Sorry for the long wait, now it is the time to finish the fight.
Go 765th squadron!
765th Squadron - Final
The battle near the Stardoom weapon has just begun as I turn the frequency of the communicator back to the front-line group as Haruka miraculously convinced Jupiter to join forces with us.
The twins had reached the superweapon before anyone else did, probably going in at full afterburners after getting all excited.
'Migi, Hidari. You are straying a bit far from the group, you should…' then I was promptly cut off by Ami and Mami both counting down, alternating the numbers loudly over the radio.
Both Mami's F-16 and Ami's F-2A let loose a massive combined barrage of bombs. These unguided free-fall ordinances form a grey hailstorm of doom heading straight for the defense guns in front of the Stardoom. The result of this was a massive explosion matching that of a MOAB^ as a good quarter of anti-aircraft guns and missile launchers were taken out in the process.
"Woohoo! Did everyone see that?!" Mami call to the others excitedly.
"That's why you don't mess with…" Ami started…
"…The Great Sexy Girls Force Duo!" The Futami twins finish in unison.
Radio silence followed for the next good 10 seconds, if not longer.
"…umm, I think they're firing at us… HURRY UP AND DO SOMETHING!" Hibiki broke the silence just quickly enough to warn the squad as the guns retaliated to the twins' bombing run. At this time, roughly 10 fighters bearing the 961 emblem closed in on the attack group.
"HELP ME! Thhhooossee….MiGs….they're all piloted by GUYS!" Yukiho cries into the radio, forcing me to hit the mute button on the console for a moment following a face-palm.
"Violet, don't freak out! I got them locked… missiles away." Chihaya calmly responded, instantly downing two planes. A quick sweeper following her attack, she calls to Iori. "Usagi, three bandits, 3 o'clock low. Switch to high maneuver missiles and fire on my mark."
Iori is agitated by Chihaya's sudden commands. "Hey! When did you become leader? Did you think I, the great flying ace Iori, need your help in taking out these insignificant plebeians…?" But before Iori can finish, a lone MiG-31 had locked onto Iori's Rafale, blaring her missile warning in her cockpit. "WHY YOU…I WASN'T FINISHED WITH MY SPEECH!"
"I'M HERE IORI-ICHI! FOOOXXXX 2!" Yayoi shouts loudly into the radio, prompting me to go for the mute button again for the second time. Yayoi's Mirage-2000 instantly crippled the MiG trailing the Rafale, sending it to the ocean below.
However, to a member of the Minase, getting unnecessary help when they should be the leader just is too much for the pilot in which the stuffed rabbit is fastened in the back-seat can take in one day. Reaching for her cellphone and connecting it to her headset, she quickly dials in a number and waits for the other end to pick up.
"This is Minase Iori 'Usagi' of the 765th squadron, requesting support fire at co-ordinates in the airspace 0, 8, 6. Single barrage, allies' danger-close; use caution." Then quickly hangs up.
'Usagi…Iori. What was that about?' I ask quickly about her outside call in which I suddenly have a bad feeling about. "Are you THAT useless, Producer? Tell everyone to stay under 4000ft or else I'll tell Akizuki-san about your secret!" I promptly shut my mouth, then quickly switch frequency to issue a warning to stay under 4000ft.
After 10 seconds, the entire sky above the Stardoom cannon lit up like a gigantic fireworks display, engulfing all the remaining MiGs flying above it. Tracing the missiles origin, I discovered a fleet off-shore the Stardoom consisting of 6 destroyers, 3 missile cruisers and a large battleship. They all wore the flag of the Minase group in their masts. Needless to say, I'm speechless.
"That's why you don't interfere and lock-on to people when a Minase is making a speech!" Iori gloated loudly followed by a loud laughing fit, with me hitting the already slightly loose mute switch instantaneously.
