Macross Frontier: Conspiracy
Chapter 4: FIXER
March 2, 2059
Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Ranka was thankful to Mikhail that he helped her make sure that her seat was available in the concert hall's auditorium. He also informed her that she should also thank Alto for going out of his way to get her a good front row seat.
I need to thank those two for helping me with the seat.
For the event, the green-haired girl happily wore her yellow scarf and dress with a blue wave-like design alongside her brown boots.
"Thank you for coming, everyone." The MC's female voice could be heard from the speakers set up in the area. "We appreciate your patience in waiting. Now we want to bring you all to the main event."
Loud cheers began to erupt from the crowd.
"From Frontier Records," The MC continued. "we present to you the Sheryl Nome concert! Please enjoy!"
More loud cheers erupted again before Sheryl entered on stage and greeted her fans. She held her wireless gold microphone on her left hand.
"Listen to my song!"
Sheryl said her catchphrase and twirled the microphone before the concert started.
Catwalk, Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Mikhail and Luca were on standby on one of the catwalks overlooking the stage and the audience seats, being told by the organizers that they'll be called in after Sheryl was singing Sagittarius 9pm Don't be late!, the concert's opening song. They were both wearing their issued civilian EX-GEAR suits in order to perform the concert's stunts later on.
"Is he already here?" Luca asked Mikhail when he observed Sheryl already using the holographic suit to dress up in a dark blue officer's peaked cap and trenchcoat with black high boots. "It's bad enough that the program we already proposed got axed at the last minutes. Not to mention that we needed to drag our equipment without our own place..."
"Patience, my dear Luca," Mikhail reassured the junior by putting his hand on his left shoulder. "He wouldn't want to miss this concert for anything."
"Who's missing what now?"
Mikhail and Luca turned their heads around and saw Alto arrive to meet up with them, already in the issued civilian EX-Gear suit.
"Welcome to the show, princess." Mikhail greeted Alto by bowing in front of him. "I trust that the preparations went well for you?"
"Why you-!" Alto was about to sock the blond SMS contractor in the face when Luca intervened by putting himself between them.
"Stop it, you guys!" Luca pleaded with Alto and Mikhail to quit their bickering. "We need to be on standby until Sheryl gets her next song ready."
Alto sighed and moved Luca's hand away from his chest. "You're right, Luca." He then glared at Mikhail. "But you... We need to talk later."
"You guys!" One of their Mihoshi Academy classmates pointed to them that Sheryl had just started singing her opening song.
"Let's go, guys!" Mikhail motioned to everyone in the group to jump down and activate their EX-GEAR suit's wings and engines.
Backstage, Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
"Yes. Yes, I understand. I know... I know. I won't turn it off again this time. I promise."
The call was concluded from Marc's smartphone from the chairman of the ASE, who had just received an earful for turning his phone off when it should have been kept on in case of an emergency. Marc however complained that Sheryl had entered his apartment and yelled at the top of her voice and humiliated him.
When he received an assurance that he'll talk to Grace and settle it, he thanked the man and waited for the other line to disconnect. He sighed and placed his smartphone on the belt clip placed on the left side of his waist.
I'm glad that's over. The ASE contractor continued to watch Sheryl perform when he adjusted the zipper of his Condor softshell jacket. He chose not to wear his shades today, so that he can keep an eye on the client better indoors.
Marc turned his head to the side and saw Catherine standing behind him. In her usual NUNS uniform, she had just wrapped up talking to Grace a few minutes about the pop star's next plans.
"Never better." Marc placed the radio earpiece back on his left ear. "The chairman just gave me a mouthful for not being alert when I switched my phone off after I turned in a few nights ago."
"Ouch." Catherine winced a bit when she heard about his trouble. "Sorry to hear that."
"Thanks." Marc sighed. "I don't even get her at all." He looked at Sheryl while she sang Sagittarius 9pm Don't be late! and flipped the microphone on her hand. "Does she even have to be self-centered just to get her shit and giggles?"
"I know what you mean." Catherine sighed also. "I told my father about the issue I had with her after she got mad with Frontier Records' use of so-called amateur stuntmen for her debut concert here in Frontier."
