Disclaimer: I do not own anything involving the Ace Combat series. Though please enjoy this fanfiction I am writing.

Chapter 1

Shadow of a Ghost Appears

Soft waves of blueish green water rippled against the shores of the Tiger Naval Base. It was in the South East region of the Yuktobanian territory. The small carrier known as Horace rested in dry dock. It was in need of repairs. Several of the base aircraft were in mid flight training. The base having been on high alert. Rumors of some combat was beginning to stir the nuggetts. Several planes were being prepped for air battle.

One of the aviators would walk toward a black and grey camoflage F-117 Stealth Fighter. The pilot was about five foot seven. A rather stocky build, and brown eyes. His long black hair was tied back with a string, while a pair of black oval glasses rested on his nose. His flight suit was a black Yuktobanian style uniform the zipper half down. This revealed his white muscle shirt. Stopping in mid step to turn, someone approaching from his left.

This was a woman dressed in an officers outfit the insignia of the Yuktobanian army apparent. Though she stood out with marks signifying her rank of Major. A folder held under her shoulder speaking slowly toward him. "Lieutenant,. a word if you please?" The womans strong accent seeped with each word she pronounced.

This would trigger the young man to face the woman, raising his right hand up to salute her. "Major Natashya." His words held a stern tone, showing his seriousness of his demeanor and position on the base.

"At ease, Lieutenant. This is about your orders for the bombing run. I wish to request that you target only the radar towers. Do not engage aircraft at this current time, your mission is just to help secure a path for our planes."

The young man quirked a brow listening to her words. "Why the sudden change? Or does this have to do with the rumors of war and the missing Prime Minister?" His hands lowering when the at ease was acknowlledged. His helmet being handed over by one of the mechanics. "I will see what I can do Major, no promises." With that he would set the black helmet on, placing both hands about the ladder to climb up toward the Stealth.

The major sighed rubbing a hand to her temple, "Just be careful Lieutenant. War isn't a game." It was all she would say, turning her heels clapping against the ground. Stopping and turning back to face the pilot as he was setting up. "Ghost! GodSpeed!"

The young pilot would tilt his head in the direction of the Major. Finger sliding the visor down as he saluted. He didn't trust her, though she was a respected officer among the base. His mission was to bomb several radar towers lining along the pacific ocean. Several hundred miles off the coast of Sand Island. It seemed to be a preperation for war, though in truth the Lieutenant was just doing his job.

Those thoughts passing as the cockpit hatch would close as the engines began to warm up. The stealth fighter was nearly silent while the burners began to heat up. Eyes now staring ahead as one of the runway guides would wave a flashlight to gather his attention. It was go time, the plane slowly rolling out to the air strip.

A soft voice echoed through the Lieutenants helmet. "Ghost you are clear for take off, happy hunting."

A simple response was all that the pilot would answer with. "Roger." The stealth now speeding up as it would begin a quick take off into the sky. The blue scenery allowed the black and grey camoflaged plane to dissapear into the clouds. It would be an estimate time of arrival to targets within twenty minutes. Hopefully he would have no bogeys. Though he would have to mid air refuel once on his return to the base. Fingers flicking a few of the keys checking his payload. There was fifty four missiles and sixteen guided penetrating bombs or GPB, with eight hundred vulcan machine gun rounds.

This would set his mind at ease the targets were simple floating radar towers. Though this would require him to fly about two to four hundred feet above the sea. Something that most pilots would not wish to do. This allowed the young pilot to reflect on a few things. Most being how he ended up in the pilot seat of this Stealth Fighter.

Being born in the most southern regions of Yuktobanian territories. So far south that the usual accent never came to his voice. Sometimes leaving all that have worked with him to believe him to be a foreigner and not a citizen of Yuktobania.

Aeric could still remember his parents smiling faces when he was accepted into the air force at the young age of seventeen. Had so much changed, he was now nineteen already a Lieutenant and a pilot of one of the most technologically advanced aircrafts. Then again maybe that was just pride and stupidity leaking through.

