Iron Hearts: The Shanxi Campaign
Shanxi, June 9th, 2157
"All right, form up!"
U.S.M.I. Corporal Caleb Shepherd jogged into formation, his footsteps thundering on the deck beneath him. In front of him, the rest of his combat team, each of them cocooned in an M18/A3 "Minuteman" mech stood at the ready as the transport vessel they were about to step off landed on the colony starport. Looking over, Caleb saw his friend Angelo Veretti fidgeting; not exactly an easy thing in a four ton walking tank.
"Hey, Angelo, you okay?" he asked. Angelo nodded.
"I'm fine," Angelo said as they walked off the transport and onto the tarmac. "It's just that, we just got back to Earth, and now we're here in the ass end of nowhere man."
Caleb chuckled. "Yeah, I know the feeling," he said as they went over to the hanger. "But hey, you'll get used to it man. Trust me, after we get you settled in here at the barracks, you and I are going to hit the town, and make you forget all about your homesickness!"
"Shepherd, Veretti, fall in on the double!" shouted Sergeant Moore from his M22 Heavy Mech. At eight meters in height, he dwarfed the pair's five meter tall vehicles both in height, and sheer mass.
"Yes Sergeant!" they both cried out as they hustled over to the hanger bay. In minutes, they were both out of their suits, and off inside of a briefing room while the mechs got swarmed by technicians. The newly arrived pilots didn't have to wait long, as more new arrivals arrived. There was a platoon of U.S. Rangers, and the command platoons of at least three different infantry companies.
While this would seem like overkill for a colony garrison, the reasoning was actually quite sound. Due to a newly found Charon Relay in the system, the United Nations had created a task force to both explore what was on the other side, and to secure it. Pirates and terrorists were popping up more frequently these days, and the brass wanted to make sure that the gate was controlled by the right people.
"Atten-shun!" On reflex, everyone stood up ramrod straight and saluted as a general walked down the aisle to the front of the room.
"As you were," he said, turning around to face them. "Now listen up. I am General Williams, and I am in command of all ground forces here at Shanxi. Now, I'm going to lay down some rules for you, and I expect, no, require, you to follow them." From then on, it was pretty much just a standard safety brief, and after that was over, Caleb and Veretti were gladly out of the building, and into their barracks.
"So, what do you think of the new general?" Veretti asked Caleb as they set up their quarters. Caleb shrugged.
"Seems like a good guy," Caleb answered as he pulled out an old revolver and started cleaning it. "Then again, it isn't like we're going to be seeing any action out here. No pirates, no crazy communist group with a stolen ship, nothing. I mean, seriously, who'd be stupid enough to fly light-years away from whatever they came from, to attack a colony guarded by Special Forces?"
Veretti shrugged. "You never know," he said. "Hey, who are they?" he asked, pointing at a photo that had fallen out of Caleb's duffel. Caleb's eyes bugged out of his skull.
"Shit!" he cried out. "I'm going to be late!" He jumped up and put on his normal duty uniform, which mainly consisted of a mix of a digital fade and traditional camouflage pattern ACU.
"Late for what?"
"Picking up the kids!" Caleb answered as he flew out the door, Veretti following him.
"You have kids?! Since when?" Veretti inquired, chasing him down and into a tram just before it left the station.
U.S.S. Tim Murphy
Petty Officer Second Class David Marshfield was busy watching the DRADIS intently as the vessel he was on, the U.S.S. Tim Murphy, made its way over to the Charon Relay. The Tim Murphy was a Vermont class cruiser, and as such, was armed to the teeth. With a pair of Mk. IV Magnetic Acceleration Cannons, forty-four GLADIUS Medium-Range Anti-Armor Missile pods, and twenty-six seventy millimeter point defense turrets, Tim could hold his own in a fight. But, then again, compared to the other ships in this small fleet, Tim wasn't the only hard hitter.
There was the Kapitza, an Odessa class frigate from the Russian Navy. Now that ship was over compensating for something. With eight point defense turrets, two ten inch rail cannons, a twenty inch smoothbore cannon, a triple barreled fifteen inch cannon, fourteen missile pods, and a rapid-fire Mag Cannon, the Kapitza was well armed for a frigate; the only drawback to the vessel was the lack of armor, speed, and range of its main gun.
On loan from the European Union were the Agincourt and Joan of Arc. Both of the vessels were corvettes, small ships meant for escort and hit and run missions. Armed with a less powerful Mag Cannon, and a few powerful missile pods, both the Agincourt and Joan could make a ship like Tim work for his life…for about five seconds.
The final military ship in their group was the Icarus. A Daedaleus class battlecruiser, the Icarus was truly a tank among ships. Arguably the most prominent feature of the Icarus was quite simply his prow.
Most ships were content with placing their sensors up front, maybe the bridge, and some armor, and be glad with it. The Daedaleus class of ships took the armor part to an extreme. At the thickest, the prow was twenty meters of solid titanium, layered with a heat resistant ceramic to protect the bridge. Armed with high-powered missile pods and a swiveling Mag Cannon, the Icarus was something to fear in a battle.
The last two ships were science vessels, bulbous things that carried only basic anti-asteroid turrets and very advanced sensors with them. Marshfield personally didn't know or care what their names were. His job was to make sure that nothing bigger than a baseball hit his ship. Hearing the door to the bridge hiss open behind him, Marshfield and the rest of the bridge crew stood up and snapped off a salute as Commander Jonathan Archer walked onto the bridge. "As you were," the commander said casually as he sat into his command chair.
Marshfield sat back down at his station and checked the DRADIS once more. All clear. "DRADIS is clear sir," he reported to the captain.
"Understood," Archer responded. "Delange, any word from Captain Yates?" he asked, referring to the commander of the Icarus.
"No sir," the communications officer replied back, her demeanor cool. "Nothing aside from saying that the research vessels are still trying to activate the Relay."
Archer shifted his focus to the object in front of his ship, hundreds of kilometers away. It looked like a giant, cobalt-blue tuning fork, with a central core composed mainly of Element Zero surrounded by currently inert rings. The physics were beyond Archer, who was initially trained as a corpsman, but he knew enough, just like most other people, that the Charon Relays were capable of sending ships vast distances across the galaxy in an instant by somehow inverting their mass. Personally, Archer preferred the Drift Drive used by the United North Americas. At least that had more than proven its worth in the almost one hundred years of service.
"Sir, Relay is powering up!" said the sensor tech, a Petty Officer First Class Jayne Smith. Marshfield personally thought that Smith was a brown-nosing asshole, but, what did he know?
"Thank you Petty Officer," Archer replied. "Delange, comm status?"
Delange listened to her equipment intently for a few seconds. "Sir, Yates is ordering the research ships to pull back," she said. "He asking to send in the Kapitza and us sir," she added.
Archer closed his eyes and nodded. "Thank you. Helm, all ahead, fifty percent power. Tactical, I want our defense screen operational and our electroactive plating online. Who knows what's on the other side," he ordered, tapping a key on his chair.
"Aye sir," answered the helmsman as he typed away at his console, sending the cruiser on a course alongside the Relay.
"Sir, SERPENT Pee-Dee-Ess is on and ready, and plating is currently at sixty-three percent and charging at three per second," came the reply from Archer's Tactical Actions Officer, an Ensign Hannah Shepherd. A good woman, with a solid head on her shoulders. Although, Archer had to admit it silently to himself, that it had to be tough to raise twins by yourself, especially on a military ship. But then again, Noah and Jenette show did bring joy to the crew whenever they were onboard.
Next to the Relay, a pair of ships approach.One looks like a flying gun mixed with a knife, slicing through the emptiness of space.The other looks more like a terrestrial ocean predator; sleek, and powerful.Together, the two ships approach the Relay.
The Relay's computer sees the ships, and accepts their transit codes.The rings surrounding its Element Zero core begin spinning much more rapidly, in seconds reaching the point where the rings are almost a haze, and enhancing the natural glow of the Element Zero core.And in a flash of light, the two ships are flung into another part of the galaxy….
Captain Rael'Zorah braced himself as a slug from a Turian cruiser slammed into his much smaller ship's shields, almost depleting them.
"Captain, one more hit and we're dead!" shouted a crewman.
"I know!" Rael barked, grimacing as he thought about what had happened, and what was most likely going to happen.
About two weeks ago, he had beseeched the Conclave for a chance to see if there were any systems the Flotilla could use in some of the more untamed regions of Citadel space. The Conclave had granted his request, and sent him off with eight ships from the Patrol Fleet. For ten days, he and the other seven ships had been wandering the outskirts of Turian space, trying to find a system with valuable materials to mine.
Today was the day things had gone to Ser'kesha. They had exited FTL here, to a system with an inactive Relay. Nothing too bad, except that they as they were scanning a nearby planetoid near the Relay, a Turian patrol had exited FTL in the same system, and drew the conclusion that they were trying to activate the Relay.
Rael had attempted to reason with the commander of the Turian cruiser in charge, saying that there was no way that he would invite something as vicious as the rachni to Citadel space again, but, this particular Turian either didn't care, or just wanted to kill something. As it was, Rael's small group of eight ships was now reduced to three, with two other ships floating about, merely disabled. The other three were destroyed.
"Captain, something's happening with the Relay!"
Rael's head snapped up as he looked at his display screen. The Mass Relay which had lain dormant for countless millennia was now activating, its Eezo core rings spinning rapidly. "Who activated it?!" Rael demanded.
"It wasn't us sir!" replied his communications officer. Rael was dumbfounded. The Turians were too uptight to EVER activate a dormant Relay, so who…?
His question was answered as a pair of ships appeared next to the Relay. Rael watched, fascinated and wary as the two ships coasted nearer and nearer to where his ships were getting attacked…and speaking of which, the incoming fire coming from the Turians had lessened. Thank the Ancestors.
The first of the two ships on the small end of being a cruiser. Shaped almost like a knife, Rael had no issue with saying it was a military ship, seeing as it had multiple weapons turrets on it. Although, the bridge was too far out to be safe for combat, Rael mused as he shifted his focus to the other ship.
It was big. Not a dreadnaught, but it was certainly a heavier type of cruiser than the other one. From its form, Rael thought of stories of wild Ar'asha, fairly large aquatic beasts that lived in the oceans of Rannoch. It certainly looked dangerous enough, with a pair of massive cannons hanging from its sides.
Now Rael felt like he was between a Turian firing squad, and a platoon of Geth.
"Sir, what are our orders?"
Lieutenant Victus stood there, looking at the two alien ships as he thought of what to say to his bridge crew. He was no stranger to fighting pirates and brigands who had no respect for Citadel law, but seeing an alien race that designed warships for function first was something new for him. After all, it did mirror Hierarchy design fairly well, especially with the larger ship. It looked like one of the ancient leviathans that dwelled on Victus' homeworld, Macedyn.
"Fire one shot across their bow," he said finally. "And then resume attack on the Quarians. Our Commander's orders still stand," he added. What he wanted to say was, 'Fall back, and let's try to reason with the aliens.' For all he knew, these new aliens could be distant space cousins to the Krogan!
His bridge crew acknowledged his orders and continued on with their tasks. Down at the weapons station, a young Ensign Vakarian fired off a single shot, its course to go between the two ships.
"Sir, the Kapitza is asking what to do, sir," Delange said seconds after the two ships exited the Relay. Archer looked at the situation before him. Three ships were getting shot at, with two others floating, by a pack of ten other ships. The first thing he noticed was that the ships getting fired upon were a), beat up worse than a boxer, and b), of a much different design philosophy than the attackers.
"Tell them to wait and see," Archer said. "We may have stumbled onto a civil-" He was interrupted by an outcry from both his DRADIS operator and his TAO.
"Sir, enemy munition heading towards us!" Marshfield shouted as Shepherd said the same thing.
"Evasive action, now!" Archer barked on instinct. His helmsman certainly reacted a half second after the order, sending the ship on a sharp descending bank to the right, the Kapitza going the other way as the enemy projectile passed between them. "Shepherd, status on our missile pods?" Archer demanded.
"Priming now, and armed sir," Shepherd replied. "We're punching in coordinates now sir, and our main cannons are at fifty percent charge."
"Good!" Archer said. "Prepare to fire at the nearest enemy ships on my mark! Delange, tell Lieutenant Commander Markov to provide cover fire with his cannon, a two round burst should do! We are giving those clunkers time to pull out of this fight!"
"Aye sir!" Delange said, relaying the message.
"Commander, the other ships just lost another one sir!" Marshfield said, his earlier alarmed tone now gone for the most part.
"Picking up massive quantities of Element Zero in the area sir," the sensor officer said. "It could be that they use Element Zero for fuel." Archer stopped to think about it. All he knew was that Element Zero was somewhat poisonous to humans if exposed in atmosphere; the Singapore International Incident came to mind in that regard. But also, he knew that Element Zero was slightly explosive.
"Sir, Lieutenant Commander Markov has green light on cannon!" Delange said.
"Shepherd, status on main guns?"
"Fire away!" Archer barked. He felt Tim shudder as a pair of two hundred ton slugs went off at point-five percent the speed of light to the enemy ships that fired at him, along with eight missile pods; the Kapitza fired off a quick two-round burst from its main gun, waited three seconds, in which it fired off half its missile payload, and then fired another burst from its main gun.
Now, Archer waited.
Victus looked in surprise at the enemy munitions headed his way. "Helm, move us out of the-" He was stopped as a massive slug hit his vessel's shields. They held-for a second, before shattering, doing barely anything to slow the shot down. Victus stumbled onto the floor as he literally felt his ship reel back from the impact, wildly spinning. Seconds later, the missiles hit. Victus had a quick glimpse of three bulky missiles burst open before entering range of the GARDIAN lasers; what was once three quickly turned into sixty missiles that slammed and ripped apart his cruiser's hull. From comm. chatter from the rest of the fleet, Victus heard that the Spirits Might and Palaven's Honor were outright destroyed, both by those cannon shots; the Commander's ship was badly damaged, and two more were damaged due to proximity from the Might and Honor's detonation.
"Report!" Victus couched as he got up.
"Starboard wing is gone sir," came the voice of his engineer, her voice panicking. "We have hull breaches on all decks, emergency fields are just barely holding!I have casualties down here, and our core might be damaged!"
"All weapons on the starboard side are gone or unresponsive," Vakarian said, a gash over his left eye. "GARDIAN lasers one, three, six, and eight are damaged, but working. Disruptor controls are fried, and our main gun is dead, the coils are out of alignment."
Victus nodded and looked at his helmsman. "Can we enter FTL?"
The helmsman nodded. "Yes sir," he said weakly, holding his side. "But it'll likely be a one way trip."
Victus grunted as he hauled himself into his chair. "Then get us out of here," he ordered, seeing as his Commander was stupid enough to fire back at the two ships, the frigate Heart of Thracia following suit. Victus was rewarded with the sight of the smaller ship firing its main gun in a two round burst at the frigate; the slugs tore through the shields like jafa paper, and ripped the Heart of Thracia into pieces of wreckage, her Eezo core not even given time to detonate. The Commander was ripped to shreds as his ship came within about two light-seconds and was furiously pounded on by both of the ships. The turrets swiveled in their mounts, and Victus saw that the shields didn't last more than five seconds before collapsing, and the hull was quickly holed. Moments later, the ship was destroyed.
"All remaining forces," Victus said, keying in a fleet-wide transmission. "This is Lieutenant Adrien Victus. Fall back, and return to Hierarchy space. We have nothing to gain by fighting them right now. I say again, fall back. That is all." He looked over to his helmsman.
"Get us out of here."
Archer watched as the attacking ships-what remained of them anyway-turned around, and in a flash of light, fled the area. "Sir, enemy contacts have gone off sensors," Marshfield stated. "Seems they know a losing fight when they see one."
"Agreed," Archer said. "Delange, try to send the First Contact package, and tell Markov to do the same. Shepherd, power down main weapons. Don't want to seem more hostile than we already are," he ordered.
