Previous Chapter: Chapter 28: Their Name is Ruin       Next Chapter: Chapter 30 (Earth Route)             Chapter 30 (Space Route)

 

Kai: Our ship will resume its course soon. The Ruina will most likely pursue us. I don’t know when the deployment order will come. Until we reach Antarctica, I want all fighters to stay with their machines.

Kyosuke: Roger.

Ryuusei: Antarctica, huh…. I’ve got no good memories of that place.

Fiona: Huh? Why do you say that?

Ryuusei: When I was just a newbie, there was that “Antarctic Incident”. We were beaten up pretty badly by Granzon.

Rai: Indeed… They are loathsome memories.

Ryuusei: If the Cybuster hadn’t shown up then, we would’ve been toast…

Fiona: I see…

Kyosuke: …

Excellen: Looks like you’re interested in that Flickerei Geist machine, eh?

Kyosuke: A bit.

Excellen: Some of Alty’s parts are stuck onto it, right?

Kyosuke: I was thinking that, considering Axel’s Soulgain pulled off some pieces back then, but the Shadow Mirror forces took those.

Excellen: Probably as a trophy. But considering the Flickerei Geist’s core is a part of an Einst… Ain’t it sorta like Alty and Weiss’s distant cousin?

Kyosuke: There wasn’t a reaction when it and Rein Weissritter were put in the same place, right?

Excellen: No… Or from the RyuJinKi. Because there’s so many bits mixed in, it seems to have become something completely different. By the way, where’s that cutie of a pilot?

Kyosuke: I heard that Ing and her are under watch. It seems like the next time we meet up with Major Gilliam, we’re going to hand them over to him, but….

Aqua: (Those two… Lt. Kyosuke Nanbu and Lt. Excellen Browning from the ATX team, I think. The greatest pilots in the Steel Dragons…. They are really quite a sight.)

Excellen: Oh, Hey you! It’s Lt. Aqua Centrum, right?

Aqua: Huh?! Y-You know of me?

Excellen: Of course. From all those rumors of the newcomer who looked like a pin-up girl.

Aqua: (Of course… It’s because of my suit.)

Excellen: I like that kind of pilot suit. I think it’s cool!

Aqua: Huh?

Excellen: I think I’ll redesign mine as well. Using a lot of see-through materials.

Kyosuke: It’d be a drain on the budget. I’m not signing off on that.

Excellen: Oh, shoot. Well, see ya, Aqua.

Aqua: (They’re so cool…. I wish I was like them….)

*elsewhere*

Lefina: We’re to meet up the Gaia Sabers?

Sean: Yes. It’s an order direct from the President Grusman and Special VP Alteur Steinbeck.

Lefina: …Something doesn’t feel right about this situation.

Sean: It could have something to do with the incident regarding Lt. Ariel…. Or perhaps they plan to fight alongside us to take back Antarctica?

Lefina: If that were the case, a simple message would have sufficed.

Sean: What shall we do? Should we ask Izu or the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Lefina: If it’s a direct order from the president, we can’t ignore it. We’re changing course. Inform the Hagane as well.

Sean: Understood.

Chapter 29: The Swaying Spearhead

Eita: The Gaia Saber forces are entering the airspace.

Tetsuya: So they’re finally showing up…

Eita: Their squads are moving… they seem to be forming a ring. Not just horizontally, but also from above…. This is strange.

Tetsuya: Do they mean to surround us…?!

*yup.*

Carly: Sir, our positioning is complete.

Alteur: Good work. How is the president?

Carly: We can have him launch at any time.

Alteur: Nibhal, have you finished the preparations?

Nibhal: Yes. …. Have you examined the item I sent you?

Alteur: Yes, it’s worthy of the Pulitzer Prize…. Or rather, the Palme d’Or.

Nibhal: Thank you for your kind words.

Alteur: Very well. In the event that things go poorly, please have the president escape.

Carly: Yes, sir. To be safe, we should do it as soon as possible. It’s possible that the Guests or the unknowns from Antarctica could enter this airspace.

Alteur: It is vital that the president remain here if possible. You don’t think the Steel Dragons will comply?

Carly: Sir, during the Harpe Mission, they didn’t. Though they are soldiers, they have a tendency to act on their own accord. There was a time when I was like that as well.

Alteur: And yet, because you regret those mistakes, you are here. By performing well with the Gaia Sabers, you can clear up your past. And then you’ll be able to reclaim your name.

Carly: Yes, sir… (Steel Dragons… Tetsuya Onodera…. What will you do this time?)

Alteur: Open a line to the Steel Dragons.

Operator: Yes, sir.

Eun: Captain, there’s a line from the Air Christmas.

Lefina: Patch it through.

Alteur: Members of the Steel Dragons. This is Alteur Steinbeck, commander of the Gaia Sabers.

Lefina: This is Commander Lefina Enfield of the Earth Federation’s Far East Division’s First Specially Designated Military Brigade. Mr. Alteur, I’d like to ask why you wished to meet with us.

Alteur: Very well. I shall deliver the message from President Glassman. The Steel Dragons, from this moment, are officially discharged from the military. Disarm your weapons at once, and hand over all of your ships and mechs.

Lefina: Wha-

Tetsuya: What did you say?!

Alteur: Are you deaf? All of the weapons you possess are now the property of the Gaia Sabers. Further, in order to make sure the hand-over goes smoothly, all members under the command of Lefina Enfield will be taken into custody.

Lefina: Please tell me the reason for this!

Alteur: The Steel Dragons went MIA from the Federation. During that time, we have reason to believe you were conspiring with the enemy.

Lefina: Th-that’s!

Alteur: That is what the President fears, and as such has demanded a thorough investigation.

Lefina: We have already sent reports of what happened in La Gias to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to the Izu base! In keeping with Commander Kenneth Garret’s orders, we were to appear in Izu for questioning…!

Alteur: It is by the President’s order that the Gaia Sabers conduct the Steel Dragon’s inquiry.

Lefina: Even still, to order us to surrender all our weapons in this situation…!

Tetsuya: Shouldn’t we be more worried about stopping the Guests and the Ruina!?

Alteur: Do not change the subject. Because we are in this situation, beset on all sides by our enemies, we must take more severe measures.

Lefina: But you’re saying…!

Sean: (What they’re saying is unbelievable…. It’s like they’re trying to goad us into fighting them.)

Alteur: This is the president’s opinion. Something like the Steel Dragons, not part of the regular military, should quietly obey the higher authority. We have the PGS, and our actions are the president’s will.

Lefina: PGS?

Alteur: The Privilege of the Gaia Sabers[1]. Special permission, in other words. The free reign to quickly act upon the president’s direct orders in matters concerning the military. In order to establish a separate armed organization than the Federation military, we are allowed to ignore orders and instructions from the military.

Lefina: If that’s the case, then you should have no rights to order the military around!

Alteur: (Heh, they caught on.)

Lefina: First of all, has that Privilege for the GS passed through the Federation Congress?

Alteur: It is currently being discussed.

Lefina: Then your order for us to disarm is not legal.

Alteur: And?

Lefina: I cannot comply with the hand-over at this time. I will take all questions after our duties have finished, at the Izu base. Following due course, we shall listen to your opinions at that time.

Carly: (That is a foolish choice. If they want to leave here alive, that is.)

Alteur: So what you are saying is that you will not obey or orders to relinquish your weapons?

Lefina: As I said before. Not here and now. As it is not an order from the Far East Division Headquarters or the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (With that, we can at least buy a little time…)

Alteur: You do realize the President is the highest authority of the Federation Military?

Lefina:  What about the law of presidential authority during war? Regarding the explanation to congress and the debate on reports?

Alteur: There are special cases in extraordinary times. And we have a special executive order. As for congress, they’ll get their report after we are done here.

Lefina: In that case, let me speak directly to the President.

Alteur: …

Carly: (Is the commander not planning on sending out the President now?)

Alteur: How absurd. Well then, the President has given me full authority in this matter… And I will take the Steel Dragons by force.

Lefina: !!

Alteur: All units. In the event that they resist arrest, you are fully authorized under the Commander in Chief to strike first.

Tetsuya: You’ll attack us?!

Azuki: Th-that can’t be right!

Eita: That’s way too one-sided! This is insane!

Tetsuya: Don’t tell me they planned this from the beginning!

Sean: Yes, they wanted to destroy us right from the start.  They don’t care about due process, so they could easily lead events to this state… Even if we did surrender, we wouldn’t be leaving here alive… So what do you think, Captain? Do we accept or refuse?

Lefina: …

Egretta: Alpha 1 to Saber 1, Commander Alteur. The preparations are complete. We can go at any time.

Alteur: Good…

Nibhal: Commander, there’s a message from the president.

Alteur: …It’s “certainly” from the president, isn’t it?

Nibhal. : …Yes, it “certainly” is. (Yes, it is what I prepared earlier…)

Alteur: Then connect it.

Nibhal: Yessir.

Grusman: Alteur, it seems the Steel Dragons are resisting.

Alteur: Indeed. It’s almost as if they’re guilty about something.

Grusman: I wasn’t thinking this was going to be simple. Alteur, it’s just as you worried about.

Carly: (What is the president talking about? The Steel Dragons made an offer to ask him.)

Grusman: We have no choice, use force. However, the Steel Dragons are heroes of many different wars, according to the general public. Be careful to not make this an extermination.[2] I want you to keep their losses minimal, make them surrender, and listen to what they have to say. Can you do that?

Alteur: As you command, Mister President. I will do my best to do as you say. Now, please leave the airspace on your ship.

Glassman: I understand. I’ll leave it to you.

Alteur: …Captain. Begin the assault on the Steel Dragons. There is no need to contain them any further.

