A few words from the author: readers are appreciated, reviewers are appreciated even more.

Please note that some of the parts in this story are somewhat improbable, speculative and creative liberties were taken.

Warning: Do not mix fanfiction with other drugs or alcohol. Doing so can result in serious liver, stomach, and spleen problems.

"Chinese"

"Japanese"

"English"

Enjoy


February 25, 2010; 1049 local time; Chinese flagship, Bai Duan, offshore of Maizuru.

Commander Xiong stood at the bridge of his ship. On the horizon he could just barely see the island of Honshu.

"Commander, the UAV's(1) are ready to launch." An officer informed him.

Xiong nodded, "Launch them and tell all warships to prepare for bombardment. Tell all forward elements of to prepare for landing."

"Yes, commander."

--

February 25, 2010; 1057 local time; JSDF command HQ, Maizuru, Japan

Commander Okada sat at the planning table. The surface of the table was strewn with maps detailing the layout of the Maizuru defenses. The entrance to the harbor itself being the most heavily fortified.

"Sir, we have contacts inbound off the enemy carrier. They appear to be UAV's." An officer said, reading a message from one of the radar operators.

"Is the Myoko ready?" Okada said, looking up from a map.

"Her AEGIS systems are still offline, but we can attempt to guide her missiles by other means."

"Do it, take those things down." The commander said, going back to the table. He looked at the shorelines on the map, wondering where the Chinese would make their initial landings. He had a feeling that they would want to capture the areas around the harbor entrance before making their way to the harbor itself.

"Yes, commander" The officer nodded before going to the phone. "Myoko, this is Fire Control. Prepare missiles for launch. . . Yes, yes, we know the systems aren't running yet. . . Prepare the missiles, that's an order."

--

February 25, 2010; 1117 local time; Chinese Carrier, Bai Duan 60 miles offshore of Maizuru

Commander Xiong watched as nearly six million Yuan (Chinese unit of currency) worth of UAV's crashed into the sea, intercepted by what he and several of his officers concluded was the Myoko, a Kongo class destroyer reported to posses an upgraded AEGIS combat system. She was one of Japan's most advanced warships to date. Xiong was equal parts relieved and curious as to why she did not participate in the earlier battle. Indeed, the fact that they were able to sink the other, more recent AEGIS-equipped ship, Atago was almost a fluke. His advisers had shared differing opinions as to why Myoko was absent from the battle. Theories ranged from a lack of fuel, to the possibility of a technical problem with her electronics.

"Commence bombardment." Xiong ordered grimly.

"Yes commander," An officer said before speaking into a communicator. "All units, commence bombardment. Have all the forward elements and landing ships prepare for assault."

--

February 25, 2010; 1526 local time; Maizuru, Japan.

Private Takumi ducked behind A concrete wall as bullets from both sides continued to zoom past. He was scared, the Chinese had landed and overran the forward positions. Enemy warships were now inside the harbor itself wreaking untold havoc on the defenders. He took out the magazine in his rifle before replacing it with a fresh one. He worked the bolt and looked over the wall again. A swarm of bullets streaked past and knocked his helmet off. Takumi ducked under the wall again before firing several blind sprays over the top. A voice to his left cried out.

"Masato?" Takumi shouted as he looked over. He recognised the face of his friend. "Medics! Somebody get me a medic!"

"He's dead, buddy." A forward observer said before going back to his radio. "Fire control, this is wildcat seven. Requesting fire support at grid references, hotel, echo, romeo, three. I repeat, fire support at hotel, echo, romeo, three. . ."

"Incoming!!" A voice shouted as Takumi heard the shriek of approaching mortar rounds, milliseconds later the explosives hit the ground, detonating on impact. The cloud of shrapnel burned as it penetrated clothing, flesh, and bone; leaving Takumi and the forward observer horribly injured.

Takumi fought as hard as he could to keep awake, but soon everything started to fade, blackness creeping in. . .

--

February 25, 2010; 1702 local time; JSDF Command HQ, Maizuru, Japan

"Commander?" A younger officer said, running in from the communications room.

"What is it?"

"Our eastern defensive line is starting to deteriorate. If we don't do something fast, we could lose the eastern quarter and the harbor."

"Have the artillery concentrate fire on that area. We have to hold those docks!" Okada ordered.

"Yes commander" The officer said, running back to the communications room.

