Part of Neue Dreisland Projekt
Fifty years ago, there was a war. Wars had broken out plenty of times before, and many of them ended in great fiery disasters. This war was no exception.
Three times. Three times had this world been engulfed in a great global conflict, each escalating far greater than the previous war. War is never necessarily a good thing, but war also leads to advances in technology and medicine. The last few wars proved that already. But when the Allied Powers and International Liberation Front deployed nuclear weapons on heavily populated neutral countries, the world vowed not to fight such a great war again.
They reformed the United Nations, an entity once dissolved by the last war, and set about deterring any nation from resorting to war to settle international affairs.
The world was once again at peace. Despite the resentment and tension between the great powers post war, the memories of the past conflict kept the status quo the way it was.
That was fifty years ago.
Ten years ago, something many believed to be a meteorite crashed into the ocean. Damage resulting from the impact turned out to be surprisingly insignificant, but this assumption did not remain for long. Multiple international sources confirmed the meteorite to be some sort of man-made object, perhaps an alien probe from outer space.
It was then when they arrived.
The Ancients, an advanced civilization which had evacuated from our planet due to nuclear war, finally returned after many millennia of colonizing new worlds. They first repopulated the moon, using it as a jumping off point to launch an offensive onto terrestrial lands.
The advanced Ancients brought with them beam weapons, faster-than-light travel, and humanoid weapons known by many as Ancient Giants. Using these, they wreaked havoc on the places they landed on.
But instead of a quick, safe, and easy recolonization, they got mired in the many entangled political schemes and alliances of the terrestrial world.
The arrival of the Ancients reignited decades old feuds amongst the terrestrial nations, the same nations who rejected war all those years ago. Amongst the many factions now vying for power and territory, five particularly stood out.
The Allied Powers, or the Alliance of Free Democratic Nations, occupied the majority of the nations on the eastern portion of the continent of Imperium. These nations consisted of the Republic of Gauland, the Confederation of Bundesia, the Royal Democratic Republic of Kovsolitz, and the Federation of Anglemier, as well as a number of other nations.
The International Liberation Front consisted of the many communist and former communist states on the western portion of the continent of Imperium. ILF nations found themselves led by the Union of Molovian Republics, the Democratic People's Republic of Hierland, and the Federal Republic of Hartgrad.
The Eastern Tigers, or the Union of Eastern Militaries and Free Nations, consisted of the new nations of the continent of Yaz-Shu. The Empire of Tei-Zhou and the Empire of Sei-Shu spearheaded this upstart alliance.
The New World Empire formed the fourth faction. Born from blood and steel, the NWE carved out its own bloody place in world affairs, but found itself in shambles after the third world war. Right now, it is very much a puppet state of the Ancients' Terrestrial Forces.
Finally, there was the Non-Aligned Movement, an alliance of nations not wishing to join any side if and when war erupted amongst the other nations. The Federation of Dreisland and Kingdom of Felidia defended these nations under an umbrella of military power and economic stability.
Some say this political atmosphere also took a toll on the ancients, slowly chewing at their unity.
And so, the world once again found itself plunging into a bloody war. This was only the beginning.
August 1st, 2000
Republic of Calattia
A lone civilian Ju 52 transport aircraft slowly flew over the countryside, sunlight gleaming against the plane's metal fuselage. The sound of the three BMW 132 radial engines echoed through the cockpit of the antique flying machine.
Inside, a young girl stared out into the distance while her father calmly operated the controls of the aircraft.
The sun gave off a soft warm glow as it began to rise in the east.
Suddenly, the radio crackled to life.
"Attention incoming civilian aircraft, this is Millstown Airbase Control. You are now entering the sovereign airspace of the Republic of Calattia. State your affiliation and objective before proceeding, over."
The father nodded at the girl, who sighed in slight annoyance. She picked up the headset for the radio and replied to the incoming call.
"Millstown Control, this is Transport Aircraft No. 1 of the Itano Airmail Service. Requesting permission to land, over" the girl calmly said.
There was a brief moment of silence before a reply came.
"Millstown Control to Transport No. 1, welcome back. Put your father on the line, will you?"
Both father and daughter laughed at this line.
"Chris," said the father. "Can I have the headset?"
Chris nodded before handing her father the headset. She returned her attention to the world outside, marveling at the many tall buildings and trees just outside of the airfield.
The Ju 52 slowly descended towards one of the runways before gently touching down on the asphalt below, the plane's wheels squeaking on impact. Chris felt the transport gradually roll towards one of the gates, one meant for only cargo shipments.
Finally the three-engined aircraft stopped perfectly next to a line of runway staff, waiting to unload the letters and parcels the plane carried. Chris leapt out of her seat before rushing to open one of the doors. She calmly jumped out of the plane and, when she landed on the ground, took a deep breath of the air surrounding her.
