Topic: The Oncoming Storm  (Read 14101 times)

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The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2014, 03:47:40 am »
Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon

On the parade ground in front of the Lunar Palace, the entire 4th Regiment of Royal Foot stood in formation. Reisen stood at the front of formation, her general staff behind her. Every one of her soldiers stood tall, prepared for what was coming. The formation came to attention when Yorihime and Toyohime appear in front of the mass. All 5,000 pairs of feet snapped together at the exact same time.

Looking over the regiment, a look of sadness could be seen in Toyohime’s eyes. In her sister’s, only a serious glint was present. Reisen knew that the odds were against all 5,000 of them coming back, and it was obvious the both the sisters knew. But, they had pledged to help their former master and had given everyone the chance to stay out of it. None had taken that option.

Toyohime had finished reading a file and handed it off to her younger sister. She takes a second to organize her thoughts and find the right words.

“The NATO forces have gained a fair amount of ground and are almost at the Hakueri Shrine. The GDF has managed to get air support but are getting overwhelmed. There are reports of medium to heavy casualties, straining their medical personnel. Master Yagokoro has entered the battle personally, after Reisen Udongein was wounded by American Rangers and Russian Spetsnaz Special Forces.” She had to pause, a feeling of guilt gripping her stomach. “She has been evacuated from the battlefield and is undergoing medical care at Eientei. Master Yagokoro has been decimating their best soldiers by herself, leaving only their average ones. The 4th Regiment of Royal Foot will land just inside the boundary line of Gensokyo and sweep through the enemy posts. Since the Celestials have a mass of artillery sighted in, and they have a better record in preventing friendly fire, they’ll provide fire support. The humans have vastly higher numbers than we do, but their troops aren’t anywhere near your quality. Reisen, stand ready to deploy.”

Reisen turned around and drew her saber. As one, the foot soldiers brought their rifles up and loaded while the officers and NCOs drew their own sabers. The general staff all dismounted their horses, the forest that they would be landing in would slow them down if they weren’t on foot. Watching her horse be led away, Reisen hoped that it wouldn’t be the last she saw it.

Next to her, the standard bearer had the regimental colors at the ready, with the streamers for the various campaigns of their history waving in the faint breeze. Reisen still felt that she wasn’t ready to lead the regiment, even with both princesses’ voicing their faith in her. Her first combat command was rapidly approaching.

“The barrier is still up, so hold your positions. Once that barrier is down, expect the humans to charge you after you land. Stay in formation and fend them off. They’re too used to fighting each other to counter our doctrine. Follow the Lunarian customs of war, we are not party to the Geneva Conventions. Even if we were, some of the humans have been disregarding them.”

A signaler ran towards the sisters, and held out a small communicator. Taking it, Yorihime listened and nodded her head.

“4th Regiment, stand by. The barrier will be falling shortly.”

Reisen held a sharp intake of breath from everyone present. Even though they were elite troops, they all still felt a sense of fear. It wasn’t about the battle itself, it was from not knowing how it would turn out. Checking her sidearm one last time, she tighten her grip on her saber. The moon rabbit champed down on her fear and waited for the signal to charge forward.

Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

Maribel and Renko were still holding off the British and American soldiers when the magician begin to feel something happening. Looking up, she can see that the cracks in the sky had grown to massive sizes. Her breathing begin to pick up as well as her heart rate. The edges of her vision were starting to get blurry and she was getting disorientated. She could barely concentrate due to her headache getting worse.

Renko could tell something was affecting Maribel, but she couldn’t move due to the amount of return fire that they were taking. She cursed at the shower of bullets that was hitting the path between the two of them. But she was feeling a sense of dread in her stomach. Shifting to the side, she began to aim at the soldiers nearest her, wanting to clear the air for a few seconds so she could move. If she knew what was going to happen, she would had moved immediately.

Kappa Workshop, Youkai Mountain, Gensokyo

Yukari had returned from her trip to visit Tenshi and was watching the real time map. It was almost impossible to see, but there was glint of something that flashed in the gap youkai’s eyes. She motions Nitori towards her and grips her umbrella tightly. Once the kappa was close enough, Yukari grabbed the microphone that was hooked into the communication network.

“All GDF forces, get to cover. The barrier is about to fall. I say again: the barrier is about to fall.”

Nitori looked at the map, frowning at how far the NATO troops had gotten inside Gensokyo. And behind them, the red Xs were standing ready to fire.

“Is that it? Have we really lost, Yukari?”

“No, we still have a chance. But we need everyone to get somewhere safe first.”

The kappa couldn’t help but glance at the map, praying that Yukari was telling the straight truth this time.

Yukari had turned away from the map and disappeared into one of her gaps. A second later, she exits in her library. She goes to an ornate wooden box and opens it. Inside, an old book sat covered in a light layer of dust. Opening it, she flips through it. A harsh look can be seen in her eyes, followed by a lone tear.

“Here’s where everything changes.”

Putting the book into one of her gaps, her hand was trembling a little. It was time to alter the tide of the battle and the course of history. And to change one person’s fate.

Mountain top, Bhava-Agra, Gensokyo

With Yukari’s announcement, the entire mountainside became a frenzy of activity. Tenshi looked at the sky and could see the faint outline of cracks. Her stomach dropped when she could tell that they were getting wider. She hadn’t given much thought to what would happen when the barrier would fall, and now regretted it.

Every Celestial was working to make sure that their calculations where right. If they were off by even a thousandth of a number, they risked a horrible case of friendly fire. All of the artillery cannons were loaded and ready to fire. All they needed was for the barrier to finally break.

Tenshi pulled out her Walther P38 and looked towards the Hakueri Shrine. She hated the fact that the fog of war prevented the Celestial artillery from targeting the infantry attack. But she couldn’t risk the chance for friendly fire, no matter how perfect their calculations were. It was one thing that she learned from her father’s assignments, that patience was a valuable trait.

Looking over to the map, she sees more red squares forming up on the other side of the boundary. The Celestial artillery could inflict massive damage, but even Tenshi doubted that they would be able to hold the line by themselves if it came down to it. But that wouldn’t mean that she would fall back to the Dragon Palace just to protect the court.

If she had to, she would stay as the rear guard while the rest of the Celestials retreated. Tenshi checked her ammo one more time and looked back at the map. The red squares kept on multiplying, and were beginning to cut off and surround some of the blue ones.

The sky kept on getting more and more fractured, but still didn’t break. Tenshi looked down at her cell phone, waiting for the message to finally come through.

Human Village, Gensokyo

The Secret History Association had decided to reveal itself when Mokou had left to patrol the surrounding forest. They had managed to capture an old shop and where trying to fight off the rest of the village militia. Keine had called them back, unwilling to take casualties. She was willing to wait until the Hourai immortal came back before she made any moves.

Outside the village, Youmu was helping Remiu get to the central plaza so she could be watched over by the schoolteacher. The miko was having trouble breathing and was still unsteady on her feet. The cold feeling in her stomach told her that this wasn’t being caused by simple exhaustion.

Youmu looked up to see a SU-47 shoot the wings off of an F-22 and felt her eyes widen when she saw cracks in the sky. Everyone in the village stopped what they were doing when they saw the same thing. Mokou noticed it and rushed back to the village. On the way back, she ran into Youmu and Remiu. Helping the half ghost, Mokou led them to Keine.

Leaving the shrine maiden with Keine, Mokou walked straight towards the shop that the Secret History Association had captured. They begin to fire on her and she stops. Raising her hand up, she snaps her fingers. A spark springs to life and flies into the shop. Half a second later, the building explodes into fire. Turning around, Mokou rejoins Keine and the rest of the village militia.

The schoolteacher was looking over Reimu, she knew that the cracks in the sky had something to do with the miko’s condition. Youmu had moved to the outside of the village, kneeling behind a cart. She was keeping an eye out for any uninvited guests. The villagers had joined her and were fidgeting behind their cover. Overhead, they could hear the aircraft of both sides locked in a deadly dance.

Remiu managed to catch her breath but was still weak. Her face was pale and her eyes was starting to have a glazed look to them. Keine had a villager run and get a moist washcloth to put on the miko’s forehead. She wanted to call for Eirin but the doctor hadn’t been in contact ever since a green flare had appeared over the Bamboo Forest.

“The barrier’s starting to break. Yukari didn’t tell me anything about this, but I felt it. Now how are we going to keep them back?”

Mokou shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know. Yukari said that the Lunarians were going to help, but they haven’t shown up yet. From what I hear on the radio, we’re getting pushed back hard. I might be able to do a good amount of damage, Kaguya would too if she would get out of Eientei. But I doubt we would be to turn this around by ourselves.”

A blur in the corner of Keine’s eye made her spin around. She relaxed when it turned out to be Momiji. The White Wolf tengu had a bruise forming around her eye and she had a bloody nose.

“A group of Rangers ambushed me on the way here. And they had rocket launchers. I got all of them but they hit me with a tree in the face. Anyway, the Hakueri Shrine’s almost overrun, but I heard we have two humans barely holding the line up there with Ran and Chen. And the barrier…” Momiji couldn’t find the words to express herself.

“Yeah, the barrier…” Mokou looked at Keine, worried about her. “We won’t be able to shake off that much artillery.”

“We can’t stop, even with the odds stacked that high against us. Lady Yukari said that she had a solution-“, Youmu was interrupted by a loud shattering noise. It sent chills down everyone’s spine and made their hair stand on end.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2014, 03:00:55 pm »
Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

Renko was reloading when she heard the loud shattering. Immediately looking over to Maribel, her heart dropped when she saw Maribel’s head fall and hit the ground hard. Completely disregarding the bullets being fired at her, the physicist sprinted to the magician’s side. Landing hard on her side, she froze when she saw that the cracks had finally broken parts of the sky off.

Rolling Maribel over, she checks for any signs of bullet wounds. Finding none, Renko checks her pulse and breathing. It seems shallow and fast. Bullets hit the ground near them, making the physicist shield her. Grabbing Maribel’s rifle, Renko returns fire while still shielding her best friend. She can barely hit anything due to the tears in her eyes and her hands shaking so much.

Moving back, she holds Maribel and puts her head in her hair. In her heart, she’s begging for her best friend to wake up. Ran and Chen saw what had happened and were keeping the invading troops back. Shouting into her radio, the kitsune was trying to get a medic but all of them were too far away.

Even with all of this happening, Renko could fell something strange around Maribel. It seemed like time was simmering around her. But that wasn’t a priority right now.

Then the ground shook and the air was full of high pitch whistles.

Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon

A loud alarm began to blare, making Reisen jump. Toyohime pulled out the communicator and listened for a second. Then she drew her fan and created a large portal.

“The time has come. 4th Regiment of Royal Foot, you are now clear to land in Gensokyo. Good luck.”

Reisen nodded at the standard bearer and started to march forward. Slowly, the entire regiment followed her into the portal. For the first time, she was heading into actual combat on the frontline. Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the portal. She kept her eyes closed, expecting a bullet to hit her as soon as she was out. Concentrating on the cadence that the drummers kept up, she kept putting one foot in front of the other.

It felt like she had been marching for the longest time. She opened her eyes and saw that she was in the middle of the forest. Then the sounds of the battle hit her. A SU-47 flew low over the forest, forcing her to crouch a little. Her general staff stayed in formation around her and kept their weapons at the ready.

The headquarters company was the next to emerge from the portal. They all kept moving, making room for the rest of the regiment. Then it was the first full strength company. Reisen looked at the communications specialist in her staff.

“Have you made contact with the GDF?”

“We’re in contact. They say that NATO forces saw us arrive and want to meet us. There’s a green flare above the Bamboo Forest.”

“We’ll have to hold them off until we’re all here. Get the battalion commanders ready. And send half the regiment to investigate that flare after we get accountability. Get our riot shields up.”

A few minutes later, the battalion commanders had their commands arranged in a perimeter around the staging area. Their lead rows had brought out riot shields that were reported to block NATO rounds. The second row held their rifles over the shields, ready to fire. Reisen kept scanning the woods, waiting for first contact. The more time that it took for the enemy troops to attack them, the more companies the regiment could get on the field.

A large explosion hit near the lead company, knocking down some of Reisen’s soldiers. Then gunfire rang out, hitting the formation through the hole in their front. The moon rabbit’s mind began to race. She noticed that their opponents were taking advantage of cover and concealment and were using weapons with wide impact areas and explosive force. The number of Lunarian soldiers that were being wounded kept rising, and the concentration of fire was having little effect.

Then light vehicles began to arrive, spraying machine gun fire at the formation. The Lunarian armor and shields managed to protect a good number of the soldiers but the amount of wounded began to increase faster. More explosions began to hit the regiment as mortar teams had finished setting up and zeroing in. With more of the shied bearers being knocked down, the rest of the regiment was getting downed.

“ALL BATTALION COMMANDERS, SWITCH TO LIGHT INFANTRY TACTICS!!!” Reisen yelled out, surprising her staff. Immediately passing down her orders, the battalion commanders rush forward into the forest. Raising her saber, she follows them. She had been counting on their line infantry doctrine to counter the humans, but it looks like they had underestimated them.

The first line of LDC troops had closed with the NATO troops and were mowing them down. Running behind the rapidly advancing line, Reisen was proud of how well her troops were fighting. The NATO soldiers weren’t ready for such ferocity, most enemy kills were from rapid hand to hand combat than from bullets. Lunarian troops were taking no steps back, and they had stopped taking casualties. Back at the staging area, the rest of the battalions and companies were moving to the Bamboo Forest. Their medics were running from casualty to casualty, administering medicine. Eirin’s advances in medicine were able to bring troops that were near death to perfect health with just one pill.

The first line of light vehicles were quickly overrun by small squads. They climbed on the roofs and were beating in the hatches. When the cannons began to move to track them, the Lunarians would bend the barrels to disable them. One squad was had finally gotten the hatch open and were pouring gunfire into the crew while another were grabbing the crew and throwing them off the vehicle so their comrades could shoot them in midair. One fire team had cleared a vehicle and were running over enemy troops with it.

The ground began to shake, making Reisen stumble a little bit. An American Sergeant First Class had got in close to her and was bringing his M4 up to fire. The moon rabbit closed the distance and knocked his weapon away with her saber. He draws his head back and head butts her, helmet and all. Reisen’s vision goes blurry but she still keeps slashing at him with her saber. One hit cuts through his body armor, causing a large chunk to fall on his feet and unbalance him. This gives the moon rabbit the chance to run him through with her saber, all the way to the hilt. She kicks the body off the blade and charges at another sergeant.

A corporal was behind her and was reloading his magazine. Reisen grabs the sergeant and uses him as a human shield when the junior NCO fires. Throwing his body to the side, she blocks a strike from behind without even turning. Grabbing the arm, she breaks it and stabs backwards. A grenade goes hits the ground a few dozen feet from her, alerting her to the presence of a M203 grenade launcher. Shrapnel hits the corporal, letting Reisen look for the attacker.

Standing fully up, she calmly drew her side arm and fired two shots at the shooter. Off to the side, she could see a squad setting up a firing line. Rushing forward, she stomps on the first line that had taken a knee and jumped into the air. Swinging her saber in a wide arc, she cuts at least four necks. Pulling out a knife, she throws it and takes down a Second Lieutenant.

With a bayonet attached to his M16, a Private First Class had wanted to backstab her. The moon rabbit grabs the rifle by the handle guard and slams the butt into his jaw. The weapon goes off and hits another private coming at Reisen. Seeing more wanting to stab her, she swings the rifle one handed and hits three of them in the face. Using her momentum, she finishes by smashing in a Captain’s skull and throws the rifle to the side.

A machine gunner fires at her, forcing her to jump into a ditch. Grabbing a grenade from a dead soldier, she sneaks a peek over a fallen log. About 200 meters from her, a M240B had been set up behind another fallen log and was pinning down her and some of her general staff. Seconds later, a second machine gun team set up next to the first. The amount of fire that they were putting down was sending splinters everywhere.

She doubts that she can get the grenade to that distance with just her arm, even with her background at pounding mochi with a giant mallet. Then she looks down and spots the regimental rope hanging from her shoulder board. Quickly taking it off, she ties the end into a net. Putting the grenade in it, she gives it a test swing. The sling holds good and she sees how to make it release. Remembering the briefing that she had received from the intelligence liaison before they had stepped off, she knows that she only has five to seven seconds. Reisen quickly thumbs the clip and pulls the pin. Standing up, she swings the sling in two powerful rotations and sends the explosive on its way.

Dropping down, a hail of gunfire flies through the spot that she had just vacated. The moon rabbit waits until she hears the explosion and then jumps out of the ditch. She covers the 200 meters quickly and stabs the two crews just to make sure that they are down. Then she cuts both M240Bs in half and moves to her next target.

Above the forest, Reisen sees the various types of aircraft that NATO and the Russians had sent in. An A-10 Thunderbolt II was sent crashing by a GDF SU-47 that then destroyed a trio of Sukhoi PAK FA fighters in one pass. She was impressed by the skill that the tengus had in air to air combat and turned her attention back to the ground. The rest of her soldiers had almost made it to the end of the forest and had captured an enormous amount of weapons and other sensitive equipment.

Then she heard a hail of gunfire from her side. The standard bearer was pinned down by a platoon that had been cut off from the rest of the NATO forces. From what Reisen could tell, the humans thought that capturing the standard would make the Lunarians fall back or surrender. But they didn’t know that Reisen had no intention of being the first commander of a Royal Foot regiment to lose a standard.

Grabbing a fallen M16, Reisen takes a knee. She squeezes off a set of rounds that takes down half a squad and runs toward a rock. She slides behind it just as bullets fly towards her. Rolling on her side, she manages to squeeze off a few more with her sidearm before she has to take cover again. She tries to figure out another approach when she hears a light vehicle approach.

It was the one that her soldiers had captured. The NATO troops were stunned when it began to run them over. Reisen takes the opening and runs forward. She cuts one sergeant’s legs from behind and stabs him in the back when he falls on his knees. Then she moves forward and kicks another one behind the knees. As this one falls back, she grabs his head in a lock and falls backward. She hears a crack from the impact and rolls to the side, pulling her sidearm out.

She sees one last soldier trying to make it to cover and shoots him. Looking around, she sees that the LDC has cleared the surrounding area. Running towards her communications officer, she reloads quickly.

“Anything new?”

“The Celestials have launched three volleys of artillery that have knocked out 95 percent of NATO’s artillery. NATO infantry units are being sent towards us, they’re trying to keep us from joining up with the GDF. Armor units are being held off by helicopters and the occasional fighter. The air is too thick with dogfights for us to fly. Master Yagokoro has sent an entire division, the American 4th Infantry Division, back to their rally point and has almost decimated an entire Spetsnaz battalion. She’s not taking any prisoners or giving any of the traditional customs of war. She’s also ordered our troops to head to the Human Village and hold the line there until we can rejoin them.”

“Well, Master Yagokoro knows best. Get me accountability and get us a good map of the area.”

Looking up, she can see the moon floating in the daytime sky. Her nervousness was gone, replaced by a determination to make her masters proud.

Parts Unknown, Time Unknown

She was still confused about the recent turn of events. Just the other day, she and Renko were almost done with their senior classes and getting their degrees. The last thing she remembered was the sensation of falling during the firefight at the Hakueri Shrine.

The scene in front of her was nothing like she had seen before. It was morning and somewhat hot. She was walking on a small path that went by a large white mansion. Maribel remembered seeing a house like that in one of her history textbooks.

Then she remembered: the American Old South. Off in the distance, she saw a pair walking on the path in her direction. Not wanting to be found until she figured out what all of this was about, she moves to hide behind a nearby tree. She puts her hand on it to steady herself but almost falls when it goes straight though. Her eyes widen at this and she looks around. Seeing a white tailed deer nearby, Maribel walks towards it. The deer doesn’t notice her at all and keeps grazing.

Her mind races until she finds a plausible explanation. She settles for it being a dream and calms down. The pair is closer and Maribel is shocked once more. One of them is an older, distinguished looking gentleman with a Southern Eastern American accent. The other is a young, blonde women in a dress that looked remarkably like hers and was holding a white parasol. She even looked like her, except that her hair was longer.

“Why, General Lee, I must say that I have enjoyed my time here. And I do want to apologize again for taking up your time.”

“It was nothing at all. My wife and I have had a wonderful time during your visit and we would be happy to host you again any time.”

The pair reaches a small patio and General Lee takes out a chair for the woman. He sit down and a junior enlisted Confederate soldier brings out a tray with two glasses and a pitcher of sweet tea. He pours each of them a glass and then moves back to a nearby tree and faces away.

“Forgive me, but you never did tell me the purpose of your visit.”

The woman took a sip from the glass and pulled an envelope out. “President Davis has written a letter of introduction for me. I happen to have some information that would be helpful for the Confederacy.”

“May I ask where you got this information?”

“I have my sources.”

“You must understand that I am a little hesitant to trust you, even with this letter from President Davis.”

“My information has always been proven to be correct. I did advise President Davis about the battles of Mile Hill, Harpers Ferry, and South Mountain.”

“So you’re the one that warned us about those disasters.”

“Yes, I was the one. The information that I have may turn the tide of the war and grant the CSA the chance to become fully independent.”

“You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.”

She pulls out another envelope and puts it on the table.

“This contains the perfect strategy for an attack at an area near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. Federal troops will be under General McClellan in the open. A decisive strike there will break the Union’s will to fight. President Davis would like a copy to be signed by your adjutant general so that he knows that the strategy is in place.”

“I’ll have General Chilton sign it and deliver it to you right now.”

General Lee motions to the soldier, who jogs forward and receives the paper from his hand. He runs towards another mansion and returns a few minutes later. He hands it back to the General, who gives it to the woman.

“President Davis should be happy. Is there anything else?”

“That was the only thing. I hope it wasn’t too much of a burden.”

“Not at all, Lady Yukari. You have provided an invaluable service to the Confederacy, and my home state of Virginia.”

Before Yukari could reply, a courier arrives on horseback.

“General Lee, General Jackson has sent a report that you should see.”

“Very well, could you get Traveller for me?”

“Yes, sir.”

Turning to Yukari, he took her hand in his and kissed it. “It has been a pleasure, Lady Yukari. But the war calls.”

“Yes, I understand.”

He mounts his horse and follows the courier away from the mansion. The junior soldier comes forward to pour more sweet tea but Yukari raises a hand.

“No, I should be on my way. Thank you.”

He takes both glasses and the pitcher and returns to the mansion. Once he was out of sight, Yukari pulls out the envelope. Putting it on the table, she pulls out three cigars and wraps a piece of paper around them. Then she puts them on the envelope and pulls out a book. She reads it and nods her head.

“To Frederick County, Maryland then.”

She opens up a gap and steps through it, leaving Maribel standing there in amazement. She sits down, going through all the conversations that she had with Renko when she was taking her Military History class. Then she freezes in the midst of a realization.

Renko had talked about a battle in the American Civil War that was lost because a set of orders had fallen into enemy hands. Maribel could only remember parts of the conversation but was sure that the parts that she recalled matched up with what just happened.

But then another realization happened. The American Civil War had been fought in the 1860s, more than a hundred and thirty years before Maribel was even born. And she was sure that it wasn’t re-enactors that she had been watching. And she was still bothered by how closely that woman resembled her.

Something else about that woman didn’t sit well with Maribel. It almost seemed like she knew what was going to happen with certainly. And she was playing this situation for her own benefit. The idea of time travel popped into her mind, but she rejected it immediately.

Right now, she was more worried about getting back to Renko.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2014, 03:03:13 pm »
Mountain top, Bhava-Agra, Gensokyo

The entire mountain was shaking as every artillery cannon fired at the same time. This was their fourth volley, aimed towards the FOBs that the tengus had marked. As one, the Celestials reloaded and waited for the order to fire again.

Tenshi was dividing her attention between the map and looking through her binoculars at where the impacts were. So far, they had knocked out about 95% of the NATO artillery and were mopping up the rest. The blue haired Celestial felt a growing sense of hope with the amount of red Xs that were disappearing from the map. She was also impressed by how precisely their artillery was hitting.

Starting at the edge of the boundary, the shells were falling in a perfectly straight line. They were spaced out to cover as much area as possible. The next volleys made it seem as if a wave was coming from Gensokyo towards the rear of the NATO formation. Everything, infantry and vehicle, was being destroyed. Then a piece of shrapnel landed in the middle of an ammo depot.

A fire is started and sends cooking rounds everywhere. Ordinance specialists don’t even bother trying to contain the fire, instead they yell for everyone to fall back as artillery rounds hit closer and closer. Another ammo depot is destroyed with a direct hit and a fuel tank is next. The only units that aren’t in immediate danger of the Celestial artillery were the ones that had made it past where the Great Hakueri Barrier was.

But those troops were still having to face their own problems. The GDF had managed to rally together and join up with a detachment of the LDC at the Human Village and were lunching attacks on armored units. On the other side of the forest, the 4th Regiment of Royal Foot were decimating every NATO unit they ran across. In the Bamboo Forest, Eirin had left only one survivor of the two Special Forces groups that had tried to attack Eientei.

The Celestials were forced to duck as a flight of A-10s were lining up for an attack run, only to be shot down by another flight of GDF F/A-18s. The attack planes spin out of control, almost hitting the Celestials. The wreckage falls into a lake that Tenshi had always spent time fishing during her younger days. Staring at the oil and fuel that began to rise to the surface, she couldn’t help but wonder how many of the fish that would die were ones that she had caught and let go.

The sound of a small twig breaking reached her ear, causing her to stab the ground and raise a wall. She was almost too late as it almost didn’t stop a hail of gunfire from hitting her. Raising another wall to protect the rest of the Celestials, she closed her eyes to feel where the attack came from. Once she counted all of them, she had a dozen rocks float in front of her. Then she uppercuts all of them and lowers the rock wall in front of her.

Running forward, she sees that it was a squad of British Special Air Service soldiers that were trying to kill her. Her dozen rocks had destroyed their firearms and gave her the chance to finish them. But she wanted a fair fight, so she puts her P 38 away and readies her sword. The men draw batons and knives and run forward as well. The first one to reach her immediately receives a kick to the face.

Tenshi follows up with a pommel strike to his stomach, cracking his body armor and his ribs. Then she grabs his arm in a lock and swings him around to take a blow from one of his comrades. Kicking him away, she parries a knife slash with her blade and closes the distance quickly. Close enough to feel each other breathing, she pauses for a second to sneer at her opponent.

With a savage punch to the throat, Tenshi forces him to stumble as he gasps for air. Then she grabs his knife and stabs him in the leg with it. Letting him fall, the Celestial grabs his head and gives it a quick snap. Grabbing one of the soldier’s fists as he tries to punch her, she head butts him and makes him stagger back. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see another one move towards her.

Turning to face him, she gets in close. He responds by starting an uppercut with his knife. The Celestial dodges and rolls on his back while he stumbles forward. In the middle of her roll, she brings her sword and cuts his throat. Then she slashes twice and slams another soldier into the ground by his head. Snapping her leg behind her, she catches a third soldier in the chest and shatters his armor.

The first one that she had fought, the soldier with the broken ribs, was trying to crawl away from the fight. Tenshi steps towards him and raises both of her hands into the air. A keystone appears and she slams it into his skull. Spinning around, she throws it into another one that had hesitated.

Two SAS soldiers jump her at the same time, bringing her attention back. The first one tries to full body tackler her and lands on his face when the Celestial sidesteps. He turns on his back and throws his knife. The second one gets grabbed by the throat and swung around to be used as a shield. The knife hits him in the throat and fatally wounds him. Then Tenshi shoves him to the side and jumps forward.

She plants her sword into the soldier and rolls to the side. A butterfly knife stabs the space that she was just in, cutting a little bit of her hair. Kicking back, she feels an impact and sees the knife fly out of the soldier’s hand. Grabbing the knife out of the air, she stabs him in the side and breaks his arm for good measure.

The last one left, a grizzled veteran, stared her down. Tenshi could tell that he was going to be a formidable opponent and was looking forward to this. Another flight of NATO aircraft flew low over them, and they met the same fate as the first flight. The ground shook with the Celestial artillery that was being fired. The Celestial pulled her sword out of the ground and stood at the ready.

At the same time, they both rush forward. Tenshi brings her right arm back, readying a strike. The man sidesteps and grabs her shoulder. In response, she head butts him. Both of them stumble back and flail at each other. Tenshi’s the first to recover and slams her pommel into the hand holding the knife. The soldier shakes his other arm and makes another knife fall out of the sleeve.

Tenshi executes a quick slash that the man barely dodges. She keeps attacking, but somehow, the solider dodges every slice. He locks her sword and manages to knock it out of her hand. But the tassel coming from her pommel caught the knife and took it with it. Now with both of them unarmed, they started to trade blows.

The Celestial had adopted a boxing stance and was raining down blows on the soldier. But he had countered her by doing the same thing. For the next few minutes, the air between them was full of punches from both sides. Tenshi was impressed by how many hits the man could take and at the ones that she was getting. Then she gets a hit that knocks him on the ground.

Being hit so much had left Tenshi with both of her eyes blacken, a broken nose, and the taste in her mouth. But her opponent had taken a worse beating. He had both of his eyes almost swollen shut, blood flowing from both nostrils, severe swelling, and multiple teeth had been knocked out. Wiping her nose off, Tenshi nodded in satisfaction.

She draws her Walther P 38 and switches it to fire. Taking aim, she had to focus to steady her breathing. Then she pulls the trigger and ends her opponent's life. Staggering to where her sword had landed, she retrieves it and has a rock rise up from the ground. After she sits down, she sees Iku walking towards her with another scroll. The messenger took a quick glance around before she held out her hand.

“Eldest Daughter, looks like you’ve been busy lately. The ministers at the Dragon Palace will have a lot to say about this.”

“They can talk all they want about it back in their safe havens. Is the Dragon angry that I didn’t fall back?”

“He hasn’t said anything about it. But it looks like he’s going to let you do what you think is right for the time being. You fought them hand to hand, didn’t you?”

Tenshi nodded. Her hands were already beginning to become sore after all the times she had punched that body armor and helmet.

“Why didn’t you just shoot them? What if something had come up that you needed to take care of and you were too busy enjoying a fight? What if they had killed you because you were playing around?”

Tenshi looked her directly in the eyes.

“Because I need everyone to know that I can take care of myself, even without the weapons that Yukari gave us. My father doesn’t even trust me to leave my room without getting into trouble. Before the earthquake incident, that may had been true. But not now, can’t everyone see how much I’m trying to do the right thing? No matter what I do, I’m always the fool messing everything up.”

“Eldest Daughter, that is not-“

“Isn’t that how the Dragon Palace sees me? Some of them say that they support me, but how many of them really do? “

“Yukari Yakumo trusted you enough to help get you here.”

“But at what cost? She wants me to…” Tenshi trailed off.

“Do whatever you think is best. Here, the Dragon sends you another message.” Iku hands her the scroll. “The line of battle is shifting fast. You should be prepared for anything that could happen.” With that, the messenger turns and takes to the sky, leaving Tenshi to recover and plan her next course of action.

Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

The hail of Celestial artillery had cut off reinforcing NATO aircraft. Now with a somewhat more even playing field, the tengus were clearing the sky. The Scarlet Devil Mansion had also fixed its issue with targeting and was firing even more salvos at the human planes. Closer to the ground, Marisa was raining down destruction on every NATO unit she could see.

A group of Avenger Air Defense Systems had moved from concealment in a thick grove and were turning their missile launchers to face her. Then an alarm began to ring in the cockpit. Looking down, she sees that a wing of F-22s had locked on to her and were turning to fire. To make matters worse, a lucky bullet damaged the tail router of her Apache.

Slamming random buttons on the console managed to give her back some control, but the volley of missiles from both the air and ground were heading towards her. The magician slams her foot on the left pedal and jerks her control stick to the left. The agile helicopter rolls to the left, barely dodging all the missiles. Marisa is shocked at how close she had been to getting shot down.

Then the rear rotor decides to start to smoke, making her a sitting target. The Avengers on the ground open up with their machine guns, damaging the helicopter even more. More alarms go off in the cockpit, making it clear to Marisa that the aircraft wasn’t going to last much longer. Undoing her safety harness, she grabs her broom and pulls the handle for the windshield.

She has to fight the downwash but manages to climb out and jumps off. The gunfire stops as the soldiers on the ground think that she’s done for, until she hops on her broom and pulls out a spellcard. Flying closer to the ground, she heads for the Avengers and activates Love Sign “Non-Directional Laser”. The rotating lasers cut straight through the vehicles and some of the soldiers that hadn’t run towards cover.

Flying over some that had hidden in a ditch, she drops a bottle with a mushroom mixture and watches it explodes in a shower of stars. She’s forced to gain more altitude as the remaining soldiers begin to concentrate their fire on her. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees her Apache crash into in the ground and start another fire. But before she can look back up, she’s hit by a harsh gust of wind and an extremely loud burst of noise.

An F-22 had just tried to ram her and had missed. Marisa’s about to go lower to the ground but remembers that she’ll have to face small arms fire. She has no choice but to fight the wing of Raptors that had her in their sights. Getting another spellcard ready, she waits until they turn to face her again.

Pouring all of her energy into this next attack, she casts Light Sign “Earthlight Ray”. The nearest pair of F-22s are immediately hit and suffer critical damage. As they start to spin out of control, their pilots eject and deploy their parachutes. But a gust of wind sends them towards the Bamboo Forest.

The last fighter barely dodges the bright white lasers that come from the orbs orbiting Marisa. Then a laser hits the Raptor on its right wing root, damaging its Gatling cannon. The surprise at getting hit makes the pilot jump and miss ramming Marisa once more. She drops but still feels the back blast from the jet engines push her down farther.

She can tell that the sonic boom would be the real problem in this fight. Pulling out a pair of earmuffs that she had “borrowed” from Miko, she puts them on and casts a quick spell. She had remembered how Patchouli had explained her Copper spell and had noticed a way to modify it a little.

Casting it made her start to glow with a soft golden light. But she didn’t have time to admire it much as the Raptor made another pass at her. She free falls and closes her eyes. The ear muffs and the spell both work, blocking the sonic boom’s effect on her ears and her internal organs. Even the heat is dissipated by the spell, leaving only physical damage to worry about.

Dodging too much to even think about pulling out her revolvers, Marisa pulls out another spellcard instead. But then a gust of wind blows it out of her hand. She dives after it as the Raptor tries to ram her again. Just as she’s about to grab it, a stray bullet flies in between them, causing her to flinch away. Then the F-22 pulls up to ram her from below.

Marisa lands hard on her side and rolls until she catches hold of the left stabilizer. The pilot’s eyes widen as he catches sight of her and then tries to throw her off. He goes into a series of barrel rolls that make Marisa dizzy. The witch manages to snap her fingers and can feel her broom rushing back towards her. She waits until the plane is upside down and kicks off. Curling up into a ball, she’s pushed to the side by the exhaust from the twin jet engines.

Her trusty broom catches her and gives her the time she needed to get herself together. Her hat’s about to fly off, so she grabs it tight and wonders how it stayed on when she was on the jet. Spotting her spellcard floating in the wind, she rushes forward and grabs it. But she hadn’t counted on the pilot seeing her and pulling a tight Immelmann turn.

The witch is still too disorientated to launch herself into the dodges that she would need to dodge and steadies herself for the impact. But her eyes open just a hair to see the Raptor in front of her.

Then the cockpit explodes as a large bullet hits the plane from the bottom and goes straight through. The resulting hole bursts into flames and the plane spins out of control, barely missing her on its way down. For the next few seconds, she sits there wondering what had happen.

A series of vibrations come from something in her pocket, bring her out of her shock. She answers the phone without even looking at the caller ID.

“Marisa, are you alright? You seem kind of shaken.”

“Kourin? Was that you just now?”

“Yes, it was. Marisa, do you remember what I told you the last time you at my shop?”

“You told me that I still had some things still on my tab.”

“That’s right. I’m not about to write that off anytime soon. I know that you’re going to pay me back, and I’m going to make sure that that day comes. And your father wouldn’t be happy if I let anything happen to you.”
   
“How did you even take that thing down?”

“I owe Yukari a special favor but she got a rifle that suits me really well. I’ve been keeping an eye on you the entire time, you’re doing well for your first time fighting a real battle. It’s a shame about your Apache getting shot down like that.”

“What’s going on down there right now?”

“The Lunarians have finally shown up and are fighting NATO in the forest near your house. From what I heard on the radio, they’re taking no prisoners. The American commanders have been demanding that they pull out due to them breaking the customs of war. But the Lunar princesses have responded that they don’t follow the rules of Earth. It’s getting ugly down there, NATO’s losing entire battalions to them. The rest of the GDF have finally rallied together at the Human Village and there’s rumors that a special forces detachment tried to get Tenshi but failed.”

“What about Reimu, have you heard anything about her?”

There’s a short pause. “She’s been hit with something ever since the barrier fell. Keine thinks that it might be shock from the suddenness of the barrier’s collapse, but’s she’s recovering. Right now, she’s at the Village with the others.”

“I haven’t seen that many NATO soldiers lately, did we break them?”

“The Celestials have finally gotten a chance to fire their artillery. They’re making a perimeter that’s keeping out air and ground units. With both the Lunarians and the GDF, we’re finally advancing. So, all we have to do now is clean up the ones in Gensokyo and the battle should be over fast.”

Looking down in front of her, Marisa could see explosions and fires as far as the horizon. Over her shoulder, the tengu pilot aircraft were playing cat and mouse with the remaining NATO planes. Then she jumped when a volley of missiles came through the exploding Royal Flares at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Three of them hit the same A-10 and left no debris after the impact.

She watched the planes chase each other and could only sigh. The ordinary magician knew that Gensokyo could never be the same again after today. Yukari’s warning about having to expand also repeated itself in her mind. But what worried her the most was Remiu’s condition.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2014, 12:00:37 am »
Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

The light was extremely harsh to Maribel’s eyes. But that was the least of her worries. Something was crushing her and shaking. She twists a little bit and lets out a small groan. Then she’s grabbed even tighter.

“Maribel, you’re alive!”

She recognizes the voice as Renko and is at a loss about what she’s talking about. Then she notices that her forehead was covered in dirt and was hurting a little. The psychologist tries to sit up but feels lightheaded from the sudden movement. Her best friend was surprised at her sitting up, she didn’t try to hold her down.

“Don’t start moving like that. Take it easy for now, Ran and Chen have us covered. You had me worried so much…“

Renko was looking over her, trying to find blood or any other wounds. Finding none, she gently wipes the blonde’s forehead to get the dirt and grass off of it. Maribel can’t help but feel guilty at seeing tears in her best friend’s eyes.

“Renko, what do you know about the American Civil War?”

The physicist blinked in surprise, it helps to clear the tears in her eyes. “I know a little about it. Why are you asking about a war from over a hundred years ago right now? Don’t we have more current things to worry about?”

Maribel took a second to compose herself. “I think I had a dream about it. But it was one of my special ones. I think…that someone changed something and made it happen the way they wanted.” She had to stop, thinking about the consequences of what she’s saying. 

“Wait, what? That would mean that people can travel through time. That’s impossible…” She trailed off, remembering Maribel’s ability. Renko knew better than to doubt her visions. First it was the Torifune, then

“Get behind the shrine, you two!” Ran yelled out before Renko could finish her response. A dud mortar shell landed a few feet away from the pair, making them start to crawl towards the shrine. Renko grabs her AR-15 and shoots a few rounds to cover their movement. The kitsune throws a grenade infused with Shikigami’s Radiance “Fox-Tanuki Youkai Laser.”

The grenade gets halfway down the hill before it explodes. The first thing to come out is a rapid stream of big blue bullets along with smaller, faster blue ones. They punch a giant hole in the forest on the bottom of the hill, slinging bodies everywhere. A second volley shoots out, along its path, a series of lasers are emitted perpendicular to it. The lasers cut straight through a few squads that had been making their way up the hill.

Then a critically damaged NATO F-22 crashes on the hill and sends up a large cloud of smoke and dust that obscures everything. Ran can hear some of the soldiers yell out “gas, gas, gas”. She stops shooting for a few seconds and then sees that they had put on gas masks and were moving towards them. The first squad had reached the first laser and were low crawling under it. One of them barely touched the laser with top of their helmet and flinched as his helmet disintegrates.

It seemed that the soldiers had figured out the pattern for her spell and were making their way past it. Every time the fast volley would come, they threw themselves to the ground and lay low. The mortar troops were carrying their tubes to get to better cover, making Ran and Chen aim for them first. Switching their actions to fire, they both step out from behind cover.

Before they could aim their fire, the machine gunners opened up. The air was filled with bullets that cut through the mini barrier that Ran had set up and damage the shrine. Splinters begin to fly as the donation box and the building is riddled with holes. Ran and Chen flinched, they knew that Remiu would be out for blood when she saw what had happen.

Starting to reload, Ran looks down and sees that the magazine had jammed in her rifle. Chen’s looking at the magazines next to her, they’ll all empty. Without return fire to hamper their progress, the NATO troops quickly reach the top of the hill and drop to the prone. Waiting until they’re all on line, they lay down fire. Looking at Chen and Maribel and Renko, Ran pulls out one last spellcard and takes a deep breath.

But she stops before she can declare it. On the far side of the line, a large purple gap opens. A loud horn blares, attracting every set of eyes in the area. Then a train charges forward from the gap at full speed. It hits the ground and bounces wildly. Most of the soldiers are frozen in shock while others try to run back down the hill. But none of them escape the train. A few of the soldiers at the bottom of the hill fire at the train out of an instant reaction.

The one thing that Maribel noticed was that the cars were empty. It keeps going until another gap opens up and swallows it whole. The only evidence that it had even existed were the large marks on the ground and the multiple broken bodies that were thrown everywhere. Renko’s jaw had dropped when she had seen the subway seemly appear, her mind was racing to find an explanation that didn’t go against physics.

Above them, more gaps opened and multiple bullets began to fly from them. The rest of the soldiers go down when the bullets create a cone of devastation in front of the shrine. Seeing the destruction being wrecked on their comrades, a trio of A-10s launch missiles towards the shrine. But another gap opens to swallow them and then opens up behind them. The missiles speed out of the gap and hit their launchers. None of the pilots had even dreamt of such a thing happening and were too shocked to eject.

Behind Ran and Chen, another gap opens and a tall blonde woman steps out. She carries a katana and has a scowl on her face. The pair immediately bow to the woman and Maribel gasps. It was the same woman from the incident at the UN and her dream. But when the woman looks at the psychologist and the physicist, her expression softens. She pulls out a handkerchief and hands it to Maribel.

“Both of you must be tired from everything that’s happen today,” the woman’s voice was soft and pleasant, a sharp contrast to the death and chaos all around them. “I hope that Ran and Chen have taken good care of you two. Since we’re in the middle of a mess right now, I’ll explain everything later. But, where are my manners? You may call me Yukari.”

Before Maribel or Renko could respond, she creates a gap and stabs it with her blade. A scream sounds from a few feet away and the pair turns to look. A sharpshooter had been trying to line up a shot on them, but Yukari had stabbed him through a gap. His partner looks on in horror as the katana is pulled out and then stabbed into him as well.

Yukari had an atmosphere of cold calculation. But her eyes had a surprising warmth in them. Opening a gap, she turns to the group.

“Everyone inside, we’re going to help the kappas with organizing the final push. Yes, I would like for the two of you to join us. I promise that nothing bad will happen to either of you. And you’ll be safer with me.”

Ran and Chen were instantly through the gap. Maribel looked at Renko, she wasn’t sure about this. The physicist nodded and took her hand. Together, they walked into the gap.

White House Situation Room, Washington, DC, United States

The entire room was silent as every eye was on the screens at the front of the room. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were sitting down with stoic looks on their faces as their assistants scurried about. The members of the National Security Council were also kept busy verifying reports of casualties and losses. Once they were done, one of them turned on one of the screens in the side of the room and began to read the file he had.

“Based on reports that we have confirmed, we have lost almost 60 percent of the task force.” The room began to grow loud with murmurs and outbursts. “A few minutes ago, a series of artillery strikes almost completely destroyed every artillery cannon that we had set up. Our allies have also suffered extremely heavy casualties. Based on reports that we have intercepted, a lone doctor has been confirmed to have taken down two entire battalions of Spetsnaz, one entire regiment of SAS, two battalions of Green Berets, and one battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment by herself. She’s identified herself as a former Lunarian officer.”

A new update began to flash on the screen behind him. He grabbed the tablet that was next to him and began to read.

“Reports have been coming in that our troops have encountered an opposing military. They’re calling themselves the Lunarian Defense Corps and are not following the laws of war. They have completely cut through our forces and are keeping the rest pinned down against their artillery.” He flips pages until he finds the one he’s looking for. “The Air Force has also reported a heavy amount of downed aircraft. Multiple battalions are beginning to fall back. All of the soldiers are broken and hesitate to get back into the battle. They report multiple instances of magic being used to kill them.”

The Secretary of Defense looked at the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Should we pull out? We’ve taken too much damage and casualties for us to continue. And we’re getting destroyed by the Lunarians.”

Before the Chairman could respond, the chair at the head of the table turned around. The acting president, the former CIA director, shook his head. “No, we’re staying.”

The room began to get louder once more, this time with argument against it. But they’re all silenced when he stares at each one of them.

“Get me the Air Force Space Command and the Army Space and Missile Defense Command. A direct line.”

A few minutes later, he was in a conference call with both of their commanding generals. Then with a smirk on his face, he hangs up and turns around. Everyone in the room looked at each and then all turned to see that one of the television screens had switched to a satellite map.

“Communications, I also want a line to the Lunarian princesses. I want to speak with them about something.”

Immediately, technicians begin to go to work. Some of them had confused looks on their faces when they had to aim the dishes at the moon. But after a few minutes, they received return transmissions.

On the main screen, a pair of woman appeared. The blonde was absentmindedly eating a peach while the purple haired one had a scowl on her face. She also kept playing with the tassel on the end of her katana.

“This is the acting President of the United States of America,” the CIA director had a sneer on his face. “You may refer to me as either ‘Your Excellency’ or ‘Mr. President’. I am ready to hear your surrender and pleas for mercy.”

“Those are big words for someone that’s on the losing end of the battle. You will refer to me as ‘Your Highness’, since you are speaking to a member of the Lunarian Royal Family, I am Toyohime no Watasuki, the oldest princess of the Royal Family and head of the Lunarian Defense Corps. The same troops that are routing your best warriors.” She shook her head. “But, what could have been expected from an impure being like you, human.”

“I am nothing if not a generous man, withdraw now, and I’ll only pursue the first few war crimes that you have committed.”

“War crimes? Your continued existence is a crime against the Moon. Attacking an isolated location doesn’t seem like something that would be justified, but we Lunarians don’t worry about understanding lower beings’ ways of thinking.” Yorihime laughed with a sense of malice. “But from what I have seen, you seem to think that you’re on a plane of existence higher than everyone around you. That’s the only explanation for you putting yourself against us. I’m not a fortuneteller, but I can tell you that this will not end well for you.”

“Taisui Xingjun told me that you would say that.”

The name didn’t mean anything to the staff in the Situation Room, but both Lunarian princesses stiffened.

“I see that you recognize his name, that’s the first smart thing you have done all day. Did you really think that I wouldn’t have thought of a way to win all of these? The God of Calamity himself has pledged his allegiance to me! You’re lucky that he asked me to give you another chance, something about an elixir he wants to get his hands on. If it was up to me, I would wipe all of you off the face of the moon. After all, we did plant our flag there.”

“Yet, you disregard your own laws,” Yorihime had recovered. “The ‘Outer Space Treaty’ that your nation signed before you sent assassins to our sovereign territory prohibits any claims on any extraterrestrial body. And your own Congress agreed that it had no claims. From what I can see, those are the actions of a power hungry despot.”

“Everything that I have done is legal and in the best interests of my nation. I serve the people of the United States of American and will protect them from any threat, foreign and domestic. The continued existence of Gensokyo is a threat to the American people and the world.” He shrugs. “Let me ask you this: have either of you ever of a 25S?”

The princesses just stare at him.

“Well, in our military, we have different designations for the different types of service members we have. Each of our branches have a different method of designation, but most of them still are the same thing. For the United States Army, the 25 series is our communications branch. The S signifies that they are responsible for our multiple satellites. To even be considered to work on our satellites, they have to show a great amount of intellect. So, while I don’t mean to brag, they are some of our brightest and best. But, there’s an even higher echelon above the 25S. They are designated 1Cs. Their full designation is 25S1C. You may be asking yourselves, why am I giving all this information away?”

He laughs. “Anyone with an internet connection can find this out. But the reason why I’m tell both of you is this: I am not be played with and I’m about to show you why. The 1Cs are our satellite controllers. That means that they can have absolute power over all of our satellites, even our obsolete ones. And I have given them authorization to do whatever I wish. Watch this.”

Pushing a button next to him, he leans back with a smug smile.

22,500 miles above the Earth

An obsolete and damaged satellite was still in orbit. A remnant from the Cold War, it had an outdated designed, one that brought to mind a stout soda can. None of the lights on it were on, it just went on its merry way. Its solar panels were still in good condition, all it needed was for a signal to be received to turn back on.

The satellite received that signal and began its power on self-tests. As it went through them, status readouts were being sent to satellite controllers stationed deep in the Cheyenne Mountain range. Once everything was green, the controllers send the satellite a new set of orders.

It begins to tilt, and slowly begins to close the distance to the planet. Picking up speed, the satellite starts to glow from the friction of the earth’s atmosphere. The controllers on the ground kept a close eye on its trajectory, adjusting it with surgical precision.

Over the Pacific Ocean, the satellite’s trail can be seen as it heads towards Gensokyo.

Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon

An alarm began to go off in the operations room, causing one of the moon rabbits to wave at Yorihime. She comes into the room and turns her attention to the screen that the rabbit points to. Turning around, the princess returns to the meeting room and stares the director in the eye.

“What do you think you’re doing? Are you really going to crash a satellite near your own people?”

“They’ll be far away from the impact area. But, I’m afraid that your forces won’t be.”

Toyohime makes a cutting motion that makes the transmission turn off and walks into the operations room with her sister close behind her. She looks at the map and turns to the communication officer.

“Get ahold of Reisen’s General Staff. Tell them to get to cover as quickly as they can.”

As the communications officer begins to work her system, Yorihime walks into an empty office. Toyohime follows her after noticing the look on her face. Once the door closes, she sits down behind the desk. The pair are silent as they watch updates on the screen at the front of the room.

“We should have known.”

Toyohime turns to look at her sister, keeping silent.

“Humans shouldn’t have been able to find Gensokyo in the first place, unless they had help. If it’s really Taisui Xingjun, we’re in for a long and hard fight. He’s the only one that has ever gotten past the barrier to the Capital. We’ve underestimated him before and we’re still recovering from it.” She paused. “I can’t admit this outside of this room, but if it’s really him, Reisen won’t be able to handle the fighting by herself.”

“She’s really changed a lot.” Yorihime smiles a little. “Reisen’s not the same little rabbit that I fell on right before the Second Genso-Lunar War. We’ve both seen just now how she handles combat. But now that I think about it, just the 4th Regiment won’t be enough. You’re right, but it’ll have to be an all-out operation.”

“We’ll need to mobilize the entire LDC. And we’ll going to have to dust off our old weapons.”

Yorihime shrugged. “It can’t be helped, but how are we going to lead all of the Royal Regiments? There’ll be one left over without a royal commander.”

“What about Master Eirin?”

“From what she told me, she’s really thinking about retaking her old commission. If she does, it would make sense to give her the 1st Regiment. It was her last command, after all. The fact that she’s not really of royal blood shouldn’t affect anything. She is one of our Founders.”

“Then shouldn’t we go ahead and send in all the other branches? We can’t let the Royal Foot handle the fighting all by themselves.”

“The Cavalry Regiments should touch down next. But, if they’re going to rain down satellites on our forces, we’re going to get pinned down fast.”

Looking back at the screen, they see that the satellite is at 40,000 feet and is seconds away from impact. Both of them are hoping that Reisen got the message in time for her to get to safety. Then, the satellite suddenly explodes 10,000 above the ground. Alarms go off all around the explosion, highlighting extremely high energy levels.

“What…what was that?” Yorihime stared at the screen. “Did it do any damage at all?”

“Doesn’t look like it”, Toyohime grabbed a file off the desk. “But I remember that Master Eirin sent us a report of someone with very destructive powers. If I remember right…here it is. Her name’s Flandre Scarlet, that’s interesting. It looks like she’s the younger sister of that vampire that tried to invade. From what Master Eirin wrote, she suffers from bouts of insanity. But she’s taking medicine to counteract that.”

“Is she a threat?”

“She has a close relationship with Yukari Yakumo and that red-white shrine maiden. But she doesn’t seem to be the type to deal with cloak and dagger operations. As long as we don’t threaten her, she’ll be friendly, hopefully. From what the report says, her ability concerns something called the eye. It says that the eye is where tension is higher and that she can find it. Then she pours energy into it and destroys it.”

“Such a powerful ability. It’s too bad that she’s from the earth. We could use someone like that.”

“She’s a little too close to Yukari Yakumo for me to completely trust her if I had to. But, what about that man’s willingness to rain down satellites on Gensokyo? We don’t have to worry about them reaching us here like they are now, but that’ll change if Taisui Xingjun does the same thing he did last time. ”

“You mean having his minions take control of every faction and get them to work together? It looks like he’s already started, did you see that pin on his lapel?”

Toyohime nodded. “A catfish. His best and most loyal minion. So it’s confirmed that he has the United States under his control.”

“We can also assume that he’s working on getting his minions to infiltrate the other powers. Probably going after Russia or China as we speak. Once those three are under his power, international law will cease to exist. That’ll leave France and the United Kingdom, but they’ll usually follow the United States. At least until they fall under his control as well.”

“I can’t believe that you’ve paid attention to politics on Earth. But at least it’ll be useful now.” Toyohime is interrupted by an alarm going off. Another satellite begins to drop from orbit and heads towards Gensokyo. They watch it until it explodes near the same height as the first one.

“He’s not going to stop raining them down. Maybe he’ll throw one of his modern ones down and cut his own communications.”

“He’s not the smartest human, but I don’t think even he would order something like that.”

“From what I could tell, the fool’s power hungry.” Taking another bite out of her peach, Yorihime reads an update on Reisen’s progress on the ground. “The 4th had to switch to light infantry tactics.”

“Light infantry? There’s no way the humans could have countered our Line infantry doctrine.”

“That’s exactly what they did. Instead of matching us as Line infantry, they fought as light. So Reisen gave the order to switch doctrines. So far, they managed to clear the staging area and are covering the GDF as they regroup and attack back.”

“How bad are the casualties?”

“No serious ones at the moment. Master Eirin’s medicines have made it possible to save every last soldier under our command. It’s too bad the humans think that we have to follow their laws. I hate having to listen to them complain.”

Toyohime sighed. “The real shame is that we’re even fighting in the first place. The Second Lunar War ended with us being embarrassed but no one died. We haven’t had a shooting war since those assassins invaded. Now, we’re in open warfare.”

They both look at the wall, where two command sabers are crossed behind the Royal Crest. The sabers were relics that had seen combat in every conflict ever since the founding of the Lunarian civilization. It was tradition that members of the Royal Family wield them on the field of battle. Now, it was time for them to be used again.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2014, 12:01:44 am »
Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo

Flandre tighten her fist once more as another satellite tried to crash into them. The rain of satellites wasn’t expected at all, so she had almost not believed Remilia when she started to yell from the top of the clock tower. The younger sister’s radio had suffered some damage from the shout and had more static than before.

Looking through the spyglass that Patchouli had given her, she keeps scanning the sky for more trails of fire. Seeing another one, she focuses on it and makes a fist. It explodes into another fireball. Flandre shakes her head, she didn’t like using her ability ever since she had finally understood the consequences. But this was for defense, so it was justified.

Outside the mansion, Sakuya had pinned down an entire company with a combination of knives and bullets. A grenade comes flying towards her while she’s pulling out another set of knives. She spins around and kicks it back towards its thrower. It lands at his feet and goes off, taking down most of the squad near him.

Meiling had closed with another squad and was fighting them hand to hand. Grabbing one soldier by the neck, she throws him into another one. When they collide, an accidental discharge hits a third soldier in the leg and sends him crashing to the ground. He turns around and tries to pull out his sidearm, but the gatekeeper stabs him with his own knife.

Grabbing another soldier, she starts to hop back to the safety of the wall as bullets riddle her shield’s body. Reaching cover, she throws the body to the side and leans on the wall. Sakuya is beside her, wiping a bit of dirt off of her service cap.

“No matter how many I kill, they just won’t stop coming,” Sakuya checked her ammo. “And I’m out of rounds.”

Meiling picks up a straight sword that she had used to practice Tai Chi and pulled it out of its scabbarded. “We’ll have to show them what we youkai can do.” She pauses, remembering something. “Wait, that’s not what I meant-“
“Don’t worry about it, Meiling. I’m alright with staying human.” A bullet makes both of them turn their heads as bits of brick are send flying. “I promised Milady that I would protect her to my last breath. And that means that I’m protecting every member of this household.” Sakuya draws her old service knife. “At least we’ll take a few more with us.”

Sakuya pulls out one of her spellcards, Illusion Image “Luna Clock”, and activates it. Knives begin to rain down on the Marines that had set up hasty fighting positions, forcing them to duck. The pair use the opportunity to get in close with the first group and start to cut them down.

Remilia sees her two servants rush forward and brings her Springfield to bear. Pulling off multiple quick shots, she aims for officers. This throws the invaders into a panic, letting Sakuya and Meiling do even more damage. Every time that one of them tries to bring their rifle up, Sakuya throws a knife that hits their hand. Meiling is busy using the straight sword to disarm her opponents before she kills them.

A volley of missiles is launched, shaking the ground. Everyone is knocked off balance due to the sheer number and power of the launch. Getting her balance back, Meiling stabs a corporal then lifts his body and throws it behind her. She stomps the ground, causing the Marines near her to lose their balance again. Then she executes a large slash that hits all of them.

A commotion at the other end of the thicket attracts her attention. The gatekeeper ducks behind a tree and tries to make out what is causing it. On the other side, a group of youkai rabbits had appeared, wearing the same type of clothes as the taller rabbit from Eientei. And they’re mowing down the rest of the invaders.

Sakuya’s instantly cutting through the men between her and the rabbit with gold trim on her shoulder boards swinging a saber. The rabbit sees this and begins to move towards the maid. Once they were in speaking distance, Sakuya gave her a nod of acknowledgement.

“You couldn’t have chosen a better time to show up. What unit are all of you?” Sakuya throws a knife that hits a lance corporal in the throat and lays him out.

“We’re the 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment of Royal Foot. Our commander sent us to make sure that the anti-air defenses don’t get knocked out.”

“How many do you have?”

“About 100 well trained moon rabbits.”

“What doctrines do you know?”

“Light infantry and line infantry.”

“Line infantry? We haven’t used that for over 200 years. But that gives me an idea. What’s the rank structure on the moon?”

“Um…I’m the equivalent to a NATO captain, if that’s what you’re asking.”

Sakuya points at her own shoulder board. “This denotes me as a Hauptmann, a captain in the German armed forces. Even though I haven’t put on this uniform for a while before today, I still remember a majority of my training. And I did specialize in the Blitzkrieg.”

“But…that’s never happened before. A human commanding a Lunarian unit, it’s-”

“I’m not a regular human. Are you going to let me try out my idea or not.” The moon rabbit looks away and nods. “That’s what I wanted to hear. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t work, you can have it back. But I’m sure it will. After all, I am a human.”

Sakuya runs up to the standard bear and raises her service knife. “Lunarian troops, form up in line infantry formation.”

The moon rabbits looked at each other for a second and then started to move. Once they were all formed up, Sakuya looked around for Meiling. “Get back to the mansion and ask Milady to keep an eye out for vehicles.”

She nods her understanding and runs back. The Chief Maid decides to head for the road that leads to the front gate of the mansion. “Company, forward!” As one, the company began to march in step. Keeping an eye out for ambushes, she could tell that most of the Marines had fallen back to a rally point. Right now was the most dangerous time since their visibility was limited by both the trees and their formation.

Reaching the road, she has the formation rotate so that it face away from the mansion. “Ready your weapons!”

As the troops began to reload, Sakuya turned to the standard bearer. “What doctrine were you using when you first got here?”

“Line infantry, ma’am. But our commander had us changed when the humans started to use vehicles and explosives against us.”

“Do you have any defenses?”

“Our uniforms can stop a majority of the bullets, but our best defenses were the riot shield that we left at our staging area, ma’am.”

“What about your weapons?”

“Our rifles can fire in bursts and full fire, ma’am.”

“Full fire?”

“They can fire their entire load by holding down the trigger. They can hold 10 rounds, ma’am.”

“Alright, what about medical personnel?”

“Each squad has one dedicated doctor, ma’am.”

“Can you do the goosestep?”

“The goosestep, ma’am?”

“Never mind, looks like everyone’s ready. Company, forward!”

They begin to march again. Then Sakuya stops movement on both sides of the forest surrounding the road. “Quickly, square formation!”

The company rearranges themselves into a square formation, with Sakuya and the standard bearer in the middle. For the next few seconds, the field is quiet. Then a low flying NATO F-18 flies over the forest and is hit by a volley of missiles from the mansion. Masked by the noise, Marines and soldiers rush forward and begin to open fire and throw grenades.

“Fire!” Sakuya yells as she throws knives the send the grenades bouncing in the air. Some of the moon rabbits are hit by bullets, but their uniforms only allow the kinetic energy to affect them. Even when they are getting knocked back, they still concentrate fire on their targets. The returned grenades go off, sending shrapnel into the humans that had taken cover.

The first row takes a knee as they reload, allowing the second row to cover them. They keep firing until they need to reload, and allow the first row to stand.

“Aright, cease fire!” Sakuya can’t see any survivors in the forest. She waits for a minute, listening for the sounds of wounded. Hearing none, she nods in satisfaction. “Form up by ranks!”

As the company moves, her cell phone begins to ring. Picking it up, she answers it. “Yes, Milady?”

“Sakuya, did you really forget your cell phone or were you trying to get Meiling out of there?”

“Milady, I-”

“Don’t worry about it. From what I’m hearing from the kappas, the humans are starting to pull back. And nice work on the line infantry. The humans are getting confused with it.”

“Thank you, Milady.”

“Wait…looks like a company of American Marines haven’t gotten the message about falling back. They’re heading towards you from the lake.”

“We’re take care of them, Milady.”

Hanging up, Sakuya has the formation turn to the left and march through the forest. She halts them when she starts to hear movement. Motioning to lay down, she takes a knee and can see the first elements of the enemy company. Arranged in a wedge formation, they’re nervously looking around.

Waiting until they’re in their midst, she attacks them. The moon rabbits rush forward and stab them with their bayonets before they can make a sound. Grabbing the bodies, they hide them in the thick bushes surrounding them. Then they take up their positions once more.

The rest of the company appears and walks towards their hiding place. Sakuya backs up a little to better hide herself. When the majority of the company is on top of them, the maid jumps up and stabs the company commander in the back. This is the signal that the moon rabbits were waiting for.

Sensing the executive officer bringing his rifle up to shoot her in the back, Sakuya keeps hold of the company commander and spins him around. The bullets meant for her hit him instead and cause the XO to freeze. Dropping the body, she moves forward and cuts his throat. Taking care to avoid the blood, she sidesteps another officer trying to beat her with his rifle.

She calmly throws a knife that hits his unprotected leg and cuts the femoral artery. Unable to watch him drop due to the rifle being brought in front of her and pressing down her neck, she lowers her head. Then she bends her knees and grabs the rifle. Leaning forward, she lifts the sergeant off the ground and flips him over her shoulder. Even before he can hit the ground, a knife stabs straight through his armor and into his stomach.

The sounds of gunshots ring through the air as the moon rabbits begin to fire, not having to hesitate due to their confidence in avoiding friendly fire. Half of the company officers and senior NCOs go down, creating a panic. As the rest of the company begins to run back, the Lunarians form up and fire at their backs. The hail of gunfire completely destroys the rest of the company, leaving a silent forest in its wake.

Sakuya finds the commander of the Lunarian company and nods her head. “You were right, they are good. Now with the humans pulling back, we may be able to throw them out of Gensokyo completely. They remind me of my own troops, before we got sabotaged by not having the supplies were promised.” She has to pause to clamp down on the anger she still felt from that. “Anyway, they’re yours now. I have some things I have to take care of.”

Kappa Communication Relay Post, Youkai Mountain, Gensokyo

Renko and Maribel were amazed by the sight that met them when they stepped out of Yukari’s gap. The room was in organized chaos, with kappas running from radio to radio. In the middle of the room, the real time magical map showed the NATO and Russian forces being either wiped out or falling back. They could only fall back so far before they were stopped by the Celestial artillery.

Multiple red squares were flashing quickly then disappearing. Maribel could tell that those were NATO units that were being totally wiped out. Yukari looked at her and shook her head.

“It’s necessary. We can’t afford to hold anything back, especially with almost the entire planet against us. If it wasn’t for the Lunarians, we would’ve probably lost.” She pointed at the Human Village. “Most of the humans that live there evacuated to the Moriya Shrine, while the rest stayed behind to protect their homes. Less than a month ago, they had no idea that this was going to happen. Neither did any of the youkai. All that we were paying attention to was the harvest festival. None of us cared about anything beyond the barrier. Then it happened. The barrier began to weaken and the humans started to look in.”

Yukari’s face began to grow harsh. “No matter what I did, they still kept looking in. But it’s my fault as well. I had too much faith in the humans. I thought that their advances in science and philosophy had shown them to accept others that were different. I was completely wrong.” Maribel opens her mouth to protest, but Yukari lays a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I’m talking about humans as a whole. I will be the first to admit that there are exceptions. But, I’m happy to have met two of them. You remind me so much of myself.” The youkai had to pause. She was skating a thin line.

“Anyway, no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop all of this from happening. And I have the blood of everyone that has died today on my hands, human and youkai. But I can’t let myself slow down or stop. I owe it to them and everyone else to find a way to stop the bloodshed and restore peace.” She points at the Hakueri Shrine. “The shrine maiden that takes care of that shrine is suffering from shock brought on by the collapse of the barrier. What I want to do right now is be by her side and protect her. That I cannot do right now. She loves Gensokyo with every ounce of her being and has proven that she’s willing to put her life on the line to protect it. The best way I can help her is by coordinating the last push that’ll end this battle.”

“And yet, that’s the easy part. What worries me is what happens afterward. We’ve passed a line when the Shrine was blockaded. We can’t just withdraw into ourselves after this battle is over and expect that we’re left alone. Not with him around.” Maribel and Renko glance at each other, confused by her sudden change in tone. “But I need more evidence to make sure that I’m right about that. And that leads me to the most important part and the reason why I brought both of you here.”

Yukari turns to face them with a strange look on her face. It’s almost a desperate look, but she tries so hard to clamp down on it. Seeing it made Maribel want to hug her and comfort her. “Please, I want to ask both of you if you would help us. I’m not asking you to fight as infantry or to develop new magic or technology. Both of you are intelligent and resourceful, if you weren’t, you would have died out there. Please, help us end all of this.”

Maribel had to pause, letting the events of today replay in her mind. But, even before she had woken up this morning, she knew what she would do. Looking at Renko, she can tell that they have come to the same answer.

“We’ll help.”

The sense of relief that Yukari felt was almost tangible. “Thank you, both of you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. For now, that’s the main thing. Go ahead and walk around and get to know the kappas. They’re the ones responsible for the weapons and magic that we’re using right now. They’re a bit eccentric, but they fun to know and talk to.”

As Maribel and Renko walked away to tour the relay post, Yuyuko walked to join Yukari. The ghost’s eyes were on the departing pair as she put her fan away.

“Yukari, I haven’t seen you like this in a very long time.”

The gap youkai stayed silent. Yuyuko leans in closer and lowers her voice.

“Yukari, I know what’s going on. This is bigger than anything you’ve ever done.”

This time, Yuyuko got a reaction. Yukari stiffens and focuses on the map.

“You’re playing an extremely dangerous game, Yukari. I doubt that Lady Eiki or the Dragon God will let you go far with this. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything to either them. But are you really ready to accept the consequences? Both of them will be after your head when they find out.”

“I don’t care about myself.” Yukari spoke with such a strained tone that Yuyuko’s heart began to break. “I couldn’t protect her and then I couldn’t protect you. This is my chance to fix all of that. It doesn’t matter what happens to me, as long as she and you don’t have to go through the pain that both of you had to go through. All of my schemes have led up to this.”

“But what if it makes all of this worse? What if we…we don’t know each other anymore?” Yuyuko’s hand began to tremble and she had to grab her fan to hide it.

“That’s been at the front of my mind. But as long as both of you are happy, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I don’t ever want you to have to do what you did to seal that tree away.”

Yuyuko moved forward and held Yukari in an embrace. “I’m happy knowing you right now. No matter what happened in the past, I always knew that you were there to help me pick up the pieces. I’m not mad at that tree for what it did to me. Because of that tree, I got to know my best friend, someone that’s closer than a sister to me.”

“But I still can’t forgive myself for letting you get hurt like that. If only I didn’t wait to do something, I could’ve stop all of this from happening. You could still be alive right now, and so could she.”

“Things happen for a reason. But with all of the pieces in palace, I can’t stop you. Just remember, if anything happens, I’ll always be at your side. Even with all the time that we’ve know each other, I wish I’d known you better.”

“I think, you know me at my best.” Yukari hugged her best friend back. “I promise that I’ll do everything to make things better than before.”

Cybeast710

  • CAPCOM MAN
  • OBJECTION!
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: LikesTouhou
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2014, 07:57:14 am »
Alight, so since my semester is starting to run down, I finally got time to make my own fic. I have had this idea in my head for a while, especially playing Arma 2. So I'm going to invoke Rule 9. Touhou goes with everything. Construct criticism and questions are welcomed.

Let me rephrase that one for you.

Rule 50: Everything is crossed with everything.



Been following this one on FF.net since a friend showed me it.
My fanfics: Touhou Wrecks X!
What happens when Nue's in a pranky mood and at the same time, Yukari's bored? Pokemon XD: Impostor of Darkness
I made this cool matrixy eye:
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The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2014, 04:47:20 am »
Let me rephrase that one for you.

Rule 50: Everything is crossed with everything.



Been following this one on FF.net since a friend showed me it.

A/N: Changed. Thanks for pointing out my mistake.

Near the Human Village, Gensokyo

So far, the 4th Regiment hadn’t suffered any casualties. That was what Reisen was most grateful for. The moon rabbit had taken accountability and knew that the two detachments were quickly coming back. She decides to wait for them and speaks to the schoolteacher that’s in charge of the village’s meager defense militia.

“I won’t lie, this isn’t the first time that I’m happy to see a rabbit,” Mokou had her hands in her pocket and her H&K 416 slung on her back. “But the other one is a lot taller and does at least patch me up after those fights.”

“She’s wounded,” Reisen doesn’t bother trying to dance around the news. “Master Yagokoro’s fallen into a rampage and took down a few battalions of the human’s best warriors by herself. We’re just here to make sure that all of you aren’t overrun.”

Before Keine or Mokou could respond, a mortar hit the ground a few feet away. Dirt rained down on the group, bouncing off Keine’s hat but staying on Mokou’s hair. A shot from the front of the line goes off and the mortars stop falling.

The schoolteacher decided to step in. “We’re grateful for your help. But with the barrier down, doesn’t that mean that they can attack from any direction?”

“That’s why I have the 4th Regiment formed up all around the village in the trees. Any push against us will be stopped. But we can’t win if we don’t take the fight to them.”

“I’m in…” Everyone turns to see Remiu barely staying on her feet walking towards them. Reisen immediately recognizes her as the human that had helped her when she had come to the earth for the first time. But she was pale and shaky. Reisen ran forward and put Remiu’s arm over her should to help her.

“Hey, you’re familiar…aren’t you that doctor’s rabbit?”

“No, I’m that rabbit you nursed a long time ago. The one you’re talking about is my namesake. She’s been wounded and made Master Yagokoro go into a rampage.” Remiu began to shake even more. “Don’t worry, they’re both fine. My regiment’s surrounding the village and holding the humans at bay. But we’re going to have to do something if we don’t want to lose the advantage we have right now.”

“Yukari…she should know…”

“Damn,” Reisen turns her head to yell at her staff. “Get me a doc right now!” She turns back to Remiu. “Hang in there, we’re going to fix you up. Just try to calm yourself down. We got all of this under control.”

A moon rabbit wearing the insignia of the Medical Service reaches them and begins to examine the shrine maiden. Reisen’s communications officer runs up to her and whispers in her ear. Reisen nods and begins to give her orders to be distributed. Then she turns to the school teacher.

“Is there any way to get in touch with Yukari Yakumo?”

“Here.” Keine pulls out her cell phone and dials a number before handing it over.

A few minutes later, the Medical Service moon rabbit shakes her head. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know anything that can help her. It’s not a physical ailment, so none of my medicines can help. Master Yagokoro probably can cure it.”

“That means you need to rest.” Reisen was firm. “We’re about to do the final push. After this, I’ll do everything in my power to get Master Yagokoro to cure you. Lady Yakumo has asked me to make sure that you’re not involved with the fighting.”

“But…I-”

“I have my orders. A cavalry regiment’s about to come in, so I need to coordinate with their commander.”

“Alright.” Remiu felt useless, Reisen could see that. She gives the shrine maiden a comforting squeeze on her shoulder and hands her off to Keine. Grabbing her staff, she runs towards the rear of the village. Once she sees a portal open, she stops and waits for their reinforcements to pass through. But what surprised her was the extra support.

Behind the first rank of cavalry, Reisen’s horse was heading towards her. Behind the horse, the rest of her staff’s mounts were also heading towards them. Getting the message that the princesses are sending her, Reisen gets up on her horse. Hosteling her sidearm, she draws her saber and gives her horse a reassuring pat.

“Who’s in charge here,” Reisen looks around and sees a golden crested rider come towards her.

“I am. Princess Toyohime has sent us to reinforce your attack. We’re supposed to fall under your authority.”

Reisen grimaced. She had little experience in using cavalry, especially in a situation like this. “Form up on opposite sides of the village and wait for my signal.”

Turning around, she moves back to be closer to the front line. Her staff in arranged in a rectangular formation with her at the front and middle. Her operations officer is on her right while her signals officer is on her left. Reisen begins to shift in her saddle as she waits for the start of the attack. Pulling out a scroll from her pocket, she consults it.

The scroll contains a mini-map of the surrounding area, along with the locations of units that her security and operations officer have confirmed. At the present moment, it shows a pair of battalions that have gotten trapped due to the Celestial artillery. From the way the squares are moving, Reisen would be willing to bet that they were going to try one last push for the shrine.

The skies were finally becoming clear of NATO aircraft. That would be one less thing for Reisen to worry about. Nodding at her signals officer, she watches as the 4th Regiment changes back to line infantry doctrine and forms up in one long horizontal line with their riot shields at the front. Once she felt that they were ready, she gives the command. “4Th Regiment, forward!”

As the regiment marches towards the shrine, Reisen notices that her horse is completely calm. Gripping the reins, she tries her best to get rid of the nervousness that had just taken hold of her. She consults the map again, finding a good spot to stage themselves.

As soon as they arrive, Reisen has them get into firing position. She calls the cavalry to be closer and then waits. Noise from the side of the formation make her snap her head but she relaxes when she sees that it’s some of the white wolf tengus. A few of them have signs of having fought in hand to hand to combat, they had broken noses and black eyes.

More of the inhabitants of Gensokyo start to arrive, all of them have close combat injuries. Sakuya’s uniform was torn and she had a deep cut above her left eye. Youmu was favoring her left leg and was wiping blood from her mouth, Momiji was limping as well. Reisen was starting to grow worried until she saw a familiar face.

Eirin had walked towards them. But she had the aura of pure rage all around her. The company that was in her path scrambled to get out of her way. Reisen jumps off of her horse and bows to the doctor. Eirin’s left eye is twitching and she has her teeth clenched. There were spots of blood and dirt all over her uniform and her service pistol had a large dent on its handle.

“As you were,” Eirin’s voice was harsh. “What outfit is this?”

“The 4th Regiment of Royal Foot, Master Yagokoro,” Reisen answered. “We have the 2nd Calvary Regiment waiting a little behind us.”

Before Eirin could continue her line of questioning, her cell phone started to ring. Answering it, she listens for a few seconds and then hangs up. When she looks up, a sense of relief was evident on her face. “Alright, so we have two regiments of combat operations here, correct?”

“Yes, Master Yagokoro.”

“You’ve changed in such a short time, Reisen.”

The moon rabbit was still too nervous to say anything and flinched when the doctor raised her hand. But she was caught off guard when the doctor ruffled her hair and laughed. “You don’t have to be so nervous. I’m not as angry now as I was before. If both of my former pupils trusted you with an entire Regiment of Royal Foot, I think I can trust you too. Now tell me, do you have any training experience with using cavalry?”

“No, Master Yagokoro.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll walk you through it. Do you have a map of the surrounding area?”

“Yes, Master Yagokoro.” Reisen pulls out the scroll and unrolls it.

“What do you know about the enemy?” Eirin was going to have the moon rabbit walk herself through it.

“They’re all humans. The majority are NATO forces with a few Russian units spread here and there. They have no vehicles or heavy armor because of the GDF’s air support.”

“So mostly infantry?”

“Yes, Master Yagokoro.”

“What kind of weapons and tactics do they use?”

“They have mid-range rifles with 20 to 30 round magazines. Some of them have light to medium machine guns and a few have mortars. We’ve ran into a few snipers, but the forest keeps them from being effective.”

“What about the terrain?”

“Medium to dense forest with multiple paths. Plenty of cover with trees and ditches everywhere, Master Yagokoro.”

“What’s your objective?”

“To clear the area, Master Yagokoro?”

“And how are you going to do that?”

“We’ll have to wipe out both the remaining battalions.”

“That’s right. We’ll have to wipe out every single person.”

“But what if they surrender, Master Yagokoro?”

“They’ve seen too much today to even thing about surrendering. They see us as monsters and inhuman creatures, and they don’t expect mercy from us. But, if you really do believe that they may surrender, give it a try. Just don’t expect a miracle.”

“Yes, Master Yagokoro.”

“So you have two parts of the triangle. What about your own artillery?”

“We’ve been having problems with friendly fire at long range, Master Yagokoro. We’re relying on the Celestials to cover us.”

“Hmm…that’s a risky move.”

“I hope you’re not doubting our skills,” Tenshi had showed up. “We do have a 100% percent accuracy so far.”

“Nice of you to join us, Tenshi,” Eirin nodded in acknowledgement. “If you’re here, who’s giving the order to fire?”

“My father decided to join the fun. And I needed to be able to not worry about getting more messages from the Dragon Palace,” Tenshi holds out a scroll to the doctor. “You might want to take a look at this later.”

Eirin takes it and folds it into a pouch on her belt. “Then this’ll work out. Reisen, go ahead and make a tentative plan for the attack. Run it by me before you put it into action. Tenshi, be ready to call in more artillery when we get it moving.”

The Celestial nods and knows that’s a dismissal. She walks away and begins to tend to the various small wounds all around her. She tends to Sakuya but is careful. The maid notices how the Celestial’s extremely careful around and says something. “Is something wrong?” Sakuya immediately winces at how harsh her tone had just gotten. 

Tenshi stiffens, “I’m sorry.”

Sakuya waits for an explanation, but the blue-haired woman avoids her gaze. “It’s about what happened during the Earthquake Incident, isn’t it?”

“I shouldn’t have said what I did.”

“It’s about time you figured that out, “Sakuya nods. “I’m not mad about that anymore. But now that you know your mistake, you’re learning. And I know about all you’ve done so far today. You’re not the spoiled brat that I had knock some sense into so long ago. I can see that you’re trying to do what’s best. I appreciate that, I really do. You still have some work to do, but the fact is that you’re trying. Keep it up.”

Tenshi had to look away and wipe a tear from her eye. But now, she was able to look the maid in the eye as an equal. She finishes affixing a bandage to the cut above Sakuya’s eye and wipes the rest of the blood off of her forehead. Moving on to the next, Tenshi begins to help Youmu wipe the blood out of her mouth and nurse her leg.

Marisa arrives next, riding in on her broom. The witch is a little worse for wear but still seems ready. Once she’s done bandaging Youmu’s leg, Tenshi looks around. Almost everyone in Gensokyo is in the area, except for the faction heads. This is it. Tenshi repeats it again and again in her mind. The final push of the battle had come. 

White House Situation Room, Washington, DC, United States

“Useless,” the CIA director’s voice was full of disgust as he watched another satellite explode harmlessly above Gensokyo. “How am I going to subjugate a rouge power when they can counter everything that I throw at them?”

“Sir, these aren’t normal enemies-”, the Army Chief of Staff begins to argue back but he’s cut off.

“I don’t care about that! They aren’t anything but little girls in frilly dress! They shouldn’t have been able to stop, much less push us back!” He slams his fist on the table. “We’re supposed to be the most advanced and powerful military force on the planet! We have air superiority, the most accurate and dangerous artillery, the most well-trained troops. How are we not wiping them off the face of the planet? That’s it. I’m taking a walk. Maybe you can do something right for once without me having to hold your hand.”

He gets up and stomps out of the room. The rest of the room is silent as the various officials and assistants trade glances with each other. The screens still show rising numbers of wounded and dead from the battle. The numerous boxes that represented divisions and battalions were starting to flash and some even disappeared. The Joint Chiefs of Staff couldn’t take their eyes off the screen. One even put his hand to his face and started to weep silently. The combat action pin on his ASU was the same one as one of the divisions that was taking extreme losses.

“There’s so many of our people gone…” one of the assistants trails off.

“He doesn’t care at all. He just wants power,” one of the secretaries says. “He keeps sending our own to die just for him to look good. Why should they have to suffer-”

“They’re doing their duty. They swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to obey the orders of those placed above them,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff responded. “Even when they have a complete monster above them, they have to follow all lawful orders.”

“There has to be a way to end this,” one of the other assistants said. “There’s way too much negligence for this to be an honest mistake. So many people have died because of something that never had to happen.”

“Are you really suggesting an impeachment,” the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services lowered his voice. “Don’t you remember how he got here? What if he’s got files on all of us? If we make a move, we have to make sure that he goes down.”

“But isn’t that treason?”

“Not if we do it legally.”

The acting President is almost halfway down to his limo before his Secret Service agents realize that he’s gone. They catch up to him just as he’s walking out of the front door and he slings the door open. Jumping in, he almost slams the door on his bodyguard. He scoffs and moves to the side to let them join him.

He yells at the driver, “Take me to the Jefferson Memorial, NOW!”

The car begins to move forward and he pulls out his cell phone. Sending a quick text message, he sits back and waits for a response. He gets one a few minutes later and spends the rest of the trip fuming. Once they arrive at the monument, he jumps out and orders his security to stay where they are. Walking away, he goes to a deserted part of the monument.

He waits there for a few minutes, tapping his foot impatiently. Checking his phone again and again, he gets even more agitated when there aren’t any new text messages. There’s no one else in the immediate area as the man looks around. A nervous chill runs down his spine, but he ignores it.

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees an envelope that wasn’t there before. Picking it up carefully, he opens it. Inside, there is a sheet of paper. As the director’s eyes go from side to side reading it, his anger builds. Crushing the paper in his hand, he turns around and starts to walk around the monument to calm himself down.

From what he can see, it looks like a crowd of people were on the steps on the side away from where his car was parked. For some reason, he feels another chill. This time he pauses, trying to figure out why he’s having these reactions. Sensing something amiss, he sticks his hand in his pocket and grabs hold of the Glock 19 that he keeps there.

His eyes are attracted by the mass group of cherry blossoms that are planted around the monument. He sees movement near then and stiffens, but relaxes a little when it’s just a butterfly. But it was a strange butterfly, it glowed with an unnatural purple.

The crowd of people begin to move, making the director shift towards the side of the stairs. He gets there and looks around again. He notices a short haired blonde girl in a blue dress holding a book. She has pale skin and bright blue eyes. She walks closer to the director and stops to admire the cherry blossoms.

The director decides that she’s not a threat and keeps looking around. He does this for a few more minutes, fidgeting. Then the girl suddenly grabs him and locks the hand in his pocket. She puts her hand over his mouth and drags him into a covered spot between the trees. Struggling the entire time, the man wonders how such a pale and frail looking girl can overpower him so easily.

He stops struggling when he feels a knife stab his kidney and send paralyzing pain throughout his body. She lets him drop next to a bush and watches as he withers. Looking bored, she crouches down and looks him the eye, careful to avoid stepping into the pool of blood. Reaching for the gun in his pocket, he gets his hand slammed by her book for his trouble.

Even with being forced to spasm with pain, his eyes widen as the blonde haired girl changes to a mirror image of himself amidst a swirling of dark energy. His doppelgänger flashes him a smile and takes his wallet and cell phone. Picking up the Glock, he looks at it and shrugs.

“Can I tell you a secret,” the dying man is astonished at the prefect replication of his voice. “Taisui Xingjun was always watching you. Do you know how? Because I am Taisui Xingjun and I can change my form. I was everywhere and right next to you. You saw me every single day, and yet you were blinded by your foolishness. I was never going to let you keep all of this. You were a valuable toy, I will admit that. But now, it’s time for you to be thrown away. And before I forget, I don’t appreciate what you said about giant catfishes.” He takes the pistol and slams it down on the director’s hand, breaking every bone in it. He barely keeps hold of his consciousness and almost submits to the black at the edge of his vision.

“Now that I can control the most powerful nation on the earth, I have absolute power! Every other nation’s falling under my influence as I speak! Tell me, what does it feel like to die as a pitiful old man? Such a shame, you had such a promising future.”

“Go…to…hell…”

“Ah, at long last he speaks! Why would I want to go back there? I already took it over and got bored with it awfully fast. Even though, the sulfur did add a unique taste to the beef stew that I cooked down there. You humans do say some of the weirdest things. Too bad you didn’t pick better final words.”

Taisui Xingjun stands up. Looking down at the dying human, he stomps him in the throat. For the next few seconds, the only noise heard was a barely audible gurgling noise. Once the noise stops, he snaps his fingers and watches as the body begins to burn. Adjusting his tie, he clears his throat and fires the pistol into the body. Running back towards the monument, he begins to yell about a gunman and a fire.

The crowd begins to disperse as soon as they hear the first gunshot. Then they go into a panic when they hear a second one and hear about the fire. The bodyguards at the car hear the commotion and rush into the crowd. Seeing their charge, they surround him and escort him back to the limo. Jumping in, they do a burnout as they flee the memorial.

Once they were far enough away, Taisui Xingjun adjusts his tie again and laughs. “That was quite a walk back there. Are both of you alright?”

The bodyguards look at each other, surprised by his sudden change of mood. They nod, not knowing what to expect.

“With such an incident behind us, you two must be hungry. Driver, you’re probably hungry as well. I saw a Popeye’s around here somewhere. I always did love their biscuits. Is that good for all of you? Good, but we’ll have to get it to go. We have a lot of work to do back at the White House.”

Dragon Palace, Above Bhava-Agra, Gensokyo

Iku had just returned from delivering another scroll to Tenshi’s father when she had the idea to eavesdrop on some of the higher ministers of the palace. Moving quickly, she arrives at a garden and jumps into a bush near the door. The messenger knows that this is around the time where most of the family leaders would eat their lunch and preferred to enjoy the garden while doing so.

For the next few minutes, she sits there and wonders if it’s a mistake. Then the door opens again and they all walk in. All of them are carrying boxed lunches and sit down at the table in the middle of the garden. As they get their food ready, they small talk. This continues until all of them fall silent.

“What do you think about all of this?” one of the ministers wearing a red robe with gold trim asks.

“Are you talking about that delinquent?” A minister in orange and yellow trim responds.

“Yes, I can’t believe that they gave her such a position. Especially after that incident.”

“Aren’t you over that yet?”

“How I can be over that when I should have taken her spot because of that! I have been here longer than she has and I have done so much more! The Dragon God should reward me with more power because of my loyalty! That little brat has no right to be anywhere but locked in her room!”

“Last time I heard, you ran away from a simulated battle,” an older minister dressed in a dark purple said. “Not exactly the best trait for a leader, isn’t it?”

“He’s right. Everything something comes up, you’re always trying to get the best for yourself and leave the rest of us out in the rain. Don’t try to deny it, we all have said something about it.”

“I do what’s best for everyone!” He’s interrupted by Iku stepping out of the bush.

“Minister, it’s not befitting for someone of you position to lie so much.” The messenger glares at him, contempt dripping from her voice. “From the start of this crisis, you’ve been trying to take the mantle of leadership away from the Eldest Daughter. But what will you do once you have it? Will you run at the first volley on the battlefield? Or will you shoot the person next to you out of maliciousness or sheer incompetence? The Eldest Daughter is on the frontlines this very moment, helping with the final push. Is she scared? She won’t admit it, but she is. Why would she be scared? Because she can be killed out there. This is different. This isn’t like dying peacefully and going to meet the Yama on your terms. Human bullets cause a lot of pain and death is not quick. She can die surrounded by enemies with not a friend in sight. She can survive but be emotionally scarred for the rest of her life. Worse things can happen to her. And she knows it. But that didn’t stop her from going out there. She could have stayed with the artillery and been relatively safe. Instead she’s out there fighting the humans face to face.” Iku had to pause. “Instead of being out there as Celestial tradition dictates in a crisis, you’re sitting here in an ivory tower. Are you waiting until the dust settles so that you’ll have no resistance when you make a power play? Or is it because you’re a coward?”

Disgusted, Iku turns and leaves the room. The door slams shut behind her, leaving the ministers in angry silence. She’s halfway down the hall when she feels a chill go down her body. She pauses than a sad smile appears on her face. Looks like I stirred the hornet’s nest. She sighs. Eldest Daught-no, Tenshi, please don’t be too sad when it happens. I have faith in you, just make sure to make me wait on the other side.

She continues going down the hallway and enters the dining hall. She gets a plate of food, but barely eats anything due to her loss of interest and the heavy weight in her stomach. Iku pulls out a small book, she wasn’t concerned with who saw her now. She skimmed through the pages that she had marked and pauses. Then she pulls out another small book and begins to write in it. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see the stares of some of the medium level ministers and administrative aides.
 
Iku can understand why they were staring at her. Word tends to travel fast around the palace and she hadn’t exactly given her speech in the most secluded locale. The book wasn’t helping either. Most of the administrators were educated and could tell exactly what the book was, even if it was from the outside world. It only served to add fuel to the rumors going around. The delinquent Celestial’s closest ally, the one person that held the Dragon God’s ear, was reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince in the middle of a power play.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2014, 04:48:33 am »
Courtroom, Ministry of Right and Wrong-Gensokyo Division, Gensokyo

The number of fresh spirits made Eiki’s heart grow heavy. There were so many in the courtroom, it was standing room only. Komachi was doing her best to keep them from getting too disorganized, but it was an uphill battle. More and more spirits were arriving, all human. The Yama was grateful for that one fact. There were others that she prayed that she wouldn’t see.

Standing up, she motions for Komachi to come to her. Once the Shinigami got close enough, the Yama began to talk softly. “Get them to move out to the hallways and the break rooms, I need this courtroom clear.”

“I’ll try, Lady Eiki.”

As she walked away, Eiki felt a sense of worry about her assistant. She didn’t want to have to judge her in this very courtroom. But if the worst happened, that could become a reality. The room begins to clear out and eventually, just the two of them are left.

Eiki’s temples began to throb, making her start to rub them. For a very long time, she hadn’t seen so many spirits waiting to be judged in so short a time. Even though all of them were enemy combatants, she didn’t even think about just sending them to hell. She knew that they were just doing their duty, the responsible parties were higher up on the chain.

What she wanted to do was apologize to each and every spirit for how all of this turned out and give them the chance to talk to their families one last time. She vowed to try to get them transferred closer to their homes. Hopefully, that would give some of them closure and peace in the afterlife.

There was a knock on the door and a middle level judicial clerk walked in. She carried a bundle of papers and handed them to Komachi. She bows and then leaves the room when Eiki gives her a wave of acknowledgement. The door closes and leaves the pair in silence, expect for the noises of the judge shifting through the papers.

Once she’s done reading, Eiki lowers her head into her hands. Komachi watches her closely, not knowing what to expect.

“We can’t make the mistake of thinking we won already,” the Yama sighed. “We’re so close to a final push, but the humans won’t stop just because they were beat once. They won’t give up until almost every single one of them is waiting in line for judgment. And then what? We’ve tried so hard to keep to ourselves and now this had to happen. Unless something happens, this’ll probably lead to the extinction of either side.”

Komachi stayed silent and kept her gaze on the carpeted floor. She still had her pistol strapped to her belt, but she had always preferred her scythe. The normally cheery look on her face was replaced by a depressed frown.

“It would be bad enough if this was just between the humans and ourselves, but there’s something else in play. There’s someone out there pulling strings and making all of us dance to their sick little drum.”

This time, Komachi had to look up. “Lady Eiki, how can you be sure about that? If there was really someone other than a human making all of this happen, wouldn’t we been push back even more?”

“They’re hiding, Komachi. They want to get us weakened and then finish us off. If they gotten this far, then they know exactly what they’re doing. From what that clerk had given me,” She holds the papers up. “The outside world is watching every single thing we’re doing right now. So far, Switzerland has agreed to speak with us about all of this, but only under the utmost security. Yukari managed to argue our case well and she’s just wait for an answer. But with NATO shouting accusations of the Lunarians violating the conventional laws of war, it’ll be hard to get more allies.”

“Why don’t the Lunarians follow the conventional laws of war, Lady Eiki?”

“It because they consider the Earth to be beneath them. And the wars fought on the moon were more brutal and savage than any of the wars fought here. Eirin had told me some of the stories about her time serving in the LDC. In a way, it makes sense that they have trained to fight wars like that. But the Earth hasn’t seen that, so they won’t understand.”

“Can’t we have the Lunarians try to follow the customs?”

“It’s too late. The Lunarians have already killed entire battalions with no prisoners taken. The humans have seen these and have prepared themselves to fight to the death. The commander of the Lunarian forces, a moon rabbit by the name of Reisen, has asked about forcing a surrender, but Eirin doubts they will. Reisen hasn’t seen the actual wars that the Lunarians have had to fight, so it’s only natural that she’s like this. And the Great Hakueri Barrier’s gone now…”

The Shinigami was shocked into silence.

“There’s no retreat now. In war, laws tend to fall by the wayside so that victory can be obtained. No matter how much I try, we’re not going to follow every law and custom exactly. So if we called out the Lunarians, we would have to call ourselves out. Yukari won’t have any of that.”

Eiki stops to read one last piece of paper. “And Yukari has made two new friends. At least that’s one good thing to have come out of this. But she’s playing a dangerous game. Komachi, what’s you main job duty?”

“I’m to bring every spirit under our jurisdiction to you for judgment. If they’re not under our jurisdiction, we’re to transfer then to their proper area.”

“That’s right. But what if you’re cheated out of a spirit? What’s your duty then?”

“To bring them back at any cost, Lady Eiki?”

“But what if it conflicts with the greater good?”

Komachi paused. She had never thought about that. All she had really concentrated on was bringing back every single spirit she came across to receive their proper judgment. “Lady Eiki, what are you getting at?”

The judge lowers her voice and stares Komachi in the eye. “One of our own wants to go against the Dragon God himself.”

“Wait…what?” For the second time today, Komachi was wordless.

“Yukari Yakumo wants to change the flow of history and save someone that she couldn’t. I could tell that something was up a while back, but I couldn’t be sure until just now. One of her new friends is someone that she already knows. How she knows what going to happen is way beyond me, but Yukari is manipulating events masterfully. But she isn’t the only one that’s manipulating events for their benefit. Our mysterious enemy has his own agenda and our Dragon God has his. At this very moment, we have three major puppet masters trying to get us to dance to their own tunes.”

“What are we going to do, Lady Eiki,” Komachi was still trying to wrap her head around this.

 “Nothing.” Eiki laid the piece of paper on the desk. “There’s too much going on right now and not enough information to go on. I trust Yukari to do the right thing, but this is too big for me to be comfortable. The Dragon God has always left us alone ever since the creation of Gensokyo. And our enemy is still making their moves from behind the shadow. If I do something now, I’ll tip my hand and everyone will know that I’m on to it. Once they know that I’m watching them, it’ll be even harder for me to see what the end goal is.”

“So it’s nothing like the religious conflict a few months back?”

“The one between Remiu, the Buddhists, and the Taoists? There really wasn’t a real conflict. It was just a way to bring some excitement to Gensokyo and pass the time. No, this web of deceit and maneuvering is more dangerous than any incident we have ever seen before. It’s my duty as the Yama to have the well-being of this land in my heart. If I have to, I will move against all three to make sure that not one innocent life is harmed.”

“But, Lady Eiki, the other Yamas are going against you right now. Can you really do all of that by yourself against three other factions?”

“I’m hoping it’s only two other factions. If Yukari stays on the right path, then I’ll feel a lot better about this. She’s the only one that can actually stand a chance of countering the Dragon God’s plots if worst comes to worst.”

Eiki sits back and stretches. The Rod of Remorse and the Cleansed Crystal Mirror catch her eye. The symbols of her office and the responsibilities that she holds. She holds the Rod and looks into the Mirror. The judge had always wanted the Mirror to be able to show the future as well as it did the past. But she had never wanted it as bad as she did now.

Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

The 4th Regiment of Royal Foot was standing ready for the final push. The front row held their riot shields at the ready, creating a safe area for the GDF to stage themselves. Marisa was flying low on her broom, she kept fiddling with her Ruger Blackhawk. Tenshi and Youmu were getting a quick instruction in using the Lunarian riot shields alongside their normal weapons.

Ran and Chen had arrived back on the field with new orders from Yukari. The kitsune was to join up with Momiji and help her thin out some of the officer and senior NCO ranks. Chen was to follow Tenshi around give her support when needed. Ran and Momiji had set up in a tall tree and were scanning the area.

Reisen and Eirin were still going over the plan that they were going to use. They were close to finalizing it and were steeling themselves for the charge. Mokou had gathered the small group of militia that had followed them and had them take up defensive positions. The Hourai immortal kept checking her HK 416 and was rubbing her hands together, the first time anyone had seen her have a nervous tic.

Down the line of infantry, the Buddhists were running all around, helping the Lunarian medical personnel patch up the wounded. The Taoists were readying arrows and plates to use as long range weapons. Miko couldn’t help but smile, it felt familiar to be on the battlefield again. The White Wolf Tengus were hiding in the trees, ready to jump from branch to branch.

Kanako and Suwako were standing behind Sanae. The shrine maiden held a Magpul Masada and had a headset that she had used since before she had moved to Gensokyo. The taller of the shrine’s deities had a vine in her hand while her partner had a short iron sword. The normally cheerful grin on the blonde’s face was replaced by a tight grimace.

At the back end of the formation, Yukari and Yuyuko watched stoically. Both of them were covering the bottom half of their faces with their fans, leaving only their eyes to show expression. Yuyuko’s were filled with sadness while Yukari’s had no emotion. Their hair waved a little in the light breeze that was going through the area.

The ground started to become calm again. The Celestials had paused their barrage in order to lure the NATO forces closer. But the humans were willing to wait and recover. Above the forest, the tengus controlled the skies and were eager to be challenged. Aya was somewhat saddened when she couldn’t find anything else to shoot.

Now with a plan that Eirin had approved, Reisen jumped back on her horse and brought all of the battalion commanders join her. She has her communication specialist bring up a map of the surrounding area. Taking a moment, the moon rabbit gives the map a quick glance.

“With Master Yagokoro’s guidance, we’ve come up with a good order for attack. We’ll keep using the line infantry doctrine along with our riot shields. The Celestials and the Tengus have gotten rid of most of the vehicle and artillery that would inflict massive damage on us, so it’ll be fine. Once everyone’s ready, I’ll give the order for the entire regiment to start to march forward. Make sure you have the company keep ranks, any holes in the formation are a weak spot.” She points at a large FOB. “This is where the entire NATO offense is being coordinated. We’ll march towards there and surround it. We take that out, and the rest of the humans will scatter like flies. If we come across any that surrender, accept that surrender.”

The battalion commanders trade glances at each other and some look at Eirin. She offers no response and keeps her attention on the map as Reisen goes over contingency plans. “Should we run across a concentration of enemy vehicles or artillery, break line infantry doctrine and swarm them with light infantry. If there is a massive break in the formation, assume square formations until I give you further orders. Any questions?”

None of them say anything, so Reisen releases them and turns her attention back to Eirin. “I’m not comfortable with staying in line infantry after what happened back there, Master Yagokoro.”

“It’s understandable, little one. And you may be right. But, if you issue an order that’s too out of line with tradition, the battalion commanders may take issue with it. I can tell that some of them have a dislike of your common birth.”

Reisen looked at the ground. “The princesses probably think about me the same way…”

“No, they don’t,” Eirin gave her another pat on the head. “If they had any doubt in your abilities, they wouldn’t have given you command of a regiment of Royal Foot. Do you remember the time and money that goes into training each and every one of the soldiers in the formation in front of you? Every solider in front of you is one of the best that the Lunarian Defense Corps have to offer. Look at the situation right now, everyone assigned to the 4th is on the battlefield and is in danger of being killed. Losing the entire regiment would be a devastating setback for the LDC. And my two best students would never take a needless risk. Let the battalion commanders think what they will, I’ll take care of them.”

Reisen bows slightly and has her horse walk around the back of the formation. Eirin takes her service cap off and scratches her head. “All battalion commanders, around me if you will.”

Seeing who was summoning them, they moved faster than before. Realizing the fact that Eirin was going to speak to them while standing on the ground, they all dismounted and formed a half circle around her. The doctor waited until all of them had stopped moving and then began to speak.

“It’s recently come to my attention that some of you have little faith in your commander.” None of the commanders responded. “Is there any good reason for it? Or is it because she’s not one of your own?”

Eirin’s eyes narrowed. “Back when I served on the frontlines, I served with Lunarian and moon rabbit alike. Both of them were my comrades through the darkest times of the wars I fought. Both of them saved my life numerous times. I have held both of them as they laid dying and all they wanted was someone to be there for them in their last moments. Are you trying to tell me that moon rabbits should only be used to pound mochi and be grunts?”

Some of the commanders had the shame to look away while others stared her back. One of them even decided to argue back, “Lady Yagokoro, moon rabbits should not be in the officer ranks-“

“They shouldn’t be in the officer ranks?!?” Eirin began to see red but forced herself to calm down. “Moon rabbits have the same abilities and motivation as any of you! In fact, they should be the ones running things because they know how it really works! If I put all of you into a platoon, I doubt there would be anything but orders flying around.”

She throws her hands up in disgust. “Just get back to your battalions. If I see anything that even smells of insubordination, I’ll take you down myself. Clear?”

They all nod and go away. Eirin sighs once more. She had been gone for a long time, and things were still the same at the Lunar Capital. If she retook her commission in the LDC, she could have a chance to change it. But that would mean that she would have to leave Kaguya and Reisen. She decided to leave that decision for after the battle.

Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

The pieces were all in place. Every faction, except for most of Yuyuko’s forces, were formed up behind the main Lunarian single line defense. They all stood at the ready while Eirin readied an arrow with one of her flares attached to it. Looking at Tenshi, the doctor waits until the Celestial gives her a nod. Eirin draws the arrow back until the shaft touches her cheek. She pauses for a second, then she lets it go.

The arrow flies straight, unlike any human arrow, high into the sky. Halfway up, the flare lights up in the same green as the one from the forest. The light was strong enough to overpower the sun and casted a green shade on everything. It continues to shine even through the trees when it lands about half a mile away. Seconds later, the ground begins to shake as the Celestial artillery fires at the light.

Reisen rears her horse up and draws her saber. The battalion and company commanders draw theirs as well and wait. “4th Regiment of Royal Foot, forward!” As one, the regiment steps off. The scattered GDF stays behind the line and follows. The pounding of the artillery does nothing to get the moon rabbits off step. At about a quarter mile to the closest shell impact, Tenshi calls for a halt to the artillery.

Now without artillery to cover them, the youkai are fired on. But the first row of moon rabbits were stopping all of the bullets with their riot shields. Heavier machine guns open up, forcing some of them to stop as they were almost thrown off balance. Then a large fireball went off as an AT-4 light anti-tank weapon was fired at the middle company. Immediately, the second and third rows stepped forward to help hold the shields while the fourth row took a knee. Reisen yelled out, “Cover your ears and open your mouths!”

The rocket hits the shield wall and creates a massive explosion. Once the fireball dissipates, the line has no signs of damage. The second and third lines move back to their original positions while the fourth stands back up. Reisen raises her saber again and orders forward as bullets narrowly miss hitting her. Soldiers with M203 grenade launchers open fire, resulting in the last three rows bringing up their riot shields and holding it over their heads as they slung their rifles.

The grenades hit the overhead shields, but do no damage. Reisen’s horse begins to show signs of panic, but she pets his mane and reassures him. As soon as the distance is less than a tenth of a mile between the closest human positions and her troops, she raises her saber and yells out. “All Royal Foot, run them through!”

The shields stay up as the entire regiment charges forward. Seeing a mass of murderous moon rabbits rushing towards them with fixed bayonets struck pure fear into some of the humans. Seeing that all of their bullets were being deflected by their riot shields, some of the human soldiers began to move back. But it wasn’t enough when the first row of line infantry caught up with them.

The screams of wounded and dying humans were heard all over the forest. In the back of the human line, the remains of their command staff were desperately trying to call in reinforcements and supporting fire. Reisen rears her horse again and charges at them, her General Staff forming up in a diamond formation behind her. One of the NATO officers notices them and tries to shoot her, but is taken down by her supply officer’s sidearm.

The death of their comrade warned them of the charge too late. Reisen was cutting down a major before he could bring his rifle to bear on her. Then the rest of staff arrived. The diamond formation completely enveloped the human commanders, sending many of them into a panic. The painful screams from the dying did nothing to slow down the attack.

Then Reisen’s horse fell sideways onto the ground. She had barely been able to save her leg from being crushed by the falling animal. But she managed to keep a firm grip on her saber when she got a surprise sample of dirt. Instantly getting back on her feet, she saw that a 1st lieutenant had shot her stead. Getting angry at having her horse shot out from under her, she closed the distance then back handed him. He spins around from the force of the blow and the moon rabbit slams her foot into the side of his knee.

A sickening pop can be heard over the sounds of combat as the knee is knocked out of its socket. The officer falls to his other knee while keeping a firm grip on his M4 carbine. Reisen takes advantage of that by grabbing the rifle and pulling it into his neck. He struggles for a second or two as the moon rabbit brings it up and hears a savage crack.

She kicks the body away and runs towards her horse. On the way, a corporal tries to raise his weapon at her, but she calmly shoots him dead with her sidearm. Reaching her partner, she checks the wound on his right rear leg. She can see that there’s a fair amount of bleeding but that the wound wasn’t critical. Grateful for the fact that it wasn’t the end for her stead, she resigns herself to finishing the battle on foot.

With the middle of the formation engaging most of the NATO forces, the sides had been able to cut off the flanks and the back. Now that the humans were trapped, they began to fight even harder. The GDF had reached the line of battle and had jumped into the middle of the fight. Tenshi and Youmu had rushed into the thickest part of the fighting and were cutting down every enemy they could see.

As such close range, Eirin’s bow lost most of its effectiveness. But she had pulled out her old saber and was using an arrow to stab with her off hand. Every strike she made was a one hit kill. Mokou could be heard snapping her fingers, sending small strings of fiery death everywhere. Anyone that got too close was subjected to one of her devastating kicks to the throat.

Flandre and Meiling were just arriving, with the little vampire slinging her Leviathan around and the gatekeeper kicking rainbow colored shards everywhere. Sakuya was near them, protecting them the best she could. A mortar round landed in the middle of one of the Lunarian companies, sending most to them to the ground. Medical personal were instantly responding, along with most of the Buddhist faction members.

Marisa saw the impact and could tell where the round had come from. She jumps back on her broom and gains more altitude. Dodging the stream of bullets that are fired towards her, she speeds towards the mortar team. Once she has a good view of them, she pulls out her mini-Hakkero and unleashes a Master Spark. The mortar team is instantly killed and the witch moves away fast as even more bullets fly towards her.

A good distance away, Ran and Momiji had set up a sniper’s nest and were looking for targets. A lone colonel was the last high ranking officer on the battlefield and was trying to rally the NATO troops together. Momiji calculated the distance at about 1500 meters away. The tengu has her target in her sights and is feeding Ran information.

“He’s about twice the normal range away. I doubt I can hit him.”

“Lady Yukari made sure that the kappas gave your rifle more range. Let me do the math and I’ll make sure that the bullet hits.”

“What all do you need?”

“I need you to have a steady hand and give me a second. Let’s see…gravity…drag…barometric pressure…humidity…bullet efficiency…wind…primer…case…powder…barrel…Magnus effect…Coriolis effect and drift…the Eotvos effect…carry the one…borrow the five…divide by zero and hope we don’t break reality…and there.” Ran took a second to double check her calculations. “Aim about three and a half feet above and half a foot to the left.”

Momiji aims at the ordered point and fires when she’s perfectly still. She has a firm grip on the rifle, which prevents the rifle from moving at all when the bullet flies from the chamber down the barrel. Seconds later, the bullet hits the officer in the face and drops him into a dead heap.

“A little too high…” Momiji says.

“Still did the job, though” Ran nodded. “Look, they’re starting to waver.”

True enough, the soldiers that saw their leader fall where showing signs of even more panic. And the panic was spreading. Gunshots rang out as more and more Lunarians were shooting the NATO soldiers. Then the moment that the LDC and GDF were waiting for happened.

Most of the humans began to rout, turning their back to the fight and trying to find a way out. Some of the ones that lost hope went into a frenzy, gaining the ability to last more than a few seconds against a moon rabbit. All around the forest, first sergeants and platoon sergeants were trying to organize the rout but to no avail. The entire forest had turned into a giant melee with the occasional gunshot.

Reisen slams her saber so hard into a human’s shoulder that she can’t pull it out after he falls down. Leaving the blade, she pulls out her sidearm once more and unloads the magazine into a trio that had tried to shoot her. One of the rounds hit, but due to her uniform, it only feels like a punch than a gunshot. Then she stands up straight and pulls out a small horn. She takes a deep breath and blows the horn loud.

Back at the staging area, the cavalry troop had already formed up in diamond formations and were ready to charge. Once they heard the horn, they reared up and began to scream and carry on as they galloped into the forest. Seconds later, they arrived at the battle and broke into two parts. The two parts then pass the majority of the battle and turn around. Speeding forward, they hit the flank of the human defense and inflict massive casualties.

The Lunarian cavalry was made up of mostly nobility, but the humans wouldn’t have guessed from the way that they were enjoying the savage fight. Some of the riders were slashing left and right, cutting down human while others were emptying their sidearms on them. One of the nobles had even gotten off his horse to continue beating a dying human with the pommel of their saber.

Ducking her head, Eirin narrowly misses a tomahawk being thrown at her. She turns and sees a staff sergeant dropping his M4 and trying to pull out his M9. Rushing forward, she stabs her saber up to the hilt in his chest and then for good measure, she snaps his neck. Holding him in front of her, Eirin uses him as a shield as two corporals fire at her from behind cover.

Keeping the body in front of her as she moves towards them, she throws the arrow in the air to change her grip on it. She puts her whole weight on it as she throws it forward. The arrow hits the corporal in the chest and lays him out. The other takes a knee and tries to shoot whatever part of Eirin that he can see behind her hostage.

Kicking the body forward, she makes the junior NCO jerk his rifle out of line and gives her a chance to run at him. As he tried to bring the weapon back, he was punched in the nose and then had his arm broken. He’s slung over her shoulder and then has his throat stomped.

To her side, she hears a scream and turns to see that one of Reisen’s General Staff had her horse kick a sergeant that had tried to beat her skull in with his rifle. Knowing that a human couldn’t survived being kicked by a Lunarian bred horse, she gives the officer a nod of gratitude and quickly reloads her sidearm.

Near her, Tenshi had taken a knee to better hold the riot shield as a squad had opened fire on her. Once three of them were busy reloading, she stands up and rushes forward. She spins around and slams the side of the shield into the closest soldier. Continuing the spin, she plants her sword into his chest. Taking cover behind the shield again, she has trouble pulling the blade out. But after she gets it worked free, she stabs the ground and sends keystones flying into the rest of the squad.

The NATO soldiers try to shoot the keystones down but fail. Their lifeless bodies are flung across the clearing, hitting some of their comrades on the way. One of the bodies flew towards Miko, who doesn’t even turn around as she bats it out of the way with her sword. The light that came from the sword blinded the soldiers that she was fighting, letting Futo light them on fire and throw plates at them. Tojiko was electrocuting the humans while laughing manically. 

Chen was still hanging around Yuyuko and Yukari, keeping an eye out for any attacks. A stray bullet hits the ground next to her, making her scamper behind a tree to find cover. A lone human had broken through the line of battle and was charge straight at the pair, firing his M16 on burst the whole time.

The nekomata fires a double burst at him and sees him go down. But then he starts to get back up. She fires again and knocks him down. Then she remembered that she wasn’t firing that big of a round, so his body armor was holding. Even with magic boosting it, the 22 caliber round didn’t have enough penetrating power.

The soldier sees her and beings to shoot in her direction. She moves back behind the tree, flinching as bullets graze it. She whistles and pulls out a small bag. She opens it slightly and throws it at him. Chen spins behind the tree and waits. A few seconds later, a large group of cats run out of a thick bush and jump on the soldier. He’s too surprised by the recent turn of events to do anything but fall back.

Running out from behind the tree, she can see that the cats are starting to bite and scratch him. He tries to swat them away but there are too many. Chen gets close enough to finally stare him in the eyes before she brings up her Ruger 10/22 and fires into his face. The cats flinch at the noise but then return to eating the cat food that she had thrown on him.

She stands there for a moment and jumps when she feels a hand on her shoulder. She spins around but relaxes when she sees that it was Yuyuko.

“I told Yukari not to let you be around here,” Yuyuko sighs. “You’re too young to be having to do things like this.”

“Lady Yuyuko, I have to protect both of you and-” Chen’s cut off by the ghost princess shaking her head.

“Someone your age should be worrying about climbing trees and homework, not about finding cover and returning fire,” She crouches down until she’s at Chen’s eye level. “I’ve known you ever since you were a little kitten. You were so adorable, rolling around with only one tail and you couldn’t even open your eyes. I was there when you started to take your first steps and when you learned to cast your first spell. I even remember when Ran gave you that tricycle with the horn and you went all around Gensokyo honking it. The point I’m trying to make is that you’re still a child. It’s not your job to watch out for us, it’s ours to watch out for you. Yukari knows this and she’s done her best to keep you out of danger. But now, there’s something serious that she’s having to take care.”

A cat had decided to leave the cat food and had curled up next to Yuyuko’s foot. She picks him up gently and begins to rub his stomach. The feline stretches and begins to mew. “Look, he’s so peaceful. Wouldn’t everything be better if we were all like this?”

“Lady Yuyuko, is Lady Yukari in trouble?”

“She’s not in trouble, Chen. She’s trying to help someone that she really cares about.”

“Is it you, Lady Yuyuko?”

“No, not this time. But I have to ask you to do something important for me.”

“Yes, Lady Yuyuko.”

“I would like for you to keep an eye on Yukari. Make sure that she doesn’t try to do this all by herself. She’s a smart and strong person, but that means that she has trouble asking for help some when she needs it. If she needs any help at all, tell me. Can you do that, Chen?”

“Yes, Lady Yuyuko.”

“Good. Now, stick close to me for the rest of this.”

While all of this was happening, Yukari had been talking to Nitori. The kappa was keeping her informed of the bigger picture on the battlefield.

“Most of them are routing and trying to head back to the closest FOB,” Nitori was saying. “At this rate, most of them will be killed by the Lunarians before they make it.”

“How willing do you think they are to surrender,” Yukari was running numbers in her head. “If I’m willing to give them the chance.”

“If you have the Lunarians cut them off, there’s a likely chance. Show them that they gain something by surrendering.”

Yukari looks around for a member of Reisen’s General Staff. Spotting one, she opens a gap and sits on the exit in midair. The Lunarian looks at her surprised but doesn’t say anything.

“Listen, I have to speak to your commander. Know where she is?”

“She’s on foot right now. Some human shot her horse out from under her and she went back to being infantry.”

A familiar pair of rabbit ears can be seen surrounded by a group of digital camouflaged helmets. Yukari gaps next to fight and sees Reisen kill all of them in seconds. She turns around to lunge at the newcomer but stops when she sees that it’s Yukari.

“I see that you like the rush of combat,” Yukari said. “Sorry to ruin your fun but, I heard there’s a chance we can force the humans to surrender.”

“How’s that, Lady Yukari?”

“Have your cavalry surround the entire human line and give them the chance to lay down their arms. If you want, I could talk to them instead.”

“I hope you’re right, Lady Yukari.”

Reisen waves at her signal officer frantically. Once she’s close enough, she takes hold of the radio and opens a channel. “All cavalry, envelope the human line, but do not engage, I say again, do not engage.” Then she hands the radio to Yukari. The gap youkai waits a few minutes and then gives the order to cease fire. She pauses to organize her thoughts and then begins to speak.

“To all NATO and invading troops, I am Yukari Yakumo, the youkai of boundaries. My forces have all of you surrounded. You have seen the skill and bravely of our people, just as we have seen the same of yours. It is in respect to that, that we are giving you the chance to surrender with honor. If you continue this fight, all of you will likely die. There is no need to do this. We do not take pleasure in spilling blood. Please, lay down your arms and I give you my word that you will be permitted to walk away.”

All around, the humans were looking at the youkai and humans in front of them. None of them had ever expected to be this close to death against such a bizarre enemy. There were moon rabbits, people with tails, little girls in frilly dresses, and outdated line infantry. But they had taken a full invasion head on and were turning it back.

The highest ranking soldier still standing, a First Sergeant, was looking at the ground. Yukari sees him and walks towards him. “First Sergeant, you may gather your troops while we wait for your decision.”

He stares at her and then begins to bring the survivors together under the remaining sergeants. Yukari quickly counts the groups, they can make up a decent sized brigade at 4,500 soldiers. Their shoulder patches show at least 6 different divisions in attendance. They all keep their weapons aimed on the ground, not wanting to restart the fighting without orders.

The First Sergeant had found a group of sergeant first classes and a British staff sergeant. He gathered them up and went to stand in front of Yukari. “If we surrender, what happens then?”

“You’ll lay your weapons down and walk away. We won’t chase you, shoot you in the back, or dishonor in any way. I would suggest that you take this chance, look over there.” Yukari pointed at the Lunarian cavalry. They were fiddling with their sabers, and were visibly eager to charge again. Some of them even had a giddy look on their faces. “They’re the ones that broke your flank and cornered all of you. They really don’t care about what happens down here as long as they get to fight. First Sergeant, I know that you’re the one that’s responsible for the wellbeing of your troops. We’ll give you some more time to think it over.”

A commotion from behind Yukari grabs the attention of everyone present. A giant crowd is moving forward and calls for Eirin can be heard. The Lunarian doctor strides forward and disappears into the mass. The humans begin to tense up, causing the Lunarians to tighten their grips on their weapons. Reisen glares at her troops, a silent warning to stand down. Eirin comes out of the mass, now she supports Remiu as she tried to walk forward.

Yukari turns back to the First Sergeant. “Your side isn’t the only one that’s been affected by this battle. All throughout Gensokyo, fires have burned down trees that have stood for centuries, innocent people have been forced to leave their homes, and our youngest have had to face the reality of war far too soon.”

Some of the soldiers trade glances while others stare at the ground. Yukari walks over to Remiu and watches Eirin tend to her. “You’re still in shock. Why are you even here?”

“The barrier…and my shrine…I can’t…”

“And what do you plan on doing when you can’t even walk? In this state, you’ll end up getting yourself killed,” Eirin was starting to get angry.

The First Sergeant could be seen watching them from his spot. He turns around and speaks to the small group. A few minutes later, he nods his head and faces Yukari. His eyes are full of sadness and a little bit of fear. His gloves are stained with blood from the numerous soldiers that he tried to treat. A cut ran down the left side of his face, stopping half an inch from his eye.

Yukari could tell that he was struggling to make a decision. She had a gap ready to pull out her katana if it came down to it. But with the way that they were surrounded, it would mean certain death for a majority of the humans if they attacked. With Remiu too close to the front line, Yukari would have to enter the fight in earnest to protect the shrine maiden. The youkai didn’t want her to see her fight, she valued her option too much. Then the First Sergeant spoke.

“If you guarantee still stands, we surrender.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2014, 04:49:29 am »
Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

A loud cheer could be heard from the clearing. The Lunarian infantry lowered their weapons and riot shields while the cavalry wiped off their sabers with haughty looks on their faces.

Yukari pulls out her cell phone and calls Nitori. After a few seconds, the kappa answers. Loud cheers could be heard in the background and made hearing her somewhat difficult. Once the cheers died down, Yukari spoke.

“Nitori, can you get me a line into the radio transmitter?”

“Hang on…there. You’re online.”

The gap youkai turns back to the First Sergeant. “This phone is connected to our main radio transmitter. It’s broadcasting on an open channel. If you would, we would like for you to announce your surrender.”

He takes it and begins to speak. Yukari doesn’t bother to hear what he was saying as she made her way to Remiu. Eirin had created a quick mixture to help her get over her shock. It was taking effect quickly, the miko could stand up and breathe normally.

Yukari didn’t know what to say to her. She was saved the trouble when she saw Remiu messing with a spellcard.

“You can keep it.”

Remiu looks up, a surprised look on her face.

“This war isn’t over.  We’ve won this battle, but the outside world is still out for our blood. But I can give you one piece of good news: we may have an ally out there.”

“Who is it?”

“Now, now, I can’t go and ruin the surprise. And we haven’t lost anyone.”

“Really?”

“Really. Eirin’s medicine and the Buddhists made sure that everyone was treated. They did have help with the Lunarian medical personnel.”

The shrine maiden was filled with such a sense of relief that she just fell back and landed on her rear. She sat there, causing Yukari to smile for the first time all day. Chen runs up to the gap youkai and has a scared look on her face. Crouching down, Yukari listens to what the nekomata says and freezes.

This doesn’t escape Remiu, who has a chill grip her heart. “Yukari…what is it?”

Running numbers and patterns in her head, Yukari is hesitant to speak. But the look on Remiu’s face forces her mouth to move. “During the fighting…there was a charge at the shrine…and your donation box was destroyed.”

As soon as those words exited Yukari’s mouth, the entire forest went quiet. Remiu had frozen upon hearing the news. Then her right eye began to twitch. Her right hand began to twitch as well and her teeth were clenched. She stands up, both of her hands are curled into fists.

Suddenly, she rushes forward, yelling at the top of her lungs. “I’m going to kill every single one of you! I’m going to light you on fire and-” She’s cut off as some of the moon rabbits restrain her. Marisa lands near them and helps grab hold of the rampaging miko.

Yukari stands in front of her and turns to the First Sergeant. “You must forgive her, she’s very protective of her donation box-”

“I’m going to rip your throat out and-”

“It was the symbol of her shrine and her livelihood-” Yukari’s interrupted by Remiu throwing her gohei at the First Sergeant, who stared in surprise as the rod bounced off his helmet. The youkai steps forward and grabs the rod and shakes her head at the struggling miko. “I must apologize for that. She’s not in the best frame of mind right now.”

After a while, Remiu tires herself out and begins to calm down. Yukari turns back to the First Sergeant and shrugs, “So, would you like to go ahead and make this official?”

The First Sergeant nods and unloads his M4. Pulling the charging handle to the back to empty the chamber, he puts the rifle on safe. He holds it out to Yukari with both hands. “I hereby surrender my remaining soldiers to Yukari Yakumo, leader of the Gensokyo Defense Force.”

She takes the weapon and puts it in a gap. “I accept your surrender. First Sergeant, if you would order your soldiers to lay their weapons on the ground.”

He nods, and all of the soldiers unload and place their weapons on safe. They lay them on the ground and step back.

“Good. First Sergeant, I would for you to get them in formation.”

“All sergeants, I want eight battalion formations centered on me.”

A few minutes later, they were all formed up. Yukari turned to see Reisen planning something. “Lady Yukari, would it be possible to give them full Lunarian customs and honors?”

“That would be up to you and Eirin.”

Reisen looks at the doctor, who gives her a small nod. Turning back to her battalion commanders, she calls out, “Move to the forest entrance and assume guard formation.”

The regiment moved to the entrance of the forest and split in half. They moved away from each other and stopped when there was enough space for the human soldiers to march between them. Then they each formed a line on both sides of the path. Facing each other, they brought their rifles to the ground and waited.

Reisen mounted her horse and looked at the First Sergeant. “A guard formation is a Lunarian custom performed after an enemy has fought and surrendered honorably.”

The First Sergeant nods his gratitude and gives the command to march forward. Whenever the first rank reached them, the moon rabbits would bring their rifles up vertically. Above them, the tengu air units were turning around and heading back to Youkai Mountain.

Yukari watched them go, she had a hand on Remiu’s shoulder.

“Should we have really let them go?”

The gap youkai looks at the miko. “You wanted us to finish them all off?”

“They’re going to be back, aren’t they?”

“Yes, Remiu. I told you that this war isn’t over. They will be back, but since we know what they’re capable of, we should have an advantage.”

“And then what? Are we going to have to be defending ourselves for the rest of our lives?”

“Flandre has some ideas about what we can do. But don’t worry about it right now. We have a lot to things to clean up and maybe we can a little celebration. We did successfully defend our homeland against all odds, after all.”

“But at what price, Yukari?”

“We did lose some of the villagers, but they betrayed us. It’s of no consequence. There are some fires all around, but I’ll ask Kanako to make it rain. But the biggest problem we have are the bodies of the dead. The First Sergeant was hesitant to ask us about it, but I knew he was concerned about it.”

“What are you planning on doing?”

“I’m thinking about gapping a few of their soldiers back here and letting them get the bodies. I’ll gap them back so they won’t know how far they really got in.”

“You think they’ll accept?”

“They really have no other choice. We don’t really have the space to bury all of them, so they’re probably end up being tossed into Old Hell’s furnace.”

“That’s harsh, even for you, Yukari.”

“That’s only if it has to be done. I’m sure that they’ll see reason.”

“I suppose.’

“I do have some things I have to take care, so I’ll going to be busy for a bit.”

With that, Yukari created a gap and left the clearing. Remiu stared after her for a few minutes and then began to make her way back to the shrine.

White House Situation Room, Washington, DC, United States

A public relations officer’s worst nightmare had happened. Somehow, a journalist had managed to find their way into the middle of the battle and was transmitting images from the worst part of the recently concluded battle. Every major news network had begun to broadcast the uncut images, which led to horror and surprise around the planet.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff were frozen with horror and amazement as their modern army was being wiped out by old fashioned cavalry. A gasp was heard around the room when one soldier was launched into the air by one of the Lunarian horses. More could be heard when Reisen planted her saber into another one and couldn’t pull it out, even when she put her foot on his body and pulled.

Tears began to flow faster when the Lunarian cavalry collided into the flanks of the NATO formation. Stomachs dropped when they heard the cheers and screams of the Lunarian nobles. All around the nation, eyes were glued to television and computer screens. Pundits were wondering how such a small and outdated force could fight one of the most modern and deadliest forces on the planet.

Then Eirin appeared onscreen in her Lunarian Defense Corps uniform, going on a rampage. The uniform sparked mass speculation about its origin. A pundit had brought up the footage of the failed negotiation at the UN and had begun to identify everyone he could.

The door to the Situation Room opened and Taisui Xingjun walked in. Everyone in the room went silent when they saw him. Then they saw the boxes of Popeye’s that the bodyguards had.

“I’ll admit that I was a little over the line earlier. I want to apologize and I brought all of us something to eat.” He waves his bodyguards forward and they put the food on the table. Then he looks at the screens showing the last few minutes of the battle. “Is this live?”

“No, sir,” one of the technicians was looking at his screen. “There’s a five second delay just from their end to the United States. The news networks have two more seconds of delay, but they’re showing it uncut.”

“Comms, get me a line to the commander of the closest FOB. We need to get our boys, and girls, out of there now.”

The room went into a frenzy as everyone began to work. None of them missed the complete change of stance of the man standing in front of them, but they didn’t care. All that matter at this very moment was saving everyone they could.

But then the sounds of the battle stopped. Everyone looks up to see a tall blond woman talk to a First Sergeant. Minutes pass and then the camera is placed on the ground. The viewing angle still showed the First Sergeant talking to the blond woman. Then he gave her his unloaded rifle. Gasps could be heard around the room. That was the last thing they saw because the signal was lost.

An uproar could be heard around every screen around the nation. Technicians were trying to get the signal back, but there was no signal to get. The next few minutes were tense as the line to the FOB commander was established.

A message appears on the screen, signifying that a video conference was incoming. Nodding at the technician, Taisui Xingjun adjusts his tie. But what appeared on seen was the last thing he expected. It was a view from a security camera from in front of the FOB. It was pointed directly to the forest in front of the base and a large group of soldiers could be seen marching towards it.

Everyone in the room is silent until they can make out the type of uniform that the soldiers are wearing. Once they were sure that it was digital camouflage, the room erupted in cheers. The best possible outcome had occurred, the survivors had been allowed to leave the battlefield.

As the formation got closer to the FOB, medical personnel and chaplains began to rush out. Taisui Xingjun makes a cutting motion to his throat and has the transmission cut off. He then makes his way to the front of the room and looks at everyone.

“I know that all of you want to keep watching but we have a lot of work to do. Our troops have gone through a lot today. They did their duty, now we must do ours. We can start by understanding what happened today. This is our worst military defeat since the Second World War. We need to figure out what we did wrong and fix it. Joint Chiefs of Staff, what were some of the things we did wrong?”

The Chief of Staff of the Army spoke first, “Mr. President, we have never fought any enemies like that before.”

“That’s correct, to a point. While the United States has never fought youkai before, our ancestors have.”

“Sir, are you suggesting that we try paying attention to superstitions,” the Commandant of the Marie Corps asked.

“All superstitions have a little piece of truth to them somewhere. We thought people flying around like birds was something out of a fairy tale. In the UN, we saw the laws of physics being broken with portals and magic. The reports that we received from the front all said that they have mystical powers. If it was just one or two reports, I wouldn’t really believe them. But with the footage from the planes that were shot down, we have concrete proof. Technician, I’m sorry that I can’t remember your name, could you put it on the screen.”

Seconds later, a recording from one of the F-22s was playing on the screen. So thick that it almost blocked the view, multicolored clouds of flak were everywhere. Another F-22 cut in front and took a solid laser through the left wing. It disappears from view, and the first plane goes into a roll as alarms could be heard in the background. A hail of missiles go past the cockpit, triggering a swerve from the pilot.

Then a black blur rushed in front of the fighter. The technician stops and rewinds the footage. The black blur was a witch on a broom.

“Seems like that’s good enough evidence. Have you ever fought a witch before?” None of the Joint Chiefs of Staff could say they did. “What I would like for us to do is to send some of best minds to the Library of Congress and other large libraries around the world to research the multiple legends and folklore there. We are fighting a supernatural enemy. The poor souls that have suffered today can attest to that. It’s for them that we have to keep fighting and finish this war. If Gensokyo expands, we could be sent back to the Dark Ages. In order to protect freedom and the American way, we cannot let them win.”

An aide hands him a sheet of paper. “Interesting, it seems that we are even more at a disadvantage. A report from the lone survivor of an attack from the ‘Bamboo Forest’ says something about an immortal enemy officer. No matter how many times she was shot, she still took down three battalions of our best troops by herself.”

“If the reports are true, then she’s unstoppable.” The Surgeon General was trying to understand how that could be possible. “But there’s no way that she can be immortal. Even if the moon’s technology is more advanced than ours, everything has to die at some point.”

“That’s true for almost everyone.” Taisui Xingjun ran his hand across his hair, sweeping it back. “But if it’s possible to stop death, imagine what that would cause. If wars for oil and water are bad enough, think about what immortality could do! It would be the next worst thing than nuclear energy! It is our responsibility to take that and safeguard it. We are the ones that have to defend the weak of the world, especially from outsiders!”

Grabbing a biscuit from one of the open boxes, he takes a bite. “Once we have the secret to immortality, we will be able to create a better tomorrow. The lives lost today will be avenged and given closure. The defeat of Gensokyo and the Lunarians will be the triumph of the human race!”

Voile, Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo

Maribel and Renko could tell that every set of eyes were on them. Since they were the only two humans from the outside world, they really couldn’t be surprised. But it was more curiosity than suspicion. The pair stuck close to Yukari as the youkai walked from group to group.

Every faction was represented in the giant library. But instead of the festivity of the last gathering, a sense of gloom hung over the group. Everyone had their weapons slung in front of them. It was sad to Maribel that the paradise that she had always visited in her dreams was starting to become a dangerous place.

Patchouli was looking at the map at her desk. The Lunarian 4th Regiment of Royal Foot was in the forest in front of the Hakueri Shrine, arranged in a long line of battle. Eirin had asked Reisen to provide a security force in order to prevent a second attack today.

Holding her saber in its scabbard, Reisen was speaking with Ran and Keine. Eirin had excused herself and Kaguya had taken her place. Remiu was still a little unsteady on her feet, causing Marisa to keep a close eye on her. The miko was unusually quiet due to the destruction of her donation box and the damage to her shrine.

Yukari made her way to the head of the room and waited until everyone turned to face her. She had Maribel and Renko stand behind her and off to the side.

“I have a few things to say about what had happened today. We faced an enemy that far surpassed us in power and numbers. They had more advanced weapons than we did and more experience in using them. But we managed to push them back and make them surrender to us. We had a number of our own get injured, but with the medical care provided by the Buddhists and the Lunarians, we had no one die. There is still one of us that was wounded in the fight, but Reisen Udongein Inaba will make a full recovery quickly.” Yukari nodded at Patchouli. The librarian casts a spell that causes the map to grow larger and float in the air. “At the start, we had a line of defense that started at the Hakueri Shrine. NATO decided to open up with an artillery barrage that was stopped by the barrier. An air assault was sent in but repelled by the Scarlet Devil Mansion’s air defense artillery. Then the infantry attacks began.”