Carly: That will give them time, and they could use it to escape.

Alteur: Then I’d like to hear the opinion of someone who has piloted a Space Noah Class ship before.

Carly: Most likely, they’ll try to form a line, and combine their Tesla Drives to escape from this airspace quickly. Given they had just recently fought the unknowns; they are probably still damaged. We should ask the president to tell them to stand down, directly.

Alteur: An excellent answer. However, even still, I do not think they will comply.

Carly: If they see the president, I doubt they would be so foolish as to continue resisting.

Alteur: Haven’t you ever heard the expression “A cornered rat will fight a cat?”

Carly: (Even still, if you wanted the Steel Dragons to surrender, shouldn’t you have the President contact them? And it didn’t seem like the President really knew what was going on earlier…)

Alteur: Captain. As the President ordered, attack them, keeping their losses to a minimum, and make them surrender. As I said earlier, there is no need to tighten your perimeter. Don’t make them worry any more than they need to.

Carly: …Yes sir.

Eita: Captain, the Gaia Sabers have signaled the start to their attack!

Ratsel: Commander Lefina, please send out the Kurogane team, and we will stall them. Use that time to escape.

Lefina: You’re saying to run?

Ratsel: Yes. According to Gilliam and Ariel, there are many suspicious things about the Gaia Sabers. Gilliam and I will help with moving Congress along. I’ve taken recordings of what happened here, and with that as proof, we can fight them within the law.

Lefina: I agree. However, you are not to return fire on the Gaia Sabers.

Ratsel: You want to reduce backlash and risk as much as possible, correct? In that case, the Hiryuu Custom and the Hagane will have more concentrated fire upon them.

Lefina: Their goal is to get us to hand over our mechs. If they wanted to destroy us, they would have acted differently.

Ratsel: In other words, we should tolerate their attacks…?

Lefina: To a degree. If they try a different tactic, we’ll use the E-field until we escape. Also, if we send out units, I’m worried they’ll be left behind when we use the Breakout Formation to escape. The only thing we can do is have the Hagane and Hiryuu Custom go it alone. Is that okay, Colonel Tetsuya?

Tetsuya: Roger.

Lefina: Then we need to make it to that point.

*that one. Right there*

Sean: I see, you can assure the time needed to accelerate by going through the cracks in their formation.

Lefina: Yes, as long as we can do it before they tighten their formation. However, we cannot attack or counter attack the Gaia sabers!

Chapter 29: The Swaying Spearhead

Victory: The Hagane and Hiryuu Custom reach the specified points.

Loss: The Hagane or the Hiryuu Custom are shot down, any enemy is attacked or counterattacked

SR Point: The Hagane has above 14000 HP or more, and the Hiryuu Custom has 13000HP or more when they reach the specified points.

*Get close*

Carly: Commander, they’ve broken through the gaps in the enclosure formation. As I thought, they’re trying to escape using their high-speed engines. We need to stop that by surrounding them closer.

Alteur: I said there was no need to do that.

Carly: But!

Alteur: Continue the warning shots, Captain.

Carly: …Yes, sir. (Are you saying to let the Steel Dragons run away, commander?)

*And get there!*

Sean: Both ships have reached the objective point.

Lefina: Link with the Hagane! Breakout Formation!

Eun: Roger! Dragon 2 to Steel 2! Breakout Formation!

Carly: That formation….! It’s an attack that combines their propulsion devices!

Alteur: (Things went better than I expected. Checkmate.)

Lefina: Tesla Drives, full power!

Tetsuya: Sync the countdowns! Start!

*Braaaawr*

Operator: Below the ship, under the water! Enemy readings! 8 of them! They’re rising to the surface!

Carly: What’s their affiliation?!

Operator: They’re Archin!

Carly: Guests?! Now?!

Egretta: Alpha 1 to all units. Until ordered, do not attack the Archin.

Bioriod: ….

Eita: Captain! There’s Archin, dead ahead!

Tetsuya: Burst through them! Continue the countdown!

*MORE WARNINGS*

Carly: Now what?!

Operator: Th-the president is launching from the back deck!

Carly: Impossible, now?! Stop him, now!

Operator: We won’t make it!

Tetsuya: Let’s go! Everyone! Brace for impact!

Lefina: Over boost!

*oh noes* the speeeed*

Grusman: What is this?! Why have I launched!? Alteur!!!

Eita: C-captain! There’s a transport vessel dead ahead! Distance 800!

Tetsuya: Emergency halt!

Eita: W-we won’t make it in time!

Grusman: !!!

*And you just killed the president. *

 

Previous Chapter: Chapter 28: Their Name is Ruin       Next Chapter: Chapter 30 (Earth Route)             Chapter 30 (Space Route)

 

[1] HOLY SHIT BANPRESTO YOU DID AN ENGLISH GOOD JOB!

[2] I think? I don’t know who he’s saying will exterminate who.