Author's notes: What's up boys and girls! Patriot-112 here giving you an exciting new fic based on Ace Combat 5 & 6. In this fic, it'll be a little AU, and takes place during Wardog/Razgriz's escape from the 8492nd Squadron, aka, Grabacr Squadron. The rest...you just need to read and find out. Here we go!
December 7th, 2010
Osean Military Aircraft Boneyard
The skies over the the Solo Islands was clear, with barely any hint of a cloud in the sky. On the islands themselves, the many aircraft, or what was left of them, that were permanent residents on the islands, were placed in neat rows, waiting to be either scrapped or left to rot. The few workers on the island, who were still asleep in their barracks, were completely oblivious to what was happening outside in the clear skies above them.
Four aircraft, bearing the insignia of the Osean Air Defense Force, and colored in the red and white color scheme of training aircraft were flying over the islands. However these aircraft were not here for training. In the cockpit of the lead aircraft was a man who appeared to be in his mid fifties, had a small beard, and a bald head which were covered by the pilot's helmet and oxygen mask on his head and face.
The man's name, was Second Lieutenant Peter N. Beagle, callsign "Pops", an Air Force pilot, and former instructor of the Osean 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Wardog", 5th Air Wing on Sand Island. However, what many people, not even his own students or the higher ups of the military knew, was that he was formerly Wolfgang Buchner, callsign "Huckebein the Raven", the eldest son of an aristocratic family of the Principality of Belka, and former ace and Colonel of the legendary Belkan Air Force, during the devastating Belkan War, fifteen years earlier.
Now, before you ask why a former Colonel from a legendary Air Force such as Belka's, with a renowned reputation, and a legendary status, will be flying in the OADF? Well, short version is this...his former superiors in the Belkan military, ordered him to drop a nuclear weapon on a city in his own country, due to the Allied Forces, consisting of Osea, Ustio, Yuktobania, and many other nations, knocking on their front door. So in desperation, the Belkan leaders in their (air quotes) infinite wisdom and desperation to save the rest of their homeland from being occupied, decided to nuke seven of their own cities in order to stop them.
When they ordered the former Colonel to drop one of these nukes, he refused and went AWOL, resulting in him being labeled a traitor, and being chased into an air battle by the infamous "Schwarze Squadron" before being shot down by his former wingman, along with his friend, OADF captain, Jack "Heartbreak One" Bartlett. They manage to make it to Allied lines, and were interrogated by the Osean Army before finally convincing them they were on their side.
Now, said wingman is after them, with the intention of killing him, and the five others with him, plus one if you count the dog sitting in his lap.
'What the hell possessed me to bring Kirk along with us?' Pops thought to himself, as he did his best to pilot his Hawk training craft with the Black labrador Retriever in his lap. Surprisingly it wasn't too hard, as Kirk was being very quiet and not getting in his way of flying. As if he knew not to disturb Pops doing his 'miracle work'. Getting Kirk into the aircraft was a bit of a hassle, but Pops promised to take care of the dog after Alvin H. Davenport, aka Chopper, the squadron jokester died, and he didn't know what the base commander would do to the dog after they left.
He and the other four with him, were accused of being spies for Yuktobania, after the base adjutant, Captain, now Major Hamilton, framed them, and deceived the entire base into thinking they were traitors. Thankfully, two of his former pupils, Captains Kei "Edge" Nagase, and Captain Karl "Blaze" Galland, managed to cause a distraction, when Colonel Orson Perrault, the Base Commander attempted to shoot him, along with Hans "Archer" Grimm, and a Journalist from OBC, Albert Gennette. Now, here they are, on the run from their own military.
"Pops? Everything alright in there?" said another male voice, he recognized as Blaze's said as his Hawk trainer jet flew alongside his.
The former Belkan Ace just gave a chuckle.
"Considering I have an eighty pound labrador retriever in my lap, and somehow flying this 'unarmed' plane is nothing short of a miracle, then yes, I'm fine." he replied.
He heard a light chuckle on the Comm "That's good," Blaze said, "Let's hope it stays like that-"
However, Blaze was cut off as a new voice came in on the comm. "This is the 8492nd Squadron," The voice said, "We have a visual on the enemy, engaging."
Pops let out a small curse, as he looked back and saw four glimmers in the sky behind them, specifically four F-15 STOL/MTDs, upgraded versions of the famous F-15 Eagles used by the Osean Federation and many other nations as well.
"It's them!" Grimm shouted, "How did they find us so quick?"
"Grimm, we're flying BAE Systems Hawks, their not combat planes or stealth planes," Edge said, "I'm surprised they didn't find us sooner..."
Then, another voice spoke on the Comm, this one more familiar to Wardog "This is Thunderhead, roger 8492nd." The voice of the familiar AWACS operator said, "Are those guys really traitors?"
"Yeah." The 8492nd Squadron leader said, his tone almost emotionless.
"I don't believe this..." Thunderhead said, clearly not understanding the news. However then another voice spoke, which caused all three Wardog pilots, Gennette in the rear seat of Pops' Hawk, and Pops himself to sneer.
"Believe what you want, but it's the truth." Hamilton said, "8492nd Squadron, you have permission to shoot down those planes."
"Roger," The 8492nd's leader said, "Moving to-"
"Hang on, 8492nd!" Thunderhead shouted in warning, "We're… we're picking up more contacts on Radar!"
The five people in the Hawk training aircraft all blinked at that as the Squad Leader of the pursuit squadron spoke again.
"How many, Thunderhead?" he asked.
