This is dedicated to the one other person I know that loves anime and Japan as much as I do. Rest in Peace, dude. You deserve it x
“Clear for launch, Torpedo. When you’re ready.”
“Thanks Bernadette. Torpedo launching!”
He inhaled deeply and squeezed down on the throttle, counting to fifteen and bracing for launch. The mech shook around him, accompanied by a roar from the engines. The shaking reached a maximum and he let go of the brake. The FMS-Torpedo-41 shot out of the hanger, leaving a trail of dust and burnt hydrogen fuel in it’s wake. He closed his eyes for a second, wanting to forget the inevitable. The sea beneath him shone great and blue, hiding the massacres of times gone past. But he knew this was a battlefield and it was about to be once again.
As background noise entered his radio, he pushed an unlikely button on his dashboard. The sounds of metal rock reverberated through the small cockpit; he banged his head a few times with the rhythm before beginning his scout of the area. It seemed all silent and motionless around his little bubble of emotion. Scans of the beach revealed nothing but the sand, breathless and helpless, waiting to be washed away.
He cut off the music and listened to the airwaves again. His hearing was sharp now that all the immediate sound was gone.
“Site clear, copy.”
“Roger that. We’re right behind you, Captain.”
A video feed of the smaller mech landing softly in the sand behind him opened on the viewfinder. It was followed by a fighter jet and a split-mech. These machines made up his unit, and they were his to lead.
“You girls ready for this?”
The grunts of several disgruntled, anxious soldiers was what he got in reply.
“No pep talk?”
The voice of a special forces pilot was in his ear. He smiled, for a faction of a second, and focused back on task.
The mech was on the ground now, moving fluidly like a panther through the sandy dunes. High above was the fighter jet, behind him, the split-mech. Half of this odd creature was flying unmanned in the sky, the other half was converted into a armored truck, it’s tyres spinning dust. They would see him first; and they will be ready.
They had prepared for this-the enemy knew they would bring mechs and he was dismayed to see that they had a few of their own. They were older models though, cobbled together with spare parts and ill fitting armor. Unfortunately it was not the model of the machine that really mattered in the heat of battle, it was the skills of the pilot wielding it. This was something he had learned many times over and he was sure that at least half of his team could take them on easily. He set his sights on the lead mech-the largest and most care worn of the group. That would be the most experienced of the enemy, and it would be his job to take care of him.
As he slammed into the other mech, a tinkle resounded in the air. On the dashboard, directly in front of him was a little charm. A charm whittled out of wood, to remind him of times now past. The little figure riding a motorbike had hung in that place ever since he had become a mech pilot. It was very detailed, and had been made by a close friend. The most significant feature was etched on the front of the bike; a number 11.
His attention was brought back to the task at hand when the enemy mech pulled out a saber. His opponent was more skilled than he had originally imagined and he needed all his will to fight him. With this thought in mind, he holstered his machine’s blaster and pulled out a short dagger from its hip. It would be hand-to-hand combat from now on.
He was flying- but it felt different in a machine- or at least that’s what he thought. The sun flashed across the viewfinder and he felt that sensation of losing something in his stomach to gravity. This strange feeling ended abruptly when the ground met his mech. A sick, crunching noise met his ears. He double checked himself- nothing serious. He could not say the same for his machine, however. It had buckled under the force and the enemy had ripped off its leg. Last time he checked, the rest of his team wasn’t doing much better.
He hit a button at the right side of his seat and felt the lateral restraints release. He freed his pocket knife and cut himself loose of the straps. It would be more difficult to exit the machine itself if the on-board computer was fried. He tried it, hoping. The little screen lit up green; cracked from the impact, but functional. Ejecting the entry pod and the transport carrier, he left the mech mangled and a little sad, lying on the sands of a foresaken land.
“Sorry,” he touched the metal of the creature as he left her innards.
Emerging into the dusty air, he squinted, looking for survivors. It seemed the enemy had been decimated. He landed in the sand roughly and rolled over the ground to break the fall. He noticed more people emerging from their machines as well. His men. The majority of them had survived. He nodded to them and the stragglers moved in unison to their transport carriers. This band of soldiers have one purpose: to destroy a secret military base; a development plant for high impact weapons. In order to protect the free galaxy, and those who fight for freedom, they were given this task. They did not have the option of failure.
When the container opened, a hiss of stale air announced the age of the machine. He waited until the doors were a mere three feet open before dashing into the maw. Held in place by a system of straps, was a first-grade, military drifter bike. He had picked it out himself, and was incredibly proud of the enhancements he had made. However, there was no time to enjoy this moment. He mounted the freed bike and revved the engine. All around him, he heard the same sound issuing from the surrounding transport carriers. They all rode out into the clearing in the dust.
“New plan,” he began, “we’re doing this by hand.”
They nodded; it wasn’t really a brand new plan, it was Plan B.
“Gerard, you got the charges?”
“Good. Prepare to improvise, guys. Get out once the place is set to blow.”
