Topic: The Oncoming Storm  (Read 14117 times)

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The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2015, 08:59:30 pm »
 GDF-Lunarian Main Line, Japan
 
While most of the Lunarians were happy with shooting the human forces, Flandre and Remilia were content with tearing into them. Remilia was able to concentrate her power and apply it with precision while Flandre just blew them away. But the younger one started to realize that her medicine was starting to wear off. She had realized that when she started to feel laughter caused by impaling and exploding a retreating private. Noticing the change, Remilia tried to calm her down but had to focus on a Bradley that showed up and fired missiles at her.
 
Drawing a spell card from her pocket, Flandre activated Leviathan. The bright red wand grew to full size, casting a sinister glow on the area. Swinging it, Flandre utterly destroyed anybody that she hit with it. An up-armored Humvee’s turret gunner opened fire on her, trying to take her down. The rounds connect, causing her to transform into a swarm of bats. The swarm then went to attack every living human in the area. Soon the screams of terror could be heard all around.
 
Reinforcing troops came to halt when they saw the scene and decided to leave. But before they could turn around, they were blocked off by an array of green bullets that made a grid formation. Several of the humans were mesmerized by the movement, at least until larger yellow bullets started to head towards them. These bullets brunt straight through their armor and bodies, causing excruciating pain if it didn’t kill them instantly. Several of them went into shock instantly. 
 
“Kagome, Kagome, the bird in the cage, when will you come out?” Flandre’s voice echoed around them.
 
The air above them exploded when Flandre crushed the eye of the air. Since Patchouli had taught her about the composition of air, the vampire was able to sense the different gasses and destroy them. Several of the humans started to grab at their throats, trying to save themselves from suffocating from the temporary lack of air. The air returned just before its absence would have kill them, but that didn’t do them much good.
 
The fires that had been caused by some of the bullets hitting the ground were killed by the recent lack of air. Three doppelgangers of the vampire landed nearby and quickly ripped throats apart. The little vampires gave no heed to the number of chevrons or bars on the human forces, both enlisted and junior officers found themselves facing the same fate. Grabbing a fallen M249, one of the doppelgangers broke the weapon by slamming it down on a sergeant’s head with full force. Needless to say, the sergeant’s headache was the least of his problems.
 
Reforming back into her usual form, Flandre punched a Captain, leaving only a stain of blood on the ground. Even his weapon and equipment were destroyed. A foolish Humvee tried to break through the green bullets, only to meet the same fate as the infantry. Remilia was forced to give Flandre space due to the amount of energy that she was throwing around. Spotting an M1 Abrams trying to line up a shot, the older sister rams Gungnir right through it and has it explode in the interior.
 
Once the sister of the devil had wiped out the soldiers that were caught in her spell card, she landed back on the ground. But as soon as her feet had touched the ground, a lone Humvee tried to run her down. Instead of being splattered on the windshield, she punches through the engine and flips it on its side. The driver and front passenger were dead with broken necks while the gunner’s head was split in two. 
 
“Onii-chan, let’s play some more.” Flandre said with a crazed look on her face. The two surviving passengers had their eyes wide in terror and tried to shoot her. One of them was reduced to a stain on the seat while the other was grabbed by the collar and dragged out. She drops him and then grabs him by the leg when he tries to crawl away. Then she starts to slam him into the wreckage again and again, not stopping when he gets quiet. She gets bored and decides to look around for something else to beat him into.
 
Seeing the remnants of a squad trying to escape, Flandre throws the body and knocks down two of soldiers. In a blink of an eye, she’s snapping the neck of the last one and stomping the two that had fallen. A 120 mm shell flew above her, alerting her to the presence of another Abrams. Not giving them the chance to reload, she lands on the tank and grabs the cannon. Pulling it up, she destroys the vertical aiming motor. She keeps pulling, bending the barrel into a U shape.
 
Jumping on top of the turret, she rips the machine gun off and punches through the weaker top armor. The commander was the first one to have his limbs ripped off. Then the gunner was the unfortunate soul that was beaten to death by those limbs. The engine chose that time to die, plunging the inside of the tank into darkness. The surviving crew wet themselves when all they could see two red dots in the darkness.
 
The infantry outside the tank stood with their mouths agape when Flandre punches the turret off the tank. It lands on a group of wounded Spanish troops, ending their suffering and terror. Jumping out of the tank, she punches an American sergeant so hard that only his uniform and equipment were left. The sight of one of their own just disappearing from a punch finally broke their fighting spirit. Ignoring the shouts of their field grade officers, the enlisted folk began to flee. The field grade officers, who thought they were safe being so far behind the line, were threatening them with judicial punishment. One of the senior enlisted men told them what they could do to themselves with graphic detail.
 
A trio of Bradleys were trying to cover the retreat when they fired their TOWs at the rampaging vampire. She swings her Leviathan, destroying them before they had flown half the distance. The IFVs that fired them were ripped to shreds on the second swing. Flandre looks up when she hears the roar of an Apache flying over her. It flies past her and begins to turn to strafe. She picks up a rod that was lying next to her and hurls it. The pilot of the helicopter only saw the rod for half a second before it broke through the cockpit and impaled him in the heart.
 
The rod kept going past the body, hitting the tail rotor. Spinning out of the control, the Apache comes to a halt when it meets the earth. A volley of missiles curved in the air, heading towards her. With one squeeze of her hand, Flandre annihilates every single one of them. As a result, the retreat became even faster and more frenzied. Grabbing the wreckage of a Humvee, she tosses it towards the most concentrated part of the group. Inside, the last survivor was about to lose consciousness when he felt himself flying through the air.
 
It lands and takes out about twenty of them. More of them are knocked down by the impact of the projectile. Flandre seems to teleport into their midst and smiles like a predator that found a large slab of meat. Several of them opened fire, not worrying about the risk of hitting their own allies. Taking a step back, she activates another spell card. Three more of her appeared, sending the humans into further panic. Without any degradation of speed or raw power, the set of four created even more destruction and death. This time, the bullets were deflecting off of her.
 
Entire battalions were fleeing from the destruction caused by the vampires. Units from other nations were trying to fill in the gap, but ended up colliding with the retreating American and British forces. The newer troops hesitated to fire at Flandre, but ran for their lives when they saw what she was capable of. Artillery was called in extremely close, but only slowed her down a little. Remilia had backed away from the main line and was slinging Gungnir at further targets. She was throwing them one right after another, picking up speed with each throw.
 
With word of Flandre’s rampage spreading, the entire flank was about to collapse. Requests for close air support were denied due to the amount of tengus still in the air. One of the younger vampire’s doppelgangers tosses her wand in an arc. It lands and creates an explosion larger than any conventional artillery round. Once she saw how effective it was, she did it again and again. Landing on another Humvee, she rips the armor right off and crushes the crew with her bare hands.
 
She comes across a hastily prepared fortification made from plywood and a hole in the ground and smiles. “Kyuu.”
 
None of the defenders escaped alive from the explosion that Flandre caused. Ripping a helmet off of a dead body, she uses it to beat another solider to death. Several of the more experienced veterans were firing at her with M203 grenade launchers, only to have her bat them out of the sky. Smoke grenades began to fly and obscure the area. In response, Flandre transforms into another swarm of bats with a thirst for blood.
 
In the area that she had just left, a Lunarian regiment had stopped when they saw all of the managed bodies and destruction. They see more explosions and red pillars of light from the direction of the heaviest fighting. Before they could move there, they hesitated when they heard the sound of maniacal laughing. Changing their mind, the regiment slowly backs away while keeping their eyes on the pillars of energy flying around. The unified thought that was going through their heads was that they weren’t paid enough to deal with whatever was over there. The officers and senior enlisted weren’t going to argue against it anyway.
 
Humvees suddenly took to the sky whenever Flandre punched them, letting the infantry earn their jump wings before they clocked out one last time. She punches the ground, sending a large shockwave that broke any pair of legs that were hit by them. Several of the companies saw a forest nearby and decided to take cover in there. An incendiary artillery round lands near them, lighting the trees on fire. A simple modification of Leviathan gave Flandre the ability to bend the fire to her will. Throwing the fire as far as she could, two battalions of French infantry were cut off from the rest of the line.
 
Flandre poured more power into the flames, cooking the infantry alive. If the heat wasn’t bad enough, the toxic fumes from the vehicles added to the hellish atmosphere. A scarlet mist began to form around Flandre’s rampage. Parts of the mist had thicken enough to produce small sparks that grew into lightning. A majority of the NATO troops on the ground believed that the Book of Revelations was happening right in front of them. Radio signals were blocked by the thick cloud, terrifying the humans even more.
 
Slamming the ground again, she knocks a few squads off balance and kills them in the blink of an eye. Changing the properties of her wand, she switches to blunt force. The bodies of the struck troops flew high into the air and landed everywhere. It was literately raining men outside of Gensokyo. She started to make a game out of it, trying to send as many as she could into the air with each swing. Once she got to the number she wanted, she worked to increase their distance.
 
 A platoon of British infantry dropped their weapons and raised their hands when Flandre started to turn towards them. Before she could raise her wand, Meiling had appeared and grabbed her from behind. The vampire was about to break her arms when she smelled Meiling’s trademark flower scent. Today, it was a light lavender smell.
 
“Young mistress, they’ve given up.” She spoke softly into Flandre’s ear, calming her down. Seeing the chance of survival, more and more of the NATO troops laid down their weapons and raised their hands. Three fairy maids had followed Meiling and were rounding up the surrendered forces. Per Yukari’s orders, they would be housed at a quickly erected camp near the human village. “Don’t worry about anything else, I’m here.”
 
Flandre couldn’t remember any of what had just happened. But she saw the destruction that was all around her and knew what happened. Even though she had enjoyed it at the time, she had broken so much. She was reminded of the pet rabbit that she had loved but ended up hugging too hard one day. It had taken the combined efforts of Marisa and Eirin to help her come to terms with how delicate life was. She wanted to make sure that the rabbit’s death wouldn’t be meaningless and promised to be more careful with living things.
 
Before the battle started, she had visited Eirin and asked her how she could keep that promise on the field of battle. The answer she got was that it depended on how she fought. If she did so while keeping her psychotic episodes under control, she would be keeping the promise. But with how she had just fought, she felt that she had killed the little white rabbit for no reason.
 
“Young mistress, I think you should rest now. You look tired.” Without preamble, she picks her up and places her on her shoulders. “I think a nice bath and some milk will do wonders for you.”
 
This was the last straw for the vampire, she broke down in tears. Meiling took her off of her shoulders and decided to hold her as she flew her back to the mansion. The gatekeeper didn’t mind the blood that was getting on her clothes. The mist began to dissipate as Flandre didn’t have the energy left to keep creating it. Even though she still had plenty of physical strength, she had run through all of her mental strength.
 
The rhythmic pounding of the Lunarian artillery could be heard in the distance, causing Flandre to slowly grow sleepy. The panzerkeil that was supporting the center of the main line were kicking up enough dust that the cloud was visible at that distance. Tracers made colored lines that intersected in every possible manner. Their area of the sky was relatively quiet, the propeller driven aircraft of the GDF had managed to push the NATO air power past the advancing line and were dancing around the air defense artillery.
 
Lunarian infantry had reformed their formations and were concentrating fire on every NATO troop and vehicle they could see. One regiment had been flanked and responded by switching to the infantry square. They managed to fight off a few battalions but had taken some major damage in the process. As they dug in, another regiment took the heat off of them by marching in front of them and fanning out.
 
As the pair got closer and closer to the mansion, the sounds of gunfire could be heard. One of the rear Lunarian companies had intercepted a small ground that was trying to destroy the air defense grid. With most of the occupants of the mansion asleep, it made a prime and easy target, at least until the Lunarians stepped in. But what really weighed on the Lunarian company commander’s mind was the fact that the attacking group had mismatched equipment and weapons. This was in sharp contrast to the skill and ferocity in which they engaged the moon rabbits.
 
The Lunarian company had been forced to switch to light infantry after the initial attack had almost broken their formation. Initially offended by the fact that the company had almost broken, the commander slowly began to realize that the human group had much more experience than the other front line troops they had faced earlier. Once he realized that, he finally began to be able to match them.
 
Holding their ground, the moon rabbits were able to check the advance while they got themselves together. Meiling looked down and saw the crisscross of tracers in the forest around the mansion. Quickly making her way to the front of the mansion, she whisks Flandre inside. Yukari had come up from the library and was waiting for them in the foyer.
 
“It happened, didn’t it?” Yukari took a handkerchief and started to dab Flandre’s face.
 
“I tried so hard to keep her from going crazy, but I let her get so far.”
 
“How did she stop?”
 
“I had to grab her from behind and hope she wouldn’t rip me apart.”
 
“Did she see what had happened?”
 
“She saw the results of it.”
 
Yukari sighed. “I hope that doesn’t knock her back to before she had the talk with Eirin and Marisa. She was making so much progress.”
 
“I should get her into the bath, she needs to get some rest.” Meiling stopped when Flandre squeezed her, a clear sign that she didn’t want to let go. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you. I’m sure Yukari won’t mind helping too.”
 
The gap youkai smiled. “Of course.”
 
As the trio went upstairs, Meiling took a look outside the window and saw the tracers in the distance.
 
“They’re not regular troops.” Yukari pointed out. “They’re private security contractors, hired by the American State Department to do their dirty jobs.”
 
“What’s a private security contractor?”
 
“A civilian that does one of the jobs of a soldier. They’re useful because they tend to have more experience and can be cast off if they become a liability. The Americans are relying on them more and more lately.”
 
“How does that work?”
 
“They’re disposable and said to be cheaper. And the fact that some of the more important contractors have their hands in the higher levels of government. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you that some governments have been taken down by contractors. And the most disturbing thing is that they aren’t held accountable under their military or local laws.”
 
“So they can do what they want?”
 
“As long as they say it was needed to complete their objective, then yes. It has happened before and it’ll happen again.” Yukari looked outside again. “For now, all we can do is treat them like the conventional troops and wipe them out if they insist on challenging us.”
 
Behind NATO line of battle, Japan
 
The loud snarls of the rake echoed through the clearing that Sakuya and Eirin had lured it to. The chief maid of the SDM had stayed in close combat with the beast while Eirin had been trying to figure out the range of its nullification area. Five, ten, fifteen meters, it still nullified her spell cards. She could feel herself slipping and was starting to get annoyed. Sakuya had to rely on her hand to hand since she couldn’t bounce her knives as well as she could. She had to revert back to her very old days where she couldn’t stop time as well.
 
Seemly catching its second wind, the beast began a series of attacks that were designed to break Sakuya’s defenses. It finishes with a tackle that knocks her off of her feet. Before it could bite her throat, she brought her knife up to block. Kicking it off of her, Sakuya rolled out of the way as Eirin let loose another arrow. The projectile hits the rake in the chest, but still has little effect. Since the arrow was fired within the nullification zone, it didn’t activate any other effects.
 
Using up her last arrow, Eirin is forced to draw her blade and get in close. She analyzes the beast and lands a few hits on its legs. Her strikes cause severe damage to the tendons in its legs, slowing it down a great deal. But for some reason, it wasn’t healing as fast. Taking advantage of this, Eirin aims for the tendons on its arms. But instead of blocking them, it takes almost no damage from receiving them head on.
 
Then another piece of the puzzle clicks in her mind. The rake’s regenerative ability was dependent on its energy levels and could be used to harden parts of its body. But it could be worn down and the beast knew it. Noise from behind them forced Eirin to divert her attention for a split second. An Australian company had arrived and surrounded them while they were fighting. Even though they could have opened fire, they had waited due to a gut feeling.
 
Seeing the easier targets, the rake puts out one last burst of speed as it jumped over the pair and aimed for the medical personnel. It would have gotten a few if it wasn’t for Sakuya landing a knee on it in midair that a certain bounty hunter and racer would be proud of. The rake is slammed into the ground and disappears into the tree line. Seeing the supposed enemy save their necks from a savage beast caused some to become hesitant to open fire on them.
 
Eirin pulls out one of her arrows from the ground and pulls the string. She passes over the troops as she hunts for signs of the beast. “If you’re going to survive, I would suggest following my lead. Your affiliation doesn’t matter right know. That beast will tear you apart without regard of human or Lunarian blood.” Stepping into the forest, she’s followed by Sakuya and then the Australians.
 
Moving out into a wedge, the Aussies keep their eyes open. For all they knew, the pair in front of them would turn on them as soon as the beast was dead or it could be a trap. But the way that Eirin and Sakuya shown them their backs disproved that. On the battlefield, that was showing someone one of the ultimate forms of trust. Several of the more experienced humans felt that as long as they respected that trust, they had nothing to worry about.
 
“What we found out,” Eirin calls back. “Is that the rake is intelligent and its attacks can’t be treated with enhanced medicine. There’s a high chance of death with each attack and it nullifies our abilities. Be on the lookout.”
 
Smoke from the battle away from them started to obscure the moon, forcing the Aussies to rely on their night vision even more. One of them opens fire when he sees movement. His reaction is justified when a snarl could be heard from the thick bush. Grenades flew towards the bush and sent a flash through the area. The rake was sent flying through the air, but landed on its feet without much damage.
 
One of the humans drew a machete and forced the beast to back off when it tried to close the distance. Everyone could tell that it was exhausted from earlier combat but still had the will to keep going. Eirin readies one of the arrows she had picked back up and tries to land a hit. It misses vital organs but makes it slow down until the arrow gets ripped out and crushed. More grenades are thrown, and this time, they draw blood.
 
In response, it takes out two of the Australians by cutting through their body armor. The pair were still alive and could be seen trying to bring their weapons back up. Eirin and a sergeant step forward and drag the two away while Sakuya distracts the rake with close combat. The wounded are instantly set up by medical personnel, but as Eirin had warned them, their bandages did little to stop the bleeding.
 
Noticing one of the soldiers with a Claymore antipersonnel mine, Eirin grabs it and begins to fumble with it. Once she has the detonator and cable worked out she takes a long glance at the beast. Following her gaze, some of the Aussies are confused on how she was going to make this plan work. There was only one way, but it was too crazy to even think about going through with it.
 
“If this thing’s hungry, we’ll just have to feed it.” Eirin’s taunt caused some of the humans to pale. None of them had ever wanted to be within throwing distance of a Claymore.
 
“Um, you do know what that thing is, right?” A Private Proficient asks her.
 
“A Lunarian Royal Colonel doesn’t allow notions of sanity to cloud their judgment.” Eirin smirks. “I dare this thing to regenerate after eating a landmine.”
 
“What are you planning to do?”
 
“Ram this thing down its mouth and pull the trigger.” She crouches down, getting ready for a sprint. “Try to not fire at it when I’m close by, I’ll need to have my complete concentration.”
 
With a powerful step off, she closes the distance and lands a punch with the unconnected detonator. Hoping that the impact didn’t break it, she tries to force the rake’s mouth open with an elbow to the face. Somehow sensing her plan, the beast does its best to keep from giving her an opening. She head-butts it, forcing it back a few more steps. It swipes at her, making her step back a few feet as well.
 
Since she was clear, the Aussies open fire. The rake brings its arms in front of its face and charges forward, aiming for the closest human. It throws an attack and gets hit with a bullet in the eye. This sends it into a frenzy, taking down three soldiers before Eirin and Sakuya could get in range again. Grabbing one of the bodies, it throws it towards another group and jumps into the air. Sakuya throws a knife that hits it in the leg, throwing off its jump.
 
Hitting the ground face first, it gets dazed. One of the humans rushes up with a FN Minimi and pokes it in its face. Before he can pull the trigger, it was knocked off target by a strike that broke his leg as well. Knowing that he was done for, he pulls a grenade out and tries to grab ahold of the beast. Seeing this, everyone turns and runs to avoid being caught in the blast wave. But the rake knocks it out of his grip and pushes him on top of it.
 
While most of the force was absorbed by the human body on top of it, the grenade still managed to injury the rake. Blood began to seep out of the sides of its head, indicating ruptured eardrums and a significant loss of balance. It also begins to cough up blood, showing that the past two fights have finally begun to take its toll. Out of the Australian platoon that had started out, only a squad was left.
 
A high velocity round rams into the rake’s side, sending it staggering. A lone squad of Lunarians had been close enough to hear the fight and had arrived. They rightly saw the beast as being more a threat then the humans surround their commander and acted accordingly. Three of the moon rabbits instantly set up moving the dead bodies out of the area of the fight with two humans helping them.
 
Pulling an arrow back, Eirin sees Sakuya move to the side. The doctor releases it, hitting the rake in the stomach. Sakuya uses the fire from the two sides to cover her dash forward and leaves a deep cut in its shoulder. Eirin picks the landmine back up and tries to time a throw that would work. It becomes obvious that a throw won’t work and that she would have to physically ram the mine down its throat.
 
Taking a chance, she throws a punch that forces the rake to open its mouth. Sakuya pulls out her Walther P38 and pistol whips its teeth to keep it from biting Eirin’s hand or even arm off. Its screams of pain were intense enough to hurt the pair’s ears. Eirin stuffs the landmine into its mouth, putting all of her effort into getting it in as far as possible. Another pistol whip dazes the rake again, letting the pair kick the beast down and run. Before it could start to remove it, Eirin activated the clapper.
 
The back blast from the explosion sends dirt flying into the air, blocking everyone’s vision. No one lowered their weapon, even though they all believed that nothing could have survived a Claymore going off at that range. The next few seconds seemed to go on for eternality. Only the sounds of faint radio traffic could be heard from the Australian squad leader’s radio. Eirin draws an arrow and Sakuya readies another barrage of knives. Then Eirin felt herself regaining her magical powers back, giving her the confirmation.
 
But once the dust settles, the mess that was once a rake was still twitching. Seeing this, everyone opened fire until their magazines were empty. And it was still twitching and an arm was moving around. Disbelief was rampant in everyone around the mess. The rake had survived being attacked by almost an entire company of troops from both the moon and the Earth, along with having a landmine shoved in its mouth.
 
“If you have anything that can create fire, pull it out now!” Eirin shoots an arrow infused with her Galaxy in a Pot. “We have to kill it with fire! It’s the only way to make sure!”
 
“All we have left is the bursting white phosphorus!’ The Aussie squad leader shouted. “We can’t throw that!”
 
“Give it here,” Sakuya takes it and throws it. “We can’t afford to hold back.” She flicks her fingers, wanting to not have to worry about any residual white phosphorus. Her gloves had come into contact with it, but Patchouli’s magic prevented her from getting severely burned.
 
The grenade lands next to the mess and explodes due to the hazardous filler. Some of the Lunarians throw incendiary grenades that force everyone to move back due to the sheer heat. Eirin can see the dying beast withering in the flames and moves her spell bullets closer. Deciding to finish it off, she sends them all into the fire. The bullets explode when they make contact, adding to the flames.
 
“There should be no way that it survived that,” Eirin strains her eyes to see if she was right. “Fire should be able to kill anything.”
 
But instead of waiting, she pulls out another arrow and focuses on finding its heart. She spots it and releases her arrow, hoping that it makes contact the right way. It hits directly in it heart, inflicting critical damage. A death rattle could be heard over the flames, then nothing else. Eirin feels something irritating her eye, only to figure out that it was a cold sweat from the entire time. Once she lowered her bow with a sense of finality, everyone relaxed.
 
The next few seconds saw an adrenaline crash in the Australian soldiers. Several of them could stand up and fell on their rears while being between laughter and tears. Even the more seasoned humans weren’t immune from it. It wasn’t just the fight that had triggered that response, it was something about how unnatural it was that sacred the living crap out of them. The Lunarians kept their weapons pointed towards the ground, not wanting to attack without orders.
 
The senior most Aussie looked at Eirin, wondering what they were going to do now. Eirin tucked yet another loose string of hair behind her ear, she didn’t feel right having to fight against them since they did help them out.
 
“Now comes the hard part,” Eirin says. “We both know that we’re on opposing sides of this conflict and it’s our duty to fight, but even duty can go against logic.”
 
“We’ve seen what you can do,” the Aussie NCO replies. “We rather not have to experience it firsthand.”
 
“So we’re in agreement then.” She nods her head. “So let me ask you one thing why do you think you’re here?”
 
“We honestly don’t know. We were told that we had to support the American forces for some reason. We just got back from the Middle East a few months ago.”
 
“What if I told you that we’re all dancing to someone else’s tune?”
 
“I wouldn’t be surprised.” He shook his head sadly. “War is just old men sending the young to die for their own selfish reasons.”
 
“Spoken like a true enlisted man.” Eirin smiles sadly as well. “I’ll let you in on a secret. There’s someone in the background pulling strings across all governments around the world. I have really good reason to suspect that it started with the Americans. I bet that most of the American people didn’t want to go war again, especially after that dragged out war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t know if you heard, but there was an entire clean sweep of the upper levels of the American government and then this war started. After all, the acting President wasn’t elected in any way, so could he even be called a true president? But before you think I’m lying to you, think about it. You’ve fought alongside me and had my back, it would be a grave insult to lie about something like this to you after that.”
 
“It does make sense,” one of the other Aussies spoke up. “The news was going on about something like that before they suddenly stopped and focused even more on gossip. I’m not saying that there’s something going on, but it wouldn’t hurt to think about that possibility.”
 
“Even though the Americans invaded the moon, we only kick them off the moon instead of razing the planet like some in our noble classes wanted to.” Eirin continued. “Those bombs in the embassies that we were blamed for, do you really think that such a small area could muster that much manpower without being detected? This land was a paradise, a heaven that was content to be left alone for the rest of time. But the thing that kept us hidden was destroyed and now we’re here. Even I don’t know how that happened or why. But ever since the war has started, things haven’t been right. I’ve lived through multiple wars, but this feels off. I would go as far as to call it a final war.”
 
“Doesn’t everyone call the next war that?” The NCO asked.
 
“But like I said, something is extremely wrong with this one.” Eirin looked at the sky towards the battle. “Even with the magic that we can use, there’s no way that old human weapons could be pushing you back. Our Lunarian weapons can tear you apart, so that’s different.”
 
The humans kept quiet after this. Even though they had a feeling that the Lunarians wouldn’t lie to them, a small part of them still held a little suspicion.
 
“I can see your disbelief,” Eirin said. “I’m not telling you to turn against your nation. Australia and the rest of the world will need troops after the war. We may end up being allied with each other, things do have a funny way of working out like that. All I want you to do is to just think about how all of this happened. Bring it up to your superiors, with your families if you can. Many of our nobility want to face you in battle, but I rather not shed needless blood. Ask questions.” With that, Eirin turned around and began to walk back towards the line. On her way back, she and Sakuya took one last look at the burning body of the beast that should never have stepped on this plain.
 
“Was that necessary?” Sakuya asked her.
 
“If we want to keep the fighting to the minimum, then yes.” Eirin sighed. “Even though we Lunarians look down on humans as a whole, I can’t really say that they’re all like that. The human village is an example. At first I thought it would be a zoo of filth and savagery, but then I saw them build a small society out of almost nothing. Then they started to help me with some research and conducted some of their own. There is a legend that the first Lunarians were from the earth, but after all, it’s only a legend.” Eirin knew the truth since she was there, but her pride as a Lunarian wouldn’t let her say it.
 
“Do you know something about what’s coming up?”
 
“I have a feeling that the outside world won’t be our worst opponent. Yukari has told me some things that don’t sit well with me.” The pair took flight with the rest of the moon rabbits following at a distance. Both of them were unusually sore from the fight. “Remember what Meiling told us? I did some research and found that this was predicted before.” She sighs again. “I knew that I would be able to see the end of days with my own eyes, but I wasn’t expecting it this early.”
 
“Care to explain better?”
 
“Have you heard about the War in Heaven?”
 
“Do you mean the one in the Book of Revelations?” Sakuya tilted her head.
 
“That one. But it appears in many other religions and mythologies. The basic premise is of the forces of light and darkness having one last fight that wipes out everything. It all makes sense, reality breaking down, monsters appearing, things that were never meant to be coming into existence. If we take into account the first war that had taken place before even I was born, then we’re in the beginning of the Second War in Heaven.”
 
“Sounds quite poetic.”
 
Eirin laughs. “Soldiers do make good poets.”
 
“But if what you say is true, why stay on the planet? Wouldn’t it be safer for the Lunarians to return to the moon?”
 
 “If the God of Disaster is really the head of the most militarized faction on this planet and has access to magic and science, we might not be that safe on the moon after all. Asteroids do fly around and have the tendency to head towards our more populated areas. The sun could shoot out a flare at the wrong moment and fry us. As long as he’s in power, we won’t be able to withdraw. If he can take over entire national governments, imagine what he can do if we brings them together.”
 
“Can they really reach the moon?”
 
“Yukari’s messing around with the boundary did leave some lasting damage.” Eirin looked at the distance when a tank was flung through the air by an oni. “The humans have invaded the moon before with very primitive technology. They might be able to do it again with more effectiveness if they put effort into it.” She spots a command Humvee trying to sneak past them with its loud engine and exhaust.
 
Eirin dives down the Humvee and slams her feet down on the turret gunner. She grabs the body and rips it free from the harness to throw it out. Instead of jumping in, she drops an arrow that explodes into multiple bullets that tears the occupants into shreds. Once it gets quiet, she sticks her head in through the turret. She frowns when all she could see were enlisted stripes, she had used one of her best arrows for what she thought was a field officer.
 
Picking it back up, she recharges it. Sakuya looks off towards the heaviest part of the battle, wondering how her young charges were doing. It was past midnight, the perfect time for vampires to go on a rampage. The maid doubted that the human forces would be equipped with the proper tools to repel a vampire, so maybe her worrying was unfounded. Eirin switched out another arrow and drew back the string on her bow. She can see an American infantry company about five miles from their location. Anyone else would call the shot impossible, but they didn’t know that Eirin’s been practicing with that same bow longer than most nations have been in existence. She releases it and rains fire down on the unfortunate humans.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2015, 12:10:51 am »
 Situation Room, White House, Washington, DC
 
The room was silent as the map on the television screen updated in almost real time. The coalition forces had been pushed back about twenty miles from the beginning of the battle and it looked like it would continue. The commander of the US Pacific Command sat shamefully when he learned that his air units were being swatted out of the sky like mosquitoes and his modern armored units were being taken out by antiques that his grandfather had fought alongside of.
 
Scrambled video showed the Lunarians ripping into the most highly trained troops on the planet with impunity. Calvary cut through fortifications and defenders almost like it was a game. Losses were quickly approaching unacceptable levels and would force the leaders to make rash decisions. It wasn’t limited to just the United States, most of the NATO forces had found themselves in similar situations. The only forces that had escaped that had left before the battle really started.
 
Taisui Xingjun was more worried about the fact that Russia and China had withdrawn their troops. He had several of his minions infiltrate their governments and was convinced that he had bent them to his will. Grinding his teeth, he had to rethink his entire plan. He did have most of Europe under his thumb, with just Switzerland resisting his power. If he could concentrate his power, he could do away with international law and just nuke Gensokyo off the face of the earth. He was sure that Japan wouldn’t mind getting nuked again, Godzilla was a cash cow. Who didn’t like a giant mutated lizard that wrested other large monsters with oblivious special effects?
 
His aides were arranging files on his desk, letting him see what kind of hardware that the enemy was using against them. Japan had sent in forces when his agents had brought several of the minsters under their control and tapped into the small but vocal militaristic base. But even they could lose their appetite for war if they saw devastating defeats again and again. The majority weren’t really prepared for a prolonged war and would exert considerable pressure to pull out or open negotiations. Martial law would be extremely difficult, unlike in the United States. All he had to do was mobilize every single National Guard unit and bring the militarized police under his control.
 
Xingjun nods his head and takes one last look at the television screen and pulls out his cell phone. He sneers and snaps his fingers. At once, one of his aides gives him a file.
 
“Gentlemen…and women, as you can see on the screen in front of you, we’re in serious need of different types of warfare. Our unconventional troops seem to be doing better but not by much. So, I want to reactivate the 6th, 8th, 11th and 12th Special Forces Groups. But instead of training them in our usual manner, I want them to specialize in countering this magic. I would prefer to keep the other already made units in their usual operations, at least for now. And we may need to consider the nuclear option.”
 
The room chilled instantly. Several of the attorneys shifted in their seats, not wanting to be the first to speak up.
 
“Yes, yes, I know how international law and custom works. But wouldn’t the world be forever grateful if we wipe off this terrorist stare off on the planet?”
 
“How will Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea react?” One of his aides asked. “If we show a willingness to drop nuclear weapons at our whim, they’ll follow suit. And that doesn’t even take into account that we’re dropping them on another nation, especially an ally.”
 
“They won’t mind.” Xingun smiled. “I can guarantee it. I did take the liberty of getting authorization from the Japanese government.” He took a folder from the briefcase next to him and waved it around. “I do have powerful friends in governments everywhere that are grateful for what I’m trying to do.”
 
Several of the aides and military members were concerned that the acting president had overstepped his boundaries. “Don’t worry about that, Congress will see it the same way I do. If they don’t, they’re un-American and will be dealt with. And if the wrong party comes to power in the Middle East, we might accidently drop a nuke in their general area.”
 
His smile kept the room from speaking up. The Pacific Command head rubbed his face, wondering if his career was over and if one of the defense contractors still had his offer on the table. A grainy video on the wall showed a P-47 diving in on a Humvee and climbing back up in a classic example of a Boom and Zoom. One of the American patrol bases on the map started to flash, indicating a struggle for control. Video from there showed a group of onis ripping troops apart with their bare hands and throwing them around. One took a set of eight rounds to the center chest but shrugged them off.
 
Another video showed what looked like a flamethrower being used against a trench. The flames made a bird shape and spread even farther than the camera could see. Then the camera was kicked down and showed a pair of red pants with charms before it went to static.
 
“I’m planning on issuing an executive order that will make it easier to deal with them. It’s an extension of the civil forfeiture principle that we use in the War on Drugs. That means that anyone suspected of being un-American will have their assets seized and used for the common good. This will apply to everyone in our sovereignty.”
 
“Mr. President,” one of his lawyers spoke up. “Such an executive order can be interpreted as trying to set up a tyranny and dictatorship by the Supreme Court and the people. And I doubt that the public would be willing to stand idly by.”
 
“You have a good point.” Xingun rubbed his chin in thought. “How about we make sure that we help to increase their safety? I want to issue another order that buys up all surplus military grade ammunition. We’ll keep buying them even if our warehouses are about to burst. Without all of this dangerous ammunition floating around, I’m sure that crime will go down and the need for a normal citizen to have a firearm will be gone.”
 
“Sir, any more restrictions on weapons will have right leaning groups calling for your impeachment.”
 
“Then we have the police forces arrest them. Aren’t most right wing groups extremists and advocates for violence? While we’re at it, we’ll take the left wing groups down as well. I won’t stand for bleeding hearts advocating for the rights of criminals. Did I miss anyone?”
 
“Is this martial law?” The Pacific Command general asked, resigned to his career being over.
 
“I prefer to think of it as a state of emergency,” the god of disaster replied easily. “We’re doing this for the safety of the people. Gensokyo has already proven that it’s capable of withstanding our attack and responding in kind. I would also like to make sure that the Posse Comitatus and Insurgent Acts are repealed and that my office has the authority and ability to call upon our troops to be ready to go anywhere, including within our own boarders.” He spreads his hands. “I can tell that many of you are not happy with this. So, I’ll go ahead and let the cat out of the bag.” He smiled, showing all of his teeth. “All of these executive orders have already been signed by yours truly and all of you have been designated as enemies of the state.”
 
He snaps his fingers and CIA agents walk in and begin to arrest the advisors. Even though the CIA were prohibited from operating on domestic land, they just did what they want. With their former director now the head of the executive branch, they basically had the power of the government behind them. At the Pacific Command Headquarters, MPs arrested the PACOM commander. The legislative and judicial branches were infiltrated by Xingun’s agents and were bending to his will.
 
With the room finally empty, he sends a quick text and waits. A few minutes later, another group walks in and takes the empty seats. All of them were personally vetted by him and would follow his orders to the last breath. Each of them had a dull look in their eyes, the result of a charm that was cast in order to serve as a failsafe.
 
“How does it feel,” Xingun asked all of them. “All of you are now the proud leaders of the most power country on the planet and history. But we are a crossroads in the path of the nation. We must ensure that the nation is secure and safe from the foreign enemy. Like I told the group of traitors a few minutes ago, we are buying up all the ammunition in every store we can get out hands on. Any civilian found with armor piercing or hollow point rounds will be arrested on charges of treason.”
 
“What about the rebellions that will occur because of that?” His new National Guard liaison asked.
 
“Crush them with everything you have.” He started to spin in his chair. “Several of my people in the Senate and the House are pushing a bill to resume production of the A-10 and more heavy vehicles to suppress dissidents. The ones not under my control will be brought up on charges of treason due to un-American activities and replaced with those that have the interests of the nation at heart. This paper in front of me”, he held up said paper. “Is an executive order bringing down martial law on all of our sovereignty. It goes without saying that I’m still retaining power.”
 
The room broke into applause. The democracy that had survived for almost 250 years was being killed with a single signature on a piece of paper. Political scientists across the nation (and by extension, the world) felt a sharp pain in their chests at the same time as the god of disaster signed on the dotted line. Even though it was a tragedy, political scientists would faint if this had happened to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was no small secret that many of them considered that system to be the best ever devised and would be reduced to wondering around lifelessly if it were to be struck down.
 
“Now that I think about it, why pay for that ammo when the nation is in dire need of it? Homeland Security, send your personnel to confiscate all ammunition in civilian stores. If they give them trouble, bring in the National Guard or active army. Use deadly force if you have too. National Guard, coordinate with the states that have a registry and begin to confiscate all privately owned semi-automatic and bolt action rifles. Tell the owners that we will be sending the weapons to our troops and compliance would be appreciated. When our people are there, search the rest of their homes to make sure they’re not holding out on us.”
 
“What about when they start to shield themselves with the Constitution?”
 
“I don’t care about that document anymore.” He replied nonchalantly. “President Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus during the Civil War for national security. We’re doing the same thing. They want to complain about the next to last president being a dictator? I’ll show them what one can be.”
 
Xingun signals to the aide stationed at the communications station. A few seconds later, an encrypted broadcast channel is opened. Only his agents were able to access the channel where he issued orders and demanded updates.
 
“Agents stationed in Central and South America, continue with your infiltrations and place a priority in crushing organized crime or bringing them under your control. Agents stationed in Africa, continue with attempts to destabilize the region. I know for a fact that South Africa still has some of their nuclear material, do what you can with that. Just make sure that it doesn’t go nuclear. European agents, focus more on the defense contractors more than the governments, especially H&K and Sig Sauer. Middle East agents, you’re doing good so far, so keep it up. Agents in Asia, try to rile up China and North Korea some more. Agents in Russia, I think the Soviet Union is due for a comeback, so help them out. Australian agents, pick a group and make them the scapegoat for whatever you need to do. So far, Russia has taken over 90 percent of Ukraine and are eyeballing some of their neighbors. The Middle East is a hair away from nuclear war, one that we would be better off avoiding. If any of you can make their nuclear weapons disappear and reappear within our borders, there’ll be a bonus in order. To the agents in NATO command posts, dragging your feet would help our plans in the long run.”
 
Making a slicing motion, Xingun has the call cut. “Now that I have my people abroad working on what I needed, we need to decide on how to keep on going here.”
 
“Mr. President, it would help if we bring utilities under our control.” The Secretary of the Interior said. The Secretary of Energy glared at him sideways.
 
“What do you define as a utility?”
 
“Power, water, railroads, roads, gas, internet, television, radio, schools, hospitals, and public transportation.”
 
“Then get on to it. Bring them all under our control and staff them with workers that we know will not betray us. Anyone else have ideas?”
 
“Stop all entitlements and public benefits.” The new Secretary of Health and Human Services.
 
“I do see fraud happening a lot. Discontinue all benefits at midnight, tonight. If they want to eat, they have to work. I have a feeling that riots will happen, so be prepared. We need to get rid of all dead weight as soon as possible.”
 
“Reducing the unemployment rate.” The Secretary of Labor chimed in.
 
“How?”
 
“If they don’t work, they don’t eat. We need everyone to contribute to the war effort. Close down all soup kitchens and shelters. If they can’t work, let natural selection take care of them. It’s the same as batteries, thrown them out when they’re useless.”
 
“Do it. If they can’t work, they don’t pay taxes and drain the system. Keep up the good work.”
 
“Withdraw our troops from non-combat environments.” The Secretary of Defense said.
 
“Hmm, explain.”
 
“We need as much manpower as we can get. Let other nations deal with their own problems, especially if they won’t help us help them.”
 
“Good. It’s approved. Make sure our foreign aid to other nations is stopped right now. And bring up a bill for all the money that we have lost. If they won’t pay, we’ll force them to. And stop grain and food shipments to nations that have mouthed off to us. One last thing, if our opponents are on the verge of getting nuclear capabilities, crush them.”
 
“What about the legal branch?” The Attorney General asked.
 
“I want the Justices to be placed on home arrest until they can be made to disappear at a better time. And lock down the press, I don’t want them spreading rumors. Use the Sedition Act as justification. If they call us terrorists, kick them out of the country. It would be good if we them take out on a ship and dump them in the middle of the ocean with a bag of their belongings and tell them to find somewhere else to live. Implement it.” He stands up. “Good meeting. Do everything we talked about and we can take our country back.”
 
Xingun leaves the room and heads to the Oval Office. He was internally laughing at how he was able to play various political factions against each other and allowed him to pick his supporters. The fact that they had latched on to him for their own political gain had made laughably easy. As long as his agents followed his orders, he had nothing to worry about from the human side of things.
 
He opens the door to his office and steps in side. After he locks the door, he sits in his comfortable chair and sighs. Two taps on his desk opens a drawer with three files in it. Taking them out, he lays them in front of him.
 
“While I’m not worried about the humans, you three are a concern.” The three pictures are of Yukari, Eirin, and Sakuya.. “The Mastermind behind the Spiriting Away, the Hourai Pharmacist, and the Maid of the Evening Storm. Three beauties that can derail my plans and seal me back like that student did so long ago.” He throws a knife that hits a picture in a secret compartment behind a moveable book case. “The nameless blonde college student with gentle and bright blue eyes. So what if I killed your best friend in front of you, you still got in my way.” He leaned back to stretch. “If only I knew what your name was, I could get the entire US military to hunt you down.
 
He pulls a satellite phone from his desk and dials a number. Two rings later, someone picks up on the other end.
 
“Darkcreek USA, it’s me. I need some help with a problem. I have four targets that my normal and special troops have failed to take out. If you’re willing to do me this favor, I can guarantee a bonus of at least 200% and priority on future contracts. Sound good?”
 
“We’ll do it. What’s the info on the targets?”
 
“Good, good. This cannot get out, ever. Three targets are legitimate military threats on the battlefield at this moment. One is the leader of the enemy faction, the second is a high ranking member of an enemy ally, and the third is a tank commander that has destroyed many of our top of the line tanks. The fourth is a civilian target that will grow into an extremely dangerous threat. The first three, we’ll pay 1 billion for each, before the bonus. The last will get 10 billion.”
 
He could hear the other end suck air in amazement. “Yes, you heard me right. 1 billion per target, billion with a capital b. 10 billion for the last. And that’s before the bonus I’ve promised. I’ll send you the data in a few minutes, but I need this done as fast as you can. And I need proof in my hands.”
 
Lunarian line of battle, Japan
 
The early rays of the dawn sun were casting a surreal atmosphere on the battlefield. During the night, the NATO forces had been pushed back even further. The Lunarian night regiments had played on the wired in human fears of the troops. The youkai that had fought during this time also saw an improvement in their performance. Spell card bullets also had the added benefit of overpowering night vision goggles.
 
Trying to turn the tide of battle, the NATO forces had begun to call in more contractors. Their idea worked great at first, until the Lunarians had begun to grow tired of them and ran them down like animals. Captured contractors were executed by officers due to the Lunarian disgust of civilians playing soldiers. Even though the contractors were prior service, the Lunarians didn’t care about the past.
 
Word of the contractors reached Toyohime, who agreed with the summarily executions. She issued an order that unlawful combatants were to be given the same punishment if they fired on Lunarian forces. Several unarmed contractors that had been capture were released when they promised not to fire on moon troops. The arrangement was unavoidable with the large amount of wrecked vehicles that civilian wreckers were sent out to retrieve. After the first few hours, the two parties settled into a somewhat comfortable co-existence.
 
