Enter the War Machine is a tandem story written by IceBite and SupcommMonroee. It follows the Eteno Imperial Armed Forces Task Force Rold's entrance into this universe.
Chapter 1: The StormEdit
IceBite walked quickly into the command room. Serah and Snow were off with Lightning, for their orientation, while Ryan decided to help her with that. He also jst got done seeing off Lightning's other friends, Sazh, Dajh, and Hope, as they were taken off to be found new homes on Earth. Tory and Dawn were off preparing for war.
Soon, however, one of Tory's scientist approached him. The young woman was no more than 20, but was one of the intelligent minds Tory hand-picked to aid in his research. "Umm......Commander......" she said nervously," I think you may need to see this......" She led IceBite to one of the Temporal Mapping Devices. She then said, "I was scanning the area near Coruscant, and found...take a look for yourself."
IceBite did, and what he saw shocked him. "Another Rift Storm? The destruction of Dissidia must have made them more frequent." He straightened up. "Get the ships ready, we need to investigate."
Chapter 2: What a Situation Edit
"General Schwarre, we've exited the anomaly, sir."
"Well, alright then, things are looking good."
"Well, not so much sir. Officer?"
A quiet-looking female Bridge Officer nodded her head quickly before facing Lance General Schwarre.
"From the data I'm getting from my station, it looks like we're not in any charted space."
"Well then, let's just retrace our-"
"I'm afriad that won't work, sir. By uncharted, I mean extremely uncharted. By which I-... well... look here." Bridge Officer Uetzen tapped several buttons on her touch-screen monitor and looked up to the front viewport of the bridge. In seconds, a holographic map flashed onto the heavy-duty armoured glass.
"As you can see, a few zones away from us is Zwerde... Earth... and then we have this cluster." She gestured to a group of stars not too far from the Sol system.
"That shouldn't be there, right?" An officer at the radar station asked.
"Indeed, this cluster doesn't show on any of our stored maps. Either something happened to us or the rest of the galaxy in that anomaly."
"I'd assume the former, stellar arrangement doesn't just change like that, regardless of the type of anomaly a handful of ships goes through." Schwarre put forth.
"That's logical. The Fleet Commander's still waiting for orders, what's our course of action, general?" A radio officer said from the far Western side of the Praetorian-Class Battleship's bridge.
"Hail the Honder, I'm pretty sure I know what we should do."
"Patching you through... ok, here."
Imposed over the area in which the map of their location was formerly projected was a full view of the bridge of the ENS Honder. Sitting in the captain's chair was Fleet Commander Franz Aldrich, his sullen expression giving way to a soft smile as he saw his commanding officer and friend.
"Lance General." Even after having been so long since that court martial, being called by his actual rank still stung Schwarre, albeit with less intensity than the week right after the event.
"Staying in unidentified space like this is not a proper thing to do. We're not far from a habitable world, I suggest we offload my men there, and your ships can take up a geosynchronous orbit above us. Sound good to you?"
"Absolutely. Shall we set off?"
"Whenever you're ready, I'm having Fulda go with the transports, they should take a bit longer to arrive."
"Right. Storovlad and Honder will check out the real estate for you."
"Good, but save some time shares for my friends, you got it?"
"Ahah, of course! Still, last one to the condos cleans the engines of the Storovlad."
"I'm going then. Get a rag."
Schwarre cut the feed, and imagined the Fleet Commander in a space suit tethered to the colossal engines of a battleship, scrubbing Storovlad's particularly nasty engines.
Chapter 3: Close EncountersEdit
IceBite looked over his fleet from his flagship: several Corsair War Frigates, a couple CAS-Class Assault Carriers, several CCS-Class Battlecruisers, and a small swarm of Musspellheim Class Atmospheric Attack Ships.
He also watched as May's starship, the HCS Silent Hunter, edged into the formation near his ship. May, IceBite's Girlfriend and Hellcat Squadran's Stealth Commander, had insisted on joining him, seeing as no one else was available.
The fleet gathered up, and May said over the comm, "Everyone's ready. Meet you there." Then, May's ship fired a pulse that opened a Rift into Slipspace, then activated its warp drive and plunged into the rift.
Then, IceBite's fleet followed the Silent Hunter into Slipspace, IceBite finally following suit after everyone else was in.
