It was Four months into the Year of 1945.
The Neuroi Hive that had occupied Gallia had been eliminated, thanks to the 501st Joint fighter wing's efforts several months before. Since Gallias Liberation from Neuroi Control, the 501st was momentarily disbanded, but it was reformed again a mere four weeks later to Liberate Romanga.
This was in part of the fact that a new generation of Neuroi had appeared that where stronger than the older hives, and their tactics seemed to evolve as time went on.
Attempts by Human Form Neuroi and other Witches to make diplomatic contact failed because the newer Neuroi would interfere, and destroy their Human formed Comrades. Why one Neuroi would fire on another is still unknown, but finding the answer to this question had to wait. With the fate of Romanga Hanging in the balance, all that mattered was to eliminate the Neuroi from Romangan Airspace.
Yoshika, Lynette and Perrine where in training again, under Sakamotos watchful eye.
Sakamoto had the girls running an obstacle course that she and Minna had requisitioned that the Romangan base personnel have constructed to help in the witches training.
It was a sad run to say the least.
"Owwwiieee! Everything hurts!" Yoshika collapsed at the end of the course, having fallen off of climbing walls, getting stuck on the 15 foot cargo net and landing in the pool of mud on the rope swing obstacle. She lay on her back, exhausted and sore.
Lynette's legs buckled as she tried to catch her breath. "So...tired..."
Lynette felt bad that she did so poorly. "I'm so out of shape..." she lamented.
Perrine certainly felt tired, but what concerned her most was her hair. It was frazzled, and covered in sand and mud from crawling in underground tunnels and under the barbed wire. "My hair! Look at my hair! This will take me hours to get cleaned again!"
Mio sighed and shook her head. "Damn, I thought that these three where out of shape before, but this is ridiculous. Witches should be better than this...I suppose I'll need to train them harder."
The Major then unsheathed her sword and planted it in front of her. "That was pathetic! Even the most out shape men in the army can do better than that! Were you three even trying out there on that course?"
The three girls jumped at the Majors booming voice. "Y-yes mamm!" They replied in unison.
Sakamoto held her sword at her side and brought it down on the ground. "It's not good enough! You gotta try a lot harder than that! A witch needs to train hard to keep her skills sharp! If you're this tired after that work out, then you'll be shot down by your opponent! The enemy isn't going to wait for you to be ready!"
The Major then pointed her sword at the obstacle course. "Miyafuji! Lynette! Perrine! Let's see if you can do better. Run the course again!"
The mouths of the three girls dropped. "What?"
"Major, don't we even get a break?" Yoshika asked pleadingly.
"At least a drink of water Major. Please?" Lynette begged.
"Later. Right now, you're running it again. Up and at em girls! Let's go!"
Lynette and Yoshika, defeated, picked each other up and ran to the start of the course. Perrine followed close behind, at first sadly looking at the state of her hair, but then she turned to the major.
She saw the strength in Sakamotos eyes. Despite the fact that Mio was stern, Perrine knew that the Major was giving them tough love. She saw the potential in each of the girls, and that's why she pushed them so hard. And that's what the Gallian girl liked about Sakamoto.
Perrine blushed momentarily, and then run off to the start of the course. "Just watch me major!" She thought to herself. "I won't let messy hair slow me down!"
Mio noticed the resolve on Perrine's face, and couldn't help but smile. "As determined as ever I see. Even though I push her so hard, she is so willing to try her best." Mio chuckled to herself. "All the girls in the 501st have such great potential".
But then the smile quickly faded as Mio thought of her own power. She was getting older, and her magic was growing weaker. She couldn't even raise a decent shield anymore. "Am I truly at my limit? This life as a solider...as a warrior maiden of Fuso...my duty to fight...it's all I know. What will become of me once all my magic power is gone?"
Immediately, she brushed the thoughts aside. She refused to accept giving up. "The girls are getting stronger as I train them. I must do the same for myself! I must make myself stronger!"
She looked down at her sword before finally sheathing it.
"Reppumaru...please make me stronger..."
Nearby Francesca Lucchini was sleeping in a tree. Hearing the shouts of the girls and the Major finally woke her up. She groaned loudly. "Awww maaaannn. I'm so sleepy. I thought it would be quieter here..."
