Watching both Dutch and Aden play war-games on the Traxus servers give a interesting view of how my subordinates set their strategic targets as well as their play styles. Dutch prefers the German Derived Blitz-Stratagem, where the use of small, highly equipped forces penetrate deep into enemy lines to perform a Coup De Main-the seizing of a particular military objective, to deprive the enemy of a vital resources-to defeat the enemy. Aden on the other hand goes for the Soviet originated Deep Operation Stratagem, which required the use of multiple attacks across different points on the battlefield to keep the enemy preoccupied and then striking hard. Essentially defensive in nature, it mandated the use of large numbers where poorer equipment would make much lesser of an impact. These two strategies, each the total opposite of the other in ideas and origins, when combined become a horrifying combination to counter. Any opponent would be basically fighting a dedicated sword and shield combination, often to his defeat. As one of the conquered told me, "The combination of a strong grinding defense and a powerful narrow front attack is simply disgusting." I could only nod in agreement.-Personal notes of Nora Murray.
C-130 Transport ship
Over the Indian Ocean
"I could have been in a bed, sleeping away but nooooo, someone had to be an ass and make this happen." Nora complained as she closed her eyes, fruitlessly trying to overcome the loud droning of the engines to get at least some shut eye.
"You got no issue with me on that." Dutch added as he pored over a holographic display, absorbing everything he needed to know from the floating information.
"Don't worry Lady, I'll carry you if you drop dead." Aden continued.
"Ugh, whatever. Now can some one tell me why we are here over the Indian ocean, going to Africa on what seems to be a routine job?" Their female partner growled.
"Because you three are the very best. And the best is what we need right now." Cleo chimed in, her image appearing on top of the display. "There are too much things at stake here and we can't afford a loss at all."
"But don't believe me. Hear from the horse's mouth. Lady and gentlemen, meet Lieutenant Clarissa Harfouch, Acting-Commander of Schwarzer Hase and chief external Instructor for the Somalian army. She has better words to brief you with." She said as a woman with blue hair, styled into an angled blob, and an eyepatch covering her left eye appeared, joining her on top of the display.
"Thank you, Mrs Fox. Now, if I an allowed to add a little backdrop to the current proceedings, here is a little background. As you may or may not know, as part of the Fatherland participation in international affairs, Schwarzer Hase has been commissioned to help train the newly formed Somalian army. Our efforts have shown success in recent days." Clarissa started.
"However, while the enemies of old have been shattered, new ones have popped up. A rebel group, calling them selves the Angels of Death, have arisen, vowing to overthrow the fledging Somalian government and install a 'female paradise', as they call it. Given this, it has been decided to mobilize the Somalian army, to cut their teeth on this new rebels."
"So what does this have to do with us? We are private military contractors specializing in hazardous material retrieval, not insurgent clearing out." Dutch questioned.
"Because recently, we have intercepted messages that hint at the possibility of the rebels possessing nuclear devices. Further investigation have revealed that the rebels have acquired some sort of missile system, with the possibility of a nuclear warhead. If they launch the missile with the nuclear warhead in it, they could have the ability to strike multiple targets in the region. If the missile even launches, it will be an international incident." Clarissa warned.
"I don't want to seem rude here but you have a readily trained force right there. Why couldn't you send the Somalian army?"Aden asked.
At this question, Clarissa grimaced. "Because as much as we want to trust them, parts of the army still have roots to Somali's violent past."
Parts of the army can not be trusted with a nuclear weapon. The three in the room understood.
"Why not use your capabilities then? You are one of the premier fighting forces in the world." Nora pointed out.
"We would but certain legal constraints hold us back. The Somalian government are highly protective of their new found sovereignty and will not allow any other country to interfere with their domestic affairs. However, they are more inclined to private companies, since investments are what they sorely need right now. Your reputation precedes you, hence you were hired for this operation."
The listeners nodded. All this was just another day on the job.
"More intel has been provided for your benefit in a attachment. The Somalian army will be attacking the main angel camp 8 hours from now. You will be inserted 60 km south of it, where we have traced the source of the messages to a launch site. It appears that secrecy is their main defense, as personnel observed appear to be minimal. We have confirmed the existence of missiles, but we don't have any confirmation of what type and reconnaissance have not managed to find any missiles which leads us to suspect the existence of caves."
All three in the room let out a soft collective groan. After the events barely days before, they were happy to be out in the open.
"Your objective is as follows. Locate and disable the missiles and secure any warheads you discover. You are allowed to have any support, just don't rupture any nuclear casings. Lieutenant Harfouch out." The woman returned before signing screen returned back to Cleo, who spotted a gentle grin.
"Since this op is of the imperative value, we have delegated massive support to you. You will have constant battlefield surveillance, provided by a Traxus observer satellite and to be on the safe side, Dale and I have decided to release a full wing of Skyknight drones as well as Big Brother for support."
Dutch looked up. "That's five Skyknights and a Hind assault gunship together. That's a lot of firepower."
"We decided that after your last engagement, a little extra would be helpful." Cleo returned.
"Each one has a 20mm Vulcan cannon and 4 wing roots for missiles and bombs. That's a lot of extra." Nora added.
"A little overkill is fine. I trust your targeting skills. You will have the standard Cannon and 4 multi-purpose missiles load out."
"Is that it?" Aden questioned.
"Almost. Given the very risky nature of the mission, I have sweetened the pot. People, meet Duststorm, the latest in ammunition technology. Dale doesn't even know I equipped the Skyknights with them." Cleo announced as she brought up a X-ray image of a cannon round.
"The Mark 1 Duststorm. Designed to be equipped against IS, it's warhead contains a armor piercing core for increased damage against shields. But the magic of the bullet is what comprises the core. The metal used to create the core has been saturated with nanobots during the creation process, designed to interfere with a IS hypersensor. Hitting a IS with it causes the user to see a blurry effect on her hypersensor, decreasing her accuracy, hence the name. Tests have shown that IS accuracy decreased by 17%, increasing survivability of jet aircraft by over 30%. Even with the seemingly small amount of interference, it's a big leap for anti-IS firepower. There is nothing comparable in the public realm. No one except you, the people working on it and me knows of its existence."