"At least seven bogies approaching from the southeast at high speed! IFF confirms them as Su-33 Flanker-Ds, no other IFF signals detected." the operator said, making the now former OADF personnel worry.
"Dammit, Flankers...and Carrier versions too," said Blaze, having read up on the Su-33 himself.
"You think they're Yukes, Captain?" Grimm said in worry.
"No, I doubt that Grimm...," said Kei, "The Yuktobanian Navy has carriers of their own, but the aircraft they carry are mostly Rafaels, MiG-29K, or whatever. The only nations I can think off the top of my head that use the Flanker-D are Estovakia and Emmeria..."
"Not to mention the recon reports say the Yuke Navy has the majority of their Fleet somewhere near Okchabursk, and hasn't made any moves since their failed invasion of Sand Island." said Blaze.
Pops was also concerned, since he knew what the Flanker-D could do. And these planes were piloted by an unknown player, which could mean this could be either good, or bad. However, a strange feeling went down his spine, a feeling he hadn't felt since...
His eyes went wide, and then shook his head.
'Impossible! It couldn't be them!'
With said Unknown Squadron
Seven Su-33 Flanker-D aircraft, colored in a dark green with grey trim were flying in a delta triangle formation, were heading straight toward the two groups of planes. On the tail fins of the jet fighters was a howling wolf with a lightning bolt-shaped scar going down across it's right eye.
"Fenrir 1 to all units..." said the female voice of the Squadron Leader. "Objective sighted, move in to intercept..."
With that, six of the planes peeled away from the lead plane.
"May the souls of our ancestors guide us..."
With the 8492nd Squadron
Ashley Bernitz narrowed his eyes as he looked at the new radar contacts moving towards their location. They were approaching from the direction just ahead of where Wardog was flying, and as Thunderhead had informed them, they were Su-33 Flanker-D's. Considering he knew Sand Island didn't launch anymore fighters, the fact they were coming from the opposite direction from Sand Island, and that Flanker-D's were built as carrier-based fighters, they were obviously launched from a carrier nearby.
However as far as he knew, there were no Osean Carrier groups that are in range to launch fighters, nor were there any nearby Yuktobanian ones either. So that still begged the question: Where did these Flankers come from?
"Captain! I see them! Coming in right in front of us!" said one of his squad mates, and the Belkan looked forward, sure enough, there they were. Seven Flanker D's coming right at them at high, in a classic Delta Formation.
"Any signals of who they are and where they might be from?" he asked.
"No, nothing that..." The Squadmate said, before he stopped. "Wait… no way..."
"What is it?" Ashley asked. "Who are they?"
"Captain… they're markings are Belkan Navy," The Squadmate said, causing Ashley's to widen slightly.
"You're kidding, the Navy was disbanded right after the war, 15 years ago," he said.
"I'm serious! They're Belkan Naval Air Force!" the Squadmate said again. "They have the colors and insignia, all of it!"
Ashley's eyes narrowed a bit, as they continued on course. "Keep your eyes peeled and ready for anything, everyone," he said. "I've got a bad feeling about this."
"Pops, did you get all that?" Blaze said, as the four training jets continued on their present course.
"Yeah I heard...But it shouldn't be possible, the entire Belkan Navy was decommissioned after the Belkan War ended, and the only aircraft carrier I know that would carry those type of jets would be the Njord. But I thought she was sunk, along with the majority of the fleet at the Battle of Futuro Canal," Pops said with narrowed eyes, as he remembered that battle all too well.
"Either way, sounds like bad news to me," Nagase said. "Pops, what do we do?"
Pops thought about that for a second, before he heard Grimm shout.
"They're breaking formation!" the youngest member of Wardog said and the Belkan Ace looked up and sure enough, six of the aircraft peeled away from the lead.
"Everyone down on the deck! Stay close to me, and keep checking your six! Remember we're unarmed!" Pops ordered and he moved the stick forward, and the nose of the plane went down.
"Got it pops," Blaze said, "We'll follow your lead."
"Good answer," Pops said as the three Hawks of Wardog Squadron followed soon after. He maneuvered his Hawk as low to the ground as he could, flying forward at fast speeds, remembering every maneuver he knew during his time in the Belkan Air Force.
"That flying Style..." The 8492nd Leader said. "That isn't the Colonel, is it?"
"Colonel?" One of the other Belkan Pilots said, "You mean THE Colonel? The Legendary pilot they use to call 'Huckebein the Raven' during the last war?"
"Yeah, the most infamous traitor our country's ever produced." The leader said.
Pops allowed himself a small smirk. "Is that you Ashley?" he asked. "I kept hearing this name '8492' and was wondering what the heck it was. Since you started calling yourselves the Grabacr Fighter Squadron in the last war, I got sick of flying in the same sky with you." His eyes narrowed a bit. "Sounds like you've strayed even further from your ideals since then."
Before either him or Ashley could speak again, a new, female, voice got their attention.
"I couldn't agree with you more, Colonel Buchner." the voice said, making the eyes of the two Belkan Aces widened in shock.
"That voice...it couldn't be..."Ashley said, before Pops finished for him.
"Patricia? Lieutenant Commander Patricia Schwert of Fenrir Squad, is that you?" Pops said, his voice sounding like he heard a ghost.
The woman seemed to let out a small chuckle "You sound like you're seeing a ghost, Colonel." She said, "You and your friends stay low, Colonel… we'll handle Grabacr." With that said, the Flanker-D's suddenly launched a salvo of Vympel R-27 Long-Range Air-to-Air missiles, which streaked forward, not towards the Hawks, but rather the F-15's.
"Shit! Break!" Ashley shouted, as the four fighters of the 8492nd broke formation, some launching flares to avoid being hit by the missiles.
