Lute 2009/12/31 (Thu) 16:36 No. 109018 ▼
File 126227740615.jpg - (258.98KB, 720x720 , 1213699459573.jpg)
[x] Go with Aya.
You take a hold of the rope and start climbing your way up. Before you manage to get more than a few steps up, though, the VTOL craft takes off, leaving you swinging precariously on a rope ladder that may or may not be able to hold your weight, powered suit and all. You look down, and see Aya a few rungs below you. Counting on the rope being the expensive kind that can take a lot of tension, you continue upwards until friendly hands grab your shoulders and pull you the rest of the way into the fuselage.
You look around, taken aback by the sight, and you are not someone who is easily taken aback after all you have seen on your lunar campaigns. The pilot and co-pilot seem the most normal, wearing flight helmets and close-fitting jumpsuits that reveal slender body builds like Aya's. On the left and right are the gatlings, and manning each of them is a humanoid sporting wolfish ears and a tail. Sitting on crude benches bolted on either side of the inner hull are a few more of the anthromorphic wolves uniformed in greys and reds, with the rest of the space taken up by short figures in camouflage patterns of watery blues and greens wearing heavy backpacks and funny flat caps. Someone behind you gently pushes you out of the way; it is Aya climbing aboard.
"It's dangerous for you to keep flying off like that, General," the young soldier on the starboard gatling says with the tone of an exasperated bodyguard. Her voice is surprisingly feminine for someone who looked at first sight to be a boy.
"I can take care of myself, Corporal Inubashiri," Aya dismisses her concern with a wave of her hand and proceeds up to the front of the craft, balancing with the help of supports screwed into the ceiling along the way. Not sure what else to do, you give the soldiers one last look (as do they, having recovered from staring open-mouthed at you and now beginning to whisper among themselves) and follow Aya. The size of the interior reminds you of a Pave Low.
Aya has donned a headset and is speaking, presumably on a radio. "Sierra Delta Mike, this is Tango Golf Alpha, do you copy over?"
"..." A short pause as she listens to the reply.
"Inbound up the river in ten minutes. We'll take out the guns and send you an advance kappa team while the rest of us hit them in their rear." There is another pause, then Aya flicks a switch and turns back to you.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Aya gestures towards the rolling landscape whizzing by outside the cockpit. You have to agree with her as you admire the pastoral scene unfolding in front of you. A mountain range turns the horizon into a canvas of jagged peaks, from which meltwater streams down a valley to form a lake, the middle of which is playing bright tricks with the afternoon sun. A single river flows away from the lake, with a small town straddling the waterway along the shores of the natural resevoir, the smoke of industry rising merrily from various buildings. The rest of the land is neatly divided into plots of farmland connected by winding roads. Still, something seems out of place, as though you are looking at a picture instead of a real world. Then it strikes you: there are no paved roads, not even a single automobile travelling, not a power line in sight, in fact, no indication that this is the 21st century instead of, say, the 19th. The contrast between the feudal landscape and the at least WWII-era technology around you is harsh.
"...someday the farms will be replaced by factories, and we too will disappear from this earth," Aya is saying. "But we won't live to see that day if the Lunarians kill us all first."
"Lunarians?" you ask as the word snaps you back out of your reverie.
She points towards the lake. "Take a closer look."
You magnify your vision on the town and see that things are not as they first seem to be. There is smoke rising, not from chimneys and smokestacks, but from smouldering ruins and structures still ablze. A flash catches your attention, and you follow the arcing trajectory of a projectile as it rises above the buildings and flies over the lake- then a brighter flash that you had mistaken for the sun's reflection earlier, but not anymore. "Lunarian siege artillery," you mutter as you follow the shell's projected trajectory and sight a castle built with red stone in the middle of the lake. A few more artillery rounds explode in the air, briefly outlining the usually invisible dome-shaped anti-bombardment field that they smashed into. "That shield's on its last legs."
"I see that too. We have to hurry," Aya agrees in a somber voice, all traces of her earlier playfulness replaced by an ancient weariness. You look at her and are surprised to see that her vision is unaided, without even a pair of binoculars, yet she can see what you saw. "You asked what I meant when I said that Gensokyo was sealed off until recently. Here is your answer. It used to be that we were isolated from both Earth and Moon, but not anymore. Now we are embroiled in politics and war once again, the reasons that this land was sealed off in the first place. I ask you, will you help us drive the Lunarians out?"
Lunarians are invading Earth. Nobody will be surprised, as the question has been "when" not "if" for a long time now, but the actuality of it, no longer an abstraction, weighs heavier on your thoughts than you thought it would. "You don't need to ask twice," you tell her, "or even once."
"You can probably guess our plans. The Lunarians have captured the town and hid their artillery inside. Our Troops drop off just outside town, a small squad of marines swim to the mansion and reinforce them, everyone else destroys the big guns, breaks the siege, and retakes the town. Let's get you some proper weapons." Aya briefs you as she rummages through an equipment locker. In the meantime, your aircraft catches up with the other four and settles into formation, flying upriver.
[ ] Heavy machine gun
[ ] High-caliber sniper rifle
[ ] Missile launcher