?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Here is first chapter of Approaching Nick of Time.  Things seems to be getting interesting.  By the way, I think this chapter should be rated PG-13 due to some contents.  Well, like it's not already rated PG-13 with all the violence and language this title is showing.

Chapter 1: Wall of Sand

  It was already past 1400 hours in the summit of the deserts heat when Martin Estis received the difficult report.
  In the base that makes use of the relics of the Marine period, the large force of the enemy is drawing close.  In the current spot, it is confirmed to have 30 Main Battle Tank (MBT) and 4 units of second generation Arm Slave, in addition they expect that the same number of enemy force to increase.
  The enemy force would be <Amalgam>.  In a more accurate expression, the Military force of Morocco which <Amalgam> has penetrated.  Escaping from the precedent great offensive, the surviving military force and a portion of the materials were collected, with Estis and the others who are questioning the counterattack, they are finally here to crush them.
"Dammit"
  He grumbled in annoyance, under the crude tent, he breaths in the dry air in his nasal cavities.
  This is the northwest part of Africa.  It is a desert area that connects to the borders of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and West Sahara, there are no mountainlike mountains in their surrounding area for dozens of kilometers.  With the burning sun blazing down on the ground, the distant horizon flickers from the heat haze.  Even now for Estis, he fully knows well that he is no longer in Arizona or Nevada.
  The camouflage tent and barracks are created from the sparse row of pillars.
  With the runway making use of the cracked natural ground level.
  Although they have camouflage that deceives the surveillance of a spy satellite, it is too modest to be called a base.  Their military force would not even reach 100 people, AS are a few second generation units.
  They even have stock parts for the M6, although they have the legs they don't have the hip joint parts, although having a torso, the cockpit part are entirely lacking, that is their condition.
  Even being amazed at the discovery of the enemy of this [resistance point], they were even surprised that they would come all the way here just to crush them.
"Oh well.  This certainly is an extravagant war for a dilapidated opponent."
  Estis muttered, with Master Sergeant Jima who brought the information with shivering shoulders.
"I won't say it's ambitious.  The enemy has already considered our combat capabilities."
"Aren't they overestimating us.  Then that's an honor."
  Formerly in the small country of Belize in Central America, there was a selection camp for the essential members of <Mythril>.
  Working on the mercenaries who have gathered from around the world, screening carefully their ability aptitude, the remaining people were sent to various combat forces.  Estis was the [Principal] of that selection camp.  Taking away all exceptions, the Landing force unit members of <Mythril's> operations, usually came out from Estis' camp.  It is the same for the trio of the Pacific Ocean fleet---- Melissa Mao, Kurz Weber and Sousky Seagal.
  With the offensive of <Amalgam> at the beginning of the year, various position of <Mythril> in the world is being annihilated one after another, Estis and the others immediately walked on foot in the swampy area from Belize hiding themselves.  of course even the tanks and armoured vehicles, and the limited movement of the AS in the swampy land were unavoidable.  Escaping in the flesh proves to be advantageous from the pursuit of the enemy.  Even from the pursuit by aircraft, making use of the forest and bushes they managed to hide themselves.
  And so they ended their march after 3 weeks, they somehow managed to escape to Colombia from the air route of Honduras.
  They managed to arrived in Colombia in the city of Medellin, most of the trainees walked and returned home.  What remained were ten-odd instructors belonging to <Mythril>, and around 4 to 5 curious trainees.
  With a merely 20 something people weak who can't really do anything against a strong <Amalgam>, Estis and the others worked as a small private military organization in North Africa, and the other allies continue to gather information.
  And then a few months after, they linked up with around 10 men from <Mythril>, still without any results of getting ahead.  Although the majority of them see themselves as a small group, it would still be a difficult task to pinpoint their obscure whereabouts.  Without getting any contact, the outcome of this was pessimistic, over again they don't seem to have the mood to concentrate.  Even Estis himself, his hope of reorganizing was withering, they would most likely continue to live managing a meager private military organization, this is what they were starting to think.
  But on that brunt, the incident in San Francisco happened.
  Although it was reported in the news as an [explosion incident in the harbors], looking at the fragmentary pictures of the scene, they knew that it was not merely an explosion incident, they had a hunch that is was a battle between AS.

  Master Sergeant Jima and a few subordinates flew to San Francisco, and they managed to obtain in one day the actual harbor workers testimony and images from observation cameras, and the record of the police's wireless radio.  Even without a significant amount of analysis, they knew that this incident involved a one on one fight between a [black M9] and a [Venom].  In addition, in the middle of the battle, the black M9 received a support in the form of a cruise missile from somewhere, with a single unit, destroyed a venom.
  That black M9 was most probably Ben Clouseau from the underground forces.  And then that cruise missile must have been launched----there is no mistake, from that submarine <Tuatha de Danaan>.  Although they haven't met, it was rumored that they were being lead by a girl with shit balls.
  Knowing this, the agitation of Estis and the others changed greatly.

  Those guys from the West Pacific Fleet, they're still living stubbornly.  Not to mention that they've dealt a harsh blow on the enemy.
  This incident was spread all over the world to the former members of <Mythril>.  The continuation of <Tuatha de Danaan>'s resolute resistance is in fact encouraging others, beyond the imagination of Estis, but for Estis who had reconsidered that [they might be able to retaliate] there was people recontacting him one after another.
  Two months after that, the meager subordinates tripled, and had managed to setup a base on the verge of the Sahara Desert.  Then the training camps budget were difficult to recover from the banks in Europe, the accumulation of the necessary goods, and the expansion of their regular combat capability----
  Now, the enemy is approaching.
  This base that was elaborately concealed in camouflage, although they don't know how the enemy managed to discover it, it no longer matters.
  In any case the enemy's military force is overwhelming.  Even if they wanted to withdraw, if they get away using the surface vehicles they would be seen during pursuit.  The personnel and goods transport is still 1200 kilometers away.  Even if it is coming in their current location in express, it would take at least 2 hours to arrive, until then it is impossible to hold out.

