Isara giggled to herself as she snuck around the house, nearby her older brother Welkin was counting out loud, "15... 16... 17... 18..." he was nearing his final count of 25, before he came looking for her. It was her favourite game, hide and seek and she was pretty good at it, for an 11 year old. Her small height, petite frame and quiet nature allowed her to hid in small places and remain hidden for great lengths of time.
"20... 21... 22..." Welkin continued aloud. Isara tiptoed to her usual hiding places, but was sure that Welkin must her known where they were as well, he was the only one she usually played with most times. Being shy in nature, having few friends and the nature of how she was treated just for being born Darcsen made her stay at home most of the time. Leaving the house only to go to school or to the store if Belgen Gunther ever asked her to do some shopping for the family.
Frantic to find a new hiding place, Isara ran down one of the many hallways of the Gunther family home. She was now in front of a large wooden door, which leads into a small side building connected to the house. She looked up at the door and scratched her little head, remembering Mr. Guther's words from before, the rules he told them before they ever started their first game of hide and seek.
"You must stay out of this place, both of you," he said to his son and adopted daughter, "It's off-limits, the rest of the house is yours to play in."
"24... 25!" Welkin called out, "Ready or not, here I come!"
Mr. Gunther wasn't around, and Isara had no where else to run to, it was too far to the end of the hall the other way and Welkin was already looking for her. She grinned to herself, "Just this once… he'll never find me in here."
Isara then turned the knob and quickly ducked inside; she knelt down and looked through the small keyhole. After a few moments of waiting, she saw Welkin look down the hall and search the area, he didn't find her down here so he turned and walked away. Once he was gone, Isara turned and cupped her hands over her mouth to muffle her giggles and laughter as not to give away her hiding place.
Once she stopped and opened her eyes she took in a sight that she had never seen before in all of her five years of living in the Gunther household. The off-limits building that she was inside was wide and vast. All along one side were numerous drawers, cupboards and large red tool chests that must have held a great many tools and other equipment. Nearby, there was also a lot of machinery that was used for metal working as well. But all of those were outdone by something else, something massive in the middle of the entire shop. Whatever it was, it towered over little Isara and was completely covered in a giant, white sheet, like the kind you'd find on a bed.
Naturally, curiosity got the better of her and Isara slowly made her way over to the massive covered object. She swallowed nervously and grasped the sheet with both hands and gave it a hard tug, what she saw next made her eyes grow wide as saucers and gasp so loud and hard that all her breath had left her body.
It was a tank, of all the things it could have been, it was a giant, blue, red and white tank. The Gunther's actually had a tank hidden inside this shop that was connected to their household. Isara had to crank her head all the way back to look at the tank in full detail. It looked very old, the paint was starting to fade and some of the treads and tread wheels looked rusted and worn. As Isara walked around the tank, she looked up at the giant, long gun barrel and traced it all the way back to its turret. She then saw a small, slightly faded, white coloured flower, what kind, she didn't know.
Suddenly, "Isara!" Belgen Gunther's voice shouted from behind her. Isara jumped in surprise and turned around, spotting the old man standing in the doorway that was connected to the household, his hands on his hips, eyebrows furrowed in disappointment for breaking one of his rules.
"M-Mr. Gunther?" Isara cried, "I-I know that I'm not supposed to be in here… I'm sorry, I'll leave now!"
Isara left the tank and started to run towards the door and was about to make her way past Belgen, but he placed his hand on her small shoulder and stopped her. "No… no, I figured that you'd find this place sooner or later…" he said, "Maybe now you're old enough that I can tell you something, something that will definitely hurt you to hear."
Isara backed up and looked up at Belgen, "What is it about?"
Belgen sighed and walked past Isara and took a seat on top of a nearby crate, he then looked at Isara and patted his knee. Isara nodded and ran up to Belgen and hopped up and sat on his knee, he wrapped one arm around her and patted her on the shoulder.
"Do you remember anything about your mother and father, before you came here to live with me?"
Isara thought long and hard, for a moment and only a moment, numerous images flashed in her head, black and white in color and fuzzy, clouded, unclear. They were too vague for her to clearly remember, but something stuck out among all of those fuzzy memories and her eyes shot open.
"I've seen this… I've seen this before Mr. Gunther!" Isara cried, pointing to the large tank, "…I know I have …"
Belgen nodded his head sadly, "So you weren't too young to remember… I had kind of hoped that you wouldn't remember."