"Least nothing's going to happen with her here. Hopefully, there won't be a loony fan or any other kind of event that'll force her to postpone the concert."
Bridge, Battle Frontier, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Admiral Perry had observed from his command chair that most of the NUNS VF-171 Nightmare Plus fighters had just taken off as instructed with five squads deployed from the accompanying Guantanamo-class ships. He gave the order for them to search and destroy any hostiles they come across.
So far, Bravo, Golf, Purple, Vermillion and Wolf squadron were ordered to sortie and serve as the first defense line for the colony fleet. The other squads were ordered to wait until the admiral has given the green light for them to launch.
I just wish the NUNS wouldn't suspend further research into improving the Ghost's AI. Those damn pencil pushers just made things worse.
"Admiral...! We're receiving transmissions from the squads sent in to engage the unknowns." One of the NUNS CIC analysts made a report from his seat.
"What about it?" The admiral gritted his teeth while he steepled his fingers, having a bad feeling about the situation.
"Bad, admiral. Two of the five squads are already getting casualties after they engaged the unknowns."
The admiral didn't have time to consider his options with the release of another CIC update.
"New update. Purple Leader's been taken out. Bravo and Gold squadrons are requesting orders for their damaged Valkyries to return back at once."
Admiral Perry now decided to pick up the phone cradle once more and called President Glass. In the meantime, he told his XO to issue orders to get the other squads airborne at once.
The XO directed the admiral's attention to the red blips on the spherical radar screen. These indicated the hostiles that shot down the Ghosts with the blue blips being the Nightmare Pluses. And it didn't look good for him since there wasn't any signs that the red blips were decreasing.
Instead, the signs of blue blips on the radar were decreasing at a fast rate.
"Tell those who can retreat to retreat back at once! Get the second wave ready!"
President's Office, Frontier Presidential Office, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Vice President Terence Hoover, a man in his early 40s with brown hair with a clean-shaven face, was already inside President Glass' office alongside the Frontier military chief of staff Leon Mishima when the president received another phone call from Battle Frontier. This time, it was very urgent.
"Thank you, Admiral. I'll make the proper calls to send you reinforcements at once."
President Glass ended the call and sighed when he placed his hands on his temples, already starting to have a headache.
"I just wish those blasted Vajra wouldn't show up right now of all times."
"Mr. President." Vice President Hoover tried to help the president out when he placed his hands on his work table. "Now isn't the time to get frustrated by the appearance of the Vajras. We need to issue the alert and have everyone evacuated to the emergency shelters and send out the National Guard."
Terence Hoover (Toshihiko Seki/Daran Norris)
Leon coughed to get the attention of the two men.
"I'm afraid the vice president has a point, Mr. President," Leon said, backing up Vice President Hoover's statement when he placed his arms behind his back.
Leon Mishima (Tomokazu Sugita/Roger Craig Smith)
President Glass noted the advice of his chief of staff. He was right. He shouldn't bicker over his problem and instead, do something about it. The veteran politician decided to make the call.
"Mr. Bilrer." He picked up the phone cradle and made a call to SMS's Frontier HQ. "It's me. Yes... yes... They've arrived."
"I'll issue the alert to the National Guard at once." Leon took his smartphone from his jacket pocket when he informed the vice president.
"Please do," Vice President Hoover replied when he nodded. "They'll need the time to get ready."
"At once." Leon left the room when he answered the call and issued the order for Frontier National Guard personnel to be mobilized.
Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
For the next act, Mikhail, Luca, Alto and the other Mihoshi Academy volunteers skated alongside the aisle seats before they took off to the air in unison. Once they joined up, they split off in various directions in order to create the rainbow effects from the EX-GEAR suit's boosters.
Ranka and the audience were amazed by the stunt. They extended out their arms and tried to touch the artificial confetti, which came from the boosters.
The spotlights were now focused on a high spot in the auditorium, which was a realistic mockup of a building's gargoyle. She was now wearing a blue and white dress with a pink cowboy hat and boots with a revolver strapped on her waist. On it was a pink Colt Single Action Army revolver, modified to fire holographic projections from it.
