In the grim darkness of the 22nd century, nations fight for domination of a planet that is near-traumatized by countless deaths and screams of agony.
They bleed for a world in which the strong rule with impunity.
They die for the fickle dream of a realm which is barren by the countless firestorms that ravaged Earth over these seemingly endless, dark years.
With the creation of Savior Pods that allow pilots to survive all sorts of hits without being incapacitated or killed, the definition of war is now defined by the economy as much as by the heroism that these common soldiers show.
In this war, there are no winners.
Such is the reality of the world in which they live.
There is only nothing but death and despair…in the 22nd century.
Rome is a peaceful place. The Eternal City is blessed with a multitude of greens that clearly juxtapose what remains of the city’s heritage.
As such, Italian commander General Lucio Bolognese is not exactly happy with the decision to fortify the city.
However, after the Pan-Asian Union turned Milan into a dead city, Bolognese wasn’t taking any chances. He turned the environs of Rome into a fortress, with multiple missile emplacements, laser turrets and artillery pieces all over the city.
Yet, when he received the intelligence briefing from his superiors via an encrypted cloud messaging network a few hours ago, he wasn’t anymore sure about being able to hold Rome with everything he had.
While the Asians were rampaging all the way to the Rhine, they bypassed the Italian mainland, knowing that it was easy to contain the peninsula than to spend blood, steel and gold traversing the mountainous terrain of Italy.
However. throughout the three months since the beginning of the war, Bolognese and the Transatlantic Federation forces under his command made multiple sorties, forcing the Pan-Asian supply chain to place their lines up north.
Thus, the Asians decided to end the game there and then.
Two pilots were having the time of their life as they were flying over the mountains of Northern Italy, having their routine patrol.
“Baseplate, this is Bakery One. Recon ongoing, over.”
“Bakery One, proceed to pre-assigned checkpoints, over.”
“Bakery One, this is Bakery Two. Are you seeing this?”
“Identifying now, Bakery Two. Holy crap!”
“Sending a flash message now. Baseplate, code red, code red!”
“Bakery Patrol, bug off and return to base!”
“Baseplate, multiple missile locks detected. I don’t know if we can hold on!”
The beep-beep-beep of the warning instruments continuously rang as the pilots activated their countermeasures.
However, it was too late. Moments later, they were gone as both planes suddenly disappeared in an explosion of orange and red.
Watching the proceedings from his camera on the ship, the Pan-Asian general gave a light smile.
Between a task force of fourteen ships and thousands of mechs, Arif Hasan, Bolognese’s opposite number, thought of Rome as nothing but another objective to be completed.
“General, the Pan-Asian task force has breached the outer perimeter.”
“Open fire, Major. Let’s give them a warm and pleasant welcome.”
Onboard Tokyo’s Gambit, the PAU task force flagship, Hasan was amused when he saw the multiple missiles heading for his fleet.
“Maximum power to force fields. Prepare drop pods for ground assault.”
With three regiments consisting of Haechis, Bulgasaris and Kumihos, Hasan was determined to wipe out Rome and its defenders.
The ship shook as missiles claimed hits on the force field.
“General, force field is at 60% efficiency. A couple of minutes of this and we would be forced to open them up.”
“Just a little bit longer, Captain.”
Hasan was looking at his electronic tablet computer. Just as his fleet reached a marker on the map, he said the following words.
All of a sudden, klaxons rang and announcements boomed all over the fleet as thousands of drop pods rained down on Rome.
The battle of Rome has begun.
“Captain, retain a position suitable for close air support.”
“I will also take the field. For Asia and for the Union!”
Once the entire bridge assented, he went out to the pod stations without further ado.
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