Isara tilted her small head, blinking her small blue eyes in confusion, "What are you talking about?"
Belgen sighed deep and long before looking down at Isara, "Isara… you've seen this tank before… because your father and mother built it."
Isara's mouth dropped open, "M-my father and mother?"
"Yes, Your father, my best friend… Theimer built this with his own two hands… with great, great help from your mother, Isana." Belgen went on, "It was only one of two sister tanks, identical in every way. In the truest form of friendship, he built this one you see before you, for me."
Isara nodded and Belgen stroked her hair softly, "Like you, this tank has lost its only family member… but it was not a loss in vain, believe me, I know… I was there five years ago."
Young 6 year old Isara was browsing the general store of her small Darcsen town in North-Western Gallia. She was looking for a just right gift for her father, Theimer; it was his birthday today after all. She didn't see much of him, for he was always working, so was her mother. But she loved them none-the-less and wanted to get him something, something precious.
She found a small Darcsen charm doll behind a small glass display box at the front of the store, near the cash register. She dug her small change purse out of her pocket, popped the top and dumped the coins into her hands and began to count.
As she was counting, a voice called to her, "Isara? Isara, my dear, is that you?" Mrs. Anna's voice called out from the front of the store. Isara looked up and spotted the old Darcsen woman smiling down at her.
"Hi!" Isara greeted with a smile and a wave.
"Do you need help with anything?" she asked.
Isara nodded her head and pointed to the small doll, and asked "How much is this?"
Mrs. Anna opened the display case with a key and dug out the small doll and checked the price tag, "It's 20 ducats." she replied.
Isara looked down at her coins, "Is this enough?" she asked as she held out her hand out to Mrs. Anna.
Mrs. Anna put on her glasses that she needed to see up close with and looked at Isara's pile of ducats. She counted and only came up with 14 Ducats and small change, not enough.
"It's my daddy's birthday today; I want to buy him this!" Isara announced proudly.
Mrs. Anna was very fond of Isara and respected her father a great deal. She knew that he was working on a secret project, one that could possibly help this town out a lot once it was completed. But what she was about to do, she did it for Isara mostly.
"Here, take this to your father," she offered with outstretched hands, giving Isara the doll for free.
Isara gasped, her eyes sparkling in pure joy, "Are you sure? I can have this for free?"
Mrs. Anna chuckled and patted Isara on the held and rested her hand there, "Only for you Isara, my favourite customer," she said, "Wish your father a happy birthday for me, ok?"
Isara giggled and hugged the doll to her chest, "Thank you so much! I will, I promise!"
Isara then left the store and skipped down the dirt road, leading to her small house on the outskirts of town. Not long after, she arrived, to the sight of Belgen, her father's best friend standing just outside her door. He looked up and spotted her coming and started walking towards her.
"Afternoon Isara!" he called out with a wave.
Isara looked up and smiled at him, "Hello Mr. Gunther," she replied, she then looked around, "Is my daddy around?"
Belgen shook his head, "No, he's out working, so is your mother," he started, "I'm here to take care of you for the day. They'll both be home later tonight."
Isara lowered her head, dropping the doll in the process, "He's always out working… I'll be asleep when he gets back won't I?"
Belgen bit his lip, "Yes… probably," he admitted, "But don't worry, another few days and their project will be completed. Then they'll be home all the time, I promise."
Isara sniffled, Belgen noticed and placed his hand under her chin and lifted her small head, noticing tears in her eyes. "What's wrong Isara?"
"Oh Mr. Gunther… it's my daddy's birthday and I have a gift that I want to give him, today, on his birthday!"
Belgen rubbed his chin with his other hand, "So it is… I had nearly forgotten about that." he said, he then thought of something and grinned, "Alright, since it's such a special day, would you like me to take you to go see him now?"
Isara's eyes popped wide open, she smiled a pearly white grin, and cried, "Can I? Can I go see him now and give him his gift?"
Belgen laughed and nodded his head, "For sure, it's his birthday after all!"
Belgen then walked hand in hand with Isara back into town and through the streets, to a large warehouse located in the middle of the town. It was under guard by some members of the town watch, but they knew who Belgen was, a hero from the first war and full authorized to come and go as he pleased in the warehouse area. The two members of the town watched looked at Isara curiously and the doll that she was holding.
