This is a story that I had thought up while playing it's namesake. It is a work in progress, and will undoubtedly go through a few revisions before it is complete. Rather than following the aces in the skies, this will follow the brave men and women of the U.N.F., showing the side of the war that you never get to see. There will be some spoilers to the game's campaign so if you don't want it spoiled I would recommend playing through the campaign first. Comments, ideas, questions, suggestions, etc. are all welcome. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it. - Laevanhunter
"In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one." - H. L. Mencken
- May 1, 2019 - 07:00 U.N.F. Training Grounds, North of Tokyo
We all stood in line, facing the drill sergeant for roll. Today the air of the entire camp felt different, we had been training for months and today it was finally going to pay off for some. Word around the camp was that some of the U.N.F. brass were going to start moving us to active combat. No one was quite sure what was going on save the officers, and they weren't saying anything.
"I'm sure you have all heard the rumors spreading, as I myself have heard plenty of them." The drill sergeant started, "Well today we can finally put these rumors to rest. A convoy will be coming soon to pick up the most prepared among you to join the Pacific Fleet in an offensive against the Sons Of Troia terrorist organization. The fleet has plans to move out of Tokyo Bay at 1000 hours. You all have half an hour to prepare, those who are chosen will leave, the rest will remain here for further training. Dismissed!" We all gave a salute before running to the barracks to begin packing.
Thankfully my bunk was right next to the door, so it didn't take long to reach my stuff, which is more than can be said for some of the poor sods here. I pulled my duffel bag out from under my bunk and began to pack what all I thought I might need. Uniform, check, backpack, check, journal, check. Looking through the small dressers we were issued I began to find things I had nearly forgotten about, such as a small hand-mirror I had brought with me.
Looking into it, I realized just how long it has been since I got a good look at myself. My once long brown hair was now quite short, not nearly a buzz-cut, but the best I could do with scissors. My once pale skin was fairly tanned, making my blue eyes stand out even more than they used to. I shook my head violently, now was certainly not the time to be admiring a mirror! I threw it into the bag along with a few other things I thought I should might need. All in all I spent about five minutes packing, including when I lost myself in thought.
I stepped outside so as to be able to be out of the way, and to get some fresh air. It was rather quiet outside, at least compared to in the barracks. A few officers walked around from barracks to barracks checking on how everyone was doing. I leaned against the wall and looked towards the sky, a slightly overcast grey obscuring the blue sky. Leftovers from Ulysses most likely. I was only four years old when the disaster hit, but I can still remember it like yesterday.
A loud commotion from the front gate pulled me out of my daydream. I looked towards the gate to see a rather large convoy being let through the gates. "Still about fifteen minutes early? What's going on?" I whispered to myself. A HMMWV drove ahead of the convoy and stopped outside the officer's barracks, and two U.N.F. soldiers got out, rushing inside. I watched curiously, not quite knowing what was going on. Not even a minute passed before the soldiers came back out with the drill sergeant, the latter running towards the nearest barracks.
"You! Standing against the wall!" One of the soldiers called to me, "Are you ready to leave?" He asked.
"Yeah, I suppose I-"
"Good, you're coming with us, the convoy has to be leaving in two minutes." He said, not even letting me finish. I followed the two men to the HMMWV, and got in the back. From inside I saw the sergeant and a few other officers rounding up those who were ready from the barracks and loading them into the other trucks in the convoy. Within a minute all those who were ready were loaded up and the convoy going back out the gate, the HMMWV leading as it had when it drove inside.
"I'm is Sergeant Coleman" The driver said, looking at me in the rear view mirror. "Sitting next to you is Corporal Burk, and up next to me is Private Vahlen. Sorry for the rushed meet & greet, but as you can tell we are in a bit of a hurry." I looked aside, not sure how to respond.
"You going to introduce yourself missy?" the corporal asked in a thick Irish accent. "T'would be rather rude not to"
"My name is Ellen Daeshaert. Err, I'm Private Daeshaert." I said, still trying to figure out what was going on. "Why is the convoy so rushed?" I asked.
"Fleet's departure has been changed, 0900's the new time. Don't ask me why, I think the brass' just getting paranoid again, but you never can tell." Private Vahlen answered. "Even had the roads cleared for the convoy, that's the only reason why we can drive so fast and NOT get in a wreck."
I took in what the private said. If the departure time was changed that probably means something is wrong, just what I don't know. I might just be paranoid, but it doesn't sound good in the slightest. No one talked for the rest of the ride into Tokyo. It may just have been the air, but no one in the HMMWV felt like talking anymore.
The Pacific Fleet
The drive through Tokyo was a swift one. The convoy kept at a constant speed of around 112 kilometers per hour. The roads were cleared and cordoned off, so there was no traffic. It also helped that it was nearly a straight shot to the bay.
We weren't even in the bay when the fleet came into view. Even with the reconstruction many of the buildings around here were shorter than the ships. I was distracted from the fleet only by the deafening silence in the HMMWV. Looking at the Burk I saw he was thinking the same thing.
"So... Corporal, have you ever been on a ship before?" I asked.
"Aye, was on a carrier for a short time, put aboard by chopper. I prefer air travel m'self though."
"Got a little seasick last time didn't you Burk?" Private Vahlen said with a short chuckle.
"What ever you say German." Burk snorted.
"Everyone out, cut the chatter too, try to at least act organized. It would be good for the recruits - you included" he said, looking at me "if we showed them how things are supposed to be done." Sergeant Coleman said. He got out, with all of us following behind. We all moved in a line, being sure to look as if we were all more organized than the crowde of recruits that I had been with until today. They were unloading and forming somewhat organized mobs.
"Sergeant Coleman, U.N.F. Special Forces, is the Lt. already on board?" the sergeant asked one of the crewmen. He went from his relaxed posture to a short salute before responding.
"Sire, Lieutenant Bertz is waiting on board, you'll find him below deck." The sergeant turned to us about to speak, but was cut off by shouting.
"Everyone on board, we have unidentified aircraft in the air, possible hostiles." The loudspeakers on the ship echoed into the bay. Everyone began to run for the ship, the mobs losing any semblance of order that they had once had. The officers pushed their way through the crowd, trying to yell over the many voices that were coming through. The crewmen did their best to assist the officers in quelling the crowds, but even their help wasn't enough.
We stood aside to avoid being trampled, and in our wait we heard to explosions. There was a sudden silence before the crowd began to scream, pushing and shoving to get aboard. Multiple aircraft flew overhead, some in formation, and others not.
"Who's fighting? I can only recognize some of those aircraft." Private Vahlen yelled over the din.
"JASDF for one, and two planes with 'em I couldn't tell you." Burk called back.
"Let's go, the ships are leaving" Sergeant Coleman called, and started to push a path for us through the crowd. A rocket from one of the hostile aircraft hit a nearby building. We broke free from the temporary paralysis that hit the crowd and ran aboard. The remaining people on the gangplank didn't take long to follow suit.