When I re-read my first 'D-Day' fanfic, I realized it was horribly crafted, with the action sequences terribly written, I wasn't on a rather good mood on that day so I have decided to re-write the story. Enjoy and reader comments and reviews are much appreciated.
ZAC 2042, March 18th
D-Day D-15, 0545 hours
Bareshia Bay, Helic Territory of the Central Continent
Dallas Triangle Base
1st Class Private Westing Aaus cautiously tightened the anti-g padding under his Zoid pilot suit before zipping its zipper up to his neck collar. He let out a brief sigh. This is ridiculous. So what if there are reports of incoming bogey targets…they're probably one of those stupid tribes that decide to wander around in waters, hardly a reason enough to dispatch a squad of Zoid pilots for recon.
The rainy weather outside, clearly visible from the peephole in his locker room seemed to agree to his point as it stormed its downpour against the ocean and the sand, sending raging waves that burst throughout the sea walls of the Dallas base and which rocked the palm trees that flooded the peninsula.
Hopefully we can get this done and over with. Westing grabbed his pilot helmet and pushed aside the locker door only to be greeted by a horribly wafting aura of men's deodorant and testosterone that flooded the locker compound. Westing pushed through crowds of soldiers who laughed in amusement and fooled around, cautiously walking over underwear that's been God knows where. If only we had a civilized person on this damn base.
As he exited the compound, he gladly took a deep breath of unadulterated air before proceeding down the corridor.
The rain still pounded on the steel panes of the windows but it did little to draw Westing's attention away. It was hard, really, being the only human in the whole base. It was not as though he wanted the attention, the constant prodding and poking about life back on Earth, before their starship, the Global 3 had crashed on Zi back in ZAC 2029. That past life was beyond him, he had been only eleven during the crash-landing. Strangely, he felt as though this place was truly his home. But still…
Everything was so different here. He had no other humans to confide to. The sheer weight of the different cultures, each one a distinct parallel was so confusing. Here, the people of Zi had their life centered on war. Each one seemed to be specialized at an aspect of one form of warfare or another, be it infantry combat, guerilla warfare, or even Zoid piloting, the choice of combat he had picked.
Amongst the ranks of the Helic military, finding an intellectual whom you could actually have a normal conversation with was highly unlikely. They were a rowdy race, one that lived a brutal and rough existence they seemed to be content with. Another issue of being the only human was the often racial scorn he received from his peers. Many referring to his kind as 'invaders'….it was not as though they wanted this! He would prefer the sky blue expanse above the Earth's surface any time than the murky purple horizon that was this world. The racial tension was so high that having inter-race breeding would be similar to signing a death sentence! So much for that beautiful thing that he saw the other day.
But I suppose I have to be content with what I have, his mind reminded him as he heavily pondered over his life with self-pity, At least I got transferred to the safest base in the Helic Military. He paused for a moment before the devil in his mind bitterly added, Yeah, because they were afraid a human wouldn't be much aid in battle.
He allowed himself to wallow in another pool of self-pity as he made his way past a few more turns, meeting several other soldiers who were passing by and just came back from mess hall.
"Hey, space boy!" one of them cried as he playfully punched Westing on the shoulder, "You aren't eating?"
Westing caught the sting of the racial epithet before reminding himself that this was just a nickname…he would have to learn not to take words too literally. "Naw, I have a recon to do."
"Alright then," the soldier replied and then left off with another friend of his.
The sight of the two of them walking away, chatting happily tugged at a string of envy in Westing's heart. He forced himself to turn away. Look at me, worrying all about my life when I should be doing something about it. He took his umpteenth sigh. Perhaps this mission will show the commander a thing or two about what I can do, yeah, West, tell a few tribal men to get the hell off our coast? I see a promotion coming right ahead.
"You should not tell your head such pessimistic thoughts," he mumbled aloud as he flicked the switch and the door to the base's main hangar flipped open. Westing continued walking, his head down and constantly avoided the eyes of the technicians who were pacing on the railways, furiously tapping on computers and making final calculations to his Zoid, the RZ-010 'Pteras,' a frankly new Zoid.
The Pterosaur Type Zoid was a rather remarkable piece of technology, a down-scaled version of the powerful Salamander Zoid. It featured a new type of flight device termed the 'Magnesser Wing' technology. A powerful Zoid, armed with useful aerial weapons though I feel it lacks a lot in speed, Westing briefly noted.