Slipspace Rifts appeared over Felisor Negla, a planet only a few lightyears from the New Republic Capital of Coruscant. May's ship sat waiting. She sent a transmission to IceBite. "When I got here, these guys were already making their way insystem. I think they came from the Rift Storm."
IceBite looked over the unknown fleet. Readings showed that the starships were at about the same Tech Level Hellcat Squadran was at. He moved to the comm station and, reaching past the comm officer, he opened a channel to the unknown fleet. "This is Commander IceBite of Hellcat Squadran, onboard the HCS Salvation's Light. You are entering restricted airspace. Identify yourselves." The message seemed harsh, but it always pays to be cautious.
Chapter 4: Of the Tense KindEdit
Some on the bridge chuckled. Others had silly grins plastered on their faces, all looking towards Schwarre. Officially, the EIT respected the sovereignty of all nations that it was not at war with. Unofficially, the idea of a military force telling them to identify themselves was one of the humorous kind.
"I am Lance General Heinrich Schwarre with Task Force Rold, Eteno Imperial Armed Forces. So, this is your territory?"
Llehctim frowned. This told him nothing, as he'd never seen these kinds of ships before. The battleships were odd in their design, with a somewhat-intimidating hull design serving as an allusion to a bird of prey, the lit-up bridge being the slit eyes staring at its' rivals, almost as if to dare them into attack.
"Yes, it's something you'd do well to remember."
Scwarre raised his eyebrows, and the bridge crew had to stifle their laughter. While the thought of an upstart foreign military officer standing up to them like that was funny, Heinrich had to at least respect him for his backbone. It was an unspoken law amongst the nations living in the shadow of the EIT that those who resisted or disrespected officers normally lost the right to rule themselves. Heinrich decided to play along with this hot-shot for now.
"We'll do that. I figure that this planet is also yours as well, and we can't land on it?"
"Why would you land on it, Lance General?"
"I'll be frank with you: we're lost, and my transports are carrying 600,000 men eagre to ditch their cramped quarters."
"I see... well, I don't see a problem with that. How long will it take for you to set up?"
"Hour, two hours maybe. The transports'll be fine."
"Fine. We can talk further once you're done with that, Lance General."
"Good, I'll see you around, Commander."
Chapter 5: SpyEdit
IceBite was puzzled. The alien Lance General spoke as if he, or at least his empire, was a massive one. He had a strange feeling about them. He hailed the HCS Silent Hunter on his and May's Encrypted Channel.
Just short of the Coalition High Command Channel, IceBite's and May's Private Channel was the most heavilly encrypted, nigh-un-decodable Encrypted Channel in the Coalition. "May, I want you to keep an eye on them. Go into Stealth Cloak. Don't let them see you. Don't let them hear you. And, please, try and come back alive."
May responded, "Don't worry. I'll be back." Her tone of voice made IceBite smile. He knew very well if anyone could get this job done, it was May.
The Silent Hunter broke formation with the fleet, and then disappeared under the veil of Stealth Cloak. The ship then positioned near the Eteno fleet. She watched as the Transports went towards the planet. She then ordered her Romulan, Human, and Kig-Yar crew to follow the transports down. As her ship entered the atmosphere, what appeared to be a cloudbank surrounded her ship. She knew this side-effect, and thought it useful: in an atmosphere, to other ships, she was just an irregular weather pattern.
Chapter 6: Setting up ShopEdit
Those who bothered to look up for a brief moment from the frenzied base construction noticed a descending shuttlecraft breaking through the cloud layer. Through the hole in the overcast sky one could see battleships in orbit, crawling around the planet in such a way as to stay permanently above the 645th Mechanized and 1,724th Heavy Infantry Airborne divisions. As the passenger shuttle came closer, it pointed its' nose up, looking as if it were attempting to climb, but was stalling. Eventually, forward movement ceased and the craft's nose came level again. The light hum of the engines ended as it fell to the ground with increasing speed from about fifteen metres. Tatiana Miloj and Oleg Albescu watched as the side doors of the shuttle parted before several officers jumped from the doorway to the ground, a distance of a metre or so, due to the unusual height of the shuttle's landing skids.
"Hey, Oleg, come on. Lift this."
Oleg returned his attention to the wheeled bookcase laying on the ground, two boxes of literature strapped into the top shelf alongside two large rocks.