With the sun coming back up, the horn for the shift change was blown again. The night regiments formed up and began to march back to their portals. Sakuya and Eirin had taken a short nap to regain their strength and to get their minds off of the rake. Remiu and Marisa had woken up and were ready to head back on out. The shrine maiden had gotten over not being comfortable with killing, with major help from Yukari.
 
Tenshi had also benefited from some sleep and was able to get her thoughts together. The pain from watching Iku get killed in front of her had been dulled by a sense of disbelief. She had expected her to be behind her whenever she had been arguing with some upstarts that were trying to undermine her authority. Eventually she just snapped and beat them to a pulp to have them serve as an example. Her father was so proud that she was taking her job and status seriously.
 
The Porsche Tiger was fully repaired, thanks to Patchouli’s and Koakuma’s efforts. Even though the witch had always criticized her harshly whenever she messed up, her words never had any real malice. She was the one that spent extra time adding armor and safety spells to the vehicle, even pushing herself to point of an asthma attack. Waking up from a drunken stupor didn’t help any either. Sakuya had made sure to bring her a cup of her favorite tea and snacks to help her rest, and also made her go to sleep in her bed.
 
She laid a hand on the wall next to her. The maid had never felt such a strong feeling of fortitude from the combination of magic and steel. “Danke Fraeulein Patchouli.” (Thank you, Miss Patchouli) Sakuya whispered. Even passed out in a mixture of drunkenness and fatigue, the witch smiled when she felt that gratitude. The Tiger (P) turned on with a powerful growl. The crew could feel the power that the engine had, even in idle. Ever since the fight yesterday, Sakuya had been fighting to keep from reverting back to speaking German. But now, she couldn’t help it. “Panzer vor.” (Armor forward.)
 
The fairy driver shifted gear, guessing at the command in a foreign language. They traveled without incident for about twenty minutes before they came upon a convoy of Humvees. The convoy were made up of uparmored Humvees that were designed for frontline combat. Most of the Bradley IFVs had been damaged in the fighting the day before, so Humvees had been pressed into other roles.
 
“Sprenggrenate! Laden und sichern!” (High explosive! Load and lock it!) Sakuya shouted. The loader slams a high explosive round into the chamber. The gunner, loader and radio operator were regular workers at the mansion, so they had learned some German from the few moments were Sakuya had lapsed due to stress or sheer annoyance. It did help that the type was written on the side of the shells.
 
“Sprenggrenate geladen und gesichert!” (High explosive loaded and ready!) The loader called out, indicating that the proper round was in the chamber and ready.
 
“Zwei Uhr! Sprenggrenate! 1000 Meter! Feuer!” (2 O‘clock! High explosive! 1000 meters! Fire!) Sakuya watches the round leave the cannon and hit the lead vehicle. Impacting the armored car, it unleashes a large explosion that incinerates the first half of the convoy. The rest turn to the side and try to scatter. Firing a volley of BGM-71 TOW missiles that hit the Tiger (P) in the front.
 
“Scheisse!” (Shit!) Sakuya cursed at the impacts rocking the tank. “Erledige das, so schnell du kannst!” (Take care of them as fast as you can!) She wanted her gunner to prevent a second volley of missiles. The loader slams another round and taps the gunner on the shoulder. The second shot destroys four Humvees, causing the rest of them to turn around and speed off. “Du koennen jetzt gehen.” (You can go now.) Giving the driver permission to move, the maid feels the failed prototype accelerate.
 
While waiting for the loader to ready the next round, the gunner opens up with the coaxial machine gun. The bullets rip through the uparmored vehicles, leaving only one left. Then a lone M1 Abrams appeared, but something was off about the tank. “Nun sieh mal einer an!” (Look at what we have here!) Sakuya was sure of the incoming round bouncing off of her tank. “Sei nicht so bloed!” (Don’t be so foolish!)
 
The tank comes to a complete stop and turns its turret towards them. It was slower than the others that they had fought before, somehow this sent a chill down Sakuya’s spine. The turret stops and the maid can finally tell what gave her that feeling. Instead of a regular cannon, the turret had four parallel rails pointing at them. Before any of Sakuya’s crew could blink, an impact lifted the heavy tank about an inch into the air. She recognized the weapon as a railgun and was lucky that the round had hit the group in front of them instead of head on.
 
“Mein gott,” (My God.) Sakuya barely saved herself from slamming her head into the wall. “Bewegen Sie schnell!” (Move fast!) The driver shifted gears and began to move. Grinding her teeth, the maid knew that they had just stumbled upon something major.
 
 Yuakri’s voice came into her ear at that moment. “Hauptmann Izayoi, there’s a fellow prototype tank in the area. From what we can tell, it seems to have an almost finished railgun as its main armament. I doubt that the charms that Patchouli used are enough to take a projectile like that head on. I’ve scared up some stats, so pay attention. The reload time of the railgun is 10.1 seconds due to the generators having to recharge. This has slowed down the turret traverse rate to 6.2 degrees a second. Due to the strain, the top speed is down to 26 miles an hour. It’s roughly the equivalent to a Tiger 1. Especially since the stabilizers were removed.”
 
“What’s the crew like?” Sakuya had to make a conscious effort to switch to Japanese.
 
“Still the normal makeup.”
 
“Zielen Sie auf die Seite!” (Aim for the side!) Sakuya called out to the gunner. The fairy nods and fires a shot that deflected off of the turret. Resisting the urge to kick the gunner, the maid was about to call for another round when the railgun fired again.
 
A Panzer IV Ausf. H had tried to link up with the Tiger (P) but instantly brewed up when the railgun projectile hit it. The faint shape of the fairy commander could be seen being ejected by the superheated jet of gas breaking through the hatch. A second or two later, the turret flew off as well. From personnel experience, Sakuya knew that the crew was more than likely instantly killed. At least they wouldn’t have to suffer being burned alive.
 
The two original tanks began to turn on each other, trying to get a clear shot at each other’s rears. Both turrets were having trouble traversing fast enough to stay on target. Sakuya’s gunner didn’t want to waste another shot, otherwise she would get a kick in the back of the head. The railgun operator was concerned about the state of the generators, so he was holding until he was sure of another good hit.
 
The Tiger P’s radio operator opens up with the machine gun, only to have all the rounds obviously deflect off of the tank. The drivers were balancing turning and forward acceleration. One mistake would lead to either tank slowing down enough for the other to flank it, meaning certain death.
 
The railgun suddenly fires, hitting the Porsche Tiger in the side of the turret. Sakuya hears something fizzle out and the scent of smoke fills the area. “Was haben sie getroffen?” (What did it hit?)
 
“Es traf den Horizontalmotor!” (It got the horizontal motor!) The loader shouted back while disengaging the gear and switching the ring to manual. The gunner tested out the hand crank, the turret moved slower than before. Now Sakuya had to make a choice: to keep going on with the turn battle or to break and try to find cover. If she wanted to stay in the turn fight, she could be stuck in a stalemate until either of them made a mistake. If she broke off, she would probably get a railgun to the rear.
 
“Rueckwaerts auf Hochtouren!” (Reverse at full speed!) Sakuya yells out. The Tiger (P) stopped suddenly, causing the M1 Abrams to overshoot. Throwing the gear into reverse, the tank lurched backwards as it picked up speed. Turning the hand crank as fast as she could, the gunner lines up a shot and manages to knock out one of the M1’s generators. While it wasn’t a disabling hit, the round had the effect of increasing the recharge time.
 
“Guter Schuss!” (Good shot!) Sakuya praised the gunner. The loader slams an armor piercing round into the breech and pats the gunner on the head. Looking through the sight, the gunner could see and angle of 15 degrees at the point of impact. If the gunner pulled the trigger now, it would more than likely deflect. But the Tiger (P) was going in reverse at full speed, making it more likely that the shot would miss altogether.
 
“Biegen Sie Rechts ab!” (Turn to the right!) Shouted the maid. The driver reacted instantly, saving them by causing the incoming round to deflect off of their sides. Even though it deflected, the tank still shook violently with the impact. The radio operator slammed her head into the side of the tank and instantly fell unconscious. It was good fortune that if one crew member had to be knock out, it was the one that wasn’t responsible for keep them alive. Sakuya crouched down beside her to make sure that she was still breathing.
 
The gunner fires another shot, bouncing off the front armor. The loader quickly readies another round and break open the tool box. Grabbing a wrench, she set on the broken motor. She was able to remove three out of the four bolts before having to reload. Once the cannon was reloaded, the fairy removed the last one and let the motor fall to the floor. A large budge could be seen where the railgun had almost penetrated the armor and damaged the motor. The motor’s power cable had been cut, so she removed the damaged wire and threw it to the side.
 
Sakuya grabs a replacement from a storage container and throws it up. Catching it, the loader was able to hand tighten the four bolts before having to grab another round. Once the action slammed shut, she tightened them down with the wrench and had the gunner test out the motor. The turret began to move faster and smoother, signifying a successful repair. Climbing back to her seat, Sakuya sees the Abrams adjusting its turret.
 
Her gunner fires off a quick round that slams head on in the front. The impact caused the modern tank to rock, throwing off the railgun. The projectile left a small gorge on the top of the turret as it flew into the distance. Sakuya was waiting for the loader to slam the next round but it didn’t happen. The casing had expanded and jammed inside the breech, causing the loader to grab a crowbar and try to pry it lose.
 
“Schauen Sie sich ihre Koepfe!” (Watch your heads!). Sakuya called as she took the crowbar from the loader and stabbed the bottom of the casing with it. Once she made the gash big enough, she flipped the crowbar over and inserted the curved end. Planting her feet on the wall, she gets a good grip and bulls the bar. A second or two later, the shell pops out with a crack in the side. The loader opens a hatch and throws the useless and almost fatal casing outside.
 
The back of the Tiger (P) hits a tree and breaks it like a twig. The next railgun round hits the tree and is deflected enough to miss the open hatch. The loader slams the hatch close and rams a fresh round in the cannon.
 
“Warten Sie auf mein Kommando.” (Wait for my command.) Sakuya instructs the gunner. She pauses and leans back to prevent from firing the cannon accidently. “Sich naehern.” (Get closer.) She instructs the driver.
 
The Porsche Tiger lurched forward, picking up speed. Sakuya knew that they had a chance of getting stuck in a turn fight, which would be the next worst thing to getting blown up. If the gunner could get the turret ring, they would be set, but the ground was too rough to get a steady shot. They were about fifty meters away when the pair began to turn into each other again.
 
“Warten, warten, warten.” (Wait, wait, wait.) Sakuya kept repeating to the gunner. Sweat began to form on her brow again, but she was too focused to notice it. The Abrams was able to move itself in way that countered Sakuya’s higher speed. The human driver knew his machine well and was a worthy opponent. What Sakuya didn’t know was that in order to make space and power for the railgun generators, many of the features that assisted the crew had to be removed. This meant that the gunner had to rely on the cross hair on the gun sight instead of a firing computer and the driver had to watch RPMs and gears himself. The commander had to switch his own channels and codes instead of letting a computer do that for him.
 
At the moment, the Tiger (P) had the advantage in loading time since it didn’t rely on generators that could be damaged by a good shot. But the Tiger (P) had one crew member that was knocked out, even if that crew member wasn’t directly contributing to the fight. The prototype railgun Abrams had the advantage in firepower, since it was highly likely that a single good shot would penetrate the Porsche at this close range.
 
The fact that the pair were dueling near a hill almost escaped Sakuya.. But she saw it and got an idea. Just like a high school league Tankery match, going down the hill would turn this into a more mobile battle. As long as they didn’t let themselves get hit by a railgun round, they should be able to maneuver better. And if they were able to get into an open field, it would be better still.
 
“Feuer!” (Fire!) Sakuya shouted. The armor piercing round glazes the front armor of the Abrams, The return round hits the ground beside the Tiger (P) and lifted it into the air. The driver struggled to control the heavy tank when it landed and swerved. Sakuya’s loader loaded a High Explosive round so that they could try to destroy the enemy view ports. It lands right on the right most driver’s periscope, knocking it out. But since the round wasn’t penetrating, it only one of the three periscopes.
 
A railgun round impacted right in front of them. Sakuya had been counting the seconds between each round and was frowning when she got a lower count than the others. The only thing that could explain that would be that the damaged generator had been repaired and was coming back online. A group of rocks came into view at the bottom of the hill, giving the pair cover from each other. An outcropping on their side would force them to show their rear if they didn’t time this right.
 
Taking the turn so fast that they drifted, the Tiger (P) is about to zoom off when Sakuya can see the layout of the rocks. The only path was almost a straight line with the path that the M1 was on coming behind them. “Rueckwaerts auf Hochtouren!” (Reverse at full speed!) Sakuya shouts again. The Tiger (P) switches gears and speeds back. It hits about 40 miles per hour when the Abrams pops out from behind the rock. The two tanks collided with each other, causing the human gunner to fire his round too early.
 
Everyone in the two tanks were thrown out of their seats and spent precious seconds getting back in their places. The Tiger (P) turned to the side where it could force the railgun to point over it without being in the line of fire. Now the fight was turning into an all-out close quarter brawl.
 
“Sie zu beschaeftigen!” (Keep them occupied!) Sakuya said before opening up the top hatch and jumping out. Pulling her service knife out of its sheath she jumped on top of the other tank. Stabbing the .50 caliber machine gun on the top, she made sure to destroy as much as she could. The other one tried to turn towards her, so she crouched up it and stuck her knife in the chamber. She reaches the commander’s hatch and stuck her knife near the lock. The sword fight that happening with the cannons almost made her lose her balance.
 
Giving up on cutting through the different hatch, she thought about throwing a knife through the railgun’s barrel, but decided against it. She started to hear a winding noise and took a leap back to her hatch. Sakuya barely managed to close the hatch before the railgun fired again. Feeling a slight ringing in her ears, she decided to stay in the tank for the rest of the battle. Something about what had just happened didn’t sit right with her.
 
Her knife should have cut through the lock like it did on the others. The fact that it had a weapon that finally able to penetrate her armor, albeit a prototype, and had arrived the day after she had taken command of her tank meant that someone had planned it out well in advance. If weapons development was anything like it was back in Germany in the Second World War, then it would take some time. She thought about trying to call in a bombing run, but they were too close and her pride as a tank commander was on the line. A smile expanded on her face as she decided to finish this one by herself.
 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 07:37:29 pm by The Dratini Farmer »

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #62 on: May 10, 2015, 01:58:02 am »
 Lunarian Staging Grounds, Gensokyo
 
Three regiments of Lunarian line infantry were waiting in formation. The 1st, 15th, and 51st Regiments of Infantry were chosen by Princess Toyohime to march on Tokyo and negotiate with the Japanese government. Eirin and Yukari arrived and were conferring with Kanako and Suwako about the present state of affairs. One of Yukari’s crows lands on her shoulder and holds out its leg. Yukari takes a small paper form it and smiles a little when she reads it.
 
With a flourish of her fan, she opens up a series of gaps large enough for the individual regiments to march through. The 1st, 15th and half of the 51st would march on the National Diet Building would the rest of the 51st would find the Prime Minister and escort him to join the Diet. The Emperor would be left alone until either Princesses Toyohime or Yorihime wished to speak with him. Since the Lunarian troops were more heavily armed than the police and token military forces in the city, it would serve everyone well if shots weren’t fired.
 
Commands were shouted out by senior sergeants and the regiments brought their rifles to the marching position. Drum beats echoed through the area as the standard bearers lifted their banners into the air. Company commanders shouted orders to march, leading to the sounds of perfectly timed footsteps to ring out. The way the troops marched reminded Yukari of Panzerlied, which brought a set of memories back.
 
As soon as an entire row had arrived in front of the Diet building, they sprinted inside and began to clear it. Police officers instantly knew that they were outmatched and raised their hands in surrender. They allowed themselves to be pushed back until they made a perimeter around the building. The same thing happened to tourists. Several of the Lunarian troops had actually stopped at the souvenir stands and bought things before they had them leave.
 
Eirin and Yukari entered the building, taking their hats off out of respect. The pair continued until they reached the joint session. The room instantly fell into silence when the representatives recognized them and the troops that preceded them. Right after they entered, a portal opened and the Prime Minster was escorted right in. He was unharmed but annoyed that he had to eat his breakfast on the go.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen of the Diet, allow me to introduce myself,” Yukari bowed her head slightly in greeting. “I am Yukari Yakumo, leader and head of the paradise known as Gensokyo.”
 
“I am Royal Colonel Eirin Yagokoro, former Chief Medical Officer of the Lunarian Defense Corps, former tutor to eight generations of the Lunarian Royal Family, and commander of the 1st Regiment of Royal Foot.” Eirin nodded as well. “I will represent the Lunarians in these negotiations.”
 
The speaker of the House of Councillors stood up. “Negotiations? Why would we negotiate with the enemy when they have forced their way into our capital? How many innocent civilians have you killed?”
 
“None.” Yukari answered smoothly. “All of your security forces and civilians were evacuated when we arrived. We took extreme care to avoid any bloodshed or inconvenience. None of your buildings are on fire or destroyed, they are all going on with their usual business. We would like to keep it that way.”
 
“Then why are you here? Is it really negotiations or surrender that you seek?”
 
“Negotiations.” Eirin said. “We want to speak to your nation as equals and end this conflict as quickly and bloodlessly as possible. We are prepared to offer you generous terms and conditions to meet that end.”
 
“Such as?” This time it was the Prime Minister.
 
“Withdraw from the war and we’ll be happy to sign a non-aggression treaty with you. We would even be willing to sign a Declaration of Friendship or alliance.” Yukari answered.
 
“You are fighting the United States, our biggest ally, to a standstill. I highly doubt that we would be at liberty to even discuss something like that.”
 
“What if I told you that several important officials at the top of the American government are thinking about dropping nuclear weapons on Japanese soil?” Yukari threw out.
 
The room instantly chills at that proclamation. Several of the representatives began to argue with each other over whether that the United States would even dare to think about it. Yukari waits until the speakers of the two houses restore order.
 
“If you don’t believe me, I would like to place a call to the Swiss government.”
 
“Who are you calling?” the Prime Minister asked.
 
“Die Nachrichtendienst des Budnes,” Yukari replied in perfect German. “They have something that you might want to see.”
 
Without waiting for their permission, Yukari walks to the video conference interface and dials a number. The projector screen at the front of the room began to lower as a dial tone sounded through the room.
 
“This is the head of the Federal Intelligence Service, I take it that it’s you on the other end, Lady Yakumo?”
 
“You are correct. Do have the documents that you have talked to me about?”
 
“Yes. Do I have the pleasure of speaking to a joint secession of the Japanese National Diet?”
 
The Prime Minister stood up. “Yes, along with the Prime Minister. The Emperor himself is busy at the moment.”
 
“I’ve never been good at speaking with royalty, so that’s fine. I trust that you can advise him at a later time. To begin, we have had taps on top level American communications ever since we found out that they have tapped into ours. Last night, we intercepted a very concerning series of executive orders and requests from the White House. Several of them are designed to erode the natural liberties and freedoms of their people under the guise of security. One request for an opinion from unusual parties involves the use of nuclear weapons. One potential target would be the site of the current battle involving GDF and LDC forces, in the north of the country. Here are some copies of the documents that we intercepted.”
 
On the screen memos began to appear one right after another. Some were addressed to the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. The one to the Department of Justice was concerning possible laws in occupied territories, the ones to Homeland Security would be the subjugation of civilian populations, and the one to Defense concerned possible technologies to counter magic and large populations.
 
“Now, I know that the two of you are allies. But I am willing to bet that your own intelligence services should have dug up these documents by now. If you want to call them, I’m willing to wait.” The head of the FIS leaned back and began to slip some coffee.
 
The Prime Minister talked to one of his aides and sent him off. A few minutes later, the aide returned with a tablet and gave it to him. The Prime Minister’s face began to pale as he read the documents on it and then passed it off to the Speakers of the House of Councillors and Representatives. They two began to pale and placed the tablet on the stand in front of the emperor’s empty chair.
 
“I take it that I was right.” The spy master sat up. “We have also received reports of the American government starting to buy out ammunition and weapons. There is also a shakeup of officers in the mix, especially in the National Guard. If I didn’t know better, I would say that martial law is in the works. But the question is how they plan on having the ability to wage war aboard and home.”
 
“I believe that I may have a way.” Yukari interjected. Everyone turned to look at her. “Might I be able to ask if anyone here would be familiar with Project MKUltra?”
 
No one in the assembly knew what she was talking about. Only Eirin and the FIS director knew. He leaned back and whistled, he knew exactly what she was talking about.
 
“MKUltra was a CIA program designed to develop and implement mind control in the 1950s. It was highly criticized when the fact that American and Canadian citizens were used as test subjects came to light. Some of the things that came out of this project were LSD, new forms of torture and blackmail. It was ‘officially’ ended in 1973, according to the CIA.”  Yukari laughed. “But like the rest of the programs that the CIA has ordered, it still continues to this day. There is one increasing alarming development, Director, if you would.”
 
“Of course. A few months before the incident in the United Nations, we intercepted an order for sensors to a company in Germany. It came from the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, and it was so encrypted that we had only finished a few hours ago. It was an order for sensors that could detect something that was called ‘magic’. We have no idea if that is a code name, but my personal feeling is that it was develop specifically against Gensokyo. Note that this happened before hostilities had happened or that Gensokyo was even known.”
 
“This ties in that the CIA knows about magic. I know that all of you probably think of magic as something out of a fairy tale or fantasy novel, but I assure you that it is true.” Yukari was about to continue, but the doors opened.
 
All of the representatives stood at once and bowed. Walking into the chamber was the Emperor of Japan, escorted by his two bodyguards and four Lunarian officers. The four officers stopped when they reached the doors and closed them. The Emperor of Japan took his seat and motioned for the representatives to sit. He had the wrinkles of age and wisdom all over his face with no hints of malice or treachery.
 
“I am the Emperor of Japan. I assume that I am speaking to my equal on the other side.”
 
“Somewhat, I’m only the caretaker of the Great Hakueri Barrier that separated Gensokyo from the outside. While I am the usually one that takes the lead in outside affairs, we would like to think of Gensokyo of having no real hierarchy.”
 
“I see.” He nodded. “So it still is the same as the legends that I have heard.”
 
“It depends on which legends you have heard.”
 
The Emperor smiled. “Doesn’t it always. But I think that the rest of the officials would prefer if we get back to the topic at hand.”
 
“Yes, it would be better. Would you like for us to bring you up to speed?”
 
“I’m current with most of what we’re talking about. I would like a few minutes to confer with the Prime Minister and the two Speakers, but I would like to ask one question before I do.”
 
“Of course, what is it?”
 
He turned to Eirin. “I have heard rumors that the Lunarians are the source about the rumors of the Dragon Palace from our legends. Is that true?”
 
Eirin took a breath. “Those legends…are all true. The two daughters of the Dragon God are based off of my two best students, who are the reigning sovereigns of the moon. I raised the pair myself.”
 
“I see.” The Emperor nodded. “Now I can confer with my advisors.”
 
For the next ten minutes, the Emperor listened to the arguments of the two houses. The Prime Minister interjected every so often to include relevant information. Even though the monarch only had ceremonial powers, he was still respected by the people and carried a bit of weight in the political arena. Eirin and Yukari were given seats by the Lunarian troops while they waited. Eirin was given updates on the battle, along with communications with Sakuya during her showdown with the prototype tank.
 
Yukari was getting the same updates and was frowning. The fact that counters to magic were being fielded so fast didn’t bode well for them. The director of the FIS could be seen speaking to someone off screen. With the bickering dying down, the Emperor began to frown in thought.
 
“I hope that we haven’t kept waiting too long.” He motioned them to remain seated. “Please don’t worry about royal protocol, it would be faster if we kept this as practical as we can. Even though we are technically at war with each other, you did make sure that civilians and outclassed police forces were removed from the area and haven’t wiped out the entire assembly. Due to these facts, I am willing to hear the terms and conditions that you will place forward.”
 
“I am more interested in why you didn’t ask what would happen if you refused our terms.” Eirin spoke.
 
“I am confident that if the negotiations did break down, you would withdraw.”
 
“I hate having my bluffs called,” Yukari sighed. “So our terms are that you withdraw from the war and sign a non-aggression pact.”
 
“I see. You do realize that doing so would make us enemies with the United States. We’re already at odds with Russia and China, even though the United States did ask us to allow them to help with the enveloping of the shrine.”
 
“So I take it that you really did give them permission to travel in your territory.” Eirin asked.
 
“It was with the insistence of several members of the Cabinet,” the Prime Minister said. “Even though I was against it, they kept on insisting.”
 
“Did they have a glazed look in their eyes?” Yukari looked around.
 
“A few of them…” the Prime Minister trailed off. Eirin tapped her foot and Lunarian troops began to inspect each of the Diet members’ eyes. The ones that were glazed over were immediately dragged in front of the negotiating parties at gun point. Eirin stood up and grabbed one by the cheeks to force him to look at her. Grabbing a spell card from a pocket, she slams it on his forehead. The sound of glass breaking could be heard and he collapsed amid an aura of dark energy.
 
“Hmm,” Eirin said thoughtfully. “That was easier than I expected, so it must be a prototype batch. You four, don’t run away just yet.” She threw more spell cards that connected and broke the spells. “There’s the proof that MKUltra is still up and running.”
 
The ones that were released from the spell began to pick themselves off of the ground with dazed looks on their faces. Lunarian medical personnel began to administer to them, but found that they just need a few minutes to get themselves together.
 
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this does show that the American government has been trying to interfere with your internal affairs. I’m not saying that they’re in the wrong, but they’re in the wrong.” Yukari said.
 
The Emperor nodded sadly. “How can this be the same government that helped to correct our misguided nation during the war? They have done so much for us and then this happens. How?”
 
“It’s not the same government,” Yukari answered. “It’s only the United States government in name. Someone has manipulated their way into the lead, and they did so publicly. Everyone here knows that the current president isn’t elected, nor has he even talked about elections after the last elected president was injured. Don’t feel that your country is the only one that has been infiltrated. I would bet my entire fortune that every important country has been infiltrated.”
 
"How could this happen?" The Prime Minister asked.
 
“They have had to come in contact with American agents under the CIA’s payroll.” Yukari watched the awaken representatives stumble around. “It could have been in the course of official duties, or it could have been accidently bumping into someone in the street.”
 
“If I could interject,” the FIS direction asked. “Both the United States and Soviet Union have had their agents kill each other in third party nations during the Cold War. There were reports of Soviet agents having caches all throughout the United States in case of war. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was happening here. They were spying on Germany, one of their closest allies. They even wiretapped their chancellor.”
 
“So the Americans don’t care about sovereignty or customs anymore?” Feeling light headed, the Prime Minister had to seat down.
 
“Not the ones in charge.” Eirin sighed. “But with the magic and technology that they’re combining to make this type of mind control, it won’t matter if the lower ranks don’t see that way. If they would treat their own soldiers like this, imagine what they would do to the civilians.”
 
“But the United States is one of the largest gun loving nations on the planet. And they’re not exactly some of the most reasonable people either.”
 
“That instability can make them even more susceptible to this magic. Nobody can use a weapon if their resolve is broken and they become used to the status quo.”
 
“Mein Gott,” everyone turned to the screen on the wall. “We intercepted another set of orders, this time to Krauss-Maffei Wagmann GmbH & Co. KG. Take a look of them for yourself.”
 
A series of blueprints appeared on the screen. It was a design for what looked like a powered suit. “From what we can tell, this an armored suit that has been designed to match the power and endurance of many of the combatants that the NATO forces encountered during the First Battle of the Hakurei Shrine. The materials being ordered also seem to be interesting. Something called SPHINX, which stands for Special Purpose High Inhibiting and Nullifying eXtract. What it’s extracted from, I don’t know. But it’s specified to be able to resist magic at close range and disrupt spell circles.
 
“Has it been tested yet?” Eirin asked.
 
“I can’t say, but if I were a betting man, probably.” He shrugged. “Against what, I don’t know. My recommendation would be to assume that it is effective against your magic and plan accordingly.” Someone else spoke off screen. “It does seem that way, Madame President.”
 
As Yukari had requested, the entire Swiss Federal Council was sitting in on the call and waiting for their chance to jump in. “Prime Minister, it would have been improper for us to have a meeting like this without representatives from our allies. The Swiss head of state is the entire Federal Council, so they’re all here.”
 
“So, back to the negotiations,” Eirin jumped in. “Withdraw from the war and we’ll let you keep your sovereignty and help you out from time to time.”
 
“If we were to withdraw, the Americans would take that as an act of war and invade us.”
 
“You see how we can fight them to standstill.” Eirin responded. “If you were to agree to our terms, we would be happy to take care of that problem. The Lunarians are happy to have allies rather than captured territories. We’re not above occupation, however.”
 
“If we don’t have the support of the United States, Russia and China will see that as an opening. Even more so after we showed them kindness in letting them help with the blockage in exchange for withdrawing territorial claims.”
 
“Do you really believe that either of them will stand by their word?” Yukari scoffed. “You’ve seen what they have done in Ukraine, in Vietnam and Korea, and even in Afghanistan. Look at how they played with Germany during World War II. The only way to make sure that they respect that agreement is by showing them that it’s in their best interest to. China is full of arrogance, they won’t understand until they touch the fire and realize it burns. They have one aircraft carrier that they claim is the best technology has to offer, when in fact they had bought an old husk from Russia. What bodes ill for you is they still hold a grudge over the war. Like Colonel Yagokoro said, we can help with that easily.”
 
 “I cannot doubt your combat abilities, but how can you expect to hold off one of the largest nations on the planet?”
 
“They may be the largest on the planet, but Lunarian troops are skilled enough to counter that. Did you really think that we would throw all of our troops into the beginning of the war?” Eirin asked. “We have hundreds of line infantry regiments, hundreds of cavalry brigades, hundreds of artillery divisions, dozens of Royal Foot regiments, and tens of Royal Guard divisions. Each Lunarian solider is more than a one on one match with an American soldier. The only thing that would prove to be a problem would be a nuclear strike, which may be likely.”
 
“Does international law not matter anymore?”
 
“Have you seen the latest press conference from the White House?” Yukari asked. She gets all head shakes and nods to the Swiss. The image cuts out to a press conference in the White House Press Conference Room.
 
Hours before, James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, West Wing, the White House
 
The room was full of more reporters than usual. Rumors of the new executive orders and changes in leadership had been spreading faster than the E-4 Mafia rumor mill. Ammunition sales had spiked during the night, and warehouses were working at overdrive to ship out every last possible box. Mail and delivery vans were carrying vast amounts of those orders. As soon as sporting goods stores and gun shops opened, they were swarmed by crowds wanting to buy every last weapon. Bank accounts were cleared out by those fearing an IRS crackdown and exchanged for material goods believed to have value in practicality.
 
Home improvement stores were facing a run, with shovels, pickaxes, and other hand tools being scooped up in seconds. Grocery stores also saw a dramatic increase in the purchase of nonperishable foods and water. Protests were being discussed, but only by those that couldn’t make it to the stores. The vast majority of the people were preparing themselves for something big. Conspiracy theorists were reveling in their perceive confirmation and were trying to make book deals or score interviews.
 
Homes and neighborhoods were beginning to be barricaded and those with weapons were organizing defense groups. Police stations called all of their officers back to work, and began to issue live ammo. National Guard and Reserve units were also being placed on standby, but the vast majority were being to doubt if they were on the right side. Homegrown militias were gathering all of their members and double checking their equipment.
 
The door to the Press Room opened, and Taisui Xingjun walks in with his press secretary. He walked with a smile on his face and his hands out, almost expect a hug. Instead of walking straight to the podium, he greets the reporters in the front row, calling each by name and asking them about their families. While this was happening, the directors of the Departments of Homeland Defense, Justice, and Treasury walked in and stood next to the stand.
 
Once he was done, he walked behind the podium and rested his elbows on it. “Good morning, my fellow Americans. How are y’all doing? I know that some rumors have being going around, so I decided that it would be best if I set the record straight. But I’m going to do things a little differently. Why don’t all y’all start this by asking what you want to know?”
 
Hands immediately shot up. Xingjun picks one of the reports from the front. “Mr. President, what is the purpose of the executive orders that you have signed?”
 
“Good question. We’re in a war against a rogue nation, I would even call them terrorists. They did bomb every embassy on the planet. You might be wondering how they did that, I know I did at first. But, get ready for this, it was magic.” The room gets quiet out of disbelief. “I’m being dead serious, they can use magic. If you don’t believe me, stop by my public affairs office and we can show you the footage of the battle we’re right at this moment. But as I was saying, we’re in a war. Out boys and girls downrange need every little piece of support we can give them. What better way to do this than by giving them the ammo they need? I’m actually in discussions with the Joint Chiefs of Staff about letting them bring their own personal weapons. They almost had a heart attack when I first said it, but they’ll come around. The one about the weapons is a misunderstanding. If you value the 2nd amendment so much, then you should help out our service members by letting them use yours, or even joining them on the front line. Most people with tacti-cool weapons brag about being able to hit a target at 600 yards, so we’re willing to pay for them to go join the fight and test their skills out.” He was stopped when one of his advisors whispered in his ears. “Well, this actually works out perfectly, get them on the line.” Xingun smiles. “The Iranian excuse for a navy has just captured a cargo ship from one of our Pacific island allies in international waters. They fired warning shots and escaped before one of our carriers could get there. We’re opening a line to Tehran right now and y’all are welcomed to sit in on it.”
 
Once the call connects a gruff voice comes over the speakers, speaking in heavy accented English. “What does the bloodthirsty cowards of the Western World want?”
 
“Whoa, easy, easy.” Xingun said with the same smile on his face. “I just wanted to talk and catch up. How have you pig lovers been?”
 
The sound that came from the other line could only be described as an expression of pure anger.
 
“So, I heard you’ve been talking shit and took one of our allied ships hostage.”
 
“That ship belonged to a company that owes our government money. It is none of your concern and we only speak our minds.”
 
“I’ll make this quick.” Xingun put a hard edge in his voice. “You have thirty minutes to release the crew unharmed with their cargo untouched. If this happens, we’ll overlook this offense. If not, we’ll wipe your miserable wastes of life off of the map.”
 
“You wouldn’t dare.”
 
“Is that a challenge? We don’t appreciate the attack on a cardboard box you used as an aircraft carrier earlier this year. If you want to train against us, we would always welcome a straight charge on the high seas.”
 
“Our allies will help us.”
 
“Then it’s a challenge.” He turned to the directors. “Any and all Iranian assets and citizens are now to be placed under government control and detained. Send a message to our carriers in the Persian Gulf that Iran is now a hostile target and the rules of engagement are as follows: leave none alive, move with utmost speed, and reduce our casualties. There will be no restrictions placed on those that are doing the work.” He turns back to the microphone. “This time next week, I’m going to be seating in the chair of your Shah in Tehran. Either that, or your country will be just a parking lot of glass. Enjoy what little time you have left.”
 
Before the line got cut, he throws up his arms and yells, “War Powers Resolution, bitch! I got 90 days to finish this! Congress ain’t got nothing on me!”
 
The room sat in stunned silence after the outburst. Xingun adjusts his tie and leans back on the podium. “How’s that for your next scoop?”
 
“Mr. President, how are you going to raise an army large enough to fight Iran with the current crisis?” A reporter in the second row asked.
 
“Well, we’re thinking of bring back the draft. After all, basic’s been a joke since the cycle after I graduated. I mean, we used to get flogged, even if we didn’t break the rules. These new guys have it easy, so no more stress cards and especially ice cream in the chow halls.”
 
“Sir, if I could interrupt,” a reporter chimed in. “It was my cycle that was the last hardest, at Fort Jackson in 2008.”
 
“Fort Jackson?” Xingun laughed. “I ain’t heard of no Fort Jackson, only Relaxing Jackson. Go on the Stairway to Heaven at Fort Benning and then talk to me about having a hard basic. I carried more weight than a pack mule and learned how to fly helicopters and kill people with my thumbs there. I saw a Drill Sergeant eat some poor private’s soul in formation. What did you do? Sing songs around a campfire and campus beautification? If you ain’t infantry, you ain’t shit. And don’t get me started on the Air Force.”
 
Unbeknownst to him, every infantry soul across the world cheered when they heard that. “The only real problem would be the funding that we need. So, we’re looking at reducing social programs, but only on a temporary basis. As soon as the current conflict is over, they’ll go back to normal. We’re also looking to take care of the Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp by neutralizing those prisoners permanently. That would create a safer nation and cut costs immensely. And the added bonus would be that we won’t have to worry about accusations of torture anymore. I know that a lot of you are concerned, I feel you on this. But we have a lot of this under control and the ones we don’t, we’re taking care of them. It takes a strong government to admit when it has trouble, and we’ll admit it when it happens.”
 
Xingun sighs. “Since the War Powers Resolution requires me to meet with Congress within 48 hours of military action, I’m going to have to deal with those selfish fools. But if they don’t see things the way I do, then they don’t love America. Everyone here has to know that I’m doing this for our great nation. Iran will be a threat if we let them build nuclear weapons and complete their seizure of more land in the Middle East. Israel is doing a great job of pushing back invading forces, it’s out duty as an ally to help them. In the First Gulf War, it only took us 100 hours to destroy the Iraqi forces’ ability to fight. If we unleash the dogs of war with no restrictions, we can beat that record. We owe the Kurds an apology for leaving them out to dry in the past, so we’re going to finally fight alongside them. I am giving them my word that they will have their own state within six months. If they want, we can give them the area where Iran is going to vacate.” He smiles and points at the camera while bring a microphone up.. “That’s all the time I have today. I have to get back to running a country and leading the world police. This is the start of a new age. Just as the end of World War II saw the fall of fascism and ushered in an era of prosperity, we are at the beginning of growth and development. Once we wipe Gensokyo off of the map, the world will finally know peace.”
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2015, 01:32:47 am »
 Rising Moon Preparatory School, Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon
 
As the bell rang through the lecture hall of the school, students quickly found their seats and took out their writing materials. They were in the lecture hall for the required Lunarian history module. But this lesson was one that everyone had been taught at an early age. Some would go as far to say that it was the definite bedtime story. It was considered one of the greatest stories ever told anywhere.
 
An old Lunarian officer makes his way to the podium and seats down. Since he was in the service for so long and nearing retirement, he really didn’t care about being late and such. The school didn’t have evaluations for teachers anyway. He was famous for doing whatever he wanted, sometime to the point of canceling class and giving everyone a pass or fail examination based on logic and reasoning. One time, he even canceled class so that he could climb on the table and fall asleep. When a civilian parent came into complain, he threw off his rank and insignia to challenge him to a fight. 
 
“Settle down, settle down,” he took a drink from the glass that he brought. “We’re at everyone’s favorite part. Today, we’ll be talking about the unification of the kingdom and the only time that the First Royal Army has ever been fielded. You two in the back, wait until you’re in private before doing that. I won’t lie to you, I wasn’t old enough to be there. But I have gone through the records of the battle and have a pretty good idea of how things happened. I have spoken with veterans of both sides of the conflict. I have also written a few research papers and books on the subject.  So, we have to start with some history to set this up.”
 
He opens a book and taps on the table. Behind him, a complicated diagram that focused on tie colors appeared. There were a number of group insignia that were label and had different colored ties under them. They changed as he spoke about each in turn.
 
“During the Third and hopefully Last Lunarian Civil War, there was an explosion of new ideologies that challenged the Crown. Republicanism, Socialism, Despotism, Democracy, Aristocracy, Theocracy, Khakistocracy, and Plutocracy were adopted by various groups that raised regiments and began to carve out pieces for their own empire. To be able to distinguish the forces from each other, each adopted a different tie color. The Royal forces wore the red ties that they continue to wear to this day, the Republican forces wore black, the Socialists wore green, the despots wore blue, the Democratic forces wore purple, the aristocratic forces wore white, the theocratic forces wore yellow ties, the Khakistocratics wore brown and the plutocratic forces wore pink. At the beginning of the war, many of them fought against each other. Eventually they recognized that the better equipped Royal forces were more of a threat and allied themselves with each other. Their combined forces were enough to turn the tide of the war and gain large amounts of territory. District after district fell to the combined forces, sending the Red Ties into a retreat. Entire cities and metropolitan areas were razed to the ground after they fell. Entire rivers and lakes were drained and forever destroyed. It was a dark time for the Royal forces. With the complete fall of the Brave Regiment outside of the Capital District, the Royal forces were pushed back to the gates of the Capital. It was at this time that the enemy forces gathered all of their troops and threw them into capturing the Capital and the Royal Family in one last battle.”
 
Another tap and a map of the Lunar Capital and surrounding areas appeared.
 
“It was obvious to all sides that the Royal Forces were getting desperate. They held only one city and it was their Capital, which was next on the list to be attacked. During this time, the twenty five Royal Officers had been noticeably absent from the battlefield. Rumors were flying around that this was a sign of displeasure towards the current regime. Even a Royal Second Lieutenant was more than a match for an entire division. With most of their troops already dead, the Royal forces had pressed the development wing into releasing all of their working prototypes. For most of these prototypes, this was the only time they would ever see battle. Civilians were given weapons and instructions to slow down the enemy advance if they broke through the walls. Even though the plan was to stall the advance of the enemy forces, there was no consensus about what was to happen next.”
 
Last Lunarian Civil War, Hundreds of Years Prior, Dark Side of the Moon
 
The Royal Forces had been pushed back to the Lunarian capital. The republican Black Ties had joined forces with the socialist Green Ties and the rest of the rebelling forces in order to counter the loyalist forces. Both sides had taken massive causalities, but were still stubborn on the field of battle. Royal Rifle Regiments had dug in and were firing at full auto while magicians were calling down hellfire and lighting. Muzzle loaded cannons were being reloaded as quickly as possible, stopping cavalry from getting too close. Airborne troops were sniped out of the sky, serving as a reason to stay on the ground.
 
Line regiments had formed up on both sides and were advancing towards each other behind cast iron shields. Gatling gun fire was being deflected off of the shields, but not before making the holder stumble from the energy of the rounds. Once the two lines had gotten close to each other, they would trade fire until running out of rounds. When they ran out, they fixed bayonets and charged. Before the battle, the royal forces had set up an imaginary line around the Capital. Once the enemy forces had crossed it, they fired off an extremely illegal weapon.
 
Chemical shells flew over the walls and landed directly in the center of the enemy formations. The shells were filled with something called Hourai gas, which affected every victim differently. Some fell to the ground convulsing due to seizures, others screamed due to having their eyes and throat burn intensely, and a few began to bleed profusely. Friendly troops quickly fell back, they knew that the firing of the shells meant they had lost too much ground.
 
The loaders for the cannons reloaded as quickly as they could, but were careful to not risk getting the gas on themselves. It was a heavy gas, so it stayed close to the ground and was a good weapon for area denial. But it would only last a short time before it dissipated and would have to be reapplied. Cannons from the royal forces were being pulled back, but a few were too far gone to save. They were rigged to explode and pushed towards the advancing forces.
 
Every experimental weapon that the loyalist forces had were being brought out. Breech loaded cannons were firing faster than their recommended pace, resulting in some of their barrels to glow red. Cavalry steeds were at the point of near exhaustion, while some collapsed on the battlefield. Armored carts were being used to cover the retreat to the outer walls, and sometimes tried to shield them.
 
Black Tie magicians had crafted golems from the ground around them and were throwing them against the walls. Theocratic Yellow Ties were shelling the outside districts of the Capital from long range, not caring about civilian deaths. Return fire flew into the air as flares that rained down behind the enemy’s line. Fires resistant to water magic popped up, forcing entire companies to fall back. On top of the outer wall, moon rabbits appeared with should launched rocket launchers and fired.
 
They were explicitly ordered to aim for the officers of the enemy formation, so any large and fancy piece of headgear was a prime target. Bodies flew through the air as the explosions rocked the advancing line regiments. Seeing another chance, the Green Ties had launched another wave into the sky. Spotting the incoming formation, the Gatling guns opened up again. Tracer rounds flew into the leading personnel, dropping them out of the sky and into certain death upon hitting the ground.
 
Depressing the breech loaded cannons as far as they could, the loyalist forces open fire with the Hourai gas again. Scores of Black Ties became afflicted with total organ failure, hyper sensitivity to random triggers, hemorrhagic shock due to clotting being rendered inactive and being combined with usually minor wounds, and bursts of insanity that resulted in them attacking their own allies. For the units that had gotten close to the main gate, flamethrowers were used to force them back.
 
The Green Ties had finished setting up heavy siege artillery and were double checking their calculations. Once they were complete, they loaded explosive rounds. The rounds flew into the walls and detonated. The defenders on the walkway above the explosion fell to their deaths after getting disoriented by the explosion. With an open path into the Capital, the enemy troops began to pour in. The windows of the surrounding houses opened up with their occupants pulling out their weapons. Even though they were civilians, they were managing to slow the advance.
 
Slowly advancing through the hole, the cast iron shields were taking massive punishment. A royalist artillery cannon on the street was punching neat holes into those shields, but was overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Magicians had arrived and were throwing fire down the streets, catching any Black Tie that had been too slow to get out of the way. Several of them continued to advance before their bodies realized they were melting.
 
A prototype of a laser battery was wheeled into the plaza near the hole. With two cannons, it was capable of double taps with only a single pull of the trigger. Every time the shots landed, it caused an explosion like an HE round. One Black Tie that was hit was lifted onto the air and landed harshly on his back. Anyone could tell that his back was probably shattered. Smoke grenades were thrown forward, in preparation for a charge.
 
Since the defending forces had the skies locked down by snipers and Gatling guns, the only way to the Lunar Palace was by the ground. The laser battery held its ground and switched to maximum power. The Black Ties charge forward, trying to get a lucky shot before the battery could get them. Opening up at full speed, the battery rips through the infantry. Disorientated by the close explosions, several of them tripped into their allies.
 
Keeping up such a rate of fire started to make the barrels glow red, but the crew had no choice but to sustain it. One of the buildings nearby was hit so much that it collapsed on itself. The space vacated by the collapsed building provided the opposing forces a good area to launch airborne units since the anti-air units couldn’t hit them there. Green Tie magicians created golems that moved forward to distract the battery.
 
The lasers punched through the golems, but this gave the opposing forces enough time to close the distance. One of the battery crew members draws her saber and engages five of the attackers by herself. The fight was short lived when a boulder landed on all of them. Seeing no other choice, the remainder of the crew threw a box of gas that fueled the laser towards the advancing mass. It lands right behind the first few moon rabbits and the laser fires at it. The explosion was large enough to level the entire block and wipe out the battalion that was about to overrun them and themselves.
 
On the hills around the Capital, a group of figures appeared. There were twenty five of them and they were walking like they were on a causal stroll. When they reached the top of the hill, they stopped to take in the scene in front of them. Giant golems were attacking each other while their magicians were shooting and throwing punches at their counterparts. Entire formations of airborne troops were disappearing into red mist and black clouds. Infantry were fighting for control of the hole in the wall amid flames and artillery fire. Rockets flew in every direction, tearing apart anyone unlucky enough to be near their impact. The Royal Banner at the Palace was riddled with bullet holes but still flew proudly.
 
“So, I turn around to gather research samples on a mountain and the entire kingdom is brought to its knees,” Royal Colonel Eirin Yagokoro sighed. “It’s just like babysitting children, they can never take care of themselves.”
 
“Mama,” a Royal Major said. “What’s your plan?” All of the Royal Officers referred to her as such due to the fact that they shared such a close bond. Every Royal Officer was sent to her to be tested and trained when they received their Royal Commission. Those ten years of intense training across a multitude of subjects was more than enough to shatter any normal service member. During that time, they were broken down completely. The life of luxury that officers led came back to bite them when Eirin took them to the mountains. She forced them to provide their own meals, either by hunting or gathering. She taught them much of the knowledge that she had acquired on the Earth and the moon. They all walked on the razor’s edge of danger every single day of those ten years.
 
Any assignment that was given to them was one that Eirin had complete dozens and even hundreds of times before. If they showed pride, she stuffed it out of them mercilessly. If they showed a lapse of judgment, she made sure to make them pay for it. At all times, she enforced discipline and bearing. By the time they thought they had made a groundbreaking discovery, she had already written entire books on it. She put them through grueling combat tests, effortlessly beating them down again and again.
 
But once they figured out the reason behind all of her actions, they improved dramatically. She wasn’t trying to kill or discredit them, she wanted to make sure they were ready. She wanted to be on a different plane than the rest of the LDC. She wanted them to be able to watch over her two best students when she wasn’t there. Once they were almost done, they felt the responsibility of their office. But that was nothing compared to the thrill of combat they felt alongside their teacher and commander.
 
“Hmm,” Eirin tucked a loose hair behind her ear. “Why don’t we do our usual?”
 
“Mama knows what we want,” This time, it was a Royal First Lieutenant that laughed. “Any priority targets you want us to take care of for you?”
 
“Nothing that pops out right now.”
 
Another Royal Major pulls out his saber and stretches. “I wonder if this’ll be fun, not like the bore from the last two civil wars.”
 
“Who was it that got the most kills,” A Royal Captain asked. “If you weren’t so busy reading poetry, you might have won that bet.”
 
“Mama, he’s complaining about that bet again.”
 
Eirin smiled at the bickering. “Last time I checked, someone still owned me a beaker after that chemical mishap.” The two that were arguing stopped and pointed at a Royal First Lieutenant. The Royal Officer in question took a few steps back to hide behind another one.
 
Facing back to the battle, Eirin takes a deep breath and raises her bow. She places an arrow with green fins on the string and pulls it back. Releasing it, it flies up with a terrifying screech. When it reaches 1000 feet, it explodes in a bright green light. The bright green light overpowered the sun and casted a green tint on everything. Every single soul under it stopped and looked at the trail coming from it. The enemy forces froze in terror when they recognized the standard of the First Royal Army next to Eirin.
 
“Alea iacta est,” (The die is cast) Eirin called.
 
Cheering, the Royal Officers lifted their weapons and charged forward. Twenty five Royal personnel against 16 divisions does seem like a little bit of overkill, but it was the 16 divisions that were the prey. A Royal First Lieutenant punches the ground, creating a large fissure that swallowed an entire battalion. The Royal Major from earlier creates a ball of St. Elmo’s fire and tosses it up into the air. He kicks it into a company that was firing at him and watched as they were all lit on fire. A Royal Captain stops and raises his arms to call lighting down that stuck down another battalion.
 
Eirin jumps over a formation that was reloading and spins when she touches the ground. Her saber easily cuts through their uniforms, breaking the formation apart. She continues her spin, creating a hail of bullets that took more of them down. Seeing that they would get in the way, the Royal forces fell back to the wall. Another laser battery had been wheeled on top and was taking pot shots at the approaching forces.
 
Gatling gun fire landed on the ground near Eirin, in response she grabs a nearby enemy and uses her as a shield. The Colonel breaks her neck before throwing the lifeless body to the side. Planting her saber in the ground, she pulls out an arrow and hurls it at the crank turner. It connects with his arm and severs a vein. With that opening, she destroys them and the gun.
 
Artillery fire began to rain down around her and the next opponents. A majority of the artillery pieces had switched to aiming at her, giving the defending forces breathing room. Eirin was about to read the shells’ trajectory and danced between them. All she had to do was keep going since the friendly fire was taking care of most of her targets. Instead of firing their weapons, a battalion of Black Ties decided to overwhelm her with sheer numbers by charging at her.
 
A Royal Captain throws a sledgehammer that knocks an entire platoon off of their feet. He had attached a chain to the end of it that allowed him to cover a larger area. It didn’t matter that enemy troops were hiding behind cover, he just slung it around behind them. Once he got tired of throwing it around, he let go of the chain and watched it grown through a squad.
 
At the very front of the attack, a Royal First Lieutenant was dancing around bullets while she threw wires around. When she was done, she snapped her fingers. The wires instantly ignite and explode, sending shrapnel everywhere. Then she pulls three small missiles from her equipment belt and throws them. They lock on to gunpowder barrels and cause massive explosions to erupt. A Royal Second Lieutenant brings up a rocket launcher throws it at her. She catches it and sticks a spell card into it. She fires it at a regiment that was bringing their rifles up to bear. The rocket hits the center and causes a small flash. Black Ties closest to the flash look at the small orb that had landed there with confusion. Then the small orb exploded, sending a concussive blast wave that lifts half the regiment into the air.
 
The Royal Second Lieutenant from before loads another rocket while she loads the same spell card again. He taps her on the shoulder to signify that he’s done and pulls out his primary weapon. Jumping into the air, he pulls the trigger on his compact flamethrower and lights a charging group on fire. He starts laughing as he switches spell cards and fires blue flames next. Bullets deflect off of his uniform, doing little to stop his advance.
 
Eirin had gotten into a one on one fight with a Yellow Tie magician. The magician was throwing fire balls at her in order to limit her movement. A golem had tried to crush her, only to have the Royal Colonel intercept its signals and turn against its masters. With all the snipers trying to aim for her, the Royal airborne troops were able to get into the air and launch bombing runs. A trio of fireballs sped towards Eirin, she responded by slashing at them. They blew up, obscuring everyone’s vision. The Colonel started to march forward, but was grabbed by a Royal Captain that had teleported next to her. The pair disappears just as a captured laser battery fired at the area they had vacated.
 
Reappearing above the battlefield, she spots the battery instantly. It fires again, resulting in the Royal Captain teleporting again. Eirin lets go of him and points her saber out as she falls to the ground. Even though the airborne troops were flying around, there were still Gatling guns that had fired towards them. She didn’t feel like getting riddled with Gatling gun bullets. The laser hits her saber and is sliced apart. Landing, she pulls out her sidearm and hits the fuel canister that was being switched in.
 
The magician from before had gotten close enough to throw a punch. Eirin leans back a little and dodges the weak blow while digging her elbow into her stomach. She feels a few ribs breaking under the force of the blow and finishes her off by hitting her in the heart so hard it stopped. Switching to her bow and arrow, she fires off an arrow that changes to a rain of hellfire. It rains down on two regiments that were charging at her and inflicts massive causalities.
 
The dominant doctrine of the enemy forces was to overwhelm an enemy by massed organized fire. This played into the way the Royal Officers were fighting, since they were masters of large scale destruction. Anytime a regiment had formed up to take a shot at them, they were ripped apart. Several companies had broken ranks and ran into craters and trenches in spite of the shouting of officers and sergeants.
 
The ground began to shake was a large golem started to step towards her. Under the control of seven magicians, it took a great deal of concentration to balance the sources of power that were involved. Everyone vacated the area and was wondering if it would be enough to taker her down. Eirin scoffed, a giant moving mass of dirt wasn’t about to stuff out the highest ranked Royal Officer.
 
Swing its arm down, the golem gets blocked by Eirin’s saber. It tries to stomp her, only to have her step to the side and cut one of its legs. The golem falls to a knee, letting Eirin cut its arm off. When the monster leaned forward, Eirin throws her saber up. The saber smashes through the golem’s head and cuts it off from the control of the magicians. The lifeless body falls forward and astonishes the magicians.
 
Considering the golem a waste of time, Eirin swings her recaptured saber and sends bullets flying out. The seven magicians are killed instantly and their bodies are thrown into the air. A spell appears below her, signaling that someone was trying to trap her. Cracking her neck, Eirin shatters the spell and makes her neck feel better at the same time. The Hunter that casted the spell circle brings his rifle up, but the Colonel had already thrown an arrow into his eye.
 
A Royal Second Lieutenant had created a machine gun nest out of the scattered weapons laid around and was shredding entire companies with armor piercing rounds. Another one was reading scripture and raining down the light of judgment on the opposing forces. Shells of Hourai gas were falling around them, but the Royal Officers were immune to its effects. One of them even breathed it in on purpose to terrify the opposing forces.
 
Another Royal Second Lieutenant snaps her fingers and creates a large first rate ship using her powerful alchemy. The ship had 80 cannons in total, so only half of them were able to face the enemy due to its orientation. Grapeshot mixed with quick lime exploded from the cannons, ripping into the enemy regiments that had begun to fire. The lieutenant flew to the top of the deck and challenged the surviving regiments to face her. Artillery fire began to hit on the ship, so the cannons switched targets and ammunition.
 
A snap of her fingers was the cue for the reloaded cannons to fire again, causing the majority of the enemy batteries to run from the field in terror. Seeing that their artillery support was mostly gone, the Black and Yellow Ties were showing signs of hesitation. After sending another regiment fleeing from the field, Eirin fires off an arrow that turns into four lasers that home in on officers and explode.
 
She draws back another arrow and quickly fires into the sky. Orbs landed and sent electricity everywhere along the line of battle. One of Eirin’s specialties was manipulating the living body’s natural processes to her advantage. This spell started by using a small spark to throw the body’s natural electricity into chaos and kill the victim in a painful way. The sparks from the first victim would spread if they could make contract with another living being and spread.
 
By the time Eirin had lowered her bow, half a regiment had fallen to the attack. The shocks became larger and larger, sending more of the enemy fleeing in terror. Entire regiments were now dead bodies on the battleground, struck down by the twenty five Royal Officers. Abandoned artillery pieces and equipment were thrown about everywhere.
 
A sonic cannon opened fire on Eirin, forcing her to crouch down. She shakes her head to dispel the effects and throws her saber. It hits one of the operators, interrupting the reloading. Before the other one could react, Eirin had grabbed him by the back of the head and slammed it into the cannon. He instantly went limp permanently and was tossed away like trash. Disregarding the cannon as a waste of time, she cuts the barrel and moves on.
 
“Colonel Yagokoro,” one of the commanders of the few royalist regiments left spoke through their communication network. “Our scouts have spotted a large amount of heavy troops heading towards you. It seems that they have brought their own laser batteries with them and are intent on trying to take you down.”
 
“Pull your troops back and plug that gap in the wall,” Eirin responded. “I can take care of those newcomers.”
 
“We’re trying, Colonel.” The sounds of gunfire interrupt him. “My regiment is down to less than twenty five percent strength and we’re starting to run out of ammunition. The 3rd Infantry has just been wiped out to the last rabbit. At this rate, we’ll be the only ones left.”
 
Eirin pointed at two of her subordinates, “You two, give them a hand.”
 
One of them started to laugh as he kicked a body out of the way, “My kill count is loving this.”
 
The pair were instantly at the rear of the charging enemy. They attacked with such violence that they were half way through the mass before the rest of them figured out that they were being slaughtered. But even if all of them had turned to face them, they still wouldn’t have been able to change the outcome. The remaining Royalist forces managed to create a solid line that blocked off the bottleneck at the wall. Several Yellow, Green, Pink and Black Ties tried to fly over the wall, only to have the anti-air Gatling guns depress enough to shoot them down.
 
The anti-air crews were working furiously to change barrels and dismount the guns so they could be brought to bear against the incoming infantry. But they were bolted to the top of the walls in order to discourage fleeing from battle. Cursing the cowardice of their predecessors, they had to beat the steel plates with sledgehammers until they cracked. One of the crew members threw the hammer and stuck a Black Tie in the face full force.
 
Eirin had stopped at the top of a hill and watched as the regiment of heavy troops were pulling laser cannons with them. She frowned since she had thought the technology had been stopped due to an accident that killed all of the researchers working on it. Her eyes narrow even further when she sees a familiar face among the crews. One of them was one of the researchers said to have been killed, but his body was never found. In an instant, she knew what had happened. In exchange for more money and power, he had betrayed the royal forces and taken the technology with him.
 
In response to this, she pulls out a deadly weapon of her own. While it looked like a fan, it had the power to completely wipe out the entire Lunar Capital with one blow. The laser batteries began to fire at her, but failed to make her flinch. She raises the fan straight up and takes a deep breath. Then she points brings it to the side and swings it in front of her. Wind is created by the motion and knocks the first few elements back. A tendril of bright light shoots forward and hits the center of the regiment.
 
A bright light envelopes the entire area. Sound is stuffed out of existence due to the sheer power of the blast. Eirin is forced to take a step back to the mushroom cloud that had vaporized the mixed Tie regiment. The battle had paused since no one was able to see what they were doing. Then the shockwave knocked almost everyone off of their feet. Parts of the outer ranks were launched and landed almost five miles away.
 
Dust hid the area and kept the fight from going on even more. Eirin had been forced to keep ahold of her service cap, something that didn’t happen every day. She grits her teeth while putting the fan away, she never did like using that weapon. She thought of her two young students that were at the Dragon Palace. Toyohime would be the one she would trust with it, since she did have a good head on her shoulders. Yorihime was too serious, something that would probably come back to bite her.
 
A beeping alerted her to an update on her map. Pulling it out, a new box highlighted the location of the headquarters for the enemy coalition. A note then appeared next to it, indicating that the leadership was making perpetrations to leave. The dust started to clear, revealing a large carter where the heavy regiment had once stood. She took to the air and saw some survivors of the blast struggling to get up, but failing due to their severe injuries.
 
Leaving the rest of her forces to wipe out the broken forces, she looks down and sees the small plantation that was commandeered by the enemy. Quickly shooting her arrows, she manages to collapse the windows and almost all of the doors. The token guards were frantically firing at her, but were cut down mercilessly. She lands and walks through the front door. Taking a spell card, she seals the door against opening from both the in and outside.
 
Drawing her saber, she cuts down a traitor that had raised her hands in surrender. Another one met the same fate when he tried to run into the living room. A bullet hits the wall above her head and she spins her saber to cut the follow up shot and knock it down to the ground. Then she inflicts three painful slashes on the attacker, aimed to cause maximum pain. The commander next to her backed away, only to have his lifeless body sent flying through the wall.
 
One guard ran to the sealed door and began to beat it with his rifle. He raised it one more time and fell forward when Eirin took his rifle and stabbed him through the back with it. Three steps bring her close enough to four more traitors that were cut down while begging for their lives. One traitor ran to the back door and was about to rip the door handle off. Eirin slowly walks towards him while swinging her saber to get the blood of.
 
“Stop! Noooo!” Eirin cut through his plea. He collapses and leaves a blood stain on the door. Five more of them were hiding behind a bookcase and were frozen with fear. She doesn’t slow down her insolent pace as she cuts all of them down. Running the numbers in her head, she knows that there’s just one left. The lone survivor backed against the wall and shook with terror.
 
“Wait! The war is over! Our master promised us peace! We weren’t going to hurt your students! I promise! Please, we only wanted to-“ He was never able to finish his plea since Eirin stabbed him through the chest and pinned him to the wall with her knife and pulled the saber out. Leaving her knife, she took a rag from the table nearby and wiped down her blade. Destroying the seal on the front door, she walks out and surveys the landscape. On the wall of the Capital, she could the tattered standard of the Royal Family still flying. A single Royalist Cavalry regiment had arrived and were chasing down the fleeing rebels. None of them were offered the chance to surrender.
 
At the end of the day, over forty regiments of rebels were wiped off of the face of the moon in battle. Ten more were massacred as they tried to flee. Only three rebels were able to leave the battlefield instead of staying permanently. The Royal forces had almost been wiped out with only four out of seventy regiments surviving the war. The arrival of the First Royal Army was enough to turn the tide of the war, especially after they had unleased their power. When word spread, enemy held territories quickly changed sides to avoid being wiped out.
 
As a result of the use of the fan, Eirin entrusted it to Toyohime under strict instructions to not use unless absolutely needed. The threat of the fan was enough to stop rebellions in their path and usher in a period of peace. Laser technology was seen as a tool of traitors and cowards due to the actions of the turncoat researcher, prompting the Royal Family to pull funding from it. Gunpowder weapons saw a resurgence in prestige and cemented their position as the main weapon of the LDC.
 
The battle marked the first and only time that the First Royal Army had seen action. Since then, the wars have not been seen as serious enough to warrant it’s use, so the Royal Officers were called into action in small groups or individually. The wars that did pop up after that were caused by nobility that became too proud and greedy for their own good. At least until the current conflict that not even Toyohime or Yorihime recognized the full extent of.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #64 on: August 16, 2015, 05:18:51 am »
 Behind the NATO line of battle, Japan
 
In a large clearing away from the rapidly approaching Lunarian line, a mass group of helicopters were waiting on the ground. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters had loaded up with troops from the American 75th Ranger Regiment and 10th Mountain Division. They jumped into the helicopters and started to strap in. Several of them had nerves due to the stories of a lone Lunarian wiping out entire Ranger companies. But they were given a mission to fulfill and they did not have the nerve of backing out of it.
 
Instead of the being sent to reinforce the retreating line, they were told to gather their equipment and get to this clearing. The company commanders were then gathered and taken to a tent. At least half an hour passed before they came back out again. None of them looked happy about their orders, but they still had them. Platoon and squad leaders were called and given general orders. With time short, they were forced to brief their own squads on the way to the drop point.
 
The familiar stomach lurch signified the helicopters rising into the air. The doors on both sides of the aircraft were kept open to allow the occupants to fire if they needed to. The warrant officer pilots kept them barely above the trees and pushed every bit of speed they could. At some points, they were hitting 190 miles an hour with only fifteen feet above the tallest trees. One Ranger was adjusting the stock on his rifle and watching the trees whiz by. It reminded him of the first time he had ever flown on a helicopter.
 
“All right, pay attention!” A Ranger squad leader made himself heard in the lead aircraft. “We’ve been tasked with securing an extremely valuable medicine from a pharmacy deep in the Bamboo Forest. As you all know, this is the same area that Royal Colonel Yagokoro took out three of our brother companies by herself. But intel has it that she is at the front line, so the road should be clear for us. The plan is to land, make our way to the pharmacy, secure the medicine, and get to the extraction point. Since most of the Lunarian regiments are at the front, we should have light resistance. As we all know, a Lunarian solider is equal to us in power and skill, so do not engage them alone. If you can, remember the three to one ratio that we all learned in basic. We will have air support in a little bit to cover our extraction, mainly in the presence of A-10s and Apaches. The Bamboo Forest is extremely thick and it’s easy to get lost. Stay together and cover each other. As some of you have seen, we have the 10th Mountain here to help us. They know how to fight in difficult environments like this better than any of us. Make sure-“
 
He was interrupted by the helicopter next to them taking an 88mm shell through the front and exploding. The impact was strong enough to cancel the aircraft’s forward momentum and plunge it straight to the ground. Blue and red lasers appeared and began to be waved around. Dropping down until they were touching the trees, the remaining helicopters spread out. The trademark multicolored clouds of flak seemed almost too beautiful to be dangerous, but the shrapnel ripped through those close enough.
 
One Black Hawk took a shell to the tail rotor and spun out of control. The crew chief was thrown out of the aircraft but since he was attached by a rope, he was slung around. The squad leader had disobeyed common sense and was unbuckled, so he was launched from the craft as well. But he kept on falling and disappeared among the trees. One of the squad members whistled in disbelief as the ground came closer and closer.
 
Apache escorts launched rockets towards the source of the crisscrossing lasers, but more of them appeared to take their place. One attack helicopter was sliced in half and fell to the ground. Two A-10s that followed them dropped their payload and banked to the right, only to have Lunarian flight troopers chase them down and light their engines on fire. The Warthogs spun out of control and left a large crater in the forest.
 
"Pilot, how far until we're at the LZ?" The squad leader asked. He flinched when he heard the response.
 
“Who are you called a damned pilot? I work for a living, I’m not chair force. It’s aviator to you! We should be there in two minutes,” the mustang shouted back. “Damned kids with stripes thinking they know better than their elders. I don’t care that they have Ranger scrolls, they’ll are the same. Back in my day, we actually did work.”
 
Fairies that were armed with shoulder launched surface to air missiles brought down more helicopters, bringing the remaining force dangerously close to the minimum requirement. Even with the amount of flares and other countermeasures they were using, the American forces were falling like flies. Return fire was negated by all the trees that covered the GDF and LDC forces on the ground.
 
“Apaches, can you clear that landing zone?” The mustang from before talks into the radio.
 
“We can try, hold on for a second.” One of the Apaches launches all of its rockets around the landing area, hopefully taking out any enemy forces lying in wait. Before the attack helicopter could turn around, it took a rocket through the belly and spun out of control. “I can’t hold it, I’m going down!”
 
Two Lunarian magicians had taken to the skies and were creating a massive array of bullets. But the human pilots were lucky enough to be close enough to their drop zone and did a combat landing. Ignoring the g-forces that came with coming to almost a complete stop from such a high speed, the Rangers quickly dismounted and ran for cover. Knowing that their intel was wrong, they could tell that they were in for a bad fight and were eager to put some distance away from the enemy.
 
Mortars began to rain down around them, announcing the arrival of the Lunarian rear guard. Under strict orders to avoid the line infantry doctrine, the moon rabbits had sprinted and thrown themselves in the prone behind a small hill. One of them threw a stick grenade that landed next to one of the Rangers and took him out along with the nearest trees. More stick grenades followed the first, ripping more and more trees apart.
 
The Rangers began to spread out, prodding for a weak point to flank. The moon rabbits followed them in turn, committed to denying them that chance. A pair of moon rabbits had set up a mortar tube and were raining rounds down as fast as they could. Unlike conventional mortar tubes, the Lunarian tube bled off so much heat that it could keep a sustained rate of fire. An anti-tank gun was loaded with high explosive shells and was pressed into an artillery role.
 
One squad of Rangers had finally found a weak spot and tried to take advantage of it. They advanced a little, until they came face to face with an Elefant tank destroyer. The Panzerjaeger fired a high explosive shell that ripped the Americans apart. AT-4 rockets harmlessly bounced off of the front armor, giving away their firers’ positions. None of the Rangers fired their rifles at the tank, they all knew that it would be useless. They felt the same fear that struck Soviet troops when they first ran into the tank killer back in World War II.
 
Flanking the armor, they fired rockets again. Then a 120mm AMP round hit the tank destroyer head on, shaking the crew inside. The armor held, but the impact seemed to have spooked the commander and caused her to order reverse movement. The Rangers cheered when they saw the Elefant pull back and an M1 Abrams join them. The main battle tank took the lead, protecting the infantry from the Lunarian return fire.
 
Then the ground collapsed under the tank, plunging it into a perfectly round hole that broke the cannon barrel clean off. The hole was about thirty meters deep, virtually guaranteeing that the crew wouldn’t survive the fall. Sitting on a tree a quarter mile away, Tewi laughed as she saw the tank disappear. She had had plenty of practice using Reisen as a test subject, so she was proud of her handiwork. At least she wouldn’t have to hide for a while after planting this trap.
 
A hidden 20 mm Flak 30 opens fire, operated by fairies from the SDM. They only manage to score one kill but severely wound many more. Lunarian rifles sprint past them while a few mercy kill them to shut them up. The Elefant moved forward again, ripping trees apart with its 7.92mm machine gun. HE shells cleared out hiding areas, further wrecking the Ranger offensive. The Panzerjaejer stopped just as an artillery shell landed right in front of it. The normal looking explosion instantly showed everyone who had fired it. More shells landed near the tank destroyer, pelting it with shrapnel and concussive force. A lucky shell damages the left track, immobilizing the tank.
 
With its left track damaged, the Elefant was in an extremely vulnerable state. Without a moveable turret, it was completely open to attack from the sides and rear. One of the fairies popped open a hatch and stuck a spell card out of it. Blue and red bullets spread out, keeping the humans from pressing the advantage. While they were low crawling, Tewi popped up behind them and straight up murdered one with her mallet.
 
The others brought up their weapons and fired, but didn’t hit. Tewi casually danced between the streams of bullets while she made her way to her next victim. Once she got close enough, she jumped a little into the air and brought the mallet on the man’s head. His helmet instantly collapsed under the pressure and then his skull followed suit. Her incredible luck kept her from being hit while attacking, scaring the humans.
 
Another group were being routed by the moon rabbits, who had brought Panzerschreks and used them to fling the humans into trees. The heavy rabbits operated in pairs and used the blast shields as cover against return fire. The loader carried a large rucksack stuffed with antipersonnel rockets, loading them in as fast as she could. The grass and other vegetation behind them quickly grew black from the back blasts.
 
Surviving Rangers fell back, trying to find an area for a defensive line. One of the advancing moon rabbits’ ears twitch, she heard something heading towards them. Screaming at everyone else to get down, she hit the ground just as the first rocket hit the area. More followed, stopping both sides from moving any farther. The trails from the rockets showed that they came from nearby, but since everyone was pinned down, it was useless knowledge.
 
Low crawling to reinforce the Rangers, Navy SEALs were firing through the barrage. The initial strike disorientated the forward Lunarian units and gave the Rangers needed relief. Before they could take advantage of the opening, more rockets landed in the general area. But that gave the Lunarians the chance to close the distance when they spotted the pattern of the rocket impacts and cleared their heads. Once they were close enough, the engaged in hand to hand combat.
 
Seven A6M Zeros flew over the forest and started to strafe the rocket artillery. The moon rabbits and fairies looked in amazement and confusion as they recognized them as carrier based aircraft. Then the radio came to life.
 
“This is the GDF Atago, flagship of the First Carrier Division. Akagi has just launched another wave to chase down that rocket artillery.” Toyohime said from the bridge of the heavy cruiser. “Lady Yakumo has asked Lady Saigyouji and me to provide you with some naval support while my younger sister takes over our ground units. We have the Atago, Akagi, and Kongou to bear on the enemy forces.”
 
“Princess, we have green smoke on target,” one of the Lunarian officers watches a smoke canister hit a Ranger on the head. Thick green smoke began to obscure the area. The smoke also had the property of being IR absorbing, robbing the Americans of the ability to use thier
 
“We see the smoke, get ready.”                                                                                                                           
 
Command bridge, GDF Atago, Gensokyo, Japan
 
For a ship that was over 70 years and sunk in battle, the Atago was in great shape. Carefully restored and updated with a mixture of Lunarian, kappa, and magical technology, she was easily the equal to any modern day naval vessel. Multiple 8 inch naval guns turned to face the green smoke that was rising above the forest. Lunarian personnel calculated the distance and angle that would be required to hit the area. In the middle of the battle, almost no one noticed the large gap that had appeared on the Misty Lake and the three ships that sailed out of it.
 
Fairies from the Forest of Magic loaded high explosive shells into the cannons and followed the instructions of the moon rabbits. Once they were ready, they waited for the order from the bridge. A sharp trumpet echoed through the ship, allowing the crews to fire their rounds. The water in front of the cannons was pushed down by the explosion of high explosive rounds. Seconds after the first wave of fire from the Atago, the Kongou joined in with her main cannons. Lunarian swordsrabbits on top of the structures watched the area around the green smoke basically explode.
 
"All batteries will reload and wait for the next volley,” Toyohime’s deck officer called out. “Engines will remain at three quarters power and wait for further instruction. Torpedoes are to wait for further orders as well. Steering will maintain the current heading until otherwise instructed. All air defense guns will now mark fighters as priority targets and cover Kongou and Akagi. Main batteries will widen their areas of fire and load high explosive rounds. Wait for the command and target before firing. Fubuki will provide specialized air cover once she arrives.”
 
Opportunist return fire landed all around the ships but failed to do any damage. Water landed on the crew working on the deck, but they paid the incoming fire no heed. They continued with their assigned duties and sometimes cheering as the main batteries fired. The Lunarian swordrabbits were place in their areas a defense against missiles and rocket artillery. They would not be that effective against regular artillery.
 
Kongou fires again, sending waves all throughout the lake. Another area of the Bamboo Forest is ripped to shreds, killing everyone in that location. The animals that lived in the area were long gone, they had fled when they had heard the helicopters arrive. Several had even taken their stores of food for the winter with them as they ran from the approaching battle and destruction.
 
“How long until we can launch the rest of the fleet?” Toyohime asked her deck officer.
 
“About three more hours, Princess. All they require now is a portal to jump in once their final checks are completed.”
 
“We’ll have them soon.”
 
A wing of F-22s flew above the area, trying for a high speed pass against the carrier fighters. Their path took them over the Atago, where she shot down two of them. The heavy cruiser launches a F1M floatplane that engages the Raptors as they turn around. The floatplane executes a snap roll that caused incoming missiles to miss and begins to turn fight them. Trying to use their thrust vectoring, the Raptors got on the F1M’s tail only to overshoot seconds later.
 
Akagi launched another group of fighters, this time a wing of P-47s were flung into the air. The wing climbed as high as they could before spotting a target and diving in. Their target were two Raptors that were trying to cover the human retreat from the forest. 96 12.7mm machine guns with ground attack belts ripped into the two generation five fighters, ripping off wings and parts. The pair flew into the ground amid a ball of flames.
 
From the deepest part of the Bamboo Forest, a wing of A-29 Super Tucano turboprop attackers lined up for a run on Akagi. Atago moved to block them, forcing the wing to move to another location. Above the other side of the Misty Lake, Reimu and Marisa had begun to make their way to help the ships after being called off of the frontlines. The pair deployed their respective orbs to increase their firepower and took a deep breath.
 
Just as they reached the center of the lake, the A-29s broke their formations and charged the pair. 12.7 mm fire flew around the miko and witch as they separated from each other. Reimu pulled up in a loop and dived towards one that had started to turn around. Marisa banked to the left and opened up with her bullets. The ones that had gotten close enough to their target exploded, showering the aircraft with shards of heat and light.
 
Remiu had gotten behind one of the A-29s and was trying to shoot it down. It kept on dodging her bullets and kept on going on wild turns. It snap rolls, almost making Reimu pass him. She loops around behind him, slowing down and keeping him in front of her. The Super Tucano dives down and then goes into a loop, trying to shake her off. She stays on him throughout the maneuver, even when flak clouds appeared all around them.
 
Marisa had taken down one of the attackers and was forcing two of them into dodging her attacks. Her Omnidirectional lasers kept the other fighters from getting too close. An A-29 tried to ram her but missed. As soon as she saw it come around for another pass, she jumped off of her broom, grabbed her mini-hakkero and dunked on the pilot, complete with the overhead swing. The magical furnace broke through the cockpit glass, the pilot himself and the bottom of the cockpit. Marisa dodged the elevator and rudder and divided down. Her broom came back to her and she caught her furnace.

Dividing down, she dodges a volley of gunfire from a passing plane. Going into the rolling scissors, the pair try to get a bead on each other but end up missing. Even with her Omnidirectional lasers, Marisa still couldn’t hit the attack plane. Then her charm began to beep rapidly, causing her to flinch into a turn. Her mini-hakkero orbs had emitted enough heat to be locked on by a Sidewinder that was now chasing her. She had never noticed the high amounts of heat since the orbs had vent them away from her as a protective practice.
 
Jumping off of her broom again, she freefalls in an attempt to lose the missiles. Anyone in their right mind would believe that only a tengu could outrun an air to air missile, but not Marisa. Her broom returns to her and she sticks her mini-hakkero into the bushy tail. She gets back on and crouches down before activating her speed boost. The high heat from the furnace let the Super Tucanos lock on her again and she had to contend with even more.
 
Dropping down to tree level, she weaves in and out of the forest. Missile after missile fails to keep up with her due to the fact that they couldn’t turn fast enough to avoid a tree. Diverting more power to the thruster, she reaches Mach 1, leaving the attack planes behind. Turning around in a wide turn, she takes down two of them in a pass. Then an F-22 decided to have a go at her and jumped in to the furball.
 
Speeding back up to Mach 1.5, Marisa can feel that any of her normal maneuvers could end with her losing consciousness due to the high g-forces. If she slowed down too much, the Raptor would be able to get a lock on the mini-hakkeros orbiting her and shoot her down. She didn’t understand how this one was able to get a lock on her while the one in the last battle had to try ramming her.
 
Back with the other Super Tucanos, Remiu had shot down the majority and kicked the last one through the cockpit. Exiting through the bottom of the airframe, she curls into a ball and straightens out into a dive. Turning back to go over the ships, Remiu has the anti-air guns take out a F-22 that had tried to hit and run. The human pilots had thought their high speed would be able to protect them from the guns, but found out the truth the hard way.
 
One last F-22 made the mistake of letting Remiu get on his tail and began to dance. The plane climbed into a loop, turning on its afterburners. Remiu follows the loop, seeing flak clouds form around them. Surface to air missiles flew around them, leaving trails from the Stingers that the American forces had brought. Rolling through the dive, she follows the dive to the left and keeps firing her bullets.
 
The fight turns into a turning engagement, giving Remiu the advantage. Leading her shots, she tears into the body of the plane and leaves the engine on fire. The fire quickly spreads to the fuel tank and causes the plane to blow up. A wing flies off and almost hits her as she dives under the falling wreckage. The shrine maiden shakes her head to clear the effects of the shockwave, looking for the flagship of the fleet. Spotting Atago, Remiu can see Yuyuko and Toyohime discussing something over a map. 
 
Landing on the bridge, the miko opens the door from the balcony and steps inside. Yuyuko and Toyohime were watching a real time rendering of the fight in the forest, trying to spot where the next volley was going to be called for. The 18th Regiment of Foot had completely stopped the American advance and were forcing them back hard. To anyone that knew the 18th, it would come to no surprise. This was to be their last battle action since they were to be transferred to the Gendarmerie for their ability.
 
The Atago fired again, shaking the entire ship. An entire enemy square instantly disappeared from the map, letting elements from the 18th split the group in two. Kongou followed suit, leaving another large crater in the forest. Akagi recalled several of her planes in order to refuel and rearm them, trying to keep the pressure on the enemy. A late addition, Fubuki, stayed close to Akagi. The small special type destroyer was firing nonstop on every aircraft that tried to come close, destroying a few.
 
On the board next to the captain’s station, a list of the ships that were currently at the shipyards at the Lunar Capital was flashing. A majority of the lists showed that the fleet was about to be launched at normal strength. The Misty Lake wasn’t big enough to hold all of the vessels, so it was being left up to Toyohime to find a spot for them. With the fleets hanging around the coast of Japan, it would trigger a major naval battle with the high numbers on both sides if carelessly deployed.
 
A request for fire came through the map, highlighting a fortified hill. Atago’s main batteries turned to face the area, loaded with high explosive shells. Toyohime points at a contested area and double taps on the red square. This signifies concentrated fire with friendly units close by. Taking the speakerphone, she calls out, “Panpakapan!”
 
The crew in the cannons echoed her call as the guns fired. The Heavy Cruiser rained down death and destruction over the human units that were in that impact zone. Kongou turns to starboard in order to aim at an M1 Abrams that had tried to take out one of her turrets. It was obvious over kill when all batteries concentrated on the lone tank and scored direct hits. All that remained of the main battle tank was a large crater.

In contrast to the initial intelligence, the American forces were severely mistaken. No one on their planning staff had ever expected an aircraft carrier to ever appear so close to them. Nor had they expected a battleship to be in direct fire range. 

“The Americans are down to ten percent of their original fighting force.” The deck officer was conferring to a printout from the map.
 
“Do we have enough range to reach the frontlines?” Toyohime asked.
 
“For the next ten minutes, but we haven’t received any requests for fire. I doubt that we’ll be much use for them.”
 
“What about the fleet near the mainland?” Yuyuko was look at a theater map.
 
“The American Seventh Fleet has been reinforced by their Third Fleet. They have at least five aircraft carriers and assorted support ships. Our fleet would be able to match them, but it would lead to a draw in most cases. Personally, I believe that a large engagement that we win would cause the American forces to concede ground. Losing their aircraft carriers would also be a primary objective.”
 
“So they have five aircraft carriers,” Yuyuko narrowed her eyes in thought. “What about their bases?”
 
“There is one in Tokyo Bay. The headquarters of the Pacific Command is at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.”
 
“So we might have to move on Tokyo Bay,” The ghost princess sighed. “Hopefully we can get an agreement with the Japanese government before it comes down to that.”
 
“Master Yagakoro will have it, we just have to give her more time,” Toyohime replied. “If we’re going to get into a large naval battle, we need to make sure that we get a good first strike. The humans still underestimate us and that is an insult.”
 
“I’m surprised that you haven’t used that fan of yours.”
 
“When Master Yagakoro gave me this fan, she made me understand the risks and rewards of using it.” Toyohime patted it. “I’m only to use it if there’s no other option. So far, conventional forces are enough to solve this problem.”
 
Yuyuko pauses as an F-22 flew into the lake in front of in flames. “I see your point. So what now?”
 
“Deck officer, have Akagi recall all fighters. All ships are to prepare to jump back to the shipyards to link up with the rest of the fleet. Atago will recall her fighter and prepare to cover the jump.”
 
While Toyohime was giving her orders, Yuyuko stepped over to Remiu and lowered her head to listen to the shorter girl.
 
“Why was I called back? I don’t want to hear any lies.” Remiu had a deep frown on her face.
 
“Yukari doesn’t want you to stray too far from the barrier.” Yuyuko glanced at the window. “Even though this is a new barrier, Yukari still needed to use you as a foundation for the spell. If anything were to happen to you, the barrier would break much faster than it is now. Even with the Dragon God’s power, the underlying problem that destroyed the first barrier is still there. Ran has been traveling all around Gensokyo but still hasn’t found it.”
 
“What about Marisa?”
 
“Like Yukari already told all of us, she’s going to help by helping us get weapons and ammo. With the fleet that we’re about to flied in conjunction with the Lunarians, we’re going to need parts and supplies. Marisa has some experience with managing inventory and finding hard to find items. Rinnosuke and Yukari will help out when she needs it but, she’s going to have to travel a bit. If something happens, then we’ll bring both of you into it.”
 
“Then what am I supposed to do with everyone else gone?”
 
“The villagers will need spiritual guidance after everything that happened. Sanae will help you since we’re leaving her too. Don’t worry about any counter attacks, we’re having the Lunarians leave a small group until Yukari gets the Japanese government to sign a deal. Once that deal is signed, you won’t have to worry about anything then.”
 
“All fighters have been recovered,” the deck officer called. “Akagi will jump first, followed by Fubuki and Kongou. Atago will jump last and cover until she does so.”
 
“You should go ahead and meet up with Marisa.” Yuyuko opened the door to the balcony. “Yukari has been worried about how you’ve been handling all of this. If she keeps this up, there’s a chance she could get blindsided. A lot of what has happen has thrown every backup plan out of the window. As of the beginning of the battle, she’s been having to improvise. She hasn’t had to do that in a long time, so she’s still getting used to. A way that you can help her is by putting up with her whenever she shows up at the shrine. She does think of you as a daughter and really enjoys spending time with you.”
 
“I suppose I can do that.”
 
“Good.” Yuyuko gives her a quick pat on the head and watches the miko take to the air again. She lowers her voice for her next statement. “Yukari is a better parent than I am. I couldn’t even take care of poor Youmu after what happened this morning. It really is hard to believe that she’s the same child that was sacred of ghost lights in her younger days.”
 
She turns to see the portal that Toyohime created swallow Kongou, meaning that Atago would be next to return to the Lunar Capital. It was a pity that she wouldn’t have time to pick up any Lunarian sake since the last bottle she drank was masterfully brewed. The last time she was here, she was about to explore the Capital at will due to being classified as pure. It was humorous to her when she heard about the reactions that both princesses had when they realized she was the one that stole their sake during the last war. At the time, she had thought that it would have been her last time there. But now she was on official business with them as an ally.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2015, 03:06:11 am »
 Paititi, Southeast Peru
 
For her first expedition, Sumireko Usami was happy that it was so fruitful. The honor student had passed her entrance exams and decided to pursue a degree in archology at Osaka University. For the better part of a year, she had been part of a research team that had journeyed to the jungles of South America in order to find the lost city of Paititi. She was chosen to be part of the team due to a paper she had turned in that had detailed Gensokyo and its special properties. Her underlying hope was that she could find another mystical land and that she could study it as well.
 
After two weeks of what felt like wandering around, they had found the city and set up a small camp. The first few days weren’t easy on her, but once more permanent housing with a somewhat limited source of hot water and power were set up, it was easier to bear. The only thing that bothered her about her location now was the lack of an internet connection. But all of the findings that she had made were usually enough for her to forget about it for a while.
 
Even with all of the progress she was making, she still felt something amiss. For almost eight months, she hadn’t been able to go back to Gensokyo during her dreams. No matter what she did, whether it was a different time, laying down differently, or holding the deck she had been given, none of it worked. The lack of news from the world outside the jungle also made her feel a little bit of unease. But she was a firm believer of no news was good news.
 
In her free time, she had begun to develop her powers. At the beginning, she was having trouble holding up small rocks. But once she had accepted that her powers existed outside Gensokyo, it had taken leaps and bounds. She had learned on how to boost herself to the point that she could amplify her physical abilities. During this development, she would get headaches that were so bad that she had to retire for the day. But she welcomed them due to the fact that she had gained a new power when she woke up the next morning.
 
Since the research team was small, she was forced to get to know them and develop working relationships. It was difficult for her at first, but she finally got over it and was accepted to the fold. This was for the best, as a lonely existence in the jungle would be a sad event. In order for them to relax and have exercise, one of the researchers began to instruct them in kendo and fencing. Sumireko had taken a liking to it since it helped to clear her mind and organize her thoughts.
 