Nora whistled. "So the rumors were true. I'll be frank, wow. You really outdone yourself. This is really awesome."
Their superior grinned victoriously. "Please, you really helped too. Only your data collation could have flown under the radar."
"Goggly eyed happiness aside, I don't think we will be coming up against IS." Aden noted.
"We're testing the ammunition effectiveness against everyday targets as well as Skyknight performance during adverse weather. Remember, taking on IS is just one of its functions. It has to work against other targets as well. And if an IS really appears, you be relatively more fine."
"Well lets hope it doesn't happen. Anything else?" Dutch questioned.
"Yes. One very special one but I'll let Dale do this one." Cleo said as her husband popped onto screen along side her.
"Thanks Honey. Alright guys and girl, I know today hasn't been one of specials for you but let me fix that." He started as the occupants of the plane glanced at each other secretly. He really was the only one in the dark.
"Meet the next generation in Infantry Combat Technology, the result of Non-IS IS application research. It took me a long time and ate more money than I can count but it was worth it. People, allow me to introduce you to the Micro-Shield Armor, the next armor for the man on the ground." Dale announced as three seemingly normal body armor vest rose via pedestals from the floor of the plane, the only difference being the technologically advanced fingerless gauntlet that sat on top of them.
"We managed to bring the IS shields to the common man, allowing for increased survivability on the battlefield. But don't be suicidal. These are battlefield certified prototypes only and the shields on the armor was vastly reduced, to cope with the much lesser power capacity. At the moment, you could probably only survive an entire magazine or a punch by an IS and that's it. No recharge, just like the IS. Still, it's better than nothing."
"Come people, I need some sort of reaction here."
"I can't begin to describe how awesome this is. Dale, I could kiss you right now, if it weren't for the on a plane on a different part of the world thing and your wife, who would probably work my corruption out of you." Nora announced.
"No please. I'll be dead within a year." Dale answered.
"By all means please do. I'll even let you all join in."Cleo answered, to soft laughs from all.
Dale joined in before turning serious." Seriously, all this is to be safe. There are three seats at the summit waiting for you. I expect you to fill them." He wished before winking out.
"Indeed. Come back safe, all of you." Cleo echoed before following her husband lead.
"We will. Dutch, you been skimming the intel. Got a quick briefing in your head?" Nora questioned.
"Right off. Josephine, the only name we have, leader of the Angels and now codenamed Feminazi, for obvious reasons. Serious irrational hater of anything male and has proposed such celebrations of equality as International Castration Day." He paused for a second. "I think I just vomited into my mouth."
Nora chuckled. "Don't worry. She wont be coming close to you guys. If she does, I'll shoot her."
"Glad to know that. Anyway, carrying on. Has gathered quite the fanatical base, all female of course. Quite well armed for a irrational militia but nothing worth a threat to most armies."
"I see. What about motives? Anything indicative?"
"Nothing really. As in, sure she could go nuke the government but that would only unleash international dakka on her. Zero gains at all."
Nora frowned. "What about the international anti piracy flotilla of shore covering the gulf of Aden? That would be a good target."
"Aye true but that assuming that they could target the flotilla. I would really highly doubt that." Aden chimed in.
"I second that. At this point, the missiles seem like a grab for attention. Get the world talking about them." Dutch echoed.
"Very well. Assuming that they launch the missile, what would be your conclusion?"
"You will have a international bitch-fest with every one blabbering to each other but very little stuff done." Dutch returned.
"And, assuming that they do do it, a International Anti piracy flotilla vessel gets hit by a missile?"
Dutch folded his arms. "A shit-storm so bad that Schwarzer Haze and Traxus would be smelling for decades."
"No pressure then." Aden finished.
Dutch opened his eyes. "And the engines was actually getting comforting." He yawned as he got up.
Nora glanced askance at him as she checked her helmet, testing the inbuilt heads up display. "It's in the rainy season right now. The picture we have pretty good but the satellite has rain clouds coming in. When the operation starts, it will be pouring."
Dutch nodded as he opened a locker, pulling out the M4 carbine inside. "Well, then, let it rain."
"I also gotten a look at the battlefield. It's dug in at the base of a mountain, trenches around but no heavy weaponry. So something like Brazil, except with a lot more firepower on our side. It's going to raining kittens and puppies when we actually attack so expect to get very wet."
"There will be several phases. The first will be us infiltrating the trench line, with support from Aden. Once we taken out the outer guards, I will call in an airstrike on the outer structures and any hard points. Aden will continue to provide support until we reach the entrance into the mountain. Then he will shift to another position while I stay outside and you go in. Pretty much just like brazil, when you think about it."
Dutch groaned. "Fine."
Aden tapped his gauntlet, trying to spot the invisible force field that protected him."This is good stuff man."
"Tell me about it. You know, they said tech like this would take thirty years to even get into prototype stage. I guess Tabane jump started it."Dutch continued , putting on his armor and parachute.
"Now if she could jump start equality." Nora quipped as she walked up to the door and pulled a switch, opening the back cargo door to reveal out a blackened landscape, the dark above punctured by a canvas of lights, one that spread across worlds.
"See you on the ground."
Missile Launch site
5 minutes to Army Operation
"I realize that I'm starting to hate jungles. A lot." Dutch muttered, creeping through the undergrowth towards the structure in front of him.
"Aye. Give me snowy concrete. Or a hotel." Aden echoed as he looked down his thermal sights, the dark forest drenched in rain a plethora of colors in his eyes.
Nora chuckled as she crept along side Dutch. "Come on, don't tell the cold addled your brains."
"You said the same thing at airstrip one."
"Whatever. It's subjective." The female leader waved it aside as they reached the trench line.
"Dutch, two guards in the hard point right in front of you. Talking to each other." Aden described.
The addressed man palmed his MSP pistol. "I take both. The rain should cover my sounds."
"Alright. On three. One...two...three!" His partner counted.
As the sound of falling water drowned out the thuds of falling bodies, Dutch and Nora climbed into the hard point, constantly scanning for any sentries.
"Well, step one partially complete. Dutch, take left, I'll go right." Nora commanded as she headed off, her suppressed sub-machine gun swapped for a very much silent knife.