Archer watched on his screen as Tim's rail cannons powered down, and the remaining missile pods' safeties were reengaged. "Sir, Kapitza reports main weapons powered down," Delange reported. "They are requesting permission to head back to the rest of the group."
"Granted," Archer replied on reflex. "We're going to need those scientists. And we need them five minutes ago." Delange nodded and relayed the command over to the communications officer on duty aboard the Kapitza. Archer glanced over to where Marshfield was seated, and watched as the Russian frigate went through the Charon Relay. "Delange, any response from the alien vessels?"
"None yet sir," Delange answered.
"What is this?"
Rael was silent as he processed what was going on his display screen. He let out a gasp as he saw what these aliens looked like.
"They look like the asari! Perhaps they're distant space cousins!" a crewmember cried out, pointing. Rael had to admit, the resemblance was striking. They had essentially the same features, minus the weird fur on their heads, and the much more pallid skin tone.
Something came over the speakers, and for the life of him, Rael couldn't figure out just what the hell it was. "Rasha," he said, "Get busy trying to translate whatever is in this. We need to know what they're saying."
"Aye sir," the female quarian replied, making herself busy working on trying to translate the data package.
"Shae, what can you tell me about that ship?" Rael asked his sensor officer. Shae shrugged.
"Hull is composed of high amounts of elathia, mixed with carbon," he said flatly. "Reading hull ionization, and…this can't be right," he muttered.
"What is it?" Rael demanded patiently.
Shae gulped. "Sir, I'm not reading any Element Zero coming off that ship," he said in disbelief. "That shouldn't be possible!" Rael himself was stumped as he digested this. A species that didn't use Eezo for fuel? The chances of that were so remote, it was likely somewhere in the odds of the geth ever going back to their pre-Geth War status.
Rael watched in shock (and a healthy dose of dread) as the knife shaped ship came back from the relay. But this time, it brought friends. It was glaringly obvious which ships were military, although, why did they use turrets? "Sir, we're picking up comm chatter," Rasha stated nervously.
"Helm, take us in. Slowly. We don't want to spook them," Rael said quietly.
"Umm, Captain Yates, can you run that by me again?" Archer asked, dumbfounded. "You want MY ship to initiate First Contact?"
"I would prefer it Commander Archer," Yates drawled from aboard the Icarus. "Preferably now, since one of their ships is heading on a nonaggressive course towards us."
Archer gulped. "Aye sir. Archer out," he said, ended the communication. Hitting his dedication orange button, he said over the intercom, "Attention. Will Ensign Shepherd and Major Hicks please report to the starboard hanger? We are initiating First Contact, so, full HAZOP kit required," Archer ordered. Standing, he looked to Delange. "Delange, you have the conn."
"I have the conn sir, aye," Delange said, ending the tradition. Archer turned around and left the bridge. It took him exactly three minutes to leave his bridge, take a tram, get off, return salutes, walk down the halls, enter an elevator, get off of that, and head to the starboard hanger bay. When he entered, he was mindful of the crewmen and Big Dogs who were racing to clean up the place. Archer headed over to a small, secluded area of the hanger, where Hicks and Shepherd were, getting into the exo-suits.
Built to handle the rigors of space originally, the M24 Hardsuit was capable of withstanding high temperature drops, and could take a fifty caliber bullet to the chest without breach. It was still hell for the ribs though. Not only that, but it had an oxygen supply of eight hours; twelve, if you had a rebreather. Archer quickly struggled to get into his own suit.
Two minutes later, the trio of officers were checking each other's seals when Shepherd cursed. "Fuck!"
"What is it ensign?" Archer asked, concerned. Shepherd looked at her commanding officer sheepishly.
"Sir, I have a tiny model of a Minuteman in my suit," Shepherd said. "My son gave it to me. Articulated too."
Archer smirked. "Well, too late to take it out ensign," he said. "Alright, we ready to make history?"
The other two nodded. "Good. Now, let's wait."
The three of them went to an empty spot in the hanger bay and waited for the alien arrivals. Nearby, a Marine was beginning to film the proceedings. About five minutes later, a shuttle started flying over to them.
It seemed ridiculously small, with very little armor plating, and looked to be pretty damn old too, judging from the rust stains and faded paint. Archer watched in trepidation as the shuttle landed.
Codex Entry: BigDog Walkers
Based on native Terran dogs, BigDog walkers are relatively small mechanical entities that fill several roles in human society.Created by DARPA scientists in 2005, the original dogs were cumbersome and designed primarily to carry equipment for the U.S. Armed Services.After years of minor improvements, the project was scrapped in 2015.
However, during the Third World War, the BigDog project quickly regained funding, as soldiers in urban and subterranean areas couldn't field the newly developed M52 Armored Support Platforms.With advances in robotics and material engineering, the Dogs were given a new chance at life and soon excelled in providing close combat and indirect fire support.Today, the modern M304B 'Dire Wolf' fulfills those same functions, with additional units being used in logistics, construction, and public services across human space.
Rael gulped as the shuttle ramp went down. For all he knew, these strangely armored being could be their version of the geth, and that was a disaster waiting to happen. The ramp hit the deck below it, and Rael slowly got out. The moment he stepped foot on the other ship, Rael was looking around in awe. The interior was by no means new, but it certainly did have the sense of it being a home. Next to his shuttle was a craft that Rael could only assume was a massive gunship, and next to that was…well, Rael didn't know what it was. It looked like some sort of wing.
Rael then focused on the aliens in front of him. The suits made it hard to distinguish who was the leader, but Rael simply assumed that the one in front of him was. "I am Captain Rael'Zorah vas Ilarune, of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We come in peace, and wish to have peace with your people," Rael said, making an ancient gesture of peace. The alien nodded, and kept its hands behind its back.
"I am Commander Jonathan Archer of the United Nations Systems Alliance," Archer stated, following his training as best as he could. "We wish for peace between our two peoples." He extended his hand, waiting. Apparently, the alien knew exactly what a handshake was, because it was only a second or two later that the alien took Archer's hand and shook it.
"Remarkable," Shepherd whispered in her helmet mike. "The odds of them knowing a handshake are slim as it is!"
The alien let go of Archer's hand and pointed at itself. "Rael'Zorah," it said. Archer nodded.
"Jonathan Archer," he responded, pointing at himself. "Rael'Zorah," he added, pointing at the alien. He then pointed at Hicks and Shepherd. "Humans."
Rael'Zorah nodded. "Quarian," it said, pointing at itself and the occupants still inside the shuttle. "Sadeakaty?" it asked, tilting its head.
Archer tilted his head. "Huh?" he asked, shrugging ashamedly. Rolling her eyes, Shepherd took out a pad and stylus, and started drawing. "Shepherd, this is not the time to doodle!" Archer said sternly. Shepherd handed him the pad, her face behind the helmet's visor the definition of deadpan. Looking down, Archer just had to guffaw.
It was a Quarian, as best as Shepherd could draw one, holding hands with a human in a field of stars. Taking it, Archer handed it to Rael'Zorah. "Friends?" he asked.
Rael was stunned. Here was a race that had the capability to beat back the Turians, and based on this drawing, they wanted to be friends. Well, the Ancestors sure had a way of making things known to the living. "Yes," Rael said, handing back the device and nodding, trying not to cry. "We are friends."
"They're not mine," Caleb said, eyeing his friend. "They're my sister's. She's currently off-world right now, with that group heading to the Relay."
"Ah," Veretti said simply. Silence reigned as the tram went down the rails. Five minutes later, they got off at a station, and Caleb headed over to a child care center.
"Wait here," he told Veretti. Seeing the Italian nod, Caleb went into the office. "Hi," he told the receptionist.
"Hello," the receptionist said. "Picking up?"
"Yeah. Should be under Ensign Shepherd, Hannah," Caleb said, waiting.
"Are you an acceptable guardian?"
"I'm her brother."
The receptionist nodded. "Okay. I'll log them out, and you can go get them," she said. Caleb thanked her and headed out another door. Walking down a short path, he stopped at a chain link fence.
Taking a deep breath, he yelled out, "NOAH! JEANETTE! FALL IN!" The response was fast, as a pair of three year olds with back-packs ran over to him.
"Unkwal Caleb!" cried out Noah, who was younger than his sister by about two minutes. Caleb grinned as he opened the door and crouched in time to absorb the speeding child's hug.
"Hey there squirt," he said, ruffling Noah's hair before getting tackled by Jeanette. Unlike her much more exuberant brother, Jeanette was a quiet girl, and had a pretty damn red head. "Good Lord Jen, the last time I met you two, you were this high!" Caleb said, raising his hand high in the air. "Now you're this tall," he added, putting his hand on her head. "You shrank! Now who gave you permission to do that?"
"Nobwody," Jeanette said shyly, but with a smile on her face.
"Alright, come on you two, I'll treat to some ice cream," Caleb said, standing up. "And don't tell Mommy, okay?"
The twins nodded as he led them out of the center, where Veretti was still waiting. "Angelo, meet Noah and Jeanette. Jeanette, Noah, this is Angelo. He's a friend of mine," Caleb said to the children.
"Mech 'ilot?" Noah asked. Caleb nodded. Noah's face beamed at the thought that he was with two mech pilots!
"I see a potential MI," Angelo stated, following Caleb as they went to the tram.
"Maybe," Caleb said. "Depends on what my sister has to say about us in about fifteen years. Anyway, see you back in formation tomorrow."
"Alright. Cheers then," Veretti said as he took the tram to the barracks. Caleb took the next tram, which led to the base PX, which thankfully had an ice cream joint. Getting there, Caleb ordered a chocolate cone for Noah, strawberry for Jeanette, and as for him, well, he went with rocky-road. They had just sat down when Caleb happened to look up at the vid-screen.
BREAKING NEWS!AS OF 1427 HOURS, LOCAL SHANXI TIME, UNSA VESSELS HAVE COME IN CONTACT WITH UNKNOWN ALIEN VESSELS, SPARKING FIRST CONTACT! the news report blared out.
Silence so deep, you could hear a flea fart ruled the entire planet as people digested the information. Then came the resounding cheers. Caleb himself was hooting and hollering.
"Unkwal Caleb, whaz gon on?" Noah asked. Caleb crouched down and hugged the twins.
"We're meeting more space-travelers, that's what's going on," he told them.
It was then that the screen showed a Naval officer, a young female ensign, handing an alien a small toy figure. "Mother of frak, did she just?!" Caleb spluttered out.
"Why Mommy give him my mech?" Noah asked.
"Noah, I have no idea at all," Caleb said through gritted teeth.
June 5th, 2157: First Contact is made.The local United Nations Systems Alliance begins translating the Quarian language, as military vessels led by Captain Yates secure the other end of the Charon Relay.It is currently not known what was attacking the Quarian people.
CRUISER, HUMAN: A human cruiser is not the same as say, a turian or asari cruiser.A turian cruiser is considered a throwaway ship, something to take the heat off of a dreadnaught: a human cruiser is MUCH different.A cruiser is fully capable warship, five hundred meters and plus in length, equipped with enough missiles, bullets, and ordinance to wipe a city off the map.The U.S.S. Tim Murphyis a United North Americas built Vermont class cruiser, captained by Captain Jonathan Archer.
List of Abbreviations
U.S.M.I. – United States Mobile Infantry
U.S.S. – United States Ship
DRADIS – Direction, Range, and DIStance
TAO – Tactical Actions Officer
FTL – Faster Than Light
HAZOP – HAZardous Operations
Mostly typos and a few other things.Introducing other mechs with a little bit of AI in them to help distinguish humanity a bit more from the rest of the galaxy at large.Now, as I will likely be asked as to just how big these mechs are, generally speaking, they're going to be tall enough to have a height advantage on infantry, but small enough to fit under your average highway underpass, if only just barely.A better way to put it is to look at how the mechs are designed in Heavy Gearand Armored Trooper VOTOMS, both of which are heavy inspirations for the overall look and design of the mechs in universe.