Sheryl was standing on the gargoyle, singing Welcome To My FanClub's Night! for the audience to see. She eyed one of the volunteers flying near her after he flew through the artificial clouds.
The pink-haired singer smirked and unholstered her revolver. She aimed it at one of them flying by and fired a heart-shaped projection.
Of all the volunteers "tagged" by Sheryl, it was Alto who had to dodge it. Even though he did thanks to his reflexes, the projection was apparently harmless since it exploded and faded into nothing afterwards.
Alto gritted his teeth when he glared at Sheryl. In response, the pop star grinned and holstered her sidearm. She moved her left arm behind her and gestured at him with her left hand.
She was daring him to chase after her.
"What the hell is she...?"
Before Alto can figure it out, he saw Sheryl running towards the end of the gargoyle. When she reached the end, she leaped off it by leaning forward with her arms extended.
Dammit! I don't recall this part being part of the program!
Alto immediately flew in and caught Sheryl in his arms in the nick of time.
"Guys! Form up alongside Alto! Hurry!" Mikhail went on his earpiece when he saw what Sheryl did.
All of the other volunteers came flying alongside Alto. They flew together in a straight formation, trying to make the stunt part of their performance.
Eventually, Alto deposited Sheryl back on the stage.
Backstage, Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Marc and Catherine kept an eye on Sheryl since started the second leg of the concert, both wondering if she did jump on purpose.
"I'll never understand her." Catherine felt a migraine was coming in to her temples.
"Hold on..." Marc got to his smartphone, which vibrated from his belt clip, since he noted that the call from ASE.
Catherine also went for her smartphone when it vibrated in her jacket pocket.
Both of them answered their respective phones. They received one thing that would have to change.
They were ordered to evacuate Sheryl at all costs.
The holographic equipment on the stage came to a halt when the red warning screens appeared. Sheryl's holographic suit ceased functioning as well, revealing a gray and black bodysuit.
"What..." Sheryl was clearly upset that her concert was halted. "I'm not finished yet."
"I'll go get Sheryl!" Marc placed the smartphone back on his belt clip and adjusted the earpiece. "See to her car!"
"I got it!" Catherine replied when she ran out of the backstage.
Marc got the FSB ballcap strapped on his pants and wore it over his head.
Stage, Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
"What's the meaning of this?!" Sheryl shouted at the stage crew when she saw that they couldn't do anything about the holographic equipment.
"You need to come with me! The Frontier's got a security breach!" Marc said out loud before he grabbed her left arm without waiting for a reply.
ASE security guards, wearing brown baseball caps and pants with light brown shirts and black duty vests, came running inside and formed up near the stage. They were armed, similarly to their FPB counterparts.
"A state of emergency has been declared by the Macross Frontier government! This is not a drill! I repeat, this is not a drill!" The automated message played from the warning videos played on screen.
The guards proceeded to guide the audience out of the auditorium.
"But wait a minute! The concert's not...!" Sheryl insisted of not leaving the stage.
Marc turned around to glare at her. "Idiot! You're in danger! And so's everyone else! So shut it and move it!"
"No way..." Ranka groaned when she saw Sheryl being dragged by the ASE contractor against her will.
Recreation Room, Macross Quarter, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Ozma, Gilliam and the other off-duty SMS contractors were busy watching the concert when the state of emergency broadcast was shown on the HDTV set.
"All on-duty pilots are required to scramble at once! I repeat, all pilots are required to scramble! A Code Victor is issued by the Macross Frontier government!"
"Code Victor..." One of the SMS contractors murmured when he heard the broadcast.
"Gilliam!" Ozma shouted to Gilliam. "Get the pilots and maintenance personnel ready at once! Make sure you recall Mikhail and Luca!"
"No problem, Major!" Gilliam saluted briefly before he barked orders to all the pilots inside to get mobilized at once.
"What's this Code Victor about..." Leon asked Ozma when he heard the PA system make the announcement.