Belgen bent down and picked her up and held onto her, looking at her, then the guards, "This is Isara, daughter of Theimer and Isana. I'm taking her in with me this time, is that alright?"
They nodded, "Of course Mr. Gunther, anything for Theimer and yourself."
Belgen nodded back and started walking past the main gate and towards the warehouse doors. Once he got near them, he set Isara down and walked up to the door handles, grasping one and looking back at Isara.
"I'm sure you've always been wondering where your mommy and daddy are most of the time," he began, "Well, here is where they spent so much of their time!"
Belgen then pulled the door open, revealing a vast, open warehouse, buzzing with activity. There were 6 Darcsen workers, all working on two very large, very powerful looking tanks. One tank was fully painted; the other one was mostly unpainted and light grey in colour. The only exception was a large, rectangular paintjob; best of all was that it was the Traditional Darcsen color and pattern on the side of the tank.
One Darcsen man was passing tank shells up to another man already on top of the coloured tank; he was loading them into the magazines. A Darcsen female worker was putting the finishing touches on painting a small white flower on one of the tanks turrets, one that was fully painted in the colours of Red, White and Blue, those of Gallia.
Finally, after some looking around, Isara spotted him, her father, Theimer. He was closing the access hatch to the rear radiators of the unpainted tank. He wiped his sweaty head with the back of his work overalls. He had short, dark-blue hair and circular glasses on his face.
Unable to contain her excitement, Isara called out to him, "DADDY!"
Theimer seemed to be caught off guard, "Isara? Sweetie is that you?"
"Daddy!" Isara repeated, this time running across the shop, towards her father with outstretched arms. She then reached him and wrapped her arms around his waist, hugging him hard.
Theimer removed his work gloves and bent down and picked Isara up, "Isara… what are you doing here?"
"Mr. Gunther brought me, I have something-" she started, another voice cut her off.
"Isara?" Isana's voiced called out from atop the unpainted tank. Isara looked up and saw her mother's head sticking out from the turret hatch, her long, dark-blue hair tired back in a pony-tail with goggles perched on top of her head… She quickly climbed out and jumped to the concrete floor below, running over to her husband and her daughter. She laughed in surprise and kissed Isara on the cheek.
"Sweetheart, what in the world are you doing here?" Isana asked.
Isara reached one little arm over and pulled her mother close, to join in the hug with her father, "You do remember what day it is today, mommy? Daddy?"
Isana gasped, brought a hand up to her forehead and laughed, "Oh my… Theimer, it's your birthday, you fool!"
"It is?" Theimer asked, looking just as surprised.
"Yes it is… oh Isara, I'm so sorry, we both forgot." Isana apologized.
Theimer blushed and nodded, "Yeah… work got the better of us and we both forgot."
Isara chuckled, "Don't worry, I remembered!" She then held up the small doll and showed both of her parents, "I got daddy a protective charm doll, and I want him to have it so that he'll always be safe and remember me!"
Theimer grinned and took the small doll from Isara, he then reached back and placed it inside his work belt, in its own little pouch, "Thank you Isara, I'll treasure it always!"
"Don't worry Isara, just another few days and we'll be done here, then we can all be together again," Isana said, "Your daddy is going to become a very rich man after this. Then we'll be there for you, everyday from now on, we promise!"
Isara's eyes began to well up with tears and she nodded her little head, her short dark-blue hair bobbing up and down. She believed them and knew they would finally be a real family, spending each day together, and she couldn't ask for anything more.
The family then shared another warm, group hug and Belgen looked on, smiling and admiring the scene of the lovely family all together. That however, was interrupted by a loud and sudden explosion outside. Next was a loud, wailing siren going off and staying on, a klaxon horn with a special siren. It was one that all of the Darcsen residents feared to hear and prayed not to.
Isana listened to the special shrill, wailing siren and her mouth dropped open, both Theimer and Isana looked at each other with horror in their eyes and at the same time they cried, "…A Hunt!"
Theimer passed Isara to his wife and ran to his friend Belgen, "My friend, the Imperials have commenced a hunt on our village… a Darcsen hunt!"
Another explosion went off in the distant, the siren still blaring, "A hunt… it cannot be!" Belgen said.
