Disclaimer: I do not own the Ace Combat games, the anime and manga series Gunslinger Girl, or the To Aru novels. Ace Combat belongs to Namco Bandai and Project Aces. The AC: Assault Horizon storyline is written by Jim DeFelice and Project Aces. Gunslinger Girl belongs to Yu Aida. And the To Aru novels belong to Kazuma Kamachi and Square Enix. If I owned any of them, this would be a spin-off of those titles.


Prologue:

A Shared Nightmare

Skies over Miami, United States

November 5, 2015

"I saw my death in my dreams. Many times." a voice says.

It was a bright sunny day over Miami. But instead of the peace and security that you would normally see in the skies, there's chaos. The city was under attack, by Russian fighters. The enemy forces were made up of Sukhoi Su-33 Sea Flankers and Su-35S Flanker-Es. Amongst the radio chatter, there were a large group of U.S. pilots.

"Magic to Warwolf leader. Bogies are confirmed hostile and on a direct course to Miami. You are clear to engage and destroy." the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, callsign "Magic" called in on the radio.

While the majority of the defending U.S. fighters were General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcons and Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, there was one group that stood out. A squadron of four Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptors coming in from the south. These pilots were of the 108th Task Force, 57th Tactical Fighter Wing, callsign "Warwolf."

"A nightmare that I'll never forget." the voice continues.

We then begin focusing on the Warwolf Squadron's flight lead, Colonel William Bishop, callsign "Brass".

"This is Tiger 1, Warwolf squadron, be advised, there are multiple contacts already over the city, We have missiles in the air." Tiger 1, the leader of an F-16C squadron, called out.

"Warwolf squadron, engage." Bishop ordered to his squadronmates.

"Warwolf 1. Warwolf 1. Tally bandit at one o'clock." Warwolf 2, callsign "Guts" called out.

"He's mine, Guts." Bishop responded. He immediately begins pursuit of the bandit, an Su-35S, but things got complicated as Bishop followed the bandit into the middle of downtown Miami, where there is a higher risk of civilian casualties. He fires an AIM-9M Sidewinder, hitting the bandit.

"I've got your back, Boss. He's all yours, Will." Guts responded. Bishop fires a Sidewinder at the Flanker-E, but it missed, hitting a building. The impact sent debris falling toward the street below, and in Bishop's path. He immediately evades, breathing heavily, he fires another missile at the enemy fighter, destroying it instantly.

Bishop then catches sight of another bandit, this time an Su-33 and begins persuit. He fires a Sidewinder at the Sea Flanker, hitting it. Bishop's Tomcat follows the enemy plane, firing its Vulcan cannon. Somewhere along the line, the enemy pilot screws up and slams into the scoreboard of Sunlife Stadium, the stadium where the Miami Dolphins play. The Sea Flanker is destroyed on impact with the scoreboard. The plane slams into the ground a few hundred yards from the stadium. Bishop's Raptor shudders.

"Warwolf Leader? Colonel?" asked a concerned Guts.

"I took some shrapnel. My engines are fine but my controls seem to be a little sluggish." Bishop responded. He then gave a small order, "I'm going to run a flight check. Watch my rudder."

"Go for it, Colonel." Guts responded.

"Turning...Check. Ascend...Check. Acceleration...Check. Deceleration...Check." Bishop said to himself as he went through the flight check. When he was finished, he called out to Guts, "I'm good. Let's get back to the furball."

"I'm with you." Guts responded. Warwolfs 1 and 2 go into mid-air stand-by.

"Warwolf 1, what's your status?" Magic called out. Bishop then responded, "Looking for action." Magic then gave a situation report. "Second flight of bandits approaching from the south."

Bishop and Guts then turn to the south to find two Su-33s incoming. "I have them in sight." Bishop reported.

"Tiger squadron, follow Warwolf." one of the other pilots ordered.

"We're with you Warwolf." Tiger 1 responded.

Bishop slides in behind the Sea Flanker and fires a Sidewinder, destroying the enemy fighter instantly. With one gone, the other Su-33 was at a loss of what to do. Bishop fires another Sidewinder at the enemy plane, though it didn't destroy it like the previous fighter. Bishop then flew his Raptor closer and fired his Vulcan cannon, tearing the Sea Flanker apart.

"Where the hell is Tiger? By the time they get here, we would've hosed the whole crowd." Warwolf 3 complained.

"Colonel, watch yourself! There's one on your six!" called out Guts alarmingly. Sure enough, there's an Su-35S Super Flanker sliding in behind Bishop's tail. He accelerates and evades the Super Flanker until it was out of missle range. He then turns his plane to see that Warwolf 4 had taken out the Su-35.

"Enemy bandits inbound. We've already lost two allied aircraft. Be careful." Magic called out to the allied aircraft.

