"This attack, however unconventional, will not be tolerated. My people have had our fair share of wars, but this is downright ridiculous."
Standing above her chair inside the Galactic Alliance Conference Chamber is Laurel Harrison, the Alliance's representative of the United Nations of Earth. An emergency session was initiated when news of a Breach had opened up on Earth. Given that the last instance back in Earth's 21st Century had led to the near destruction of human society, even the Emperor is in attendance to make his decision.
"In the aftermath of this attack by the military arm of the country we've currently identified as the Saderan Empire, NYPD has confirmed civilian deaths numbering at 60, injured in the hundreds, and an equally large number of people missing. We can only assume that they are now beyond the breach."
"I'm afraid we are unable to help, Laurel." The Zathuran representative stated in response, somewhat knowing her proposal after her last, "Our people's ability to conduct expeditionary efforts are at an all-time low with the last Carrogan invasion attempt."
"01010010 01100101 01110011 01101111 01110101 01110010 01100011 01100101 01110011 00101110 00100000 01010101 01101110 01100001 01110110 01100001 01101001 01101100 01100001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00101110" A Svatol spoke in their language, immediately translated into English as: "Resources. Unavailable."
"If need be, the UNE can handle this issue on their own. We only require approval from this Conference to declare war." Laurel could immediately see the shifting faces of the thousands of other representatives, each representing any world from a major superpower to minor sovereign states; she waited for a moment before someone else made their voice heard.
"In respect to your people and my condolences, but I'm not sure if we can approve of any war beyond what we already have against the Carrogans." The representative from the Katoris Confederacy mentioned. "I don't think it is necessary to mention, but the entire reason this conference exists is to promote peace and alliances; if we approve of a war in the interest of enacting revenge, then we as an alliance of common interests has failed its intentions."
Everybody in there knew how fragile peace is in any society; as a matter of fact, several seats inside the conference were unoccupied because their assigned species was in a state of civil war, has declined to attend, or outright extinct because of war.
In fact, the reason why the Alliance was still in power were because of the Zathurans, who provide the bulk of its military, the Nalzaeds who literally own the planet the Alliance is headquartered at, the Ovolk who are often the diplomats necessary for any settlement, and the humans, with their Jaegers and tenacity.
"A valid point, representative Lysul. Even so, my people are demanding justice for those that they have lost, as well as immediate recovery of our nationals." Laurel slowly sat down before continuing, "And we cannot return empty handed, lest our people lose faith in this council."
"The Emperor shall appoint agents."
Most if not all representatives looked towards the seat near Laurel and the Zathuran: Athena, the appointed Nalzaed representative in the alliance and daughter of one of the Emperor's close aides.
"He understands that the United Nations of Earth cannot, and will not let this incident go. If this alliance is afraid that humanity's next war will be for revenge, then let a member of both the Second and the Third Order make sure that it does not." Athena looked around to see that most of the conference had changed their decision. "By the will of Jehovah, under the condition that the UNDF are accompanied by members of the Second and Third Order, the Nalzaeds will support their war. Any who agree, make your vote known now."
She raised her hand, and well over half of the chamber's occupants raised theirs as well.
Matias tended to avoid anything formal, unless it was related to the current war, or his duties.
One could actually count the number of times he has worn the sacred garments of the Nalzaed people, which were white, blue and gold in pattern. The few times he had bothered to wear them were during his public inauguration as the first half-Nalzaed to become a member of the Third Order, as well as his induction into the PGDC as its honorary member.
This time, he forced himself to wear it because of who he kneeled towards: The Emperor himself.
"Matias Lugh Cox. Knight of the Third Order." Jehovah spoke in a commanding voice. "Have you acquainted yourself with the decision of the alliance?"
"I am aware that you have appointed Gallant Vanar of the Second Order. But your choice from the Third Order, I am uninformed."
"That shall be you."
"...Me?" Matias readily questioned, knowing his relative impotence in the Order relative to others of his age.
"Two years ago, I knighted you, because I have seen your dedication to the alliance, your people and the galaxy. No doubt any other Nalzaed could've done the same, but it your very mortality that has given your people and others hope in a future beyond the Carrogan incursions."
Matias, now seeing the path which the Emperor has set him upon, rose to his feet.
"You and Gallant shall act as emissaries; advocates of my will and beacons of trust that I have put into humanity. Serve me well."
By then, he had only bowed in acknowledgement, and promptly left to make preparations.
