THE LOST WAR CHRONICLES Chapter One: Coincidence
Penned by: Amuro Ray
The cold breeze is the only sign of vividness around the lifeless desert. The night in the desert is a very cruel scenery for everyone, the ambiance of nothingness, lives lost without any important reason in these people who have died, and the stench of the thousands of humanity wasted upon with the entire city.
"I'm very glad they took the bait!" said by Keith, who survived the onslaught of The Crimson Striker, Captain Magnus Alexandersson. And in the ravaged cockpit, lies the unconscious teenage girl, named Zyann Nigel .
"Looks like the girl passed out on the fast-paced turn of events..." as Keith said while carrying the sleeping Zyann, who is very pitiful of the young lady, being dragged in an event where she was not supposed to be.
"I'll call Mario and the rest of the remaining REGALIA members to come up with a plan on Going to Colony 5. If I reached it somehow, we might have the chance to fend off Royal Zeon longer, but, FOR HOW LONG?" a confused statement by Keith, questioning if they even had the chance to win a very one-sided war.
Meanwhile, on Colony 12, where the High Command of Royal Zeon is located, a meeting is being held. There along with the highest officials of Royal Zeon, Ensign Aya is on the vigil, reporting what happened in the Operation: Desert Wipe, and with the casualties. The Crimson Striker also sits there, thinking of the next operation to be held.
After the meeting, Captain Magnus greeted the Ensign for a spectacular report.
"Nicely Put, Ensign Aya, I never doubted your ability of you being my personal soldier, you have never failed my expectations." the Captain said in a flashy attitude.
"Th-thanks! Captain Magnus, I will always make you proud! Can I ask the next briefing, Captain?" replied Aya.
"Well, well, isn't the famous Crimson Striker getting weaker? I heard that your MS was considerably damaged in the fight, where I investigated that you and your troops are fighting ONLY ONE enemy, and even pushed you to be SERIOUS in a battle, there is no doubt that you are LOSING YOUR TOUCH..." said somebody familiar to Magnus just the moment the Captain is ready to answer Aya's question.
"And who in the world are you? Interfering in a conversation where you have no right, you have a lot of guts to....."
"HOLD YOUR TONGUE!!! ENSIGN!!!" Magnus yelled at Aya. "You don't merely know this man, and what authority he holds. So better keep your word dressed."
"That's right, masculine-imbued female informant, you should follow what your dearest Captain said, or you might end up being WORDLESS by losing your tongue." The man said, insulting the both of them.
"I SAID STOP!!! ENSIGN!!" shouted Alexanderson, in contrast to Aya's rage.
"It seems that your soldiers are in need of dire knowledge around them, for they don't know to deal with somebody whose position is as high as the heavens, and also, you yourself are in need to train harder, the Supreme Commander wouldn't be pleased if one of the empire's best falls into battle because of being CONFIDENT IN HIS SKILLS. Have a GOOD day, Crimson Striker. Hahahaha...." laughed the man in honor of himself after saying some stray words toward the captain, without any word from Magnus.
"That man is really getting on my nerves!!! Sorry Captain, but I just can't respect that man!!" said the Ensign, filled with grudge in the man earlier.
"I am the one who must apologize to you, for I can't speak up...." said the captain in a low tone.
"Who the hell is that over-confident guy anyway?" asked Aya.
"He is widely known as Claude Ashram, he is one of the high-ranking officials of the High Command, you can say that he holds the greatest sovereignty in the High Command with the Supreme Commander's absence" answered Magnus.
"He doesn't look all-noble compared on what you said, captain, you are more of a noble and respected man than him, combined with you MS battle capabilities, he's a goner!!" a proud deduction of the Ensign.
"But that's how he got to the pedestal where he was right now, because he is feared in combat, in some histories in war, he is called "The Harbinger of Death" clarified the Captain.
"Hamburger of Wealth? But, on what reason, I never saw him on combat, and on my perception, you are more of a pilot than him!!" a faithful expression of Aya to her admired Captain.
"His abilities are of no joke, on what I have read, on LC 38, the Royal Zeon decided to take over Russia, to determine the moves and the plans of the Earth Militaire, to start with, Russia is the biggest base of Earth Militaire, and is one of the most powerful army in the world. But, in just a few months, Russia has fallen." told the Captain.