"Asshole strapped them in just to mess with me..."
"C'mon, Milo doesn't hate you-"
"But like you said, he's jealous." Tatiana and Oleg lifted the bookcase from the ground, putting it back on its' wheels.
"I guess. I fail to see this taking you down a peg though."
The truth was that Milovanovic hadn't expected that to bring Oleg down a peg at all. He was, however, most certainly jealous about how his comrade had received a promotion before him, despite Milo being able to flaunt a kill count almost twice as large as his. Lieutenant Freuwoerth was adamant that a kill count didn't display combat skill, and had promoted Oleg because of his lifesaver commendation he won on Dassow. Having found a suitable path to the barracks free of the goopy mud provided by the recent rain, Oleg and Tatiana started to roll their squad's reading material and bookcase towards the platoon barracks.
"So... Oleg, how's your brother?"
"Last I heard about him was maybe a month ago... parents say he's still sad about me being gone, but he's surviving. How's your family, Tat?"
"You know I hate that, Oleg."
"I do know. Why do you think I do it?"
"Yeah, sure. My dad is fine, but mom is still furious that I signed up."
"Oh yeah? I figured eventually she'd get over that."
"You thought wrong. I've never seen anyone so incensed about anything."
"Why the hell is she so mad?"
"Day I left? She said that it was completely insane for a lady to take up the maggie. It doesn't really bother me anyway, I never got along with her."
"I can see you being at odds. Well-... barracks is right there, it looks like Naumann. That- he's grinning!"
Tatiana laughed at Oleg as he descended into a state of anger, thundering towards Naumann.
"What're you angry about? I heard the firing range is up, want to cool off there?" Naumann said cooly and mockingly.
"Yeah, c'mon Oleg," Tatiana managed to subdue her laughter, her speech punctuated now by the odd snort or giggle, "let's down a few purples with the maggie."
Chapter 7: BoredomEdit
May watched as the Eteno merely talked to one another as they set up. Suddenly, a transmission was sent. She already knew who it was. "Yes, IceBite?"
"What are they doing now?" May sighed in annoyance.
'Damn it, I feel like Church,' May thought. In frustration, she responded, "Okay look, they’re just standing there, and talking. That's all they're doing. That’s all they ever do, is just stand there and talk. That’s what they were doing for the last five hours, that’s what they were doing for the past five minutes. So, five minutes from now, when you ask me, 'What are they doing?' my answer's gonna be, 'They’re still just talking, and they're still just standing there.'”
They were both silent for a moment, before IceBite asked, "Any clue as to what they'd be talking about?" May sighed angrilly. "You know what? You can be pretty annoying sometimes."
1 Day Later
IceBite finally received the data from May's drones. It turns out, this whole time, she was keeping an eye on the Eteno officers. She seemed a little frustrated by this, but not to the intensity to make her a hinderence. Just then, he received a transmission from Lance General Schwarre. "Ah, Commander, I'd like to meet with you at our new base on the planet. You can bring anyone you like."
IceBite considered his options, but decided, "Expect to see me there." Schwarre nodded and signed off. IceBite send a trnasmission to May.
"What now?!" she almost shouted over the comm. IceBite was startled by her attitude, but knew she was under some stress.
"Nothing much, the Eteno Lance General invited us to the base. I think it wise if we both go in the same manner."
May sighed, and responded, "Very well." Soon, she was transported to the Salvation's Light, and both were on a Hellcat Squadran Phantom, on their way to the base.
Chapter 8: MeetingEdit
Schwarre clasped his hands behind his back, taking in the wonderful smell of a crisp, recently-cleaned uniform. The handful of medals he still had jingled on his chest as they swayed back and forth. Surrounded by fellow officers, Heinrich looked on with interest as what looked to be a troop carrier slowly set down in front of the base's front gate. From the craft emerged two humans. One looked to be a young male, while the other seemed to be a similarly-aged female. Both of them were much taller than any of the Eteno in Schwarre's force. The male confidently walked towards the assembled officers of Schwarre's divisions, albeit with a distinct air of caution surrounding him, scanning his surroundings. Schwarre and his officers lifted their heads to face what seemed to be a human male, and the female in tow. A common courtesy normally extended by all Eteno conversing with those of non-annexed species, Schwarre had provided his own universal translator. It was a larger model, with more advanced sound projection systems and a higher rate of translation.
