Sensou no Tegami

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Elcor
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:45 pm

Re: Sensou no Tegami

Post by Elcor » Sat May 05, 2012 5:29 pm

Now that was a very interesting rewrite, really enjoyed the in-depth details and emotions you added.
Fan Fiction writer's are drug dealers and they don't even know it.

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Megumeru
Posts: 1260
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:17 am
Location: Land of the Rising Sun

The Road Home

Post by Megumeru » Sun May 13, 2012 12:55 pm

Based on a certain art in the mishimmie
http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/post/v ... ch=shizune
(this story will take some liberal moves considering the KS universe. Bear with me)

Index
Prologue -Forgotten Memories-

Question Arcs
Resonance -Hakamichi no Tegami-
Memento -Ikezawa no Tegami-
Echoes -Satou no Tegami-
Cloudland -Tezuka no Tegami-
The Road Home -Ibarazaki no Tegami

Answer Arcs
-Coming Soon-


The Road Home
Have you ever felt the rush of cold air in your face, the pump of adrenaline in your veins, and the beat of your heart when you take that rich oxygen down your lungs as you sprint to the finish line? It’s one of those things you would often call as the ‘runner’s high’. I have experienced it, and I can’t lie that I love that feeling.

“…Emi…!”

I love to run.

“EMI…!”



Of course, it was much easier to do so when you’re not under fire or carrying 20 pounds of gear.

“EMI GET IN HERE NOW!!”

The ground rattled, tracers zipped, and shells detonated all around me. The tungsten rounds were fast, deadly, and back then it was frightening to pull this crazy stunt—still was if I think about it. But the moment when I slid across the earth, rip my field dress, and landed on my two ‘feet’ in the trench with all my limbs intact, I knew I was safe. If it weren’t for my small posture and my speed, I wouldn’t have managed to make it back to safety.

“Good God Emi, you’re crazy sometimes!”

I smiled briefly and gave him a quick peck on his lips. “At least I made it back in one piece, right, Hisao?”

“True…” he replied; eyes shied away from me. “But if any harm ever comes to you…”

I toss him the pack I carried. Hopefully, it would briefly shut him up.

“As long as my actions win us the ticket home, then it doesn’t matter.”

This is the infamous Korean 38th Parallel; the line that once divided the country in two now stands as our barrier against the GEU offensive from the north and the gateway to PAA headquarters down in Seoul. The date was April 10th, 2043, about two year since Hisao and I joined the PAA Armed Forces. You might think how unusual it was for someone who was ‘crippled’ to foolishly enlist with the PAA and fight a war—it was like shortening your life expectancy even further than it already was. I wouldn’t lie; when they saw me in the recruitment office, they mocked me for my height and my prosthetic legs—that was their last mistake, of course. When I managed to outrun one of their instructors and outsmart him in a little ‘war game’, they learned not to question the resolve of Emi Ibarazaki!

“I’m still impressed you managed to get these…”

Hisao Nakai, an old friend, a partner, and a lover; he suffered arrhythmia—something that had to do with his heart and its rhythm, which I can confidently say so after spending my high school and college life with him together. How did someone with a heart problem managed to join the armed forces? It was quite a long story, but to summarize it, the ‘grace of the PAA rewarded Hisao with an augmented heart so he could serve the Alliance for as long as it was deemed necessary’. He was conscripted, to be frank. When Hisao was conscripted on March of 2041, I volunteered—someone had to keep an eye on him out there, right?

“It wasn’t easy,” I replied. “Taking out the power cell from the Shogun walker is simple, but getting to the wreck under constant fire and bombardment then trying to make it back is not. It is suicidal, and I will not do that again.”

“How about under orders…?”

“…that’s an exception.”

Between the two of us, we maintained this ‘light hearted’ conversation as our way to keep our sanity. There were other alternatives, of course, but we never had the time to pull it off—sometimes.

“Corporal…! Do you have the power cell?” asked Miyazaki to Hisao. He was an acquaintance of ours at boot camp in Okinawa. “The Lieutenant is getting a little worried.”

“Lance Corporal Ibarazaki got em’.”

“Excellent!” he replied with joy. “You better run to the Lieutenant in sector R-20—she should be by the generator prepping the auto-defenses.”

“I’ll go,” I interrupted and snatched the power cell from Hisao’s hand. He chuckled and resigned from my action.

“I need a good run anyway.”

-------------

I miss those days when I can run freely, the days when the sun would bless me as I accelerate towards my goal with little care in the world. Unlike today where I spend most of my days here in the rehabilitation hospital until God-knows-when, like many other unfortunate veterans. I don’t know how long it will take; the doctors and nurses share the same idea of keeping me here for another year, but honestly I feel fine. Spending my time here in this rehabilitation center for years end would have driven me nuts if it wasn’t because of Hisao’s constant visit—the staffs aren’t too happy for his visits for some reason, probably because it disturbs other patients. Nonetheless, I am very much thankful for his kind and understanding personality—he could’ve run off with another bitch, but he decided to kindly wait for me instead. I love him.

Of course, unlike Hisao, these ‘government dogs’ who has come to visit me have their own purpose in mind.

“How are you feeling today, Ms. Ibarazaki?” The ‘pack leader’ starts as means of an ice breaker.

“Great, thanks.”

“We’re certain you are well-informed of our visit here, correct?”

Honestly speaking, I haven’t read the letter they sent confirming their visit.

“I guess…”

“Excellent. I hope you can understand our brief visit; our deadlines are catching up to us.”

Sure, it is getting to you people. Not that it is my problem anyway.

“So…” I start, gazing at the crowd of ‘dogs’ with their hungry eyes and grey uniform. “How can I be of service, gentlemen?”

“We would like to conduct an interview. We have been conducting research on the last war and, for once, we would like to hear about it directly from a veteran.”

“I see…why can’t you interview the others?”

“The others…” they exchange their gazes for a moment, fumbling around with words before coming to a conclusion. “We have considered them, but not at this time. Rest assured the Federation will greatly compensate you for your contribution.”

Compensation they say? If these ‘compensation’ comes in having working new ‘legs’, and a permit to leave this rehabilitation center, then I’m in. As suspicious as these people turn out to be, they couldn’t be that bad if they are from the ‘new government’. I mean, my general negative perception on politicians and ‘officials’ were generated from my own chain of thoughts when I was fighting at the frontline. If helping these ‘dogs’ could get me out of here and help me and Hisao find peace, then I’m sure as hell will volunteer myself—just like old times.

I turn to Hisao who is observing the entire ordeal beside me. I smile at him, and he returns it with his usual ‘go ahead’. That seals the deal.

“I’m in. What do you need?”

“We would like to know you beforehand, Ms. Ibarazaki.” Ask the furthest ‘dog’ on the right. His pen is raised high, and his glasses glints in reflection to the light. “Could you start with your name, serial, and rank before we recount your experience?”

Taking a deep breath, I exhale a copious amount of carbon dioxide from my lungs and start the interview. If that’s all they want, I could give them more than just ‘name, serial, and rank’.

“Emi Ibarazaki, serial number R314705174, Corporal. I served in the 22nd Infantry Division, Delta Company, First Platoon, Assault-Recon.”