  An extremely disadvantageous battle is about to start.
"How regrettable.  I thought that we were doing a lot better."
  Estis mumbled.  Moving about in confusion in the heat of the ground outside the tent, gazing at his subordinates with their wasted efforts in preparation for the coming ambush.
"How unusually timid.  Well, with that many opponent it's not unreasonable."
  Jima said.
"Hmph.  Who's timid.  Let them show you."
"Yeah.  Why don't we get rowdy and loud."
  Exchanging grins without any heroic feeling, Estis grabbed the assault rifle near his hands.  Putting on his desert camouflage hat and went out of the tent, the glaring sunlight tanning his skin.  The dry and hot breeze stroking his cheeks, sweltering affected by the dryer.  Even though the night was that cold, the daytime in the western Sahara is that hot.
  After giving instructions to his subordinates, he thought about the penetrating methods of the expected enemy with this binoculars.
  With the pale white desert, the atmosphere was warped by the hot temperature.  That was all he can see.

  No----he can see a cloud of dust.
  Crossing over the loose sand dunes, one 4 wheel-drive vehicle was approaching this way.  facing off the irregular land, heading straight with a violent speed.  The distance is around 1 kilometer.
"What's that"
"Shall we shoot it?  We can miss."
  Said the subordinate inside the nearby trench peeping into the scope of his 50 caliber rifle.
"No.  Let's see who it is."
  It's not possible that this could be a suicide bomber.  Looking carefully a man driving can be see through the windows, shaking his hands way over here.  At first they did not see the Khaki shirt and black hair, as it gets nearer they were able to distinguish the face.
"It's him"
  Jima said.  He is also one of the instructor in Belize's training camp, having some knowledge.
"Who?"
"That guy, the Korean.  The guy who passed last year.  I'm sure he was sent to the West Pacific Fleet."
"I don't remember."
"Come on, that.  The one who's not motivated, yet does things flawlessly."
"Aah, that.  Even though not a show-off, the strange guy who just suddenly passed.  There is that one, I'm sure"
"That's right.  It's him."
"What was his name?"
"I don't know why I can't recall....Yon or was is Yen."
"It's awkward even if you hear it now. Umm...."
  ordering his subordinates to [don't shoot], Estis went out of the trench.  Followed by Jima and the one who hold the rifle in one hand.  The 4 wheel-drive vehicle finally arrived in front of the base, stopping the car 30 meters away from Jima.  A young Oriental got off without cutting the engine.
"Lt. Commander Estis, it's been a long time!  I'm glad you're alright!"
  The youth gasped, running towards them.
"Ou.  Well.  What."
  Estis said with a uncharacteristically vague attitude towards the other person who he does not know the name.
"The old code method is dangerous so, I came here directly.  Well, it's good that I made it in time!"
"Before that, state your name, rank and affiliation!  With minimum distinction!"
  From the sides Jima raised his voice as a veteran non-commissioned officer.  Then the youth in confusion stood in attention.
"Please excuse me.  Sergeant Yan Junkyu.  Affiliated with the West Pacific Fleet, Special Correspondence group.  Assuming that <Mythril> is still present, that is"
  That's right, Yan, it's Yan.  Nice Jima.
"Well let's leave out the pleasantries.  I'm happy that you're alive Yan."
"Ah, thank you."
"Well, why did you come here?  You seem to know that the enemy is approaching this place."
"Yes, about that----"
  At that time, there was a large defeaning sound echoing.  A sound they fully know well----the sound of shells flying.  close.  Immediately after thinking that, the car Yan rode explodes and caughts fire, flying about 10 meters in the air.  The disconnected tire drew a parabola, rolling on the ground.
"Follow me"
  Right now it was a test shot.  And not aimed at the car.  In reference to this shot, the artillery troops takes note of the horizon adjusting alignment by a number of degrees, increasing the natural potent shot.  There is no time to be slow.
  Estis and the others who bent down on the ground, stood up getting rid of the dust covered in their head and back, returning back to the encampment with a short run.  Yan was dumbfounded when his own car was hit, but he immediately pulled himself together and followed after.
"Please wait, Lt. Commander----"
"Battle Stations!  There is an enemy who controls the guidance of the bombardment nearby!  Look for it!  Jima, you be the lookout on the west side!"
  Behind Estis who runs around the base giving instructions, Yan called."
"Lt. Commander Estis, I still haven't told you!"
"Later, I'm busy!"
  The corrected shot of the enemy impacted. This time the shot was much closer to the base.  It was in the place where Estis and the others were standing.  The interior of the base have already prepared for the full-blown bombardment of the enemy, and will be getting noisy.  The people who carried most of the ammunitions into the trench, the people who prepared the firing of the anti tank missiles, those people who boarded the small amount of AS----
"Incoming!"
  Somebody shouted.  The subordinates simultanoeusly rushed into the trench.  The sky shook, shivering, the sound of the flying shells getting closer bit by bit.  It was not one shot.  It was a number of shots that was incomparable.  10 shot, no, more than 20 shots.
"Lt. Commander, the reason why I'm here is----"
"Shut up!"
  Impact approaching.
  Estis dived to the nearby trench.  He thought of slapping Yan, but there was no need.  As expected he is no amateur.  unconfused beside Estis----sliding inside the trench which is not wide, closing the ears with mouth open, preparing for impact.
  Impact.
  Being the product of experience, they have not grown accustomed to this instant.  With the shock of the explosion, their bodies were hit with the heavy sandbags.  With no relation to their own will the air leaked out from their lungs, like an electric shock numbing their cranium, running with the burning heat in their whole body.  It was not once, they were attacked many times.
"....Dammit"
  The enemy fire did not once wane, Estis cursed.
  Confirming the damage immediately.  Because of the trenches the injuries were minimal.  However without any defensive measures, the facility, vehicles and goods were easily destroyed, with the usual black smoke and fragments scattering in one side. There were screaming voices for help, the fluttering of the screams of those experiencing the firsthand bombardment in panic.  Someone reported that the enemy tanks were drawing near, and another informing them of their numbers.
"The second wave will be coming soon.  It was a careful preliminary"
"L..Lt. Commander...."
  Yan crawling out unsteadily from the trench.
"Talk later.  You also take a weapon"
  The enemy tank that is getting closer was firing from the haze of the shaking heat.  Missing the base in its aim, a large cloud of dust whirled around.  2 shots, 3 shots----on the 4th shot the unmanned armor vehicle was hit, the burning lump of iron takes to the air.
  They really aren't showing any mercy.
  With this manner, only half of the allies would be able to take on the enemy.  Showing authority in front of his subordinates, Estis' heart was no longer calm.

