LOST WAR CHRONICLES Chapter Two: Do Or Die! Entering Colony 5
“Ricardo Ismail. Heh, I remember now. He was one of the few surviving Ace pilots from that incident back in 38,’” Keith Newman clutched his abdomen and groaned as shifted in his seat.
“You know, I can understand how you feel, but you have to confirm if we were enemies or allies FIRST! No one has kicked me THAT hard before…not even my wife!” whined Paolo, who had just woken up.
“You won’t be that lucky next time…ouch…” grunted Miguel as he rubbed his throbbing head.
They were taking a short break after the brawl, which ended with both parties feeling a little frustrated. The Ace, Ricardo Ismail, was planning to go to Colony 12 to kill all leaders of Royal Zeon due to his own personal vendetta.
It was obviously akin to suicide. He was the partner of Mario Engracial back in their Earth Militaire days. Ricardo’s wounds were being treated by Zyann Nigel, who’d learned Medical Assistance during her stay in Pakistan.
Ricardo groaned, un-amused. “Listen, you were the ones who barged in armed with guns. There’s no need for me to apologise.”
"What? Arrogant twerp!” the three (with the exception of Keith) shouted simultaneously. They tried to stand, but they fell back to their seats right away. Newman just chuckled. “Youngsters…”
“What a joke…I’ve had enough of this. I’m leaving.” Ricardo managed to stand for a short while, but before he could take a single step, his bullet wound sent pain rocketing throughout his nervous system, causing him to crumple back onto the chair. “Dammit…” he cursed, scowling.
“Don’t move Mr. Ricardo! It’ll take more time for the anesthesia to take effect. You shouldn’t be moving…” Zyann’s words, however, fell on deaf ears.
“Great, now I’m being lectured by a girl…go home and play with your stupid dolls or go flirting.” He then gestured for the 18 year old to clear off.
“Ricardo, you don’t really have to do that! Can’t you see that she’s just concerned?” Mario snapped.
The man’s expression quickly turned sour. He grimaced. “Concern? Look, I don’t need your sympathy. Don’t talk to me like you know everything. Mario, it’s been 6 years-a lot can and has changed.”
Grunting, he shifted himself off his seat and limped painfully away to where the cargo bay was. Zyann decided to follow him.
Keith didn’t waste a second, painfully dragging himself off the nice and soft sofa towards the terminal’s computer. As he started to type away, trying to configure the server and secure the shuttle’s path to Colony 5, Paolo and Miguel scoured the compound for Zeon uniforms and IDs. Mario returned to the communications room to send a false report to neighbouring Zeon bases.
Ricardo was trying to muscle it, lifting up boxes of ammunition and carrying them over to the loading dock at the cargo bay. “Let me help.” Zyann said as she began to tug at the handles of the boxes. Irritated, he stopped and swiveled his head around to shoo her off. He opened his mouth to speak, but somehow he hesitated for a while.
“…no thanks…you should be helping them instead; you’re more acquainted with those guys.”
“Don’t force yourself to do things you can’t. Besides, I’m helping you out of my own free will.” Ricardo gave in.
20 minutes later they were done, and they walked outside into the dark and cold of night. The landscape was pitch black, with only the source of light being that of the Zeon Base’s. Occasional gusts of icy wind sent sand and tumbleweed gliding above the dune. Zyann took off her shoes and dug her feet into the cool sand.
“This always helps when I’m down in the dumps…you should try.” Zyann said, flashing him a warm smile. No reply came.
"So…why do you hate Zeon so much? Why are you doing this in the first place?”
There was brief silence for a while. Just as Zyann started to think that a reply would never come, Ricardo spoke up. “To take back my pride, which Zeon had stolen.”
A frown crept into his facial expressions. “It always made me proud, the feeling of people relying on me. It gave me the strength to do what I had to do, as a member of the squad, as the Shadow Blitz… My parents never made me feel appreciated or special, living just for their money… Even after what happened all those years ago, my friends, and sister, still gave me the feeling of ‘home’…” That was my pride of being a soldier of the Earth Militaire.”