While they were evading the missiles, the six Flankers sped in after them. With the lead plane, the pilot now identified as Patricia Schwert, heading straight for the lead plane.
"Pops...did I hear that name right?" Albert said in the seat behind the old pilot. "Was that voice really Patricia Schwert?"
"I can hardly believe it myself..." Pops muttered, "All of Fenrir Squadron were listed as MIA after the last war, presumed KIA… but that was her, I recognize that voice anywhere!"
"I heard about her..."said Nagase. "She was one of the most accomplished female aces of the entire Belkan War..."
"Yeah, I read the reports, she has 63 Allied Kills to her record, with 15 of those at the Battle of Futuro alone..." said Blaze. "She and her squad are known for their Wolf Pack style tactics. How do you know her, Pops?"
"I'll explain that after we get out of here!" Pops said, as he put his fighter into a barrel roll, before darting around to the left into a ravine. The other three aircraft followed suit as the Fenrir Squadron continued to tangle with the 8492nd.
"Dammit!" Ashley cursed as he saw Huckebein and the other Wardogs make their escape while his squadron was dealing with the squadron, he now knew as the 12th Naval Fighter Squadron, or Fenrir Squadron, led by the "She Wolf of Belka".
Now said wolf was on his six, firing her 30mm cannon at him and scoring some hits on his plane.
"Damn you Schwert! How are you still alive!? Why are you still alive!?" he shouted at the female ace as he initiated a Immelman turn, with the Flanker-D still on him.
"How I am alive is for me to know, and for you to not know," Patricia said, as she stayed on Ashley's six constantly trying to get a gun lock. "As for why... unlike you and Ofnir we're not going to wallow in the past seeking Revenge. We are seeking out a new and better future for Belka, and the world."
Ashley's eyes narrowed at that as a few rounds hit the left wing of his F-15S/MTD.
"You're nothing but a stray dog who's lost sight of what's important!" he yelled, and he could feel the female pilot's eyes glaring at him.
"I lost sight of what's important!?" Patricia yelled. "I'm not the one who sold out seven of our own cities and had them nuked, killing thousands of our own people! That's not the Belka I fought and stood for, Bernitz! But you are right about one thing, I am a stray...Me, my men, and countless others. We were either betrayed, abandoned, forgotten, lost our home, or forced to flee. We're all soldiers without a home, or an army. But the only thing keeping us going is a cause, and we still have our honor! Vladimir Rald and Grey Men like you Bernitz are the real traitors! The Colonel at least had the balls to say no when they ordered him to drop a nuke on one of our cities!"
"Belka deserves to rule what the allies stole from us!" Ashley shouted back. "Because of them we lost over half of our country! We will have our revenge against both Osea and Yuktobanian and reconquer the land stolen from us, and there's nothing a stray bitch like you can do about it!"
It was quiet for a few moments until he heard her voice again.
"There is something I can do..." she said softly, but Ashley managed to hear her. "I can start by killing you AND FINISH WHAT THE DEMON LORD AND LARRY STARTED!"
Ashley growled at that, but was confused by the name Larry.
"JUST TRY IT!" He shouted and the two squadrons continued their heated duel.
The four stolen planes of Wardog Squadron exited a large cargo tunnel after evading their pursuers, who were still fighting the 8492nd Squadron. In one of the Aircraft, Karl "Blaze" Galland gave a sigh of relief, as flying through a tunnel was a little nerve wracking.
'Man...that was intense...' he thought as he looked at the aircraft in front of him, 'I knew Pops was good, but not this good. He's like Roy, or Larry, but they pale in comparison to his flying.'
"Are they still chasing us?" Nagase asked, as they flew back up into the sky, gaining some altitude.
"Well, the 8492nd isn't behind us," Blaze said, looking behind him, "Those Flankers must still be taking them on… but I doubt we're out of the woods yet."
"That's true... still, keep your heads on a swivel, there may be a few surprises out here waiting for us." Pops advised and the others all mentally nodded, until they hear Thunderhead's voice.
"Hey! What happened to the 8492nd!? We still see the traitors on the radar..." the operator said, making Blaze curse at their luck.
'Shit, not again...' he said, wishing he had his trusted F-15C Eagle, which was now impounded back at Sand Island.
Just then another familiar voice made him curse again, and wanting his fighter even more.
"This is Swordsman, I just found 'em." The voice of Captain Snow said, as ahead they could see a single F-14A Tomcat approach them. "So you just want me to shoot them down?"
"Exactly," Hamilton said.
Blaze heard Pops sigh on the comm. "He's not really our enemy," he said, referring to Swordsman. Blaze watched as Swordsman moved his F-14A around, moving up behind them, the sound of missile locks rang in his ears. However surprisingly, he didn't fire.
Blaze looked back, and saw he had a perfect firing solution. However then surprisingly he saw a series of flashing lights. "It's a signal light!" Grimm spotted out. "Trust… me… Bail… out, he wants us to Bail Out?"
Blaze was now even more surprised, but a small smirk etched on his face, realization telling him that Snow was on their side.
Pops apparently had the same conclusion as he spoke up. "Let's trust him then. Genette, you first..."
Then, a couple seconds later, the canopy of Pops' Hawk blew off and two seat ejected from the aircraft before the parachutes were deployed. The Hawk tilted away, now pilotless as a missile from Swordsman's Tomcat hit the trainer jet, said plane exploding as it's tail section was consumed in flames.