-------------

War can change who we are. When I first stepped into the battlefield, I realized how insignificant morals and ethics were when faced against the looming threat of death around every corner. Like any other fresh soldiers, we went through the near-ritualistic ‘baptism of fire’; mine took place on October 2041 right in the middle of a PAA offensive-turned-retreat in the Korean Peninsula along the 38th parallel. At this time of year, the ‘Battle of Korea’ was slowly phasing into the ‘stalemate stage’ after the GEU's 'Spring Scourge' which the PAA responded in kind. We were supposed to act as reinforcements for the famed 22nd Infantry Division via airdrop as they held their grounds against the GEU counterattack; PAA High Command sadly underestimated the mobility and capability of GEU’s Anti-Air units present on the front.

“Engine’s down! We’re hit! We’re hit!”

The alarm within the drop ship was deafening, the turbulence was terrible, and the heat was almost unbearable. Fire trailed from our gunship as it plummeted down the sky, followed closely with those who were unfortunate enough to be part of the formation. I held the steel railing as we plummeted down to the rough soil, sliding and tumbling on impact before I passed out after a box of ammunition we stowed on the overhead compartment fell and landed on my head—I swore to myself that I’ll beat the shit out of that dumbass who carelessly stored that crate one day. I don’t know for how long, but when I came to, Hisao was carrying me by his shoulder as we were escorted by another survivor to a cliff that overlook the battlefield about one click from our crash site. I realized we weren’t far off from our supposed drop zone, which was overrun by GEU forces.

The PAA called for retreat minutes later, but not until almost six hundred lives were lost that day—a catastrophe for our forces in Korea.

“You’re up! Thank God!” He lowered me and quickly assessed my condition. I quickly gave my reply by slapping his hands away from my face. “Can you walk?”

“I-I’m good…” I replied, feeling my surrounding and shaking my disoriented head. “Just a little shook up.”

“You guys better hurry up,” urged Miyazaki. I couldn’t tell who it was at first, but his shaky voice and twitchy character was kind of a dead giveaway. “They’re moving up fast, and I don’t think we can hold an entire offensive with a few mags and grenades! We have to move NOW!”

Over by the horizon was the sea of GEU infantrymen and their spearhead of war machines, blasting its way through the defenders and taking no prisoners. Some of our men who were wounded to a crawl, pleaded, and begged the aggressors for mercy only to be met with the barrel of their rifles—poor souls. The crew of our armors and walkers were burned alive inside their vehicle, and anyone who managed to crawl out of their steel coffins was shot. With what we had at the moment, there was nothing we could do. It was a massacre, and I was almost certain we would meet our end that day when a few managed to reach our overlook—luckily, Hisao and Miyazaki were pretty handy with their smart rifles.

But a ‘hero’ always came at the most importunate time.

A figure waltzed in and stood beside us confidently—a woman. She drew her carbine, fired a couple of bursts towards a second GEU squad, and ordered her assistant, Hisao, Miyazaki, and I to torch them with incendiary grenades. The squad who were upon us was instantly decimated as the fire from the incendiary grenades engulfed them followed with the echo of their scream.

“Shoot them. Spare them out of their misery.”

The rank bestowed upon her was a single gold bar; a 1st Lieutenant, and the pride and smirk that radiated made her stood out amongst the crowd. She had a plan; you could tell she had something going on when she smirked—her confidence’s a plus too. Beside her was her assistant; compared to her, he was dwarfed in all regards. He was carrying a Type-55 field radio and had a star-patterned purple cloth tied as a bandanna that you could barely see from under his tactical helmet. Unlike the Lieutenant, however, his eyes depicted the ‘fear’ and ‘trauma’ the war had exerted on him.

Miyazaki was the first at attention.

“Officer on deck…!”

“L-lieutenant…!” exclaimed Hisao who quickly fell into attention. “This is not a safe place! You need to…”

The moment their eyes met Hisao quickly shut up—magic, perhaps? The Lieutenant, unfazed by the entire situation, took her range finder and snap her finger to the assistant. She chuckled at the sight of the advancing GEU forces as they charge our hastily constructed trench line. With a grin, she proclaimed with confidence. “I got you where I want you now, Union-scum!”

She reached for her pocket, drew a detonator, and squeezed it. Then, a series of explosions erupted across the field—a mix between high explosives and EMP. She pulled another detonator and squeezed them, and another, and another until my ears rang for a second or two—indeed, war was loud as hell.

When the smoke cleared, the surviving GEU forces below were stunned, their walkers were momentarily disabled, and their armors were destroyed, tracked, or both.

The offensive was halted.

That was when the lieutenant snapped her finger once more to her assistant.

With a swift motion, he ordered his radio operator. “Hideaki, call in a plasma air strike at coordinates Tango-5, Tango-6, Tango-7, Tango-8!”

“Roger, repeat coordinates T-5, T-6, T-7, and T-8!” to my surprise, he responded pretty well when the Lieutenant barked her orders. “…Requesting plasma airstrike, over…!”

The radio crackled to life, and in a matter of seconds our jets streamed across the sky and dropped its payload behind the spearhead, cutting the entire offensive formation with a blue-colored wall that scorched the earth and anything it touch. The AA tanks they were so proud of were too damaged to respond to the attack and were soon rendered useless like the rest of their forward element against our defense. The GEU counteroffensive was halted by the order of a single lieutenant and the response of one damn fine team. As the battle slowly subsided with the GEU in retreat, the Lieutenant turned its attention to us—the ‘new guys’.

“So you must be the reinforcement we’re expecting.” She stated, still grinning victoriously over her achievement. “Are you guys it?”

“We’re not sure,” Hisao replied with hesitation. “We’re survivors from our crash; don’t know about the rest. Still, I never thought I would…”

“Ah, ah…!” The Lieutenant lifts her finger and hushed Hisao for the second time. “First things first, introduce yourselves—although I don’t think it’s necessary for you two anyway.”

She grinned at both Hisao and I. Much to my bewilderment and surprise, I could see why she managed to hush Hisao the first time; that sense of familiarity I felt when she started speaking was unmistakable.

“Private First Class Ryou Miyazaki reporting, maam…!”

Groggily, I forced myself to stand up. “Lance Corporal Emi Ibarazaki reporting, maam…!”

“Corporal Hisao Nakai,” Hisao introduced himself. The Lieutenant chuckled upon hearing his voice. “Assistant squad leader, though apparently I am now the de facto leader after what had happened…”

“I wouldn’t really salute out here if I were you,” she said as she led the five of us from the overlook. “I might be the next ‘hot target’ by some random Euro-sniper.”

“Anyway,” she continued as we made our way into our line. “This is Sergeant Hideaki Hakamichi, my radio operator.”

He nodded politely to his introduction. We descended into the trench system.

“As for me…”

The Lieutenant turned to face us, her uniform was dirtied but nonetheless gave that ‘sharp’ impression she always had back before the war—and that was when she wore suits and ties. “I am 1st Lieutenant Akira Satou,”

“And welcome to the 22nd Infantry Division, Delta Company, First Platoon, Assault-Recon.”

At that moment, I knew we would definitely survive this war.

-------------

“So you were part of Delta Company's famed First Platoon of the Japanese 22nd Infantry Division—under 1st Lieutenant Satou, even!”