As Yukari spoke, the map showed what part of the battle she was talking about. “The attacks came too quickly and combined with our lines, preventing us from using our artillery on the closest waves. With the barrier up at the time, it was a possibility that our artillery wouldn’t had been able to have any effect.  Once the humans got past the barrier, they began to attack various targets.”

The map highlighted the Human Village, the Scarlet Devil Mansion, the Bamboo Forest and the top of Youkai Mountain. “Above all of this, the Black Crow Tengus were providing air cover. They fought with great skill and inflicted heavy damage to the NATO air forces, but they were being overwhelmed. The air defense grid helped to even the field but it was still an uphill battle. In the Bamboo Forest, Reisen Udongein Inaba held off a multitude of Special Forces troops until she was wounded. Eirin Yagokoro took over and took out even more. It was at this time, that the barrier began to break.”

Then more squares began to appear on the map. “When the barrier fell, the Lunarian 4th Regiment of Royal Foot was able to land in Gensokyo. Once they arrived, the battle began to swing in our favor.” The blue squares moved into the red squares and made them disappear. “With their superior training and weapons, the Lunarians were able to throw the humans out of Gensokyo.”

Meteors began to fall towards the map, but they were destroyed before they could impact the battlefield. “Then NATO decided to crash their satellites into us. They were destroyed before they could do any damage by Flandre Scarlet. After that, the Lunarians began to break off and begin to support our forces as we rally together. “

A line of blue squares began to form up in front of the Shrine, with multiple smaller squares behind it. “We all formed up and then charged the remaining human soldiers. With a group of Lunarian cavalry supporting us, we forced them to surrender.”

The red squares disappeared, leaving only the blue squares on the ground. Yukari nodded again and the map disappeared. “That’s what happened today. Like I said before, we did well in managing to throw the humans out of Gensokyo. But the outside world won’t take this defeat lying down. We have to be prepared for another attack. However, there’s a chance that we could prevent that attack by launching one of our own first.”

The entire room was silent. Yukari let the silence sit for a while and then continued. “The outside world still outnumbers us by a vast margin. Even with all the damage and casualties, they still have the ability to launch even larger attacks on us.”

“Just one regiment won’t be enough for that,” Yorihime said. “If what your sources say is right, you’ll need at least two more of our regiments. But what exactly are you planning to do?”

“Flandre has another one of her ideas. I should let her explain.”

The younger Scarlet Sister stepped forward. “Based on some of the units that Patchy identified, we have three major nations that we should be worried about. They’re the United States, Great Britain, and Russia. I would prefer to strike against the United States first, but Tenshi has something that she wants to tell us about.”

The blue haired Celestial nodded. “Back on the mountaintop, I was jumped by a group of operatives. I did take all of them out, but I’m worried about how they got up there in the first place. Here’s a cap badge that I took off one of them.”

She holds it out to Patchouli, who takes it in her hand and studies it. “Hmmm…Excalibur in flames, and this writing. It says ‘Who Dares Wins’. It looks like the insignia of the British Special Air Service.”

“So the British know more than we thought. I never did understand why they wanted to expand so much,” Remilia sighed. “First, the Estates General and Parliament decide to have a war that destroys my first mansion, and now the British want to destroy my masterpiece. I can never catch a break with them.”

“Now, now, we’re not beaten yet,” Yukari motioned at Maribel and Renko. “I want to introduce two new friends of mine that have graciously agreed to help us with the outside world. This is Maribel and Renko, they’re university students from the outside world with a variety of knowledge to share.”

Maribel felt every eye in the library on her. She knew that she had to say something but couldn’t get her mouth to move. Renko could tell and moved closer to her. Yukari gave the pair a smile. “Don’t worry, you’re among friends.”

The psychologist nodded and took a deep breath. “Like Lady Yukari said, we’re both university students from the outside world. I’ve studied psychology and Renko’s major is physics.”

Yukari smiles again. “See, that wasn’t too hard. Don’t let the way we fought today make you think that we’re savage. We did what we had to do, you’ve seen how we were forced into this. Now you’re part of this. But at least it was by choice, unlike the rest of us.” She turns to face the rest of the gathering. “If it’s the case that the British know how to get so deep into Gensokyo and know who to attack, we need to figure out where they’re getting that information from. An attack on the landmarks and inhabited areas would be normal, but not a surgical strike against the Celestials.”

“So you’re saying that our first offense should be against the British,” Remilia asked. “I do owe them payback for some incidents a long time ago.”

“Before we can attack, we need to find out how they know so much. We get that information, we’ll be better off. But it’s not like we can just walk in there and ask for their sources. We need to send someone inside, someone that knows how to operate in the outside world.” Yukari turns to Maribel and Renko. “Someone like you two.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2014, 04:50:12 am »
Kappa Communication Relay Post, Youkai Mountain, Gensokyo

The kappas had begun to put news broadcasts from around the world on the screens in the relay post. The top news story was the battle that the entire world had seen. And when footage surface that showed the defeated humans leaving the battlefield with the Lunarians providing an honor guard, every news outlet exploded.

The majority of the pundits were amazed by how, after the savage fighting, the Lunarians were letting the defeated humans return to their base. Nitori was listening in to the meeting at Voile, trying to figure out where Yukari was going with her plan. Then one of her fellow kappas gave her a thumbs up, causing Nitori to interject into the meeting.

“It’s Nitori, we have something all of you may want to listen to.” The magical map in both sides of the meeting changed to show one of the news channels that they were receiving. This one was from the United States.

“-breaking news. We’ve just received new footage from the attack on the Hakueri Shrine. My editors tell me that the defeated US military forces are being allowed to march off the field with what looks like full military honors. My lord, they appear to have rabbit ears. And it looks like someone important is behind them. I must say, those uniforms are very decorated.”

The news broadcast then showed Reisen on her horse with her saber in its scabbard. Her ears flopped with every step that her steed took, giving her a somewhat comical image. The actual Reisen began to pat her ears down mindlessly.

“Could she be their commander? That cord she’s wearing seems rather ornate. But why are they on horseback? Seems rather old-fashioned to me. Let’s bring in our senior military correspondent.”

“Thank you. From what I’ve seen so far, the United States has been handed its worse defeat since Pearl Harbor. This is the first time I have ever seen so much of a battle live and uncut. This footage is invaluable in analyzing the tactics that were used against the combined NATO and Russian troops. Some reports sent out during the battle claimed that the defenders had started to use magic against them.”

“Magic? As in spells and potions?”

“I’m not sure about the potions, but from some of the fighting that was recorded, there’s no other explanation. There were even reports that witches were taking down jet aircraft by themselves!”

“That’s unbelievable!”

Nitori paused the transmission. “They’re starting to accept the fact that we’re using magic and they haven’t fully started on the Lunarians yet.”

“There’s not really much they can do now. Just hearing about the battle from the survivors will hit the rest’s morale hard,” Flandre was thinking about other factors. “It does take a while for them to develop and issue out new weapons and equipment.”

“Then we should attack now. We can do a lot more damage when they can’t counter us,” Miko said. “We’ll taking less damage in return.”

“We wait.” Yukari’s voice was firm. “We need to get as much information as we can before we launch a return strike. If Maribel and Renko agree to infiltrate the British government, we can do both much faster.”

Nitori was busy watching the rest of the broadcasts. She lowered the volume of the meeting in the library slightly. If there was anything she needed to know, Yukari would fill her in later. The kappa turns back to the map, grey squares were scattered all over Gensokyo. They were the small squads that Yukari had allowed to return to retrieve the bodies of their fallen comrades.

None of them had been allowed to bring their service weapons, but had been allowed to bring their sidearms. Even with Yukari’s guarantee of safety, she had suggested that they arm themselves. A few had begun to flip out when they first stepped into her gap. She had given them a few hours to gather all of them before she would gap them back.

She stands up and goes back to her office. Making herself a cup of tea, she sits back down at her desk and sips. It was difficult for her to stay out of the battle, especially with hearing it on the radio. The kappa was grateful that none on their side had been killed. She had come to know almost everyone in Gensokyo due to her expertise with technology.

She sits back in her chair and closes her eyes. Flashing back to an earlier time, she remembers when her worst worry was being able to sale all of her wares at one of the temples during the last religious incident. Sitting forward, she opens a scroll with a world map on it.

Before all of this had happened, she had wanted to be able to see the world. With the rest of Gensokyo calling for an attack, she would probably get that chance. But before she could go further, she’s interrupted by a knock on the door. A second later, Iku walks in.

“I hope that I’m not interrupting anything,” Iku bows slightly. “I just wanted to have a nice chat after all of the excitement today.”

Nitori motioned at the chair and rose to pour some tea for the messenger. Once they were both seated and had cups in front of them, the kappa spoke first. “I’m sure that there’s something on your mind. We’re a little more than a soar away from the Dragon Palace.”

“It’s about something that Lady Yukari spoke with the Eldest Daughter about.”

“Don’t tell me that they got into another fight.”

“No, that’s not the case. But it’s something more serious than that.”

Nitori’s curiosity was perked. “It’s not like I’m going to be able to relax the rest of the day. I’m all ears.”

The messenger leaned forward and lowered her voice. “There’s something going on the Dragon Palace that she’s going to move against. I have the feeling that it’s going to involve all of Gensokyo at one point.”

“If it’s the Dragon Palace, Yukari’s going to have a bad time if it goes south.”

“That’s what I would like to prevent. But to do that, I’ll need your help.”

“I doubt that I can make anything that could even damage the Dragon God.”

“That’s the worst possible outcome. What I would like for you to do is to keep doing what you’re doing right now.”

“But there’s more…”

“You’re right. The extra is keeping a tab on all communications and stopping those that would put Lady Yukari or the Eldest Daughter in needless risk.”

“Wait, what?”

“When the Dragon God finds out about Lady Yukari’s move, he’ll try to get rid of her in battle. He gets rid of an uprising and gains a martyr.”

“I’m in.” Nitori sighs. “Yukari’s been doing her best to do what’s right for Gensokyo as a whole. She’s the one that did the most work in creating the barrier. She’s the one that’s being maintaining it. I don’t think I’ve seen the Dragon God at all in my life.”

“If this gets out, you’re be in a bad spot.”

“I’ll just have to make sure I do my job and Yukari does her and I’ll be alright.” The kappa shrugged. “She’s a lot smarter than anyone else I know. I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“Thank you. I should be on my way, Eldest Daughter might start to look for me if I’m away for too long around here,” she stops at the door and bows again. “Thank you for the tea.”

Nitori waves and watches her exit and fly towards the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She sits back once more, this time thinking about the mess that she’s gotten herself into. Shaking her head, she smiles sadly and reaches for her tea.

Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo

It felt strange to be back in the mansion while she still wore her old uniform. The only modification that she made to her uniform was to put on her maid headdress. To Sakuya, it was combining her past and present lives.

She opens a door and looks at her guests. “This’ll be your room. There’s a second one attached directly through the door over there. Milady has told me to make sure that both of you are comfortable during your stay here. We usually don’t have many guests around here. But I’m sure that everyone will be happy to have both of you around.”

Maribel and Renko were amazed by the luxury that was in front of them. Neither of them had ever seen such comfortable beds and soft carpets before. Sakuya felt a sense of pride at their amazement. “I do try to keep everything in the mansion in order. I hope you find it acceptable.”

“But…a mansion this big…how do you…” Renko couldn’t form the question she was wanting to ask.

“How do I do all of this by myself?” Sakuya’s eyes began to have a sparkle in them. “I have fairy assistants that I finally managed to train, but it was all me before then. You see, I have a special ability.”

Before the pair could blink, the maid had disappeared. Then they turned around when they felt a presence behind them. They turn and she Sakuya with a smile still on her face. “It’s a surprise the first time you see it. I know the feeling. But I can stop time and move around.”

“Stop time…how is that even possible?” Renko was stunned.

“I’m not too sure about the science behind it, I rather think of it as magic,” Sakuya’s smile faded away. “I hope that you don’t feel uncomfortable around me because of it.”

“Of course not!” Maribel walked forward and took Sakuya’s hands in her own. “I know how it feels to have a strange power. I’ve had to keep mine a secret for my entire life. It gets a lot easier when there’s someone that accepts you for who you are that always stays next to you.”

Sakuya smiled again. “Thank you. That does meant a lot to me. I should be on my way, Milady probably has more things she wants me to take care of. If either of you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to ask us.”

With a bow, she turns and walks back down the hallway. Maribel and Renko sit down on the couch at the end of the room. The sun had begun to set, casting an orange glow around everything they saw. The sky that was visible through the window was empty, not a plane or person flying about.

For the next few minutes, the pair sat in silence. The events of the day replayed themselves in their minds. Neither of them had expected any of those events to end up like they did. Renko felt something heavy in her pocket. Pulling it out, she realizes that she completely forgot about the Colt Single Action Army revolver that Ran had given her.

Maribel stares at the firearm, a tired look on her face. Seeing it reminded her of what they had to do at the shrine. Even though she hadn’t been able to kill anyone, she still felt regret at having to fire at another living person. But she knew that by agreeing to help Yukari, she would be forced to actually kill someone eventually.

The door opens, interrupting their thoughts. A head with short blonde hair pokes in and looks at them with red eyes. Recognizing her as Flandre, the pair stand up. Even with Flandre’s appearance as a child, Maribel and Renko was still a little uneasy due to her being a vampire.

“Don’t worry, I just had a small snack,” Flandre smiles. “I was just wondering if both of you would like eat some dinner. It is getting a little late after all.”

The two humans remember that their last meal was before the battle. They nod and Flandre leads them to the dining room. On the table there, a rich and diverse array of food stood prepared for them. The fairy maids immediately have red wine ready for them and serve all three of them.

In front of them, Maribel and Renko have French onion soup, steak frites, baguettes, Comté and Bleu de Bresse cheeses, mousse au chocolate and mille-feuille. The smells of the food played with Maribel’s nose, making her mouth water and her stomach rumble.

“Go on, you’re welcome to anything on the table. If there’s something that you would like, please ask. You’re our guests, after all.” Flandre took a sip of the water in her glass. “Unlike my sister, I’m not really into wine. I prefer chocolate milk.”

As the trio ate, they were joined by Remilia and Marisa. Maribel and Renko explained the events that caused them to arrive in Gensokyo when they did, getting an approving nod from the ordinary magician.

“Both of you ran through that artillery barrage and getting shot at without being hit? Sounds like you two got some serious danmaku skills,” Marisa nodded. “I’m sure that Remiu’s grateful that you protected her shrine from that attack. That might buy you some time from being shaken down for donations.”

Patchouli chose that moment to walk in. She had an exhausted look on her face and downed the entire glass of wine in one gulp. Remilia gave her a sad shake of her head when the librarian took a big bite out of a slice of baguette. “I’ve never seen you this hungry, Patchy. You might end up eating the entire mansion at this rate.”

Waving the comment away, Patchouli responds. “That medicine the Lunarian gave me helped my asthma but gave me a big appetite. Even though, it might be my body’s way of telling me to eat better.”

“I wonder, could she give me something to make me immune to the sun,” Remilia muses. “It would be nice to not have Sakuya carry that parasol everywhere.”

“Milady, I don’t mind carrying it around.”

“Don’t worry, I was just going to have you carry around my rifle instead.”

Sakuya couldn’t think of a response. Remilia looked at Marisa as she began to eat a mousse au chocolate. “I have a feeling that I should ask you why you’re here.”

Flandre leaned towards Maribel and Renko. “Marisa doesn’t live here. She just likes to visit a lot. I even asked Sis about giving her a room here, but she refuses.”

“You know that you think of me as another member of the family,” Marisa grinned. “You still owe me for the time you kicked me into that fight on the moon.”

“I invited you to the beach party when Remiu got back!”

“Beach party? You mean the one with the small pool, two bags of sand and the middle of winter?”

“Those two do that all the time. Don’t mind them.” Flandre took a bite of steak. “How’s the food?”

“It’s amazing.” Maribel could hardly explain the tastes that she was experiencing. “I’ve never tasted anything like it before.”

“The fairy cooks will be happy to hear that.”

“Anyway, I have a favor I want to ask the two of you.” Remilia had stopped her argument with Marisa to talk to Maribel and Renko. “It’s about the mission that Yukari’s going to send you on.”

“Sis, I hope you’re not asking them to destroy the British all by themselves,” Flandre sighed. “Anyway, aren’t you always stopping me from destroying in the first place?”

“I’m not going to ask them to do something that extreme,” Remilia scoffed. “I want to be the one to deliver the final strike against them. What I will ask is this: I’m going to write a letter that I would like delivered to the Leader of the House of Lords. Can you do that for me?”

“A letter to the Leader of the House of Lords?” Renko blinked in surprise. “I don’t think that we could do that. We’re not exactly going in as tourists.”

“I know. But Yukari has faith in you, so I will too. How about this: I’ll write the letter and give it to you. Then if you get the chance, you can deliver it. If you can’t, it’s not a major problem.”

“When you put it like that, it seems not so bad.” Maribel nodded. “We can try.”

“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear.” The Scarlet Devil took a sip from her wine glass. “You’re probably wondering what the story is behind me and the British. It’s a long story and all of us have had a long day. I’ll be happy to tell you tomorrow.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2014, 04:51:18 am »
Clinic, Eientei, Bamboo Forest, Gensokyo

Eirin had read over the service record for the fifth time ever since she had gotten back. She kept reading it even more, wanting every detail she could find. Her patient begins to stir, prompting her to put the file down. She grabs her stethoscope and rolls her chair next to the bed. Noticing that she still had her old uniform under her lab coat, she debates whether she should take off her ribbon rack. She decides against it, it would be hard enough to do this with them anyway.

Reisen Udongein Inaba begins to groan in pain as she regain consciousness. Eirin reaches out and pets her on the reassuringly. “Don’t move so much, you’re still wounded. The battle’s over.”

“Master…is that you?”

“It is. I’m right here next to you.” Eirin rubs the metal disk of the stethoscope to warm it up. “I’m going to check your vital signs. Don’t lash out.”

Reisen stiffens. “Master, I…”

“Pulse is good, heart rate is good. I know about your condition. The amount of dead bodies that you left in that clearing made it obvious. You shouldn’t have gone into battle if you were this bad.” Eirin was careful to keep her voice and tone firm but gentle. “There’s no shame in asking for help.”

The moon rabbit stayed silent. Eirin was careful to keep her lab coat from hindering her movement, just in case of worst coming to pass. Tears began to form in Reisen’s eyes. She felt so hurt that her own master was uneasy around her.

“Reisen, you’re in a delicate state right now. I know that you won’t hurt any of us, if you were back to normal. But with this mental state and your powers, I can’t take a chance. This is to protect you more than us.”

“Master, what are you talking about?”

“I’m pulling you out.”

Reisen couldn’t understand at first. But once it clicked, she felt even worse than before.

“It was my mistake not having you out of the main part of the battle. I should had you in one our support positions. Even if you weren’t able to use your full skills, it would had been a lot better to ease you in. But it’s too late for that now.”

“Master, I can’t stand back and watch everyone else fight.”

“Then you need to come to terms with what set you off in the first place. I know your service history.” Eirin walks over to the desk and grabs the service file. Sitting down on the chair again, she opens it up and puts on reading glasses. “You started out in the 2nd Regiment of Foot, then you were transferred to the Royal Special Development Combat Command. There you helped to test out new weapons and equipment being proposed by the research department. Following a few decades there, you were transferred to the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot and made the aid de camp to the Watatsuki sisters. Your unit was the first one to face off against the assassins during the Lunar War. The section that you were in was on the mountain range were we had the worst friendly fire incident in our history. It was at that time when you fled from the field of battle.”

Reisen stayed silent. She had been to enough performance reviews and this was triggering her training. Eirin was done reading the file, so she tosses it on top of the bed next to her. Taking off her reading glasses, the doctor looks her patient straight in the eye.

“You had an exemplary career. Why did you run?”

“I treated everything like a game.”

“I need more detail than that.”

The moon rabbit took a deep breath. “Every time I’ve been in battle, I’ve always treated it like a game. I realized it when I was with the SDC Command. First, I was proud that I was making sure that only the best was getting to my comrades. But then I saw what happened when their equipment failed. After that, I saw firsthand that none of this was a game. So many of my friends died and it didn’t hit me until I was on that mountain. Then that artillery barrage…”

“You distanced yourself from the effects of battle. I saw the awards that you have on record. Numerous citations for being the last survivor of many battles, impossible raids, and risks to rescue your comrades when they were pinned down. So many after action reports have the soldiers you rescue wanting you be recognized for your bravely. They even appeared at panels to testify in favor of you being awarded medals.”

“But I left them, I can’t ever look them in the eye again.”

“Running from a situation like that is normal.”

“I couldn’t keep a promise I made back then.”

“A promise to who?”

“One of the assassins. I ran into him and killed him over a piece of paper. It turned out to be a picture of his family. He had a letter that was stained with his blood, but I promised to rewrite it and deliver it. Then another assassin appeared but I accidently killed him too. I still have the letter.”

Eirin sits there for a minute. Then she stands up. “Where is this letter?”

“On my desk, Master.”

“I’ll be back.” She walks out of the room, leaving Reisen there. About thirty minutes later, she returns. “There, you fulfilled your promise.”

“How, Master?”

“I gave the letter to one of Reisen’s General Staff. They’re going to give it to one of the soldiers that Yukari let come back into Gensokyo to gather the dead bodies. I gave them strict orders to make sure that it’s delivered.”

“Thank you, Master.”

“It’s been a long day for all of us. I need you to get some rest. Your wounds should be fully healed in the morning.”

 “Yes, Master.”

“One more thing, Toyohime and Yorihime wish you well. They miss you and would like for you to think about coming back to the LDC.”

“But, I’m happy being under you, Master.”

“I know. They also offered me the chance to come back as the commander of the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot. If I do accept, I’ll need a good aide de camp and bodyguard.”

“What about the Princess, Master?”

“She wants to see the world, even if it’s only on the battlefield. It sometimes slips my mind that she’s trained the same way as every other soldier in the LDC. She doesn’t have as much power as I do, but she’s still a strong woman. It’s time I treated her as one.”

Eirin leaves, letting Reisen sit there with her thoughts. A few minutes pass, then there’s a knock at the door. Reisen looks up and sees a familiar face looking back at her. The commander of the 4th Regiment of Royal Foot herself had come to visit her. She walks in and sits down in the chair that Eirin left.

“How are you feeling?”

“I’ve seen better days.”

Reisen II nods. “I heard about what happened in that clearing.”

“I heard that you’re a Regimental commander.”

“Princesses Toyohime and Yorihime felt that I was the right person for this post.”

“Are they treating you well?”

“I like being with them. They talk a lot about how they miss you too.”

“I miss them too.”

“Are you…coming back soon?”

“I don’t know…”

“If you come back, there’s always a spot on the staff of the 4th.”

“Thank you.”

“I know that you need your rest, so I’ll let you go.” She stands back up. “The Regiment’s about to head back for the Lunar Capital as soon as the remaining human soldiers get sent out of Gensokyo. Lady Yukari doubts that there’ll be another attack until at least next week. Get well soon.”

Parts Unknown, Time Unknown

The sounds of men running and working filled the air. Officers were walking behind the working men, keeping a watchful eye on everything. Maribel was surprised to see that she was transported to another place and time. But a small part of her had expected it when she had decided to turn in for the night.

She can see a fleet of ships directly in front of them, but at a far distance away. They were arranged in what looked like an uneven crescent. Maribel decides to move to the poop deck to get a better view. On top of the deck, a man in an ornate uniform with a chest full of battle honors was looking through a telescope. Another man stood next to him, tapping his foot nervously.

“Admiral Nelson, I think that you may want to take you decorations off your coat.”

“Nonsense, Hardy. It’s too late to be shifting a coat. They are military orders and I do not fear to them to the enemy.”

“Looks like Captain Blackwood’s inviting you aboard the Euryalus.”

“Mr. Pasco, if you would, tell him that I appreciate the offer but I’ll stay on the Victory.” Admiral Nelson turns back to Flag Officer Hardy. “I can’t very well run from my ship.”

“What about letting the Temeraire lead the line?”

“I rather lead the line myself.” He turns to the signal officer. “Mr. Pasco, I wish to say to the fleet, ENGLAND CONFIDES THAT EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY. You must be quick, for I have one more to make which is for close action.”

“If your Lordship will permit me to substitute the confides for expects the signal will soon be completed, because the word expects is in the vocabulary, and confides must be spelt.”

“That will do, Pasco, make it directly.”

The lieutenant begins to pull down the flags to change them. Maribel watches the scene, knowing that sometime important was about to happen. A loud noise was heard, and a volley aimed at them passed wide.

“We need more speed! Deploy every sail!” The boatswains began to work the lines. The weak breeze kept the British ships moving at a snail’s pace. Another volley was fired at them, this time it hit closer. More of the Spanish and French ships began to fire, trying to find the perfect range. For the next forty minutes, cannon balls were hitting the water all around them. Then some of them started to hit. Maribel screamed in fear when one slammed into a cannon crew and instantly killed two of them. The psychologist threw herself on the deck when a cannon ball tore off the steering wheel.

“Sir, the wheel’s shot off! We’ll have to steer her from the tiller!” A warrant officer yells.

“See to it that we’re not disabled.” Admiral Nelson watches as more cannon balls hit the ship. A splinter from one of the volleys takes off a buckle of one of Flag Officer Hardy’s shoes. “This is too warm work Hardy, to last for long.” The rain of projectiles kept coming, adding more dead and wounded to the cabins below.

“We’re in range, sir!” A gunnery petty officer yells out. A cannonball flies into the ship, taking down eight marines instantly.

“Sir, who should be our first opponent?” Flag Officer Hardy asks.

“Take your pick, Hardy.”

“That looks like the Bucentaure.”

“A wise choice.” As the HMS Victory moves across the stern of the French Flagship, she was engaged by the French Redoutable and the Spanish Santisima Trinidad. Maribel stood up, only to throw herself back down when a cannonball flew so close to her that her hair waved in its wake. Marines all around were climbing the lines to try and get a better shot. Some were hit and fell onto the deck or in the sea.

Maribel looked up and then the ship began to shake as it unleased a raking broadside. It devastated the Bucentaure, sending massive splinters flying in her gun decks. The volley was made even more effective as it was fired from only a few yards away. She looks around and is astonished to see Nelson and Hardy walk around the ship, calmly guiding the sailors. Musketfire rained down on the ship, as snipers on the opposing ship opened fire.

“Fire on the Redoutable, lads! Don’t let her get too comfortable!” A petty officer calls out. But the French ship was too close, deck hands began to throw lines, locking the two ships together. On the French ship, infantry began to gather on the deck.

“All gunners, get ready for boarding!” Flag Officer Hardy yells out. The gunners stopped firing and ran to grab muskets. Grenades began to hit the deck, thrown from the other ship.

Maribel couldn’t stand due to the amount of lead flying through the air. Then she looks at the mizzentop of the French ship. Her eyes widen at what she sees.

On top of the mast, Yukari Yakumo sat with a musket. She opens the pan and pulls a cartridge from a gap. The youkai tears off one end and spits it out. Then she pulls the hammer back halfway and pours a little of the powder into the pan. Closing the pan, she brings the musket’s muzzle closer to herself. Pouring the rest of powder into the barrel, she reverses the cartridge and stuffs it in. Drawing the ramrod from under the barrel, she rams down the cartridge until it bottoms out. Giving it one final slam, she returns the rod to its holder.

Bring it up to her right shoulder, she looks around for her target. Maribel instantly knows who she’s looking for. Admiral Nelson is busy speaking with a warrant officer and pointing to the main mast, with no regard to the lead flying all around him. Yukari sees him and brings the musket into line. She stays like this for a few seconds and then pulls the trigger.

In slow motion, Maribel could almost see the musketball as it leaves the barrel and goes into his left shoulder. The admiral stumbles and falls to a knee. Flag Officer Hardy turns around and watches as he falls to his side. Rushing to him, he calls out to the nearest marines and sailors.

Yukari has a tired look on her as she disappears into a gap. The Victory erupts in chaos as sailors and marines begin to surround their fallen admiral. The crew of the Redoutable are forming up to board when another British ship, the HMS Temeraire, comes up to their starboard side and unleashes a devastating volley that hits many of the French crew.

Maribel scrambles up on her feet and runs towards the gathering. A marine and two sailors gently lift Nelson up and begin to carry him to the lower decks. She stops short when a piece of paper glides in front of her. Picking it up, her eyes widen for the second time in less than five minutes. The paper was a dispatch, detailing how Admiral Nelson was planning to continue his push and completely decimate the combined Franco-Spanish navy and then land an army that would use the scorched earth doctrine.

She couldn’t believe what she had just read. They psychologist had always felt that the British were justified in bring down Napoleon, but if they were going to destroy everything to do so, she wasn’t sure anymore. To add even more confusion, she could tell that the entire crew was devastated when they saw Admiral Nelson fall. It was as if their father had been shot in front of them. She turns the paper around but sees nothing on the back.

Running after the small group carrying the wounded man downstairs, Maribel stops and watches him advise a sailor on the operation of the tiller. Even with a fatal wound, he’s calm and knowledgeable. She follows the procession as it reaches the surgeon. They place him on a bunk and bring him lemonade and watered wine. The surgeon is called away to tend to more wounded and the chaplain leaves to fetch towels.

By himself, Nelson closes his eyes. In a voice that barely reaches Maribel’s ears, he speaks. “You…lengthen this war…by doing this…Lady Yakumo.”

“It had to be done, Admiral.” Yukari steps forward from the shadows. “The course of history is kind to few, even if they are good.”

“Even if…I save lives…”

“Some are meant to end their lives today. Others are given more time. It’s my responsibility to keep history on its rightful course. Even if I must become the necessary evil. For all that it means, I am truly sorry that it had to end like this. I am sorry both to you and Lady Hamilton.”

“I just…have one…final question…is there anything…after this?”

This made Yukari pause. A pained look appears on her face. “I’m not sure.” She looks away. “For some, there’s something. For others, I don’t know. Personally, I believe there’s something waiting for us across the river. For someone that I still care about, I want to believe that she’s in the never ending grassy plain where she can watch the stars in peace for the rest of time. I don’t care where I go, as long as she’s in peace.”

“I hope...that when…the time comes…both of you…can enjoy that…grassy plain…together.”

“Thank you, Admiral. Your caregivers are about to return, I should take my leave. A little bit of consolation: history remembers you as one of the best admirals to have ever lived. Hundreds of years after today, your actions are studied at elite military schools everywhere. Godspeed, Admiral Nelson.” Yukari turns and disappears into the shadows. 
 
Maribel hears the footsteps of a large group. She runs above deck and can barely see anything due to the amount of smoke everywhere. The ship shook once more as both a volley slammed into the side of the Victory. Maribel stumbles and almost falls down the stairs onto the middle deck. Grabbing hold of the rail, she steadies herself.

A cheer erupts as the Redoutable strikes her colors. More British ships reach the giant melee, sending cannonballs in every direction. The return fire forces Maribel to drop to the deck again. A cannonball hits the deck a few feet from her and goes straight through the weaken wood. Another cannonball lands next to a cannon crew. One of the crew members grabs it and reloads it into the closest cannon.

A lieutenant begins to grab marines and sailors to compose a prize crew. Once he has enough, he grabs a line and swings onto the surrendered ship. The price crew follow him, once they land, they beat the French crew into submission. On the other side of the Victory, the gunners were firing close range broadsides. A return volley slams into the ship. One cannonball bounces and heads straight towards Maribel. She closes her eyes and waits for the impact.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2014, 04:52:27 am »
Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo

It was early in the morning, but Tenshi and Meiling had been training for hours. The gatekeeper was helping her to develop her unarmed fighting style. Sakuya was back in her normal maid uniform, keeping a close eye on the pair. Remilia was sipping a cup of tea and watching them. After a particularly exhaustive session, Meiling had called for a break.

Tenshi had taken a seat in the shade created by the gatehouse, discussing her training with Meiling. The chief maid had brought out a pitcher of ice cold water and was impressed with Tenshi’s quick progress. She elbows Meiling, “If she keeps on like this, we might hire her to help you out.”

“Who knows, she might even challenge you for head maid.”

“I can’t do that,” Tenshi felt a little uncomfortable. “I can barely handle my studies, much less handle so many under me.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Sakuya laughed. “I doubt that Milady would accept such a change. She’s come to think of all of us as family. She would take on Van Helsing to protect us.”

“Anyway, Tenshi, you’ve picked up hand to hand fighting really fast.” Meiling nodded. “It does help that you have a good teacher. But, I want you to try sometime for me.”

“Am I going to have to stand still while Sakuya tries to hit an apple on my head?”

“Not this time. I want to see how good you are at reflecting projectiles.” She stands back up. “I’ll start off slow and if you do good, we’re see if you can come close to my record. It’ll be harder for you though, since you don’t know how to handle chi yet.”

Tenshi wipes the sweat off of her forehead and gets on her feet. Walking to the middle of the garden, she assumes a ready stance. Meiling assumes her own and takes a deep breath.

She unleashes a lighting fast crescent kick that transitions into a reverse round and finishes in a butterfly kick. Rainbow colored danmaku flies from her kicks towards Tenshi. The Celestial focuses on bringing her magic into her hands and begins to destroy the projectiles with strong punches. Every other punch requires her to spin so that she build up enough momentum. She builds a rhythm that starts out slow but speeds up as more projectiles come closer.

Once they get too numerous for her hands, the Celestial begins to use her feet to kick them away. The pair keep this up for the next ten minutes. Tired out, they both let themselves fall back into a sitting position. Sakuya gives each one a small tower to wipe their sweat. “That was impressive, Tenshi. But I’m not sure how much it might help against bullets.”

“That wasn’t designed to go against bullets,” Meiling explains. “It’s supposed to simulate going against a tough and slow opponent and to emphasize the power of each strike. You really did good, Tenshi.”

“Thank you. It does make me feel better knowing how to fight like this.” Tenshi rotated her wrist. “I did have a few close calls with my sword getting stuck in the middle of a fight.”

“Well, with what you learned today, that should be less of a problem.” Sakuya nods again. “Have you ever thought about carrying a backup, like a knife or a tomahawk?”

“I feel a lot better with the Sword of Hisou. It’s been with me ever since I first got into Heaven and I feel weaker without it.”

“I understand.” Sakuya patted the pocket watch she always kept on her. “But if you do decide to use knives, I’ll be happy to show some of my techniques.”

“It’s nice to see how much effort you’re putting into this,” Yukari laughed as everyone jumped. She had opened a gap behind Sakuya and had her parasol at the ready to defect any knives. “Don’t mind me, I’m just going around the neighborhood.” She accepts a glass of water from Sakuya. “The aftermath of the battle’s still not clear. I’ve been going around talking to everyone.”

“Is it as bad as the Dragon Palace?”

“No, everyone seems really impressed at how you rushed to the line without any evidence of self-interest. Eirin’s also talked to me about that scroll you gave her yesterday. That’s something I would have expected from the outside world, but never His Lordship.” Yukari forces a dry laugh. “I’ll have to keep my eye on all of this myself. Ran will be disappointed.”

“Milady would like to know when you’re sending Maribel and Renko off on their assignment.” Sakuya asks.

“Soon. I have to have the kappas give them some tools and I might have Keine give them a quick history of Gensokyo. But rest assured that I won’t send them out ill prepared. It’s my responsibility to make sure everyone in Gensokyo makes it through this war.”

“Have you found any leads on who’s pulling the strings in the outside?” Tenshi took a bite out of a peach she always carried.

“There’s one. The United States has recently gone through a change in leadership.” The gap youkai pulls out a picture. “This man is the one in charge right now.”

Tenshi, Sakuya and Meiling look at the picture. The gatekeeper takes a sharp breath that nobody misses.

“Meiling, is something wrong?” Sakuya studies her with a close eye.

“I’ve seen that catfish before…”

“Catfish?” Tenshi stares at the picture and then notices the pin on his lapel.

“It’s the same catfish from my dream.” Meiling gives Sakuya a sideways glance. “Remember when you dragged me into the library when I fell asleep after those earthquakes?”

“It was Lady Patchouli that threw a book at your head.”

“Anyway, I had this dream where a disaster god kept sending assassins that shape shifted after me. He finally came out and said that he wanted to take over Gensokyo. It was Taisui Xingjun.”

“He’s back!?!” Tenshi had to sit down for this. “My father made me study some of the reports about him. All of the worst disasters on the planet were caused by him to achieve world domination. There were also some records about an invasion of the moon that almost succeeded.”

“How did he manage to take over an entire country without anyone noticing?” Sakuya asked. “Everyone knew what was happening before World War II but thought that giving in would stop it. Is the same thing happening now?”

“He operates by having his minions infiltrate the higher levels of governments and militaries.” Tenshi shook her head. “That would explain a lot if he’s doing the same thing this time. And if he’s had a head start, we could get overwhelmed extremely quickly.”

“We’re always going to be outnumbered.” Yukari motioned at everything around her. “Gensokyo’s a small place to start with. The only nation that we’re bigger than is the Vatican, but they would never fight in any wars.”

“Isn’t Switzerland thinking about becoming our ally?”

“I’m going to give their Federal Council a call later on. Hopefully they join us, but at the very least, they’re stay neutral.” Yukari shrugged.

“Switzerland, hmmm. They’re not someone that NATO would mess with.” Sakuya said. “They stayed out of both World Wars just by having their entire population ready to fight. I trained with a few of their units back in my day, they could give the Lunarians a run for their money.”

“Even then, we’re still outnumbered.” Tenshi looked at the ground.

“But we’re not outclassed.” Yukari gently raised Tenshi’s head. “Didn’t you see how well we did yesterday? That was the first time many of us had ever been in actual combat against anyone. We were using weapons that we weren’t fully familiar with, but we still held the line. I’ll admit that the Lunarians did save us at the worst part. But that still doesn’t make what we did any less impressive.”

“But it’s going to be worst next time, isn’t it?”

“It is. They know what to expect now and won’t be fooled as easily. But we’re getting more regiments of Royal Foot from the Lunarians and we have your artillery. Don’t be so pessimistic, you’re doing great. Just keep it up.”

Moriya Shrine, Gensokyo

Even though she was in the thick of the battle yesterday, what Marisa was about to do scared her more than anything she’s done before. Sanae had sensed that something was up with the magician and had been waiting in front of the shrine when she arrived. The shrine maiden had her traditional purification rod with her, but also had her Magpul Masada slung on her shoulder. She could tell that Marisa was looking at it.

“I know. But I just can’t walk around without it. What if something happens?” Sanae gestured at the small huts that were behind the shrine. “Everyone from the Human Village is back there. If there’s another attack, it’s my responsibility as the Moriya miko to protect my visitors.”

“How does it feel, having to carry around a gun?” Marisa patted one of her Blackhawks.

“Back in the outside world, we couldn’t have any guns. The only time I ever saw a gun was on television, or in some of the manga I read during lunch at school.” The shrine maiden shakes her head. “I wish we just go back to using the spellcard rules. It made life so much easier.”

“Hey, Sanae, I was wondering if….” Marisa trailed off.

“You’re looking for someone, aren’t you?” Sanae gave her a reassuring smile a comforting squeeze. “Follow me, I show you where he is.”

She led Marisa into the makeshift village. The villagers poked their heads out of the huts, curious to see who was visiting. They saw some of the bruises and cuts that Marisa had gotten in the battle yesterday. Instead of looking at her with a faint amount of distrust, they looked at her with gratitude. It didn’t matter that she knew how to use magic and flew around. Nor did it matter that she was on friendly terms with youkai and humans. What mattered was the fact that she had risked her life to protect the land she loved.

They stop in front of a hut near the back of the village. “Well, here’s his place. I know that you’re about to do something important, so I’ll leave you here. I just want you to know, if you need me, I’m here. Good luck, Marisa.”

Marisa nods and listens to Sanae walk off. She holds the medallion that’s still around her neck. Taking a deep breath, she knocks on the door. A few seconds later, a voice that she hadn’t heard in years makes her jump.

“Come in.”

She hesitates for a second and then opens the door. Walking in, she stops to let her eyes adjust to the darkness. A middle aged man is busy pouring himself a cup of tea and doesn’t look up for a few seconds. When he does loop up, he freezes when their eyes meet.

“Is…that really you, Marisa?”

Her mouth couldn’t form any words and her throat had gone dry. Then he sees the cuts and bruises on her face.

“You’re hurt.” He stands up and grabs some bandages. He points at the only other seat in the room. “Sit. I’ll patch you up.”

Sitting down, she watches him as he grabs a towel and a cup of water. He pours the water on the towel and begins to wipe her face off. “I know about what you did yesterday. Word travels fast around the village. To think, my daughter was in the middle of that battle…”

“Dad, I…” It felt strange to say that again, especially after so long. “I wanted to ask you about something.”

He pauses. “Hmm, what’s on your mind?”

“It’s about this.” She pulls out the medallion and holds it out to him. “I wanted to know the story behind it.”

Taking the medallion, he feels every crevice and stares at it. “I knew that this day would come eventually.”

“You sound like Kourin.”

“How is he, by the way?”

“He saved me from a fighter plane that was about to ram me.” She felt weird talking to her father like this. It was like it was only a few days since they had last seen each other. She almost felt comfortable.

“So it looks like everyone had some part in that mess yesterday…”

“Dad, about the medallion…”

Her father takes a deep breath.  “Your mother was the one with the idea. I’ve never liked magic, you of all people should know that. Those spellcard rules came too late for your mother…”

“Did she…die from a danmaku attack?”

“It was during the vampire incident, the rampage. The Human Village was hit hard and…the house was set on fire. All of us managed to escape and we ran to the schoolhouse. I left to join all the other men in trying to defend what was left when that youkai woman and the Hakueri miko showed up.”

“Do you mean…Remiu’s mother?”

“Yes, that was the first time I had ever seen her so angry. She was covered in blood as well. From what I heard from some of the others, she had beaten some of the vampire’s followers to death with her bare hands on the way to help us. Her name was Remiu, just like her daughter. She called out the vampire and they began to fight. It was the most salvage battle I’ve ever seen. During the fight, some of the magic that missed them started to hit the buildings around us. Then something hit the schoolhouse and caused a massive explosion…” He trails off as he tries to control his tears. Marisa hangs on his every word. She had never been told what had happened to her mother. Rinnosuke had refused to tell her, promising only to tell when she was older.

“She had covered you with her own body. She took a giant splinter in the back that stopped about an inch from your face. Remiu saw what had happened and was trying to stop the bleeding when the vampire reached her…” He pauses once more. “Remiu killed the vampire but got stabbed in the chest by one of its spells. Even as she was bleeding out, she tried to stop your mother’s bleeding. The youkai woman had evacuated the rest of us, but I managed to run all the way to the schoolhouse. I still don’t know how she got there before I did…”

Marisa felt tears forming in her eyes. Then she felt guilt for running away now that she knew the reason he hated magic.

“I found both of them dead. The youkai woman had picked you up and was trying to get you to stop crying. She turned you away from…the bodies and handed you to me. She made me follow her and we ended up getting Remiu’s daughter too. I won’t ever forget holding the two of you in the middle of the fight…” He paused to take a deep breath. “The woman disappeared and I took both of you back to that schoolteacher. I grabbed a spear to help do something, but the vampire’s group had already been rounded up. They were fighting back hard, until another vampire showed up.”

“Dad, was it Remilia?”

“I think so. She had light blue hair and had a maid with her. She took control of the mob and had them leave. From what I heard, the youkai woman and the vampire were negotiating for days after that. Then we heard that the Hakueri miko had made a deal with the vampire and had created the spellcard rules. We wondered how she could, but we were told that Remiu’s daughter would take over being the miko. I wanted to take vengeance for your mother’s death, but since the vampire had been killed…”

“Remiu never told me…”

“She didn’t know either. We buried both of them in the cherry blossom garden behind the shrine, but the headstones became too weathered for it to be readable. I wanted to tell you earlier but you had left…”

“I can’t give up magic.” Marisa clenched her fists. She felt a familiar anger rise up in her. “I left because you wouldn’t let me work on my natural ability! I’m second only to Remiu! If anything tries to destroy the village, I can stop it! Are you still going to tell me to give up magic after what happened yesterday!?!”

Her father just sat there holding the medallion and looked at the floor. “I don’t want to lose you…”

Hearing that, Marisa felt sadness grip her heart. “You still haven’t told me about the medallion yet, Dad.”

“Your mother had a spirit she knew make it for you. She was going to teach you how to use magic so you could protect the village. But I objected to it. I saw how dangerous magic was first hand even before the attack. That’s why I don’t sell any magical items in my store. But…” He trailed off again.

For a good five minutes they sat there in silence. Marisa didn’t prompt him, she could see that he was in deep thought. She heard the birds chirping outside and the wind rustling the trees.

“I might have to accept that my daughter is a magician in mind and heart.”

Marisa couldn’t believe her ears. For almost all of her life, she had always been at odds with him over it. But now, it could mean that they could close the gap.

“I’ve spent too much time running away from magic. This is Gensokyo after all, magic is everywhere. I don’t have any magical ability at all, so I’m useless. I’ve lost my wife and I’ve distanced myself from my only daughter. I don’t want to die an old, lonely man.”

“Dad, are you sure about this?”

“I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life. One of the biggest was not being able to spend time with you and raise you like a father should. And I made it worse by blaming your stubbornness. But you had to get that from somewhere, right? You’re out there fighting to protect Gensokyo while I’m here hiding. Yesterday, you could’ve been killed and I would’ve had still been here hiding.” He shakes his head. “Don’t you see anything wrong with that? I basically abandoned you. When you were trying to learn how to fly, I punished you for following your heart. When I saw you fly around at 6 years old, I felt pride in my heart because I knew how hard you worked for it. Then I took the broom away and locked you in your room. I was a fool to think that I would turn you away from what you heart wanted. Even though we were living in the same home, I locked you away to run from magic. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

The Ordinary Magician accepted his embrace and returned it with tears in her eyes.  “Dad, I’m sorry too.  I should have came earlier but I just couldn’t.”

“I understand. Rinnosuke had talked to me about you, but I was too scared to do anything. I was so afraid during the battle yesterday that something would have to you that I locked myself I here and didn’t come out until it was dark out.” He let go of her. “You are just like your mother, so I won’t ask you to stop fighting in the war. But promise me that you’ll come back to me. I want to be able to start to make up for all the time I missed.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2014, 04:53:33 am »
United Nations General Assembly Chamber, International Territory, New York City, New York, United States

Yukari, Eirin, Eiki, Toyohime, Remilia, and Tenshi were sitting at the front right of the UN General Assembly Chamber stage. Behind them, Ran, Reisen, Komachi, Reisen II, Sakuya and Iku were standing behind them, keeping an eye on the chamber. Both Reisens and Sakuya wore their service uniforms, and received more attention than the others that were standing. Some of the European representatives had expressed reservations about Sakuya’s uniform, but Remilia had firmly announced that they would have to get over it.

The chamber was in a low murmur, with the various diplomats whispering to each other in various languages. Yukari’s eyes sweep around the room, it was almost as if she could tell where the alliances were. The American delegate, the same one from her last visit, glared back at her, causing her to give him a smirk. Eirin sat in her old uniform, with a chest full of medals and her two shoulder cords

The Secretary General began to hit his gavel on the desk. “I hereby call this emergency special session to order. This meeting was called to facilitate nonbinding negotiations between Gensokyo, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation. I would to thank everyone that has agreed to take part in this, either by being a participant or by observing the proceedings.”

As he kept speaking, Eirin leaned towards Toyohime. “It brings back old memories…” she whispered.

The Lunarian princess laughed silently. “Yes, Lady Yagokoro. But hopefully we won’t have to worry about court assassins here.”

Yukari brought her fan up and made it stand on the table. Behind it, she had pulled out an Ipod and was playing games on it. She kept looking up to give the impression that she was paying attention. Ran saw this and wished that she had brought something to distract her from the dry and boring speech. The only one that really paid attention was Eiki, who decided against poking her fellows with the Rod of Remorse.

Once the Secretary General ended his introductory speech, he released the floor to the representatives. Tenshi looked at Yukari and asked, “Why are we even doing this? These people can’t make any binding decisions.”

“We still have to behave on the world stage. Having the entire planet come after us at the same time won’t help us at all. And, our potential ally still needs to see what we’re about,” Yukari stands up. “I would like to thank everyone for allowing us to have this emergency session. I, for one, would like to find a quick and fair solution to end this war that was started against us for no legitimate reason.”

The American representative stands up. “No legitimate reason? Your very existence is dangerous to the stability of the world and even the human race! You are a rouge state with nuclear power and a powerful army! The United States has a duty to police the world and bring freedom and equality for all! We-“

“Let me tell you why that’s bull sh-” Tenshi’s prevented from finishing her sentence by a small whack on the head from Yukari’s fan. The Celestial pauses to reorganize her thoughts and continues. “You claim to bring freedom and equality for all men. That’s a respectable and honorable goal. But what about us? We’re not all humans, so are we automatically excluded? From what I’ve seen so far, it seems so. Some of us are ghosts, some are animals with intelligence, some of us are not even from this planet. I am a Celestial, the closest thing that you may understand would be an angel. I have learned to fight the shikigami that comes to take our souls at the end of our lives. I have powers that no normal human has ever thought of, even though I was born as a normal human. I will be the first to admit that it because of my family that I was given them. But there are others that earned every scrap of power they had with sweat, blood and tears. Some of the people that live in Gensokyo came there because they were being hunted and almost killed by humans. This is our last home. And now you want to come in and destroy it? On what grounds do you have the right to?”

"You are a rouge power. You just can’t be trusted with such powerful technology. Especially after that terrorist attack that your little plot of land launched.”

“I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.” Yukari glared at the diplomat. “We had nothing to do with that. We are a small group. How could we plant a bomb at every embassy on the planet, especially after the heightened level of security caused by the current climate of war and terrorism?”

Before the American could respond, the Swiss representative stood up. He held a file in his hands. “Our Nachrichtendienst des Bundes, or the Federal Intelligence Service, has intercepted transmissions coming from the American Central Intelligence Agency’s highest levels of command. These transmissions detail planting something in multiple locations around the planet. With this transmission, we were able to find the bomb at our embassies before they exploded.” He turns to face the American representative. “This is too much, even for your nation. First, we have all the things that happened during the Cold War, then the things that happened during the War on Terror, and now this. Are you really trying to start another World War? Don’t try to lie to us about these false flag operations.”

"Those operations are none of your concern.” The American sneered. “And intercepting our transmission like that can be considered an act of war around these parts.”

“And your attempted bombing of our embassies aren’t?”

Yukari cut in again. “I find it extremely suspect that the President of the United States was replaced by the same person that reported finding Gensokyo and advocated for military action before even reaching out to us in friendship first.”

The room went silent and it was obvious that the American representative didn’t have an answer. Eirin leans towards Toyohime. “It’s starting to all fit now.”

The moon princess beckons Reisen II forward. “Would you like a carrot?”

“Princess…”

“I’m in the mood for a peach myself.”

“If you insist, Princess.” The moon rabbit hands her a peach and takes a small bit out of a carrot. She gives Reisen a carrot as well.

Hearing the sounds of chewing behind her, Yukari opens a gap and withdraws a bottle of sake and multiple glasses. She pours some for herself and passes the bottle and glasses around. “Based on what we all know, it would be reasonable to assume that you were setting up for a war in the first place. Is the Bush Doctrine still in effect?”

“There is nothing wrong with the Bush Doctrine,” sneered the American representative. “We have the right to strike first at any nation that can pose a threat to us. You are monsters! Vampires and werewolves, foxes that walk on their hind legs, undead walking around like normal people! Is there anything normal about that? I would assume that you eat humans as well! That makes you a threat to the entire human race.”

Remilia leaned forward. “I would eat you but you would probably give me some bad indigestion due to you having a British mentality.” She leans back in her chair and shrugs. “But what should I’ve expected after all of this? Even though, raining satellites down on us was new. We French are always having to put you British in line.”

Yukari leaned sideways towards Tenshi, “Watch at how the trolling starts.” Eirin heard her and shook her head with a small smile. Eiki stayed silent, she was only going to jump in if something major happened. Toyohime was interested to see what Yukari would do while Remilia just wanted to humiliate the delegates opposing them.

“You insult me when I’m trying to give you the chance to end this war-“ the man is interrupted by Yukari saying out loud, “You won’t hit him!”

Everyone in the room stares at Yukari as she goes on. “Bet you won’t hit him!”

Tenshi blinked in surprise at the sudden change in Yukari. The gap youkai began to heckle the American representative with various pieces of internet slang and flame bait. But it was just to him, everyone else got polite and dignified responses. Whenever he tried to speak, Yukari would make snide remarks and devastate his arguments. It got to the point that the other delegates would laugh loudly whenever the youkai landed a hit. The meeting continued for an hour longer, but with no achievements that the Celestial could see except for Yukari’s continued amusement.

Once the meeting had concluded, everyone began to leave the chamber. The Gensokyo group stood up and began to stretch, or at least the ones that were sitting down. The Swiss representative walked up to the group and gave Yukari a sealed envelope. With a nod, he turns and leaves.

Yukari opens it and reads. When she looks up, she has a smile on her face. “It’s official. The Swiss are our allies now.”

Voile, Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo

Maribel was reading the notes that she had taken of the dream she had the night before. At Renko’s urging, she had written down every single detail she had remembered. Now the pair was in the library, conducting research. It wasn’t long before Patchouli became curious about them and approached them.

With the librarian’s help, they had narrowed the search down to a few sections of the collection. The pair had explained the two dreams that Maribel had to Patchouli and she had agreed to do research into it herself. The first set of books that they had gathered were about the American Civil War and a second stack was about the Napoleonic Wars. Renko was taking notes about some of the more important parts while Maribel tried to remember more and organize them in some sort of order. The pair worked until lunch, when Sakuya had brought them a light lunch and some cold drinks. The maid had seen how they were starting to work themselves ragged and had made them promise that they would take breaks more often. Maribel was touched by how much the head maid had begun to care about them and made sure to keep that promise.

Finally getting the motivation to stand up, the pair decide to take a short walk around the grounds of the mansion. For the first few seconds, they’re blinded by the sun since they hadn’t left the mansion all day. The damage from the battle days ago is still there, contrasting sharply with the peaceful surroundings. The empty bullet casings reflect the sunlight, creating a field of sparkles as far as the eye could see.

Around the mansion, the air defense artillery sat still. Fairy maids ignored the cannons as they floated around doing their usual things. Maribel and Renko walk around the weapons, trying to figure out how they might work before they start to head to the garden. On the way, they run into the head of security, Meiling.

The gatekeeper is stretching to wake herself up after a midday nap. Her straight sword was propped against the wall, along with a Type 56 assault rifle. As she finishes stretching, she waves at the pair and invites them to seat with her at a nearby table. Accepting her invitation, the pair begin to shoot the breeze with her.

“So, how are both of you liking it here?”

“It’s great.” Renko looks over at the destroyed section of the wall that surrounded the mansion. “I just wish that we could’ve have visited at a better time.”

Nodding her head, Meiling gives the surrounding area a quick glance. “I understand. Just a few months ago, we were starting to enjoy spring, and then all of this happened. I haven’t had to fight like that in a long time. No matter how much time passes, it never gets easier.”

“Where are you from, Meiling?” Maribel asks. “You do wear a different style of clothes than everyone else.”

“I’m from a small village in China. It’s probably not there anymore, it’s been a long time since I left.” The Chinese girl smiles a little. “It was in the mountains near a river. Every morning, the sun would come up and make everything have an orange shade. I always like how it reminded me of my hair.” She laughs. “A little bit from the village, there was a small dragon that lived in the forest. She had little ones that would play with us near the river. They also taught me how to control chi.”

“Why did you leave?” Renko asked.

“The dragon told us to leave because there were two opposing armies heading towards us. Since we had enough time, we were able to pack all of our stuff up and run. I got separated from the rest of them and decided to make my own way. A few years later, I meet Lady Remilia and she takes me in after a spot of trouble. And I’ve been working for her ever since.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-” Maribel starts.

“Don’t worry about it. Both of you seem to be people I can trust.” Meiling smiles again. “After what both of you done so far, I would be proud to have you as friends.”

“Thank you,” Maribel was happy to have another friend. Aside from Renko, she really didn’t have that many other people to talk to. Now, she had a large number that would be happy to have her over for tea. Meiling’s openness also made the pair more comfortable around her. Renko felt the same way.

“It almost feels like we have an older sister.” The physic laughs. “Did you have any siblings, Meiling?”

Shaking her head, she responds. “No, I was an only child. But since I was the first to help Flandre learn how to control herself, I might as well had been an older sister. I also did look out for Sakuya when she first arrived.” She looks around and then leans in. “You seen her in her uniform, right?”

Renko nods.

“Back when Sakuya first arrived, she had a little bit of shell shock. From what I heard, she was in some of the worst battles during the Second World War and saw so many of her soldiers get killed. She told me that the worst part was keeping her ability secret. Could you imagine, having the power to save someone, but you couldn’t use it? After a while, somehow she ended up coming after Lady Remilia. I wasn’t there since I had to run into town to get supplies, so I don’t know what exactly happened. But, I come back and we have a new head maid.” She shrugged. “For the first couple of nights, she didn’t sleep a wink. She would stand at the gate and stand guard. I almost got cut when I asked her what she was doing the first night. She eventually started to warm up to me. Once she did that, she started to relax.”

“Is she…dangerous?” Maribel hesitated.

“To anyone that wants to hurt someone she cares about, yes. But to a friend, of course not!” Meiling’s voice is firm. “Sakuya is one of the nicest humans I know! She carried me all the way to the library once when I fell asleep out here to keep me from getting a heat stroke. She doesn’t care if you’re a human or youkai. I would say she’s like Remiu in a way. The reason I want you two to know this is so that you can understand some of the things Sakuya does. And she’ll tell you all of this herself when she finally feels really comfortable with you two.”

Before any of them could respond, they heard footsteps moving closer to them. They turn to see Ran walking towards them with her hands hidden in her sleeves just like always.

The kitsune greets them with a quick bow. “Good afternoon. Lady Yukari sent me to begin your training for your trip.”

“I should get back to watching the gate.” Meiling stands up. “If you need some help with hand to hand, I’ll be happy to do what I can.” She gives Ran a friendly nod before she leaves.

“So, what do we have to learn?” Renko asked.

“A fair amount of things. Lady Yukari wants you know how to fight before she sends you to London. You know a lot about how the outside operates, so all you really have to know is how to shoot and how to counteract MI5.”

“MI5?” Maribel tilted her head in thought. “Are they like MI6? I’ve only heard about MI6 because of James Bond.”

“MI5 concentrates on counterintelligence.” Ran nodded at the pair. “Which makes them your number one enemy when your there. But don’t let that worry you too much. We’ll be in touch to pull you out as soon as it gets too rough. And I doubt that you’ll have to worry about handsome spies charming secrets out of you.”

“What would we have to do?” Renko was starting to become unsure about their decision.

“Lady Yukari’s getting a few vacant civilian positions ready in the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, London. But it’s going to take some time, at least two months. So in the meantime, we’ll take it easy and train both of you at your own pace. We should start by teaching you the history of Gensokyo.”

Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon

In front of the reviewing stand at the Lunar Palace, three line infantry regiments stood in formation. The 4th Regiment of Royal Foot was joined by the 2nd and 3rd Regiments of Royal Foot. Only the 4th had a commander in front of them. Reisen II had a hand gripping her saber tightly, she knew that the change of command she was about to witness would affect her deeply. But she was proud to be able to take part, since everyone on the reviewing stand had helped her go from a normal peasant moon rabbit pounding mochi to a Regimental commander in charge of the fourth most elite group in the Lunar Defense Corps. The fact that she had lead them into battle and had suffered no permanent casualties proved that they had made the right choice.

On the reviewing stand, Princesses Toyohime and Yorihime stood with Eirin and Reisen Udongein Inaba. Behind the sisters, Kaguya stood with a stoic look on her face. The doctor had her LDC uniform on, along with a generous amount of her awards and decorations and her command saber. Reisen’s was simpler, but she still took a measure of pride in it and the service pistol she now had hung from a belt. She still didn’t wear any headgear or ribbons on her uniform, a holdover from the days she had to fight in that same uniform. Eirin had decided to let her, she saw it as the beginning of a slow recovery to her past life. Her normal jacket had been modified to have shoulder straps, so that the shoulder cord she would be receiving would be secured in a neat fashion.

Toyohime looks at the 2nd and 3rd Regiments. “Both of you have been recalled to undergo a change of command.” Their respective commanders step forward with their chiefs of staff and their battle standards. Toyohime accepts the standard from the 2nd and Yorihime takes the one from the 3rd. They hand them back to the respective chiefs of staff and turn to face all the regiments. “With this change of command, my sister and I will begin to personally take part in combat operations, as members of the Royal Family have a duty to do.” Toyohime had a saber hanging from her belt with Yorihime had her katana. As backup, they both had service pistols hanging from the belts on the opposite side of the bladed weapons.

“The 1st Regiment of Royal Foot has been on stand down status ever since the conclusion of the 1st Genso-Lunar War. Now, it gives me great pride to announce that Lady Eirin Yagokoro has returned to take command and with her as commander, the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot is now on active status.” Toyohime takes the heavily adorned standard and hands it to Eirin. She takes it and hands it to Reisen. “With this, Lady Yagokoro has also accepted the return of her commission. She’s a Lunarian Royal Officer again. This shoulder cord represents the responsibilities and privileges of her office.” The princess then steps to be in front of Reisen. “Lady Yagokoro has also brought Reisen to serve as her chief of staff.” Pulling another shoulder cord out, Toyohime pins it on her right shoulder. She gives the moon rabbit a small smile and a quick pat on the shoulder. She lowers her voice, “We’re happy to have you back, even if it’s only for a little bit. We missed you so much…”

As one, the regiments bowed their heads as a show of respect. Eirin returns the gesture and goes to stand in front of her regiment with Reisen beside her. Once Toyohime and Yorihime get in front of their own regiments, Eirin gives her own a command to march forward, shortly after, every other regiment begins to follow while keeping the same distance. The four Royal Foot regiments march pass the reviewing stand, with Kaguya and Tewi watching them silently amid a small group of members of the royal family and other high ranking military officials. The four regiments, totaling 20,000 Lunarians but no horses, kept a steady and unified march, with each foot striking the ground at the same exact time, every time. The formations were perfect, not one of the officers or enlisted were even an inch out of position. Eirin was starting to feel the resurgence of the pride and protectiveness that she had always had when she first become a Royal Lunarian officer and kept until she left.

Raising her command saber in salute, Eirin can see that the Lunarian has a resigned look on her face. It hurts Eirin to see the princess like this, but they both know that their return was necessary.  And they made it clear that as soon as the current conflict was over, that they were going back to Eientei. At least Reisen had managed to make some progress getting over her shell shock. Once they were past the reviewing stand, Eirin lead them to their barracks area and gave them the rest of the day off. Eirin and Reisen went back to the reviewing stand to meet up with Kaguya and Tewi. The pair didn’t say a word on the way back, both of them felt the shoulder cords’ weight on more than their shoulders.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2014, 04:54:33 am »
Kappa Workshop, Youkai Mountain, Gensokyo

It was a week after the battle that had changed Gensokyo forever. Marisa had begun to spend more and more time with her father. But when she received a call from Nitori, she had to go to the workshop. The kappa had promised her something big, so Marisa’s natural curiosity was had. If it wasn’t anything good, she could just pick up anything that wasn’t bolted down.

But it turned out that she didn’t need to worry. In front of Marisa, another AH-64 Apache was sitting. Nitori sticks her head out from behind it and waves. “Hey, you made it! What do you think?”

“It is just like the one that I let get shot down?” Marisa was somewhat skeptical of her skill with helicopters. “It was great to have so much firepower, but I don’t think that you would want to be replacing helicopters after every time I fly one.”

“Don’t worry about that.” Nitori was in a better mood for the first time in days. “Yukari said that there won’t be another battle for a while. That gives us time to modify this one for your exact fighting style and for you to learn how to fly it at full efficiency. So, what did you think of the first one?”

“It was fun to fly. I like the firepower it had,” Marisa was always trying to get more firepower for herself. “I wish that there was something that would protect me from those anti air missiles.”

“You didn’t use the flares?’ Nitori’s shocked. “That’s what they were there for.”

“I had flares?”

“What else do you what for it?”

“Maybe a way for me to use Master Spark.”

“We can work on that.”

“And some better armor for it.”

“That’s doable. What do you say about going up right now with me so I can see how you fly for myself?”

A few minutes later, the pair were in the helicopter flying around Youkai Mountain. Marisa took the aircraft through its paces, paying attention to what she wanted differently. Then she remembered the last maneuver she had done before she bailed out. Slamming the left pedal down and jerked the joystick to the left. The helicopter does a tight barrel roll that lets her turn around instantly. Doing the same with the right side, she performs another one.

“Whoa! That’s new,” Nitori exclaims. “How did you figure out how to do that?”

“I don’t know, it’s something that just happened.” Marisa said. “I just reacted when it started to warn me about missiles locking on to me.”

“Guess I was right about letting you fly.”

“Didn’t Yukari ask you to in the first place?”

“But I was the one with the idea to give you a helicopter instead of a plane.”

“Can I get a plane?”

“Even if I told you no, you would probably steal one when I wasn’t looking. Let me be sure that you can handle a helicopter first, then I’ll get Aya to teach you sometime. She’s the fastest in Gensokyo after all.”

Marisa scowled. “I’ve beat her a few times.”

“Anyway,” Nitori decided to steer the conversation into safer waters. “Since you probably made a new maneuver for helicopters, you should give it a name and teach it to the rest of the helicopter pilots.”

“A name for that? Hmm…how about the ‘Magician’s Sidestep’?”

“Modest as always. So, have you figured out what you want to change?”

“I think I got everything.”

“I hope so, I might even have you test this helicopter by making you go to Old Hell.”

“In that small cave? Is that even possible?”

Nitori nods. “I took a lot of measurements when you went down there the last time. It’ll be a good test for you. What about your rifle and revolvers?” 

“They were great. That rifle you gave me took down a helicopter at the start of the battle.”

“The Mosin Nagant? I know that the base bullet was powerful, but I didn’t expect it to be able to kill a helicopter.”

“It kicked a lot though.”

“I’ll take a look at it. Go ahead and bring us in to land.” As Marisa started to land, Nitori was deep in thought. Once they hit the ground and the magician starts to shut everything down, the kappa makes her decision. “Marisa, don’t go outside just yet.”

She could see that Marisa was turning her head back to stare at her. “There’s something I want you to know.” Nitori takes a deep breath. “Iku came to talk to me right after the battle ended.”

Marisa could sense something amiss.

“She told me some things that might affect everyone in Gensokyo. It’s about Yukari.”

“Doesn’t Yukari always affect everyone in Gensokyo?”

“This time is different. She wants to…go against the Dragon Palace.”

A stunned silence meant that Marisa knew exactly what that entailed. “But…Yukari can’t go against the Dragon God…she just can’t. I know that she’s smart and strong, but she can’t really expect to win against him in a straight fight.”

