Disclaimer: I do not own the Ace Combat franchise or any of the concepts and characters of said franchise. I do own all of the OCs and concepts created by me for this story. This disclaimer covers every chapter of this story.
Legendary Aces 2: Hero of Emmeria
Chapter 1: Invasion of Gracemeria
-Through the Heart of a Nation-
Herman Residence, Gracemeria
1130hrs. 30 August 2015 (Gracemeria Time)
It was a peaceful day. I was sitting outside reading a book and listening to the radio.
"Here we go!" My daughter came running out of the house.
"Got everything?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm OK."
The bus had pulled up and honked its horn. I took Matilda's hand and gave her a coin. "Here, honey. An offering for the king."
She giggled at me as she started to run over to the bus. "See you later, Mom!"
"Listen to your teacher, okay?" I said. "And give the king my best."
She jumped on the first stair to the bus, but turned around before going all the way up. "Dance with an angel, Mom."
I laughed. "Yeah, maybe we'll tango today instead of waltz."
That's our way of saying "goodbye." My husband is an Air Force pilot, and refers to fighter planes as "angels." When he'd go on a mission that kept him away from home, I'd tell him in frustration to go dance with his angels. Matilda grew up hearing this, and now she uses it all the time.
There's a nice view of the King's Bridge from our house. That iron giant is the pride of Gracemeria, our capital city. In the old quarter of the city beyond the bridge, you can make out an ancient castle, which is even more famous than the bridge. My daughter Matilda is going there on a field trip today.
In the throne room rests the "Golden King." He's been smiling for a good six hundred years now. The king was a gentle person who was a bit on the small side. But he crafted a giant suit of armor that convinced his enemies to surrender without a single fight. Afterwards, they found such warmth in his smile that they bowed down to him in humility.
Anyway, that's how the story goes. His smiling face still touches the hearts of our people. The very face my daughter and the others got on a bus to see this morning.
The song on the radio seems to be a perfect match for the sunny weather.
Suddenly, fighter jets came soaring through the sky. One launched a missile.
I have no idea what's happening. That awful sound... and the shaking. Was that a blast of wind... from an explosion? The castle disappeared behind a pillar of flame.
"Attention all pilots! Our capital city Gracemeria is under attack by unknown aircraft!
"Damage from the attacks is widespread throughout the city. All planes, scramble and intercept all threats immediately."
Gracemeria 48'18'30"N 95'53'43"E
1149hrs. 30 August 2015 (Gracemeria Time)
I ran through my flight checks quickly and headed for the runway. I was in my signature F-15E. Two F-16s followed behind me. I heard chatter over the radio about the attack.
"They took out King's Bridge!"
"Control, get those planes up fast!"
"Roger that. They're about to take off."
"I want a damage assessment now!"
"We've taken extensive damage from those bombers, including a number of civilian casualties."
"What's going on with the bombers? We can't hold out much longer."
I pulled out on the runway and got ready to take off.
"Garuda 1, you are cleared for takeoff."
That was my cue.
"This is Captain Akari, callsign Talisman, taking off." I hit full throttle and rocketed down the runway. I took to the air as soon as I had enough speed.
"Garuda 1, liftoff. Cerberus Team runway clearance granted. Takeoff when ready. All aircraft under airborne command's jurisdiction following takeoff. This is not a drill! I repeat, this is not a drill!"
"Airborne Warning and Control System Ghost Eye to all scrambling defense craft. The situation has not yet been ascertained. We must implement an emergency reformation. Follow your individual instructions. Garuda 1, you do not have a wingman. Let's see... Shamrock. Shamrock, are you alone, too? Very well. As of now you're Garuda 2."
"OK." An F-16C flew over and glued himself to my wing. It was Lieutenant Marcus Lampert, callsign Shamrock. "So I'm Garuda 2. Garuda 1, I've got your back. No time for introductions now, though. Go ahead, and I'll follow your lead. Never was good with directions anyhow."
"Garuda Team, you are authorized to engage any hostile aircraft above Gracemeria." Ghost Eye said.
"Roger that." Marcus said as we turned and flew down into the action. "May the Golden King smile upon us."
"Reinforcements. Stay alert." I heard an unknown voice over the radio. It was definitely the enemy.
"Ghost Eye to Garuda 1, Talisman, and Garuda 2, Shamrock. We are currently in a state of emergency. Our nation is under attack by unknown forces. Do whatever you can to fend off the invasion."
"Garuda 2, roger that."
"Garuda 1, roger that."
