zero's personal knightmare, the Gawain, had just fired its fearsome Hadron cannon upon the Britannian air reinforcements. Alcott shuddered at the thought of being on the receiving end of such a powerful weapon. Much more mundane armaments brought his attention back down to ground level. The Burai at the head of his squad was ripped to pieces by a hail of assault rifle bullets and the man that had been under Alcott's command for but a few scant hours was dead. Alcott and the three other Burais with him darted into what little cover there was. His factsphere scan showed a half dozen Britannian knightmare frames entrenched in the rubble a head of them. Alcott returned fire from behind the wrecked building he was hiding in. However his attacks were entirely ineffective. He scanned the enemy position again to try and spot a weakness he could utilise. After a moment or two he smiled to himself; he had a plan but from his current position he couldn't implement it. He barked a few commands over the radio to his squad and readied himself.

On a three count his squad broke cover and laid down suppressing fire on the Britannians. Alcott also broke cover and as he sped towards the enemy position he fired his wrist mounted quad missile launcher. All four missiles streaked from the launcher and completely missed the Britannian knightmares. Fortunately Alcott hadn't been aiming at them. He'd aimed at weakened concrete supports holding up the wrecked building above them. As the missiles impacted and exploded and shower of debris came raining down upon the Britannians crushing their knightmares. One Sutherland pilot was quick enough to cotton on to what was happening and escaped the fate of his comrades. However Alcott was waiting for him as the dust thrown up from the collapse started to clear. Firing one of his Slash Harkens Alcott trashed the the Sutherland's right arm and at the same time jettisoned the now empty missile launcher from his own Burai. Closing in on the Sutherland Alcott had his Burai punch the purple in its 'face' breaking its factsphere in the process. Deciding that their machine couldn't go on the Britannian pilot ejected rather than risk death.

Alcott ignored the cockpit block as it rocketed away. His sense of justice didn't permit him to attack a defenceless enemy. Collapsed buildings now blocked any forward movement at ground level. The only way to advance now was head up the great pile of debris that Alcott had just created. Informing the rest of his squad as such Alcott set about climbing up the rubble. The broken ground made the going slow but that was to be expected. When they finally reached the top Alcott discovered that they were now very close to the Government Bureau. The massive imposing structure's defences were in full flow raining death down upon the assault Black Knight forces.

The four Burais fell into formation with the rest of the Black Knight knightmares. Off at the head of the formation Alcott spotted Colonel Tohdoh's Gekka's leading the charge. Encouraged by the ground forces commander's actions Alcott started firing his assault rifle at the Britannian knightmares. There was a veritable plethora of targets to choose from, unfortunately almost all of them were behind cover. Alcott was forced to swing off to his left to avoid a hail of gun fire from one of the Bureau's heavy cannons. One of the Burai's from his squad wasn't as quick witted and was slain as the shells tore through its torso. Alcott swore under his breath and returned fire but failed to his anything significant. As he reloaded his assault rifle with a fresh magazine he noted that dawn was slowly encroaching on this battle. This didn't seem to him to be a particularly good thing.

What happened next took Alcott by surprise. The Britannian forces broke cover and started to charge. Spearheaded by the Glaston Knights in their fearsome Gloucester knightmares the entire Britannian battle line was charging into the Black Knights. Alcott blazed away with his assault rifle at the approaching enemies. He missed the Gloucesters but managed to knock out a Sutherland. Fear began to race through Alcott's body as the last two Burais in his squad were slain by the Glaston Knights with their huge lances as they rushed past. Alcott turned his machine around to try and hit the Gloucesters that had killed his squad but that proved to be his undoing.

A pair of Britannian Glasgows approaching from the direction of the Bureau opened fire on him. In retrospect they were both pretty lousy shots because they failed to hit the large cockpit block sticking out of the back of the Burai. However they did wreck the right arm and both legs of Alcott's machine. The Japanese built knightmare collapsed to the ground in a heap and out of desperation Alcott slammed his fist down onto the ejection control. Unfortunately for him the Burai was now on its side so the cockpit block immediately smashed into the ground as the rockets fired. The block scrapped itself along the ground for a while before crashing into a large mound of debris. At which point Alcott, after having been bashed around his cockpit, blacked out.

Alcott wasn't sure how long he drifted in and out of consciousness but when he finally came around his cockpit was dark. Judging from the pain in his right leg it was most likely broken and he wasn't too keen on the damp feeling he was getting from the back of his head. Eventually the seal on his cockpit was broken and bright light flooded in blinding him briefly. Another bad sign was the sound guns being cocked.

“You ZOINKS rebel scum,” barked a harsh feminine voice. “You're luck we're not going to just kill you right here.” The direction of the voice change as if to speak to someone else. “Drag this bastard out of here and throw him with the others.”

End of Tale

_________________
Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

'Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.' - Edmund Burke


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