He lifted his helmet and placed it over his head before tightening the neck clasps with the collar and the responding clips at the nape of his neck. Sealing the helmet with a final push, he slowly walked across the railway towards the walkway that led to the open canopy of the bright blue Zoid unit.
"Identification?" a technician asked as he neared the open canopy.
Westing opened one of the large and saggy pockets on his thighs and produced a laminated identification card that displayed his image, rank, and other specifics. The technician took a brief look before nodding and letting Westing pass.
Good, no 'space boy' comments, Westing then entered the cockpit of the Pteras as another technician informed him, "We're all good to go, sir."
"Thanks," Westing replied as the orange canopy slid down, its powerful gears grinding before the strong connectors at the end locked the canopy down and protectively sealing Westing inside the cockpit as he strapped himself onto the pilot harness. From inside the Zoid, he could still faintly hear the technician tell him, "It's all ready mate, just pull the ignition lever."
Westing responded with a nod before gripping a brightly red-marked lever and pulling it, and in a moment, sending all the panels into a flashing light. The canopy became a crystal clear monitor with a crosshair in the middle while range and other cartographic calculations appeared to the side of the monitor.
Down in between his feet laid a small control panel with specifications of the Pteras' armament, remaining ammunition, and its vital life statistics. The many keys of its miniature keyboard glowed a faint blue as the lighting underneath it flashed itself. Before gripping the control handles of the unit, Westing flicked a switch on his helmet, opening the communication line with the base's launch coordinator.
"1st Class Private, Aaus, copy?" Westing asked.
"Copy that, Private, all systems are ready to go." The coordinator replied, "Opening the hatch."
Right ahead of him, Westing could see the doors of the hangar sliding and grating against one another as the powerful levers set to pulling them aside. A rush of cold air blasted through the door, but sent no shiver down Westing in his encased cockpit. Ahead, he could see the airfield that led to the raging storms of the waters ahead and slightly further than that, could already see that two of his comrades had already flown out in their respective Pteras units.
"Hatch open, locks 3 to 5 released." The coordinator continued, "Your Zoid's core is running smoothly, ready?"
Westing took a deep breath before softly whispering to his Pteras, "You ready, partner?" The Zoid seemed to respond with a brief squawk. Westing took another deep inhalation, hoping that this would not be his last.
"1st Class Private Aaus, Pteras, launch!"
ZAC 2042, March 18th
D-Day D-10, 0550 hours
Off the coast of Bareshia Bay, location unknown
Aboard Whale Kaiser II of the Zenebas Imperial Navy
This is f****** ridiculous. Corporal Helios Worthington commented to himself numbly, Launching an attack on the 'Lics most heavily-guarded base in the whole freakin' Central Continent?!!
He sat on a wooden chair in a dim room, illuminated only by a single halogen lamp hanging from the ceiling. In front of him was a broad wooden table; possibly made out of mahogany and on it, spread across the whole expanse was a well-worn map of the Bareshia Bay area of the Continent. Across the table were four men, all of them weather-beaten soldiers who had clearly seen many years of war.
"Come on, Worthington," one of the men, Sergeant Abel Dust prodded, "Even if you're only a Corporal, I brought you here to learn some tactical strategy."
Helios stiffled a yawn. He made it sound as though Helios had wanted to be here. Just because he was an acting squad commander did not seem to form any reason for him to even be here. All the other men were important, Abel Dust was the head of the Whale Kaiser branch of the Imperial Navy, Colonel Dariel Ross and Tabithia Sing were leaders of the 1st Army and 1st Aviation Division, respectfully while Brigadier Sergeant Austin Pound was the head of the Marine Battle Division.
"To be honest, sir," Helios began, "I find this plan rather…foolish."
"We have the advantage with new Guylos-supplied Zoids." Dust retorted.
"I know sir, but most of our men are untrained with this new powerful Zoids, with the majority of them being Guylos conscripts," Helios continued, "And who's to say that our Kaisers can even take the heavy artillery that they've loaded onto the Dallas Triangle? My gosh, there's even a 'Lic saying that goes if you wish to thank a soldier, send him to Bareshia!"
Sing let out a soft laugh while Pound dragged on the debate, "Are you doubting our Zoids?" He placed a hand on the room's walls, "This baby can take any rocket assault."
