Macross Fan Fiction ❯ Macross "VF-X Ravens" ❯ Chpt 10 - Mission 8 : Mary Poppins ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 10
Mission 8: “Mary Poppins” - January 16th, A.D 2051
The previous year had passed by so quickly... resolutions were made, new relationships forged... all this happened on the night before January 1st. All the peace was broken 15 days later, when news of an interstellar war is about to break out...
Aegis worked on his laptop in the lounge with a glass of red wine by his side. Sipping it as he furiously typed a report on his keyboard. The news broadcast at the overhead television was the usual... reports on Earth... accidents... disasters whatsoever... but the atmosphere throughout the ship suddenly tensed, as an important news broadcast took over the spotlight. All active television sets; in the lounge, gym, canteen, some public hallways and even the cockpit where the commander and his crew sat, were diverted to the broadcast. People stopped moving all at once almost immediately, some rushing to see what was happening. Dire news: The combined military strength of the Critical Path Corporation, corporations in cohorts and remnants of Black Ravens Terrorist, have announced a full-scale war against the U.N Spacy government for their “foul and propagandalistic” policies.
U.N Spacy only has VF-X Ravens and their main battle force repelling the combined might of their enemies, but it seems too much to handle all at once. Regardless, desperate plans were being made inside the government operations. Commander Garland called for an emergency briefing.
Garland: “The orders I have received from U.N Spacy... Are to hold out the enemy force for as long as we can. We are to provide MINIMAL combat support while the main battle fleet attacks them. Only Alpha Squadron is to be deployed...
Aegis: ”Only us? Commander?”
Garland: “Isn't Alpha Squadron already enough for backup? Or do you doubt your own capabilities Captain Aegis?”
Aegis went from ease into attention replying a hard “NO” at the Commander's remarks... however... Eimi was rather surprised by how the Commander answered his question... for it was not like the Commander to throw out such words.
Garland: “Like I have said, only Tohma, Suzie and Aegis of Alpha Squadron will be needed. The rest of the force will be on standby until further orders are received. We must hurry with the battle preparations. Bridgette! Place all battle stations on Level One alert.”
Bridgette: “Le...Level One?”
Garland: “Did I stutter?”
Bridgette: “No Sir!”
Bridgette exited the room in surprise and confusion... “Level One”, the words kept repeating in her head...
Bridgette: “Level One... against... a thousand over battleships and fighters? ... He must be joking...”
As planned by the Commander, only Aegis, Suzie and Tohma were deployed. Aegis had some doubt in the Commander's judgment, but he dared not question his authority. The Chief Engineer in the hangar called out to Aegis and his two crew members, whispering in secrecy to them.
“I think the Commander is a little crazy today... The war is so massive he only allowed you guys to pilot Valkyries! I tried to reason with him a little but I failed. I mean... fighting a full scale war with poor equipment? He must be joking...
Aegis' suspicions elevated, but nonetheless, he kept the doubts he had untold.
“We boys will break the rules a bit, so we're gonna bring out Nightmares for you two. And this... is for you Captain Aegis.”
The bay doors where the engineer pointed opened with a loud crank of gears and machinery parts, as a cyan coloured VF was wheeling out slowly, guided by the signal men. Cyan coloured, fastest fighter, and Forward-Swept Wings... no doubt... it was the VF-19A Excalibur Fighter, the same class as Gilliam's Excalibur.
Aegis: “But this...”
“Ever since Gilliam went missing, this fighter is the only one left. We think you guys need the best equipment there is now. So we're giving you this to use. Don't fret, we'll cover up with a well-planned tale.”
Aegis: “Thanks Chief!”
3 hours later, the enemy had escaped Earth's atmosphere, the U.N Spacy Main Battle Fleet (MBF) in position. Gaining first strike advantage, the MBF launched a salvo of high explosive thermo-nuclear missiles at the enemy fleet, which were still rather disorganised after leaving the Earth's atmosphere. Aegis and his team watched the missiles blaze towards a group of enemy battleships, explosions sighted, target destruction unconfirmed... But when the nuclear explosion cleared... The enemy was unharmed! Suzie gasped at the sight, surprised beyond belief at the undamaged enemy cruisers. Aegis could have sworn he saw the missiles curve away before they made contact with the enemy cruisers. But that didn't matter now... the enemy is still there... and that's a fact.
Aegis and his fellow crew broke formation into three sides, now taking their own objectives into hand. Aegis met with an incoming Transporter ship guarded by fighters, he ignored the fighters and blasted the damn Transporter to kingdom come... After all, his orders were to remove the main battleships. With his Excalibur at top speed, nothing could catch up with him except another Excalibur fighter.
Next on his course, he encountered a Destroyer class ship, but different from the one battled against during the mission “King & I” It was at the third stage and Aegis dealt with the Destroyer class easily, avoiding long range missiles and what not... His next target pointed out by his radar, a Battle Cruiser...
Eimi: “Captain! That battlecruiser is crippling our forces badly, but remove that ship with caution!”