Theimer hated to admit it, but he was more worried about something else, "My friend, we have to get these tanks out of here!" he cried, "I do not think they know what we are building here as it is a secret project. But If the Imperials ever find them… we cannot let that happen!"
Belgen nodded, these were proto-type tanks after all. If the Imperials ever got their hands on the designs or even the tanks themselves, they would take away Gallia's chance at an advanced tank, one's far more powerful than Gallia's current tanks and possibly better than some of the Empire's tank types.
Isana jumped up onto the unpainted tank and cupped her hands around her mouth, "Everyone, gather up what you can and get out of the town before the Imperials get here!" she yelled among even more explosions outside.
The entire place then went into a frenzy as some of the Darcsen workers scrambled to get to the offices and other areas of the warehouse where the secret plans, designs and other important files, paperwork and blueprints for the proto-type tanks were. Meanwhile Isana was pushing away all of the carts, tool chests and other items that were cluttered around the tank out of the way, so they could move out.
Isara was looking around, breathing quickly in and out in fear. She was then picked up by Theimer, her father. "Don't worry Isara, we're getting out of here before the bad men come," he reassured, "I won't let anything bad happen to you, I promise!"
"Theimer, put her in the tank, she'll be the safest in there!" Belgen suggested.
Isana rushed up to Theimer and took Isara from her husband and held onto her trembling daughter. Theimer shook his head and ran up to Belgen, placing his hand on his shoulder.
"No my friend… she won't be safe in there," Theimer whispered, at the same time another long haired female worker ran up to him and passed him two devices with long, metal antenna's. "I've placed numerous, high yield explosives inside each of these tanks my friend, in all the area's where they will cause the most damage, for this very purpose, to prevent them from being captured by anyone."
Belgen lowered his head and nodded, "I understand… let me help! I'll help you get these tanks out of here."
Theimer looked worried, "Are you sure my friend… are you willing to do what is necessary to prevent these tanks from being stolen, should it come to it?"
Belgen looked at his friend with determined, un-fearful eyes and held out his hand, "Of course… my friend!"
Theimer smiled and placed the detonator in his hand, "Thank you, now we must get out of here before they get here!" he then ran back to his wife and daughters side.
Isana passed Isara back to Theimer and ran to her locker, taking an item out of running back to them. Isara was still looking around before she felt something being placed over her head and onto her shoulders. She looked down and saw that her mother had put a Darcsen shawl over her shoulders, her shawl.
"It's blessed with a protective charm," she said with tears in her eyes, "It'll keep you safe through all of this, I swear it."
Isara nodded and grasped the shawl with one hand, while holding onto her father with the other. Meanwhile, the workers were still running around, only now some had everything they needed and were running towards the large doors that the tanks exited through. One of the workers slammed his hand against the large red button and the door began to raise open.
At the same time, a female Darcsen worker was climbing into the painted proto-type tank, with Belgen following right behind her. She quickly climbed to the front and climbed into the driver's seat, furiously flipping switches and turning knobs, starting the massive machine up.
Nearby, Isana was crouched down behind the unpainted tank, rocking Isara back and forth, while her father was at the front of the warehouse, guiding a backwards driving car into the warehouse. Once it was in place, in between both of the massive tanks, Theimer ran back and returned to his wife and daughter. And together, they ran towards the black car, Theimer opening the rear door and Isana putting Isara inside, next to another female Darcsen worker, who took hold of her.
Isana was about to get out of the car, but Isara grabbed her hands, "Mommy! Where are you going?" she asked.
"shh, it's alright, I'm going to help your father out," Isana said, pointing to the unpainted tank next to them, "He needs me to drive that for him, while he takes control of the weapons and other systems."
"No Mommy, stay with me!" Isara pleaded.
It broke her heart, but Isana shook her head, "Listen to me sweetie, we'll never be able to get out of here, if I don't drive that tank for him," she replied, her voice cracking in sadness, "Don't worry, we'll be alright, we're inside an armoured tank after all and you will be protected on both sides, by us and your uncle Belgen in the other tank next to you."
Isara then started to take off her shawl, "Then take the shawl back, it'll protect you even more!"
Isana stopped her and took her hands with her own, "No sweetie, you keep it on," she responded, "Do this for me; I'll feel more at ease knowing you have it."
A tear dropped from Isara's eye, "Alright… for you mommy."