”At that time, I was training in the Royal Military Academy, and you are an Ensign just like me, right? But what is his role in over taking Russia? I’m sure that what you did in the Battle of San Francisco is way more epic in LC 42," a smiling demeanor of Ensign Aya, while still fascinated by his Captain's achievements.
"Commander Almark's role in seizing Russia, is the greatest battle achievement a soldier can get in battle, for he, ALONE and being the only one to attack Moscow and other cities in Russia, in just a day, he is able to wreak havoc on more than hundreds of MS and several dozens of battle ships in his first sortie, not only that, it is said that no one, enemy or ally alike, saw the MS used by Claude Ashram. He is also the one who leads the final attack in Caucasus Mountains, achieving a complete victory, and declaring Russia as the First Empire-Earth base"
"After the battle, Ashram was promoted from being a Captain to a Captain Commander, and was given the Royal Medal of Valor, the highest award given to any Royal Zeon personnel. With his authority and masterfully attained experience, he is one of the best pilots, together with the Supreme Commander...” explained by Magnus himself.
"T-that's.....No!! I believe that.....You are also included in the best pilots in the empire.....YOU ARE THE BEST!!" said by Aya in confusion.
"You don't need stress out thinking that, we must discuss about the rumored allegiance of Colony 5 to the rebels" said the captain.
"Yes, sir!!" Answered by Aya, as the two walked together and discussed about their next mission.
In a solemn garden, there goes a Girl, running around the flowers and smiling at the butterflies flying around her. In there, it is an episode of peace and serenity, no wars, no battles and weapons, only a wide garden of happiness, where one could find tranquility without oppression and aggression. The girl is very happy, as she runs around a garden if beautiful camellias, She tried to pick one, but a huge blast has thrown the flowers to nowhere. The whole place is burning with the flowers, the nature of the garden change like that of a battlefield, full of gunshots, grenade explosions, and whining of innocent people, that was killed one by one, man or woman, adult or child, rich or poor, there is no exception.
The girl ran in about an endless segment of destruction. As she ran, she saw many cruel doings, beheading of many men, burning houses, victims of slavery, and young women being sexually abused by the tyrannical soldiers. The whole environment has changed, it became a place compared to Hell, but unlike Hell, which is being populated with demons, the ravaged place is more than that. It is because even though they are just human beings, all the actions they did, even scares the hell out of the devil.
In the entire ruckus, a man appeared in front of the girl in which, to her, is very familiar with.
"Zyann, you must escape.....Go, and fulfill my will......"
The noise inside the girl's head started to culminate, and repeats the words the man said.
"Snap out of it, Girlie! It's just some dream!!" A man said. It seems that Zyann is on a nightmare, and she was on a warehouse where she was taken care of by a man named Mario. They are on a hidden house near the desert of Pakistan, where the remaining members of the REGALIA organization, which is led by Keith himself, is hiding for the moment.
"Better drink water, dear. Bear for us in a moment, we do not like for you to be here...." said Mario in consent.
As Mario comforts Zyann in the fast-paced events of war, Keith and the remaining members are organizing a plan in order to get to colony 5, by sneaking in on a small military base near the west part of Pakistan, where several Space shuttles are to be used as transportation.
"It has to be easy for us since it is only a small base, and we monitored that they removed the MS squad earlier because of the city's elimination." Uttered Miguel, one of the members of the squad.
"So, we'll start this evening, where their security is at low, since they thought that they eliminated the remaining rebels by wiping the entire city, this should be an advantage." Paolo commented.
"That's good then! Miguel, monitor the base again at this hour, and inform us about their movements, and as we get your CLEAR signal, Paolo and I will ready the equipments and strategy, thus getting at least a shuttle to go to colony 5," Keith commanded and tapped Miguel's shoulders, bidding him to take care and have good luck.
Miguel left to watch the base about their operation, as Keith and Paolo ready the equipments and themselves for the warring danger at stake. At some point, Keith saw Mario and Zyann talking to each other, and exchanged stories.
"Aren't you getting sad about leaving you family at Thailand? I'm sure that you miss them as they miss you a lot" Zyann said to Mario.
"Of course I miss Celia and my daughter, but in order for them to live without witnessing this bloodshed, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep this oath of mine, to take down Royal Zeon's goal once and for all, and even the odds are very big, we will still continue to fight for everyone's freedom to live," Mario said in his heart.
