Chapter 10:

Stage 9 - Battle In the Sahara

Chikyu No Shugo: Gaojinizer - A super Robot Mecha Story

Gaojinzier- Stage 9

Battle In the Sahara

After the events of the battle of Wonbaek, celebrated by the UFE, no doubt, the Juzumaru set off once more. This time, the location they would go to was far removed from Japan. After a flight over the indian ocean, they’d found themselves in northern africa, in the country known as the Republic of Shahjura, A UFE member state that found itself ruling over what was formerly Tunisia. The machina team’s destination within the nation, the city of Farahat. Today, the Machina team found themselves split up into their individual quarters. With this being a retrofitted civilian ship, that much was possible. The fact that they were split up made sense, given it was relatively late. They’d been here for two days already, and yet, no orders.

Takeshi laid within a darkened room, of a spartan nature. The only light coming from the moon that remained overhead. As the pilot laid there, his battle with the Garsalan machine came to mind once more. What were the odds that it would appear again? How would he manage to defeat it if it did? Those were things he didn’t know… What he did know, however, was that he’d need to push past it the next time it showed its face, and continue on to reach his goals.

“Never forget Neo-Tokyo… I’ll make them pay, no doubt about it.”

He would push these thoughts aside for now. Swinging his legs over his bed, and standing up. Before he began heading to the room that lay just below the bridge. Unsurprisingly, his fellow pilots sat within, looking at him as he entered.

“So, you guys had the same idea as I did, huh?”

He looked at the table between them, which had what could only be described as bricks of various colors, set into a tray.

“Yeah… Can’t believe all they had were these Emergency rations…” Han noted, with a tinge of disgust.

All the while Diederick looked down upon it with a frown on his face, remembering the meals he’d have been eating if he was still at his manor, or had taken one of his family’s ships to use, rather than what barely passed as food.

“The most I can give em’ is that they're edible. And honestly, that ain’t saying much…” Andrew commented. Apparently, these gripes were shared by the resident engineer, who choked what vaguely resembles meat down. It wasn’t good, but it was enough for her to study the repair robots they were given, and make sure the ship stayed on its current course.

“If they think I'll just sit here directing the repair bots, they’re wrong… If I can't work on the Machina, I’ll improve these to the modern standard.” Kyoko thought.

Beside her was a toolbox, as well as some electronics she commonly used in her repairs. If she did things well, she may have been able to achieve her goal of getting more advanced AI installed, and from there, it’d make them much easier to work with. The bot in front of her was simple in its design, around 3 feet tall, and with four legs. Multiple arms outfitted with tools in order to carry out orders.

As of right now, the panel on top of the main body was opened, giving the Engineer a direct look into the internals. But, before she was able to get much farther, she found that the ship was being hailed. As she heard the chime, she stood on her feet, and walked over to accept the call. It was here that a dark-skinned man appeared on a holographic display.

“Crew of the Juzumaru. You are approaching Farahat Naval Base, follow landing procedures as usual.” The man noted, with the display going down, as Kyoko went to take the helm.

“We’re landing soon, you five!”

Of course, all five heard this, and glanced toward the bridge.

“So we're landing. A chance to get some real food, maybe?” Haemon questioned.

“Didn’t give us any when we landed in Wonbaek… I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you.” Takeshi responded. Remembering this fact certainly put a damper on their moods. At this point they may as well leave the ship with some rifles and go hunting. They had to have those somewhere. Takeshi took a seat as he spoke once more.

“I wonder why they called us here of all places…”

“If I'm guessing right, they probably have another operation starting soon.” Han commented.

It did not take long for the ship to land in its set landing space. The engines that pushed it forward began to dim, as a slow descent began. It was only when the ship landed, did the Cargo bay open, letting the trucks that lay on the tarmac begin making their way in. As the sound of the engines became audible, the machina pilots, and Kyoko alike began making their way down the stairwell, which led directly into the cargo bay.

One of the vehicles contained someone who seemed to be an officer, a man with graying hair. and his guard detail, who were all armed. Entering as well, were four other vehicles, towing cargo of some kind. If they were getting a resupply, perhaps there was a chance, despite what Takeshi had said earlier. It did not take long for the man to approach them, looking down upon the occupants of the ship with an apparent disdain. Perhaps not for them, but for those who seemed to be wasting his time. Was this the UFE’s idea of a joke? Regardless of how powerful they claimed the machines to be, it was something that could barely pass as a warship, occupied by children of all things. His guard detail glanced at each other as the silence continued. Knowing full well what his lack of speech, and that expression meant. Luckily, it seemed that he would push those thoughts aside, for now.

“You all must be the Machina team, then. I am Colonel Casildo Bangura, of the Shahjuran Defense Forces. For the time being, You’ll be stationed here… There is an operation taking place soon, and you will all be part of it.”

So it looked like Han was right.

“That so…? Wonder what we’ll end up fighting this time around.” Thought Takeshi. Letting his mind drift off, while another member, Kyoko, decided to see what was being brought into the ship. She noted some crates labeled as parts, and others, having food stored within, both were enough to make her smile.

Even more so as two occupants of the other vehicles came to meet them. Standing in front of them was a dark-haired, fair-skinned man, who couldn’t have been more than 2 years older than the ship’s current occupants. Wearing the Camo that Shahjura had made standard. Wearing the same outfit, was the red-haired woman standing at his side, who looked to be somewhat older than he.

“You will also be gaining two new members. They will be working in the Galley from here on… I’ll let you get acquainted. The time and Date of the briefing will be sent down the pipeline later.” With that, Bangura turned, making his way back to the vehicle. The detail did the very same, entering with him, and beginning to back up. Turning the vehicles as they reached the tarmac, and driving off. The soldier’s tasked with moving the cargo seemingly began to do the same with their work done. Though they observed with a disdain not dissimilar from the force’s head, they said nothing.

Or at the least, they’d wait until they were out of earshot. As the convoy finally cleared, Diederick tsked at the apparently dismissive gaze of the General. Seemingly, paying the two new members of the crew no mind as he turned, and began speaking.

“The heir to Hohenzollern stands in front of him, and that’s the look he gives us? The nerve of some commoners…” His statement went ignored as well, as the man finally began speaking.

“Well, not what I was expecting to see, but that’s not important. The name’s Rakesh Goel… Didn’t get enlisted that long ago, so I guess we aren’t that different. And this here is my twin sister.” He gestured at the red-haired woman.

“Kanta Goel, Nice to meet ya!”

“I guess I can say one thing, At least we actually have people who can cook here now… We’ve had to eat those rations for who knows how long… The name’s Takeshi, Inoue Takeshi.” Takeshi stated.

“Glad to have you on.” Haemon added. Apparently, some among them had ideas other than food, given his expression. The strangely silent Han Chen had been watching Kanta, seemingly, since she had entered. And at that time, he’d decided he may want to get to know her better. But how would he go about this was the question. As this was certainly not one of his areas of expertise. Eventually, he noted that the conversation that continued around him stopped, as the two pulled their bags off of the cargo bay’s floor.

“So, could you kindly lead us to the Cabins?” Kanta questioned.

This would be his chance, Han decided. He was the first one to speak up as she spoke.

“I’ll show you where to go. The name’s Han Chen, by the way…” It did not take long for them to begin walking off. With this all said, Kyoko decidedly began moving toward the part-filled crates. Knowing full well what she would be doing later. And apparently, the pilots who hadn’t left decided to make their way back to their previous places. While Han himself looked back at his two followers with a smile. Perhaps he could work his magic and impress her even now. But how he would do so was a question he lacked the answer too. The rest of the day continued as usual, with the twins getting settled in, a small spat between the Gaojinizer’s pilot, and the Juzumaru’s engineer. Something which they’d begun to get used to. The calmness did not last long, however.

The next day, the pilots who occupied the ship, found themselves in a large auditorium, with a holographic display, and the Colonel in the middle. For now, he looked to be combing over his thoughts, standing at the podium, eyes closed, saying nothing. Takeshi leaned back onto his chair, the front legs moving upward as he did so.

“Man… How long are we gonna be here?” He questioned. Though they didn't say anything, the Sentiment seemed to be shared by the other pilots. They would’ve gotten grilled for getting there late, if the words of those around them were anything to go by. But Bangura was one of the last ones to arrive, no explanation as to why as well. An annoyance, no doubt, but seemingly, one they’d have to deal with. The whispers from the other occupants of the room apparently shared the same thoughts, though some had begun to keep their attention on the pilot’s who looked much too young to be there. Some cared more than others, and vice versa. With how may the Garslaan usually eliminated on their raids, at some point, they’d begun scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Finally, the general opened his eyes, and began to speak.

“Now then… Let us make this brief. Very recently, A new Garsalan force made its way into the Solar system, as a scout ship told us just 3 days ago… From that time, our ship went silent, and the force seemingly disappeared.” This much piqued their interest, a new force appearing, and disappearing?

“Perhaps it could be the ones who had that Garsalan Ace, the one that kept Inoue pinned.” Andrew Mumbled.

But that raised the question of how they didn’t know about the ship until it was already descending upon them. The fleet that arrived first was from on-planet.

“From what we’ve seen, this new fleet of Garsalan has a class of ship that we’ve never seen before. It is significantly larger than the Cruisers they’ve operated in the past. We estimate that they’ll be landing south of here. And that is where you all come in.”

It did not take long for a battle map to appear behind him, depicting units enemy and allied alike, as well as the local Terrain.

“First, the Machina team, and a small strike force will advance first, to keep our enemies occupied, after which, they will feign a retreat to stretch the enemy’s formation. When that has been done successfully ,the Third, and Second armies will close in from the East and West respectively… When their ground forces are taken care of, the ships themselves will be targeted for capture.”

The room was still silent, aside from a few murmurs, apparently, the plan seemed good enough. But for a certain few, there was some sort of resentment they had for the Colonel, or whoever decided their role. No matter how they looked at it, they were bait. And they had to act like they retreated at that?! For Takeshi, it took a large amount of effort to bite his tongue, for now. As the general finished his briefing, and the occupants of the room began to file out, the machina squad made their way directly to their ship, not exactly conversing with the other members of the strike force. It was only as they made their way back to the ship, did he express his anger.

Takeshi slammed his fist into the wall, shouting out in his anger.

“The nerve of that guy. We’re just supposed to be bait, then pull off when everyone else jumps in?! What kind of bullshit is that… I should’ve just taken the Gao and stayed solo if this is how it’s gonna be.” Takeshi ranted.

“Orders are orders. At this point all we can do is get as many Garsalan as we can, and make sure they start taking us serious.” Haemon responded, attempting to calm him down. Leading to Andrew deciding to cut in.

“That’s a tall order, Haemon. It looks like they still see a group of high schoolers playing with weapons, rather than anyone to consider pilots. In the end, all we have to do is kill the Garsalan. Endgame is to get 'em out of our system. That’s a goal we’re all invested in, after all.” Beside him, Chen nodded.

“Right. We can worry about the other stuff later…” Well, some of the non Garsalan related subjects would come now, not that he would tell them that.

To Be Continued