"Ah, Commander IceBite. I'm pleased that you were able to arrive."
"Right. Tell me, who are you... Eteno?"
"I'm sure we can move our discussion to a more suitable place, and besides, I don't think we've very properly introduced ourselves."
"Where would a suitable place be?"
"Why, an office, of course. Follow me. Colonels, to HQ."
Schwarre turned and gestured for IceBite, May, and his Colonels to follow. Around them were soldiers hard at work improving the base, despite the obvious reality that it would be taken down eventually. After a short walk, a cobbled-together command building presented itself in the maze of metal barrack structures. It was certainly not an impressive building; assorted metal panels made up the walls, and a tarp served as the roof.
"It isn't much, but our Halford hasn't unloaded, you see. Command truck, it is." Schwarre explained as the group walked inside of the temporary-looking structure. The building was a mere two rooms, one a general office and the other was just a large table surrounded by foldable chairs and portable computers. This was the Lance General's office. As the assembly was led into the room, Schwarre urged them to sit down.
"Take a seat, we have much to discuss."
"Indeed, Lance General. You probably already know me. This is my teammate May, right here." IceBite said as he sat down in one of the grey foldable chairs.
"A pleasure. As for you, Commander, I'm quite sure IceBite is a callsign, correct? What is your actual name?"
"I'm Commander IceBite."
Heinrich looked curiously at him, mulling over the odd person with an acute curiosity, before nodding.
"So it is, Commander."
"Yeah. So, who are you Eteno?"
"Why, we are a powerful race. Our soldiers number in the tens of trillions, and millions of ships stand ready to defend our mighty people."
"A military like that isn't designed for defense. You're conquerors."
"You could easily say that."
IceBite was a tad annoyed by this alien officer. What was odd was that he could not exactly say why.
"How did you lose your way and get here?" May asked, abruptly breaking her silence.
"What we can assume is that some sort of spatial anomaly brought us to an alternate version of our realm."
IceBite muttered under his breath, "The Rift Storm......"
Schwarre noticed the comment. "What is a Rift Storm?"
May, knowing that the topic of Rift Storms brought back very uncomfortable memories to him, decided to explain. "They're these Rifts in space and time. They can swallow up anything from a grain of sand to even whole universe and transplant them elsewhere. It seems that this universe appears to be where most everything gets transplanted." The way May said it betrayed the fact that she was one of the things 'transplanted' in this fashion.
"Ah, I see," Schwarre responded. He was surprised that, not only was the anomoly not an isolated incident, but that it also didn't occur in his universe. Then he began to have a craving to see what these 2 and their forces could do: they looked like they weren't even adults by human standards yet. So, the then said, ""I'd like to invite you to a training exercise, a... show of power if you will."
IceBite seemed a little confused by the request, but, in a way that seemed to be more out of respect than mutual interest, he responded, "Very well."
Chapter 9: Show of ForceEdit
"On your feet!" Boomed the voice of Lieutenant Freuwoerth throughout the grey, metal barracks.
In an instant, thirty or so men and women snapped to attention, immediately removing their focus from whatever they were doing, whether it be resting, reading, talking, or perhaps playing some sort of game. Freuwoerth stepped out of the doorway and to his left, making room for another to come in. Captain Sweld lethargically walked inside the structure, turning to nod at Freuwoerth before giving his full attention to half of the Lieutenant's unit.
"Soldiers, General Schwarre is throwing a military demonstration for a Commander IceBite. Now, why am I telling you in person? You heavy infantry will be part of both sections of the demo. That's because this Commander IceBite will be with you."
"Well, who is he?" Oleg asked.
"See for yourself." Captain Sweld replied.
Sweld stepped aside to his right to allow in yet another individual. He was a tall, adolescent-human looking creature.
"I am IceBite. I will be participating in these demonstrations with you. I believe that we have thirty minutes until the first section. I'll be in here during that time, feel free to talk to me."
With that, the human sat down in a foldable chair resting beside a table sporting nothing but a computer. Captain Sweld and Lieutenant Freuwoerth exited the barracks, leaving IceBite to half of Fifteenth Platoon.
"Good'a meet you, Commander." Milo said, translated by a device grasped by IceBite's right hand.
"My name is IceBite, just call me that. You?"
"Private Second Class Vaclav Milovanovich."