"And also, for the likes of you, who are innocent. Just by looking at you reminds me of my daughter Michelle" Mario confessed.
"I cannot consider myself as innocent, mobile suit wars, independence, and these happenings; I saw them ever since I was way before 8." Zyann replied, looking at the sky, as if searching for any hope.
"What do you mean you saw them?" Asked Mario.
Zyann stood still, and as she starts to talk, Keith bugged on the conversation.
"Mario, let us ready ourselves for this evening assault, this is the best chance to get out, ready the weapons, we'll get out of here this night." Keith said to Mario, who followed Paolo on fixing the guns.
"Did you ever enjoy riding a space shuttle? Surely you'll enjoy it!! Set aside the background music of gunfire and malicious screaming, I hope you'll bear for it and just enjoy the ride!!! Hehehe!" A goofy Keith talked to Zyann.
"Actually, I have been on the space shuttle many times before, as my father always takes me to his work." Zyann sadly answered.
"Many times? So you are from a rich family!! Maybe I knew your father! Can I get his name?" Asked Keith, but Zyann refused to talk about it.
"You really don't want to talk about the past, huh? That's ok, but don't try to hide your feeling for it if you wanted to let it out. I'm not saying to forget the past, but just be natural and don't hold your feeling for it, it's hard to be Haunted with memories of the past, you know? Just rest, as we will escape this desert of loneliness this night." Keith stated as he went down to help Mario and Paolo.
"Father........" said Zyann to the wind, hoping for someone to answer her, alive or not.
The sun went down, as the moon replaces it to witness the happenings in an alone world on darkness. The base west of Pakistan has no soldiers for the outside security of the base, even the base was lit, and there are no signs of possible defenses. Miguel immediately flashed his flashlight as the sign of clear entry. They quickly gathered behind a rock near the entrance, and assessed the plans.
"The space shuttles are located on the tallest structure at the northeast of the base, as we kill them as fast as possible, it shouldn’t be a problem." Miguel informed the group, including Zyann, wrapped in heavy clothing, and was anticipating feeble dangers ahead even what Miguel said.
"As we start the assault, we will split into three groups, Paolo and Miguel will act as the diversionary, killing the soldiers along the way and getting their attention as long as possible, as Mario disrupts the communications tower and sets up decoy records of answers should the Royal Zeon’s contacted this base, while Zyann and I will find our way to the space shuttle, while the two attract their attention, failure is not an option!" Keith cleared the battle plan in a strong expression
"ROGER!" The remaining members said in unison
The group prayed for the success of this mission, they all have the most crucial goal to reach colony 5, in hopes for the future of not only the Earth people, but on the freedom of men. As the remaining minute before the operation commences, they all took a deep breath, and Zyann, closed her eyes, wishing to quickly end the operation once and for all.
As they decided to infiltrate the base, lights shut off, rending the whole area in pitch-black state.
"Just what happened?? Is this a trap set by Zeon?" Paolo concluded, even not so sure about what truly happened.
"Everyone, watch your backs!" Keith shouted and lit up a flare.
While venturing the area, they saw many dead people. As Keith approached the dead bodies, he saw the insignia of the Royal Zeon Empire. This leads to Keith think another possibility.
"Looks like we've got company, and from what I’ve seen in the bodies, he is an expert. He preferred to use Hand-combat skills to kill them off, in a silent manner; he is also a professional infiltrator, by jamming the communications tower in switching off the main power source. He is not troubled by the Zeon's attempts to contact this base, he wanted to do something fast, and is confident to defend himself should the enemy traces him?" Keith deducted
"Him? How do you say it is only a man who did this by himself? Asked Mario.
"I checked the ground, if they were many, then they would show many marks of footsteps in their way through here, since air entrance is not possible due to the communications center, that easily tracks heat signatures airborne, and also, at least they would prefer use firearms in the process, and the third is, it is just my feeling that only one man did this......which is very skilled." Keith answered.
As they walked in the area cautiously, Keith told Mario to set up the decoy records for assurance, as the remaining four went to the shuttle warehouse, seeing more dead bodies. And reaching their destination, they saw someone manipulating the controls of one of the shuttles, as they went to talk with the assassin, it quickly drew his gun.
"I would never expect reinforcements to arrive and draw my gun. One wrong move, and you'll get hurt” The cloaked man said.