“I was a part of ‘Taskforce Gaia’, one of Earth Militaire’s Elite Squadrons stationed on earth. 6 years ago, something happened at the Caucasus Mountains in Russia .
We were sold off by our own forces! Allen…Marco…Leena…they were all….” He clenched his fists as the bitter memories returned. “That’s it for now.” He turned around and walked off without another word.
Over the course of the next hour, the people acted quickly as they started to load the mobile suits and arms onto the space shuttle. They were ready to leave soon enough. “Soon...I will avenge all of you…” Ricardo whispered as he took a final glance at the Royal Zeon base.
Beneath, the shuttle’s engines rumbled to life. A deep whirring sound engulfed the cockpit. Everything rattled and vibrated, as if the space shuttle itself was going to fall apart. “Ignition…in…3…2…1…0!” Flames spewed out of the cone shaped boosters. The shuttle shook violently as it accelerated skywards, kicking up huge clouds of smoke and dust. In seconds it reached its maximum thrust and in minutes it was no more than a streak of light in the night sky.
Space, Zeon Military Post, Point C-ZN 5 c3
“10 minutes till we reach the checkpoint Captain!” Magnus gave the soldier an approving nod. They arrived before schedule. That was a good sign. The ship was a Vesalius II; its passengers, the infamous Crimson Squadron. They were on their way to investigate Colony 5, which was rumoured to be supporting the Earth Militaire. Ribbons Almark was already stationed there, and was awaiting Magnus’ arrival.
Aya suspected that Ribbons had stationed himself there just to mock them. After all, the only reason they were sent for such a low ranked mission was because of their recent loss at Pakistan.
“Colony 5 has always been a prosperous Colony, with a population of millions of people, 68% of which are earthnoids. I won’t be surprised if they were allied with the Feddies. The Colony itself has been expanding every year, plus, they have the best in technology. It’ll be troublesome if they’d built Mobile Weapons for the Militaire. I don’t think that they can be completely trusted.” Ensign Aya reported after briefly studying the Colony Statistics. She sipped on her hot chocolate as she waited for a reply from Magnus.
Magnus himself was having a drink; a premium blend of coffee mixed with a small pint of scotch.
“I visited that Colony once before. They’re mostly peaceful people that don’t even have a Mobile Suit Corps like other Colonies. Besides, they’ve always shared their technological advancements with the empire firsthand. They’re just rumours. Also, Ensign, trust is something we give and receive. There is no such thing as complete trust. ”
Disturbed by his last comment, Aya Creuset could only nod. “Also, prep the Mobile Suits for battle.” The ensign’s eyes widened in surprise. “But…Captain, this is just a routine sweep operation!” He looked sternly at the Ensign. “That is the exact same thing that was on our minds when we entered Pakistan.”
Space, Zeon Battalion Type Transport Shuttle, Point C-ZN 5 b
The group was now dressed as Royal Zeon soldiers, complete with dog tags and I.Ds. “The shuttle is docking into the checkpoint now. Get ready!” Paolo said as he switched the controls to ‘autopilot’ mode.
“So, what’s my name again?” Miguel said as he tried desperately to get his boots to fit.
“It’s Bruce Kentucky! Remember it! Mine’s Jet Longstein.” A smirk materialized on Keith’s face.
“Oi! I’m not a fried chicken man!”
“Paolo! How much time till we dock?”
Keith smiled. “Great.” As he floated off to the Mobile Suit bay to check on his Jegan Custom, he could hear Miguel throwing tantrums and screaming in the distance. Hehe… The Jegan was Keith’s personal Mobile Suit. It was shipped over to Mario from Pakistan along with several other new mobile suits just before the Crimson Striker arrived. ‘I got careless…’ Keith realised as he thought back.
As the shuttle began to dock, the group donned their I.D masks.
The checkpoint consisted of a huge cylindrical tunnel, which housed all sorts of scanners to determine the contents of the ship. Keith and the others alighted the shuttle for an I.D check.
“…All clear. It sure was rough on Earth eh?” The customs officer said. “By the way, what’s that…thing that’s foxing the censors?” He pointed to a large white blotch on the monitor.
“Oh that…corpses.” The officer’s face turned green.
