CHAPTER 47: BATTLE OF TOKYO-3 (PART II)
2/4 Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
HWY-20 North, Shizuoka/Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
They were passing a scenic overlook on the left and a convenience store with a large parking lot on the right when they hit the first line of resistance. The MEU had come ashore in the ruins of Atami, about 30 klicks south of Tokyo-3. Their mission was to come in from the south while the MEUSOC ground forces came in from the east after landing in Odawara.
As expected there were zero defenses on the beach. The JSDF was not expecting the American fleet to assault ashore, believing it to be a part of normal operations. The local police forces wisely did not make any attempt to intercept the marines. After all, what could cops armed with .38 caliber revolvers and 12-gauge shotguns do against tanks and armored personnel carriers? Zilch.
There was a bend up ahead, a good choice to place ambushers. And that's what it was. A squad of anti-tank infantry emplaced on a small hill off to the side of the road. Panzerfaust-3 rockets lanced out at the column. Anti-rocket charges, firing buckshot, defeated half the rockets. The other half hit the pavement, rattling the crew inside Hoosier-1.
"All Hoosiers this is One," Captain Cooper called to his tanks, "infantry right! Infantry right!" The M1A1 TUSK Abrams traversed its turret and began to fire 7.62mm and fifty caliber rounds into the hillside, the source of the smoke trails. Hoosier-3, two tanks back, joined in by firing a pair of canister shells, each one loaded with over one thousand, 9mm sized buckshot. Each shell turned the 120mm cannon into a massive shotgun. The effects were devastating. No more rockets harassed the tanks.
Meanwhile, along HWY-138, the Athens tanks of 11th MEU(SOC) and their accompanying vehicles pushed westward, encountering even less resistance. Overhead, F16CJ Wild Weasels began bombing anti-aircraft weaponry and mobile radar systems. Flying lower were AV8B Harrier jump jets and AH1Z Vipers escorting the advancing ground units.
Coming in from the north, was a Stryker Brigade. They would arrive in Tokyo-3 well after the Marines, their role was to act as reinforcements and reserves after the Marines captured the city. Slipping through the mountains was a flight of MV22B Ospreys ferrying a company of MEUSOC marines from 2/5 Marines. They were to assault into NERV as the ground elements reached the city and reinforce the TF-141 teams inside.
It was a plan involving a lot of moving pieces and multiple weapons platforms. But, if there was one thing the US military excelled at more than anything else, it was combined arms assaults.
Hoosier continued moving north as fast as their tracks could take them. Riding in the LAVs and AAVs behind them, the marine infantry waited as patiently as one could from inside a rolling, steel cased, war machine filled with diesel fumes and wearing fifty plus pounds of gear. But, they were marines and they knew their time would come once they reached the city.
The elevator came to a stop and the SEALs pulled the doors open, revealing a black hallway devoid of light. "NODs on," Feliciano said quietly. All the operators pulled out tubular night vision monocles and attached them to the mounting brackets on their helmets.
"Stay close," Kaji said as he gently grabbed Misato's right bicep. Misato, likewise, grabbed Asuka's. They didn't have NVGs and would be blind, so Kaji guided them from behind the operators.
"Get those suppressors on," the SEAL officer stated. Shinji pulled a Gemtech suppressor from its pouch and attached it to his rifle before setting it to semi-automatic. "Keep it moving."
"Should be an intersection fifty meters in," Woolcroft stated as they slowly moved down the hallway. "Right turn, then a left after another thirty meters."
"Keep your ears open," Price added. "Keep your shots tight. The longer we go unnoticed, the better."
They came to the intersection, with Burns and Shinji providing cover. "Got two tangos," Shinji whispered. The SSDF were searching the old GEHIRN tunnels as well. They too were using NVGs. Flashlights gave away your position in the dark. "They're backs are to us."
"Drop 'em, lad," Price ordered. Shinji tapped off a controlled pair into the trooper on the right while Burns did the same for the one on the left.
"They're down," Burns said as the others came up. "Could be more up ahead."
"Let's not get bogged down in a firefight," Kaji said as he pulled the women along. "We need to get to the EVAs fast."
"Why do we need the EVAs?" Asuka asked as she fought to make out shapes in the low light.
"SEELE seized control of the EVA production facilities in China and Europe," Kaji explained. "And accelerated the construction of the Mass-Production units."
"You're joking," Misato muttered. "The MP-Series?"
"With Dummy Plug guidance and S2 Engines," he added. "If they deploy those…"
"Our forces on the surface won't stand a chance," Shinji said as they came to the next intersection.
"Hold up," Ski said as they rounded the corner. "Light up ahead. Fifty meters, right side."
"Should be the sealed entrance," Price stated. "Probably how those SSDF got in here, looking for stragglers or flanking options."
"Or us," Young said. "They've got to know the task force is closing in."
"All clear," Chief said as they came to the blast doors. He took a peek through the slit between the doors. "Ah, shit," he groaned. "We've got at least two dozen tangos on the other side. Looks like a command post."
"No way we'll be able to sneak past," Killian confirmed. He then removed his suppressor, the others followed suit. "We'll have to go loud."
"Copy that," Feliciano said. "Gator, Shinji, stay back with the girls, we'll cut a path."
"Grabbing all the fun?" Shinji shot back.
"If you see any squirters," the el-tee shrugged, "have at 'em." The group then removed their NVGs. Once the doors opened they wouldn't want to be wearing them or they'd risk damage to their eyes.
"Let's kick it," Ski said.
"Three," Chief counted down, "two…one…" He and Killian yanked the blast doors to the side and Young tossed a nine-banger flashbang into the food court area of NERV. The device set off multiple bright lights and deafening bangs, stunning the SSDF on the other side.
As they approached the turn towards Tokyo-3, passing a toll booth, they encountered stiffer resistance. Here, the JSDF had moved heavier forces south in an attempt to halt their advance. A pair of Type-07 mobile gun vehicles and three Type 89 IFVs arrayed in a reverse crescent shape dead ahead.
"Light armor, front!"Captain Cooper called out. "Hoosier Two go right, Three left! Loader, sabot!"
"Sabot, up!" His loader called out as he slammed a round home in the breech.
"Tank, one o'clock," Cooper called to the gunner, picking out one of the Type-07's, "three hundred."
"Fire!" The gun recoiled as a sabot encased 27mm depleted uranium dart rocketed out the barrel traveling at over one mile-per-second. The 'Silver Bullet' slammed into its target, the metal liquefying upon impact and spraying the inside of the vehicle with molten slag. The slag then heated ammunition and fuel, causing the vehicle to detonate like a firecracker.
Hoosier-3 fired a similar sabot into the other MGS while Hoosier-2 fired a HEAT round into one of the Type-89s. The other IFV fired its 35mm cannon as it retreated back up the highway. It continued to backup as the tanks approached their turn. But, as they hit the Hakone Turnpike a pair of JGSDF AH1S Cobras appeared over the ridge and fired into the tanks.
"This is Hoosier-1," Cooper got on the radio. "We're under attack by enemy attack choppers. Requesting air support!"
A TOW missile hit Hoosier-2 dead on and destroyed the tank and killed its crew. As the Abrams backed up, dodging rockets, one of the LAVs turned its 25mm chaingun skyward and fired high explosive incendiary rounds into the attack helicopters. One of the Cobras took multiple hits and began to spew black smoke as its crew forced it into a hard landing in the valley just off the road. The other fired its 20mm cannon into the line of vehicles as a Marine Viper flew up and fired a Sidewinder into the hostile chopper.
"Hoosier-1 to all Hoosier vehicles. Advance. Keep it moving forward." The column resumed its forward progress. As they proceeded up the turnpike they passed through a fog bank. Overhead, a pair of Harriers strafed JSDF positions ahead of them, the explosions glowing in the fog like demonic fireflies. Vipers pounded light vehicles and infantry positions before they could set up ambushes along the narrow road.
They continued along the mountain road until they came to their final turn north onto HWY-1 and into Tokyo-3 proper. Finally, as they passed Mount Byobu they exited the fog. And that's when the fight got real intense. Here, the JSDF had their perimeter forces waiting. Type-90 MBTs were moving forward to meet the American tanks as MLRS rockets began to pound the mountainside.
"Holy shit!" Cooper's driver swore as the thunder of incoming rounds made it feel like the tank had been lifted in the air and tossed about like a child's toy. Now, the Marines had a fight on their hands.
"All Hoosier units deploy troops," Cooper ordered. "Let's get it on, Marines!"
Up in the sky, the JASDF also had its hands full with F2A and F15J fighters were locked in a dogfight with Navy and Marine Corps jets. As the Hornets led attacks on enemy ground forces the Super Hornets provided top cover. Assault helicopters then deployed more infantry along HWY-1 and on the outskirts of Hakone, right next door to Tokyo-3. These Marines would secure the flanks and open the door for the heavy vehicles.
At the same time, the Ospreys arrived overhead and began their assault on NERV-HQ…
Like water from a breached dam, the 141 operators burst forth from the tunnel firing aimed bursts and controlled shots at the SSDF troopers who were not prepared for an attack from the sealed tunnel. The SEALs took center position while Price, Frost and the SAS duo took the left flank. Shinji and Kaji stayed in the rear with Misato and Asuka.
They took cover behind a concrete planter with Misato holding Asuka close to the floor. Kaji crouched in front of them while Shinji was right behind, scanning the upper dining area with his rifle. His concern was spot on, for SSDF troops appeared at the railings. "Contact high right!" He called out as he fired on the enemy troops. "Moving to engage!"
"Shinji, wait!" Kaji called out to him, but the young operator was already racing up the steps. When he got to the top he slid behind another planter as bullets zipped past his head. He brought his rifle to bear and dropped two troopers in quick succession before taking cover. As the bullets hit the planter, he pulled a grenade from his vest and tossed it to the side.
As the SSDF retreated from the grenade, Shinji rolled to the opposite end of the planter and fired into them as they broke cover. The few that withdrew from his rifle fire left themselves exposed to the grenade's shrapnel when it exploded. Keeping low, Shinji raced forward to the end of the dining area, dropping three more commandoes as he went.
At the stairs at the end of the dining area he paused and looked down into the main cafeteria. The SSDF were pushed back to a defensive ring near the food kiosk while TF-141 kept them pinned. The Wolverine pulled another grenade and tossed it right into the middle of the SSDF group. The ones that weren't torn apart by shrapnel were cut down by rifle fire.
Shinji moved down the stairs just as more SSDF commandoes entered from the facility entrance. Kaji began engaging these new arrivals as did the SAS men Woolcroft and Burns. Shinji hopped the railings and came down on the SSDF's flank, dropping three, the rest retreated as the others pressed home the attack.
"Clear left!" Frost called out.
"Clear right!" Shinji announced.
"All clear," Feliciano said as Misato and Kaji flanked Asuka, coming up the center. "What were these guys staging here for?" The SEAL asked as they looked over the equipment cases.
"I got parachutes over here," Woolcroft announced as he opened a crate.
"Heavy duty breaching gear, too," Burns said as he held up a 'Jaws-of-Life' machine.
"Why would they need this stuff?" Ski asked as he and the others topped off their ammo. "We're already inside the Geofront."
"Check it out," Shinji said as he turned a laptop around showing blueprints. "They've been trying to access old shafts going down to Terminal Dogma."
"But…" Misato spoke up. "Why?"
"Bakelite deployed but we've still got a company sized force closing in on the Command Center." Makoto said as he sealed several passages and then filled others with bakelite. It would slow the SSDF down, but not for long. "And where is the Commander?"
"Just focus on delaying those assault troops," Fuyutsuki ordered. "But keep corridors nine, twelve and fourteen clear."
"There's no time," the Vice-Commander barked. "We may need to fall back…" It was a poor lie. 'I sure hope Ryoji knows what he's doing…'
Meanwhile, in the barracks section of NERV, Commander Gendo Ikari collected the First Child from her 'quarters'. It was more like a prison cell. Around her neck was an explosive collar chained to a pair of six bracket hand cuffs. The Commander was taking no chances with her recent rebelliousness. "It's time, Rei," he said as she stood up. "We're going to Terminal Dogma…" He then lead her outside where Tokarev and the last squad of his men were waiting.
"There's still time to get to the helipad, sir," the Russian spoke up as he readied his P90.
"We're not going to the helipad, yet," Ikari replied as he turned towards a separate elevator.
"The Commander's and Rei's tracking bracelets put them in the barracks," Maya reported as SSDF troops breached the lower levels of the command center. "It looks like they're heading for Terminal Dogma!"
"Why are they going there!?" Makoto asked as he reloaded his Glock 18.