  Scrutinizing the enemy's movement, he ordered them to pull back.  The tank units were scattered in a few directions.
"don't be frightened!  At this distance they won't hit!  Pull them in and fire!"

"Lt. Commander!"
  Yan persistently said.
"Later!"
  There was a terrible heat in the back of the neck.  The enemy from the north side were attacking.  If you narrow your eyes, on the side, a line of tanks----a modern improved M60 can be discerned from its shape.  The numbers----more than 12 units.  If they do their best they might be able to half this number, but then that would be the end.  In any case this encampment would be trampled by those caterpillars.
  No----
  On the direction of the hanging smoke and haze.  One of the enemy tanks is intermittently giving off gunsmoke from the scorching heat, noticeably getting a large flame.
  it explodes.
  Not only one.  there was another, and then another.  One by one the enemy on the horizon is being destroyed by someone.  Snipe Cannon, and then Super High Speed Missiles.  Both accurate and efficient shooting.  This cannot be seen in the encampment of Estis, from somewhere far away----
"I came here to tell you about this"
  Yan said from behind Estis whose eyes are round.
"Reinforcements will arrive in 15 minutes, until then hold off.  But it seems that they came here earlier than expected.----"
"Then why didn't you say so earlier, idiot!"
"I tried to tell you but you wouldn't listen!"
"I don't remember.  It's your bad!"
"That...."
"Well!?  What is the military force of the reinforcement?  Where are they!?"
[In the mean time just one unit!]
  There was a woman's voice on top of their heads.  Just over the thick hanging smoke, they immediately knew that the voice came from the electronic camouflage that erases the shape of the AS.  In only that space there was a distorted silhouette of a giant humanoid.
  M9 <Gernsbeck>.  The latest third generation AS that <Mythril> utilizes.
"An M9?  When did it get here?"
[Just now, lt. commander.  it's good that we made it in time.]
"I remember that voice.  Mao.  Melissa Mao right!?"
[Correct]
  The form of the M9 can be seen with its ECS canceled, on both arms shooting Super high Speed Missile K1 <Javelin>.  A missile rushing towards the enemy tanks over the horizon at mach 4 - 5 speed with a powerful Rocket Mortar, the turret portion blows off sky high.
[This is Melissa Mao of the West Pacific Fleet <Tuatha de Danaan>.  Before we proceed to the support of you gentlemen, there is something that I wish to confirm.  Is there beer in this base?]
"There is, Lots of them!"

<Image=037.jpg>

[Then there's plenty to cool off.  Battle Start!]
  After saying that Mao's M9 leaps over the tanks, entering battle maneuvers.  Her voice made the encouraged soldiers cheer.  With Yan behind dropping his shoulders muttered [eventually in the delicious place, carrying it all....]
"Yan.  The support is only an AS?"
"Yes.  There is also a transport helicopter, we're not expecting heavy firepower.
  Estis smacked his lips without anybody hearing.
  They are thankful for the reinforcements, but it will be difficult with only an AS.  Because this is a desert----it isthe most difficult terrain for weapons like an AS.

  The battle getting up to speed, the amount of communication with the allies increased with the recognition of [him].
[This is Uruz 2.  Intercepting the attack of the enemy tank units in the south west.  Currently engaging.]
[This is Uruz 6.  4 units destroyed.  Moving towards Point Hotel]
[Tiwaz 12 to all units.  Newcomers at area 04-23.  Main Battle Tank 6 units, Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) 4 units.  closing in to [Alamo fortress] from the north side]
[Uruz 1 roger.  I will confine the enemy units in area 04-23.  Uruz 2 what about your amo?]
[This is Uruz 2.  There are only 3 shots left to the Javelin.  It's about to get intense]
[Zeta 3 to the gentlemen of the <Goddess Family>.  Proceed with modest firepower from now on.  Is there any request for delivery?]
[Uruz 2 to Zeta 3.  Take the coordinates now.]
[Confirmed, Uruz 2.  What a wonderful voice.  If you survive would you like to have dinner with me]
[Stop it, Zeta 3.  She's a severely unmanageable woman]
[Oh my, Can you think about it?  ....! 2 units destroyed.  But I can't move.  The enemy bombardment is full, moving into position----]
  Inspite of the extremely serious situation, the voice of all the units are quite calm.  They are always like that.  They don't shout during a dangerous time.  They also won't lose their mind or get surprised.
  Just like himself----that's right, like a machine.
  The Artificial Intelligence installed on the ARX-8 <Laevatein>, Al continues to listen carefully.
  The amount of electronic information is much more than the conversation, with each electronic machine making exchanges.  Enemy ally position, movement speed, movement direction, various conditions, detailed coordinates.  Different information from Radar, Infra red rays, Optic Sensor.
  Today's battlefield is 2 dimensional.  Wherever they continue are desert.  Aside from that there are terrain with a number of hills and rocky areas.
  The <Laevatein> continues to be on standby.
  Crouching in the storage of the transparent Pabe Mare transport helicopter in an electronic camouflage, sorting out the information from the allies in the battle field, keeping silent.
  The special Man Machine Interface ---- [TAROS] installed in the unit, transports the mental status of the pilot to Al.
  He is obviously irritated.
  Even though his allies are being compelled to have a difficult fight, he himself is safely hidden in a high place, being unsatisfied only observing the war situation.
  The psychological stress of the pilot making a careless mistake or going against orders is close to zero.  But in order to reliably operate the Lambda Driver when the time comes, he has to be relaxed, Al decided this as a plus in the battle strategy.
<Sergeant>
"What"
  The pilot inside the cockpit----Sagara Sousuke answered.  As expected the stress in his voice was high.
<Shall I play some music for you?>
"don't"
<Yes>
  In general the expected reply.  This pilot who would reply with "That's right.  Please play a number of melody" is below 0.1 percent.  The proposal was simply a test related to the communication facility.
<You are in a state of not being calm.  Is there anything that I can be of use>
"Then be quiet.  That would help the most."
<Good joke>
"It's not a joke.  Shut up."
  In the latest "Shut up" of Sousuke, Al interpreted the meaning similar to a sound indicating comprehension.
<Are you worried about your friends?  Being in a battle with high risk, you have to bear it being in here>
  In the flat desert, it is a battle of tank units.  This would be one of the most difficult situation for a weapon called Arm Slave.
  No matter how much High Technology crystal an AS have, it can never attain the armor and fire power of a tank.  Not being able to repel tank shells, the standard level assault rifle could also not destroy the tank upfront.
[Frontage Projection Area] ---- It is said that the area in front is what can be seen the most.
  Compared to the tank that crawls on the ground, a vertical walking AS that wiggles can easily be discovered, and easily shot.  The greatest strength of an AS is it's maneuverability, taking advantage of a complicated terrain to get close, it would be difficult in a desert.
  In an exchange of gunfight with a tank, it has no chance of winning.
  that is why the ally AS units makes use of the dug trenches surrounding the ally base----codename [Alamo Fortress] to accept the challenge and moves from one place to another.  Using freely the necessary number of anti tank missile, they move from one trench to another using smoke screen, radar jamming, and infra red jamming.  Though a simple tactic, there is no other way to do it.
<We are the trump card>
  Al said.
<Without showing ourselves at the start of battle, making this the [potential threat] for the enemy, compelling the enemy to restrict their tactics.>
  The <Laevatein's> fierce offensive power, <Amalgam> had already understood it during the battle in Mexico.  With just one unit it is an existing AS that managed to defeat 3 <Codarl> type and 3 <Behemoth> type, for the enemy this is no longer a laughing matter.  They have to make a lookout.  If discovered they would make all efforts to destroy it, otherwise withdraw in full speed.
  In other words, they cannot fight fairly.
  In this situation, the most effective way to utilize the <Laevatein>, is to become an existence for the enemy as "not knowing where he will be coming from".  Hiding inside an ECS installed helicopter, the enemy would not be able to freely allot their war potential.  In order to cope with the appearance of <Laevatein>, they are compelled to secure unnecessary lookout and reserved forces.
"I know.  If ever the Lt. Commander is in the opposing side, we do not simply use force to push them."
  From the context and nuances of the pronunciation of the word,  Al raising the analogy of which person this "Lt. Commander" is, the name of the first candidate was brought up.