10:00 AM, September 11, 36137
It was just weeks ago that the Saderan Invasion of New York happened, but already Central Park, where the Gate had appeared, was fortified with prefabricated firebases, and the Gate itself . Such a sight greeted the Third Order Knight as he walked out of the Ascalon, clad in his custom-tailored PGDC armor. Once entirely out, the Ascalon dematerialized and left behind a PDA, which Matias attached to his wrist armor moments after.
He made his way into the armory, where Clark, alongside twenty-two other Jaeger pilots, were suiting up as part of the first wave of UNDF soldiers sent to cross the Gate. All of them were in the process of getting into their skinsuits, as well as strapping onto themselves a boost pack, which after activation applied a nanite-built exo-armor over their bodies.
Clark noticed his friend approaching and spoke, "Matias? You're our agent?"
"As it would seem." Matias raised his left gauntlet. "Ascalon's with me, as is Rogue Tarragon."
Then at the back of his head, Matias felt another Nalzaed approach his location. He walked out to greet his Second Order counterpart.
"Gallant. I see you have accustomed yourself to the UNDF."
"As much as possible with the amount of time I had." Gallant handed over a datapad to Matias, which showed informaiton on eleven of the UNDF's soldiers: which included ten infantrymen and one PGDC member, which he identified to be Clark. "I've negotiated with the five Generals. They're willing to give you command over 3rd Recon."
"That is...Ideal. Thank you, Gallant." He handed back the datapad as the diplomat went back to where he presumed the generals to be, and made his way to the one he identified as his second-in-command.
"Colonel Leo Tarasov."
"Matias Lugh Cox." The bulky Russian grasped his hand the instant he offered it. Matias noted that he had more grip strength than the average human.
"Reinforced skeleton. Makes it nearly indestructible." Leo gestured to his forelimb. "Command has assigned you as leader of 3rd Recon. I'll be your second in command." He saluted to the Third Order Knight, and Matias returned the gesture.
Both of them then noticed the rapid assembly of the mingling soldiers, so they parted ways, with Leo joining the others and Matias to the line of Minigers in the back, as they were the only Jaeger class small enough to fit through the Gate's opening; any full-sized Jaeger will have to either be assembled on the other side, or transported via AMS spacecraft whenever they can manage to pinpoint their location via a homing beacon. The assembled UNDF army that stood in front of the blocked Gate entrance with tanks, trucks, APCs, LAVs, as well as several disassembled Jaegers carried by trailers would, in most non-Kaiju engagements, be enough to ward off many of the Galaxy's armies, and the Saderans are about to face a fragment of the UNE's power.
A single man accompanied by several suited individuals then stood in front of the massive doors which covered the Gate. Matias only caught a glimpse of who it was, and it was none other than the President of the United States of North America himself: Eric Collins.
"Good morning. About a month ago, New York City was threatened by a force that, while outdated by our standards, still produced civilian casualties, as well as the deaths of several officers, all who died in the line of duty."
Murmurs, no doubt directed towards the Saderans, circled around.
"But their sacrifice has helped to delay the invaders long enough for the UNDF to respond and push them back to their world. We know very well what war can do to us. And while we are reluctant to start another, in midst of the Carrogan Invasion these Saderans have forced our hand. In light of that, we have mobilized the UNDF and the Jaegers: Cherno Omega, Crimson Maelstrom, and Gipsy Berserker, among others to combat the Saderans and force their surrender."
This caused them to cheer, and the President continued, "We shall show these people what it means to enrage Earth, a world who has CANCELLED THE APOCALYPSE!"
By now, Matias and the other 23 pilots have entered their Miniger. As the cheers continued, soldiers entered their assigned vehicles while the massive doors blocking the entrance to the Gate opened.
At full opening, the President, faced the UNDF soldiers and gestured his thumb behind him, and they raced to enter the dimensional portal.
On the other side of the Gate was a massive army, totaling at 60 000 soldiers.
All of them stood tall, despite it being night, with their eyes directed to the black void. Then, it wasn't.
Periodic thumps originated from inside the Gate. It was soon dotted with lights. Soon enough, every soldier, centurion, and demi-human realized what those retreating soldiers of the advance army meant by giant golems.
Matias piloted the Scavenger, which spearheaded the Miniger platoon. He drew a cannonsword from behind his Scavenger, then began to fire at the rapidly approaching mob. None of the Saderans' armor had provided even the slightest bit of protection as both plasma and metal melted and penetrated their ranks. Any who managed to survive had either a massive sword go through them, or were punched into oblivion, not to mention shot down by covering fire from other UNDF soldiers and vehicles.
If two armies charging at one another was a battle in Sadera, what the UNDF was doing to the Imperial Army must be redefined.