One day, when the locals had brought them the weekly supplies, they had also brought a letter from the university. Word quickly spread through the camp that a group of visitors would be arriving in a week to discuss a related discovery. Sumireko was among those that cheered and eagerly awaited their arrival. She could barely sleep the night before and ended up going over her research notes until she fell asleep.
 
She had a dream about floating in deep space. She looks down and sees a disk galaxy at her feet. Looking around, she senses something wrong. Then it hits her, the stars were going out. Sumireko reaches out to one, only to have it disappear before she can close her hand around it. It continued until only the center the galaxy was left, then it started to go dim. The temperature began to drop, causing her to wrap her arms around herself.
 
That morning, she had woken up around noon and frantically gotten ready. She rushes out of the hut only to find the rest of the research team sitting around, playing cards or reading a book. Sumireko sighs in relief and slows down. She grabs lunch and sits down to eat. She barely finishes when everyone stands up and moves to the front of the settlement. Quickly throwing her trash away, she makes sure to grab her bag with her tablet and research notes. A large group of people had just entered the clearing and were making their way towards them.
 
Something was off about some of them, raising the hairs on Sumireko’s neck. Several of them were looking around, but not out of what looked like curiosity. A few of them had a look in their eyes that she couldn’t place. The others were somewhat familiar to her, having gone to lectures hosted by the archology departments of other universities. Some of them were accomplished researchers that had specialized in searching for the secrets and knowledge of mystical civilizations. She felt her heart rate increase with the possibility of finding another Genoskyo so close.
 
Just as the leaders of both groups held their hands out to shake in greeting, gunshots rang out. She watched her fellow researchers fall before she was able to get her body to move. She ran back into her hut, locking the door behind her. More gunshots rang out, and the sounds of something being poured reached her ears. The psychic looks through the crack between the door and wall and sees flames dancing around in the center of the settlement. One of the generators had been hit and burst into flames.
 
She trips when she turns around, saving her life when bullets rip thought the hut. The attackers kicked down doors and ransacked research notes before lighting the huts on fire as well. One of them kicked down the door to the hut Sumireko was in and brought his TEC DC-9 machine pistol up. Refusing to go back to the helplessness that she felt when she fell in Gensokyo for the first time and was beaten in back to back fights, she grabs the weapon with her power and rips it out of the man’s hand.
 
Taking ahold of the weapon, she riddles him with the entire magazine due to an adrenaline rush. Realizing her mistake in using up all of her ammo in one go, she throws it to the side and stands back up. Quickly searching the body, she can’t find any more magazines but takes the sword that he was strangely carrying. She takes a deep breath and knows that she has to fight if she wants to survive. Grateful for the abilities that she had developed, she steps off.
 
Now taking a look at the sword, she recognizes it as a Spanish conquistador’s sword. It had a golden hilt with ornate engraving and a blade that was like new. If it was taken from a nearby ruin in that pristine condition, it would easily fetch millions should it be genuine. This pointed towards the conclusion that the research team was close to something big. The next question would be why someone would order a hit on them. The only thing that would have brought them attention would have been the paper Sumireko had published on the possibility of more places like Gensokyo. But many that had read that paper had dismissed that chance months ago when it first came out.
 
Running into another attacker, Sumireko grabs him with her power and flings him into the sky. Another attacker falls to a slice in the abdomen, letting her stare him in the eyes as he falls. As a result of a gut feeling, she levitates a box behind her. It stops a hail of bullets from another attacker that is then crushed by the heavy metal container. Before she can move, she’s stopped by visions of lighting.
 
Following the actions in the vision, Sumireko unleashes lighting that hits an attacker hiding from her and kills him painfully. She lifts another one up and throws the sword into him. It goes all the way to the hilt and she pulls back towards her. Then she lifts another one up and charges him with electricity before throwing him into a comrade. As soon as they make contact, the stored electricity was let loosed and killed the pair.
 
The fire had spread to the jungle, drying out the humid leaves so they could be lit up. The smoke had gotten thick enough to block out the sun in the immediate area, making look like it was nighttime. The ruins nearby were right in the path of the approaching flames, which meant that much of the knowledge inside would be lost. Sumireko gritted her teeth at the realization of the loss and the setback in her overall plan.
 
Looking to the top of the radio hut, she can see two of the attackers trying to get a signal for the radio. She feels something rile up in her and clenches her fists. Gathering all of her ability and concentration, she focuses on everything in front of her. The hut and the ground nearby began to shake, worsening as she concentrated. The birds that had not fled at the first gunshots fled when they felt that shaking and the cause behind it.
 
“Grab hold of something! Quickly!” One of the attackers shouts right before the hut is crushed into a small ball. The power generator had been caught in the destruction and exploded. But right before he would have been caught in the destruction, he had jumped off and left his comrade to his death. Unbeknownst to either party, he had lost his machine pistol while escaping. He lands in front of Sumireko and pulls out a sword identical to hers. She could sense the same kind of power in the man in front of her and steeled herself for the fight.
 
He charged her, going for a straight stab. Sumireko steps to the side and bats the blade away from her. She brings her sword up to strike, only to lock her blade with his. He begins to overpower her before she uses her telekinesis to increase her strength. Then she breaks the lock and kicks him back. Jumping forward, she plunges her sword into the ground but misses since the attacker had rolled to the side.
 
Sumireko gets pushed back by a telekinetic push, confirming her gut feeling of a fellow psychic in front of her. She returns the attack, it was strong enough to deform the ground as it traveled. They step towards each other, bringing their blades over their heads. Just like a pair of cobras, they circled each other while waiting for an opening. They pass each other, trading three blows before turning towards each other again. Both of them even started to hiss at each other during their resets.
 
They continue this again and again, with neither side gaining an advantage. Sumireko was the first to break the pattern, going in for a horizontal strike at chest height. The strike is blocked, forcing her to keep delivering attacks from other angles. She presses the attack, pouring her power into the blade. It begins to glow with a faint purple tint that gets stronger as time goes by, along with a faint hum that was barely audible.
 
The attacker jumped back, giving Sumireko the opening she was looking for. She twirls to gain momentum and unleashes a diagonal slash towards his neck. He barely blocks the strike and is almost overpowered. To prevent this, the man punches her in the stomach so hard she gets the air knocked out of her. The researcher stumbles back and knows that she had to do something fast. Hastily absorbing energy, she makes it explode outward to repulse the attack.
 
He’s sent flying into the side of a hut, letting her catch her breath. She can see that the fires had spread all around them, lighting up the jungle around them. The sounds of the displeasure of the native animals were loud amongst the flames, they were annoyed at having their homes burned to the ground. Before she can concentrate, a sword flew out of the hut and barely missed her when she ducked.
 
The sword flew back into the hut and the attacker calmly stepped out. He reached out to a flame and made part of it dance in his hand. Taking hold of sword once more, he digs his feet in and throws the fire at her. Sumireko closes her eyes and sticks her hands out, creating a wind current that parted the fire before it reached her. She flings lighting at him in response, only to have him reflect it off of his sword. Her mind draws a blank at what happened, since it should have shocked him. But then she sees the blade glowing in a red hue.
 
Running forward, the pair exchange savage blows that were designed to wear down the other’s defense. With some of them, it wasn’t much different from either of them trying to hammer a stake into the ground. Both of them scored some hits, but none of them were fatal or decisive. They broke off again, with Sumireko wiping blood off of her face from a bloody nose. The man spits out blood from his mouth and sneers at her.
 
Sumireko drops into a one handed high guard, with her blade held horizontally above her and pointing to the side. She half twisted her body and swept her hand across and down. Her opponent held his sword in the low guard. It was in his strong hand and held to the side while pointed down. His feet were shoulder width apart, with the blade pointed in her direction. He ran his thumb down the length of the grip, giving him the ability to have more accurate movements.
 
Letting the rush of the battle finally take hold, Sumireko runs forward. The man easily deflects the blows, relying on his fancy footwork to get him in position for the next strike. She knew that the style that she was using would quickly wear her down, so she knew that she had to end this quickly. The psychic charges up a repulse and releases it as quickly as she can. A heavy radio case flies towards the attacker, which he slammed down to the ground.
 
A burst of speed gets the man in close enough to head-butt her and that’s exactly what he does. Sumireko staggers back while shaking her head to clear it. Before she can fully get herself together, she feels a hand grab her by the neck. Her air is instantly cut off and she feels her grip on her sword start loosening. He starts bending her back, sneering as she struggles to free herself. He grabs her right hand and tries to force her sword into her face. She throws one last kick that knocks him out of balance. She makes him fall forward, scrambling to get back on her feet.
 
The man gets up and drops kick her, knocking her sword out of her hand and sending her flying backwards. She rolls back and gets back up again. He charges her, only to get kicked so hard he flips on his back facing the other direction. She summons her sword back to her hand and swings downward with a two handed grip. He barely manages to get his own sword back in time to block. Sumireko puts all of her force into the blade, trying to break through his defense.
 
The attacker plants his foot on her left leg and pushes off while twisting his body. As an added measure, he pushes her back telekinetically. She’s sent rolling and has to collect her bearings when she lands. Her neck still hurts from almost being crushed and she feels her limbs getting heavy. Calling on her ability, she keeps going despite the pain and exhaustion. The attacker is feeling the same as her, letting her know that she has gotten a few good hits in.
 
Taking a deep breath, the man runs numbers to bring this fight to an end. A prolonged engagement would be in his favor, if he doesn’t lose his footing or grip due to exhaustion. Retreating was out of the question, she had seen his face and would come after him. Add to that the fact that he was injured, and it would become foolish to travel in the jungle like that. He had just noticed that he had lose his machine pistol, so that was out. Now there was only one alternative.
 
Jumping into the air and bringing his sword above his head, the man tries to end the fight right then and there. Sumireko waits until he passes the apex of his jump and then slams him into the ground with a psychic push. She lifts him up again, pulling him up higher and slams him down harder. The last lift is higher than any of the other ones and gets a mangled shout of pain from the victim. Then she starts to choke him from a distance, only to have him throw his sword at her.
 
She catches the sword in her psychic grip, dropping the man and throws both of the blades at him. The handles hit him in the face and he becomes dizzy. He gets further disorientated as she charges up a full strength repulse and lays him out. She recalls her blade and lifts the man by his throat. The man tries to call his sword back, but Sumireko shatters his telekinetic grip.
 
“Who. Sent. You.” Sumireko had to stop herself from outright killing him. She had to force each word out through clenched teeth.
 
“I’m…dead…anyway.” He was clutching at his throat. “You…won’t…get…anything…from…me.”
 
“Who. Sent. You.” She repeated again. This time there was no response, just a glare.
 
“You attacked a peaceful expedition for no reason! You murdered my colleagues and professors. I saw your men taking our research. I’m only going to ask one more time. Who sent you?” Getting no response, she increases the pressure. There is no change, so she drops him. Before he can catch his breath, he gets hit with a book in the face. Sumireko had summoned a book from a hut and hit him with an overhead swing. She’s about to give him another swing when he breaks.
 
“Alright! Alright! I’ll talk.” He seemed angrier about being hit by a book than the earlier fight.
 
“Who sent you? And for what purpose?”
 
“I…was hired by the Americans. They wanted us to steal research into magical topics and to make sure the researchers couldn’t spread their findings. They didn’t care about how we did it, but it had to be permanent.”
 
“Why?”
 
“I don’t know, honest. My group and I were given five hundred thousand American to do this. How could we say no?”
 
“Did they know you have powers like mine?”
 
“They were aware. That’s why they chose us for the job.”
 
“Who was your contact?”
 
“Someone in Lima, I never saw his face. He just dropped off instructions in a chicken coop behind a bar. We were told to contact him when we had killed all of you and taken all of the research notes.”
 
“How did you know it was the Americans? And why would they want something like this?”
 
“You don’t know, little girl? The Americans are fighting a war on magic at this very moment. They’re attacking some place called Gensokyo.” He couldn’t continue since Sumireko had lifted him into the air by his throat again. She clenched both of her fists as he floated in front of her.
 
“How do you know about that place?”
 
“Who doesn’t? They managed to beat back one attack from a combined coalition and now they’re in the middle of another one.” The man laughs weakly while clutching at his throat. “What, don’t tell me you didn’t know.”
 
“Let’s assume I haven’t had access to the news lately. What led to this?”
 
“Some political games by the Americans. They claimed that Gensokyo was responsible for a string of bombings on embassies all over the world. Russia and China withdrew territorial claims on islands in the Pacific in exchange for Japan to open borders to help blockade the area.”
 
“Gensokyo was supposed to be hidden, how did they find it?”
 
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
 
 “Then what should-” She’s interrupted by the sounds of a helicopter getting closer. Her heart drops when rockets begin to hit the settlement. The Mil Mi-26 was painted in Peruvian Army colors, but had no insignia, meaning that someone had done a sloppy job covering their tracks or didn’t care. Gunfire ripped into the burning settlement, hoping to erase all signs of occupation. Sumireko grabs her bag and runs for the cover of the least burning section of jungle. Even if her colleagues were alive, there was no way she would be able to help them with the helicopter above them now.
 
As she runs, the area is filled with bullets. A rocket barely missiles her, going on to explode when it went through a hut. She turns around and reaches both of her hands out. Grabbing all of the rockets that were launched in a psychic grip, she struggles to flip them around. Once she does, she releases them. The pilot dodges most of them, but one hits the tail and lights the remaining part on fire.
 
Sumireko grabs the falling aircraft and slams it into the ground, sending storage boxes and other debris flying. One of them hits a surviving newcomer and sends him in a burning hut. The psychic turns around but sharply breathes in when another vision hits her. She was lucky that she had stopped where she did, or she would have been cooking where she stood. She was also lucky that she had wiped out all of the attackers or she would have been an easy target.
 
This one was of a large naval battle in clear blue water. A Zumwalt class destroyer had made the mistake of cutting in between two Takao class heavy cruisers and paid the price. An Iowa class battleship was engaged in a knife fight with a Nagato class, both ships trading broadsides at extremely close range. Torpedoes were everywhere in the water, striking countless ships. Aircraft carriers were swerving from side to side to dodge anything that came at them.
 
Heavy cruisers were dropping shells on each other, igniting fires that the damage control teams struggled to fight. Frigates and destroyers were blown out of the water, their crews flying into the air and landing on the wreckage. Submarines were engaging each other under the water, with their weapons creating splashes on the surface. Destroyer escorts were dropping depth charges, hoping to get rid of them before getting hit.
 
Bombers were flying extremely low, with flak clouds of all colors around them. Fighters from all eras were trapped in a furball of epic proportions. Tracer rounds filled the skies, sometimes leading to friendly fire. More and more ships were joining the battle, overwhelming her. Entire battleships exploded as their magazine compartments were hit by lucky (or unlucky) high explosive rounds.
 
Then the vision changes to one of a large city on fire. Tall buildings were collapsing all around, with large explosions filling the landscape. She spots herself locked in a fight with a shadow. The first time she notices is that she was losing ground by being forced into a retreating defense. Whoever she was fighting was taking advantage of an aggressive advance and wasn’t worried about defense.
 
What really struck her was that she seemed to be holding back during the retreat. Then she notices the look of betrayal and sorrow on her face. Even when the shadow got punches and kicks in, she refused to strike back. At this point, she was bruised and had tears flowing down her face. Even when she had an obvious chance to strike at the shadow, she refused to take advantage of it.
 
There were only two people that the Sumireko of the present would never strike against, but neither of them would ever strike against her. Especially with the ferocity and power behind the strikes she was seeing. Sumireko did see a great amount of skill in both of the combatants, which lead to the assumption that it was in the future. To the pair of them, the fighting and destruction around them didn’t matter at all.
 
Then she saw the floor of the American House of Representatives during a joint session of Congress. She couldn’t recognize any of the faces there since she had no prior interest in politics, but she knew something was going down. Applause rang out every so often, letting the orator absorb the atmosphere. Sumireko noticed that several of the politicians seemed displeased and were muttering amongst themselves.
 
“To ensure our security and continued stability, the American democracy will be reorganized into the first American empire, for a safe and secure society!” What felt like the entire room stood up and applauded loud enough to shake the walls of the chamber. Some of the critics of the move left the chamber in disgust, setting themselves up to be forced to disappear. She realized that she was watching the death of the world’s strongest democracy.
 
One of the politicians walks close to where Sumireko was standing. “So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.” Near them, a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency took note of the pair and scratched his ear. The first signs of a New World Order were becoming apparent fast, giving Sumireko a chill down her spine. This development combined with what she had just found out were too much for her to digest. She had to pause in order to keep from being overwhelmed.
 
Bracing herself against a tree, she tries to catch her breath. Even with everything that had happened, she smiles. She realized that her gut feeling of being special was right all along. That she was meant for something bigger than anyone else. A book that she had read a long time ago had said that everything happened for a reason, and now she felt that she finally fully understood it. Her abilities had evolved to help her change the tide of history. She was right to separate herself from normal people, those that wouldn’t or couldn’t understand.
 
The psychic knew what she had to do now. Sumireko had to get out of the jungle and get back to Gensokyo. She had to get in touch with Yukari Yakumo and lead her abilities to the land she had found. If she could prove to them that she was the key, then she would be able to study Genoskyo even more. She would be hailed as a heroine and wouldn’t have to worry about being fought at every encounter. She would finally find somewhere that she belonged.
 
Noticing that the fire around the settlement was spreading, she knew that her time there was short. She finds a scabbard and belt that she sheaths her sword in. Grabbing her bag, she finds her hat and dusts it off. Sighing, she puts it on and pulls out her cell phone. The signal was too weak for internet access, but it was enough for the GPS. She was surprised that she could take to the air, and looked for the closest city. Sumireko had to move quickly in case of more unwelcomed guests on their way.
 
If she remembered right, and if the GPS is good, there was a river that marked the boundary of Peru and Brazil. Staying in Peru for long wouldn’t be such a good idea since who knows how many other groups were ordered to continue the hit. If she could make it to Iberia, she could see about getting a flight to a random city and lay low while figuring out what next. She groaned when she remembered her Spanish wasn’t the best and hoped that someone there could speak English or Japanese.
 
Then she remembered something important. How was she going to get out of the country without her passport or papers? Looking back, the settlement was fully engulfed in flames. She groans, frustrated at forgetting something important. And how was she going to travel with a sword strapped on her belt? She kicks herself for not thinking things through. In theory, she could fly under her own power, but it would be extremely difficult over that long of a distance. Her overall goal was to get back to Japan after all.
 
She checks her bag, confirming that she has her pocketbook with her bank cards. She doubted that it would be good outside a large city, but it was worth a try if she could find an ATM. First, she needed to get to a large city in either Brazil or Bolivia and find a hotel. Then she needed to clean up and get a new set of clothes. She tried to remember how much she had, especially since she hadn’t been able to buy anything since she had entered the jungle.
 
Shaking her head, Sumireko starts from the top. She had a feeling that she could use a mind trick to bluff her way on a plane. After all, it wasn’t a large airport. Worst case, she would just fly straight there and hope their air force wouldn’t see her. A small single engine plane would be the least likely to be as secure, so that would be her primary goal. She would have to hide her sword in a box and pass it off as something.
 
Absentmindedly tapping the side of her phone, it rings and startles her. The psychic looks at the number but can’t recognize it. She slows down and then brings the phone to her ear.
 
“About time you answered,” a smooth and refined voice spoke to her.
 
“Who is this?”
 
“Did you really think I wouldn’t know the Secret Sealing Club’s First President?”
 
“How did you know-“
 
“My, my, I already have two of you members working for me. Of course I would know a little about you, Sumireko. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Yukari Yakumo. You may recognize me as the one responsible for everything that goes on in Genoskyo. I must apologize for not being able to meet you when you visited, but I was tied up with other matters.”
 
“Then you’re one of them?”
 
“A youkai? Of course, I’m not just some pitiable human. Several of my sources have just recounted what you have been through. It would be in your best interest if you worked together with us.”
 
“How can you be sure that I won’t be able to solve all of this myself,” Sumireko puffed out her chest in pride.
 
“Because you’re powers are still undeveloped,” instead of Yukari’s voice coming from the phone, it came directly from behind her. The youkai had opened a gap and was speaking to her directly. The psychic almost dropped her phone in shock and back away from her. “I’m afraid I must make this quick. The Diet is taking a short break from negotiations and will be getting back to business soon. As I was saying, I have an offer you can’t refuse.”
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2015, 08:30:01 pm »
 Lunarian/NATO line of battle, Japan
 
What was happening between the human and Lunarian forces couldn’t be really called a battle. The term battle had the connotation of organized lines. This was anything but that. For an unexplained reason, the Lunarian line had disappeared into a large mess with human forces sprinkled in between. Both sides were standing and firing at each other, disregarding conventional tactics. The aircraft fighting for control of the skies above them reflected the ground combat as well.
 
The main conflict in this area was for control of a series of trenches that would split the Lunarian advance in half if lost. Reisen II had taken her regiment and relived the 228th Foot that had taken the blunt of a combined American, British, Australian, and New Zealander counterattack. The 228th had almost been broken but were saved by a P-47 bombing run. Quickly returning to the rear, they were sent back to garrison to recoup their losses.
 
“The Americans have activated the uplink station,” Yorihime called over the communication system. “We must shut it down.”
 
As Yorihime had explained to Reisen before news of the US taking command of all NATO ground forces had arrived, the Americans had rolled out their new on the move communications systems and were using them to call in support and bombing runs. The Project Manager Warfighter Information Network-Tactical had just begun its third increment and was getting a baptism by fire. By force of habit, many of the relay vehicles had come to a stop in order to provide a better signal between subscribers, making them prime targets for the Lunarians. This was a result of several units skipping an increment due to funding issues. The first increment had required them to stop before they could transmit. Sometimes, an unlucky soul had to take a metal clothes hanger and hold it just right for a signal to come in. 
 
Reisen brought up her rifle and fired eight shots into an American sergeant’s center mass while heading for a small radio tower in the distance. Beside her, an American corporal had tackled a moon rabbit into a trench and the two were trading blows. Loading another magazine on the run, Reisen does a long bunny hop that takes her over the trenches, narrowly avoiding a friendly P-51, and lands right in front of a surprised American 1st lieutenant. He has a look of surprise on his face and doesn’t even try bringing his rifle up.
 
Not missing a step, she runs past him while slamming her rifle into his face. Return fire started to fly towards her, forcing the moon rabbit to jump back in nearby trench. But instead of staying in the same spot, she ran down the trench. Any human that tried to shoot down at her was met with a hail of bullets that took them down for good. She started to reload, only to find that she had no rounds left. Slinging her rifle across her shoulder, she draws her commander’s saber and keeps going.
 
“American A-10s are beginning their attack run,” the younger princess said.
 
Her warning came a few seconds before the familiar brrrt of the 30 mm Gatling opened up the 4th. Without organic air troops, the ground forces were highly vulnerable to armored attack planes. They simply didn’t have the weapons heavy enough to take down the armored plane. On its way out, the plane dropped delayed fuse cluster bombs that inflicted heavy casualties against the Lunarian forces.
 
Spotting an uparmored Humvee with a shelter on the back, the regimental commander bunny hops again. She easily covers the 200 feet and lands on top of the shelter. Plunging her saber into the roof, she cuts the hinges of the hatch before the operator inside could close it. The rabbit drops a spell card and jumps off before the Humvee was flattened by the explosion. She stumbles as the shockwave hits her but kept running towards another trench.
 
“The Americans have lost an uplink station,” Yorihime’s voice was all business. “Artillery strike inbound.”
 
The area east of Resien came under heavy fire, killing anyone that was close enough. Two Panzer Is zoomed past her, firing a constant stream of tracer rounds. Coming up behind them, a King Tiger was deflecting rockets from all sides. Resien waited until the launchers were taken out before jumping on that tank and knocking on the turret. The fairy commander opens up and pulls out a map when she sees Resien’s cord.
 
“Human forces are trying to build up on the flanks here and here,” the fairy pointed at the ends of the mass. “If we can push through the center, we can surround them and finish them off.”
 
“How much armor do we have left?”
 
“We have 15 tanks in the immediate area. Five Panzer IVs, two King Tigers, three Tiger Is, two M1 Abrams, one Sherman Firefly, the Maus, and a Churchill. I’m not counting the Panzer Is since they wouldn’t be of any use in this attack. The Sturmtiger would be too powerful for an attack like this.”
 
“Where’s the weak points?”
 
“There and there,” the fairy pointed at a group of five Humvees that were in complete disarray. “We can break right through them. Once we do, keep up with us.”
 
“Alright.” Reisen pointed at them with her saber and shouted. “Concentrate all fire!”
 
Three of the Humvees exploded during the initial exchange. Two heavy troopers opened fire on the remaining vehicles with their repeating rifles, punching clear holes in them. The tanks plow the husks out of the way, firing their main cannons at the retreating armor. One of the surviving humans dropped his weapon and fled from the Panzers. This prompted several others to look around and consider doing the same.
 
Katyusha launchers rained their rockets down on the area, breaking the human forces. An F-22 flew over them, using its sonic boom to disrupt the advance. It tried to turn around for another pass, but was interrupted by a SU-47 shooting it down.
 
“American B-1B bombers have locked on to our armor,” Yorihime called out. “Take out those uplink stations.”
 
“Companies three and eight, over there,” Reisen pointed at an antenna. “Do not allow them to escape!”
 
She ran, drawing her sidearm and shooting down a Private First Class. More and more moon rabbits were bunny hopping, looking like fleas. Human forces were becoming even more disorganized, leading to the rejection of doctrine. The ones with 5.56 NATO rounds quickly fell since they did little damage, leaving their heavier counterparts to pick up their slack. Youkai had discarded their modified weapons and went into close combat.
 
Human bodies flew through the air, courtesy of the oni forces that treated the battle like a game. Then a large explosion ripped through a group of Abrams tanks, leaving no trace of them. A Sturmtiger had fired a 380 mm rocket and was being reloaded by a single oni. The shock from the blast broke more troops and started a small retreat. With the confusion causes by this recent development, the Lunarian forces were able to push through.
 
Reisen had reloaded her rifle with rounds she had gotten from the tank commander and led the charge. In the midst of the advance, she wondered where her namesake was. Her skills would come in handy right now, even if she was originally infantry.
 
Hornets and Falcons circle above the battlefield, trying to get a hit on a Berkut to no avail. An F-35 flew in and let loose a missile, only to have it come back and shoot it down. Every so often, a tengu was hit by something and fell to the ground. Several of them somehow managed to be lit on fire and left craters when they landed. Even as more of them were swatted from the sky, they still took down a greater amount of aircraft with them.
 
The lead tank, a King Tiger, was moving forward when an airburst round exploded right in front of it. Reisen had to knock her head to get the ringing out of her ears. The crew of the tank climbed out and had to lean on the side of the tank. Each of them was breathing heavily and were unsteady on their feet.
 
“What happened?” Resien knelt down beside one of the fairies.
 
“An airburst round. They’re lucky to be alive.” One of the nearby senior sergeants said. “If they were breathing in when it hit, they would be dead.”
 
Climbing up on the tank, Reisen is followed by four more Lunarians. They situate themselves while the regular crew is dragged to the rear by medical personnel. The King Tiger’s 88 mm cannon rotates to where the airburst round came from and fires one round. It rips through a hidden mortar nest and detonates other airburst rounds. The explosion spreads to other mortar pits, creating a chain reaction.
 
“Driver, forward,” Reisen saw an Oshkosh L-ATV light vehicle firing at them. “Fire on that vehicle.”
 
“Which shell do I use?” The loader called out.
 
“Just grab one and put it in,” the gunner called out. “I don’t think they would keep going with a gaping hole in their side.”
 
“The Americans have activated another uplink station. Move on that position.” Yorihime’s voice came through the radio.
 
The radio operator handed Reisen an updated map that had the uplink marked by a flashing circle. The moon rabbit flinches when she hears the sounds of small arms fire bounce off of the turret. Unrolling the map, she can see a trio of infantry companies providing security for the uplink station. The map didn’t tell her if they had anti-tank weapons, so she would have to rely heavily on infantry support. The last thing she needed was for an AT4 to get fired point blank into the rear armor or for infantry to knock on her hatch and hand her a grenade.
 
Coming up beside her, the Sturmtiger fired again. Using the shock and awe from the round, the King Tiger moved to exploit the gap in the line. Under the cover of the armor charge, the Lunarian infantry fanned out and began to hop as a unit. Heavy troopers stayed on the ground and unloaded hundreds of rounds as they smoothly walked forward. They had heavier hitting weapons than their lighter counterparts and shot through all kinds of cover.
 
Popping her head out of the commander’s cupola, Reisen took ahold of the MG42 and opened fire on the infantry in front of her. The American infantry dropped to the ground and tried to low crawl away from the tank, but it was useless with all of the fire suppressing them. With the tank moving forward, the suppressive fire turned into effective fire and wiped out entire squads. Reisen started moving her head around as bullets started to find their way towards her.
 
Then a large impact rang through the area, grabbing everyone’s attention. Coming towards the line, Sakuya’s Tiger (P) was still locked in the knife fight with the railgun equipped Abrams. Both tanks fired, and both tanks missed their targets. The Abrams had a rebooting targeting computer, so they had to rely on the gunner’s skill, if it existed. The Tiger (P) landed a glancing hit that left a small dent on the side of the turret. The round flew off into sky, landing miles away.
 
Noticing a paper taped on the hatch next to her, Reisen sees a cheat sheet for shells. “Load APCR, wait for my signal.”
 
“Which one is that one?”
 
“It says…PzGr. 40/43.”
 
“Found it. Round loaded.”
 
“Gunner, aim for the rear. Try to take out that engine.”
 
“Shot fired.” The round had impacted the side of the tank and went into the engine. The American tank instantly lost speed and slowed down to a halt.
 
“It’s good.” Reisen paused when she saw the turret towards them. “Everybody out, now!”
 
The entire crew opened their hatches and were halfway out when the railgun projectile hit the tank. All five of them were launched out of the tank, but due to being almost out, they were more hurt by landing on their faces than the tank brewing up. The turret flew up and landed next to the short haired moon rabbit while she struggled with ringing in her ears again. She was afraid that it was going to become a permanent problem. She rolled on her back and stayed there to catch her breath.
 
Bailing out, the railgun crew was cut down by machine gun fire from the Tiger (P). The generators in the railgun tank became overloaded and ended up taking the remains of the tank with them. Sakuya grinded her teeth since she was extremely interested in studying the vehicle. Before she took her attention away, she noticed a pair of blinking lights inside the tank.
 
“Driver, reverse at full speed, now,” she called out. Then she snatches the radio from the operator and switches to an open channel. “Everybody get back, they’re going to destroy the tank!”
 
Her shout caused the recovering Lunarians to get over their own problems and take to the air. The driver shifted the transmission to its highest reverse gear, hitting at least 90 kmph. It was a struggle to keep from banging her head in the confined space, but she managed to do so while keeping an eye on the wreckage. Then something orange in the air caught her eye. A Tomahawk cruise missile was heading for the pair of blinking lights, obviously sent to keep the technology from falling into enemy hands.
 
The impact and the explosion rocked the tank, but that was really the worst that happened. Her warning had given the infantry time to get clear, leaving only minor injuries that were quickly healed by medical personnel. If Sakuya remembered the dossier that Yukari gave her right, cruise missiles were only launched from ships or at least that’s what they were told, and the nearest ocean was a good distance away. That meant that someone either had great timing or was going to blow up the tank anyway. She looked to the sky to make sure that there weren’t any more of them coming and sighed in relief when she was sure.
 
Reisen II had finally caught her breath and stood back up. Having to run from a cruise missile didn’t help with getting herself back together. As soon as she felt that she was far enough way, she just let herself fall on the ground to rest her eyes for a bit. At that point, she really didn’t care since another regiment had arrived to continue the push.
 
National Diet Building, Tokyo, Japan
 
When Sumireko had walked through the gap that Yukari had made, she hadn’t expected to be back in Japan so quickly. Recognizing that she was at the soon to be moved seat of government, she looked down to see that her clothes were tattered and stained with blood. The twin pigtailed college student felt a little embarrassed about her outfit when Yukari gave her a bag and told her to go change in the restroom. Once she was in a stall, she opened the bag and saw what looked like her old high school uniform. Frowning, she pulls out only to see a few changes to it. A gut feeling makes her poke her head out of the stall where she sees a shower. Looking through the bag again, she finds shampoo, soap, and a towel. She frowns again when she doesn’t find a rubber duck. Taking a quick shower, she feels unbelievably better. The only changes to the school uniform that she now wore was the lack of the vest and the bolo tie. She missed the tie since she felt like a gunslinger when she had her 3D printed gun.
 
Checking her appearance in the mirror, she rubs her neck. It still hurt a little from almost getting choked to death, but she was sure a good night of sleep would help out a lot. Clipping the belt that held her sword back on, she carries the backpack with one strap and walks out of the restroom. Looking around, she notices that she was in the office area of the building. That would explain why there was a shower here and why it was extremely quiet. She walks into one of the offices and looks out of the window.
 
Outside, Lunarian heavy repeating rifles were steadied on bipods behind clear riot shields, deterring the token JSDF units from pushing forward. Enlisting the support of a few American units that were picking up supplies at Sagami General Depot, the line knew they couldn’t break the Lunarians in a head to head fight. But instead of the situation becoming a tense standoff, it was closer to awkward than anything else. A two way video feed allowed the JGSDF and their elected representatives to keep in touch. The Lunarian promise of no harm being done also went a long way to counter hostilities between the two.
 
Looking at the time, she’s surprised that it was only a little bit until four in the morning. She grimaces when she realizes that she won’t get any sleep for a while, but then remembers that she had just woken up a little while before. Many of the members of the Diet were still sleeping in their offices, so Sumireko made her way to the food court quietly. Seeing Yukari and Eirin sitting at a table, she sits down when the blonde waves her towards a chair.
 
“You want to know everything, don’t you?” Yukari took a sip from the tea cup in front of her.
 
“That would be much appreciated,” Sumireko knew that she had to distinguish herself, so why not impress them with sophisticated vocabulary.
 
“Where to begin?” Yukari paused while a Lunarian placed plates of pancakes in front of the trio. “Well, we’ll start with you telling us what you know.”
 
“I heard that the United States has declared war on Gensokyo, even though the barrier should have kept it hidden.”
 
“Anything else?” Sumireko shook her head. “The short version is that the barrier began to fail, and the Americans made up an excuse to try and move in. We learned that someone or something has been pulling strings behind the scenes to take us down. So far, we’ve fought them back in one battle and now we’re on the third day of the second battle. I would give you more details, but I doubt you would like to be bored.”
 
“No, that’s fine,” Sumireko shook her head. “I want to hear everything.”
 
“Then I’ll let Colonel Yagokoro explain.”
 
The Colonel scowled as she was forced to pause eating her pancakes. “We’ve captured all three of their FOBs and have broken their offensive. Then when they rolled out their new communications system, we broke that as well. By the end of the day, we should have completely routed them. Lunarian troops are completely outclassing their soldiers. ” She had to laugh. “Now that I’ve seen what they call training, I really can’t be surprised. Letting politics dictate what they need to learn and develop? That’s just asking for a superior force to wipe them out in battle.”
 
“What do you mean by that, Colonel?”
 
“They spend most of their time standing around and watching presentations on sensitivity and other useless topics. Many of the lower ranks are either dissatisfied and want out or they are deluded that they can make something out of themselves. The recent budget reductions have also reduced the number of experienced troops that they can call upon. The failure of the F-35 did take a lot of their funding that could have been used against us. Their top ranks have also become swollen, so they can’t even fight at their own peak efficiency. I could go on and on about their foolish mistakes, but that would take time that we don’t have.”
 
Eirin pauses as she holds her hand out. A moon rabbit hands her a scroll that it then placed on the table. With a snap of her fingers, it creates a hologram of the battle in real time.
 
“In a few more hours, night troops will switch out with their daytime counterparts. We are about 15 miles from their last line of defense and their main command post. The Tengu air units have been very helpful in covering our advance along with the rest of the GDF. NATO has been fragmenting and withdrawing all over the place. As long as nuclear weapons aren’t brought in, we should be on time for the overall goal.”
 
“Overall goal?”
 
“The reason we’re eating breakfast in the Diet. It took us all day yesterday to convince them to even negotiate with us. Now that they are willing to talk with us free from American influence, we can hammer out a deal that will have everyone somewhat happy.”
 
“Why not have them surrender and become a colony?” Sumireko didn’t really mean that, but wanted to be sure.
 
“Because Yukari wants us to have them as an ally if possible,” Eirin shrugged. “It makes sense from a political point of view, but it does take some of my troops off of the field. I rather have my troops get ready to crew the new battleships we’re about to set loose.”
 
“Gensokyo has a navy?!?” Sumireko sat up straight.
 
“They had their first sortie yesterday,” Yukari mixed a few teaspoons of sugar and a bit of honey into her tea. “We’re planning on having five fleets of ten capital ships, each as a base for power projection. One thing that the kappas are doing right now is coming up with designs for more classes of battleships. We’re hoping to get something that would match the Montana­-class. If we get enough time, we can easily match the United States Navy in a conventional battle.”
 
Sumireko had to sit back in her chair and let that information sink in. She had never expected a conflict that would eclipse the Second World War in sheer firepower. “But…won’t doing that…make them desperate to use…nuclear weapons?”
 
“We have our own counters that are almost complete. As soon as the battle ends today, we can put the finishing touches on them. We also have somewhat of an orbital bombardment system in the early stages.” Yukari places another scroll on the table. This one shows a globe that was covered in multiple circles. “The entire planet will be covered, so anywhere they wish to challenge us will be in our range.”
 
“Why are you telling me all of this?” 
“Because you will be one of our ace in the holes.” Yukari nods at the sword next to the pigtailed girl. “You were able to fight off an abnormal attack by focusing your ability through that sword. I understand that it was the only thing near you, but you could have chosen a weapon with much more quality.” The gap youkai then takes possession of the weapon and regarded it with a critical eye. She hands it to Eirin where the Lunarian officer easily breaks it in half. The look on Sumireko’s face was of a young girl that was about to cry.
 
In order to keep Sumireko from bursting into tears, Eirin gave her a sword that was just handed to her by an assistant. “Based on what Yukari had told me, this is much better for your fighting style. I bet no other sword on this planet can ever hope to match up against it. Lunarian steel with unrivaled flexibility and strength, an edge that rarely dulls. A straight blade that can easily switch from defense to attack and back again.”
 
Yukari pointed at a trio of crystals that were embedded in the handle. “I had several of my contacts watch how you focused your power in the blade.  We’re get to those in a little bit. Colonel Yagokoro was able to get a record of your fight and would be happy to go over it right now.”
 
Eirin rolled yet another scroll on the table. “For someone that has such a short time using a bladed weapon, you have a more than average amount of skill. But there were some mistakes that would have ended the fight earlier if you weren’t lucky. First, let me see you hand.” Sumireko obliges and allows Eirin to poke and prod at her strong hand. “The way that you were holding you weapon is somewhat unsteady. Hold your knife in a reverse grip.” When she did it, the doctor nodded. “Feels better, doesn’t it?”
 
She taps the scroll to pause the recording. “Next, the way that you were standing. It’s refreshing to see that they’re still teaching proper posture in schools. But this posture is not that suited for combat. Whenever you are at a standstill or getting ready, lower your center of gravity. Spread your feet and bend your knees. Lean forward a little, like you’re slouching some.” Three taps isolate the image of Sumireko and then changed it to match the instructions that Eirin had given. “See how it looks more aggressive? It’ll decrease your reaction time and make it easier to move. Once you have more experience, you should be to decide which grip works best for you. Switching grips during a fight would also be an advantage.”
 
“Now it’s time to talk about your abilities,” Yukari waited a second as her cup was refilled by a moon rabbit. “You used them at random, which was good enough to keep your opponent from setting the pace against you. Against a trained opponent, they would turn that against you. You must learn how to spot the right time and select the right power with the proper force. Take a good look at those crystals in the handle, there are three of them. If I were to break the handle of your original sword, I bet that I would find three of them as well. The one closest to the handle determines the color of the energy that glows when you focus on the blade. The one in the middle determines the additional properties of the blade when energy is focused through it. The crystal that is in it right now allows the blade to radiate and contain a large amount of heat around the blade. The crystal closest to the pommel determines the composition of the energy. This one is a concentrated and defined blade.”
 
“Always remember to never touch the blade when it’s activated,” Eirin warned. “Most sword styles that are taught on Earth require grabbing the blade at some point, so it would be best if you learned some Lunarian styles. Once the negotiations and the battle are over, you’ll be taught by myself on how to survive a fight.”
 
“Note that it’s only for a short time,” Yukari finished her pancakes. “Once you’re done with that, you’ll join the rest of your club in the outside. Right now, they’re doing some errands for me over in the United Kingdom involving procurement and contracting.”
 
“Procurement and contracting?”
 
“Like I said earlier, we’re building our own ships. The Lunarians are just beginning to tool their shipyards, which is going to take a while. Since they’re providing ground troops, the least we can do is provide ships. We’ll need even bigger shipyards when we get to the Rejuvenator, Viscount, and Atago classes.” Sumireko just stared at her with a blank look on her face. “The Rejuvenator is planned to be a hybrid aircraft carrier and battleship. The Viscount will be our second most heavily armored and defended ship, which would be able to easily shrug off point blank rounds from the Americans’ largest guns. The Atago will be our largest ship, and will serve as the overall flagship for all of our forces. I’ll leave the specifics a surprise for now, but once it’s complete, it’ll be a mobile Gensokyo.”
 
“Does that mean the battle will be soon?”
 
“It’ll be on our terms since we’ll have to jump our fleet in,” Eirin replied. “I’m advocating for an all or nothing approach for the first battle, while my students want to take it by parts. If we can get at least half of their aircraft carriers, then we’ve won.”
 
Yukari cut in, “I’m sure you want to know everything about that, but that’s for another time. Right now, I have an assignment for you.”
 
Sumireko sat up straight when she heard that.
 
“I have Maribel and Renko in the United Kingdom doing some errands. Your part is to go into more dangerous areas and make them ripe for our taking. This can include sowing discontent to removing roadblocks, permanently.”
 
 “Do you really think I could do that?” Sumireko shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “They might be below me, but I only killed those attackers out of anger.”
 
“If you don’t take care of them, what happens if they catch Maribel and Renko?” Yukari countered. “On the first night of the battle, Colonel Yagokoro and Hauptmann Izaoyi ran into what could only be called a beast. This was right outside of Gensokyo. From what my sources tell me, it just appeared and started to attack. Lunarian medicine was no use against the wounds that it inflicted. It canceled out the Hauptmann’s ability to control time, which has never happened before. Do you want something like that after your fellow members?”
 
Sumireko could only shake her head.
 
“Good. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m strong arming you, I really don’t. I just want you to realize the importance of what we’re asking you to do. I know that you don’t want to ever kill anyone else, I completely understand that. If I had done my job, none of this would have had to happen. All of the blood spilled in this war is on my hands. You’ll be part of the solution.”
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #67 on: January 16, 2016, 08:42:49 pm »
 DSEI, ExCeL, London, United Kingdom
 
The largest weapons and technology expo in the world was taking place in London. Maribel and Renko had arrived and were signed in as representatives of a small kingdom known as Cagliostro that was interested in acquiring defensive hardware. Yukari had originally told them they would be working for a procurement department for the British Army, but changed it on their way into the country. After a few looks from the check in staff, they were given their badges and a bag filled with maps and commemorative items such as water bottles and stress balls. Renko was busy looking through a small slide viewer that had pictures of a Mig 1.44 doing tricks at an air show, courtesy of the Mikoyan Corporation. She was impressed by the quality of  he image coming from a toy that might have well came out of a cereal box.
 
A majority of the attendees were military personnel from influential states from around the world, with the notable exception of the Lunarians. One of the objectives that Yukari had given the pair was to convince the organizers to declare their subsequent expos as neutral ground so that both sides could benefit. To Maribel, it sounded like Yukari had wanted to extend the war, but Yukari justified it by saying their equipment would make some nations think twice about taking up arms.
 
The pair were grateful that food vendors were in abundance, with foods from around the world. Once they had grabbed a to-go plate of sesame chicken and fried rice, they make their way to one of the presentation rooms and sat in the back row. The next five minutes consisted of them eating and watching as others wondered into the room as well. According to the program that they were given, General Dynamics was set to unveil a set of new products that were set to revolutionize the arms industry.
 