"Tracked on Radar, kill confirmed." Thunderhead said, causing Blaze to raise an eyebrow. Thunderhead has worked with them for dozens of missions, yet he doesn't find it odd their flying in perfect formation while Snow shot them down one by one? He should know they would fight back.
However he put those thoughts aside, as Edge and Grimm soon ejected after Pops, their Hawks being shot down shortly after, before it was Blaze's turn. He gripped on his ejection seat, before he pulled the lever as the cockpit was blown open and he flew up into the sky, his plane passing by below him before Swordsman fired another missile which destroyed his aircraft.
His parachute then opened as it pulled him out of the seat, which then fell to the ocean. He then looked as he saw the Tomcat fly passed him, and heading Northeast, and then began looking for his wingmen, Pops, with Kirk, and Gennette, and sighed in relief as he saw their parachutes as they floated down toward the ocean.
He then heard the unmistakable small pops of explosions and turned and saw the furball between the 8492nd, and the Fenrir Squadron, still duking it out with each other. There were still seven planes for Fenrir, and four for the Aggressors, making him wonder if this is how elite Belkan Aces show how equal they are in combat.
He shook his head as the ocean was quickly coming up. 'This is gonna hurt, won't it?' He thought, and his thought was answered as he fell into the ocean with a loud Splash.
At the dogfight
The two squadrons were going at each others throats as they tried to down one another. In the cockpit of her Flanker-D, Patricia's narrowed eyes were glued on the modified F-15S/MTD in front of her. She managed to land a few lucky hits on the left wing of the aircraft, including taking out it's M61A1 cannon. However aside from that, they were almost equally matched, the only advantage that Fenrir had over Grabacr were numbers, having three more planes than they did, so her squadmates could take on the other three Grabacr aces in two-on-one combat, leaving Patrica to deal with Ashley herself.
In his Eagle, Ashley was snarling as he spun his aircraft around to avoid another hail of weapons fire shot his way. 'I don't have time for this!' He thought, as he did barrel roll. 'We need to take care of Wardog!'
"8492nd, Return to base!" Thunderhead's voice said on the Radio, "Wardog Squadron has been confirmed shot down."
Ashley blinked in surprise. "What? By who?" He asked.
"Captain Marcus Snow, Callsign Swordsman." Hamilton said, "From the OFS Kestrel. Return to base 8492."
"We're still engaging these damn Flankers!" Ashley shouted, as he launched flares as Patricia fired one of her Vympel R-73 Archer missiles at him, the missile veering off track losing the lock.
"Disengage, 8492," Hamilton said, "We'll deal with them later, RTB, Refuel and Rearm. They won't get far unless they do have a carrier nearby… and we'll find it."
Ashley was hesitant as he wished to deal this other group of traitors alongside Huckebein, but he knew that Hamilton was right, and if they did have a carrier, and they find it, it won't get far. So with a heavy sigh, the leader of Grabacr contacted his squadron.
"All 8492 units...disengage and fall back to base immediately," he said, and immediately began hearing his squadmates' protests. "That's an order! The Wardog Squadron has already been dealt with, we need to fall back to rearm and refuel, then we'll look for their carrier."
Begrudgingly, the squadron agreed as they split off from their engagements, launching flares as they broke off and retreated. Ashley was the last to leave. "This isn't over, Traitor," he growled out, "Once we're back in the air, you and your friends are dead."
With that the four planes of the Grabacr Aggressor Squadron regrouped and headed back toward Sand Island Air Base.
Patricia sighed in relief, as she removed her oxygen mask, and lifted the tinted visor of her helmet, showing a 40 year old woman, with gracious features, a heart shaped face, cobalt blue eyes, and a strand of auburn hair poking from her helmet.
"Should we go after them, Commander?" said her number two, as his plane flew next to hers.
Patricia thought for a moment, before shaking her head.
"No, there's no time." she said as a smirk crept on her face. "Besides, by the time they come back, the Njord will already be long gone. Head to the rendezvous point we set up with the Captains, hopefully Sea Goblin will recover Wardog soon so we can get on with the primary mission."
The pilots all voiced their acknowledgement as the Flanker-D's moved back into their Delta formation, before flying away into the distance.
Later, Solo Island - Ceres Oscea
A pair of H-9 Helicopter Gunships flew over the ocean below them, as they followed where a large number of seagulls had gathered around what looked like a large amount of debris in the ocean. The pilot of the first H-9 turned on his radio "This is Sea Goblin," he said, "We have found the destroyed remains of the aircraft in the water. I don't see any of the crew, looks like they couldn't eject and sank with their planes."
"Roger Sea Goblin," Thunderhead said on the Radio. "Return to base."
The pilot nodded "Copy that." He said, smirking a bit "RTB'ing." He then glanced to the back of the aircraft, where several Marines in aquatic gear were set up. "Alright, move it Nixie! Get them out of the water, we gotta get 'em to their new home!"
The mentioned Marine nodded as he began to lower the recovery line down to a group of five people and one dog, floating in the water.
The four Belkan snow camouflage colored aircraft of the 8492nd were now back at Sand Island, waiting for permission to take off.
In the lead plane, Ashley was livid. The moment he touched down on the Wardogs' former base, he was immediately bombarded by that oath of a Base Commander, Perrault who demanded to know the status of the runaway squadron. He told him that they were shot down by the CAG of the O.F.S. Kestrel, and immediately requested his Squadron's planes to refueled and armed.
When Perrault questioned this, Ashley felt like he wanted to punch the idiot of a Commander in the face. But he kept his cool, and told him the truth about Fenrir Squadron, and said they were a renegade former Belkan Naval Air Squadron from the previous war, who have been listed as M.I.A. since the war's end, along with their carrier, the Njord. Since they and their squadron had finally resurfaced, he explained how it was likely their carrier was nearby as well, since there was no air bases close enough for Fenrir to land and refuel at aside from Sand Island that would be in their range.