Ritsuko's voice came over the radio. "Iori, keep your focus, or I'll cut out 'Futari no Kioku' from the next concert! Anyways Producer-san, I've just finished securing the area around the Stardoom. Otonashi should be arriving at the target with extra weapons. I'll leave you to take care of the rest."
I quickly acknowledged her transmission, leaving an annoyed Iori whining in the Rafale, shouting to everyone on the radio. Unfortunately for me, the mute switch seems to be genuinely broken at this point.
"Producer-san, I'm in the striking run for the fuel air bombs. Can you call in the others to help me? If we strike the cannon at the same time, I believe we can easily destroy it!" Kotori radios in, aligning her A-10 attack plane straight towards the Stardoom. 'Acknowledged. Serenade, Violet and Overmaster. Help support Otonashi in her saturation attack. Let's end this in one strike!"
Chihaya, Yukiho and Hibiki quickly answered my call as the F-15, F-117A and Tornado switched to the ground attack missiles and bombs. In a single moment, all 4 planes in different directions fired their weapons. The combination of anti-tank missiles, bunker-busting bombs, scattered bomblets and large-scale hydrogen bombing all clash, nearly rivaling the destructive power of a nuke. With a series of explosions within the Stardoom, the entire structure soon start to buckle and with a loud noise that can be heard by myself in the E2C nearly 200 miles away from the cannon, can hear its complete destruction.
It was a complete victory for us in the 765 Productions Office, and for the new 765th squadron. Satoru gives me a thumbs up in the side of the plane as cheering from the girls can be heard everywhere on the radio. Speaking of the radio, it started to crackle in a rather strange way.
A deep voice comes over the radio of the E2C. "Hahahaha…Oh, you 765 maggots never fail to amuse me in the most unimaginable way, absolutely unimaginable… your stupidity that is! HAHAHAHAHA!"
I'd recognize that voice from anywhere at this point. 'Takao Kuroi, your crusade is over. We have levelled your Stardoom superweapon, Jupiter has abandoned you and your forces are eliminated. Give up now!' I commanded into the communicator.
"You stupid, stupid Producer, did you really believe it is already over? Listen all you 765, are you all getting this? It's not over yet. The real war has just begun."
"Oh, shut-up already, you lousy scum. Jupiter has seen everything. Your Stardoom is now bits of scrap metal. You lost already 961." Makoto shouts over the radio. "You always say that we can't win, but it looks like you have nothing left for Miki to shoot at!" Miki adds to Makoto's statement.
"You lost everything Takao Kuroi. Surrender and leave this airspace. If you resist, we'll use force and bring you down with our combined might." Chihaya states in a no-nonsense manner.
"Kuroi sha-chou… I'm…disappointed that you have not only manipulated us…but that you would use such methods that you claim the 765 uses… I've talked with Hokuto and Shouta. We can no longer work for you anymore." Touma said quietly in a solemn voice.
"Hehehe….HAHAHAHAHH!Oh my goodness…this is why I love playing with fools and pawns like you idiots. You bunch just really don't know how this game works at all, do you?" Kuroi continues to slander over the radio, "...why I made the Stardoom so easy to destroy, why there are so little defenses around it and why those Jupiter pawns are here? It's just like a chess game you see: divert all the pawns, knights and rooks away, and suddenly the King finds himself standing alone and helpless, perfect moment for the game's winning move to be played…"
Yayoi is the only one who looks very confused at this point. "I don't get it…what is he trying to say? What's with all this code-like talking? Wait…what is this? My radar suddenly is full of red dots! They're coming in really fast!"
I quickly veer the control screen on the E2C to the long-range radar. Yayoi was right. Tens, no, hundreds of small flying attack drones have encircled the girls entirely along with Jupiter. Since Yayoi was out of place with the rest of the group, the drones are all making a beeline for her Mirage. I quickly got on the radio. 'All units, it's a trap! There are hundreds of drones heading your way! Yayoi, they're locked on to you! Get out of there!'