"Good girl…" Isana cried, she then leaned forward and kissed her daughter on the forehead, then slammed the door shut. She turned and quickly climbed up the treads and was on top of the tank, Theimer was right behind her. Suddenly, one of the workers rushing past bumped him and the Darcsen protective charm doll fell out of the pouch it was hanging from and fell to the concrete floor below. Sadly, he didn't notice and was already up and on top of the tank.
A second later, Isana entered the tank through the top hatch and moved to the front, flipping switches, turning knobs and getting the massive beast started, while Theimer sat in the turret seat and put on a headset. The rear radiators sputtered for a moment and shot out some black smoke, then quickly turned to a humming, blue glow as it was fully started. Isara moved to the window, placed her hands on the glass and looked at the blue, glowing radiator and massive structure of the tank next to her. She looked back and saw the other painted tank was also up and running.
Theimer then activated his headset, "Belgen, can you hear me?" he asked.
There was crackle, then Belgen responded, "Roger, can hear you loud and clear!" he responded, "Are you sure these tanks are ready to go?"
"As close as they'll ever be," Theimer responded, "Don't worry my friend, we'll make it out of here. Just make sure that you keep my daughters car in between both of these tanks, we are her shield. We must make absolutely certain that nothing happens to her."
"Don't worry old friend, nothing will happen to her, I promise."
Theimer chuckled with tears in his eyes, "I know… I trust you with her life, you and you alone."
"Then let's get out of here while we can!" Belgen urged.
Both tanks then lurched forward, with Isara's car in between both tanks, being protected on both flanks. The tanks and car then began to exit the warehouse, but the sight they saw was a terrible one. There were large, black columns of smoke rising from the far northern side of town, gunfire and explosions going off and the cries of the town folk were audible, even over the roaring of the tanks. The tanks then exited the warehouse, turned down the street and began to race to the other side of town, where the fighting wasn't taking place.
There were Darcsen citizens running down the streets, exiting houses with hastily packed backpacks, suitcases and some simply carrying items and household pets in their hands and running away from all of the fighting. The girl with Isara held onto her tight, not letting her look out of the window at the terrible events taking place outside.
Isana was holding the steering wheel of the tank so hard her knuckles were turning white, it hurt her to be driving away and not stopping to help all of the town folk that she had come to know so well and be friends with. Theimer felt the same way, but he was busy, trying to find a Gallian militia radio signal, to call for help and report the situation going on in their home town.
He finally got one and started his distress call, "This is Theimer of the Darcsen town of Alkmaar. Our town is under attack by Imperials who have commenced a Darcsen hunt and are currently killing or enslaving our citizens. We request immediate assistance of any friendly Gallian units in the area, please help!"
Not far away, a radio operator of a mobile armoured unit intercepted the distress call and called for the commander. He quickly came and the radio operator turned to him.
"Sir, we've just gotten a distress call from residents of Alkmaar, they are currently under attack by Imperials performing what he called 'a hunt'."
The commander scratched his head, "Alkmaar… that's that Darcsen town up north isn't it?"
"Y-yes sir," he replied.
"Ignore it; it's just a couple of Dark-hairs being killed, nothing major."
"B-but sir, shouldn't we-"
"That's an order!" the commander roared, "They're not worth the waste of fuel, shells and manpower from us."
The radio operator head the distress call once again, but this time flipped a switch and cut off all contact with them.
Meanwhile, Theimer tried once more time, then slammed his fist against the side of the turret hull and cursed. "What's wrong?" Isana asked, looking back.
"No one's responding… no help is coming…" Theimer replied hopelessly.
The tanks then exited the town with Isara's car still in between them. The road leading out of town was congested with traffic and cars and trucks of all kinds. There were even some residents running along the road, some desperately ditching the road to drive along the sloppy grass hills in an attempt to get away quicker than taking the road. There were cries from many citizens as the tanks drove by, cries for help, for a ride, for anything.
The tanks then turned right and ditched the road and began to climb a hill, away from town. Once they were at the top of hill they came to a halt, Theimer and Belgen exited the hatch and looked back at the town. Many of the buildings were on fire, explosions and gunfire were still going off and terrified screams could be heard.