<Is Andrei Kalinin leading the enemy?>
"I don't know.  What do you think"
<In an objective analysis it would be a NO.  If it were him, he would choose a more discrete invasion route.>
"What about that [intuition] that you're so proud of"
<that would also be a NO>
  At that time there was information coming from Tiwaz 12 that a new enemy had appeared.
  15 tanks, 14 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 2 combat helicopters.  There are no AS, this would be the largest scale of military force so far.  In the South west of [Alamo Fortress], they began their charge in the rocky area approximately  10 kilometer.
"they're here"
  Sousuke mumbled.
  Those are reserved forces the enemy retained, there is no mistake.  In their allies' tenacious resistance, the enemy commander finally felt like throwing these military forces.  Checking the various resulted data, Al concluded that this appearance would be the last for the enemy.
  In an instant the datalink discussed with the other units.
  Uruz 2's AI [Friday] and Uruz 1's AI [Dragonfly] supports Al's conclusion, Uruz 6's AI [Yukari] conditionally supports this.  Simplifying the discusion materials and informing all units,  Melissa Mao spoke first.
[This is Uruz 2.  I don't have enough power to deal with the enemy in the south west.  Requesting "Stopper" to take the plate]
[Uruz 1, roger.  You heard it, Uruz 7?  It's you're turn.  Immediately to 07-18----]
[Ah-, wait!]
  With that Uruz 6----Kurz Weber interrupted.
[What's the matter Uruz 6]
[Before that can you confirm the hill in 09-18?  It's smells fishy but]
[How fishy.  Explain]
[No...I can't explain it well.  It's good if it's nothing.  Just be careful of sniping.]
  Kurz Weber's strange warning was only that.
"This is Uruz 7, exterminating enemy in the south west."
  Sousuke replied, instructing the pilot of the transport helicopter housing the <Laevatein> to head to the prescribed coordinates.  The sound of the turbo shaft engine was noticeably high.  With the transparent form of the Helicopter from the ECS flew to the front of the enemy reinforcement, opening the cargo bay hatch.
  Velocity, 163 knot.  Altitude, 392 feet.  Looking down at the desert ground.  the breeze of the optic sensor seen in the ECS field of the helicopter is like the purple monotone world.
  Nearing the landing point.  The helicopter flying over the sand dunes like crawling. 
  Countdown.  5 seconds, 4 seconds, 3 seconds, 2 seconds----
  Dull impact.
  The fuselage accepting the signal from Al released the fixed hydraulic bolt, the <Laevatein> detached from the helicopter.  Releasing the locks from all joints.