"This is Oka Nieba. Are you at your current location Ghost?" The subtle voice of one of the Yuktobanian Awacs touched the young pilots ears. "Ghost are you there?"

Aeric would tilt his head to the side looking at the ocean off in the distance. "Yes, I am here Oka Nieba. Within five minutes of first radar target."

"That's good Ghost, we are counting on this to be a smooth run. Oh and us boys up here want to congratulate you on your recent promotion to Lieutenant."

A soft chuckle passed the pilot's lips. " Well if you want to congratulate me properly. You guys buy me a beer."

"You got it Ghost. We will be waiting on your return. Happy hunting." THose being the last words of the Awacs Oka Nieba as it departed back toward the coast of Yuktobanian.

Aeric shifted in his position his target reticles beginning to light up. Soft sound of his heart beat echoed in his chest." Ghost here. Fox three!" Those words echoed, as the guided penetrating bomb was dropped. The stealth fighter turned to begin a second quick turn toward another target. There was seven in all, none could be missed.

"Splash one Ghost nice job." Oka Nieba would continue its monitoring of the situation and progress of its lone pilot.

Aeric shifted once more finger sliding along the trigger once more. "Ghost, Fox three." Yet again another bomb was dropped. Falling straight down to its intended target. Aeric speaking again swiftly. "Ghost, Fox three." Another small metallic grinding noise heard the bomb being dropped swiftly. His plane turning once more, having to keep a n his altitude. Almost passing the warning level twice. His body felt on fire, it was the rush that came with this. Such importance was riding on this mission. Or at least the base commander made it such during debriefing.

"Splash two targets Ghost. Great job, four more left."

Aeric sighed now pulling the gun trigger button, his reticles lined up spraying two lines of vulcan machine bulletts. two more towers ignited into smoke and dissapeared beneath the blueish green ocean.

"Just two more Ghost, then we can have a beer at base. Wrap it up now."

"Roger Oka Nieba. Ghost Fox One." The sound of one of the missiles launched from the underside of his stealth fighter. Eyes slanting a little, watching the bouncing waves sway the radar tower back and forth. "Ghost, Fox one." A second missile was launched as it wizzed by the flames off the missile was visible as it flew toward the intended target. Not even needing the words of accomplishment from Oka to turn his plane. Beginning his turn toward the Yaktobanian coast line.

"Well done splash the last two targets. Well done Ghost. I wish all pilots were as compliant as you."

Aeric laughed again, fingers flicking the weapon toggle switch. His payload now was fifty two missiles, thirteen GPB, and seven hundred eighty bulletts left. This was a quick concise mission with little effort on his part. That would please the mechanics and the accountants who figured the cost of a missile waisted was to much.

Sudden red flash caught his attention. " Ghost here I got incoming bogeys! Turning to evade!" Those sudden words echoed with a touch of fear perhaps. Several vulcan machine gun rounds flew by his planes hull. Missing it's intended target, his hand shifting the control stick barrell rolling attempting to avoid more vulcan machine guns.

" Ghost look out you got four incoming bogeys! Must be a patrol unit from that sand island base. Eveade and retreat are your orders. Do not engage!"

"Easy for you to say!" Aeric gritted his teeth, the taste of blood passing in his lips. The sounds on his radio confusing him. The voice of one of the enemy fighters.

"This is Captain Stevens with Box Car squadron. I am up here with three nuggetts and an unfriendly stealth craft. I am moving to engage, its destroyed our radar towers."

More voices would come as the voice boomed." Permission allowed Captain Stevens engage and destroy."

Aeric growled, " Nuggetts? He has nuggetts up here! The fool!" This was ridiculous, what fool would even engage an enemy with rookie pilots! Apparently this was one of them.

" This is Oka Nieba, your orders are to engage if nessasary, avoid if possible!"