"Milovan, okay, nice to meet you. Anyone... else?"
"Private Third Class Tatiana Miloj, IceBite. Nice to meet you."
"Indeed, you as well."
Tatiana turned her head and looked at Oleg. He raised his brows, but quickly got her message.
"Ah, Oleg Albescu, IceBite."
Thirty minutes later...
Oleg cradled his LMG against his chest, rocking back and forth absentmindedly as the dull hum of the HV-17's rotors calmed him to a state of total obliviousness. However, a quick lurch roused him from his boredom, along with everyone in the helicopter, save IceBite. As he did when he entered the barracks, he observed what he was in and everyone inside of it.
"What was that?" One of the passengers yelled to the pilot through the propped open cockpit door.
"We've moved into formation. Ready in one!"
At the announcement, the passengers began to prepare their gear, and ensure their parachute packs were correctly fastened. Some loaded weapons, while others packed away items they had removed from their many bags and backpacks. Suddenly, a red light bathed the passenger bay.
"Stand up!" A Master Sergeant commanded.
Each of the Eteno soldiers obeyed, and IceBite followed shortly after. As he stood doing nothing, the much shorter soldiers attached clips on their parachute packs to metal rails running above the two rows of seats. Despite having experience participating in combat jumps, live or dry, each soldier stood in great anticipation for the jump. Regardless of how much you did it, it was always fun.
The bright red light switched to a bright yellow. At each of the two doors at the front of the helicopter, a Sergeant went to the side closest to the cockpit, grasping handles extending from the inside of the hull. The HV-17's co-pilot closed the cockpit door, and shortly after, the two Sergeants slid open the exit doors. Ten seconds of tense expectation.
"Go, go, go!"
One by one, each Eteno rushed out of the turboprop aircraft, pulling their clips from their chute packs as the helicopter sped away from them. In this fashion, the craft was emptied in under fifteen seconds, save for IceBite who remained standing at the rightmost door in front of Oleg, the doorman having already dropped.
"I have no idea what you're doing, but good luck..." He muttered under his breath as IceBite stuck his head out of the door.
With a quick, sharp breath, IceBite leapt from the helicopter and into the sky. For several seconds, he fell freely, feeling the air whisk past his face, before his physical form began to change.
"Holy shit!" Oleg yelled, his parachute having just opened as he witnessed the amazing transformation that had just taken place. Where IceBite was a moment ago, in his place was a massive Dragon, made entirely out of Crystal.
The ground was littered with AA Guns and soldiers, all firing blanks up at the paratroopers. IceBite's new form didn't even appear phased by the attacks. It dove straight down at the AA, and fired what looked like crystalline shards at the AA. One by one, the AA Guns were covered in a crystalline substance, quite obviously, this dragon's equivalent of a blank, and fell silent. He saw a flash to his left and saw that May, IceBite's companion, who was dropping with Tatiana, had also tranformed, except her form was of a large, human-sized bird of prey, that appeared to be made out of some sort of fluid. It looked like water, it just seemed different. She dove down behind IceBite and fired bright flashes of light, that only temporarilly blinded the forces on the ground.
Soon, Oleg noticed that there was little to no resistance at the drop site. The troops meant to represent enemies were either trapped in crystal or lying on the ground blinded. He then watched as IceBite's Dragon swooped in and landed. A moment later, the Dragon's crystalline body imploded, leaving IceBite's human form in its wake. Oleg asked the Commander, shocked, "What the... what the hell did you just do?"
IceBite smiled and commented, "The minimum of what my abilities truly are."
Chapter 10: ContactEdit
In short time, Oleg and Tatiana hit the ground. With the rest of the airbourne force, they packed their gear and set out North in a vee formation.
The crescendo of marching soldiers and thundering tanks was punctuated by a radio transmission from the Division's commanding officer. "Attention all mechanized forces, we have multiple unidentified contacts on the horizon. Not sure what they are yet, so stay on guard. Air cav is en route to scout it out."
Oleg continued on with Tatiana close behind, warily observing their surroundings not only for hostiles, but for IceBite. The moment the same message that the Eteno had received was relayed to him, he bolted. Chances were that he was looking for the contacts off in the distance, but who knew, the Eteno had hardly known him for a day.
Every vehicle and person in the formation froze. It was that sound. A chorus of whistling sounds.