Chris's father soon exited the aircraft as staff members began to unload the cargo in the back of the plane. One of the staff walked up to him, holding a clipboard and some paper.
"Mr. Itano," said the man. "I trust your flight was uninterrupted?" Itano nodded in reply.
"Yes, it was," said he. "Hard to believe that the world is tearing itself apart." Itano casually reached for a pen in one of his pockets and quickly signed the paper. He looked around again, noticing something was amiss.
"Was there always this much military hardware here?" he asked. "Last time I checked, this place was run by civilians."
Itano noted at a number of Dreislandic transport aircraft and tanks lined up on a separate runway.
"The higher ups don't tell us anything," the staff member said. "I heard something about a military exercise, but I'm not sure."
"I see," muttered Itano. He returned his attention to the Dreislandic hardware on the other runway.
He had a bad feeling about this.
A large transport aircraft loomed over the horizon, flanked by a number of fighters. The shadows cast by the aircraft blanketed the forest below.
Within the bridge of the transport, the captain looked down at his watch. He turned around towards one of the operators in the bridge, and nodded.
"It's time," said he. "Disengage radio silence. Commencing operation. Drop the Mobile Assault Units and order all flights to engage designated targets."
The operator nodded in reply, and began to relay orders to the other planes. Within seconds, fighter aircraft broke off of the formation and flew ahead in search of targets.
With a loud clanking sound, the door to the transport's cargo bay opened as six humanoid robots, roughly sixteen meters in height, leapt out of the cargo bay onto the ground. The black and purple shade of the machines contrasted greatly with the forest green of the surrounding trees.
Each machine's visor glowed a distinct red color before marching towards the airbase.
The air raid sirens blared loudly, forcing Chris to cover her ears. She had been exploring a little, observing some of the Calattian fighter jets as they were being maintained. Back home in Dreisland, she had her own personal Dewoitine D.510 for flight training (unarmed of course), so these jet aircraft always caught her attention.
But there was no time to worry about that now.
Six giant humanoid figures suddenly let loose a spray of gunfire, punching 90mm shells into a number of aircraft on the runways. Chris noticed a number of people, both civilian and military alike, running away to safety, only to be caught in an explosion as one of the shells destroyed a fighter hanger.
Fifty years of peace, at least peace that she had known, found itself shattered in an instant.
Chris jumped to her feet and ran in the direction of the Ju 52, noticing her father trying to start the plane in desperation.
A Calattian Gepard anti-aircraft vehicle fired at one of the giant mechs, but soon exploded upon receiving a volley of 90mm shells. The explosion nearly forced Chris onto the ground, but she soldiered on, narrowly avoiding the debris as a missile struck the base's control tower.
She was almost there.
Fate, however, was not kind to her, as an enemy aircraft noticed the antique plane on the ground, thinking it to be a military transport.
A burst of 20mm gatling gun fire was all it took to tear the Ju 52 to shreds. The plane exploded in a ball of flame, Chris watching in shock and disbelief. A sense of despair soon washed over her, completely blanketing any logical thought and situational awareness she still had.
She noticed one of the mechs, training its 90mm machine gun in her general direction, but did nothing.
Then, out of nowhere, a pair of missiles struck the towering machine, causing it to lose balance before facing the new threat.
Five Dreislandic MiG-21-97 fighter aircraft, flanked by ten Calattian MiG-21bis fighters, screamed across the sky. The leading MiG launched another pair of missiles, this time blasting one of the unknown enemy aircraft out of the sky. Meanwhile, the Calattian fighters unleashed a torrent of anti-tank rockets onto the nearest enemy robot, causing the robot to collapse to the ground.
And as Christina Itano stared at the planes overhead, her despair and anger seemed to give way to awe and inspiration. The events of the day told her what to do.
She did not learn to fly for nothing.
September 14th, 2001
Airspace over South Imperium Sea
Everything seemed to be just so. The ocean water glimmered with a seemingly mystical glow, its cerulean color perfectly reflecting the sky above. Suddenly, the screaming of jet engines interrupted the peace and quiet above the water. A Dreislandic Su-30, flanked by four MiG-21-97s, streaked across the sky, greatly disturbing the previously calm waters below.
"Alright everyone, listen up," A voice crackled through the radios of every aircraft present. "We're about to enter the combat area. Stick close to me and do not split off without my permission. AWACS Heaven's Eye will be providing early warning for us."
A separate transmission crackled its way into the ears of the pilots.
"AWACS Heaven's Eye to all Volge Squadron flights," the transmission said. "I've picked up the main enemy formation. Ten A-3 Skywarriors closing in from the northwest, just like intel said they would."
The pilot of the Su-30 nodded in acknowledgement.
