• Published 22nd Feb 2015
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Ace Combat 04: Angel Rebirth - Dustchu



Mobius One takes to the skies once more, to protect the lands of Equestria and his own home... from absolute destruction.

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Shattered Skies One: Heroes

"Amidst the blue skies, a link from past to future. The sheltering wings of the protector... The flames of hatred scorch the skies... Igniting Gaia's funeral pyre."

― Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies

. . .

What do you think of when you hear the word Hero? A guy in spandex? A woman with a cape and donning a scantly outfit? Or maybe you think of someone with super powers, like being able to lift up a car or stop a meteor.

They're jokes; factitious individuals who are nobodies in real life. The real heroes... they're the aces I've had the pleasure of fighting alongside with. The ones who gave up their lives so that we could live like we do now, the many who sacrificed so much for so few.

I'm talking about the men and women who fought against the Erusian forces. The ones who battled through the forests, cities, beaches and fields. I'm also talking about the ones who sank in their ships, went down in flames or were blasted away. All of them; heroes.

I've seen many friends die from that war, and I've seen even more die on the enemy's side. Some by my own hands. I've seen cities burn from the ground up, shipyards bombed and towns torn apart.

But there is one person who stands out above the rest, one I've fought with from the very beginning. Someone who has the might of god on his side, someone the enemy speaks about in fearful hushed tones across the world, someone who has downed more aircraft then you can count and taken out one of the most well known and feared squadrons, The Yellow Squadron.
His name... is...

. . .
November City, Earth.

A few moments passed... suspense slowly building... "Mobius One."

A collective 'Ooh' sounded throughout the small crowd of children gathered around, most of them in their early teens with a few adults present with grins. A few of them were dressed in Aviation Equipment while others donned everyday wear. School was out for the afternoon and everyone was currently outside in the playground area surrounded by a pilot who stopped by to pick up his teenage daughter.

"What happened to him?" Someone in the audience called out.

Another one followed. "Is he still kicking butt?!"

The man who told the story had himself a laugh as he slapped his knee. "Well, sure he is but not as much as me of course!" He laughed some more.

A few teens tilted their heads in question. "Well... what did you do during the war?" A heavy set teen questioned.

The man pointed a finger at his chest. "Me?" He sighed, a small grin slowly forming on his slightly scarred face. "Well, I performed an important role for those fighters; I flew a Boeing 747 AWACS. I was their eye in the sky." His stoic green eyes glanced into the daytime sky. It was as blue as it ever was. "I flew over enemy air-zones and provided intelligence, as well as location data and enemy aircraft positions."

Silence.

"That's not as cool as Mobius One!"

"Yeah!"

The man rubbed the back of his head nervously, chuckling as he added, "Yeah, well... he's more skilled in combat then I am, but I still played a crucial role."

"Is my life really a storybook tale to you, Jason?" Someone called out over the crowd. Earning a few gasps and stares as several people turned around to see who interrupted. Jason looked out into the small crowd in front of him.

Once he saw the figure lounging against one of the slides with a smirk he laughed childishly. The man by the slides walked forward. Everyone moved out of his way as he stood next to the Boeing pilot.

Jason smiled at the man's approach. "Didn't think you'd show up, Mobius," He said, earning a gawk from the crowd.

"No way."

"Is it really him?"

"My mom is going to flip out!"

The pilot laughed softly at everyone's response, sitting himself down next to Jason before tossing his arm around him. It was the same every time he visited a schoolyard or collage, or any public place for that matter.

"Think I'd miss out on the chance to hear your little story?" He shook his head. "Yeah right," He turned to each of the kids and parents before patting Jason on the back. "He's right by the way. Without Jason's handy and keen piloting skills I probably wouldn't be here today. It's all thanks to him I didn't end up flying into a mountain."

The Boeing Pilot's head shook as he recalled that event. "Aye, I remember that day well."