“She earned her medals,” one of them continues. “Her records are almost spotless.”

“You must be proud to have been a part of the platoon considered by the PAA to be ‘heroes’.”

I chuckle and wave my hand dismissively. “We’re just there to survive, nothing more—I’m no hero.”

The Hounds—as I have decided to call them now—huffs as I shift my gaze to the window outside, listening to the sound of children playing nearby. Hisao grips my hand, and I smile at him for his kind support. There are times when I wish I could just forget about everything that happened during the war, all that memory about my achievements, the things I’ve done, my bitter-sweet promotion, the face of your friends as they died in your arms—everything. Like everyone else, we did everything we can to survive—I, for one, am amongst the lucky few who successfully accomplished that. They hailed us as heroes, but we are nothing like that.

Heroes, they say…

“If you’re looking for heroes, then you’re staring at the wrong person.” I said with a smirk. “The real heroes are those who fought and died believing they are doing the right thing for their country—they are the heroes.”

“But your records betray your words, Ms. Ibarazaki,” Reply one of them. “Your participation in some of the PAA’s classified operations followed with your list of commendations hailed you as one.”

“Yeah, well…”

I sigh.

“…We have our reasons…”

-------------

It was two months after our first baptism of fire on October, 2041. After the disastrous ‘Operation Iron Fist’—as it was officially dubbed by the officials—Lieutenant Satou received quite a beating from her superiors for her performance in the field that day. Not because of her heroic deed of halting an entire spearhead single-handedly, but because of her preemptive decision to disobey direct orders and sound the retreat for her platoon before it was officially granted. Nonetheless, she was let off the hook almost immediately after the PAA considered her action in halting the GEU offensive to be ‘redeemable’.

Bureaucrats—they never understood a thing about us foot mobiles.

“Incoming! GEU forces incoming!”

“Get to your stations,” barked Lt. Satou. Beside her, Sgt. Hakamichi was always on standby—you can never see them apart somehow. “Same drill as before; call them up, line them up, then shoot them up!”

This was our routine for the past two months. As if history repeated itself, like the First Great War back in 1914 to 1918.

It was an all-out Trench Warfare.

Only this time, the system and technology we had made it a lot more hospitable than the ones I’ve read in history books. The floor and the walls of the trenches were steel-lined and 'hygienic', periscopes and remote-controlled machinegun positions were installed, as well as automated defensive turrets powered by mobile reactor units. Our main threat often came from EMP or HE artillery strikes that could often disable these cores. If we’re unlucky, GEU ‘Reaper’ gunships sometimes would fly in and strafe our positions. That was rare though, as they never stayed in the air for too long when Lt. Satou was in charge—automated defenses were the least of their worries when burst-EMP troopers were under her command. When the GEU were in retreat after yet another failed offensive, we insulted them for their piss-poor performance and their commander’s lack of intelligence against our near-impenetrable line.

Ironically, our commander was similarly stupid.

After every failed offensive, orders would be passed amongst the NCOs to gear the troopers for ‘counter-offensive’. They started it with a barrage of EMPs and HEs, a so-called ‘close air support’, and then a rush through the barren field straight to the grinder. It’s almost like a comedy show, only less funny and bloodier. Our ‘Youkai’-class gunships never lasted more than five minutes around their airspace with the GEU’s state-of-the-art long-range AA missile battery, our walkers and armor were disabled by magnetic mines and portable rail guns, while our body armor were useless against their high-penetration tungsten rifles. By the time we sounded the retreat, casualty was the least thing we had in mind; death was such an everyday occurrence that nobody came to heed it.

Nobody but Lt. Akira Satou…

She was probably the most devastated CO in the field to be a living witness of the manslaughter. She addressed her complaints to her higher ups about the absurdity of the orders several times, all of which cost her and her entire platoon a handful of ‘disciplinary action’ due to her ‘insubordination’. This ranged from suicidal night missions, infiltrations, reconnaissance, raids, and sabotage. Not many of us ‘new guys’ knew about this—I learned about it one night during watch duty with Sgt. Hakamichi.

“Evening Sergeant,” I greeted as I approach his station. Like many of us that served in the platoon, we were regulated with night watch duty a couple of times a month. “Tired?”

He sighed and looked at me indifferently. “I got used to it.”

As I had came to learn a few days later, Sergeant Hakamichi was the little brother of that Hakamichi I once knew during high school. I would never realized it with him being the exact opposite of the deaf-mute ex-President, not to mention his rather girlish bandanna he wore underneath that helmet. Still, I had to give credit to the Hakamichis—last I heard his sister was into politics and was one heck of a prominent figure in the PAA Diet. Hideaki might be soft spoken and seemingly weak-willed out of combat, but when he was positioned in the thick of it he was no different than his sister; I guess it came to no surprise Lt. Satou hand-picked him personally as her assistant and radioman.

“So…what’s the situation, sergeant?”

“Nothing much but the usual ‘wails’ and ‘cries’ for help out there in the dark,” He began to pack his gear. “You’ll get used to it.”

“Shouldn’t we send someone to help those poor souls?”

“Those we sent never came back. Akira may not approve the idea, but she needs to understand the risk; each medic team we send meant one less for us, and more bodies in the field.” He laughed uncomfortably. “It’s ironic how they were supposed to prevent casualties but ended up becoming one instead.”

He paused. The silence bugged me, so I decided to continue the conversation.

“You seem to have known the Lieutenant for long…”

“Well, do you?” He chuckled. “She told me she knew you guys back during your high school reunion or something.”

He proceeded to wipe his fogged-up glasses before elegantly settling it back on his ears. “I knew her as a distant cousin. She was a ‘guardian’ to me; my sister has always been the ‘mother figure’ in our house, but her disability often became her undoing. That’s where Akira came in.”

It was this kind of conversation that kept most of our sanity in one piece in this hell hole. Some were stories about home, family, loved ones…there were all kinds of varieties. Sometimes if we’re lucky, we had the chance to hear some random bullshit conspiracy propaganda from an illegal radio wave the Sergeant managed to catch—I never understood what they were saying, but nonetheless it kept us entertained. At least for the most part, it was better than getting shot at by some European dressed in a grey-white clown suit and their circus of killing machines.

“Evening peeps.”

“Lieutenant,” greeted Hideaki.

“Oh? Emi’s here as well?”

I stood up from my position and nodded at her as a form of ‘salute’—raising your arm could often trigger sniper fire and a very-very unhappy officer. She smiled in return and proceeded to sit with us.

“So when are we heading out?”

“Ten minutes from now, Hideaki. Get your gear ready.”

They continued their conversation for a minute before finally, Lt. Satou turned to me. “Since you’re here, I don’t have to use my GPS to find you through the maze.”

“What’s going on?”

She took a deep breath, as if things couldn’t get any worse if I were to hear it.

“We’re going on a suicide mission, and we need volunteers.”