She shrugged and tried to return to her nap. "I just got comfy. I'm staying right here."
She drifted off back to sleep, thinking fondly of her beloved homeland.
Jump ahead to the year 2016.
The world burns with the fires of war.
In this time, history is written by the victor. But history is filled with liars.
And all one needs to change the world is one good lie...and a river of blood.
On one side of the world, the US Army Rangers, and in particular the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, fight waves of Russian Troops in order protect their country. They don't know why the Russians invaded their home, but theirs is not to wonder why. Thiers is but to do or die.
Even with questions filling their minds, they fight against insurmountable odds.
Three days ago, Sergeant Foley, Corporal Dunn and Private Ramirez fought their way through the chaos in Washington with their fellow Rangers. The end seemed inevitable after the desperate evacuation and their Blackhawk was shot down by Russian SAM sites. Their chopper downed and surrounded by Russian Troops, Armour and Aircraft, it seemed as though that they would die with their boots on the line.
Fate intervened in the form of an Nuclear Missile that detonated over Washington, the resulting EMP knocking out electronics all across the Eastern Seaboard. This is what saved the three Rangers and their squad.
Falling helicopters notwithstanding.
Soon after they fought to take back Whisky Hotel before the city was to be bombed by the US Airforce. A lot of men died taking the White House back, but take it they did. Since then, the Rangers were holding their own. Foley's squad have been running patrols, trying to eliminate enemy troops in the cities both in and around DC.
Ramirez was on point, his M4 Carbine with M203 Grenade Launcher at the ready, wearing his trademark Shades and Shemah that he always wore. Looking down the Holographic sight, he peered around the corner of the building, his fellow Rangers Stacked up behind him.
Dunn creeps up to Ramirez and looks to the left flank, on the lookout for enemy contact. "See anything?" He quietly asks the Private.
A head shaking from side to side is the only reply Dunn gets. He knows that Ramirez doesn't talk much, probably heard him speak once or twice in the time he knew him. Dunn looks back part way down the Stacked up formation of the squad and gives a hand signal to Foley, indicating that there's no visual contact of the enemy.
Foley nods and uses his own hand signal, to move up.
Dunn gives the "A-Ok" sign and taps Ramirez on the shoulder. "Move up man."
Ramirez gives a quick nod and advances from the protection of the buildings wall. His gaze still traveling through the site of his weapon, as he scanned the streets for the enemy. Four other Rangers follow close behind him, With Dunn, Foley and three other men following suite. They proceed for about six blocks, seeing destruction, carnage and death all around them.
The piles of debris, wreckage, and the body's of Russian troops, American G.I.s and Civilians lay around them, with fires burning in the distance. Even with his Shemah wrapped around his face, Ramirez could still pick up the smell of smoke, dust and decaying flesh. He choked on his own vomit, but managed to swallow it down as he pushes himself forward. His thoughts turn to his family, wondering if they we're as worried for him as much as he was for them, if they are still safe. The Private sighs deeply and try's to put the thoughts aside, for the moment. It wasn't the time or place to be thinking of that now. He had to give the patrol his full attention.
Meanwhile, Foley begins playing through the events that have transpired all this time in his head. He began questioning everything. How PFC Allen was pulled from the squad for that Special Op for the CIA. Ever since he heard the news of the resulting op from his superiors, he wanted answers. But while he wondered how Allen got killed, another question gnawed at him in his silence: Who was the mastermind for all of this? Who was the pupetmaster pulling the strings? Was it truly Makarov? Or was he just a Pawn for someone else? If he was a pawn, then who was the one in charge?
But seeing the battle scared landscape, Foley felt his heart sink. His thoughts soon turn to how the PFC's sacrifice was not only in vain, but served as catalyst for the fires of war now blazing across the world. With Russia's soldiers ravaging America. "Damn Joseph, I'm glad you're not around to see this."
He tightened the Grip on His SCAR-H with M203 attached as he marched with his squad. He loaded a 40mm grenade into the M203, figuring that he will eventually need it.