Bishop then turns to the east to find an Su-33, the leader of the squadron of Sea Flankers he shot down earlier. The enemy fighter was tailing Tiger 1. He then heard a message from Tiger 1, "This is Tiger 1, I need help here."

"Tiger 1, break left. We'll take him." Bishop responded. He goes into hot pursuit, throwing the Sea Flanker out of position. He then fires a Sidewinder at it, destroying it.

"Thank you Colonel." Tiger 1 said in relief.

"Magic to Warwolf 1. Bandits approaching Miami Beach area. You're cleared to engage." Magic called out.

Bishop then responded, "Warwolf 1, roger."

Bishop heads toward Miami Beach, his Raptor going full afterburner. When he arrives at the location, he intercepts an Su-35S. The Super Flanker then joins up with the rest of the enemy squadron. Bishop fires a Sidewinder, but the Super Flanker deploys flares, and throws the missile off course and slams it into a crane. Bishop misses the crane by mere feet.

"He's going to break right." Warwolf 3 warned. True enough, a Super Flanker slides in behind Bishop. He slows down significantly, and barrel rolls, forcing the Su-35 to overshoot. Then, to his luck, three more Super Flankers join in front of him. Bishop switches to his secondary weapons, AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs)

"Fox 3!" Bishop called out as he fired the AMRAAM missles. Tiger 1 marvels at Bishop's work, "Beautiful."

"Great flying. Looks like those rumors I heard about you in Iraq were all true." Guts said.

Tiger 1 then gives a report, "Warwolf, be advised. Bandits running north in your direction. They've been sighted over the Venetian Causeway."

"Roger that. We'll take them." Bishop responded.

Magic then gave a grim advisory to the defending forces. "All allies, be advised. The Sharkmouth has been sighted."

Bishop then pursues an Su-33 and follows it down towards the port, firing his cannon whenever he can. He then fires a Sidewinder, destroying the enemy plane.

"Looks like they're targeting Interstate 95." Guts called out.

Tiger 3 shoots down a Super Flanker and it tumbles onto a freeway interchange. Bishop pursues another Sea Flanker and shoots it down.

"Warwolf, be advised. Downtown is under attack. Direct all units to intercept." Magic reported.

Bishop responded, "Understood."

Just then, a message came in. "Magic, this is Shooter 1. We're assisting in a search and rescue operation for a downed airman near the stadium." The message came from the 108th Task Force, 32nd Airborne Battalion, callsign "Shooter". "Magic, can you keep those planes off us and the Black Hawk while we bring it in?" Shooter 1 asked.

"We're doing our best, Shooter." Magic reassured.

"Warwolf, we have an SAR operation near the stadium. Keep the bandits away from the area." Magic ordered.

Warwolf 4 responds, "Copy that, Magic." Bishop engages a squadron of Su-33s, and switches to his AMRAAMs and fires. The missiles destroy three out of the four planes.

"Magic, have we identified which aircraft is carrying Trinity?" Tiger 1 asked.

"Negative. Still unknown, Tiger 1." Magic responded.

Tiger 1 responds, "Understood."

Bishop gets a Sidewinder lock on the remaining Su-33. "Fox 2!" He launches the missile, tearing the wings off the Sea Flanker on impact.

"Warwolf, be careful. We have a downed airman here and civilian casualties." Shooter 1 reminded.

"Sorry. I owe you a cigar." Guts said apologeticly.

"Yeah, all right. Make it up to me with another of your uncle's hand-rolled ones." Shooter 1 said enthusiasticly.

"Magic to Warwolf flight. We still have several contacts." Magic advised.

"Guts, fuel status." Bishop called out.

"Enough to take down two or three more." Guts responded.

"Roger that, wing. Let's finish this." Bishop said, giving the go-ahead for the rest of his squadron mates.

Bishop pursues a Super Flanker, firing his cannon. The Su-35 then joins up with five more. He switches to his AMRAAMs. "Fox 3!" He fires, killing four of the enemy fighters on impact. He then pursues the last of the pack and shreds it with his cannon.

He then catches sight of a Sea Flanker, and pursues it. He fires his cannon. "Fuel is into reserves." Warwolf 3 called out.

"Moving to engage. Guts?" Bishop told his squad mates while at the same time was asking a question.

"I got enough fuel for them." Guts responded.

"Roger, Wolf 2. Keep an eye on your fuel." Bishop responded, while at the same time giving an order. He sees a squadron of four Sea Flankers in formation, and switches to his AMRAAMs. "Fox 3!" Bishop fires, destroying the Su-33s instantly.

Just then, Guts calls in frantically, "Colonel, it's him! The shark bastard!"