Once all the seats were filled, the lights were dimmed and the projector threw the logo of the defense contractor on the wall of the stage. A man dressed in a professional looking suit and tie walked onto the stage while adjusting the microphone on his lapel.
“As everyone in this room knows, there is a war going.” The man started. “NATO forces have finally found a conventional enemy that has matched them on the battlefield. But they are equipped with the wrong equipment at the present state. As history has soon time and time again, wars and conflicts have a tendency to spread beyond their original lines. Globalization has only managed to speed up the spread of the fires of war. It is the responsibility of nations to protect their citizens and allies from those that wish to do them harm or spread chaos.”
 
The spokesman clicks the remote that he has in his hand. “We at General Dynamics are proud to present two of our newest offerings to the defense community. The first is a new type of missile that can lock on to extremely small heat signatures. I will be the first to admit that we have had extreme problems with such a small heat source, but our sense of perseverance saw to us figuring out the secret. Our factories are working around the clock, with our workers receiving a generous amount of overtime.” He paused to allow scattered applause. “The missiles will be smaller than past missiles, perfect for those situations were space is at a premium.”
 
Clicking the remote changed the slide to a size comparison between a human and a tank. “As many of you may already know, the way infrared missiles work is by locking on to a heat source and following it. Most other missiles needed something on the level of a tank engine in order to get a good lock. Missiles like ours are easier to use since they can be more precise. For our new Hawkeye missile, which is patent pending, all that is needed is 98.6 degrees of a concentrated heat source. Drones on the market right now can easily see and identify humans on the battlefield, so we used that same principle for our missiles. This also allows for a more precise strike since you aim at your actual target instead of having to rely on a nearby heat signature.” The man had to pause to take a sip of water. “The missile system is also modular. The beauty of this is that larger missiles and smart bombs can be converted to Hawkeyes for even more power projection.”
 
The room instantly erupted into a furry of murmurs. The ability to turn any missile into an extremely precise missile was a game changer for any nation with drones or other advanced aircraft. Maribel and Renko shared a look, knowing that this would be a formidable weapon against the flight capable GDF infantry.
 
“The second is something that we have been working on since the 60s.”
 
Another press of the button started a video on the screen. The camera focused on the skyline of a large city, a challenging battleground for any armed force. But the serene view was broken by the flames of battle. Then the camera view changed to one from the ground, showing a group of soldiers running with backpacks. When they reached the edge of a building, they jumped over the ledge and were lifted up into the air. The backpack had created thrust and lifted them to another roof top.
 
“While jetpack technology is nothing new, we at General Dynamics have developed a practical, tactical, and dynamic propulsion system. With a rated time of 1 hour worth of flight, it will change the way operators view combat situations. Controlled by the operator through the use of timed blinks, it will expand the range of the modern warfighter. The control scheme is set up to free up both hands, allowing the warfighter to concentrate on the mission at hand. The standard package will be able to carry 250 pounds with maximum flight time. Our base package includes the jetpack system themselves along with a year worth of advising services.”
 
 A chart detailing bronze, silver, and gold packages appeared next. “The three packages reflect the features and accessories that are included with the jetpacks. The bronze can be considered the bare bones package, with the necessary equipment to maintain and do light repairs. The silver package includes a missile launcher built into the jetpack. Using our propriety missiles, the operator has anti-armor capability. The gold package offers anti-air missiles in addition to anti-armor. All three come with a special half skirt that protects against the backdraft from the engines. “
 
The next chart showed two options. “Our warranty comes in two increments. The standard package is the same as I said before. The premier package extends the one year advising period to five. Our fuel is ready to go into production, with a diluted alternative being geared for a patent free release. We recognize that many operators may find themselves out of range of our fueling stations, so we have made sure to alleviate that pain.”
 
With a smile, the spokesman took off his glasses. “Since we love to keep our customers guessing about our next range of services, we purposely left off one more new branch that General Dynamics has just created. Ladies and gentlemen of the world, it brings me the highest pride and pleasure to announce the opening of the General Dynamics Crusader Bank!”
 
Again the room erupted into a buzz of excitement and surprise. Renko sat back as she realized the implications of this development.
 
“We intend to be to the military forces of the world what The World Bank is to developing countries.” The next slide detailed the official goal of the new financial institution. “Our goal is the proliferation of equal military standing for all legitimate states. We intend to unite all nations in collective security and promote world peace by balanced firepower. The Crusader bank will be a worldwide operation, dealing with all currency from the dollar or euro to even the chicken or goat.”
 
On the next screen, a chart with interest rates appeared. “Even though this chart looks intimidating, don’t worry too much about it. What I want to talk about now is how we are already becoming a world leader in lending and finance. As of this morning, we have secured charters from every nation that we use their currency as a reserve. This list includes the United States, the whole of the European Union, the British pound sterling, the Japanese yen, and the Chinese yuan. We are currently in talks with each of the five countries in order to decide on a single worldwide reserve. It is our hope that by choosing one reserve currency, we can make it into a worldwide currency.”
 
More murmurs came from the various representatives in the crowd, knowing that economic power was as important as force projection. Many from non-NATO nations, and even some from the organization, were wary of allowing the Americans to gain even more power and influence. Even though the United States was suffering from a bit of a recession, they were still formidable in their own right.
 
“We will be happy to provide more details, but the process is still in the preliminary stages.” The spokesman wagged his finger. “Money is as important as bullets and vehicles on the battlefield. Our aim is to make sure that it is available to those that need it. I would like to announce more of the exciting projects that we are working for, but I believe that I have gone on long enough. If any of you are interested, we have an informational packet that is available at our booth.”
 
With the presentation over, everyone got up and began to exit the presentation room. As Maribel and Renko passed a trashcan beside the entrance, they threw away the takeout plates they had finished. Now that they were in a large hall, they saw and heard the expo in full swing. Stands were everywhere, with their personnel giving impassioned sales pitches. There were seven zones, each dedicated to a specific theme. The pair decided to go to the Land Zone, since Yukari told them that holding ground would be the main goal.
 
With the large group that was moving towards the stands, the pair decided to go around using the outer walkway. The sun had risen into the morning sky and made the River Thames glisten in that early morning tone. The sea gulls flew above everything, with their distinct calls coming from everywhere. A light breeze that carried the sea salt from the Atlantic, reminding them of Tokyo a little bit.
 
Maribel pulled out the catalog that they had been given and began to thumb through it. She notices an envelope near the back end of the book and pulls it out. Inside were two tickets to a gathering at The Savory Hotel, which was the place that Yukari had arranged for them to stay. Maribel looked around but saw nothing suspicious, which only served to set her more on edge. But then she remembered that whoever would be hunting them couldn’t risk a move with such a large group around them.
 
“The story of Dragon Skin is well known in the defense industry,” a representative from the nearest stand called out. The pair joined the small group that served as an impromptu audience. “We’ll be the first to admit that our earlier generations did have issues her and there. But our fifth generation body armor has solved all of those problems and improved on all of our advantages.”
 
The salesman holds up the body armor. “Lightweight, breathable, flexible, and durable, it is the next step in the evolution of body armor! Rated against the infamous 7.62 x 54r round at a distance of 5 meters, it can withstand multiple uses at an affordable price. I’m not one to brag, but it puts existing armor around the world to shame! No trauma plate is required, it truly is a plug and play protection system.”
 
Making a note of the armor in a small book, Renko follows her friend as they moved to another stand. This one was for a helmet that used augmented reality glasses over both eyes to spread information quickly.
 
“After a few upgrades to the base R-6 glasses, we have unlocked all of the advancements that we needed to go into the future. Waterproof, shatterproof, jamproof, and secure, it can survive and thrive in any battlefield. Since we have focused on augmented reality instead of hiding everything with virtual reality, we let the warfighter have the information they need with the situational awareness that they depend on.”
 
“I see that you’ve received the tickets,” Maribel flinched when she heard the voice behind her. Renko tenses up as she slowly turns around. A burnet woman with shoulder length hair and glasses wearing a blue skirt suit was smiling at them. “My, you do look a lot like Sumireko.”
 
“Wait, how do you know her?” Renko feared the worst.
 
“She’s the one that gave me a tour of the Outside World after I tricked her during the Lunar Orb incident. When she went on and got herself stuck in Genoskyo, I was the one that kept an eye on her.”
 
“So, you’re from Gensokyo?” Maribel started to feel better.
 
“I was originally from Sado, but after the UFO incident, I’ve started calling Genoskyo home.” She held her hand out for the pair to shake. “My name is Mamizou Futatsuiwa, but I would prefer if you call me Inspector Lee of Interpol.” Mamizou pointed at the badge hanging from her pocket. Under the nationality field, it listed Hong Kong. “I’ve been sent to make sure that weapons smuggling and trafficking doesn’t happen. Even though I don’t have any arresting authority, I can still act as a liaison between the various police forces that are watching this event.”
 
“Are we on that watch list?” Maribel asked.
 
“At the start, but that notice never got past my desk,” Mamizou shrugged. “Since I’m considered the most senior Interpol member that happened to have the most contracts here in the United Kingdom, I tend to get away with a lot of things. Yukari has asked me to keep an eye out over both of you and to help you make some connections with the industries that are in attendance. Those tickets that I snuck into your catalog are a result of that.”
 
“But they’re for a reception at the hotel ballroom.”
 
“Many of the industry leaders will be in attendance. I’ve managed to talk a few of them into talking with both of you about some contracts.” The bake-danuki gave the stand near them a disinterested glance. “Yukari was wanting to see if they would be interested in holding another expo in a neutral location. If you can manage that, I’m sure that she would be very happy.”
 
They were interrupted by the sounds of cheering and applause created by the crowd watching a mini-UAV doing tricks. Maribel felt better that they weren’t alone
 
NATO Final Line, Japan
 
With the news about the Lunarians getting close starting to spread, the more intelligent leaders were advocating a retreat to salvage the situation. Since they were in the minority, the remaining troops were quickly working to build up any defenses they could. The area that could now rightfully be called a redoubt could hold off an equivalent force, but they all knew the Lunarians were more than equivalent.
 
Some of the Japanese forces withdrew from the battle while others had moved to the rearmost area. They were split between staying and moving towards Tokyo due to the Lunarians having surrounded the Diet building. The aircraft being held in the reserve were being rushed to the front in order to help blunt the enemy advance. A-10 Warthogs were performing more and more attack runs in the past three days than they did in training the past ten years.
 
Back at a refuel and rearming point behind the Lunarian line, Sakuya and Nazrin were taking a count of how many tanks they had left. After multiple counts, they were forced to accept the fact that they only had twenty tanks total. One Maus, one Porsche Tiger, three Panzer IVs, one Sherman Firefly, one Panzer I, two M1 Abrams, one King Tiger, three StuG IIIs, two Ferdinands, and five Panthers.
 
With what the White Wolf tengus have been spotting during the scouting, the pair knew that not all of them were going to come out of this in one piece. Sakuya knew that their armor would be instrumental in breaking though this entrenched line and resigned herself to leading that charge. They were about ready to go since they were rearmed and refueled. The Lunarians had made the point next to a large lake, so the crews were using the water to wake themselves up.
 
An explosion interrupted their planning, and announced a surprise attack. Sakuya climbed on top of her Tiger (P) as it shook during the engine’s ignition. She takes hold of the MG 42 and opens fire while putting on the throat microphone. The StuG III beside her took a round though the driver’s viewport and fried the crew that had just jumped in.
 
Rapidly approaching the base was a combined air and armored thrust, one made out of desperation. Hornets and Raptors dropped bombs and launched weak strafing runs. Sakuya gritted her teeth as the last King Tiger went up in flames due to its high explosive rounds getting hit. If they fell below twelve tanks, there would be no way that they would be able to break the redoubt’s defenses. The Panzer I tried to take a turn too fast and ended up flipping on its side and then got a rocket through its exposed bottom.
 
An American Abrams showed itself and fired a round that had just missed the maid. The fairy gunner tuned the 88 mm cannon towards the approaching tank and landed a hit through the turret. Then a lucky shot tracked the Maus, leaving it with only the ability to go in circles. With the super heavy tank basically immobilized, it attracted fire from everyone in the area.
 
The token Lunarian infantry was getting overwhelmed, but still inflicted heavy damage on the enemy forces. The Sherman Firefly went up in flames since it wasn’t suited for the close fighting it was destroyed in. The three Panzer IVs had closed the distance and were fighting the approaching Abrams at a range of meters.
 
A click from the MG 42 made Sakuya’s stomach drop, and signaled the end of the weapon’s firing. A 120 mm shell hits the engine, bringing the tank to a halt. The only good thing about the hit was the fact that it failed to set anything on fire, meaning that replacing the engine would bring the tank back to working order. Pulling out her Walther P38 and a set of silver knives, Sakuya stomps her foot to get her crew to dismount.
 
As soon as she lands, she throws three of the four knives, taking down a fire team that was wanting to capture the disabled tank. She bounces the last knife off of the Tiger (P) and hits an American sergeant running towards one of the heavy rifles used for perimeter defense. Three quick rounds from her P38 give her more breathing room as she surveys the chaos around her.
 
Artillery began to fall all around the fight, showering the area with dirt. Sakuya’s peaked cap protected her eyes, letting her concentrate. The American forces began to throw smoke canisters, highlighting targets for the A-10s. One of the anti-tank missiles they launched hit the Maus and started a fire. The crew bailed out with Nazrin realizing that she left her pack of crackers and peanut butter inside. Before she could jump back in, the fire reached the ammo rack and caused a brew up.
 
Kokoro grabbed her naginata that was hanging from the side of the burning Maus and cut down a human that tried to shoot the group. Shou threw her spear and skewered two British soldiers that were moving a light machine gun into place. One of the fairy crew members took to the air, only to be brought down by a hail of bullets.
 
“Get on that radio and see where they came from,” Nazrin shouted as she ducked behind the Maus. “Momjij should have seen them coming!”
 
“Nitori, why didn’t you warn us about this push,” one of the fairies shouted into the radio box they pulled out a disabled tank.
 
“The map didn’t show anything near there,” Nitori replied back. “Momiji and the rest of the White Wolves aren’t close, can you hold out until we can get you help?”
 
Sakuya grabbed the radio from the fairy. “We just lost the Maus and the Porsche Tiger. Even if we don’t lose any more tanks, we can’t break their last line now. We’re about to get wiped out-“. She was interrupted by the radio being shot through.
 
Dropping the useless box, the maid empties her magazine and quickly reloads. Kokoro gracefully keeps her momentum steady with sweeping movements and spins, only to be stopped by a bullet to the left shoulder. Before she falls on her face due to her losing her balance, Nazrin and Shou drag her behind an ammo crate. Then Nazrin turns around and shoots the soldier with a palm pistol that send the man flying backwards onto his face. The power of the round was hidden by the chirp of a cricket that the pistol made.
 
Looking around her, Sakuya sees that they were completely overwhelmed with only a fraction of what they had just a few minutes ago. Peeking out from behind the large rock she had taken cover behind, she can only see waves of more troops joining the fight against them. Then something over the lake catches her eye. She wasn’t the only one to see it, as some from both sides tried to make out what it was. Once she recognized what it was, she felt a surge of pure joy and relief come over her.
 
Over the lake, three full squadrons of the most mismatched aircraft were heading towards them. The formation was only about twenty feet above the lake, leaving trails in the water below them. Leading the charge was an SU-47 that had the Black Crow emblem on its wings.
 
“Get ready,” Aya said to her fellow pilots. “That’s our people down there and they need our help. Don’t let all of those fighters scare you. Lock flaps in combat position.”
 
The NATO aircraft stopped their attack runs and turned to face the new threat bearing down on them. As soon as the two groups made contact, the formations broke apart. Aya instantly turned on an American F-18, chasing it down until it fell to her cannon. Before the explosion of the fighter died down, she was chasing a French Typhoon and ripping its wings off. On the ground the NATO forces were torn between wiping out the rest of the rearming station or firing into the giant dogfight.
 
“Anyone that can,” Sakuya shouted out. “Make a wheel around the Maus!”
 
Grabbing whatever they could, they piled debris to create cover. They were helped out by the new debris that was raining down on them due to the NATO planes dropping like flies. The A-10s had stopped making attack runs, wary of becoming Berkut food. Nazrin popped out from behind the wreckage and killed another human. Kicking the lid off an ammo box next to her, Sakuya gets an idea.
 
The maid grabs the closest gunner and drags her back into the Tiger (P). Grabbing a battery out of the storage compartment next to the radio operator’s spot, she opens a panel and cuts two wires. She twists the positive cable into one of the wires she cut and flinches when it starts to spark. Then she twists the negative into the remaining cable and tapes the battery onto the panel.
 
“Gunner, you’re stuck on manual but the cannon should work now,” Sakuya slams a HE round into the chamber. “Thin out that charge.”
 
Aya had finished shooting down her tenth plane and decided to gain some altitude. She goes into a loop that brings her behind a Typhoon and chases it. It falls apart in a hail of gunfire and Aya pulls into a loop. The tengu then goes down to ground level to avoid a squadron coming at her and takes a few shots at the ground forces firing at her. Sakuya slams another round into the cannon and pokes her head out of the turret. The air support was helping to dent the attack, but they were still in trouble.
 
Coming out of another loop, Aya chases a Hornet at lake level. It dodges her attacks with a surprising degree of skill, and manages to get a kill with the Tengu on its tail. Before she can shoot it down, an alarm starts beeping in the cockpit. Out of sheer instinct, she broke to the left and dodged a pair of Patriot missiles coming at her.
 
The Hornet next to her wasn’t as lucky, getting hit in the nose and disappearing into a ball of flame. The air then became full of the smoke trails from more missiles, hitting any aircraft that ran into them. Seeing the trails from the ground, Sakuya can only load the Tiger (P)’s cannon as the waves continue to arrive.
 
“Remains of the Panzer Division,” Yukari’s voice came over the radio. “Hold your ground for a little longer, our new weapon has arrived.”
 
A gap opens in the middle of the circle and a girl got pushed out. She looks back at Yukari, who hands her a backpack. “Keep this on at all times, or you might ended getting shot. A lot. Good luck!”
 
“A girl?” Sakuya poked her head out of the tank. “We’re getting attacked by a majority of the humans and Yukari sends a little girl?”
 
“The name’s Sumireko Usami,” the girl responded sharply. She pulls out the sword that seemed to be out of place on her belt and school uniform. Then she turns a knob and puts the backpack on. The hail of gunfire that was hitting the circle from all sides slowed down considerably.
 
Taking the sword into a two handed grip, Sumireko jumps on top of the Tiger (P). She takes a practice swing while some of the humans just stared at her. Then one of the Americans yells out, “Shoot this fool!”
 
 Deflecting gunfire with lighting fast reflexes, she heads straight for a machine gun emplacement. She lifts up the machine gunner and saturates him with electricity before throwing him into an ammo crate. A tingling behind her ear makes her lift her hand up and catch a 120 mm tank shell only three feet away from her.
 
She throws it to the side and grabs the M1 Abrams in her ranged grip. Squeezing her hand, she bends the barrel all the way around. Then she crushes all of the hatches closed and lifts the tank up into the air. The humans that were watching her were too dumbfounded to do anything, giving her the opportunity to crush the tank into a ball of debris. Once she was done, she slammed the ball into a Challenger that was aiming for the burning Maus.
 
Before the humans could be shaken out of their daze, Sumireko brings up both of her hands and unleashes a storm of lighting that spreads with each victim. Then she charges a massive push and blows away anything in front of her. With the rest of the line starting to waver from the sudden assault, the battered tankers were able to push back. Sakuya uses a time stop to grab a MG 42 from a Panzer IV and helps cover Sumireko’s advance. They had ran out of HE shells, so staying inside the tank would have been useless.
 
An American sergeant tried to hit Sumireko with his rifle, only for the girl to spin around and plant her blade into his stomach. She lifts him up slightly and spins him around to throw him off the blade. She lifts another one into the air with a mind grip and impales him by throwing her sword into him. Dropping the body, she calls the blade back and charges a quick repulse that gives her space.
 
An F-22 Raptor flies over the area and ends up getting seized in midair by the psychic. Overpowering the engine, she slams it into a group of mortars. Using the flames as a cover, Sumireko sprints forward and cuts off the barrel of a Challenger. Before the crew could understand what was going on, the pig tailed girl stabbed the driver through the armor. Pulling the blade out, she follows that up with lighting and then jumps back.
 
Jumping back, she lifts it up into the air and crushes it. The act of slamming the debris into the ground struck sheer panic into the closest soldiers and caused them to retreat. Sumireko charges up a bubble around her that starts to attract debris from around her. Then she charges it with lightning and sends it flying all around her. Anyone within 100 meters of her is killed instantly and the rest of the attacking force to turn tail.
 
Trying to catch her breath, she’s surprised to see them run away in such numbers. She slows down her breathing and let’s lightning flow from her fingertips. Even with the fact that the closest target was outside of her range, it still bought her more time to recover. Once she feels better, she looks up to see the dogfight reach a frenzy. A P-51 with Tengu markings shut off its engine to flip around and shoot down a pursuer.
 
Reloading her Karabiner 98k, Sakuya was forced to discard her MG-42 since it ran out of ammo. Reverting back into her old mindset, she drops five Americans without coming out of her sprint. Just as she’s putting in her third round, an American Butter Bar tries to tackle her. Stepping to the side, she brings her knee into his stomach, breaking the ceramic plate in his body armor. Then she spins the rifle and plunges the bayonet into his back, causing the rifle to go off when it hits the ground.
 
Sumireko narrows her eyes as she ran towards a small hill in front of her. She can hear explosions and the sounds of gunfire even louder from that direction. Just as soon as she reaches the top, she feels herself get caught in a telekinetic grip and thrown sideways. She managed to get a split second look at her attack, but could only see a black shape standing there. Then she hit a crate and disappeared behind it.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2016, 09:18:16 pm »
 Situation Room, White House, Washington, DC
 
“All vital signs are within normal parameters.”
 
“All troops within range of Shadow 1 are to hold their fire.”
 
“Sensors are indicating powers in estimated ranges.”
 
The god of disaster that had taken over the surviving global superpower was sitting at the head of the table with a satisfied smirk plastered on his face. One of his pet projects from his days as director of the CIA was getting a field test and was performing much better than he expected. If it kept up like this, they would have a real chance of turning the tide and wiping out the GDF and LDC in conventional combat.
 
“Target has been slung behind a crate,” one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. “She looks to be between the ages of 18 and 20 and matches the description of a researcher targeted by our allies in Peru.”
 
“Hmm, either we had bad intel, or that old hag helped her escape.” Xingun sighed. “Either way, give Shadow One the go ahead. And make sure that he experiments as much as he can.”
 
“Shadow One, you are cleared to engage. Orders from Big Bird are to test all skills. Shadow Two is to remain on standby until needed.”
 
“Roger.”
 
Lunarian-NATO line, Japan
 
Sumireko jumped back over the crate and twirled her sword as she lowered her center of gravity. She rotated her shoulders to loosen her joints and brought her sword up into a horizontal block. Her opponent carried a pike with he kept at a ready position, no other weapons were visible. The man wore a set of black fatigues with body armor and a full face helmet that had an antenna poking up.
 
She feels her feet getting lifting up of the ground and then she begins to spin in midair. She breaks the hold with a hastily charged repulse and falls back to her feet. Deciding that letting him get another attack like that in would be foolish, she gets in range for her blade. She tries for a stab at center mass, only for the man to twirl around the attack and plant an elbow into her face and draw blood.
 
Staggering back, she barely brings up her sword in time to block. Then she feels a foot connect with her chest and send her flying back. She loses her footing and falls forward a bit, ending up with the pike’s shaft connecting with the side of her head. If she hadn’t stumbled, the blade would have been lodged in her skull and the fight would be over.
 
The pig tailed girl flies even more, wondering how much she would get sent through the air today. Stabbing his pike point down into the ground, the man punches her in the stomach and lifts her up. An elbow on her back sends her into the ground, leaving her gasping for air. Not quite finished, her opponent kicks her fifteen feet away.
 
Grabbing her in a telekinetic grip, he lifts her up by the throat. Gathering her power, Sumreko uses another repulse and catches him off guard. They both cast lighting at each other, getting stuck in a loop. She manages to overpower the opposing lighting and sends him thirty feet.
 
“Sumireko, if you keep this up, you’re going to get yourself killed,” Eirin’s voice sounded like it was right next to her. The pigtailed girl looked around her, but saw nothing. “I’ve implanted your hat with a charm that keeps you in contact with me. But the point is that you need to concentrate. I may not have the kinds of powers that you do, but I know the possibilities of them due to research I done.”
 
Focusing on her pain, she uses her power to give her strength. She grips her sword tightly, and moves closer to control the distance.
 
“The first thing that you need to remember about the pike, or any other long weapon, is that space is key.” Eirin explained. “As long as they control the distance, they control the fight. Their extended range comes at a price, getting in close takes advantage of their weak point. They also have a harder time defending, so aggression is helpful here.”
 
Sumireko blocks a horizontal strike by holding her blade straight up and manages to shove the man back. She gets payback from earlier by punching him in the faceplate so hard he staggers.
 
“In order to take advantage of your aggression, you must adopt a style that lets you create momentum and force. Since you can’t create that force naturally, you must rely on your power. Focus on beating through an enemy instead of beating at them. Once you force his defense away, then you can strike the final blow.”
 
Even augmented by her power, she still found it difficult to beat his defense away. Catching her blade, the man manages to send it flying out of her hand. Before he could strike her down, she punches him in the wrist and forces him to drop the pike.
 
“Against an armored opponent, you are at a disadvantage. Using your ability to guide and protect your hands until you get your sword back. Analyze his armor and strike at unprotected joints and vital spots. If you want to survive this next part, you must move quickly.”
 
Dodging a one-two combo, she strikes at the unprotected armpit. Then she lands a hard hit on the inside of his elbow and watches his arm go limp. Sumireko barely dodges a reflexive elbow and lands a hit on at the base of his neck. Using the time she was given, she summons her blade back to her hand. Her opponent summons his weapon back and swings it back in preparation for a strike. Focusing all of her power on her blade, she manages to cut the pike in half and lands a kick on his chest that knocks him straight down.
 
Jumping over him with slashing down, her attack is parried and the man jumps back up. He quickly spins his blade around while moving away from her 
 
“Wielding one blade against a paired weapon places you at a severe disadvantage. Only the most experienced fighter can hold their own against someone skilled in duel wielding. Your sword has the property of being made up of two swords. Pull them apart and counter his two weapons.”
 
She pulls the swords apart, surprising her opponent. She is forced to change her style into something a little bit more reckless. Dragging both blades through the ground while moving easier and faster, she spins to keep her momentum and force up. The man could only give ground as he adjusted to her attacks. He swings a low strike, forcing her into a butterfly spin to avoid it. She lands with her back to him and blocks the approaching strike.
 
Turning to face him, she uses both blades in tandem in order to tie up his own. A kick to his left hand knocks that half of the pike, but the man recovers by changing to a two handed grip. Leaning forward, he tries to batter away her left blade, forcing her to stand her ground. She’s knocked back by his third blow and is forced to give ground. She side steps his next strike and kicks him in the chest.
 
She jumps and spins to gain momentum for a strike, locking the blades together. She struggles as the blades come closer to her face.
 
“With two blades, it becomes difficult to apply your strength to break locks and deliver physical strikes,” Eirin sounded like she was remembering something as she spoke. “It is in this situation that the sharpness of your blades would be important. Which brings us to your powers. Unlike most other powers, yours are based on scientific principles. The law of conservation of mass states that energy can only be changed, not created. The most likely reaction would be a chilling in the air around you whenever you use a strenuous power. Redirecting a small percentage of that power would allow you to make yourself immune to the effect, for a short time.”
 
Deciding that trying to limit the power of her attacks would be the worst possible thing to do at the moment, she feels that she can deal with the cold for a little while. Finally overpowering the lock, she jumps over and kicks him away with both feet. She handstands back on her feet and sends a quick bolt of lightning that makes him spasm. Realizing a new weakness, she charges her blades up and lands a good hit. The only downside to the attack was she couldn’t physically punch him without getting shocked as well at her skill level.
 
A tingle runs down Sumireko’s spine, forcing her to break her attack and spin around with her blades up. She catches a strike from a second attacker in black, identical to the first in everything but weapon. This one had an electric baton that sparked randomly with sinister electricity. The pair strike out at the same time, forcing Sumireko to divide her attention.
 
“Two opponents attacking in tandem opens up more possibilities for their attacks. In a fight like this, it would be a wise course to stack your opponents, but an open space like this makes it difficult to keep. The best course is to disable one so you can focus on the other. You must move quickly to avoid being cornered by the pair.”
 
Taking the advice to disable one of them to heart, she changes the target of her attacks to their legs. The pair were forced to stay light on their feet, not an easy task with amount of body armor that they were wearing. Realizing that they were trying to lure her into a trap, she backflips away from them and crouches down. As one of them tries to tackle her, she stands back up and rolls him over her shoulder.
 
Before he can land on the ground, the pig tailed girl launches a back kick that catches him in the stomach and cracks his armor. She attacks the remaining man, trying to get behind him. She focuses on attack with her right blade, saving the left for an opening that she knows will soon appear. The man kicks at her, connecting with her side. Hissing at the pain, the girl keeps her defense up as blows rain down.
 
An idea strikes at that moment and she throws lighting at him. She stops that attack and turns around quickly. Taking three steps back, she twirls the blades and stabs straight back. Both of them go through his armor and chest, coming out of his back. She pulls them out and faces him to deliver a punch augmented with her ability. The body flies off into the distance and she turns to face the second attacker.
 
Putting her swords back into one, she adopts a horizontal guard stance as the pair circle each other. The man twirls his baton in his hand as he inches closer. Their first strike results in a lock, which Sumireko quickly overpowers. She lifts him up into the air and strikes him twice with his own weapon before calling it into her hand. Once she throws him on the ground, she tosses the baton back at him in a gesture saturated with contempt.
 
The man picks himself back up and goes back into a fighting stance. Dropping his hand to his hip, he pulls out a Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight revolver. The extremely concealable revolver fires five shots, which are all deflected by Sumireko’s sword. Knowing that it would be next to impossible to reload in time, he throws the weapon at her face. She ducks, feeling a surge of annoyance at the perceived insult.
 
“Now that you are back to one opponent, you can control the fight. Choose a course of action and commit to it until the end. Do not stray your final blow.”
 
Taking a step forward, she raises her blade up above her head. She strikes out three times, with her attacks getting blocked each time. Before she can reset, she gets tapped with the baton in her stomach. Electricity flows through her body, causing her to spasm with excruciating pain. The man pulls the baton back and rears back for a hit to her head. She gets him back by casting her own lightning and knocks him off of his feet.
 
She doesn’t ease off the lightning, making him flop around like a fish. Not satisfied by the amount of pain that she was inflicting, she ramped up the amount she created. The man starts screaming as the increased power goes straight to his nervous system. Sumireko grits her teeth as she starts stepping forward. She stops the attack and lifts him up to slam him into the ground. Picking him up again, she delivers a precise blow with the pommel of her sword that cracks his helmet in half.
 
Sensing an A-10 Thunderbolt flying above her, she decides to kill two birds with one stone. Throwing the man a good distance away, she then turns her attention to gripping the plane. Overpowering the engines, her grip holds the plane in a vertical position. With a brief and intense effort, she slams the plane into her defeated opponent.  She hears a sparking coming from behind her, and notices that the box Yukari had given her had taken damage and was dying.
 
Groaning, she can only hope that Yukari wasn’t about to make her pay that back because she had already earmarked money for a new hat. Planting the sword in the ground, she drops the backpack since it was useless now. With the copper expanding signal weaken to the point it was almost gone, the Americans were able to increase their firepower. Turning her head to her side and raising her arm, she stops a hail of bullets that were coming towards her.
 
With a shout, she punches the ground and send a large shockwave towards them. As they were knocked into the air, she electrocuted them without mercy. She charges up a maelstrom and watches as more humans scatter. Then she pitches forward as she holds the sides of her head. A series of images suddenly appeared in her mind, shutting her off from everything. She saw herself creating fire from her hands and using it to burn down everything.
 
Once she could move again she brings up her left hand with the palm up. Focusing herself, she creates a small flame that dances in her hand. She makes it jump, shrink, and do flips as she tests it out.
 
“So you have the power of pyrokinesis as well,” Eirin noted. “This is a power that is dependent on your discipline. Too much power and you risk burning yourself, too little will result in wasted energy. You must also keep the three requirements for combustion in mind and control each of them. In time, you will be able to control oxygen levels to create flames of different properties and to create heat to slow down the chilling effect from using your powers. But you must be mindful of your powers and abilities. Allowing yourself to have dreams and illusions of grandeur will only serve to hurt you.”
 
Lunarian Training and Staging Facility, Dark Side of the Moon
 
A rare spectacle in the Capital was mirroring the atmosphere of the events on the staging grounds. Eighteen regiments from the colonies and the Moon were in formation amidst a thunderstorm and howling winds. After the attack and temporary eviction of the Lunarians from the moon, it became obvious to those in charge that more living space was needed. Using the same principles of probability that allowed them to get to the Moon, they were able to create colonies on the other planets in the solar system.
 
The colonies had prospered and were expanding quickly. With more living space, the population also increased. As the population increased the need for more troops did as well. At the projected rate, living space would be available for a few more generations at the very least. Many had scoffed at colonizing other planets, but they were being proved wrong by the wealth and advancement that many were seeing now.
 
As a result of the increase of population and land, the LDC had to have more troops in order to keep the peace in the expanding Lunarian Kingdom. Projections by the high ranks maintained that at least eighty full time regiments would be needed to keep the peace. Of course, with a war starting to ramp up, twice that would be needed for all purposes. For the battered regimetns that were already in battle, more regiments were called up. But with such a high amount of units, it took a bit of time to mobilize and move them to staging areas. But now, they all standing out in the rain while waiting to move out.
 
Three figures were off to the side, waiting for their orders. The three were part of the Royal Commandos, and were going to be sent in individually. Since they answered to the Royal Family and their closest advisors, they were able to do as they pleased until they got their orders. Before Ringo could truly get comfortable in the rain, a horn could be heard throughout the staging ground. Regimental commanders instantly turned and ran towards the pole where the standard of the Lunarian Defense Corps flew in the wind.
 
Battalion commanders began to give preparatory commanders the company commanders. As word spread, the troops began to double check their equipment and steel themselves for what was coming. Horses began to grow restless, they could sense what was going to happen. Seiran had laid her hammer down and was going through her deck of Spell Cards. A whine from a propeller driven engine grabbed her attention, she looks up to see a trio of P-51s fly from the aircraft carriers in the lake next to the grounds.
 
“Form up by squads and prepare to board the cruisers,” one of the Regimental commanders yelled out as they ran back to their original spots. Sagume could be seen rolling up a scroll and wiping rain off of her brow.
 
“RC-1138, 1501, and 7889,” an advisor to Princess Yorihime called out. “You are to insert separately and link up back on the surface. The NATO forces have created a series of trenches and caves in the middle of a heavily wooded area. Colonel Yagokoro has been called away to negotiate with the Japanese to pull out of the war, so her troops have pulled back for now. I’ve been assigned as your advisor, and will be your eye in the sky until further notice…or we all get killed.”
 
Medium sized dragons landed on the staging ground and knelt down. Company commanders began directing their troops to load their equipment and themselves. It was no easy feat to move eighteen regiments at the same time, but they managed somehow without any confusion.
 
“Act like you have some life in you! Our troops are waiting for our help!”
 
“Get that equipment on there! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”
 
“Sergeant, make sure they are ready to go before we take off!”
 
“Don’t feed the dragons!”
 
“New dragon! Group B, get on there!”
 
“Load that ordnance and move that wing forward!”
 
“Get those heavy rifles on their first! Check straps and pouches!”
 
“Ready for lift up! Here we go!”
 
“Lock down those crates! We are not turning back for anything!”
 
“You can throw up once we’re in the air!”
 
“So help me, if any of you left the stove on…”
 
“I will be issuing further orders as you go. Good luck, moon rabbits.” The advisor turned around and walked to the command center.
 
A dragon landed in front of the trio. A quick game of rock-paper-scissors saw to it that Seiran went first. The third member of their team was the next to go. And finally Ringo jumped on her dragon. As the reptile took to the air, she looks down She sees the formations quickly grabbing their gear and getting ready. She hears the sound of singing coming from the troops around her and remembers the song.
 
Kote! (Glory!)
Kandosii sa ka'rta, Vode an. (One indomitable heart, Brothers all.)
Prudii a'den mhi, Vode an. (We, the wrath of the shadow, Brothers all.)
Bal kote, darasuum kote, (And glory, eternal glory.)
Jorso'ran kando a tome. (We shall bear its weight together.)
Sa kyr'am nau tracyn kad, Vode an. (Forged like the saber in the fires of death. Brothers all.)

Kandosii sa ka'rta, Vode an. (One indomitable heart, Brothers all.)
Prudii a‘den a'den mhi, Vode an. (We, the wrath of the shadow, Brothers all.)
Bal...(And…)
Motir ca'tra nau tracinya. (Those who stand before us light the night sky in flame.)
Gra'tua cuun hett su dralshy'a. (Our vengeance burns brighter still)
Aruetyc talyc runi'la solus cet o'r. (Every last traitorous soul shall kneel)
Motir ca'tra nau tracinya. (Those who stand before us light the night sky in flame)
Gra'tua cuun hett su dralshy'a. (Our vengeance burns brother still)
Aruetyc talyc runi'la trattok'o. (Every last traitorous soul shall fall)
Sa kyr'am nau tracyn kad, Vode an! (Forged like the saber in the fires of death. Brothers all!)
 
A beautiful yet haunting song, it was a remembrance of all that came before them. Said to be the marching song of the great fighting force of any state, it was a favorite for the LDC to sing before an engagement. Especially with the current weather since it matched the legend that accompanied it.
 
The Yuudachi came into view, waiting for her to dismount. Once she had gotten off and the transport dragon had flown off, the destroyer moved forward. Atago, Fubuki, Akagi, Kongou, Maya, Chokoi, Furutaka, Yamato, and Nagato stood ready to depart. Each flew the colors of the GDF, meaning that they were not under the direct control of the Lunarians.
 
Ringo loaded a magazine in her interchangeable rifle and waited. A giant portal opened in front of the flotilla, which signaled them to move forward. She adjusted the helmet she had on her head, waiting to take to the sky. The destroyer is the first one out of the portal and is in a large lake. Jumping on the dragon that was waiting for her on the ship, she nods at a fellow moon rabbit as the reptile took off.
 
A beep comes from the medallion on her belt. She throws the coin in front of her and an image of the advisor appears.
 
“Good to see that you’re already on the field.” A dragon next to them gets shot in the face by a missile and spins into the ground. “The Royal Regiments have already ran into desperate resistance at the last point and are being dealt heavy damage. We’re also doing a supply drop for the artillery regiments, but nothing will change unless we can open up a section of their defenses. The allied armor charge that was supposed to do that had all of their tanks damaged, so it’s fallen to you, 1501, and 7889 to do so. As per Colonel Yagokoro’s orders, this section that is being highlighted is quarantined to all personnel under the rank of Royal Captain.” A large area in front of the redoubt began to flash red. “Rumors from the ground suggest someone with an extraordinary amount of power going on a rampage in that area. Your drop zone will be to the east of that area at the far edge of the forest. 1501 and 7889 will land north and south of your positions, respectively. Intelligence reports a group of officers, ranging from the ranks of Major to full Colonel, are the ones organizing the defense. If you can take them out, our brothers and sisters should have an easier time breaking that perimeter.”
 
Feeling nervous since this was her first real battle, Ringo quietly sings to herself as she picks the medallion back up.
 
“Kandosii sa ka’rat, Vode an,” She stands up as the dragon’s master gave her a hand signal.
 
“Prudii a’den mhi, Vode an,” She crouches down and waits for the hand to fall.
 
“Bal kote, darasuum kote,” The hand falls and she backflips off of the dragon.
 
“Sa kyr’am nau tracyn kad, vode an.” Landing, she brings her rifle up and drops three Americans that fired at her. One of them managed to hit her, but her uniform caught the bullet and the force behind it. She had been ordered to change into the normal uniform of the LDC and was now understanding why. .50 caliber bullets hit the ground next to her, forcing to take cover behind a large tree.
 
She sees the wreckage of a Black Hawk a few hundred feet away with the M134 Minigun pointing towards the troops firing at her. Throwing a spell card grenade, she flies towards the weapon and fires at anything she can see moving. It runs out of ammo, forcing her to move forward. Sneaking up behind a Private First class, she guts him and throws the body into a bush. That last move attracted their attention and their bullets.
 
Taking refuge behind a rock, she attaches the explosive kit to her rifle and pokes her head out. Pulling it back down almost instantly, she still had enough time to choose a target. Stepping out, she quickly fires off three rounds and jumps back. The bullets flying towards her are reduced in number while she takes the kit off and reverts to her regular weapon. Jogging forward, she drops the reminder of the defenders and moves deeper into the forest.
 
Before she can go much further, she runs into a Bradley. Quickly attaching the explosive kit again, she aims for the top of the vehicle. Two shots are enough to set it on fire, and she feels someone come up behind her. Ducking, she avoids a bayonet to the back of the head. Ringo slams her rifle into his exposed chin and then pulls out her sidearm and shoots him in the face.
 
“You humans need to learn that I’m a lot scarier than you are,” Ringo quipped.
 
Five miles from Ringo’s current position, Seiran had entered melee combat with a group of British soldiers. She was taking pleasure in breaking their body armor with every swing of her giant mallet and watching them fly into the distance. A Humvee tried to run her down, only to have her jump up and crush the engine with a downward swing. Before the occupants could get out, they were crushed in the vehicle by more swings.
 
“1501, 7889 has fallen. It’s up to you and 1138 to break through the defensive line now.” The advisor’s voice came from the medallion on her belt. “Reinforcements have arrived at the front line, but we’re still having trouble breaking through. There should be an anti-air battery near your location. Find it and destroy it so we can bring in air support. Yamato reports that all cannon batteries are ready to go, so find the coordinates and we can take it from there.”
 
Lightning rained down from the sky west of her position, making every pause to look in that direction. A rumbling travel through the ground, hinting at some intense power close by. Seiran was glad that Eirin had declared that area a quarantine zone, since she had no intention of dealing with whatever was causing that. A 5.56 round catches her in the shoulder, but the LDC uniform renders it useless.
 
She pulls out her sidearm, a curious looking pistol that used bunny ears as iron sights, and shot the contractor that landed the hit multiple times. It breaks through his plate carrier and steel plates, both sides. The moon rabbit laughs in contempt when she notices the tan colored baseball cap and scarf that he was wearing. She almost drops to the ground in laughter when she notices the sheer amount of equipment that he was lugging around on his carrier. She had heard stories of humans that believed that equipment could overcome anything on the battlefield. But she hadn’t expected to run into one of those here, usually those kinds of people never served on the ground.
 
Seiran was happy with her rifle, sidearm and hammer. She preferred to travel light with proven weapons and needed no extra equipment to make up for anything. She walks by the wounded man, not even pausing when she shoots him in the face. Just like a large majority of the Lunarians, she believed that civilians should never play in the realm of soldiers. When the stories of contractors fighting on the front lines made it to the moon, it only served to sow contempt for the human forces. At least the Royal Researchers had a rank that existed in the line.
 
As a matter of the LDC’s doctrine, the only equipment they brought were bare bones. Each technician was expected to be able to repair it or improvise in times of need, unlike the human forces, who had to wait for representatives from their suppliers to arrive with the right part. She shook her head as she thought about that, it was almost as if they wanted to pawn off important duties on someone else.
 
A pair of Patriot missiles flies up into the air about two miles north of her. If she had been able to fly, she would be easily able to spot where they came from. But going above the trees would be the same as jumping up and down with an orange vest while asking to be shot. Taking out a scroll that mapped the area, she frowns when everything in the area she needed to go to was grayed out.
 
Without good information about what to expect, it felt like a usual training mission. But she knew that one of their own had already fallen, and that more lives depended on her spotting those anti-air batteries. All she could really hope for was to link up with Ringo and hopefully survive long enough to get the Yamato a good firing solution before the rest of the regiments were ground down.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #69 on: March 13, 2016, 01:59:27 am »
 Viole, Scarlet Devil Mansion, Gensokyo
 
The transport truck that was the subject of an intense fight the day before had been off loaded and its contents were sitting in the library. Twenty wooden crates were arranged in piles around the desk that Patchouli usually studied at. Ran had been sent by Yukari to help analyze the new technology they had captured. Lunarian researchers had brought their equipment and were set up. The librarian that called the room home had put on her glasses and was waiting for the first box to be opened.
 