"Garuda 1, you call the shots." My wingman said.
"All right, Marcus. Let's show these... whoever the hell they are that you don't mess with Gracemeria."
"I'm right behind you."
I hit my throttle and barreled after my first target. It was one of the enemy's B-52 bombers. Bombers were easy targets, so I didn't bother wasting a missile on it. I just shot it full of holes and sent it down in a fireball. "Talisman here, splash one bomber."
"This is Commander Windhover of the 15th Squadron. The enemy is expanding its field of attack. Stay alert."
"Two more bombers up ahead and a few other targets." I reported.
"Garuda 1, there's too many of them. Use your SP weapon."
"Nonsense." I said. "The chopper is fodder, and we can take out the bombers with our guns. The fighter escorts will be a little trickier. Marcus, hit the chopper with a missile before it can do the same to you and sweep up the two bombers with your guns. I'll take care of their escorts."
I waited for his missile before I shot after the two escort fighters. They weren't very good. I destroyed the first one in seconds and chased the second one away. Marcus destroyed the two bombers in quick order just as I finished off the second escort.
Our fleet was finally getting in on the action. "All ships to terminate enemy forces over the bay."
The ground forces weren't about to be left out, either. "Focus all anti-aircraft fire on those bombers. Don't let 'em get any closer."
"Please be careful about what you shoot at up here! If you see us going after the bombers, back off so you don't hit us." I said.
"Roger that, Garuda Team."
"We interrupt this program for an emergency news report." I recognized that voice. It was the Gracemeria FM DJ. What was he doing on a military channel? No, he had to be broadcasting to everything. "Gracemeria is currently under attack by unidentified aircraft... The damage apparently extends throughout the entire capital."
"Please be safe..." I heard Marcus whisper.
"Yeah..." I didn't know who he was praying for, but I knew my sister and niece were down below. I had to clear the skies before anything could get to them!
"We've got an ID on the invaders." Ghost Eye reported. "We're engaged with the Estovakian military."
"The Estovakians!?" Windhover repeated.
"Their economy's been in shambles for years." Avalanche added. "Looks like they finally snapped."
"They picked a grand time to attack." I said. "My sister, Lieutenant Colonel Kye Akari of the Osean Air Defense Force, and her daughter is down there."
"You mean the leader of the Razgriz?" Ghost Eye asked.
"Yeah, and if the Estovakians aren't careful, they will make this into an international case. She's a member of Paragon, too."
"We don't want to rile up the whole world over this, so we'd better take care of this, fast." Marcus said.
"Ugh, there's still a lot of planes left up here." I switched to my special weapon. I had six AIM-120C AMRAAM equipped. I got a target on four bombers and let them go. "Marcus, you get the other four bombers. Garuda 1 to allied forces, I am engaging two enemy squadrons. I could use some back up."
"Roger that, Garuda. This is Avalanche, I'm on the way."
"This is Windhover, roger that."
A few more allied planes responded to my called. Marcus fired his missiles at the remaining bombers and quickly joined us. The two enemy squadrons stood no chance against our combined might.
"The Estovakian threat level has been reduced." Ghost Eye reported.
"Looks like the Stovies are runnin' out of steam. Had enough, boys?"
"Our runway's been bombed to hell! It's totally useless now!" One of the ground units reported.
"What?" I asked.
"Enemy tanks have made it to the ground and they're coming at us." Another said.
"So those bastards think they can barge into someone's house without even calling first!?" Windhover said.
"Unbelievable." Marcus said. "I say we teach 'em a few manners before we kick 'em out."
"I'm not much for teaching, but I'll make an exception." I added.
"The bridge has collapsed!" A ground unit reported. "The bridge is down!"
"Calm down and give me a SITREP." That must be the ground commander. "Which bridge are we talking about?"
"The King's Bridge!"
Losing the bridge was not good, but I had to focus on the task at hand. The bombers were cleared out but there were still several enemy tanks around to blow up. I found one floating down with a parachute and shot it before it could get to the ground.
"Nice work!" Avalanche said. "Take care of as many of those tanks as you can while they're up in the air. It's like shootin' fish in a barrel."
"This reminds me of the time Sand Island had to defend the Mass Driver from attacks in Operation Silver Bridge." I said. "One of the Sand Island wingmen complained about the tanks with parachutes in the story they told me about it."
"I heard about that." Marcus said.
The Gracemeria FM DJ was still broadcasting. "An intense ground war is taking place in the east district. We strongly urge all citizens of Gracemeria to stay indoors at this time."
