The Lighthouse War is over, but conflict still continues. With Erusea's defeat at the hands of the Osean Federation and the International United Nations, the imperial nation has splintered into a confusing mess of separatists, freedom fighters, warlords, rogue military factions, and those seeking to profit from the chaos. Worse, Erusea's many automated drone factories still remain intact, waiting for new masters to come to claim them. The Usean continent remains in crisis, and it's up to a new generation of pilots to face this next generation threat...---Twitter: https://twitter.com/MercCommandOther Quests: https://pastebin.com/eTUmEmRb---"Red!" You hear your squadron lead call out, startling you from your little nap."Jeez! It's Milly!" You scowl. "You can call me by my actual name!"Honestly, you didn't mind that he would refer to you by callsign on mission, but he also did it in regular conversation, too! What kind of guy would do that?! A pilot of the Belkan Self Defense Air Force should be treated better than this!(cont)
>>3575596"That wouldn't be very professional now, would it?" Your squadron leader, Bandit, shakes his head. "Besides, you only call me by my callsign, too.""W-well-" You pause, wondering why that was the case, too. However, you train of thought is quickly interrupted."Either way, quit wasting time." Bandit casually tosses a folder to you, which you quickly catch. "New orders.""Huh?" You wonder as you open the folder and read its contents. "Transfer orders to the IUNPF? The hell? Since when did they start asking Belka for help?""I assume since they lost over half their effective air force due to the war." Bandit points out bluntly. "And the higher ups are okay with this?" You frown, reading into the orders further. "They do realize that our squadron is only the two of us, right?""Even if it's only a token force, high command believes Belkan participation in IUN peacekeeping efforts will help to reverse negative stereotypes about the nation." Bandit explains. Yep. After it was revealed a secret cabal of Belkan politicans and businessmen tried to manipulate their rivals Osea and Yuktobania into going to war against each other, your home nation of Belka had taken a rather serious public relations hit, as you were all characterized as schemers and warmongers, on top of the shit your ancestors already pulled in the Belkan War. The rumors that Erusea's combat drones were based off Belkan technology wasn't helping matters, either. >Honestly I think high command is just wasting everybody's time.>I guess some effort is better than no effort...>Other
>>3575597>>I guess some effort is better than no effort...Time for snow.
>>3575597>Honestly I think high command is just wasting everybody's time.
>>3575597>Honestly I think high command is just wasting everybody's time.BELKA BELKA BELKA BELKA
>>3575597>>I guess some effort is better than no effort...
>>3575596This connected to Endless Skies at all Merc?
>>3575597>>Honestly I think high command is just wasting everybody's time.
>>3575597>Honestly I think high command is just wasting everybody's time.So what kind of paintjob/custom emblem?
>>3575613It is! You're currently playing as Karla's protege Milly!
>>3575619Depends on what kind of jobs we get. Maybe we get a super cool white colour scheme if we're thrown into an experimental weapons branch (along with a sexy formfitting pilot suit)?
>>3575597>I guess some effort is better than no effort...Did you know, there are three kinds of aces?...
>>3575659>tmw you realize that if Pixy is still around, he'd be too old to fly.
>>3575597>I guess some effort is better than no effort...<<It's time.>>
>>3575667If Mihaly is young enough to fly then Pixy is, he's only 52.
>>3575667>inb4 they somehow upload his brain into a AI platformDo you also want to Totally-Not-Electrosphere with your fries as well Anon?
>>3575596BELKA WILL RISE AGAIN
>>3575667>Implying he's not a brain hard wired to a fighter ala stealth
>>3575677Pixy's flight data is already the basis for all ZOE related AI. When Grunder recovered his Morgan they used the data in it to make the Falken and ZOE AI from 2, which then became the ZOE AI in 7, which then becomes Nemo in 3.
>>3575692So that's a yes to your Totally-Not-Electrosphere with your fries.
>>3575597"Honestly, I think high command is just wasting everybody's time." You huff, dropping the folder on the table. "How are two pilots supposed to change the entire world's opinion of us?""I honestly have no idea, but orders are orders." Bandit shrugs. "Better pack your things and make the necessary arrangements. Our departure time is in twenty four hours."Ugh, it was so annoying how Bandit never seemed serious about anything. You wonder if your flight lead had ever been legitimately upset at anything at any point or if he was always like this. Even after flying his wing for a couple years already, his inner thoughts were still a mystery to you. "Well, if there's anything you want to do, you better get moving." Bandit continues. "By all accounts this looks to be a long term deployment.""Yeah, yeah, I get it." You sigh. >Maybe you better hit up Uncle Weiss to see what's going on.>See if Karla's in town. Might as well let her know.>Better go check up on your plane.>Other
>>3575703>Better go check up on your plane.ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR PLANE IS WORKING PROPERLY BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE!
>>3575703>Maybe you better hit up Uncle Weiss to see what's going on.
>>3575703>See if Karla's in town. Might as well let her know.Osean civil war when?
>>3575703>>Better go check up on your plane.What are the odds it's Karla's original Phantom that she sold that somehow got here?
>>3575703>Better go check up on your plane.Who needs a waifu when you got a planefu?
>>3575703>>Better go check up on your plane.
>>3575703>See if Karla's in town. Might as well let her know."Squire" was Milly's nickname, right?
>>3575716Not exactly. That was just the how the dynamic between Karla and her was described as. She has an official callsign within her squadron.
>>3575596>Belkan Self Defense Air Force>Self DefenseGod our nation is cucked so hard
>>3575703>>Better go check up on your plane.Who cares about people, we have planes
>>3575703>>See if Karla's in town. Might as well let her know.
>>3575703>Better go check up on your plane.
>>3575703>>Maybe you better hit up Uncle Weiss to see what's going on.
>>3575723That's what happens when you spend gorillions on experimentals, and lose.
>>3575741Belka will rise again and feast upon the corpse of the Osean giant
>>3575723>>3575741Not to mention blowing up nukes on your own soil.
>>3575754We went out on our own terms and held the line. It needed to be done to preserve some measure of our freedom.
>>3575703Your first thought is to go out to check on your plane, which was sitting just outside in one of the hangars. It wasn't much, honestly. Just a regular F-18 Hornet, one of the older C/D models that had been bought secondhand off of Osea when they upgraded to the newer E/F models. It still had its original grey paint scheme, though the Osean insignia and roundels had been replaced with the Belkan national symbols. Bandit likewise flew an F-18, but unlike yours, it had a custom paintjob. The fuselage was green and white with a black and white checkerboard pattern on the wings. It was an honor he earned due to already being an ace, having flown with the Osean/Yuktobanian alliance during their raid on Grunder Industries so many years ago. That would roughly put him at about Karla's age, now that you think about. Maybe even a little older. You shake your head to focus, returning your attention to your plane. There weren't any armaments mounted on it or anything. The base wasn't on alert or anything. However, you do note a pair of external fuel tanks mounted under the wings. Looks like the flight crew had already been notified of your upcoming transfer to Usea. It was going to be a long haul flight. You sigh as you gaze at the F-18, thinking...>It was a piece of junk.>Better than nothing, you suppose.>It was still a respectable plane.>Other
>>3575790>>It was still a respectable plane.Any plane in our colors is respectable my dudes.
>>3575692And hopefully 8 will being with it the (chronologically) first COFFIN planes, and usher back in all the crazy variants and prototypes and super planes and shite.
>>3575790>>It was still a respectable plane.A pilot must always respect the plane, even if we end up flying a 1st generation jet fighter or at worst, a rocket powered fighter.
>>3575790>It was still a respectable plane.
>>3575790>>It was a piece of junk.
>>3575723I mean, Belkan conspiracies are responsible for every war in the entire series, so can you really blame the other nations for being leery and keeping them on a Japan-style short leash, militarily?
>>3575790>>It was still a respectable plane.
>>3575790>Better than nothing, you suppose.
>>3575790>It was a piece of junk.
>>3575790>Better than nothing, you suppose.>>3575795If we upgrade to a COFFIN equipped fighter, do you think we can do some creative cockpit art?
>>3575801We'll snap it in due time. Osea is rotting and all Balkans will be free soon God willing.
>>3575790>having flown with the Osean/Yuktobanian alliance during their raid on Grunder IndustriesCan't believe that they let traitors into the Belkan Airforce nowadays.
>>3575790>>Better than nothing, you suppose.
>>3575796>A pilot must always respect the planeI mean, if they try to put us in a Flogger I'll be writing in "eject before this flying deathtrap kills us" constantly.
>>3575823We've fallen far Comrade. Self Loathing pilot is gonna need to build up her patriotic backbone.
>>3575790>It was still a respectable plane.Legacy Hornets are NASTY little knife fighters if you can drag the enemy into that low, slow, high alpha fight that you WILL beat damn near anything out there in.
>>3575790Honestly, you had your reservations flying such an old and slightly outdated plane, but the F-18 still had its strengths. In particular, it was a good low speed knife fighter, being able to get its nose pointed quickly without stalling like some other newer fighters were prone to do.>You should take it out for a spin. Make sure everything's working right.>You really do need to get packing and everything.>Other
>>3575860>You should take it out for a spin. Make sure everything's working right.We got some time to spare, and if worst comes to worst we can always insist that we were going through all of it's inflight checks.
>>3575860>>You should take it out for a spin. Make sure everything's working right.
>>3575860>>You really do need to get packing and everything.
>>3575860>You really do need to get packing and everything.
>>3575860>You really do need to get packing and everything.Need to pack all of our different size Belkan flags.
>>3575860>You really do need to get packing and everythingWe should give it a nickname.
>>3575860>You really do need to get packing and everything
>>3575860As much as you wanted to take your Hornet out for a spin, you knew you had some packing to do, and get some sleep. Sleep would be important for long solo flights. You mostly lived on base, so all of your everyday essentials were close at hand. There were also a few souvenirs and keepsakes you would like to bring with you, as well. The halls feel empty and lonely as you walk down them. In the days where Belka was a military superpower, this base used to host hundreds of planes and thousands of pilots and staff. But now, due to forced downsizing and demilitarization, it was only a shadow of its former self with only a few dozen planes in operational state. Part of you ached for those good old glory days you had heard so much about, but you quickly squash it. It was that exact same part that got you into so much damn trouble in the first place.You finally reach the pilot dorms, where your quarters were located. However, as you open the door, you find an uninvited guest->Uncle Weiss. The retired spy.>Karla. Your old mentor.>Samantha. The shady PMC leader.>Other
>>3575964>>Karla. Your old mentor.
>>3575964>Uncle Weiss. The retired spy.
>>3575964>>Uncle Weiss. The retired spy.
>>3575964>>Karla. Your old mentor.Time for snow?
>>3575964>Samantha. The shady PMC leader.
>>3575964>>Samantha. The shady PMC leader.Would she come with an offer?
>>3575964>Karla. Your old mentor.
>>3575964And you find Uncle Weiss standing casually in your room, gazing at the pictures and paraphernalia that you had stuck on the wall. Uncle Weiss wasn't actually your uncle, though. He was Karla's. However, that didn't stop him from basically being your guardian. After all, it was largely thanks to him and his connections with the Belkan intelligence community that you weren't rotting in an Osean prison as a terrorist. So, given his former profession, you weren't exactly surprised to see him her. Still, it was a bit concerning."Milly, it's good to see you doing well." Uncle Weiss smiles warmly. He was a little balder and his beard was bit more scraggly, but he looked just as energetic as ever. "Hey, Uncle!' You grin as you skip forward and hug the old man. "Guess you already know, huh?""Your assignment to the IUNPF, yes, I'm aware." Uncle Weiss nods. "That's quite the honor.">I know, right?>I'm not sure. They got the snot beaten out of them during the Lighthouse War...>Other
>>3576048>I'm not sure. They got the snot beaten out of them during the Lighthouse War...
>>3576048>>I'm not sure. They got the snot beaten out of them during the Lighthouse War...
>>3576048>>I'm not sure. They got the snot beaten out of them during the Lighthouse War...Belkan Steel will set them straight.
>>3576082So are we the kind of Belkan Pilot that deviates towards US, European, or Russian planes?
>>3576091Fuck if I know. I just want to shoot some Oseans.
>>3576091Belkan superweapons or bust.
>>3576098I like the way you think anon
>>3576048"I'm not so sure." You frown. "They got eh snot beaten out of them during the Lighthouse War. I think that's pretty much the reason why they're asking for OUR help.""Well, think about it as an opportunity, then." Uncle Weiss winks. "I daresay you haven't been doing much else, right?"Well, he did have a point. It was nothing but the occasional air patrol. Belka didn't even get involved in the Lighthouse War, either, staying neutral in the whole conflict. Guess there wasn't anything here worth bombing to the Eruseans."Either way, I came here to see you off and wish you some luck." Uncle Weiss pats you on the shoulder. "Win some glory for Belka!">You got it!>...there's something else you want to say, isn't there?>Other
>>3576140>...there's something else you want to say, isn't there?
>>3576140>>...there's something else you want to say, isn't there?
>>3576140>>You got it!
>>3576140>You got it!
>>3576140>You got it!>...there's something else you want to say, isn't there?Nothing says we can't catch ourselves mid excitement.
>>3576140>>...there's something else you want to say, isn't there?>>3575606>>3575682>>3575723>>3575759>>3575801>>3575818>>3575882>>3576082SIEG BELKA!!!
>>3576140"...there's something else you want to say, isn't there?" You frown."Well, I suppose there's no getting around it." Uncle Weiss sighs. "The government is quite well aware of the current rumors floating about that the Eruseans' drone and AI technology was supplied by Belka, or at the very least, Belkan nationals.""More Gray Men?" You narrow your eyes. You had a rather bad life experience due to having to deal with those bastards a couple years back."Or those who sympathize with them, at the very least." Uncle Weiss sighs. "So Belka is making a show of sending your squadron to Erusea as a public showing its determination to suppress illegal drone research."Is that so...?>Well I'm all for that.>Gotta hide the evidence, huh?>Other
>>3576139>Once the Neo Belka is mass produced
>>3576220>>Well I'm all for that.
>>3576220>>Well I'm all for that.We going to be Ace Combat Londo Bell huh?
>>3576220>>Gotta hide the evidence, huh?
>>3576220>Gotta hide the evidence, huh?
>>3576220>Well I'm all for that.The skies are meant for people. Unless we somehow get involved in a roundabout method of drone fighters like remote control pods.
>>3576220>Well I'm all for that.
>>3576220>God Almighty, do they just have a buried factory pumping out knockoff 'One Belka' assholes somewhere?
>>3576220"Well, I'm all for that." You nod. "Not exactly a big fan of drones, myself.""Then there shouldn't be anything to worry about!" Uncle Weiss chuckles. "Well, I shouldn't keep you distracted any further. You're leaving tomorrow, aren't you?""Yeah." You nod confirmation. "I'll be sure to relay the news to Karla. You be careful out there, Milly." That's when Uncle Weiss ruffles your hair in that same infuriating way Karla always does. Gah! You hated it when they did that!And just like that, Uncle Weiss was gone, leaving you alone with your thoughts and belongings. That's when you get to packing, stuffing everything you needed into a large duffel bag. Changes of clothes, toiletries, the various pictures you had up on your wall...However, you pause as you glance at the locked drawer next to your bed. You knew it was a bad idea since the moment you kept it but... well... you still had your old One Belka patch. You're not sure why, honestly.>Despite them being assholes, you had to admit there were a few good memories there.>You didn't want anything more to do with those bastards.>Other
>>3576273>Despite them being assholes, you had to admit there were a few good memories there.And then we have to duel an extremist like a proper Belkan Knight. [SAIPAN GUITAR INTENSIFIES]
>>3576273>>Despite them being assholes, you had to admit there were a few good memories there.Belka will unironically rise again and death to any Osean who says otherwise.We dont need more self flagellation
>>3576273>You didn't want anything more to do with those bastards.
>>3576273>Despite them being assholes, you had to admit there were a few good memories there.>>3576275If we're going to go down Knight route, we should try to differentiate ourselves from Karla.
>>3576273>>You didn't want anything more to do with those bastards.
>>3576278>If we're going to go down Knight route, we should try to differentiate ourselves from Karla.Oh I'm sure we will get the chance. We can make the ||BELKA|| choice when the time comes and fly for freedom.
