Author's Note: I'm shooting for this to be the last of my Valkyria Chronicles stories. This is a stand alone story but it might help you to read my first work (Attachments) first. Also, if you really like my writing, check out the website in my profile, it's for a movie I wrote the script for. Lastly, if no one has checked out the Valkyria Chronicles anime, it might be worth your time. I was pleasently surprised, the opening theme had some great music (wish I could say the same about the ending theme though). Thank you for reading.
Author's Mistake: Problem, according to the game Vyse is actually seventeen, which means he would not be able to join squad 4. The solution? He lied about his age when he joined the militia, believable? Good.
This story has been updated as of January 2014
Disclaimer: I do not own Valkyria Chronicles or its characters.
"Some time ago, there was a famous anthropologist who travelled to the far corners of the Earth. He discovered an ancient tribe, primitive by his standards, and met a clumsy but sweet little farm girl. One day, the girl was attacked by a feral animal. The anthropologist had handgun with him - he could slay the animal at any time, but the little girl had never seen a gun before. If he used it, she'd surely run back to her tribe with grandiose stories about the magical powers he possessed. It would ruin her mind and stunt the tribe's assimilation into the modern world."
"So he did nothing. He watched the little girl die."
It was late, somewhere between midnight and 3:00 AM. Gallia's sprawling capitol of Randgriz was resting against a backdrop of dark purple sky and gray clouds. It would have been the perfect summer night had the streets not been teaming with occupying forces.
Two years had passed since the Eastern Empire sent man and machine across the border into Gallia, two years of war. Gallia's lightly armed militias might as well have been grass in the face of the Empire's mechanized divisions of armored tanks. The primitive Monarchy of Gallia found itself in the unforgiving clutches of modernity almost overnight, and with no technology of her own to fight back with, all her citizens could do was look to their past a pray that the mythological Valkurur would save them.
Parked Imperial tanks chocked the streets of Randgriz. They had broken through Gallia's sub-par last line of defense a few days ago, and now they were bivouacked in the capitol itself. It would take time for the Gallian army to launch a counter attack so until then it was a standoff between the militia, garrisoned within Randgriz castle, and the Imperial Army outside.
The palace made a great fortress, it was big enough to support an army and its walls were high enough that the militia could safely observe all enemy movement. During the nights, they sent out requests for reinforcements. It was the only way to get rested bodies into the fight and stave off the inevitable.
Nancy Dufour, 15, looked through the slit window of her Gallian SdKfz halftrack and swallowed hard; there were a lot of bad guys out there. Her squad leader, Rick Carson, observed the situation beside her. Rick was new to the militia and, having come from the regular army, his manners and appearance were different than what Nancy was used to. His dirty blonde hair was short and tight; his muscles strained underneath his blue uniform. He had pushed Squad 4 all night but still they arrived too late, the rest of the militia was already inside the palace and now the path was choked off.
"Nooo way are we doing this undetected." Rick said placidly.
Nancy wiped the fog from her thick, coke-bottle glasses, "S-should we turn back?"
"Nope." Rick leaned back, "I don't like Welkin, but he needs all the soldiers he can get now."
"Don't forget about the princess." said Vyse Inglebard making his way into the driver's compartment, "She's stuck in there too."
Rick waved Vyse away. It wasn't meant to be rude but the gung-ho shock trooper's observation was common knowledge. Gallia's princess wasn't going to hitch up her skirt and run away while the country burned, so she bravely remained in the capitol.
"So what's the plan?" Nancy queried.
Rick climbed out of the passenger's seat, "Simple: you drive, we shoot."
"Wha - ?! Lieutenant I… Lot of pressure on me don't you think?"
Rick slapped the small girl's shoulder, "You can do it. Once we hit the main road it's a strait shot to the castle. Floor it and you'll be fine."
"But-but-but," Nancy sounded like a broken record, "You know how clumsy I am. What if I accidently step on the brakes or something?"
"Well…" Rick started slowly, "If that happens, the half-track will stop, the Imperials will rush us and we all die in a bloody hand to hand fight for our lives."
Nancy's whole upper body began to wobble back and forth, "Oh dear, oh dear, oooh deeear."
"Hey!" Rick steadied her, "No moé for the next five minutes, you hear? Focus."
The back end of the halftrack was rather like a pick-up truck with high armored walls to protect the flesh of squad 4. Her comrades, Vyse, Hannes, Musaad, Noce, Hermes, Cezary and Karl were all huddled together quietly. Wavy occupied the forward machine gun behind Nancy's right shoulder.
All Nancy could hear was the soft idle of the halftrack along with her own ragged breathing.
Nancy jumped onto the gas and brought the steel beast to its full speed of 50 miles per hour. The challenge began when she made it to the street; she weaved in and out of parked tanks and trucks like a student driver on an obstacle course. Red gunfire from squad 4 lit the way. Shadowy and obscure enemy figures were cut down before Nancy's eyes.
Grenades started going off. The halftrack could take a few blasts as long as they weren't directly against the treads or underneath the engine. Gunfire turned to shrill ringing in Nancy's ears and encouraged her to step on the gas.
A small car emerged in the dark distance speeding towards her.