Theimer lowered his head, locking eyes with his wife who was still inside the tank, his breathing increased as air escaped through his nose. Isana read his eyes, lowered her head and covered her teary eyes with one of her hands and nodded her head. She then climbed back into the driver's seat, while Theimer looked over at his friend, two tear drops falling from his eyes. Belgen shook his head, completely apposing his friend's idea. Theimer then looked down at his daughter, who had moved up to the passengers side window and was looking up at her father.
"Theimer! You can't be serious! Don't do it Theimer!"
But it was too late; the tank reversed and was heading back down the slope, back towards the town. Belgen cursed and brought his hand up to his headset. "Theimer! Get back here, think of your daughter!"
There was a moment of silence as the tank turned 180 degrees and began to race back to the city, before Theimer responded with, "I am thinking of my daughter… and all the other daughters and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters of our town. Right now they're either being exterminated or rounded up for slavery. The men they'll take as forced workers or outright kill, the women they'll take as slaves and the children will be sent to the empire to be raised as servants. If it were me and my daughter, helpless in our town, I'd be praying for someone to save us..."
Now Isara quickly opened the door and was trying to run after her parent's tank, thankfully the girl watching over her stopped her and held onto her while she struggled to break free, "Mommy! Daddy! Come back!"
"Theimer, my friend! Come back here, Isara needs you!" Belgen begged, his own eyes building up with tears.
"We're the only help the Darcsen residents have Belgen," Theimer responded, his tank much further away and nearing the town limits, "The town folk will never make it if we don't fight them off. My wife and I have to go back and help as many of them get away as we can!"
Belgen nodded, "Then I'm coming with you, hold on dear friend!"
"No! Stay there, stay with my daughter!" Theimer cried, "Protect her with your life, make sure that she isn't captured or harmed in any way… promise me that you'll stay with her."
Belgen clenched his teeth together and squeezed his right fist together, wanting more than anything to go back and help his friend. However, he understood the sheer magnitude of the request that he had made, to protect his daughter, whom he loved more than anything in the world.
"Alright… I'll stay…" Belgen said, "Try and make it back…"
Theimer's tank then re-entered the town and drove down the main road. A short while later they came to where the most of the Imperials were 5 tanks in total. 4 light tanks and one medium tank, surrounded by over 50 infantry.
They were tending to some rounded up prisoners, dead Darcsens all around them and they were next to be executed against a wall. However, a loud blast went off and one of the Imperial tanks exploded. The Imp hunters looked over and spotted a massive, unpainted tank coming around the corner, which had its large, smoking barrel already pointed at them.
One of the soldiers spotted the large, Darcsen pattern painted on the side of its hull, "T-tank, it's a Darcsen Tank!"
The medium tank fired its main turret at the Darcsen tank, but its shell slammed into the tanks front armour, bounced off and flew off to the side, exploding against a nearby brick building.
"What the!" the commanding officer cried out in surprise at the sight that he had just witnessed. The Darcsen tank then fired again and a shell exploded next to the medium tank, rocking it to the side slightly.
"Battle positions!" the officer ordered and the tanks began to move, the soldiers running to find cover and return fire against the large tank.
Suddenly, a loud speaker attached to the outside of the Darcsen tank rang out, "All Darcsen's in the area, Evacuate the area, we'll handle the Imperials and give you the time you need to escape!"
A second later, other Darcsen citizens began to exit the nearby buildings and run for their lives, down either side of the main street, while the Darcsen tank drove down the middle of the street, charging towards the Imperials.
"Full speed ahead, get us between them and the other Darcsen residents." Theimer ordered, looking through the firing scope at the massed bunch of Imperial soldiers and tanks.
One of the light tanks fired off a shot that exploded next to their own tank, rocking it to the left. Isana looked back at her husband, "We can't stand toe to toe against this many Imperial tanks and soldiers!"
"Keep going, blast right past them if you can, lure them to the northern side of town." Theimer ordered.
Isana nodded, understanding her husbands plan, "Most of the town folk are gone from the northern side, and it'll just be us and them mostly…"
Isana then slammed on the accelerator and continued on, their tank getting hit by shells and anti-tank lancer rounds from the infantry the whole way. Thankfully the damage wasn't too significant and they made it past and continued on, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake as they sped past.
"So fast…" the Imperial tank commander said, "All units, we've stumbled upon something far more interesting than a few dark-haired slaves. After that tank, I want that tank!"