Matias, however, got bored, and while exiting any Miniger is often considered a terrible idea, he had the benefit of being a half-Nalzaed.
As soon as the hatch opened, he shot himself forward, grabbing onto a swordsman's head to slow his speed, and then threw him at another soldier.
The next one to approach attempted to rush Matias with a spear while hiding behind a shield, which did nothing to stop Matias from destroying the spear from the tip using two fingers, destroying the shield in one punch, then landed another punch on his chest armor, the force applied enough to crack all the bones in his torso.
As if sending him a challenge, a wyvern rider swooped down, hoping to land a hit on Matias with his spear.
That never happened, with him easily dodging the strike. Matias quickly moved to his Miniger, which up til that point was on autopilot. The neural connection between Matias and Scavenger had made the Miniger grab and throw Matias into the air, on an intercept course with the wyvern rider.
The startled wyvern rider didn't even have time to recover from the impact as Matias applied a lethal blow to his neck. The imperial soldier fell off, and Matias then commandeered a wyvern. The beast initially attempted to throw off its imposter rider, but Matias asserted part of his Nalzaed strength, which had then compelled the wyvern for the time being.
"Matias to all UNDF forces. I have commandeered an enemy wyvern. Check for IFF tags when aiming at air targets." And thus Matias conducted anti-air warfare against his enemies.
Wyvern riders of the Saderan Empire had hardly received any anti-air training, presumably because they had little to no resistance against any of their adversaries.
Retreating soldiers had babbled about airborne enemies, but were readily dismissed when they mentioned them being wingless and in swarms of over a thousand.
Nothing could have prepared them to face Matias as he fired upon the other wyvern riders from his own. Without their riders, the wyverns began to fly away, or simply attempted to land, which appeared to Matias as an act of submission to him.
What was left of the Imperial army were in shambles as the actual main force of the UNDF emerged from the Gate, and the few imperial soldiers that saw fit to desert their positions have long since left.
When morning came, Emperor Molt Sol Augustus had a hard time believing the messenger.
"24 golems the size of giant ogres, and staves that spit fire? Are you sure you're not hallucinating?"
"Yes, your majesty."
As one would expect from the senate of an empire which never lost, several senators had voiced for another attack in an attempt to retake Alnus Hill. The Emperor, however, sat silently, contemplating on his next move. If this continues, and news spreads to the outlaying kingdoms, the Empire would be under siege by the same powers they subjugated generations ago. If he calls upon the strength of the Allied Kingdoms under the guise of repelling an invading force, there is no doubt the newcomers would be more than enough to handle them, but are there any potential backlashes?
Soon the debate, or rather it would be more accurate to call it an argument over a hundred different voices, would most likely end in bloodshed or extreme division; at that point, even he could not hear himself think, and gesture his hand.
"Call for the Allied Kingdoms. The continent is at risk of an invasion force. The time is now to unite and strike back!"
All the senators cheered at the declaration.
Wyverns: the newest addition to the UNDF.
The flock of four dozen wyverns, all of which had submitted to Matias, were now flying above the rapidly-constructed base, or perched on one of few hastily set-up feeding stations, each manned by a few volunteers. Due to the myriad of creatures and monsters that inhabit the galaxy, and with humanity's former, albeit short history with the Precursors, parts of the UNDF stationed on said worlds have employed the local wildlife to assist in their endeavors.
While a few short weeks was not enough to ensure complete loyalty, some UNDF soldiers have already adopted the wyverns as part of their squads, with some attempting to breed more.
Matias had been called to the watchtower near the edge of the fort-under-construction. Given that he was flying with Merlin, the same wyvern he commandeered the day he and the army arrived, he opted to have him fly over there.
Upon arrival, Matias had Merlin perch upon the reinforced part of the railing, where he dismounted and hopped down to Clark.
"Do you have to bring it everywhere in the base?"
"Merlin's a he, and he is quite docile compared to the rest of his flock." The wyvern gave a growl in response, apparently directed at Clark for calling him an it, something he apparently disliked even during his former tenure as part of the Empire's wyvern corps.
"Well, that can wait. Look at this." Clark handed Matias a pair of binoculars, which he pointed into the direction of an apparent wall of humanoids. "I can't believe that after all that, they still have the gall to send another army towards us." Clark stated as he looked to the long line of armor marching towards them.
"I think you're mistaken, Clark." Matias called out to his partner, himself using a pair of binoculars. "Those flags aren't Imperial."
Clark snatched the spare pair of binoculars next to him, and saw the same thing. He then turned to his wrist-mounted computer and pulled up a list of flags specific to this new world the UNDF began to call Fantasia. After a few moments of cross referencing, he recognized whose armies those were. "Elbe, Mudwan, Alguna, League Principality, basically all satellite states of the Saderan Empire."
The recently built UNE command building housed commanders assigned from each of the five permanent UNESC nations: USNA, NRF, CRA, ERG, and FRA.
As far as reputation goes, USNA General Gabriel Long was among the oldest of the five there; he was highly regarded for having survived behind Carrogan lines in the Kepler System under siege by the same alien species with only five other soldiers until reinforcements drove them off.
Speaking upon the Carrogans, who are still a point of resentment by most human commanders, the NRF's General Vakhrov Gaspar Leonidovich was known to have personally ripped one apart in one of their attempted incursions on Earth in his youth.
For the Chinese Republic of Asia, they've assigned General Xun Kang, who had essentially worked his way from the outer colonies into fame on Earth.
From the European Republic of Germany, Admiral Gisela Jonas commanded great respect from her soldiers, having led UNDF Naval forces against hostile incursions from less-than-amicable alien races, some of whom were extinct at this point because of numerous conflicting moralities with a majority of other species.
Finally, for the Federal Republic of Astra, an inter-system nation, they've sent Admiral Kamilla Nielsen, who led the Republic of Astra to victory against insurrectionists.
All five of them were looking at a holographic projection of the base's immediate surroundings.
Thanks to the numerous interrogations done by human and alliance interrogators, they had deciphered the Saderan Common Tongue, uploaded the information to all Universal Translators, as well as give themselves a basic understanding of the political sphere of Fantasia.
All that information still doesn't help that the people of this world are brutal, maybe even more so than Earth ever was in the old era.
"They're sent here to die." Xun outright stated, as if anyone could see otherwise at the moment. "If we know any better, the Empire probably sent them here to reclaim their Holy Hill."
"It would seem, Xun. What should we do then?" Kamilla questioned, but she herself hinting at a peaceful resolution.
"Those armies are planning to attack us as we speak." Gabriel pointed out. "Shall we send a warning?"
"Perhaps a Jaeger can convince them." Gisela suggested, turning to Vakhrov, who nodded, "Cherno Omega has been reassembled as of last hour. I'll give them the command."
Had it been any other day, these soldiers of the Allied Kingdoms would be drinking in expectation of their victory in the day to come, when they purge the hill of invaders and further advance their invasion of the other side.
On any other day that is.
King Duran and the other 20 or so regents of the Allied Kingdoms went outside their tent when massive tremors on the ground struck their location. Even more concerning was when forward scouts reported about giant body parts laying in an open field.
The sight before him drowned out any possible doubts he had of the scout's sanity.
A literal metal titan stood at the edge of their encampment. There were no words for them to appropriately describe the Jaeger, as it spoke in Saderan.
'Leaders of the approaching army. This is Cherno Omega of the United Nations Defense Force. Our purpose here in your world is not dominion, nor is it extermination, but the Saderan Empire itself. Leave now, and be spared.' After that, the massive titan began to walk back towards Alnus Hill.
King Duran had no doubt in his mind that there was no way anyone on the Continent, or the gods themselves even, could defeat such a being. But if the Imperial Army is not here, then that means...
Duran's assumptions have been correct. At dawn the next day, he had journeyed to Alnus Hill alone, him also witnessing two other titans, one Blue, and one Red, alongside the Green one from yesterday. He could've sworn he caught a glimpse of even more titans in pieces as he journeyed up to the UNDF base and met with their commanders.
The Empire didn't send for the Allied Kingdoms to reclaim the Holy Hill; that would have been impossible even if only the titan was defending it. No, Emperor Molt Sol Augustus sent them to Alnus to die, undoubtedly in a hopeless campaign against the otherworlders.
'I will withdraw my armies along with the others. We shall leave your hill immediately.' Duran stated directly to the five commanders, whom he realized were from five distinct nations.
'That would be ideal, your majesty.' Said the one with the white-blue-red color scheme flag. His tone of voice, despite being spoken from a silver brick, matched that of the green titan. 'But we must ask for a favor.'
'And what would it be?'
'Information. I'm pretty sure you're well aware of its importance in any war.' the one with the multi-striped flag stated. 'While we speak truth in that we wish for your kingdom and every other sans the Empire to remain neutral in this conflict, we are also seeking to find any citizen which may have been taken by them in their failed invasion.'
Duran had probably thought for several minutes on end before accepting the proposal before leaving the UNDF commanders.
Without wasting any more time, he made haste back to his camp, and from the perspective of the UNDF, the Allied Armies have left them unscathed.
Days later, the AMS Avenger had begun its operations in Fantasia, with its current mission being to send Jaeger support wherever needed. Already the ship had 7 working full-fledged Jaegers ready for deployment, with five more ready by the end of the week. And with seven Jaegers ready, UNDF Fantasia Command has also issued the official formation of seven recon Squads. Per UNDF regulation, each Recon Squad of 12 members will have two PGDC Rangers as part of the team on the off-chance a Jaeger is needed.
Matias woke to the sun of the unexplored world of Fantasia. He recited a simple mantra repeated and memorized by those of the Third Order:
The sword is my hand, and I am the will;
The mind is my sanctum, and my body the tool;
There is purpose in life, and freedom in death;
In Chaos and Order, I exist to balance.
Soon after, Matias met up with Clark and Leo, both of whom had waited in front of his assigned bedroom in the base.
"When I was given command of 3rd Recon, I did not expect myself to be escorted by both friend and second-in-command on the first day."
"First and Second Recon have already left for their respective routes. We're actually late."
"...Oops." Matias had then realized that they were meant to assemble at around 6 AM relative to their region to maximize daylight, which was foiled by Matias and his extended flights with Merlin.
Said wyvern was waiting alongside the nine other members of 3rd Recon right outside of the main command building.
Matias approached Merlin. "I'll be back, Merlin. Make sure to keep everyone safe."
The wyvern responded by pushing his head forward, pressed against Matias until he flew away, allowing him to approach the next member.
"First Sergeant Krymova Kirillovna. An engineer like yourself is always a welcome sight."
The Russian smiled back. "Matias, Knight of the Third Order. I've always wondered how powerful you guys actually were."
"You will find out whenever we're in combat." He moved to the second First Sergeant. "Siegfried Eulenburg. Tracker and survivalist. You self-sustained on a death world for several months as a graduation test."
"Ready to conquer this one as well, Herr." The German responded.
Matias smiled before moving on to the next in line. "First Sergeant Martin Sacher. I will trust you to keep us fed in the event we are cut off from HQ."
"You have no need to worry. I am fully capable." The German emphasized his omnitool on his utility belt.
"Captain John Kotch." Matias faced the Astran male. "Can I confirm you are Jaeger-capable?"
"I have been assigned as Clark's secondary partner in the event you are unavailable. That is my confirmation."
Matias nodded as he moved to the next in line. "Specialist Kelvin Lennox."
"I appreciate your enthusiasm. Does your Threat Scanner work as intended?"
Kelvin immediately activated it and pointed towards Matias. "It reads you at Threat Level 5. Everyone else is at 2 or 3."
"Alright." He moved onto their assigned medic. "Specialist Lian Ruogang. The battlefield needs as many healers as it needs warriors. Your presence is welcome."
"Thank you, sir."
"Specialist Idar Roys." Matias slowly eased to the next. "An antimatter grenade has yet to explode."
"That's because it has yet to accumulate the set antimatter."
He nodded before continuing to his Corporals. "Corporal Xiao ZhenKang and Yngve Helberg. I trust both of you to still exercise caution in vehicular operation. We don't need any casualties via reckless driving."
"You don't need to tell me."
"Hm?" While Matias didn't mean to intimidate the Astran, the one in question had taken to reprimand herself and attempted to salvage the situation.
"Oh! I mean-"
"Sorry, sir. Yngve was actually demoted from Master Sergeant because of a near-fatal collision in the Mojave Campaign. She's still hung over about it." Xiao informed Matias, quelling any other theories in an instant. Yngve almost looked thankful that she didn't clear up the misunderstanding herself.
"I see." Matias then focused on Yngve. "While I am certain that you will refrain from any actions that will put us at risk, I do ask that you deal with your problems when not on duty."
Realizing that he has talked to everyone in the squad, he began. "Right. As you all are aware, I am Matias Lugh Cox, Knight of the Third Order. As part of our first mission, we will conduct recon operations and survey any local settlements we come across. Do not attack unless provoked. Let me make it absolutely clear that we are here to search for any kidnapped citizens and bring them home, not to enact revenge upon the Saderan Empire. And until further notice by Alnus Command or a higher power, these will be our maxims when operating in Fantasia. Do I make myself clear?"
"Alright." Matias noted, glad that there were no major problems yet. "Move out!"
Now driving an L802 LAV, an M56 APC, and a single Miniger on wheels, which followed closely behind the APC, 3rd Recon departed from Alnus.