"MOL, this is fire control, fire control to MOL. Concentrate fire in grid references India, Foxtrot, Sierra, three."

"Fire control, this is MOL. Fire mission is confirmed. Be advised, ordinance is half exhausted." A man on the other end said, the roar of artillery fire was prominent in the background.

"Rodger that MOL. Ordinance replenishment will be en route shortly." The officer said "Fire control, out."

A second officer got onto another phone, "Fire control to K-line, Fire control to K-line. Requesting additional ordinance at MOL."

"Rodger that fire control." came the response, the sound of artillery being heard intermittently in the background.

--

February 26, 2010; 0932 local time; Maizuru, Japan.

The eastern half of Maizuru had fallen, the docks where in enemy hands. Sergant Sakamoto and his men holed up in a small office building. They where trying to hold out until reinforcements arrived. Something Sakamoto believed might never come.

"Fire control, this is Wildcat three, requesting fire mission in grid reference tango, four. I repeat, fire mission at grid reference tango, four" A forward observer said into the radio.

"Enemy APC moving in from the northwest." A soldier said as the APC in question aimed its autocannon and opened fire on the building. The large projectiles blowing holes in the walls and causing the men inside to take cover.

"Hiro, Kuroda, take it out!" Sakamoto said.

One of the men picked up their 84mm recoiless rifle (2) while the other man picked out the proper projectile. They moved to a window facing the APC.

"Range." Hiro said, preparing an Armor Piercing projectile.

"Two hundred meters and closing." Kuroda said, looking through the sight.

Hiro shoved the projectile into the tube that made up the weapon.

"Fire" Sakamoto ordered.

A ball of flame shot out of the back of the tube as the projectile flew towards the vehicle. The APC erupted in a massive explosion killing the four men standing close to it. "Target eliminated"

Down on the ground several Chinese soldiers started firing at the area where the rocket came from.

"Anti-tank crew in the building!" A soldier shouted as both sides exchanged rifle fire from their respective positions.

"Level it!" An officer yelled to a radio operator.

"Thunder this is Fox, enemy fortified position at grid reference twelve, seven. I repeat fire mission at grid-" The radio operator said.

"Incoming!!" Someone next to the radioman shouted as artillery shells shrieked down from the sky. The explosives hit the ground, near the radio operator. Time seemed to almost stop as the shockwave knocked the man backwards, throwing him hard against the flaming wreckage of the APC.

"Fox (static) Thunder (static) inbound (more static)" The radio crackled before going silent.

Back in the building, the GDF soldiers where taking casualties. The recoiless rifle team had been put out of commission by a grenade, and two other riflemen where wounded. Sakamoto was helping to dress the wounded when the first shell hit. . .

--

February 26, 2010; 1348 local time; Artillery position "MOL", Takahama, Japan

The MOL firing position consisted of several tents, one was for keeping ammuniton, another for communications, and others for dining and sleeping. The most prominent features of the firebase were the five 155mm howitzers, which where currently silent at the moment. Next to the guns where hundreds of spent shell casings piled like logs.

"MOL to fire control, MOL to fire control." A communications officer repeated into the radio.

"Fire control to MOL, concentrate fire on grid references Victor, two, three and four."

"Fire mission confirmed, be advised, ordinance is almost depleted." The communications officer said.

The orders where relayed to the teams at the guns. The crews donned their blackened gear and prepared to fire.

"All guns are loaded and primed."

"Fire at wi-"

The commander was interrupted by the shriek of incoming mortar fire. Men all over the camp ducked for cover as the round impacted about five yards short of the communications tent.

"MOL to fire control, MOL to fire control, we are taking mortar fire, I repeat we are taking mortar fire!"

Rifle fire was heard as Chinese commandos broke cover and began attacking.

GDF Soldiers began running towards the wall where the commandos where.

"MOL this is command, Radar has picked up something small moving in on your position."

"Can it be identified?"

"Negative, whatever it is, it's fast. Possibly missile artillery."

Three black aircraft moving fast streaked over the camp, firing missiles. The howitzers exploded. As the planes continued to fly past a deafening shriek from their jet engines could be heard.

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" Someone outside shouted.

Three more black aircraft streaked over, firing missiles. The weapons impacted the communications tent.