"Kid..." Ozma patted his right shoulder. "It's the Vajra. You remembered the debriefing, right?"
"Then come on. We got a fleet to protect."
Ozma led the way for Leon as the two ran out to the locker room in order to suit up. He had a grin on his face.
Ranka. This is the moment that we've been waiting for.
Catwalk, Auditorium, Seido Hall, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
"Roger. We're off at once!"
Mikhail received a SMS transmission that had orders for him and Luca to return back to the Macross Quarter ASAP.
"Where are you guys going?!" Alto was startled to see Mikhail and Luca moving towards the catwalk railing to jump off.
"You better go, Alto." Mikhail stared at him before he jumped off the railing. "It's not safe here anymore."
Alto didn't know what he was talking about the moment the two Mihoshi Academy leaped off and activated the wings and thrusters since the engines were idle for only a few seconds.
Bridge, Macross Quarter, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
"Captain Wilder!" A SMS contractor called for the officer's attention before he entered the bridge from outside. "We got authorization from Battle Frontier that we can take off once we're ready!"
"All right!" The bearded old man in his black SMS uniform, alongside his blue SMS peaked cap and aviator goggles worn around his neck, told the contractor. "Return to your post at once!"
"Yes, captain!" The contractor ran out and back as he went for the direction of the ship's engine room.
Jeffrey Wilder (Toru Okawa/Marc Diraison)
"To your stations, people!" The colonel informed the three CIC female personnel getting inside as he took his seat at the ship's command chair. "They're already here and we're to sortie at once!"
Wilder relayed additional orders from his chair. "Inform all squadron leaders that all pilots must use Super Packs. Squadron leaders are allowed to use Armor Packs as instructed."
5 kilometers away from Macross Frontier airspace
Additional Nightmare Plus Valkyries were deployed to engage the incoming Vajras. This time though, the red Vajras were nowhere to be seen in sight.
Instead, smaller yellow Vajras were seen mobilized to intercept the NUNS forces.
"What are they..." One of the new Valkyrie pilots engaged in his first official sortie tried to chase one of the yellow Vajra from the rear. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't able to defend himself since other yellow Vajras came in close from all sides when they fired their internal guns at it.
"NNOOOOOO!" The pilot yelled when the guns penetrated the cockpit, engines and thrusters. If the guns didn't kill the pilot as he bled to death, the sheer explosion of his Valkyrie did the job as it completely vaporized his body.
Another yellow Vajra got the drop on another unsuspecting Nightmare Plus Valkyrie. After it landed on the Valkyrie, it used its flagellum to stab the cockpit hard before it flew off. The attack immediately decimated the Valkyrie and killed the pilot.
A Nightmare Plus Valkyrie was being pursued from the back by two yellow Vajras. The pilot did everything he could to avoid being hit from doing aileron and barrel rolls to spins to dodge the incoming guns and missiles.
"How are they able to use guns and missiles?!" The Nightmare Plus pilot shouted from his cockpit seat when he executed his second spin to dodge a missile meant for the Valkyrie's wing. "They're not even machines!"
One of the yellow Vajras was about to slash at the Valkyrie's wings when it got shot down by several machine gun bursts. The other one was taken out by the same thing.
Am... am I saved?
"This is Major Ozma Lee from SMS' Skull Squadron." The pilot looked outside to see two SMS Valkyries equipped with both Armored and Super Pack systems after he heard a SMS transmission. "We'll take control of this sector. Return back to your squad and regroup."
One of them was a VF-25S, which belonged to Ozma while a VF-25F belonged to Leon.
"U-understood! Cover my six!" The Nightmare Plus pilot hastily made a retreat back to his assigned Guantanamo-class ship.
"I guess you made a point when you said that the regulars don't have an idea about the Vajras." Leon eyed his console for more incoming Vajras. "But why can't we share the info..."
"Even if we could, I don't think the NUNS have any special weapons and some factions within could try to cover it up." Ozma snorted when he heard Leon's suggestion to pass what info SMS has on the Vajra.
The older contractor noted from his console that the area seemed to be clear of Vajras.