  2,3 seconds of freefall.
  The terrible shock of light gyro and the reading of the artificial semicircular canals.  There was a sudden decrease of ground speed from 140 knots.  Estimating velocity vector.  Altitude control.  legs facing down, the shock absorption system and the artificial cartilage unit in the extended position, fuselage extends to 928mm long.  The ground surfaces solidity and friction factor is being analyzed with in the databank of the terrain library.  Towards the optimum landing altitude.
  Landing.
  The shock absorber of all the joints damper instantly evaporates.  Stopping the 30G impact.  The Motion Manager sets the joint control to semi active.  The muscle package organically expands and revolves.  The ARX-8 <Laevatein> leg sinks in the sand and tramples the ground, The units whole height dances in the rising cloud of dust.
  It was a violent landing, but the pilot immediately goes to combat maneuvers.
  Nimbly moving, he hides the lower half of the body in the undulation of the desert, confronting the enemy developed in the 10 o'clock direction.  Sensing the sand cloud of the landing, the enemy forces react immediately, throwing a rain of high explosive projectile in the surrounding area of the landing point.
  Weapon selection.  A large artillery from the hardpoint loaded in the unit----65mm [Demolition Gun] in stance, the support arms connects the long gun barrel.  This [Howzer Mode] is an equipment that rapidly increases the range and accuracy of the demolition gun, with the aid of the Lambda Driver it is an equipment that is possible to shoot in front like a tank.
  However, this large cannon itself is a low tech designed weapon.  Like the Snipe Cannon which is the latest weapon of the AS, it is not loaded with an independent ballistic calculation computer, even the alignment system, aside from the simple optic sensor, is also not loaded.
  The signs of the enemy flickers in the white heat of the desert.
"Let's start"
<Roger, Sarge>
  Aim----Fire.
  At the same time the Lambda Driver operates, stopping the recoil from the shot.  Even then, the legs are sunk into the sand, the frame of the whole body enamates a bizaare sound.
  The shell of the large muzzle misses the targeted tank, just behind the right direction the hit ground explodes.
  They know that the first volley will miss.  Acquires data from the Helicopter in the sky.  Windage 1.5mm to the left, Elevation up 1.2mm correction.  Recalculating the shell's drit and anticipated parabola.
  While reloading the next shot the enemy tanks returns fire.
  2 shots.  The projectiles hit 7 meters in the 4 o'clock direction and 6 meters in the 9 o'clock direction of the <Laevatein>.  The shockwave hits the white armor.  The unit staggers, a random rhythm shakes.
<It is dangerous.  Shall we change the firing position>
"No, we'll slug it through"
<Roger>
  Al plainly not resisting.
  Compared to the time he was operating the ARX-7, there was no hesitation in Sousuke's judgement.  No, the former him has no hesitation, right now this is being accompanied by a [Strong Will].
  In an ordinary AI such abstract concept would not be detected, but Al was different.  Having a direct reading of the pilot's mental state, he has the function to agree with the unit system.  Of course Al is not human.  It is not that his duty as a calculating unit with an objective to support combat is forgotten----he is also a machine that is starting to deeply understand the complex human emotion at the same time.
  He also has the provision in the element of self identity.
  The other day, on a whim of Kurz Weber and the maintenance crew, they proposed that the synthetic voice of Al be changed into a female voice.  Saying that "There would be an attractiveness to it", Al felt a strong resistance to this proposal.  Even though there is no logical reason, he felt that it should not be done.  In the end that modification would make Sousuke say "Disgusting"- and rejects it.  Al and him are completely in the same opinion.  In short his own voice----is not only a synthetic voice of the personnal interface, but something else that can feel "Disgusting".  In addition a Tactical Support AI [Veteran like me] who has a long military service that had gone through numerous difficult battle, to use a weak female voice.  Would it not put enormous disdain.
  There was gunsmoke 4 kilometers beyond.
  The enemy alignment has been corrected.  Rushing 120mm shells aimed at the <Laevatein>.  At the same time that Al gives out warning, a strong reaction from TAROS can be seen.  Reflecting the pilots----the controlled defense impulse ran past the unit, warping the space in front.  Like it was [Obvious].
  As far as can be confirmed 2 shots of the enemy forces stopped in mid air, being crushed by an invisible force.
<Success.  The Operation of the Lambda Driver---->
"I know"
  Sagara Sousuke pulls the trigger.  This time it was a hit.  The enemy tank in the middle of the ranks was blown away like a paper toy, spinning roundly dancing in the air.
  Reload.  Fire.  Second tank destroyed.
  A few position modification.  Demolition gun fires again.
  A violent Gunfire.  3 tanks, 4 tanks, and then 5 tanks.  One by one the enemy tanks are being destroyed.  A battle that is not possible for ordinary AS.  It was already conjectured that this was no ordinary unit----the remaining enemy forces repeated a feint fire and started to retreat, the shapes hidden in the mountain ridge of the short sand dunes.
"This is Gebo 5.  The enemy in the south west has withdrawn"
"Uruz 2 roger.  You heard it, plant one in!"
  The prepared military force receiving significant damage, the enemy has given up its attack on [Alamo Fortress].
  Not only the opponent facing <Laevatein>, but also the enemy forces at combat in other fields.  Al analyzes the tactical map, examining the unit's condition, timely adjusting the output of the condenser and cooling unit.
  Crossing the ridge.  The battle ended with the allies winning.
  Data acquired from their own sensor.  Data coming from the ally units ADM (Advance Data Modem).  All the data indicates the decline in potential threats.
  At that time, there was an abnormality sensed in the rocky area 4 kilometers away.
  Sousuke reacting faster then Al, he suddenly made the unit do a complete somersault.
"......!"
  That rocky area----from an unexpected direction there was a shell attack at 1000 meter per second, the <Laevatein> managed to evade a dangerous place.  Breaking through the gravitational field of the Lambda Driver, the shell that grazed the left shoulder armor, hitting the ground around 40 meters behind raising a big sand cloud.  If he reacted slower than .5 seconds, the <Laevatein's> body might have been cut in half by the enemy bullet.
  It was a snipe from a Lambda Driver equipped unit.
<Distance 40, 10 o'clock direction.  Due to a lambda driver equipped unit---->
"Return fire"
  The form of the enemy unit can't be seen, but Sousuke didn't care and fired.  Maneuvering randomly, he continued to fire the demolition gun.  The ally units AI receiving the information from Al via the datalink, turn towards the rocky area simultaneously with the anti ECS sensor, calculating the exact position in super high speed.
  Receiving the data of the enemy position <Laevatein> fires again.
  That shot would have hit a very near distance.  The ally units equipped with a Lambda Driver detecting equipment----[Fairy's eye], confirmed the strong interference of a gravitational field.  It did not receive any damage, if it were an ordinary unit then it would have been a fatal attack.
  The enemy's judgement was fast.
  Any further attack was given up, with ECS in full operation retreats in high speed.  It was no use to make pursuit.  It was too far for the <Laevatein> to pursue, and any other ordinary AS or Helicopter getting near would be dangerous.  The pilots of the other allied units also concluding the same, they concentrated in the lookout for the new enemy.
[He came out afterall]
  On the wireless radio Kurz Weber mumbled.
[I told you didn't I? It stinked]
"Yeah"
  Sagara Sousuke answered.
"Because of you I managed to avoid it"
  Sagara Sousuke's reaction exceeding that of Al, was because of the vague warning of Kurz Weber.  In the corner of his usual consciousness, he was looking out at the indicated direction of [09-18].  Then the enemy sniper is in fact there.
  Kurz Weber was a pilot who always throw jokes.  Also known to talk haphazardly.  Uttering such nonsense, an important tactical advice---accurately identifying [Intuition] and [instinct], it was a risky attempt which a Bayes Statistics dependent Al could not do.
  At most, such imitation could not be done my humans themselves.
[The problem is, why didn't that enemy shoot until the last moment]
  Belfegan Clouseau said.
[If he had that intention, he would be gunning for us one by one from the start, blowing at least one of us off....]
  The position of the LD (Lambda Driver) equipped AS that appeared last, was setting the range from the second half of the battle.  That enemy unit even when the tank forces are being destroyed, he kept quiet and concealed himself.
[It's simple.  Because of the <Laevatein>?]
  Melissa Mao said.
  Even if it manages to destroy a number of M9 at first, if his location was revealed, he would get caught in the attack of the <Laevatein> which is hiding from somewhere.  That is why until the <Laevatein> shows itself, he was hiding in that rocky area with ECS.  And then waits for the appearance of the <Laevatein>.  Originally it was planned to finish it in the first shot, but Sagara Sousuke managed to evade that shot.  On top of losing the surprise attack, there was no more chance to destroy the <Laevatein>.  That is why he retreated.
  In short, it was a success in preserving the <Laevatein> from a dangerous place.
<All the enemy forces have retreated>
  Al informed, analyzing the data from all the units.
"Alright.  Master Mode 6.  Have a look out with the Anti ECS Sensor (ECCS)"
<Again, there is no such equipment.>
"...that's right.  I forgot that this unit is a piece of junk"
  The <Laevatein's> output and maneuverability, and also in order to design the strong reinforcement of its offensive power,  the natural equipment of the M9 series AS that it should already have like electronic equipments were totally omitted.  Sagara Sousuke was sarcastic about that.
<You are also a piece of junk.  They say that because of the prognostic symptoms of your injury you're diet has been limited.>
"Only on Alcohol and salty foods.  There is no trouble for others."
<Is that so.  There is a saying that [A man who does not drink alcohol, has already lost half of his life].>
"I'm withdrawing that life.  You're getting really annoying"
<It is because you are slandering me>
"Shut up"
<Negative.  After this, let me tell you 38 items of reason why this unit is not a junk.  First number 1.  This unit is equipped with the newest test type generator PRX---->
"I know so just shut up!"