The giant battlecruiser alone and unguarded fired upon its enemy at free will. Aegis saw the center of the BattleCruiser glowing blue, raging with energy, while the pulse cannons at the top fired at the enemy ships. Even before reaching the ship, he had Hi-Maneuver missiles on his tail. Activating the Pin-Point Barrier, he managed to barely deflect the explosions from the missiles on time. The BattleCruiser's finally let out a fierce power beam streaming towards the MBF. Aegis could see ships on his side being destroyed... He had enough to handle... Aegis took out the stationary pulse cannons and began pounding on the lone cruiser... avoiding missiles like no tomorrow. The cruiser was eventually crippled. Tohma and Suzie were doing well. Taking down numerous ships already, on another of his target lists, an Attacker class battleship. Alone and out in the open as well.
Eimi: “Captain! High energy reading from the ship. This one is different from the mission in “Moby Dick”! Be careful!”
Taking her warning into consideration... Indeed, she was right. The front barrel of the hull began to glow blue just like the BattleCruiser. Nothing else different he'd reckon. Except the gun batteries were firing at his Excalibur fiercely. Easy as pie. He'd take out the gun batteries in no time flat. Aegis maneuvered a little too close to the front of the battleship, watching a blue sphere generate from the cannon barrel, he quickly dived out of its path and saw a trail of light burst from behind his fighter. It was too close; that massive laser would have fried him if he hadn't dived. Heck... not even the barrier would save him from a beam that massive. Aegis continued pounding on the helpless ship, crippling it in a few hit & runs...
Aegis cleared his set of targets... Suddenly... his eyelids twitched... as if sensing something... Indeed he had... right next to his fighter... Another VF-19A Excalibur rode beside him... He recognized the pilot in the suit he was wearing... The flying style was too familiar to him... Gilliam Angreat! He's alive!
Aegis: “Gilliam!”
Gilliam: “It's me alright...”
Aegis: “Why have you not been contacting us then? Gilliam?”
Gilliam: “I had to remain as MIA, so as to let someone think I was dead; missing; so that someone could have peace in his mind while we worked behind the scenes.”
Aegis: “I don't understand your point Gilliam... Why?”
Gilliam: “During the mission at Snow White. While I was led away by Barnrose, I was told of the truth behind the Black Raven Terrorist attacks and interference of Critical Path Corporation.”
Aegis: “...”
Gilliam: ”Truth is... Someone had to take the blame if the operations of fighting off the terrorists failed. This person had to push the blame away in other to keep safe his position of power. Hence... the formation of... VF-X Ravens, Alpha Squadron...”
Aegis: “You mean us?”
Gilliam: “Personally I began to realise... from the time I switched to Alpha Squadron, we were always the ones in charge of every single operation there was. At lest one pilot would have died in almost every mission, it was like gradual massacre; only the skilled made it out alive of every mission. Which were usually you and I... after you transferred in as well. I believe... the operations we all had, been staged by someone in order to try and get rid of us in battle. In fact, this war has been staged!”
Aegis: “!!!... So this is.... really true?”
Gilliam: “Yes it is true. Up till then I had no idea why there were those strange incidents that happened back at the base, coming up one after another... I found it too suspicious by then. And during the mission Snow White, Barnrose appeared by coincidence. That's when I took the opportunity to listen to her views. And in the end I joined her, for what is right...”
Aegis: ”So who... is the real person at fault here?”
Gilliam: “After a lot of deductions I made with Barnrose, we could only decipher that someone is pulling the strings back at the U.N Headquarters. I ask of you now! What do have to say? Commander!!! No, Wilbur Garland!”
Aegis: “!!!...Commander Wilbur?!”
Back at the Command Ship, everyone had eyes on only the transmission between Gilliam, Aegis and Commander Garland...
Garland: “Gilliam Angreat, you have already betrayed us all by joining forces with an enemy and you have returned here silently, only to accuse me, your former commander of such accusations?”
Gilliam: “I am entitled to my opinions. I came in peace to settle the matter. I don't see how I have offended you and I have not threatened any of your pilots up till now.”
Garland: “I will have you know that I have no pathetic intentions with neither the Black Raven Terrorists nor the Critical Path Corporations as they're seen as military threats to the U.N Spacy Government. I have served a decade in the government and I will continue to support them.”
Gilliam: “Heh... It's because they're powerful threats that you choose to be with them and overthrow the Government rather than die with them like pigs...”
Garland: “Your reasoning is just an invalid excuse and unjustified! You will not live for betraying us all! Captain Aegis! I hereby authorize you with the position of “Executioner”! You are to destroy your Ex-Captain and traitor, Gilliam Angreat!”
Gilliam: “Aegis, despite my supposed treachery as a “traitor”, I truly have no intention of battling you nor killing you. You are a young man of integrity all the while I was with you. I have chosen to acknowledge you as a great pilot before I defected.”
Garland: “Captain Aegis! Hear none of this “Traitor's” lies! I hereby order you to destroy your former Captain now!”
Gilliam: “I believe you would do what's right. Kill your enemy! My fate is in your hands...”
Gilliam swerved and faced his Excalibur directly nose-to-nose with Aegis, in Fighter mode, stationary. Aegis put himself in Battroid, rifle aimed at the cockpit of the Excalibur. He tensed on the gun trigger... pulling it slowly... Seconds later... Aegis... had not fired a single round.
Gilliam: “Why... Why won't you fire on an enemy?”
Garland: “Executioner! What are you doing! Kill the traitor! NOW!”
Eimi: “Aegis...”
All eyes were focused on Aegis and Gilliam, fearful of whichever decision Aegis chooses to make. Aegis still had the rifle raised, uneasy about his decision. Commander Garland watched impatiently at the two stationary VF's, neither moving a single limb nor joint. Finally, a twitch of motion, as Aegis reverted to his Fighter form, blasting off behind Gilliam. Gilliam was surprised but was still unmoved, waiting for Aegis to start any form of assault. Everyone believed Aegis was going to fire missiles at Gilliam. Commander Garland clenched his fists in anticipation hoping for that moment. 3km... 2km... 1km... sub-minimal firing distance but nothing shot out of this missile pylons. Instead, Aegis raced beside Gilliam and parked his Excalibur stationary with Gilliam's Excalibur. Gilliam smiled, and both Excalibur's blasted off away from the VF-X Ravens side.
Garland: “Captain Aegis! You dare betray us too!”
Gilliam: “Give it up Wilbur! The boy has made his mind up.”
Eimi: “Ae...gis...”
Aegis: “Gilliam! Now I know why our coffee tastes so sweet every time.”
Gilliam: “Heh... glib tongue you have...”
Just then, Suzie, his current wingman flew beside Aegis.
Aegis: “Suzie... What will you do? You can choose to follow... or fly back to base... We will not harm you even if you choose the latter...”
Suzie: “I...”
Before Suzie could give her reply, tracers of gunfire blazed from behind Aegis' fighter. Performing evasive maneuvers, He dodged and blasted off ahead of the assailant.
Tohma: “Captain Aegis! How dare you even choose to betray your mother fleet! I'll never forgive you!”
Aegis: “Tohma...”
Gilliam sits back, unwilling to interfere with the personal duel. He trusted Aegis... to handle matters well. Suzie falls back beside Gilliam, safely away from their battle zone. Missiles blazed about, gunfire ripped the darkness of space... Bright blazing trails of engine energy discharge warped about. Against Captain Aegis and his skills, piloting the even more powerful VF-19A Excalibur, Tohma's VF-17D Nightmare wouldn't stand a chance. Aegis however was merciful to Tohma. Carefully, he shredded and bulleted off the critical parts of Tohma's fighter, crippling his fighter with each aligned hit. End of battle; Tohma's Nightmare sparked badly, discharging electricity from the exposed circuits.
Aegis: “Your fighter's crippled! Just listen and return to your base!”
Tohma: “Damned you!... Don't think I'll just forget this!”
Suzie still not deciding, followed Tohma back instead. Not even sure she made the right choice...
Gilliam: “Great work Aegis. Precision and accuracy... neat...”
However, the trouble wasn't over, as their radar suddenly traced another incoming VF-
A Red VF-17S Nightmare. Manfred Brando's! Veering sharply, the Excaliburs perform a direct 360 turn away from his Nightmare. The battle ensues, amidst a conversation of truth..
Gilliam: “You again... You're beginning to piss me off...”
Brando: “First I'll admit I was listening to your conversation just now. I must say, it is true, your deductions with Mariafokina Barnrose were absolutely correct. This whole war was staged, for the sole purpose of testing out my Target Jamming System. You saw it didn't you? Captain Aegis. The nuclear missiles didn't hit their targets after all. That my friends, is the work of my brilliant invention. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Aegis: “You idiot... I'll blast your head off!”
Gilliam: “Aegis, his jamming system is still functional, but only at regular intervals, we'll hit him when the chance comes.”
Aegis: “Roger, Gilliam.”
They tried everything, traps, relying on blind gunfire, spread-fire missiles. Everything they could to hit Manfred Brando's Nightmare... It was a success in the end... As Brando says his last words...
Brando: “He has bought my Target Jamming System... You can't stop him already!... Ha....!”
The Red Nightmare damaged badly, Manfred Brando dead... Critical Path Corporation is good as dead... But the war still leads on... Aegis flies back with Gilliam to his new base, only to be call in by Barnrose.
Barnrose: “Gilliam, any news?”
Gilliam: “Lots, and another prince piloting a shining Excalibur is joining us.”
Aegis: “Ack!... Gilliam, cut those words would you =)?”
Barnrose: “We welcome you aboard here, Captain Aegis.”
Aegis and Gilliam heads towards the hangar of a Flagship BattleCruiser, guarded by multiple Destroyers and Attacker fleets... Their forces begin to pull out of the battle zone.