"Come on, Leon. We need to head back to the fleet and protect it."
The two Messiahs flew back from the cleared sector towards the fleet to reinforce the other SMS squads.
Somewhere near outskirts of Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Several hooded figures with gray hoodies, black jogging pants and white sneakers with ACU shoulder bags strapped on their backs, were seen doing parkour around the roofs of various buildings in the Beijing Area in front of Tenkumon Park. They witnessed ASE guards guiding the civilians out of the complex and towards the nearest emergency shelters.
Some of them took out military-grade binoculars and zoomed in on the park entrance, keeping a close eye on Ranka as she walked towards the entrance in the crowd, later being assisted by a lone ASE guard. Others kept an eye on Mikhail and Luca making the journey towards SMS HQ via EX-GEAR suits.
"Einherjar 1 to Wōdanaz, reporting immediate SMS mobilization from vicinity of Tenkumon Park. Requesting instructions, over." A hooded man, whose face and cap was concealed by the gray hood over his head, used the portable radio's PTT button clipped on his belt while he eyed Mikhail and Luca already moving a greater distance towards their destination.
"Leave them alone for now, Einherjar 1." Wōdanaz replied in the encrypted transmission. "For now, concentrate on making sure the Fairy is safe. We still need her to fulfill our plans."
Unknown to the gray hoodie-wearing men, they were being watched from a distance by several other hooded figures from another building roof. Although the only difference is that they wore white hoodies with white shoulder bags strapped on their backs.
"Hajal Leader to Alamut." A white-hooded man with a pair of ballistic googles worn over his eyes, reported his findings. "Spotted Templars ahead of us. They're pre-occupied as of this moment."
"Roger that, Hajal. Just keep an eye on them for now. Our agent's down there and we can't compromise the situation yet."
Rear Entrance, Tenkumon Park, Beijing Area, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Alto saw from a distance that Catherine assisted Sheryl and Grace to get inside the parked Tata Pr1ma sedan, the former now back in her civilian clothes. Marc was on standby right next to his BMW K1600GT with his motorbike helmet already worn.
Two squads of Frontier National Guard soldiers were present to provide overwatch alongside an armored 4x4 vehicle with a mounted machine gun on top.
"Hey! Hey! Where do you think you guys are going, huh?!" Alto angrily approached the Pr1ma when FNG soldiers blocked his way to the limo, forming a human barrier.
Marc almost instinctively reached for his belt holster when he realized who was doing the shouting. He calmed himself and placed his hands down once he found out who it was..
"Oy! Alto!" Marc shouted at the ex-kabuki actor when he flipped up the visor of his helmet. "What are you doing here?"
"You're one to talk!" Alto shouted back when he pointed at the sedan. "I though that you're going doing some work with ASE after the last time we met at the inter-school interaction." He then continued. "But to protect her of all people!"
"Alto! Walk away!"
Sheryl rolled her eyes when she overheard Alto's frustrations.
"Look!" Marc fired back in the argument. "This isn't the time to argue...!"
"Listen to him, boy." Sheryl glared at Alto. "After all, the professionals should take care of things like this."
"A lot of people came to see you!" Alto tried to push the Guardsmen away from his path. "But here you are sneaking away with your manager on your own! Where the fuck is your sense of decency!"
Marc was about to reply when he scoffed at him for "working" with the Sheryl protection detail and left when he pushed the Guardsmen aside.
Catherine stared at Marc and asked him. "What was that about?"
"Foolish boy..." Sheryl murmured.
"We can talk about it some other time." Marc flipped the visor of his motorbike helmet down. "We need to get a move on."
The ASE contractor started up his motorbike and was the first one to drive off from the driveway of the Tenkumon Park's rear entrance. The 4x4 vehicle followed to protect the Pr1ma ahead with a 2058 brown Ford Interceptor used by the PSD as an unmarked vehicle.
They would be directed to an emergency shelter located a few blocks away from the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
3 kilometers away from Macross Frontier airspace
Three VF-25F Messiahs led by Gilliam were busy pursuing yellow Vajras that were trying to take out a Guantanamo-class ship stationed near Battle Frontier.
"Dammit. These critters are too fast." Gilliam murmured, carefully aiming and focusing on one of the nearest yellow Vajras by using the Valkyrie's Howard GU-17A 58mm Gatling gun pod. However, the Vajra's barrel roll made most of his shots miss. Only one or two shots made contact with the creature, but it didn't even leave a scratch on its body.
Ozma's voice came on Gilliam's radio when he and Leon came in to the area to reinforce his group. Both SMS contractors fired the Bifors CIMM-3A micro-missiles from their mech's Super Packs, which made short work of the yellow Vajras when the missiles swarmed them from all sides and detonated on impact, killing them on the spot.
"Thanks for the assist!" Giliam thanked Ozma for the help. "We got word from Quarter that a couple of Vajras are heading quick and fast towards Island 1!"
The SMS Messiahs flew together back towards Frontier, only stopping to kill the yellow Vajras in their way.
Cockpit, Leon's VF-25F Messiah, en route to Macross Frontier airspace
After a few minutes of flying towards Macross Frontier airspace, Ozma and the other SMS pilots detected the incoming Vajra squads as mentioned by Gilliam a while ago.
"Over there!" Leon saw the two squads, led by the red Vajras, make short work of a couple of Houston-class Stealth Cruisers in the way when they fired their cannons at the Vajras. At least four yellow Vajras were seen accompanying them in a squad.
"They're about to breach the island!" One of the SMS pilots shouted when he fired his Bifors CIMM-3A micro-missiles to take down two of the yellow Vajras.
Another SMS pilot reported in details he's been hearing on the NUNS' frequency. "Battle Frontier reports Purple and Vermilion squadrons to be out of commission! Wolf squadron's not going to last long in holding the Vajra off the defense line near the island!"
"Gilliam, you're in charge of this area!" Ozma gave Gilliam his instructions. "Leon and I will try to intercept the enemy!"
"You don't have to tell me twice!" Gilliam chuckled when he gave chase to the yellow Vajras. "OOOOHHHHHHHHAA!"
Leon watched as Gilliam's micro-missiles took down the three Vajra squad's yellow Vajras. He and the other two SMS pilots moved in to face the red Vajra that turned around to engage them. The last yellow Vajra turned around to back up the red Vajra.
"Let's move it!" Ozma said to Leon out loud when the two moved in towards Island 1, flying around the debris of the stealth cruisers taken out in battle. They caught sight of the red Vajra trying to break the island's plexiglass dome despite the activation of the reflective shield in order to strengthen it from breaking the dome easily.
We can't be called in as the fixer all the time to confront the Vajra, even though I want to take care of those bastards. The boss better do something about this situation. I'll be sure to submit a report if I can get out of this one.
A few minutes after stomping on the plexiglass, the red Vajra decided to break it by using the organic railgun mounted on its back. It aimed the weapon downward on the plexiglass and fired, creating a large hole for it and two yellow Vajras accompanied the red Vajra inside while the other two intercepted Ozma and Leon to hold them off.
"Leon, now!" Ozma fired off some of his micro-missiles at the incoming yellow Vajras.
"Right!" Leon joined in to fire his micro-missile at the Vajras from the side.
The two yellow Vajras saw the incoming missiles, but were overwhelmed by their numbers. In the end, they were blown to smithereens.
"The big Vajra made it inside!" Leon shouted when he attempted to fire the gun pod at it, but all of the shots missed.
"We need to catch up with it! Move it!"
Leon followed Ozma to the breached hole and chase the Vajras inside the island before the plexiglass began to repair the hole automatically.
Somewhere in Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Civilians still wandering around the downtown area and not in the shelters began to panic when they saw the red Vajra breach the island alongside the two yellow Vajras. They opened fire indiscriminately, causing structural damage in the San Francisco and Beijing Areas.
"Look out!" The ASE guard who helped Ranka specifically pushed her out of the way as concrete debris came crashing down on top of him.
"What the?" Alto caught sight of what happened and flew down after flying around for a few minutes just to get away from the fighting between the red Vajra and FNG 6x6 armored vehicles trying to intercept it.