--

March 2, 2010; 1729 local time; Defensive line near Route 175, Fukuchiyama, Japan

Keitaro sat up against a bombed building, the picture of him and Naru in his hand. His unit was tasked with defending the area between a half-finished "Tsunami bunker" and the office building he was sitting against. Foxholes, sandbag walls, and other rapidly constructed fortifications made up the defensive line. For four long days and longer nights, he had held the lines. His unit was spread very thin, they had already lost half of his platoon. Several of the losses where uncomfortably close to home. Shirai had gotten wounded in the arm by shrapnel, he had been taken to Ayabe for treatment. The less that could be said about Haitani, the better.

A sudden shriek brought Keitaro back to reality as he scrambled for cover. He ducked into a nearby crater as a shell exploded about fifty yards away. His breathing was rapid and his heart was in this throat as he slowly looked out from his spot. Keitaro ducked again as another explosion sent an eruption of dust and debris not three yards from his position. The shelling started getting more intense, Keitaro reloaded his weapon and prepared for the expected assault. Bullets began to fly as men moved to find cover and start fighting.

Keitaro ducked back behind a sandbag wall, breathing heavily. He had already been on the front lines here for about four days, according to his superiors reinforcements would be arriving soon for an offensive. Keitaro peered over the wall again. He saw several tanks, APC's, infantry, and attack helicopters.

"Get the lead out!!!" Someone hollered as Keitaro looked down the sights of his Type-64 battle rifle (his assault rifle had been given to another soldier who was deployed earlier.) He spotted something moving and fired, his face twitched slightly as the running figure fell backwards. Bullets from both sides flew and artillery rained down intermittently. "Command, this is Charlie. Under heavy attack. We need support!!" A communications officer shouted into his radio.

"Charile, this is command. Air support is on the way. Sit tight, choppers inbound."

The APC's started to open fire. Keitaro hugged the ground as cannon rounds flew overhead, to his left he briefly heard the sounds of anguish. Against his better judgement, he looked. He shuddered as he saw the wound in the man. A massive, bloody, hole in his chest. Keitaro quickly turned his head.

"Get some anti-armor up!" The lieutenant shouted as a man readied his rocket launcher.

"Target the lead tank."

"Yes, sir" The soldier said, looking into the sight. A ball of flames erupted from the back as the projectile few towards the enemy vehicle.

The rocket streaked for it's target as the tank started an evasive maneuver. The rocket struck the tank on it's front armor to the right of the driver's position. The tank slowed down and started moving behind cover, a large hole in it's frontal armor. One of the men manning the machine gun started sweeping the area with automatic fire. Keitaro ducked as the bullets flew over his head. He looked over the wall again, picking another target. He fired a burst, hitting an enemy soldier in the chest. He ducked again as the enemy helicopters started making attack runs, raking the positions with cannon fire and rockets.

"They're trying to flank us!"

"COMMAND, THIS IS CHARLIE! WHERE IS THAT AIR SUPPORT!" An officer shouted into the radio.

"Charlie, this is command, air support and reinforcements are en route. ETA, 10 minutes."

"WE DON'T HAVE TEN MINUTES!!"

Keitaro had to agree with the officer, enemy soldiers and vehicles where getting dangerously close to their position. He aimed his rifle, firing another burst, he winced as he saw bits of reddish debris come out the back of the man he aimed at.

The sound of rotor blades approached from the rear.

"The cavalry's here (or the equivilant japanese phrase)!!" Someone shouted as three Cobra gunships flew over the tired soldiers. Cheering could be heard as the helicopters started firing.

"Air support has arrived."

The autocannons on several of the APC's stopped attacking the line and now focused on the helicopters. This took pressure off the men on the ground, giving them time to regroup.

--

March 2, 2010; 1750 local time; Maizuru, occupied Japan

Commander Xiong was hearing reports that the advance in the western area where slowed down by enemy reinforcements.

"Deploy the J-17's." Xiong said, examining the maps.

"Yes sir" An officer responded relaying the orders. "Deploying air support in sector seventeen."

The command reached the communications officer. "Ground control this is command, air strike in sector seventeen. First wing, load for aircraft. Second wing, load for ground attack."

"Affirmative, command." The officer at the captured airfield said before alerting the ground crews. Men started wheeling out missiles and attaching them to the aircraft's internal pylons. The J-17 "Shǎn" was China's new generation of air superiority fighter. It featured a black Radar Absorbent Material, advanced avionics, and the ability to break Mach 3. The planes had a very sleek appearance, it's wings where currently in a wide angle, but could be adjusted for faster flight. In front of the wings was a cockpit set between two intakes.