"Don't get wrong on us, we're in the same reaso-"
"BANG!!!!!" The dark shade fired his weapon. The gunfire grazed Keith's left shoulder I the moment he talked to the man
"Just I said, one wrong move, and you'll get hurt, even lip movements are included to what I said. In this world, you must not always follow what you hear, and the worst is, to TRUST the word they said, that’s just betraying somebody to take advantage to get what you want......and I am USED TO THOSE!!" The man said in a furious manner.
"YOU'RE WRONG, MISTER! WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE" Zyann shouted in reason.
"BANG!!!!!" the stranger threw another gunshot, but he missed on purpose, just hitting a strand of Zhan’s Hair.
"You are even using a girl, huh? What's with you insane people? You treacherous bastards can't do it yourselves, so you forced a girl to do you schemes? THEN I'LL KILL YOU ALL TO SET THINGS RIGHT!!" The stranger pointed the gun on Keith.
Just as the man was about to fire, Paolo drew his gun and fired, faster in just a fraction of a second, to the man, grazing the wrist of the man, dropping the gun in the process. Paolo rushed in and attempted to fire another shot, but the professional lone wolf, who moved faster, grabbed the hand of Paolo and twisted it, letting the gun out, and quickly kicked Paolo out cold.
Miguel rushed forward to take out the man who hurt his comrade, equipped by a knuckle duster, tried to brawl the man out of desperation, in whereas the man stayed cool, and evaded every punch Miguel threw at him, and landed a quick jab in Miguel's solar plexus, that stunned Miguel, and in an instant, he grabbed the right arm of Miguel, and did an overhead throw just like the First Judo master Jigoro Kano did, and knocked out Miguel fast.
"Damn you!!! Even if you're just misinterpreted, you'll get hurt really bad for what you've done!!" Shouted Keith as he drew his .500 Magnum, and fired at the assassin.
The assassin dodged the first shot, but Keith did a double-tap, which fired two consecutive shots so fast, that it only sounded like a single gunfire. In surprise on Keith's skill, the man wasn't able to dodge the second one, his right shoulder punctured by the bullet as a result. The man rushed to the handgun which he dropped, but Keith shot the man in the left leg, stumbling on the floor in the moment. But the man hasn't give up, the moment he was down, he threw a dagger on Keith, which Keith shot easily, but unknown to Keith, it was just a diversionary tactic, when Keith shot the dagger, it bought time for the man to get the gun on the floor, and shot Keith's hand, slipping the magnum in Keith's hand, and the whole ordeal fell in favor of the man.
"You're pretty good for a soldier, Zeon, but you're just the same sloppy crap like them" The man commented, still gathering air right after the encounter.
"How many times do I have to tell people? I AM NOT A SOLDIER!" Keith shouted and flew to sever the man with the broken dagger he shot earlier, but the man shot the arm of the angry Keith, that bled so badly.
"How desperate, don't worry, I’ll end your demise after I blow your head to eternity!!" The man said as he was about to finish Keith.
"NO!!!!!" Zyann, who is trembling in fear and cannot move, just shouted.
"RICARDO!! STOP IT ALREADY!!" shouted by Mario, who happens to luckily arrive just about Keith was about to be silenced forever.
"M-Mario? You're alive?" The killing intent of a man named Ricardo, changed into a surprised, goggly-eyed man.
"GOTCHA!!" Keith abused the opportunity to kick Ricardo's injured leg, and taking Ricardo in a headlock.
"Y-You're i-into them to?? Y-you have betrayed me as well?" Ricardo exclaimed.
"Cut your yap, Assassin!! I was to say that we are on the same reason on hijacking a space shuttle and that we are not Zeon, but you shot me already. Had it not for Mario who knows you, I would have broken your neck at this moment!!" Keith said on Ricardo, in a very angry nature.
"Who would have thought that the Ace of the Earth Militaire and my former colleague, Ricardo Ismail, is still alive? And that we met here, I can barely say that this is merely a COINCIDENCE." Mario said, while rejoining his former friend.
The tension is now gone, now that Ricardo, who happens to be an Earth Militaire ace, is now enlightened. And Zyann in a relieving manner. Who is this Ricardo Ismail and what is his relation to Mario? Why is he also hijacking a space shuttle? And what made Ricardo not to trust in any people, even not enemies at all, is because of what happened in the past, Will this great mercenary join them?