"Ranka!" Alto went to see her and help her stand up. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah." Ranka slowly nodded. "But... the guard. He pushed me..."
"I'll go check on him."
Alto used the EX-GEAR suit's gloves to help him dig through the rubble. It was a good thing that there wasn't a lot of it that fell down on the helpless guard. But still...
He knelt down next to the downed man and checked on his pulse after clearing the rubble away from his body and face. I don't know if it's me, but he's not...
"Did... did she make it okay?" The guard asked Alto, voice very weak.
"Yes, sir. She did."
"Good... Can you pass me a message to her brother?" The guard asked before he coughed.
"Tell him that Gary... Hayter... tried to help bring her to the nearest emergency shelter."
The student noted that the guard's arm gripping his EX-GEAR suit was getting weaker and weaker.
"Mr. Hayter!" Ranka ran up next to him and tried to get his attention. "Please wake up! The paramedics should be coming..."
Alto sighed. "It's too late, Ranka. He died probably due to the injuries sustained."
"No..." Ranka began to cry after seeing the man who saved her die in front of her.
Alto tried to look around for something just to cover up the body. He looked around hard until he saw a discarded jacket.
"What the?" He moved towards it by using the built-in roller blades to get in closer and pick it up. The jacket was then placed over the corpse.
"Come on, Ranka," Alto tried to console Ranka. "We need to move to a safer place."
"You're right." Ranka nodded when she wiped the tears off her eyes.
The two saw the red Vajra tear through the armored vehicles were wrecked when their 30mm cannons were not doing anything against it. The railgun's shot easily destroyed them and a number of buildings nearby.
Ozma and Leon were now flying over the downtown area of Island 1, surveying the damage done by the intruders.
Hm... He zoomed in with the Messiah's cameras to see Alto helping Ranka get away from the Vajras firing up the block they're in.
"Leon, go and help the civilians out!" Ozma directed the newcomer's attention to the two before he changed into Battroid Mode and drew out the Valkyrie's AK/VF-M9 assault knife. "I got to settle some differences between me and the Vajra over there!"
"You in the EX-GEAR suit!" Leon used the Valkyrie's speakers to get Alto's attention after he changed into Battroid Mode. "Get out of here! Take the girl with you! We'll cover your escape!"
"Wait a minute! I want an explanation on what's going on here!" Alto shouted his answer. When did the military approve the VF-25 for combat use?
"Sorry, kid! I can't explain! Just get a move on!"
The two yellow Vajras soon made a move towards Leon's Valkyrie, forcing him to be on the defensive when he fired the gunpod at them.
They responded by flying around, over and below the shots to make them miss. However, a shot made from long distance made contact with one of the yellow Vajras. This was the signal for Alto to pick up Ranka by the arms and get away from the sight.
"Apologies for being late." The long range shot came from Mikhail's personal VF-25G.
"Right on time, Mikhail!" Leon thanked Mikhail for the assist while he opened fire with some more micro-missiles to take out the last yellow Vajra remaining.
"Allow me to help out." Mikhail opened fire with the Dragunov, injuring it before the first volley of micro-missiles made contact with its body, blowing it up to several pieces.
The blond SMS pilot noted from the Valkyrie's cameras that he began to move towards the direction of Griffith Park.
Nice move, Alto. The park may be the safest place yet.
"What happened to Luca?" Leon made contact with Mikhail, who was a bit worried.
"He's helping out with the other guys outside via recon." Mikhail got a lock on to Ozma's current position, which consisted of clashing with the red Vajra as he stabbed its chest with the large combat knife.
"Alright. I'm heading back to help the Major." Leon got the Valkyrie's combat knife out and moved in to help Ozma engage the red Vajra by stabbing it at the stomach area, all the way down.
"Nice assist." Ozma grinned when he drove the combat knife up to the red Vajra's neck. Leon swore that he saw Ozma lick his lips. As if he was enjoying the fight between him and the red Vajra all this time.