Finally, Perrault granted their request as their planes were now being rearmed and refueled. The base commander also said he will launch Sand Island's second squadron of Fighters, the 247th Tactical Fighter Squadron 'Valkyrie'. They were Sand Island's only other squadron aside from Wardog, and they were being equipped with planes armed with Anti-Ship missiles.
Of course, it took at least almost three and a half hours, to fully rearm, refuel, and replace the vulcan cannon on Ashley's own fighter, while it took another 15 minutes for the Valkyrie Squadron to get ready, due to the Squadrons' refusal to believe that Wardog were traitors, and that the Squad Leader was very distrusting of the Grabacr Flight Lead. The Belkan Ace finally managed to... 'convince' the Captain of Valkyrie Squad to understand the situation, and said Squad Leader begrudgingly agreed.
Now, the F-15S/MTD's were tasking on the runway, as they moved to launch for their renewed hunt of the traitorous Belkans. 'Now you're mine, Patricia,' Ashley thought, his mind dead-set on finding and killing Patricia and her squadron, reducing them all to falling debris.
Behind the 8492nd Squadron, moving to take off themselves, were a mixture of five different aircraft who moved behind them. Leading these five fighters was an F/A-18E Super Hornet that was colored silver with a black fuselage, and red stripes along the wings, tail and engines. On either of the wings was the image of four fortune-telling cards, which read 'Justice, Wealth, Lovers, and Death' on them, with the words 'Fortune Hunter' beneath it.
Inside the Super Hornet, the pilot, who was a young man in his early thirties with short brown hair and brown eyes, was openly glaring at the 8492nd fighters as they took off. 'Arrogant pricks...' he thought, 'I odda knock your damn lights out...'
"Hey, Cap?" A voice said in their private radio channel said, as Captain Nathan Zachary looked back at the second aircraft in their wing, a dark blue colored F-14D Super Tomcat with what looked like white feathers painted on it. "Do you believe this shit? Wardog going AWOL? That doesn't sound right."
"Thought the same thing, Jack," Nathan said to his wingman, Jack Mulligan. "None of this feels right… Blaze and Pops have been our friends for too long, hell Blaze shot down more Yuke fighters than most of the Osean Air Force combined has done this entire war!"
"I know," Said the man in the back seat of the F-14D, Buck Deere. "...say, you guys remember when Blaze and the others got court martialed, right? About that bombing a civilian school in Yuktobania when they were shooting down transports evacuating from Footprint?"
"Yeah," Said the first woman's voice, coming from the pilot of a EA-18G Growler colored in black and white, Ellen Sue "Tex" Ryder. "They got let loose after the Yuke terrorist attacks, and after blowing those armories to hell… what about 'em?"
"Didn't Nagase say there was another Squadron in the area on their Radio Chatter?" Buck said, "The 8492nd… and the Joint Chiefs said the 8492nd didn't exist in our air force? If that's true, then who the hell are these guys?"
"I'm not sure," said another pilot in their group, Erik "Cobra" Gates, who was piloting Blaze's F-15C which had black colored wings and tail fins. Erik wanted to pilot Blaze's fighter, much to Perrault's objections, but Bernitz told him that they didn't have time, so Perrault allowed him to fly it. "But for now, I think it's best we just keep an eye on them."
"Agreed," Said the second female voice, from Betty "Brooklyn" Charles, piloting her F-14B Bomcat in colors mirroring Jack's, her accent being the source to her call sign. "The moment they do anything funny, they're gone."
"Calm down, Brook." Said the co-pilot of her Bomcat, Johnathan 'Big John' Washington said, "Right now, we'll follow them, but keep them in arms length... or at least close enough for gun range."
Everyone acknowledged, just as the 8492nd began to take off into the air. As they cleared the runway, Valkyrie Squadron followed suit and launched into the air themselves.
Meanwhile, enroute to Kirwin Island
The two Sea Goblin HH-9s were flying toward their destination, with their extra passengers having no clue to where they were going. The both of them were covered in survival blankets, due to the ocean's temperature.
"Glad to see you're all okay," The leader of Sea Goblin said, who was a man in his mid thirties with short military crew cut blond hair and blue eyes, wearing the standard OFMC uniform. He was smiling as he looked at Nagase "And a pleasure to see you again, Captain Nagase. Though I wish it were under better circumstances."
Nagase managed to look up, and smiled at the Marine, remembering him as the one who helped save her from being captured after she was shot down. "Good to see you too, Major Tonkha," she said, with a slight shiver in her voice from being cold. "Looks like I owe you and your men another one."
Major Antonio Tonkha chuckled a bit. "Don't mention it," he said, glancing at Blaze. "Consider this as our 'thanks for keeping us safe' during our last two missions together. Probably wouldn't have made it out without your help."
Blaze nodded as he smiled. "No prob, and I of course still owe you guys for getting Nagase out of there, and saving all of us from drowning," he said and Tonkha smiled.
"My pleasure, Captain Galland," he said, and looked to the cockpit and looked out the cockpit window. "We should be arriving at our destination shortly."
"And where would that be?" Blaze asked the Major, who pointed out the window, and the two piloted looked out the window, as they saw them approaching what looked like an icy island before them, however their eyes widened a bit as they saw a fleet of Osean warships below them near the island of ice, including a Nimitz-class Aircraft Carrier, and seven other Osean ships around it. And upon looking at its hull registration number, Blaze quickly identified the ship.