  The forces of <Mythril> waited for a few hours and withdrew from the desert base.  All the goods and arms are crammed into the transport ship with ECS, with their appearance disappearing faraway----to the west or to the south.  What remained were the empty containers and used materials, and large quantities of empty beer bottles.
  That AS----the <Erigol's> night vision sensor views the tracks of the base's scenery, Wilhelm Casper slightly smacked his lips.
  The small squad of infantry investigates the ruins of the barracks and armored cars, without getting any impressive results.  No, on the contrary----
  Explosion.
  One of the soldiers who carelessly touched the attache case lying on the ground, he got caught in the booby trap and was blown away.  The surprised surrounding soldiers, laid on the floor for no apparent reason looking out in the surrounding.
"Don't get excited, don't get excited.  Its just a parting gift."
  Casper told the soldiers with a voice of being fed up.
  Most of the soldiers of <Amalgam> were sourced locally.  Quality can't be guaranteed.  Being involved in such rudiment disagreement can't be avoided. 
  The enemy is already thousands of kilometers beyond.
  The sweeping squad's commander----a bribed commissioned officer of the local military, was shouting [this isn't what you said].  Although a suitable amount of money was already received, the unexpected counterattack of the people in <Mythril> resulted in great damage.  In top of that, the husk of the base that they finally occupied, everything was of no value.  It was not unreasonable for them to complain.
  However for Casper, these negotiations were already confirmed beforehand.
  He moved his unit a few hundred meters from the sand dune, opening the cockpit hatch, and skillfully got out of the unit.  On the complex surface configuration of the shoulder---- standing on top of the red armor, looks around in the area with the naked eye just immediately after sunset.  The scorching heat of noon still remained, with the lukewarm breeze rustling.  The western sky is still in a vague violet color.
  Taking off the headgear, narrowing the eyes.
  With an angular shape of the face like an Aryan, his eyes transparent like a blue owl.  Could it be because that majority of his life was spent in the open fields, his short blond hair were darkened here and there, his age would not be known at a glance.  He may be in his 30's, or in his 50's.  His lightly warped mouth has this certain charm like eating a person, his eyes that penetrates the darkness, with an extremely cruel characteristic of a hunter lodged inside.

  Wilhelm Casper surveys the surrounding with his sniper eyes.
  Getting down to the ground from the kneeling unit, carefully investigating the remants of the enemy M9 in the sand----the foot prints and the evidence of the shooting altitude, surmising how it moved.
"Oh well----"
  Casper mumbled remembering the face of the sniper boarding that M9.
  in every shot, there should be no major movement.  Efficient and quick rapid fire should be stressed, taking pains to [take down as many enemy].  Looking lightly at his own safety is dependent on the distance between the enemy and himself.  In other words, overestimating ones own shooting sense.
"Not yet. That boy"
  However, informing that white Lambda Driver equipped AS of his own position was also him.  He praised this point about him.  Because of that the certain kill shot was evaded.  Even for a bullet traveling 4300 kilometers per hour, it would take 3 seconds to reach a distance of 4 kilometers.  With vigilance evasion would not be difficult.
  There was an incoming call from the satellite circuit.  He replied with the headgear in his ear.
[There are results right, Mister Sn (Tin)]
  The other party was the management of <Amalgam> [Mister K (Kalium)] Andrei Kalinin.  The Russian managing the will of Leonard Testarossa who is recuperating.
"No.  I tried to finish it in the first shot, but he skillfully evaded it.  Isn't that a big deal, that pupil of yours"
[I wonder.  Wasn't it because of your pupil]
"Of course, that as well"
  Casper laughed.
[Weber was a fine sniper]
"Past tense huh.  He's still alive"
[eventually it will become past tense]
  Kalinin said with a voice without any particular importance.
  There was movement in the abandoned base.
  Having heavy damage, the soldier who were not able to profit from the satisfactory results were pissed with unsatisfied voices.  The commissioned officers were whispering, pointing at the <Erigol>.  For at least some [earnings], they were aiming for this unit.
"Ah.  Just a moment."
  Casper informed, climbing into the back of the unit.  Opening the weapons rack behind the cockpit hatch, taking out a 308 caliber rifle covered in a bulky cotton cloth.  A blackened wooden frame in various places from the term of service.  Loaded into this super hi-tech unit, was a retro smelly oiled bolt action hunters gun.  He didn't make any prudent adjustments to the scope.  The distance is 200 meters.
  He slid a cartridge into the chamber, driving the bolt, smoothly twisting the lock.
  Aim.  Fire.
  200 meters beyond, the man who Casper shot, suddenly squatted, both hands holding his crotch, and made an unsightly voice.  The surrounding subordinates were flustered, nervous and shaking their heads.