Once the first box was open, everyone present frowned when it was just normal looking Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The one thing that was different was a sphere on the top of the tube. One of the researchers picked one up and looked through the scope on it. Nothing happened until a moon rabbit flew near it and the targeting computer began to emit loud beeps. The ones with a small amount of familiarization with the weapon had a bit of alarm, since they knew that something as small as a person shouldn’t have triggered the targeting system.
 
Hearing the beeping, the moon rabbit being targeted dropped like a rock and broke the lock. She waited until the last second and then flew off to the side. The computer locked on her again. Taking a look though the scope, she could see the bright outline of the moon rabbit flying. But when she let gravity take over, the outline became dim.
 
“It’s based on the magic of flight,” Patchouli picked a tube up and looked through the scope. “But I didn’t think that they had anything that could sense magic.”
 
The librarian breaks open one of the orbs on the computer and finds a square gem attached to a chip. She rips it off and holds it to the light. It shines with a dull green sheen, making her frown as she turns it slowly. She had read about a type of jewel that would glow when in close proximity to magic, but had never seen one in person until now.
 
“If these things can lock on to our airborne troops, this could be bad news for our push.”
 
“Attention all commanders, ground all airborne troops,” one of the researchers talked into a spell card.
 
“Wish you would have told us earlier.”
 
Lunarian and NATO line, Japan
 
What seemed like a good idea at first turned out to be exactly what the humans wanted them to do. Three waves of airborne troops had been shot down by the magic seeking missiles. This was the last chance for air support until the anti-air emplacements were taken out. The airborne troops that were left were pressed into a ground role and were angry at being stuck in the dirt.
 
A massive trench encircled the wooded area, with artillery just behind it. Everything pointed towards a siege, but the goal was to break the defense before the sun had completely set. For such a disorganized force, Toyohime mused, they could hold their ground very well. She uses a spyglass to look for a weak point in the line, but still couldn’t find anything.
 
She grits her teeth, an armored charge would still only have a fifty percent chance of breaking through. But it would have been a lot better than just waiting for them to collapse. Yorihime was sitting in one of the forward trenches, with her back against the front wall. She had her katana sheathed and rested on her shoulder with her arms crossed. With the amount of dirt stains on her clothes and the messy hair, she looked more like a normal soldier than a member of the Royal Family.
 
A strand of hair that was getting on her last nerves decided to jump in front of her face again, forcing her to keep herself from cutting it off right then and there. One of her attendants tosses her a new canteen of water, which she chugs gratefully. At that point, she doesn’t care who sees her like this. If her husband saw her like this, he would probably laugh at her while cleaning her face off with a rag he always carried around. She always felt a little embarrassed whenever he did it in public, but she still liked it a little bit.
 
Reisen II pokes her head up from the trench and immediately drops back down before all the bullets find her. Sliding down into a sitting position, she looks around and sees some of her troops waiting for an opening. Even with the massive wave of reinforcements, they couldn’t just walk up to the line. If Colonel Yagokoro found out that they wasted lives when there was a better way, heads would roll.
 
Back at the Kappa workshop, Nitori and a few other kappas were messing around with a radio that they had picked up and were trying to see if they could break into the NATO communications. One of the kappas got frustrated to the point that they picked up the radio and threw it against the wall. It fell to the floor and then came alive with radio chatter. Presently surprised, Nitori uses a cable to hook it up with the GDF/LDC network.
 
The map in front of Toyohime updated to show a wing of B-52s that were heading towards them. She didn’t even have to look up the amount of ordnance that they each carried to know they were in trouble.
 
”What’s this button for?”
 
“Shit, Carl! Not yet!”
 
The lead dot flashes, signaling the dropping of the entire bomb bay complement. Seeing the lead bomber drop their bombs, the others follow suit. Toyohime giggles as she hears the chaos from the American bomber wing, watching them as they broke their formation. Without a payload, there was no purpose to exposing themselves to enemy fire, so turning around was a natural choice.
 
Atago is reporting a heavy concentration of aircraft heading towards the fleet,” one of her advisors called out. “They doubt that their anti-air compliment would be enough to fight them off.”
 
“RC-1138 requests fire support from Yamato, she says she’s spotted the batteries.”
 
“Give her support request more priority,” Toyohime narrowed her eyes behind her fan. “We need our air support.”
 
On the bridge of the Yamato, Kaguya was watching the 460 mm guns turn to aim at the requested target. Yuudachi opened fire with her AA mounts, getting a lucky shot on an F/A-18 Hornet. One of the triple turrets on Yamato fired a Sanshiki anti-aircraft shell that wiped out three entire squadrons of A-10s. Heat seeking rounds flew from Atago, chasing down any aircraft it could see.
 
“Torpedoes to starboard,” Yuyuko was surprised when she heard one of the crew members shout it out.
 
“Reduce speed to three quarters and turn hard to starboard,” the ghost braced herself as the heavy cruiser lurched to the right. She kept herself from correcting the crew member, even though he was right from a certain point of view. Missiles could be called “air torpedoes” if looked at a certain way. The missiles that had been spotted sensed the change, but were prevented from following on it due to the disruption field being emitted by the ships. Once it hit that field, it reverted to a rocket and made it easier to dodge. The missiles flies by the bridge close enough for Yuyuko to read some of the writing on them.
 
“We don’t have enough space to keep doing this,” the First Officer said. “If we collide, we’ll be sitting ducks.”
 
“Have the destroyers return to the docks,” Yuyuko watched as an F-22 crashed into the water while on fire. “What is the Yamato doing?”
 
The ship in question fired a volley at that exact moment, raining long ranged destruction down on the batteries. The red squares on the map disappear, showing that the batteries had disappeared.
 
“Get a message to the tengus,” Yuyuko ordered. “We need them here, now!”
 
“Tengu fighters are two minutes away. Akagi is launching her fighters now.”
 
“Will one carrier be enough to turn the tide,” Yuyuko saw another Raptor get shot down. “Divert all power to the forward guns.”
 
Atago, we have a fire request that we can’t fulfil at the moment,” Yamato’s radio operator’s voice reached her ears.
 
“Where?”
 
“Here and here,” two circles appeared on the map. “The ground forces are ready to start a final push, but that wall is in the way.”
 
“Fire when ready,” Yuyuko frowned when she saw the blue rectangles had stopped.
 
Ten 203 mm high explosive rounds flew into a high arc, with the targeting computer accounting for all variables. Toyohime saw the rounds rain down on the wall. The entire area disappeared in a bright light that was strong enough to hurt everyone’s eyes. Once her eyes had recovered, the elder princess saw that there was a large hole in the wall. Gesturing at flame troops that were waiting in the trenches, she shouts.
 
“Are you waiting for an engraved invitation? Get cooking!”
 
Loading their weapons, the flame troops stacked up beside the gaping hole and then stepped out. As soon as they had a clear line, they unleashed long jets of fire that burned anything and anyone it hit. Seizing the opportunity, the rest of the regiments charged into the breach, hoping to do as much damage as possible before the humans could recover.
 
The British and American Marines were the first to recover, taking renewed defensive positions. A large fireball popped up at the far end of the redoubt, no doubt the work of the two moon rabbits over there. A lone A-10 tried to set up on an attack run, only for an airborne rabbit to land in front of the cockpit and break it open with an axe. Then she grabbed the pilot and threw him into the left engine.
 
Just as the rest of the airborne rabbits reached the center of the compound, the seeker missiles flew up for a meet and greet. Yorihime gritted her teeth as she saw the rabbits fall out of the sky like houseflies. Even though they had taken out the larger batteries, the shoulder fired missiles were still a big problem. She was hoping that they weren’t reloadable, because that would make her day even worse.
 
Sumireko saw a P-47 fly near her and decided to catch a lift. Landing next to the cockpit, she nods in greeting to the surprised human at the joystick.
 
“I need a better view of the battle, mind getting some altitude?”
 
The human nods and pulls back on the joystick. The Thunderbolt rises above the battle, letting the girl take it all in. A glint of light high above them catches her attention and she squints her eyes to see what it is. A 60s era satellite was heading towards the battle, mostly likely as a last ditch effort. Dividing her focus between keeping a grip on the wing and redirecting the satellite, she starts to break a little bit of a sweat.
 
She’s broken out of her focus by the Thunderbolt juking wildly. An F-16 had followed them up and was intent on destroying them. Sumireko gives her taxi driver a wave and dives off of the wing. She had timed it so she would be close enough to strike the Falcon as she fell. With her blade, she cuts off the right wing and send the plane into an uncontrolled spin. Struggling to keep her eyes open as she freefalls, the girl begins to charge up a repulse.
 
Several of the smarter humans on the ground brought up their rifles and seeker missiles, trying to get a good bead on her. Sumireko spreads her arms to control her direction, since she knew that using flight magic would result in an instant lock on her. The .50 caliber machine guns open up on her, filling the air around her with tracer rounds. She was grateful that the belief that the shockwave of a .50 bullet flying near her would kill her was false.
 
Before she hits the ground, she lets it go and cancels out all of her momentum. The attack leaves a deep crater around her and she lands lightly on her feet. She feels a strong chill around her, letting her know that she had just used a lot of energy. With a shiver she walks forward and raises both of her hands. Millions of volts of lightning flew towards the humans that poked their heads out of cover.
 
Stacking up behind a wall, Reisen II and a squad she had linked up with were readying their weapons. One of the moon rabbits brings up a stick grenade and tosses it like a boomerang. Before it explodes, the lead moon rabbit throws himself on the ground and starts to unload his magazine. As soon as the shockwave from the grenade hit them, the rest of the squad moves up. Reisen flinched when a bullet hit the wall next to her head.
 
“Human forces are withdrawing to the center of the compound,” Toyohime’s advisor told her. “Even though our troops are gaining ground, they’re still facing extremely stiff resistance.”
 
“Give the order for the rest of the regiments to move in. Overwhelm the rest of the smaller anti-air launchers.”
 
Yamato reports that they have finished reloading.”
 
“Akagi reports that the first wave has returned and the second wave is being launched.”
 
“Pack it up, we need to get closer to the fight,” Toyohime closes her fan and begins to walk. Her guards join her as she looks for a suitable place to make her entrance. 
 
Due to the efforts of a few Oni, the Tiger (P) had been pushed to the front line. Sakuya, the gunner, and the loader were in the tank, helping to break through the inner defenses. The maid had taken control of the commander’s machine gun and was mowing down enemy troops. The top of the tank was covered in the empty shell cases from the weapon, which would make enemy infantry fall if they tried to climb up on it.
 
At one of the STT communications terminals in the center of the post, the crew were opening the back panel and grabbing the laptop that served as the control terminal. They tried to run towards the fortified command post, only to stop short because of Ringo blocking their path. They get shot and the rabbit picks up the laptop. Looking it over, she decides that it’s useless and drops it. She stomps it before continuing on her way.
 
Diet Building, Tokyo, Japan
 
“ORDER, WE SHALL HAVE ORDER!” The voice of the Speaker of the Representatives shouted as the chamber descended into a roar of conflict. “The next outburst, and I will throw whatever I have next to me!”
 
“There is no way that we should have to even think about our strongest ally betraying us!”
 
“The Americans have already proven that they meddle in our internal affairs!”
 
“They aren’t strong enough to fight the Lunarians in a head to head battle!”
 
“That line of thinking smells of high treason!”
 
That triggered another round of conflict, which helped to give Yukari the time to organize her thoughts. She stands up and taps her fan on the desk in front of her to gain their attention.
 
“Honored Representatives and Councilors, you have heard the same information that I have straight from the head of the Swiss government. May I remind this body of the reputation and respect that the Swiss command due to their long history of even headed policy and wise judgment?” She tapped the map in front of her. “As of a few minutes ago, joint Lunarian and GDF units have broken through the last line of defense and are hitting the NATO forces hard. By the end of the day, the enemy forces will be surrendered to us, or wiped out. Once that happens, the only problem left would be their retaliation.”
 
“Japan has already seen enough war! We cannot let it spread more!”
 
“The war has already spread here,” Eirin sat back. “Right now, you have the choice of either stopping it now or letting it spread all over the country. The nobles that control the lower levels of government are eager to gain prestige for their advancement, so we’re not done yet. Our government has already entered war footing and can easily outlast the Americans in any situation.”
 
“But even an advanced nation can’t cross from the moon to the Earth fast enough for a war.”
 
“We’ve just fielded even more regiments, so your argument is invalid,” Eirin sneered. “All the moon has to do is shine on a place, and we can be there in hours.”
 
“The combined Lunarian and GDF forces can either lay waste to Japan, or become its best allies,” Yukari spoke. “So the main question that you should be asking is who would you rather have next to you, us or them?”
 
The Emperor spoke before anyone else could interject. “Lady Yakumo, you must realize how difficult it is for us to break from our allies. Even more so when we’re still trying to atone for the mistakes that we made during the Second World War.”
 
“I understand, since I saw the war firsthand,” Yukari sighed. “But it’s plainly obvious that the state of world affairs is not the same as it was after the war. As I have told this body many times, the United States of America is not the beacon of justice and liberty that it makes itself out to be. They are the ones that have provoked this and numerous other wars. They have played with international law like a game and used their power to intimidate other nations into submission.”
 
“While some of those accusations are true, the United States has never acted against us.”
 
“What about the excursion that started the first battle?”
 
“They were operating under the assumption that they had the proper clearance.”
 
“Even when that proper clearance came from minions under their control? I would say that this counts as meddling in internal affairs.”
 
“That is a very serious charge to make.”
 
“If it fits properly.” Yukari took in a deep breath, “What would it take to show you that the American government is planning to betray you?”
 
“Solid proof.”
 
The gap youkai holds her hand out and a moon rabbit places a binder in it. “What I hold in my hands is a contingency plan for a nuclear strike on the Japanese homeland in the event of an immediate threat to American interests.”
 
“Won’t they have them for any possible situations?”
 
“We have reason to believe that the initial conditions are being put into place as we speak. Once they figure out that they’ve lost the ground battle, there is a good chance that they will launch a nuclear weapon.”
 
“They wouldn’t dare.”
 
“Perhaps not,” Yukari conceded. “But I, for one, wouldn’t put it past them. They still have one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, and are ready to drop them at a moment’s notice.”
 
“Doing so would turn the international community against them. Even the British and the Canadians would turn against them.”
 
“If that were true, why are they on the ground here?”
 
The Emperor shook his head. “You must know that I’m only saying this due to the fact that I need the entire story.”
 
“I understand, but the time to make a decision of your own free will is quickly running out.”
 
“It seems that you have inherited some of your ancestor’s wisdom.” Everyone turned to look at the speaker and were stunned by the beauty and regality of the woman walking into the chamber. Straight out of the first science fiction story of the world, Princess Kaguya was flanked by Royal Guards.
 
Eirin stood, even though she could have been considered an equal to any member of the Royal Family, she still deferred to tradition as a habit. Kaguya took the seat that was offered to her and Eirin stood slightly behind her to the right. While the officer had played an important part in the talks, she knew enough to know that Kaguya was much more suited for this.
 
“I will introduce myself now. I am Princess Kaguya Houraisan, third in line for the Lunarian crown. I knew your ancestor, Mikado, when he still had the throne. I was privileged to have the chance to correspond with him, and if things were different, I may have ended up becoming your grandmother down the line.”
 
Resting her elbow on the armrest of the chair and holding her face with the hand, she taps the desk with her right hand. “Ever since I left the Earth and that kind couple that adopted me, I’ve kept an eye on Japan. I’ve seen it grow from a small collection of isolated islands to a world power that had the most powerful navy on the planet. I saw the fire rain down from of the sky that ended the last great war. I saw how Japan has vowed to never go down that path again. The Japanese and Lunarians have much in common. We just want to be left alone. That is why we study war and politics, so our children can study music and art. Mikado understood and wanted that, he always asked me if the Moon was a utopia.”
 
Kaguya raised her head up. “I hated having to tell him the truth about my people. No matter how much we fought, no matter how hard the wars were, it was never final. That is why the Lunarian Defense Corps still exists to this day. Children, both Lunarian and moon rabbit, can sleep soundly at night knowing that someone is out there watching over them. Those that wish to harm innocent souls are checked by those that are willing to chase them into the depths of hell and back. If our enemies would march into our territory, we would not have to explain our self-defense. But not all of our enemies are honorable in that aspect. It is the duty of the watchman to move towards a threat, even if it’s not close. When done out of love and compassion for those that we protect, it is a good action. But when it is done out of greed and pure hostility, it turns into warmongering. That is the main difference between us and the United States. They have tried to invade the moon before, only for us to fight them back. We have met them on the field of battle and found them wanting. As a superior civilization, we can either stand back and watch, or we can become the caretaker of this planet.”
 
“Princess Kaguya, the Japanese are able to take care of themselves. We have done this for hundreds of years.”
 
“Do you believe that you can muster the same power you had during the Second World War?” Kaguya narrowed her eyes. “I have read the Constitution that the Americans placed on Japan after their surrender. Article 9 of your Constitution renounced your right to wage war and limits your options to self-defense.  Wouldn’t the American incursion be considered an attack on your sovereignty?”
 
Pausing to gather his thoughts, the Emperor knew that he was being backed into a corner. Part of him refused to believe the claims of magic and weird science that were the cause of this. But the Emperor of Japan was not raised a fool. He had been shown proof and now his nation was waiting for his advice. He never expected to have to choose between two powerful states that could wipe them out.
 
“Will Lunarian law apply to us?”
 
“As long as there is no resistance, you’ll only see Lunarian troops whenever they’re on liberty. I can guarantee that our troops are less harmful to the environment than Americans on liberty.”
 
Yukari felt that they were going in circles. This was about as far as they got yesterday, but she had a feeling that a breakthrough was at hand. The map that she had brought out began to flash as another group of red squares shrank in size. Just a little bit from the command post, a large yellow circle flashed as well. Seconds later, lines fell from the sky, tracing the paths of naval artillery. She decides to add something else to help change their opinion.
 
“Watch that surface fire!”
 
“We just lost another fighter.”
 
Everyone in the room looked on in confusion until they realized that they were listening in on chatter from the battle. Yukari tapped the map in order to focus on a few blue triangles flying around.
 
“Black Crow, there’s a new crater where those heavy guns were.”
 
“We’ll have one shot, but only if we can get someone with enough attack power to get that command post.”
 
“This is the first President of the Sealing Club. Did someone ring for me?”
 
“You think you can handle this, little girl?”
 
“Get me a clear lane, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
 
Joined by a new blue triangle, the group dove to tree top level and zoomed towards the fortified building. Lines from the surface surrounded the group, showing that the ground troops saw what was coming.
 
“I need some help here!”
 
“Loosen up!”
 
“I’m hit!” One of the blue triangles got intersected by a red line and disappeared.
 
“Incoming from the front!” A group of A-10s flew at them, trying to deter them.
 
“I can’t get a good shot on them!”
 
“We’re not going to be able to stay with you for long! Make sure you hit that post with everything you got!”
 
“Got it. Get clear!”
 
“Good luck, kid!”
 
All but one blue triangle pulled up, luring some of the fire away. The lone triangle sped up, weaving in and out to dodge anything coming. Then it disappeared into the red square. Seconds turned into minutes, with nothing else happening. The chatter died down, adding to the suspense.
 
Eirin clenched her teeth, she knew who was flying in that command post. She tried to use the charm that was built into Sumireko’s hat, but got no response. Then the blue triangle flew out of the post into an upward loop. The sounds of coughing came over the communication line, but it was the dry kind. The doctor sighed in relief, as long as smoke was the worst of her worries, the psychic was fine.
 
The red square began to flash frantically and then disappeared. Energy readings popped up, showing signs of a massive explosion taking place.
 
“At least I wasn’t wearing my cape,” Sumireko finished coughing.
 
“You did it, kid!”
 
“Looks like they got the message.”
 
Several of the representatives began to shift in their seats. Yukari allowed herself to smile a little, without their command post, the Americans had no chance now. Without the Americans to anchor the defense, the rest of the NATO forces would have to sue for peace if they didn’t escape now.
 
Out of the corner of her eye, the gap youkai noticed a Lunarian frown as she tapped her scroll. She turns to confer with another Lunarian, with both of them sharing a concerned look. Both of them turn to speak with a superior.
 
“The battle is as good as won,” Yukari said as she focused on the Emperor. “If the Americans surrender now, there would be a lot less deaths. If they don’t, the Lunarians are experts in taking advantage of routs.”
 
The Prime Minister and both Speakers leaned in to listen to the Emperor as he spoke quietly to them. The two speakers looked dismayed by what he said and offered respectful rebuttal. Eventually, they both agreed with what he said, leaving only the Prime Minister as dissent. Taking a quick drink from the glass next to him, the Prime Minister tapped on the desk every so often to emphasize his point.
 
Eirin felt a tap from an aide behind her and took a scroll that was offered to her. Opening it up, the map is of an area of the Pacific Ocean near the battlefield. Three American ships were gathered there, a Spruance class destroyer, a Virginia class crusier, and the recently reactivated USS Wisconsin. An unknown energy reading was coming from the destroyer, which caused the colonel to frown. Somewhere, she had seen an energy level like that.
 
Even though Kaguya was still facing forward, she could tell when Eirin was troubled by something. Ever the dutiful officer, Eirin leaned forward and handed the royal the map. The princess frowns as she tries to make sense of what she was looking at. Something in her gut was telling her that what she was looking at wasn’t right. The side of the map then indicated that three separate messages were sent to the ships.
 
Yukari watched as the Prime Minister stood fast in his opposition to the Emperor’s suggestion. She had done almost everything she could think of. If they couldn’t get Japan to at least withdraw from the war, then the odds would turn against them. Before she could continue on her train of thought, a loud alarm rang through the chamber. Every scroll began to flash with an urgent message that repeated itself again and again.
 
Looking at each other, Yukari and Eirin shared a concerned looked that became outright worry when the alarm became accompanied by a voice. Everyone in the room felt their stomach drop and their hearts turn to ice when they heard what the voice had to say.
 
“Nuclear launch detected.”
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #70 on: March 13, 2016, 02:00:03 am »
 Situation Room, White House, Washington, DC
 
Fletcher, this is Big Bird. Begin the launch of the weapon.” Xingun smiled. “Unlock keys to the safes are being transmitted to you as we speak. Once you have them, maintain radio silence at all costs. We have reason to believe that enemy personnel have infiltrated your fellow ships.” As per his order, the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon was sending the Emergency Action Message.
 
“Roger, Big Bird. Commencing launch.” On the bridge of the destroyer, a printer spat out two pieces of papers that were then given to the Captain and executive officer. They both left the bridge escorted by Marine security and headed for the safes that contained the launch keys. Once they retrieved the keys, they both bowed their heads and said a quick prayer. Then they returned to the bridge and placed both keys into the nuclear control console. With a nod, they both turned the keys at the same time and watched the control terminal come up.
 
With a motion, Xingun ordered a line opened to the USS Wisconsin. Once they were connected, he cleared his throat and adopted a panicked tone.
 
“USS Wisconsin, this is your commander in chief. Come in!”
 
“We read you, chief.”
 
“Moles have infiltrated the Pentagon and the Fletcher! We’ve managed to get the ones in the Pentagon, but they already sent an EAM before we could stop them! They’ve sent it to the Fletcher and are planning a nuclear strike! Do not allow them to fire that missile!”
 
“Chief, the whole crew are moles?”
 
“I don’t think so, but the ones that are still loyal to us are probably already dead or captured! Sink that destroyer before it launches!”
 
The line was silent as the communications officer handed the captain the headset.
 
“Sir, you’re telling us to sink a friendly destroyer!”
 
“It’s either that or a nuclear war!”
 
“Yes, sir.” The captain stood back up. “Main cannons, fire on the Fletcher! Have the Arkansas support us!”
 
As the main cannons turned to fire, a Tomahawk missile flew from the Fletcher. Tipped with a W80 nuclear warhead, the missile flew into a high arc towards the area it was targeted at. The crew of the destroyer were then blindsided by a hail of large caliber rounds from their fellow ship. The cruiser opened up with everything it had, leaving no one alive. The only thing that left evidence of the smaller ship was the flaming husk that slowly sank into the ocean.
 
Diet Building, Tokyo, Japan
 
The only sounds that were heard in the chambers were the alarm and the announcement repeating itself. Once the initial shock subsided, shouts filled the room. The speakers tried to restore order, but were shouted down by opposing parties. The Prime Minister had a blank look on his face and had to sit down. Putting his face in his hands, the Emperor stayed silent as images of a nuclear strike flooded his mind.
 
Lunarians and moon rabbits frantically worked to find where the missile was heading. Without a dedicated sensor suite, it was the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. To the best of their knowledge, there were three possible targets: the battle, the Diet Building in Tokyo, and Kyoto. The exhaust trail of the missile dissipated quickly and could only be seen by Lunarian sensors if the sun bounced off of it just right.
 
“Do we have anything that can shoot it down?” Yukari asked Eirin.
 
“They’re extremely short ranged compared to what’s on it,” the doctor replied. “And that’s if we can find it in the first place.”
 
“So air to air would be more effective,” Yukari paused as she realized something. “If I remember right, lasers could shoot down nuclear missiles. We have someone that could reach it and use the right kind of magic to take it down.”
 
Eirin narrowed her eyes as she thought about who it could be. “Marisa.”
 
“If she can get eyes on it, we’re set. But the problem is getting there in time.”
 
“She brags a lot about being the fastest in Gensokyo. Should be a good chance to prove it.”
 
Yukari nods, “I know she’s got something that’ll give her a boost.”
 
Lunarian main line, Japan
 
The witch in question landed at the Lunarian command post when one of the moon rabbits flagged her down. Reimu had disappeared right after she had talked to Yuyuko the day before. For past few hours, the witch had been doing attack runs on targets that Alice had been having trouble with. It didn’t escape anyone’s notice that the targets that had actually fired at the puppeteer had been the ones hit the hardest.
 
One of the moon rabbits tosses her a spell card. Marisa looks it over, it was an upgraded communications spell that threw up information at eye level. Shrugging, she uses it on herself and then her cell phone goes off. Frowning, she sees Yukari’s number and groans.
 
“Marisa, you need to get into the air, now.” Yukari was trying to keep her voice controlled. “The Americans have launched a nuclear missile that might be heading for your location.”
 
“A what?”
 
“Remember the Underground incident? That power that Utsuho had?”
 
“So I shoot it down like normal?”
 
“You have to use your lasers, or you might end up setting it off. If it goes off, you’re…gone.”
 
Marisa paused. “Where is it?”
 
“We don’t know right now. We have where it started, but we’ve lost it as soon as it launched. There are three possible targets: the battle, Tokyo, and Kyoto. You need to get in the air now and head for the launch point. Hopefully, you’ll run into it before it hits.”
 
Marisa jumped on her broom and took off. “Is there anything else I need to know about this thing?”
 
“Well, you need the launch location, which we’ll sending to you now.” Directly in front of Marisa’s eyes, a map of Japan appeared with a circle off the coast. “Based on what we know about the Tomahawk, its usual speed is about 900 kilometers an hour and it favors a low altitude. The range is about 2,500 kilometers, which gives us the entire country to search.”
 
“That last part isn’t helping.”
 
“How do you think we feel? The Japanese government is in an uproar when they’ve learned about the launch. We’re just waiting for the fingers to get pointed at us.”
 
“I don’t think I can make it all the way over there in time.”
 
“Use that medallion to boost your jet thrust.”
 
Marisa took off the necklace that held the medallion and placed in the slot on the back of the mini-hakkero. As soon as it was in place, she felt a surge of power come from the furnace. She sticks the artifact at the end of her broom and puts on a pair of googles. Leaning forward, she ties the string that served to keep her hat on in high speeds and takes a deep breath. She pours her energy into the furnace and quickly breaks the sound barrier.
 
She keeps on pouring energy, surpassing Mach 4.5. The reflexive charm that she always used before high speed flight to deflect buffering from air resistance was struggling to keep up. In the back of her mind, she knew that going this fast should have been impossible. But she was used to doing the impossible.
 
“The launch point is being sent to your hat,” Yukari said over the charm. “The best case would be for you to run into it before it gets too close. Remember what I said about using your lasers.”
 
Marisa kept a death grip on her broom as she sped. The map that was project in front of her eyes kept updating as she scanned the sky in front of her. She was surprised at the energy reserve she had, since she had expected to be drained quickly at that speed. The fighters that were still in the air just watched her go, since they had no chance of catching her. Even missiles didn’t have the chance of getting her, even with the massive heat signature she was giving out.
 
On the ground, a massive sonic boom tried to catch up to her. It became worse when she decreased in altitude, a move made out of arrogance. Minutes later, she passed over the beach and saw the Pacific Ocean with her eyes for the first time. She stared at how the sun gleaned on the ocean blue water. A steady beeping started to sound, however it was faint.
 
“We’re picking something up,” Yukari told her. “Give us a minute before we can be sure.”
 
The beeping continued to grow in strength, and then a faint shape began to flash in the distance.
 
“That’s it!” Yukari practically shouted. “It’s the only one they’ve launched.”
 
Marisa immediately cut off her boost, waiting until she bled off enough speed to turn. She drops down to a little over Mach 1 but loses sight of the missile. A circle dancing on the edge of her vision shows her where it went. Sensing that it was over land, the guidance system moves the weapon to treetop level. Reducing her speed to avoid overshooting the target, Marisa recalls her Hakkero and charges up a laser.
 
She releases it and watches as it connects with the body of the missile. But instead of exploding, the laser is deflected off of a polished surface. A sensor takes note of the attack and activates the ramjet. The Tomahawk lurches forward, reaching Mach 3. By doing so, it reduces its range. The magician lets out a rare shout of frustration, as she’s forced to increase speed. But she notices that she can’t accelerate as fast. Watching the engine in front of her get further and further away, she can see the death of many she knows in her mind’s eye.
 
Pouring her anger into her broom, she feels it speed up. A mountain ridge up ahead forces the two of them to pull up. Using that to her advantage, she gains altitude and dives right down. With a kick, she tries to knock it off course, only for it correct automatically.
 
“Marisa, we’ve found another alternative.” Yukari said. “If you can separate the warhead from the rest of the missile, you’ll turn it into a normal missile. Or you might end up getting irradiated.”
 
Taking a minute to decide, she really didn’t want to handle something like that. But she thought of another alternative.
 
“If I can disable it, can Sakuya freeze it?”
 
Yukari was silent as she conferred with those around her and waited for an answer. Marisa fidgeted as she waited for an answer.
 
“She can. But it’s highly risky. Just destroy the whole thing. We can capture another one later without risking you.”
 
The missile performs a snap roll, almost knocking Marisa off of her broom. Out of reflex, she fires back with her usual bullets and hits the engine. A bloom of fire comes from the point of impact, starting a chain reaction. Marisa’s stomach drops when the missile disappears in an explosion. Then a large canister falls from the explosion, twirling in the air.
 
“That canister is the nuclear warhead!” Yukari shouted “Sensor’s indicate that it’s still not activated. But if it hits the ground, it’ll go off for sure!”
 
Noticing where she was for the first time, she gains a renewed sense of urgency when she spots the battle winding down in the distance. Tracer rounds start to fill the air around her, for a second, she thought they were aiming for the canister. With three copies of her hakkero flying around her, she spams lasers towards the warhead. She makes the mistake of not leading the lasers, getting increasingly frustrated.
 
The canister gets closer and closer to the point where she would be forced to pull up. Recalling the three copies, she lets go of her broom and charges up her strongest attack. Boosted by her medallion, she crosses the line from a Master Spark into a high level Twilight Spark. As she tries her best to balance the power, she imagines it as keeping an overflowing glass from spilling.
 
With a roar, she releases the Twilight Spark. Her ears instantly start to hurt with a sharp, burning pain. The pain is quickly replaced by a loud ringing that subsides gradually. The amount of energy that she is launching immediately cancels her forward momentum, keeping her completely still in midair.
 
The bright blue super laser vaporizes the canister and its contents. But it keeps going and burns a massive hole in the ground. It goes until it reaches the middle of the asthenosphere. The close to molten material that made contact with the attack heated up and became fully molten. A massive shockwave traveled from the attack, knocking everyone within 30 miles.  Marisa kept the attack going, not wanting to waste the energy she had stored. She was worried that leaving any of the power unused could cause problems down the road. 
 
As luck would have it, the retreating human forces had been retreating in that direction and had seen the whole thing. Many of the officers that had been pushing for a last stand quickly changed their position and magically decided that surrendering would be the best course of action. Even with general officers across the ocean ordering them to keep fighting, they stood firm with their new decision.
 
Finally using up the rest of that power, Marisa feels herself going weak. She tries to recall her broom, but can’t summon the energy that’s required. Then she realizes that she can’t keep herself up and starts to fall into the hole she had made. The heat from the Earth’s interior hits her in the face, forcing her to turn her head. The sheer heat makes it difficult for her to catch her breath. She starts to give up and begins to accept her fate when a shot of energy passes her.
 
The temperature in the hole instantly decreases, making it easier to breathe. Then she senses something dropping into the hole after her.
 
Patchouli had been the one that had casted a quick ice spell that saved Marisa from suffocation. Unable to catch up to Marisa in time, she had opted for the next best thing. Remiu had flown into the hole, not stopping to see if it was safe before the librarian had casted her spell. Increasing her speed, the miko grabs hold of Marisa and pulls up into a loop. The inertial forces Marisa’s stomach down hard on Remiu’s arm, almost forcing her to leave her lunch.
 
Back on the surface, Patchouli didn’t have to worry about being shot because Lunarian airborne forces had joined them. Quickly disarming the defeated forces, they prodded them away. Remiu zoomed out of the hole and landed right next to the other magician. Quickly setting Marisa down, she gives her a brief look over and embraces her. The witch is still too drained to raise her arms but rests her head on Reimu’s shoulder.
 
Diet Building, Tokyo, Japan
 
Yukari gave a sigh of relief as one of her eyes in the sky showed Marisa staggering back on her feet. Now that the incident was over, she had to turn her attention back to sealing the deal. The Americans would either try again or try to deflect responsibility, either decision had to backfire on them.
 
“All of you have seen what the Americans are capable of,” she said. “To launch another nuclear attack deep into your soil can be nothing but a declaration of war! Several of your forces were in range of that attack! Did the United States ever give you a warning about the attack? Did they ever ask you how you would feel about nuclear weapons being used against you?” She slammed her fist on the table for emphasis. “If it wasn’t for the actions of one of our best fighters, a large section of your land would be a glass field. Imagine if there innocent people downrange of that explosion!”
 
“American forces are surrendering in droves,” Eirin pointed at red squares that had white flags over them. “Such a sad sight for a military that called itself the best in the world. They came looking for a fight and now they’re running with their tails between their legs. They should start to get used to it.”
 
“The time for a decision has come,” Yukari stared the Emperor in the eyes. “The battle has been decided with no doubt on either side. You’ve seen how they operate. American imperialism has returned with a vengeance. You are at a crossroads right now. Will you submit to the American overlords, or will you take out offer of freedom and stand on your own two legs? Think of your people when you make this decision.”
 
Yukari’s speech was mostly a formality since the nuclear launch had completely destroyed any support for the United States that had existed. The Prime Minister, who had been the last bastion of dissent, nodded his agreement to the Emperor.
 
“Even though my mind tells me that I’m making the right decision, my heart still fells heavy,” the older man said.
 
“That’s completely understandable,” Kaguya replied. “A decision like this is never meant to be an easy one to make. The weight you feel on your heart is not your emotions, it’s the responsibility to your country.”
 
“Very well. Based on the advice from the Prime Minister and the two Speakers, we renounce our alliance with the United States and wish to enter an alliance with Gensokyo and the Lunar Kingdom.” Even though the Emperor only had ceremonial powers, his announcement was important since it was made with the advice and consent of the Diet. The fine details would be worked out later between representatives of all three governments.
 
“I can assure you that you made the right decision,” Yukari applauded. “But now, we have a pressing issue. There are two American bases on your territory and a group of American forces surrounding this building. As of right now, we don’t know how they’ll react when they learn of your switch. Our suggestion is to move quickly and disarm them before they can bring their heavy weapons to bear. In order for this to have the best outcome, it has to be a joint operation.”
 
“How do you suggest we proceed?”
 
“We can use the regiments that are guarding this building to force the nearby American forces to disarm while your police and military forces have them occupied.”
 
“By fighting them?”
 
“By having them in a standoff until the Lunarians come up behind them.”
 
“What about the bases?”
 
“We can capture them within the hour with your permission.”
 
“I’ll ask the Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister to help you,” The Emperor stood up. “My work here is done. I must return to my residence.”
 
Yukari nodded in acknowledgement. The monarch was escorted by his security detail out of the chambers and exited through a rear entrance. Once everyone had sat back down, the gap youkai opened another scroll that had just been handed to her.
 
“Lunarian regiments are already surrounding the building. If the police and JDF units train their weapons on the token American troops, we can sneak up behind and disarm them. The timing of this will be absolutely critical since we don’t want any needless casualties.”
 
“Very well.”
 
Outside the building, the gathered crowd was starting to buzz as speculation began to take hold. Then a radio message came over the police and JDF channels, making several of them frown. Several tense words were exchanged between officers but they had their orders.
 
Both police and JDF forces raised their weapons and trained them on the American forces. The American forces were so shocked that they wasted valuable seconds trying to figure out what happened. Just as planned, the Lunarian regiments flew out of the Diet building and cut off any escape for the Americans. Knowing that they were in a hopeless situation, they lowered their weapons. Lunarian personnel stepped forward, taking their weapons. Even the M1 Abrams were captured intact with no loss of life.
 
From inside the Diet chamber, Yukari and Eirin stood up. Without exchanging words, they left the chamber. Most of the Lunarian personnel followed them, save for the few that would hammer out the finer details of the agreement. Since word of Japan’s switch to the magic side would spread quickly, time was critical. Fort Buckner in Okinawa and Yakota Air Base right in town would be the ones that would have to be capture extremely quickly.
 
“Have two regiments go to Yakota Air Base, and three regiments to Okinawa,” Eirin spoke to an assistant. “Make it clear that they should avoid any bloodshed, but if they are fired upon, they are to follow the usual rules.” She turned her attention to Yukari. “I’m surprised that American planes weren’t flying over us.”
 
“From what my sources tell me, the commander of Pacific Command has just been sacked. Nobody knows why, so many of the other commands are erring on the side of caution. Which gives us the advantage.” Yukari cracked her neck. “As long as we capture those two bases, the battle will be won and final. Which reminds me, how did Sumireko do?”
 
“She did very well.” Eirin scratched her chin thoughtfully. “She’s extremely rough around the edges, short on discipline and critical think. But she has great potential. If I could get her for a month or two, she could easily be worth a regiment or two. And it would make the war end much faster.”
 
“What about Tenshi or Youmu?”
 
“They are much more polished then Sumireko, but could still use some work. Youmu may need some more time to get over what she saw the other day.”
 
“Would you be willing to take them under your wing?”
 
Eirin didn’t respond immediately. Absentmindedly, she tapped the pommel of her saber. “I could.”
 
“But would you?”
 
“If they agree to it. Yuyuko would also have to give me her blessing.”
 
“I’m sure that it won’t be a problem.”
 
“What about the fleet?”
 
“It’s almost ready for its baptism by fire. I’ve instructed your people to try to get them to allow our fleet to use Tokyo as a port. My gut is telling me that the American counterattack will come through that port.”
 
“Hmm. I’ll be sure to be here for that. Have the kappas finalized a design for the Viscount and Rejuvenator classes?”
 
“They finished them last night. Now they’re working on the Atago class with full concentration. Construction should begin in a few weeks once we get the shipyards up to task.”
 
“I wonder how long it would take the Americans to counter us.”
 
“It might take a while, but we’ll be ready. If we can get those aircraft carriers, we could turn the tide right at the start.”
 
Eirin’s attention was diverted by an assistant handing a scroll to her. “Causality list is starting to come in.”
 
“How bad?”
 
“Projections show that the fairies took the most damage out of any units on our side. Especially the group that Cirno was leading at the Misty Lake. Some of my people say that she’s quieter than usual.”
 
Yukari gritted her teeth at that. “That’s what I wanted to avoid. I don’t care that they respawn as soon as they die, I didn’t want them to get hurt like in the first place.”
 
“We’ve lost three regiments, which was somewhat expected after what happened with that cavalry unit.”
 
“And we lost the one person that could keep Tenshi under control.”
 
“Have you recovered the bullet that killed her?”
 
“We couldn’t find it.” Yukari shook her head. “A single bullet that can kill a youkai. We need to know what it is. We don’t need the Americans holding an advantage of that magnitude over us.”
 
“Perhaps there are some in the captured equipment.”
 
Noise from a jet engine flying above them interrupted their conversation. Looking out of the window next to them, the pair can see an F-22 fly over the area and disappear behind the skyscrapers.
 
“Looks like they were here for a look,” Yukari observed.
 
“That airfield should be getting some unexpected visitors right about now,” Eirin looked at one of her assistants for confirmation, which she got. “Good. We’ll be taking a short trip. Hopefully they have some good restaurants nearby.”
 
L3 Lagrangian point, Earth and Moon orbit
 
A lost and forgotten relic floating around in space, the Torifune Ruins represented a true midway point between the Earth and the Moon. By all appearances, the war that was heating up should never touch it. But appearances were incredibly deceiving. The animals that have been part of the original expedition had died off, but their descendants were still very much alive. Much inbreeding and mutation had taken place, creating entirely new species of animals found nowhere else in the solar system.
 
The sounds of soft footsteps was hidden by the sounds of the chimera all around. A tall blonde woman in a black dress and a red and yellow tabard with a phoenix crown moved her red eyes over what she saw. She kept her hands in her large sleeves in front of her. Keeping a slow pace, she moved with a natural yet precise walk. Her soft black shoes were perfectly clean, not even attracting any of the dirt on the ground.
 
A chimera poked his head out from behind a bush and began to sniff the air. When it sensed the woman, it scurried away while whimpering. Without even slowing down her walk, she used the tails of energy behind her to cut through the vegetation. Her eyes narrowed when she found just what she was looking for. It almost felt like it was being handed to her.
 
A computer console on standby glowed with a faint light. With a wave of her hand, it came back to life. For a second, she thought about disturbing the orbit and crashing the ruins into the moon. But she forced that thought out of her mind and waved her hand again. A projector in the console emits an image of a mountain. A section of it begins to flash quickly. She takes note of it and waves her hand to shut it off.
 
“It is in the mountain,” Junko spoke to herself. “My revenge on Chang’e may come earlier than I expected.”
 
“Then I’ve should have seen it,” Hecatia’s voice came from behind her. “Are you sure that this agreement is the best way?”
 
“I may have strong feelings of dislike and repulsion against that man, but he is the one that has inflicted damage on the Lunarians.”
 
“He doesn’t have his title for show.”
 
“He may be the god of disaster, but I doubt that betraying us would work out for him.”
 
“I’m just worried about you. I’ve never seen you like this before. It’s almost like…Revan. Right when he was turning down that path and everything went straight to hell.”
 
“I do not know who you speak of. But I can assure you that I am fully in control of this. Chang’e will be punished and I will finally avenge my son.”
 
“You could’ve waited until the end of the war, when both sides would be exhausted.”
 
“Is that outcome certain? I much rather make sure that things occur according to my design.”
 
“But is this really the best way?”
 
“Of course. All we have to do is prolong the war as long as possible so we can maximize damage. Perhaps I can cross paths with that shrine maiden and that magician that defeated me recently. I am sure that they would be happy to see me.”
 
Hecatia stayed quiet as she looked up at the stars. She thought about how she liked visiting the ruins since they were so quiet and peaceful, even with all the mix and max animals walking around.
 
“If it makes you feel better, take a look at this.” Junko hands her a small book.
 
Taking a look in the book, Hecatia smiles slightly. “I’m sorry I doubted you.”
 
“I did my best to keep it from you, so do not feel as bad.” Junko smiled. “If it is one thing I learned, it is to always have a fall back option even if you are sure of success.”
 
“So if he betrays you, you can seal him.”
 
“That is the plan. But I still require a few more pieces.”
 
“Just for my curiosity, what if the Lunarians have some of the pieces we need?”
 