"Everyone, hit the deck!" One of the formation's officers yelled over the unit radio.
Oleg and Tatiana happily obliged, right into soft mud. In a matter of seconds, clouds of fire and smoke erupted around them, joined with thunderous booms.
"Artillery, artillery! All vehicles, push forward! Air support, deny unknown contacts use of long-range weaponry. Infantry, keep as close as you can to the vehicles! Move!"
"Ready maggie! Box, feed!" Oleg yelled to Tatiana, who was already hastily removing a box of ammunition from her pack.
Oleg quickly removed the heavy machine gun on his back, and hefted it onto his shoulder. With one hand gripping the barrel, and the other hand grasping around the bolt area, he set off, Tatiana in tow. As they steadily progressed through the muddy fields, helicopters descended from the clouds to drop off artillery vehicles. Each HV-17 would drop low to the ground, and disengage its magnetic clamps. Two artillery trucks would drop to the ground, and the helicopter would be off almost as soon as it arrived.
Gun crews quickly arrived at their vehicles, having parachuted into the battle. They'd waste no time in setting up the vehicle, and letting loose a devastating fusillade of artillery fire. That's about when the gunfire erupted.
All at once, thousands upon thousands of bullets whizzed over the heads of Eteno infantry, their gunners apparently not used to firing at such short targets. Neither Oleg or Tatiana knew what sort of enemies in this foreign space would fire like that, but they indeed knew who would fire like that in their own battles. Novice Kklxin clone soldiers.
Unable to identify the source of the gunfire, Oleg and Tatiana made a beeline for a more wooded area, seeking greater cover. Other infantry also saw this as a good idea, and followed along.
"Laku, Laku en route. Firebombs loaded, anyone spot the targets?" An officer yelled amid the disarrayed infantry.
When the attack came, IceBite disappeared under an ectoplasmic shroud. He made his way to another part of the now-war zone and met up with May. "Who is this? Who's attacking?"
"I have no idea! Can't be Shadow Alliance. Those damned mercenaries that devastated Pulse have them more tied up than they do us!"
Suddenly. they heard and Eteno shout, "Kklxin!" Then, a horde of not-to-friendly looking creatures appeared. IceBite watched as Oleg and Tatiana ran for a forest, and were not long after separated from the main Eteno Force.
IceBite told May, "Get into the trees. They're sure to get trapped in there! We HAVE to cover them!" May complied, as IceBite, still shouded, made his way into the forest.
While going though, he found something on the ground: Oleg and Tatiana's Machine Gun, broken in half. Trapped in the forest was one thing. Trapped in the forest UNARMED was worse. He continued through, until he heard gunfire. He peered out from behind a rock and saw several hundred 'Kklxin' in a clearing, the front-most ones firing at a log, behind which was the 2 Eteno, only armed with a pistol, and defenseless, equipped only with some supplies. Time for IceBite to show the Eteno his true power.
"Hey! YOU!" IceBite shouted, stepping into the clearing. The Kklxin turned around.
Oleg shouted a warning, "IceBite, watch out!" Too late. They fired...and with a wave of his hand, IceBite erected a solid wall of Ice. Shocked that mere Ice blocked their weapons, the Kklxin stopped firing. Then, IceBite lunged forwards, pulling out his swords, and 20-30 of the Kklxin fell under his blade. Several of the creatures managed to recover and was about to fire, when several triple bangs sounded and bullets tore their brains out. Oleg and Tatiana looked up and saw the form of May, liquidic and distorted, in the trees, sniping the Kklxin. Between IceBite's blades and May's sniping, all several hundred of the Kklxin fell.
Passing tthe 2 Eteno each an Assault Rifle he had kept stowed away for such an occasion, he said into his communicator, "General we need backup, unidentified hostiles, called 'Kklxin' by the Eteno! We need support!" He then turned to the Eteno, "Should be here in the hour. Now, let's get back to the battle! The main Eteno force should be organized not far away."
Chapter 11: Fast MoversEdit
"Roger that ground team, we are en route, over." Denis communicated to the ambushed Eteno ground forces' field officers.
"Tighten up formation, we are a go on attack. Baldie, Drunkard, hit the rear. Everyone else, split the vee on contact." The Squadron leader continued, ordering his fighters into attack formations.