"Is that… the Kestrel?" He asked Tonkha, who smirked and nodded.
"Yep, along with the Third Osean Naval Fleet. Or...what's left of it, at least." the Major said with a sigh. "Ever since the Eaglin Straits, we were down to a handful of ships, including the big bird here. But ever since then, she hasn't taken a single hit from enemy fire."
Pops nodded at that as the helicopters approached the ship, "All because she has a good captain in command," he said and then he noticed the only aircraft on the ship's deck, were three F-14D Super Tomcats, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, and to his surprise, the Su-33 Flanker-D's of Fenrir Squadron. "What the..."
"I know what you're thinking," Antonio said. "And don't worry, the Captain will explain everything once we land."
Pops didn't say anything else as the two choppers began their descent, the crewman on the deck of the carrier signaling to slowly land until they softly landed on the ship. Soon, the side doors opened and the occupants inside disembarked, with the Marines leading them to the bridge to meet the captain. The Wardog pilots, Pops, and Gennette noticed that the deck were busy getting the Belkan fighters below deck as quick as they can. The Belkan Colonel couldn't help but chuckle.
"It's been 15 years since I last saw that paint job. Patricia hasn't changed a bit." he said, causing the now former OADF pilots and news journalist to raise a brow, but said nothing as they continued onward to the bridge. It didn't take them long, as the Sea Goblin major lead them through the corridors until they entered the bridge. It was scarcely populated at the moment, with only a few men and women manning their stations at Radar and Sonar. However two people near the end of the bridge caught their attention, both of whom were facing the window, looking out at the planes on the deck.
One of them was a man wearing a trench coat, and the signature white officer's visor cap of the Osean Maritime Defense Force. They couldn't see his face, but they were sure he was entering his sixties due to the silver white hair they could see. The other person, who was a woman by the shape of her figure, had auburn colored hair in a bun, and was wearing a leather flight jacket usually worn by combat pilots in the 1940's. They could also see she was wearing a pair of feminine-style dress pants, and a pair of shin length women's heeled boots.
Pops smirked a bit, as he stepped forward. "Patricia Schwert..." he said. "It's really you, isn't it?"
The woman in the flight jacket turned around, and to Wardog's and Genette's shock, they see the face they had seen on newspaper clippings, and photos so many times in museums and books. Though she showed some slight aging, she still looked as young as she did then.
"Hello, Colonel..." she said, a small smile on her face as her cobalt eyes twinkled in mischief. "It's been a long time."
Pops nodded at that. "Indeed it has...15 years to be exact," he said. "I almost thought you and the Fenrir's were KIA for a while…" He then chuckled a bit as the two shook hands. "Glad to see I was wrong, thanks for the hand back there."
Patricia nodded at that. "It was my pleasure. We couldn't let someone who had the balls to stand up to Rald and his cronies just get killed outright," she then turned to the three Wardogs. "And as a bonus, we saved these three, despite being Oseans they have a lot of potential, if what I had read about their Flight Lead is anything to go by. Right, Captain Galland?"
Blaze smiled a bit as he nodded. "Yes, and thank you, ma'am," He said. "It's an honor to meet you… but how do you know Pops?"
Patricia smiled. "Back when he was still in the BAF, he was my mentor at the Kellerman Institute in Dinsmark." she said, making the eyes of the three, along with Genette widen, and look toward the 'seemingly' friendly mechanic and freight pilot.
"Pops...you were..." Genette said and Wolfgang sighed.
"Yep, guess the cat is out of the bag." he said. "Allow me to...reintroduce myself. My name is Wolfgang Buchner, former Colonel of the Belkan Air Force, and former instructor at Kellerman. Also known as Huckebein the Raven."
"...known as one of the Top Aces of the Belkan Air Force during the last War," Said the man wearing the Naval captain's ranks, who turned around putting his cap back on. "All Osean reports have listed him as Killed in Action."
Pops let out a chuckle. "You can thank Bartlett for that," he said, turning to face the man. "And it's a pleasure to meet you, Captain Andersen."
Captain Nicholas A. Andersen smiled a bit "And you, Colonel Buchner." He said, turning to Wardog. "And a pleasure to meet you all in person… I never did express my gratitude for what you and your squadron had done for the fleet, you saved the Kestrel twice already."
Blaze nodded as he shook the Ship Captain's hand. "It's a pleasure sir. I'm sorry we couldn't save the rest of the fleet at Eaglin Straits, but it's good to see the Kestrel is still floating though," he said, and Andersen nodded.
"It's a miracle this ship is unharmed, but the Squadron assigned to this ship was not so lucky," he said, with a small sigh. "It pains me to see fewer and fewer pilots returning from sorties, now I've only got four pilots, including Captain Snow, the Flight leader... no one wants an aircraft carrier without aircraft."
Patricia nodded at that, knowing a Aircraft Carrier was as good as the aircraft it carried, and a Carrier without planes is just dead weight.
"Um, excuse me sir," said Grimm. "Exactly where are we?"
Andersen looked at the young Airman, and gave a smirk.
"We're at Kirwin Island Airbase, an old OADF base back during Osea's Cold War with Yuktobania," he said. "The base was abandoned when the war ended in the 1990's when the Belkan War came around, since Osea needed to put more focus on Belka and less on Yuktobania. But after the Eaglin Straights, we were stationed here, and have been trying to get the old base up and running again, repairing the old airfield, hangar bays, and buildings that have been left in disrepair for the last twenty years."
Blaze and the others nodded. "Alright, that explains the where," he said. "But, excuse me for being blunt, sir, but… why did you save us? And why are you working with a former Belkan squadron?"