He hit the accelerator and felt the bike lift off the ground before speeding away. This would be the difficult part-the one nobody could help them with. He took quick stock of the looming compound. The high walls and secure entrances were prominent. There was a central watchtower and a few guard posts on either side of the building. He scanned the slopes around him and followed the curve of the dune nearest him towards the side of the weapons compound. The hum of the silenced bikes behind him was reassuring.
They were nearing the guard post, he could see the pair of men seated in the tent, sweating a bit under their helmets. He hunched down over his bike and made straight for the post, accelerating as he went. He smirked a little when he saw their heads turn and a look of horror cross their faces at the very same moment. A whistling sound behind him let him know it was time to duck. Just as one of the guards reached for his radio, a rocket hit the guard post, blowing it to pieces.
“Yeah,” he was reseating himself on his bike. “Now for the hard part.”
They ditched the bikes, and their helmets and donned their climbing gear. Only two of them would go up first-they would have the hardest job. They had to take out the watchtower guards, set a rope to the wall and try not to die in the process. Slyvia handed her Captain a grappling hook and its specially modified launcher. He smiled at her and aimed, just as Gerard was doing beside him.
The two hooks whistled through the air and just latched onto the top of the wall. He looked at Gerard, made sure he had the rope and started climbing. There would be a sweetspot of time in which the destroyed guard post would go unnoticed and they could start their offensive. He hoped that he could get it in time.
He took a deep breath before he pulled himself up onto the wall and into eminent danger. Once on top, he grabbed his lightweight sniper rifle and aimed. He took the first guard down before Gerard had reached the top of the wall. An alarm blared out across the compound, announcing their presence to all the guards at once. He bit on his lip and aimed at the next guard. In his periphery he saw a different guard hit the ground and felt a little better knowing that Gerard had his back. He turned his attention to the ground where rocket launchers were being set up. He frowned. The grenade he threw took out most of the immediate dangers. He shot down the rest.
With the ground clear, Gerard began to set the rope. Once he was done, he flipped it into the compound and watched it just barely touch the ground. He signaled the other two to come up and holstered his rifle. The Captain started climbing down; Gerard followed suit. The Captain knew Slyvia and Slade wouldn’t waste time.
They touched the ground and immediately ran for cover. There were already people shooting at them. The Captain found solace in an unguarded doorway that he had blown apart moments earlier. He shot the nearest few and aimed at the next couple. Just then, a smoke bomb exploded around them. Instinctively, he ran directly into the building. The explosion site was in the center of the building, so he had to take the stairs. When the sound of feet behind him reached his ears he turned around, only to find Gerard following his lead.
“Slyvia’s taking care of them. The smoke bomb was Slade.”
He nodded and turned around. He felt the breeze of a bullet passing him. The enemy in front of him fell to the floor. He smiled and continued up the stairs.
Just as he rose to the second floor, a shot was fired. He ducked and signalled to Gerard to cover him. They were going into a line of fire, and neither of them should get hurt. They crossed to the other side of the narrow staircase.
“I can see you!” he called.
He fired a experimental shot around the corner. A volley of shots returned. The two soldiers stood side by side and held down the trigger of their weapons and watched as their opponents fell. They ducked again and simultaneously reloaded their weapons. There was silence from the rooms nearest to them.
He moved forwards and through open the door of the room in front of them, Gerard shooting blindly behind. There was no one there. They glanced at each other and entered the room, a feeling of foreboding starting to develop. Without needing instruction, Gerard dumped his pack and started to set the charges while his Captain manned the door. They could be ambushed at any moment, and it was far too convenient that there was no one in the central command.
He heard a few clicks behind him, and turned a fraction to see Gerard picking up his weapon again.
“Okay,” Gerard said to him, pressing a button on a detonator. “Let’s leave.”
He nodded to Gerard and ran full pelt out of the room, hearing the ticking of the bombs and the patter of Gerard behind him. Now all they had to do was get out, and get out fast. He reached for his radio as he let Gerard take the lead.
“Slyvia, get out!”
They tore down the stairs and though the open doorways, all of which were empty. It was like the enemy was planning something. He just didn’t know what.
“Stay on your toes,” he whispered to Gerard and scanned the sand in front of them. “We’re leaving by the front entrance.”
Gerard looked at him quizzically. He smiled and then ran directly for the wrought iron gates, shooting at the guard posts just in case someone was in there.
Gerard had more of his senses about him. He unhooked his utility belt and emptied it of its now meager contents. All that was left was a grenade, a grenade which he threw into the window of the guard posts. just after his captain passed the front entrance, it exploded, spewing fire and debris everywhere. Gerard waited a few more seconds and then followed after his Captain.
When he reached the other side, coughing and covered in soot, he found his Captain and the other two back on their bikes. His was standing next to them.
“Well let’s go!” said his fearless leader and Gerard hastened to follow him.
As the group left the burning wreckage that was the target, the young mech Captain couldn’t help but smirk a little. They may have lost some soldiers, but it was for a worthy cause. And they had completed their mission perfectly. They had potentially prevented something horrible happening to their loved ones. All in all, the fight was worth it.