Dutch followed her orders, reloading his pistol along the way.
"Dutch, a pair coming up on you."
The man lay in wait, his weapon ready to fire. The oblivious pair walking up, chatting to each other.
As Dutch reloaded, he crept up to the bodies, checking for life. He spent his hand over their faces, closing their dead eyes.
"Sorry. You just so happened to be on the wrong side." He whispered before creeping off again, moving towards lights that glistened through the rain
"Dutch, I reached the end of the line. No targets and it stops in the forest. What do you have your side?"
The man glanced over the edge. "I see a clearing in the forest leading up to the mountain with large door into the mountain and some buildings but no missile."
"Got it. Heading off to your side. Aden, what's your call?"
The sound of shifting appeared through the radio. "I'm moving up. Can't see anything through the trees."
"There goes long range support." Dutch quipped, readying his weapons.
"Hey, I can still give the bullets a cozy fleshy home, it's just that the time spent is more diminished." His blond partner retorted, moving up into the trench line, grunting as he jumped into the channel.
"Dutch, head further in and designate any targets you see. Don't sound the alarm." Nora commanded.
"So no pressing buttons? I like pressing buttons." The mercenary complained as he snuck out of the trenches into a shadow cast one of the structures. Rain poured off the roof in a mini waterfall, splashing at his feet as he scanned the area in front of him with his helmet's night vision mode.
"This structures look like meat grinders. Target them for strike?" He asked as he let the darkness cloak him, unseen to the sentry that walked past him.
"Agreed. We don't want to waste extra time." Nora answered as her helmet followed her eyes, highlighting each building with a red outline.
"Remind me not to take cover here." Dutch added, sneaking deeper into the base. He crawled under a truck, the vehicle silent and unmoving.
"Looks like the mountain door can't be opened on the outside." He noted as he scanned the metal barrier exterior. "We're going to have them open it for us."
"You could always ask nicely." His female partner quipped.
"Asking is not his problem lady. It's saying no to the bullets that he has trouble at." Aden added in.
"How long before the attack begins?" Dutch asked as he settled down for a long wet wait on muddy ground.
"3 minutes. Cutting it close."Aden answered.
"You know, a longer time to actually think would be nice. Maybe like a day to plan stuff so that we could have more way to do this ops. Reacting sucks." The scout of the group complained.
"Aye. This mission timing is just bad." His male partner added.
Nora giggled. "Don't worry. After this, all you have will be a long wait and a nice summit to look forward to."
"And you would have men asking for your hand. In their business of course."Aden shot back.
"You know, I think it says a lot, the IS summit. It really shows the balance of the world." Dutch pointed out silently.
"The female superiority?"
"Are you kidding me? With most of the CEOs male?" Dutch answered.
"Man got a point." Aden added in.
"Fine. Fine. Now concentrate people. Show's about to begin."
"Ground, this is Knight 1. We are approaching the battle zone. 30 seconds."
"Understood. Targets have been designated. You are free to engage." Nora answered, flipping the safety on her gun to off.
"About time. I was about to germinate." Dutch whispered as he hunkered down under the truck, awaiting the explosions.
Aden chuckled. "I already planted myself."
Already they could hear the drones approaching. A distant roar was slowly increasing, the sound of five warplanes reaching their destination. The female soldiers silently patrolling perked up, their ears picking up the sound over the roar of the deluge.
Shouts of alarm echoed as the danger was realized. Militia rushed out of the buildings as they ran towards the trenches.
"Awwww shit." Nora cursed as she watched the soldiers run towards her.
"Cutting lose!" Aden yelled as he pulled the trigger of his Ultimax 100 machine gun, the weapon releasing out a scything stream of projectiles. Casings landing around him as the bipod of the gun did its job, holding his weapon in place.
The first group of soldiers were cut down by the burst, which forced the remaining to take cover. They returned in kind, firing their AK-74 rifles at their new attacker. Earth kicked up around Aden as the blond man ducked under cover, bullets whizzing around him.
"Ground, this is Skyknight 1. Missiles are away." Their support answered as the drone released their destructive payload, sending the guided projectiles soaring for the designated targets.
"Ground acknowledges." Nora answered, adding her own weapon to the fight, the suppressed weapon releasing out a muffled rip. A fighter cried out in pain as the bullets struck her, collapsing into a heap on the ground.
"Poop. Danger close." Dutch growled, using the common military phrase for being in the blast zone of oncoming friendly explosives. He grabbed the edge of the jeep, waiting for the moment to get out of cover, hoping that a missile doesn't unluckily hit him.
"Busy here." Aden returned, firing out another burst that kept the heads down of a trio of fighters.
The yell heralded the roar of missiles flying in, the explosives turning towards their targets before detonating, turning the structures in the area into balls of flame. A series of explosions rocked the area, the sound echoing for miles.
The lucky fighters were sent flying by the force of the explosion, stunned by the same force. The unlucky ones were killed in the blast, either by the same blast wave or the shrapnel.
Even as the sound of the explosions faded from Dutch ears, he moved out of his cover. Unslinging his weapon, a MK18 Mod 0 variant of the common M4 carbine, he scanned around with the holographic sight he added.
Thankfully, the explosives did their job, demolishing the buildings in the clearing as well as the coherency of the opposition. Moaning bodies covered the ground, intermixed with silent unmoving ones.
"Direct hits on targets Skyknight 1. Thanks for the assists." Nora said as she scanned the area.
"Our pleasure. Mark any targets and we will deliver a nice missile with a side order of vulcan cannon rounds, if you wish. Good hunting down there." Skyknight 1 lead operator answered as the group of five drones roared over head.
"Understood. Ground out." Nora finished as she walked up to the door, while Dutch and Aden secured the area, checking for survivors before tying them up with wire and rolling them into the trench.
"Alright,how do we open this?" She asked, staring up at the door.
"Plan B." Dutch answered as he observed the exterior of the door.
"And that would be?"
She was answered with the sight of Dutch backing up and then ramming into the door shoulders first. Predictably, he bounced off the large metal construction, landing on the ground.
"Vetoed." The brown haired man answered as he picked himself up.