The planes taxi'd down the runway and soon the first two where airborne.

--

March 2, 2010; 1821 local time; Defensive line near Route 175, Fukuchiyama, Japan

The Chinese lines where beginning to crack when the Communication's officer recieved a transmission.

"Charlie, you have inbound, Small and fast."

'Small and fast. . .' Keitaro thought. He had heard rumors about what happened at MOL. "Small and fast" radar contacts where spotted inbound. After that, MOL stopped responding to transmissions. His thoughts where interrupted by an explosion. He looked over and saw a large plume of smoke and the flaming wreckage of a Cobra falll from the sky.

"WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?!" Someone shouted as four black aircraft flew by, the sound of their engines causing many of the men on the ground to cover their ears.

"Second wing, prepare for ground attack." The lead pilot said as the four other planes formed up. "Releasing payload"

The bellies of the aircraft opened and missiles flew out of the bay. Making four short strings of craters all along the defensive line. This disruption gave the Chinese time to regroup and put pressure on the left flank of the dissarayed positions. APC's and armor raining bullets across the battered Japanese positions.

"Command, this is Charile. Left flank is collapsing!" A radio operator shouted.

"Charile, this is command. Artillery on standby, additional armor and air support en route."

"Hurry it up!! I don't know how much longer we can hold out!"

Keitaro continued fighting, his right shoulder was numb from the punishment the butt of his rifle was giving it and a bruise was forming.

--

March 3, 2010; 0818 local time; Defensive line near Route 175, Fukuchiyama, Japan

The battle raged on through the night, the enemy planes making quick work of any air support they had recieved. The enemy helicopters exploiting weak points in the lines before the tanks started to break through.

"Command, this is Charlie. Position is compromised, reqest immidiate assistance!" The radio operator shouted.

"Negative, fall back to the city."

"FALL BACK!! FALL BACK!!" People started shouting.

Keitaro looked out from his foxhole. The remnants of Charlie company had received the order to fall back and where retreating. Keitaro sprayed a random burst behind himself as he joined his comrades in a panicked rush away from danger.

Keitaro continued running, people on all sides of him where getting cut down by enemy fire. The soldiers where now piling into any suitable vehicle, trailer or bicycle they could find. Keitaro saw a heavy truck, it's bed loaded with men. He ran towards it, waving his arms and shouting with all his might. He ran alongside of the truck, two soldiers reached out their hands for him to grab. They pulled him into the truck bed.

Keitaro was breathing heavily, trying to get his heart back to its normal rate.

"Floor it, buddy!!" someone shouted as the soldier driving the truck accelerated. Keitaro watched as the men retreating on foot got smaller and smaller. He wanted to help, but the truck was already overloaded. An explosion in front of the truck caused the driver to swerve off the road briefly. Keitaro hung onto the side for dear life, he saw several men fall out. He instictively reached out a hand to one of the falling men. The man reached for the hand but it was too late.

Keitaro's eyes started to water as he saw the men cry out to the fleeing vehicle. The men quickly grew tired and started to fall away from view.

--

March 10, 2010; 0629 local time; Hinata Sou

. . .Ayabe and Fukuchiyama still locked in urban combat. . . the Seikan tunnel has been captured and enemy forces are moving south from Aomori. . . Ships sunk off the coast of Fukue. . . Chinese forces have landed in Nagisaki and Kagoshima. . .Sasebo naval base overrun. . . United States threatens war. . . Nagisaki prefecture in enemy hands, personel retreating to Saga. . . JSDF personel retreating from Kagoshima prefecture. . . UN security council is in a deadlock. . . Martial law declared in Okinawa. . . Evacuations are already underway in Kyoto. . . United States forces in Japan mobilizing. . .

The news reports where getting worse, the girls where worried. The last letter they had gotten from Keitaro said that he was being deployed to Fukuchiyama, the same Fukuchiyama that currently was still in a massive battle. Naru and Shinobu where taking it the hardest, Naru practically assaulting the mailman whenever he came around and Shinobu sleeping by the phone (usually sneaking out of her room to do so). Mitsune was drinking less and Motoko began spending tremendous amounts of time practicing her sword techniques on the roof. Even Su and Mutsumi where feeling the tension. Su spent large parts of the day in her room, fiddling with something or other; while Mutsumi's demeanor seemed a little more subdued and sometimes forced.