“She knows. That’s why she’s been playing this war the way she has. If she can get her supporters strong enough, she could have a chance to overthrow him.”

“But, since Iku knows, won’t she just turn her in?”

“No, Iku knows that Yukari won’t do something like this without a good reason. That’s why she and Tenshi have already promised to help her. And I’m in it too. Now, I want to ask you to help us.”

“If I do agree to help, won’t that mean that there might be a civil war soon?”

“Not if we can help it.” Nitori gestured out of the window. “There’s something out there that’s making all of this happen. Yukari wants to stop it so that we can live in peace again.”

“Alright, I’m in, too.” Marisa sighed. “I hope that Remiu doesn’t kill me for this.”

“I’m sure that Yukari can explain all this to her. Who knows, she might even convince her to join us too.”

“Only if she’s promised donations.”

Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

Remiu sighed as she surveyed the damage to her shrine. What made her the angriest was the amount of damage that her donation box had taken. Half of the box was still there but the rest was simply gone. The main shrine had taken almost the same amount of damage from bullets and shrapnel.  Even the storage building had been almost destroyed.

Since the shrine was in no condition to live in, Yukari had arranged to let Remiu stay at her place for the time being. But even then the miko still felt a sense of emptiness. She still remembered every single kill she had made during the battle. The looks on her victims’ faces as spellcards and bullets hit them with lethal power always came back when she closed her eyes. Their screams echoed in her mind and had kept her awake.

Looking over to the side, she can see the wreckage of an A-10 Thunderbolt II in the middle of a carter. As she walks around the main shrine to inspect the damage from the back, she’s in deep thought. About halfway around, she stops when she feels a presence following her.

Floating behind her was someone that she hadn’t seen in years. She had long green hair, a tall blue hat with a sun on it, and a white and blue dress. On her back, she had two black wings coming out from under her cape and she carried a staff with a crescent on the end. She had no feet, instead she had a ghost tail.

Reacting instantly, Remiu jumps away from her and pulls out her gohei and some spellcards. She throws a few seals at the ghost, but they’re batted away easily. Wasting no time, the miko summons her yin yang orbs and kicks them hard.

Spinning her staff, the ghost deflects the projectiles but keeps her distance. “I decide to go out for a walk and I get attacked by a jumpy little kid.” She shakes her head. “I swear, you’re just like your mother.”

Remiu still had her spellcards and gohei at the ready, but eases a little when she doesn’t get attacked. “How many times are you going to break out of the hokora? Anyway, it’s not the best time for me right now.”

Mima shrugged. “Is it the best time for anybody? I know what’s going on. It’s not that easy to hide.”

“Why are you here?”

“I’m just taking a walk. I need to keep myself in shape, after all.”

“I wish you wouldn’t lie so much.” Remiu and Mima jump when they hear Yukari’s voice. “It makes dealing with you so much of a headache.”

“Hello to you too, Yukari.” Mima gave her a curt nod. “I see that you haven’t stopped surprising people with your gaps.”

“It’s a hard habit to break,” Yukari hid behind her fan. “It’s almost as hard to break as your lying streak.”

“A lie’s never hurt anyone before.”

“If you say so,” Before Yukari could continue, Remiu gave both of them a sharp glare.

“Can we get back to why Mima decided to show up?” The miko pauses for a moment. “You’re here because of the war, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m just looking to adopt a dog so I can teach it to cook for me.” Mima had a condensing smile on her face. “I can’t rely on you to cook for me when you don’t ever get any donations.”

Remiu was having a great amount of trouble stopping herself from slamming her gohei into the ghost’s head. “Are you telling me that you’re the one that’s been taking my food?”

“I wouldn’t call it taking. But we have more pressing matters to talk about.” Mima adjusted her hat and crossed her arms. “I saw what happened last week. Your little Gensokyo Defense Force did well to repeal that attack. But what about the next attack or the one after that?”

“I don’t know…” Remiu had to look away.

“We’re planning an attack on the surrounding FOBs and patrol bases.” Yukari stared down Mima. “Once we push them out, we can take the fight to them.”

“I want in.”

Both Remiu and Yukari could only stare at her.

“What? I’m living in Gensokyo, too. And I want to get my revenge on humans. Isn’t this the perfect chance for me to do it?”

Remiu gave Yukari a sideways glance. The gap youkai was in deep thought and was looking at Mima. After a few moments she sighs. “I can’t refuse an offer for help. But, it’s not just my decision alone. Since you do have a colorful history, I think it would be better if we ask some of the others if they wouldn’t mind letting you join us.” The gap youkai focuses on the miko. “What about you, Remiu? Do you think we should let her join us?”

“We should.” It was Remiu’s turn to stare Mima down. “But only if she promises to listen to us. I don’t want anybody dying needlessly.”

“Fair enough.” The ghost shrugged. “Who else should I send flowers and candy to?”

Ignoring the continuing urge to slam her gohei into someone’s head, Remiu turned and went to finish her inspection of the shrine. Yukari and Mima were left with a tense and awkward atmosphere between them.

“I…would like to ask you a favor,” Yukari’s voice was barely audible.

Mima adjusted the ribbon hanging from her capelet. “I’m not going away, if that’s what you’re going to ask.”

“We’re some of the few people that know what happened in the village all those years ago.” The gap youkai had to grab her fan to hide the trembling of her right hand. “Remiu and Marisa don’t remember anything that happened that night. Even the youkai that were there aren’t willing to tell them anything about it.”

“They’re going to have to find out eventually.”

“But it won’t be good for them if we just blurt it out.”

“They’re already old enough to kill, so why not just let them know what happened?”

“Because they already have enough to worry about. Remiu was almost killed during the battle because the barrier I was responsible for was destroyed and she felt the effect. I don’t what to have to bury her. It should be the other way around.”

Tilting her head in thought,,  the ghost chose her next words carefully. “You…can’t always be there for her. Eventually, she’s going to have to make her own decisions.”

“I promised her mother that I would take care of her.” Yukari’s knuckles became white due to how tight she was gripping her fan. “We may not be blood, but I still see her as the daughter I will never have. I was the one that taught her how to walk, how to speak, and how to cast her spells. Every night, I would hold her and sing to her until she fell asleep. I didn’t even do that to my own shikigami when they were growing up.”

“What about Marisa?”

“She still has her father. And she has you.”

“And do you watch out for her?”

Yukari nodded. “Those two have always been under my watch. They’re what keeps Gensokyo in its proper balance. And even though I don’t give Marisa as much attention as I do Remiu, I still think of her as daughter as well.”

“You’ve gone through a lot of trouble for all of this.”

Yukari’s face darkened. “Don’t we all go through a lot of trouble in life?”

”But to be able to get close with someone after what happened to the ghost princess,” Mima bowed her head slightly. “That takes a great amount of bravery. Being willing to risk going through that pain again…”

“I rather not have either of them go through the same pain I went through. That’s why I’m asking that you wait a little while before you tell either of them about what happened.”

“Since you put like that, I can’t refuse. You have my word.”

“Good. I’ll talk to the rest of the faction heads about letting you join us. I’m sure that there shouldn’t be any problems.”

Mima nods and turns to leave. “Try not to mess up too bad.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2014, 05:05:42 am »
Kappa Workshop, Youkai Mountain, Gensokyo

One month after Yukari’s meeting with Mima, the gap youkai was looking over a set of drawings that Nitori had given her. They were of the uniform that Nitori had been inspired to make when she saw Ran’s stolen Russian Army one. The sketches were a little rough around the edges but Yukari was impressed.

They resembled Sakuya’s old service uniform with a little bit of Lunarian Defense Corps influence. The entire uniform was a dark blue, the same shade as Sakuya’s but instead of the coat reaching to below the knees, it stopped at the upper thigh. The coat was single breasted instead of Sakuya’s double breasted coat. It came with a belt that had a shoulder strap. On the shoulder, it had a flap to secure the strap or to hang shoulder boards. The trousers were the same color and tucked into a pair of tall, black boots. On the sides of the trousers, there was a stripe that would denote what faction the wearer was from. The peaked cap that completed the uniform lacked a wire stiffener, so it had a crumpled appearance.

The magical properties that Nitori had suggested included resistance to bullets, and fragmentation, the ability to repair itself, and being able to keep the wearer comfortable in any type of weather. A list of colors denoted what color belonged to each faction along with a rough sketch of patches. Yukari liked the amount of effort that went into almost every detail.

Picking up a pencil, she makes a few quick adjustments and changes. She adds a stripe to the sleeves and a hook for a scabbard on the back of the belt. Yukari pulls out a set of books from a gap and begins to flip through them. Glancing between the books and the designs, she nods her head and waits for Nitori to come back from a short walk.

Her phone vibrates with an urgent text. Reading it, she shakes her head sadly and looks out of the window. It wasn’t long before she heard footsteps getting closer. A few seconds later, the door opens and Nitori walks in with a half-eaten cucumber.

Yukari raises the drawings and gives Nitori a smile. “I like what you did. I made a few changes here and there, but, overall, it’s a great design. How long will it take before we have the first set?”

“Hmm, if I can get the supplies from some of the other kappas and Rinnosuke, I can have it done in a week.”

Nodding, Yukari turns to the magical map that sat in the middle of the office. “We may be having visitors soon.”

Nitori turns to look at the map but can’t see what Yukari’s talking about. “Are you sure-never mind. I thought that the humans would wait more.”

“They’re about to launch another full scale invasion. And their first strike will be aimed at me.” She smiles again. “At least they thought highly enough of me to send in their best.”

“What do you mean, Yukari?”

“I’ve received word that the Americans are planning to send SEALs after me.”

“You mean the animal? The ones that clap and balance balls on their noses? Won’t we just need to beat them with baseball bats?”

“No, the other kind.” Yukari pulled out a piece of paper from a gap. “From what some of my sources on the other side of the barrier tell me, they want to get me out of the way before they launch another attack.”

“Then shouldn’t we speed things up before they can do that?”

“We will, and I have an idea for them.” Yukari put the paper back in the gap after a quick glance. “At least this means that we know that another attack is being planned.”

“How long do you think we have?”

“About three more weeks at the most.”

Nitori had to sit down for this. “Three weeks…three weeks and another battle will happen…”

Typing up a quick text, Yukari sits down and waits for all the faction heads to arrive. It takes a fair amount of time, but eventually they are all there. Eirin, Kaguya and Reisen were the last to arrive but had brought a basket full of snacks.

Once they were all there, the atmosphere became somber. Everyone was looking at the map and was wondering what Yukari was going to say.

“I’ve called all of you here because I want to go ahead and make a plan for the next battle.” Yukari points at the area around the Hakueri Shrine. “From what Flandre has been talking to me about, the shrine will be the main target. They were keen on getting it the first time, so it would make sense that they would go for it again. My sources say we should expect an attack in the next three weeks.”

“Our three Royal Regiments will be ready before then,” Eirin said.
   
“Good. Our main points of attack should be the three Forward Operating Bases set up a little ways from the front line.” Yukari pointed at three large squares. “We take them out, we won’t have to worry about another land attack on our homes for a while and we start to take the fight to them.”

Flandre tapped her foot, signaling the appearance of multiple blue squares, Xs, and triangles. The little vampire pointed at the first three squares. “These are the Royal Regiments of Foot. Each one will take a separate FOB, along with a few units of GDF. The tengus will fly over us and take care of enemy air units. The Celestials will provide artillery support, but I have a feeling that Tenshi will be their spotter.”

The Celestial nodded in agreement. Yukari pulled out her fan and used it to point at the densest area of the tree line around the barrier. “I have information from my sources that say we’re going to have some early visitors coming through here.”

A small square appeared at the entrance of the smallest path to the shrine. “From what we can see, this is where they’re most likely to try to sneak in. So we decided to put together a welcome for our new guests.” She looks at Sakuya. “I would like for you to take a small group with you and meet them in the forest.”

“Who should I take?” Sakuya asked.

“I’m sure that Reisen Udongein Inaba, Youmu Konpaku, Tenshi Hinanawi, and Momiji Inubashiri would be good choices.” Yukari nodded. “Spend the rest of this week teaching them what you know about the blitz and we should be fine. Patchouli, how is that Copper spell coming along?”

“I hit a wall with that.” Patchouli shrugged. “At the moment, it works well, but there’s something missing. I need more time.”

“What about our air units, Aya?”

“We’re good to go.” The tengu had her reporter’s notebook out.

“Are both princesses going to take part, Eirin?”

“They will. They took their posts as Royal Commanders.” Eirin took a bite out of a roll from a basket. “I’ll be leading the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot, so I want the most well defended target.”

“We can do that.” Yukari pointed at the center FOB. “This one is where the orders originate from, so it would make sense that that’s where the commander would be. From what my source says, they’re bringing in more armor, artillery, infantry, and air units. So, we’re going to have a lot more to fight this time. They know what to expect, and I doubt that we may be able to force a surrender from them this time. Flandre…what’s the…estimated injuries and deaths?”

“About…40 percent of our total number, Lady Yukari.”

“You all know how serious this is. Some of us may not come back. But we have to make sure that Gensokyo is protected from the wrath of the outside world. We have to do this for our families and friends. For those that we love and for those that we don’t even know. We were forced into this war, now we must fight it on our terms.”

CIA New Headquarters, George Bush Center for Intelligence, Langley, Virginia, United States

A small crew of the most trusted agents were working the computers and phones in the command center. Taisui Xingjun stood behind the rearmost row of computers and was watching all of them work. The large screen was showing an aerial, thermal view of the forest in front of the Hakueri Shrine. A group of dots were standing in front of the shrine. On the screen to the right side, a radar showed a lone RQ-9 Predator flying in the storm.

Taisui Xingjun answers his ringing cell phone. “I’m here…deployment authorized.” More dots appear, but this time, they’re from the bottom of the screen. At least thirty dots move towards the shrine at a fast pace. He aims his laser pointer at the dots in front of the shrine. “Those should be our first targets. Once they’re out, we’ll hunt down Yukari Yakumo and eliminate her. Make sure they know about their magic and abilities.”

“Sir, the drone’s reporting extremely high winds and rain.”

“We’ll have to be quick about this, then. Bring me up a weather map.”

One appears on the screen to the left. At the moment, a monsoon was starting to hit the area. The heaviest part of the storm was about to hit in about twenty minutes.

“This storm should give us some cover from their anti-air units.” Taisui Xingjun picked up the telephone next to him. “You are authorized to proceed. Godspeed.”

Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

The severe thunderstorm that was hitting the area didn’t help Sakuya’s night vision at all. At least she wasn’t like Remiu, fighting a special operations team while night blind would be almost impossible. The maid smiled, she remembered all the times that the miko had blown up on any unlucky soul that brought up her night blindness.

Reisen leaned against a tree with her service rifle and H&K 416 slung on her back, not caring about the heavy gusts and rain that saturated the ground. Youmu and Tenshi stood next to each other, both had their blades drawn and where looking around. Momiji had climbed on top of a tree and was watching for their enemies to arrive.

Sakuya was grateful for the spells that Nitori had cast on her uniform. Not having to worry about being soaked and cold would help her a lot. She checked her ammo and knives, making sure that she doesn’t run out anytime soon. Her Karabiner 98K was somewhat antiquated by some of the weapons that they would be facing, but she still had confidence in her old service rifle. If that didn’t work, she still had the H&K G36 and the knives she always carried.

Tenshi had her Sword of Hisou, Walther P38, and a newly acquired UMP. She kept her P-38 in her hostler with a round in the chamber, but with the double action de-cocked. Fidgeting a little, she, jumps when she feels a hand on her shoulder. Sakuya had put her hand on Tenshi’s shoulder to calm her down. “Don’t worry too much. It’s natural to feel this before an operation like this. Just remember what I’ve taught you and pay attention out there and you’ll be fine.”

The Celestial nodded and looked towards the front of the forest. Visibility was extremely poor, not even the heavy lightning helped. Sakuya’s cellphone began to beep, she answers it and then puts it on conference call.

“Is everybody ready?” Nitori was the one that would be coordinating everyone. Yukari was close by to drop support whenever it was possible.

“I’m good.” Sakuya brought her Karabiner 98K up to the low ready. She had a few stripper clips and magazines on her.

“I’m set.” Tenshi pulled the bolt back on the UMP. Her hat had started to sag with all the rain it was catching.

“Ready.” Youmu had both of her blades out. She was more concerned with having left Yuyuko enough to eat while she was gone.

“Bring it.” Momiji loaded a magazine into her H&K PSG1. The White Wolf Tengu’s sight was diminished slightly by the rain, but she still felt confident in her ability.

“I’m ready.” Reisen closed the bolt on her service rifle. Familiar training began to return, along with the early signs of adrenaline.

“From what the map tells us,” Nitori could be heard moving about. “The SEALs have already started to move in your direction. Flandre and Yukari were right about everything so far, but be careful.” The kappa pauses for a second. “Looks like they have an eye in the sky. The map’s showing an RQ-1 Predator flying overhead. That thing’s running communications and reconnaissance for them. I’m going to see about getting Aya to take it out as soon as she can.”

“How far are they from us, Nitori?” Sakuya was getting in her business mindset.

“About 300 meters and moving fast. Expect them to be packing heavier weapons.”

“Momiji, stay back and cover us. Everybody else, follow me.” Sakuya didn’t wait for a response before she ran. She didn’t need to, as she could sense her orders being carried out. Stopping about 100 meters from their starting point, the maid takes a knee and waves her left arm. Tenshi moves to her left while Youmu and Reisen move to her right.

The sounds of thunder and rain mask every sound made in the forest. The wind began to pick up, they all knew that their bullets would be off because of it. If they could hold out until Aya destroyed that UAV, they would have the advantage. Sakuya froze when she began to see green dots in the distance. At least thirty pairs of green dots were slowing moving towards them.

Sakuya brought her Karabiner up and aimed for the centermost pair of green dots. She squeezes the trigger and sees every pair of dots scatter. The forest is suddenly filled with the sounds and flashes of gunfire. Taking cover behind a tree, the maid starts to fire as fast as she can cycle her bolt. Youmu and Tenshi are forced to switch to their firearms since going in close would be suicidal. They still keep moving, pouring out bullets as fast as they can.

“Youmu and Reisen, stay close to each other. Tenshi, you’re with me.” Sakuya grabs Tenshi by the shoulder and guides her to the left while the half ghost and moon rabbit run to the right. With the amount of fire being sent towards them, the maid decides to sling her bolt action rifle and brings her G36 up.

“Damn, I can’t hit anything in this weather,” Reisen could be heard grinding her teeth.

“Momiji, any luck from where you’re at?” Sakuya blinked as a bullet almost grazed her nose.

“They’re too fast. It’s almost like they’re flash stepping.” Her rifle goes off. “It’s like something’s deflecting my shots.”

“The wind’s too strong.” Tenshi almost dropped her magazine in her frenzy to reload. “We might have to end up in melee.”

“Nitori, how’s that sky looking right now?” Sakuya swore that the pair of green dots disappeared then reappeared twenty feet away instantly.

“The worst part of the storm’s about to hit you. Looks like a monsoon level storm from the forecasts Patchouli is showing me.” Nitori paused. “Aya’s in the air but she’s having trouble getting to you. The gusts are just too strong.”

“What about artillery support?” Sakuya knew the answer wouldn’t had changed since Yukari’s meeting with them.

“Can’t. With the weather like that, we might end up hitting the shrine instead.”

Tenshi lets out a startled yelp when a bullet hits one of the peaches on her hat. Then a bolt of lightning hits close by, disorientating everyone. Sakuya grabs Tenshi and throws her to the ground. The maid follows quickly, barely dodging a scattered hail of gunfire. Propping herself up with her elbows, Sakuya fires her entire magazine to buy time for them to run.

About twenty miles away, Aya’s still fighting the wind gusts but she’s making progress. Even with her natural ability to control the wind, it still took some excretion to get her SU-47 through. Then she found a small tunnel that would lead her close to the target area. Once she entered the tunnel, it wasn’t long before she could see the UAV. Going wide, she circles around and comes behind the Predator. She gets a lock and lets a pair of missiles loose.

The two hit their target dead center and explode. Aya dips her plane’s nose a little and flies under the explosion. She performs a barrel roll in celebration then turns to return to Youkai Mountain. With the heavy rain and wind, she couldn’t risk an airstrike. She knew that the two sides were too close to each other.

On the ground, the Navy SEALs slow down as their communications and GPS stop working. Reisen takes advantage of the pause to pin down where the fire came from. She fires controlled pairs, but still misses due to the weather. The SEALs link up to GPS and communication satellites instead. They have a weak signal, but it’s enough to get them back in the fight.

The operatives start shooting more than ever, forcing Sakuya to high crawl from bush to bush. Tenshi’s close behind her, breathing heavily. She’s randomly grateful for the spells on her uniform when she sees the mud coat her rifles but not her. Going back to what Nitori had told her, the humans had to be using night vision googles to be able to fight them this well at night. If only she used light and heat magic like Marisa did.

Youmu and Reisen were having similar luck in their attack. Youmu’s SPAS-12 was more useless than the rifles due to the pellets her shotgun used. Reisen kept switching between her service rifle and her H&K 416, neither of them had hit any of the SEALs yet.

“Sakuya, change of plans. Can you lure them in towards the shrine through the east side?” Nitori asked her.

“We can try.” Grabbing Tenshi with one hand, she fires her G36 with the other to cover them as they fall back. “Youmu and Reisen, fall back about 100 meters. Momiji, cover us as best you can.”

The SEALS aren’t too eager to let them escape. They start to fire on the move. Sakuya looks back and is somewhat mesmerized by the way the green lights bobble as the operators sprint towards them. A faint trail shows the path of the pairs of green lights. The maid makes a mental note to ask Yukari to get her some for herself. Remiu would be jealous.

Dropping to the prone, Reisen and Youmu shoot back to cover Sakuya and Tenshi. Youmu’s reloading when she hears Reisen grunt in pain and stop firing. Scared, the half ghost crawls to her. But Reisen’s still alive and clearly very angry.

“Shit! They shot me in the ass!” Reisen’s covering her rabbit tail as Youmu resists the urge to burst out laughing. The urge is cut short when an operator jumps them. The half ghost quickly pulls out Hakurouken and stabs him through the gut. Pushing his body off to the side, Youmu quickly wipes her blade off. She helps Reisen get up and they both run towards a tree near Tenshi and Sakuya.

The maid is instantly pulling out her medical kit and applying bandages to the wound. She hadn’t been able to get any of Eirin’s medicines, but the moon rabbit’s wound wasn’t life threatening. But it would slow them down, probably enough to get caught.

“Lure them towards the shrine, but don’t be between it and them,” Nitori said. “We have some Napoleonic era artillery that Yukari set up in front of the shrine that might be able to give you some close cover. Damn this weather, makes misfires a certainty.”

Sakuya has her doubts about the plan but doesn’t see any other alternative. The wind and rain start to pick up even more as the weaker branches fly off of the trees. One of the wayward branches almost takes off Sakuya’s service cap. “Keep moving back!” She throws a knife that explodes and shoots out even more knives. It buys them some time, but doesn’t hit anything.

On top of the stairs in front of the shrine, three 24 lb. Napoleonic era cannons were being loaded by Marisa and Alice. The puppeteer’s dolls were helping as well. Finishing a spell on the canister shot, Marisa carefully slides it down the cannon. The spell that Marisa had infused into the canister would unleash a full power Earthlight Ray that would have a shotgun effect. Since the spell was made of light, the storm would have no effect on it. Shaking her head to try to get some of the water off of her hat, the witch tries to see the green dots that would be their targets. She grips her medallion tightly, the realization that she was going up against highly trained soldiers heavy on her mind.

Momiji fires off another shot, it misses her target just like all of the ones before. She could barely keep focused on a single target due to them moving so fast. Some of them even covered their night vision goggles to confuse the youkai. The SEALs were extremely close to being in melee range of Reisen and Youmu, Sakuya and Tenshi had barely been able to force the humans to move back. With the moon rabbit’s pace slowed down by her wound, Sakuya had been getting more and more concerned about being able to reach the shrine before getting overrun.

Quickly going through her memories, Sakuya can’t ever remember ever being outclassed on the battlefield. Even with her battle against Remilia a long time ago, she had instantly recognized that she wasn’t meant to win, so being outclassed didn’t matter. She had taken a chance and surrendered after a long fight, praying that her fate wouldn’t be something worse than death. She never expected to find herself being part of another family.

The closest thing she could compare the current situation with would her brief stint at the Battle of Moscow. Even though the Soviets were vastly underequipped, Sakuya had almost been overwhelmed by the sheer number of conscripts that had to be dispatched with her knives. The commissars were no better, anytime a conscript backed away, they would shoot him in the back. She had made it a priority to kill them in any painful way she could think of.

A bullet almost knocks her Karabiner 98K out of her grip when it hits the stock right behind the sling hole. She lets the momentum start to spin her around and quickly slings the rifle. Bringing up her G36, she fires more shots as she runs to the hill that the shrine sits on. The look of concern on Tenshi’s face didn’t escape Sakuya. Youmu had thought about having Reisen fly, but the heavy winds would quickly slam them into a tree. Instead, she slings her weapon and picks the moon rabbit up in a bridal carry. She sprints while Reisen fires reactive fire with her assault rifle one handed, both of them have a faint blush on their faces.

Sakuya rolls behind a small group of trees near the top of the hill and pokes her head towards the shrine. Seeing Marisa and Alice, the maid gives Tenshi a quick shoulder tap and runs to get behind the cannons. The SEALs are still firing at Youmu and Reisen, who are struggling to make their way up the hill. Momiji switches to using tracer rounds to divert attention to herself and then sprints to the cannons. Marisa and Alice begin to push the cannons forward. The muddy ground made it difficult, but they managed to position all three cannons on the downward slope aiming at the forest.

Putting in a new magazine, Sakuya fires bursts to force the humans to slow down. Once Youmu and Reisen collapse behind the cannons, Marisa grabs all three of the strings and quickly uses her mini Hakkero to light them. Everyone faces away and covers their ears. Two seconds later, two of the three cannons are pushed back due to the amount of recoil from their fired canisters. Each canister fires about twenty feet before they explode. From that explosion, multiple lasers fly towards the forest at the bottom of the hill. The last cannon fires when Marisa slams the butt of her rifle on the back of it.

The lasers cut through anything they touch. Almost all the night vision goggles blink out of existence during the barrage. For a while after the last explosion, the only sounds came from the storm. Sakuya stood back up and surveyed the area in front of her. The damage from the two battles had left giant clearings in the once dense forest. The most devastated trees were the cherry blossoms, a tree that she had come to love.

Before she could wipe the mud off of her face, another volley of gunfire came towards them. Everyone on top of the hill threw themselves on the ground while reaching for their weapons. Some of the bullets were hitting the cannons and bouncing everywhere. One hits the ground where Tenshi had her hand just a few seconds ago.

“How long until you can get that thing reloaded?” Sakuya shouts over the gunfire.

“I can’t risk it with all this bullets coming at us! But the dolls can!” Marisa took her hat off and put it on Alice’s head. “This is for putting those funny hats on those stone statues! Don’t lose my hat!” Mud began to fly as the SEALs started to use M203 grenade launchers.

“Marisa, don’t-,” Alice was cut off by more bullets flying towards them. The witch crawled to be on line with everyone else as Alice had her dolls start the reloading process. Seeing Marisa without her trademark hat felt weird to her, but it was overshadowed by the hope that she would be able to give it back to her after all of this.

Sakuya raised her Karabiner and fired off a round. She cycles the bolt but finds that she needs to reload. Reaching in her pocket, she stops when she can’t feel any more rounds. Checking the G36 magazines yields the same result. Looking at the others, it was clear that everyone but Marisa was about to run out of ammo.

Quickly counting the pairs of green dots remaining, the maid can say that there’s twelve SEALs that survived the first volley. Before she can try to figure out how two revolvers and a bolt action rifle would hold off at least a dozen assault rifles, a gunshot rings out behind them. Sakuya’s caught off guard when sees a long red bullet fly over their heads, curve in flight and hit one of the SEALs dead center.

Another gunshot and another human gets hit. Looking behind her, Sakuya is surprised to see Remilia and Meiling on top of the shrine. The gatekeeper is holding an enhanced umbrella over the vampire, who is cycling the bolt on her Springfield 1903. She has an angry look on her face, obviously from having someone wanting to hurt her chief maid. The vampire loads another round and closes the bolt. She brings it up, spots a pair of green dots and fires.

The rain and wind have no effect on the accuracy of Gungnir, more and more bullets fly true. Alice’s dolls finally finish reloading the second volley of canister shot and light the fuses. Only three SEALs were left to take the attack, but they were quickly dispatched by Remilia. Once the final shot leaves the barrel of the Springfield, the forest returns to its empty state.

“The map doesn’t show anymore humans around,” Nitori says. “Looks like you beat back one of the most elite military units in the world.”

“Who where they exactly?” Sakuya asked. “I’ve never seen anyone fight like that before.”

“They’re part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group,” Yukari’s voice comes over the line. “They’re the ones that develop and test out new tactics for the US Navy. Since they see me has a very high value target, it makes sense that they would send them.”

“Even though they were the best, we still beat them with obsolete weapons,” Tenshi said.

“It’s because they weren’t expecting it.” Yukari replied. “They were confused by their UAV getting shot down and who would expect a three hundred year old relic to show up on the battlefield?”

“You showed up…” Remilia said under her breath.

Yukari opened a gap and dropped a cat on the vampire’s head. The feline latched on instinctively and held on as Remilia flailed. “Anyone else?”

Everyone shook their heads.

“Good. All of you did well. I’m sure Eirin has something for your wound, Reisen. But that would meant that Youmu won’t have to carry you around anymore.” She smiles as the pair looks away from each other. “But know that the coming battle will be worse than this. I have a feeling that they’re getting ready to throw everything at us.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2014, 01:54:49 am »
Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo

The morning after the failed assassination attempt on her life, Yukari was sitting in the dining room at the SDM. Maribel and Renko were finishing the last meal that they would have in Gensokyo. The gap youkai was taking a sip of tea while she was looking out of the window. In just a few hours, another battle would take place. This time, they expected the fighting to be much worse.

The door to the den opened, and Reisen II walked in. She had her service cap under her left arm and a map in the right. The moon rabbit sat down next to the gap youkai and looked to be deep in thought. The next few people that came through the door were Eirin, Remilia, Yuyuko, Eiki, Aya, Kanako, Byakuren, Satori, Miko, Marisa, Keine, Tenshi, and Mima. 

Everyone took a seat and waited until Maribel and Renko were done. No one talked, the upcoming battle on their minds. Once the pair were done, Yukari pulled a map out of a gap and laid it across the table. It sprung to life, Patchouli’s spell causing it to create a three dimensional diagram.

“Today’s the day that we will fight another battle,” Yukari started. “The assassination attempt on my life last night is the first part of the attack that they’re planning to launch. That means that we have to move quickly if we want to lessen damage to us.” She points to the three red squares a distance away from the Hakueri Shrine. “The three FOBs are still our primary targets. The Lunarian Royal Regiments of Foot will be providing most of the personnel that will be taking them. The GDF will be providing support in any way we can. The Celestial House Artillery will provide their services for us. The Human Village militia will stay near the village, should anything go wrong, that will be our rallying point. Eirin, how do you plan on taking those FOBs?”

“The 1st Regiment will take the center FOB, the 2nd will take the northern one, and the 3rd will take the southern one. The 4Th will stay a little behind the line to provide reinforcement when needed. We should avoid using the line infantry doctrine for this battle. With the open field between us and the FOBs, our causalities would be high. We should also use our ability to fly a lot more, at least until we can be sure that we won’t trigger mines.” Eirin rubbed her eye. “Are we going for a complete kill, or are we taking prisoners?”

“I don’t think we have the ability to take prisoners, but I don’t want to have them killed.” Yukari sighed. “It’ll make it harder to get more allies that way.” She could tell that Reisen II and Byakuren were against it, but she couldn’t think of any alternatives. “Tenshi, do you know what you should be aiming for?”

“All I know is the FOBs.”

Yukari tapped her fan on the table, causing one of the red squares to enlarge and become more detailed. “Each FOB has been reinforced with more artillery since the battle. We think that they have multiple howitzers, rocket, and missile launchers. One thing we don’t have to worry about are nuclear weapons, at least for now. A coordinated and precise attack will take most of them out before they can be brought to bear. The most dangerous part of the battle will be the initial rush. I have no doubt that the air units that they have will already be airborne. Aya, it’ll be your job to keep the skies as clear as possible.” The tengu nodded.

“What about the rest of the military forces that might show up?” Kanako asked. “Even with four regiments of Lunarians, we can’t handle every member of NATO at the same time.”

“I’m not worried about that,” Yukari looked out of the window. “North Korea and China are at odds with the United States, and one little incident might divert their attention. Pakistan and India are at each other’s throats, which might lead to nuclear war. Israel and every single one of their neighbors are about to throw down on each other. Russia is trying to establish itself as a world power again, but socialist parties are trying to gain power. That would probably lead to another cold war. If we can win this battle, then a little bit of time is all we need to see the rest of the world turn against each other.”

“Is that what you want us to do?” Renko asked.

“Not if it interferes with your primary mission,” Yukari said. “We want you to figure out how the British knew so much about Gensokyo. The Russians are our next target, but we’ll get to it when the time comes. Make sure that you don’t attract attention to yourselves. And be careful.”

Eirin was studying the pair intently. She could tell that something was off, but decided to keep it to herself. Reisen was completely focused on the map, looking for any sources of cover. Tenshi tapped the table to cause the sectors of fire to appear. The Celestial artillery covered the entire map, but the rest of the squares fell short of reaching the FOBs. The humans had overlapping lanes of fire, and plenty of traps and defenses set up.

“What about a tunnel?” Tenshi asked.

“Go on.” Yukari had a small sign of a frown at the edges of her lips.

“I can try to create a tunnel that reaches all the FOBs. That way, we won’t have to expose ourselves to the humans until we’re right on top of them.” The Celestial nodded. “I doubt that humans are used to fighting underground.”

“You’re right,” Yukari said. “The humans don’t have a subterranean doctrine yet, but they’re working on it. A tunnel would give us excellent cover, but can you make it big enough for everyone to get through?”

“It’ll take multiple tunnels, but I’m sure we can do it.”

“We should still leave a token force above ground, the humans will get suspicious if they don’t meet any resistance.” Eirin added. “But with this turn, it might turn into an artillery battle.”

“And I know how you feel about Lunarian artillery,” Yukari replied. “But with a vast majority of our people underground, the chance of friendly fire goes down dramatically.”

“If you really want Lunarian artillery, I can request it. But I still don’t have much faith in it.”

“Good. I’ve also made a deal with some arms dealers beyond the barrier to purchase anti-tank guns. They should come in handy for our front line defense at the shrine. Rinnosuke has agreed to become our go between to the various arms dealers that I’ve begun to establish working relationships with.”

“Kourin as an arms dealer…never saw that coming.” Marisa said.

“That’s not the only part. Rinnosuke also would like for you to enter the arms trade as well.” The gap youkai smiled. “He says that you have the merchant family trait and would make your father proud. After all, you run a magic shop, so weapons infused with magic isn’t that big of a jump.”

“But I never sold anything intended to kill.”

“Times change, Marisa. You’ve seen what we have to do. I rather have Gensokyo go back to being an isolated paradise, but someone out there wants us gone. Rinnosuke sees an ability in you that would help all of us out a lot.”

“I’ll give it a try.” Marisa still didn’t like it, but couldn’t see any other alternative.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be there to make sure you’re not taken advantage of.” Yukari looks at Reisen and Eirin. “With the tunnels, how much is your strategy going to change?”

“I say we should have two regiments use the tunnels and the other two should fly in quickly. With the Celestial artillery supporting us, we should have plenty of cover.” Eirin looked at the map. “The tanks and armored vehicles might give us some trouble if we don’t have those anti-tank guns. Our cavalry won’t be much use in the FOBs though, but if we can get them in the field, we have the advantage.”

“I can take care of their tanks,” Mima spoke for the first time. “Just give me a clear line of sight, and my Twilight Spark will take care of the rest.”

“We don’t need you to completely destroy the countryside.” Yukari looked at the spirit. “We want them to be able to surrender or run away not to be lifeless bodies outside the shrine.”

 “I’ll give them one warning shot. After that, it’s fair game.”

“Just don’t overdo it.” Eirin piped in.

“Why isn’t Lord Tenma here?” Yukari asked Aya.

“He wants to leave this to someone younger, either to me or Momiji. But we can’t get along, so they just sent me.” The tengu shrugged. “I rather have her do this, my newspaper is suffering right now.”

“I might have both of you pair up sometime.” The gap youkai laughed. “But we’re going to need the White Wolf Tengus to enter the battle first. They should be able to spot targets for the Celestials, take out some of the higher officers and counter some of the Special Forces they have there.”

“I’ll pass it on.”

“Now for you two,” Yukari directed her words to Maribel and Renko. “Are you ready to go?”

“We’re good.” Renko nodded.

“Meet me at the front hallway in ten minutes.”

With that as a dismissal, everyone stood up and began to leave the dining room. Maribel was the last one to leave the room and heard Yukari whisper quietly, “Why is it changing?”

Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

The three Napoleonic era cannons from the night before were hidden in the brush. A team of fairies were nearby, stacking cannonballs and canisters under a small bush. Bags of measured and magically enhanced gunpowder were protected and hidden in a small ditch nearby.  The T12 antitank guns that Yukari had bought off of some outside arms dealers were being pushed near the shrine.

Up on Youkai Mountain, the Kappa Workshop was a hive of activity. Kappas were finishing last minute repairs and arming while Black Crow Tengus were getting last minute instructions and rushing to their aircrafts. The only helicopter that wasn’t being prepped was Marisa’s, the witch had chosen to stick close to Remiu and keep an eye on her.

Alice had been modifying the Goliath doll with firearms and explosives. She had also been adding armor to the doll, hopefully enough to deflect bullets and some artillery shells. The rest of her dolls had been refilled with gunpowder and armed with an assortment of weapons ranging from pistols to knives. Each doll was fitted with protective armor and a small charm that the puppeteer hoped would bring them luck.

Hidden in the bush around the location of the boundary, the four regiments of Lunarian Royal Foot were taking a knee and inspecting their rifles. Reisen II was riding around the formations of her regiment, giving last minute orders to the battalion commanders. Eirin and Reisen were in front of their regiment, waiting for the order to advance. Yorihime and Toyohime were studying a map and had drawn their blades.

On top of the torii in front of the shrine, Yukari was getting ready to cast one of her most powerful spells. Remiu was standing on the ground near the gate, looking in the direction of the FOBs. She had her gohei and was waiting for the gap youkai to begin her incantation. As Yukari was preparing her spell, the sky began to darken with storm clouds and the wind began to pick up.

Calculations began to spin around in the gap youkai’s head. But it was too late to have second thoughts about what she was doing. They needed a replacement barrier to stop artillery and other long range attacks. Even with her power, the barrier still needed one more thing. And she had to ask the strongest being in all of Gensokyo to help her.

Movement in the clouds caught her eye, it was the underbelly of a large dragon. Yukari could sense Remiu tensing up as more and more of the dragon became visible amid the storm clouds. The young miko had only seen the statue in the village, so she hadn’t been prepared for seeing him herself. She could feel the power radiating from the god and decided to keep her mouth shut.

“Great Dragon, I’m calling upon you in our time of need. I want to ask you to help us to erect a replacement barrier to protect the land that you rule over. I can give no reason for the destruction of the first barrier, but there is reason to believe that an outside enemy will be striking against you. We stand here before you to prevent that enemy from attacking you. All we ask is for your help.”

Even after all you’ve done, you still want to do this? The Dragon God’s voice was only in Yukari’s mind. Remiu was still waiting for a response that she wasn’t going to hear. I know what you’re doing. Is she really worth all of this?

“Yes, she’s worth all of this.” Yukari’s voice was no louder than a whisper.

I have no reason to refuse to help the land under my care, even if I leave a majority of the administration to someone else. But I cannot guarantee that it will replace the Great Hakueri Barrier, even with me placing the keystone on the Hakueri miko.

“We can’t afford to lose Remiu…”

We or you?

Yukari had no response. She bit her lip and averted her gaze.

You are attached to that miko, perhaps too attached. What if she is killed in the upcoming battle?

“She won’t be.”

You sound confident. Do you know something that I do not?

“I have only my intuition to trust.”

There is more than intuition at play here. But I will allow it for now, if you can answer me this: will your end result be better than the present outcome?

“Yes, it will be better for everyone.”

Very well. But what about the temporal effects? If you do not heed the ripples of time, the boundary between reality and fantasy will weaken. Should that happen, unspeakable horrors will walk among us. Are you prepared to have to battle paradoxes in human form?

“Taisui Xingjun is worse than any paradox.”

He is only a god, not a paradox. If a paradox says in our reality too long, even I would not be able to stop or reverse the damage they would inflict.

“What are they?”

They are the deepest fears, the most ingrained packets of illogical thought ever conceived. They are concepts that even I cannot comprehend. Their place is not in this reality. The fabric of time is a beautiful part of the universe, but it imprisons the worst things to ever exist.

“Why are you telling me this?”

Perhaps it will give you a better chance to achieve your goals, and to avoid bringing those paradoxes into our world. As I told you before, I already know what you are doing. I do not like it, but I cannot stop you when you have such pure intentions. I will ask that you save that revolution that you are planning to use against me for another target.

“I apologize for that.”

Back on the ground, Remiu was still watching what looked like a single sided conversation. She wasn’t carrying any weapons other than her gohei.  A feeling in her gut told her that some of the conversation had been about her. The miko jumped when she heard footsteps behind her. Marisa had silently joined her, along with Sakuya and Sanae.

Remiu could feel the support from them and was comforted by it.

“Don’t worry about watching your back,” Marisa whispered. “We’ll always be beside you.”

Sakuya nodded. “I won’t ever leave a friend on the battlefield.”

Sanae smiled. “We’re both mikos, we have to watch out for each other.”

The red-white miko had to wipe a tear out of her eye. With those three behind her, she felt as if she could take the Dragon God on by herself. Yukari could sense the change and felt better, now she was able to concentrate on dealing with the barrier.

Tell me, young human, what is the point of this war? Remiu jumped when she heard the Dragon God talking directly into her mind.

“Great Dragon, as the Hakueri miko, it is my job to help preserve the balance in Gensokyo,” the shrine maiden bowed. “I must be prepared to do whatever it takes.”

At what price? Would you be willing to change what Gensokyo is to preserve it? Are you willing to give away liberties for safety?

“Gensokyo was founded to be a safe haven for youkai and humans. The Great Hakueri Barrier was meant to keep magic alive, but with its destruction, we are in danger.”

Danger from humans, or from the fear of the unknown?

”From fear of the unknown…”

Very well. Sage Yakumo, you may prepare the incantation. Yukari bowed. I will lend you my power. The barrier will hold against virtually all human weapons. But I cannot speak to how long it can hold. You must move quickly to utilize its protection.

Yukari began to draw a number of symbols and numbers in the air in front of her. The Hakueri Shrine began to be enveloped in a large spell circle while the wind picked up more. Remiu turned to face away from the shrine and raised her gohei.

Marisa and Sakuya both took off their hats as they watched the ritual. As the gap youkai continued the spell, a boundary of light appeared and spread from the shrine. Magical energy was being radiated by both human and youkai, combining into a sphere in front of the stairs. Once it reached a decent size, it sunk into the ground and created a barrier around the shrine.

Lightning started to hit the slowly building barrier. Yukari was adjusting the output power of the spell, careful to not put undue stress on the miko. Remiu was channeling the power, using herself as a support for the barrier. Each passing second made the barrier stronger.

The witch was amazed by the amount of power that was being manipulated in front of her. She couldn’t tell who was contributing the most power, but she knew that the miko wasn’t going to be a slouch with power this time. Yukari finished casting the spell and paid close attention to Remiu. The clouds were getting darker and darker with the lighting increasing in intensity and frequency.

Remiu threw her gohei and watched it stick itself into the ground where the barrier was. The barrier became transparent, signifying the completion of the creation of the Second Great Hakueri Barrier.

I have done what you have asked for. This time, the Dragon God spoke to both Yukari and Remiu. You must do whatever it takes to prevent the paradoxes from entering this reality. For if they set foot in this dimension, unspeakable horrors will strike us. Be aware of what the effects of your actions are on the fabric.

Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

Tenshi stomped on the ground and stabbed her sword into a rock close to her. A giant hole appeared in the ground, large enough for the two Lunarian regiments to fit. Once she was satisfied with her handiwork, she flew to the top of the tree line and pulled out a pair of binoculars. The distant FOBs were barely visible in the distance, but it was enough for the Celestial to know where the tunnels would go.

She landed on a branch and pulled out her cellphone. Dialing into the same network that the rest of the faction heads used, she waited for the signal to begin her artillery strike. Once Tenshi got Nitori’s go ahead, the Celestial covered one of her ears, raised a flare gun and fired into the air. The green flare flew high and landed in the middle of a tank platoon.

Mountain top, Bhava-Agra, Gensokyo

Once the Celestials on the mountain saw the flare flying above the forest, every cannon on the mountainside fired their rounds. The shells passed through the barrier due to their magical properties, and hit their targets. The spotters were aiming for MIM-104 Patriots, AN/TWQ-1 Avengers, FIM-92 Stingers, and M6 Linebackers. Every shot destroyed a vehicle and cleared the area for the tengu air units to move in.

Human artillery began to fire back, hoping to stop the barrage. M119s, M777s, M109s and M110s were firing towards the shrine, but the barrier was blocking the shells. M270s and M142s were being destroyed by the incoming artillery, preventing many from launching their rockets. Infantry and support troops were running towards cover and scattering.

The airfields near the rearmost FOBs instantly sprung to life as news of the attack spread. A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, F-22s, AV-8s and AC-130s were being rushed through preflight checklists and out onto airfields. M1 Abrams, Strykers, and Bradley IFVs, and CFVs, AH-1s, and AH-64s were charging forward. Communication vehicles were packing their equipment and starting to move to the rear, resulting in somewhat degraded signals.

Medics and corpsmen were moving about, tending to the wounded with no regard to their own safety. Chaplains were close to the medical personnel, doing their best to reassure the casualties. Their assistants were dragging the wounded to casualty collection points. Then the artillery stopped falling, leaving an eerie silence in its wake, punctuated by the screams and moans of the wounded.

Back near the shrine, Tenshi had jumped into the tunnel she had created for the Lunarians and was expanding it towards the FOBs. Once they were far enough, she branched the tunnels into two and went with Eirin’s regiment. The Celestial made sure to keep the tunnel going for the other one. With only a few feet of dirt blocking the entrances of the tunnels, the moon rabbits stopped and waited.

The moon rabbits took a knee and checked their weapons. Tenshi did the same, keeping an eye on Eirin as she adjusted her service cap. Reisen was close to her teacher, steeling herself for the upcoming battle. Five thousand of the moon’s most lethal rabbits made up the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot, and they were ready to draw blood. But even they paled in comparison to their commander.

Eirin drew her saber and kept her sidearm at the ready. Reisen had her service rifle with a Mauser C96 as a backup. Tenshi had her Walther P38 and the Sword of Hsiao. Even with everyone around her using modern firearms, she would never leave her sword behind. The moon rabbits had the same idea when they attached their bayonets.

Toyohime had her command saber out and she had her chief of staff behind her. The 2nd Regiment of Royal Foot were all ready to break through the last few feet. She had never really lead troops into a serious and live battle. The closest thing would be the training battles that she had against her sister. She wouldn’t admit it, but she was a little nervous.

Dirt was falling from the ceiling of the tunnel, but it was built steady and had no sign of instability. The shaking of the ground let everyone know that the Celestial artillery was still falling. The longer it went, the more damage that would be done before the first moon rabbit fired. Once it stopped, Toyohime and Eirin began their countdown. Their troops could sense their commanders’ readiness and began to stand up.

The last few feet to the surface would take only seconds to cross. With the humans still reeling from the barrage, they wouldn’t expect an entire regiment to pop out of the ground in the middle of their “secure” FOB. And even if they somehow expected it, they would be more focused on the two regiments rushing towards them at this very second. Tenshi raised her sword and waited for Eirin’s signal.

The Lunarian Royal Officer nodded, causing Tenshi’s blade to hit the ground. The tunnel in front of them opened up and allowed light to shine through. The sounds of gunfire and artillery could already be heard above them. Eirin raised her blade and ran forward. She would the first one to rush out of the tunnel, followed by the entire regiment. Tenshi took a deep breath and raised her sword.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2014, 01:56:15 am »
Near the Hakueri Shrine, Gensokyo

 The 3rd and 4th Regiments of Royal Foot formed up just behind the tree line as artillery began to hit the barrier and field in front of them. The first ranks held their riot shields at the ready while the General Staff rode behind the formations. Reisen II and Yorihime had their blades out and were looking at the explosions in the distance. The barrage continued long enough to instill a familiar nervousness in the moon rabbit.

GDF SU-47s, FA-18s, and F-16s were flying high above the battlefield, getting ready to launch bombing runs against the FOBs. Slower Tengu piloted AH-64s were barely flying above the trees, in position for close air support. The anti-tank guns were being pushed by Suika and Yuugi, they were supported by more oni dragging carts full of shells behind them.

Many of the fairies had been armed by Rinnosuke with FN P90s. They also wore the uniforms that Nitori and Yukari had made. Remiu, Marisa and Alice were in the middle of the spaced out group of various fairies and other youkai. Since the trio had more experience dealing with them, they were the natural choice to lead them. Sakuya had rounded up the fairy maids and was hidden right behind the Lunarian line of battle.

Iku had joined the main ground force and was adjusting one of the anti-tank guns. She looks through the spotting scope, aiming towards a M1 Abrams in the far distance. She pokes her head up to avoid tiring her eyes out. The Celestials’ artillery was hitting the area around the FOBs, leaving the units closer to the barrier untouched.

One of the IFVs had spotted a GDF helicopter and was opening fire. More and more vehicles were spotting the helicopters and turned around. Iku moves the cannon a little more, pointing it at the closest tank. She pulls the lever while keeping her mouth open. Yukari had warned her to do so to prevent her lungs from being burst by the pressure created by the shell.  She jumped a little when the gun jumped backwards due to its recoil.

The shell shot forward and slammed into the front of the Abrams. Patchouli had infused her Royal Flare spell in each artillery shell being fired by the GDF. The shell left almost nothing left of its target, except for a large carter. The rest of the T12 antitank guns opened fire, devastating more and more vehicles. The sounds of shell cases hitting the ground was unnaturally loud to Remiu.

As one, the two regiments stood up and began to march forward. Ten thousand moon rabbits and Lunarian officers moved in unison while holding riot shields at the ready. They cleared the tree line and was able to be seen by all in their complete strength. But they didn’t travel far before they stopped and took a knee. The last two ranks pulled out stick grenades and threw them onto the field in front of them.

The explosions were bigger than normal, showing that the grenades had triggered hidden landmines. The regiments moved forward more and repeated the process. Bullets from the NATO troops bounced off the shields, but the units themselves refused to move closer. This gave Reisen a general idea about how big the minefield was. All she needed to do was to make sure that they didn’t run out of grenades.

Reisen and Yorihime were riding up and down the line of battle, keeping a close eye on the vehicles moving to block their path. An M1 Abrams had moved out of a hiding spot behind a tall hill and was turning its cannon to face them. A gap opened near the 4th Regiment and Mima, Momiji and a small group of other White Wolf Tengus jumped out.

Mima instantly charged up a Twilight Spark and turned it loose. It obliterated the tank and left a large cut in the ground for half a mile. Momiji unslung the M72 LAW she had on her back and took a knee. The other tengus scatter to take advantage of the small hills around them. The tube fires a large fireball out of the rear as it shoots the rocket forward. It hits the side of a M113 APC and leaves a gaping hole in its side.

Throwing the tube down, she switches to her H&K PSG1 and loads a magazine. Mima snaps her finger and summons orbs that hit the ground in front of them, trigging the mines hidden there. She stops when she sees another group of tanks heading towards them. They’re Abrams M1s with American markings on them.

Reisen sees them and points them out to Yorihime. The moon princess points at them and shouts out, “Regiments, halt! Prepare to fire!” With one resounding stomp audible over the sounds of battle, the mass formation stopped. The riot shields are dug into the ground to provide more support. 

The first rank adjusts their riot shields to allow their weapons to aim past them. Reisen raises her saber and watches the tanks get closer. “Ready!”

The tanks stop and turn their turrets to face the Lunarians. “Aim!” The first rank brings their rifles up and chooses their targets.

The tanks’ cannons erupt to life as they fire their shells towards them. All of them overshoot both regiments, but still fall close. None of the Lunarians flinch at the resulting explosions. “Fire!”

The first rank fires their volley. Medium sized holes are punched into the front of the Abrams bearing down on them and some have their treads shot through. In one fluid motion, the first rank takes a knee and the second brings their rifles up. Reisen repeats the commands for the second and third ranks. Once the third rank finishes firing, about a quarter of the tanks were disabled or on fire.

In response to the volley, the human tankers decide to push forward and try to run them over. One of the Lunarian senior sergeants gets spooked and causes a panic by shouting. “FALL BACK!” Seeing a senior sergeant break caused other sergeants and officers to falter and finally break when a shell hits the ground only a few dozen feet in front of them.

The Lunarians turn around and break formation. Emboldened by this display, the human armor, light vehicles and infantry rush forward through the cleared minefield. Reisen and Yorihime gallop ahead of the routing mass, trying to rally their troops and restore order. A few of the moon rabbits fall out and hit the ground. The explosions from missed rounds shower dirt over everyone in the area.

The panic spreads to the GDF forces, with the tengu turning tail and flying back towards the safety of the trees. Without artillery hampering their progress, the humans were closing the gap. The fallen moon rabbits were left where they fell by the humans, they were more interested in the ones that were about to get away. Some of them get a few shots that hit their targets, most of them fail to penetrate the Lunarian uniforms.

Turning around as her horse gallops, Reisen shoots a few hastily aimed shots at their pursers. Now the humans were closing in even faster, they had tasted blood. But even with all the explosions and bullets everywhere, the moon rabbit still cracked a small smile. Even Yorihime had a small smile on her face.

The tree line is only about a hundred meters away when the disorganized mass stops and turns back around. They all line up and take a knee as all the oni hiding behind the trees step out. Armed with modified Panzerschrecks, they fired at all the humans. Shocked by sudden turn, the tanks screeched to a halt as the rockets hit the infantry and the light vehicles. The Onis had also brought the anti-tank guns and were firing them as fast as they could.

Once they were reloading, the Lunarians switched to their light infantry doctrine and charged forward. From the far left, the Lunarian cavalry sped out of the forest, heading toward the FOBs. With the infantry moving forward and overwhelming the humans, the cavalry was able to pass the main line of battle without taking too much damage.

Remiu, Marisa and Alice rally the fairies and move to support the Lunarians. Celestial artillery opens fire again, cutting off reinforcements from the FOBs. The tengu air units engage the combined NATO and Russian fighters for air dominance. NATO C-130s try to gain altitude to buy time for their airborne troops to jump. Rockets fired by both sides collide with unlucky units or even other rockets in midair.

On the right side, Sakuya leads the fairy maids into the battle, a Walther P38 in one hand and her service knife in the other. Meiling was with Remilia and Flandre, struggling to keep up with the vampire siblings. Sanae and Youmu were covering the Buddhists and Lunarian doctors as they tended to the wounded. Patchouli and Koakuma were throwing Royal Flares and spell bullets at the retreating light vehicles.

The reinforcements from the FOBs started to show up and opened fired as fast as they could. The remaining mines were destroyed by the sheer density of bullets and explosives flying around. Instead of running towards the enemy, the Lunarians had taken flight and had switched from single shot to burst fire. Reisen and Yorihime were the only ones left on the ground, they were relying on their subordinates to cover them as they charged the closest APC.

From the forest, a stream of plasma flew in a high arc and landed on a M6 Linebacker. The vehicle melted like butter and exploded when the fuel tank was hit. Another stream flies up and lights a section of the field on fire. More and more streams are shot, the smoke adds to the confusion of the battle. Utsuho keeps up the barrage, adjusting her aim as Rin directs.

The human artillery finally gets themselves together and returns fire. But the Celestial barrage had managed to confuse them, their return fire was spread out to different targets. Some shells were landing near the Hakueri Shrine, others were getting closer to the Human village, while some were hitting the Forest of Magic. None of the human shells were even close to hitting the Lunarians.

A human piloted FA-18 gets hit by a stray missile fired by his comrades and crashes into a retreating Bradley. Humans and Lunarians alike were knocked off of their feet by the explosion, but still continued to fight. Fairy maids had reached the center of the fight and were darting around firing at full auto and casting spell bullets. To continue covering the mass advance, the oni were pushing the antitank guns forward and firing at the same time.

NATO UH-60 Black Hawks flew low, trying to provide close air support, but were shot out of the air. The flaming wreckage fell on a group of M1 Abrams and Humvees. Reisen and Yorihime almost got hit by one of the chopper blades but kept moving towards the human line. The Lunarian cavalry splits into two groups and falls in behind the regimental commanders. The moon rabbit looked around and saw that it wasn’t a battle, but a full out brawl.

FOB George, Near the Hakueri Shrine, Japan

A giant hole appeared in the middle of the motor pool and the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot began to rush forward, firing as they moved. One of the first moon rabbits to exit raises her rifle one handed and yells out, “Good morning, humans!” A pair of corporals ran out from behind a Humvee and froze when they saw the sheer magnitude of moon rabbits climbing out from the ground. Before they could recover, the pair were shot and fell on the ground.

The gunshots did not go unnoticed. The mechanics that had been repairing vehicles on the other end of the motor pool ran to get behind cover and grab their weapons. Reisen pulls out her sidearm and picks off a few of them while the rest of the moon rabbits began to spread out and secure the tunnel. One of the lower enlisted rabbits chunks a grenade that sends a generator flying into the air in pieces.

One of the quick reaction forces stationed near the motor pool grabs their weapons and begin to maneuver to investigate the explosion. They run right into one of the advance units and get caught in melee combat with a pair of Lunarian engineers that dispatch them in a blink of an eye. The rest of the quick reaction forces fall back and begin to call in reinforcements. The alarm system in the FOB begins to blare, alerting the humans to the fact that they were under attack.

The personnel in the guard towers turn around and begin to fire at the fast moving Lunarians. They turned their M240s towards the inside of the base and tried to stop the moon rabbits from reaching the rest of the FOB. But the immense fire being laid down still didn’t slow the attack down. One of the machine gunners spots Eirin and starts to fire his entire belt at her. With a look of annoyance on her face, the doctor raises her side arm and shoots the soldier in the throat.

Eirin looks around and directs her moon rabbits to attack the guard towers. As they start to fire, the remaining humans in the FOB finally spot them and begin to shoot. Without any regard to the bullets flying all around, Eirin calmly walks around, pointing out targets. Reisen is right behind her, ducking her head every time she hears a bullet fly by.

Tenshi climbs out of the hole and looks around. Seeing a guard tower still up, she summons a keystone and hurls it towards the tower. It hits the tower and leaves nothing but the supports. Moving to take cover behind a disabled Bradley, she empties the magazine in her P38 and flinches when return fire ricochets just a few inches from her face.

Above them, the tengus were in the middle of a savage dogfight. The sky was full of missiles, tracer rounds, and flares. The anti-air artillery was firing as fast as they could, but were falling silent as the Lunarians reached and destroyed them. Eirin pulled out a flare gun and fired it into the air, signaling the beginning of their attack. Almost as in response, another flare flew into the air from another FOB.

A M119 Howitzer was left in the motor pool and was quickly commandeered by Tenshi and a small group of moon rabbits. Grabbing a wheelbarrow, they loaded it up with shells and rolled it behind the artillery piece. Quickly leading a shell and aiming it towards a Stryker that was turning to fire at them, they knock it out of commission and let other moon rabbits open the hatch and kill the surviving crew.

More gunfire erupts as the 1st Regiment spreads out all over the base. Military police units attempt to erect barricades and lay mines, but are overwhelmed quickly and killed in melee combat. A small group had managed to hold off a few Lunarians by coaxing a broken M1 Abrams into blocking a side street leading to the communications area.

The humans had opened fire with an LSAT light machine gun and a M249, buying themselves a little time to continue to regroup. But the Lunarians wouldn’t be stopped with such a simple tactic, they just jumped on top of the tank and shot the police. A pair of rabbits jump into the tank and begin to cut and splice wires together. Within seconds of their entrance, they have the turret moving again.

Loading a shell into the cannon, they destroy a gym that had a few infantry and security forces hiding in it. One of the rabbits rips the M2 Browning off the turret, braces herself and opens fire. She was somewhat surprised on how little recoil she felt from the machine gun and was able to control it at full auto. Other moon rabbits pulled out grenades and threw them all over the FOB. Buildings were being destroyed by a combination of bullets and explosions.

Eirin’s communications officer ran up to her and handed her an updated map. On it, a mass formation of infantry, mechanized infantry, armor and artillery were moving towards the FOBs. Around them, more air units were engaging the tengus. It was clear that they had to capture the base before the enemy reinforcements arrived or they would be surrounded. From the east, the two Lunarian regiments were quickly devastating the retreating forces while the GDF were providing support.

Eirin has her operations officer jump on top of the mess hall and give her updates of the fighting. Once the nearby area was clear, she had groups of engineers break into the remaining tanks and open them up for the GDF to use. On the head engineer’s signal, the communications officer sent off a quick message through her phone. Seconds later, a group consisting of Nazrin, Shou, Suwako, and other fairies and youkai jumped out of the hole and began to climb into the tanks.

Patchouli and Koakuma had exited the hole as well, and were casting strengthening spells on the tanks’ armor. The purple haired librarian was still trying to catch her breath, even with Eirin’s medicine, having to double back from the main battle to the tunnel was still taxing her body.  As soon as they were done with that, they began to modify the shells and bullets that they would be carrying. A squad of humans had managed to break through the Lunarian line and were firing at the magicians. Eirin appeared behind the humans and killed all of them with a single slash from her command saber.

Bullets flew towards her from an alleyway to her right. Her staff open fire, forcing the Americans and British back behind the corner. Sheathing her saber, she charges forward while pulling out her knife. Since the Lunarian kept her gaze low, all the humans could see was their reflection on the crest on her service cap when she slid in front of them. Instantly executing a punch to the throat of the first soldier, Eirin cut the second’s throat. The rest tried to bring their M4s and L85s into line, but the doctor was moving too fast.

Spinning around to plant her knife in the collapsing first soldier, she takes care to keep the second in front of the survivors. Once she pulled the knife out of the dead man’s back, she grabs the second’s still falling body and shoves it into the closest two survivors. They lose their balance and bearing, giving Eirin the chance she needed to kill both of them. With only three more left alive, she leaves the knife in her most recent kill and kills two of them with a single smooth draw of her command saber. The last one starts to step back but Eirin takes a long step forward and stabs through his front armor.

As the pair of librarians finished their modifications, they etched spell circles on the sides of the turret for identification. The Lunarians moved to use the newly acquired tanks as cover as they moved throughout the FOB. Reisen took one of her grenades, stuck it on the end of her rifle and fired it into the command post while sprinting from the cover of the nearby buildings and barriers.

With the Lunarians pushing the humans back so fast, all the defenders could do was to fall back to defend the medical building. The amount of fire being exchanged by both sides in that area was staggering. The remaining humans had set up their M240Bs, M249 SAWs, L7A1s and other smaller weapons and were firing as fast as they could. They were doing their best to keep the pressure with grenades but were slowly being killed.

The various companies that had splint up from the motor pool had swarmed the rest of the FOB and were clearing out the last packets of resistance. Grabbing the map from her communications officer, she sees that the last building is the medical facility. She raises her hand and the Lunarian regiment ceases fire. When the humans see this, they slowly stop firing.

Walking forward, she has only Reisen accompany her. Stopping about halfway to the medical facility, she looks at all of the soldiers in front of her. “Under Lunarian customs of war, I request a meeting with the highest ranking officer of my equal branch.”

Moments passed as the humans looked at each other. Then a Major with blood stains all over his uniform walks forward, a Sergeant First Class next to him. Both of them had the hard and weary look of veterans of medicine, something that Eirin respected. They held their hands slightly off, to show that they weren’t armed.

“You’re done.” Eirin motioned towards the FOB around them. “Your field hospital is the last area of dispute in this base. All of your armor and vehicles are either destroyed or under our control. The FOB defenses are knocked out and most of the personnel on this post are unable to fight. As a fellow member of the medical profession, you see the result of fighting firsthand.”

“Are you giving us the chance to surrender?” The Major looked her in the eye with a cold, hard stare. “Is it just this FOB or the entire force you’re giving this chance to?”

“Just this FOB.” The royal officer glanced at the dogfight in the sky. “The rest of your comrades are still in fighting condition at the other FOBs and more reinforcements are incoming. But this base is done fighting, there’s no way you can fight off an entire Lunarian regiment of Royal Foot, especially the 1st. If you continue, we would be bound by the Lunarian law of war to wipe all of you out, even those unable to fight.” Eirin returned the cold glare she was receiving. “I rather not have to do that. If you surrender, I will give you my word as a Royal Lunarian Officer that your men will be treated well. It’ll be just like the last battle. We will take you primary offensive weapons, but will you leave sidearms. If you decide to fight after we accept you surrender, we’ll wipe you out. ”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2014, 01:58:45 am »
Near the Hakueri Shrine, Japan

Aya pulled back on the joystick, gaining more altitude. Her SU-47 narrowly dodged a string of machine gun fire from a pursing F-22. She begins to zigzag, dodging more machine gun fire from the American’s wingmates. One of her fellow tengus zips past her, taking down two of the Raptors. Anti-air fire from the retreating humans flies dangerously close to Aya’s wing, so she pulls up even more.
   
“All tengu air units, be advised: two FOBs are under our control and a massive wave of reinforcements are incoming. I say again: a massive wave of reinforcements is incoming.” Nitori’s voice came over the radio channel. “It looks like the rest of NATO and their allies have decided to join the battle.”

“Attention all GDF and LDC forces,” Yukari took over from the kappa. “French, Italian, Canadian, German, Spanish, Australian, Polish, Greek, Danish, Belgian, New Zealander, South Korean, and Japanese units have been confirmed to be en route to support retreating American, British and Russian forces. Chinese forces have withdrawn before they had even landed. From what we can tell, we have an equivalent of an army group of ground forces bearing down on us. The number of air units incoming has also increased to numbers comparable to a major command. The Lunarians have fielded six more regiments: three infantry, one cavalry and two artillery. They have just landed near the Hakueri Shrine and are moving towards the front line. Do not stand anywhere near the Lunarian artillery if you value your life.”

A quick glance around her lets her see two blue flares coming from the FOBs on either side of her. That was the agreed upon signal for capture. Her map showed the rearmost FOB had a small group of enemies around it but a large mass of red was moving towards them. From what Nitori was saying on the radio, they had about ten minutes before all hell would break loose.

“Aya, we’re hearing from the 3th and 4th Regiments that the humans have fallen back to the last FOB. They’re being held off by heavy vehicles and need your support. The other tengus can hold off the air units while you do your attack run. Give us some more time and we can get you the best path, in the meanwhile, you can shoot down the fighters.” The sounds of Nitori writing furiously came over the channel. “You should be getting the path now. Your missiles have a charm that locks on to any decent heat sources, so don’t just use you cannon. With those reinforcements coming in, you only have time for one pass.”

A line appeared on the map. It went straight through the heaviest concentration of enemies, with plenty of anti-air units, mobile artillery, and armor. The anti-air units spot her turning to attack and open fire on her. Out of reflex, Aya releases a volley of flares that saves her from a hail of missiles. A tengu flying an F-15 near her wasn’t as lucky and was forced to bail out.

The past few minutes were a mass of chaos. Both tengu and human aircraft had been shot down, leaving burning wrecks all over the battlefield. Aya and Hatate had been watching each other’s backs, their squadrons had become prime targets for the combined NATO and Russian air forces and had converged in the small area around the FOBs. The tengus that had bailed out of their fighters had taken to the sky under their own power and returned to fight after picking up modified NSV machine guns.

Working in organized pairs, those tengus were finishing off damaged aircraft and provided air cover for the Lunarians. They were too small to be recognized by the targeting systems in the human aircraft, forcing the pilots to fire at them with their machine guns in the split second that they spotted them. The humans were taking hard hits in morale, leading to even more of them being shot down.

Aya’s plane begins to buckle and shake as the anti-air fire gets closer and closer. Switching to her KH-29 missiles, she waits until she hears a tone and fires. Four of the missiles drop from the aircraft’s wings and shoot forward. A tank squadron is devastated by two of the missiles hitting next to another. The third missile hits a bunker that housed multiple heavy machine guns and H&K GMGs.

The last missile destroys a retreating trio of M1128 Mobile Gun Systems that were engaging in direct fire against a Lunarian company. The volume of return fire that was aimed at Aya escalated quickly when the ground troops realized that she was on an attack run. An Apache with US Army markings turned and opened fire with their Hydra 70mm rockets. In response, Aya dipped even lower to the ground, dodging most of the return fire.

With one quick jerk, she was able to bring her cannon into line and hit the enemy helicopter in its avionics bay. With flames coming out of the fatally wounded aircraft, it began to spin out of control. An armored column of M1 Abrams were scattering when Aya fired off another volley. All six of them were instantly victims of a catastrophic kill.

A trio of NATO F-16s come from Aya’s left, trying to shoot her down before she finishes her run. A duo of GDF F-18s fly past them, forcing the humans to break off their attack due to being locked on by their missiles. The pair of tengus could tell that their missiles wouldn’t had been able to hit, but still made the humans switch to chase them. The youkai broke apart and led their pursers away from the reporter.

Aya executes a canopy roll, letting her regain her bearings. Tilting her fighter forward, she opens up with her cannon. A line of bullets hits the ground in front of a M270 multiple rocket launcher. Adjusting her aim, she sweeps across a group of M113s. The bullets punch straight through their armor and leave devastating damage in their wake. She keeps pressing on the trigger until the all the stragglers are destroyed.

Pulling up a small bit, Aya changes weapons and releases a BLU-82 unguided bomb. She breaks off the attack run and slams the thrust forward to escape the blast. Waiting until she was at a good altitude, she levels off and flips the plane over. Looking down, she can see the massive destruction that she had inflicted on the enemy forces. Many of the combined Russian and NATO units were falling back, bypassing the last FOB.

Without the heavy resistance that was keeping them from advancing, the 3rd and 4th Regiments were able to swarm the last FOB. Aya was forced to switch her focus to the Sukhoi PAK FA that had just sent a pair of R-37 missiles towards her. Pulling up and deploying flares, the missile barely misses her. She was grateful that Patchouli’s copper spell had disabled proximity fuzes on air to air missiles, even if she didn’t have an explanation.

The Russian fighter cuts to the left and matches Aya’s ascent. Another PAK FA joins the first in trying to shoot the tengu down. Hatate and the rest of the tengus were jumped by a low flying squadron of MiG 1.44s, they were unable to come to Aya’s aid. Losing sight of the two Russian planes, Aya flips her fighter and quickly scans the air around her. A volley of tracer rounds barely misses her cockpit, alerting her to their position.

She pulls away from the stream, starting a downward spiral. Her pursers follow her, opening up their cannons. Rolling her aircraft to the side, she cuts her thrust and watches as the MiGs overshoot her. The pair instantly recognize their mistake and break their formation. Forced to choose one, the tengu focuses on the one that has a lower number on its body.

The PAK FA is moving too much for Aya to get a lock for her missile and a bead for her machine gun. She tries to cut the distance, but the erratic movement threatens to throw her off if she gets too close. The other PAK FA maneuvers behind her and starts to fire on her.  Now locked between two fellow fifth generation fighters, the tengu was forced to weave a precarious dance between bullets and aiming.

An unguided missile flies past her, causing Aya to jerk away from it. But the Russian in front of her doesn’t see the missile and turns his fighter into it. It hits the cockpit and causes the fighter to lose control and go into a dive. Reacting instantly to the sudden turn of events, she cuts the thrust, jerks the joystick to the left and slams on the left pedal.

The remaining PAK FA overshoots her and dives towards the ground. The tengu refused to be intimidated by the prospect of a low altitude chase and follows. Leveling off at about 250 feet off the ground, the pair dodge the various streams of anti-air fire that are aimed at them. At that height, even the infantry and light vehicles were taking shots at them.

A lucky shot hits one of the engines of the Russian fighter and lights it on fire. The plane wags wildly, but the pilot manages to keep dodging. The smoke from the fire obscures her view, forcing her to decide between breaking off or following the smoke. Pulling up, she escapes the smoke and sees the PAK FA struggling to keep airborne. Another burst of gunfire from her cannon finishes off the fighter and forces the pilot to eject.

Pulling up to make herself a smaller target to the ground forces, Aya takes a quick look at her radar. The other tengus have almost finished off the remaining humans and were heading back to Youkai Mountain to quickly rearm and refuel. Looking down at her weapon readout, she notices that her cannon was low and that all of her missiles were gone.

A loud ringing began to echo in her cockpit, alerting her to a missile that had locked on to her. Going into a spin, she deploys her last set of flares. The missile stubbornly stays on her heat signature and follows her through the maneuvers. She heads back over the Hakueri Shrine, hoping that some of the antiair artillery stationed near there could get rid of her tail.

Looking behind to see the missile, she’s relived when she sees a short and narrow red bolt fly up from the ground and hit the missile. Aya looks down and sees multiple artillery units on the ground, but they weren’t any that she recognized from the GDF. Then her radio buzzes to life.

“Black Crow 1, this is the Lunarian 3rd Ground Artillery Regiment. You don’t have to worry about your tail anymore.” The voice spoke with a clear sense of calm and authority. “We’re not the same artillery corps that hit our comrades as much as our enemies.”

“Thank you for your help.” Aya heads towards the mountain. “How about sitting down for a news interview later then?”

“I doubt that the princesses’ would like for me to divulge military secrets.” The Lunarian laughed. “But you can buy me a drink if we both get through this.”

“I suppose that’s fair.” Aya could see some of the tengus already leaving the Kappa Workshop. “Nitori, is there enough room for me to pop in?”

“There’s one more spot left, it should be on your right. Slow down and you should be able to see it.” The kappa began to talk with someone in the background.

Bringing her plane in slowly, Aya makes the landing and turns it around so she can takeoff as soon as she’s done. Kappas immediately rush forward with carts and tools and begin to work on the craft. Aya climbs out of the cockpit and makes her way to a glass of water on a nearby table. Looking back, she sees a kappa adding a fighter silhouette under the canopy. The tengu hopes that she wouldn’t be the cause for someone else getting one.

Near FOB Gabriel, Japan

With the second FOB secured, the 2nd Regiment of Royal Foot had confiscated all of the survivors’ rifles and heavy weapons. Once they were destroyed, the humans were allowed to tend to their wounded under the guarantee that they would not rejoin the battle. With the ferocity that the Lunarians had shown, the humans had no choice but to comply.

A group of kappas and other members of the GDF had exited the tunnel and were modifying and driving the tanks off to meet the incoming reinforcements. Some of the surviving infantry and military police were obliviously running odds on how successful a surprise attack would be but stopped when Toyohime and her General Staff glared at them.

Toyohime jumped back on her steed and had her go through a tight turn giving her a good look at everything around her. Once all of her forces were back at full strength, she had them spilt off into their respective battalions and begin to head out to meet the human reinforcements. Before they were out of her sight, a gap opened up near them and a loud and powerful rumbling shook the area.

Everyone turned around and froze when they saw a giant tank slowly move forward. It was covered in green, brown, and tan, arranged in a Splittertarnmuster camouflage pattern. Poking her head out of the top hatch, Nazrin wore a grey peaked hat and was taking in the battlefield. She ducked back into the tank when she saw an approaching Abrams turn to aim towards her.

It fired a round that bounced off the front armor and flew past its firer. The Lunarians moved to scatter and return fire, but Toyohime had them hold their fire. She was interested by the new tank in front of them and wanted to see what it could do. The turret turned slowly, bringing the 128mm cannon to aim at the tank. It pauses, then fires its round, creating a large dust cloud and a powerful shock wave.

The Abrams was hit in its front armor and was flipped into the air. It landed upside down and began to burn as the fire spread to the fuel tanks. The Lunarian princess was impressed by the power and armor of the tank and was considering trying to get some for the LDC. Nazrin opens the hatch once more and takes a look at the burning husk in front of her.

“I could get used to this,” the mouse youkai nods and adjusts the peaked cap on her head. “If high school girls can fight with tanks and win, we can too. Panzer vor!”

The Panzer VIII Maus starts to move forward at a good rate of speed. The gap behind it stays open as old fashion trucks with rails mounted on their beds enter the battlefield. Riding on the roof of the first’s truck’s cab, Yukari held a pair of opera glasses while she listen to her cell phone.

“Princess Toyohime, I hope you don’t mind me coming to watch on the front lines. I do get bored rather easily.” The gap youkai giggled. “How do you like our new toys?”

“What is that?” The princess motioned at the other similar trucks driving out of the gap. She notices that the rails had multiple rockets attached to them.

“This little beauty is known as the BM-13, or as Katyusha. She’s one of the first truly mobile rocket artillery weapons. She might not be able to pinpoint a target, but she’ll destroy an entire grid while she sings the song of her people.” She smiles. “Have you ever heard the song Katyusha?”

“I can’t say I have.”

“It’s a beautiful song. The story is about a woman waiting for her love to return from the front.” Yukari trails off, a sad look in her eyes. “It was a ray of motivation for the common Soviet conscript during the Second World War, something to help them move forward to defend their homeland and everyone else that they cared for in spite of the ordeal of the war and the face of hopelessness.”

“Do I sense something deeper?” Toyohime squinted behind her fan.

“Just some rumblings from an old sage,” Yukari almost physically winced when she let a hint about her age out. “But you’ll see what I’m talking about in a little bit.” She turns towards the driver. “Move over towards that ridge and point at that tree over there.”

With that, she easily floated off of the truck’s cab and gained some height. She brings up her cell phone again. “There’s a group of American and British tanks starting to regroup about five miles from here. Katyusha launchers, raise you rails a little and wait for my signal.”

As one, the rails on the launchers raised themselves and waited. Yukari counted probabilities of success, factoring in every variable she could. Then she begin to sing under her breathe and slowly became louder.

“Rastsvetali yabloni i grushi, Poplyli tumany nad rekoy. Vykhodila na bereg Katyusha, Na vysoky bereg na krutoy.”

(Blooming pears and apples all around her, with the morning mists beneath her feet, walked Katyusha slowly by the river, on the rocky riverbank so steep.)

Yukari puts away the opera glasses and takes out her fan. But it wasn’t her regular fan, it had a different design that only one other person had. A traditional cart adored a field of blue that gracefully changed to a reddish pink at the opposite end. This fan had seen death, a perfect tool to order the rain of death that she had assembled on the field in front of her.

“Vykhodila, pesnyu zavodila, Pro stepnogo, sizogo orla, Pro togo, kotorogo lyubila, Pro togo, chyi pisma beregla.”

(As she walked, she began to sing a song, of a gray steppe eagle, of the one whom she loved, of the one whose letters she was keeping.)

The song began to trigger an emotional response in Toyohime. She remembers the stories that Eirin would tell her about how the LDC would sing marches on the final approach into battle. The 1st Regiment of Royal Foot was famous for having the most moving marches, a sharp contrast to their brutal fighting skills. Since there hadn’t been any real need for the entire Regiment to march into a mass engagement during her time in the LDC, she hadn’t been able to hear it for herself. But she imagined it as being really close to what Yukari was doing.

“Oy ty, pesnya, pesenka devichya, Ty leti za yasnym solntsem vsled. I boytsu na dalnem pogranichye, Ot Katyushi pereday privet.”

(O you song! Little song of a young girl, fly away and follow the bright sun. And to the warrior on the distant border, From Katyusha pass on my hello.)

Yukari sang in perfect Russian with no sign of awkwardness, almost as if it was her first language. The amount of feeling that the gap youkai was projecting into her singing had caused some of the Lunarians to pause. Some of them had been present when the 1st Regiment had arrived to reinforce them at their darkest hour. Many had resigned themselves to their fate when they heard the voices of angels announce their arrival.

“Pust on vspomnit devushku prostuyu, Pust uslyshit, kak ona poyot, Pust on zemlyu berezhyot rodnuyu, a lyubov Katyusha sberezhyot.”

(May he remember this plain young girl, may he hear how she sings, may he protect our motherland, and Katyusha will protect their love.)

Yukari raises her fan and then drops it. As one, the rockets on the rails blaze to life and shoot forward. All eight of the launchers fired their entire payloads. The ground shook even more than with the Maus. Nazrin almost jumped out of the turret when she saw the mass of rockets fly over them. The exhaust from the vast number of rockets hid the surrounding area, letting Yukari slip from sight.

The trucks are turned back on and begin to move to another area. Toyohime was even more impressed by the tools that the GDF had managed to get their hands on. With that display, the humans that had been building up the resolve to try something backed down for good. The princess’s communications officer moves up to her and hands her a map.

“Princess, our artillery doesn’t have the range to keep attacking from their current position. They’re requesting permission to redeploy at another location.”

“If they do that, how long will we be without fire support?”

“They estimate about five minutes. But they’ll be in position to cover the regiments when both lines crash into each other.”

Toyohime takes a peach out of one of the pouches on her saddle and takes a bite. “Have them do it. This next action will decide how the battle turns. But why was this relayed to me instead of Master Yagokoro?”

“Colonel Yagokoro has linked up with elements of the Special Developmental Group. She has left orders to leave you in charge of the order of battle for the rest of this attack.”

“Then that means she’s planning something big.” Toyohime took another look at the scroll with the map on it. “Three minutes until the main battle begins. All battalion commanders, form up in the two rank line of battle with our riot shields at the front. Be prepared to change doctrines quickly.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2014, 01:59:45 am »
FOB Michael, Japan

With Aya’s attack run knocking out the heavy defenses, Yorihime’s and Reisen’s combined regiments were able to take the last FOB. Working quickly, they had forced a surrender and were in the process of destroying the heavy weapons that the humans had laid down. Their motorpool was almost empty due to the GDF capturing their vehicles and moving to regroup with the main line.

Iku had joined up with the Lunarians before they had launched their attack and led one of the companies in their charge. Her electrical attacks had devastated the expensive and vital communications systems, some of which included satellite terminals. While the rest of the attacking force had been busy engaging and wiping out the human defenders, she was on the hunt for information.

Before she could find what she was looking for, the FOB had surrendered. She was starting to worry about not being able to find what she was looking for when she ran into some of Yorihime’s General Staff. Before she could ask them where their commander was, the messenger could hear the faint sounds of tense negotiations. Stepping into the prefabricated building, she was treated to the sight of both Lunarian Regimental commanders about to beat some answers out of an American full bird colonel.

Discreetly calling a certain number on her cell phone, Iku took a quick glance around the office. Other than the colonel, a sergeant major and a Christian chaplain were off to the side. A folder with some interesting diagrams caught her attention and she decided to take a look at it. The sergeant major looked like he was about to say something, but a sharp glare and the feelers on her hat stiffening made him reconsider.

The design that had attracted her was of two HEMTT cargo trucks trailers loaded with cargo containers with a smaller truck between them. On that smaller truck, a cannon stood at the ready. The bottom of the design had “Blizter Railgun.”

“A rail…gun?” Iku could only guess that it shot rails. “You, human with the lines on his chest, what is a railgun?”

The sergeant major could only stare at her with his mouth agape.

Yorihime turned to look at the design and titled her head. “So, you humans have finally advanced to the point where you can think of real weapons. That’s an incredibly bulky design, I doubt that this can harness the full potential of electricity.”

“Is this one of the weapons that are going to be used against us?” Iku began to drill the colonel. “Do you honestly believe that you can use a power that I control against my homeland and my allies? Even if you try to shock our forces, it won’t change the outcome.”

“It’s not about shocking the opponent,” Reisen spoke up. “It launches a projectile using magnetic force, relying on kinetic energy to inflict damage. It’s a lot stronger than most propellants of projectiles of the same size. It might be able to break through our riot shields.”

“A projectile through magnetic force…does it matter what kind of projectile it is?” Iku asked.

“As long as it’s metal, it should be useable.” Reisen replied.

Wordlessly, Iku picked up a coin on the colonel’s desk. She thought about how to launch it but decided to try it at another time. There was a more pressing issue she had to take care of and Yukari would not appreciate having to waste time waiting.

“The name of this FOB, what is its significance?”  Iku glared.

“There’s no major significance.” The sergeant major spoke up. “It’s named after the archangel Michael, the patron saint of the military.”

“I doubt that it was just meant for morale.” Iku brought out the hidden cell phone and switched to speakerphone. “Lady Yukari agrees with me on that.”

 “So we have the Church going against us,” Yukari’s voice had a bit of amusement in it. “So a mixture of science and religion are their answer to our magic. How will that even work, will there be automated prayers and sermons?”

The chaplain was about to say something when Reisen shook her head at him in warning. She turns to look at the cell phone on the desk. “Lady Yukari, can what happen with that rocket happen here?”

“Rocket? You must mean Sumiyoshi. If someone knew what they were doing, then by naming this base after a religious figure would grant it some of its power. It was Michael, right? If I remember right, he is the archangel that serves as the leader of the army of the Christian God. A Shinto equivalent would be Hachiman. From what I can tell, there are no angel feathers floating around and you took the FOB with minimal damage. If the Archangel Michael had been summoned, only a Celestial would have a ghost of a chance of surviving long enough to escape. Is there a man of the cloth around?”

Stepping forward, the chaplain fixed his gaze on the cell phone. “I am the Christian chaplain for this battalion.”

“About my information of Christianity, is my information correct?”

“Everything except the summoning of the Archangel Michael.”

“I knew you would say that. What denomination are you?”

“I am a Baptist, but I have knowledge of other denominations and religions to better serve and guide all of the soldiers that come to me.”

“I see,” Yukari paused. “Forgive me if this seems to cross a line for you, but do you believe, that as an ordained priest, that you have been told about every aspect of the Christian religion, or at least the denomination you practice?”

Without hesitation, the chaplain placed his hand over the cross that was attached to the Velcro of his ACU. “I have absolute faith that the seminary taught me the basics and gave me the tools necessary to help me find and spread the faith.”

“That’s not the straight answer I was looking for, Reverend. But perhaps it’s my fault for not asking a Roman Catholic priest, they would be the ones that have the knowledge to try this. After all, no one really knows what all is stored in the Vatican Library.”

"You can't be seriously saying that the Roman Catholic Church uses magic. I know that they have had some low points in their history but that is too much! Magic doesn’t even exist-” He stopped when he remembered who he was talking to.

“So you are familiar with their militant phase,” Yukari nodded, even though no one on the other end could see. “I have good reason to believe that a militant faction still exists in the Church. They are not as powerful as they were during the Crusades, but they still have some pull. It would be obvious that they have been gathering and developing new weapons and doctrines. They wouldn’t let an opportunity like this to go to waste, especially since they could use this to test them out and gain more influence. I would also ask why they are training more clergy in exorcism, but you need some time to let this sink in. Since you have nothing to do with this, I will you a word of warning. Do not get involved with this mixture of religion, science and magic.”

One of Yorihime’s assistants poked her head inside of the tent and handed the royal a scroll. Yukari could be heard talking to someone on her end of the line and was silent for a bit.

“Looks like the human reinforcements are about to arrive. Princess Yorihime and Reisen, you may want to go ahead and deploy your troops. The 1st and 2nd Regiments of Royal Foot, 125th Artillery Regiment, 3rd Ground Artillery Regiment, 147th and 501st Calvary Regiment, and the 2nd, 4th, and 8th Regiments of Foot are already in place. From what I can tell, your sister has the infantry formed up 2-deep, she might be trying to pull off the Thin Red Line. Some of the tengus have already engaged air units, so it’s getting somewhat messy outside. Be ready for anything.” With that Yukari hung up the line.

Lunarian and GDF Line of Battle, Japan

With two Royal Foot and three Foot Regiments lined up two-deep, the Lunarian line of battle stretched out for a good distance. The first rank had their riot shields directly in front while the second held them over their heads, provide good cover from opportunistic shots from the approaching forces. The two Calvary Regiments had formed up in diamonds and were further back since they did not anything to block bullets.

The 125th Artillery Regiment had set up in the forest and were loading their rounds. They were tasked with creating a hail of iron rain that would cover the advance while the 3rd Ground Artillery would deliver precision fire that would destroy vital points like a surgeon removing tumors. The 3rd Ground’s commander was famous for picking an area to deploy, getting everything ready, then moving to another right before they would fire the round, leading to the 125th having to carry most of the slack.

Toyohime inspects her command saber to make sure that there wasn’t any leftover blood on it. Looking to her right, she can spot the 3rd and 4th Royal Foot marching into position. Both commanders lead their steads to stand next to the eldest royal. The only Lunarian element missing now was Eirin and the Special Developmental Group. If Toyohime remembered her teacher’s style from the reports she read, Eirin would be leading the group straight to the enemy command post with no regard to who was in the way.

“Battalion commanders, prepare to switch rounds.” Toyohime pauses as the commanders repeat her orders and lower officers and sergeant echo them. “Open actions, prepare smoke rounds.” One single click was made as all the actions on the Lunarian rifles were pulled to the back. The smoke rounds that they were switching to were more powerful than their regular rounds but came at the expense of creating vast amounts of thick white smoke. With sustained firing, the entire battlefield would be covered with a thick cloud. “Insert smoke rounds, release.”

The GDF had formed up behind the main line of battle and were waiting for the first charge. The heavy Maus was slowly making its way to join them, but would probably get there after the charge had started. Yukari’s Katyusha launchers were loading up their next round of rockets and keeping out of sight of human air units. Remiu and Marisa were crouched behind a small hill, the miko was preparing spell cards while the witch was messing with her mini-hakkero.

Sakuya had caught up with Remilia, Flandre, and Meiling and was positioning the fairy maids around them. Patchouli and Koakuma were creating a large spell circle that would grant them more artillery cover. Remilia wouldn’t admit, but she was more worried about the librarian getting hurt than anything else. The various vehicles that the kappas had taken from the humans had arrived and were spreading out to present less of a target.

Tenshi had a riot shield with her as she had a conversation with Iku. The Celestial kept glancing at the horizon, waiting for the coming attack. Momiji and the rest of the White Wolf tengus were mixed in with the Lunarians, hoping to be able to bypass the main engagement and provide Eirin with support. Sanae and Alice had taken a knee behind a large tree stump and were nervously fiddling with their weapons. The puppeteer kept throwing a worried glance towards Marisa.

“Sister, are you sure we should use the smoke rounds?” Yorihime had a look of concern on her face. “The risk of friendly fire goes up so much when we use them with more than a regiment.”

“We’re outnumbered at a staggering amount.” Toyohime glanced at the map her operations officer was holding. “They have an entire army group heading towards us. The smoke should give us an advantage, but it’ll be Master Eirin that can turn this battle around.”

Yorihime brings a spy scope to her eye. “They should have been here minutes ago. Why haven’t they charged us yet?”

“Looks like Lady Yukari’s Katyusha trucks spooked them,” Reisen II gave her horse a pat on the head. “They probably never expected that much firepower to land right in front of them. Even though we threw them out of Gensokyo the last time, they still don’t take us a serious threat.”

“Humans have always been arrogant in that aspect,” Toyohime nodded. “But it does serve an important purpose for us. This way, at least the noble families will get their fill of warfare. They’re still angry about the last war we had. If it were me, I would have been happier staying out of conflicts, but those nobles want to spend all their time on the battlefield. Even with the Royal Foot regiments, we can’t force all of the noble families to our will. Perhaps this is our royal system’s most glaring weakness.”

“So that’s how it is,” Yukari had snuck herself into the conversation, but none of them were very surprised. “To make sure I understand, even with the power of the crown, you still have to let the noble families fight wars or they’ll turn their blades on you? Seems to me that it’s not the crown running the moon.”

“That was the case during our earlier days,” the elder princess replied. “But our family came up with a counter for that.”

“Would that counter be the Lunarian Royal Officer?”

“Yes. Just like every other military in existence, we have the enlisted and the officer corps. The officer corps gain their commissions from our parliamentary body, made up of the heads of the noble families. But in order to make sure that the LDC can’t be used against the crown, we created a new class. The Lunarian Royal Officer starts out as a regular officer with a normal commission. But after they have proven themselves on the battlefield and have shown complete and undying loyalty to the crown, the Royal Family can grant them a Royal Commission. That commission grants them authority that surpasses all regular officers, even generals. Since the Royal Family grants them their authority and our constitution places that authority higher than any other, a Royal Officer can do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t go against the wishes of a member of the Royal Family. Master Eirin holds the rank of Royal Colonel, basically putting her on equal footing with my sister and me.” Toyohime paused to organize her thoughts. “She’s the only officer in the history of the LDC to ever hold that rank. All other Royal Officers have reached Royal Major before retiring and there have only been twenty five officers to ever be granted a Royal Commission in the history of the LDC. When she left to live down here, it shook the Lunar Capital so much, that we were on the brink of civil war. It was during that time that most of the technology and doctrine that we’re using right now was developed. Master Eirin holds the same amount of fighting power as all of our Royal Foot Regiments combined, so her departure left a severe power vacuum.”

“Hmm, that is interesting, to say the least.” Yukari took a moment to let all of that sink in. “But where is the Colonel?”

“She’s transferred command to Reisen and has linked up with our Special Development Group. If I remember her style, she’s only comfortable when she’s spearheading a charge through the enemy’s headquarters. And it’s worse for her target if she has the Special Development with her.” Toyohime lowered her voice. “They were the ones that were Master Eirin’s first test subjects for her medicines and supplements. As such, they are our equivalent of special forces. They exist outside of the regular chain of command, answerable only to Royal Officers.”

“Is that another counter to protect the crown?”

“It wasn’t intended to be, but it grew into that.” Yorihime spoke up. “But even with both of those, it still doesn’t completely deter the noble families from going against the crown. Since they are naturally aggressive, we have to let them fight. But without an actual war for so long, the best we could do was to let them fight in mock battles. That’s why we were eager to have this alliance with you.”

“It doesn’t matter to me what the reasons for your alliance with us are,” Yukari replied with no sense of malice or rudeness. “As long as the humans leave us alone when we’re done, I’ll be happy.”

“This battle may end up deciding the war, even though that’s said about every battle.” Toyohime shrugged. “From what I’ve been seeing, we have a massive variety of units heading towards us. The ones that I’m more worried about are the American 10th Mountain Division, the remains of their 75th Ranger Regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the French Chasseurs Alpins, the British Royal Marines, the Greek 1st Raider Brigade, the Spanish Brigada de Cazadores de Montaña I, the Polish 21 Podhale Rifles Brigade, the Italian Bersaglieri, the German Gebirgsjägerbataillon 231, the South Korean 707th Special Mission Battalion, and the Japanese Special Forces Group.”

“That’s quite a list you have there,” Yukari opened her fan to move some air. “But they shouldn’t be a match for the Royal Foot Regiment, right?”

“Even with our superior training and doctrine, we won’t be able to crush an entire army group. Just with infantry, we’re outnumbered at least 200 to 1.” Toyohime didn’t mince any words. “From what I can tell, all we can do is hold the line, but that would leave us at the mercy of their artillery. I’ve sent orders for more regiments to deploy, but it’ll take time for them to arrive. The nobles will probably slow it down fighting about who goes first.”

“Our Katyusha launchers can provide cover if you want to go ahead and charge,” Yukari said. “If Colonel Yagokoro is really going to attack the commander’s vehicle, she can cause the entire group to collapse. We can get most of their attention and let the colonel blind side them. One group might be able to deal a lot of damage, but what about sending in another one? I know someone that’s been trained in operating deep behind enemy lines and a few others that are good at destroying a lot of things.”

“I doubt that they could cause the same amount as Master Eirin,” Yorihime snaps defensively.

“Even so, they could give her an opening,” Yukari was careful to avoid taking offense. “The person I have in mind knows how the outside world wages war. And her uniform does look better than the LDC’s. Hauptmann Izayoi, could I have a word?”

Sakuya stood up from her spot behind the small hill and flew towards the gathering. She held her Karabiner at the low ready while keeping an eye on the surrounding area. The Lunarian princesses instantly felt an intense jealously at seeing Sakuya’s dark blue uniform.

“It’s a Hugo Boss original,” Sakuya responded to their envious looks. “It formed the basis for the dress and operational uniform of the German armed forces during the Second World War. This uniform was designed to be practical on both the parade grounds and the battlefield. ”

“Anyway,” Yukari cut in. “Hauptmann Izayoi was trained by the German military before the Second World War and specialized in the capture and elimination of supernatural and difficult targets deep in enemy territory. She has combat abilities that may rival Colonel Yagokoro’s, if you don’t mind me saying that. Even though she has served decades as the Chief Maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, her readiness hasn’t dulled at all.”

“She may…have a chance,” Toyohime slowly admitted. “But I still doubt she’s Master Eirin’s caliber.”

“As long as you help Master Eirin, not that she needs it, I suppose I can agree to this.” Yorihime relented. “I mean, I have complete faith in Master Eirin’s skills, but if it saves her some work, then there should be no problem.”

“I’m glad that we understand each other,” Yukari smiled. “What I have in mind is that Hauptmann Izayoi could lead a small group around the main battle and lure some of their elite forces away from the commander and their staff. This would let Colonel Yagokoro and her group cut right through them. Once that happens, I’m sure the reinforcements would fall back, or at least give them pause.”

“Operations, how long until the humans are in range?” Toyohime asked her staff waiting near them.

“In about a minute and half, princess.”

“All battalion commanders, prepare your troops for holding action. We will be facing infantry, armor, artillery, aviation. There is a small chance we could face chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons, even if they had agreed not to before. Hmm…looks like Russian troops are withdrawing from the field.” The elder princess frowned. “Did their morale really shatter?”

“No,” Yukari frowned as well. “From what I’m seeing, it’s an organized withdrawal. They’re probably going to wait until we’re worn out from this fight and attack us then. So we have to be ready for that. Hauptmann Izayoi, grab a squad of your choice and attack the commander’s vehicle. Remember to lure their elite forces away so Colonel Yagokoro can have a clear shot.”

Sakuya nodded and flew off to gather her group. The regiments formed up in front of them prepared their weapons. The first rank still took a knee and used their shields to prop their rifles. The second rank steadies their shields on top of the first row’s and uses the notch at the bottom right of the shield for their weapons. The battalion commanders pace behind the line, waiting for the first humans to come into view.

Regular Foot Regiment commanders had decided to hand over command to the princesses and had joined the two Calvary Regiments in the trees. Looking at the map again, Toyohime saw that the oni operated anti-tank guns were almost in range. Even though they were considered an obsolete design, Patchouli’s modifications gave them more power than their outside world replacements.

“125th Artillery, prepare to fire.” Yorihime ordered. She could sense the arriving humans. The members of the artillery regiment instantly began to load shells and perform quick calculations. Once they were done, they waited. The younger princess raises her katana, her brow furrowed. Dropping her blade triggered a hail of artillery that left a thick cloud of smoke around the cannons, hiding them from view. The projectiles flew high overhead and landed in front of the first elements of human reinforcements. Immediately after, the howitzers captured by the GDF opened fire as well, creating even more confusion.

“All Foot Regiments, regular and royal, ready!” Toyohime pointed her saber towards the approaching cavalry and mechanized infantry. “Aim for the threads on the tanks and the tires on the fighting vehicles! Steady, hold her steady all of you! First rank, fire all your rounds!”

All of the Lunarians on the first rank fired until they had to reload. The speed of the firing created another thick smoke cloud. This smoke cloud interfered with the humans’ communications and targeting systems, dealing a severe blow to their fighting capability. Battalion commanders could be heard ordering the first rank to reload while bracing against the impact of the return fire. Mortars being fired blindly began to land near the Lunarian line of battle.

“Second rank, prepare your rifles!” Toyohime’s horse began to move about nervously. She patted him on the head to calm him down. “Same aiming priority as before!” She didn’t flinch when she heard a bullet miss her ear. “Fire your loads!”

More rounds flew into the advance elements, destroying treads and tires. The screams of the wounded and dying could be heard over the sporadic gunfire. What made it worse for them was all of the smoke obscuring the field, they felt isolated and abandoned. The few that had escaped injury were doing their best to get to them, but they were basically blind. Multiple explosions rang out as flames reached the fuel and HE rounds stored in the disabled vehicles.

“Both ranks, prepare your bayonets!” Toyohime’s order was unnecessary as all of the regiments had fixed bayonets before they arrived on the field. “Forward one hundred meters and watch for return fire from the wounded! Cavalry Regiments, go around and cut the survivors off!”

The sounds of hooves hitting the ground could be heard as both of the Cavalry Regiments go around the main engagement. Humans trying to flank the main line of battle were run down by the laughing nobles on horseback. Yukari saw that and had to hide a deep frown behind her fan. Yorihime and Toyohime shared her feelings, but couldn’t condemn the nobles without certain severe backlash at the Lunar Capital.

“Once we get into the deepest part of the smoke, alternating regiments will stop. All regiments will form up by squares and hold their ground.” Toyohime and the rest of the regimental commanders moved into the smoke, keeping themselves updated by their communications officer. Marching into the thick smoke robbed both sides of their visibility, increasing the importance of accurate and timely updates. The advantage of the infantry square was that it was a very effective counter against swarming cavalry since all four directions were covered. But with them forming up so close to each other, the risk of friendly fire was high.

Without a solid line to protect them, the artillery had to rely on the regimental staff on horseback that remained nearby. The loaders had canister shot ready just in case they had to face a direct attack, but they would prefer to avoid a situation where that would happen.

Toyohime’s communications officer kept track of all the firing areas of the infantry squares and was careful to avoid leading the horses into any of them. Each infantry square had a communications officer at each of their four points. They would send out electromagnetic waves that operated as a crude radar. This way, they could knew where each regiment’s fields of fire where. The regimental staff had cast a charm that updated their maps automatically, reducing their risk of friendly fire.

Operations officers utilized their electromagnetic waves to see what was around them. Once they found a target, they directed the infantry towards it. All human communication methods were being suppressed by the smoke and the occasion jamming done by the security officers and sergeants. With more and more smoke being sent into the field, it was beginning to obscure the arriving human units.

The reinforcing humans began to slow down, some of them tried to switch to thermal imaging. But the smoke was interfering with that and every other targeting tool they had. Visibility within the expanding cloud was limited to only about four to five feet, causing many of the seasoned soldiers to freeze. Most of the infantry fighting vehicles and tanks stopped, fearful of running over their allies.

“4th Regiment of Foot, fire!” A voice shouted.

A hail of gunfire rang out. The screams of the wounded were almost drowned out by the resulting rounds of explosions of hesitating vehicles. The more powerful bullets that created the smoke had cut right through the armor on the tanks, killing or severely wounding the crews. Some of the survivors had begun to shoot back, but the Lunarians were deflecting their bullets back.

“8th Regiment of Foot, leave none of them alive!” More bullets ripped into the confused human forces. The loud gunshots served to further disorientate them, leading to friendly fire.

Yukari raised her fan and pointed it at the far ridge. “All Katyusha launchers, fire on that ridge!”

Every single one of the launchers shot their payloads, leaving a terrifying shriek in the air. It had seemed that the apocalypse had arrived with the amount of fire that was raining down from the sky. The 125th Artillery Regiment had finished reloading airburst rounds and were firing them into the elements not affected by the smoke. 

In the sky above the battlefield, tengus both in aircraft and fly under their own power were launching attack runs on ground forces while engaging in deadly dances with any air unit that challenged them. Human F-22s, Eurofighters, F-18s, F-16s, F-15s, Mirages, F-2s, and T-50s were trying to wrestle control of the sky from the tengus, but failed due to getting shot down mercilessly.

“4th Regiment of Foot, reload! Wait for my order to fire!” Some of the humans that had survived both volleys saw a faint glimmer of hope in that command. They had saw how long the Lunarian rifles were and thinking about being able to charge and get in too close for them to fire.

“All that are able to move, charge those rabbits!” A surviving American Captain yelled. Not being able to see any other alternative, the combined human forces ran to close the distance. They couldn’t see anything in front of them but kept running forward. Even if they didn’t run into any of the Lunarian forces, they may be able to escape the smoke cloud.

But before they knew it, they had come across a formation of bayonets. They had failed to realize that only the first rank had fired their rounds, hoping to draw them in. Now the second row had shot them at close range, guaranteeing an almost instant kill. The ones that escape instant death were wounded seriously, but couldn’t spend any time worrying about that since their forward momentum had carried them into the ready rifles.

The Lunarians that had stabbed humans kicked then off their bayonets and stabbed them once again to make sure they were dead. The ground began to shake as the M1 Abrams had slowly started to make their way forward. Hesitant to use their main cannons at such close range, the crews were relying on the machine gun mounted on the turret. But the crew could barely see anything at the tank’s front edge.

“2nd Regiment of Royal Foot, ready your rifles!” Their executive officer yelled. “Main battle tank approaching from the right side! Aim for the bottom of the turret! Fire!”

The stronger bullets punched perfectly round holes into the thick armor of the Abrams and severely wounded the entire crew. The tank slowed down as its driver couldn’t perform his duty. The other regiments had opened fire on the rest of the tanks, reducing them to metal coffins.

A F-22 with its engine on fire saw the smoke expanding over the two sides and coaxed his dying fighter over the battle. Dropping his altitude to about 100 feet, he poured as much power as he could into the engine. The result was that managed to clear a sizeable portion of the smoke before he crashed into the field nearby. The portion that was cleared was a disheartening sight for the human forces.

Three Lunarian regiments were arranged in squares, resolute in their defense. In front of them, the ground was littered in the bodies of the human forces that had tried to reinforce the FOBs. Various uniform designs stained with blood could be seen everywhere, along with more blood stains coming out of the disabled vehicles. One human wearing the uniform of the Japanese Self Defense Ground Forces with a Leading Private insignia was attempting to crawl away when a moon rabbit place her foot on his chest and shot him in the face.

The GDF units that had been behind the Lunarian line had split off and followed the cavalry was they went to cut off the main force. They were flying extremely close to the ground, hoping to throw off the humans’ aim. Remiu had to turn her head away from the screams and gunshots that were coming from the smoke cloud. Even though she knew that they were protecting the land she love, she was still a child at heart. She couldn’t bear to see this amount of human suffering in front of her.

Marisa could see the anguish on Remiu’s face, so she positioned herself to block the miko’s view of the smoke. Keeping her grip on her broom, she reaches to unsling her Mosin Nagant. The rifle was awkward to handle with one hand, so she slung it on her broom. She then pulls out one of her Ruger Blackhawks and spins the cylinder. Remiu unslings her M4 and takes a deep breath to steady her nerves.

A distance back, Alice was controlling her Goliath Doll while having Sanae watch her back. The addition of weapons and armor on the doll had slowed her down, but was paying off due to enemy bullets being deflected away. The Goliath Doll raised an arm and shot a spell card into the air. Alice’s Blue Sign “Benevolent French Dolls” activated, launching a group of dolls that began to rain down blue bullets.

The rain of blue bullets punched basketball sized holes in any vehicle unfortunate enough to be under them. Shanghai and Hourai started a strange dance, sending up more spheres that exploded into bullets. So many bullets slammed the ground that it felt like an earthquake. A group of kappas were rolling 2 cm Flakvierling 38s and were firing over the main engagement. The multicolored streams of tracers mesmerized a few of the humans, setting them up to be shot by the White Wolf tengus.

“All regiments, prepare to move in square formation!” Toyohime shouted. “Move deeper into the smoke!”

The visible regiments begin to move while they stay in formation. The first row fires their smoke rounds to keep the mortar teams from pinning them down.

“Sister, the main invasion force is going around our cavalry,” Yorihime called out. “They’ll be here in about a minute and a half!”

“All regiments, prepare to change doctrines!” Toyohime responded. “Destroy as many of the human forces as possible, but do not get wiped out! All we need to do is to hold them wile Master Yagokoro takes out the command staff. Royal Regiments, I want you to strike deep. Watch for their elite units! All of you, hold steady until my signal!”

Pulling out a spyglass, the elder princess looks over towards where her old teacher was. Her eyes widen when she sees a mass of shapes jump straight up of the forest in what seemed like slow motion, almost like they had gear for maneuvering in three dimensions. Some of the shapes held rifles while others held swords. Quickly focusing on the shape at the front, she recognizes Eirin. But as soon as she saw the doctor, the group had flown into the deepest part of the human formation.

“Change to light infantry!” Toyohime yelled. “Go!”

The infantry squares immediately dissolved as the Lunarians switched to light infantry. The wounded humans that still had the will to raise their weapons were instantly cut down by the rapidly advancing moon rabbits. It didn’t matter if they were on the ground or in their vehicles, the bayonets still found them.

The wind began to blow, spreading the smoke into the arriving reinforcements. It didn’t matter the rank or grade, every Lunarian was cutting forward, sending blood everywhere. Even the riot shields were being used as offensive weapons. A Spanish Teniente had a riot shield’s side slammed into his face at full force.

Tenshi was moving forward while keeping her shield up. A mortar team had caught sight of her but had to switch to their rifles since she was too close for the mortars. Iku flew from behind her and unleashed a quick bolt of lightning. Three of the five American soldiers go down, and the last two spasm as a remnant of the bolt reached them. The two stayed on their feet but fired into the air. Leaning back, Tenshi switches the shield to her right hand. Taking a step forward, she pours all of her strength into throwing it at the pair.

The shield spins in the air and smashes into the pair, breaking several bones and causing heavy internal bleeding. To ensure that they won’t cause any more problems, Tenshi dashes forward and cut both of them with her sword. Immediately jumping back, she dodges a hail of gun fire. She grabs the M224 mortar but has no idea how to use it, so she throws it back down.

She wonders if she should have stayed with the howitzer she had captured, but puts it out of her mind. Then she hears something like a coin being flipped and electricity moving through the air. Realizing that something big was going down, the Celestial throws herself on the ground.

Iku had flipped the coin she had gotten from the FOB and was charging an electrical attack. When the coin was about to hit her thumb, she poured all of her electricity into it. The coin was instantly propelled to three times the speed of sound and cut right through a Bradley IFV. The shrapnel from the impact strikes the back of the attack soldiers and wounds them.

Tenshi scrambled back up and pulled out her Walther P38. She shoots the downed soldiers to avoid being shot in the back as she picks up her riot shield. Iku nodded, admiring how much damage just one little coin could do with her power.

“To think that one little piece of metal could do all of this,” the messenger said. “Looks like the Lunarians had already taken care of this area. Eldest Daughter, are you sure you should have thrown you shield like that?”

“It worked, didn’t it?” Tenshi shrugged. “This was the last mortar team that had everything set up, so we don’t have to worry about getting blown up.”

“I would feel better if you took your safety more seriously,” Iku frowned. “After all, you are the next successor to lead the Celestial state. The Dragon God would be angry at me if I let something happen to you.”

“I can take care of myself, Iku.”

“I hope so, Eldest Daughter. But your father has asked me to keep an eye on you, so I still have to keep an eye on you. As long as you keep your wits about you, we’ll be fine.”

“Told you.” Tenshi sticks her tongue out. “I like to fight, after all. We should get moving before-“

A lone gunshot interrupts her. Instead of running to get to cover she just stands there. Tenshi blinks her eyes, trying to figure out why Iku had suddenly got a blank look on her face and why there was red liquid slowly floating in the air. Then time returns to normal and Iku falls backward and her blood lands on Tenshi.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2014, 02:00:50 am »
Near the NATO reinforcement’s right flank, Japan

Even though every Lunarian and moon rabbit had the power of flight, the Lunarian Defense Corps’ Special Development Group would only use it when absolutely necessary.  These elite troops preferred to utilize long distance sprints and leaps along three dimensions to confuse their enemies. It worked wonders when going up against the average opponent, and was a good indicator of skill against equal troops, if they ever existed to tell the tale.

With the amount of endurance and speed required by this Lunarian doctrine, these soldiers were amongst the fittest on the moon. They were the Lunarian Defense Crops’ response to the guerilla warfare that had been prevalent during the Lunarian Civil Wars. While each member of the Special Development Group was at the forefront of physical condition, they were also among the most intelligent. Each of them had researched significant contributions to the various fields that were considered vital to capital defense. They were all qualified to teach at the most prestigious Royal Academies and Universities since they all had the equivalent of Masters and Doctorate degrees once they had retired from service. Their origins didn’t matter, anyone with the aptitude and determination was eligible. Commoners and nobles made up the ranks of this unit.

This combination of fighting ability and intellect provided this unit with a distinct advantage over any other military unit in history. They were aware of that and responded accordingly. In their entire history, they had only one commanding officer that they had respected and follow. Only one member of Lunarian society had ever reached the highest Royal Officer rank and was considered the most intelligent and deadliest person to have ever lived. And now she had returned and was hungry for vengeance.

Sprinting in front of the mass, Eirin was cutting into the vehicles that were trying to get in her way. She didn’t slow down as she sliced straight through reinforced armor and steel plates. Keeping her forward momentum, the doctor jumps on the hood of a Humvee and slices through the windshield and the two soldiers behind it. She lets her momentum turn her to the side and side flips onto the roof, where she stabs the top gunner in the throat.

Even before Eirin had fully landed, she was taking three big steps to launch herself off of the disabled vehicle. The remaining crew attempt to shoot her, but are cut down by the Lunarians following their leader. An American M1 Abrams turns to fire at the fast moving shapes. Eirin cuts the cannon about half way and garbs the remaining part with her sword hand, hanging from it. Pulling out her sidearm, she sticks into the barrel and fires.

Her Lunarian bullet hits the HE shell being loaded and causes it to explode. The resulting fireball burns the crew, their screams could be heard even through the armor. An arm could be seen reaching out, flailing about. The doctor ignored it, pullers herself up and jumped forward. She performs a somersault and flies forward at high speed.

The quick plan that Eirin had made with the group was that she would get into the deepest part of the formation while her troops would destroy the left flank. None of them had taken the Hourai Elixir, so she had taken the most dangerous job for herself. In order to maximize the potential for human friendly fire, Eirin makes sure to stay close to all of the human vehicles.

Kicking off of another Humvee, Eirin smiles slightly as bullets hit the spot where she just was. If she kept this up, there was a chance that eventually a 50 caliber would take aim at her and fire. An added bonus was that she was wearing her old dress uniform, with her rank and ribbons visible. That gave the human forces the impression that she was someone important, making her a high priority target. For once, she wasn’t complaining about her decorations.

A Polish KTO Rosomak tries to turn its main cannon to track her, but is too slow. Instead, the UKM-2000 machine gun turns to open fire. A cartwheel jump takes Eirin to cover behind a burning German Puma IFV and lets her keep sprinting towards the heaviest defended part of the formation. Before the machine gunner could get a proper bead on her, he was ventilated by a stream of bullets from her comrades.

Seeing the mass of much more dangerous Lunarians heading straight towards them, the surviving vehicles stop and begin to back away. An American First Lieutenant raised his M4 to fire at an attacking Lunarian, but hits an empty space. The Lunarian had seen him and had jumped into the air to avoid the bullets. Looking up, the American officer doesn’t have time to react as a sword cuts through his body armor and his chest in a spin of death.

One of the Lunarian squad leaders fires a yellow flare into the air, triggering more flares being fired from all over the joint human formation. In the command vehicle, the NATO staff began to look in every direction as yellow flares flew into the air. They had received frantic transmissions of entire battalions being routed by small groups of black uniformed Lunarians working in squad sized groups. But the commanding officer had expected something like this, so he had held his best units in reserve all around him.

“Colonel Yagokoro,” a transmission was relayed straight to her mind. “They have deployed their elite troops, just as you planned.”

“Very good,” Eirin responds. “I hope you have had a suitable practice run.”

“We have, Colonel. Permission to proceed?”

“Permission granted. Happy hunting.”

The first elite unit to engage the Special Development Group were elements of the 1st and 8th Italian Bersaglieri Regiments. The Italians had seen and studied reports of the high mobility and endurance of the regular Lunarian troops, but had never expected the sheer expertise of this group. Many of these Lunarians were fond of melee combat, so they were more willing to use the copper expanding grenade being tested out by the research and development department.

The grenade hits the ground and activates. The Italians spread out to lessen the effect of the grenade that they thought was fragmentary. They bring their HK 416s up and pull the triggers, but nothing happens. A smirk appears on the Lunarians’ faces, as they charge the humans. Immediately recognizing that their bullets would be useless, the Bersaglieri troops attach bayonets and begin to pull out knives and tomahawks with their black feathers visible on their helmets.

The range of the grenade was about half a mile, and it only worked until the round that was in the chamber was cleared out. But clearing the round would be difficult because the copper expansion effectively seized in the chamber and was holding the action at the point of contact. If they tried to clear the round as is, they would have to use an amount of force that had an equal chance of breaking the charging handle. The best thing to do was to wait until the spell timed out or use another weapon.

But the Lunarians didn’t feel like giving then that time. It didn’t matter the caliber or classification of weapon, as long as it used a brass case, it was jammed. Eirin could tell that exactly when the spell started, because all the bullets that were being fired at her had stopped. She could make out the patches of the units in front of her, messing with their rifles and sidearms. If the humans switched to steel cased ammo, they would counteract the spell, but they wouldn’t change because they had no idea what was causing it.

Some of the American 10th Mountain Division and the remnants of the 75th Ranger Regiment were creating a defensive line as the rest of the formation started to move towards the heavy forest. The humans were starting to waver, forcing the commander to retreat to their rallying point. The joint forces had spread themselves out too thin when they had heard about the thin line of line infantry and the cavalry had been taking advantage of that.

To prevent the Lunarian units from being surrounded, Eirin knew that she had to make the attack collapse on itself. But even if she didn’t, as long as the enemy artillery was disabled, they would be able to hold. She just hoped that her faith in the regular and Royal foot regiments wasn’t for nothing. But with both princesses leading them, they should be able to take advantage of her attack.

Sprinting forward, Eirin spots an American private bringing out a tactical spear. For half a second, she just couldn’t believe her eyes. There was only one thought going through her mind: What is this fool doing? And the rest of the soldiers around him shared her reaction.

“What are you doing, Private!?! Put that thing away before you poke your eye out!” A Sergeant First Class yelled.

“Damn, we got another tacticool nerd.” A fuzzy Private groans.

“Isn’t he the one that spent his entire paycheck on Call of Duty DLC?” A Private First Class takes a knee and begins to slap the magazine stuck in his weapon.

“I had to spend mine when my transmission went out.” A wince showed that the Specialist still felt that unexpected expense. He started to concentrate on pulling his charging handle back, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Yeah, but that was something you needed. It wasn’t just paint for a bunch of pixels.” The PFC replies back.

“I heard he almost got kicked out of basic for running around with live ammo and yelling about headshots and then started to take charge when he couldn’t even speak a full sentence in front of a formation. Bet the drill sergeants had fun with that.” Pulling out a bayonet and sticking it on his rifle, the 2nd Lieutenant shook his head.

“I feel sorry for the squad that has him.” The first Corporal said.

“That would be mine, Corporal. I need a drink.” The Staff Sergeant poked his rifle from behind and tried to fire. “If I have to hear about graphics and respawning one more time, I’ll give myself a counseling statement. I don’t even know why we’re even here, we’re just normal infantry.”

“Where did he even get that thing?” Another Corporal asked. “Never mind, I don’t think I want to know. Especially after the incident when he wanted to paint his rifle gold right before an annual inspection.”

“I should have known it was him, look at all the toys he’s got on his rifle. Who even needs that many lights and scopes on one rifle?” A third Corporal pipes up. “He’s got an entire platoon’s worth of toys on that rifle. Bet the supply sergeant must be pissed.”

“I doubt his NCOs even care anymore.” Saying this, a Private changes magazines.

“We gave up a week after we got him. He’s not allowed anywhere near the supply room without supervision. You won’t believe how many counseling statements he got because of some of the stupid stuff he did. I mean, I did stupid stuff in my time, but at least I have the chance to reproduce.” A second Sergeant replied, slamming his rifle butt first down on the ground.

Charging forward, Eirin side steps the spear and drives the pommel of her saber into the spear wielder’s stomach. Knocked back, he scrambles back while stabbing at Eirin. Dodging all of the strikes, the Lunarian tires of the spear and swings her blade in a circle, cutting the weapon clean in half. The private drops the bottom piece and starts to swing the top piece like a sword. Eirin shakes her head at this, he was clearly never trained in using a pole weapon.

Eirin swings her leg around, letting her spin around with her saber out. The soldiers around her take a step back, bringing their weapons up to guard. Some of them pause when the rifles fall apart in half. One step forward brought her up close to the half spear wielder and a punch breaks his armor. Before he could react to that, he had a Lunarian blade stabbed through his chest. Another one jumps in front of her when she throws his body to the ground, bayonet up for the stab.

In the meantime, the rest of the soldiers had charged forward, trying to overwhelm her. A quick stab takes care of the one in front of her, and gives her a second to adjust her tie as she takes a step back. A Lunarian Royal Colonel has to always make sure their appearance is always suitable, no matter the situation. With only a one handed grip, Eirin parries a charge from a NCO and leaves a diagonal cut on his chest. Sidestepping another attack, she kicks the attacker’s knee out and plunges her saber to its hilt in his stomach.

Tearing it out, the doctor uses it throw the body into the others. Using the time gained by the distraction, she takes two steps and executes a quick set of cuts that takes down the remaining soldiers. Before the bodies could hit the ground, Eirin was sprinting and jumping, dodging strikes and vehicles. One Bradley tries to run her down, only to get a thrown saber through the driver’s seat.

Jumping on top of the damaged vehicle, Eirin grips the sword and cuts through the top armor and the turret. One cartwheel takes her off of the vehicle and on the ground. Just ahead of her, she can see the commander’s vehicle in front of her. A small smile appears on her face, the scene in front of her reminded her of her younger days. Various operations that she undertook during the Lunarian Civil Wars sprung to mind.

She looks a distant figure in the eye, she could tell that he was the commanding officer of the reinforcements. The glance she gave him promised him only one thing: that the man would not survive to see the end of this battle. With her target directly in front of her, Eirin plots the paths of all the vectors around her. From bullets to vehicles and even infantry, the doctor knew everything about the scene in front of her. It took her longer to scan the scene than to create her plan to attack.

With one strong kick, she launched herself forward and drew her sidearm. It didn’t matter that the troops in front of her were the best that NATO had to offer. There were American Marine Recon, Army Rangers, British Royal Marines, French Alpins, Japanese Special Group, and others were in front of her, protecting their commander. The humans were in for the struggle of their lives. And they all knew it.

Near the NATO reinforcement’s left flank, Japan

Sakuya had grabbed a small group of White Wolf tengus and was attracting attention by performing hit and run attacks. Members of the German Gebirgsjägerbataillon 231 had been ordered to counter her attacks, giving Sakuya the chance to see how far her former service had evolved in her absence. She was very interested in comparing them against her own troops.

The Germans had their machine guns set up with overlapping lanes of fire, with the others that had rifles trying to pin Sakuya down. It seemed that they were using the same tactics that she had trained in decades ago. The rifles would cover the machine guns as they got into position and try to flush her out. And that gave the maid the advantage since she was there when that doctrine was developed.

Taking cover behind the brunt out husk of an American Bradley IFV, Sakuya smiles slightly as she pulls out three knives. Stopping time, she jumps on the vehicle and starts to throw them, multiplying them as she goes. Feeling a strain on her head, she speeds up until she’s satisfied and cancels the time stop. Using her power to stop multiple vectors had always strained her, and the sheer number now was pushing her.

Quickly backfliping off the wreckage, a hail of light machine gun bullets create sparks where she just was. The knives hanging in the air start to move forward quickly, hunting for flesh. If they didn’t find it, they kept bouncing around until they did. Using the confusion of the flying knives, Sakuya loads her Karabiner 98K and charges forward.

Popping up next to an Oberfeldwebel, she kicks his G36 down and elbows him in the throat. Not giving him a chance to recover, she knees him in the stomach full force and throws him to the ground. Then she kicks and stomps him repeatedly until she shoot him close range. With a quick stab to make sure that he’s down, the maid takes a knee and shoots another German that was shooting at her behind cover.

Cycling her bolt, Sakuya senses the White Wolf tengus darting from cover to cover, concentrating on confusing the enemy. Stopping time again, she jumps forward into the air and returns time to normal right before she lands next to a MG3 machine gunner. The German could only look up in surprise as Sakuya stabs him in the throat with her bayonet and then pulls the trigger. His partner rolls to the side to buy time to bring his weapon up, but is stopped by a knife known into his eye.

She picks up the machine gun and opens it up. Taking the action, she dismantles it and scatters the pieces everywhere. Throwing the disabled weapon to the side, Sakuya ejects the spent case and shoots the screaming man to shut him up. Another machine gunner and assistant spot her and aim to fire at her, keeping themselves down to avoid the bouncing knives.

The maid takes out the gunner first and then quickly dispatches the assistant. Loading five more 7.92x57mm Mauser rounds, Sakuya can see the rear most elements frantically checking their weapons while he enemies closer to her had been taken out by the tengus. Deciding that it would be unfair to face them with her firearms when they couldn’t respond in kind, she slings the rifle. Lowering her center of gravity and pulling out multiple knives with both hands, the former commissioned officer stops time once more and jumps.

She throws one knife at an Oberleutant and lands. Once her feet touch the ground, she lets time continue and the knife impales the man’s heart. To the surrounding forces, it seem like she had teleported. Keeping this up and mixing in kicks and punches, Sakuya manages to wither down more and more Germans. A part of her was saddened by how easily they fell before her.

Then the ground begins to shake under her feet, surprising everyone fighting. A loud impact is heard that causes everyone to look around. A large boulder flies through the air and crushes a pair of tanks that were moving to try to fire. More large boulders began to fly, landing all over the battlefield. Even Sakuya and the tengus didn’t know what was happening. Screams of panic were heard all over the area.

“All Lunarian and GDF forces, fall back to the initial area.” A small charm that was ingrained in her service cap had a direct line to the network that Patchouli’s map used to send out communications. “We need all of you back here, now. Disengage all forces and fall back. Both Lady Yukari and Princess Toyohime have ordered us to fall back. Do not get drawn in combat.”

“Damn,” Sakuya looked at the White Wolf tengus. They nodded to her and began to fall back. A boulder hits nearby, knocking everyone down. Another boulder was flying through the sky when an American F-22 crashed into it. The maid could tell someone was serious and it had to do with the raining rocks. “Nitori, why are we falling back?”

“Do you see those boulders being launched?” Nitori was interrupted by static on the line. “Interference on the line? Patchouli said this was a Dragon level spell. We think that Tenshi’s gone berserk and is on a rampage against the NATO forces. We’ve tried to get through to her but she’s not responding. With her using attacks like that, there’s an extreme risk of friendly fire. She’s already shattered the American 3rd Division and the French 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment and various other units are starting to falter.”

“What about Colonel Yagokoro and her forces, have they started to withdraw?”

“We haven’t been able to get in contact with her. Some of the units closest to the commander have collapsed into themselves and the rest of the formation is heading to the heavy forest nearby. If they make it here, the Lunarian Cavalry won’t be as effective. From what we can see, it looks like she’s reached her target and is getting to work. But both sides are in complete confusion.”

“Then what are we going to do when we regroup?”

“We have a few spells that are being prepared. Most of them will create trenches that we can take cover in.”

Sakuya stiffened. “We can’t go back to trench warfare. We just can’t…”

“It’s only going to be temporary. Yukari knows that we would lose in trench warfare, she’s trying to create another plan with the princesses.” Nitori was interrupted by a boulder landing nearby. Sakuya almost lost her balance but kept running. Then another earthquake started shaking the ground. It would have registered a 6.8 on the Richter scale. Taking flight, she sees cracks open in the ground and the human forces stagger and fall.

Off in the distance, a scarlet aura could be seen surrounded by numerous boulders. Those boulders are hurled into the air and land everywhere on the battlefield. Vehicles caught near the impact are flung into the air, unlucky infantry weren’t exempt form that fate. A large part of the earth is forced to jut into the air, changing the makeup of the area.

“We feeling that earthquake all the way up here,” Nitori said. “This is getting more and more serious. If she keeps this up, she might end up opening up the earth. We don’t know what happened to make her like this, but it has to be something really bad. We’re still trying to reach her but it’s too dangerous. The power of a Celestial…I’d never thought that I would see it for myself.”

Another series of quakes start to shake the trees in the area. Looking to the distance, Sakuya could see Patchouli and Koakuma casting spells that created trenches with a slight berm in front of them. Lunarian troops were jumping in and setting up their defensive positions. Commanding officers were walking behind the line, giving orders to reload and wait. Staff officers were looking over maps and grimoires. A sentry sees Sakuya and the White Wolf Tengus flying towards them and waves them in. Communication officers were firing black smoke flares to obscure this end of the battlefield. Operations officers had taken to sky and were looking towards spyglasses, trying to find out what was happening.

A distance behind them, Yukari, Toyohime and Yorihime were staring at a bigger map and multiple scrolls with charts and diagrams on them. Higher staff officers were moving about, gathering more information for the trio. Carrier pigeons were flying to and from the organized chaos. They were brought to help confuse the humans that wanted to intercept communications. If a pigeon was captured, the message that they were carrying would usually turn out to be a drawing that some junior officer would make to show off nonexistent artistic talent.

Lunarian medical personnel and Buddhists were running about, tending to the wounded. Even with the savage fighting, they had only suffered light casualties. The captured tanks and artillery were returning behind the line, joining the cavalry and regrouping. The Maus had light damage, having taken out a squadron of M1 Abrams and Challenger 2 British tanks. Even AT-4s were ineffective against the super heavy tank.

Yukari’s Katyusha launchers were reloading their rockers while the oni operated anti-tank guns were being pushed back into position. A few of the kappas were digging pits so the Napoleonic cannons would reposition themselves after every shot. Normally, they wouldn’t need pits, but with the magically modified gunpowder being used, every shot rolled them back. The rear supports were broken off with the first shot, so branches were used to aim the cannons.

Alice and Sanae had returned to the main line, but her Goliath doll had suffered significant damage. Remiu and Marisa had returned, but the shrine maiden was being kept in the dark about why they had been called back. Remilia, Flandre and Meiling arrived shortly after, and were talking with some of the Lunarian staff officers. An American Apache attack helicopter decided to come in for an attack run, but was shot down by a volley of Lunarian fire. The rotors were sent flying when the vertical mast is cut by the gunfire.

The liberated rotors spin through the air, almost hitting one of the operations officers. It was close enough to cut off some of her hair, but she never flinched as she kept looking through her spyglass. The flying blades of death continue to fly until a Lunarian bullet hits it and cancels most of its momentum.

“Yukari, what happened?” Sakuya takes her service cap off to wipe some sweat off of her forehead. “We almost had them.”

“Tenshi’s started to attack anything that’s moving out there. I ordered us to fall back, and the princesses followed my lead. Based on what the staff officers have been finding out, Iku was killed right in front of her. That sent her into a complete rampage.”

“What…” Sakuya had to pause. “But she’s the Dragon Palace’s messenger…what are the Celestials doing?”

“Some of them are still giving us cover, but others have stopped.” Yukari shook her head. “Some of the families have ordered their artillery units to withdraw, but Lord Nai has been countermanding their orders somewhat. If Tenshi wasn’t on a rampage, she could force them to continue by her order. But with the transfer of authority to his daughter, Lord Nai has limited political pull. Iku was making political moves to help Tenshi avoid conflict from the other families, so they’re withholding support as revenge.”

“We still have the Lunarian artillery, don’t we?”

“There’s only so much we can do in this situation, Hauptmann.” Toyohime said. “The 125th can’t fire due to that Celestial being so close to the target and the 3rd can’t fire without someone spotting up there. We can’t risk sending anyone because of those boulders and earthquakes, observation spells are useless with all the dust flying around. And we won’t fire with a comrade’s life in that kind of risk.”

“All we can is just regroup and wait.” Yorihime continued. “Until either she takes out the human forces or…she’s taken out herself.”

“The first outcome is the most likely,” Yukari said. She holds up a scroll that Ran had just given her. “Tenshi’s using power that was gained by her status as a Celestial. Looks like the Japanese 6th Division has begun to leave the field. Thirty giant boulders falling from the sky and exploding might have had something to do with that. They’re aiming their artillery towards her, but she’s knocking them out of the sky.”

On the three dimensional map being projected by the scroll on the table in front of them, a long blue line showed where the Lunarian foot regiments had dug in. The cavalry were jumping over the trenches in order to form up behind the main line. Many of the nobles were covered in blood, but were comparing kill counts and laughing as if they were drunk. Some were annoyed that they were called off of the attack.

“So…is she done for?” Sakuya asked.

“Not if I can help it,” Yukari replied. “She’s the next leader of the Celestials and a fellow resident of Gensokyo. Even though she has had a troubled past, she’s been working to redeem herself. I’m the one that brought her into all of this, so it’s my responsibility to see her back. We already lost someone today, I won’t let anyone else fall.”
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2014, 07:41:14 pm »
Been following this for a while. The amount of research you must have done to get this much knowledge on military history and tactics is impressive.
A lot of the characters seem OP, but that's par for the norm in Gensokyo and isn't a huge deal. You've done a good job of making things sound plausible, which imo is essential for a story like this, so well done.

Couldn't help but notice that "Reimu" turned into "Remiu" near the top of the second page, lol.
Playing Touhou since 18 March 2012. Playing video games since 19XX.
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Cybeast710

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Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #51 on: July 14, 2014, 05:24:03 am »
Been following this for a while. The amount of research you must have done to get this much knowledge on military history and tactics is impressive.
A lot of the characters seem OP, but that's par for the norm in Gensokyo and isn't a huge deal. You've done a good job of making things sound plausible, which imo is essential for a story like this, so well done.

Couldn't help but notice that "Reimu" turned into "Remiu" near the top of the second page, lol.