"How about plan D for dumbass." Nora growled as she pinched the bridge of her nose with annoyance." My god, that was the stupidest thing I seen you do."
"Give him some credit lady. At least he tried something." Aden added.
The sudden whir of hydraulics made the three turn back, where the doors were now slowly opening. Cautiously backing away, they held their weapons up, ready for whatever that came through the door.
Except for the BMP-2 Armored personnel carrier that rolled out, it's weapons ready for firing.
"RUN!" Dutch yelled, taking his own advice as the trio dashed to the trenches. The APC turned its turret, putting its cannon sights on the humans running away from it.
It fired just as Dutch followed his companions over the edge. The 30mm main gun barked, sending the large round zooming over Dutch's head at bare centimeters, flying on to explode against an unfortunate tree trunk, causing shrapnel to fly everywhere, including a shard that bounced off Dutch's shield.
"Oh god they got heavy firepower!" He yelled as the APC continued its attack, blasting away at the trenches while it's accompanying infantry advanced forward, seizing the time to take cover properly. Aden fired a long burst at the APC, the bullets bouncing off like insects.
"Skyknight 1, this is Ground! We have an enemy APC blasting away at us. We need fire support now!" Nora yelled.
"No worries. Big brother is alway watching!" Came the answer.
A missiles streaked over their head to detonate against the BMP, causing the vehicle to explode from the hit. It's killer whooped overhead, a massive mechanical dragon that splat out modern death.
"Let me cover you under our big shadow." Cay announced before nodding to her brother, who flipped on one of the the weapon system of the helicopter.
The under slung 12.7 quad barreled machine gun under the cockpit buzzed into life, chewing up both earth and flesh with its high caliber rounds. The soldiers underneath, their metal chariot suddenly a mass of fire by the flying tank that was currently destroying them, were pretty helpless to do anything. Yet their fanatical minds held them in place, determined to continue fighting for their cause.
"Pretty persistent aren't they? Most would have ran like rabbits when Big Brother appeared." Dutch noted as he burst fired at an exposed fighter, the bullets riddling her.
"Blind faith can make you do stupid things." Aden noted as he sent a long burst at an incessant group.
While the rebels courage held strong, their troops started to get depleted by the overhead helicopter. They started to pull back into the mountain, retreating towards the metal door even as reinforcements streamed out.
"Minimal number my ass. They got at least a platoon here." Nora growled, taking advantage of the enemy retreat to move forward along with her compatriots, climbing over the trench to head into one of the wrecked buildings.
"Don't worry. Me and sis have this under control." Clay answered over the radio, the tawny haired man using his skills to hold the helicopter in place, even as his twin sister directed the fire of the machine gun via helmet mounted camera.
He directed the helicopter downward, aiming the nose of the vehicle at the entrance of the mountain before unleashing a storm of rockets from two of the four rocket pods mounting on its wing roots, the 130mm S-8 unguided rockets tearing apart the soldiers.
"Always bring a gunship to a gun fight." Aden quipped as he set up his weapon, bipod holding up the light machine gun.
"Just be happy these guys don't have an IS. The gunship would be swatted to of the sky like a oversized bee."
Said gunship wagged its wings in answer. "Big brother hears your statement and answers you with a nice dosage of Spigot missiles." Cay answered, firing off one of the named antitank missiles into the cave entrance, causing a massive explosion to balloon outwards.
The ball of flame was soon joined by another as something inside detonated as well. The rebels hunkering inside stopped firing as their concerns were rapidly shifted to either taking cover from the fire or plain dying.
"I think you hit something important." Nora quipped as they watched the fire ball recede back into the cave, arid black smoke drifting out of the entrance replacing the bullets that flew at them.
"Alright, who's going to check." Aden asked, his weapon still covering the door, in case any one was still alive enough to shoot at them.
Nora shrugged. "Who is isn't the most important one or isn't using a weapon that needs to set up to be effective." She questioned as the only one who fit the criteria groaned.
"If I get shot, you're paying." Dutch growled, picking himself up to move to the door. He stayed low the entire time, les someone actually fired.
Creeping up to the edge of the door, he peeked inside, the sight of fires and dead bodies greeting him.
"If anyone is still alive, you have the time it takes for you to die from the various effects of fire to surrender. I won't bite." He yelled in.
No answer, except the crackle of flames.
"Nora, I think we got everyone." Dutch informed her.
"Understood. Now get in there and find out if there is actually a missile."
Her brown haired companion grumbled. "Didn't your plan call for both of us entering?"
"I changed my mind. Now get in there, slave!" Nora gloated.
Dutch followed her command as he slipped in. The cold wet rain outside replaced by the smoky heat of the inside. His helmet switched into infrared to facilitate easier sight, while his left sleeve covered his mouth against the choking smoke, his carbine swapped in exchange for his MSP pistol, easily held in one hand.
In the the centre of the cave was a truck, with a large rectangular box mounted on its back. Dutch scanned at the truck, his mind helping to provide the necessary information.
"Jackpot. Looks like a Pakistani Nasr missile system. It has a nuclear warhead of less than a kiloton, which is petty weak sauce for a nuke. This thing is more bang than boom on the nuke-o-meter." He described, the smoke making it hard to breathe even with his sleeve covering his mouth.
Keeping to the walls, He found a button which he pressed, curious to see what it did. To his relief, it triggered a sprinkler system, the water drowsing the flames in a cooling shower. While the smoke still clouded his vision, the fires were getting smaller, allowing for him to head further in.
"Hmm, looks like Big Brother hit some gas tanks. That's where your kaboom came from." The man noted, watching said tanks burn furiously even in the artificial rain.
"What else? Do you see anything else?" Nora questioned as she waited outside, Aden searching the destroyed buildings for any form of intelligence that they could find.
Dutch nodded as he came up to one of the device."Yea, I got a warhead right here but...weird."
"What do you mean?"
"Maybe it's just me but it looks like they were cutting open the missiles. Removing the warhead instead of equipping them in the missiles." The man noted as his eyes scanned the interior of the cave, where a workshop of tools either lay or hung next to a dissected missile, it's dangerous warhead on a table next to the weapon.