Too late…2 quick missiles fired at Yayoi's Mirage hits dead-on, tearing a nasty hole in the fuselage of her fighter. "AHH! I'm hit, the engine is dead! I can't keep her flying…NOOOO!" Yayoi screams in the cockpit. Iori shouts to her friend "YAYOI, YOU'RE PLANE IS ON FIRE! EJECT! EJECT!"
I can only watch in horror in the E2C AWACS as Yayoi's orange smoking Mirage dips downwards and crashes into the mountains below, with an explosion after the collision. 'YAYOI! YAYOI! RESPOND! PLEASE RESPOND!' I shout desperately into the radio. No response. Satoru gives me an "I'm sorry" look as I look over to him, not knowing what to do.
Yukiho starts to tear up and both Ami and Mami start to cry. Both Miki and Haruka are too stunned to say anything. Hibiki slams her fist in the Tornado's cockpit, which even scared Hamazou. "DAMMIT! Why did it have to be Yayoi?" Makoto is absolutely furious at this point. "Why you… HEY ARE YOU LISTENING 961 SCUM? YOU GOING TO PAY DEARLY FOR THAT! PRAY THAT I WON'T FIND YOU OR ELSE YOU'RE DEAD! DEAD I TELL YOU!"
I fight back the sadness in my voice as I call on the radio. 'Satoru, get president Takagi on the line, tell him to get a Search and Rescue over to Yayoi ASAP.' I turn back to the dis-organized 765th squadron, still in shock from their loss. "Everyone, I have arranged a SAR for Yayoi. Stay together now! Kuroi is trying to dis-organize us to take advantage of the situation. Don't let him get to you. Do your part to keep each other safe. Hurry up and pull out of the airspace! Give yourself some room!"
"…Producer-san. There's too many; we'll take them out and then come back." Azusa calls to me, showing a hint of her rarely shown seriousness in her voice matched with an equally rare expression on her face. "We'll keep them busy Producer-san; get away before they reach you too." She took a short breath, and then starts to mutter in a deep tone which even I only have heard once before during an exchange with Kuroi. "If you want to play rough, then I won't spare any change… this is for Takatsuki-chan… "
I stare again at the battle as the girls and Jupiter continue to dogfight 961's drones.
Takao Kuroi takes a peek outside his office in his E767 again, hidden high in the sky with the clouds and jammers. He chuckles as he walks over to his chessboard. Taking the hold of a black pawn, he knocks over the white bishop. The board is now aligned that all the white pieces are surrounded the black's army in the corner, while the white king now stands far on the other side of the board. He turns around as someone knocks as the door. "Come in."
A man comes up to Kuroi. He whispers something into his year. Smiling, he dismisses the man as he leaves and closes the door behind him.
Chuckling again, Kuroi puts the two black rooks side by side to engage the white king, forcing white in a checkmate. "I've won 765."
"Mr. Producer-san, the search and rescue helicopters have located Yayoi and are now escorting her to safety. The rescue team says she fainted, but has escaped relatively unharmed. Her chute successfully deployed and she reached safety." Satoru calls to me 10 minutes later.
I was too busy analyzing the battle to answer the flight instructor. I did however; notice that the drones all have an antenna on them. I've started to trace the origin of the broadcasting signal of the drones for nearly 5 minutes but I can't find the source of the signal. Damn it! What kind of useless Producer I'm if I can't even help the girls in their time of need!
"Stage-eye, this is Akizuki. I'm tracking two Su-47s behind your tail. I'm still 90 seconds away from you. Take evasive action until I get there."
Satoru quickly swapped seats with the pilot of the AWACS plane as the pilot helps me buckle up. Satoru looks over to me. "Producer-san, I would suggest you hold onto something. It is going to get bumpy from here now. Get ready." I nodded quickly as I securely grab the handle bars in the wall of the plane. "Bandits in range, they're locked on us. Evade" Calls the co-pilot. Suddenly, the AWACS banks hard right, then hard left after as the plane groaned and complained with the quick turns Satoru is pulling. "No good, they're still on us; deploying countermeasures!" Satoru releases flares to lose the incoming missiles as they zoomed past the plane, a little too close for my comfort. Satoru continues to pull tight turns that the G forces punish my body as I feel gravity knocking the wind from my body.
