Heritage of Valkyries is a short story included as part of TSFIA.


-26 Heritage of Valkyries

#26 Heritage of Valkyries

Roaring engines ripped through the darkness. It has been 766 seconds since the Hive "Gate" was breached. The 12 TSFs of this particular squadron to brave the unknown darkness are still all accounted for and operational, speeding down one of the Hives's many drifts.

The drift walls eerily reflected the lights coming from the TSFs, the green of the hive walls becoming a blur to the pilots as they cruised at high speeds.

"I can't believe I'm actually considering to calling this place as something beautiful..."

As if stars shining in the sky on a cloudless night, the Hive walls in this section of the drifts could be considered by many to be beautiful in its own way, were it not for the grotesque forms of the BETA that currently inhabits it.

As beautiful as the sights were, the pilots have to remain focused and alert. This is no JIVE simulation. This is as real as it gets, for they are in the very bowels of Hive 20.

In the years of past, countless pilots like themselves have sacrificed their lives in an attempt to seize or destroy the hive reactor in a Hive just like this one. Despite the many precedence examples of the dangers that are most likely facing them ahead, the nervousness that one would find on pilots of the old days in this situation cannot be found on the these pilots of today.

"The Valkyrie data is truly amazing..."
"The BETA really haven't changed that much, have they...?"

In the many hours now that UN forces have been engaging the BETA of Hive 20, the predicted BETA numbers on the surface, their rate of reinforcements, and general movement of the BETA through the surface layers of the Hive have all been predicted with surprising accuracy. Even now, 12 minutes since breaching the "Gate", nothing they have seen in Hive 20 has been able to surprise them so far, other than some extra branches of tunnel structure here and there, everything is going according to the simulations.

Flying in open formation at maximum cruising speeds. These machines are equipped with High Thrust output engines, of the type previously never found any Japanese TSF. The new high thrust General electronic Fe-140 turbofan engine, combined with it aggressively contoured control surfaces and vector thrusting waist boosters, have made these units nearly impossible to pilot effectively without a skilled and experienced veteran at its controls. But in the hands of such pilots, who are able to bring out the true performance of these untamed horses, become an unmatched force of nature of nearly unstoppable proportions. Even now, these 12 TSFs continue to fly gracefully through the tight winding corners of this drift with not a single wasted movement, not slowing down in the least even when dispatching the BETA who would attempt to hinder their advance.

"Man... Why did we pick the safe route? There are nowhere near enough BETA here to pose a challenge to me. And we even finally got the XM3 installed for this assault. "

The TSFs of this squadron embodies almost all the concepts of a true 3rd generation TSF, in terms of speed and mobility . When combined with the operating system XM3, all simulation trial results would have exceeded the original TSF designer's wildest expectations. And today would be the first time for this Squadron to engage in live combat with XM3 installed in these new model machines.

"Skuld 1 to Skuld 5, seeing as we are most likely going to the Reactor Room at some point during this Op, and seeing as how you seem to have so much energy to talk crap, when we get to the Reactor Room, I'm ordering you to breach and secure the Reactor by yourself while everyone else is going to sit back, watch, and then laugh at how much the BETA kick your ass."

With a voice and tone people would normally never associate with a Squadron Leader of such a veteran squadron, the voice continues to chew out her subordinate, and a couple of suppressed chuckles can be heard coming from the rest of the squadron.

"Hmmph, Skuld 1 to all units, we are almost there. Confirm your remaining fuel and ammo, we are not going to be resupplied for awhile, and even if we were, you all know very well of my policy on wasting ammo."

Indeed, this squadron is nowhere near any of the main forces, and for that matter there are no other human forces within these hive tunnels anywhere. For this single squadron right now, the main shaft is not their main objective, nor is the Reactor room. At 800+ seconds since breaching into the Hive tunnels, the unit has flown through a series of winding tunnels and at the present they are directly 9000+ meters of their point of entry. Shortly they will be going through the Main Shaft itself, and then exiting it in a straight line across and continue on their prescribed route into a new drift. The current objective of this squadron is something that has never been attempted on any previous hive assaults.

"I see it now, we will break through there!!!"
April 10th, 2003, local time 1201.

The current assault on the surface of Hive 20 is continuing smoothly. The sky is saturated with heavy metal clouds, and on the ground the very sounds of war shook the earth with every discharge from tools made solely for the purpose of relentless destruction.

The UN forces deployed on the ground are still engaged in a battle of dominance with the BETA, on all fronts, in an attempt to suppress the BETA presence above ground in the preparation for the actual breaching of a Hive Gate for the main force to go through.

"Joker 1 to HQ! 3rd wave of BETA reinforcement coming from Gate SE41. Estimated to be brigade size or larger, and they got lasers with them, size and composition unknown. Requesting immediate artillery support and reinforcements."

"HQ to Joker 1, at the present time we cannot direct any reinforcements your way, all forward artillery batteries have priority targets to engage at the moment. Elements of the Unites States Pacific Fleet have acknowledged your call for fire, but their battleships are currently engaged as well and will not be able to support you for another 20 minutes. -Hold! Joker 1, more to follow shortly..."
"Joker 1, roger... Fuck! This is bullshit...."