‘The PAA needs heroes’, she said first thing as an ‘orientation’. Since the situation back at home was less favorable, PAA propaganda officers required something ‘sensational’ to spark that fire and approval of the public once more—and that’s where we, members of First Platoon came in play. As part of her ‘disciplinary action’ she was to accomplish these ‘suicide missions’ and compile a book-worth of after-action reports that were to be sent to HQ for reassessment. If she died in one of these missions, she will be posthumously forgiven and recorded as a ‘hero’. But if she or any of the participants survived a number of these ‘runs’—totaling thirty—they’ll be awarded the ‘Pan-Asian Star’ (the highest award a member of the PAA Armed Forces could achieve), recorded as a ‘hero’, and win a ticket home—a win-win situation for both sides. It was tempting; I doubt even idiots would pass these up.

It wasn’t until she told me how many men she had lost running these missions that it became obvious.

“So, are you up for it?”

“You’re asking me to volunteer in a mission that has about 5% chance of survival?”

“Five percent is not too bad—if lady luck is on your side, that is.”

“I’d rather stay alive in this trench rather than going out to die-stupid! That’s insane!”

“Yeah, well…” She nonchalantly smirked. “Surviving in the trench until the end of the war isn’t much of an improvement to that percentage anyway.”

“True…but…”

“Besides, if you make it out alive…” she grinned mischievously; I knew back then that she was up to something—so why did I listened to her? I don’t know. “If you survive until the end of this ‘suicide tour’, you could send your ‘puppy’ home to safety and save him from dying in this trench. How’s that sound?”

Now that was a tempting offer.

“Well…?”

“Count me in.”

I still couldn’t believe myself that I had volunteered to be part of ‘Satou’s Walking Dead’; it was crazy, suicidal, and downright F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition—FUBAR. Still, if it offered me a chance to send Hisao out of the war, then it’s a risk I was willing to take. But when we gathered at the meeting point, who would’ve thought that he—of all people—was thinking the same thing as I was?

“Hisao…?”

“Emi…what are you…”

“Oh, I haven’t told you didn’t I?” the Lieutenant said in glee. “Hisao volunteered for this mission too.”

“…am I the only one who was volunteered?”

Irregularly, Miyazaki was volunteered for the mission after he lost a card game against the Lieutenant. He didn’t mind afterwards, said it provided him a ticket out of the war and a ‘good resume’ once he was returned to mainland Japan; after our first suicide mission that was the last thing he had in mind.

Our first suicide mission was simple—or was downplayed to sound simple so as not to cause mayhem and panic from the ‘volunteers and volunteered’. As PAA intelligence outlined, the Union had established their own set of trench line and an array of defenses that spanned from the 38th Parallel’s ‘No Man’s Land’ to Pyong Yang. Our mission was to probe the weakest link of their trench system, infiltrate and uncover any possible intelligence, disable defenses and communication equipment, then retreat back to our line under cover of darkness. If we managed to accomplish this, she was to fire a single-use node and the PAA would stage an offensive the next morning for a breakthrough and hopefully, succeed until they were reinforced. The ‘fun’ things about this mission was never explained or elaborated thoroughly—that included the stretch of anti-personnel, EMP, and anti-armor mine that littered ‘No Man’s Land’, the sensor or night vision-equipped auto-sentry turrets, cleverly concealed machinegun nests, the insane amount of GEU infantrymen stationed in these ‘weak links’, laser-trip alarms, flame turrets, and others that could very much shorten your lifespan from one month to seconds.

God have mercy on us.

We were divided into two teams. 'Alpha' would be under the command of 1Lt. Satou and would made use of entry point one, while 'Bravo' would be under the leadership of the highest-ranking volunteer. Since Delta Company was recognized as ‘Assault Recon’, most of our troopers were geared with standard reconnaissance kits useful for path-finding, sabotage, and to establish Forward Observation Base—FOBs. Our reconnaissance gears were often unused following the nature of this warfare, but who ever thought it would be useful during ‘suicide missions’?

Hisao and I were lucky enough to be assigned under 'Alpha'. 'Bravo' wasn’t as lucky on our first run.

“'Alpha' on standby,” said the Lieutenant through the radio. “Report…?”

“This is 'Bravo' Actual, we’re clear for breach.”

“Roger. Commence operation!”

With a simple hand signal, we followed her into the night and through the scorched battlefield. Our gear made it easy for us to locate hidden anti-personnel and EMP mines that littered the battlefield to be disarmed, the number of sensors and trip-lasers best avoided, and the concealed flame turrets triggered by it. The only issue we had would always be the machinegun nests; these often came in pillboxes or spider holes buried underneath the soil and were individually manned. This particular obstacle spelled the demise of 'Bravo'.

We were about one click from our entry point when the radio sprang to life.

“T-this is 'Bravo'! One is down, I repeat One is down! We’ve been compromised!”

The chatter relayed from Sgt. Hakamichi’s radio was unclear, but it became clear what happened when we heard the iconic ‘clang clang’ of the tungsten machinegun behind the screams of our 'Bravo’s' new actual. Lt. Satou tried her best to maintain the morale of Team two and ordered them to retreat and relocate to a new location; much to her displeasure, the new actual had other plans in mind.

“It's too late for us ma'am! We’ll act as a distraction for you. Break to their line and complete the mission, Lieutenant! It’s been an honor serving under you!”

“GODDAMN IT, FALL BACK NOW! THAT’S AN ORDER!” she barked while maintaining her volume. “REPEAT, FALL BACK!”

“FOR THE ALLIANCE…!!”

We heard through our headgear the spirited roar of our men as they met the sound of tungsten rifles, mines, flame turrets, and the final screams of death before everything went dark. 1Lt. Satou clutched her fist, punched the earth, and then ordered us to advance forward into their lines. Their sacrifice wasn’t in vain; their act of ‘valor’ rerouted the defenders from our entry point to nothing more than a handful of unlucky individuals relegated to guard duty. We were about 400 meters out when the Lieutenant asked for our marksman’s sniper rifle.

She declared that she would be the first to kill and the last to leave.

We rushed to the trench the moment the Lieutenant fired the rifle and neutralized the nest. Mines weren’t an issue when we were given the window of opportunity to advance quickly but cautiously; avoiding them was easier than we thought. Laser-trip alarms were the least of our concerns as our visors allow us to see the red beam that were a few meters off the ground, while maintaining a certain distance from active sensors kept the flame turrets offline. The auto-sentry turrets were located around their trench complex, and before we were even close to the trench our marksman disabled them with his EMP rounds. By the time we arrived, we were unharmed and ready to wreck havoc. 1Lt. Satou caught up with us seconds later.

“Get in fast, get it done!” Lt. Satou barked in a fit of rage. “I want their heads on a platter!”

“What about our objective?” I asked. “Should we split our teams?”

The Lieutenant shook her head. “Not unless shit hits the fan.”

We caught the Union’s defenders off-guard, shot them from behind and sabotaged their armored and mechanized units. When their alarm started to roar, we sent Hisao and a volunteer auto-rifleman to maintain their position in one of the choke-points; that bought us enough time to complete our objectives. Intelligence were acquired from dead GEU officers, the forward officer’s quarter, and the communication center—which was promptly destroyed by us. Their defenses were easily disabled once we knocked out one of their mainframes responsible—our combat engineer’s tech inhibitor allowed him to cut all connections and access heavily-secured locations. As a plus, we even rescued one survivor from Bravo who somehow barricaded himself inside the Armory.

It was none other than Miyazaki.

The guy was shaking all over, surrounded with empty magazines and cases of the standard issue Smart Rifle. He was already out of ammo and was wounded in the gut, yet he still managed to take down three GEU riflemen—including the Technical Sergeant in charge of the Armory. Thankfully, he was in the Armory, thus he was never ‘short’ on ammo; nearly shot us in panic too.

“How did you survive?”

“I was lucky, maam,” he replied to the Lieutenant. “When we rushed for the trench line, I stumbled on one of the pillboxes. I cleared it out with a grenade, and then crawled into it and made my way to the trench.”

“Any other survivors…?”

He shook his head. “None, maam…I was the only survivor.”

Our helmet's intercom suddenly barked with the sound of a firefight followed with Hisao's voice who informed us about additional GEU reinforcements and how our auto-rifleman was gone. 1Lt. Satou spared no time and ordered everyone to rendezvous at entry point one for extraction. I ran as fast as I could rendezvous with Hisao, supported him, then made our way out of the trench with 1Lt. Akira behind us. She climbed out of the trench, fired the node, and made our way back to friendly lines. From a group of fourteen, only seven made it back. Throughout my time, we suffered fifty three casualties and accomplished twenty nine ‘suicide missions’.

By the time we reached our trenches, our forces were already mobilized and had captured the first GEU defense line.

They were never reinforced.

-------------

A ‘Hound’ raises his hand, stopping me for a moment as he jots the last few words. I watch them as they impatiently shuffle through their papers and documents, questioning one another before they return their attention back to me. These impatient buggers can never seem to slow down for a minute or two.

“Apparently you have your share of heroic moments, ms. Ibarazaki,” yeah, I notice that too. The ‘Hound’ pushes the rim of his glasses with his index finger. “You certainly made quite an impression concerning your effort in the front—we have records about your would-be promotion to 2nd Lieutenant if the war was to drag on.”

Promotion, they say? It is never a promotion in my account. To me—no, to the men of First Platoon—a ‘promotion’ is equal to a burden. The PAA follows a strict code of bureaucracy in its military and thus each platoon is relegated to one 1st Lieutenant, one 2nd Lieutenant, three Sergeants, three Corporals, and six Lance Corporals. Most of the time, First Platoon is handled by our 2nd Lieutenant every time Lt. Satou is out on her ‘suicide tour’, thus maintaining the chain of command. I never met the 2nd Lieutenant to be honest; he was killed in action along with most of the 22nd Infantry Division on April 22nd, 2043 during...

I pause.

…strange…I can’t remember…

“If you don’t mind, please continue.” Said one of the ‘Hounds’ as he readies himself.

I grasp Hisao’s hand tightly, embracing myself for another impact from the past.

-------------

I ran through the trenches, paced myself as hard as I could with the extra 5kg from the power cell I acquired earlier. It was April 10th, 2043, two years ever since Hisao and I joined the PAA armed forces and after a considerable sum of ‘suicide missions’ totaling up to twenty nine, generously tallied by 1st Lieutenant Akira Satou—this last one was a ‘bonus’. In a surprising turn of events, the PAA had successfully advanced up to three kilometers from our initial trenches and captured the GEU’s forward lines, no-less due to the ‘Walking Dead’s actions. With the shift in the frontline, the GEU responded in force as the 22nd Infantry Division planted its boot on North Korean soil—this time, permanently. Their last attack had successfully disabled our power cores for the automated defenses; much to our luck, our backup generator ran out of juice and new power cell shipment would not arrive a day later—by then, we would have returned as corpses. Retreat was not an option.

They booted us out of North Korea once, now it’s time to reclaim what was ours.

Lieutenant Satou proposed a plan to use our walker’s power cell to momentarily compensate the lack of power. It was one of the many good things about the PAA armed forces and military installations was how it ran on similar energy for easy manufacturing and maintenance. High Command initially rejected the idea, claiming they were needed for our upcoming offensive, but when she suggested a suicide mission to retrieve a power cell from a downed ‘Shogun’ walker in ‘No Man’s Land’ they gave the 'OK'.

I volunteered for this mission. Running was my specialty after all.

Now, as the shelling of HE and EMP continued across the trenches, I ran as fast as possible and dodged a number of lucky shells that managed to land into the slit and evaporated a handful of unfortunate souls. By the time I reached the bunker, I was charred and exhausted but was just in time to watch the Lieutenant, her assistant, and a combat engineer work tirelessly to hot-wire the main generator.

“Emi…!” she called as I stand in attention. “You made it! Do you have it?”

“It’s in my back, ma'am.”

Sgt. Hakamichi quickly fetched the object. Swiftly, he took it out and tossed it over to Lt. Satou which she received with glee before she gave it to the CE. When the cell was planted into the backup generator followed with the deafening roar of our machines, I can’t believe how thankful I am to be an amputee than a deaf; twisted, I know. Nonetheless, it was the overwhelming feeling of joy as I sat down in the bunker to catch my breath. Damn power cell weight a ton to me.

Of course, the Lieutenant never let us rest for a minute.

“Some GEU infantrymen had broken through,” she said as she geared herself once again. “With our auto-defenses online, they are more than enough to prevent any further reinforcements. But we need to prevent these scums from blowing generators. We're going back out there; no GEUs are allowed to live in this trench.”

She smiled and lent me her hand. “Still up for it…?”

I chuckled, reached for my rifle, and grabbed her hand.

War was chaotic. I lost count on how many GEU we killed as we clear the trenches from corridor to corridor, corners to corners, and bunkers to bunkers. The number of soldiers were far greater than what was reported; even after we managed to rendezvous with Hisao and Miyazaki on the front, we still had to fight our way back to our secondary defense line to regroup with the rest of the platoon—I could still remember the two Union soldiers that I gunned down moments before they made the jump into the trench; the faces of those two were nothing but mere boys.

I hesitated, yes, but nonetheless a moment of hesitation often meant death.

“Hurry back to our lines, we’re cut off as it is in here!” said the Lieutenant as she signaled both Hisao and Miyazaki. Her gun trained on a nearby GEU rifleman before gunning him down as swiftly as he had appeared. Swiftly, she ordered us to rally and appointed me to be 'on point'.

“On your six Lieutenant…!” Miyazaki replied. Hisao wasn’t far off behind him.

“On your—”

“YEEEAAAAAGGHHH…!”

Close quarters combat was always an issue for both sides in trench warfare; some COs opted to carry shotguns or kinetic scatter guns for these encounters. For most of us, it fell back to personal experience and training. Our Morita Smart Rifles were quite long, awkward for close quarters combat but had an under-slung mod that allowed it to be equipped with a grenade launcher, kinetic scatter guns, or bayonet. These decisions were often made outside of combat and sometimes, it affect your life and death on the battlefield; I’ve seen fools discharged their grenade launchers in panic to know better.

Nonetheless, Hisao made the right choice in this regard.

As the GEU trooper swung his weapon to the right, Hisao barely dodged it to the left as his helmet was knocked off from the impact. Miyazaki and Lt. Satou tried to assist him, but Hideaki and I were quick to warn them about our share of combat when a squad of riflemen greeted us up-front. Hisao was often hesitant, but when he was pressed into combat, his capability to adapt and his experience proved otherwise—that was enough to determine who was the victor.

With a quick swing from his rifle, Hisao used a part of his weight to knock the guy to the floor and—before he could respond any further—fired his kinetic scatter gun attachment and blew his head right off. He stood there for a moment, shocked and unfazed as the blood and shattered pieces of skull splattered all over his face. Hideaki managed to pull him to cover and allowed him to regain his senses as we fought the other GEU squad that were upon us; Hisao told me later that he could never forget the face of the poor bastard.

We regrouped with the rest of Delta Company five minutes later after a squad under HQ rescued us from our position. Immediately, we were tasked on retaking the trench and flush all remaining GEU infantry—no survivors, they said. Lt. Satou, with a voice full of courage and spirit, led us back into hell with the rest of First Platoon behind for a clean sweep of the area. There were shouts, echoes of a firefight, even executions and atrocities present all around us after it was all over—I remembered the sight of one GEU riflemen who pleaded for his life only to be shoved into the firing range of our automated flame-turret. Even now, his scream deafened me.

But on that day, the PAA was victorious. We held our line.

The stench was unbearable, blood was everywhere, and death crept on us at every second. But the men continued their cheer as they sang and kicked the helmets of the forgotten. Lt. Satou pulled out a cigarette from her breast pocket, lit it with a match, and took a long sigh. Hideaki stood with Miyazaki as they ridicule the situation they were in, and honestly I was more surprised to learn that we survived the final GEU offensive in Korea than knowing the first time Akira became a smoker. Our life in the trench was almost back to normal—almost.

The PAA followed a strict code of bureaucracy in its military and thus each platoon was relegated to one 1st Lieutenant, one 2nd Lieutenant, three Sergeants, three Corporals, and six Lance Corporals. This was what led to my promotion.

“#*M)+#DIE…!”

To our surprise, a GEU infantry—wounded but alive—raised his rifle and cursed in his language before he squeezed the trigger.

We watched in shock as it unfolded before us. The hostile that stood in the corner, the sudden echo of his Tungsten Rifle, and the two who were ripped in seconds before any of us reacted fast enough to save them. Lt. Satou, Hisao, and I instantly raised our rifles and emptied an entire clip on the man and reduced him to nothing more than a lump of flesh in armor. Seconds after, the Lieutenant dropped her rifle and ran to the side of the two who were on the floor.

It was PFC Ryou Miyazaki and Sgt. Hideaki Hakamichi.

Miyazaki died instantly after the first few rounds penetrated into his head through his left eye. Hideaki wasn’t so fortunate and took a couple of hits in his chest, shoulder, and leg. He lay there, alive but twitching in pain as Lt. Akira and the rest of us tried to save him; we knew, however, that it was all too late for him.

“MEDIC…!” she called out as she tried as hard as she could to save her assistant. “MEDIC…! WE NEED A GODDAMN MEDIC OVER HERE!”

She turned to the Sergeant as he coughs and struggled to breathe while Hisao and I maintained the pressure on his wound.

“Don’t you die on me, Hideaki…!”

He smiled weakly, coughed, then reached for his pocket and pulled a letter she urged her to take. It was covered in his blood.

“P-please…” he struggled. “T-to my s-sister…”

“No, you give it to her yourself…”

“P-please…”

He cried as Lt. Satou clasped his hand and grudgingly took his letter. Once again, he tried to speak. “Akira, I-I am s-s-sorr—”

“Shh, don’t say a word,” She replied with a tragic smile. “I know, I know….”

Hideaki smiled, chuckled, and raised his hand fixed his glasses with his index finger—just like his sister. “H-how do I l-l-look-k…?”

“You look great,” she replied. “You’ll back in shape in no time, so…”

“I-Is that s-s-so…?” he mustered one last laugh. “T-then…”

“Thank g-g-goodness…”

And then he was gone.



Hideaki was no more…



I felt the drop from his chest as he gave his last sigh. His eyes were open and had lost its color, but it was strangely peaceful. I pulled back, sat on my knee, and cried. Hisao stood up, slammed his helmet to the ground, grabbed his rifle, and violently trashed the dead GEU soldier over and over. The Lieutenant was devastated.

“Hideaki…?” her lips trembled. “H-hey, come on…”

“Please…”

She rested his body and hugged him. “Please, goddamn it…why…?”

“HIDEAKI…!”

That day, we lost two of our friends. Hisao became Sergeant soon after and took the place of Hideaki as our radioman and Lt. Satou’s assistant.

I became a Corporal.

The medic arrived later to mark the two.

-------------

I stop, sigh, and strengthen my grip on Hisao’s hand before smiling at his company. There is a brief silence from the ‘Hounds’, a testament to their near-unlimited patience and their rather mysterious approach on this topic. Truth be told, I almost convince myself that they have a hidden agenda; something feels off about them, but I can’t exactly point my finger on it. Yes, they are Federation Historian dressed with the usual field grey uniform complemented with a white lab coat as…

…lab coat? Aren’t they historians?

“Ms. Ibarazaki,” their voice interrupts. I freeze in sight and train my eyes on them. “We are almost out of time for this visit and would like to end this interview soon, if you don’t mind.”

Thank the heavens for that! I can’t stand it anymore.

“However, we would like to ask you one particular question…” The ‘Hounds’ nod at one another, their cold gazes return to me, and their well-coordinated movements made it difficult to determine what they are up to. I flinch from the thought, part of it by disgust while some are backed by my fears. I grip Hisao’s hand tight and refuse to let go; he sighs and let it all sink in as the ‘Hounds’ pursue their question. “Are you familiar with ‘Operation: Harbinger’?”

‘Operation: Harbinger’…just hearing the name alone gives me immense headache and pain. I heard it before—no, I knew what it is yet I just can’t remember. I grit my teeth in irritation as I force myself to recall what it is as the sense of familiarity rings in my ears and in my head with each repeat. The ‘Hounds’ wait patiently; a medical team arrives seconds later and are on standby. I turn to Hisao, to which he reply with a reassuring smile before tapping my hand twice.

“Take it easy…” he said.

Then it hit me…

Like the sound of an empty wine glass struck by a spoon, the vibration echoes in my mind.

It is after our promotion, after the vengeful atrocity Lt. Akira Satou committed towards GEU POWs, and after Miki—an old friend from the track club and a freelance reporter—made her scheduled visit to the frontline.

Yes, I remember ‘Operation: Harbinger’.

-------------

April 21st, 2043. Ten days after the GEU’s final offensive, the PAA were determined on finally pushing the invaders out of North Korea once and for all. With us having both air and land superiority—in numbers no less—the tide had finally turned in favor of the PAA as the Union retreated in full force. Morale was high for the troopers, new fresh reinforcements arrived five days ago, and our equipments were freshly redistributed as we prepare for our purge towards the last GEU stronghold.

Everyone was in high spirits; everyone but Lt. Akira Satou.

Ever since Hideaki’s death, Lt. Akira became cold, dark, and moody. She showed little mercy to GEU POWs we caught after their last offensive and was willing to interrogate them with any means necessary—including torture and mutilation. From the fifty that we caught, five had died from her hands and even then she still wasn’t satisfied with it. War had changed her into a monster, a killing machine without remorse. Nonetheless, we prayed her change in character wouldn’t lead us to our demise as we—members of First Platoon—were given a different task in ‘Operation: Harbinger’.

“We’re going behind enemy lines to capture a key installation,” she briefed as we gear up for the assault. “Our objective is this factory in the outskirts of Pyong Yang; PAA intelligence reported that it houses an experimental super-weapon.”

“What does it do?” I asked. The Lieutenant shook her head.

“We’re not sure. HQ believes it houses a so-called ‘super-weapon’, and that’s all they say. We’re going in by air.”

“Air…!?” Hisao jumped from his seat. “Union AA units are sure to be around Pyong Yang, we won’t even make it into the ground! That’s suicide!”

The Lieutenant nodded. “This is our last suicide mission.”

We head out at 4AM on April 22nd, 2043 in a wave of six drop ship and three light-gunships as our escorts. The night air was clear and crisp as our drop ship soar unto the sky and roared; for the first time in a suicide mission, the entire First Platoon participated. It was a sight to behold as we flew in perfect formation with the mountainous landscape of Korea below us. There was no turning back for us. A few clicks before our drop zone, we received intense enemy anti-air fire from the hills, the mountains, and from the ground below as AA tracers lit up the dark morning sky that dispersed our parade in seconds. The gunships made a dive and tried with all their might to secure a clear path for our advance, acting as a shield in between flyby and escort.

We reached the DZ with the last three drop ship. None of our flights managed to return back to friendly lines.

“CLEAR THE DROP SHIP! GO! GO!”

We hopped out of our transports and were met with intense firepower. The last few hovering ‘Youkai’ gunship assisted us on eliminating GEU emplacements and defending armor and walkers, but they were soon overwhelmed by the intense AA fire and were shot-down seconds after their first strafing run. With only three squads left numbering seven each, First Platoon still persistently advanced under the leadership of Lt. Akira Satou and pushed our way into the factory. Miraculously, we took no casualties on our offensive and captured the facility in less than fifteen minutes—a record time considering how deep it was within enemy territory.

The factory was…interesting, to say the least. One area resembled an arms factory, but considering what they made there it was purely left to our speculation to what they were. The objects in question were spherical, about the size of a wrecking ball only a little larger; it also hosted buttons and wires, which made us to believe that it was some sort of bomb meant to be deployed manually rather than the traditional delivery method via missiles or artillery. The other area was even more bizarre—a testing area, I believe, but it was unlike any other. There were charts, scans, and images of the human brain that detailed the stages of dementia—it was almost like a mental hospital of some kind, some rooms even feel like it.

Yet, our orders remain clear: setup perimeter and hold the facility until the bulk of the Japanese 22nd Infantry Division arrive to reinforce.

“Hey, Lieutenant!” called one of our men. “There’s an underground tunnel here!”

Lt. Satou marched toward the private, quickly examined the entrance, and then cocked her carbine. She turned to us and gave us her order one last time before she disappeared into the tunnel.

“By the time I finish with this ‘tunnel’, I want a perimeter established and the remaining squads accounted for.”

She turned to Hisao. “Nakai, I want you to be in charge of my squad while I’m gone. If I’m not back by the time the reinforcements arrived, blow this tunnel.”

He nodded, and then she turned her attention to me.

“You, on the other hand, need to be evacuated out of here.”

It was to my misfortune that this mission cost me more than what I could bear. Augmentation was still in its prototype stage back then, I lost control of my legs and almost potentially endangered the squad—Hisao experienced this once three days ago, but was lucky to survive when our medic injected a booster that forced his heart to work once more. My legs, on the other hand required a more delicate approach by certified technicians. I was slightly happy to know I would be returning to friendly lines, but was rather irritated at the same time to leave my friends behind—Hisao was no exception.

“Hey, Emi...?”

I turn to face Hisao who was carrying my by his shoulder as we made our way to the transport and replied. “What is it?”

“We finally made it, didn’t we?”

“What is?”

“The finish line; we’re on our road home.”

I giggled, planted a kiss on his cheek, and waved as I was helped into the 4x4. The designated driver was kind enough and gave us a moment to part. “Take it easy, Hisao…”

“I will.”

“See you back in Japan?”

He chuckled and hugged me one last time. “Yeah, see you there.”

we paused, unable to say a word. But Hisao pushed himself that day, showed me the courage that I had never seen before.

“Emi, if we ever see each other again in Tokyo,” he clasped my hand. For a moment, I felt something dropped into the palm of my hand. “Will you marry me...?”

No words were spoken from me. I was speechless, shocked, but nonetheless overjoyed by this revelation. I gave him a nod and answered, “Yes...”

We kissed. I watched from the 4x4 as he blended into the background, returning to the factory as the echo of war shook the area once more.

At 0600, I board a captured GEU off-road transport with a designated driver that would drive me back to our lines as the PAA launched ‘Operation: Harbinger’. The factory was under fire when we left the area, but when we passed a number of PAA units moving to reinforce, a smile beamed across my face; I was happy to know that all of us, the remaining members of ‘Satou’s Walking Dead’, were finally on their road home. It was finally over.

But then…

-------------

I stop and bit my lip to bear the pain that coils within my head. The doctors mentioned something like this happening before; a repressed memory of some kind. I couldn’t exactly remember what happen after, or what brought me here to this facility for further treatment. Nonetheless I was among the few who survived ‘Operation: Harbinger’. But what happened after I left the battlefield, the events that led to the annihilation of most of the Japanese 22nd Infantry Division are buried deep within me—I know the Lieutenant never made it back, about the scar that is left on that last battlefield, and the fact that the entire First Platoon is no more. But I just can’t…

“Ms. Ibarazaki,” The ‘Hounds’ are getting more persistent. A medical team stands at the ready close by…for what? “Can you remember the details that happened after?”

I shake my head, turn to Hisao—he is worried, unsettled, and then I gaze at the lamp that hangs in the ceiling.

It’s so bright…





…and then I remember.

My hands are sweating, my eyes shifts uncontrollably, and my breathing is out of control. I remember what happened, that…light. It is blinding, powerful, and at the same time devastating. Something happened in the factory; something unimaginable and of great magnitude—I couldn’t tell what! The earth trembled, vehicles tossed around, and the sky cracked when that light—that light! It engulfed everything in its path as it expands from the blast zone, and at that time I was…

…I was trapped under the 4x4.

My leg was crushed after our vehicle toppled. The driver was dead, and I was left to save myself from the advancing ball of light—I had no choice.

I took my own legs off.

My wings, my freedom…I took them away with a shovel.

Then I dragged myself into a vacant pillbox and hid there for as long as I could remember as the light and the heat scorch everything in its path. When I came to, I was somewhere under the care of the ‘rebels’—the ‘Federation’, they call themselves. But I don’t mind; for us, the war was over. When I saw Hisao beside me watching and waiting for my recovery, I left myself at ease. It doesn’t matter how he survived or how he met with the ‘Federation’; as long as he is safe, then I’m content. When the ‘Federation’ established itself as the new ‘World Government’ after the end of the war, I was transferred along with Hisao into this institution until my recovery. Until today, he still waits patiently for my release and our promise on the battlefield.

Yes…I remember.