"Akizuki, we're in a tight situation. Where are you!" calls Satoru in the radio.
"No good, I've been spotted by enemy drones and I can't shake them off. Sorry Satoru-san, but looks like I might not be able to help."
"Damn it! Looks like we're going to have to…" Satoru was cut off suddenly as a purple/grey fighter passes by us at lighting fast speeds. From my monitors, I watch in amazement as it dances in the air gracefully in a spiral, instantly destroying both Su-47s in less than two seconds apart. The otherworldly looking fighter then flies towards us, and then slows to a cruising speed along the AWACS.
"Moushiwake arimasen* Producer-san for placing you in danger once again," a familiar voice comes on the radio. "I have no excuses for my tardiness, please accept my apology." That formal and refined voice can only be that one person, add to that a mysterious plane that I've never seen before, nor did Satoru for that matter. I quickly release my belt and reach for the radio. 'You arrived just in time, Shijou-san, better late than never right?' I reply back to the silver-haired pilot.
"Also, Producer-san, I have located an unknown plane flying at high altitude in the proximity of the battle zone. Do I have permission to scout the target?"
'Go do what you need to do Shijou-san. I trust your instincts and judgement.'
Takane gives me a quick nod, and then breaks off in her fighter. Satoru passes the controls back to the co-pilot and goes to a book in a shelf. Leafing through it quickly, he waves to me. I walk over the page he is pointing at; indicating the plane Takane earlier was in. I can only give a questioning look at the flight instructor.
'Wait a second…didn't Takane always use this plane since you start to train her?' I ask him. He simply shook his head left to right.
"She didn't have a personal plane, so Shijou-san mostly flew in a spare trainer plane. Odd, I thought I saw her in that trainer earlier today…"
Whatever the situation happens to be, if Takane really IS in this plane, then I would feel sorry for whoever is up in that E767, including that 961 scumbag.
"Is the King checkmated yet?" Ask Kuroi to one of the radar controllers in the E767. "No sir, we lost contact with the two units sent to dispatch the enemy AWACS E2C. I don't know what really happened since they made no reports back…"
Kuroi instantly grabbed the radar controller by the collar. "You did tell me earlier that you didn't see any of the 765 maggots in the air not engaged by our drones. What are you trying to pull?" Before the scared operator can respond, another controller reported with shocking news.
"K…Kuroi sha-chou, there is an unknown signature coming at us from high-speed. He's within visual range, 1000ft behind us!" He cried. "No way…" the other operator replied, "the AWACS radar should have picked him up miles away. Why did it only pick him up now?"
"I want an ID on that jet behind us now. Mark, give me what you got." The radar officer passes his results to the captain. "What in the name of…an Estovakian Nosferatu? You mean the legendary CFA-44 that out-handles the F-22? You are not serious!"
Kuroi angrily threw the radar officer back into his chair, storming off back inside of the plane.
"This is Lunar calling Stage Eye. Bogey identified as an E767 AWACS operated by 961 Offices. I have readings that this plane is sending out a high frequency jammer signal as well as drone controlling signals; permission to engage."
'Permission granted Lunar; let's end this thing once and for all.'
Since the jammer on the E767 prevents missile lock, the Nosferatu fighter quickly deploys two small cannons on the top of the fighter, Takane switching to the manual aimed EML Railgun. "Lunar, Slash 1."
A distinctive whine of high voltage electricity can be heard as the rail-launched slug tears through the left wing of the E767 at hypersonic speeds. The E767 quickly starts to smoke and wobble as the left engines starts to give away, but still somehow able to keep flying.