"Quit it, next time I'll blow off your other testicle!"
Casper informed them using the exterior speaker of the <Erigol>.
  Those attending to the commander, those who were standing doing nothing, and those hiding in confusion----there was none of them who would fire back.
[Are there any problems?]
"No, just reining in some idiots."
  Casper replied, re-wrapping carefully the gun with smoke rising.
"Anyway there were no results.  I'm going back."
  Casper crawled back into the cockpit, running towards the extraction point with the transport helicopter.
  The priority target <Laevatein> was a failure.  The power to to go against the stubborn <Amalgam>----they have overlooked this small company.  There is no longer any reason to be here.  Proceed with the [Project], someday <Mythril> will no longer matter.  Certainly in the enemy side, also for the former student----

<image=060.jpg>

  No.  They will be confronting each other sooner or later.
  Tasting the excitement of hunting each other down, he is welcoming a wonderful death.


  This was a much more stricter house arrest.
  After the kidnapping of Chidori Kaname from Nikelo, she was moved to various places.
  First she stayed for 2 weeks at a farm in Texas, and then she was taken to Switzerland, being detained for one week in an old mountain villa.  Both where crude environments compared to the High Class Villa in Nikelo.  Food were also not satisfactory.  Only canned goods and military rations.
  After a few days later she was moved.
  Belgium, Denmark, North Italy.
  Going to Libya via Turkey, staying there for one weak in a cheap hotel.
  It was mostly car and helicopter transfers, but the travel took a long time.  Bed and food were awful as usual, she was being exhausted day by day.
  After a month and a half passing Europe, Middle east and North Africa, they returned to North America.
  Thay stayed for one week in a super high class hotel in Las Vegas, but she can't take one step out of her room.  Even then with an environment of only bed and food, and always taking a shower, Kaname was grateful from the bottom of her heart.
  However, this time they suddenly flew to Sri Lanka.
  Kaname's physical condition was finally crumbled and fainted.  From an airconditioned neo-gothic hotel, she was moved to a terrorist training camp in the tropics with nothing but an electric fan.  Loosing her spirit, she was thrown into a rigorous place.
  The heat would not go down.  In the camp that was prepared in that jungle, she mostly stayed in bed in the smallest room with a pipe bed.
  This has been the worst place so far.  The heat was natural but the humidity was worst.  There was a bad odor coming from somewhere in the camp, creaping in to the shut room that Kaname was staying.  The mushy smell of live garbage or cheap wine or the fermentation of vomit, with the gunsmoke and smell of oil stimulant mixed in her nose.
  She can hear gunfires and explosion by day and night, the arrival and departure of helicopter and the sound of an AS's engine echoing, and the wild jeers of the men.  She had no moment of peace.
  And then the bugs.
  From the bed, from the window, and bugs that she does not know the name of, penetrated, creeping about the bed and wall, flying around the light bulb.  Furthermore they're big.  A leaf bug that is times bigger in size than that of Japan's, was flying about her head with a noise that sends chill down her spine.  Before she knew it, a half meter centipede was crawling up her clothes.
  She wanted to scream out, but Kaname did not have that impulse.
  Because she does not want to lose.  She won't show her own weakness, they would certainly be glad.  She definitely won't allow them to think that she is a little princess that screams on the sigh of a bug.
(They were trying to make me weak----)
  Not knowing the details, they were now ill-treating her.  That is why the pressure.  Crude bed, bad food, unsanitary room, a sufficient trial to a girl who is used to civilization.  Moving her from one coarse environment to another, making her stomach total exhaustion.  No matter how much she stretches her willpower, if the physical strength of a human dropped they will unconsciously obey.  It was an operation to weaken her vitality in the hotel at Las Vegas.
  It seemed that Leonard was still alive.
  However, since then he has not shown himself.
  With such treatment to her, she does not know if these were ordered by Leonard.  That Polish girl----Sabine Refonia was always following Kaname.  She would not tell her anything about Leonards circumstance except him being [alive].
  On the other hand, she has met Kalinin a number of times.  Once in the farm at Texas, once while flying to Belgium in a small airport, and then once in the hotel of Las Vegas.  Every one of them not a significant meeting.  More than coming to see Kaname, he has the attitude of confirming the state of a prisoner.  Just getting close observing her face, confirming her limbs and neck are not getting too skinny, confirming if there are traces of bruises or burns.  Kaname also did not ask Kalinin anything, she did not hurl any abusive words.  It was already meaningless to say anything to him.
  In the height of her fainting to a fever, she saw a lot of nightmare.

  On a morning, she was passing the school like she always does.  Then a silver AS destroyed a school building.  On the courtyward countless bodies of her classmates were lying on top of another. burning.  Even if she tries to turn away her eyes she can't.  A large drop of tears flowed, with the corpse of blackened Tokiwa kyouko in her eyes.
  On another morning, she woke up in a mansion.  Unknown men were standing at her bedroom, looking down at Kaname with a grin.  She wanted to jump to her feet and run, but she can't run.  She was held down, forcibly stripping her clothes.  The men's arms become like a centipede.  Help, Sousuke.  Screaming that, he won't come.  [he is already dead], the centipedes laughed creeping about her whole body.
  On another morning she was in school.  Many apathetic eyes.  Those malicious faint smile.  The text books were gone again.  Countless jeers were echoing from the open notebook.  Die.  Stink.  Annoying.  Getting sick, she rushed to the toilet.  On top of the private room filthy water were running.  The girl leader was laughing.  That girl was walking with with Sousuke in her hands.  Unforgivable.  That's mine.  She wailed, and went in a fit of rage.  You would be better off dead.  All of you, everyone should die.
  And countless other gloomy mornings, she was being attacked.

"Uh...."
  The strong light burns her eyelids, Kaname let out a small groan.
  The sunlight from the crack in the window shines through, hanging on her cheeks on top of the bed.  Sheets and clothes, and her hair was damp with wetness, sticking closely to her skin.
  What time is it right now?  Probably noon, or before that.
  But how many days passed since she passed out on this camp, was not clear to her.  Her fever seems to have lowered.
  Trying to get up from the bed, her balance was crumbled and fell down.  Grabbing the desk nearby, the empty cup fell down from the bed.  The sound must have been heard.  There was a sound of a key opening the door, Sabine Refiona entered the room.
  It was not the usual suit.  She was wearing a plain black t-shirt and olive pants, she did not sweat even with this humid environment.

"It seems that you're awake"
  Sabine said.
"You seem to be having nightmares."
"Water...can I have some"
"Later for that.  Let me check you're temperature."
"My throat is thirsty."
  Ignoring Kaname's words, Sabine took out a digital thermometer from the bag on top of the desk.  Putting inside the ear, the measurement ends immediately.  With a small clever Pi sound.  An out of place sound in this primitive mountain hut.
"Hey.  Water..."
"It's down huh"
  Sabine took a look at the liquid crystal panel of the thermometer.  Reading, [37.30].
"...it's a bit sudden but, Sabine.  It seems that you hate me right"
"What kind of answer will satisfy you?"
  Saying it expressionless, she poured water into a dirty cup, and handed it to her.
"Enough, I fully understand."
  She drank the cup of muddied water.  It's not cold or warm.  She can't feel anything.
"Did Leonard order this?"
"About what"
"Being shut in these terrible places, exhausting me."
"There are many people who wants you"
  not answering the question, Sabine answered her unconcerned.
"In order to guarantee your safety, there is no need for you to overstay in a comfortable place.  Beside, this camp is much more safer than the hotel in Vegas."
"Is that so."
"That is the only reason.  There is nothing that can be done but to grow accustomed to this."
"But Leonard is heartless.  If he is recovered he should at least visit once."
"Do you want to see him?"
"No.  What you said has a meaning of [it would be nice to visit you]"
  Sabine's breath stopped for an instant.
"Don't you love him?"
"I don't understand its meaning"
"Ordinarily it would be irritating.  Taking care of the girl who shot the one you love, and it was an order from the one you love himself.  Morever that person, would not even come to visit.  You also want to be the one harassed right"
"You seem to misunderstand something"
  The tone of her voice was persistently calm.
"Lord Leonard has only recently recovered.  Until then we have not received any instructions.  The orders have not changed, I am only taking care of you the same was I did before."
"I see.  A faithful dog all throughout."
  Kaname spoke with a challenge.  How to offend Sabine, was what her absentminded head desperately thinking.
"Leonard.  That guy is a pathetic man.  Even having an exhausted girlfriend here, still humoring me on the brink of death.  In the end with his form, banged his head! and got done.  He's past stupidity only pathetic.  Really."
  Although realizing that she said such vulgar words, guilt would be of no use to this setting.  If she spoke detestable words with all her strength, would it not be a provocation."
"Ah, I understand.  That's why he won't show his face right?  No matter what kind of excuse you make up for him.  I'm sure he's embarassed about being too ugly appearance----"
  Suddenly, the glass cup Sabine was holding broke.  Broken with only the force of her grip.
  Taking the shard of glass, grabbed the neck of Kaname with the other hand, with tremendous force threw the back of her head to the bed.
"I will not forgive you badmouthing him."
  Sabine said.  And angry voice squeezing out from her throat.  Blood dripping from the right hand gripping the glass fragment, dripping in the face of Kaname.
"Especially you.  Chidori Kaname.  It was because that you were selected by him, I refuse to kill you.  Even though that pride merits certain death, on top of that scorning him, you're sneering.  Unforgivable.  No matter what he thinks, I will not forgive you."
  Not even a voice of protest came out.  Sabine's physique is no different from hers, but it was like a wrestler weighing 100 kilograms riding her like a horse.
"I lived in a street of Lodz full of garbage.  My first killl was a police officer whose name that I don't know that had an interest in SM, next was my mother who sold me to him.  On the next day, my job became killing.  Taken in by the Mafia in Warsaw, I killed many.  I did not expect to be treated like a human by anyone.  He picked me up like that and wrapped me up.  If its him then everything can be written off.  I believed everything of this in him.  It's fine even if he did not love back.  It's fine as long as I'm of use to him.  That is what I thought"
"........"
"Until this time, I don't know how many guards you were rude to.  smashing that bridge of nose that is ignorant to the ways of the world, that degree would be enough.  But I can't do it.  And for everything, that he did not wish for.  And for you to thinking of "bad feeling" towards his attitude.  That I cannot forgive.  Absolutely unforgivable."
  Sabine brandishes the glass.  Her pale face dyed in joy, those eyes immediately stared at the throat of Kaname.  A killers eye.  A person who practiced her own work, eyes that deals with her oppenet skillfully.  These were not the eyes of a human looking.
"That's why, it's enough.  I will kill you."
"Sto----"
"It's your fault."
  Thrusting the glass piece into her throat.  Hard.  Sharp.  A cold object deeply penetrating, opening a hole in the respiratory tract.  In place of screaming a whistling sound and breathing came out.  Warm liquid in the mouth were overflowing.
  Sabine gouges the wound, extracting, and stabs again.

  It seems that she was not satisfied with the throat alone.  She tore up the face of Kaname.  Tearing up the warped cheeks a number of times, slicing off the nose, tearing up the lips, smashing the eyes----the signs of the flesh of Chidori Kaname, all of it was erased.  Without anything to do with will the limbs convulsed, the fingers cramped, tearing of the sheets stained with blood.
  Turning to gushing and bubbling lump of meat, Sabine sneered.
  Her lovely voice going mad, were mingled together with the centipedes and students laugh.  Sabine horseback riding, became another girl.  Raising a facial expression of being in ecstacy on the spurting blood, a girl with black her.  That's herself.
"Let's change places"
  That Chidori Kaname whispered, putting her face near a Chidori Kaname that was a lump of meat.

"Don't you think it's about time to let me do as I wish?"

Tags: