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.
Chapter 1.1: Dark Portents
Milan stood at the gateways to Italy, serving as a bulwark against the endless war that the blue planet was facing.
It has long been a historical city and once again, it will be a witness to an event that will once again shake the tides of Earth’s destiny.
They have declared war over the Atlantic Union a couple of days ago, just as the Martian Colonial Entities and the African Collective were pondering their next moves for the control of what remains of this planet.
It is a fact that the Trans-Atlantic Federation, the Pan-Asian Union and the African Collective are all fighting for complete control of the Earth’s ever-dwindling resources, all for their own respective goals. To make matters worse, the Colonial Entities who rule Mars and the Outer Planets are planning to exact their revenge on Earth’s governments due to complex political and humanitarian matters that left the human colonies embittered and impoverished.
Meanwhile, on what could be called as a clear and sunny day, Major Terrence Richards, head of the Alpine Signals Outpost, noticed multiple blips on their system.
These are PAU airships. Wait, we are at war, right? Holy shit!
Then, he realized that they were coming hard for Italy. Without hesitation, he immediately sent a message to his superiors.
FLASH FLASH FLASH
MULTIPLE AIRSHIPS DETECTED SIGNATURES BELONG TO PAU
A few seconds later, he received the reply.
FLASH FLASH FLASH
LAUNCH MISSILES. DELAY THEM. NO REMORSE, NO PITY, NO MERCY
THE REGIONAL COMMANDER
MAY GOD’S LOVE BE WITH YOU
Squadron Commander Jerry de la Paz was leading his squad of Bora bombers high above the Alps.
Then, without warning, he was greeted by multiple radar signatures. Within the blink of an eye, his whole squadron was locked and missiles were racing towards them.
He dived down, releasing chaff and decoys along the way. He also dropped his two fuel tanks towards the mountain, creating bright fireballs of red and orange as the missiles streaked past their planes.
Soon, the other planes in his squadron followed his example. However, a couple of them were unlucky as missiles slammed into their hulls, quickly exploding the aircraft into a thousand pieces.
Paz just shrugged.
There will be time to mourn for them later.
Then, with the press of a few buttons on his computer, he signalled his team to go up to maximum altitude and drop their missiles from there.
Those missiles were intended for the radar stations that were supplying data to the missile silos below – if they could clear them out, the rest of the fleet would be able to go to Milan without any problems.
He pressed the fire button and went away without even looking, his wingmen following closely as they go back to the relative safety of the Pan-Asian Union’s fleet.
Moments later, the radar signatures died down, one by one, either exploding or forced to turn off in order to shake off the missiles fired by the raider planes.
Paz smiled as he savoured his success.
Lieutenant Desmond Seneca looked intently at his watch.
It was 14 minutes past three and the temperature was a tad bit cold for him, even as he piloted one of the Pan-Asian Union’s newest Vityaz models.
A Vityaz is a small robot that can carry one heavy armament, one medium armament and one light armament. For this particular mission, Seneca carried weapons for close-quarters combat, knowing very well that urban warfare would be the name of the game here.
He could see the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea in one of the cameras in front of him; on the other camera, he could see the city of Milan, bustling with tourists and local folk as they spend their typical holy Sundays.
Little do the people know what is in store for them, Seneca thought.
After all, even though the Pan-Asian Union (PAU) and the Trans-Atlantic Federation (TAF) have just formally declared war on each other, the common man still thought that it was just a series of bluffs.
This is no bluff. This is the real one.
He knew that it was the real one as he saw heavily battered Raider planes coming back from their vanguard operations over the Alps. It was actually a miracle that almost all of them survived despite the heavy resistance that the Italians have given to them.
The lights suddenly began to turn red as the drop pods were about to begin their descent.
“Omega Leader, this is Omega One-Zero Actual. We are about to start descent from 25,000 feet, over,” said one of his men over the communications link.
“Roger that. Proceed with the operation,” Seneca replied.
The drop pods rushed at extremely high speeds towards the city of Milan, attracting multiple missiles as well as cannon fire.
In order to facilitate their descent, Seneca advised his teams to deploy angel flares, chaff and radar decoys in order to shake off the enemy defense.
However, a couple of them caught several pods, creating secondary explosions midair that just added to the chaos of the event.
“10000 feet! 9000…8000…”
A voice asked Seneca, “Commander, do we activate the retro engines now?”
“Not yet, Lieutenant, hang on, and I think we should go hard!”
Seneca has already mastered the art of touching down with maximum speed while at the same time ensuring that his robot’s legs does not get broken into smithereens.
He pressed a button on his robot that allowed it to communicate with the interface of the pod.
Just as the pod reached 2500 feet, Seneca activated the Drop Pod engines, with his men following in earnest.
Within a couple of seconds, the drop pods reached the ground with a bang, crashing into buildings or creating large craters on the street. Some had the good luck to hit enemy emplacements, softening Milan’s defenses just a little bit more.
The ground battle for Milan has finally started.
Read the next chapter here (Chapter 1.2)!
Here are the rest of the chapters: