Red Star Rising is a short story included as part of TSFIA.
SummaryEditAugust 19, 2001. Soviet Union, Koryaksky, Kamchatka Peninsula.
"...Wavelength match! It's the BETA! It's roughly a.... brigade size horde, 13 miles north west, and approaching this base!"
"Prioritize identification of their class composition. Send out an emergency request for reinforcement to command, and ask for permission to evacuate all valuable personnel and assets on this base!"
The command center of the forward supply base TSE-04 had descended into a state of panic and chaos. Normally, the Surveillance Satellites were able to monitor BETA movements and warn the base well ahead of time, but it was not to be the case this occasion. Today, the BETA decided to appear from underground, and given that seismic activity is quite common for being virtually next to a active volcano, a relatively light (by BETA standards) horde snuck through the early warning nets. Having received the urgent call for help from supply base TSE-04, the Soviet Regional Command ordered an immediate cease of all non-combat related activities in the region, and ordered TSE-04 to abandon base. As the quick reaction force scrambled to sortie, Regional Command confirmed to them that there were zero Laser class detected among the Horde as of yet. While Command HQ breathed a sigh of relief, the possibility of no Laser class presence only served as a small comfort for the soldiers who were about to step into the meat grinder.
"...Ha...ha...! Iron 4 to any call sign, please respond!......"
While continuously pouring a steady stream of 36mm to keep the encroaching Tank class at bay, 2nd Lt. Nina Jughashvili tried once again to contact friendly forces that should have been around here somewhere. But for whatever reason, possibly some electronic interference she hoped, there was no one answering her calls.
While denying in her mind the possibility of a worst case scenario, she tried to data link with the base network. Only to be greeted seconds later with the current battle space map showing the entire base covered with Red blips.
Using all the strength she didn't know she had, 2nd Lt Jughashvili willed herself not to fall into a state of total despair facing the truth of being the only survivor of her squadron.
Suddenly, the radio came to life with a static filled transmission.
"Iron 4 this.....is Iron......7. Ar......e..you....okay?"
The communication window now on Nina's HUD showing her the familiar face of Iron 7.
"Yes! I'm alright...You are alive! I can't..... quick we have to regroup!"
Seeing the face of her best friends in this seemingly hopeless situation has lifted her spirits immensely, her excited voice on the radio hiding little of the joy she felt in her heart. An similar shift in mood can be seen on the Haggard looking face of Iron 7 as well.
"Understood... Then we will meet at-"
The transmission was cut and there was nothing but pure static, both over the air or on her HUD.
"Iron 7! Respond!! What happened!"
Suppressing her panic, she checked once again the battle space map, and saw the symbol of Iron 7 blinking red, and then covered completely under a wave of more red dots.
Lt. Jughashvili fell silent. Memories of times spent with Marida filled her mind. Whether it be the times they spend having all those random conversation to ease the boredom, the gifts they made for each other and their times in training, it all flooded her mind at once and then disappeared... Now an emptiness took hold. Muscle memory and training took over as she reacted to the warnings coming from her TSF. She dispatched several Grapplers classes closing in on her with some 36mm fire while she evaded, and only to find herself landing in a area that soon became a sea of Tank classes.
Despite her struggling, several tank class have latched on to her Su-27 and have completely rendered her machine immobile. She can already hear the sound of tearing metal. 2nd Lt. Jughashvili closed her eyes and her thoughts turned to her surviving family. Just as she readied herself to end her own life, the sight of a tank class exploding into a bloody pulp caused her heart to leap and her ears to scream as a voice filled with anger and authority came alive on the radio.
"Don't lose to yourself, Iron 4!!!"
The voice of a stern woman berated her on the radio as 2 Flights of Su-37M2 Terminators landed close to her downed Su-27.
Many more voices came now onto the radio.
"What were you thinking, Iron 4?"
"Don't give up so easily, it's too early for that..."
"Stay still, I'll get those things off of you."
She knows them, they are Lt. Colonel Fikatsia Latrova, and her men.
"I didn't peg you for a defeatist, Iron 4..........."
Suppressing her warm tears, 2nd Lt. Nina Jughashvili tried her hardest to squeeze out a proper reply.
"Zhar 1 to all battalion units! Comrades, it is time to show these invaders who they are really dealing with here. Spare not a single one to live!"
Following Lt. Colonel Latrova's orders, all of the Su-37 in the area began to fan out and are acquiring targets.
The indomitable, composite steel form of these iron Giants radiated a sense of pure hatred against the alien horde as they began their righteous ritual of total destruction. Colonel Latrova's own Su-37M2 evaded several groups of tanks class using vertical boosts, leaving behind a 120mm High explosive round every time. Soon, what was once a sea of red Tanks, there is now only a crimson sea of blood and gore.
"Zhar 2, go cover Iron 4!"
"Zhar 2 acknowledged!"
Zhar 2, Captain Nastassja Ibanova, moved her Su-37M2 in position besides Iron 4, and added her own fire power to aid the Su-27SM in gunning down the BETA, reducing the surviving BETA in this small area into Pink mists in seconds.
Withstanding both the recoil of her guns and the G-force from boosting at maxium power, the Su-27 avoided by centimeter the Forearm strike from 2 Grappler classes, while simultaneously engaging the motors in her wrist mounted chain blades, she plunged it into the vulnerable back side of the Alien monstrosity, and ripped it apart.
"I have to live....! I must survive!"
Alien blood erupted like a fountain, the still active chain blade sending splatters of alien organs in every direction. The sight of the blood-soaked Su-27 at that very moment was a true embodiment of a shadows of death cast on this battlefield.
"Zhar 1 to all battalion units! We still have more survivors to tend to. Do not waste your time."
The stern voice of Colonel Latrova and the acknowledgment of her battalion echoed in 2nd Lt. Nina Jughashvili 's radio.
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