Two fighters would go slightly ahead of the formation to hit the Kklxin's rear lines. Their firebomb payloads would cut off several lines of retreat for them. The rest of the fighters would strike the Kklxin force at the front line, lessening the pressure put on the Eteno troops below.
Denis was at the head of the formation, attempting to get a good look at the situation below. Even when under the cloud cover, it was almost impossible to tell where the targets were without smoke.
"Ground team, this is Quick, put your smoke down, over."
"Roger that, smoking fifty feldegrams ahead. Ordnance clear, I do repeat, ordnance clear!"
"Alright ladies and gentlemen, fifty ahead! Break and attack!"
Only a few seconds ahead of the rest of his Luca fighters, Denis dove like a bird of prey towards the forest below, now sporting billowing clouds of purple smoke. He could not help but salivate. Such dense forest, the firebombs would surely cause the death of many exposed Kklxin. Just as Denis felt his bombs detach from the aircraft and began to pull up, he spotted a handful of Kklxin tanks on the outskirts of the woods, firing at the suppressed Eteno.
So, when Denis was again right below the cloud layer, he turned around and dove, locking on to the vulnerable vehicles so blissfully unaware of what was to come. The Luca's HUD turned red, and a loud buzzing noise filled Denis' ears. Missiles were locked.
Those tanks didn't even know what hit them.
Soon, however, he saw a swarm of fighters descend from the atmosphere: a cluster of almost 100 or so fighters, somewhat matching common Kklxin Designs, but also equipped with a pod-like cockpit and Solar Panels added on. Also, as they flew, their engines howled, loudly. However, from the other end of the battlefield came a group of 5 fighters. In his mind, Denis thought, "Looks cool, prefer Luca."
Over the comm, the voice of a young human female (around 23-24) said, "This is Winter Yale of Hellcat Squadran's Anubis Wing. How can we be of assistance?"
Denis wasted no time setting up the HS Pilot's Fighters. "Take up formation and attack," he ordered.
His order was recieved, and the comm channel was left open as Winter ordered the rest of Anubis Wing to report in. "Right away. Anubis Wing, report in."
A gruff, middle-aged voice reported, "This is Sickleblade, standing by."
A young male voice then said, "This is Jackalhead, standing by."
A young, eager female voice almost shouted, "This is Dogmouth, standing by."
A stern, serious female voice responded, "This is Cynopolis, standing by."
Finally, Winter said, "This is Afterlife, form up with the Eteno Fighters and get ready to engage the enemy."
Denis made no comment as the Hellcat Squadran Fighters joined up with the Eteno fighter wings. Once close enough to the Kklxin Swarm, he got a message from 'Afterlife'. "Move now! We have something to surprise them with."
As he pulled his fighters back, Denis told the young HS Pilot, "If you get one on your tail, don't expect me to bail you out."
As soon as the Eteno were out of the way, Anubis Wings' Fighters changed: a whole section of the fuselage shifted backwards on the fighter, revealing a large laser cannon about a quarter the size of the whole craft. "If it works, no problem," was all Denis said.
The 5 Fighters, now flying wing-tip to -wing-tip almost, openned fire. 5 blue laser beams shot out, slicing into the Kklxin formation, causing it to scatter. However, soon, the Kklxin were within firing range. "Ah, shit, Anubis Wing, break formation. Pick your targets and fire at will!"
Winter's fighters spread out and began engaging the enemy fighters. After seeing how many enemies Afterlife's maneuver took down, Denis said to her group over the comm, "Good job, keep at it."
"I just hope we can." The Hellcat Squadran Fighters dipped and dived through the Kklxin Fighters. However, something bothered Denis: these pilots didn't seem as skilled at close-range as they were striking from long range.
Then, suddenly, he picked up a distress call from one of the Hellcat Squadran fighters. "This is Jackalhead. One of these guys is on my tail, I can't shake him!"
"This is Afterlife, Dogmouth, go help Jackalhead."
"Too late!" Denis watched as the Hellcat Squadran fighter's engine exploded. The rest of the fighter fell to the ground, practically cartwheeling upon impact. Denis noticed that the fighter appeared to be intact, aside from the missing engine and being too battered to flyHowever, these new fighters' superiority over any Eteno fighters became evident. Denis found one of these fighters now on his tail, and it wasn't long before Winter sent her own distress signal. However, just like Jackalhead, help didn't arrive in time and her fighter smashed into the ground. Fortunately, it was mostly intact as well. He managed to shake his pursuer, only for a new fighter to enter the mix. This one looked like a flattened Cylinder with unusual-looking Solar Panels on the sides. "Ah, so you want to play? Let's see what you got!"