Been following it on Fanfiction.com, where he's posted chapters beyond this. Or had until recently.
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Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2014, 01:16:30 am »
NATO reinforcement’s front line, Japan

A scarlet aura had enveloped the area, giving the screams of pain and death more weight. Tenshi had left the riot shield when Iku had been killed in front of her and was cutting through any human that got in her way. She was after the sniper team that she had spotted moving after the gunshot had rang out. Slamming her sword into the ground created a shockwave that sent rocks flying towards the soldiers that had managed to clear their weapons. The rocks impacted them at high speed, breaking multiple bones and causing internal bleeding.

One unfortunate American Ranger had gotten close enough to launch a grapple. Tenshi responds by grabbing his forearm with her off hand and crushing it until it shatters. She then looks him in the eyes, he pales instantly when he sees the extreme rage and sadness in them and loses control of his bladder when he sees scarlet wings spread from behind her. Then she grabs his neck and squeezes. The lifeless body is thrown at the side of a Bradley IFV, where it leaves a deep dent in the armor.

Stomping her foot, a keystone floats in the air in front of her. A powerful punch sends the stone on its way, right into a group of Polish soldiers that were firing at her. An explosion of blood is the last that anyone sees of them. Sprinting forward, Tenshi ends her run by stomping both feet in the ground. A strong earthquake is created as she sends out ripples from her position.

The ripples manage to flip vehicles over and knock down everyone around her. Plunging her sword into the ground, she sends spikes out around her. The spikes spread about 50 meters around her, impaling any human unfortunate to be in range.  Without pausing to admire her handiwork, she walks towards the forest the rest of the humans had hidden in. Some of the soldiers hiding behind trees had managed to clear their chambers and had gotten their hands on steel cased ammo.

One stomp from Tenshi creates a wall of earth in front of her, protecting her from the incoming bullets. A punch sends the wall flying forward at high speed where it shatters trees and bones alike. The bullets stop coming towards her for a second, giving her an opening to sprint forward and slam both feet on the ground. Another set of ripples spread out from her location, changing the area.

But instead of random juts of earth springing up, rectangular sections were rising up. The soldiers that were some distance away could see that the shapes resembled an urban environment. Tenshi was beginning to feel the strain from unleashing her full power, so she needed to even the field. Even with all that was going through her mind, she still remembered some of the things Yukari had taught her.

One of those things was urban warfare. All she had to do was recreate that environment with her power, and she would be able to force all of them into hand to hand combat. Her ability worked even better in this situation because she could reform the layout at will, a good counter against mouse-holing. And if the battle went underground, most of the human militaries hadn’t really developed a subterranean doctrine yet, which would put them at a severe disadvantage.

Tenshi wasn’t interested in quickly killing any human she caught up to, she wanted to make them suffer. Sensing a presence on the other side of the wall, she breaks through the solid earth and grabs a British Royal Marine by the neck. Then she pulls him back, slamming the back of his head into the wall. The Celestial ignores the loud snap and sudden wetness on her hand as she throws the body on the ground. The other Royal Marines in the space beyond the wall rush to create some distance from her, but are impaled when a thrown sword reaches them.

She had made sure to avoid causing wounds that would result in a quick death. Walking past the dying men, she kicks one of them out of her way. Placing her back on the wall, she pokes her head out around the corner. A hail of bullets hit the wall and ground around her in response. A punch to the ground causes a section of the earth next to the Polish soldiers shooting at her to collapse on top of them.

Deciding that it was too quiet, Tenshi plants her sword into the ground, sending large boulders flying into the air. When they hit, they cause stronger and stronger earthquakes to happen. Taking a knee, she places a hand on the ground, feeling where the closest enemies where. A group were arranged in almost a straight line from her perspective, hiding behind the multiple walls of earth. She takes half a second to inhale and launches herself through the walls.

The unlucky souls in her path were subjected to being crushed by the debris, getting cut by her blade, or by being crushed by her left hand. Her hat had fallen off a while back, exposing her disheveled hair. Her dress had multiple cuts, burns, tears, blood and dirt stains all over. She had also taken a fair amount of damage to her body, but she simply did not care. Her eyes were bloodshot and a snarl seemed to be permanently fixed to her face. Anyone able to look at her would say that she had the eyes of a madman.

Pausing to throw more boulders into the air, Tenshi started to feel the effects of her rampage when her left leg almost buckled. She had taken enough damage to down a Maus tank. But she kept on moving forward. She stabs through a wall beside her and punches another hole in it. Then she sticks her arm into it and grabs her victim’s rifle and sprays rounds everywhere. When only clicks could be heard from the weapon, the Celestial throws it to the side and pulls her blade from the lifeless body it had pinned.

An American M249 machine gunner poked his head out from behind a broken wall of earth and fired at her. One bullets hits her on the right shoulder, but only serves to anger her more. She activates her Heaven Sign “Sword of the Divine Justice” spell card. Two steps forward brought her into range, letting her charge diagonally upwards. She connects with the machine gunner and smashes through some of the walls in her way.

Once she reaches the apex of her charge, she can tell that the soldier impaled on her sword was dead. Instead of throwing him to the side, Tenshi gets a firm grip on him to use as a shield while she falls back to the ground. Looking up, she can see yellow flares flying into the air around her location. The human forces on the ground see the flares as well, and feel the icy grip of fear on their stomachs.

In the distance, an M1 Abrams was trying to force its way through the walls of earth that Tenshi had forced up. Two members of Eirin’s Special Development Group were running on the top of the walls in different directions around the tank, confusing the crew. Their machine guns had been destroyed, leaving only the main cannon. One of the Lunarians jumps high into the air while pulling out a grenade. She throws her saber at the commander’s hatch, leaving a gaping hole for her grenade. Landing only to retrieve her weapon, she hops back as the explosion kills the crew.

Ignoring them, Tenshi slams her sword into the ground yet again. Boulders fly out at angles with high speed, and then they descend like meteors. The two Lunarians decide to give her some space and fall back while letting Eirin know that something was up. Heavy gunfire hit the ground right in front of her, peppering her with fragments of earth. Looking to the source, she sees an entire platoon holed up in one of the earth buildings aiming at her.

Tenshi activates her Keystone “World Creation Press” spellcard and jumps high into the air. At the highest point of her jump, she summons a large keystone. Grabbing it, the Celestial adds her power to its fall. It crashes through the structure that was protecting the humans, and sent tremors through the ground. A large cloud of dust is created, giving Tenshi a chance to engage the survivors up close.

One brings his rifle up, blocking Tenshi’s blade. Giving the block no heed, she grabs his chin and twists his head savagely. Sensing movement to her near left, she grabs her sword with both hands and slams it into the corporal trying to bring his M4 up. With her sword stuck in the body, she takes out another junior NCO by throwing a quick keystone at him. It hits him in the upper chest with so much force that his neck was snapped from the whiplash.

During the confusion and impact of her attacks, several of the remaining survivors were coming in close. Tenshi takes a step back and lowers her body into a close combat stance. Using the same techniques that Meiling had taught her before, she brings her left foot up high for an axe kick. Her foot lands directly on a private’s helmet, breaking some vertebrae.

Before the lifeless body could hit the ground, she had backhanded another’s knife out of his hand. Spinning to gain momentum, she uses it to add more force to the punch she aims at her next target’s stomach. Her punch hits the protective plate and turns it to dust. Before he could react to the destruction of the plate, he was punched so hard that his stomach ripped open.

Then she adopts a bent leg stance and punches upward. A block of earth is ripped up, where she kicks it directly at a staggering staff sergeant. It hits him and keeps flying, taking the unfortunate victim with it. A side kick hits a private in the chest, breaking his chest plate. Another kick hits him the temple, taking him down. Turning around, she aims her P38 at a specialist that drops his rifle and raises his hands. She fires twice into his face anyway.

Taking a step to the left, Tenshi dodges a swing from a corporal holding a knife. She brings a leg up and catches him in his side, knocking him down. He loses his grip on his knife, and gets his face stomped on by the Celestial. Giving him one more kick and a bullet from her P38 to make sure his down, Tenshi looks around. All she could see were bodies on the ground all around her.

Taking a step to free her sword from the body that trapped it, Tenshi is paralyzed by a gunshot. A First Lieutenant that had been taken down still had enough strength to pull out his M9 pistol and shoot at her. Turning around, Tenshi empties the rest of the magazine into him. She stumbles back, the world spinning around her. Shaking her head to clear it, she uses all of her willpower to keep her knees from buckling.

Her white shirt was beginning to stain with the blood from her newest wound. Ignoring the pain coming from the bullet, she struggles to pull her sword out. Once she succeeded, she walks deeper into the paths made by her earlier attack. She sticks her hand in her pocket, feeling around for the pills that Eirin had given her in case she got hurt. Taking one, she swallows it dry and feels her pain subside a great deal.

Even through the effects of the medicine, she can feel the injuries that her body had sustained. Since she was a Celestial, Eirin hadn’t been able to fully tailor her medicine to her specific physiology. While the medicine could block most of the pain, it couldn’t heal her injuries. If she kept on fighting, she could ending up suffering even more damage. But she still didn’t care. She was going to wipe out every last human soldier she came across.

Center of the human reinforcement formation, Japan

The commander’s vehicle with a subdued star on the grill began to back away from Erin as fast as possible. Heavy machine guns began to fire on the doctor, but she charged forward. The infantry and special forces frantically open fire on her, but none of them could hit her. Accelerating forward, a Bradley IFV attempts to run her over.

Cartwheeling onto the approaching vehicle, she turns and unleashes a series of cuts that stop the vehicle. Jumping off, she doesn’t even notice that it falls to pieces behind her. Sheathing her saber, she pulls her bow and readies an arrow. Firing straight up, it flies about 300 yards before it explodes. Revival “Game of Life” springs to life, spreading masses of green and blue bullets in complex patterns.

Slinging her bow, Eirin charges through a firing line made of American and British soldiers. With her right hand, she uses her saber to cut through them while pulling out a flare gun and firing it. A red and blue smoke mixture trails behind the flare, signaling that she had found her target. In response, yellow flares flew into the sky around her location.

A sudden sidestep lets her avoid a riot shield landing right next to her. Picking it up, she stays light on her feet as she blocks bullets and cuts anything near her down. About 600 meters from her, a company from her group had formed up in an infantry square and had lured an entire brigade combat team of the American 3rd Infantry Division to surround them. They had experimental riot shields that were supposed to be built to a higher specification than the normal ones. So far, they were able to stand up to even the auto cannons that were being brought to bear against them.

The four sides of the square were pouring out an amazing stream of fire that left no safe areas for their enemies. Even the Humvees and Bradley IFVs that had moved in were taken down. In the middle of the square, a Lunarian standard was being waved as a sign of amusement while the various nobles were shouting challenges to the human officers. Human mortar teams were trying to set up to fire, but were picked off by the moon rabbits. Any human close to a tube was designated a higher priority and shot instantly.

American snipers were trying to find a weak spot in the formation, but even they couldn’t find a single one. AT-4s were fired at the square, only to be shot down before they made it half way and their operators were killed soon after. Several of the platoons were starting to waver, but none had wanted to be the first one to break. Then a boulder landed near them, and that thought had no more merit.

While some American units were routing, other NATO units were moving forward to take their place. But they met the same fate as their comrades. Even the more elite troops were no exception. The modern cavalry were speeding up to break through the shield line, but were stopped by dozens of high powered bullets. Requests for close air support were being made, but with Tenshi’s boulders flying about, the higher levels weren’t risking it.

Tengu fighters were dodging the attacks and dropping bombs and missiles on the scattering formation. Anti-air units were firing back but made themselves prime targets for the dismounted tengus. With all the attacks that they were taking, the human forces as a whole were beginning to doubt their chances of survival.

Eirin stepped to the side while putting all of her weight on her left foot. Using this as leverage, she slammed her saber sideways into an American Staff Sergeant and sent his body flying into the side of a Humvee that was on fire. She hated being so rough, but those kind of moves would sow even more fear into her opponents. Taking a knee, she braces her riot shield as another Humvee’s turret gunner fires on her.

Once she figured out the pattern of the incoming rounds, she stood up and ran directly towards the gunner. Angling it slightly, Eirin’s able to deflect the bullets into some of the infantry trying to overwhelm her. Military police forces switch to their shotguns but still have the same effect. Most of them can only get one shot before they get cut down.

“Colonel Yagokoro,” one of her senior sergeants speaks directly into her mind. “The main GDF and Lunarian regiments have pulled back. We’re also not receiving any artillery support.”

“Is it because of those boulders?”

“We believe so, Colonel. Some of our troops have also come across the Celestial, she looks to be trapped in a rampage. She’s created an earthen reproduction of an urban environment and is completely decimating any human she comes across. Their bodies have been almost damaged to the point of being unrecognizable The Celestial has also been reported to have grown scarlet covered wings.”

“Scarlet covered wings, hmm. This is an annoying development.” Eirin slams her shield into a private that had frozen when she ran at him. “How much damage have we inflicted on the humans so far?”

“We’re about to make the American 3rd Infantry Division rout as a whole. About sixty tanks and various other vehicles were taken out by our infantry square. There are still about twelve other divisions still moving in. It seems the humans have never seen this type of violence before.”

“Try not to be too critical of them, to us they are but children.” Eirin said. “They have never had a conflict like the Lunarian Civil Wars, so they still play around with their toys.”

“What are your orders, Colonel?”

 “Form up in a group square and hold your ground. I still have the commander in my sight.” Launching herself to the side, she kicks off another burning Humvee and starts to spin. She hits the soldiers that had decided to poke their heads out from behind cover. Turing her spin into a roll that brings her to the ground, she doesn’t bring herself to her full height before she runs behind a disable M1 Abrams.

The commander’s Humvee was being slowed down by having to maneuver around the reinforcing units. Eirin didn’t have to worry about that, she just cut down what she wanted. Sprinting and holding the shield at an angle, she storms through another hastily formed firing line. With being this deep into the reinforcements, she had increased their risk of friendly fire.

Switching her saber for her flare gun, she fires it a Sergeant First Class that was directing the movement of some vehicles and lights him on fire. The man falls to the ground while his comrades attempt to put out the fire by taking off their camelback water sources and canteens and pouring them on him. The rest of the soldiers are horrified by the scene, letting Eirin kill the ones in front of her.

Throwing her saber, she watches it slice through a few officers while pulling out her sidearm again. Empting her magazine into a squad trying to get behind her, she changes her course. Getting behind another wreck, she uses a burst of speed that makes her almost invisible to her opponents. To them she disappeared behind one burning Bradley and appeared from behind a disabled Bradley a good distance away.

This new attack instilled even more fear in the wavering 3rd ID, leading to some of them firing at shapes taking cover behind anything they could find. The ones being fired on were shouting at their comrades to stop, but it fell on deaf ears. Eirin couldn’t help but smile, it worked even better on humans than on Lunarians. Even the heavier weapons that were still left had begun to fire on each other.

Looking up, Eirin sees the commander’s vehicle getting stuck in a carter made by a stray mortar. The turret gunner opens fire on her, but the doctor dodges the bullets and throws her command saber at the engine. It slices through the block, killing the vehicle instantly. Then she throws the riot shield at the gunner, breaking his spine by using the impact to hyperextend and break bones.

A jump puts on top of the Humvee and she walks to get on top of the hood. Pulling out her sword, she looks the commander down with a condescending smile. None of the staff in the vehicle were willing to open a window to shoot at her. They had the mistaken hope that the steel and tempered glass would protect them from a Lunarian Royal Colonel if they had everything locked.

The commanding officer of the interrupted invasion/reinforcement, an American Major General, couldn’t helped but be impressed by the amount of ribbons and medals that Eirin wore on her uniform. In the back of his mind, he was jealous that most other services on the planet had better looking uniforms than they did. He drew his M9 pistol and aimed it at the doctor but hesitated to pull the trigger and destroy his mistaken shield.

Eirin jumps up onto the roof of the Humvee and stabs straight down, hitting the driver. Then she drags the blade and kills the other two staff members. Scrambling out of the vehicle, the general aims at her and starts to shoot. Lazily sidestepping the frantically aimed rounds, she counts until fifteen and a click. The man drops the empty magazine and drops a loaded one since he was trying to add more distance between them.

Three quick steps brings Eirin into reach of him, where she slams the pommel of her saber into his stomach. He drops the M9 and staggers back. The nearby infantry see everything, but are hesitant to fire. They fear hitting their commanding officer due to Eirin’s proximity. Some of them try to engage her in close combat but are crushed by a boulder falling almost on cue.

One step and a stab ends with the general getting stabbed through the stomach while also ripping off the Velcro rank insignia on his chest. Pulling out the blade, Eirin doesn’t even watch the body fall. She had killed commanding officers in the midst of battle before but, they had always given her a challenge when she had run them down. But this was as easy as killing a green recruit when it came down to it.

With her main mission accomplished, she looked over to the infantry square almost 900 meters away before she went after the rest of the staff. They were still firing, leaving a mass of bodies around them. It brought to mind the end result of a cavalry charge of old being repulsed by line infantry. The bodies of the fallen were starting to build a sort of cover that the human infantry could use, letting them inch closer to the wall of shields.

“All rifles, hold and reload,” a Lunarian sergeant shouts. “Steady, all of you! Silver shoulders, ready you charges!”

Four moon rabbits with silver shoulder boards moved to the middle of the formation so they could face in each of the four directions of the square. Taking a knee, they take a set of cards that were bound by a metal ring through the corner and flip through them. Finding the one they were looking for, they rip them out and rub them on their shoulders. Once they were done, they stick them on the ground facing outward.

The lull in the firing emboldened the defending humans. They began to quickly reload their reusable rocket launchers and were trying to get fresh ones close enough to fire. The silver shouldered moon rabbits cover their ears and turn their heads away from the cards. The others duck their heads as air began to be sucked towards the cards. Then with a roar, the cards create a series of small rockets that fly over the ranks in front of them.

The rockets have a high arc and land moving outward. Their small size would never have given away the fact that they carried so much destructive power. It was as if titans had appeared and were stomping away from the square. An extreme amount of dust was kicked up, obscuring everything except for the screams.

“All rifles, ready,” the same sergeant yells. He holds a straight blade that he points at the cloud. “Aim for chest height! Fire! Grenadiers, ready those jammers!”

While the rest of the square was firing, the five grenadiers pulled out the same experimental grenades from before and threw them over the formation. As soon as they went off, all of the human bullets stopped flying towards them.

“Break the square, leave none of them alive,” one of the junior officers shouts. “Hunt the animals down if you have to!”

The square dissolved as the Lunarians crashed into the closest human elements. This time, they went for the most salvage methods of killing. Numerous human soldiers were shot point blank in the face and then stabbed in the neck when they fell. The silver shouldered rabbits had ripped out another set of cards and had casted giant walls of flames that began to move towards vehicles.

Eirin had wiped out the rest of command staff and was watching the rest of the NATO forces scatter. Without a unified commander, the various NATO factions were splitting off and rallying under their respective officers. A quickly spreading breakdown of command had begun to separate the coherent invasion force. Higher ranking officers were being ignored as the lower rank’s nationalism suddenly decided to manifest itself.

Taking another private down, Eirin sees an M1 Abrams start to turn to face her. It stops to make sure that it’s at an angle and the thickest armor is facing her. The turret tries to aim at the ground at Eirin’s feet, but the doctor won’t let them hit her. She jumps in the air and rams her shoulder into its side. The rank rocks and the gunner accidently fires the round that was loaded.

Stabbing into the turret, she hits the commander. Jumping on top, she cuts the hatch open and jumps in. Before she landed on top of the dead commander, she had her sidearm out and was killing the rest of the crew. Grabbing a 120mm round, she slams it into the cannon’s breech. Pushing the dead gunner’s body to the side, she takes the controls of the cannon.

She pushes her service cap up and puts her head to the rubber mount that is placed in front of the scope. Grabbing the smaller console directly under the sight, she can see that’s already aiming at a good spot. She pushes the button and the cannon goes off. The shell is ejected straight back and the smell of gunpowder fills the cabin. She looks down and sees controls for turret movement.

Before she can use them, a large explosion hits the tank. Feeling that her welcome was worn out, she decides to jump out of the tank. None of the machine gun fire hits her as she lands near a disabled Humvee. Another tank exploding nearby sends a rod flying into the air, it lands right next to Eirin. A quick glance reveals that it’s about the same size as her saber.

Picking it up, she swings it a few times to test its weight. Satisfied, she crouches down and sprints forward. In front of her, units of the American 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Infantry Divisions were rallying to stop her. She can tell another jamming grenade was in effect since the humans were trying to fix their weapons. A Corporal strikes out at her, causing her to spin and slam both her weapons on his back. The saber cuts him while the rod shatters bone and armor plates.

“Colonel Yagokoro,” her same enlisted advisor began. “The princesses want you to know that some of the families have started to move against them.”

Eirin throws her saber and impales a private first class through the chest. Jumping over him, she grabs her saber as an afterthought. “How?”

“Some of the families have ordered fresh units loyal to the royal family into direct combat against overwhelming enemy forces. The 195th Regiment of Foot was completely wiped out by combined German, French, Italian and British forces. They were promised cavalry support by the 78th Cavalry Regiment but were left on their own once they were surrounded. Some of lower ranks had tried to support them, but were immediately executed on charges of insubordination.”

“So someone wants to make a power and land grab,” Eirin frowns for the first time since the battle began. “And the entire regiment was wiped out?”

“Down to the last rabbit,” The sergeant pauses. “Their regimental colors were also captured by the German forces. But they managed to inflict two entire division’s worth of casualties before the last Lunarian fell.”

“Are there any other loyal Regiments being ordered forward?”

“The 158th and the 165th are being ordered forward, but their commanders are trying to join up with the Royal Foot Regiments. At this rate, there’s a chance we might have another civil war on our hands, Colonel.”

“Detach a platoon and send them to back up those commanders, if they run into any of those turncoat officers, make sure they know who sent them. Send a squad to locate the captured colors.” Eirin slams her rod into a sergeant’s helmet, breaking it in half. “And how did the portal get so far from the main line?”

“It was without the princesses’ orders, Colonel. For now, loyal reinforcements are cut off.”

“Hmm. If Yukari can knock some sense into Tenshi, we can still win. Any progress on that front?”

“None that we can tell, Colonel. The boulders have slowed down, but are still hitting random places. The princesses want to move but they can’t risk letting the rest of the regiments get wiped out. Lady Yukari is still trying to figure how to salvage this.”

“When I get out of here, I’m giving that Celestial a talk.” Eirin broke a Captain neck by swing the rod like a baseball bat. She was liking the massive destruction she could inflict with the rod. “The rest, start moving to my location.” She planted her saber in a pair of humans and shot a quick yellow flare. With one Lunarian Regiment already wiped out today, Eirin swore that she wouldn’t let them die in vain. She had enough of that during the civil wars.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2014, 01:52:37 am »
Lunarian defensive line, Japan

The Lunarian artillery members had dug pits to roll their cannons forward and to be ready to provide covering fire when they received the order. Spotters were scanning the field ahead of them, but couldn’t find a clear shot since they couldn’t tell where Tenshi was. They saw the yellow flares flying into the air, but they still couldn’t fire. Airburst and incendiary rounds were also out of the question.

Yukari was still looking at the map with both Lunarian princesses. Even with all the charms that were being used to keep accountability, Tenshi’s had cut out when she had sprouted her wings. Since then, they were forced to stop the artillery fire. The gap youkai had watched as the 195th Regiment of Foot had been surrounded by German forces. They had responded to this by forming up in a regimental square but had been wiped out. At the present moment, the most important thing for the princesses was to get the regimental colors back. Anything else was pushed to the side. Since Lunarian technology required a certain amount of magical ability to use, the majority of the staff weren’t concerned with the humans analyzing their weapons or uniforms.

A crow was flying above the trenches, looking around for a white mob cap with a red ribbon on it. Spotting one, it circles around and lands on Yukari’s shoulder. The crow tilts and bobs its head, almost as if it’s talking. Yukari nods, gives it a pat on the head and watches it fly off. Taking her katana out of a gap, she points at a point on the map. It was a good amount into the enemy formation, but not as deep as Eirin’s attack had reached. At the present moment, the Royal Colonel was looking to chase down the turncoat nobles.

“She’s here,” keeping her eyes on the map, Yukari makes a series of calculations. “Colonel Yagokoro has already taken out most of the command staff and is regrouping with her troops. But, she’ll need support from us soon. I’ll going to see what I can do about Tenshi. I’ll need a squad from one of your Royal Foot regiments to back me up when I’m over there.”

“Reisen,” Toyohime called. “Get a squad from the 4th Royal ready. Have them expect insertion behind the line. They should only run into infantry and non-mechanized units. ”

The moon rabbit nods and starts issuing orders to one of her battalion commanders. A few minutes later, a small squad of about twelve moon rabbits were ready. Opening a gap, Yukari steps through first. She steps out and finds herself next to a destroyed wall. The bodies of four American soldiers were laying around, they had evidence of extreme blunt force trauma. A body was flying through the air and crashed against a wall in front of her.

Right behind her, the squad of Lunarians had formed up and were clearing the area. A loud crash shakes the area, followed by screams. Walking towards the source, Yukari doesn’t flinch as bullets fly all around her. The Lunarians had switched to light infantry and were advancing ahead of her. Boulders were flying around the area and were destroying the earthen structures. Covering each other and taking advantage of blind spots and covering fire, they forced the humans into close combat.

A boulder landed about twenty feet from her, peppering the gap youkai with fragments. Dust was kicked up, blocking the view around the area. Seconds later, the dust began to clear up, but it was too late for the closest human forces. The Lunarians had trained in extremely low visibility conditions, so the humans had no chance with the dust flying around.

The red aura that covered the area was not lost on Yukari. Neither were the feathers that had scattered around the area. Pulling her katana out of its sheath, she keeps scanning the area. A British Royal Marine had climbed to the top of a building but got shot before he could fire at her. His body fell off, alerting his comrades to the Lunarians. His comrades were torn between facing the Lunarians or facing the rampaging Tenshi. Neither party was willing to give them the chance to decide.

One of the Lunarians jumps on top of the structures and fires point blank into a squad. Return fire is repelled by her uniform, creating a panic among the humans. Another Lunarian had joined in and was mowing humans down left and right with her bayonet. Whenever she had to reload, she kicked humans off the structure until the clip was loaded.

A medium sized rock was thrown at high speed and crashed through the wall next to Yukari. With perfect form, she makes three cuts that use her magic to extend her range. They effortlessly cut through the wall and through the humans hiding behind them. When the dust settles, Yukari could see Tenshi in a critical state. The Celestial’s eyes are filled with frenzy, giving Yukari a warning about what was going to happen next.

Tenshi kicks off and launches herself forward. Yukari steps forward while pulling out her fan. She locks Tenshi’s sword with both and slams her shoulder into her. Even though she hadn’t used her full power, she could tell that the Celestial had taken a good hit. Deep down, Yukari felt a pang of guilt. She knew that the normal Tenshi would never do anything like this.

Stumbling back, Tenshi releases her sword and throws a punch into Yukari’s gut. Right before she impacts, she feels something slow her punch down. The punch connects with much less force than Tenshi wanted to. In response, Yukari brings her katana up and slams the pommel into Tenshi’s stomach. Not giving her a chance to recover, Yukari kicks her feet out from under her. To add more power to the strike, she grabs Tenshi’s shirt and adds more force.

Falling back onto the ground hard, Tenshi feels the air being knocked out of her. She tries to roll to the side but is stopped by Yukari planting her blade in her path. She tries to grab a rock that was close by, only to get a backhanded slap from the gap youkai. Yukari then grabs the front of her shirt and pulls her partway up. Their faces are less than five inches from each other.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Yukari’s voice was low and controlled, with a very faint trace of anger. “Because of you, the Lunarians had to call off their artillery and an entire regiment was wiped out.”

Tenshi began to slowly recover from her frenzy when she heard that. Yukari slapped her again to speed up her awakening. Her wings were slowly starting to dissipate, leaving fainter and fainter feathers on the ground. The scarlet aura surrounding the area began to fade at the same time.

“Yes,” Yukari repeated herself. “An entire Lunarian Regiment of Foot. About 5,000 Lunarians were wiped out. All of them were young, they had just graduated from initial training. They all had friends and families that won’t see them again. The only thing left is their regimental colors, which got captured by German forces.”

Tears began to form once more in Tenshi’s eyes. “But, Iku was…”

“I know. Her blood is on my hands.” Yukari had to pause to keep from having her façade broken. “But I have the rest of them to worry about. This war won’t end today or tomorrow. More of us will fall before this is over. Even I’m not immune. But no matter how many of us fall, we can’t turn into monsters. Even if the blood of my best friend is shed in front of me, I have to remember what we’re fighting for. I can’t throw that away just to get revenge. I already lost two of my best friends when they were right in front of me before this war had even started. Don’t you think I know what you felt? I think about them every single day. I ask myself: would they approve of what I’m doing, or would they tell me to stop? They’ve been gone longer than you’ve been alive. Every time I wake up, I’m hoping that it was all a dream and I would see them in front of me. But that never happens. It’s because of them that I’m the person I am today. Even with my powers, I can’t bring them back from the other side. I can control any boundary imaginable, except for the one that I want to the most. The boundary of life and death is out of my control. It doesn’t matter if they’re dying in my arms, I still can’t do anything about it. The worst part is that I’m responsible for their deaths. I’m responsible for every single death that has occurred in this war. I should be called the Scarlet Devil instead of that vampire, Remilia Scarlet. I have cause so much blood to flow, both guilty and innocent. Who’s the better person, a vampire that spills blood to survive, or a youkai that spills blood to gain an advantage over everyone, friend or foe? Some of the humans that have died could have been happier in other situations. They could have been stuck at their home bases, wondering who was going to win the game that weekend or where they were going to take their family out to eat. Every death here affects more than the one that lost their life. Each of them have families that will never see them again. What can you tell the child that only saw their father once before they were killed? How can you explain that to them when they wake up in the middle of the night calling for them? What about those on our side? What can you tell the fairies that have been wounded but have to suffer because their wounds don’t kill them fast enough? What can you do to comfort the young youkai that saw their friend, or their family member get ventilated in front of them? What do you tell the children in the Human village that had to leave their homes because of this war? What about the human villagers that die to protect their homes from other humans? Each person killed, be it ally or enemy, is someone’s Iku. But you don’t see them going on rampages. You don’t see them causing the deaths of their comrades. You see them fight the way they were taught. You see them follow orders, even if they want nothing more than revenge. Even though there are more parties responsible for the 195th Regiment of Foot being wiped out, we both share part of that blame. If you aura hadn’t disable the tracking spell, we could have supported them with artillery and they would’ve probably survived. But the risk of friendly fire was too much, you are too valuable a resource to throw away. Don’t throw your life away like that, there are a lot more people out there that care about you. Remiu wants all of us to survive this war. I had to stop her turning herself into the American forces as a prisoner to prevent the first battle. She loves this land and the people that live on it so much that she was willing to sacrifice herself for it. I’m not going to let her or you do that. No one else will throw their life away while I’m still alive, I swear that to you and everyone that’s putting their lives in danger. Once this crisis is over, I’m willing to let myself be judged by any higher authority. Who knows, they might judge me to be too much for hell to handle. If that’s the case, I’ll wonder the earth as my punishment. I brought you into this conflict. But when I did so, I promised that I would not let you fall before me. I made that promise to everyone that picked up a weapon to defend Gensokyo. Every time someone falls, that’s one more promise that I couldn’t keep. Don’t you know how much that weighs on the soul?”

The tears in Tenshi’s eyes started to run down her face. Yukari lets go of her shirt and stands back up. She opens up a gap and pulls out a Lunarian medical bag. Kneeling, the youkai begins to tend to Tenshi’s wounds. The numerous cuts, bullet wounds and bruises were taking their toll on the Celestial. Tenshi’s breathing was also beginning to become shallow and irregular. Without the Lunarian medicine, Tenshi was in a real danger of suffering irreparable damage.

“You’ve taken a lot of damage,” Yukari looked over her. “You’re done with fighting for this battle. Don’t try to argue. Without you, the Celestial artillery is being torn between those that support your family and those that don’t. They used your disappearance to try to gain control. I need you to go and get them back in line.”

Tenshi nodded and let Yukari help her up. The gap youkai whistles and opens a portal. Stepping through, the pair find themselves back behind the Lunarian defensive line. A minute later, the portal closes after the last member of Yukari’s squad exits. While they were gone, most of Eirin’s Special Development Group had joined up with the main line. The 158th and 165th were marching in column formation to join them, being covered by a platoon on Eirin’s orders.

Handing the Celestial off to Lunarian medical personnel, Yukari joins the princesses and their staff around the map. The staff were assigning priorities to targets while the princesses were debating whether to advance. Once she saw Yukari, Toyohime nodded at her artillery officer. Seconds later, every Lunarian artillery cannon began to fire nonstop.

Airburst rounds were exploding over the forest that the human force was using to cover their regroup. A yellow box appears around a point on the map, a request for precise fire from the squad that was hunting down the regimental colors. The 3rd Ground Artillery received the request and began to rain precise fire down on that location. The calculations were exact down to the quarter inch.

“So, any ideas about how to go on from here?” Yukari looked at the map.

“The humans have gathered their tanks and are moving to flank the main line. If we turn to face them, then we’ll give their infantry a clear shot at our flanks.” Toyohime said. “Our artillery can hold them off for a while, but they have too many to hold against. A combined attack is something we’ll have problems repelling.”

“Then we should counter them with some of our own,” Yukari replied. “We have the Maus, a few other antiques, and some of the ones that we captured. And we have Hauptmann Izayoi. After all, German officers were crossed trained in almost every branch during World War II. I’m sure that it’s safe to bet that she has knowledge of armored skills.”

“Will they be enough?” Yorihime asked.

“Well, the Maus can handle a few squadrons. We captured a few M1 Abrams and did a few modifications on them. I’m sure I saw Porsche Tigers, some Panzer IVs and VIs, a few Stugs, some Shermans, a Firefly, and a few T-34s up and running. As long as the tengus can keep the air clear, they should be good. If we had found some Flak 88s, we would’ve been better off.”

“Then we should launch an attack here, have a few foot regiments circle around there, and then lure them to a kill zone here.” Toyohime paused. “With the battle not going go for either side, desperate moves are more likely to be made. We have to be prepared for them to go all out, even if they break their own laws of war. We should consider doing the same.”

“Isn’t that you’re doing right now?” Yukari asked.

“We’re still following Lunarian customs,” Toyohime scoffed. “But we can be a lot more vicious if we need to be. As soon as we know that we’re being disrespected on the battlefield, we’ll take care of it.”

“If you say so,” Yukari looked over. “Hauptmann Izayoi, could you join us again.”

“I feel like I’m back in the Wehrmacht,” Sakuya walked over. “Every time I turn around, I get an odd job.”

“Well, we need you to lead an armored attack,” Yukari pointed at the map. “Since you’re one of the few with actual armored experience, you’ll be the one leading this.”

“What do I have to work with?”

“One Panzer VII Maus, two Porsche Tigers, seven Panzer IVs Ausf. Hs, five Tiger Ausf. Bs, four StuGs III Ausf. Gs, ten M4A3 Shermans, two Fireflies, eight T-34-85s, and ten M1A3 Abrams,” Yukari read off of a scroll. “All of them have been modified for increased speed, armor and power. They should be able to keep up with the human forces as long as the tengus keep the sky clear.”

“So, what do I have to do?”

“Engage their armor and give our regiments the chance to flank the human formation. We have air superiority, and we have our artillery back. If you get the chance, mark high priority targets for indirect fire. You’ll have the choice of command tank, but I doubt that Nazrin will give up her Maus.”

“I’ll take one of the Porsche Tigers. And from what I saw from earlier, she’s got a good grip on armored doctrine.”

“Good. Here’s a scroll with our tentative plan. You should go ahead and get familiar with your tank and get your formations set up.”

With a nod, Sakuya grabbed the scroll and fly towards the tanks. She landed on the turret and poked her head inside before she entered. A few seconds later, the Tiger (P) begins to move forward, all the other tanks follow suit. Inside, Sakuya had gotten the radio fairy to disperse the tentative plan and was conferring with Nazrin. At first, the mouse youkai was hesitant, but become more comfortable.

Once the tanks had picked up speed, they fanned out to create a panzerkeil. The twin Porsche Tigers took the point of the front two wedges, with the Panzer IVs and VIs creating the wings. Directly behind the first wave, the ten Abrams had created one wedge. The third wedge was created by the T-34s with a fourth wedge was made of the Shermans. Breaking off from both sides of the wedges were the StuGs and the Fireflies.

The Maus was in the rear wedge, the Shermans would cover it better there. Sakuya was standing so that she was exposed, giving her a better view of the area. She had her scroll and was checking the map for terrain. “All gunners and drivers, remember to be stationary during fire as much as possible. Do not stay in the same place after firing, even if you miss or do no damage. Do not present right angles to targets, try to angle yourselves so that the return fire has a chance to deflect. For now, aim at the treads so they’re immobilized. The waves after us can take care of them. If you feel lucky, you can try to damage their turrets so they can’t aim back.”
   
A massive volley of rockets flew into the air and headed towards the human’s main force. Yukari’s Katyusha launchers had fired another round and were moving to a new location. The resulting confusion would give the tanks the chance to close the distance. The noise that the rockets made while flying through the air caused Sakuya to grip the tank tightly. She hadn’t heard that noise since the last time that she was at the Eastern Front.

Sakuya had to spend a few seconds steadying herself, forcing herself to remember that she wasn’t fighting in that snowy tundra. A round hit the ground in front of her tank, letting her know that they were spotted. More human tanks were moving to block their path. She pulls her upper half back into the tank and closes the lid.

“First wave, prepare to break off in your respective wedges,” Sakuya ordered. “Do not stop for too long, shoot on the move if possible. My wedge, keep up with me. Everyone else, Nazrin will give you orders. Driver, bring us around about to 45 degrees. Gunner, aim for the treads. Loader, ready HEAT rounds.”

As her crew carried out her orders, Sakuya could see that the human forces were aiming straight at her. A lucky shot bounced off the front armor, shaking the tank. The gunner waits until the shaking stops and fires. The HEAT round impacts the tread and blows off a few wheels. The Abrams tilts to the side slightly, throwing off the next shot.

The Panzer IVs and VIs open fire on the rest of the tanks, knocking out threads and turret motors. They pass the disabled tanks, letting the captured Abrams tanks finish them off. The other Tiger (P)’s wedge had engaged reinforcing units and were matching them in terms of firepower. More and more human tanks were being disabled and left at the mercy of arriving units.

Listening in to Nazrin’s orders, Sakuya chuckled when she heard a fairy going about something called the “StuG life”. The StuGs in question were taking on flanking Leopard 2s and Challengers head on. Even with the disadvantage of not having a rotating turret, they were still gaining ground. They worked in pairs, covering their blind spots.

The Sherman Fireflies were also delivering long ranged fire to keep opponents from hitting the weaker side and rear armor. Able to hit from a distance of 3000 meters, they were able to snipe and move while their targets were reeling from the shot and the closer enemies. Any human tank that managed to survive the first few waves was devastated by the slow moving Maus. Scattered artillery fire landed all around, but didn’t have the precision to dent the assault.

“Waves two and three,” Nazrin touched the microphone to her throat. “Form one big wedge, but try to keep your current speed and heading. Shermans, keep close by. StuGs and Fireflies, if it gets to be too much, bring them towards us.”

Above them, tengu piloted SU-47s and F-18s were dancing in the sky, keeping heavy fighters and bombers from targeting the tanks. Without boulders flying through the sky randomly, the human air forces had tried to return, only to run into a screening wall of tengus. Some of the tengus had begun to show signs of fatigue and had to bail out of their burning aircraft. The human pilots made the mistake of not making sure that they were completely down, letting the dismounted tengus spray spell bullets everywhere.

“Bring us around to the side of that hill,” Sakuya ordered. “Gunner, aim for the rearmost Abrams. Once we fire, head for that treeline over to the left.”

The Tiger (P) stopped on the hill and fired when it had stopped bouncing. The round hits the rearmost tank’s turret, immobilizing it. But instead of moving right after, the tank stayed still. Sakuya looks down at the fairy in the driver’s seat and sees her struggling with the controls.

“The engine’s stalled out again and isn’t responding. We won’t be able to move for a while.”

“Fix it as soon as you can,” Sakuya replied. “All other tanks, break off into two groups and screen the remaining enemy. Our armor can hold, but don’t let that slow you down. Gunner, aim for quick kills.”

A return shot hit the side of the tank but was deflected due to the armor’s slope. The turret aims at the attacker and the gunner lands a penetrating shot between the turret and the main body. That Abrams goes silent, but the others have noticed that the Porsche hasn’t moved. They move to flank it, but are stopped by the rest of the wedge. Sensing that the Porsche was the commanding vehicle, most of them turn to aim at it.

More and more rounds are fired at Sakuya’s tank. The maid pulls the driver back in to keep her from getting hit and buttons up the hatches. The loader struggles to keep loading rounds as fast the gunner can fire them. A track is knocked off while the radiator is severely damaged. Seeing the Tiger (P) starting to be damaged, the Panzer IVs and VIs try to draw fire but are ignored.

Four human Abrams tanks are knocked out while six others were suffering high levels of damage. Eight other tanks were firing and maneuvering at almost full power. One was trying to circle about and was hit by a shell in the engine. The engine was set on fire, but the fire prevention equipment kicked in. Even though the fire was out, the engine was still disabled. A second shell ripped out the turret and exposed the interior.

The Tiger (P) listed to the side as the rest of the wheels on its right were blown out. The gunner hits an Abrams right where the cannon and turret meet, blowing the barrel off and leaving a large impact against it. The rest begin to group their fire together, hoping to throw off the Tiger (P)’s aim. Sakuya can see the rest of her wedge actually ramming the enemy tanks, trying to buy her some time. The other thread was shot off, so even if they repaired the engine, they wouldn’t be able to move.

More and more rounds hit the Tiger (P), almost giving the crew whiplash. The maid was grateful that her service cap was modified to protect against blunt force trauma, otherwise she would’ve split her skull open. The fairy maids were small enough to avoid most of the walls, but where hit harder when they were unlucky. The humans had come to the conclusion that this was the fight of their lives and were responding accordingly.

“This is really harsh,” the radio fairy noted.

“There’s even more of them coming towards us,” Sakuya said with a half-smile on her face. “Reminds me of Stalingrad for some reason. At least we had a good last stand. We knocked out…about eight and gave what looks like fourteen of them a good beating. We are in a German machine after all.”

The ground began to rumble, causing her to think a rocket volley was hitting close by. The crew of a nearby Abrams had been knocked out and the tank was rolling forward. It crashes into another one nearby, and then was hit by a powerful hit. But the rumbling wasn’t from them. Looking through the rear hatch, Sakuya sees the Maus heading towards her. It fires a shell that had so much power that it lifted the Tiger (P) a bit and spun the receiving Abrams around. Nazrin had her driver bring the Maus in front of Sakuya’s tank and was deflecting incoming rounds.

It fired again, taking down two tanks with a penetrating shot. The powerful 128 mm modified round had created a large cloud that blocked visibility, giving Sakuya more breathing space. Right behind them, a team of kappas were flying in to begin repairs to the damaged tank. One of them lands on top of the turret and pokes her head over the viewport.

“All of you still alive in there?”

“We’re fine,” Sakuya looked up. She could see a little bit of sunlight coming through cracks in the roof. “But we wouldn’t been for much longer. How’s it look out there?”

“From what I can see, both threads are shot off, the front armor is about to break off in multiple pieces, the turret has a large crack running down the side, the engine’s suffered bad damage, and the machine gun was knocked out. We can try to get her back and running, but the best we can hope for is a limp if we’re under fire. I really don’t think she can fight with the front like this. Heavy tanks aren’t exactly tengus in maneuverability.”

“Do what you can, I have the feeling we’re going to have more company soon.” As soon as Sakuya said that, a round hits nearby, raining dirt down on them. A lone M1 Abrams was dodging the Maus’ shots, aiming to finish off the damaged Tiger (P). The kappas roll off and take cover behind the tank, working on what they could reach. The loader slams a round into the cannon while the gunner rotates the turret.

The enemy tank tries to go around the pair, only to ram right into a StuG III. Sakuya was torn between disbelief and amusement over the scene. She could imagine something like that from the fairies operating the tank killer, but not from a group that called themselves the best trained on the planet and had pushed back her old service. The fairy commander of the assault gun poked her upper half out of the vehicle and started to shake her fist at the humans. Before the humans could fix themselves or exchange insurance information, the StuG had rammed them again and fired into their side armor.

The Maus fires again, knocking out a Leopard that was trying for a long range shot. Movement caught Sakuya’s attention, a tank crew had survived getting hit and was trying to ready an AT-4. The gunner had seen them and was aiming for them. She fired and the crew disappeared in the ensuring explosion. For some reason, Sakuya felt that there might be a rule on overkill but couldn’t remember it off the top of her head.

A slight shaking lets the crew know that the engine was fully repaired. The kappas then begin to gather the wheels that were blown off to see if they were still serviceable. Sakuya climbs out of the tank and grabs a large crowbar that was hanging from the back. She slides it so that it grabs a pin on the thrown track and pushes the crowbar down with all of her might. The pin finally comes out and the track falls. She repeats it with the other side and helps the kappas with replacing the damaged wheels and parts. About twenty minutes later, they finally replace the last one.

Once the wheels were in good order, Sakuya helps the kappas position the threads while the driver reverses and goes forward as needed. Satisfied with the position of the thread and tank, the kappas grab one thread and manage to hold it while Sakuya hammers the pin in. They repeat it for the other side and check to make sure that everything was installed right. With the tracks repaired, the Tiger (P) was able to place the less damaged side armor towards the incoming enemy. This allowed the kappas to be somewhat protected when they were repairing the machine gun by replacing the damaged barrel and parts.

During the repairs, the gunner and loader were engaging any human tanks that tried to sneak by them. Nazrin had advanced to help cover the rear of the wedges, but made sure to keep an eye on the Tiger (P). Sakuya’s wedge had fanned out and were luring the remaining forces away. Wiping sweat off of her forehead, she looks at the map she pulled out of her pocket. With the human armored thrust being countered, the infantry were allowed to fight on their terms.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2014, 07:46:00 pm »
Lunarian Defensive Line, Japan

“All regimental commanders, prepare to move!” Toyohime called out. “We’re still following line of battle tactics!”

With her command, the Lunarians in the trench climbed out and began to create a two rank formation. The royal staff also mounted their horses and began to gather in a diamond formation. Yukari gapped herself on top of a Katyusha’s cab and was consulting a map. The mobile rocket launchers began to move towards the treeline while the oni operated anti-tank guns were being moved forward. The White Wolf Tengus had advanced far enough to target some of the support staff and were giving some of the military police panic attacks.

Lunarian cavalry had disappeared into the forest and were making their way towards a hilly area. They were planning on using them to hide their approach until it was too late. The Lunarian artillery were still pouring fire down and would alternate moving to keep that pressure on the enemy. Eirin’s personal troops had disappeared once the 158th and 165th had joined up with the main force. The story of the revolting nobles had spread, so many knew exactly where their Royal Colonel had gone off to. Those same Lunarians also felt a sense of pity for the noble, Colonel Yagokoro’s reputation was well known among the ranks.

“Princess Toyohime,” one of her staff members called out. “We’ve received a message from Colonel Yagokoro. She’s identified a critical weakness in our forces. She says that our current dress uniforms can be penetrated by 7.62x51mm NATO and larger rounds. The breaking point would be around 2900 joules. The riot shields can hold up to them, but a direct hit has an 80 percent chance of penetration if they’re close enough.”

“What’s the distribution of those weapon systems?”

“Estimates range from 20 to 30 percent for the 7.62x51 weapons system left in infantry hands. A round or two won’t affect us enough to hamper us greatly, but concentrated fire would be a problem. It also seems that this knowledge is spreading, so the surviving forces will begin to use it against us. Colonel Yagokoro has recommended that we try to engage them in rapid close combat to deny them that chance. Destroying those weapon systems would be in our best interests. Larger units, such as mechanized infantry, cavalry, armor, and artillery can still rip through our dress uniforms with anything they have.”
   
“Ensure that our front ranks have their riot shields at the ready. We’ll need to make sure that we can close the distance as soon as we can. Have our artillery send out attack waves in front of us. Hauptmann Izayoi’s armored thrust has bought us some time from their tanks, we should take advantage of this.”

With that order, the Lunarian artillery readjusted their fire. About 300 meters in front of them, artillery began to land and go out in waves. The rounds sent up clouds of dust that blocked visibility and gave them more breathing room. Keeping a solid line, the Lunarians were moving forward with their shields up to block enemy fire. Return fire began to intensify as advanced units saw them. Bradley scouts were trying to find a weak point but ended up getting picked off by the combined infantry fire. For some of the green replacement troops, the sight of infantry taking down IFVs was enough to create the beginning of panic.

Once the main line had advanced enough, it split off into two parts. The Royal Foot Regiments continued to march forward, while the regular Foot broke off and began to flank the opposing force. Spreading out, the Royal Foot regiments were trying to distract the human forces. Every few feet, they would stop and fire a volley into the air, creating smoke to cover their advance and sow confusion. The oni operated anti-tank guns were being moved forward, but had stopped firing for the time being. The infantry fairies had taken to the sky and were trading both conventional and magical bullets against advance units. A Bradley IFV had rolled up and started to open fire, but was flipped over by the sheer force of one of Mima’s infamous Twilight Spark spells. The attack continued for a good distance and ended up taking out a distant French artillery battery.

 The evil spirit had taken to the battlefield nicely. She was spinning her rod around, creating a mass barrage of stars that left craters and burns marks everywhere. Any human that was hit by a star was killed instantly without any mark on their body from the attack. Vehicles would burst into flames and would have their suspension destroyed. It was a testament to Mima’s skill that she was able to control the individual effects caused by so many of her attacks at the same time. Whenever a human would be able to get a shot in, it would be smacked away without a second glance. Mindful of the potential of friendly fire, she made an effort to advance from the main line far enough to go all out. Another Twilight Spark created a large killzone that reached to the far off mountains.

Back on the Katyusha launchers, Yukari was enjoying the ride as the trucks were moving to their first location. Some of the drivers were jerky at best, but did well considering the fact that the gap youkai had taken some of the mechanically inclined volunteers from the Human Village and gave them a five minute class on driving. A few of them had experience from before they had wandered through the barrier and helped out a lot. With a manual transmission, there would be a fair amount of engine stalls and a higher risk of transmission damage due to inexperience. The kappas were running a pool to see how many third gears they would see left all over the field. But the Katyusha launchers were cheap and easy to get, so Yukari wasn’t really concerned. If that didn’t work out, the kappas could always learn how to work on the cheap launchers. A ringing came from her pocket, alerting her to a call. Picking up, she notices that it’s Nitori. The kappa sounded a little agitated and concerned about something.

“Yukari, you might want to get back to the workshop. Something’s up.”

“How serious is it?” For the first time, Yukari felt a sense of forbidding.

“It has to do with the outside.” Nitori was about to say more when she noticed a gap open up next to her. A second later, Yukari walked out and looked at the map in front of them. It was a global map instead of the local one she was just looking at. Three areas on the map were flashing: both the Koreas, the Crimea region, and the Middle East. “From what we’ve been able to hear over the radio is that many factions have seen the first battle as an indication of opportunity. With most of NATO focused on us, and losing to the Lunarians, it shows that they’re in a weaken state. Especially since we used what can be called outdated weapons. We seemed to have destroyed the status quo. I wouldn’t be surprised if some factions tried to use muskets and maces.”

“Hmm,” Yukari looked at the map. “North Korea’s actually making progress into the south? I had thought they were all talk. But I doubt their advances will last when the rest of the South Korean military finally gets up to speed. What about Russia and Ukraine? What’s the word from there?”

“From what we can hear, Ukrainian troops are hitting back pretty hard after getting surprised. They’ve forced some Russian units back, but they’re getting overran by the sheer numbers. Entire towns are on fire and dozens of vehicles have been destroyed. From what we can tell, their capital may fall by tomorrow if this keeps up.”

“They’re trying to expand their power before they try to fight us again. That’s why they left the field earlier. From what I know about them, they’ll be happy to take both us and NATO on after we’re worn each other out. What’s happening in the Middle East? Is it a complete mess as usual?”

“Various groups have popped up and started to fight over dams and oil fields. Western personnel have been evacuated and military units have started to engage those groups in combat. It’s starting to turn into even more of a mess over there. NATO seems to be overstretching themselves over there as well, with multiple FOBs and main bases being cut off from each other. Kuwait has also been targeted by some of those opposing groups. And Israel has repulsed attacks from outside groups seeking more land. Their Iron Dome has been working nonstop for the past ten hours and their defense forces have dug in. It might turn into a repeat of the Six Day War if they decide to start taking more land.”

“It’s a pity that the area is like that. It has so much history and culture, and yet it’s where some of the worst fighting is,” Yukari sighed. “It’s ironic that the birthplace of some of the world’s largest religions can be the site of so much war. At least I got to see a lot of the area back when it was quieter, those British explorers were such gentlemen. I miss the days when hunting was a more dangerous affair. Any fool can hunt while riding a helicopter and firing a full belt of homing rounds. It was better when it was one shot rifles at close range, where both parties had more equal chances. Anyway, are Israel’s allies coming to their aid?”

“They would,” Nitori pointed outside. “If they weren’t too busy dealing with us.”

“As long as nuclear weapons aren’t fired, I wouldn’t be too worried. The Samson Option would be a great pain to deal with at the current state of affairs. So all we have to do is at least draw in this battle and we won’t have as much to deal with. The new Soviet Union would probably start a separate war with NATO and take some more pressure off of us.”

“Could this be the start of another world war?”

“I would say so. It’s sad that the beginning of World War III started with our land being attack unfairly.  But we have no choice but to keep moving forward. The human command staff have been mostly wiped out, so we just have to force the rest to surrender. It may take an even longer battle to get them to see the light. Maybe a new world order with us at the helm? But there’s an even bigger problem.” Yukari leaned in closer and lowered her voice. “What do you think is the true damage of this conflict? Is it the lives, the damage to the world, or is it something else? Could it be that the very foundation of our world is being damaged by this conflict? Could the strands of time and reality be breaking apart right in front of us?”

Nitori could only stare when she finally understood the implications of Yukari’s question. The gap youkai straighten back up and shook her head. “Forget what I asked. It’s a loaded question.” The look in her eyes held a mixture of deep sadness and a determination that would make steel seem weak. Nitori had never seen anything like it before and began to fidget a little under that gaze. The gap youkai soften her gaze and pulled out her fan. Hiding her face behind it, she takes a second to gather herself before looking at the map again. Yukari began to run another set of numbers and scenarios in her head, adjusting what she knew to get the endgame she wanted.

Turning around, she opened a gap and stepped through it. She appeared near the top of a tree that had a good view of the battle. Yukari was reminded of the North Africa campaign during World War II for some reason. If she wanted to make sure that the humans would think twice about launching another attack, she had to make sure that they inflicted enough causalities. At the rate she was seeing, it take a battle that lasted at least three full days to fully drive home that point. The Lunarians were fielding more regiments but wouldn’t be completely ready for a few more days. The logistical burden would be great on the GDF, since Rinnosuke had only just begun to receive shipments of weapons, ammunition and spare parts. The Tiger (P) had been damaged to the point where it was just one shot from being knocked out, but Sakuya had managed to find a work around for that.

A three day battle would entail so much, which Yukari was starting to worry about. Most of the youkai wouldn’t really mind, but their human comrades might have problems with it. Night warfare wasn’t the most enjoyable thing to do, especially if one had a certain shrine maiden’s level of night vision. And the longer the battle went, the more reinforcements that would probably be brought in. If they weren’t able to keep up mobile warfare, then a repeat of World War I era trench warfare would rear its ugly head. The Lunarians would be able to switch out regiments once they were ready, but the GDF had thrown almost everything they had in from the start. Yukari was extremely worried about the strain that a prolonged battle would put on Remiu and Marisa. Both of them were like daughters to her. Many of the youkai that knew that had felt that the gap youkai’s judgment might be conflicted with those too involved, but held their tongues due to fear of insulting her. The elegant youkai was protective of the pair after all.

Yukari pulled out a small book from a pocket in her dress. She opens it up and frowns as she reads some of the pages she had marked. The book she held could be considered one of the most important books in all of history. It had the power to create and topple empires, to advance or sabotage the march of science, to improve or destroy the state of the planet. The irony is that it was still a normal book in terms of material and creation. What made it so special was that it contained all of the notes that Yukari had taken in the past and the future, especially when she was someone else. These notes weren’t just overviews of everything she had taken part in, it laid out almost every possible outcome. Contrary to what some might think, Yukari wasn’t using it for her own benefit. She was using it to make sure that the two people that she cared about wouldn’t suffer because of her weakness. But, now the book was revealed to be lacking.

“Why are things changing so much,” her voice was barely audible, but had a hint of confusion. “This battle shouldn’t have happened this early. Iku should have still been alive until New York. Is the time stream changing? This throws my main plan out the window. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll make sure that those two won’t have to suffer like they did. Even…if I have to reduce reality to ashes to do it.”

East of the Lunarian main line, Japan

A regiment of cavalry could be seen just standing around, far from the main force. The sounds of laugher could be heard from some of the older looking riders, while some of the younger ones had anger and guilt on their faces. The bodies of some of the younger nobles that had tried to support the doomed regiment were some distance away, but still visible to all as a warning. None of the older ones had believed the stories of Eirin getting her Royal commission back, so they felt that they could do as they pleased. If they paid more heed to the stories, they would have begun to worry when several of the bushes around them began to move a little. The younger nobles knew that the Special Development Group were hidden in them, but kept their mouths shut and put some space between them and the leaders.

One of the older nobles was laughing and waving his sidearm around carelessly. He shot a few rounds into the air, not caring where the bullets would land. None of the nobles even noticed that their subordinates had moved away from them. The smell of alcohol was also starting to fill the area, a clear disregard of Lunarian Defense Corps regulations. One noble was laughing while he was turning to look at an approaching figure when a rock hits him directly in the face. He’s knocked off of the horse and lands on his back, breaking the jovial mood. Everyone in the area looks to see where it came from and freezes in fear once they recognize the figure. Royal Colonel Eirin Yagokoro was walking slowly towards them with a look of anger on her face and her saber in hand. Some of the nobles lost control of their bowels at the sight.

Some of the more drunk nobles try to charge her, only to be pulled off of their steeds and kicked to the ground. The ones that were still on horseback began to circle around her, but Eirin knocks all of them down. With all of them dismounted, they decide to attack her at the same time to overwhelm her. The rest of the nobles that didn’t want to go along with the rest were just watching them, Eirin knew that they were forced to follow orders. Grabbing the smallest drunk by the neck, she throws him into his comrades and sidesteps the charge. One noble tries to grapple her, only to get Eirin’s knee slammed into his abdomen with enough force to hear cracking from his ribs.

“Under Lunarian regulations on the conduct of war and loyalty to the crown,” Eirin said. “I, in my official designation as a Royal Lunarian Officer in the service of the Royal family, find this group guilty of rebellion against the crown. Your sentence for this crime is death at my hands. Are there any last words or requests that any of you would like to make? I’ll try to make it quick and easy.”

Hearing this, the nobles began to pull out everything they had. Cavalry sabers, sidearms, knives, and even a bottle of alcohol were drawn and raised towards Eirin. But none of this fazed her, she had seen worse and stranger weapons used against her. Once a duck, a bench, a rubber chicken and a textbook were used against her in a fight to the death, she wasn’t prone to being surprised by strange and random weaponry. The duck did make a new stew after the fight though. And the rubber chicken was sitting someone around her office. She had used it annoy some of the nobles that rubbed her wrong, much to the amusement of the lower ranks. It reminded her how much she missed being respected for her abilities and not just for her office or who she knew.

The fallen noble gets another kick that breaks his neck and leaves him motionless. There were nine more of them, trying to surround her. One more goes down with a crushed windpipe caused by the pommel of Eirin’s saber. Another is taken down by a cut to his neck that severed his jugular vein. The sight of their relative’s blood made some of the survivors freeze. They had known each other since they were children since they had all gone to the same schools and units due to being members of the same noble families. It was like the old British regimental system, except it had a lot more intrigue and savagery than any of those humans could imagine. The practice of hiring assassins to kill officers of opposing families was still alive and well in the Lunar Capital.

In the seconds that they hesitated, three of them joined the increasing number of dead. Two of them were dropped by Eirin’s saber while the third was punched so hard in the face that his neck snapped. With four of them left, they were starting to think that a straight charge wasn’t really the best way to fight Eirin. They started to remember the stories that they heard about other rebellious nobles being hunted down and killed by Royal Officers. But as the Royal Officers began to age and entered retirement, the nobles had thought they were able to do what they want.

One of the nobles clutches at his chest and falls, but Eirin can tell that his heart attack was fake. That might have worked on another Royal Officer, but not on the former chief medical officer of the LDC. She kicks him in the head just like a punter going for a record, instantly killing the faker. Then she stabs a charging noble in the stomach and throws him into one of his remaining comrades. The last one staggers back when Eirin head-butts him and falls backwards. With a slash across the sole standing noble, Eirin turns to look at the last one left alive.

He tries to scramble back and find a weapon. The doctor slowly walks towards him, watching his pitiful attempts to extend his life. He finally grabs a dropped saber and gets back on his feet. His stab towards her heart is effortlessly parried, and she knocks the saber out of his hand. She head-butts him, ignoring the pain caused by performing too many of them. His hat flies off of his head, revealing a large bald spot that almost blinded Eirin with its sheen.

Eirin’s hand shoots out and grabs the noble by the throat. Then she angles her saber so that it’s resting on the large pulsating vein in his neck. “Are you done? Will you accept your sentence? Or am I going to have to kill you like an animal?”

“You’re supposed to be dead,” the defeated noble could barely speak due to fear. “Why did you come back now?

“Does it matter? I regained my commission and I’m hunting down traitors like you. I never understood why you nobles insist on trying to remove the crown. Do you think that it’s easy to rule? I had the chance to rule everything, but I didn’t want to. What makes a fool like you think that you can do better? Never mind.” Without giving him a chance to respond, she cuts his throat and drops his body. She’s careful to avoid the blood flying from his mortal wound and steps over him.

The rest of the regiment hadn’t moved since Eirin had knocked the first noble off of his horse. She spots a rider less horse and hops on it. Holding her saber up, she doesn’t react when the steed rears up. Once the horse puts its front legs back on the ground. Eirin points her saber towards the far off battle. The deadly dance of aircraft could be seen in the sky and the occasional flare overpowering the sun cast different colors. The dismounted tengus were attacking ground targets and sowing panic.

“78th Cavalry Regiment, you are now under my direct command. Do any of you object?” Not a single soul in the regiment said anything. “Good. The human’s combined force has lost their overall commander and are breaking off into their respective groups. Based on information from our allies, this battle is predicted to last at least three days. I’ve spoken with both princesses and we are arranging for more regiments to be ready to switch out at sundown. All we have to do is strike at the human’s weaken flanks until they’re either dead or routing. Any questions?”

There was no response, so Eirin nodded and took off. The 78th formed a diamond with her as the tip and drew their weapons. Elements of the American 3rd Infantry Division were ahead, trying to find a way to flank the main line. The Bradley IFVs were moving as fast as they could, trading shots with a small group of fairies. One of the leading vehicles sees the approaching formation and opens fire on them. A stray artillery round hits the ground a little in front of them.

Eirin sticks her left arm out, signaling the regiment to break formation. Using the newly formed crater as a reference point, the regiment separated into two main groups. Once they had broken into those two groups, they didn’t get into another formation and began to spread out. Then they broke off and scattered in every direction. The IFVs opened fire, taking down a few of the horses.

“Hit them from every angle,” Eirin says. She stands up on the saddle and jumps on top of a speeding Bradley. She stabs through the TOW launchers on the side and cuts the barrel of the 25mm chain gun. Two quick cuts open the top hatch and give her an entrance. Instead of wasting time killing them individually, she drops an incendiary grenade and jumps off. The only indication of it going off were the flames that started coming out of the hatch. Her horse circles around the battle, dodging the frenzy.

Other vehicles were trying to turn and run over the riders, but kept missing due to the confusion. Some of them ended up colliding with each other. Following Eirin’s lead, the cavalry were cutting up the TOW launchers and chain gun barrels, leveling the field. Once their weapons were disabled, they became easier targets for the jumping cavalry. More and more of the IFVs were disabled by sabers and incendiary grenades.

The next targets on the vehicles were the treads. Some of the sabers were knocked away by them, but some managed to find a weak point and cut them. The ones that were damaged quickly lost momentum and could only turn around in a circle until the other track was cut. Some of the rear doors begin to open a little, the infantry inside were poking their rifles out and trying to get some shots out. The Lunarians responded by tossing in incendiary grenades through the gaps.

As they went off, smoke began to obscure the area. Jumping off a burning Bradley onto her borrowed horse, Eirin counted two surviving IFVs trying to retreat. Quickly cutting one of their treads, she barely dodged its last push forward. Other riders were finishing the rest of the treads and some were cutting their way into the passenger compartments. Seeing no more working Bradleys, Eirin pulls out an updating map and wipes some sweat off of her forehead.

Her map showed that the armored skirmish was moving away from the infantry, giving the Lunarians the advantage. But what Yukari had said still bothered her somewhat. She knew that the Lunarians had experience in this kind of prolonged combat. Most of Gensokyo had never been forced to withstand days of artillery barrages and close combat. She knew that a lot of the older and wiser parties knew this and were weighed down by it. Yukari held the wellbeing of the land as her upmost priority, but some of her decisions didn’t sit well with Eirin’s experience. It was almost as if she was trying to play a different game then everyone else.

A small blue square was moving fast, trading shots with multiple red squares. The information above the blue square indicated that it was Sakuya’s Tiger (P) finally got its engine problems sorted out. The kappas had added a series of modifications that would make any tank enthusiast either drool with envy or faint from shock. Now the Tiger (P) could reach speeds of 65 km/hr and still had the armor and firepower of a heavy tank. Return fire was missing most of the time, the shots that did find the tank were deflected.

More and more of the red squares disappear, showing that the tank was getting kills even with the turret probably bouncing everywhere due to the terrain and lack of stabilizers. Some of the human crew members that knew about the historic tank that was now tearing them a new one were wondering if such a tank was truly possible. It would make the defense contractors that boasted that their modern tanks were unstoppable quit their jobs in rage and shame.

The Lunarian main line had advanced to meet the approaching infantry and scattered scout vehicles. Various blue squares were flashing on the map, indicating that the regiments were taking some form of damage. For now, they were advancing in line infantry formation. That should be changing soon after they fully engage. She hears a tap from her senior sergeant over the communication link.

“Colonel, we’re in position to provide support for the main line. There are about three battalions’ worth of reserve troops holding their position. We have received indications that there is an elevated level of phosphorus in the air. There is reason to believe that NATO troops are preparing to deploy their own incendiary shells.”

“Hmm, I had thought that they had banned their use themselves.” Eirin frowned. “Their doctrines really do not make sense sometimes. Some of their field manuals talk about using them while their Staff College says that it’s against the laws of war. Still, deny them the ability to use them. Our uniforms won’t be able to defend against chemical fires yet. It sounds like they’re starting to feel a little desperation.”