"The hide of the Kaiser is impenetrable," Dust added proudly, "And chances are the Helics will not know what hit them, considering that they've too much confidence in their base."
"If I may sound like insubordination, sir," Sing said to Dust, "But we're still going nowhere with this."
Dust placed a finger on the map, "Well, we know that once we land on the beach, there is a wide open field on this hell of a huge beach with several trenches and barbed wire in them. Our Kaisers will take the heavy pounding of the artillery while we deploy our amphibious Zoids first by the landing crafts."
"Then, with the coast clear, we land with our Kaiser, deploying our infantry troops of the 1st Army Division while the Aviation Division begin their attack on the enemy air forces and launch bombing assaults."
"But what of after that?" Helios queried.
"Simple, the divisions will then be divided up, mechanized infantry supported by Zoids to branch out to the jungles and hills above and take out enemy outposts. Once we've taken Bareshia Bay, the Special Forces can move in further to the Central Continent and our job will be done."
"Hmm…" Ross muttered, "A fairly simple 'kill what you find' strategy."
"The operation begins at 0600 hours," Sing added, "And ends at 0800 hours…two hours, are you sure that's enough time to cover the whole peninsula?"
"More than we'll ever get," Dust replied, "Our own Emperor wants this from the special coded letter he told us to open 72 hours before D-Day."
As the others talked, Helios silently pondered in his mind. D-Day, an amphibious assault, possibly the largest of Zenebas against their heavily defended bay. Massive naval warfare coupled by thousands of landings and possibly many dying from the machine-gun pillbox outposts located on the Helic base.
He took a calm breath. One of the many teachings his dad Sharia had taught him. His father was an admirable Brigadier General with a fantastic record; he had trained Helios to be a soldier from day one. A pity his father never got to see him graduate from the military academy before dying in a Helic assault. Brigadier General Sharia Worthington died with full military honors and was awarded posthumously the Zenebas Cross of Recognition.
Helios wandered if perhaps he should feel some hatred towards the Helics for murdering his father. Well, murder was hardly murder in war. But yet, he could not single out every single Helic just because one 'Lic killed his father, right? That was like racism…almost like how some soldiers squared out the humans from the crashed space shuttle. His mind wandered, Incredible how the humans managed to develop interstellar space travel.
"HELLO?!!!" Dust cried for the third time, his face a mere three inches from Helios' face before Helios finally acknowledged his existence.
"Sorry, sir…" Helios said apologetically with a sheepish smile, "I'm just kinda worn out lately."
"You shouldn't have brought this boy along," Pound muttered to Dust. Helios raised an eyebrow at the comment but kept his mouth shut.
"Ah, it was a fault on my part," Dust intoned, "My apologies, Worthington; I suppose strategy would not be your strong point. You should get prepared right about now, your helmet and firearms…we'll land in about ten minutes."
"Alright then, I'll inform the whole crew." Sing offered as she walked over to the radio speaker system latched onto the wall of the room and clicked the connection open before crying out in a strong and distinct voice, "All hands on deck!! Repeat all hands on deck! Operation D-Day will commence in ten minutes!"
There was a brief crackle of silence as someone muttered to Sing through the radio's headphones while Dust rolled up the map and kept the ink pens and compasses. Sing's expression looked slightly puzzled, but definitely far from worried. Helios could tell from her posture that something that was not yet identified as a thread could be up. After three seconds of a report, she clipped the headphones back and shut the radio's connection before turning to the four men with a grim face.
Uh oh, was Helios' first thought.
"According to the mast lookout," Sing paused for a moment before proceeding, "He reports that he saw at least four or three flying Zoids circling around our fleet. Hopefully the foggy nimbostratus clouds and the rain fog would have fazed their optics but chances are they're going to return to base and the 'Lics…well, will probably prepare for a battle."
"Why didn't we shoot the scouts?" Pound asked.
"We would not have been able to hit it, our main guns would probably have missed it and might have revealed our position from radar systems back on the bay, the lookout thought it best to keep it on the low. Best not to inform this to our men."
"Morale is the soldier's mother that keeps telling him to try his hardest." Helios whispered.
The statement caught everybody's ears and everyone turned around to face him with puzzled expressions on their face. Helios stared back, embarrassed for a moment before adding, "Uh…my…um dad, taught me that."
A few nods of recognition resumed before Dust clapped his gloved hands together and said, "All right, we probably should get on deck, D-Day is about to begin."