Just as Guts said this, a white and black Su-35S adorned with a sharks mouth fired an Archer missile. It is aimed at Bishop. He tries to evade, but it was too late. The missile impacted Bishop's Raptor. Bishop spat out only one word immediately after missile impact, "Shit."

As the cockpit of the Raptor was ringing warning alarms, Bishop was at a loss of what to do. "Damn...Panel...dead. Engine..." he said to himself frantically.

"Get out of there Colonel. Eject!" Guts told him alarmingly.

"Hit it! Get out! You're on fire!" Tiger 1 warned Bishop.

It was after this that Bishop had run out of options. He put his hand on the ejection lever and pulled it. The seat then thrusts him clear of the burning Raptor. As he looked down, his plane exploded. "Magic, be advised, Warwolf 1 is going down. Colonel Bishop is out." Guts immediately informed Magic. As he said this, Bishop's parachute was beginning to deploy. It was a few seconds after that that his chute was fully deployed. "I have a chute! I have a chute!" Guts informed.

As Bishop was hanging there, he felt helpless. He watched the battle going on around him. He even kept his eye on the shark mouthed Super Flanker, which at one point tried to ram him in his parachute, almost as if this enemy pilot had a policy of no survivors. He tried to protect himself as an F-16 went down in flames just yards from him. His breathing began to get heavier as the carnage was going on around him. It got quicker when he saw the shark nosed Su-35S heading right towards him in a final strike.

"This is it. It's over." Bishop thought as the last thing he saw was the nose of the white and black Super Flanker ramming him in the chest.


Academy City, Japan

October 3, 2015

0700 Hours

It was a cool morning in Academy City. Laying on the bed is a boy in his mid-teens, with black, spiky hair, sound asleep. He then starts rolling from side to side, eventually leading to him streaching his right arm and put his hand in front of his face, as if to defend himself. A female voice starts calling out to him, "Touma?..." The boy, named Touma, doesn't respond, and starts to sweat. "Touma..." the female voice calls out again. Again, no response. The female voice reveals herself to be a light blue-haired girl, dressed as a nun, and she is starting to get annoyed. "Touma!" No response, but Touma was starting to sweat bullets and breathe heavily. Now she was both worried and losing her patience. She then reverts to doing what many would consider unusual.

*CHOMP!*

Touma jumps and yells in utter pain as the girl bites down, hard, on his head.

"What the hell was that for?" Touma yells.

"Touma, you were sweating up bullets." the girl told him.

Touma puts his arm on his forehead, and true enough, there was heavy amount of sweat. He then hears a low growl from the girl's stomach. He knows what it means, and he didn't like it.

"Alright, Index. I'll make you something." Touma told the girl, Index. He heads to his dormroom's kitchen, and opens the fridge door, only to find it empty. He sighs in disbelief, and goes to check his wallet.

"Only a few thousand yen? Such misfortune..." He sighs again, he turns to Index and tells her as positive as possible, "Index, I only have a few thousand yen left. I'll go get you something."

"Touma! Touma! Thank you." She replies.

Academy City, Japan - Streets

Ten minutes later...

Touma is walking on the sidewalk. His mind is racing.

"So I've got a few thousand yen. Where should I go to get food with such a low amount of money? And what's more, what was that dream about? It wasn't about me. Could it be a premonition? Could it be...?"

Touma thought, and thought. Until he was interrupted by a voice, "Hey! You!" Touma turns to the direction where the voice originated. The voice came from a female, with light brown hair, in a Tokiwadai Middle School winter uniform.

"Hey Misaka." Touma told blankly and continues walking.

"Hey, don't you just walk away!" Mikoto shouts, stamping her foot on the ground in protest. The impact sent sparks flying around them, causing a few of the street lights to burst.

One of the shattering lights causes Touma to jump a little. True, he knew of Mikoto's esper powers, the Electromaster, and even nicknamed the Railgun by many due to her ability to shoot projectiles with her power. No, this wasn't what made Touma jump. It was the fact that he doesn't know what else she has in store that scared him a little.

"My God! First that strange dream, then Index, and now this." Touma thinks out loud.

"Dream? What dream...?" Mikoto asked out of curiosity.

"This is going to be a long day..." Touma thinks to himself and immediately begins explaining what he saw in the dream.


NATO Airbase, East Africa

October 3, 2015

0750 Hours

Colonel Bishop raises his left hand in front of him, like Touma, as if to defend himself. And like Touma, he is sweating bullets. He then wakes up with a startle. He sits up, breathing heavily.

He then hears a knock on the door of his quarters and a voice from outside. The voice is Guts'. "Hey Colonel? You awake? We gotta scramble."

"Yeah. Coming." was Bishop's reply. He continues to regain his composure. Just as he was doing this, a squad of four UH-60 Blackhawks takes off and flies off to their mission.