"He's playing his trump card," Fuyutsuki realized as a grenade exploded overhead forcing everyone to duck. "It's too soon, the final angel has yet to appear but he's going for broke anyway…"
At that moment the main door blast open, stunning the bridge crew as six SSDF commandoes raced inside. With their weapons either empty or knocked out of their hands by the breaching charge, they were defenseless. But, just as the SSDF soldiers raised their weapons a pair of cylindrical objects bounced on the floor at their feet. A split second after everyone glanced down at them the whole world turned white as multiple loud and bright explosions crackled in the air.
When Makoto's vision cleared he was surprised to still be alive. He was even more surprised to see the SSDF commandoes lying dead on the ground with over a dozen American soldiers in multicam standing over them, rappelling gear hanging from the overhead nearby. He heard muffled voices from the Americans as they took up fighting positions to hold off the SSDF. "…one wounded, over here, sir!" His hearing cleared up as he looked toward Maya who was holding her left leg, blood pouring from a single bullet wound in her thigh.
"Stabilize her, private," their leader ordered in a clear, but deep commanding voice. "Hold this position, Rangers! This is Hunter lead," he got on the radio. "We're in the command center. We've got one wounded pax and a whole platoon of SSDF assaulting this position. Over."
"Roger, LT Foley. Hold your position until friendly forces arrive. Lead elements of the assault force will be making entry into Tokyo-3 momentarily and Trident and Dagger have just entered the facility."
"Copy all," Foley then turned to his men. "Alright, people, it's time to dig in like ticks and show these SOBs what real soldiers can do. Hooah?"
"HOOAH!" The Army Rangers shouted their acknowledgement.
"A piece of paper has two sides," Fuyutsuki said as he stood up and faced the Americans. Foley turned to face him.
"But you can only look at one side at a time," the Ranger responded. Fuyutsuki nodded as they confirmed their identities.
"You must be Foley," the older man stated. "We're running short on time."
"We're always running short on time," the American officer responded. "Where's Commander Ikari?"
"En route to Terminal Dogma…"
"Trident, this is Hunter," LT Foley came over the radio.
"Go for Trident," Feliciano responded.
"We've secured the Command Center and are digging in. We've got some wounded but nothing critical. Be advised, Spade is en route to Full House with Orphan."
"Fuck," Shinji swore.
"What's that mean?" Misato asked.
"It means my father is bringing Rei down to Terminal Dogma," he said as he looked over the schematics.
"But why would…?"
"To initiate Third Impact!" He shouted as he slammed the laptop closed. "No time to explain!" He grabbed a parachute. "We're going to have to divide and conquer…"
"What are you thinking, kid?" Frost asked as Shinji walked over to a set of blast doors.
"We need to stop the Commander and get Asuka to her EVA," he explained as he tossed the parachute down to his feet.
"My EVA?" The German responded. "Why do I need to get to my EVA?"
"Because SEELE is bringing up the MP-Series," Kaji explained.
"They're seriously going to deploy the MP EVAS?" Misato countered. "Just to keep us from…holding Tokyo-3?"
"They want to capture NERV-HQ," Kaji explained. "SEELE has their own version of Third Impact they intend to initiate once all the angels are destroyed."
"Asuka," Shinji walked over to her. "I need to you listen to me very carefully…" He looked her in the eyes. "The MP-Series are dangerous. They have flight capabilities and they have no emotional restraints. You saw what Unit-01 did under the control of a Dummy Plug?" She nodded grimly. "Well there are nine of these things…"
"Nine!?" Asuka shrieked. "So, you're sending me out there, alone, against nine of those fucking things!?"
"Asuka!" Shinji snapped at her, grasping her shoulders. "You can do this."
"No," she hsook her head. "I can't!"
"Yes, you can. You're highly trained. You've got good reflexes. You just have a big ego." She glared at him. "It's the only thing holding you back. Let go of that ego, focus and fight how you know. You'll have backup. The forces out there will keep the SSDF off your back. And the MPs have weaknesses. Destroy their cores or Dummy Plugs and they'll drop like dead weight. Otherwise they'll just keep coming." She still looked unsure. "I have faith in you, Asuka." He bent down and looked her in the eyes again. "I always have." He smiled. "Besides. Aren't you always bragging about being the best EVA pilot? Well…" He took a step back. "Here's your chance to prove it."
Asuka righted herself, looked him in the eye, and smirked. "You'll regret giving me this chance to put you in your place, Third Child."
"Looking forward to it," he shot back.