"Ghost here, Roger turning to engage!" The sound of his plane shifting to combat speed now rising to a higher altitude. These stupid Osean's were going to battle without knowing why. Aeric feeling the guilt of the Majors words. He wouldn't kill them, he would run that was all he could do right? Pushing on the after burners he would begin his flight away. Pushing at least to make it to the border, ejecting if need be.

The Osean radio would beep once more, "This is Engineer to Box Car Squadron. Follow my lead he is running we will gun him down. Stay on my tail, consider this a training exercise." There would be a few moments before sounds of three Osean Aviators responded. "Box Car One Roger. Box Car Two Roger. Box Car Three Roger."

Each voice stood out as an individual, sounding more like kids than pilots. Three men and a woman, the simple thoughts of them being children plagued Aeric's mind realizing the F-5's would cartch him shortly. His Stealth wasn't meant for speed, though he possessed superior air craft time. Compared to three of the four pursuers. Aeric turning the stick to force himself into a barrell roll. Barely avoiding the lead planes vulcan machine gun.

"This is Oka Nieba, return fire Ghost. You have clearance, do not get yourself killed." The communications officer on the Awacs was nearly begging Aeric to return fire, his plane wouldn't make it to the border in time.

This was something Aeric knew responding on his radio, "They are nuggetts. I can't kill kids. I just can't. Ahh!" It seemed upon those very words, the Stealth took a few rounds to the hull itself. Smoke beginning to flare up a little on his right side. It was just heat and the metal having collided pierced his hull. Aeric quickly pulled a Split S, the move nearly tore the hull in half as he spun the plane around. Now being placed behind his opponent the one with the call sign Engineer.

"Ghost! Ghost! Are you alright answer me!Oka Nieba to any near aircraft or ships. One of our planes is under enemy fire requesting assistance!"

"This is Ghost I am fine. Just going to see if I can wound this guy, send him packing." With those words the vulcan machine gun opened fire, blasting several holes into the enemies F-5. Black smoke beginning to shoot from the planes hull. Various key systems now becoming useless to the enemy pilot. Aeric speaking sharply, "To enemy captain retreat from battle you cannot win this. Take your nuggetts home. They are kids. They are not ready for this!"

The enemy pilot would snap sharply to Aeric." Stay the hell of our frequency I can still take you. That bulky plane can't handle our F-5's! Now try this on!"

Aeric would blink, noticing a slight rise of the planes nose. He wasn't going to! " Fool stop! You can't pull a loop at this speed! It's going to tear your plane in!" The words never got out of Aeric's mouth. The g-force applied to the damage hull ripped the plane in half, the two pieces falling to the ocean below. No sight of a pilot! Aeirc sneared, "That fucking fool!" Having to quickly change his heading to avoid the three nuggetts who apparently just caught up.

The enemy radio now filled with confusion. " Box car one to Sand Island! We just lost the captain! That Stealth pilot is unreal! It's like chasing a ghost!"

Aeric shook his head beginning a slight change to his heading blinking as the red missile light came on. "Missiles where!" Aeric barely having the moment to change his planes position.

The sight of a small Yuktobanian Destroyer was there. Three missiles fired from the SAM's. Their intended target the three enemy planes.

" No stop! They are nuggetts! They won't pursue!"Each word was futile the missiles striking the planes as they exploded into balls of fire and metal.

Simple screams upon contact would touch Aeric's ears. "Ahhh!" Each of those rookie pilots were killed in the explosion leaving the once turmoiled skies to be clear once again. The lone black and grey camoflaged stealth remained floating in the sky.

"This is the Destroyer Pugnant. We are to escort the Lieutenant to his air refueling and back to Tiger Naval Base."

Aeric was just silent, everything said was acknowlledge but not with words. His hands felt so heavy, his head a little lower. Those were four losses with no real gain. Pointless deaths, they were his fault weren't they? Why had they not retreated, now those rookies death's were on his head. Who were they? Those questions would have to wait, looking back toward the bright sun it would be an hour before he would return to base. Plenty of time to reflect on his hate and despisement for the actions of the day. "Ghost. Roger That."