"Volge Leader to all flights," said he. "This is your first active combat mission for some of you, so here's some advice. The enemy A-3s belong to the Hartgrad People's Air Force, and they never leave their attack aircraft unescorted. Take the enemy down fast before their escorts notice you're in the area. Is that clear?"
The rookie pilots in three of the MiGs all responded over the radio in acknowledgement, before being interrupted by the AWACS.
"Heaven's Eye to all flights, be advised," said he. "A large group of enemy contacts detected. It might be the enemy fighter escort."
"Volge Leader to Heaven's Eye, can you identify the contacts?"
"Judging from their speed, they're fighters of some kind. That's for sure."
"Copy that. Volge Leader to all flights. Any volunteers?"
A brief silence engulfed the formation of planes before it was broken.
"...Volge 3, moving to intercept."
A single MiG-21-97 broke off from the formation, shooting forward towards the incoming enemy fighters.
"Volge 1 to Volge 3! Don't just rush off like that!"
"Let her be, Ensign. Volge Leader to Volge 4, go with the Warrant Officer and make sure she doesn't get shot down."
"Volge 4, acknowledged."
A second MiG-21-97 broke off from the formation, its wings glinting in the sunlight as it did so.
The pilot of the first MiG sighed.
"Volge 3 to Volge 4. Try to keep up, will you?" the pilot said.
"Volge 4 to Volge 3, if you want me to keep up then stop trying to run from me."
The first pilot rolled her eyes.
"Creepy wording is creepy."
Warrant Officer Christina Itano let out a small sigh of annoyance before returning to her task at hand.
"Contact, twelve o'clock low," she announced. "There's five of them."
"Volge 4 to Volge 3, care to identify the aircraft in question, please? A five versus two battle is hard enough."
Christina rolled her eyes.
"You went through worst scheisse than this, Sergeant," she replied. "They're all F-5 Tigers."
There was a brief silence, as if the Sergeant noticed his odds.
"Oh," he finally said. "There should be no problem then…"
"Targets locked," Christina interrupted. "Volge 3, Fox 2."
Suddenly, Christina's MiG-21-97 let loose a hailstorm of missiles, four to be exact. They screamed towards the five enemy fighter aircraft in the distance.
The F-5s in the distance scattered in panic before two of the missiles hit home. One missile detonated on a flare one of the F-5s deployed. The final missile missed entirely.
"Splash two bogeys," Christina announced. "Switching to guns."
She slammed the throttle of her plane as far forward as she could, gunning the MiG straight towards the enemy.
"Hey!" the Sergeant complained. "Leave some for me!"
He gunned his own MiG towards the chaos below, firing a pair of missiles at an enemy F-5 as he did so.
Meanwhile, a torrent of 23mm shells tore through one of the F-5 fighters as Christina held down the trigger without mercy.
"Splash another one," she announced.
A separate explosion boomed in the distance.
"Yeah! Got one!" Volge 4 announced, before switching his attention to the next F-5. "Volge 4 to Volge 3, there's a bogey right on your tail! Shake it off!"
"I see him," Christina said, rolling her MiG over and diving down to avoid a missile as she did so. "I got this covered. Help out the Lieutenant and the others, will you?"
"Yes ma'am!" said Volge 4, before veering off to rejoin the rest of the squadron, which already pounced on the enemy A-3s.
"... Even so," Chris muttered to herself, narrowly avoiding a burst of cannon fire from the enemy F-5 as she did so. "This guy's latching on tight. C'mon, gimme a little more speed you outdated piece of junk!"
She slammed the throttle forward and pulled the joystick back, pulling the MiG into a near-vertical climb.
The pursuing F-5 followed suit.
A small smile crept across Chris's face.
"Thatta boy," said she. "Keep following me…"
An alarm suddenly began to blare within her MiG's cockpit. Even with all of its improvements and upgrades, the MiG-21-97 was still an airframe of the 1950s and 1960s.
"Just a few… more… meters…!"
Christina took a brief look back towards the F-5 behind her, and noticed it was beginning to gain on her.
She jammed the throttle of her MiG as far back as she could, before activating the air brakes and slamming the rudder of her plane to the left. The MiG suddenly plummeted from the sky, causing the enemy's F-5 to shoot past harmlessly.
Christina rolled the plane back at the enemy F-5 and simultaneously retracted the air brakes and slammed the throttle forward again. She smiled as the gun sight lined itself up with the F-5.
23mm shells tore through the F-5 before the aircraft plummeted to the ground.
"Volge 3 to Volge Leader," Chris said. "Enemy escorts eliminated. Returning to formation."
"Volge Leader to Volge 3, good work Warrant Officer. We accomplished our end here, but AWACS detected a flight of Molovian MiG-31s headed for our location. Return to base immediately; we'll meet you on the way."
"Volge 3, acknowledged."
The transmission soon ended, and Christina breathed a sigh of relief.
"Right," said she. "Time to head home."