The tanks then turned and began to follow the Darcsen tank, the soldiers now ignoring the rest of the Darcsen prisoners they had and began full pursuit of the Darcsen tank on foot and by tank, jeep and motorcycle.
Theimer's tank then came to a halt, outside of the warehouse where the tanks were created and turned 180 degrees and looked through his firing scope. Spotting the numerous Imperials coming towards them, some of the tanks split up and took different roads, to flank them from the sides.
Theimer and Isana took a few deep, terrified breaths and waited for the Imperials to come. Theimer then reached up and activated his headset, "Belgen, dear friend… should anything happen to us, I want you to take care of my daughter… understood?"
Theimers' radio then crackled before it came back with a response, "What are you talking about?"
Before Theimer could respond, a tank shell hit them, full frontal and exploded, rocking the tank, "They're after us now and I won't let them take this tank!" he then looked through the scope, "Ready… fire!" and the massive tank fired a shell, which his another one of the tanks and destroyed it. However, they were hit in the side by a lance round and caused some damage to its less protected side hull. Isana backed up, narrowly avoiding another flying lance round that missed them by inches.
Unfortunately, a lancer riding on the back of a motorcycle with a shock trooper place a round right in their radiator, and caused significant damage as sparks flew from the control panels inside the tank. The rear radiators began spewing black smoke and sparks, more tank rounds from both sides slammed into Theimers tank, damaging it even more.
"We won't last long against this!" Isana shouted over the explosions.
Theimer nodded, "I know… back up into the warehouse, I have an idea…" Isana already knew what it was, but she began to turn the tank and begin backing it up into the warehouse. It was lurching back and forth, groaning and grinding loudly in distress; it was badly damaged and didn't have much fight left in it.
A well placed tank round them hit the tank and exploded near the barrel and cracked it, now they could no longer fire anymore shells. The tank commander noticed this as well and lowered his binoculars with an evil grin.
"Cease fire!" he ordered, "We've disarmed the tank and it's not going anywhere now, move in and secure that tank, NOW!"
Theimer's tank then crashed into the rear wall of the warehouse and broke part ways through before coming to its final resting place within the warehouse. Theimer sighed, so did his wife, and she left the controls and moved back and sat next to her husband.
"Belgen, Belgen dear friend… is my daughter nearby?" he asked.
On the outskirts of town, the flow of residents evacuating the town had slowed and only the odd car or running stragglers were left escaping from the town, most of the residents had made it safely out and weren't being pursued anymore.
Meanwhile, the girl assigned to Isara was lifting her up and handing Isara to Belgen who was still looking out at the city with half of his body sticking out from the turret hatch, he then quickly took off his headset and put it over Isara's ears.
Belgen chuckled, "Thank goodness you're safe… it's so good to hear your voice…"
Isara began to cry, "Come back Daddy, you have to come back here!" she sobbed.
Theimer began to cry, so did his wife as he held onto her, Theimer passed the headset to his wife while he looked through his scope and spotted the Imperial tanks moving into position to block the tank and keep it from escaping through the front doors once again. While the soldiers were cautiously entering the warehouse, guns raised and slowly approaching the tank.
"Isara… sweetie… we're not going to be able to be there for you anymore…" Isana cried with tears flowing down her cheeks, "Uncle Belgen is going to take care of you from now on… be a good girl and listen to him from now on."
"Mommy… I don't understand!" Isara wailed, "You promised that we would be a family again, you promised that you would be there for me!"
"I'm so sorry that I have to break them… I would never break my word to you for any reason other than this…"
"Wear that Shawl Isara… always. Wear that shawl to remember us by and to know that we'll always love you." Isana went on, crying hard.
Isana then passed the radio back to Theimer, grabbed him and sobbed against his shoulder.
"Isara… I love you…. Daddy loves you, mommy loves you…." Theimer said.
There was now the sounds of the Imperial soldiers climbing up their tank, some were already trying to open the sealed hatch. One soldier who was moving to the side of the tank, covering the side happened to looked down at his boot, spotting some blue liquid wrapping around his boot in a small stream. He looked to his right and saw even more fluid oozing out from behind the tank. Cautiously, he moved back and peered around the tank and saw that they had smashed the entire rear of the tank into a back room that housed dozens of drums of Ragnoline fuel and spare tank shells and tank mortar rounds.
Theimer then lifted up the detonator and held it out, his wife grasping it as well; they both looked at each other and nodded their head. Theimer and Isana then spoke one final message to their darling daughter.
Isara meanwhile was still crying and being held by Belgen, then she heard the radio crackle once more.
"Isara, can you hear us?" Theimer and Isana's voice's said in unison.
Isara quickly replied, "Yes mommy, daddy, I can hear you!"
"Isara… we love you so much… we lov-"
The radio turned to static, a split second later a massive explosion went off in the center of town, causing a giant mushroom cloud of black smoke and fire to raise high above the building tops. It even went higher than the 60 foot high chapel tower and continued on. The explosion was so loud and violent that the initial blast wave hit Isara and Belgen like a punch to the chest, followed by a boom so loud it caused their ears to ring.
Once Isara and Belgen recovered, they looked back to the center of town and saw that numerous blocks within the radius of the massive explosion were destroyed. All of the Imperials had been killed and didn't get their hands on the proto-type tank, nearly all of the town folk had evacuated and most of all Isara was safe, at the cost of Theimer and Isana's lives. But it was a noble sacrifice, with hundreds of Darcsen lives and the life of their only daughter saved by these two brave individuals.
Isara dropped the radio and began to shake her head, "No… no, no, no, no, no! Mommy! Daddy!" Isara wailed in anguish. Belgen pulled her close and lowered his head, mourning the loss of his best friend. Isara brought the shawl up to her eyes and began weeping into the soft material; sadly, it still smelled of her mother.
"That's how you came to live here with me Isara…" Belgen explained, finally finishing his story.
11 year old Isara was already crying and had gotten up from Belgen's leg and walked away and stood next to the blue, red and white painted tank, placing her hand against its cold metal hull.
"Now I remember… I remember it all," Isara stated, "I must have repressed that sad memory so long ago…"
Belgen nodded and walked up and stood next to Isara, also placing his hand against the tanks hull. "This is the first time I've had company in here," he admitted, "I come in here a lot… to remember my past mistakes… and I've made so many of them."
Isara nodded, "My worst mistake… was allowing your mother and father to sacrifice their own lives to save your's and everyone else's," Belgen confessed, "I should have been the one to go back and do what I could that day… sacrifice my own life if needed, like they did."
Isara was now crying harder, so Belgen reached over and pulled her close, letting her cry against him, "It's ok Isara… it's ok to cry and be sad."
Isara shook her head, "I'm not sad… I'm happy, to finally know the truth about what happened to my parents," Isara said, "I'm the daughter of true heroes… how can I be sad about that and the way they died? I'm… not even sad that they went and left me all alone, because it brought me to you and my dear brother Welkin."
Two tears fell from Belgen's eyes and he bent down and hugged Isara, "You are wise far beyond your years Isara. Nothing less than I'd expect from the daughter of the brilliant mechanics Theimer and Isana."
Isara then let go of Belgen, and looked back up at the tank, knowing that her parents were the one's who helped build it and was filled with the greatest sense of pride. Belgen then sighed happily, "I've never touched this tank since I brought it back here with you, and I've also never let anyone touch it." Belgen explained, "I think that only family should be the one's to fix it, so if you wish, I'll en-roll you into a fine engineering course that I know of, so you can one day become and mechanic and restore this tank to it's former glory."
Isara picked up a nearby wrench, held onto it and turned back to Belgen with an ear to ear grin, even with tears in her eyes she happy exclaimed, "I'd love to!"
Hello Readers, Snowman here. This is my 1st attempt at a one hitter, dealing with Isara Gunther's past and details of her Father Theimer. It said that he 'designed' the tank in EW1, but never built it. I had him build it in secret with Belgen a few years later in their home town, to show to the military. Also, this is what I love about Valkyria Chronicles fanfiction, there are so few lines describing the characters, so that leaves INFINITE possibilites to write about any character.
So this is my one hitter, the back story of her mother and father and how Isara came to be with the Gunthers. I noticed from the anime, episode 19 that Isara was older, probably around 6, 7 or 8 when she went to live with the Welkin and Belgen Gunther. I had this as my backstory of what happened before she came. I think it works, it's definately sad... I wrote the darn thing and I cried.
This whole idea just HIT me at work today, I was working, thinking of writing this and thought... wow, this could work! So as soon as I got home at 9:30 I started writing, it's 3:30 now and it's completed... what did ya think :P