"Rick! What do I do?!" she tried yelling. It was no use, the gunfire was too loud. Nancy took a good look at the vehicle charging them; the driver either had a death wish or he wanted to force her off the road. Nancy puckered up and stayed the course, trusting her ride's durability and bracing for impact.
The armored front of the halftrack smashed right through the flimsy car like a freight train through tin foil. Nancy's head slammed against the back of her seat; raw chunks of metal flew in every direction. When she opened her eyes again, she saw a clear path to the castle.
"You're the girl, Nancy!" shouted Rick.
She spun around in her seat, "Did you see me?! Wasn't that great?!"
"Nancy look out!" Wavy cried in vein.
Nancy returned to the steering wheel in time to drive right into the corner of a building. The impact shook her bones and sent all 8 tons of halftrack spinning out of control like an empty bottle. The sickly smell of engine smoke filled the driver's compartment.
"Is everyone alright?! Nancy?!"
Nancy's eyes rattled inside her head, "Twinkle, twinkle little stars…"
Rick pulled her from the doomed vehicle. "Alright, listen up! Everyone haul ass to the palace! I'll be right behind you!"
He threw Nancy her over his shoulder and climbed out of the wrecked halftrack, she could hear the footsteps of chasing Imperial soldiers.
Princess Cordelia's throne room became a shelter for the frightened citizens of Randgriz. Its vast expanse was clogged with refugees trying to get some sleep despite their predicament. The teenage princess sat atop her throne lamenting about the crisis she was unable to avert. Welkin and Faldio – the only two officers left at her disposal - stood off to the side while Captain Varrot explained the situation.
"I am told that the regular army is regrouping somewhere in Barious but…no telling on when they'll be able to get here."
The sixteen year old sovereign contemplated their situation, fingering her silky dark hair. "Thank you Captain. I guess…all we can do now is wait."
With a tepid look on her face she turned to Welkin, "Lieutenant Gunther, what do you think?"
"Ma'am," started the young Gallian tanker, "If the Imperial army had the strength to dislodge us, they would have by now. I'm pretty sure we can hold out."
Welkin wasn't lying for her sake, he was 100 percent confident in their situation, their immediate situation anyways. A few more days, however, and his assessment would change.
"Thank you Mr. Gunther," said Cordelia, "Why don't we all try to get some sleep?"
Nearly a hundred feet away, the throne room doors flew open. Welkin exhaled upon seeing squad 4 walk in.
"Didn't mean to keep you waiting." said Rick carrying Nancy over his shoulder, "Squad 4 here. Where do you need us?"
"You should have made for Barious." said Faldio, his voice broken up by short laughs, "You would have been safer."
Rick motioned to the rest of the men in his squad, "Too far of a drive for us. And we figured you'd need help."
"Well, you've got that right." said Eleanor, "Get some rest while you can, I'll have something for you to do tomorrow."
Nancy's light voice caught everyone's ear, "Um…you can put me down now. I'm awake."
Rick complied once he figured out where the voice was coming from. "Whoops. Sorry about that Nancy."
Faldio tapped Welkin's shoulder, "Welkin, got a second?"
The two college friends took a walk through the empty palace hallways, their footfalls echoing for miles. When Faldio felt he was far enough away from prying eyes, he delineated his concerns, "Welkin…look, uh, I've taken a head count. We've got roughly 968 able bodies on deck but I've seen at least two Imperial regimental flags out there. Which means we're up against at least two regiments – around 6,000 hostiles."
"Why don't you run around the palace screaming that we're all doomed?" Welkin sarcastically quipped.
"Don't start with me Welkin." said Faldio forcefully, "If the regular army can't get to us within the next few days we both know what will happen."
"Are you suggesting we surrender?"
"Please, the princess would be dead the moment we do. They know she's a Darcsen."
"So what then?"
Welkin didn't get it, there was something Faldio wanted to talk about but he was too dodgy to just come out and ask it.
With a sigh, he finally came clean, "We have Alicia, right?"
Welkin's breath left him. Alicia was Welkin's most reliable sergeant and his closest friend, but more important than that she was a super-human goddess that blurred the line between fiction and non-fiction.
He corrected his Faldio, "What you mean to say is that we have the power of a Valkyria."
"No. We've had this talk before and my position hasn't changed. I don't want to use my best friend as a means to an end."
"Neither do I Welkin." Fadlio confessed, "But you have to admit things are especially bad right now."
"Not bad enough."
Frustration invaded Faldio's voice, "Well, what's your master plan then?"
Faldio graduated with a degree in archeology – the study of intimate objects. Welkin on the other hand graduated from the school of biology – the study of living beings. "Alicia's not some weapon I can draw on a whim. What happens when everyone learns she's a goddess? They won't understand, that's what will happen. Gallia is slowly making its way into the modern world and I'm not going to expose it to something it's not ready to understand."
"How pompously magnanimous of you."
Welkin lifted his finger, "I'm not going to use Alicia's powers. Am I making myself clear?"
Faldio knew Welkin too well, he respectably baked off, "I understand. If that's what you want."
It was a sour note to end on but it could have been worse. Welkin hoped the decision he made was the correct one, his country was hanging in the balance after all, what lengths would he go to save it? Perhaps talking to Alicia about it would be best.