"Any reason why?" Nora questioned.
"If it helps, the warhead looks like it was modified to be detonated by timer."
"Aye, maybe they were going to sell it?" Aden thought out loud as he combed the buildings.
"I wouldn't put my hopes on that. Feminazi was recorded as the kind of person who had a purpose for everything. Selling a international hornet nest kicker would be a damn stupid purpose for obtaining such a weapon." Dutch answered.
"Whatever the case, we have the device. Dutch see what you can to to disarm the thing. Looks like today's going to be a wrap." Nora said as she enter the cave, waving aside arid smoke.
How wrong she was.
"This is Lieutenant Harfouch to Traxus PMC team, come in!" Harfouch shouted over the radio, her urgency plain to the three.
Nora quickly answered her call, her finger tapping the talk button for the long range radio. "Go ahead Lieutenant."
"An IS just departed from the main Angel camp and is heading towards your direction! I repeat, you have an IS headed your way!" The german yelled hurriedly.
"Awwww shit." Dutch growled as he walked up to Nora.
"Understood Lieutenant. We'll do what we can to stop it." The brunette said over the radio, her voice none too strong with confidence.
"Lieutenant, what type of IS are we looking at?" Dutch questioned.
"The IS is a Generation 1 Icarus Model. We are asking for IS support at this point but you are on your own for now. Good luck."
Nora gripped her sub-machine gun hard and sighed. "Alright Dutch, this is your show now. You're the one that's been checking them out."
"Right, right. Icarus." The man hurriedly whispered, combing his head for the information.
"Got it! First generation experimental IS flight model codenamed Icarus! Created by the British Government for IS high speed testing and high G maneuverability. Retired 3 years ago." He rattled out.
"Well, it clearly still up and running. What about specs? What kinda of flyswatter are we looking at here?"
"Since it was made for testing, it wasn't equipped with a hypersensor. Shield strength is also vastly reduced. About a quarter of the standard IS shield strength, with no weapon what so ever. They basically slapped on as many thrusters as they could onto the suit and sent it flying."
Nora breathed in relief. "So we aren't going to be curb stomped immediately after all. That's a bare relief."
"Woman, we still have an IS to fight." Aden deadpanned as he walked up to her.
"I know. Dutch, what do you think?"
The man shook his head in thought, mind grabbing at ways to win. "Get the Skyknights to make a combat air patrol and intercept the Icarus on its way here. Try to reduce its shield as much as possible. We'll engage it when it lands, keep it occupied for as long as possible. The advantages for an IS is it's speed and maneuverability and it will be throwing away that to be here."
"Infantry weapons isn't going to take it down." Nora stated.
"But it will damage her shields. Our priority is to keep her occupied for as long as possible, wear her down until they can get an IS in the air to stop it. At this point, we are the appetizers."
"Chances of taking down the Icarus by ourselves with air support?"
Dutch shook his head slowly. "I wouldn't bet on us. She still has the weaponry advantage on her side and there is nothing we can keep her occupied with. We could always hope that she gets too confident with her new toy and try to show off instead of killing us."
"Don't bet on it. There has to be a way we can delay her. She's coming for us after all." Nora asked.
Dutch kept silent as he glanced at the door. His alert mind raced with all the information in his head, reaching a point that answered nagging questions in his mind.
His eyes met Aden's, also seemingly coming to the same conclusion as the blond man.
"Alright, I can see that both of you are thinking. Now speak." Nora questioned.
"She's after her treasure. The devices are set to be detonated by timer, which means she's wants to plant them somewhere and fly off before kaboom."Dutch started.
"We know that. How does that help us?" Nora growled.
"Aye, that means that all we need to do is to close the chest. Let her pry open it by herself." Aden finished, flourishing at the metal door of the cave.
"But not before we finished the cave. After all, all treasure are defended by traps. And there are always the evil pirates that want to steal her treasure too." Dutch grinned.
Nora chuckled at the presentation. "Of course. How am I the brains of this operation?"
"Thats because we are the brawny brains and you are the brainy brains? Wait, that's not right..." Dutch trailed off.
The female brain of their group giggled. "Alright, let prepare the cave. Don't want to keep our swashbuckling IS pilot waiting."
"Ground. This is Space Core. Feminazi approaching your position, ETA 3 minutes. She's coming fast."
"Understood. Skyknight 1, head to intercept. Happy hunting" Nora instructed, as Dutch and Aden in the background finished the final touches to their plan.
"Skyknight 1 acknowledges. Good luck down there."
"I guess we were lucky that the rebels have a armory in their launch site. It's like a pre-Christmas present." Dutch said as he checked the last parts before giving Aden a thumbs up. The blond man pressed a switch and ran out of the cave with his brown haired friend, the large metal door whining shut.
As the soft boom signified the closing of the door, Nora glanced up at the dark sky, the downpour lessened to a light drizzle. Her eyes strained to hear the sounds of jets flying towards their target, the roar of distant engine drowned by the patter of water.
"So what can you say about Icarus?" She questioned, moving towards the trench line.
"It has 6 thrusters on its back, which made the mechanics give it the rather unflattering nickname 'Lady's fart'. It has the ability to go hypersonic and has done so, apparently blowing out the testing ground air control tower windows in the process and it was the first of the first generation IS to reach the moon."
"So no pressure. Just a space suit that we are going have to take down." She continued casually, hefting a RPG-29 on her shoulders.
"At this point, this one doesn't really care. He just want to stay in a nice hotel, with a comfy bed and 12 hours of sleep." Aden wished.
Dutch groaned."You and me both."
Their radio chimed in. "Well, We wanna join in! Why can't Big Brother help?" Cay whined as her brother flew the gunship away from the battle zone.
"Come on sis, we both know that Big Bro is gonna be swatted out of air. At least we did something today." Clay comforted.
Nora chuckled. "Don't worry. I'm sure there will more people Big Brother can take of in the future. Just run along home and we will meet you soon."
"Fine. I'll hold you to that." The woman pilot answered.
"Looking forward to it."
Dutch glanced at his leader. "You know, since your are the brains here, you should be getting out here. Shouldn't the superior gender survive?"
"Wouldn't it look bad if the leader ran to leave her people behind?"
"Ah but we are the brawn. We aren't supposed to think before we go." Aden remarked.
Nora grinned. "Didn't you label me as lacking a sense of sanity? Well, I'm deciding to adopt that label right now and follow my missing sense and it says right now that I'm staying. Try me."
The two glanced at each other."Fine. But You're handling the rocket launchers. Meaning you stay way back." Dutch ordered.
"Ground, this is Skyknight 1. We have visual on Feminazi, engaging."
All three nodded to each other."Right then, let's getting this over with." The brunette commander noted before totting off into the trench.
"Aye, you think she will be okay?" Aden questioned as they moved into cover, shutting off his radio away from a certain female ears.
"Physically, she probably will be better than us. Mentally? Probably seriously upset that we set up ourselves as meat shields." Dutch said, shrugging as he moved into hiding in one of the wrecked structures.
As they settled in for the fight of their lives, the sounds of exploding missiles rumbled across the sky, coupled with the faint roar of Vulcan cannons. The noise of battle was accompanied by the drone operators voices, each communicating to each other.
"Skyknight 1-4, this is 1-1. She's got an eye on you, get out of there!"
Those words was immediately followed by an explosion, barely discernible to those on the ground.
"Goddamn she's fast! Sorry guys, she swatted me out of the air." Skyknight 1-4 operator apologized to his teammates, as the flaming wreckage of the war drone fell out of the sky.
"Understood. Confirmed splash down on Skyknight 1-4." The drone team leader reported, more for the sake of the mission logs than anything else.
"Be advised Ground, Feminazi arrival imminent."
Nora nodded in acknowledgment. "Understood, Skyknight 1. Hit her as hard as possible. Try to soften her as much as possible."
"Skyknight 1 copies. Will cover for you when she lands." The drone team leader answered, her voice clearly wanting to help the soldiers on the ground as much as possible.
Then a another voice cut in, the authoritative tone a comforting one. "All call signs, stand fast. Skyknight 2 is inbound. Repeat, stand firm, reinforcements are on their way."
Dutch glanced at his blond partner. "That's Cleo, isn't it?"
"Aye. It seems the queen sent her knights to help." Aden noted.
"Well then, let's hope that their metal Pegasi will help."
The sounds of battle steadily got louder and louder as the IS made its way towards its destination, the Skyknight drones hindering but not stopping its passage.
"She's going in for landing!"
And the IS did, landing at an incredible speed in front of the metal door on the BMP-2 APC, crushing the vehicle in a shriek of metal.
It was as bare bones as it could be, with a very simple and blocky design for its components. Both it's arms and legs were of a simple rectangular shape, looking more like everyday boxes than the pieces of a technologically advanced suit, and it was colored in a dull shade of green, the only thing of interest being the 6 thrusters mounted on its back, each growling with power.
Despite its simple design, the observers knew that it was more dangerous than a battle tank. The large metal fists of the IS, both of them big enough to close around a fully grown man head and easily possessing the power to crush said head into a pulp, seemed many times more scary than the biggest gun a man could carry.
Still, without hesitation, all three cut loose with their respective weapons, Nora firing the first shot with a RPG-29, the rocket launcher slamming into the shields of the IS almost instantly and detonating. Fire tore against energy in an epic battle of forces, the energy shield of the IS easily shrugging off the hit in exchange for precious energy, the energy meter on the Icarus IS decreasing in turn.
The rocket was immediately followed by bullets from both Dutch and Aden, the latter Ultimax 100 light machine gun cranking out a volume of automatic fire that Dutch's burst fire carbine could never reach, at least with it's current setting.
The bullets smashed into the shield, slowly but surely chipping away the energy of the Icarus. The affected areas sparked with the barrage of impacts, holding strong against the attacks.
The pilot of the IS stumbled from the force of the rocket explosion but quickly righted herself. Hate-filled eyes found her two present tormentors, their weapons seemingly nothing against her suit, as a sickeningly superior laugh rose through her throat.
"Is that it? Is that what the corrupt world of men can offer? Flying toys and males for the slaughter?" She loudly proclaimed, nonchalantly letting Dutch and Aden continue their attacks.
"News flash! I'm a woman!" Nora yelled as she fired her reloaded launcher, the rocket exploding against the shield again.
The explosion seemingly knocked some alert into the IS pilot, as she watched her shield meter lower even more. With a snarl, she launched at the two men in front of her, both of them running away the moment they saw her lunge forward.
The Icarus swiped at the two men, the large metal fist containing enough force to hurt and send them flying by itself. Yet the IS missed, the lack of a hypersensor saving the two men by bare inches.
Feminazi growled at the miss. Without the hypersensor, she had to attack them with only her eyes to judge. Still, she pressed on, chasing after Dutch who had split up away from Aden. The IS kicked up mud and water as it stomped after the man, leaving massive indentations on the muddy earth.
As she prepared to lunge at the man, another missile from Nora interrupted her attack, causing her to stumble once again. Her eyes found the incessant firer, a primal snarl directed at the person who dare stand against her.
She charged after the woman who was hurriedly reloading her rocket launcher. Fear filled Nora's eyes as she tried to escape the grasp of the suit, but to no avail as the large hand grabbed her like a vise.
"Tool of those who oppress women. You will die first." It's pilot hissed.
"Not on my watch!"
The shout, carried by the voices of two men, was followed by the impact of two bodies slamming into the IS. Shield clashed against shield, causing an explosion of sparks that surprised the IS user and make her drop Nora, who scambled away to safety.
Feminazi screamed in rage at the interruption. Her action constantly denied by the three who dared to stand against her, she started attacking without thought or reason, punching out against the two men in front of her.
The strikes were powerful enough to kill, yet all it did was send both of them flying, the force of the hits absorbed by the now dead shields of their armor.
"Guys!" Nora yelled fearfully as she saw her partners get sent flying away from the IS. She ran to them, each groaning from the pain.
"Relax. This shield was a one hit wonder." Dutch quipped as he picked himself up.
Knowing that her fellows were safe, Nora turned her attention at their enemy, a vengeful fire in her eyes. The pilot of the IS was haughtily looking on the soldiers, a superior smile on her face taunting them.
"Skyknight 1, this is ground. Calling in air strike on IS target. Give her everything you got!" She yelled. Laugh all you want IS.
"Skyknight 1 copies. Find some cover, We are bringing in the boom."
Nora grabbed her two rising partners and half-dragged, half lead them into cover in one of the wrecked buildings in the clearing, as the sound of jets quickly got louder.
"One order of air strike coming up."
The sentence was punctuated by an electric buzz, as the first Skyknight vulcan cannon roared put loud the jet attack run, accompanied by the whoosh of missiles flying off their rails.
"Yes, that's right. Run and hide!" The Icarus pilot shouted victoriously, not noticing the jet closing in behind her.
In any other scenario, it probably would have been hilarious.
Too late did the IS actually realise that there was a jet firing at her. By then, there was no way to dodge as the first of missiles smashed into her, the second detonating next to her, both tearing into her shield in a fury of fire and metal. It was accompanied by a barrage of Vulcan cannon rounds, the multi-barreled weapon spitting 50 rounds a second, blasting a path upward on her shields.
Suddenly it was over, as the Skyknight drone zoomed over head. But the IS ordeal was not over, as three more equivalent drones lined up in a murderous queue, all seeking to put as much hurt as possible on the IS.
As the trio on the ground watched the assault continue, Dutch grabbed his carbine and aimed at the IS.
"Come on! She's not even moving!" He yelled as he added his own fire into the mix, the carbine sending three burst with each pull of the trigger. His partners, following his advise, fired at the the IS, their bullets helping to chip away at the IS shields.
The Icarus IS stumbled and fell, pushed over by the repeated explosions. As the last drone emptied it's cannon into the shields before flying off, it's pilot shook her head in stunned disbelief. Her advanced IS suit, the image of female superiority, was being handled like a toy under the barrage of attacks that the trio on the ground were directing at her. Her dangerously low shields glared at her, furthering her situation. She had to decide quickly to stay or run.
With a snarl, she reaffirmed her purpose. Pushing herself up, she dashed at the trio firing at her on the ground. They scattered, running out of her way as the IS plowed through the wrecked wooden structure that once served as cover.
But instead of going after the soldiers, she continued her dash towards the metal door in the mountain. Her fist pulled back before punching forward, denting the large metal door with a long bong.
"Hmm, looks like she got her priorities straight." Nora noted before continuing to fire her sub machine gun. "Skyknight 1, continue attack on her as she whales on the door."
As the Icarus continued to whale on the door with its fists, the trio returned to firing at it, peppering the shields of the IS. As the Skyknights lined for another pass, the IS struck the door with a particularly strong hit, causing it to concave inward.
"She gonna smash right through it." Dutch noted as he reloaded.
Nora smiled. "Well then let her." She quipped, keeping up her fire against the IS.
Overhead, the first Skyknight flew in, walking its shots up to the Icarus. Cannon rounds tore in the shields of the IS, it's pilot ignoring the hits draining the already low shield meter.
As the drone pulled away, les it stopped into the mountain, the next was already on approach. But it's target wasn't going to take any more punishment. In a colossal feat of power, the IS punched both of its hands into the wrecked but still holding metal door and pulled, the rending shriek of metal accompanied by her animal roars as she tore out a big chunk of the metal door.
Nora gaped at the display of IS power. "D-did she just rip out the door?"
"Believe it lady." Aden answered, keeping up his light machine gun fire.
The Icarus turned towards the oncoming Skyknight and held up the piece of the metal door like a shield in front of her. Irregardless, the Skyknight still continued on its attack run, firing at the IS.
The rounds drilled into the repurposed metal shield, the 20mm sized projectiles burrowing into the door, forcing the Icarus to brace itself to handle the hits. But the metal door did its job, taking the cannon hits instead of the shield of the IS.
The IS started to back towards the door, hiding behind its shield the entire time. It crouched as it inched through the hole in the door it created, it's tucked in form just barely able to fit inside.
"Dutch, Aden, get inside and irritate her some more. I'll prepare her exit escort." Nora commanded.
The duo nodded as they moved towards to the hole in the door, moving to the side to give themselves a shot at the IS. Bullets chipped at the shield, slowly but surely decreasing the shield meter.
"Alright, she's almost all the way in. Trap number one should trigger in a few second." Dutch announced as he watched the last of the IS retreat through the door, dropping its shield.
An explosion fulfilled his words as fire and smoke wafted out of the hole in the door. The duo moved up to the impromptu entrance and fired in,their weapons easily finding the large figure of the IS in the enclosed cave.
"Two should be up in another second."
Yet another explosion answered his words, the two turning away from the door as another geyser of fire and smoke blasted out.
"Aye, how many anti-tank mines did you set again?" Aden questioned.
"About 4? We'll see how many hit she finds."
His sentence was punctuated by two other explosion in rapid succession, complete with indicative fire geysers. Aden gave him a questioning look.
Dutch shrugged. "Look, it's not my fault if she's clumsy. Dude, I placed the last one next to a water cooler as a joke."
"Well, mine should be a bit more directed then." Aden quipped as he turned around the corner to fire at the IS, using his Infrared-equipped weapon to see through the smoke and fire at the IS.
"But a lot less boom, isn't it?" Dutch added as he followed his compatriots example.
"Aye but probably the same amount of damage, if your research is right."
Dutch grinned. "If it isn't, I be up later head-desking."
"But how are we going to confirm the damage?" Aden questioned.
"Exactly why the desk will be fine."
Inside, Feminazi hissed in a mix of frustration, anger and superiority. She had the one thing that turned the balance of women and men upside down and yet her entire time fighting just three people has been a absolutely horrible time.
But not for long, as she stomped up to the one device that would change the world. It would light up the attention of the world, it's pyre a vessel of male domination. Eyes will be opened, as the message that woman shall take their rightful place resonates around the world.
Grinning madly at the imagined future, she reached for the device, the slightest of touch on the metal casing dislodging a wire.
And 9 claymore mines, all arranged facing inward around the warhead and in turn the IS, activated.
As the sounds of the detonation reached the ears of those outside, Dutch chuckled. "We should give her a prize for blowing all of the traps. Maybe a teddy bear in manly colors." He quipped, as he aimed a RPG-29 at the door.
"Aye. Pink is manly." Aden simply answered, aiming his own rocket launcher at the same entrance.
"The two of you should do a simulation combat decked in pink." Nora added, doing the same as her compatriots.
A series of stomps made them ready to fire. From the smoky hole of the ripped open door, the Icarus came out, the repurposed warhead in its hands. It would have been menacing, if it a technologically superior suit crouching through a door holding a nuclear warhead could have been.
"Why do you fight the inevitable?!" The pilot yelled."Why do you fight those who take their rightful place!"
"Aye. Your rightful place is in a mental institution. Surrender and you will get it easier." Aden answered.
The IS pilot simply continued, as if not hearing the blonde man words."Off-shore of this lands, the vessels of oppression float undetered, from which they crush those who are free and install their own twisted forms of government. Can't you see that a fire is needed to burn away the corruption?"
"Hmmm, so your guess was right. She is after the International anti-piracy flotilla." Dutch noted.
"Ah hell, we are making the same mistake as she is." Nora cursed.
Her partners glanced at her questioningly. "Which is?"
"Not shooting." Came the simple answer, followed by a rocket that blew against the shield.
"Point." Aden added as he pulled the trigger of his own, his projectile joining Dutch's to explode in a dual flash of fire.
The Icarus pilot screamed in rage. In a burst of power, she powered all six of her thrusters, sending her into the sky in a flash.
"Aw, we scared her off."Dutch said.
Nora simply grinned. "No, we didn't." She answered as her hands turned on the radio that she switched off earlier."Skyknight 2, she's coming right at you. Happy hunting."
"Skyknight 2 copies. Thanks for the meal."
In the air, the IS pilot flew as fast as she could. She could still reach one of the International Anti-piracy flotilla vessels, plant the bomb and show the world that feminity would rise. Yes, her mind told herself, she could still win.
Above her, in the clouds that occupied the sky, 5 drones zoomed in on the IS, their weapons fully loaded and ready to fire. They came together in a formation, closing in on the Icarus, their metal interiors easily withstanding the massive G-forces that came with the massive speeds that they traveled. After, robotics have no G-force limit, a advantage over human pilots.
Like a pack of wolves, they pounced on the IS.
"So what now?" Nora questioned, happily out of rain in the cave as she watched Dutch and Aden disable the remaining warheads, even the ones kept in their rocket homes not left untouched.
"Well, I suspect that Schwarzer Hase will probably get permission to throw one of their IS at the Icarus. At this point, it's all over for us. That thing is someone else problem now." Dutch said as he murdered the detonator for one of the warheads.
"Aye. Peace and quiet please." Aden agreed.
"Absolute Defense is up. I repeat, Absolute Defense is up! The Icarus has been downed." Crackled the radio.
The words silenced all noise in the cave, except for the drizzle outside.
The trio looked at each other in clear shock. "Did we..." Nora started.
"Aye, it seems so." Aden continued.
"Oh shit." Dutch finished, his sentiment shared by his fellows.
"Ground, get over to the IS crash site and secure the nuclear device. Another team is on the way to secure the remaining devices at the cave."
Nora smiled. "Well, then, let's go see our handiwork."
Dutch decided that up close, the Icarus isn't the scariest thing around. In fact, it looked like a kid made the thing, down to the rediculous number of thrusters given to it. The fact that it now lacked a pilot helped.
All that swilled in his head, as he surveyed the crash site of the IS, a crater occupied by said suit in the middle of the forest, with pulverized trees showing the the direction it's was traveling when it stopped in the ground to boot. The rain cloud had dissipated away in favor of the nicer bright sun.
Still, he gave it it's deserved credit. Without his shielded armor, he probably would have been dead.
It's pilot on the other hand...
He turned back to the unconscious woman, out for the count but still handcuffed, as Nora and Aden both watched over her and the disarmed nuclear warhead. Behind him, the sound of multiple helicopters whooped over the horizion, their destination where he been or currently was.
"True freedom for women." Aden read, the words coming from an insigna on the clothing of the rebel leader.
Nora waved the words aside. "Yea yea yea. Freedom for women apparently means slavey for men."
"Someone tell them that we need the biggest cover-up crew they can find. Because we just cooked up a shitstorm." Dutch noted.
"Done. Cleo's dispatching the best she can muster to handle this." Nora informed him as she listened into the radio chatter of the incoming helicopters. "For now, they appear to be going down the 'shot down by aircraft' route, with you three running and hiding when the IS came."
"Pretty insulting but preferable, this one thinks. A lot better than being hunted down by countries and IS users." Aden announced.
"Just think. We could have be famous. Maybe even the IS academy would hire us as security." Dutch thought out loud.
Nora questioned the duo with her eyes as silence engulfed the group, the two men thinking of the possibilities.
"Bleh." Dutch finished.
Aden nodded. "Aye. We'll be a pile of meat for an island of dogs. No peace and quiet." He finished as the helicopters roared in for landing.
And...it's done. A pretty long chapter with a hopefully epic battle. I actually had a different ending in mind, one much more juvenile. I changed it to something more realistic to suit the story.
Now, looking at the wiki, the articles for shielding and Absolute defense were actually quite confusing. The shielding was supposed to be impenetrable at the cost of energy BUT it does not activate unless a life threatening attack was made, which is stupid in my opinion since anybody hunting IS would simply need to shoot the pilots with drugged darts, which are most definitely not life threatening. And the articles did not say when do Absolute Defense kick in, only the apparently unbreakable defense of it and thats it. Not very helpful, one can imagine. Thus, i have interpreted the system as such where AB will kick in when the shielding reaches zero, as a last ditch effort to protect the IS.
Now, if anyone is going to start a "oh my god, you defeated an IS without another IS or equivalent counterpart", you have come to the wrong story. Teamwork, as stated in the second chapter, can defeat anything. Having only a quarter of the shields of a normal IS and being more of a show off instead of shooting also helps the other side. Now if you excuse me.,I must return to work, for the chapters don't write it self.