I turn to the ‘Hounds’ and tell them what happen after ‘Operation: Harbinger’. They quickly jot every single detail, every word, and every letter diligently so as not to miss any information I might hide. At the end of the interview, I conclude how everything that has happen—that promotion, achievement, status, all doesn’t matter to me. I survive and continue to because Hisao persisted, and that is all that matters.

“Hisao…?” the ‘Hounds’ ask. I give them a smile and nod.

“Yes.”

“You mean 1st Lieutenant Hisao Nakai?”

“It’s Sergeant Hisao Nakai; he’s not a lieutenant—that’s Akira Satou,” I reply as I tap Hisao’s hand. “Hisao is this guy right here.”

The ‘Hounds’ exchange their gazes confusingly and turn to me. The medical team is also on edge, causing me to wonder. “…is there something wrong?”

One of the ‘Hound’ steps forward. He swallows a ball of spit and stares me right in my eye.

“Ms. Ibarazaki, with respect, it is 1st Lieutenant Hisao Nakai.”

I turn to Hisao and check his rank sewn into his uniform. “No, that couldn’t be right. His rank right here tells me he’s a…”

“He was promoted posthumously.”

I froze. That couldn’t be…

“1st Lieutenant Hisao Nakai was ‘Killed in Action’ in ‘Operation: Harbinger’.”

No… that can’t be right…

“He has been dead for four years.”

“THAT’S A LIE…!”

I jump, glare at him right in the eye and point my hand at the other direction. “HE’S RIGHT HERE! DON’T TELL ME YOU’RE…”

“Who…? There’s no one there…”

They watch in horror at my retaliation. I turn to Hisao and…



…he’s gone.

He’s…not here…

…where did you go…?

“H-Hisao…?”

“Maam, if you could please…”

“Hisao…?”

“Please, settle down and…”

“HISAO…!!”

My sudden struggle alerts the medical team who quickly rush me from all side as they try to restrain me. I twist and turn, arms flailing as they try to inject me with sedatives. I’m not mad, no! He’s here, alive! He couldn’t be dead…!

“Subdue her! We can’t afford to lose our prized specimen! This is a direct order from the Marshall!”

The needle sink deep into my veins, my heart beat drops gradually, and my vision blurs before everything becomes dark.

In the darkness, Hisao reach his hand forward and calls my name, inviting me for a run.

Just like old times.

Hisao…I’m running to you...



Fin – Ibarazaki no Tegami
Last edited by Megumeru on Mon May 14, 2012 12:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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They say they hate Shizune? What is this? BLASPHEMY!

SHII-HAEL!
Shizune>Rin>Emi>Hanako>Lilly
"A writer is a light that reveals the world of his story from darkness. Shapes it from nothingness. If the writer stops, the world dies with it." - Alan Wake
Yes, I write stories. Currently working on: The Haunting: A Love Story

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Elcor
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Re: Sensou no Tegami *UPDATED* -Ibarazaki no Tegami-

Post by Elcor » Sun May 13, 2012 1:59 pm

Oh..that is a. serious heart breaker. I think Emi got it the worst.

Edit : After recovering from reading that, the new story was amazingly written. Hard to read in certain places...(not because of grammar or pacing just emotions)
Last edited by Elcor on Sun May 13, 2012 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fan Fiction writer's are drug dealers and they don't even know it.

Zombiedude101.

Re: Sensou no Tegami *UPDATED* -Ibarazaki no Tegami-

Post by Zombiedude101. » Sun May 13, 2012 3:05 pm

Damn you Megumeru, DAMN YOOOOOU!!!

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nemz
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Re: Sensou no Tegami *UPDATED* -Ibarazaki no Tegami-

Post by nemz » Mon May 14, 2012 3:58 am

obvious ending was obvious. Great quality fic here though, if not always enjoyable to read.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Megumeru
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Re: Sensou no Tegami *UPDATED* -Ibarazaki no Tegami-

Post by Megumeru » Mon May 14, 2012 8:50 am

It was my pleasure to write :)
From here on out, it either be a Lilly-arc rewrite, Rin-arc rewrite, or I'm hopping straight into the first answer arc.

Yes, 'Ibarazaki no Tegami' is the last of the 'Question Arcs'. So if there are new updates, it'll either be one of the two rewrites or the first answer arcs :D
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They say they hate Shizune? What is this? BLASPHEMY!

SHII-HAEL!
Shizune>Rin>Emi>Hanako>Lilly
"A writer is a light that reveals the world of his story from darkness. Shapes it from nothingness. If the writer stops, the world dies with it." - Alan Wake
Yes, I write stories. Currently working on: The Haunting: A Love Story

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Re: Sensou no Tegami *UPDATED* -Ibarazaki no Tegami-

Post by acewing905 » Mon May 14, 2012 10:42 am

Damn... Ibarazaki no Tegami made my cry. I would've bawled my eyes out if no one else was at home. Beautifully written. But just so sad. :cry: :cry: :cry:
If this kinda epilogue was canon, I probably wouldn't recover for a long time. As fanfic, I can just tell myself "it never happened in-universe." :D Anyhow, great work!
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Kai
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Re: Sensou no Tegami

Post by Kai » Thu May 24, 2012 4:53 am

Very interesting post from yours about "Sensou no Tegami" ! Also you discussed about distances between cities in usa. Your article is so important and useful to me. Thanks for your well sharing.

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Re: Sensou no Tegami

Post by Megumeru » Thu May 24, 2012 10:56 am

Kai wrote:Very interesting post from yours about "Sensou no Tegami" ! Also you discussed about distances between cities in usa. Your article is so important and useful to me. Thanks for your well sharing.
Although I don't quite understand what you meant, but...thanks for reading? :D
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They say they hate Shizune? What is this? BLASPHEMY!

SHII-HAEL!
Shizune>Rin>Emi>Hanako>Lilly
"A writer is a light that reveals the world of his story from darkness. Shapes it from nothingness. If the writer stops, the world dies with it." - Alan Wake
Yes, I write stories. Currently working on: The Haunting: A Love Story

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Zombiedude101
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:07 pm

Re: Sensou no Tegami

Post by Zombiedude101 » Thu May 24, 2012 11:04 am

Hm, it'd be interesting to see a re-write of Rin's path.
I support Snoozu.
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Megumeru
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:17 am
Location: Land of the Rising Sun

Re: Sensou no Tegami

Post by Megumeru » Thu May 24, 2012 3:08 pm

Zombiedude101 wrote:Hm, it'd be interesting to see a re-write of Rin's path.
Haha I'd love to do that. I'm currently juggling between 'The Haunting', a rewrite on Lilly's chapter, a rewrite on Rin's chapter, and the first answer arc. So we'll see--I have a lot of things in my hand that's for sure :cry:

But well, depends on which demands on 'Sensou no Tegami' between Lilly/Rin rewrite or the first answer arc, I'll finish either of those first.
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They say they hate Shizune? What is this? BLASPHEMY!

SHII-HAEL!
Shizune>Rin>Emi>Hanako>Lilly
"A writer is a light that reveals the world of his story from darkness. Shapes it from nothingness. If the writer stops, the world dies with it." - Alan Wake
Yes, I write stories. Currently working on: The Haunting: A Love Story

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