Grobda Tank Company, advance. Keep those airborne tanks from moving in."
"We have to keep at it." I said.
"Garuda Team, watch your necks out there." Ghost Eye said. "Stick with close range targets, and run them down."
"Roger, Ghost Eye."
"Our Air Force isn't half bad. The enemy's cowering like babies." A ground unit said.
"That's what I like to hear!" The FM DJ said. "Our Air Force is holding down the enemy. Keep it up!"
"Half bad? Man, no respect." I pouted.
"I think we're doing a little better than half bad." Avalanche said.
"At least two thirds." Marcus added.
"The Estovakian threat level is even lower now. Drive them out of Emmeria." Ghost Eye reported.
"Roger that." Marcus and I said together.
"Aigaion to Strigon Team. We are prepared to launch."
"Strigon Leader to Aigaion. We will commence mission operations once your delivery is complete." I responded.
"Attention all aircraft. We are ready for Nimbus launch. Begin the countdown."
I waited patiently for the launch.
"Booster ignition complete. Launch in five, four, three, two, one, fire!"
"What's this... Missiles!?" Ghost Eye said.
"Holy!" I swerved immediately, barely able to dodge the incoming missile.
"Number three, your radio is down." One of the allied fighters said. "Number three, where are you?"
"Multiple cruise missiles just detonated midair!" Avalanche reported. "Half our planes have been wiped off the radar!"
"What the hell was that? Where are they coming from?" Marcus said.
"Dude, the sky is on fire." I added. "What the hell..."
"More enemy cruise missiles incoming." Ghost Eye reported.
"Those are no ordinary cruise missiles..." Windhover said. "Evade like hell if you want out of this alive!"
"Dammit!" Marcus said. "What about our city? What about Gracemeria?"
"Warning! Additional enemy planes have been spotted on radar." Ghost Eye reported. "You don't wanna know how many."
"There's eight of them, and they are all SU-33s." I said. "That's a big step up from the others. This has got to be their "core team".
"This is Strigon 12. Target acquired. Moving to engage."
"Calling all Strigon planes. Gracemeria shall be ours for the taking." The Strigon Leader said.
"Roger." Another Strigon member replied.
"Marcus, it's up to us." I said. "Let's get 'em."
"I'm right behind you, Garuda 1."
I barreled into the middle of the Strigon planes and took two down quickly. Marcus got into a dogfight with another while I started going at it with their leader. The rest spread out and engaged our allied fighters.
"Strigon 4 is down."
"What's happening here? Two of our planes have been shot down." Strigon 12 said.
"They seem to be more skilled than I imagined." The Strigon Leader said.
"Which direction are the missiles coming from? Right or left?" An Emmerian pilot asked.
"I don't think it's as simple as that." I said.
"This is Ghost Eye to all planes. Air Defense command has ordered an evacuation. You've been ordered to give up Gracemeria. Break away from this airspace and head west."
"Are you out of your mind? We can't comply with that order." Windhover argued.
"We are militarily at a huge disadvantage. Comply with the order and head west."
"This is Avalanche. We're not going anywhere."
"Listen! It's only temporary." Ghost Eye explained. "The plan is to withdraw, meet up with all remaining forces from each area, then regroup for a counter attack. We can't afford to lose you. Follow the order."
"This is Garuda 2 to Garuda 1. We really should get out of here."
"I can't do that." I said. "My sister is down there. If she gets killed in this, we might be thrown into a world war. I know for one Supreme Commander Venturi of Paragon will not stand by, and neither will the members of the Razgriz Squadron. If we let them get mixed up in this, there's no telling what kind of domino effect this will have."
"Talisman, we have no choice!" Ghost Eye said. "If we don't pull back, we'll lose all of you here and any chance of a counter attack along with it."
"Yami, just go!" That was my sister's voice.
"Kye? But how?"
"I'm fine, Yami. They won't get me. I'm using my portable radio. Rei and I are fine. Just go, the Estovakians won't find me."
"But, Kye! I can't just leave you here!"
"You have to! I don't have a plane this time, Yami. It's your turn to shine! Now go! That's an order from your superior in Para..." Her radio cut off before she could finish her sentence, but I knew she was about to say "Paragon."
"All right." I gave in. "If I'm leaving this sky, then I'm leaving my mark." I was still dogfighting with the Strigon Leader, and started to gain the advantage.
"Seems they have some feisty flyers over here in Emmeria. I never expected them to stand up to Strigon Team with Lieutenant Colonel Voychek at the helm..." Strigon 2 said.