The phone rang. Naru and Shinobu ran towards it intending to pick it up.

Haruka calmly picked up the phone. "Hinata apartments, Haruka speaking." Her face flashed an expression of suprise before going back to her stoic self. "Keitaro. . .?"

"Keitaros!?"

"Keitaro!?"

"Keitaro?!"

"Urashima!?"

"Keitaro!?"

"Kei-kun?"

All seven Hinata girls gathered around the phone and started bombarding Haruka with questions.

"Is he still alive?"

"Where is he?"

"When is he coming home?"

"Are his shirts clean?"

"Why hasn't he called earlier?"

"Quiet! all of you." Haruka shouted. "He doesn't have much more time on the phone. He's still in Fukuchiyama. He won't be home, not for a long time. . . "

"What!?" Everyone except Motoko shouted.

"Quiet!" Haruka said very sternly. "He says that he misses you all and hopes to be home by the end of the month."

Motoko looked at Haruka, her normally stoic facade was showing a slight change as she hung up the phone. 'What is she hiding?' Motoko thought to herself as Haruka left for the Tea house.

--

March 14, 2010; 1726 local time; Okano district, Fukuchiyama, Japan

Keitaro sat against a wall, trying to get some rest. More than a week had passed since his first taste of combat. He looked around at the crumbling building he was in. The large front window had been fortifed with sandbags, a machine gun set up against the impromptu wall. Cigarette butts, ration packaging and the occasional pool of dried blood dotted the tile floor. The fighting, the dying, the noise; it was all starting to wear on him. Many things that he had taken for granted became rare, showers where almost non existent, other minor hygiene issues began to be neglected, sleep became a cherished indulgence, and any feeling of safety was completely stripped. Currently he shared his positon with four others, a morose teen fresh out of high school named Shinji, a young man about Keitaro's age named Hikaru, an older man named Takashi, and the radio operator Yukio.

The familiar roar of incoming artillery brought him to his senses as he scrambled once more for cover. He cowered against a corner one hand clutching his helmet, the other arm holding his weapon. The emotion of fear danced on his face, the sounds of incoming rounds worried him, but he had learned that the one you don't hear is the one that kills you (4). He looked out from his position. The slightly familiar scenery of bombed out buildings greeted him. The echos of rifle fire bounced off the walls and the ominus *thwop-thwop* of helicopters could be heard in the distance.

"Echo two, this is Command, what is your status?" A voice over the radio said.

"Command, this is Echo two, taking artillery fire, contact imminent." Yukio said.

"Rodger that,"

"Ikari, Urashima, flanking positions. Honda, you're with me. Fuso, get on that MG." Takashi ordered.

Shinji and Keitaro took up positions in nearby buldings on either side of the position.

"Contact, right flank, Infantry." Keitaro said into his communicator.

"Confirmed, Honda get us some support." Takashi said to the radio operator.

"Yes sir. Command, this is Echo two, hostiles identified requesting support."

"Rodger that Echo two, we're routing Echo three and four to your area. ETA twenty minutes."

Keitaro steeled himself, emptied his mind, and looked down the barrel of his rifle. He tried not to think of the things he was about to do, the people he was about to kill, or the families that he was about to hurt. The only thing he wanted to think about was getting out of here alive. The thought of going home, going back, and leaving this fighting for good.

Taking a deep breath, he pulled the trigger. . .


(1) UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

(2) A recoiless rifle fires a projectile through a rifled barrel. It is called recoiless because most of the energy from the recoil is blown out the back of the tube.

(3) Shǎn: Chinese for "Lightning"

(4) Most missiles, bullets and artillery rounds travel faster than the speed of sound, so it will hit you before you hear it. Mortar rounds on the other hand often travel slower than sound.

Geographical note, Maizuru is in the Kyoto prefecture.

--

Extras

Commander Okada: Japanese name generator.

Private Takumi: Japanese name generator.

Masato: Japanese name generator.

Sergant Sakamoto: Japanese name generator

Hiro: (I'll give you three guesses)

Kuroda: (three guesses, the first two don't count)

Shinji: (screw it, I'm not doing these anymore)