Chikyu No Shugo: Gaojinizer
Drifting around the Earth in the cosmos, was its satellite, known as Luna. The place that had essentially become a forward base for the Garsalan forces in the system. Serving as the jumping-off point for many of their attacks. The place that served as the headquarters, lying within Bygrius crater. Within the very center, a large structure sat, three connected, organically shaped towers, with layers of weaponry both around, and on it. Anti-ship artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and missile launchers. Though, even with its armaments, the castle itself was simply not large in the least. It served as a palace for an otherwise unknown noble family within the Garsalan Empire, bereft of many major military achievements, within the last century or so. The head of this noble family was the Fi’gas, Darzell Zu Meni.
He sat on a chair at the summit of the tower, a glass in his clawed hands. His outer chitin, the color of sand, showing his origin from one of the Homeworld’s desert regions, shined in the light above him. He sat in silence, staring off into the window panels that covered most of the bedroom’s wall... Something that gave him a direct view of earth, and the space around it… His attention was on the country the primitives knew as “Japan.”. He focused his gaze on it as he prepared to watch the fireworks, and, finally, as a violet ball of light became visible from orbit, he began to raise his hand as it began to expand.
As he watched the destruction, stepping through the doorway, was another Garsalan, the same shade as his superior.
Darzell turned his head, placing his gaze on the soldier.
“It seems our information was correct, aside from the anti-aircraft we saw… There was a lack of any weaponry in the area.”
“So, paint a target on the city’s back, have us destroy it, and try to make us lower our guard... Maybe some of these upstarts would have fallen for that. But a member of Zu Meni will not…”
“Sir, are you not worried about how command will react to the forces that were destroyed?”
Now, the man turned his gaze back to the blue orb, as he took a sip from the glass, a yellow liquid entering his maw.
“Green troops and some outdated cruisers, I’m sure they won’t mind... “
“But, that’s not all sir… We’ve found that a single Orbital Decimator, or, as the humans would call them, Vanguard Armors, has come out of the blast radius intact.”
“Is that so… Peculiar. A single machine surviving an AMP bomb...If it was one of ours, that wouldn’t be far-fetched...But considering those primitives made it, this just got a lot more interesting.”
“Then what shall we do, sir?”
Darzell stood, as he began to step closer toward the viewing window, taking yet another sip from the glass.
“We’ll eliminate it...Take whatever remains away… Have the Iso foundation test their new Biological weapons. It beats wasting troops that won’t do anything to it..”
The Garsalan Saluted.
Soon, he began dashing out of the room, all the while, the Lord looked over his shoulder, watching the soldier's disappearing form. Though, soon, his gaze went forward.
“Looks like we got a little too lax, huh…”
His thoughts began to drift to any possible plans to destroy the machine. After all, doing something like that could get him in a position fighting opponents that would give him glory. There were numerous species in this galaxy and the one threat to their power was just beyond it. Regardless of which of them he fought, it would be better than this. All things considered, these Terrans were small potatoes at best. Their technology and Military were subpar, and their planet was a complete backwater. As a member of the aristocracy, that simply would not do…
The mentioned Terran Machine, and its pilot, drifted over the verdant forests that dotted the archipelago. None the wiser of the target placed on his back. Though, even if he did know, he had other concerns. The normally go-lucky, headstrong youth, ready to jump into any fight, had seemingly disappeared. The weight of the battle just yesterday still weighed on him... Though those two, and the rest of those he knew were hardly those you could consider “Good”. Or the last people one would consider being friends with, for him, that was not the case. In a matter of a few hours, the invaders he scorned managed to take everything from him once more. This was something that he couldn’t allow, something that he sure as hell wouldn’t. Not as long as he still had the ability to battle them. Though, before all that, he needed to figure out how this machine worked, after that, he would go do what he intended to. But, there was a problem in this, he could not decide on his next course of action.
“...Alright, I shouldn’t be too far from Shinkyo. I’ll stop there, get some supplies or whatever, and we’re off.”