"Garuda Team, break away from this airspace and head west."
"Just a little more..." I pushed my plane to the limit just to get the Strigon Leader in my sights. I fired a missile and scored a hit. "Got him!" My warning alarms started going off left and right, cutting any chance I had to finish him off.
"Strigon Leader is hit! Are you all right, sir!?" Strigon 12 asked.
"Talisman, we need to get out of here." Marcus said.
"You're right. Let's go."
"Dammit!" Strigon Leader said. "My plane has taken quite a hit. I don't think I can fly like this. No matter. The Emmerian pilots are retreating. Gracemeria is now under our control. All planes return to base. Strigon 2, I'm leaving you in charge."
"Roger, Lieutenant Colonel Voychek. I'll take command from here. I hope you make it, sir."
I hated to leave Gracemeria behind, but we had no choice. I turned west and hit my afterburners. The enemy planes didn't pursue us, thankfully.
"Garuda Team, you've made it out of the combat zone." Ghost Eye reported. "Head for the rendezvous point."
Marcus swung around and look one last look at Gracemeria before returning to my wing. "I promise we'll be back for you. Just a little longer. I promise."
I knew he was saying that to his loved ones. I wasn't sure who they were, but they were just as important to him as Kye and Rei were to me. I was just glad Kye and Rei were the only ones in Gracemeria. Yuko was with my Mom in Osea.
But what about Melissa and Matilda? I had no way of knowing if they were okay, but I would soon come back and make sure of it.
"Our military has escaped destruction because of your valiant efforts on the battlefield. But our capital Gracemeria has been temporarily occupied by Estovakian forces, and our central government has been usurped by them as well.
"The nation of Estovakia had declared war with our country as it simultaneously launched a surprise attack on Gracemeria. In response, the Republic of Emmeria's political council unanimously adopted a resolution of open war against the Federal Republic of Estovakia.
"Our forces remaining on the Emmerian mainland are still fighting in desperation to protect our country. Once our intelligence has been sorted and confirmed, the Republic of Emmeria's armed forces must immediately regroup and counterattack against the Federal Republic of Estovakia.
"The beautiful country of Emmeria belongs to us, and only us - the Emmerian people."
Herman Residence, Gracemeria
1155hrs. 30 August 2015 (Gracemeria Time)
Fire and smoke rises from the city before me. The King's Bridge is gone.
I fell to my knees. "...Oh no. ...No... MATILDA!"
I vaguely hear a scream of terror that sounds much like my own voice from afar. I feel as though the Golden King's gentle smile is moving, moving farther away from me.
Barren Road, Gracemeria
28 October 2015
Every now and then, I'd tell my daughter the story of the night some years ago a night when the sky was radiant with shooting stars.
"That night, your father and I, made countless wishes together." An asteroid called Ulysses came into Earth's orbit, and disintegrated into millions of pieces, which poured down on the land below.
As we watched the shooting stars that night, fragments from the asteroid rained down on our eastern neighbor, Estovakia, damaging a great deal of their infrastructure and devastating their economy. Soon after, the news reported that their nation had fallen into a civil war, one that would last for years.
Eventually, the internal strife was brought to an end when "The Generals" came into power. In the midst of hardship, the citizen of Estovakia were convinced that the only way they could recover as a nation was to rely on a military government led by these "Generals."
Before long, they went so far as to invade our nation, the Republic of Emmeria. Our military was forced to retreat to Khesed, an island far to the west.
My husband, a fighter pilot, also hasn't come home since.
(A/N) If you haven't already, please read Legendary Aces 1: The Legend of Razgriz! Below is a short profile of the main character of Legendary Aces 2.
Date of Birth: 12 December 1988
Hair: Long Ghost White (Typically tied up)
Interests: Flying, Crafting, Swordplay
Special Traits: Extreme Combat Skill, almost like a sixth sense
5-September-2013: Yami mentions Sand Island's mission at the Mass Driver (Chapter 6: White Bird Part 1 in Legendary Aces: The Legend of Razgriz), Operation Silver Bridge. She did not take part in that mission, but she was told first hand experiences from the Blaze and the others "offscreen" at some point, which Chopper complained about shooting the tanks with parachutes. This is why it reminded her of that. I have edited this part mention that to clear up confusion.
17-November-2013: Format updated and Key/Legend added at the top.
24-May-2013: Updated Yami's age in her profile. It was listed as 24, but it's actually 27 as of the date in this chapter.
26-June-2016: Trimmed Author's Notes, story marked complete.
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