Patricia sighed at that. "I guess I should start from the beginning," she said. "It happened just after the Battle of Futuro Canal. The CAG of the Njord's Air Wing was shot down, along with most of the others. The Captain decided to order a retreat and we left the area, while maintaining communications silence with the rest of the 14th Belkan Naval Fleet."
"We fell back to the Vulkan Islands, north of Belka and just south of Wellows," she continued, "Though we maintained comm silence, we listened in on how the war was progressing..." she sighed. "And we heard how the allies were advancing... across Belka the allies were gaining momentum, heading north. At that point Belka's navy was already shattered, and there wasn't much an extra carrier like the Njord could do to change the course of the war." She then closed her eyes for a moment. "Then... we saw it... June 6th, 1995..."
"The day the bombs dropped..." Nagase whispered.
Patricia nodded at that. "Yes..." she said, and her eyes narrowed. "And it was our own government that ordered the bombing...seven of our cities...12,000 people. All gone in seven pillars of flame." Her fists then began to clench. "I joined the Belkan Military so that I could help Belka reclaim its former glory. But, alas, our leaders wanted more and more, and when the allies pushed our forces back, they resorted to betray seven of our cities, and left any survivors to die."
"The day the nukes detonated… I realized the Belka I was fighting for was gone," she continued. "Overcome with Rald Extremists, giving birth to groups like A world with no Boundaries. We all realized it in the 14th..." She sighed. "When Belka officially surrendered after the war… we did not disarm ourselves, and we didn't return to the Belkan Military. We became soldiers without a country, strays, looking for a new reason to fight."
Blaze and the other two surviving Wardogs all nodded at that, sympathizing with the LTC.
"I know what it's like," Karl said. "I was born in Ustio 10 years before the invasion, but I still remember it. I didn't want to go back because it would remind of my father, who was a Colonel in the UAF. He was killed in the first hours of the War."
Patricia eyes widened slightly at that as Kei grasped his hand.
"I'm sorry, I know you're Ustian because of your accent. But I noticed a hint of Belkan in it as well. Come to think, when I read up your name, I began to wonder if you're related to a former noble family with that same name," she said, and Karl nodded.
"My Grandfather was Belkan," he said. "He was a pilot in the BAF before things began to go downhill. My dad once told me he sold everything he inherited, including the Family Castle, and moved the family to Ustio, just before they seceded."
Patricia nodded at that. "Yes, apparently the government back then was ran by arrogant bureaucrats who instead of trying to solve the country's economic troubles, they just taxed everyone outright," she said and shook her head. "Anyway, after the war ended we spent the next few years in the Vulkans, doing mercenary jobs for anyone willing to pay. Then came Asteroid Ulysses in '99. When that asteroid hit, business was booming for quite a while, entire countries fell and rose, and they needed mercenaries to help stabilize these nations. We acted in the shadows, taking on the more quiet jobs to avoid being detected by the allies and likely hunted down. Not only that, but with nearly thousands of people left as refugees after the impacts, we did our fair share and took some of them in, bringing them back to the Vulkans. Around that time, Erusea attacked San Salvacion in 2003, and started the Usean Continental War. During the early half of the war, we sided with the Erusians, being reminded of Belka in some ways, not to mention we thought Usea were treating Erusea unfairly in the Refugee Dispute..." She then sighed "But… soon near the middle of the war, they began to remind us too much of Belka, when it was ruled by the Rald Extremists."
Everyone nodded at that, knowing how the Erusians began treating civilians in their occupied territories.
"We eventually decided to pull out from the war, but not before seeing old friends and making new ones in some members of the Erusian Air Force, particularly, Yellow Squadron, led by one of our own. Erich Klinsmann, aka, Yellow 13.
The others were surprised by this.
"You met Yellow 13? The Yellow 13" Kei said in shock. "He was one of the most legendary pilots in the Usean Continental War alongside Mobius One!"
Patricia smiled a bit. "Yes, I met him," she said. "In truth, I actually flew with him long before he became 'Yellow 13', he was a Belkan Ace before then, went by the callsign of 'Reiher' during the war. After he got shot down in Operation Battle-Axe, he left the Belkan Air Force and joined the Erusian Air Force." She chuckled a bit. "Even trained his own protege, who I think had, and still has, strong feelings for him."
The others were speechless at that, as Patricia continued. "As the war continued we stayed close to keep an eye on Yellow Squadron. When the war began to turn against Erusea, I offered Erich and his squadron to join us, seeing as most of the ISAF Political Hierarchy will arrest him and his people for war crimes they didn't commit." she said. "He was reluctant at first, but he agreed..."
The group managed to put two and two together at that.
"Wait...are you saying that he's..." Pops said, and he received a smirk from his student.
"Yes, Colonel." She said, "Yellow 13 is very much alive, along with most of the original Yellow Squadron members. In order to ensure neither the Useans or Erusians tried to hunt them down, we made sure to make it look like they all went down with their planes. And it was not easy. We even played the act of the San Salvacion resistance that bombed the runway they were using."
Karl blinked at that. "I heard the Su-37 that 13's number two flew was badly damaged from that explosion, and had no time to fix the engine," he said. "Yellow 4 immediately died the next day in a skirmish with Mobius Squadron, since her eject handle didn't work."
Patricia then smirked a bit. "Well, that's what we wanted the Erusean High Command to hear." she said. "Her plane crashed, but she bailed out in the last second to trick the Erusians. With the rest of Yellow Squadron's help, we successfully faked most of their deaths in their battle with Moebius One."