IceBite, May, Oleg, and Tatiana exited the forest. They all scanned the skyline, watching the furball unfolding. Then, he looked to his right...and saw a crashed ADF-01H. He rushed over, quickly followed by the others. Using his Ectoplasmicly-enhanced strength, he peeled the cockpit openned and pulled out the occupant.
"Ah, shit! Winter! Are you alright?!" he asked his long-time friend.
Winter seemed dazed at first, but she came-to. "IceBite? Yes, I'm fine." She stood up, uneasily, but enough so that IceBite thought against aiding her.
"Those...creatures...they're attacking the Eteno fighters and the rest of Anubis. Their fighters look like mash-ups including Imperial Fighters."
"Imperial...what the hell..."
Oleg asked, "Who are these..."
"The Galactic Empire is one of our enemies in the Shadow Alliance. But, I don't get it, our current adversaries, the Zann Consortium, is attacking them too. What..." Then, he noticed something: one of the Eteno Fighters being pursued by a TIE Avenger. "Oh, God DAMN you Palpatine!" IceBite exclaimed, realizing the Palpatine sent one of his Dark Adepts to aid these creatures. Fortunately, they weren't far from the Eteno forward HQ. With May helping Winter, IceBite, Oleg, and Tatiana rushed to the HQ.
The Commander at the HQ was surprised. "Commander IceBite! I thought you'd be back with your own..."
"No time for that, I need your comm, NOW!"
Without waiting for an answer, he went to the comm station and immediately put in comm codes. A moment later, a voice spoke. "Commander, what is it?"
"We're in a heap of shit down here, Blaze. We need your guys' help. Get the Wing ready. I'm calling you guys into this battle."
With that, IceBite and the Eteno left the HQ. IceBite watched the sky, until he saw Cerberus Wing's F-14s dive into the atmosphere. "Good luck, you guys..."
This pilot was no Kklxin. Denis realized this immediately. No matter what he tried, he couldn't shake this pilot.
Suddenly, one of the Anubis Wing pilots said, "Guys, this is Dogmouth, I just got word from HQ. Cerberus is on its way!" The general reaction of the 2 other HS Pilots led Denis to believe that these 'Cerberus Wing' individuals must be Hellcat Squadran's bigshot Fighter Aces. However, the fighters he saw enter the battlezone...were less than impressive. The computer immediately recognized the fighters, labeling them as 'F-14D Super-Tomcats'. "What?" he said in shock, "Why are they using these pieces of ancient crap?!"
He then heard over the comm, "This is Marquis Hatcher, Cerberus Wing, to all allied fighters. We are preparing an XLAA spread, so I suggest you vacate the battle area."
Denis did as suggested, although the enemy fighter stayed with him. The F-14Ds then unleashed a massive force of 16 Long-Range Multi-Targeting Missiles. 16 missiles struck and destroyed 16 Kklxin Fighters.
Then, Denis heard over the comm, "Cerberus Wing, engage!"
The voice of a young woman answered, "Edge, engaging."
The voice of a man that sounded like a combat veteran responded, "Swordsman, engaging."
Finally, the voice of a young man reported, "Archer, engaging."
"This is Blaze, target all unidentified fighters. I'm heading after the TIE Avenger in the pack." Denis noticed at that moment that the lead F-14, most plainly Blaze's Fighter, began pursuing the fighter chasing him. He dipped and dodged to shake the TIE Avenger, as he heard Blaze call it. Soon enough, with the F-14D on its tail, the TIE Avenger broke off, to engage the new threat. When Denis looked back at the battlezone, he watched as the Cerberus Wing fighters literally turned the tide of the battle: the modified Kklxin fighters appeared to be no match for the skill of these pilots. "Ok, either they modified these fighters, or these are some damn good pilots...maybe both," he thought.
He finally returned his gaze to Blaze, who, after somehow getting his fighter facing the TIE Avenger, openned fire, shredding one of the TIE Avenger's stabilizers. Denis watched as the enemy fighter careened into the ground and exploded violently.