Just like that, he continued moving over the high tipped mountains, and the verdant valleys that lie between them. All things considered, the trip was going quite well. Not a single Garsalan attack, so far, and he was advancing toward the city quite quickly. It was about an hour before he reached Mount Ontake, the site of Shinkyo. The city was not visible, save for what looked like hangar doors at the base of the mountain. There as a safeguard for the Emperor, and the other central members of the government, the city was simply a large cavern dug into the mountain’s base, built-in layers as the city was expanded through burrowing further underground. The city was safe, or, relatively, considering the Garsalan seemed to ignore it. Even if they hadn’t, the network of defensive guns, anti-ship, and anti-aircraft, spread throughout the miles of land around it, would prove to at least provide some defense.
Those very same defensive guns soon began to move, following an unidentified machine loomed above. In the command room, tens of eyes fell upon the camera feed, and the room had gone silent.
“Is it another Garsalan Vanguard Armor?”
The gazes of those in the room went to the man who spoke, a man with a balding head, wearing a black suit. A white-haired woman, sitting in front of him, stood, turning on her heel.
“I doubt it, sir, it hasn’t attacked any of our forces…”
“Then do we know who it came from?”
“We’re looking through our databases and trying to find out its origin, but nothing so far.”
Another one of his subordinates stepped forward.
“Sir, I was looking through footage from Neo Tokyo, and this machine was seen battling the Garsalan. So unless anything’s changed, I don’t think it’s hostile…”
Just then, a chime sounded from one of their terminals, catching the attention of those in the room.
“Whoever’s inside is requesting entry. Do we let them in?”
The commander put his hand on his chin, as he debated his course of action. As anybody who’d survived the first war, like him, had learned, one could never take too much caution with a Garsalan. He began to nod as the gears turned in his head. Until he began to lean back into his chair.
“Yes, but I want a squad on the hangar bay in case we have to apprehend the pilot. Make sure General Watanabe hears about this.”
Within the cockpit, a message of acceptance popped up on the display, as well as directions. Simple enough for him to understand. His machine swarved to the right as he took notice of metal doors that began to slide away from each other, revealing a landing pad, surrounded by armored soldiers, their faces covered by the visors from their helmets. Rifles slung over their shoulders. Something he took notice of, but, decidedly ignored. His machine soon landed, as the hum of his engines stopped. And soon, the Gao stood there unmoving, as the pilot within began to rotate his seat, looking around at the area around him. He soon took notice of the skyscraper-laden cavern, as well as the crowd of people that stood just outside of the landing pad, watching the machine from the city's roads. A mix of people military, and civilian alike. Then, he finally looked back at the soldiers at the base of the machine.
“So… This is the welcoming committee, Bit rude, isn’t it?”
His fingers glided over the OS display once more, as he tapped one of the many buttons. Leading to the cockpit popping open. He stood up, walking to the edge, and climbing down a rope ladder that was deployed soon afterward. His appearance, his youthfulness, caught the people around him by surprise, given the change in their expressions.
“Wait, It isn’t a Garsalan..?!” A soldier mumbled
Takeshi’s feet touched the ground, and he turned his gaze toward the one to speak.
“I don’t have four arms and a horn, what do you think?”
He went silent at this, as it wasn’t as if he were wrong. Though, from there, nothing was said, as they began to question how to approach the situation. Now, the whole landing pad was silent. Though that was about to change, wading through the crowd of civilians, drawing annoyed grunts and words, which went ignored, was a young woman.
“Well if he isn’t a Garsalan, then what’s the problem with me going to inspect it!”
The soldiers and Takeshi alike did not take notice of the approaching woman, even as her steps clanked on the metal path beneath her. Until, a girl with dark blue, nearly black hair, that was just short of touching her shoulder. Stepped onto the platform where the Gaojinizer stood. She soon grasped the goggles wrapped around her neck, as well as one of the tools that lay on her belt, as she began to step toward the machine. Stopping a few feet away, as her yellow orbs moved with her head, as she began to look up at the machine’s head. Soon after, she began to move around it.
“I’ve never seen this type of thruster before... I’m not detecting any Covalons, And this doesn't look like any type of armor I've seen.”
As she spoke, she caught the gaze of the soldiers there, and, soon after Takeshi.
“...What does she think she’s doing, sniffing around my machine?”
Soon, he turned on his heel and began walking toward her.
However, his words fell on deaf ears, whether she was ignoring him, or just didn’t notice. A frown came onto his face as he increased his speed.
This snapped her out of her stupor. She stopped walking, and slowly turned her gaze to the young man. The look on her face, however, was unamused at best. There was a clear amount of contempt, not happy about being interrupted.
“What do YOU want?” She asked.
“For you to stop tryin’ to shove your nose where it doesn't belong, that there is my VA!”
She went silent at this. She turned back to the machine and soon glanced back at him. To the machine once again, and then, back to Takeshi. Before, she scoffed.
“You expect me to believe someone like you built this?”
He frowned, stepping toward her once again, stopping a few feet away from her.
“And What is THAT supposed to mean?”
She stepped forward as well, her face eventually drifting closer to his.
“What do you think?”
Now, sparks seemed to fly between them as they stared into each other's eyes. In the end, nobody seemed to care enough to stop them. Even as they began to continue their exchange of words.
“I found it, I piloted it, so it’s mine!”
“That’s not how it works!” She responded.
“Alright, then how does it?!”
The two simply continued, unaware of another walking onto the path that led to the platform. A man with a shaved head, wearing the black officer uniform that was the standard within the Japanese Forces. Though most notable were the few medals that adorned his uniform, and his large stature, towering over those around him. His expression remained blank, even as the view of the two, as he saw it, children arguing.
“Ota, Enough, you can squabble with him later, I have an important message for him.”
Just then, the woman, Ota, went silent, as she turned her gaze to the man who continued his approach, as did Takeshi. Soon after, Ota promptly straightened up, saluting.
He waved her off.
“Calm down with the formalities, it isn’t as if you’re in the forces.”
As Ryo continued his approach, the two stepped away from one another, averting their gazes as well... They were less than willing to continue, it seemed. But, to be assured that they didn’t,/ Ryo stopped between them.
“You, you’re the one who piloted this machine, right?”
“In that case, come with me. General Watanabe wants to speak with you.”
Takeshi raised an eyebrow.
“Who is that?”
Ota’s expression became one of confusion as she turned her gaze toward him once more.
“How do you not know who General Watanabe is? He’s one of the UFE’s highest-ranking officers!”
Takeshi’s gaze went back to her.
“Why should I care… Whoever leads the military ain't on my priority list.”
He turned on his heel, beginning his ascent up the path that led to the landing pad.
“Alright, I’ll take you up on that, show me where I can find this Watanabe guy.”
Ryo wordlessly began following him, all the while Ota stood, watching them leave. Until she took note of something, she was alone, bar the soldiers, and they didn’t seem to care. Meaning…
“I’ll keep studying this thing. Ota Kyouko doesn't let anything stop her research!”
Soon, she began dashing around the machine with vigor, something that was noticed, met with more than a few stares.
“That girl...Certainly has energy to spare.”
“She always was like this, huh..”
Elsewhere, Takeshi and Ryo made their way through the crowd, many of which began to clear a path as Ryo’s gaze moved around. As they cleared the crowd, they began to walk down the sidewalk lining the city’s streets. Though, there was silence between them. After all, a teenager and some colonel in his 40s didn’t have much to talk about. Ryo put his hand on his chin as he glanced at the boy, perhaps he could probe him for information. Hopefully, he wasn’t TOO insistent on keeping things to himself. But given what he saw earlier, one could only think that he was.
“So, you wanna explain to me how a kid like you gets his hands on a vanguard armor?”
“I’m no kid… I turn 17 this year.”
Ryo turned forward as he spoke.
“Sounds like a kid to me.”