“Our boss said we need to bring our buddies back for a proper funeral where they belong, not back at that filthy planet. Y’know, I could always let you inspect them…that is, if you want the whole place to stink.” Keith said, grinning widely.
“Heck no! Still, I agree on that…spacenoids buried on earth…it’s a damn disgrace.” As he checked their IDs, he suddenly stopped and looked up. “Jet??”
Seconds later, another officer appeared on the scene. “Hey, Jet! Izzat really you?” He stopped in front of Keith and
gave him a friendly punch on the shoulder. “Well, yeah…I kinda remember you a little…” Keith said, trying not to show his surprise. Who the hell is this?
“Boy, you sure changed a lot since the academy…and I see you ended up with Bruce, ‘the wet dreamer’ eh?” he continued, giving Miguel a wink. Miguel’s face began to redden, genuinely insulted by that last bit. Keith had to improvise.
“You know…” Keith began, gesturing for both Zeon soldiers to get closer. He then whispered something into their ears. Seconds later they burst out laughing. “He still does?!” one giggled, wiping a tear from his eye. Keith forced a smile. “Duh!”
They laughed for a couple more seconds, before the man decided to ‘test’ Keith. “Say, remember you had that relationship with that girl back in the Academy? What was her name, eh?”
Oh crap. Keith Newman scoured his mind for a random female name. “You mean Alicia?” He blurted out.
“Did you just say Alicia??” they asked. Keith nodded nervously. “We..had..uh…treasured memories of our…private moments?” The soldier started to laugh once more.
“Don’t make me laugh man! SERIOUSLY? Alicia was such a hottie! She had a loooot a boys goin’ for her y’know! Not even Cole managed to stead with her!”
“Dream on man!” the other said.
They were immediately cleared for their journey. “Thanks guys!” Keith shouted as he got back into the ship. “Say hi to Alicia for us, eh Jet?”
“Hey, are you really Keith or ‘Jet’?” Mario joked, thankful that they made it. “Maybe I’m a newtype in disguise, eh?” Keith replied with a grin. They celebrated with cans of coke, happy that they managed to slip past.
Ricardo practically tore off the Zeon uniform after getting back on the shuttle. Zyann lay asleep inside one of the cabins, which was installed with a signal breaker that nullified the tunnel’s scanners.
This wasn’t to last, as a nearby military post dispatched a squadron of Overflag Kais to intercept them. A transmission came in from the leader of the squad. “Those who are inside the LC-39RZP Lowenbur Shuttle, we have received a report that identified you as terrorists that have survived Operation Desert Wipe. We give you five minutes to stop your engines and surrender; otherwise we will shoot.”
Ricardo’s eyes widened. That voice!
Mario practically choked on his coke. “What? How is that even possible?”
“Someone must’ve visited the Base in the wake of our departure.” Keith tossed away his coke and hurried to the cockpit. “Paolo, give me the stats of the ship.”
“This ship is equipped with 4 Vulcan Cannons, 8 pods of anti-MS missiles and fog canisters, a Mega Particle cannon and I field barriers…We can’t survive against the flags with just this!” He reported.
“I’m going!” Ricardo said as he pushed himself to the shuttle’s unloading bay, where the Mobile Suits were stored.
“Wait! Ricardo!” uttered Miguel. It was no use. Ricardo was in his pilot suit in no time, checking the status of his ReZel Shadow Custom. “Release the canisters now!” He shouted as his Mobile Suit booted up.
“Okay then, old friend, we’re counting on you.” Mario said, giving Ricardo a thumbs up through the webcam.
“…Just like old times.” Ricardo replied, smiling confidently.
Miguel was shocked at his decision. “That’s crazy! You’re sending a single ReZel to fight several Overflags! It’s suicide!” He then felt a hand being placed on his shoulder. He turned around to find Keith, who was looking at the monitors; vaguely amused. “Don’t worry Miguel. He isn’t the Shadow Blitz for nothing.”
The fog canisters were ejected into space, releasing a mist of white smoke that surrounded the shuttle. “What in the world?” the pilot of one of the flags said, wondering what kind of trick those terrorists were trying to pull.