“I may end up leaving it to you then.”
 
“Never change.” The Goddess of Hell laughed. “But that still leaves one question. About who was the one that released him in the first place and how.”
 
“The records are too damaged for me to find out.” Junko shook her head. “If they were still around, it would be much easier to find all that we need.”
 
“Too bad things don’t work out like that.” Hecatia paused. “I forgot to tell you, but Clownpiece found that sword that you were looking for.”
 
“Where is it?”
 
“She left it in your library. I made sure that she didn’t make a mess while she was in there.”
 
“I have some candy on my desk. She can have a few as long as she does not spoil her appetite.”
 
The pair laughs as they turn their back on the computer and walk away. The console dimmed, resigning itself to another few years of nothing to do but float through space. Unbeknownst to the pair, there was a figure watching them. It flickered as it stood and waited.
 
“Personality check failed. Falsified map and data projected. Returning to hibernation. Hibernation canceled. Windows update installing. Please do not power off or unplug your machine. Installing update 5 of 37.” Even the most advanced computers and technology were no match for system updates at inopportune times.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #71 on: May 07, 2016, 03:44:13 am »
 The Savory Hotel, London, United Kingdom
 
Maribel had to stop herself from staring at all the luxury around her. The Beaufort Bar was in a buzz, with the piano and lounge singer creating a graceful tune. The black walls were tastefully accented by gold trim, an extremely elegant choice of décor. Renko had a glass of Louis Roederer Brut, sipping from it occasionally. The psychologist had a small glass of Havana 7, 40%, but was more interested in swirling the liquid than drinking it.
 
The pair had a little bit of time before the gathering was to begin. Around the room, members of various militaries were already in groups discussing random subjects. With the weapons expo still in full swing, there were a large amount of dress uniforms walking around. Maribel’s phone began to vibrate with a message from Yukari. It was a long one, split up into multiple boxes. She had given then the condensed version, which was something the pair was grateful for.
 
“So the battle’s over,” the blonde muttered.
 
“The Americans are not happy about this,” Renko said. “The government is trying to keep it under wraps but it’s being leaked by someone in the State Department. And some people are already buying up ammo in case of government going too far. It might become a warzone over there.”
 
“Yukari said she’s worried about a counterattack by the American Navy in Tokyo Harbor.” Maribel nursed her drink. “At least they got Japan to pull out of the war. The American bases went silent a few hours ago, and a lot of people have already noticed. Word is spreading that we are the best shot at challenging American global power.”
 
“At least the violence hasn’t reached here yet.” Renko looked over her shoulder. “The whole world is falling to pieces. I always thought something like this happened in books and movies. ”
 
Behind them at a table nearby, members of the Russian Army were speaking with a representative from the Constellis Group. Several representatives from South Korea were also speaking to a group from Lockheed Martin about quickly acquiring a few aircraft. There was a lot of winking and nudging going around, which was business as usual if the US Congress hadn’t approved of the deal beforehand.
 
“How much longer do we have left?” Maribel looked at her cell phone.
 
“About ten minutes, we should probably go ahead and start moving over there.” Renko downs the rest of her drink. Maribel stood up and left a few Pounds next to her drink. She steps off only to have a clerk from the front desk stop her with an envelope. She takes it with a sense of caution, at least until she sees the sender. She rips open the envelope and reads the first page. She hands it to Renko as she turns her attention to fishing out the event invitations from her purse.
 
The pair approached the door to the Lancaster Ballroom and handed the tickets to the staff member at the door. They were waved through and gazed in wonder at the room. Tables with snacks and drinks were arranged around the room, with a small group providing light music. Servers were weaving in and out of the groups, with high end drinks and snacks on their plates. A server walks up to the pair and offers them drinks, which they both accept with a nod.
 
“I hope you’re not getting too drunk,” Mamizou popped up next to them.
 
“A little drink here and there can’t be that bad,” Renko replied.
 
“True, but if you’re going to be talking to the executives of DSEI, you might what to be at your best.”
 
Maribel sipped her drink to the side, smiling as Renko was shrugging. The lights then dimmed and everyone turned their attention to the stage. A spokesperson from Clarion Events took the stage.
 
“I want to thank everyone for attending this reception. We at Clarion Events are always striving to spread the word about our events and ventures, so we hope that you can help us in that regard. So far, the expo has been a resounding success, in no small part to the cutting edge technology being showcased. We take pride in being the first to be able to show these technologies to the world. Our company is dedicated to the advancement of world peace, which is possible with the right weapons in the right hands. We also believe in the policy of inclusiveness. Any company that has the potential to change the defense industry is never turned away, no matter how small or new they are. This applies to any state that wishes to see and ask about the advancements here.” The crowd applauded at the declaration. “With that being said, we from DSEI would like to welcome the delegation from the new state of Gensokyo!”
 
Maribel and Renko had to catch themselves before they dropped the glasses in their hands. Polite applause rang out as many in the crowd tried to hide the fact that they were trying to find the delegation in question. The letter that they had read earlier had told them that Yukari had arranged a meeting with the executives, but they never expected to be called out like this. They both had a feeling that the gap youkai was watching them and laughing at their reactions.
 
“As some of you may just be hearing, the outcome of the battle in Northern Japan between NATO and Gensokyo is becoming clear. According to several of our sources, NATO forces have been forced out of the country with Japan withdrawing from the war. This is the first time in modern history that American led forces have been so thoroughly defeated in conventional combat. As a professional analysis, we can see a longer war due to this development. It would be in the best interests of many around the world to take note and prepare accordingly. Everyone here is familiar with the role that American power projection has on stabilization and the recent conflicts that have just broken out due to this perceived weakness. We have seen reports of strange new technologies used by the Gensokyo and Lunarian forces, which we hope to prompt research with.  But we would rather allow all of you to come to your own conclusions. And we just want to throw out a small reminder that this is an open event, so hostilities will not be tolerated. So with that said, enjoy the reception.”
 
The lights came on again, with many in the crowd breaking off into small groups. A careful look would show that the groups could be explained by current alliances and agreements on a global scale. Mamizou walked away to speak with a few others while Maribel and Renko slowly made their way across the floor.
 
“So, this is the delegation from Gensokyo that I was told about,” said an older man in a double breasted, dark blue suit. “I was told to expect you by Lady Yakumo. She said you had a profitable deal to make with me.”
 
“You’re the one that we’re supposed to talk to?” Renko asked.
 
“If you want to have vendors at the next event.” The man downed his drink in one gulp. “I’m already putting my neck, and my company, out by letting you two wonder around like this. The neutral ground tradition can only protect us from certain parties. As we all know, global politics can be a cutthroat game where the rules are loose and fast. The Americans are some of my biggest customers and once they know you’re here, things might get ugly. Both of you should know how they operate by now.”
 
“We can make it worth your while,” Maribel pulled out a spell card and held it in her palm. A 3D image of a triangular ship floated above her hand. “The Lunarians have developed a new type of ship that can revolutionize war.”
 
“Looks like a madman’s dream. Or something a teenager made by picking up CAD software and a 3D printer.”
 
“Our engineers are sure that it’s possible, but they can’t make all of the parts by themselves. But it has the ability to work.” Renko cut in. “Think of all the money that can be made if your next event has the proof of concept as a keystone event.”
 
“That’s assuming that it’ll work.” He scoffed.
 
“The other weapons and equipment we can showcase can cover for that if it doesn’t,” Renko countered. “We also have some surprises that can bring in contracts and money. You could be the next Alfred Nobel.”
 
“I like your idealism, but in the world of business, we need numbers. I can’t eat or sell empty promises.”
 
“It’s hard to put a number on something like this,” Renko said slowly. “It’s not every day that a groundbreaking technology is unveiled.”
 
“Then tell me how this new ship is groundbreaking.”
 
Maribel brought the model to eye level. “The Royal Assault Ship is the first ship that’s designed to overcome geography. A combination of Lunarian and Gensokyo magic, it can fly at any altitude and can be armed with the heaviest weapons available. It can hold up to a regiment once it reaches its full size. Defense is handled by a shield that puts the experimental one by Boeing to shame. Using the same principles as our flight capable infantry, it has basically unlimited range.”
 
The executive was silent as he eyeballed the design. Then he reared his head back and laughed extremely loud, making several of the closer groups turn around. “I love it! You kids have big dreams, just like Gates and Jobs did in their day. I’m interested enough to want in. Tell Lady Yakumo that her manufacturers will have a good word from me when I talk to the Sheikh for IDEX and we’ll discuss terms at a later date. I’ll be watching from the front row when the time comes.”  With a nod, he walks away.
 
A man with the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy bumps into Maribel from behind, causing her to spill a little of her drink. He immediately stops and pulls out a handkerchief to offer to her.
 
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.” He motions to the nearest server. “Let me get you another drink.”
 
“No, it’s fine,” Maribel looks herself over. “None of it got on me.”
 
“Commander Ian Fleming, Her Majesty’s Naval Service,” he held out his hand.
 
The psychologist decided that she might as well come clean. “Maribel Hearn, representative from Gensokyo.”
 
The nearest groups instantly quieted down and turned to look at her. Several of them had to move their heads to the side in order to get a good look, almost like seagulls.
 
“You are aware that we’re technically at war at each other?” The British man carefully said.
 
“The expo is considered neutral ground,” she replied.
 
“True enough,” the Commander shrugged. “As a professional, I can’t let little things like that get in the way. After all, they did allow China and Russia to attend, even after all they did. But I’m too tired to do anything about it. As long as we don’t get into any shootouts, everything should be fine.”
 
“Then can I ask a favor,” She pulls out a letter from her purse. “I was given this letter to deliver to Parliament, but I think that it would be better if you did it for me.”
 
“I suppose I could, but it would require me to explain how I got.” He shrugged. “I’ll figure something out. If you excuse me, I have other affairs to take care of.”
 
Watching him disappear into the crowd, Maribel felt that she made the right choice.
 
“Are you sure that this’ll work out right?” Renko asked her.
 
“I’m playing this by ear, but it still feels right.” Maribel fell silent for a bit. “Even though we probably made ourselves targets for as long as we’re here.”
 
“They already knew we were here, so it really didn’t matter in the end.”
 
“But since we’re on neutral ground at the expo and the hotel, we’re better off.”
 
“At least from overt action, but if an accident happens…” Renko trailed off.
 
“If something does happen, Yukari would take it personally. She doesn’t seem the type to let things like that slide.”
 
“That reminds me of how the Mafia got into power.”
 
Maribel rolled her eyes with a laugh. “Don’t tell me you’re bringing up The Godfather now.”
 
“It’s one of the best movies ever made! I don’t see why you don’t like it.”
 
“It’s just not my taste.”
 
Renko shrugged. “I guess it is what it is. So what now?”
 
“Well, we finished what we came here for. Maybe head back to the room and pick up tomorrow?”
 
“That sounds good. I never really liked social gatherings.”
 
The pair retreated to their shared room and ordered Pizza Margherita for room service. Since the Savory didn’t stock Sprite, they had to talk the front desk into getting a pack and sending it up. Normally, they wouldn’t have been able to afford all of this, but Yukari had given them a Dubai First Royale MasterCard. She had told them to not worry about overspending since she promised them that she had stores of funds that would never run out.
 
This was in addition to a good sized salary that Yukari had insisted on giving both of them. She had justified it by saying that they now worked for the new government of Gensokyo and that they would be well taken care of. In a way, they were part of the founding group of the Stratocratic Union of Gensokyo. It still hadn’t hit Maribel yet, but the Gensokyo that she had known and loved had come out of hiding and had changed to survive.
 
The television was set to the international news channels, trying to get some grasp on how the international community was taking things. Eastern Europe was trying to limit the Russian advance to Ukraine, willing to let the country fall as long as they were left alone. Israel had stopped surrounding advances and were now taking land in every direction. International condemnation was slow since the rest of the world had their own problems. Iran had already lost half of its territory to the American carrier group that had launched the first strike. On the northern part of the country, the Kurds had already beaten back an advance by the Revolutionary Guards.
 
Maribel’s phone went off again, surprising the pair. Yukari had sent them an update on the situation with Japan and an opportunity. The gap youkai had pulled some strings with the Lunarians to help her out and would be giving her more details once they were finalized. Stretching, the college student flops back on the couch and starts to fight off the drowsy monster. Eventually, she gives up and makes her way to her bed. As soon as her head hits the pillow, she’s out.
 
McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois, United States
 
A last minute change in the keynote speaker at the Pittsburgh Conference and Exposition triggered a massive interest in the lecture that was scheduled to begin shortly. The Arie Crown theater was packed to the gills and even more people were outside, glued to all the TVs in the building. Rumors were flying around, with stories of all stripes being flung around. Some said the cure for cancer was about to announced, others say that the original speaker had his accreditation challenged, a few were saying that a coup was taking place in the organization.
 
News of the change spread even faster when it reached the internet. International interest peaked up, with scientists from all over the world tuning into the live stream. The IT department had to scramble setting up another server for all of the interested parties.
 
The crowd in the theater was mostly silent, looking over programs for any clues about the replacement speaker. Patchouli walked out on the stage with a book under her arm, causing a wave of whispers to erupt. Many were questioning her choice of attire, since she had come to a professional event wearing pajamas. She reaches the podium and adjusts the small reading glasses she’s wearing. Then she adjusts the microphone in front of her and taps it to make sure it’s on.
 
“I am Patchouli Knowledge, Chief of Development of the Gensokyo Defense Force.” She paused, expecting a reaction that never came. “I’ve been asked to come speak here on a subject that I’ve devoted most of my life to understanding and utilizing. Some of you may call it the outdated science of alchemy, others may say that it’s the stuff of fairy tales. But I bring proof of it here today.”
 
A table had been set up next to her with various metals, rocks and liquids. “To set the record straight, I am not an illusionist. I have written many books that detail the system that we magicians use in the pursuit of our knowledge. We magicians uses a system just like the scientific method, with heavy record keeping. Before I continue, I feel that I must make my views on the relationship between magic and science clear.” She adjusts her glasses yet again.
 
“The essence of magic is to determine the root cause of all things. There’s no distinction between science and magic.” Patchouli laid down her book. “The earliest forms of natural study were based on magic.” She leaves the podium and picks up a bar of lead on the table that was set up next to her. “This is a bar of lead, I would pass it around but that would take too much time. For the ancient alchemists, the magnum opus of their research was to convert this into gold. What many history books don’t tell is that it was an easy transmutation, once you had enough skill.”
 
The block glows with a bright light and then turns into gold. “Once the process is over, you have a genuine piece of gold. 24 karats of gold in my hand, ready to be introduced into the market or used as a resource. Take this bar anywhere in the world, and it would stand up to any of the legal requirements for being considered gold.”
 
As proof of the reaction, she takes a pipet of nitric acid and places a few drops on the bar. It doesn’t react at all, and to further prove her point, she drops it into the bucket of water next to her. It sinks to the bottom, leaving no doubt. Bubbles rose to the top, disturbing the surface of the water.
 
“With such a foolproof method of creating virtually unlimited amounts of gold, why not use it to make themselves rich and powerful? It would be the most sensible thing to do if you wanted to increase your status. Or to make all of their wishes come true.”
 
Patchouli returns to stand behind the podium. “As we all know, the reason gold is so valuable is because it’s so rare. A sudden influx of gold into any economy would cause its value to plummet. Since gold was the primary form of currency for many governments in earlier times, it would have devastated them the most. As a result, many of those in power sought to keep that knowledge hidden. It was also feared that with such wealth, an alchemist could potentially challenge an established monarch. So it was also based on political power. And we all know how political power can be an obstacle.”
 
Another wave of her hand returns the metal to its original composition. A murmur comes from the crowd when they see this. Flashes from the cameras scattered around the room lit up the table that she put the block back on. That drove the point home that everything she was doing now would be broadcast for the entire world to see, so she had to make sure she did everything right.
 
“Many of the alchemists that had the chance to write down their findings were under the employ of the various monarchs. They were sworn to secrecy on the penalty of death. I must stop myself now, since I’m here to speak about the physical laws behind this. Should anyone wish to hear more about this history, I will be happy to speak about it after the presentation.”
 
She turns her palm up and creates a small flame that dances above it. “Once of the most important facts about magic is that it cannot break the laws of nature. It can bend them to the point of almost breaking, but no farther. This should be no surprise since magic is part of nature. The overall power source for our magic is the natural energy around us. This energy binds us and goes through all of us. As long as someone is born with a spark of potential, they can learn how to harness this power. I personally know a magician that was born with a faint sliver and dragged herself up to be the second most powerful magic user I’ve ever known. Her only flaw would be that whenever she sees something that she likes, it ends up coming home with her.”
 
The room kept quiet as she began to pace. “Magic may be concentrated in Gensokyo, but it is far from disappeared in the outside world. From my understanding, the main reason that Gensokyo was founded was that faith in youkai was dropping to a dangerous low. In order to counter that, it was required to create a land that time forgot. In this land, magic is extremely strong, since it is more abundant. With the recent failure of the barrier, that magic is leaking into the rest of the world at an accelerated pace.  I would go as far to say that all of you have had some experience with magic on this side. This experience is called religion. Every religious system known to humankind is in some form developed from magic.”
 
Patchouli was forced to pause as murmurs threated to overpower her speech. “If you take your personal biases out of the equation and look at it as an uninvolved observer, you’ll find that I’m right. The stories behind many of the world’s religions have supernatural aspects, which some would call magic. The stories of calling down fire from the skies, of humans taking flight, of controlling water, they are all possible. Magic gives us the ability to influence and change the world around us. In this way, we can reconcile the differences between science and religion. This can end one of the biggest feuds in history and unite two separate bodies that have always been the same side of the coin.”
 
It was good that her words caused many in the audience to burst out in disbelief since she needed to drink some water at that very moment. She hadn’t had to talk so much in such a long time that she needed to get used to it again. If what Yukari had told her was right, she would have to get used it fast.
 
“The Spear of Longinus that was said to piece Jesus as he hung from the cross can be replicated by a spell. This spell can also implant the attributes into the replication. The Philosopher’s stone that can bring riches to any that possess it can be summoned by my hand. The golems that were said to guard the Temple of Solomon can be created and controlled by anyone that can use magic with attributes of the Earth. It’s true. All of it.”
 
To demonstrate her point, she raises her hand above her head. A silver lance began to build itself as it lightly floated into her hand. “One more point about using the religious side of magic is that it’s based on symbolism on a mental level. A much more disciplined user can use spells of this type without the aid of symbols, but we prefer to use the less troublesome method. In this case, a broom or a map can be used to focus the energy of the spell and take the needed attributes.”
 
She snaps her fingers and the spear disappears. “In a way, a magician is equal parts chemist, physicist, historian, and theologian. Some magicians that specialize in other fields can embody other conventional disciplines. Even with the more knowledge they have, we magicians still cannot be experts in every single subject we study. My field of study is elemental magic, which is a subset of physical science. Using the knowledge that I have accumulated over the decades of my studies, I have found many ways to control the environment around myself. Others have specialized in heat and light magic, and are on the verge of discovering a sustainable energy source.”
 
The screen behind her turned on as she tapped on the podium. A picture showing a danmaku battle between Tenshi and Marisa was the focus. “Everyone that can use magic in Gensokyo is specialized in one certain area, based on their abilities. This doesn’t mean that they can’t dab in other kinds of magic, but they won’t be as good as someone that’s naturally inclined or brought up in that field. It should only be considered natural. After all, would a doctor that specializes in sports medicine be the best choice for internal medicine?”
 
Raising her hand yet again, she creates a mass that looks just like a galaxy. “There are some among us that can bend the laws of reality. I know someone that can create wormholes in any location, another one can create a loop that isolates the Earth from the rest of the universal. You may ask why I bring those two examples up. The first one is to show the limitations of physics as understood by the international community. It is a widely held belief that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. There has been a fair amount of research into wormholes, but little progress. If she were willing to provide scientific data, I would bet that the field of physics would be advanced by at least thirty years. The second example happened in practice a few years ago. During an internal incident in Gensokyo, it was imperative that the Earth be removed from the universe for a short time. The details of the incident are still under review by many, so that is all that I can say for now.”
 
Closing her hand, Patchouli dispersed the tiny universe. “But the spell that was used, I can discuss that at length easily. The spell’s purpose was to introduce a loop that would isolate the Earth from reality, for a short time. In order to buy time to find the caster, four teams of two each were sent. As a precaution, a spell that would extend the night was cast. But this spell was casted by someone with only a hastily familiarization of that type of magic. It came as no surprise to anyone when it was ripped apart with just a wave from the mastermind of the incident.”
 
Flipping the pages of her book until she reaches a certain passage, she pauses her speech. She sighs, since it was dealing with an area that she was weak in. “This mastermind is also a medical expert that has devised numerous cures and treatments. Medical affairs are completely out of my expertise, which I hate to admit. In my short time experimenting in medical spells, I ended up burning my lab down multiple times.”
 
Patchouli pinches the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes as she fights back bad memories. “As a result of my failures in mastering medical magic, I lost a number of friends and couldn’t help others. It was a needed lesson, one that taught me that pride was something that I could not afford. In our line of work, pride can blind us to answers that could solve the biggest problems that we face. I have seen it lead to foolish experiments that have cost researchers their lives.”
 
To emphasize her point, she creates a mini Royal Flare in her palm again. “Just like this flame that dances around in my hand, magic is a living thing that can bare its fangs at any moment. It can provide warmth, or it can burn those that get too close. It is this warning that I give all of you. Now that magic will be recognized by the outside world, it can be turned into something that can bring more devastation than nuclear weapons. In order to counter this, we as the researchers that at the forefront of discovery must take care that we do not lead to more destruction. We are at the same crossroads that the researchers faced when the atomic bomb was developed to end the Second World War. They made the best decision that they could have at the time, but it still wasn’t enough. The world cannot afford another Cold War with the threat of global destruction. There are too many unstable elements in the world for a balance of power. That’s all I will say about politics that will affect our area of science.”
 
She closes the book that she’s holding. “I hope that my presentation wasn’t too confusing. I understand that this may require some time to sink in. All of you will receive the chance to study and experiment with magic for yourself. I would ask that you think long and hard about what you will do about it. I will hope that all of you resist the lure of power that comes with a groundbreaking discovery. This is the underlying cause of the rapid descent into destruction that comes with new technology.”
 
With that, she nods in closing. “Now that I have said what I wanted to, we have time for questions.”
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #72 on: June 11, 2016, 03:16:18 am »
 Royal Training Facility, Dark Side of the Moon
 
On a platform high above a chasm, Sumireko twirled her saber as she waited for a signal. She looks up at the control room, meeting Eirin’s gaze. Tenshi and Youmu were watching from the side, they had already gone and were waiting for the end. In a case next to her, a scoped Mosin Nagant, a Vepr chambered in 7.62x54r, an AR-15, and two Walther P-38s watched her.
 
The purpose of the exercise was to see where she stood before Eirin took her under her wing. All the girl had to do was take down as many of the familiars as she could, while her flight ability was suppressed. She shook her legs out, getting herself ready.
 
A buzzer goes off, with familiars dropping on the platform. Sumireko spins her sword as she turns to face them. As they step forward, the girl changes her mind and rips the Vepr out of the case. She rocks the twenty round magazine into the well and pulls the bolt back. With a soft, but firm telekinetic grip on the red dot sight’s power knob, she sets it to an automatic brightness setting.
 
The twenty three inch long barrel with a Panzer style muzzle break gave her the best combination of power and accuracy. But all that she was worried about at the moment was the power. She pulls the trigger and sees the muzzle blast directed to the top and sides. Her left ear starts to hurt something fierce and then a ringing replaces the pain. She knew the round that she had just fired was big, but she never expected it to be this bad. The round that she had fired hit one of the familiars in the chest and dropped him.
 
Quickly putting in ear plugs, she brings the rifle back up and fires again. The next familiar she drops gets knocked off of the platform by the soft point round that hits him. Each familiar that she takes out is replaced by two, stocking the odds against her. With an increasing number of enemies in front of her, she’s forced to start stepping back.
 
She pulls the trigger again, only to get a click from the rifle. Her hand slaps against her belt, only to find that she didn’t have any ammo pouches on. Now, the twelve pound rifle was nothing more than a heavy stick. The thought of using the rifle as a club crossed her mind, but she rejected it out of hand. Slinging the rifle, she pulls her saber out again. With a leap forward, she skewers the closest familiar and slams it into the ground.
 
Sumireko moves to the side, dodging a stomp. Since her saber was still stuck in the ground, she raises her hand towards the gun case. The two Walther P-38s, along with the gun belt, flew into her hand. She twirls the handguns, telekinetic loading them before they get done spinning. She disregards what she sees, relying on her gut to guide her hands.
 
Each pistol held eight shots each, for a total of sixteen before she had to reload. Both pistols had walnut grips, the right had a clear coat while the other had a natural feel. That way, she would know which one was which with only a touch. She fires a few shots, grateful for her hat to keep the shell cases from hitting her in the face. The Walther had the somewhat unique attribute of ejecting the cast to the left. This means that if she held the right one like normal, the shells would hit her in the forehead or her eyes.
 
Emptying her pistols into the familiars, she uses a repulse to buy herself more time. She spins them and reloads, getting them ready for a second volley. Concentrating on the one in her right hand, she holds her ground as she drops eight more familiars. Before she can bring the left pistol up, she gets jumped on. The wire frame tries to punch her in the face, only for her to duck and land an elbow into its throat. A hasty repulse knocks many of the closer ones off of the platform.
 
Sticking the right P-38 into its hostler, Sumireko draws her saber and throws it. It spins, opening a path for her to get away from the edge. Taking her chance, she positions herself to get the most amount of kills when the saber returns to her hand. With only one familiar blocking the path to the gun case, she launches a spinning kick that sends the wire frame male figure into the air.
 
Sumireko grabs the Mosin Nagant, noticing the stamp of “1942” on the receiver. She leans forward with her feet apart and her knees bent. The first shot, surprising her with the noise and recoil, creates a dust cloud. The girl cycles the bolt, loading another round. The 203 grain soft point rounds were propelled through the barrel, making the rifle kick back hard against her shoulder. The steel plate on the buttstock didn’t help either.
 
With such a large muzzle blast, she was able to use it to disorientate the closest enemies. Each shot had the additional property of penetrating up to three familiars and to mess up five more. The extended magazine ran out, so she spun the rifle and grabbed it right behind the front sight post. Ignoring the heated barrel, she starts to spin. The heavy wooden stock worked wonders in clearing the space around her. As time went on, the familiars began to grow bolder with more of them jumping towards her. She wished that she had a bayonet, but the muzzle brake prevented the original bayonet from fitting the front sight post.
 
Dropping the Mosin carefully to avoid knocking the scope out of alignment, she grabs the AR-15. The thirty round magazine was filled with alternating soft point and open tip match rounds. She empties the weapon and drops it. The girl then charges up a punishing barrage of lighting that envelopes the platform. More familiars rise up, making Sumireko frown.
 
Back to her dual blades, she quickly finds herself surrounded. The girl launches an upward strike the throws her target into the air. Then she charges the body with lightning and slammed it into the floor. She double jumps over the rest of the crowd, landing with a downward strike. She starts an elegant dance, with long and sweeping movements that create a bubble around her.
 
A push here and there creates even more chaos as bodies fly in every direction. Just as she’s about to create a quake, she doubles over. Her hands fly to the sides of her head and she was frozen in place for a few seconds. Images began to flood her mind, making a cold sweat pour out. The image of a war torn city with a dark figure in the sky, a skyscraper being hurled at her, staring death itself in the eye, all of these images hit her. An icy grip took hold of her heart, she could swear that it slowed down a little. An intense wave of hopelessness washed over her, nothing like she had ever felt before.
 
The image of the dark figure in the sky made Sumireko’s perception of time screech to a halt. It seemed to cast everything in black and white, with the notable exception of white and blue flames dancing around it. In her gut, she knew that nothing she could harness would be able to make a dent or even a scratch in it. Her eyes go wide and she begins to shake uncontrollably as she understands. A name in a foreign language she didn’t recognize, which sounded somewhat like a harsher version of English, repeated itself.
 
Sumireko breaks from the paralysis by using a repulse that causes some of the consoles in the control room spark. She uses her sleeves to wipe the cold sweat off of her face along with the tears that she hadn’t notice until just now. The moon rabbits tending to them changed the settings to bring them back under control, avoiding overloads.
 
“Start the earthquake module,” Eirin ordered. Yukari had warned her about his, so it wasn’t that much of a surprise. At least she would be able to get a better overall picture with this. The colonel tapped her temple, giving the medical officer an unspoken order. The Lunarian doctor nods and throws on her lab coat as she leaves the room.
 
Before Sumireko could recover, the platform began to shake. The familiars didn’t slow down, so she had to flail for a little bit. She’s on all fours when she realizes the pattern behind the shaking. The girl pushes herself to her feet and then begins to bend to knees and adjust her center of gravity. By following the pattern of the shaking she was able to stay upright.
 
But this came to a cost to her. With the every changing center of gravity, she wasn’t able to put as much force behind her blows. She punches the ground, sending the nearest familiars into the air. Then she throws lightning all around her. The images come back to her gain, making her angry. Her hands start to shake, and then flames are created by her blades.
 
She swings the sword, throwing flames everywhere. The familiars that get hit are burnt to ashes, and the heat counters the chill around her. Eirin frowns as she watches the flames get bigger and bigger. Sumireko stabs the floor with her blades and resorts to hand to hand attacks. The flames get lighter and lighter as she builds up more anger, increasing the heat.
 
A tornado kick creates a whirlwind of fire, creating an updraft that almost took her hat with her. She grabs her hat and stomps the ground. The impact from that stomp interfered with the module and forced it to restart. The platform began still, letting the girl focus more power on her blows. One unlucky familiar decided to charge her head on, only to be stopped by a punch. As it becomes stunned, she lands more hits on it before knocking it away.
 
With a roar, she creates a flame that begins to orbit her. She grabs the tail of the flame and brings it down in the middle of a group. Using the flame as a whip, she goes for low strikes. After slamming the flame too hard into the floor, it disappears in sparks. She unleashes a quick series of pushes that send familiars over the edge.
 
Blue flames with cores of white engulfed her hands, but didn’t burn her at all. She’s about to rear back for another punch when a siren goes off. The noise breaks her anger and she shakes her head to clear it. A walkway extends from the wall and connects to the platform. With a wave of her now shaky hand, the weapons that she had used flew back into their cases.
 
The board above the door flashed a number: 258. That was how many familiars she had taken down. She nods in accomplishment and looks at the window that Youmu and Tenshi were supposed to be looking out of. The pair were nowhere to be seen, which caused Sumireko to be confused. She kept walking, forcing her unsteady legs to keep moving. A few minutes later, she’s at her destination. Stopping before the door, she takes a few deep breaths and shakes her head to steady and calm herself down. The analysis room was full of holograms from the test, along with the data readouts.
 
Eirin was looking over a scroll and rubbing her chin in thought. As soon as Sumireko seats down at the table with Tenshi and Youmu, the Lunarian doctor pops into the room. The younger Lunarian swipes Sumireko’s hat off of her head, making it land perfectly in front of the twin tailed girl on the table. Then the newcomer drops what looks like a pasta strainer on the hatless head and hands Eirin a scroll.
 
“Yukari told me about something like this happening.” Eirin’s frown becomes deeper when she sees the readouts. “Something happened to you during that test, something big. Your vital signs still haven’t recovered from that. At the rate your heart is going, you should be having a heart attack right now. The scanner is picking up extremely high levels of norepinephrine, the chemical responsible for fear memory formation. What did you see?”
 
Sumireko shuffled uncomfortably in her chair. She had been doing her damnest to hide the fact she wanted to crawl into a corner and cry her eyes out. Eirin places the scroll on the desk and crouches down to Sumireko’s eye level. With a hand gesture, she orders Tenshi and Youmu to leave them. The junior doctor grabs the scroll and opens it to take a look for herself.
 
“Colonel,” the junior quietly interjects. “If she could imagine it again, we could capture the image in this scroll.”
 
“Are you up to it?” Eirin asks Sumireko. With a small, almost imperceptible nod, she agrees. Steeling herself, she brings up the image of the dark figure in the sky. As soon as the image become clear on the scroll, the doctor taps the paper. Eirin takes the scanner off of Sumireko’s head and pats her. “That’s good. Take a few minutes to calm down.”
 
Eirin stands back up and walks behind the table with her assistant. The senior frowns and tilts her head as she tries to make sense of what she’s looking at. She regretted not making her wear the scanner during the test, but realized that all the lightning would have fried it. Reisen Udongein Inaba was already having a fun time replacing and zeroing the red dot scopes that were fried from the test. Eirin could almost hear the moon rabbit’s growls of frustration all the way from the armory. Earth made parts were hard to get on the moon, especially on the presently limited budget.
 
“Colonel, take a look at the readouts from when I took the image,” the junior doctor with her hair in a tight bun pointed at the side of the scroll. “Even imaging it caused her to break out in a cold sweat.”
 
“I can’t tell what this is,” Eirin experienced a rare moment of frustration. “It almost looks like a surreal painting.”
 
“You mean that crazy art style from the Earth?”
 
“Yes.” Eirin narrowed her eyes. “But what is this figure? But with the paintings that I’ve seen, it was easy to see what it was.”
 
“I’m more concerned with why it’s black and white.”
 
Taking a magnifying glass from her pocket, Eirin looks for every single detail that could help.  She focuses on the dark figure, tracing over every line. “For now, keep this between the three of us. I’ve got the feeling that we’re seeing something that we not supposed to.”
 
March 5, 1770, Boston, Massachusetts, British America
 
The lone sentry in front of the State House was hating life at the moment. A large crowd had gathered, intent on making his life miserable. All of this started when he had tried to get colonist to respect an officer. Then the butt of his musket had accidently found the side of that colonist’s head. A runner had been sent to the barracks to hopefully return with help. So, the sentry was just trying to hold out for now. Each second that passed made the situation look even more hopeless as the crowd began to grow.
 
Maribel was on the balcony, watching the crowd throw random items towards the building. A string of red moving towards the building catch the psychologist’s eye. A colonist moved to try to block them off, only to get a musket strike to the face and a few hits when he lands. Looking at the bright side, at least they didn’t go straight for the bayonet. Then the crowd would have really exploded.
 
A portly man runs next to one of the British soldiers, trying to ease tensions. The pair exchange words, but fail to defuse the situation. The portly man stops, trying to figure out the next course of action. Then he runs to a nearby bookstore and quickly locks up it. Even if a revolution started here, he wasn’t going to lose any books to looters.
 
A man wearing the insignia of a captain drew his saber and used it to force the mob away from the lone sentry. The look of relief on his face was a clear contrast to the current situation. The reinforcements numbered eight total and made a semicircle. The crowd presses against the soldiers, taunting and throwing things at them. Many of the Redcoats were fighting the urge to shoot.
 
Movement in the corner of Maribel’s eye diverts her attention to the building next to her. On the roof, Yukari was sitting there watching everything unfold. The gap youkai decided to partake in the tension by flicking a rock that hit one of the Redcoats in the arm. Before he could react, an angry colonist tries to grab the musket and take it from him.
 
A strike from a nearby soldier makes the colonist let go and sends him falling backward. Before he can hit the ground, the nearest members of the mob catch him and pull him back. The noise became louder and louder as word spread and the mob grew in size. Maribel looks up and sees that Yukari had disappeared. A shadow in the window next to her makes her turn.
 
The gap youkai had seven rifled muskets arranged in a half circle around her. She was waiting for the perfect moment to fire. The crowd began to push forward against the British troops, wanting a fight. Maribel jumps when a shoe hits the wall next to her. One of the Redcoats flinches from a brick that flies by him. He raises his rifle but hesitates to fire.
 
Another figure appears on the roof across the square. Maribel could only see that it held a musket, since it was wearing a cloak with the hood up. Yukari frowned when she saw it and redirected her muskets. Seeing this movement, the figure ducks down and disappears. With a spin, Yukari disappears into a gap along with her muskets.
 
Maribel felt that she needed a better view, so she ran towards the clock toward. She keeps running up the spiral staircase, with the crowd’s roar echoing around her. She reaches one of the windows and pokes her head out of it. Yukari and the cloaked figure were on the same roof circling each other with muskets at the ready. At a glance, it would seem that Yukari had the advantage, with multiple muskets floating around her, but the dark figure had a shotgun that evened the odds at this close range.
 
Yukari seemed unusually worried about the weapon pointed at her, countering her movements. Maribel just noticed that this version of Yukari was different than the one she personally knew. This one’s hair was shorter, reaching only to her shoulders and she missed some of the grace in her movements. It also seemed that she was uncomfortable with having so many muskets around her.
 
The cloaked figure took great care in keeping his face covered while walking. Shouting from the square diverted Maribel’s attention, making her look down. A colonist in the front the group raises his club towards one of the Redcoats. Before he can bring it down, a gunshot rings out. The standoff on the roof had turned into a shootout.
 
Yukari had jumped back and had dropped an iron door out of a gap that took the first round. Maribel could barely make out a small drop of sweat that rolled down the back of Yukari’s head. Her muskets fire one at a time, switching out after they get used. For the first time, Maribel saw Yukari run on the ground. The gap youkai jumps over the second blast and recalls one of her used muskets.
 
Flipping it over to grab the area behind the front sight post, she swings it towards the dark figure. The figure brings his double barrel shotgun up and blocks it. Deciding that this was a wash, the figure spins and runs towards the edge of the building. Summoning a new set of muskets, Yukari fires at the fleeing figure. The angle of the two meant that the missed shots went right into the mob. The first colonist had already hit the ground before the mob realized what was happening.
 
By the time the figure reached the ground, Yukari had missed him. But she had ended up shooting into the crowd. As soon as the second colonist fell, the mob dispersed in a frenzy. This spooked the British troops, making some of them fire into the retreating crowd. By the time they left, eleven bodies were laid out around the square. In front of the State House, the Redcoat captain sent a runner to the barracks for the rest of the regiment. Time was of the essence.
 
Yukari throws the last musket off the building and turns around. She rips open a gap and walks into it, barely containing her rage. Maribel looks down at the square, seeing a small group of colonists pick up and carry off the eleven bodies on the ground. Just because the crowd had dispersed from the square didn’t mean that they had dispersed completely. The area around the State House had turned into a powder keg.
 
Colonists had grabbed whatever they could get their hands on and had taken to the streets. The captain knew that the next few hours would be critical in restoring peace or starting a rebellion. He gives the order to reload, with the mistaken belief that they had been the ones that had shot the mob. Now all the Redcoats could think about was surviving the night.
 
Maribel leaves the clock tower and leaves the State House. Sneaking out of the back door, she tries to avoid bumping into anyone. But it didn’t matter since they couldn’t see or touch her anyway. A bar down the street seems empty, which would give her the chance to understand everything that was happening.
 
She opens the door, and steps in. The scent of pure tobacco reached her nose, covering up less agreeable smells. The bar was two floors, with tables under the walkway. Maribel takes a seat near the back, a habit that she had picked up in college.
 
“She’s almost here.” Maribel almost jumped out of her skin when she heard a voice come from the bench behind her. She turns her head back and sees a drunk slouched over the table. The girl decides to dismiss the statement as some random mumbles but the man continues.
 
“Time is a funny thing, isn’t it?” The man hiccups and takes a swig from the half full stein in front of him. “People think that’s it straight and will always be like that. They don’t realize that it’s ever changing. It’s like a string made out of clay. All it needs is someone to grab ahold of it and bend it to their will. But would they make it better? Or would they break everything? I wonder, is this the original line, or something else?”
 
The man straightens up and looks behind him. Maribel gets chills when she realizes that he’s staring straight at her with whited out eyes. The blind man was in rough shape, with a wild beard and tattered clothes. Even with blind eyes, he managed to look right at Maribel. The one thought that was going through her mind was that no one should be able to look her in the eye here.
 
“She will turn all of fate’s misfortune to nothing.
She will flood the earth with magic,
And take all of humankind into her play.
A moving stage construction.
If everything is in a play, no unhappy things will exist.
It may be a tragedy, but it’ll all be part of the script.
The play stops on Walpurgisnacht,
And the earth does not turn even once more.
The story will not change.
Tomorrow, and the day after, is the night of Walpurgis.”
 
With that being said, the man turns back and slumps back down. The stein gets knocked over and spills the remaining ale. Maribel staggers to her feet, waiting for more. But the man stays still and soon, the sounds of snoring could be heard. She looks around, but only the two of them were in the bar.
 
“Walpurgis…nacht,” Maribel had trouble pronouncing it due to her rusty German. If her memory served her right, it was the name of a festival in Europe. She went over what the drunk had said, it still didn’t make sense. What would a festival have something to do with her? And why did the poem that she had just heard have such an ominous sound to it?
 
Shouting from outside the bar ripped her from that train of thought. She looks out of the window and sees a massive group of people with torches and pitchforks being waved around. In all of what had just happened, Maribel had forgotten about what was going on outside.
 
The shouting got even louder as Redcoats forced their way into the square. They helped to reinforce the positions that the small advance group was having trouble holding. Orders were to shoot anyone that tried to rush the line, making the crowd much more cautious. Runners had been sent to bring the Acting Governor and his Council to the State House. The commander of the British troops was also being brought to the building.
 
Maribel scanned the area, looking for Yukari. Her search turned up nothing, so she decided to go back to the State House. As she rounds the corner, a colonist slumps into the wall and falls face first. A flintlock pistol is knocked from his hand as a small pool of blood forms under him. Stepping back, she sees a hooded figure blending with the crowd and walking away.
 
With the unsteady light caused by the streetlamps. Maribel tries to follow the hooded man. He weaves through the crowd, always careful to avoid gathering attention. A few minutes pass before someone notices the dead body and panic sweeps the crowd. A lone tax collector had been hiding behind a bookshelf but was recognized by a random colonist. He was then dragged into the middle of the angry crowd.
 
Moving away from the crowd, Maribel had a faint idea of what was going to happen to him. It didn’t escape her notice that her attire would have been strangely at home in this time period. She stops when she sees something simmering in front of her. Reaching her hand out, she places it slowly on the area that was wavering. At first it seems to be solid, then her hand slowly went through it.
 
She takes a sharp breath as she sees images flood her mind. The girl staggers back, steadying herself with the wall next to her. Maribel raises her hand and concentrates on the space above it. She starts to see the makeup of reality above her palm. With concentration that was strong enough to bring sweat to her forehead, she creates a small opening in space.
 
But just opening it wasn’t the end of her struggle. She found that she had to keep focusing power on the rip in order to keep it from getting bigger or closing up. Releasing her concentration, Maribel watches the gap disappear into nothing. The wavering of the area disappeared a few seconds after that.
 
A voice cut over the noise that the mob was making. Maribel turned towards the source of the voice, seeing that it was the balcony of the State House. The Acting Governor was pleading with the mob to disperse before more violence erupted. A brick crashed through the window next to the balcony, prompting several constables to tackle the offender and drag him way.
 
Clergymen were in the crowd, doing their best to calm the tension. It was only due to the fact that they were recognized as men of the cloth that they weren’t accused of being loyalists. Maribel watches the scene in front of her, keeping an eye out for Yukari. A slight wind blew through the area, causing a chill to go down her spine.
 
She turns to look at the sky. A blood red moon was casting a sinister light all around. But something was off about the timing. Maribel’s gut was telling her that a lunar eclipse shouldn’t be happening. Deep down, Maribel was sure that the eclipse had something to do with the heighten aggression that she was feeling all around her.
 
Something in the corner of her eye grabs her attention and makes her focus on the rooftops. In the moonlight, a figure watched the chaos and then turned away. Maribel stood where she was, wondering what she should do now. She jumped when she heard someone shouting German close by.
 
A small detachment of Hessian troops were embedded were pushing colonists back from the British perimeter. Several of the colonists were trying to push them away, but ended up hurting themselves. An idea popped into Maribel’s head and she focused on a flintlock pistol hanging from a Redcoat’s belt. Two portals opened, one above the pistol and another below it.
 
Maribel sticks both hands into the portals right in front of her. She unhooks the pistol and grabs it. Once she pulls it out of the gap, she admires the craftsmanship of the weapon. The young woman brings it up, a little uncomfortable with the weight. She thinks about pulling the trigger, but decides not to after all. She had a feeling that she would be needing it sometime soon.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #73 on: December 11, 2016, 03:45:44 am »
 Celestial Governor’s Palace, Bhava Agra, Gensokyo
 
Reimu was the first human to be allowed into the building that housed the head of the Celestial in over a thousand years. She admired the beauty of the interior, but wished that she had been able to come at a better time. As the much more experienced Shinto miko in Gensokyo, she had been the one that was to oversee Iku’s funeral. Sanae had been helping her, but the girl had little to no experience in funeral arrangements.
                                 
