London Bridge is Rising Up is a short story included as part of TSFIA.
SummaryEditAbove the flowing great black river of the land which the Cerberus themselves call home was an most interesting sight.
Normally for TSFs to fly so low and following a river the size of this one was to mean that the moving formation was hugging the high ground feature on either side of the river valley to avoid any unwanted BETA attention so common on the still largely hostile land of Europe. But today it was not such a case, in fact 2nd Lieutenant Ilfriede von Feulner of the zeberus Rot squadron was so relaxed in her cockpit she was humming a merrily tone to her self.
(Ah the weather is so great today.)
The calm and serene river beneath her glistered in the sun. Indeed a rare occurrence in the normally cloudy skies of London during the onset of a new winter.
Moving her stick and pedals her EF-2000 Typhoon danced through the air. Even complex flight maneuvers felt easy on such a great day.
(Who knew that the simple act of flying without worry could feel so good. )
Humans have always throughout history had a primal like fascination with flight-------the freedom of soaring the endless heaven has intrigued and became the obsession of countless human beings.
(Wow….. things are so different up here when there is no enemies to worry about.)
Normally every time Ilfriede has sortied it was with the intention and possibility of engaging an enemy, whether they be simulated or real. Other than during her initial training this is her first and only time where she sortied with her Typhoon to simply “Fly”.
2000. winter. The Elites of Europe, the 44th tactical armored battalion Zerberus took ceremonial flight positions above the river Thames in the city of London as part of the The 10th royal anniversary parade celebrating liberation of London from BETA control.
“ohhh. I wish we could stay up here forever. This is so wonderful.”
Happy as always the walking TSF encyclopedia Lunateresia von Witzleben Was fully immersed in sharing this almost magically like moment with her own beloved typhoon.
“Luna, I can’t agree with you more on this-“
Just as Ifirde was talking with a very happy Lunatarisa on her comms net; Rot 11 Lieutenant Wolfgang von Brauer’s voice cut into the conversation.
“Rot 8. Be a little more serious here, this is a very formal occasion and command can call us back at a moment’s notice.”
Even though Dover base in only 100km away from London, due to the extreme heavy nature of air traffic from the celebratory parade in the city today; the Zeberus battalion have orders to rendezvous with the Carrier Typhon downstream from the Thames river at the naval port of Tilbury in the event of an emergency instead of the normal RTB route.
“rot 12 to rot 11. Let luna have some fun. Besides it’s a rare and unique opportunity to see London from up here…… and since when did you become the shining example of discipline and soldiery?”
“No, not really I just don’t particularly give a shit about the British’s priority of work and spending.”
“………hmm…..i understand where you are coming from with this Brauer, but still………”
Lt.Helgarose von Falkenmeyer said quietly as she slowly surveyed the outer edges of the City and taking in the signs of the remnants of the old London left from the defensive battle of 1985. By now the Battalion can see clearly the entirety of the city and its major landmarks such as the London Bridge, St. Paul cathedral and even the Big Ben- all in fact rebuilt within the last ten years to match their former glory. This was what wolfgang von brauer meant with “effort and spending” ---the reconstruction of London for the last 10 years.
“A country needs its symbol, I don’t blame them. Not everyone is like us”
15 years ago. A battle of epic proportions was fought here at the heart of London and the river of Thames. Even then, with the might of the EU and everything the British armed forces could muster it took 5 years before London and truly the entire British isle to be free of the BETA menace. Thanks to the valiant efforts of the men and women who fought there not all of London was lost during the war. Still having abandoned London at one point during those 5 years , the most recognizable landmarks such as the palace of Westminster and even Buckingham palace was razed beyond recognition.
Even after reclaiming their lost land, despite their level of exhaustion. The British people began almost immediately the reconstruction of London. Even though they have focused their main effort to the defense of their borders, the amount of focused placed on the matters of restoring and revitalizing their arts and culture was unlike what any other country and land that have suffered a similar fate have done. The reason for such a thing was simple, The Royal family and the houses of nobility recognized that the people needed hope and that military might is not the only thing people can put their hope and belief in. The symbol and glory of England must be restored.
“Look Brauer, look at the people, its not just historical buildings they’ve rebuild . they have been rebuilding and reclaiming their former way of life. They are a strong and motivated people………….. They deserve our respect and are a worthy example for the world to follow.”
Indeed for those who have lost their homeland, such an sight will no doubt bring forth a feeling of lose and envy but at the same time it also fuels them. The weight of their history, the will of their people, the dream of glorious conquest for their fatherland and the hopes of a bright future, such thoughts filled the minds of the young pilots of Cerberus and silence fell upon them.
“Hey guys, look! it’s the Big Ben!----and right below the clock face, yeah down there.”
Iifride’s excited voice mercilessly broke the momentary somber mood of the battalion as she fully took advantage of the Fly by light combat tactical FCS controls of her Ef2000 Typhoon to mark a Zoomed-in section of the Big Ben for the entire battalion to view on their data link.
“DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM "O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First." That’s so damn cool and badass……..”
“…………iifreide…. Your are secretly raised on a country farm aren’t you……”
Faced with Iifriede’s usual attitude Wolfgang can only face palm and shake his head in vain.
“Hey Queen Victoria ruled England during its golden age, not to mention she is part German. I have more than enough reason to show her my respect.”
“Zeberus 1 to all Zeberus call signs. Shake it out and assume parade formations. We are almost at our final waypoint. No changes from our rehearsal. Once the battalion ahead of us is done we will move away from the river and swing towards Buckingham palace and greet the Royal family with our fly by. Be at your best in the name of Zebereus!”
“Yes sir!” Responded the battalion towards Major Aichberger ‘s order.
With the affirmation, the 36 TSF of the 44th lead by the signature black form of their leader’s machine soared through the air in unison towards the parade grounds of Buckingham palace. The noise of their jump jets rumbled through the streets below as the crowd cheered. Every branch of the EU was represented here today on the ground and in the air. The sound of Naval cannon fire and ground howitzer fire in the distance signaled the navy and the artillery corps’ presence and the climax of the parade as Infantry and other ground troops marched in tight formation wearing dress uniforms followed by their armored columns of tanks and APCs pass by the palace parade grounds after marching through the city . Hundreds of TSFs flew through the skies above London in formation or stood honor guard in all corner of the city and the palace grounds.
Now another 36 tsfs in parade formation approached Buckingham palace to give their customary fly by salute.
“Achtung! 44th Tactical Armored Gruppe Zeberus; To Her Majesty Queen of the United Kingdoms ROYAL SALUTE präsen-tiert SCHWERT!“
Reducing their air speed the 36 TSFs simultaneously raised their handheld halberds with both hands to the front of their face and slashed downward to the right using one hand .A traditional gesture originated from the days of the Crusades, when knights would kiss the hilt of his sword as a sign of keeping oaths and vows to their god and kings before entering a battle.
Thus ended a day to which the young Lieutenant Ilfriede would often find herself thinking back to. That glorious day when she followed those of the legendary “ Seven heroes of Britannia” into a new chapter of man kind’s history.
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