The others were completely surprised by this, none more so than Pops as he felt a surge of pride for what his oldest student had done.
"How many exactly of the original Yellow Squadron aside from Erich and his number two managed to survive?" he asked while Patricia tapped her chin.
"Well aside from him and her, I'd say...about four of them." she answered. "Though we saved seven in total if you also include the fresh members who got shot down near Megalith." She smirked a bit "But, they weren't the only ones who left the Erusian Military. A fleet of Erusian Navy ships from the 2nd Erusian Naval Fleet, which like us, also fled as they didn't wish to disarm. Their flagship was the Enterprise-class Aircraft Carrier ENS Cardenal."
Blaze gave a low whistle at that. "Wow, you guys got extremely lucky. Not only did you get an elite squadron, but a whole fleet as well?"
Patricia smiled a bit "I guess you can say we've been very fortunate these past few years." She said, before she frowned "However, as you can tell… something is happening in this war," she glanced at Pops. "And as you can guess, the Grey Men are involved."
Everyone but Pops, whose face was in a scowl, blinked at that.
"The who?" said Grimm, and it was the Belkan Ace who answered.
"The Grey Men are a group of Belkan Extremists who were founded just before the war ended. They are dead set on Belka achieving an ultimate victory, no matter who gets hurt or killed," he growled out as he sighed. "It was actually the Grey Men who convinced the Belkan Government to drop the nukes in the first place, and who tried to recruit me to drop nuke on a city in my own country."
"And after the war, the Grey Men gave the allies two of their best aggressor ace squadrons," Patricia continued, "Squadrons comprised entirely of Belkan Aces, Ofnir, which was given to the Yuktobanian Air Force, and Grabacr, who were handed to the Osean Self Defense force," she looked at the Wardog pilots. "You know Grabacr as the 8492nd Squadron."
The Wardog pilots were shocked at that.
"The 8492nd Squadron...are former BAF? I knew they were good, but this is ridiculous!" Hans said, clearly disturbed by this.
"Not to mention that Hamilton was assigned to them." everyone turned to Genette, and their eyes widened at that. "Pops told me, just before you guys arrived, and we were framed as spies."
"Hamilton's a Belkan Ace?" Grimm asked shocked, "Then, wait…if the 8492nd are Belkan aces, then..."
"We were right," Karl muttered with narrowed eyes. "The Belkans got the President."
"Indeed," Captain Andersen said, adjusting his cap. "And that's the reason why you are all here… I have an intelligence vessel in my fleet, the Andromeda, they picked up an encrypted message in Belkan. We decrypted it a few days ago, and discovered where the Belkans are holding the President." He glanced at Patricia. "With Patricia and her allies help, we managed to confirm it. We need your help, as well as the help of the rogue Belkan and Erusian fleets to rescue the President."
The pilots of Wardog looked at each other. Karl looked at Kei who gave a small smile and squeezed his hand tighter. He then looked at Hans who gave a confident nod as well. He then turned back to the two officers and gave his squad's answer.
"We're in..." he said. "But...we're gonna need some planes since ours were impounded back at Sand Island."
Patricia chuckled at that. "We have some spare Su-33's back on the Njord, and we also captured a freighter owned by Grunder that was attempting to smuggle weapons into Yuktobania, including jet fighters. Plenty of them to choose from."
"Unfortunately, you'll have to stick with carrier-based aircraft for now," The Captain said, taking his hat off for a moment as he brushed his hair back. "The Air strip at the base still needs repairs from years worth of neglect, it'll be a few days until it can be used."
"Our own fleet and the Erusian Fleet should arrive sometime tomorrow, too," Patricia said. "They had to take the long way here to avoid being caught by Osean forces, Grabacr has been hunting the area relentlessly for the Njord with the help of the Osean Navy, but fortunately the Njord was long gone, it bugged out shortly after we launched to avoid being spotted, which is why we had to land on the Kestrel."
Pops nodded at that. "That's good, then we'll have enough forces to launch a full-scale rescue mission. But for now, I think it's time we get some rest," he said, and Andersen nodded.
"I'll have the Major take you and your people to quarters, Colonel Buchner. They formerly belonged to the Air Wing of this ship, but since they..."
Blaze nodded at that. "We understand sir, we'll try to be as respectful as possible." he said and Andersen nodded his thanks and the group left to their new quarters.
When the group was gone, Andersen turned toward Patricia. "Have you also managed to receive any word from...him?" he asked and the Belkan Ace nodded.
"Yes, I have." she said. "He said he managed to gather up more renegade Belkan forces, and said he'll meet us at Stier Castle in order to help us."
Andersen nodded at that. "That's good news at least."
Patricia nodded at that. "They managed to establish a base in Wellows and after we rescue President Harling, he and the others will head there."
"Things are beginning to look up for all of us, aren't they?" Andersen said, and Patricia smiled.
"Indeed." with that said she left the bridge to go check on her squadron, leaving Anderson by himself, with the exception of the few people still on the bridge.
"Yes, and soon the demon lord will rise again..."
Patriot-112: And prologue chapter done!
117Jorn: Yeah! And next chapter, we introduce some more characters, and begin the rescue mission of President Harling! And some very… interesting things happen afterwards… hehehe...
Patriot-112: Indeed...say Jorn be honest with me, which aircraft do you think best suits Razgriz Squadron?
117Jorn: F-14D Super Tomcats, to be honest, though I of course have to admit the ADF-01 FALKEN is a very suitable aircraft as well.
Patriot-112: Hmmm...Well, we'll plenty of time to figure that out later. So...until then...
Everyone: JA NE!