“As you wish, Colonel. If I could be as bold to ask this, is the GDF really expecting this battle to last for three days?”

“The GDF as a whole needs more time to prepare themselves for the more distant and bloody engagements it’ll take to win this war. To get that time, they have to force the humans to back off for a while. That’ll take a devastating defeat after a prolonged engagement. It’s our job to support them in that. Tell the group that once the incendiary shells are taken out, you are to withdraw until nightfall.”

“Understood, Colonel.”

“78th Regiment,” Eirin turned her attention to the cavalry. “Withdraw and rest your horses. Tonight, we’re going fox hunting.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #55 on: October 21, 2014, 02:35:26 pm »
Lunarian main line, Japan

“Regiments, halt!” Toyohime shouted. “Prepare for doctrine change!”

With a company surrounding Patchouli and Koakuma, the pair were free to charge up one of the librarian’s earth spells. They were planning on creating a series of trenches that would let the Lunarians advance under cover. Patchouli shared Sakuya’s distaste of trench warfare, so she was planning to have the trenches reach to the human line. With that, the battle should stay mobile until nightfall. It was designed to be more World War II than World War I.

Return fire was bouncing off of the riot shields, it was starting to get to the point that some of the Lunarians had to take a knee to brace against the impacts. The GDF antitank guns were firing as fast as they could, tearing into infantry while taking fire. The oni operators were getting hit by bullets but still kept on loading and firing. Lunarian medical personnel quickly patched them back up and let them go back to what they were doing. Even with suffering from multiple wounds, the oni crews were still moving as fast as they could.

Elements of the American 2nd Infantry Division and the British Highlanders were giving some of the greener regiments a bit of trouble. Glancing down at her map, Toyohime found that the Royal Regiments had encountered a large group of dug in Germans and Italians. They were being reinforced by a large Polish and Spanish detachment, managing to check the Lunarian advance. The elder princess had a feeling that this would happen, so the trenches were even more important now. Once they were done, the biggest hurdle would be prevent themselves from getting bogged down and turning this into textbook trench warfare.

Based on what she had heard from her communications officers, Yorihime could tell that the captured Regimental colors were already deep behind enemy lines. The captured weapons and gear were also there, but they were of lower priority. Eirin had already told her to ready some of the regiments for night combat, mostly for raids and some ambushes. Since Toyohime was overall commander of the deployed Lunarian forces, Yorihime was able to fill in wherever she saw fit.

Remiu and Marisa were rearranging their spell cards and unused magazines. Youmu was wiping blood off of her dual blades while having a blank look on her face. It seemed that she was starting to go through the beginning stages of post-traumatic stress disorder. Yuyuko was becoming extremely concerned about her gardener, and was considering pulling her out. Alice’s Goliath doll was laying in pieces on the field, but it had taken down a lone Bradley that had tried to surprise Remiu and Marisa. 

A massive formation of Bradleys came into view behind the Lunarian main line, their weapons at the ready. The formation split up and began to encircle them. Toyohime could tell what they were planning, and saw no other choice.

“All regiments, form up in a mass square around the magicians! Staff officers in the middle!” Toyohime lead her group to help shield Patchouli and Koakuma. The green regiments quickly ran to form the four sides with their riot shields. Thirty seconds later, a massive infantry square stood ready to counter the human scouts. Battalion commanders went ahead and began to trade fire with the approaching vehicles, knocking out a few of them. Lunarian grenadiers began to hurl their signature weapons, knocking out even more approaching vehicles. One of Toyohime’s staff officers got a bullet to the face and was sent flying off of his horse. Even before he hit the ground, the princess knew that he was too far gone. Another round came so close to her hair that if took a few strands with it.

One of the approaching IFVs was hit by a shell from behind, leading to a catastrophic kill. Slowing moving out from behind a hill was a lone StuG III Ausf. F. It fires again, taking down another Bradley. The remaining IFVs turn to face the lone tank killer, exposing their rears to the Lunarian infantry. The 25mm chain gun rounds bounce off of the StuG’s armor, not having any effect at all. Several of the IFVs were moving to flank the lone assault gun, but oni crews concentrated on them. Another StuG III rolled up on the human vehicles, firing its 75 mm cannon as fast as it could be reloaded. Some of the humans had come to a halt and launched TOW missiles, only to have them shot down by Lunarian marksrabbits.

A bright light overshadowed the battle, and the earth began to shake. Patchouli had casted a variation of her “Emerald City”, instead of raising up pillars, she sunk parts of the ground. A massive network of trenches about 6 feet deep now stretched from the Lunarian to the human lines. Wasting no time, the Lunarians jump in and begin to fan out. Seeing them take advantage of cover, the humans follow suit.

With artillery largely neutralized, both sides were moving towards each other. In the trenches, the riot shields were a hindrance, so they were left to create a command post for the staff officers. Several of the humans were focusing on creating quick fortifications, which could lead to stagnation. Lunarian grenadiers focused on destroying them, wanting to prevent slowdown. Whenever a squad of moon rabbits would encounter a particularly dense patch of resistance, they would climb out of the trench and force their way through the fire from the rear machine guns.

The Lunarian artillery crews dug in and began to fire over open sights. Almost on cue, the Celestial artillery opened fire again, devastating any human vehicle foolish enough to be out in the open. In response, the human artillery tried to pinpoint where it was coming from, but were picked off one by one. NATO fighters had finally begun to wrest control of the skies from the dwindling number of tengu fighters. The SDM’s air defense grid was operating at max capacity just to keep the massive number of incoming bombers from getting in range of the battle.

An A-10 Thunderbolt II was moving in for an attack run. Aya sees it and rolls to get on its tail, avoiding fire from a F-22 she was engaging. Lunarian infantry fire at the attack plane, but it manages to absorb the rounds it receives. The redundant systems kick in, allowing the pilot to still control the increasingly damaged plane. It kept on flying until a Lunarian artillery shell separated the pilot from the airframe. The falling bombs and missiles were shot before they were able to hit the ground forces.

Back at the Kappa workshop, the mechanics and engineers were quickly getting a new batch of fighters that Rinnosuke and Yukari had managed to buy from an arms dealer cleaning out his stock before retirement. But most of the fighters weren’t from the current 4.5 to 5th generation. Instead, they were from World War II. Dozens of P-51 Mustangs, BF-109s, P-47 Thunderbolts and ME-262s were quickly being worked on by the kappa engineers. Some of the dismounted tengus had returned and were hastily familiarizing themselves with their replacement aircraft.

Yukari knew that the vintage aircraft would most likely get swatted out of the sky by the more advanced human fighters in normal conditions. But with Patchouli’s copper jamming spell rendering long range missiles unusable, they stood a better chance. The older fighters would be able to at least face them in close combat for a little bit, at least until the thrust vector capable fighters danced behind them. Their higher speed also shortened the window for aiming. But it was only meant to be a stopgap measure, until the SDM’s defense grid finished off the mass influx of bombers.

The Lunarian officers in the trenches drew their sabers and charged forward, relying on their uniforms to protect them. The lower enlisted folk were charging forward with their bayonets while their senior sergeants were using their personal weapons. Scattered artillery managed to hit some of the advancing moon rabbits, but they were instantly set upon by medical personnel. From the rear of the human formation, elements of the Lunarian cavalry were hitting isolated units.

Most of the GDF units had taken cover in the trenches and were waiting for the Lunarians to advance far enough. A good number of the fairies were still in the air, firing both conventional and magical bullets. But the human forces were beginning to shoot them down without mercy. The Buddhists were doing their best to catch them before they hit the ground and administer first aid and healing spells.

Every time a fairy fell, a little part of Remiu’s heart hurt.  Even though they respawned almost immediately, they still had looks of pain on their faces as they flew up again. From the rear, a regiment of Lunarian Heavy Rifles had landed and were making their way to the front. They had landed so far back due to the rebelling nobles still on the moon messing with the portal systems. But as soon as they reached the front, they begun to spread out and lay down a curtain of fire that sent everyone jumping into the trenches.

Several of the human machine gun crews made the mistake of relying on dirt mounds for cover. The massive volume of fire penetrated the dirt mounds and tore up the crews behind them. The remaining personnel jumped into the relative safety of the trenches, and some of them forgot their weapons. The Heavy Rifle rabbits took turns firing while the others reloaded, keeping a solid rain of fire that forced everyone to stay in the trenches. Their fire was supported by the Lunarian artillery that were firing over open sights, making it too dangerous to even stick a hand up.

Now grounded, the fairies that still had the will to fight were forced to join the massive brawl in the trenches. Both Lunarian and human soldiers crashed into each other at full speed with their bayonets out for the kill. The Lunarian troops easily cut through a majority of human troops, only finding resistance when American, Australian, and Gurkha troops became involved. Several of the wealthier Lunarian officers shouted personal challenges that were met by their opponents. In the midst of the bullets flying around, the confusion of melee combat gave both parties a more even playing field. Seeing the Lunarians respect the unspoken one on one agreement, the human forces did the same.

The Heavy Rifle rabbits began to divert their fire, concentrating on taking down more squadrons of A-10s and AH-64s that were trying to provide close air support. Strykers began to appear, their heavy fire did manage to make a dent in the Heavy Rifle regiment, but they were wiped out before they could take advantage of it. With the lapse of covering fire, both sides jumped out of the trenches and charged again. Soon, the battlefield was soaked with blood and the spent shell casings of the combatants.

Scattered human artillery hit the area, wounding and killing indiscriminately. Some of the human troops jumped back into the trenches and tried to work their way around the artillery. White Wolf tengus were jumping from trench to trench, preferring close combat. Royal Flare flew into sky high above the battlefield, instantly incinerating any aircraft that ran into it. Mima joined in by raining down a hailstorm of star shaped bullets at full power, sending up a storm of dust and fragments. The Katyusha launchers had finished reloading and had fired their rockets again, filling the air with their unique sound.

An American squad stacked up at a corner right before a group of advancing Lunarian staff officers. One of the humans throws a grenade around the corner and starts counting. Once the grenade goes off, the squad rushes forward, ready to administer finishing shots. Before the dust could settle, two of the squad members were down with cut throats. Another three are taken down in less than a blink of an eye by throwing knives. The four remaining soldiers tried to get back behind the corner, only to be blocked by one of the staff officers jumping over them. Quickly dispatched, only one of them had time to fire any shots.

Suddenly, a large explosion hits the field. The shockwave from the impact shakes the earth and hot fragments rain down on the area. It was like nothing that either side had ever encountered before. Immediately, the Lunarians dig in, and try to fire out what could have caused such an impact. The attack had hit a company in the 8th Regiment of Foot hard, knocking out about half of their total. The human forces that they were engaging weren’t spared from the attack. Even with their helmets and body armor, they still took heavy damage from the attack.

“Princess Toyohime,” Yukari’s voice came from a charm the royal had on her hat. “What just hit your area was a projectile from one of the first ground models of the American Railgun weapon system. That’s what those blueprints from that FOB you captured were about. You have about thirty more seconds before you can expect another shot due to their power system having some unforeseen issues.”

“Reisen,” Toyohime shouted. “Take the 4th and take out that Railgun! All other regiments stay in the trenches! Heavy rifles and artillery, dig in as much as possible!”

A majority of the human troops thought that the attack came from the Lunarians and were beginning to inch themselves back. But word began to spread through the ranks that it was their own side that fire the shot. Once they figured that out, they began to rally against the advancing moon rabbits.

About 45 seconds after the first shot had hit the field, another one hits. This time, it hits a more concentrated area of the Lunarian line, making it clear that human spotters were getting the hang of calling in requests. Medical personnel swarm the area, the wounded are lucky that they had taken cover or they would’ve been instantly killed. Several of the operations officers had seen a thin reddish, yellowish entail that gave them a general idea of where the shot came from.
But it was too far behind cover for their spyglasses to spot.

In the far distance, a single green flare was barely visible. Instantly recognizing it as a request for supporting fire, the Lunarian artillery quickly calculated the distance and began to pour fire down on the general area. Reisen grabbed two companies from her regiment and quickly cut across one of the weaken areas of the human line. Instead of trying to wipe out the defenders, Reisen’s troops were more focused on getting as close to where that green flare came from as possible. With the rest of the regiments providing covering them, they managed to get and maintain a good speed. Due to them advancing so fast, the Railgun’s spotters were spooked and miscalled the next shot. This one tears through an entrenched Italian company that was trying to engage the 2nd and 3rd Regiments of Royal Foot. It didn’t escape Reisen’s notice that they shot had come after only 30 seconds, meaning that they were fixing some of their issues.

As an afterthought, Reisen fires a last round towards the retreating spotters. It hits one in the shoulder, spinning him around. She jumps back into the trench and uses a wall to stop her forward momentum. One of her lower enlisted rabbits loads a high explosive round that he fires into the wall around the corner. It detonates, blowing a hole to the next trench. Others are doing the same, avoiding most of the heavy resistance.

Hearing someone coming up behind them, Reisen and the two company commanders turn around, only to find Yorihime joining up with them. Another explosion cleared the next trench and the companies rushed through the holes. A trio of Spanish riflemen had taken up firing positions, only to get hit by a shockwave from Yorihime’s katana. She then stabs the ground, sending up spikes in the trenches ahead.

A trio of P-400s, the export version of the P-39 Airacobra, suddenly flew over them. The planes began to pour fire on any enemy unit that they could see. F-22s turned to engage, but the modern aircraft were too fast to engage them effectively. Any missiles that were launched were distracted by newly installed Royal Flare launchers.

The green flare was slowly starting to fade away, adding a sense of urgency. Another round from the Railgun flies over their heads, hurting their ears. The artillery that the Lunarians are pouring on that area don’t seem to be doing much good, reinforcing the importance of Reisen’s objective. A mortar round hits close by, knocking most of the staff off their feet. Reisen falls forward, only to feel herself get picked up Yorihime and tucked under her arm.

The moon rabbit tried to get back on her feet, but the royal wasn’t having any of it as she sprinted forward. The sight of a regimental commander being carried like a book or a package by a member of the royal family would be funny if it wasn’t in the middle of a war zone. Still, it was somewhat funny. At least the more serious princess wouldn’t let anyone laugh at it.

Near the Lunarian main line, Japan

Eirin takes off her service cap and wipes some dirt and sweat off of her forehead. A gap opens up next to her, with Yukari walking out right after. Some of the Special Developmental Group troops were watching her with curiosity. More of them had begun to arrive, fresh from destroying the white phosphorus artillery rounds. One last squad was making their way back from locating the Railgun and firing a flare. The doctor looks at the gap youkai with a sense of boredom. But that disappeared when she saw the look on Yukari’s face.

“Colonel, I have some matters to speak to you about.” Almost on cue, the closest troops turned around and gave the pair some space. Most of them sat down under the trees and began to adjust some settings on their weapons. Eirin removed the gloves she wore and kept her service cap off. Knowing that Yukari never played around when she got straight to the point, the doctor had a bad feeling in her stomach. “It’s about the aftermath of the battle and the state of reality.”

“Hmm, that seems to be on a higher plane then what you usually deal with,” Eirin replied. “Are you still trying to go against the Dragon?”

“This is higher than him. But since you heard about our conversation, do you know that warning he gave me?”

“The one about paradoxes and whatnot?”

“Yes, that one.” Yukari looked towards the exchange of artillery fire in the distance. “The fabric of reality is being ripped apart by this conflict. None of this was ever meant to happen and is going against the rules of nature. Because of this, unnatural events are happening. The greatest threat to Gensokyo, and by extension the Lunar Capital, is this. We may be able to force the human nations to surrender and we could even live in peace after that. But what about the unnatural events? They won’t stop even with the end of the war. What if, somehow, we triggered the beginning for the end of everything? If reality itself is about to end, what point is there for anything now? But that’s only my paranoia speaking. Tell me, have you ever heard of a tulpa?”

“It sounds familiar, but refresh my memory.”

“A tulpa is a being that has been created from the thoughts of a group of people. It originates from the Tibetan sect of Buddhism. Western occult thought has a close version called a thoughtfrom. Think of it as an imaginary friend becoming real and crashing at someone’s house. They gradually become an annoyance, emptying the fridge and leaving a mess everywhere. But they are rarely that harmless.”

“Do imaginary friends still exist this day and age?” Eirin tilted her head. “But what can an invisible dog named Fluffy do against the empire that I helped build?”

“Fluffy can’t really do anything except dig holes in the garden and leave surprises in the corner. But some of the other things that the humans believe in can.”

“Such as?”

“Slenderman, the Rake, La Llorona and even worse youkai than the ones we encountered in our younger days.”

“I haven’t heard about the first two. And wasn’t Gensokyo created to give all youkai a home where they don’t have to worry about being unjustly hurt or exterminated?”

“These youkai don’t understand the word peace, they are savage and bloodthirsty. I will not put Gensokyo in needless damage just because some savage youkai says their feelings got hurt when we stop them from causing mass destruction.” Yukari pulls out her cellphone and gave it a quick glance. “They are urban legends that are very popular on the internet. But with the boundary of fantasy and reality breaking down, there is a chance that they could step onto our plane. Even with that, there’s something even worse happening at this very moment.”

Eirin comes in closer to Yukari, lowering her voice to something lower than a whisper. “Are you talking about the stars going out?”

“You noticed it too? I’m not surprised. But it should be impossible. There are too many stars in the galaxy for them to go off like this. I know that stars are going out all the time, but this doesn’t feel right. There should be some more being made that replace them, but it’s not happening. The sky is slowly going dark. Many of the religions that the humans follow have an event like this heralding the end of time. But that’s for another conversation. I doubt that this is the only place that it’s visible from. I’ll check the view from the moon later. If it’s the same from there, then it’ll prove my hunch about reality after all. But this means that something major is going on and the worse thing is that I can’t explain it.”

“You’re the last person that would admit something like that.” Eirin’s bad feeling got even worse. This was the one person that had ever outsmarted her in any way. The Lunarian wasn’t one to admit it, but she knew that the blonde woman had played her throughout the Second Lunar War. If Yukari couldn’t figure out why all of this was happening, there was no telling how bad it could get. “Have you talked to anyone else about this?”

“You’re the only one. I’m not going to tell the princesses about it. It’s not because I don’t trust them, but because I don’t think that they will be able to help, no matter how much they try. You’re the only one that I can hope has a chance of helping me with this. I don’t want Yuyuko knowing about this, she’s been through enough already. Kanako doesn’t see the big picture and is too attached to Sanae to be any use. Byakuren is too peaceful for this sort of thing and it would be better to have her try to spread what peace she can.”

“I can’t very well refuse when you put it like that. But the only things I can bring to bear are medical knowledge and my personal troops.”

“That’s what I need for what I’m planning.” Yukari seemed to getting bags under her eyes. “If you’re going to be doing this, then it would only be right if I told how we got to this point.” She paused, it looked like she was steeling herself for something big. “It’s my fault that we’re at this point. I tried to change history to suit my needs and ended up releasing something that should have stayed locked away. Now, more innocent people will die, but I’m not worried about that. I’m still working towards my original goal, nothing will stop that. It would be a lot easier if I could wouldn’t have to deal with this interference.”

“From what you’re talking about, that interference is reality pushing back against what you have done,” Eirin’s forte was medicine, but she had some study in temporal and spatial matters. “How do you plan on fixing this breakdown? Can your powers even affect something that big?”

“I’m not sure,” Yukari admitted without any of her trademark playfulness. “The real priority is wiping out all of the unnatural blasphemies that are walking around right now. The more they’re hear, the more damage is made in the fabric of reality. We have to make sure that we stop it before it becomes irreversible. I’m hoping that we can have the stars wait for a little while, before someone notices.”

“Just tell me one thing,” Eirin looked directly into her eyes, almost as she was trying to spot Yukari’s soul. “What exactly did you do to cause all of this? Who did you anger so much that they want to destroy reality to get back at you?”

Yukari pulls out a small black book from a gap. “This book contains details about every single pivotal moment in history. Everything that has happened up to this point was influenced by me. I created entire empires and destroyed them with just a suggestion. I guided the progress of math and science according to my whims. But the book is useless now.” She throws it on the ground. “Everything past this point isn’t in there. This morning, the most powerful item on this planet was that book. Now it’s nothing more than notes for a history midterm.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because we should have won this battle already. A few of Marisa’s Master Sparks hitting an ammo depot should have sent the humans running by now. It never should have turned into a prolonged battle like this. In a few months, I was supposed to be sending spies to New York City. Now, I doubt we’ll have a functioning navy before the end of the year.”

“Is there any way to get it back on course?”

“Not that I know of.” Yukari shook her head. “It’ll take time for me to come up with something that’ll leave us better off after all of this. But the unknown variables are getting too out of hand. And that’s before I even take into account all of the tulpas. As long as you completely destroy them, then I can work something out. If one at least one exists, we won’t see the end of this war.”

“So we’re turning into a paranormal hunting agency?” Eirin faintly smiles. “This’ll be fun. We should have Hauptmann Izayoi help us, she does have experience in this sort of matters.”

“But I don’t want to put her in the positon of having to lie to Flandre and Remilia. Their relationship is more than employer and employee, they’re closer than family.”

“Are you sure that Remilia doesn’t already know. She does have the ability to control fate.”

“I’ll talk to her later. If she seems like she had handle this, I’ll see about bring Sakuya into all of this. She does have a good amount of experience in these matters after all. I wonder if she would be alright being attached to your group.”

“I have no problem with it.”

Yukari reads a quick text message that she just received. “If you’re up for it, you could start tonight. I’ve just gotten reports that something unnatural has been spotted around here. It could mean bad news for us if we don’t take care of it.”

“Which one is it?”

“The Rake. I’ll give you a quick rundown on it. It’s a humanoid beast that has pale, grayish skin with no nose. It has dull but not blunt teeth and has an appetite for meat. It’s not aggressive normally, but it’s starting to get bolder. From what we can gather, it’s taken down a group of ten Italian soldiers down during the middle of the night yesterday. American military intelligence units have taken command of the investigation and are not letting any information out. If we don’t take it out soon, who knows what its next target is.”

“So an urban legend is brought to life. Never thought I would see the day.”

“I wish we didn’t have to. But the border between reality and fantasy is too damaged. So far, this is the only confirmed one in our area. I wouldn’t be surprised if more of them popped up around the world. For now, just make sure that this is destroyed, even if you have to destroy the countryside to do it.”

“Isn’t that a bit much?”

“Not when we’ll dealing with something that savage. They have to be stopped at all costs. When you take it down, leave no trace of it. If any of the humans get in the way, wipe them out too. I’ll keep our side from interfering, so don’t worry about them. I hope you weren’t planning anything important tonight.”

“Well, I was going fox hunting later on.”

“So the Gray Foxes have showed up. What was their official again? Wasn’t it the Intelligence Support Activity? They change their name so much.”

“Well, they’re the ones that are said to have the 195th’s Regimental Colors. They’re deep behind the enemy line, so we were going to pay them a visit tonight. They made the mistake of taking custody of them from the Germans and parading them around.”

Yukari paused for a second. “I could get Narzin to lead a quick raid with the Maus and a few of the Panzer IVs. In the confusion, we could get them back for you. In the worst case, we can just whip up a dust storm or something like that. But aren’t you worried about them dissecting your technology and uniforms?”

“Those humans aren’t too bright. It’ll take them at least a few hundred years if they can’t even learn how to fight off geese. Most of them cover their heads and run away from the wing flapping and pecking. And even if by some miracle they do find the way, we can easily change to stronger and more powerful weapons.”

“I thought you had more faith in humans.”

“I’m just being rational.” Eirin shook her head and shrugged her shoulders. “Almost everything that we use has been influenced by one of my discoveries. If I can’t have confidence in it, what would be the point? Imagine the morale hit that would happen if my troops learn that I don’t trust the equipment that I made.”

“True enough. Are you up for it?”

“I’m interested. Will our weapons be able to affect it?”

The gap youkai pulls out a set of papers. “Here are some designs for silver bullets that should have the range and power of you normal rounds. I have the feeling that conventional rounds could kill it, but I don’t want to take the chance. Bring the sky down on it if you have to.”

“Do you mind if we bring the body back for study?”

“I would rather that you not. We can’t risk it coming back and I doubt we have any place where we can keep it. Even its mere existence is enough to throw all of my plans into disarray. Hopefully, we can use this as a testing run for our hunting tactics.”

“The way you talk about it, it seems to be a mindless beast. It shouldn’t be too difficult.”

Yukari shook her head. “I doubt that it’ll be that easy. We have no way of telling which internet legend is influencing it. It could very well be a mindless beast, or it could have high intelligence and hunting instinct. Be prepared for losses in any case. My recommendation is taking some of your troops from the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot. Your personal group is too valuable for this risk.”

It was Eirin’s turn to shake her head. “You’re lucky that I respect you so much. Anyone else telling me this would usually end badly.”

“I happy to have your respect, Colonel.”  Yukari smiled. “You’re free to stop me at any time. You are providing most of our troops, after all. We would have gotten stomped if the Royal Regiments didn’t show up.”

“Good to see that you recognize that. But I have a more pressing matter. If the fabric of reality is being torn apart, what else becomes possible?”

“I would guess natural disasters might hit soon. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, storms, plagues, asteroid strikes, blizzards, and droughts are going to hit all over the planet. We could use this to gain an advantage in negotiations with other nations. Once they see us faring better than they are, they’ll be wondering how. This’ll play into my plans. I’m not sure about how it’ll affect the moon. Any ideas?”

“We’ll figure it out if it comes to it.”

“No use to think about it now. Anyway, I have some of my familiars keeping an eye on the Rake. For now, it’s taking shelter in some of the deeper parts of the forest. Since it hasn’t moved for a while, it might even be asleep. Once it gets dark, it’s hunting season. This scroll has the general location, updated every ten minutes. It’s the best we can do with what we have.”

“It should be enough.” Eirin said. “Anything else you want to talk about?”

“Well, one thing that we still have to figure out is how we’re going to control all the new territory. The GDF is way too overstretched to handle the administration and policing of more territory. We can’t leave them alone, they might rise up against us if we do. Too bad we can’t really burn them to the ground.”

“I didn’t think that this was about new land.”

“It’s not, but we can’t help it. We’re going to have to administer all the new land that we’ll capture. Most of them will be reluctant to let themselves fall under the rule of a new government, so a little bit of discipline might do some good.”

“Are you asking me to bring Lunarian martial law to the captured territories?”

“It’ll be for their own good.”

“I have no problem with it personally. How will you explain it to your allies?”

“They’re understand with time.” Yukari shrugged again. “Everyone is talking about how the newest generation is too selfish and vain. A little Lunarian discipline will do wonders for their respect. They might even end up thanking us later on down the road. Think of it as putting the humans back on the path they should have been on since the beginning.”

“Hmm, I can’t really deny your logic. But it might spark rebellions during the meantime. I wouldn’t be surprised if it leads to a downward spiral.”

“Then just administer some of the famous Lunarian law.” Yukari’s somewhat savage smile bordering on a sneer made Eirin feel somewhat uneasy. Then once she saw the hard glint in the gap youkai’s eye, the doctor’s stomach felt even worse. ”It’s be the start of the new Lunarian Empire. Just in time for the end of reality.”

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2014, 04:00:58 am »
Cherbourg, France, May 1942

The heavy and thick fog covered every single part of the city in the dead of night. The only sounds that could be heard were the steps of the patrols and the odd vehicle going about. German occupation forces were enforcing the curfew and fighting off boredom. The port that they were guarding was an important one that guarded against a British counter invasion.

A mother and her two children were behind led by a German Hauptmann in a dark blue uniform. The civilians were carrying what looked to be small suitcases with only a few changes of clothes and some pictures. They carried the suitcases in front of them, hiding the yellow star on their clothes. Several of the walking soldiers glanced at them, but the Hauptmann’s purposeful stride caused them to let them be.

Maribel had given up on trying to hide after a pair of guards had walked right past her. Now that she was expecting on having another dream like this, she was more prepared to remember more details. She instantly recognized it as being during the Second World War due to the stylish uniforms worn by the Germans.

She recognized the Hauptmann as Sakuya, but was confused on why she would be here. She didn’t look like she had hit her twenties yet. The psychologist didn’t miss the fact that there were a pair of black uniformed Germans looking at the group with some suspicion. Maribel was wondering who they until she noticed the red armband that they were wearing.

The two SS soldiers frowned as they watched Sakuya lead the family towards the outskirts of the city. One of them pulls out a small notebook and begins to flip through it. The other grabs two walking soldiers and forces them to follow. It was obvious that the two regular soldiers had a distaste for the SS. Some members of the Milice walked by, some in awe of the SS. The normal soldiers looked at them with distaste.

Sakuya was walking around the corner when two members of the Milice almost walked into her. The first time they notice was that she was a woman and one of them was about to open his mouth. His stopped when he saw her uniform, probably saving his life.

“Pig,” Sakuya’s French was perfect, with an accent that sounded like she came from the south. The pure venom in her voice froze the two collaborators. “Do you not know how to conduct yourself in front of a German officer? Do I not deserve a salute from lowly pigs like you, or do you not even know how to that?”

“I’m sorry, Lieutenant. I’m just-“

“Lieutenant?” Sakuya poured even more hate into her voice. She steps forward and grabs the offender by the tie. “Pay attention, I’m only going to say this once. I am a Hauptmann in the Heer. I’m not some lowly lieutenant just out of school. I didn’t buy my commission nor was I born into it. I will not let some lowly criminal like you disrespect me.”

“Hauptmann, do you know who my father is? I will-“

“Since your mother does not, I’m not too worried about it. Now get out of my sight before I kill you myself.” She throws him down while his partner steps back. “Go on, get out of here. Cross me again and see what happens.”

The two ran to the other side of the street and around the corner. The future maid adjusts her service cap and continues to walk. Unbeknownst to them, the two Milice members run across the trailing SS. Maribel began to grow worried for Sakuya. She was becoming more confident that she was helping the family escape. This realization made Maribel regard her even more highly.

A checkpoint was in the group’s path. Manned by a squad of six Heer soldiers, they saluted when they saw Sakuya walk up. She returns it and hands the leader a small pamphlet. While he reads through it, one of the soldiers hears a small stomach rumbling. In response, he takes out a small candy bar and breaks it in half. Then he hands each half to the two children. They put their bags on the ground to take it, revealing the yellow stars. But none in the squad care, all they see are two children. They rummage their pockets to find more candy bars, but they were out. Even so, the mother’s heart was touched by the display from the occupiers.

The leader nods, indicating that everything was in order. He hands it back but whispers to Sakuya. “Be careful Hauptmann, there’s two SS following you.”

She nods in response. Motioning the trio to follow her, she stealthy unfastens her P38’s holster and the pouches with her knives. Taking note of hiding spots, she devises multiple scenarios in case she has to have the family hide while she takes care of the SS. Her priority was getting them to where she had found a resistance cell.

Even if she had taken an oath to follow the orders of the Führer, she still had the duty to do what was best for Germany. If it was labeled as treasonous, so be it.

“Go inside and hide in the first room on the left. Lock the door and do not open it until I come get you.” Sakuya drew one of her knives. She waited until they had gone inside before she ran down a back alley. Hearing running, the two SS and Milice chased after her. Once they reached the ally, they stopped and began to walk slowly with their weapons at the ready.

A cat jumps out from behind a trashcan, scaring the group. Before the others can notice, Sakuya grabs one of the Milice from behind and covers his mouth. Then she drags him back behind the corner and snaps his neck. Once she’s sure that he’s dead, she stuffs his body into an open crate and sets to top on it.

Finally noticing that his partner was missing, the remaining collaborator begins to look frantically around. Sakuya throws the ownerless rifle into the street, playing on the SS soldiers’ nerves. They almost fire but begin to put more space between each other. One of them brings a whistle out but has it destroyed by a thrown knife that barely misses his hand.

Before they could open fire, three more knives knock their weapons out of their hands. In the spilt second that it took from them to try to pick them back up, Sakuya had closed the distance. She punches the Frenchman in the stomach with enough force to knock the breath out of his lungs and flips him over her shoulder. One of the SS takes out a baton and throws a swing at her head.

She dodges the swing and throws an uppercut that hits the attacker in the chin. Hearing the sounds of teeth breaking, Sakuya crouches and sweeps his feet out from under him. The standing one kicks out at her, missing her. In response, she grabs his leg and pulls him off balance. He falls back and hits his head on the cobbled street.

Grabbing two of them, she stuffs them into a dark corner created by a group of crates. To be sure, she cuts their throats. Then she dumps the third one and does the same to him. Readjusting her tie and service cap, she wipes her knives off on one of the SS’s uniforms. Quickly looking around to make sure that no one had walked into the scene, she makes her way to the family’s hiding spot.

Sakuya knocks on the door and says something that Maribel couldn’t make out from where she was standing. The door opens, revealing the terrified mother and her children. Without explaining the situation, Sakuya starts walking towards the extraction point. On her way off of the street, she glances at the crates where she stuffed the bodies.

The sound of Messerschmitt BF 109s and Focke-Wulf FW 190s could be heard flying over the city. They pointed towards an incoming British bombing mission. Ever since the end of the Battle of Britain, the retaliatory bombing runs have been regular occurrences. Even though the port was an important asset, it was too heavily defended for the current bombers to hit. The British learned that the hard way two weeks ago.

After the quick crushing of the group, the stillness of the street was even more surreal. At the far end of the square, another German officer was on horseback. He looked like he was suffering from insomnia and was going on a midnight stroll. He had a small pouch on the saddle that was open, revealing a bundle of official documents. Upon closer inspection, Sakuya noticed that the man was starting to bob his head.

Motioning for the family to stay put, she noiselessly makes her way to the bag and takes one of the documents out. Noticing her, the officer doesn’t seem to recognize her but wonders why she’s so close.

“Major, you seem to be about to fall off your stead,” Sakuya uses a sleight of hand to hide the papers she took. “Are you sleepwalking?”

“Hauptmann, good evening.” He can barely keep his eyes open. “I was about to return to my quarters. You understand how the duties of a staff officer can interfere with sleep cycles. I trust everything is quiet in this area.”

“It is, Major. Even though some of the Milice could stand to learn some respect.”

“I’ll make a note of that. They’ll know who’s in charge tomorrow. You should get some sleep, Hauptmann. You look somewhat rough, if you don’t mind my saying so.”

“Thank you for your concern, Major.” She watches as he slowly rides away. Once he gets far enough, Sakuya pulls out the papers she had swiped. A few of them were lists for groceries while one was a pre-stamped letterhead. Taking out a pen, she quickly writes a letter of introduction and gives it to the mother. “Keep this until you reach Allied troops. Don’t open it until then.”

Without looking back, she sets off again. This time, at the end of the street that they’re on, several SS troops were at a checkpoint. They were breathing down the necks of the regular soldiers that were manning the post. This one was at a corner with a small store doubling as the guard office. Sakuya grits her teeth, it was hard enough restraining herself when she in the same room as an SS member. Now there were at least ten of them, looking for the smallest infraction.

“Halt, Hauptmann.” The Hauptsturmführer had a sneer on his face when he called out. “There’s a curfew in place for all civilians, especially for them.”

“Watch your tone, pig.” Sakuya replied. “I don’t care if you hold Himmler’s ear, you still need to respect a superior officer.”

“Superior? Hauptmann, the SS are superior in every-“

“You look like you would be the first to run away in the face of the enemy. If it were up to me, you would be the one polishing my shoes. Anyway, pig, we have business beyond this checkpoint, so I don’t have time to deal with you.”

“You will stay where you are. This area is a controlled space. Where are these animals’ papers?”

“Are you talking back to me, swine?”

“I have my orders. If you insist, I have no choice but to use deadly force. But, by all means, do try to go on ahead. After all, accidents do happen.” He cocks the ancient Luger that he has in his custom made hostler.

Without a word, Sakuya walks into the small building and picks up the phone. The SS officer stomps in right after her and begins to raise his voice until Sakuya started to talk.

“Operator, connect me to Obergruppenführer Heydrich at the Reich Main Security Office.”

As soon as he heard Sakuya drop Heydrich’s name, the SS officer almost lost control of his bowels. Sakuya almost smiled, there was no one on the other end of the line. She waits a few more seconds and then kept on going.

“Obergruppenführer Heydrich, I apologize for the late call. I’m currently on that assignment that you personally sent me on, but I’ve seem to run into some resistance here.” The SS officer began to sweat profusely and shakes his head. “Yes, sir. I remember what you did to that captain that brought you slightly cold coffee. No, I don’t think anyone has heard from him for a while. I know his father, one of the old Prussian dinosaurs, made a fuss about it.” She acts like she just notices the terrified SS officer and holds the phone out to him. He shakes his head even more, making it look like it was about to fly off. “It looks like it’s taken care of, sir. It was good talking to you again.” She hangs up and leaves the small office.

“Raise the gate!” The SS officer was walking stiffly, hoping to hide the fact that he had wet himself. “Raise it NOW!” He almost jumped on the gate to open it himself.

Once the gate was up, Sakuya gave the humiliated SS officer one last glare before she lead the family past them. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see the regular soldiers having trouble keeping the smiles off their faces while every single SS had pale faces. Her reputation of being abrasive with the SS had warmed the regular soldiers up to her.

Some distance past the gate, it began to grow darker since some street lights weren’t lit. The sounds of the calm ocean could be heard as they approached the piers. Once they got near a warehouse, Sakuya motioned for the family to go in and stay. Once they were in, she walks towards a small building that had a covered walkway.

Kicking the door open, she throws a few knives that knock the weapons out of the partisans and stranded Allied soldiers. Without turning around, she kicks the door close when she walks in.

“Pay attention, I’m only to say this once. I know about your activities and your existence. As long as you attack only the SS, I’m willing to let you survive. But I do have one condition.” No one spoke up in protest yet. “The SS and Gestapo are rounding up Jews and other minorities. This is not what I swore to uphold when I took my commission. The head of Germany is a megalomaniac fool and will lead to Germany being destroyed. He has ordered the murder of every minority that he can get his greasy little hands on. What I want this cell to do is to deliver whatever minorities you can away from this evil.”

“And if we refuse?” One of the partisans finally spoke up.

“Then I kill every single one of you and burn down the entire city.” Sakuya knew that while she had some authority, she didn’t have quite that level. Even if she did, she couldn’t give that order since it wouldn’t sit well with her conscience. But no one else knew that. “For you it’s a winning scenario: you get to keep operating as you are and you hit the Reich in a completely unexpected direction.”

“How can we be sure you’re telling the truth?”

“I have a letter of introduction from a friend of yours in London.” She hands him a sealed letter. Her opens it and begins to read. As he gets further along, his eyes narrow and his frown deepens. Finally his crushes the letter and sighs.

“Damn it, Lady Yakumo. Why do you insist on making my life more difficult?” He gritted that out in a whisper that was barely audible. “Very well, we’ll help. Where are they now?”

“In the warehouse. How soon can be out of France?”

“They can be in London in two days’ time.”

“Good. Take this as well,” She hands him a folded letter. “If any SS stop your group, give them this letter. It’s supposedly signed by Heydrich, so it should get you out of trouble with them.”

“But it has a Heer letterhead on it.”

“Tell them he was visiting the headquarters in Paris and ran out of paper. If they don’t believe it, threaten to call him.” Sakuya turned to leave. “Be sure to help them reach somewhere out of our sphere of influence. I have the feeling that it’s going to get worse for all of us.”

West of the Lunarian main line, Japan

“Steady, steady all of you.” Sakuya was peering out of the viewport in the Tiger (P). “Gunner, aim for the tan tank turning to face us on the right side. Loader, put in one of the armor piercing rounds. Driver, keep on giving us constant speed and try to keep it as level as you can. Radio operator, any more updates?”

“The main Lunarian line has come under fire from a Railgun. So far, the infantry have managed to smash through the humans and are getting closer to the command staff. We’re getting close to the rear of the enemy formation. And…it seems there’s a private call for you.” The fairy disconnected Sakuya’s headset and plugged it into another jack. Sakuya heard the sound of static and then the small buzz of a secure channel.

“Hauptmann Izayoi, I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for a while. Anyway, I need a favor.” Yukari was still as carefree as sever.
 
“I hope it’s nothing too big. I’m still in the middle of the last mission you sent me on.”

“We won’t need you until tonight, so you don’t have to hurry.”

Sakuya paused as the gunner scored a mobility kill on a flanking M1. “Now you peeked my interest.”

“There’s a beast that shouldn’t exist loose around the area. I’ve already spoken to Colonel Yagokoro and she’s agreed to lead a platoon against it. We would feel better if you would tag along and make sure that it’s taken out for good.”

“What do you mean by a beast that shouldn’t exist?”

“It’s a long story. I’ll fill you in later. But I should warn you, this beast is not to be played with. It could end your life in an instant if you underestimate it. It does have intelligence on the level of a human and youkai, so be mindful of that.”

“Loader, switch to Patchouli’s armor burning shells.” Sakuya had seen a group of Bradley’s getting ready to fire their TOW missiles. “Get ready to speed up your loading. Radio operator, be ready to shoot those missiles down. Yukari, I’m in.”

“Good. I’ll let you get back to what you’re doing. When the time comes, I’ll let you know more.” Yukari’s line went dead as she disconnected, leaving Sakuya with her crew.

The gunner fired the round, hitting a Bradley and caused a brew up. Patchouli had infused a few of their tank shells with St. Elmo’s fire, giving them the ability to light anything made of metal on fire. This lead to both the inside and outside of the IFV turning into one giant bonfire. As soon as the casing for the shell hit the back plate and dropped into the collection bag, the loader had another ready to go.

Running numerous numbers in her mind, Sakuya was trying to break up the rest of the enemy formation. A few miles to the east, Nazrin’s Maus was tearing through the any resistance they found. Once word started to spread, even the Leopards and Challengers were hesitant to face the super heavy tank. The significantly boosted 128 mm cannon was actually flipping over the main battle tanks with relative ease. Behind them, the StuGs and Fireflies were sniping any tanks that had tried to flee.

The ground shook under the Tiger (P) as a tengu piloted P-47 Thunderbolt was shot down and crashed nearby. The smoke coming from the burning wreckage hide Sakuya’s tank and gave her some more breathing room. Pangs could be heard as scattered machine gun fire found the tank. In response, the radio operator changed to armor piercing incendiary rounds for the bow mounted machine gun.

“Driver, bring us in behind that Challenger on the right side,” Sakuya just thought of an idea. “Gunner, aim for their engine and try to start a fire. Loader, keep doing what you’re doing.”

Behind them, two Panzer IV Ausf. H medium tanks had climbed over the hill and were choosing their targets. They weren’t able to one shot any of the modern tanks, but were able to knock out most of the crews that they hit. With flaming wreckages crashing into each other and the various unlucky survivors, the opposing forces were starting to waver. More scattered artillery began to hit the area, the conventional explosions revealed that they were from the human side.

A far off speck caught Sakuya’s attention. Quickly grabbing a pair of binoculars, she sees a US Air Force AC-130 aiming at them. It began to perform a pylon turn, with the 105 mm cannon readjusting its aim.

“Gunner, aim for that gunship. Distance is about 4.5 miles. Loader, switch out to the beehive rounds, give it a delay of about 4 miles. Driver, find us some cover so we can steady this machine. Radio operator, are any of the tengus around?”

“Most of them are too busy with the fighters. We’re on our own for now.”

“Thought so,” Sakuya glanced back at the gunship. Fairy operated Wirbelwind antiaircraft tanks were firing but failed to hit. “Even if they hit, they won’t be able to do much. Our beehive might have to be the one that takes it down. Too bad we don’t have a Ratte to use as bait.”

A slow moving BF-109 tried to engage the gunship, only to get a hail of 30 mm Bushmaster cannon fire through the engine. The tengu that was piloting the plane managed to bail out, but was hit by a round and stopped flying. Firing another artillery round, the gunship barely misses the tank.

“Gunner, switch out with me.” Sakuya squeezed herself by the gunner as they moved. Settling herself into the seat, she took the controls and looked down the gunner’s scope. Even though it was a slow target, it was still in the air and she had to account for more. The basics were still the same: distance, speed of the target, direction of travel, ballistic drop, point of aim, and penetration. But now she had to deal with the added confusion of an air target’s movement.

Without taking her eye off of the target, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out some gum. Quickly putting some into her mouth, she’s calmed by the familiar bubbly and sweet taste. Now that she was able to aim better, she decided to aim for the part of the fuselage was thinnest, right in front of the elevators. Another round hits nearby, showering more dirt around them. The sounds of some shrapnel hitting the tank could be heard.

“Loader, how many beehive rounds do we have?”

“About four more of the modified ones.”

Four shots Sakuya thought. One should be enough to bring that gunship down if I hit it just right. But I can’t be sure that I have enough time to fire more than three shots. Two shots are all that I have.

Sakuya aimed high above the turning airplane. She fires one shot, paying close attention to where the round went. The 88 mm high velocity round flew through the air about 300 yards behind the gunship. But that was all she needed. Adjusting for the speed and angle, she leads her target. She moves the gum to her right cheek, letting the flavor calm her down for the next shot.

She waits until she feels the shot in her gut and squeezes the trigger.

In the action of the cannon, an electric charge is applied to the back of the beehive shell. This charge activates the propellant and ignites it. The round is propelled forward while the shell flies out of the breech and hits a plate that causes it to drop into a collection bag. The round spins as it meets the rifling on the inside of the barrel and leaves the muzzle. As soon as the charm on the side of the round senses the change of momentum, it began the countdown.

When the charm senses that it had traveled 4 miles, it activates the secondary explosion. Three feet long darts materialized, capped with Patchouli’s Dew Spear. They hit the AC-130 right in front of the elevators, easily cutting through the fuselage. Even if it didn’t cut it completely off, it was still enough for the drag to rip the tail right off.

The rest of the gunship began to pull up, throwing off the cannon’s aim. It begins to pick up speed, starting a series of out of control loops that throws the crew out into the sky. A small fire was created when the darts hit, and it had spread to the ammunition. The crashing aircraft began to burn while several rounds began to cook.

After making sure that her target wasn’t a threat anymore, Sakuya switched back to her original spot. Her hand was shaking a little, her shot just now was getting to her. “Driver, bring us around the rear. Loader, switch to our armor burning rounds. Gunner, concentrate on their more dangerous tanks.”

Looking to her left, Sakuya tries to find a weak point in a trio of Leopards when a P-47 showed up, let loose a salvo of unguided rockets and three bombs, and pulled up. Two of them were disabled and set on fire while the third was tracked. The Tiger (P)’s turret turned towards it and landed a shot on the cannon breech. Seeing that they were dead in the water, the crew bails out, only be hit by the same P-47 going a strafing run.

Finally picking up speed, the Tiger (P) popped out from behind the hill and gunned down an armored Humvee. Another one tries to escape but gets rammed and crushed. Sakuya hears her driver chuckle a little over the radio. The sounds of breaking and crushed metal was loud even inside the tank. A British Challenger was turn to engage her when it was brewed up. The one that fired the shot was Nazrin’s Maus, slowing moving about. The radio came alive with Nazrin having to explain step by step to Shou on how to drive. It was fortunate that the gear shift was attached, otherwise it would have been lost somewhere.

“Any friendly armored units,” a voice with a hint of Lunarian posh came over the waves. “We’ve encountered a series of tall earthen barriers with stiff resistance. Any help breaking through them would be appreciated. And here we go with the rockets again…”

Squinting her eyes, Sakuya can spot a hail of rockets flying all around to their far right. Sighing, she taps the driver on the right shoulder with her foot, ordering her to turn towards it. “Loader, use the high explosive rounds first then change to the beehive once we break through. Radio operator, are there any engineers nearby?”

“We have two kappas about a minute from our location.”

“See if they can boost our armor to somewhere to the normal range. I don’t think those rockets are for show.”

“They say they can try, but it would take a while.”

“How do they feel about doing it under fire?”

“What do you mean?”

“We break through the barrier and I dismount. While I’m mopping up the rest, the kappas can fix the tank.”

“They don’t like it, but they’ll do it.”

“Good. Driver, bring us in at top speed. Gunner, you know what to do.”

Taking a hill at top speed, the crew had to hold on to something as they left the ground. Landing, Sakuya accidently swallowed the gum that she had forgotten about. The Lunarians that were pinned down by heavy fire made sure to not be in the way as the heavy tank flew past them. Before the human forces could concentrate rocket fire on them, the gunner had blown a hole with a high explosive round in the Hesco barriers and the tank came to a stop inside.

A beehive round was slammed into the cannon, it had no delay set. As soon as the round left the barrel, it turned into the darts again. Even when one had hit a victim, it still kept on moving forward with little resistance. 50 caliber machine gun fire found the tank, forcing Sakuya to exit through the bottom hatch. Hitting the ground, she turns her G36 to the side and starts firing. The noise created by the cannon and bow mounted machine gun hid her shots. A few of her rounds hit some legs, but it wasn’t enough for her.

Spotting a series of trees that happened to be the right angle to deflect her shots towards a fire team that was trying to flank them. Throwing a set of her knives, they hit the tree and bury themselves in the hapless humans. But throwing those knives had the disadvantage of revealing her hiding space. Crawling back, she manages to get herself out from under the tank at the rear. The ground shook as the Tiger (P) fired off another beehive round.

An AT-4 rocket hits the left thread near the front, tracking the tank. From behind them, the Lunarians were beginning to pour through the gap. The standard bearer was busy stabbing any human that got close with the metal tip on the bottom of the colors. Rifle rabbits were unloading entire magazines into any human they could find. Even when a wounded human fell, they still kept pumping shots into the dying body. The sheer ferocity of the assault caused some platoons to become broken and flee. Once the firefight had gotten some distance from the tank, the kappas showed up and started to repair the tracked tank.

One of the kappas shook her head when she saw the damage. “You’re lucky that you had such a good base to start with. I bet any other tank would have been a flaming wreck by now.”

“That’s German engineering for you,” Sakuya felt a sense of pride for her tank. “How’s she looking?”

“You got tracked again. How long has it been since we repaired your treads? If I didn’t know better, I would say that you were a Jagdpanther commander back in your day.”

“I was never late for anything important.”

“Anyway, we can repair the track quickly since it’s not bad. I’m not comfortable with letting you go on with the armor like this. You need to get back to the SDM and let Patchouli and Nitori repair it. Once we can get her moving, head back.”

“I can’t argue with that.” Sakuya could see deep impacts in the armor. Another cannon round would penetrate easily and hit them inside. “Are there any quick fixes that would give us a better chance of making it back? I rather not brew up today.”

“I can boost the side armor, but a head on shot would more than likely break through. Your front armor looks like a fairy could punch through it.” The kappa gave the tank a quick glance. “I heard something about the Lunarians capturing a truck with something important inside. It’s too heavy to fly it out, so they’re stuck with driving it. It would make sense if we got you to escort it back to the library.”

“Can’t argue with that logic. Where’s the truck?”

“About a quarter of a mile from here. We tied a small blue flag to the antenna so we can tell who it is. From what we’re hearing, it’s really important that we keep it safe.” A squad of Lunarians were walking by when the kappa grabbed their attention by waving her arms. “We need you to help us repair this track. Hauptmann, go ahead and tell your crew what I told you and come up with a plan.”

Ten minutes later, Sakuya was guiding the Tiger (P) out of the breach and scanning the area through binoculars. About a tenth of a mile from the point, a loud impact could be heard. Quickly coming to a halt, the tank stabilized and the gunner lined up the shot. The opposing M1 Abrams slammed on the brakes just as the round left the barrel. It hits the stabilizer but doesn’t cause damage anywhere else.

Both tanks turned to go down the hill, with the truck moving to use the Tiger (P) as cover. The two tanks start to fire at each other on the move, missing due to the rocking and swaying of the tanks. Sakuya braces herself using the walls near her, she can feel the tank leave the ground a few times. The two gunners make the mistake of aiming for the turrets, ensuring that their shots would miss.

Keeping an eye on the enemy, Sakuya quickly tires to plot a path that would give them an advantage. The situation was a head to head battle and she had a lightly armored truck that needed to be protected. Her gunner lands a hit in front of the tank, showering rocks and dirt on the Abrams. The return shot doesn’t even hit the ground anywhere the Tiger (P).

“Porsche Tiger,” the Lunarian driver’s voice came over the radio. “We don’t have anything that can hurt it, so you’re on your own for this.”

“Keep us between you and that Abrams,” Sakuya instructed. “That 120 mm cannon will tear right through you. Just follow our lead.” She looked down at her driver. “We’re hitting some level ground soon, keep swerving and get ready to turn to the left. Loader, go as fast as you can.”

Once they had gotten on the level land, the shots became faster. The Abrams fired a round that grazed the front side of the tank. The fairy gunner fired a return shot that missed completely. Even inside of the tank, Sakuya could hear the difference between the conventional 120 mm cannon and her own 88 mm. Even with a smaller caliber, it still had a deeper sound due to the added power from the youkai engineering and magic. One solid hit would still finish either of them off. Neither side had bothered to use their machine guns, they were recognized as being useless in this fight.

With a clear road coming up, the driver make a sharp turn to the left. The truck took care to keep covered since the Abrams made a sharp turn to the right. When both of them were at close blank range, they fired and missed. Once they passed each other, they began to place more distance between themselves. The gunner rotated the turret to face the rear and fired another shot. It flies within three feet of the turret, but still misses.

“That tank commander knows his art,” Sakuya observed. “We have to end this before any more of them show up. If I remember right, there’s a ridge somewhere around here. If we bait them, one shot from the front would be good enough. Lunarian, how do you feel about playing bait?”

“As long as we don’t get hit, we’re fine with that.”

“Good. There’s a ridgeline about half a mile from here. Lead them towards it and we’ll finish them off.”

“Alright.”

Another round flew past them, close enough for Sakuya to see the distortion of the air around it. “Driver, get to the ridgeline over there. The truck will lure them to our kill zone, but we need to hurry. Gunner, hold your fire until we’re in position. Loader, make sure we have an armor piercing round ready. We’ll going to have one shot for this.”

Separating in the middle of the forest, the truck went to lure the M1 towards the ridge. The assistant driver poked his rifle out of the window and fired at the Abrams, getting their attention. The tank fired a shot, but missed. Another rifle round hit the turret, serving only to annoy the occupants. With the trees covering them, they were somewhat safe from aerial attack. But that didn’t keep them from seeing random bombs and rockets from hitting the area. The human commander started to smell a trap, but didn’t have any other choice but to follow. Their priority was to take out the captured truck, even if it meant that they were taken out by the Tiger (P).

One more round flies right above the truck, resulting in the assistant driver firing back again. The two Lunarians could be seen having an argument, probably about who ate the last cinnamon bun at breakfast. The driver kept zigzagging while she waved her fist at her partner. In response, he kept on slamming the roof while pouring rounds at their pursuer. Sakuya had the radio operator change the station when the argument went to some embarrassingly personal matters.

The ridgeline came into view in front of Porsche Tiger, along with two German Leopards that were under quick field repair. The driver came to a halt, narrowly dodging an incoming shot. One shot from the 88 tore a hole through the front armor of the more mobile enemy. While another round was getting loaded, the turret was turning to aim at the slowly retreating tank. The Tiger (P) moved forward, not wanting to be a sitting target.

The remaining Leopard’s movement was stopped when another 88 mm shell cut right through the armor and the crew. Now with the ridgeline clear, the Tiger moved to angle itself and provide a clear shot. As soon as the tank had stopped rocking, the truck exited the brush, followed by the M1. The humans fire one shot that misses and then see the German built tank aiming right at them. They start to back up slowly, but they know they were done for.

The fired round slams head first into the front armor, killing the crew instantly. Sakuya pokes her upper half out of the tank. The surrounding area was quiet, they were safe for the time being. The truck began to work its way to join up with the tank. From what Sakuya had heard, the truck was called a ground mobility vehicle. Whether that affected anything was up to debate though. Now that they were safe, all that they needed to do was to get back to the SDM.

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #57 on: December 25, 2014, 03:53:27 am »
Lunarian command post, Japan

Behind the command post, Yukari was watching the sun as it started to slowly set in the distance. They had only about thirty minutes until they were in darkness. More than likely, the battle would calm down, with only the occasional attack here and there. That would give them the chance to concentrate on taking down the monster walking around. As long as they took it out, the rest of battle would fall into place.

A trio of P-51s flew over the command post, reflecting some of the orange sunlight from the setting sun with their chipping paint. The Lunarian artillery was flinging shells downrange at a slower pace that could be sustained for a while. With the story of Eirin crushing the rebelling nobles getting around, the portals from the moon had begun to work again. Now they were getting steady shipments of ammo and personnel.

“It’s a downward spiral, isn’t it?” Yukari recognized Yuyuko’s voice instantly.

“You could say that.” Yukari shrugged her shoulders. “No matter what I do, it always ends up getting worse. You did tell me to leave this alone, but I didn’t listen.”

“That’s the first time that you ever admitted that you were wrong. I don’t know whether to celebrate or to start worrying.”

“Did you…figure out what’s happening?”

“It took me a while to piece it together. I couldn’t believe how bad this will become if we let it happen.”

Yukari watched the Lunarian artillery crews switch out some overheated barrels. “I really can’t find any path that will bring us to a better outcome. If we win this battle, we start down on the path of conquest. If we lose, we get wiped off the face of the Earth. Even if we make it to Makai, they would still follow us to the end.”

“What about the so-called new Lunarian Empire?”

Stiffening, Yukari avoided her gaze. “I had to make a judgment call. It would be better if the Lunarians handled the administration of any captured territories. They have the personnel that would make it go a lot smoother. And that was just stroking her ego to get her to agree.”

“Sounds more like you meant it. Even with reality breaking down.”

“I have to do what I think is best. This isn’t like any of my other plans or schemes. I can’t afford to make any mistakes that will cost anyone else their life.”

“Dying’s not so bad.”

Yukari didn’t know how to respond to that, so she kept silent. Yuyuko could tell that even after almost a millennia, she still carried guilt.  “It did hurt for a little, but it got better after a while.”

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like that.”

“I know you saw the whole thing. But don’t worry about it now.” Yuyuko tucked some of her hair behind her ear. “What I really came here to tell you is that the situation outside has deteriorated even more.”

“What do you mean?”

“Numerous riots have broken out all around the world. Some countries have also started to declare martial law and have replaced their police with troops. And signs of snow in desert areas, tornados in urban areas and randomly appearing volcanoes have been rumored to been found. From what little information that the kappas have gathered, several organized crime groups have come out and taken control of some regions. Also, the situation in the Middle East is becoming worse.”

“So the embers of war and chaos are spreading and growing. I didn’t expect the climate to start changing so fast. It should have started after we landed in Australia.”

“You’ll need to move whatever plans you have up. Have you talked to Maribel about what’s going to happen?”

“She’s got too much to worry about now. It would be wrong for me to burden her with this when she has to worry about being in England.” Yukari sighed. “She’s such a pure and innocent soul, I don’t want her to bear what I have to.”

“She’s going to, eventually. You might not be there to help her.”

Yukari didn’t have an answer for that. Near the command post, a moon rabbit had laid out in the prone and was aiming at a target about six miles away. The rifle she had was longer than the normal rifles that the line infantry had, leading to an even higher muzzle velocity. A shot this far out required an intense amount of calculations that involved high math. She ended up placing one shot in a Humvee driver’s neck, causing it to crash into a tree.

“I’ve been doing some thinking lately,” Yuyuko watched a volley of Katyusha rockets fly towards the frontline. “You know my stance on killing.”

“Are you backing out?”

“In a way.” Yuyuko looked her in the eyes. “I want you to have whatever forces I have. I’m not comfortable with fighting in this conflict. I think I can do better in other matters.”

“Such as?”

“Maybe…opening an orphanage.”

“That does sound like you. I remember how you looked after Remiu and Marisa when they were younger. They loved when you spent time with them. But where would you open it?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe once we expand, I can decide where it would be best.” Yuyuko replied thoughtfully. “There’s going to be a lot of lives ruined due to this conflict, the least that I can do is help with the fallout.”

“I’m sure that those children will be happy to have someone like you looking after them. But until then, it would help us if you could help with negotiations.”

“With who?”

“Once this battle is over, Eirin and I will take a regiment and move on Tokyo. We’ll do our best to force them to pull out.”

“Are you going to threaten them with destruction if they refuse?”

“Not unless I have to. I would prefer to just have them agree to stop hostilities and then leave them alone. I don’t want to infringe on their sovereignty unless I have to. If they refuse, maybe Lunarian military law would make them learn.”

Before Yuyuko could respond, a tengu piloted P-47 started an attack run with a forward American AH-64. The tengu fired off three unguided rockets that hit the rotor and downed the helicopter. But before it went down, it managed to hit the pilot with three 30 mm rounds. The tengu didn’t bail out before the Thunderbolt plowed into the ground.

Yukari gritted her teeth. Another youkai had fallen right in front of her. It seemed that seeing this broken something inside of her. What worried Yuyuko most about this was the fact that Yukari had the ability and willingness to get her revenge at any cost. Without a word and with a farrowed brow, she dialed a number on her phone.

“Marisa, I need you to do something for me.” Yuyuko couldn’t hear the witch’s response “Can your transfer your Master Spark into a remotely activated spellcard?”

Yuyuko’s eyes narrowed once she began to understand.

“We’ll need more than one. Make as many as you can and be sure that they are at full power.” With that she hung up. “Seeing that P-47 crash like that gave me an idea.”

“Are you going to elaborate on it?”

“Not at the moment.” Yukari hid her smile behind her fan. “But it’ll be a blast to see.”

Another volley of Katyusha rockets flew in the air, leaving a large cloud of smoke to slowly dissipate. The sounds of distant gunfire were overpowered by the constant Lunarian artillery. But none of this reached Yuyuko. The only thing that she was concentrating on what Yukari was doing. It was as if nothing else existed.

A slight breeze swept through the area, making the cloth backing of Yuyuko’s cap waver. “You don’t mean…the MAHEM?”

“A version of it.” Yukari wasn’t surprised that she figured it out so fast. “If we can harness long range power, then we won’t have to risk so many. Add to that the fact that humans still tell legends of Zeus and Thor, we can force some of them to surrender. Fire from the sky after all.”

“Isn’t that against that space agreement?”

“We didn’t sign it. But by the time that it’s ready, it won’t matter.” The gap youkai laughed. “After all, good always wins. I started this game, so now I have somewhat of an idea on how to end it.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, a loud horn could be heard. The signal was for the Lunarians to switch their troops. Even though all LDC forces were qualified for nocturnal combat, only a few were able to bring their full power to bear. First to switch were the line infantry regiments. When the human forces saw them move back, they thought that they were retreating. But that notion was quickly squashed when the fresh replacements brought their rifles up.

The difference between the day and night troops was more evident in the ammunition they used. While the daytime troops used rounds that had more smoke, the nighttime ones were all tracers. To some of the enemy, it looked like lasers. Any that were hit by these rounds had their wounds burned shut painfully.

The next to switch out were the artillery. They left the cannons but turned over the individual aiming records so the replacement crews could handle the individual characteristics of the weapons. The shells were also switched to wider spread chemical rounds, some which included quicklime and Lunarian formulas. The flare rounds would also serve to destroy the humans’ night vision.
   
One of the first shells to be fired opened up right above a M1 Abrams. The mixture inside the shell lands on the tank and begins to instantly burn through the armor. It reaches the engine and kills the tank. Before the crew could bail out, they were deep fried.

With the darkness creeping in more and more, the danmaku being fired became more and more eye catching. All of the night troops wore shakos instead of the wheel caps of their daytime brethren. The bright red plumes served to mock the human forces since it challenged them. The Italian Bersaglieri took it as a personal challenge and were the first to engage them in hand to hand combat.

A lucky Lunarian artillery round hit a retreating Spanish artillery shell truck, creating a massive explosion. In the darkening sky, the explosion looked more like fireworks than a mass of destruction. Yukari smiled a little when she saw it. A little bit of chaos would help conceal her rapidly changing plans.

Lunarian Ministry of Justice, Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon

In the highest court of the Lunarian civilization, a large scroll was framed on the wall behind the judge’s bench. Only the most serious cases were heard in this room, in front of a royally designated official. The set of laws that Lord Tsukuyomi and Eirin Yagokoro had drafted served as the supreme code of the moon. It was considered by many Lunarians to be superior to anything ever drafted on the earth.

This set of laws are to be in effect at all times and will serve as the foundation of Lunarian society. Only in the event of an emergency that threatens the wellbeing of the state can these laws be suspended. All members of the Lunarian state are subject to the rights and responsibilities set forth by this document. Any territories captured or under the administration of the Lunarian Defense Corps are subject to this document and the power of the monarchy by way of their respective regional governors.

Title 1 Persons

All members of Lunarian society have the right to live their lives without fear from outside intervention. The Royal Family will perform their duties as overall commanders of the LDC in order to maintain state security. Interior security will be administered by the Gendarmerie in towns and cities outside the Capital. The Gendarmerie will be composed of regular infantry units from tested regiments of the LDC. They will answer only to the Royal Family on all matters.

In order to maintain public order and to provide all with the chance to advance, admission to the LDC will be open to all. All children born to those with noble titles will be required to serve in any capacity if they wish to hold any position in the court. Those that do not will be barred from any position in the court. This requirement will not be waived for any reason or by any authority, including the Royal Family.
   
No civilian will be allowed to serve in any of the organizations responsible for public safety. If they wish to do so, they must serve in the LDC. This extends to positions in the judicial ministry. This will serve to ensure that those serving will have the proper experience and judgment to carry out their duties. The normal military law will apply to all in the cases that it is applicable. Any civilian masquerading as a member of the armed forces will be subject to immediate punishment.

Conviction in a Lunarian court will result in the forfeiture of all rights. Any particularly heinous crime will result in summarily execution by a Royal Inspector or Royal Officer upon conviction or committing of the crime. In the case of execution right after the crime, the Royal Inspector or Royal Officer must have witnessed the crime personally and submit a full report immediately afterwards. All other convicts may regain their rights after serving honorably in a penal regiment in direct combat. The time to be served will be dependent on the crime and circumstances. Should they fall in battle, they will regain their rights postmortem.

In cases with wronging a fellow Lunarian outside of the LDC, trial by combat will be an acceptable method of ruling. Both parties must agree to drops their claims and accept the turnout of the battle. In the interest of fair and impartial rulings, both parties must agree on the weapons, locations, and terms of the trail. Both parties must have a witness of their choosing. In cases involving the monarchy, the Royal Family may designate a Royal Officer to fight in their place.

Royal Inspectors will have the right and authority to use any means required to bring justice to the victims of crime. They will be required to exercise sound judgment before they receive their title and authority. Any that overstep their judgment and power will be subject to action based on the Royal Family’s decision. Royal Officers may temporarily halt a Royal Inspector’s actions based on clear and irrefutable evidence. If a conflict of interest occurs, the intervening authority must transfer the case to an uninvolved party. Royal Inspectors will answer to the Royal Family through the chain of command, starting with the Gendarmerie.

Royal Officers will be appointed based on their merit and abilities. To be considered, they must hold a commission from the legislative body and have reached the LDC rank of Colonel or above. Upon the granting of a commission from the Royal Family, they will be promoted to Royal Second Lieutenant. They will serve at the behest and pleasure of the Royal Family. All Royal Officers will have overall control of any area they are in, to exclude whenever the Royal Family is present. Only the Royal Family will be responsible for the remediation of a Royal Officer, should the need arise. Any that oppose a Royal Officer in their duties will be subject to the said Officer’s discretion.