>>3576278I agree, maybe do some talking over the radio as well. It's been a long time since I last read up the last Ace Combat quest so I'll probably take a backseat for the most part until I get my wings back.
>>3576273>Despite them being assholes, you had to admit there were a few good memories there.
>>3576283Yeah should be fun
>>3576273>>Despite them being assholes, you had to admit there were a few good memories there.>>3576283Maybe throw up a song on the comms and sing The Journey Home.
>>3576273You quietly unlock the drawer and pick up your old One Belka patch, running the frayed cloth between your fingers, an old and bitter sense of nostalgia flowing through your mind. You can't help but smile a bit. Even though the organization as a whole ended up being run by a bunch of terrorist assholes, they were certainly there for you when you were in a dark place. It was a rock a stability against the uncertainty and frustration of being humiliated by Osea. You wonder how some of your old comrades were doing... assuming they were still alive. You honestly didn't have high hopes for them, especially after you took your leave of the organization. Quietly pocketing the patch, you can't help but yawn loudly, suddenly feeling fatigued. You decide to lie down on your bed and close your eyes for a bit...---"Is everything ready?" Bandit asks you as you jog up to him, your duffel bag slung over your shoulder."Yeah, I'm all packed and ready to go." You assure him. "Are our birds ready?""They're being outfitted and fueled right now." Bandit nods to the hangar.Sure enough, the ground crew was already getting your Hornets prepped, going over all the parts to make sure there weren't any faults. Fuel lines were connected, filling the external drop tanks. You also notice techs loading missiles onto the already overloaded wings of Bandit's Hornet. "You're taking a combat load?" You blink. "This is just a transit flight, isn't it? Aren't you worried all the extra weight is going to affect your fuel efficiency?" "Well, the way I see it, you can never be too careful." Bandit crosses his arms. "Better to caught prepared than not."You glance at your Hornet, the wing pylons bare save for the external tanks. You know the internal cannon was loaded, so if worse came to worse you could fall back on that if something went wrong....>Maybe a few missiles won't hurt.>You can make do with just the cannon.>Other
>>3576320>>Maybe a few missiles won't hurt.
>>3576320>Maybe a few missiles won't hurt.
>>3576320>Maybe a few missiles won't hurt.Just expect some antagonism.
>>3576320>>You can make do with just the cannon
>>3576320>Maybe a few missiles won't hurt.You are a fighter, play to your role.
>>3576320"You know, maybe a few missiles won't hurt." You agree as you wave to one of the techs.It doesn't take long for your Hornet to be properly armed, or at least as much as possible in spite of the large, heavy external fuel tanks competing for wing and pylon space. It wasn't exactly the most ideal of setups but it would work in a pinch. You worked to make sure everything about your plane was in order as you drop into the cockpit, and Bandit did the same. Soon enough, the ground crew gives you both the thumbs up as they dash away to get clear. You slowly power up your Hornet as you slip your helmet on. "Are you ready to go, Red Tail?" Bandit asks, referring to you by your full callsign now. "Looks like everything is green." You confirm to him.. "Ready when you are.""All right, follow my lead, then." You watch as Bandit's Hornet pulls forward, rolling out of the hangar and onto the runway outside. "Raven Team, this is Dinsmark Tower. Scopes are clean. You are clear for takeoff." You radio buzzes. "Roger that, Tower." Bandit responds as you see his engines flare up, his Hornet being propelled down the runaway before lifting up in the air. "Raven One takeoff confirmed. Raven Two, you are cleared for takeoff." The Tower reports.In response, you start to throttle up to pick up speed, and your Hornet shudders and shakes as the twin engines vibrate rapidly. Soon enough, you feel a brief weightless sensation as your Hornet leaves the ground, lifting up higher and higher into the air. Up above, you could see Bandit still steadily climbing as he heads for the proper cruising altitude. Down below, you could see the urban sprawl of the Belkan capital of Dinsmark. This would be the last time you'd be seeing this place for a while...>Better follow Bandit before you get left behind. >Can't hurt to have a bit of fun first...>Other
>>3576394>Better follow Bandit before you get left behind.
>>3576394>Can't hurt to have a bit of fun first...
>>3576394>>Better follow Bandit before you get left behind.Belkan Stoicism!
>>3576394>>Better follow Bandit before you get left behind.
>>3576394>Can't hurt to have a bit of fun first...Considering the timeframe, would there be someone trying to make fighter jet or superplane that could possibly operate up to the low end of Low Earth Orbit?
>>3576394Not intending to be left behind, you quickly throttle up and start gaining altitude as well, following Bandit's lead. Soon enough, the both of you are locked into an eastbound course, taking the most direct route to Usea. According to your flight plan, your ultimate destination would be the Lighthouse itself, where the IUN had hastily set up a base of operations to manage the pacification of the continent. As the hours drag on, you fight the urge to yawn as you check your instruments again. You were starting to get close. Any minute, the Usean coastline should be getting into visual range-That's when you radio buzzes and crackles as it starts picking up a transmission. "Mayday, mayday! To anybody out there, we're under attack! I repeat we're under attack!" You hear a voice yelp. "This is the cargo ship Arethusa requesting assistance!""Sir?" You glance at Bandit's Hornet. "...We're pushing our fuel capacity." Your flight lead grunts. "If we stick around too long, we'll rusk going bingo fuel before we can reach the base.">Hopefully someone else helps them out, then.>Screw that, you're willing to take that risk!>Other
>>3576420>Hopefully someone else helps them out, then.
>>3576420>>Screw that, you're willing to take that risk!
>>3576404I just hope you like pulse lasers, EMLs, and TLS systems since combat at that altitude would probably be quite different from what we're used to.>>3576420>>Screw that, you're willing to take that risk!
>>3576420>Screw that, you're willing to take that risk!
>>3576420>>Screw that, you're willing to take that risk!Using missiles would lighten the weight and reduce fuel usage for the rest of the trip, so it might balance out.
>>3576420"Screw that, I'm willing to take the risk!" You grunt. "So how about it?""Guess we don't have much of a choice now, do we?" Bandit's Hornet then banks left. "Let's go. Hopefully we can wrap this up quickly. "Yesssss!" You can't help but grin from ear to ear. Finally, the Raven Team was making their combat debut!>And that's it for tonight! Hope you're all having fun on this continuation! We'll continue things on Saturday, so don't miss it!
>>3576457Thanks for running Merc!
>>3576457See you tomorrow!
So the bigwigs in the airforce thought that the best two pilots to send to the IUN to make Belka look good were a former Belkan nationalist terrorist, and a pilot who is an Ace via shooting down other Belkans?
>>3576091I'm hoping for French doritos.
>>3576555>French doritos>Not Swedish knäckebrödGo dance with the angels, Anon
>>3576629I mean, I'd love an Ace Combat that's all old shit, Aardvarks and Drakens and Floggers and Fishbeds and shit.But considering the point this quest is at in the timeline, it's just not feasible to fly a Draken into combat.
>>3575723>>3575754>>3575759>>3576197Look, everyone! Faggy autists! Although that Hydra-edition Belkan flag is cold.
>>3576923I just want to see Axis Belka, Neo Belka, Neo Neo Belka and whatever the fuck the Belka equivalent of 0083's Delaz's fleet is fight over the remains of Erusea.
>>3576508>Belkan nationalist terroristFreedom Fighter thank you very much
So any ideas for an Ace paintjob when it happens considering that Milly is called Red Tail officially, Squire by Karla, and whatever name our enemies give her?Maybe something with a red trim.
>>3575801Inb4 there are Belka politicians still ranting about Not!Article 9 and how the "Yukes fear the Belkan Knights" or something.
>>3577346Does Milly have ancestors that were Belkan Knights, or otherwise notable individuals?Perhaps she could use the family's coat of arms, or colours on her plane; or maybe even throwing on some art?
>>3576457It doesn't take long until you start to sight what looks to be the ship distress. Down below on the shining seas, you could see one of those large superfreighters steaming along. However, you could pick out a handful of smaller wakes. Speedboats zipping alongside the freighter, loaded to the bring with what you assumed to be the pirates. No doubt they were trying to board the freighter.However, farther back, you could see what looked to a smaller freighter tailing the Arethusa. You immediately suspected to be the pirates' flagship. It wasn't uncommon for them to use stolen civilian ship as camouflage, after all. "Arethusa, this Raven Team of the IUN responding to your distress call." Bandit declares. "We're here to render assistance. What's your status?""They're trying to board us!" The captain says in a panicked tone. "We've been trying to maneuver to keep them from being able to hook on but we're completely unarmed! If they get on board it's over!""Roger that, continue your evasive maneuvers." Bandit replies and switches over to the squadron channel. "There we have it. Let's get this done quick. I'll provide overwatch. You have discretion on how to engage."Eheheh, so basically that meant you were basically weapons free on these guys...>Do a few strafing runs on the speedboats and scare them off. >Hit their mothership and leave them stranded until someone else can come pick them up.>You don't leave a job half finished...>Other
>>3577900>>Do a few strafing runs on the speedboats and scare them off.
>>3577900>Hit their mothership and leave them stranded until someone else can come pick them up.>You don't leave a job half finished...Bloody pirates. Belka is not amused.
>>3577900>Do a few strafing runs on the speedboats and scare them off.
>>3577900>Hit their mothership and leave them stranded until someone else can come pick them up.
>>3577900>Do a few strafing runs on the speedboats and scare them off.Best get them off the Arethusa's ass first before hitting the big one.
>>3577900>>Hit their mothership and leave them stranded until someone else can come pick them up.
>>3577900>>Do a few strafing runs on the speedboats and scare them off.Also radio it in, in case there are IUNPF air and naval assets nearby.
>>3577900>Do a few strafing runs on the speedboats and scare them off.Then>Hit their mothership and leave them stranded until someone else can come pick them up.Gotta cover your bases in the attack.
>>3577900>>Hit their mothership and leave them stranded until someone else can come pick them up.Fire missiles to reduce weight!
>>3577900You bank away and dive down towards the speedboats, trying to line up you cannon to them. They weren't even worth wasting a missile on, after all. "Red! Break! Break!" You hear Bandit yell. "Drones launching from the mothership!" The hell? You crane your head to the side and do indeed see small drones being launched off of the mothership like rockets. Where the hell did pirates get weapons like that?!>You're already committed to your attack run. You preferred blowing up ground targets anyways. (Air to ground focus)>Sweet, these drones seem like they'd be a better challenge! (Air to air focus)
>>3577975>You're already committed to your attack run. You preferred blowing up ground targets anyways. (Air to ground focus)The drones are just as distraction.
>>3577975>>Sweet, these drones seem like they'd be a better challenge! (Air to air focus)
>>3577975>>You're already committed to your attack run. You preferred blowing up ground targets anyways. (Air to ground focus)In the immortal words of Rot 1, "Time to hunt some wild dogs."
>>3577975>Sweet, these drones seem like they'd be a better challenge! (Air to air focus)
>>3577975>>You're already committed to your attack run. You preferred blowing up ground targets anyways. (Air to ground focus)
>>3577975>You're already committed to your attack run. You preferred blowing up ground targets anyways. (Air to ground focus)Their objective is the boat.
>>3577975Hmmmm, perhaps the posting wasn't quite clear. This choice is supposed to determine what type of air combat Milly is predisposed to, so it will in fact have some long term implications! So let's try this again...>Milly prefers groundpounding.>Milly prefers dancing with the angels.
>>3578056>Milly prefers dancing with the angels.
>>3578056>Milly prefers groundpounding.Gotta BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT FAST
>>3578056>>Milly prefers dancing with the angels
>>3578056>>Milly prefers groundpounding.
>>3578080Wait shit ignore this one Merc
>>3578056>>Milly prefers dancing with the angels.
>>3578056>Air to Air focus confirmed!Heh, the drones were a more enticing target anyways. You convert your attack run into a low high speed pass, blasting the speedboats below with a close range sonic boom. It wasn't going to destroy them, but it sure as hell would send them scattering for the moment. Your radar warns you of a pair of incoming blips, no doubt the drones Bandit warned you about. Your radar also shows Bandit moving into engage another pair of blips, so you suppose you couldn't quite count on support right now.Heh, not like you needed it. The two drones make a beeline straight for you, but you got a few ideas on how to handle them...>You got missiles, let's use them! (Missile focus)>You always preferred guns over missile. (Gun focus.)>Drones aren't that smart, you're pretty sure you can fly circles around them. (Air combat maneuver focus)
>>3578124>>Drones aren't that smart, you're pretty sure you can fly circles around them. (Air combat maneuver focus)We post-stall maneuver now
>>3578124>Drones aren't that smart, you're pretty sure you can fly circles around them. (Air combat maneuver focus)Is it time to TRIGGER some drones?
>>3578124>>Drones aren't that smart, you're pretty sure you can fly circles around them. (Air combat maneuver focus)
>>3578124>You always preferred guns over missile. (Gun focus.)Guns guns guns.
>>3578124>You always preferred guns over missile. (Gun focus.)
>>3578124>You always preferred guns over missile. (Gun focus.)BRRRRRRRRR...
>>3578124>>You always preferred guns over missile. (Gun focus.)
>>3578124>Drones aren't that smart, you're pretty sure you can fly circles around them. (Air combat maneuver focus)
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3578124Well, it looks like we've got a tie so we're going to have to roll it off!1. Guns2. ACM
>>3578193Heh, even if these were drones, you could tell that they were the older MQ-99 types. Not particularly agile or smart. You push your throttle and pull your nose up in a power climb, your Hornet's twin engines roaring in response. The drones attempt to follow, but their smaller engines can't match your sheer acceleration. With a quick kick of your ailerons, your Hornet noses over, converting the climb into a dive, your nose pointed straight at the oncoming MQ-99s. Your first gun bursts shreds the lead MQ-99 to pieces and it explodes as you dive past it. The second MQ-99 veers off as it sense the destruction of its wingman. You take the chance to glance over at Bandit, who had already taken out one of the MQ-99s attacking him and was on the tail of the second. Guess you didn't have to worry about him too much. However, the second MQ-99 was already turning around to tangle with you. You bank your Hornet to face it, but notice the stick was more sluggish as usual. That's when you realize that you were still lugging those damn external tanks on your wings. You could always just eject them, but they weren't completely empty yet. You'd be sacrificing quite a bit of fuel to get some more maneuverability...>Drop your tanks.>Better keep them on.>Other
>>3578236>>Drop your tanks.
>>3578236>>Better keep them on.
>>3578236>Drop your tanks.
>>3578236>>Drop your tanks.Hopefully we won't spend too long here, or there's an allied carrier we can land on.
>>3578236>Better keep them on.
>>3578236On second thought, it was probably better you kept your tanks on. Fuel was always a number one concern for any pilot, even if it hampered your maneuverability a bit. The MQ-99, however, wasn't particularly imaginative, as it was now charging directly at you. It was probably only armed with cannons. You couldn't see any missiles mounted on it. It should be relatively simple, then. All you had to do was hit it without getting hit yourself, so you'd have to be quick on the stick...>And now we reach the first roll of the quest! Like the first ACQ, we'll be using a 1d10 roll under system!, with the best of three rolls taken! A crit success occurs if at least 2 ones are rolled. Conversely, a crit failure occurs if at least 2 tens are rolled. >With your choices, Milly has an ACM stat of 6, which means you have to roll a 6 or lower to succeed!>Roll 1d10 (ACM 6)
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>3578318
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>3578318Here comes the snow.
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>3578318
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>3578318
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>3578318wew
>>3578321>>3578323>>3578326>>3578329>>3578333Looks like we have a really, really, really not good start.
>>3578342This is why people should have voted for missiles.Of course this includes me as well but hindsight is 20/20
>>3578318Both you and the MQ-99 exchange cannon fire. Shell tracers crisscross the air as you both close in on each other, and you're rewarded with the MQ-99's wing being shorn off. The drone spins uncontrollably as it plummets to the sea below.However, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for you, either. You feel your Hornet shudder, and you already know that you had taken some hits. Shit!You quickly check your instruments and gauges, checking to see if anything was damaged or leaking. Thankfully, it seemed nothing was broken or disabled. "Red, give me a status report." Bandit says sternly as his Hornet pulls up alongside yours. Looks like he took care of his target as well."Um, I think I took a hit, but I don't see any obvious damage." You report. "Your left wing tank is leaking." Bandit says sternly. "You better detach it.""Roger that." You gulp as you hit the pylon release. Your Hornet shudders again as the heavy tank falls away, significantly reducing the weight of the plane. "You better head for the IUN base." Bandit instructs. "Looks like those four drones were all the pirates had. I'll mop them up.">He's right, you're really pushing the fuel limit now.>You're not gonna leave him alone out here.>Other
>>3578345>You're not gonna leave him alone out here.Buddies gotta stick together!
>>3578345>>He's right, you're really pushing the fuel limit now.
>>3578345>You're not gonna leave him alone out here.
>>3578345>He's right, you're really pushing the fuel limit now.
>>3578345>>You're not gonna leave him alone out here.>>OtherWe'll ask for a tanker if necessary.
>>3578345You hate to admit it, but Bandit is right. With one of your external tanks gone, and after all that high speed maneuvering, your fuel supply was now really short. Better to let Bandit mop up the stragglers while you make a beeline to base."Right, well uh, be careful there, Bandit." You sigh."Same to you, Red." Bandit replies simply. The next hour or so is tense as you keep your eye on the fuel gauge. It feels almost far too soon that your remaining external tank runs dry, and you decide to eject that, as well. You don't want to risk the dead weight sapping away more of your valuable fuel. On your radar, you could see Bandit's contact trailing quite a ways behind you. Looks like he finished the mopping up, but he didn't seem to be in any particular hurry to catch up. Honestly, there wasn't much point to, in this situation. You wonder whether you should call for the IUN to send out a tanker for an aerial refuel. It was certainly the safer option but... well... it certainly wasn't going to make a good first impression, you having to be for help on literally your first day on the job.Gah! This really sucks!>Just swallow your pride and request a tanker. >No way, you can make it. You know you can!>Other
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3578428Rolling for my choice
>>3578428>No way, you can make it. You know you can!
>>3578428>>3578430Welp that's that.>Just swallow your pride and request a tanker.
>>3578428>Just swallow your pride and request a tanker.
>>3578428>>No way, you can make it. You know you can!Gotta try for the PR
>>3578428>>Just swallow your pride and request a tanker.
>>3578428>>Just swallow your pride and request a tanker.Better to take fuel than to wipe out short of the field
>>3578428No way, you can make it! You know you can! You grip tightens on the stick as you hold your course steady. Soon enough, you can see land on the horizon. The Usean continent, finally! In addition, you could also begin to see the thing vertical line reaching up into the sky, the famous International Space Elevator, nicknamed the Lighthouse, the titular resource the Lighthouse War was fought over. Not only did it provide cheap transit from the ground to space, but it also provided almost incalculable amounts of energy via orbital solar farms transmitting power through the structure. It was certainly an experience, seeing the structure in person. However, as you ogle the sight, your radio buzzes."Raven Team, this is Selatapura Tower. We're reading your transponder loud and clear. Continue your current heading until we can give you an approach vector."You're about to sigh in relief. You've made it, finally!And then your Hornet's engines start to sputter. Oh no no no, not now, of all damn times!"Uh, Tower, I've got a bit of a problem." You chuckle nervously. "Some stuff happened in transit and I'm bingo fuel right now. I don't know if I can make it to the airbase.""Raven Two, standby." The controller says as he cuts the transmission, no doubt to consult with his bosses. It's a bit of a tense wait when the voice returns. "Raven Two, if your remaining fuel allows, our best recommendation is to emergency land on the road bridge connecting the Lighthouse to the mainland. Can you make it?"You look down at the water below. Yeah, there was the road bridge all right. The length wasn't an issue, but it was a lot narrower than a regular airfield...>Guess I don't have much of a choice.>I'll take my chances trying to reach the mainland.>Other
>>3578476>>Guess I don't have much of a choice.
>>3578476>>Guess I don't have much of a choice.The F/A-18 was designed to land on an aircraft carrier, an emergency runway on a straight bridge is nothing.Also Selatapura? Hope Red packed her summer clothes and beachwear.
>>3578476>Guess I don't have much of a choice.Are the Dao Lan islands gonna feature in this quest Merc?
>>3578476>>Guess I don't have much of a choice
>>3578476>Guess I don't have much of a choice.
>>3578476>Guess I don't have much of a choice.It's better than doing a cannonball in the water.
>>3578476Damn, guess you didn't really have much of a choice. With the last of your available thrust, you bank your Hornet to line up with the road bridge. Already, you could see people on the bridge clearing traffic, giving you a small stretch of open road to land on. Thankfully, you fuel holds out to where you can get proper control of your plane as it lands, touching down on the bridge and rolling to a stop. You can't help but breathe a loud sigh to relief. As you pop your canopy open, you could see quite a crowd of people gathered around, all civilians, which briefly catches you off guard. However, you remember that the Lighthouse had been converted into a refugee settlement for those displaced from the war and from the still lingering conflicts. You don't immediately see anybody with any clear authority until you catch sigh of...>A dark skinned woman in a mechanic's jumpsuit.>A regal looking young girl.>Karla!?>Other
>>3578526>A dark skinned woman in a mechanic's jumpsuit.
>>3578526>A dark skinned woman in a mechanic's jumpsuit.Mead's way cuter than the Princess.>inb4 it isn't either of them and this whole vote is a ruse
>>3578526>A Man in a Pilot's jumpsuit who's strangely carrying a old fashioned revolverNah I'm just kidding>Karla!?
>>3578526>>A regal looking young girl.
>>3578526>>A dark skinned woman in a mechanic's jumpsuit.
>>3578526>>>A dark skinned woman in a mechanic's jumpsuit.
>>3578526Your gaze is immediately drawn to a young, dark skinned woman wearing a mechanic's jumpsuit. However like any mechanic you knew, her attention was first and foremost focused on your plane rather than you. "Well, good to see you landed it in one piece." The mechanic nods, half impressed. "What's the problem with it?""Uh, no fuel." You admit. "Oh that's a simple fix, then." The mechanic nods. "Name's Mead. I help run things around here.""Erm, I'm Milly." You introduce yourself. "Nice to meet you?""Hm..." Mead narrows her eyes as she takes another look at your Hornet. "Weird to see a Belkan pilot all the way out here." >Believe me, it wasn't by choice. >Well, we live in weird times.>Other
>>3578559>Well, we live in weird times.
>>3578559>Believe me, it wasn't by choice.
>>3578559>>Believe me, it wasn't by choice.
>>3578559>>Well, we live in weird times.
>>3578559"Well, we live in weird times." You shrug. That gets an amused smirk out of Mead "You know what, you may be right there, Milly." She nods. "Anyways, it's going to be sundown soon. We can't really offer much, but we can at least keep you fed with a roof over your head until someone can come pick you up.">Sounds great.>I should wait here for Bandit...>Other
>>3578575>>I should wait here for Bandit...Also gotta watch over the plane.
>>3578575"Sounds great!" You grin. You didn't really have much options in the way of food on the flight over. "Well, follow me, then. Our mess hall is this way!" Mead nods as she leads you deeper into the refugee cam. You see the gathered civilians and refugees dispersing, now that all the excitement was over. As you follow Mead, you take the opportunity to take in the sights. For a refugee camp, this place was ridiculously clean and organized. Tents were laid out in neat rows, and you hardly saw any sort of trash or refuse lying around. And given the general mood, you'd be hard pressed to to believe that they'd all been displaced by a terrible, globe-spanning war. "Looks like you're all doing pretty well for yourselves, here." You point out. "Yeah, well, we find ways to get by." Mead shrugs. "Honestly, much as I hate to say it, but we owe a lot to the Princess. She's got pretty much every nation in the world tripping over each other to send foreign aid. She's a natural born celebrity.""Is that so?" You vaguely remember hearing that the Princess of Erusea, Princess Cossette or something, had basically been exiled here and become the camp's de facto leader. >Guess you're lucky to have her.>Why's she still sticking around here rather than returning to Erusea?>Other
>>3578605>>Why's she still sticking around here rather than returning to Erusea?
>>3578605>Guess you're lucky to have her.
>>3578605>Why's she still sticking around here rather than returning to Erusea?
>>3578605>>Guess you're lucky to have her.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3578605Looks like we got another tie, so we'll need to roll off!1. Guess you're lucky to have her.2. Why's she still around?
>>3578620"Why's she still sticking around here rather than returning to Erusea?" You wonder. "I heard the whole country is still a mess. Don't they need a leader?""Heh, the Princess is the last kind of leader they want." Mead shrugs. "On the one hand, you've got the Radicals, who only ever saw her as a puppet and tried to kill her when she wasn't any more use to them. Then we have the Conservatives, who blame the Princess for all their problems and tried to kill her as revenge. So... that leaves pretty much the entire country wanting her dead for one reason or another. And last time I checked, nobody's been asking for her to come back.""Damn, that's harsh." You frown. "Eh, I wouldn't worry about it. She's got a tough skin, and frankly, I think she prefers being here." Mead gives a slight smile. "Anyways, here we are!"And sure enough, in front of you, there was one of the space elevator's public meeting halls, hastily converted into a mess hall to feed the thousands of refugees living here. You're given a bowl of hot soup and rice. Not exactly a five star meal, but definitely better than the ration bars you had to make do with on the flight. And so you spend your first hours in Erusea in a refugee camp, breaking bread with the locals. Not exactly something you had in mind initially, but it wasn't like it was a bad experience. It sort of made you wonder how your actual job would turn out...>And that's it for tonight! Now that we got this introductory phase over, we'll get things rolling properly next week on Friday, so don't miss it!
>>3578628Thanks for the thread.
>>3578628See you next week, boss.
>>3578628Thanks for running Merc!Reminder that the Conservatives commited warcrimes against innocent Belkan children.
>>3578628Nice to return to Strangereal! Thanks for the run.>>3578632Conservative and Radical propaganda blame the Princess for the war, committing war crimes with robots, conspiracy and collusion with Belkan loyalists and killing JPEG Dog.
>>3578635The only side I support is the Voslagian Airforce, fighting for a Voslage and Shilage free from Erusean and Osean imperialism.>>3578628Hey Merc, is the Wit surviving route 'canon'?
>>3578635>>3578699Belka will rise again upon our Crimson wings. Our people shall be free.
>>3578699You think that Voslogians and Shilageans would get along with Belkans since they have similar knightly backgrounds?
>>3578856I think it's a 50/50 if they bring up Belkan warmongering in contrast to their defense against Erusea.I just hope Karla and Jager are doing well in their new occupations. Maybe Milly can visit, and learn some tips and tricks from her, or check on her kid?
>>3578856>>3579185They’re going to hate each other’s guts. Expect a lot of smack talk as a precursor or initiators to a fight.
>>3579185Does that make Milly an Aunt, or Big Sister if she ever gets put on babysitter duty?