“Systems All green…Ricardo Ismail, heading out!”
The time was up. “Commencing the destruction of the Lowenbur.” But before the next command could be given, the single round of a Beam Rifle pierced through the mist and straight in then out of the torso of one the Overflags. It exploded, and the other Overflags, aware of their new threat, began to retreat out of the mist. In the process, another was sawed in half.
“OFK #3 and 7 are down! Formation Beta, go!”
Five of the Overflags quickly arranged themselves, forming the shape of an arrow head. The pilots of the Overflags studied their monitors warily. Not a second too soon, an ebony Mobile Armour burst out of the mist. “GO!” the pilot of the first overflag shouted as he floored it. The other Overflags started to fire upon the Mobile Armor, which seemed to dodge every shot effortlessly. “Too slow!” Ricardo remarked. Instantaneously, the M.A transformed into a mobile suit. It’s visor blazed red, sending chills down those who saw it.
The lead Overflag drew a beam saber and lunged towards the M.S. Surprisingly, it didn’t veer away, instead it opened fire. OFK #8 dodged the shots just barely.
As they met, OFK #8 brought the beam saber down upon his opponent.
To the pilot’s shock, the MS easily out maneuvered the attack despite the fact that there being less than a second before the supposed impact. Now the ReZel was pointing its Beam Rifle straight at the cockpit. He saw pinkish static interference emerging from its nozzle on the monitor; a second later a bright flash. OFK #8 was gone.
The remaining four panicked and they couldn’t shoot straight; their hands trembled at the controls. The Rezel returned to Mobile Armor mode and made a sharp turn around. All of its boosters fired up, and it flew towards the Overflags.
“FEAR WILL ONLY GET YOU KILLED!!”
A few short bursts from its beam rifle was all it took to take them out. Ricardo jolted his Mobile Suit to a stop. Let’s see what you’ll do.
“Captain, we have to retreat!” cried the pilot of OFK 9, who was stunned by the flawless performance of the black ReZel.
“No, after what just happened I must eliminate this threat! Formation: Bloody Episode!”
The OverFlags, with the exception of the Commander Type, transformed into M.A mode and formed a defensive perimeter around the ReZel, which for some reason had stopped moving. The OverFlags circled the Mobile Suit cautiously, unsure what outrageous stunt it was going to pull off next.
The Commander Unit disabled the Limiter of its Linear Beam Rifle and pointed it at the ReZel. “Let’s see you dodge this.”
Bloody 13th tapped several commands into the small keyboard by his side. Upon relaying the message to the main computer, the keypad glowed blue, signaling that the Program was online.
A small window materialized on the main monitor. It read:
CONFIGURING QUANTUM B-WAVE PATTERNS
- SYSTEMS ALL GREEN ***
STCP stood for Space Time Computing System. It was designed by the pilot of Bloody 13th himself to aid his heightened Innovator senses. It calculates the opponent’s possible causes of action and it flashes indicators on the monitor that tell the pilot how and when to act. Thanks to this, Bloody 13th has never missed.
And Bloody 13th pulled the trigger.
The rifle took only a second to charge. The barrel emitted a wide blast of light. The beam streaked across the darkness, quickly approaching Ricardo’s M.S. Miguel watched in horror.
Why isn’t he MOVING??
As soon as Ricardo had seen the flash, he shifted the pedals and adjusted the thrusterunits. Everything had slowed to a crawl.
Wait for it.
The beam was only 100 metres away now. Go! He deftly manipulated the keys and moved the left throttle backwards while shifting the right one up. 20 Metres! He rammed his foot on one of the pedals and yanked back the gear stick.
The ReZel flipped a few degrees to the side and then transformed into Mobile Suit mode. The beam narrowly missed Ricardo. It shot past the black M.S through the gap in between its legs.
All the other Over Flags started to fire upon the ReZel. Instantly, it reverted back to M.A mode and propelled itself forward, doing a barrel roll using the momentum gained from the maneuver it’d pulled off earlier.
“Impossible! The time it takes for two consecutive transformations is 0.37 seconds? Who is this guy?” Panic coursed through Bloody 13th’s veins. He could only watch as the mysterious variable machine started to wipe the rest of his troops out.