Royal Researchers will advise and develop new technologies and doctrines that will aid the LDC and Lunarian people. Any member of the LDC that shows high aptitude in a critical field will be eligible to receive a commission from the Royal Family. Royal Researchers will operate outside the conventional chain of command, answering directly to regimental commanders and the Royal Family. In the pursuit of the advancement of science, they will be given priority of funding based on useful and proven results. Royal Researchers will have the option to conduct research in a rear area or on the front lines. However, they will be required to maintain qualification with a suitable weapon at all times. Should a nonmember of the LDC show enough aptitude, a Royal Officer may recommend their commissioning.   

Any disrespect shown to the Royal Family will result in summarily execution. This applies to both internal and external parties. Should an outside party show disrespect to the crown, the LDC will be required to move against them to remedy the situation. The only acceptable outcome is for one side to be wiped out or to hand over complete control. Only a member of the Royal Family may overrule a decision of disrespect. Royal Officers may belay execution if they see merit in the occasion.

Royal Officers, Royal Inspectors and Royal Researchers are to be free from any form of disrespect. In the case of a Royal Officer feeling slighting by one of lower status or rank, they will be authorized to use up to and including death to immediately remedy the situation. In the case of a Royal Officer being slighted by another Royal Officer, a trail by combat can be used to restore honor to both parties. The same will apply to Royal Inspectors and Royal Researchers.

Title 2 Civil Powers

Any member of the Lunarian society has the right to better themselves in every way. In no way can a Lunarian be barred from any civilian facility of education due to their class or social standing. LDC facilities will only be open to current members of the LDC. Medical facilities will fall under the jurisdiction of the Royal Medical Board. Inability to pay will not be sufficient grounds to refuse treatment. Any outstanding medical debts can be covered with service rendered to the LDC.

Marriages will be a protected institution and will enjoy protection from outside interference. If both parties are in agreement, then it will be allowed. Both parties will enjoy the same rights and responsibilities of the others. They will also be responsible for all debts that the other acquires. Marriages can be annulled once one party wishes for it. Only a Royal Inspector or above can step in when enough evidence is found against letting the marriage continue.

Private property will be respected by the government. The Royal Family will only step into matters of economic significance if there is a danger to the wellbeing of the state. Royal Inspectors will conduct random inspections to ensure that working conditions are suitable for Lunarian standards. Any organization that repeatedly defies this ruling will be placed under command of the LDC. Only the Royal Family has the authority to order the minting of currency. Counterfeiting will be punished by death.

Interception of Lunarian goods or materials will be grounds for retribution. This will apply for both internal and external matters. Privateering will be punished by the fullest extent of the power invested in the Royal Officer responsible for capture. Attempting to interfere with any official duties will result in immediate retribution, up to and including death.

Newspapers and the press will be free from interference, provided that they do not purposely spread misinformation or ill will. Should they be accused of vilifying an upstanding citizen, they will have the option of using trail by combat to solve their differences. Should a newspaper willingly continue to disrespect upstanding citizens, they will be placed under the command of the LDC. The Royal Family is to be free from disrespect or ill will from the press. If a newspaper wishes to challenge the Royal Family on an issue, they may do so by trial by combat.

Title 3 Structure

All power will be invested in the Royal Family. The creation of a legislative body will be allowed to aid the Royal Family in the discharge of their duties. The judicial ministry will be responsible for administering the laws and decrees set forth by the Royal Family. LDC service will be required prior to the discharge of any of these duties.

The Royal Family will be identified by their bloodline. The crown will be passed on the eldest child, regardless of gender. Any other siblings will be granted positions in the LDC in which ever branch they desire, once they complete the prescribe training and examinations. They will have the choice to undergo this path on either the enlisted or commissioned officer path. There will be no restriction on who can marry into the bloodline, as long as both parties agree. The Royal Family will conduct themselves based on the examples outline by Lord Tsukuyomi and Royal Colonel Yagokoro.

Noble level persons are allowed to head regiments that can be offered to the Royal Family as troops. Should any noble wish to challenge the Royal Family for the crown, they must have an equal number of regiments and defeat the oldest reigning member in singular combat. Should the noble win, they will have the right to the crown. Otherwise, they have committed treason, punishable by summary execution.

The legislative body will be a unicameral chamber that will be composed of representatives from the noble families that provide troops to the Royal Family. To be eligible to participate, the family must provide at least one full strength regiment that adheres to the regulations set forth by the LDC. They will be responsible for performing duties as assigned by the Royal Family or their representative. Under no circumstances will they be allowed to deploy or mobilize troops without the expressed permission of either the Royal Family or a Royal Officer that will accompany them into that area. Otherwise, they will be guilty of moving against the crown and dealt with as needed.

The Royal Family will be the only authority to set taxes for the Lunarian people. Any captured territories are subject to their LDC governor’s wishes. Taxes will be paid by all members of the Lunarian society, including the Royal Family. Should any Lunarian have difficulty in paying, they may substitute special service to the monarchy instead. This service may be in the LDC or as a civilian. They will have the option to choose a local assignment to decrease difficultly. Tax evasion will result in the forfeiture of all assets, including those belonging to immediate family.

In the event of a state emergency, the Royal Family may dissolve the legislative body, should the need arise. If the Royal Guard must leave the Capital, security of the Capital will be left in the Gendarmerie under a Royal Officer. At no time can the image of instability be allowed to form itself.

Seven distinct branches will be created in the LDC. Infantry will be responsible for attacking and holding the enemy in direct combat. The Gendarmerie will fall under the infantry branch. Calvary will be responsible for long range scouting and operations where infantry would be at a disadvantage. Engineering will be responsible for the infrastructure of both the military and civilians. Artillery will be responsible for the long range weapons that rule the battlefield. The Capital Guard will be responsible for the security and order of the capital. Security and order of other towns will be handled by the Gendarmerie. Royal Forces will be responsible for any other situations that arise under direction of the Royal Family. Medical personnel will operate with a commission and license from the Royal Family and a recommendation from a proven hospital.

Regional governors will serve at the pleasure of the Royal Family. They will hold the LDC rank of Major or above. Senior sergeants will serve as advisors and be responsible for day to day operations. Regional governors will be held accountable for any problems that may arise from their regions. They will be authorized to use reasonable methods to keep peace. In the event of an uprising, Gendarmerie units will be the first to attempt to restore peace. Should they fail, LDC regiments may be called in with the recommendation of the Royal Family.

The Royal Family will be the head of the only administration allowed in Lunarian territory. Any other organizations wishing to project power over Lunarian subjects will be met with the full force of the LDC. Any Lunarian subject that willingly submits to this outside power is guilty of treason and will be dealt with accordingly. Organized crime will be crushed as soon as possible with overwhelming force.

The Lunarian court system will be the only judicial judgment system to operate in Lunarian territory. No other forms of arbitration will be recognized or allowed. This overrides any prior existing contracts. Guilds and similar organizations will only be classified as such, under no circumstances will they be afforded the rights and privileges of individuals. Any that are found to be guilty of bribery of a LDC official will have their assets seized and their responsible personnel brought in front of a Royal Inspector.

The only party that can override the Royal Family will be Lord Tsukuyomi, should he see it fit. In a crisis that threatens the Lunarian society and even realty itself, Lord Tsukuyomi will have the authority to override this document and use any means necessary to ensure the continued survival of the Lunarian people. Royal Colonel Yagokoro will also be authorized to take command of the entire LDC as Supreme Commander of the Army of the Moon. As soon as the crisis is resolved, they may both step down and return any and all emergency powers to the Royal Family. Any actions taken during that go against common conventions may be pardoned at either Lord Tsukuyomi or Royal Colonel Yagokoro’s discretion.

Conclusion

The rights and responsibilities outlined above are in effect for all members of Lunarian society. In the interest of state security, captured territories may have their rights suspended by the military governor. The Royal Family will be the cornerstone for all governmental operations. All three titles are essential for the continued stability of the state. There will be no civilian control of state agencies. Due to this, it is the LDC’s most important duty to groom leaders and advisors that will have the interests of the state and the proper judgment to follow them. This document is designed to solidify the basic law of the Lunarian society. Any rights or responsibilities not explicably given to the Royal Family belong to the regional governors in the understanding that they will not interfere with the Royal Family.

Signed,

Lord Tsukuyomi

Royal Colonel Eirin Yagokoro

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2015, 12:37:22 am »
 Center of the Lunarian main line, Japan
 
With the normal line regiments done switching out with their replacements, the battle became even more of a frenzy. Both personnel and armored combat had gotten so close that they were ramming and tackling each other. Several of the oni operated anti-tank guns were firing on exposed infantry. For the oni crews that had their weapons destroyed, they were content with ripping the humans and light vehicles apart with their bare hands. Several of the later human victims were beaten over their heads with the ripped arms of their dead comrades. The advantage of the Gensokyo and Lunarian troops became even more apparent with nightfall.
 
Remiu was surrounded by a small group of oni lead by Suika and Yuugi. Her lack of night vision was well-known and Yukari had arranged for her to be looked after. To compensate, Remiu was bombarding any enemy troops she could see with Purification needles and Yin Yang orbs. Marisa was casting Stardust Reverie, raining down more destruction than any human artillery round. She concentrated mostly on keeping up the barrage, but still had the foresight to constantly arrange her spell card to make sure that she wasn’t out at a bad time. They were to fight for only a little longer, then Yukari would make them rest at the SDM.
 
Youmu had been dragged off the frontline after a close hit by an artillery shell had caused a squad she was in close combat with to explode. Reisen had seen her stagger back with a familiar thousand yard stare and grabbed her by the collar. While under fire, the moon rabbit had dragged her back into a trench and stayed with her while under another barrage. She had the foresight to separate the gardener from her weapons.
 
Two GDF Panzer IVs had flanked a column of M1 Abrams and Leopards and were unloading armor piercing composite rounds into their rears. They managed to knock out five of the seven before the two Panzers brewed up from return fire. Even after that, as soon as the fairy gunners resurrected, they tried to keep shooting. They only stopped when all of their other rounds had exploded and they kept falling unconscious due to the pain. The drivers did manage to ram the last two before they met the same fate.
 
The bright red glare of Katyusha rockets flew over the main line, casting a red hue all over the field. The troops that remained from the beginning of the battle were beginning to develop a phobia from hearing those rockets. Eventually, the fresh replacements would develop the same fear. The amount of equipment that they were losing was staggering, but what surprised them more was the fact that the Lunarians didn’t even care enough to pick them up. If a rifle or crew serviced weapon got in their way, it got kicked to the side.
 
A group of moon rabbits flying in a wedge began to bombard concentrated positions with explosive tracer rounds. But since the information of their uniform’s weakness to medium and higher sized rounds had spread, the Lunarians were starting to face more and more 7.62x51 mm rounds and larger. The silver shouldered explosive specialists brought out their incendiary cards, igniting even more fires that darkened the starry night with thick smoke.
 
 One of the two StuG III’s had ran across a platoon of infantry and was chasing them down. The secondary machine gun had run out of rounds, so the alternative was to run them over. It got tracked by a grenade that got wedged between the front right drive wheel and the idler and blew off the track. The tank was saved by a Sherman Firefly landing a high explosive shell near the advancing platoon from the American 10th Mountain Division. Since they couldn’t tell where it came from, they wisely decided to give ground.
 
Behind the enemy’s main line, the detachment that was under Reisen II and Yorihime had reached the railgun and were engaging the defending forces. Supporting them was a lone Panzer II that was giving the human infantry panic attacks. The fragmentary rounds ripped into the humans, opening the way for the moon rabbits. In the first ten seconds that the Panzer II attacked, it had taken out two platoons and was causing the third to start thinking about retreating. The most dangerous part of the attack started now. If the operators decided to fire, the Lunarians would be hit before they realized it.
 
To prevent a close shot, Yorihime stabbed her blade into the ground. Multiple blades shot forth from the ground under the trailer that the railgun was on, cutting straight through the axels. Without the support from the axels, the railgun pitched forward just as the operator fired another shot. It hits the ground with so much force that everyone within a five hundred meter area lost their footing.
 
An explosive specialist hits the barrel with a volley of rockets and leaves it looking like a banana peel. With the cannon barrel damaged to that extend, the railgun was put out of commission. To be sure that the weapon couldn’t be used again, the Lunarians start to fire on every piece of equipment that they could find. Eventually, all that remained were flaming husks. Reisen II was suspicious of how easy it was when an AT4 rocket flew over their heads.
 
About five hundred meters away, a battalion of American Marine infantry was advancing towards them. The 4th Regiment of Royal Foot had spread themselves out to draw reinforcements away from the main advancing force. Yorihime had heard about the Marine’s reputation as shock troops and knew that the 4th had overextended themselves. The Panzer II was starting to run low on rounds and was starting to retreat back to the main line. A volley of even more AT4 rockets flew towards them and hit in their midst.
 
A company of the 4th that had broken through the defensive line began to trade fire with the closest Marines. They managed to check that part of the advance, but it was quickly becoming obvious that they would get flanked soon. In the distance, another column of M1 Abrams had climbed over a hill and were spreading out. Their loaders were slamming white phosphorous rounds into the actions of their 120 mm smoothbore cannon.
 
Before the gunners could fire, Lunarian artillery fell between them and their targets. The drivers instantly threw the tanks into reverse, getting them out of the kill zone. The chemlights that the Marines wore on the back of their assault packs disappeared as they sprinted behind cover. Some of the Lunarians were starting to run low on their own rounds, Reisen II was hoping that the replacements would reach them soon. Almost as if in response, her communications officer shouted out, “Our regiment’s been ordered back! The 18th Regiment of Night’s supposed to be replacing us.”
 
“They do know that we’re busy at the moment, right?”
 
“They’re already moving towards us. If we can hold out for ten minutes, they’ll relive us.”
 
“Princess Yorihime, I don’t think we can last that long.”
 
The Royal ducked her head when a few rounds hit the ground in front of the crater she was in. “We might be able to if the rest of the regiment can catch up.”
 
Reisen II looks at her map. “Half of the regiment’s picking up speed. As long as they don’t run into anything too bad, we should have support in about two minutes.”
 
The column of M1 Abrams that had retreated showed back up, readying for a salvo of white phosphorous. Before they could fire, a long range shot from the other Firefly slammed into the centermost tank. Even though it was a direct hit, the HE round did little damage. But it still did what the gunner wanted. The rest of the tanks readjusted their aim, wanting to swat the Firefly out of existence.
 
The fairy driver slammed the gear shift and lurched forward, narrowly dodging the incoming rounds. White smoke began to spread from the impacts, along with a fire that was resistant to water. One more flying wedge flew over the 4th, providing them with much needed support. One platoon from the Heavy Rifles had followed the 4th in and had finished setting up. Now, they were pouring fire down at any human they could see. But their barrels were showing signs of overheating.
 
The Marines that had reached grenade throwing distance wasted no time in tossing the small explosives. Some of the moon rabbits kicked and threw them back, turning it into a game of catch. In the confusion, some of the Lunarian squads rushed forward with their bayonets. Yorihime wasn’t too far behind, ripping into three of the humans with her first strike. Not wanting to be left behind, Reisen II orders a complete charge.
 
Gunshots rang out from the distance, letting the battered Lunarians know that they had more support. More of the 4th had finally gotten into firing range and were still advancing. Another flare flew up to the air, hurting everyone’s eyes with the intensity. With the flare showing the location of where support was needed, more flying wedges arrived to launch strafing runs. As the fight dragged on, the rest of the 4th arrived and were pushing the Marines back. By the time the 18th had shown up, the 4th had pushed the Marine battalion back.
 
But the 18th wasn’t alone. They had brought a pair of 75 mm Pak 40s with their oni crews. The high velocity rounds created their trademark whistle as they flew towards the tanks. One was knocked out before the rest fired back. With their infantry support failing, the tanks were unable to effectively fight back against the 18th’s charge. The mounted machine guns were destroyed by the advancing Lunarians to make it easier for them. Some of the moon rabbits had switched to axes and were trying to break into the interiors.
 
The Pak 40s turned their attention towards another Marine battalion coming to support the first one. Scattered artillery hit the area again, taking down Lunarian and human alike. With the area heating up again, there was no chance that the 4th could fall back now. Another lone M1 Abrams tried to join the party, only to be rendered combat ineffective by a low flying P-47. But the P-47 didn’t make it out since it had the misfortune to get hit in the cockpit by a random AT4.
 
At that exact moment, artillery units from both sides just happened to decide to start shelling the same exact place this was all taking place with more vigor. Reisen II was about to crawl under a disabled tank when Yorihime grabbed her by the collar and dragged her along. A few feet away, an artillery shell hits and knocks them down. Neither of them were injured but they instantly became sluggish and had ringing in their ears.
 
Reisen II looks up while dragging herself to her feet. Everything had slowed down and now she was able to see what was really happening. One of her senior sergeants had his rifle destroyed, so he detached his bayonet and was stabbing a Marine Lance Corporal multiple times in the face. Another grabbed and threw a lower enlisted moon rabbit out of the path of a burning Bradley but wasn’t able to get herself out in time. A junior officer took fourteen 7.62 NATO rounds to the chest but still took five Marines with him as he slowly fell to the ground.
                                                                                                                                     
More and more fires started to spread through the area, claiming the various wrecks everywhere. It wreaked havoc with what remained of the humans’ night vision. Before they could try to respond, a hail of magical stars tore straight through a company. Everyone’s favorite evil spirit had joined the fight in this area and was bringing out her best spells. This time, Mima added a randomizing charm to the stars. Victims had the chance to be burned, electrocuted, poisoned, stabbed, or crushed with each star that hit them.
 
The ammo wheelbarrow was hit by an HE round, resulting in a large explosion that severely burned the oni gun crews. The explosion reached part of the Heavy Rifles, taking down a few of them. Most of the officers had ran out of ammo, leaving them to fight with their sabers and fists. Lunarian medical personnel were being pushed to the limit with all the casualties around them.
 
A supporting T-34 tried to ride up on the human flank, only to be greeted by a trio of rockets that hit the ammo rack. The unfortunate Soviet tank brewed up with so much force that the fairy crew was knocked out each time they resurrected. The husk only came to a stop when they rolled into a crater. Reisen’s communication officer threw an updated map at her. She opened it and paled when she saw the arrangement of red and blue squares.
 
“Princess, we’re about be get cut off,” Reisen shot a private that was trying to sneak up on her. “Two American Marine divisions are about to hit our flanks and surround us! If we let them do that, we’re finished!”
 
“Lunarians don’t let the enemy see their back, Reisen!” Yorihime shouted. “Hold our ground and wait for support. They’ll get here!”
 
“We have a battalion of armor heading towards us. And it looks like they sending in their reserves.”
 
“Get our engineers to build some fortifications. We can’t survive if we’re out in the open.”
 
“Engineers, you heard her! Get to work!” Reisen flinched when a bullet flew by her ear. The surviving engineers began to build quick trenches that improved the 4th and 18th’s chances of staying alive. More human forces started to show up, adding to the pressure. Another P-47 had its pilot knocked out and crashed landed in the middle of the fight.
 
The way the plane had done a belly landing gave Reisen an idea. She grabbed a squad next to her and ran to it. The tengu pilot was already dead, so two of the moon rabbits moved her out of the cockpit and laid her behind a small hill nearby. The pilot had used up the rockets and bombs, leaving only the eight machine guns with an unknown amount of rounds left. They were lucky that the wings hadn’t been ripped off in the landing.
 
Reisen hopped in and checked the trigger. It looked like it was undamaged, but that wasn’t saying much coming from someone that’s never been in a Thunderbolt before.
 
“Rotate me to the left a little bit and tip me up,” Reisen ordered. Half the squad pushed while the other pulled. Once they were where she wanted, she pulled the trigger. The eight .50 caliber machine guns roared to life, tearing through a bounding over watch squad heading towards them. The tracers showed an excessive amount of rounds were bouncing, but they did manage to find more targets even after that. “Start turning it a little more, but do it slowly!”
 
Once the humans figured out where the rain of fire was coming from, the P-47 became an even bigger target. The first part to go were the bent propeller blades, then the windshield started to break even more. One of the eight machine guns jams from being fired too much, prompting Reisen to change to bursts.
 
“Tilt me up more!” Reisen engages the landing gear, letting her reach farther targets. With the wings a little tilted, it gave the squad a little cover. “Rotate to the right slowly! There’s a platoon heading towards us!”
 
The stream of bullets cut through the platoon, forcing a supporting squad to fall back. She could hear the screams from the wounded as she kept on holding the trigger down. But the only one she could really make out was one screaming about his leg. For some reason, she imagined him as having been named Fred.
 
“4th Regiment of Royal Foot, we haven’t forgotten about you.” The radio in the cockpit was still working. “Hold off for about five minutes more. Lady Yakumo has just landed a large group of Tigers, Tiger IIs, Panzer IIIs, Jagdtigers, Jagdpanthers, Ferdinands, and Panthers. They’re on their way to you now. Just hold on.”
 
The left wing had taken enough damage to be unable to support itself, reducing her firepower to a little under half. The rate of artillery exploding all around picked up, it got to the point to where the only thing most could see was dirt flying. A rocket hits the ground in front of the plane, knocking the other wing off. Since the P-47 was done for, Reisen scrambled out of the cockpit as bullets deflected off the windshield.
 
She almost lost her footing as the ground started to shake. Trenches were formed to supplement the ones being dug by the engineers. The radio spoke again, “Some of the SDM magicians have sent a series of trenches to your location. We’ve also received reports of even more enemy units heading towards you. You’ve picked a great time to create a bulge in their line.”
 
“Maybe I should have kept on pounding mochi,” Reisen mutters to herself as she rolled into a trench. Princess Yorihime hopped in next to her, she was breathing heavily and had a few bruises and cuts.
 
“Don’t be like that, Reisen,” she wipes some blood from her mouth. “I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. I wonder how Sis is holding up.”
 
“As soon as that support comes, we can go find out.”
 
“They’re here!” One of the rifle rabbits shouted. True enough, a legit Panzerkeil was heading towards them. Twenty late World War II era German tanks had loaded HE rounds and fired them into the middle of the enemy infantry. The loaders worked quickly to have another round ready. Rockets deflected off of their front armor, doing nothing to slow them down.
 
Behind the wedge, another regiment was marching in formation. This regiment was the 73rd Regiment of Night, and was spoiling for a fight. Their commander released them and flew over to Reisen and Yorihime. He looked them from head to toe, noting their condition. He hands them some rags to wipe themselves off.
 
“Sorry we’re late. We’re here to relive you.”
 
“About time.” Yorihime said. “Are you prepared for this?”
 
“I’m confident that we can push them back. Both of you look like you’ve taken a good amount of abuse.”
 
“Be warned, Colonel.” Yorihime waved at the craters in front of them. “The humans have finally started to bring their best to the table. Two regiments might have problems with all the forces looking to plug this gap. Come, Reisen. We need to get the 4th to the rear.”
 
Behind the Lunarian main line, Japan
 
A platoon of the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot were filling up on ammo and other equipment. They had been grabbed by Eirin before the rest had exited the field. All that, she told them was that they were needed for a hunt that was vital for their side. Naturally, the rumor mill kicked into high gear and was creating every kind of rumor known to moon rabbit. But what sobered many of them was that Eirin had got them herself. Usually they would have heard about it from their platoon commander, not the regimental commander that happened to hold a royal commission.
 
Once they were ready, the platoon sat down and waited for their new commander. Even the officers from the richer families had held their tongue. They knew that Eirin didn’t suffer fools lightly. The story of how she had sent a tenured two star packing and on his way in less than ten minutes played in their minds. His family had been angry until she paid them a visit and half of their mansion mysteriously burned down during a fight.
 
The Colonel walks out from behind the riot shields that were protecting the impromptu command post while tossing a box of rations at one of the senior sergeants. He catches it and looks inside, only to have a look of disgust appear on his face. He waves his fist at Eirin, only to have her wave him off with a grin. Another sergeant started to laugh at the first, only to have a cup of coffee thrown on him.
 
A few seconds after that, Sakuya exits the command post as well. She takes a bite out of a large cracker and puts the rest back into her pocket. A junior officer raises a new canteen towards her, which she gratefully accepts. Her gloves are covered with oil, grease, and gunpowder, showing everyone that she had gotten hands on with her tank. The Tiger (P) was back at the SDM, undergoing repair and her crew had been ordered to sleep in preparation for tomorrow.
 
Eirin walks to be in front of the seated platoon and takes her service cap off. She runs her hand through her hair and sighs. “I’m sure that most of you have some sort of an idea of why I called you here. This is an important matter, but the Special Developmental Group isn’t available to deal with it. They’re on their way to recapture the colors from the 195th. Hauptmann Izayoi and I will be leading this operation.”
 
She throws a scroll on the ground, activating the projecting feature of the paper. What could only be described as a beast was made visible to all.
 
“This is called a rake. We have very limited information due to the fact that it shouldn’t exist.” Eirin paused to let that fact sink in. “According to the information that we do have, it is a very aggressive and dangerous beast. Our mission is to eliminate it before it can escape the area. Any that wish to back out now can do so.”
 
To the credit of her old regiment, none did so. Even though were nervous, they kept their mouths shut.
 
“Good. We have a rough description: about 6 feet tall when standing, looks vaguely humanoid, pale, grayish skin, no nose and large eyes. It is a confirmed carnivore, and according to Lady Yakumo, has begun to attack any moving thing it sees. It has taken down an entire company of enemy infantry and eaten half of them before it escaped. American military intelligence has locked down the scene and are keeping a tight lid on it. But rumors and speculation have spread and the entire force is now in a state of unrest. I wouldn’t doubt that they would have one hundred percent security all night and no one gets a lick of sleep.”
 
“Colonel,” a young lieutenant raised his hand. “If this beast has killed just human forces, why are we going to hunt it down?”
 
“It might develop an appetite for Lunarian flesh if we leave it alone. There is also another reason, but that is only for Hauptmann Izayoi, myself, the princesses, and Lady Yakumo to know at this time. Perhaps even Lord Tsukuyomi might have to step in.”
 
At the mention of the founder of the Lunarian civilization, nervous murmurs could be heard. Even though the 1st were the closest to the Royal Family as a whole, they still never met Lord Tsukuyomi. The last time he had taken direct command of a regiment, it was during the worst civil war that the moon had seen. About half of the population had been wiped out and something had to be done. It was the only time so far in the history of the Lunarians that the preservation clause had been put into effect.
 
“So far, we have no data on its weaknesses. What we are planning is to destroy it with everything we have. There will be no capturing or trying to reason with it. If you see it, you shoot at it. We’ll chase it to the end of time if we have to. I cannot guarantee that we will get out of this unharmed. If what Lady Yakumo had told us is right, there is a high risk of danger for everyone involved. Since that is the case, I will be leading you in this operation myself. “
 
She threw another scroll down. This one showed an updated view of the entire battlefield.
 
“The first attack took place in a rear staging area. It was close to a command post, so the staff are easily on edge. The area is now under extremely heavy security, so I doubt the monster’s still there. So far, we haven’t received word of another attack but-“, she was interrupted by another shaded area popping up beside a separate command post. “Called it. This one seems to be in the British area.”
 
Eirin frowned when the expected text didn’t show up. “Operations, where’s the text?” 
“That’s all we know right now, Colonel,” a moon rabbit poked her head out from the command post. “It’s an attack, but we haven’t gotten any more information. The scouts were taken down as soon as it started.”
 
“Hmmm,” Eirin tucked a few loose strands of her hair behind her ear. “I don’t like this at all. It was the British that got to Tenshi on her home turf. There should be no way that they know about the scouts. They’re hiding something, and I don’t like it.”
 
“Colonel, could it have been the beast that took it out?” Another young moon rabbit spoke up.
 
“That seems to be the more likely explanation. But Lady Yakumo assured me that her scouts were well hidden. Operations, what do you mean they were taken out as soon as the attack started?”
 
“It had taken down one of the humans and then we stopped getting information. The weird thing is that the beast wasn’t anywhere close to them and all of the scouts were taken out at nearly the same time.”
 
“A synchronized attack that found and took out her scouts.” Eirin shook her head. “The British know something after all. I hate being wrong. Anyway, we’ll be moving out in a few minutes. Our first objective is to reach the site of this new attack before it gets locked down. Once we get there, look for anything that can give us any idea of how to kill it. If we run into any intelligence units, wipe them out and see if they have anything on them. I doubt there’ll be any survivors there, so we won’t worry about it. At least, for now. I assume you are all loaded with armored piercing rounds.”
 
The platoon nodded. Eirin inspected her own rounds. She had an equal number of armor piercing, incendiary, and fragmenting rounds for her sidearm. Her gut feeling, however, told her that her saber would most likely be what kills it.
 
“Once we find the beast, fire a flare and try to restrict its movement. All we have are our weapons for this, the GDF won’t be able to support us with their armor or artillery. Avoid close combat at all costs, if what I’ve heard is true, you’ll get ripped apart in seconds. If we don’t find anything, we’ll turn back. Any questions?”
 
A moon rabbit raises her hand, “Colonel, what if we meet enemy forces on the way? Do we engage?”
 
“Depends on the size and makeup of the enemy. It also depends on how time we have left, this is a time critical operation.”
 
“Colonel, what’s the lowest percentage for continuation?” One of the young officers asks.
 
“We require at least seventy five percent of our force to continue. I would like to have at least ninety percent left when we make initial contact. Any more questions?”
 
Everyone shook their heads and began to stand up. Eirin loads her sidearm and draws her saber. The platoon loads their weapons and attaches cleaned and sharpened bayonets. The junior officers draw their sabers and follow Eirin. To save time, they fly towards the objective while staying extremely close to the ground. To their sides, they can see the night regiments pushing forward against artillery. They kept flying until they passed a weaken part of the enemy line and continued on while working to keep themselves unnoticed.
 
"You know, there is someone that could kill it with one glance,” Sakuya was flying next to Eirin.
 
“If you’re talking about Flandre, Yukari doesn’t want her using her power unless she has to.” Eirin sighed. “It would be a lot easier, but I’ve got a feeling that doing that would make it worse in the long run.”
 
“That’s preferable.” Sakuya felt a sense of relief that her younger charge wouldn’t have to deal with something like this. “But won’t things like this spread? Yukari made it sound like it was only the beginning.”
 
“I’m sure that we’ll get paired up again. I don’t mind it, I have to provide an example for my troops after all.” Eirin shrugged. “I heard about how you repelled an attack with one of our companies.”
 
“I hope I didn’t overstep my bounds.”
 
“Quite the opposite, I was impressed. Lunarians don’t tend to follow commanders that they don’t trust. Should the need arise, would you be open to leading another Lunarian formation?”
 
“I would, but I don’t want to make any of the commanders feel that I’m taking their job.”
 
Eirin smiled. “Don’t worry about that. I’ll make them see the light. Let me ask you one thing, do you know what one of a Royal Officer’s duties are?”
 
“To serve as commanders of the Royal Regiments?”
 
 “That’s one, but an even more important one is deciding who sits on the throne.” Sakuya tilted her head in confusion. “The human equivalent would be the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire. Should a monarch not live up to the expectations of the Royal Officers, we could make them go away. It’s always been the unofficial duty of the Royal Officers to make sure that only the best candidate sits on the throne.”
 
“Is it as bloody and treacherous as the human version?”
 
“Not when my former students were involved.” Eirin frowned as she thought about her answer. “It seems that the monarchs that I served as tutor for tend to fare better than the others. None of them have had problems with keeping the Royal Officers from drawing their blades. It might have something to do with the fact that I would take exception if they tried. Especially if Toyohime and Yorihime were concerned.”
 
Once they reached the outskirts of the objective, they touched down. The platoon separated into several groups that began to spread out. They had their rifles up, alert for any signs of movement. The young officers were visibly nervous, with death grips on their sabers. Eirin frowned as she heard nothing except the distant sounds of battle. The map indicated that they were near a staging area. There should have been signs of machinery and vehicles, but all they met was relative silence.
 
They move slowly, keeping an ear out for any sounds. Behind a group of trees, a damaged Humvee could be seen with a broken windshield. Eirin moves to inspect it and can see claw marks all over the vehicle. Fresh blood stains could be seen all over the seats and the steering wheel, along with bullet casings. She moves to the rear of the vehicle, finding two bodies with deep slash marks through their body armor. The doctor lays two fingers against the side of their neck, checking for a pulse.
 
Standing back up, she can see more vehicles in disarray. More bodies were in various states of mutilation. Eirin started to feel a sort of pressure on her temples. She hadn’t felt something like that since she had seen a rip in reality during one of the Lunarian civil wars. Gripping her saber even more, she looks over the bodies closely. One of them moves slightly, causing her to jump a little.
 
She plants her saber and takes a knee next to the dying soldier. Taking a pack out of her pocket, she places one of her bandages against one of the larger wounds. But to her confusion, it doesn’t stick. The soldier groans when he feels the pressure from her bandage. Eirin grits her teeth when she realizes that she can’t save him.
 
“Soldier,” the doctor tries to reassure him. “You’re going to be alright. What happened here?”
 
“Uh…it popped out of…nowhere. It cut right through…the armor,” He started to cough up blood. “It took…out the commander’s…heart and ate it. I shot it…and it still kept on attacking. What was…that thing?”
 
“It’s called a rake. Don’t worry, we’ll here to kill it.”
 
“But…we’re fighting against you…why are…”
 
“Because it’s not the lower ranks’ fault that this war happened. There is a puppet master pulling strings and sending all of us to the battlefield. For that, we hold no ill will towards you. Don’t worry yourself, you’ll be alright with a night’s rest. Take it easy and go to sleep.” Eirin stayed with him until he stopped breathing a few moments later. She stood back up and pulled her saber out of the ground. Without a word, she motions for the Lunarians to follow. Sakuya averts her gaze as she walks by the bodies.
 
The question of why there were American troops in supposedly British area was placed on the backburner for now. As long as they didn’t run into a Scottish regiment, they didn’t have that much to worry about. Eirin pulls her bow and holds an arrow at the ready. She kept sweeping her eyes around the area as she quietly moved forward. Sakuya had her Karabiner 98k at the low ready, she was worried about having the power needed to kill the rake.
 
A chilling roar called out to the night sky, raising hairs on everyone’s necks. Eirin switches to her flare gun and fires a shot. The bright green light illuminates the area, causing the trees and damaged vehicles to cast long shadows. The doctor picks up her bow and arrow, pulls the arrow back and releases. The arrow flies about thirty feet before it splits off into pieces. The pieces glow with a faint blue light and disappear into a bush.
 
Before anyone could respond, the rake had jumped out and bit a junior officer in the throat. He couldn’t scream before the beast had dragged him into another bush. The rest of the Lunarians open fire, but nothing was there. They start to look around, listening for any sounds. The body of the dead officer flies out from behind a tree and slams into a squad. From the other side of the clearing, the rake charges out and cuts down two moon rabbits.
 
“Form a square and hold your ground!” Eirin shouted out. “Try to concentrate your fire on the beast!”
 
Sakuya lands a round that rolls the beast, but it keeps moving. Eirin switches to her sidearm and lights an arm on fire. The rake doesn’t even notice, but the fire serves to give the square a way to aim. More and more rounds hit it, but several of them deflect off. Even the heavier rounds from the designated breakers bounced off. The fact that it reminded Sakuya of armor plating gave her an idea. She grabs a round that Patchouli had made for her and loads it into her rifle. This round had the property of weakening any protective material with one hit at the cost of not being able to inflict death. Sakuya’s about to pull the trigger when the rake jumps into the middle of the square and kills the rest of the junior officers. The innermost rank of moon rabbits turns around and pins the monster to the ground with their rifles. They light it up with their entire load of rounds, hoping to take it down now.
 
The rounds inflict a good amount of damage, but the rake wasn’t about to give up. It breaks some of the rifles in half and rips out the throats of some of the moon rabbits. One of the survivors tackles it, only to be greeted with a claw across her face. With the number of Lunarians down to twelve out of thirty, the rest were starting to waver. They had never fought an enemy that could move and kill so fast and easy. Only about a quarter of their rounds had gotten through the tough skin and done damage. With only one shot, Sakuya had to hit it on the first go. Knowing full well that doing so was suicide, a moon rabbit stabs the rake and pins it down. Taking the chance, Sakuya lands the round and can tell that it took effect. The rake instantly begins to go into a frenzy, tearing the moon rabbit apart and going for the rest.
 
Ten more had fallen before Eirin and Sakuya landed another hit. The remaining moon rabbit kept firing rounds at it, but couldn’t land another hit. With the fall of the last moon rabbit, only Eirin and Sakuya were left. The rake jumps towards Eirin, only to have Sakuya land a knee and send it rolling. The doctor fires off a quick arrow that hits its right arm. Falling down, it bites and pulls the arrow out before biting through it. Sakuya doesn’t give it much time to recover as she jumps in front of it and attacks with her knife. The pair trade blows while Eirin circles around for a clear shot. It tries to overpower Sakuya’s defense, but seems weaker. Trying to intimidate her, it rises to its full height at about 6 feet tall.
 
Seeing the opening she needs, Eirin fires another arrow that hits the lower left part of the chest. It instantly doubles down while jumping back and throwing a punch to buy time. Eirin notices that the wound from the arrow strike earlier was healing at an extreme rate. Sakuya notices it as well and presses on the attack. The rake jumps straight up, using the flare to hide itself. Half a second before it would had rammed into Sakuya, she manages to lock her knife with its claws.
 
The rake jumps up and rams its feet into Sakuya, sending her backwards. She flips back on her feet only to lock again with an incoming attack. It head butts her, causing her to lose more ground. Her grip on her knife is weakened, letting it get swatted out of her hand. Before the monster could take advantage of that, Eirin had closed the distance and driven her elbow into its throat.
 
It staggers back, coughing as it struggled for air. Eirin draws an arrow and steps forward. She stabs it in the chest and quickly draws her saber for another strike. Sakuya lands a kick from the side, knocking it off balance. It responds by failing and knocks her to the ground. The doctor launches a strike, only to have it parried away. Using the momentum from the parry, she spins and lands a kick of her own.
 
Out of nowhere, a large cannon round flies close by. The rake drops to a crouch and snarls at them, trying to figure out what happened. Eirin’s communicator charm lights up faintly as she receives a message.
 
“Colonel, there’s a platoon from the 15th Night nearby. They’ve gotten eyes on that thing and have a wall puncher ready to go.”
 
Eirin shot another arrow that hit the rake in the leg. “This thing is too fast for a cannon to hit. It’s already taken out my support and its holding its own against Hauptmann Izayoi and myself. If you do want to take it down, you have to do it in one shot. It has shown to have a very high rate of regeneration.”
 
“Colonel, it’ll be difficult to land a shot. If you can slow it down, we’ll have a better chance.”
 
“Don’t you think we’re trying to do that?” Eirin couldn’t help but let a little sarcasm drip into her voice. “Damn, I just thought of something. Wait for my signal.”
 
She chastises herself for not thinking about it soon. The fact that she had let an entire platoon fall while under her command added to that weight. Infusing one of her arrow with her “Galaxy in a Pot” spell card, the doctor draws back the string. She has to be careful to make sure that Sakuya wouldn’t be caught in the trap. Eirin releases the arrow and hopes that she choose the right time.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2015, 01:33:08 am »
 Lunarian Main Line, Japan
 
“Ready up!” Nazrin’s loader shouted as she slammed a round into the breech of the Maus’ cannon. Both the 128 and 75 mm cannons were loaded and ready to go. All over the super heavy tank, members of Eirin’s personal unit were seating and enjoying the slow ride to their objective. Nazrin had her upper half out of the turret and was conferring with the temporary group leader. Behind them, a column of Panzer IVs, Panzer VIs, StuG IIs and a lone Sherman Firefly were moving along with infantry sitting on top of them.
 
The LDC and GDF personnel were mingling in together, trading packs of food and candy. A high ranking officer from the human military would have a heart attack if they saw this scene. The amount of Risk Assessments and Safety Briefings being disregarded with this action would have senior officers foaming at the mouth. If the moon rabbits had worn at least three reflective belts and had ground guides, then it would be different and everyone would be happy.
 
Shou was humming a tuneless song as she shifted gears. She had finally gotten the hang of a manual transmission and was having a bit of fun with it. As long as the gear shift didn’t detach, there was no chance of her losing anything.
 
“So far, the 56th Night’s cleared a lane for us.” The Lunarian physicist that had been appointed as the group leader in Eirin’s absence pointed at a line on the map. “They’re pushing forward to give us more room, so we have to hurry.”
 
“What have they pushed back?” Nazrin’s ears wiggled as she thought. “I would hate to run into surprises.”
 
“It looks like just infantry and mechanized infantry. I doubt they have anything that would pose a threat to your armor.”
 
“Then what’s that over there?” Nazrin pointed at an American and British pair of companies that were set up. “Go ahead and have your troops hop off. Stay behind us and we’ll take care of the rest.”
 
The infantry jumped off with a fair amount of fake complaining. All of the tanks in the column closed their hatches and started to spread out. The Panzer IVs were faster in getting in their spots and opened up with their machine guns. High explosive rounds also started to cut through the dug in enemy. The crew service weapons make prime targets for the cannons while the scattering foot soldiers are cut down as they tried to move to cover farther away. One of them had an AT4 rocket that succeeded in bouncing off of the Maus’ front armor.
 
Once everything goes quiet, the Lunarians move forward and confirm that they’re all dead. They checked the unit patches to make sure that they hadn’t already jumped the target. After they’re done, they hopped back on the tanks and kept on their trip.
 
“Have they told you the biggest drawback of the Maus?” Nazrin asked the group leader.
 
“Isn’t it a big target?”
 
“That makes it easier for air units to hit it. Just like a hawk’s always on the lookout for field mice, airplanes are on the hunt for a Maus. So far, the tengu have managed to clear the sky enough for us to poke our heads out of the hole. But I’m more worried about those planes that fly by themselves.”
 
“Don’t worry too much about them. We have a lot of fun shooting those things down. It wouldn’t do for us to skip target practice. Anyway, how far are we from the point?”
 
“We should be coming up to it in a few minutes. From what I’m getting from this map, they’re on the move and are separated from any support. Once we get close enough, we’ll be set.” Nazrin petted the field mouse that climbed on her shoulder. For some reason, the pair had a craving for some cheese or peanut butter. Almost on cue, the gunner threw up a pouch of peanut butter.
 
The Lunarian sitting next to the hatch pulled out a pack of crackers and helped her spread some on them. Feeling philosophic, the Lunarian calls out to their resident thinker, Eirin’s senior enlisted advisor.
 
“Hey, top. What do you think about this here war?”
 
“You sure you want to do this, doc?” The battle worn Lunarian smiled slightly. “Alright, here’s my thoughts on it. I don’t mind ripping some poor grunt’s throat out, but would that really change the overall situation? I mean that there are three criteria for a just war: someone has to be threaten the normal balance, that the war has to have a clear directive, and it should only last as long as needed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this discussion while shooting a traitor to the crown in the face. But would shooting enough people in the face really change things or would it lead to more? If you look at it from the nobility’s point of view, they like pointless wars. They don’t have to be out here in the thick of it, they just send their troops and claim the credit for their work. I know the Constitution says that they have to serve, but it doesn’t say that they have to fight. If they saw the elephant, I’m sure they wouldn’t have their heads stuck up their asses.”
 
“I’ve always thought that you Lunarians had a paradise up there,” Nazrin says as she hands him another peanut butter cracker and then hands some to her crew.
 
“A paradise?” He laughs, along with every other Lunarian in earshot. “We’ve had more wars than this planet will ever see. The way our government is set up is always asking for a civil war. Especially with the trouble that popped up when Colonel Yagokoro left. Every few years, some battle tested noble wants to take the crown for themselves and moves against the Royal Family. Most of the time, the Royal Regiments are enough, and sometimes the Royal Guards have to do something. If we get called in, something’s going down. We might look like a paradise, but there’s a large military machine keeping the unsteady piece. The majority of the people love the Royal Family, but you always have that one.”
 
“So, how big is Colonel Yagokoro over there?” Nazrin felt a little behind asking something she felt was so simple.
 
“Well, where do I start?” Top ate another cracker. “She’s one of the founders of our civilization, the most decorated person in the LDC, she’s served as the personal tutor for most of the Royal Family, she’s punched Death in its face and threw him out of her lab, she’s shown disregard for the natural laws of nature and medicine by bending them to her will, and she won’t shy away from a fight. To many of us Lunarians and moon rabbits, she’s a hero that we would follow into hell and anywhere else. She’s spent many of her early years traveling around the moon to stomp out every disease we could think of. The people love her. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that she holds more power than the Royal Family. I’m sure our political master would agree.” A Lunarian carrying a hunting rifle behind them nodded.
 
“So, she could be the leader of an entire civilization and ends up being happy making medicine in the Bamboo Forest.” The mouse youkai couldn’t understand it.
 
“Once you seen some of the things she’s seen, you would want the same thing.” The temporary leader jumped in. “I was at the court once, and I’ll say one thing: never again. It was the most toxic environment I’ve ever had the misfortune to be in. I was a hair away from choking some teenage noble, if I didn’t get dragged away. But I still got that fool back later that night. I heard they’re still finding teeth across the town they found him knocked out in.”
 
“His father did try to get you canned,” the Lunarian called Top said. “He might still be to this day.”
 
“Let him try. He might fall down the stairs in a mysterious accident and land on a bullet.”
 
The pair kept on going back and forth while Nazrin nibbled on her cracker. This continued on for about fifteen minutes until sporadic pings could be heard from the lead tank. Recognizing the sounds as deflecting small arms fire, the lead tank opens up with its machine guns.
 
Stuffing one last peanut butter cracker into his mouth, the Lunarian motions for the rest of jump off of the tanks. Nazrin drops down into the Maus and closes her hatch, just in time to hear the number of pings increase. Unbeknownst to the Lunarian, she had grabbed the crackers before she dropped down. Then one loud ping shook the tank a little, making Nazrin frown.
 
She looks through her viewport and sees a trio of M1 Abrams that were expertly hidden right in front of them. In response, Nazrin has the driver angle the tank and gives the gunner the liberty of free fire. First, the gunner tracks the leading opponent with the coaxial 75 mm and then lands the main round through the turret. The Firefly blows the cannon of another and a StuG tracks the last one.
 
Something waving captures Nazrin’s attention. Paying attention, she makes out the faint shape of a flag being carried away. She wasn’t the only one to see it, the Lunarians had saw it and were advancing. Instead of forming up in line infantry formation as normal units, the Lunarians instead rushed the ISA operators en masse. The main difference between the two groups were the makeup of the weaponry used. The Special Developmental Group had no issued weapons, they all fought using their personal weapons. This gave them an advantage in that they were more comfortable and unpredictable. Several Lunarians were dual wielding sidearms while some were using custom built rifles that were more suited for hunting game. Many of the older members were content with using their sabers to cut the humans apart.
 
Five JSGDF Type 10s and three Type 90s had rolled up in the confusion and were unloading rounds at the Maus. Two Panzer IVs advance forward, trying to rush one of the Type 90s. The targeted MBT shifts into reverse, outrunning the two old school tanks. Nazrin’s radio came alive with some of the fairies’ complaining that they were only slow because they had overeaten on candy. One shot from the 128 mm cannon tracks two of the Type 90s and damages the horizontal drive on the turret of a Type 10.
 
One of the Panzer IVs gets tracked, resulting in three of the idle wheels being destroyed. It slides to a halt, barely missing another round. Before a Type 90 could finish off the German tank, the Maus had slammed a round through its barrel. The Maus rams the nearest Type 10 and knocks its next shot off target. But this resulted in the enemy tank getting under the barrel. This was solved by a StuG ramming a round through the smaller tank’s engine.
 
On the ground, the Gray Foxes were trying to flank the advancing Lunarians. But the moon people weren’t having any of it. They kept on trying to engage them in close combat, negating the heavy firepower that the humans were bringing up. Grenades were flying in every direction, some of the Lunarians were swinging their rifles like bats to send them back. One Lunarian shoved his sidearm into a sergeant’s mouth and kept on pulling the trigger.
 
“Third squad,” one of the senior members shouted. “Form up on a firing line! Load armor piercing fragmenting rounds! Fire until they don’t move anymore!”
 
A squad of five positioned themselves in a line and opened fire. Without having to speak, they concentrated their fire on the leading personnel of the Gray Foxes, trying to throw them into disarray. But that didn’t matter since the human trying to escape with the captured Regimental Colors was impaled and knocked to the side. The moon rabbit that did this lifts them into the air and waves them in triumph. Even though there were crates with captured weapons, the Lunarians paid them no heed.
 
With their main mission accomplished, all that remained was to withdraw. Even though this area was a good distance away from the main body of the fight, more and more units were moving towards them. Shou throws the Maus into reverse while the gunner picks off the remaining JGSDF tanks. She could almost hear the enemy tankers calling shenanigans on getting taken down by an antique that never saw battle before being canned.
 
One of the Lunarians fires up a flare that triggers artillery to rain down. Without armored support, the counterattack slowed down when they caught sight of the Maus. In the midst of the fighting, some of the Lunarians had hooked up the tracked Panzer IV to another one and were helping to pull it away. With the Maus attracting most of the incoming fire, the rest of the tanks were free to move back.
 
Nazrin looks down at the gunner.
 
“Kokoro, how are you doing down there? Are you feeling alright?”
 
She was wearing her Fox mask, meaning that her emotions were bottled up for the time being. The general idea was to have her serious side do most of the fighting and hope that it wouldn’t affect her as much. So Byakuren and Miko had asked Nazrin to keep an eye on her and make sure that she was alright.
 
“I’m alright.” Kokoro said in a controlled voice. “I can’t seem to get a clean hit on any of the enemy tanks anymore.”
 
 “What’s your kill rate?”
 
 “It seems like I have killed about eight of them. One of them caught on fire and I saw the crew burn.”
 
Nazrin’s stomach was caught in the grip of guilt. “Hey, switch out with me.” She should have seen it sooner. Even though Kokoro’s emotions had stabilized after the events of the religious wars, she was still at the risk of suffering from traumatic stress. Byakuren had asked Yukari to make sure that she wasn’t about to suffer irreparable harm.
 
“Loading complete,” the loader snapped Nazrin out of thought.
 
Ramming a round down the throat of a Type 10, the Maus continued its retreat. The autoloaders gave the JGSDF tanks the advantage in firing speed, but the rounds were unable to penetrate the German super heavy tank. A trio of rockets hit the front armor, only to be deflected like others before. High above them, a Predator drone was trying to get a lock on the slow moving Maus. But due to Patchouli’s spell, it couldn’t get a clear picture. In frustration, the remote operator fires a pair of Hellfires and prays they hit.
 
They land a few feet from the tank, sending fragments into the armor. The explosive force was partly absorbed by countermeasures that Yukari had mandated be applied to the outer shell. One of the Lunarians sees the missiles lands and spots the drone. Three shots send it falling to the ground in pieces amid flames. Another round from the Maus flips a Type 10 on its back like a turtle.
 
"Heads up, there's three Warthogs heading towards us.” The radio fairy called up.
 
Everyone in the tank groans when they hear. Nazrin knew that even with the upgraded armor they had, the Warthog would finish them off. But then the radio came alive again.
 
“Don’t worry about that, little field mice.” Yukari’s voice sang. “I’ve sent some crows to watch over you all.”
 
A pack of five SU-47s flew over the tanks, dropping a series of bombs on the advancing humans before pulling up to face the Warthogs. Even to Nazrin’s untrained eyes, she could tell that they were suffering from damage. They fire a pair of missiles and break their formation, leading to a dogfight that the A-10s were outclassed in. Since the human pilots were concentrating on staying alive, they were unable to focus on the withdrawing armor.
 
Nazrin looks at Kokoro, only to find her staring off to the distance. Another shell hit the Maus, rocking it more. The mouse grits her teeth and places a shell through the enemy’s driver hatch. The coaxial round destroys the vertical drive, causing the next round to fly over them. The two shots were followed by a shot from the StuG that blew the turret off. Since the humans’ tanks’ brew up countermeasures were useless, it made for interesting fireworks.
 
A lonely AT4 rocket misses the mammoth tank, eliciting disbelief from the human forces. Switching to HE shells, the withdrawing tanks let loose on the approaching infantry. This new volley made them reconsider their advance, especially after the ease the shells had in penetrating vehicles. Propping down behind the Maus’ turret, two Lunarians set up a heavy machine gun and were lighting up the front with solid streams of tracer rounds.
 
One of the hunting Lunarians crawls up to a 2nd lieutenant and slices his neck open. Then he rips the rank off of his IBA but scoffs when he sees the West Point ring. The military academy was well known to the Lunarians, and not many of them had high regard for it. The LDC didn’t believe in just giving anyone a commission just because they went to a special school. They either had to be born into it or earn it on the battlefield. And even then, it was a tough road unless a family member pulled strings.
 
 The Maus had put a good amount of distance from the human reinforcements, so the Lunarians fired smoke rounds that obscured the area and let them escape. Once the smoke cleared, the only combatants left in the area were the battered American and British forces. The Gray Foxes had taken heavy losses and were trying to figure out what to do. Even though they still had the bodies and equipment of the fallen Lunarians, they were more focused on the captured colors. Several of them were wondering how they could use the story at the local watering hole.
 
Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo
 
Remiu and Marisa were forced by Yukari to return to the mansion to rest up for the next day. As soon as the pair had plopped down on the first available bed, they were out. Many of the humans had returned to the village to rest and leave the night combat to the youkai and Lunarians. The drivers of the Katyusha launchers had driven into the forest and decided to fall asleep in the cabs. Many of the daytime staff that stayed back had gone to sleep in the rear while a reserve regiment was guarding several locations past the shrine.
 
Yukari walked out of a gap in Voile and sat down across from Patchouli. The witch pours some sake that Remilia had brought back from the shrine for the both of them. The gap youkai accepts the glass gratefully and takes a sip. The pair sit in silence until Yukari breaks the fragile state.
 
“How much do you know about medicine?”
 
Patchy raises an eyebrow. “I don’t think breaking a nail counts as a medical emergency.”
 
Yukari sighs. “You’re sharp tongued as always.”
 
 “I have to have something to keep me going through everything that happens in this house.” To emphasize her point, the witch chugs her glass in one shot. “Hand me the bottle, I need some more.”
 
“Anyway, you still haven’t answer my original question.”
 
Wiping off some sake from her face, Patchouli frowns. “I know some, but if you need medical advice, wouldn’t Eirin be a better choice?” 
“She’ll figure it out on her own.” Yukari tucked a loose hair behind her ear. “But let me ask you one thing. What do you think is worse: a cold or the body’s response to the cold?”
 
“Don’t tell me you have a cold. Remember, I have asthma. Even if it’s under control.”
 
Shaking her head, Yukari smiles. “I’m just using that as an example.”
 
“I would say the body’s response.”
 
“How so?”
 
“Most of the time, the body overreacts whenever it senses something off.” Patchouli pours herself yet another glass. “In my case, just a little bit of wolf hair was enough to knock me off of my feet. Momiji probably still feels bad about that, but it’s not her fault.”
 
"One more example. Whenever a person gets cut by a blade, what’s one of the first things to converge around the wound?”
 
“Wouldn’t it be white blood cells, clotting agents and antibodies?”
 
“Exactly. What I would like to concentrate on are the antibodies. What are their purpose?”
 
“To prevent infection in the wound.” One more glass was chugged. “You keep on like this and I’ll finish this bottle.”
 
“We’ve already established that reality is being ripped apart by this conflict. But did I explain why we’re facing the things we are?”
 
“Since you put it like that, those unnatural beasts that you told me about are reality’s immune system. But like in most cases, they’re overreacting.”
 
“You left out one important part.” Yukari frowned. “The antibodies. From what I’ve figured out, they’re emitting some sort of field that negates magic creation. It works by suppressing the creation of magic around it, however, magic created outside the area of effect can still hit them. For some reason, magic doesn’t seem to be natural.  But not being able to use our abilities close up does put us at a disadvantage. At least until it starts to affect all magic everywhere, then we’re straight up screwed.”
 
“I’m surprised you haven’t figured out something to counter it.”
 
“If I did, do you think that I would be here talking to you about it?”
 
Patchouli smiled, already feeling a little tipsy. “So it’s hurting you that you haven’t figured it out. It must be a new feeling to have all of your plans thrown into disarray.”
 
“Keep on, bean sprout.”
 
“I’m not a bean sprout,” Patchouli is interrupted by a hiccup. “I’m purple, how can I be a bean sprout?”
 
“You need to go to bed, you’re drunk.”
 
“I’m fine.” The witch pulled out another bottle. “In exchange for my asthma, my body goes through alcohol quickly. I’ve be back to normal in the morning. Even with Eirin’s medicine keeping my asthma in check. It’s not like I’m a drunk, not at all. All these empty bottles around here just happen to show up around me.”
 
“You would get along well with the oni.”
 
For the first time in a while, Patchouli paled. “Don’t say things like that. I’m nothing like them.”
 
“You get worked up so easily.” Yukari smiled. “Do you want to hear how the battle is going?”
 
“Sure.”
 
“So far, the Lunarians have pushed back the humans from the new barrier. We’ve managed to field out newest arm, the armored units. Russian and Chinese troops were withdrawing when the battle was starting. I’ve got the feeling that they’re going to strike at whoever looks the weakest at the end of the battle. Since the Lunarians are finally getting on their war footing, I doubt we’ll be the ones having to worry about the next attack. Iku was taken down by a sniper and caused Tenshi to go on a rampage. I managed to knock some sense into her and she went back to oversee the Celestial artillery. With Eirin taking out the joint force commander, the NATO forces are splitting apart. But that doesn’t mean that this battle is over. The Lunarians have switched from line of battle to mobile warfare and tend to wipe out any human that even looks at them. From what I’m hearing, our tanks are taking some good hits. Still, even though they’re tanks from almost seventy years ago, they’re still matching the modern tanks.”
 
“I’m happy to hear that my charms and spells are working so well.”
 
“You did a good job with the Tiger (P) and Maus. They’re serving as the foundations of our advance.”
 
“Good. I would hate for Sakuya to command a deathtrap that I could’ve helped.”
 
“How are the repairs going?”
 
The witch downs yet another glass. “We’ve replaced the damaged armor with stronger parts and the kappas have tweaked the engine some more. Koakuma has added another layer of a water charm to the cannon to increase the firing rate. There’s a chance we could up the round, but I doubt that we can.”
 
“I think that the cannon it has now is fine. We can leave the heavy stuff to Nazrin. Our tengu friends have been burning through the modern fighters, so we’re stuck with having a majority of propeller driven aircraft and our own power.”
 
“The mansion’s defense grid should be enough to pick up the slack.”
 
“Hopefully. I rather not have the mansion blown up since I don’t feel like letting the human bombers have free reign. Anyway, the Lunarians have pushed about fifty miles at the farthest point since the start of the battle. From what Yuyuko has told me, our little skirmish has tipped the scales of the global stage. We can use it to our advantage.” Yukari stopped when one of her crows landed on her shoulder and offered a rolled up scroll to her. “Hmm, this is interesting.”
 
Patchouli didn’t respond since she was chugging the bottle. Koakuma had come in from working on the tanks and made herself some tea. She looked exhausted and was nodding her head due to sleepiness. Eventually, she made her way to a nearby couch and knocked out. Her snores could be heard throughout the entire library.
 
“The states of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan have just been united under a single government.”
 
Patchouli stopped drinking. “I thought that the region was going to be stuck fighting forever. How did that happen?”
 
“From what I’m seeing, Iranian forces have overwhelmed the vanishing Iraqi security forces. There’s even rumors of them throwing their weapons and equipment down as they ran away. The same happened in Afghanistan.  But I doubt they’ll hold it for long. Word is that some in the Pakistani government are uncomfortable with them on a larger part of their border. The thing is that those are in a minority. And if they don’t do anything, the insurgents in the captured territories will have something to say to their new overlords.”
 
“What about China, since there’s a strip of their land now bordering them?”
 
“No idea, but I’m sure that they’re still mad about the UN sanctions a few years back. It would be good to bolster their small feud, but I don’t think it would amount to anything useful. But you never know.”
 
“Is this connected to the damaged reality?”
 
“I think so. In most cases, people’s common sense would stop them from trying to upstage the status quo. If this really is the tear’s doing, we could be at risk ourselves.”
 
“Aren’t we all crazy in Gensokyo anyway?” The witch threw her head back with another glass.
 
“I rather not have any of us go off the deep end.” Yukari frowned. “Reimu has enough on her plate right now to be worrying about keeping the peace.”
 
“How are you planning on ending this battle?”
 
The gap youkai paused. “I could end the battle anytime I want, but if we don’t show the humans that we can make them pay for every time they even imagine of attacking, it’ll be useless.”
 
“Is this why we’re having this protracted battle?”
 
“This is the best way to get them to understand. I’ll be pulling our forces from the front while letting the Lunarians have the lead. Their nobles prefer this method since they can get glory for themselves.”
 
“Playing their political games too, aren’t you?”
 
“I’ve visited their court before, so I know how they work.” Yukari remembered some of the nobles that had tried to flirt with her, only to be shot down mercilessly. “If I can’t keep the Lunarians where I want them, there might be a third war.”
 
“Another war with us out of position could end us.”
 
“Especially if it’s with the Dragon God.”
 
Patchouli dropped her glass in mid chug. “How can you even imagine going against him? You’ll be wiped out in an instant.”
 
“Don’t underestimate me. I still have some surprises still hidden.” Yukari’s eyes got a hard glint. “If I have to bring down reality on his head to get what I want, I will.”
 
The witch could only sit in silence after hearing that. But that silence was cut short when a few strands of Yukari’s hair were cut out of thin air. Patchouli scrambled up, pulling out a few of her spellcards. The gap youkai just smiled and spoke into her phone.
 
“So, you’re still listening to me. Why not go ahead and get rid of me now instead of just cutting my hair? You’re panicking, I can tell it for sure.” She smiled again. “How does it feel? You’ve probably never had your plans derailed this much before.”
 
Paying close attention, Patchouli could feel a faint presence in the library. Then it suddenly disappeared, leaving only emptiness. The slowly falling strands of hair were the only evidence of the confrontation. He’s not sure what to do now. As long as he’s like this, I can take him down. Even if he takes me down at the same time, at least Remiu and Marisa will be able to have peaceful lives after this.
 
Still with the smile on her face, Yukari taps the map on the table. The purple box that indicated the Lunarian command post started to flash, indicating a line to them was activated.
 
“Princess Toyohime, could I ask a favor?”
 
The princess sighed from the other end of the line. “It depends on what it is.”
 
“I just want to borrow three of your regular regiments tomorrow morning.”
 
“Why would you need three regiments, we can handle the human attack.”
 
Yukari still kept her smile. “I’m going to go ahead and march on Tokyo. Once we get them to surrender, the JSDF will have to pull out. That’s about ten percent of the attacking forces and thirty percent of the supporting ones. And the rest of the human forces won’t be able to resupply or reinforce.”
 
“It makes sense, but what does Master Yagokoro think about it?”
 
“She’s still busy, but I’m sure she would agree with me. I’ll make sure to ask her when she’s free.”
 
“I suppose I can put three of the daytime regiments on standby for now. But will they see reason and surrender?”
 
 “If I have Colonel Yagokoro with me, it’ll be a sure thing.”
 
“Alright. The 1st Royal Regiment of Foot, 44th Regiment of Foot, and 66th Regiment of Light Foot will be standing ready for you in the morning.” The line cut off after that.
 
Yukari sat back down and drank from her glass. Patchouli took one last look around and sat down as well. The pair sat in silence and watched the blue squares advance. The most heated areas of the battle were expanded in and showed every single person taking part. One of the Lunarian regiments had arranged themselves into formation and were firing by rank. A company from the 4th Infantry Division tried to flank the regiment, only to cause the regimental commander to order a pivot. The entire formation kept in perfect form as the over 5,000 Lunarians performed the movement smoothly while under fire, firing back and reloading.
 
Across the field, a certain Hourai immortal was burning entire platoons alive. Even vehicles weren’t safe from her wrath since she cooked the crew inside. The sheer heat distorted the light around her and created air drafts that affected incoming bullets. Yukari was distracted by the loud snores that started to come from Patchouli. Taking a sip from her glass, she closes her eyes.
 
“I know your there, Rin.”
 
“…”
 
“I know you shouldn’t be here, but you could at least try to make conversation.”
 
“…”
 
“Did I strike a nerve? I wonder how the Scarlet Mist Incident would’ve turned out if you actually showed up.”
 
“…” A figure appeared behind Yukari. The girl had blonde hair and yellow eyes that complimented her white blouse and red skirt. She held an erhu and bow that seemed to be an afterthought. But as before, she kept her peace.
 
“I know what you’re thinking. But shouldn’t you stop by and visit Remiu and Marisa. I’m sure they would be happy to see you for the first time.”
 
“You know the exact reason I’m here and yet you still play around?”
 
“Now she speaks.” Yukari offered her a glass that the other youkai ignored. “I had hoped that I would never have to see you again.”
 
“I see that you’re still mad about not being able to play me like you do everyone else.”
 
“I’m not so arrogant that I can’t admit that I found a match in the game.”
 
“Someone has made a grave mistake.”
 
Yukari stiffened. “You can tell from over there?” 
“I can tell from the atmosphere.” Rin Satsuki absentmindedly inspected her instrument. “This land was never meant to see war like this. The damage caused by this war brought me back. But you should know all of this already.”
 
“I do, so do you have any advice. Or are you here to gloat?”
 
“I rather not call it gloating, but I did have my suspicions.”
 
“So, how does it feel like being back on this side?”
 
“How does it feel being older than civilization itself?” 
Yukari had to make a concentrated effort to keep from bursting the glass in her grip. “It’s not polite to insult a Lady’s age.”
 
“The only Lady I see here is passed out drunk on the table over there. The thing talking to me is nothing more than a honey worded monster that only thinks of herself.”
 
As soon as the words registered to Yukari, she tried to open a gap. But the youkai froze when her power didn’t work.
 
Rin smiled. “It’s always disheartening to have the power you rely on so much fail to work, isn’t it?”
 
“So, you’re part of them as well.”
 
“Don’t worry, I’m not here for a fight. I just stopped by to give you a friendly warning. It’s happening faster than you’re expecting. If you don’t figure out something soon, then your last go around will be for nothing.”
 
“Then what do you suggest that I do?”
 
“It would make things easier for you if I did, so I’m letting you figure it yourself. But if I see some use in giving you a hint, I hope you’ll listen.” With that said, she turn and began to walk away. Before she had taken three steps, she had completely disappeared. Yukari waited some more before she tried to use her gaps. She drew a knife that she had taken off of a certain dictator she had poisoned during the Cold War and planted it in the table.
 
She remembered every single person that she had killed to get events to converge at this point. Of how many empires and kingdoms she had built and destroyed on a whim. Of how many fortunes she had ruined and taken for herself. Of how many armies she had destroyed with her own hands and all the blood she had spilled. She had done too much to hope for a peaceful life.
 
 

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