The only thing going through Dunns mind was how much he hated the Russians. Makarov was a Russian. Because of Makarov, Allen, his good friend, is now dead. Because of the Russian Army that invaded, he lost good friends and left his family in tatters. And they attacked his country, his home. Dunn hated the Russians with a vengeance. The only other person he disliked almost as much as the Russians, was General Sheppard, the man that didn't give a crap about his men and sent Allen into a bushwhack. Dunn never really liked the General before, but it only got worse since then.
Dunn Cocked his own SCAR-H and looked down the mounted thermal sight. "Where you at ya Russian Bastards? You want some? Come get some."
On the other side of the world, Task Force 141 was gearing up for the upcoming mission. Captain McTavish and Captain Price were inroute the bone yard in Afganistan.
Ghost and Roach were tasked with heading to Makarovs safe house in the Caucasus Mountains on the Georgian/Russian border. They were inroute to the drop zone via transport helicopter. Ghost passed Roach some ammo clips while Toad, Archer, Scarecrow and Ozone did their own gear checks.
Roach took the clips of ammo that were offered to him. "Thanks Ghost."
"Not a problem mate." Both of them gave their Adaptive Combat Rifles the once over and loaded them. They both then loaded and chambered an extra round in their pistols. The other members of the task force did the same with their weapons. They all knew that they were going to be in for the long haul. They need every piece of ammo that they could carry. Just in case.
Ghost turned to Roach, looking over the top of his sunglasses. "You doing alright mate?"
Roach gave a nod and patted his ACR. "I'm all set. How bout you?"
"As ready as I'll ever be. Better hope we find Makarov, or something useful if he aint there."
Roach rested up against the seat he was in, watching as Archer and Toad loaded their Enhanced Battle Rifle's.
The past set of missions he had been a part of were fast-paced and taxing. The mission with Captain McTavish on the Russian base was tense, Hunting down Alejandro Rojas down in Brazil was exhausting and insane, and the missions got more and more high risk as the days went on. He didn't expect that once Price was sprung from the Gulag that he would launch a EMP missile over North America. Before then, he would have an idea at least what would happen and what to do. Now on this mission, he didn't know that to expect. So he decided to expect nothing and everything. Whatever comes his way next, he would take it as it was and deal with it. That way, he figured he wouldn't be caught off guard.
"I suppose we'll find out, wont we?"
Ghost made a final gear check and then turned to Roach after he finished. "I suppose we will."
Ghost had come to know the members of the Taskforce as a second family, even though he often kept a distance. Most of the time he was very quiet, but if he had something important to say, or if it was called for, he'd say something to contribute to his team. Ghost did have his own "skeleton" in the closet however. His past was a troubled one. His father was an abusive drunk, beating him and his mother often. His brother, Tommy, became addicted to drugs because of the messed up home life. His father also had no respect for the uniform either, as he showed contempt in Simon's choice to join the British SAS. And some of the missions he did in the SAS were gruelling. One cost him his family and almost took his sanity. Simon did his best to put his past behind him, though the Favella in Brazil reminded him of the one mission in Mexico. The one Dark place in his life that ran the deepest, responsible for making him what he is now.
The only thing Simon figured that, despite the turbulence in his life, what didn't kill him made him stronger. Then again, you can't kill a ghost, now can you? He was buried alive by the enemy with Major Vernon's rotting corpse. He managed to dig his way out with his former CO's Jawbone after what was literally hours. When his family was killed, including his Brothers son, it nearly pushed the man beyond the brink. With the events influenced by Roba, a drug-running terrorist, Ghost swore he would kill Roba, his lackeys and any others responsible. And in the end, he got justice.
What happened all those years ago is what made him into what he was today: One of the best warriors on the face of the planet.
From across Ghost sits Archer and Toad. Archer looks up from his Sniper's logbook and addresses Ghost. "Hey Ghost, how much longer until our drop? Gotta get it logged in my book here".
"Two hours mate, and counting." reply's Ghost.
Archer quickly writes the time down in his Logbook and then places it in the chest pocket of his combat uniform, underneath his ghillie suite. He and Toad give a quick fist bump, and finally wait patiently for the big kick off.
Ghost and Roach both exchanged glances before they gave their own Bro fist.
"Stay frosty mate."
"You too Ghost."