Though Takeshi opened his mouth to speak, he decided to ignore the man’s words, closing it. Normally, he would’ve returned such an insult, but he had bigger fish to fry. As such, there were no words, as the two gave way to the sounds of the bustling city around them. The scattered conversations, the sound of cars zooming by on the roads. As Takeshi’s gaze flew around, memories began to flow through his head… Though it was rare that he and his friends went outside of the lower districts, the times he did go, he remembered them vividly. As he continued to look around, the similarities to his former home only became more clear to him.
How could he feel as powerless as he did with what he’d uncovered? That was a mystery to him.
However, he was soon snapped out of his stupor, with two words.
“We’re here…” Ryo proclaimed.
Takeshi turned his gaze toward Ryo, and then, to his left, where a skyscraper, constructed of steel and glass that cast its shadow over the streets below. It dwarfed most of the other spires in the city, save for a few on the other side of the cavern. What he took note of after that, was the UFE’s emblem, a golden, flat replica of earth’s globe at the base, seven stars below it, and above the glove was at the base, 5 stars were at the very bottom, and, above the globe, was a phoenix, earth within the grasp of its talons.
“Welcome to the Japan Branch HQ.”
As the man spoke, Takeshi glanced at him. Watching as he began to make his way inside, before following shortly. As they got near, the glass doors parted, Revealing a high-ceiling room. Silently, the colonel began to glance around, searching for the one who’d given him his orders. His gaze went from the reception desk to the enlistment station, and then, to the many chairs that lined the center of the room. It was then that he saw a gray-haired man, with his hair having since retreated from the front of his head. Age clearly hadn’t been so nice to him, given the wrinkles that covered his face. Adorned in the black uniform typical of one of the Japan Branch’s higher officers. Though, the three-star insignia on his chest distinguished him from the rank and file.
“There he is.”
Takeshi glanced at the Colonel as he spoke, and then, he turned his gaze forward as he took note of the General. He began his approach, as did his escort.
“General Watanabe, We’ve got him.”
Watanabe perked up at the mention of his name, his gaze went from the floor to the approaching duo. His expression was neutral at first, but, as he took note of the boy beside it, it became one of confusion. We’ve got him? If that was the case, where was he? He couldn’t possibly mean that one… He was about to question it, until Ryo put his hand on the youth, something that made him recoil, moving away from him. Just as he feared, yet another young pilot. They were already scraping the bottom of the barrel for troops as it was, and now they had to rely on a pilot this young for their prototypes? Where was the original? He sighed at this development, before standing. As they got within a few feet of him, he finally responded.
“So, You’re the one who found the Gaojinizer… Certainly have a lot of questions for you, but it wouldn’t be good to ask them here. Follow me.”
The general turned on his heel and began to walk away from them, and his subordinate soon followed... A frown began to form on Takeshi’s face.
“I came here for a quick stop, and here I am getting dragged across the city... We’d better be through quick”
The three made their way further into the building, with many of those within saluting as the three walked by. Something neither of the officers acknowledged, continuing silently to an elevator at the center of the room. Watanabe was the first to enter, pushing the button for the top floor, as Takeshi and Ryo followed. The elevator began its rapid ascent. Shooting up to the building’s top floors. With a chime, the doors opened, and the three found themselves in a well-lit office, it was lightly decorated, Watanabe never having had much interest in such things. At the opposite end of the room, sat a desk with a holographic terminal on the desktop. And behind it, was a window that gave them a view of the surrounding city. Watanabe began exiting the elevator shortly after, soon followed by the two. Watanabe sat behind the desk, Ryo decidedly sat in one of the chairs, while Takeshi stood in front.
“Alright... I just want to know, why did you need to talk to me?” Takeshi asked.
Watanabe put his elbows on the desk, interlocking his fingers as he slouched forward.
“That machine, What else? That thing you have there is a Classified prototype... Part of what we call the ‘Machina Project’.”
“The only way we’re going to recover from the invasion is if we get those roaches off of Earth… As we’ve seen already, our conventional weapons aren’t enough. That is why machines like your Gaojinizer were made. Powered by the force of the mind, Aether, its discoverer named it… At the least, that’s what we believe it is, it’s been unclear.”
Takeshi raised an eyebrow as he heard this statement. Force of the mind, what the hell was this guy talking about? Had he gone off the deep end? Watanabe took notice of the skeptical expression on the boy’s face but decided to continue regardless.
“Either way, we Haven’t seen that Machine since Professor Okita disappeared... How did you find it.”
Takeshi soon began pacing around the room, looking out of the floor’s window as he did.
“I was on the street when the Garsalan dropped in. Had to escape into the sewers, found it in a chamber down there.”
“A sewer, huh… How did we lose it when it was right under our noses the whole time.”
Takeshi began to turn to the source, the Colonel, and soon, with those words, he began to frown… Now, some confusion, if not, a bit of anger began to brew in his mind. Just how DID they manage to lose it, was this force so ineffective that they couldn’t find that much? A bunch of roaches manage to hit a city that large with no defense battling them?
Now, his visage twisted into a grimace.
“I’d like to ask that question myself… How do you military guys keep letting the Garsalan jump onto the earth, stay in orbit?”
A frown grew on Ryo’s face, a result of his words.
“I don’t see you trying to keep the globe safe, as WELL as whatever colonies of ours haven’t been knocked out of orbit or turned into scrap... I don’t believe you should be criticizing people on matters you know nothing about.”
“The only reason I don’t know is because I haven’t started yet. And that’s changin’ real soon… I’m going to go take them on myself.”
With his proclamation made, he turned on his heel, beginning to make his way out of the room... And, as he did, the annoyance of another within the room began to grow, who did this kid think he was? Now, he began to step forward.
“You’re a rookie pilot fighting by yourself... You didn’t even know that machine of yours had an Intertial Canceller… You think you’re some Hawk of Ceres just because you took out three ships?!”
This made him stop in his tracks… For some time he went silent, considering his words. But, even then, he began walking away once more.
“Either way, I have the power of the Gaojinizer… I will win.”
Watanabe stood soon after, parting his lips to speak.
“Hold it right there. If you want to fight so much, then why not do it with a better chance of victory. That machine you have there is one of the most advanced weapons we have, our best chance at victory. In the end, we can’t remove you. If it works like the other’s, it can only work with its recognized pilot.”
Takeshi stopped once again. He began to mull over his plans again. He wasn’t fond of either of the two, but at the least, Watanabe spoke his language. Enough that he began to consider his suggestion. While getting tacked onto the military wasn’t his preferred choice, it could end up helping him in the future. For a few more minutes, he stood still, as the room fell into silence. Eventually, however, he finally spoke.
“Alright... I’ll join.”
“Alright, Good… At Least now we won’t have a rogue pilot on our hands. Didn’t even have to detain him.”
“Then we’ll have you on a ship to Wonj-”
Watanabe’s words were cut off, as a shrill alarm sound began to reverberate through the room. And soon, through the city around them. A familiar sound, no doubt, one that made Takeshi begin a dash out of the office. After all, it was clear to him what the alarm meant.
“That can only mean the Garsalan have found this place…”
He clenched his fists, his blood boiling, as his seething anger began to surface, even more so than before. As it came back to him once more, the memories of what happened... and the thoughts of what could very well happen if they broke through.
“No… This won’t be like Neo-Tokyo!”
James Jackson- Hawk of Ceres.
With the Existence of Vanguard Armors having been a reality for over 150 years, there is no doubt that with them came legendary pilots. James Jackson was one of said pilots. A United States pilot Fighting in the war before First contact. Gaining Notoriety in the war between the Global Defense League, and the United Workers Alliance from 2006-2012. He was notable for his high speed maneuvers, and physical resistance. He most commonly fought in space, but occasionally came earthside. Had a total of 230 VA kills, as well as destroying 20 warships throughout the whole of his career.