Eliminate the small fries first. Ricardo Ismail banked his M.A to the right, heading straight towards the nearest OverFlag. He fired.
And thus began the slaughter. Ricardo picked them off one at a time with his trusty beam rifle. The panicking pilots never stood a chance.
Calm down. You can take this guy. Bloody 13th exhaled and gripped the throttles. He could feel his resolve return. Damn, what do I have to lose? He quickly sent a report back to base and to an approaching Zeon Space Shuttle. My final legacy is this? Pathetic…
He closed the contact window and readied himself for battle. The M.A was approaching fast. “Alright then, time to die!”
He steadied his aim and fired rapidly at the variable machine. Back in the ReZel, Ricardo raised his eyebrows in surprise. His shots were more accurate now. Ricardo was finding it harder to evade. Suddenly his Mobile Suit jerkedviolently to the right, then to the left.
Damn, he landed a hit! Ricardo yanked the gearstick again.
Again? Cursing, Bloody 13th discarded the linear rifle and re-calibrated the STCP. If that’s how you wanna play… He drew a beam saber and lunged forward, letting out a battle cry. Their beam sabers collided in a frenzy of sparks.
“You haven’t changed a bit you damn bastard!”
Bloody 13th frowned.
This guy knows me?
“This is for my squad! All the pain I’ve endured for the past 5 years, and this will be the first step I take towards REVENGE!” Ricardo scowled. The dots in Bloody 13th’s head joined together all at once. “You! You’re still alive?!”
Ricardo ignored the comment and pulled away. He quickly fired two missiles at the stunned Over Flag.
The beeping from the STCP system jolted Bloody 13th back to the present. Before he could react, the missiles slammed into his Over Flag, blowing off its right arm and leg. The Over Flag custom jerked backwards and spun out of control. Sparks pranced away from the exposed wiring. Inside the cockpit, Bloody 13th felt like he was inside a washing machine. He was being tossed around like a ragdoll inside the cockpit. The beeping coming from the on board computers had transcended into a high pitched whine. Bloody 13th tried desperately to gain control of his Mobile Suit.
Ricardo watched, amused by the scene before him. His smile evaporated once the Flag stabilized. I need to finish this.
He set his beam saber’s power to its maximum output. “FALL!” He rammed the throttles forward and the ReZel threw itself towards the Over Flag.
The STCP system has malfunctioned…this is it huh…
Bloody 13th ripped off his helmet. Blood trickled down his face. His Flag was in critical condition. More ever, the ReZel was charging over now. He gritted his teeth, refusing to admit defeat. Wiping his face, he put his stained handsback on the controls.
“Shadow Blitz: Ricardo Ismail! Prepare yourself!” He rasped. Bloody 13th used the last of his strength to mash the controls forward. He let out a battle cry and drew a beam saber.
The beam sabers smashed against one another.
The ReZel’s beam saber overwhelmed that of the Flag’s. It crashed into the Flag’s torso and tore downwards. The Mobile Suit was slashed into two. No explosion came. From his monitor, Ricardo could see the lifeless body of Bloody 13th, hanging limply to the side.
He’s finally dead…
Back at the Lowenbur, Paolo and Miguel could only stare, shocked. “He obliterated the squad of 13 in just 5 minutes?” Miguel was silent and his mouth hung wide open. “Above expectations.” Keith smirked. Mario simply nodded. “Never doubt him.”
The Vesalus II was going full speed ahead now, towards the location where a squad of Over Flags had sent out distress signals. They were gone by now. Things must be bad for them to be wiped out. Magnus could sense growing anticipation within him. As he looked down at the report sent to their ship, he felt perplexed. It was too much of a coincidence. Surviving rebels from Pakistan…and a special unit with an exceptionally skilled pilot?
It must be that guy…!
Mario reeled back after seeing the data received from the ship’s sensors. “DAMN! Guys! We’ve got company! It’s a Vesalus class ship, and it’s hell of a close!” The team’s temporary sense of relief vanished, as they shifted back to full gear. Keith grimaced. A Vesalus?
“Is it a MK II?!”