From Joker 1's view, the situation is grim, even though there are naval assets on both sides of the Korean peninsula. However, Joker 1 and all battalions under his command have been dropped virtually next to Cheorwon Hive, a couple kilometer south, to secure this side of the BETA Advance, which means he is almost dead center middle in the Korean peninsula landmass, with a minimum of 110miles to the sea on both sides. At such ranges, the only weapons those ships can bring to bear would be their Tomahawk cruise missiles. Even assuming those missiles get here under the cover of the heavy metal clouds, at 550miles/h it will still take roughly 10 minutes or more for them to get here from where they will be fired from, and not to mention the supposed 20 minute delay before they can even fire on Joker 1's targets.

In the face of direct laser threats from beyond his own effective engagement range, the various battalions here under his command faced the very real possibility of total annihilation without effective fire support. Even though humanity have learned much on how to better defeat the BETA since Operation Ouka, the BETA's numerical advantage and laser classes continue to pose a grave threat.

As the situation becomes rapidly more dire by the second. Joker 1 cannot afford to wait for HQ's delayed response any longer.

"Joker 1 to HQ, the lasers are getting closer now, I can't wait any longer. I can either order a assault to take out the lasers on my own or I will have to pull my forces-"
"Joker 1 this HQ, I have IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) assets in this region willing to provide assistance, they say you can expected 2 salvos of long range support fire before they attempt a link up with your forces. Forwarding their projected arcs of fire now... Your point of contact with them will be with their call sign Skuld 1. Here is their frequency..."

...IJA in this area? Where are they coming from?

Looking at his map and the forwarded data received from HQ, Joker 1's expression went from puzzled to almost jaw dropping shock.

These coordinates.....bearing 304....Northwest......... They are coming in from inside the Hive?!?!

The unit designator on his map came closer and closer, before registering themselves on his HUD as the 11th Tactical Surface Fighter Squadron of the Mt.Fuji Instructional Corp.
Minutes earlier.....
Off in the distance, 12 Type-04 Shiranui Second -phase 2- emerged at maximum thrust from a Hive Gate.

"Skuld 1 to HQ, we have successfully exited the Hive from Gate SE03. All units fully operational, remaining fuel and ammunition within acceptable mission parameters. Ready for further combat orders."
"HQ to Skuld 1, I confirm your units signal. data link reestablished.......Congratulations, you guys are the first humans to ever attempt and complete such a journey within a Hive, not to mention the first single unit to breach 2 different Hive Gates in one operation, with the 2nd gate being breached from the inside no less.”

"Skuld 1 to HQ, thank you for the compliments, but we could not have done it without the Valkyrie Data... Humanity has finally reached this point...."
Much of the accuracy for the prediction of BETA movement and Hive infrastructure of this Operation all owe its thanks to the still classified "Valkyrie Data" that was obtained by analyzing the data of the infiltration forces during all the Hive assaults during Operation Ouka, including the assault of the Primary Objective. Due to the nature of certain sensitive information that is part of the Valkyrie data, much of it still remain highly classified, nevertheless the bulk of the Valkyrie Data has proven invaluable to the UN forces planning any Hive assaults. Due to its more comprehensive and up to date information on BETA Hives, it will most likely replace the aging Volks Data during pilot JIVE training for all hive assaults in the future.

1st Lt. Hayase... Captain Isumi... Onee-chan...Chizuru...everyone......I have finally arrived at this point...

Skuld 1, 1st Lt. Suzumiya Akane, the youngest Squadron Leader and ace pilot of the Fuji Instructional Corp, once again offered her prayers to the names of friends, family and comrades who have stood and fought by her side through the darkest times of human history.

No, not just me, everyone of Isumi's Valkyries have arrived here with me!

Within Imperial Japan, and indeed the world, few would recognize and truly realize the importance behind the personal marking that now adorned one of her TSF's Shoulder Plating.

It is a rare symbol and the number of pilots in this world that still carried it can be numbered on one hand. She is the only one in her Squadron to carry the unit patch of "Valkyrie". A unit that had been shrouded in mystery and secrecy since the days of its inception, even nowadays, legends, rumors, gossips, and supposed eye-witness accounts of the mysterious squadron, and the inhuman skills of their pilots, can still be found here and there around the frontlines of the world.

"HQ to Skuld Leader, we will save more of your congratulations for later, UN forces in the region require immediate assistance, forwarding the data now... Command believes that this will be a good opportunity to try out some new tactics with those new weapons, they expect favorable results. Your point of contact with the UN forces will be Joker 1. Good hunting Skuld Leader."

Receiving her orders, Lt. Suzumiya put her game face on.

"Skuld 1, Roger! Alright you, fucking lazy bums, time to earn your pay and booze. BUT NO ONE here is partying until that Reactor Room wall is painted in BETA blood to my satisfactions! All units, prepare to commence long range support fire. These will be our targets...."

Saying things that a teenage girl really shouldn't be saying, the squadron obeyed nonetheless. 12 Type-02 Squad Support Guns(SSG) were deployed simultaneously, better known with its European designation as the Mk. 57 SSG.

Taking advantage of the Valkyrie Data showing which drifts and Gates the BETA prefer to use during a hive assault, military planners are able to plot a fast and safe route through a BETA Hive to exit directly behind the BETA formation, where the Laser class are mostly positioned, perfect for a long range kill using the Type-02 SSG. This is but one of many proposed new anti-BETA tactic during a Hive assault to be tested by the members of Fuji-instructional corp.

"Skuld 1 to all units. These bastard's backsides are completely vulnerable, victory is ours! You have your targets, commence firing!"
April 10th, 2003, local time 1234.

Objective 20's assault Operation “Sledgehammer" continues overall according to plan. Several Gates have now been secured and the next phase of infiltrating the main hive shaft will begin shortly.

TSFIA Summaries
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