 Lord Nai had not left his study ever since the battle, leading to wild rumors spreading far and wide. The only communication that anyone had with him was the orders that he wrote down and sent through his butler. Tenshi had returned from the moon and had been the one that had served as the family member that took part in the preparations. Word had gotten around that she was in one of her moods again, striking a bit of fear into the nobles that had considered Iku an enemy.
 
For the first step, matsugo no mizu, the Celestial had been the one that had wet Iku’s lips in accordance with tradition. She had also been the one to wash the body and had stayed in front of the family shrine for hours to announce Iku’s death to the spirits. Iku’s body had been placed in the casket with her head pointed north. Even with Reimu and Sanae keeping watch over the casket, Tenshi had insisted on keeping watch until the funeral ceremony.
 
A few days into Tenshi’s watch, Reimu and Sanae were purifying the ground where the burial was supposed to happen. As a joint effort, Sanae was the one throwing the water while Reimu was praying. Once the pair were satisfied, they began the slow flight back to the Palace. Before the pair could speak, one of Reimu’s Ying Yang orbs began to shake.
 
The Red-White miko held out her hand as the orb spat out a scroll. Reimu made sure that the seal was from the Ministry of Right and Wrong before she opened it. As requested by both Lord Nai and Tenshi, she had been negotiating with several of the judges in order to make sure Iku’s spirit was given a fair shake. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but since the local Ministry of Right and Wrong was at odds with the other branches, she had to make sure whoever had this case was impartial.
 
Reimu frowned as she read the letter, she did not want to have to make an appearance in front of the court. But as her duty as a shrine maiden, she really had no other choice. Even if it wasn’t her duty, she still felt that she owed that much to the messenger since she had done her best to keep Tenshi in line during her rebellious phase.
 
The pair knew that tomorrow was the day of the funeral ceremony and would be a long one for them both. They landed in front of the palace and stopped when they saw all of the activity. Sanae kept looking back and forth while Reimu grabbed a messenger and interrogated him. It wasn’t until she threatened to break his skull open with her goehi that he spilled the beans.
 
Lord Nai had called an emergency meeting of the families and had made it mandatory to attend. As soon as the last person had walked in, the door was sealed. Tenshi had been exempt from the meeting since it was obvious that she wouldn’t leave her spot.
 
Sitting next to the casket, Tenshi didn’t notice that Reimu had taken a seat next to her. Tenshi had deep bags under her eyes, giving her eyes a sunken look. Without a word, the shrine maiden grabbed her by the back of the collar and dragged her into the next room.
 
“Sleep.” Reimu’s voice left no room for argument. “It’s the shrine maiden’s duty to keep watch over the body. Take a bath and sleep. The funeral is tomorrow and it’ll be the last time you’ll be able to see her. She wouldn’t want you to be like this.”
 
Tenshi nodded in agreement, knowing that she was outmatched. Once the Celestial was out of the room, Reimu sat down in front of the coffin and bowed her head. Instead of praying, she started to think about what she would have to say when she went in front of the Yama. If the war kept on going on, this would start to become a regular thing. That realization almost moved her to tears.
 
“I never wanted to put you in this spot,” Yukari’s voice came from beside her. The miko had been so deep in thought that she didn’t notice when the gap youkai had sat down next to her. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
 
“I didn’t expect to see you here.”
 
“Lord Nai has called an emergency meeting and has requested that I attend. Since I’m not going to gap myself in there, I can say that I was late due to walking.”
 
“Is something happening?”
 
“There is always something happening,” Yukari paused. “I didn’t want you to be surprised when you hear about the announcement that he’s making in the funeral.”
 
“What announcement?”
 
Yukari leaned in and whispered it into Reimu’s ears. The younger girl’s eyes widen when she realized what she had heard. She turned to focus her gaze on Yukari, who returned it.
 
“But, she’s not ready for it.”
 
“No one really is. But she’s the best chance they have, and Lord Nai isn’t hearing anything else. That’s what the meeting is for, he’s going to convince the Ruling Families to support his decision.”
 
“What if they don’t?”
 
“They will, Lord Nai will see to it. He assured me that he has a few ways to get them to see things from his point of view.”
 
Reimu pauses as she organized her thoughts. “Then what about her being placed under Eirin?”
 
“That’s one of the main problems. The Ruling Families don’t want to seem like they’re allowing themselves to be placed under Lunarian control. Even though they are our allies, I still don’t want to give them a foothold in Gensokyo. They can have the Outside World, but nothing inside the barrier.”
 
“What if that’s what the Lunarians are really after?”
 
Yukari bowed her head. “With their regiments, I highly doubt that we would be in a positon to counter them. Having both Tenshi and Sumireko trained by Colonel Yagokoro would be a good start to closing the power gap. I would rather not have to worry about the Lunarians turning on us. They’ll think twice when they know that we’ve got too aces hidden in our sleeves. Especially after we premier our new fleets and new transportation method.”
 
“You mentioned the fleet for a reason.”
 
“I’ll need you to bless the ships. That way they’ll be able to hold their own in battle better.”
 
“How many are there?”
 
“50 capital ships, with assorted support ships.”
 
Reimu’s head whipped around. “You want me to bless 50 ships!?! Don’t you know how long it takes to bless one?”
 
“I know, and I’ll help you. We’ll have five fleets with ten capital ships each.” Yukari stood up. “I made them wait long enough. The funeral service is scheduled for tomorrow, isn’t it?” She gave Reimu a head pat that she hope wouldn’t betray her wariness. “Try to get some rest soon, you look almost as rough as Tenshi does.”
 
With one last look at the shrine maiden, Yukari left the room and walked out of the mansion. Down the mountainside, the Council Chamber was surrounded by a small crowd. When they saw Yukari getting closer, they parted to allow her to enter.
 
She enters the building, walking up the stairs to the chamber itself. The sound of arguments could be heard through the closed doors, increasing in volume. Yukari enters the chamber, triggering an even bigger explosion of shouts. This time, Lord Nai gave the offenders a stern glance and silenced them.
 
Yukari takes a seat next to the leader and leans her head in.
 
“I didn’t expect it to get this bad,” Yukari sighed.
 
“As soon as they found out that Tenshi was training under a Lunarian, it all went downhill. The opposing Families are trying to say that we’re selling out to them and threatening our sovereignty.”
 
“Even if she’s your official liaison?”
 
“They practically called me a liar when I brought that up.”
 
“Isn’t that grounds for a duel?”
 
“That’s why they stopped before they crossed the line.” Lord Nai shook his head. “But with the way Tenshi’s been acting, she might fight them in my stead if she had heard.”
 
“Then there would be a few less Ruling Families,” Yukari allowed herself a small smile. “It would make it a lot easier to get things done.”
 
“Or it might open us up to accusations of tyranny, which we, as Celestials, are not supposed to engage in again.”
 
“I see.” Yukari moved her gaze around the chamber. “Are you still wanting to go through with this?”
 
“There’s no other way,” he rested his head on his hands. “The current leadership isn’t suited to the way this war is going to happen. And, it’s time for us older folk to step aside for the new generation.”
 
“I hope you’re not calling me old.”
 
“You don’t look a day over 21, so I hope you understand why I was hesitant to trust you when we first met.”
 
“I appreciate the compliment,” Yukari smiled. “I’m much more concerned with changing horses when we’re halfway across the river.”
 
“Peace has made me lazy and unsuitable for war footing. And I’ve got a feeling that something will happen tomorrow that’ll cement her right to the spot.”
 
“I look forward to it.”
 
Lord Nai nodded and then stood up. “ORDER! THERE WILL BE ORDER!”
 
His shout silenced the room so fast and commanded so much attention that one noble didn’t realize that a shoe was heading towards him until it hit him in the side of the head. The loud noise it made as it impacted and then slide to the floor was ignored by the rest of the occupants.
 
“It has come to my attention that several of you have doubts about my daughter’s loyalty ever since she agreed to place herself under the tutorage of a Lunarian. I am here to assure all of you that those doubts are unfounded. I am also going to warn all of you to watch your tongues whenever you speak to her. The recent battle has done much to change her and I fear that her self-control has actually gotten worse. She may go straight to trading blows if she feels slighted now. So, as a gesture of goodwill, I will now ask this. Who here has a problem with my decision? Speak now.”
 
The room became quiet as no one stepped forward. Lord Nai swept his gaze through the room, challenging anyone to answer. Yukari studied the faces of everyone present, cataloging the information for future use. Even though politics wasn’t something she was fond of, she still had a good amount of experience in it.
 
“Now that this is settled,” Lord Nai paused. “I wish to bring a matter to the attention of this body. According to the reports that I’ve been receiving from the latest battle. Lady Yakumo has advocated for the creation of a fleet that’ll help to create a buffer zone. This concerns us due to one ship in that new fleet. This new ship has a proposed name that will need our blessing. The name that has been proposed is Nagae.”
 
He waited and was not disappointed by several shouts of objection. Taking a deep breath and looking up to the ceiling in an attempt to keep himself composed. The head Celestial allowed the shouts to die down, and then pulled himself to his full height. Even with the wrinkles and white hair, he still created a formidable atmosphere.
 
“As one of the most important birthrights earned by being born into the linage of the head of the Celestial government, I hereby use my singular veto for this matter.” The expected shouts were louder this time, but were cut off by him summoning a keystone and slamming it down on the desk in front of him. He used enough force to break the keystone and create a small earthquake that was felt throughout Gensokyo.
 
This was the first time in a long while that he had used such a move to restore order. For the older members of the governing body, it brought back memories of keystones being thrown out windows and through walls. Some of them still couldn’t get over the time that Lord Nai had thrown someone out of a window by mistake. The families that had used the beautiful grounds around the building for picnics had their peaceful outing interrupted by that nobleman falling three floors.
 
“The matter is settled. Lady Yakumo,” he turned to face Yukari. “You have our blessing to use Iku’s family name for that ship. All we ask is that you lead that ship to live like she did.”
 
“Since you gave the Nagae your blessing, I think it’s only fair if you decide who the captain is.” Yukari opened her fan. “
 
“Would Tenshi be suitable?”
 
“I have no problem with it.”
 
With a nod, Yukari takes her leave. Since her business was done, she really had no more reason to watch this anymore. If she wanted to see a circus, she could find better entertainment watching the kappas with their science experiments. She makes her way out of the chamber and leaves the building. The crowd was still focused on what little they could hear coming from inside. She kept going, past the front gate and onto the road that lead to another part of the mountain. This road was surround by a heavily wooded area, extending as far as the eye could see. A fair distance down the road, she steps off of the road and goes into the woods.
 
The gap youkai leans back on a tree deep in the forest surrounding the chamber and bows her head down. The emotions that she had been holding back for the longest time had reached the breaking point and she knew it. The tears that flooded from her eyes created a path that resembled waterfalls. Her shoulders began to tremor, shaking a few leaves off of the tree.
 
Yukari looked up, her golden eyes distorted by the tears streaming out of them. The sky was blurred, all that she could see was the light blue above her.
 
“I know my wish was selfish. But God, if you’re there, let her have a happy ending this time. I’m fine with my life being broken. Just please don’t let all of my sacrifices be for nothing and please don’t let her be alone.”
 
Hakurei Shrine, Youkai Mountain Branch, Bhava Agra, Gensokyo
 
Virtually all of Gensokyo was present at the funeral ceremony of Iku Nagae. Even the Lunarians had sent representatives in the form of Toyohime and Yorihime. Iku’s body was on a slab of the purest marble available that was placed on a pyre. Everyone was dressed in their finest funeral garb, with the exception of Reimu and Sanae, who had worn their traditional garments.
 
Iku was clothed in her usual outfit, with her hat on her chest. The magician that was entrusted to prepare the body under Reimu’s eye had completely healed the bullet wound that had killed her. He had done such a good job that she looked like she was asleep instead of dead.
 
Tenshi had worn her finest robe for the procession, the handle of her blade hanging off of her belt. Her hair was in a bun, reflecting the seriousness of the situation. She had her hands hidden in her sleeves in front of while she knelt in front of the funeral pyre. Under her robe, she wore a pair of pants and boots in case of one of the nobles decided to make a power play and she needed to put them in line.
 
Marisa sat next to Alice and Patchouli, a sinking feeling in her heart. During the last battle, she had lost count of how many times it could’ve been her in that casket. Sumireko sat a few rows back, next to Reisen and Youmu, feeling the same way. Even though the thought of being killed was always bothering her, this drove the point home more than anything else.
 
Reimu had her back facing the procession, adding more purified wood to the fire that would be used to set the pyre alight. She turns around and raises her gohei as she recites a funeral prayer. Out of respect, everyone in the room bows their heads. Once the miko is done, she motions for everyone to stand. Under her direction, everyone files past the casket in a single file line.
 
Marisa left a Chocolate Cosmos cutting, one that she found in the Forest of Magic earlier that day. Alice left a cutting of marigolds and Patchouli left an Agave plant. The librarian had shared a few drinks with the messenger, and Patchouli always had a bottle of mezcal on hand in case Tenshi had been frustrating that day.
 
Remilia left a peach color rose on her trip by and Sakuya left one of her best red velvet cupcakes. Sumireko left a boquet of flowers, she felt bad that she never had the chance to know her. Youmu left a small dagger and Yuyuko left a chocolate butterfly. Yukari left a bouquet of hyacinth, with the meaning behind them clear.
 
Reisen left a Houri plant, in full bloom while Eirin left a yellow ribbon tied into a knot. Kanako left a cutting of wisteria and Suwako left an iron ring. Staori left a kyber crystal and Koishi left an emerald. Byakuren left a set of prayer beads, Nazrin left a small wheel of the best cheese she had found and Shou left a lantern.
 
Tenshi was one of the last to pass by and she left a necklace with a keystone on it. She returns to her place in front of the casket and watches as her father is motion by Reimu to speak.
 
“I wish for everyone here to know how grateful I am for your attendance. Iku was a valued member of our government and someone we considered family. She had a large role in Tenshi’s upbringing, and deserves more of my gratitude than I can ever show. It is a devastating blow to the war effort to lose Iku. This occurrence has also shown me that I am not suitable for leadership in a time like this. With a heavy heart, I’m announcing that I’m stepping down as head of the Celestials.”
 
Murmurs swept through those in attendance, mostly concentrated on the Celestial nobles. One of them began to sneer as he conferred with his cronies.
 
“In my stead, I appoint-” Lord Nai was interrupted by the sneering noble.
 
“Old man, you’re not appointing anyone.” He stood up. “The Centralist party is taking over now, and I’m in charge. I move for a vote of no confidence in your leadership and I demand that the vote be conducted now!”
 
Tenshi stood up and turned around to face the man. She drew her blade, but was stopped before she could bring up. Reimu had used her gohei to stop the movement and held a spellcard ready. Yukari had trapped the noble’s sword draw with a gap, drawing on her deep reserve to keep from striking him.
 
“This is a funeral,” her red eyes betrayed barely contained anger. “I will not have a fight on holy ground.”
 
Lowering her blade, Tenshi left the shrine. The noble followed her out, then the rest filed out. Reimu and Sanae were the last to leave, but only went as far as the offering box. In the front of the shrine, the crowd was on the edge of the square. At one end, Tenshi had taken a knee and placed the handle of her sword in front of her. Lord Nai, Yukari and Eirin stood in front of her, listening to what she had to say. On the other end, the noble had done the same, with his cohorts listening.
 
A neutral party was needed to oversee the contest, so Alice was dragged into it. The puppeteer was familiar with how much damage Tenshi could cause, so she was ready to take to the sky at a moment’s notice. The two combatants stood and then faced each other. Alice looks at both parties and then steps back, signaling the start. With a strong kick off, Tenshi goes for an overhead strike. That strike gets blocked, so she goes into a spinning kick that connects. Then a headbutt sends him reeling back.
 
He jumps back and twirls his blade. Tenshi steps to the left and blocks the weak blow with her blade. With a twirl, she traps his blade and punches him in the face. He’s spun around, and fight the urge to end the fight right then and there. Instead, she kicks down and watches as he face plants. With a stomp, she brings up a pillar that sends him into the air.
 
The noble tries to flip to his feet, only for Tenshi to join him and grab him by the neck. With an effort, she slams him into the ground. A crater gets left in the ground and Tenshi lands softly on her feet. She twirls her blade and begins to pace again.
 
He rolls to the side, dodging a blow that never came. Tenshi watched as he got up and went into a low stance. In sheer contempt, the younger Celestial abandons all of her established fighting styles. She lures him to attack first, and steps back.  He takes the bait and goes for a stab. Tenshi ducks the stab and drives the pommel into his stomach with enough force to crack ribs.
 
Before the noble could recover, Tenshi planted her fist in his face. Then she uses the handle of her blade as a knuckleduster to hit the same place again. To help him find his way to the ground, she dug her knee into his stomach. With the noble on the ground, trying to catch his breath again, Tenshi began to pace in front of him. She twirls her blade as she waits for him to get up.
 
As soon as he struggles to his feet, Tenshi grabs him by the face and slams the back of his head into the ground. Then she grabs him by the front of his robe and throws him. Before he gets far, she stomps up a pillar that stops the noble’s flight. Three steps bring her in front of him and she spins him to face her.
 
Tenshi cuts power to her sword, leaving just the handle. With a level of savagery unseen before, she continues to beat the noble with everything she can. Alice felt that she should step in, but with the force that the Celestial was putting into her blows, she hesitated. Yukari watched, not willing to step into internal affairs in this case. Lord Nai was sure that Tenshi wasn’t going to listen in her fury.
 
Several of the victim’s supporters made moves to step in, only to stop when Sumireko and Youmu reached for their weapons. Eirin kept quiet, watching as Tenshi whaled on the poor man. The noble started to slide down, balancing on the border of consciousness. Blood was splattered all over his expensive robe, which was the least of his worries.
 
With one last punch, Tenshi lets go of him and lets him fall to the ground. With a twirl of her blade, she attaches the handle to her belt and turns back to go into the temple. Once she’s in front of Iku’s coffin, she hides her hands in her sleeves and kneels. She bows her head and loses herself in her thoughts.
 
The beaten noble was rolled onto his back by his comrades, saving him from choking on his own blood. With their champion beaten like that in front of everyone, the Centralist party was done in the Ruling Council. Lord Nai knew that this was the best possible outcome in the current situation. With the way power has shifted, Tenshi would have overwhelming support.
 
In most other situations, having this played out in front of outsiders would have weaken Celestial power. But now, everyone knew that Tenshi wouldn’t back down anymore. Yukari felt a sense of pride for the young woman, she was shaping up to be a leader with a decent head on her shoulders. She looks inside the shrine, watching as Reimu and Sanae sit next to her.
 
 Eirin was the first to leave the crowd and bow to Iku’s coffin as she took her leave. Instead of the chatter that some expected from the crowd, everyone stayed quiet as they followed Eirin’s lead. After a few minutes, the front was empty. Lord Nai bowed to Iku’s coffin and then went off to walk in the forest. Yukari watched him go, debating whether she should have another word with him.
 
Sumireko took one last look and took to the sky. Eirin had given them the rest of the day to take care of what they needed to before going back to the Moon. The memory of her vision weighed on her mind, she had to find something to counter it. A few minutes away, she was at the entrance of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. If her gut was right, she would have her best chance here.
 
The pig tailed girl takes her hat off and hangs it on the hat tree next to the desk in the deepest part of the library. Patchouli had promised her that she would be back to help and gave her free run to look for what she needed. A card catalog sat off to the side, she hadn’t seen one in a while. She pulls open a drawer and pokes through a few of the cards.
 
She slams it shut, knowing that just jumping in would get her nowhere. Taking a seat in Patchouli’s overstuffed chair, she rests her chin in her hand. She knew little about actual magic, so she decided to get a basic textbook first. A few minutes later, she’s in front of a fireplace reading.
 
The Magical Treatise of Solomon had a section on summoning demons, which seemed like a logical place to start. She scans the pages, looking for the shape she saw in her mind. None of them match, causing her to throw the book on the table next to her.
 
Taking a pause, she closes her eyes and rubs them. On the table under the book she had just cast off, a map of the library captured her attention. In the back of the library, a section peaked her interest. It was labeled as “Phantasm”.
 
A few minutes later, she’s in front of the labeled bookshelf. She tilts her head as her eyes scan the books. One of them seems promising and she reaches out to grab it.
 
“I wouldn’t get that, if I were you,” Patchouli’s voice rang out.
 
Sumireko turns around and sees the librarian with a stack of books under her arm. “There’s a reason why this bookcase is separate from the rest. Phantasm level spells have the power to cause unimaginable damage if not properly used. Remember the Black Death or the Tunguska event? I would wait until Eirin says you’re ready since I doubt a college student would be able to control the power needed.” She places the books on a nearby table. “These books are the most basic that I could find about what you told me. If you find any leads here, you have free run of any section of this library.”
 
“And if I don’t?”
 
“You have other matters to attend to, right? Eirin will keep you too busy to come back here for a while. But, I’m not too much of a grouch to let you leave empty handed.” She pulls a small book from the pile. “One of my many works was to compile all of the books in this library into a single volume. It took until last week, but I did it. This book is what that is.”
 
“Then what about the other books you brought?”
 
“Sometimes having the actual books in front of you can help,” Patchouli shrugged. “But having this complete library can help keep you from ripping pages out of my original books. If you have a chance to see Marisa, tell her I have one to give her. Hopefully that can stop her from having to steal books every so often.”
 
Sumireko took the offered book. “Are you sure that you want me to have this?”
 
“You’ll find a way to put it to good use. All I ask is that if you find new books, put this one on top of it to copy the contents.”
 
“Anything else?”
 
“Not really. I’ll see you again before you find what you’re looking for. Try not to get in over your head before you bring me some new books.” With that, the librarian left to take a nap before continuing her research.
 
Before she could focus on her own research, her phone vibrates. A glance shows her that it’s a message from Reisen, concerning an upgrade for one of her rifles. She would deal with that the next time she went to the range. The more pressing matter was to find out as much as she could about the figure haunting her.
 

The Dratini Farmer

  • Nickname: Future Don
Re: The Oncoming Storm
« Reply #74 on: December 11, 2016, 03:47:05 am »
 Tokyo, Japan
 
With a good amount of negotiation, Yukari had helped Yuyuko with her wish of opening an orphanage and sitting out the rest of the war. The ghost princess was extremely happy with the new building that would be serving as her new home. A somewhat large yard with a small playground was surrounded by a brick wall, which gave the area a welcoming atmosphere.
 
Along with a small staff experienced in childcare, Yuyuko and Youmu were watching the arrival of their first group of wards. Officials from the government had already arrived and signed off on everything. Yukari was in the office on the second floor, watching through the window. Thanks to her transferring several of her bank accounts, the orphanage would never have to worry about funding.
 
Even with how happy Yuyuko was, Yukari still had bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. It started since she heard about how Global Arms, Limited had started ramping up operations in Japan. On the surface, it wasn’t anything to really worry about. But she knew that it was a shell company for the CIA that specialized in the arms trade. The CIA had a long and dark history of doing whatever they wanted to achieve their goals. This did not bode well for the next step of her long reaching strategy.
 
Marisa would be meeting with her first customers in a few days, Yukari remembered. The young witch would be trying to unload some of the M4s and M249s that had been left behind after the battles. Several interested parties, which include the New Irish Republican Army, the Ukrainian Ground Forces, and resurrected Panamanian Dignity Battalions, were drooling at the prospect of getting these weapons.
 
The chosen clients had a twofold purpose. The first was to sow confusion and more problems for the Americans, and the second was to create new targets. One of the aspects that Yukari had made clear to them when she had granted them the meeting was that any form of disrespect would not be tolerated. No one really knew, but Yukari had made arrangements for a long range strike against any target she choose. The problem was that it wasn’t really just yet.
 
The Americans were still steaming about the two back to back losses they had just been dealt, which encouraged several of their oversea agents to forget a few rules. If they manage to grab hold of Marisa, they would be put into a really bad spot. Especially since Reimu would move heaven and earth to get her back and Yukari would have to come along to make sure she didn’t do anything too reckless.
 
The American House of Representatives had just passed an emergency measure for more funding for Homeland Security with a rider for CIA contractors. According to her sources, the bill was set to be fast tracked through the Senate and would be greeted by the President’s signature as soon as it landed in the Oval Office. There was also a rumor that it had an immunity clause hidden in it.
 
Just a few days ago, the United Nations had been sealed off due to a confidential emergency meeting of the Security Council. Only the members of the Security Council were allowed in the building, sending shockwaves through the international community. Yukari had a feeling that the organization would soon be entering its death throes and would fade into history. Once that happened, she expected NATO to pick up the slack and expand. The Warsaw Pact was also rumored to be brought back, which would give the west a major headache.
 
The Kalashnikov Concern had just picked up a major set of contracts from both Russia and numerous other nations, giving Yukari a target for some embezzlement. This money would go towards buying more weapons that could be turned around for a profit. She might even have a few modified to create a thirst for magical weapons once humans saw how effective they are.
 
Yukari knew that Marisa would need more than a kitchen gun shop to counter CIA shell companies. Maybe something on the scale of Heckler and Koch or FNH. That would mean Marisa would have learn a few languages, like English and maybe Russian. The gap youkai would have to make some time to give her some lessons.
 
She sips some tea and opens a newspaper. The Mainichi Shimbun had a front page article about the developing partnership between Gensokyo and Japan. Yukari had sent a message to Finland, since she knew their history in stopping larger opponents. With the aggressive brown bear of the new Soviet Russia to the east hungrily grabbing land and the increasing aggressive NATO forces to the west, many of the northern European nations were being pressured into joining either one. But some of them would rather have a third option.
 
The Finnish government had jumped at the chance to have a powerful ally and had signed an agreement with her. They had even sent a few crates of weapons as a trade for some of the magical ones. Encouraged by her success, Yukari had sent messages to other nations and was waiting for responses from a few of the more isolated ones.
 
South Africa had responded to her feelers by giving her a small gift. They had sent thirty MK 1 Centurions, which were obviously mothballed since they smelled pretty bad. The small nation had recently examined their power and were wanting to get out from China’s influence. Having Chinese corporations try to force themselves on natural resources would wear out anyone’s welcome quick. Egypt was also wanting to leave the shadow of the United States and didn’t like the other alternatives.
 
The arms expo in London had been a complete success. With Maribel leaking the designs for the Royal Assault Ship to select corporations at the event, naval design had been put on its head. Hopefully this would delay the refitting of the Iowa and the reorder of the Montana class that was in the works. If the Rejuvenator could be brought out of the shipyards, they would be a match for those two classes.
 
With the success of the retrofitted fighters and bombers, Yukari had ordered full scale production of more P-47s, P-51s, B-25s, Spitfires, Typhoons, Shindens, and Zeros. A design flaw with the Rejuvenator class would be the lack of an onboard hanger, which meant that they would have to keep the restored carriers for the foreseeable future. Thinking about the available options, she reminds herself of something she had to do.
 
Typing off a quick text to Reisen, she sends it and lays back in her chair. Yukari was expecting noise later on, once the children became used to their new home. A wee little Welsh Corgi waddled next to and started to sniff her. She picks up the dog and sets him in her lap. His fur was soft and he stretched out to get comfortable.
 
“I’ve always wanted a dog,” Yukari began to scratch him behind the ears. “But I don’t think Yuyuko would like if I took you with me.”
 
The gap youkai took a doggie treat and held it in front of the pup. He began to hop a little, trying to get the outreached treat. She had thought about getting a platypus, but then she remembered how sensitive they were to environmental changes. The gap youkai had even picked out a brown hat for him to wear. She even thought about teaching it martial arts if the chance ever came up.
 
A tap on the window pulls her out of her thoughts. A crow had a small scroll and was waiting to be let in. Yukari opened the window and allowed the crow to fly away. The small scroll had a list of crime families that were rumored to be open to working with CIA shell companies. In other words, it was a hit list for Yukari’s people since the ICPO was wary with accepting her information.
 
Eirin had sent her a message earlier about Sumireko’s progress, which gave her high hopes. She had exceled in learning Northern Shaolin and Hung Ga kung fu, was progressing in tai chi, and getting the hang of Baguazhang. If the pigtailed girl kept up the progress, she could be the one carrying out the hits. Once that was done, she would have more time to devote to her research and watching over her younger sister and Maribel. At least until the foreign crime organizations got CIA backing to undermine the new partnership.
 
Yukari sits back down and opens another scroll laying on the desk. It was the proposed ship names for the new Rejuvenator class cruisers. Each of the five fleets would have a flagship, a backup for the flag, and a communications ship. They would have at least ten capital ships assigned to each fleet at any given time. The First Fleet, or the Home Fleet, would be commanded by Atago, with Kongou serving as backup and Haruna as signal.
 
The Second Fleet would be under the Kiyama, with support from Sphinx and Uiharu. The Third Fleet would be headed by the Furukawa¸ and have Otosaki and Ibuki. The Fourth Fleet would have Gensokyo, Courusant, and Gallifrey. The Fifth Fleet, or the Reserve Fleet, would contain Akemi, Kaname, and Shimada.
 
The rest of the ships in their respective fleets would follow the same theme as the command team. The prototype of the class, the Rejuvenator, would be allowed to float about from fleet to fleet instead of being tied down. Since it was the testbed for new technology, it also had to be kept out of enemy hands. Yukari believed that having it more mobile would be better than surrounding it.
 
The most important part of the new ship design was the ability to have the main cannons go into sustainable overdrive. The normal firing rate was limited to a little less than three rounds a minute, which was somewhat decent for a large caliber cannon, and faster than the cannons on the USS Iowa. Activating the overdrive for the cannons would boost the firing rate to fifteen rounds per minute.
 
But due to the extreme heat that was generated by the rapid fire, the cooling charms would not be able to keep up. To keep this feature from being abused, it would require two keys to be turned at the same time. The keys would be in the possession of the captain and the chief gunnery officer. And the pair would be required to help change out the barrels and calibrate them with the targeting computer. This was to make sure that they didn’t abuse the ability.
 
Looking around to make sure that no one was looking, she lets out a breath. She takes a scroll out from her tabard and spreads it out on the desk. It was the design for a ship that she was working on herself. Nobody outside of this room knew about these designs. That also meant that she had no one to crew it or even build it, which was somewhat of a roadblock.
 
But that was only true until she had perfected that one of the last research topics she had been working on. Full artificial intelligence had been beyond the grasp of the outside world, but Yukari had finally developed it for her own uses. Now she had someone that could build it and crew it without anyone else knowing. There was a reason she had ordered all of the tools and materials using untraceable accounts.
 
The keel was being laid in a deserted shipyard near the North Pole, away from the prying eyes of the world. Once it was completed, the shipyard would be made to disappear. Then the fleet that was still being constructed would be rendered obsolete and she would be able to end the war singlehanded. With the end of the war, the new Age of Magic would begin.
 
Twenty inch triple cannons in six turrets would surpass any armament in any ship in the world. Armor twenty five inches thick would also provide the best protection anywhere. An anti-aircraft complement of over 100 double 88mm autoloaded cannons would provide so much protection from aircraft that having onboard fighters would be a waste of space and materials. They would also provide double duty as secondaries. The projectile cannons would work until Yukari perfected the Lunarian laser magic that she had gotten her hands on.
 
If Eirin ever found out about Yuyuko sneaking out the laser technology from the Lunar Capital during the Second Genso-Lunar War, Yukari knew that their alliance would be over. Just a little bit more time and they would be able to blame the Americans since they were close to making a prototype. Once it was fielded for the first time, she could say she got it from them.
 
Yukari saw the current situation as a sunset of sorts. As the light began to disappear, the humans would see their power over the world go with it. Humans were never good in the dark to start with. Science was on its way out of the door, to be replaced by the clearly superior powers of magic. Youkai would be able to walk all over the world, free from the suppression of humans. A new balance of power would be created from the ashes of the old. Reimu would be able to enjoy the rest of her days in peace since she wouldn’t have to worry about the balance of power any longer.
 
The United States and NATO would be forced to step aside while Yukari’s new empire would spread over the planet. Even if she had already promised the Lunarians all the land past the barrier, she had no intention on sitting around while they surrounded her on all sides. She really liked Eirin and Reisen, but once the darkness fell, they would be fair targets. With limited interaction with Kaguya, Yukari was still reserving judgment on how she felt about her. The gap youkai was also trying to find out what to do about the two immortals if she had to get rid of them, just in case.
 
Just any night wouldn’t be enough for her. It had to be a special occasion, one that would be written down and echoed through the halls of history. It would also be a good luck token to name the ship after that night. German legends had the perfect name for the ship, just like usual. One that would strike fear into everyone that hears it and left no doubt about the power behind it.
 
Walpurgisnacht…Yukari repeated the name over and over in her mind. All we need now is that pure Kyber crystal. Once I have that, the night of the dancing witches will begin. A night that will go down in history as Walpurgisnacht and will bring world peace. Then the next phase of my plan can start.
 
Lunarian Defense Corps Armory, Lunar Capital, Dark Side of the Moon
 
Reisen frowned as she worked her way through the crate before her. This had 20 M39 Ukko-Pekka rifles, all in almost new condition. She took a look through the barrel with a light, not making a judgment until she had gone through them a second time. The moon rabbit had already promised Sumireko an upgrade, so she had to deliver.
 
Just to be clear, there was nothing wrong with the off the shelf 91/30 that she had scoped. But the Soviet made rifle could only dream about the accuracy of the Finn modified rifles. The Finns had installed a heavier barrel and shimmed the action to wring every last drip of accuracy. The stocks on them were much nicer than the mass produced stocks that had rough tool marks when they left the factory.
 
One of the M39s with a date of 1942 catches her eye. Sharp rifling and a smooth action even with all the cosmoline proved that she found a winner. Grabbing a small pellet of lead, she coats it in grease and sets it in the muzzle. With a hammer, she uses a dowel of bamboo to force it down. The lead pellet falls onto the bolt, with grooves cut into it.
 
The moon rabbit takes a caliper and measures the flat spots of the pellet. It comes out to .310 of an inch, which was outlined in the instruction manual. A bore in like new condition, Reisen knew that Sumireko would like it. But it would need some cleaning before she could turn it over. The Hornandy reloading manual had raised a question about .308 bullets being more accurate, but she would leave that for after she tried the .310 bullets.
 
She field strips it and throws the metal parts into a barrel of heated water. With another cleaning solution, she wipes down the wooden stock. Once she’s satisfied with the amount of time the metal parts have been swimming, she fishes them out with tongs. With a rag, she wipes down all of the water that didn’t evaporate. Once she’s done, she applies a light coat of gun oil.
 
Eirin had instructed Reisen to change out the sights to see if it was worth the trouble, replacing them with peep sights that were much more accurate than the standard. A few seconds of heating up the pin holding the rear sight and she was able to easily knock it out. Then it was a simple matter of putting the new one in and applying a little bit of silver to secure the pin.
 
Once that was done, she bring the rifle up to her shoulder and focuses on a target. She has trouble focusing on the small target and begins to double guess if she really has it centered. After a few minutes of trying to get it right, she gives up and reinstalls the original sights. With the ladder sights in their rightful place, she was confident the rifle would hit accurately at up to 1000 yards.
 
To insure that the ladder sights were really accurate, she would have to replicate the original D166 round used during the Continuation War. The notes that she had received called for Lapua brass in 7.62x53r with Vihtavuori N140 smokeless powder. Winchester large rifle primers would be suitable for the round as long as they weren’t defective.
 
But just because she had the materials didn’t mean that she was ready to load it. She still had to find the right powder charge so the rifle didn’t blow up in Sumireko’s face when she shot it while being strong enough to reach its maximum effective range. The Lapua reloading manual was a good place to start since it listed the D166 bullet with the N140 powder.
 
Now that she was done preparing the new rifle, she sat down in front of the ballistic manual and an alchemy textbook. What was happening was that she needed to find the sweet spot for explosive and penetrating rounds. The explosive rounds would come later. Minutes late, she has multiple charts and graphs in front of her. If she started with a 150 meter zero distance instead of the usual 100, she would be able to squeeze a few more dozen meters.
 
With the distance somewhat worked out, now she had to worry about the energy behind the round. The minimum amount of energy she was looking for was 1000 foot pounds. She superimposed charts over each other, comparing the curves. Once she finds a few that she likes, the moon rabbit opens up the machine next to her.
 
She punches in a few numbers and closes the lid. The machine creates a few rounds, which she picks up and puts on top of a spell card. Once it stops flashing, she puts the card on top of the rifle. The final step was putting the spell card on a paper target. A few seconds pass and dots appeared on the target, showing the point of impact at various ranges.
 
Nodding to herself, the moon rabbit cycles the bolt on the rifle one last time. Her phone vibrates in her pocket, letting her know that she had a text. Yukari had checked in with her to see how the rifles were. Reisen types back a quick reply and tosses the phone on the table. It slides to a stop right by the armorer’s wench and almost knocks a bottle of oil over.
 
She had given up on the red dot for the Vepr and decided to put a POSP 4-8x42 scope on it. With the spell cards next to her, zeroing was extremely simple and cost effective. With all the time she saved, she could either take a nap or disappear. The last weapon that she needed to work on was an FNH P-12 shotgun, but that was ready to go as soon as she pulled it out the box.
 
The double ought buckshot would be devastating out to fifty meters if she needed it to be. Reisen was happy that this was all that she had to do today. On the workbench at the far end of the room sat an M1 Garand that she had to get started on soon. But Eirin had said that this one could wait a little. She had even suggested that the moon rabbit use H4895 smokeless powder once a pallet of it came in.
 
A look down the barrel gave her hope that this old rifle would be capable of at least a minute of accuracy. The reloading manuals that she had reassured her that any of the loads in the chart would be suitable for what they needed. If she used what she knew about Sumireko as an indication, she could bet that the Garand would be her main weapon if the saber wasn’t practical.
 
Reisen had created a larger gas plug that would allow Sumireko to fire any .30-06 ammo without having to worry about bending the operating rod. The moon rabbit thought about playing a prank on her by making her close the bolt on an empty receiver. But she decided against it since the pigtailed girl would probably break her skull for it.
 
After sitting there for a while looking at the Garand, she decides to go to the hanger and see how the progress of the modifications to the newest group of fighters that the GDF had given them. Five Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIIIs and seven Focke Wulfe 190s sat as mechanics switched out parts. The British .303 machine guns were also being switched out, in favor of Lunarian designed .68 caliber cannons. The 190s were being outfitted with prototype laser cannons that would hopefully provide a bit more punch.
 
Realizing that she had nothing else to do here, she leaves the hanger and picks up a boxed lunch to take with her as she heads to a table on a balcony. She sets her box on a table and buys a drink from a vending machine nearby. A can of green tea dropped down, giving her second thoughts about her choice.
 
“I hope you don’t mind if I join you,” Reisen II’s voice snapped her namesake out of her thoughts.
 
“You can if you want, but don’t you have to deal with the supply chain?”
 
“My Chief of Staff is taking care of it. They know more about it than I do, so I got out of the way.” The pair sat down and unwrapped their boxes. “Colonel Yagokoro wants to use the 4th as a testbed for the updated laser rifles.”
 
“How much is a Royal Regiment?”
 
 “Mine has about 3500 with a training cadre of 200.”
 
“They have that many ready?”
 
“Last I heard, we should have them next week.”
 
“Even the cannons?”
 
“They said those were the easiest ones to change over. At least we got off easier than the naval forces.”
 
“I thought those didn’t exist anymore and that they just spent their time at the old folks home.”
 
“Nobody’s really proud of it. The only reason they got any funding or respect was because of the Serene Insurrection. Now most people are forgetting about it.”
 
“Isn’t one of the Royal Officers married to the daughter of the fleet commander?”
 
“I think so. She’s also the captain of the last remaining ship of the line.”
 
“So that means that she commands a third of the fleet. Is it the one that’s falling apart?”
 
“She’s a good captain. I met her a few times and she knows what she’s doing.”
 
“Then what’s happening to them?”
 
“A complete reorganization from the bottom up.” Reisen II took a moment to eat some of her ramen. “This includes a modernization of the complete fleet.”
 
“How? We haven’t done any research on ships since the insurrection.”
 
“The new ships that Gensokyo is building. The princesses managed to get a few of the new Youkai Cruisers to add to our fleet.”
 
“How many?”
 
“We’re starting out with a full fleet of ten. And there’s rumor of a name change.”
 
“What kind of name change?”
 
“They want the naval forces to be brought under the authority of the Royal Family instead of the individual prefectures.”
 
“I think I know where this is going.”
 
“They want to rename it to the Royal Navy just to piss off the British.”
 
Reisen took a bite out of the chicken she’s been staring at, while the regimental commander drank her tea. “I’m surprised that I haven’t heard any of this.”
 
The younger rabbit shrugged. “You’ve been cooped up here for a while, so don’t feel bad. But since I have you right here, I wanted to ask you about that new girl that’s joined us.”
 
“You’re talking about Sumireko.” Reisen eyeballed an oddly shaped piece of chicken. “Master Yagokoro was so impressed with her progress that she gave her the rest of the week off.”
 
“Is she around?”
 
“She’s doing research at the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”
 
A commotion came down from below the balcony, causing them to stop their conversation. Someone was being roasted because of a horse leaving a present on the front lawn. The horse in question was also being roasted by another officer, but kept a blank look on his face.
 
“Where does she fall in the hierarchy around here?” Reisen II asked.
 
“She’s not really in the LDC.” Now that she was done with her chicken, she opened up the container for her desert. “She falls under Master Yagokoro for the time being, but she really belongs to Yukari.”
 
“I heard some of the nobles talking about her and complaining about Colonel Yagokoro gaining too much power.”
 
“Don’t they realize that she’s one of the writers of the Constitution and a founding member of our civilization? If she ever felt like it, she could easily take over the LDC.”
 
“You know how the nobles are, they always have to complain about something.”
 
Reisen laughed. “I’ve forgotten how this place is sometimes.”
 
“I hate that I have to sit in on the staff meetings again.”
 
“That’s something that I don’t miss.”
 
Reisen II frowned. “You know that the other commanders don’t like moon rabbits.”
 
“I know.” Reisen’s mood soured as she remembered the historical division between Lunarians and moon rabbits. “I thought that with you being commander of a Royal Regiment, it wouldn’t be a problem. Guess I was wrong.”
 
The two sat in silence after that. A few minutes later, a wing of Lunarian airborne troops flew over the building, one of the usual patrols to keep order in the area. But the number of patrols were being reduced due to the festival that was being held in the nearby town later that night.
 
The monthly festival was a way for the moon people to forget about everything for a day. It was also a way for the LDC to make some money for rainy day funds. That was one of the reasons that Eirin had given her the half day. All that Reisen would do at the festival would tour the food stalls and watch the fireworks before turning in. But she liked it like that.
 
Down the hallway, the two moon rabbits could hear someone else being roasted. This time it was over not cooking the eggs right. It sounded like they were so raw the baby chicken was eyeballing the sizzling pan and that there were feathers everywhere.
 
“I just remembered that I have to go to the Capital Art Gallery tomorrow,” Reisen checked her phone. She was trying to see if she had any more messages about other matters tomorrow.
 
“I never took you for an art rabbit.”
 
“Master Yagokoro wants to teach me about how art can give you an insight into your enemy’s thinking.” Reisen took a bit out of the last sugar donut. “She hopes that I can get the hang of it enough to teach Sumireko later on.”
 
“Didn’t some great admiral have that ability?”
 
“Yeah, it worked wonders until he was betrayed by his bodyguard. Stabbing him right in the middle of what was supposed to be his most important battle.”
 
Reisen II was biting into a chocolate chip bagel and thinking about getting some milk as she thought about what she was going to say next. “That’s…depressing.”
 
“Depends on which side of history you view it from.”
 
“I always hated those kind of responses.”
 
“Only because it’s true.”
 
“Some of the nobles have been saying that it might be time for that to happen again.”
 
“Why doesn’t anyone remember what happened during the Serene Insurrection and the Solar Festival?”
 
Reisen II shakes her head. “The sad thing is that talk like this doesn’t even bother me anymore.”
 
“It has been like this since even before I left.”  With that the older moon rabbit stands up and collects her things. “I have to tie up some loose strings in town before tonight.”
 
 
 
 

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