The red Vajra groaned in pain while being assaulted by two combat knives. Ozma and Leon continued to put more pressure on their weapons until they saw the Vajra's eye go dark. This made the creature go limp and fall down onto the empty streets.
"Sector all clear." Leon went for the radio to inform all SMS units in the vicinity. "We got a Victor down here in Island 1."
Leon saw Luca's face on his console, wearing his issued SMS pilot suit.
"Any updates?" Leon asked Luca the moment his face appeared.
"Battle Frontier informed us that the enemy retreated. They're not saying why," Luca replied when he looked outside.
"Updates on the girl and the guy with him?" Ozma's face showed up on Leon's console next, looking a bit upset.
"In the clear." Mikhail's face was the last to show up, looking very relieved that the fighting was over. "They're heading to Griffith Park. I listened in on the ambulance service's frequency and they mentioned the dispatch of paramedics to the park to secure any civilians there who didn't make it to the shelter."
"Are you going to meet with Ranka, sir?" Leon inquired to his superior.
Ozma sighed. "Yeah. Most likely after we return. But not like this."
Leon somehow knew that something was wrong with the reply, but chose to be discreet for now.
The SMS pilots could see FNG APCs and armored vehicles securing the perimeter with a 8x8 armored truck with an empty truck bed.
"Let's return back to HQ." Ozma ordered the others as he manipulated the controls to change his Valkyrie back to Fighter mode so that he can make it back to SMS HQ faster than if he left it in Battroid Mode.
The rest of the night would later consist of the FNG securing the Vajra's corpse and placing it on the truck bed. It was covered with a very large green tarp, using it as a blanket before they were ordered to bring it out of the downtown area.
Somewhere in Griffith Park Hill, Island 1, NUNGS Macross Frontier
Alto placed Ranka down on the ground after he spent three hours roller blading through the various roadblocks and streets sealed off due to the rubble.
"Thanks, Alto." Ranka smiled at him and gave him a hug. "You saved me."
"Your welcome." Alto reciprocated the gesture by hugging her back. He was being careful so that he doesn't hurt her since he still has the suit on.
The sounds of sirens coming from the ambulances were drawing nearer and nearer towards the outskirts of Griffith Park.
"H-hold on for a bit..." Alto felt something was about to come out of his stomach. He dashed for the nearest trash can and vomited.
"Alto!" Ranka ran up to see if he was okay. "Are you okay?!"
Alto couldn't answer her immediately. During his moment, he could recall the moment when SMS Messiahs butchered the Vajras easily like they were nothing. He didn't know if the reaction was due to seeing their bodies explode or whether it was from seeing their blood and guts spilled on the city streets.
Chapter 4 END
PS - I guess some peeps may have questions on why a PMC/PSC would hire people as low as 16 years old. This is established in Macross Frontier that SMS is one of the few contractors that don't have qualms on hiring Mikhail, Luca and Alto. I don't know if the production crew has mentioned anything on why the standards were lowered a bit, but I won't be surprised if this is due to the wars that took place before and after the Zentradi invasion on Earth.
Notice that Sheryl's being a hardass on poor Alto. Well, that's being a celebrity for you.
I already mentioned before (I think) that the story has some crossovers with the MCU, with references to SHIELD. Although season 3 mentions hints of people worldwide having powers as shown in "Laws of Nature", I'll mention later in the story that this incident faded into history over time. I'll have an in-universe reason for that since I don't wanna emphasis this a lot in said story.
I also made a fictional class name for the stealth cruisers since in-universe, none was provided.
I'm having a hard time explaining on whether the stuff that came out of the EX-GEAR suits were artificial confetti made by the boosters or something...
Anyway, expect some day timeskips so that I can cover more of the plot that way. Same with the dates as thanks to the Macross info wiki/sites for that. Having most events take place in one day don't make sense IMO.
Title is taken from a song of the same name in Mell's second studio album, Mirage.
Anyway, let me know how the story is when you review. It's been a while since I wrote the story's chapters again when I placed myself on a hiatus, so be easy on me. Anything that concerns mistakes or suggestions in regards to this chapter is greatly welcomed.