Two Su-30s suddenly appears behind Takane's CFA-44. Both fire their missiles at her to save their damaged command craft in the air. Quickly banking and deploying flares, both missiles miss. Both Su-30s hit afterburners to chase after the silver-haired ace. In a split second, Takane tilts the CFA-44 vertically in the sky, the entire wing of the plane acting as an air brake. The Su-30s shot past and were turned into metal scrap after 2 Railgun slugs from the purple fighter.
Turning back onto her original target, another electric 'hiss' followed by a slug hitting the fuselage dead on, the E767 bursts into flames as the airplane breaks into pieces, falling out of the sky along with the now un-controlled drones, self-destructing in the process.
This time, the battle is truly won.
Seeing the big scrap metal AWACS plane and hundreds of drones dropping out of the sky, a series of cheering and celebratory terms were heard over the radio band. I take off my headset and sit back in the console of the E2C as the 765th squadron returns to base.
Everyone calls as everyone raises a glass of drink over the counter in the 765 Productions Office. Food lays all about over the desk with streamers and balloons tied to the corners of the office. A large banner that reads 'Welcome back Yayoi!' is hanged in the middle of the office.
"Mami, you took the wrong cup!"
"Hibiki, you're going to drop the soda!"
"Can you pass me a strawberry Yukiho?"
"Here, Yayoi-chi. This is for you!"
I watch from the back of the table as the girls all happily laugh and smile over the party thrown together for Yayoi's return from the hospital by rest of the girls. It was already a week from that faithful day where the girls' flying lessons really paid for itself. In the end, only Yayoi sustained light injuries from her crash and was released from the hospital today.
Satoru has sold his airfield to president Takagi along with all the planes used in the sortie. Satoru comments that he has nothing more to teach the girls and that it is now possible for them to learn by themselves if they want to continue flying. He now just manages the maintenance of the planes, turning in his wings for good.
Jupiter also has turned in their wings as a result of the battle, claiming that they aren't accustomed to flying and has no intention to continue to purse that goal. Naturally, they left 961 for good and changed labels to another company. Now however, the Jupiter boys are now in good relationships with the girls, often meeting up and releasing collaborated works.
The remains of Stardoom and traces of the large battle all but disappeared. Takao Kuroi did not disappear from the face of existence as much as Makoto wanted to believe, but still remains the head of 961 productions studios. Rumor has it that another group is in the process of being created however, president Takagi had given us the note that Kuroi has indirectly expressed his wrong-doings and will refrain from using weapons and force to beat the competition.
So theoretically in the end, nothing has changed…
"Hey everyone look at these articles!" Haruka shouts, eying the cover of a certain magazine.
…or that is what I want to believe anyways.
'The secret of 765 Production Idols: Ace pilots in disguise'
'765 Idols highly likely to be cast for upcoming 'Legends of Strangereal'** movie'
Several media leaks from the flying of the planes by the girls have misled the media to start writing fantasy about them. At first I was concerned that it might affect the girls' image, but the opposite started to happen, where odd jobs like interviews for plane magazines and other flying related media started to swarm the 765 office like honey to bees. Due to this reason, president Takagi announced that an annual 765 Production hosted air-show would take place a week after the year-end concert indefinitely.
I guess I better sign up for flying lessons soon.
Oh dear me, this took MUCH LONGER than I expected. Stuff happens, and then more stuff happens.
I've thrown everything I can from Idolmaster and Ace Combat into this, with some light-hearted moments inspired from Gracegirl07's style.
A side-note is that this chapter is probably the longest piece of work I've done on .
^MOAB = Mother of All Bombs. Probably one of the most destructive non-nuclear bombs ever made to date.
*Moushiwake arimasen, I've been told is a very formal variant of 'Gomen nasai'. Sorry if my info is wrong to native speakers.
**Strangereal is the world of Ace Combat.
Hope you enjoy this story. Next up on the platter is most likely a racing series in the NFS Carbon world.
See you then, and thank-you for your support