Both men shared a laughed as they reminisced their story about the time they both flew a mission over the Carruth Mountains several months ago before the final battle. Apparently Mobius had gotten lost after escorting several passenger planes out of harms way and ending up flying close to the mountains and almost crashed into the canyons.

Thanks to SkyEye's quick thinking, he was able to make it out. Mobius later repaid the favor by getting Jason drunk and stealing his clothes.

To this day, the tale of stealing the clothes has never been solved. Perhaps the greatest mystery of all is if they fit.

"And that kids, is why you should never drink. Because," Jason spared a glance at Mobius, "your 'friends' will steal your clothes and leave you naked in a hotel room somewhere."

Hearing about a naked forty something year old man running around looking for an ace pilot to pummel wasn't the best image.

Mobius stood up and stretched his arms outward, yawning before looking around. "Well kids, it was fun seeing you all here but me and Jason here have to head back to base now," he told them, a slight frown when he saw many of the children shout out a collective 'Aww' in response. He hated seeing people sad. Perhaps it came with the territory of being famous.

With a wave he walked towards the schoolyard exit followed closely by Jason.

. . .

Equestria, Canterlot.

"No, no, no, no. UGH!" A lavender colored unicorn yelled in aggravation, tossing aside a thick book labeled Musings of a Madpony Vol 1.

This unicorn was none other than Princess Twilight Sparkle of Ponyville. She was currently in Canterlot however, down below inside the Castle Vault looking through the restricted archives for a book. Not any specific book in particular, just something to get her mind off of what happened earlier. Ever since the talks between the nations had ended, Twilight, for the lack of a better word, was antsy about how it all panned out.

The leaders of Saddle Arabia, the Minotaur Tribes, The Gryphon Empire and Zebra Kingdoms, had all gotten together to deal with certain problems regarding the Changeling lands.

. . .
Flashback

Twilight stood in the hallway just outside of the room where she would soon be overseeing the peace talks between the nations that had all gathered behind closed doors.

Needless to say, she was nervous.

If one were to have asked, she would reply "Fine", but her shaking form and stuttering speech told otherwise. This wasn't the first time Twilight had been involved with politics and it certainly won't be the last.

Okay, you can do this Twilight, just take a few deep breaths. She told herself, breathing in deep before exhaling. It calmed her nerves down a bit, but not completely. You can do this.

With a sigh she walked to the door and opened it using her magic.

Once inside she saw everyone was present and accounted for. Every one of the leaders were seated next to their commanding generals and advisers. The table they were seated at was a dark mahogany brown with the seal of Equestria carved into the middle. Banners of each nation hung above in the massive room over their respective seats and each one had the symbol of their country etched onto the cloth.

To her right Twilight saw the Gryphon Empire's leader, a rather slim yet fierce looking creature Twilight knew as Tarim, Gilda's older brother. Both seemed to be cut from the same cloth, rude and disrespectful with fierce looking eyes, but made up for it with their fighting prowess. The Gryphon donned a simple sash around his chest colored black with his country's symbol emblazoned upon it.

Next came the Minotaur Tribes leader, a tall stoic looking beast wearing what looked like cast iron armor, adorned with bones and other things that made the newly made Alicorn cringe.

To Twilight's left she spotted the leaders of Zebra Kingdoms and Saddle Arabia. Both were sitting side by side and looked apprehensive of the current situation.

Luna and Celestia sat alone, beckoning Twilight over.

"Now that Miss Tardy is here, can we begin?" Tamir questioned impatiently, his golden eyes glaring at the Alicorns.

Celestia turned to glare right back at him before Luna cut her off. "Yes, we shall begin," She then turned to the newest Alicorn, "Twilight?"


Nodding, Twilight's horn began to glow a light pink before she pulled out several sheets of paper, a small booklet and folders. She laid them out on the table before beginning. "To start off, as you all know, a few years ago the Changeling threat had been on the rise for months on end," she gestured to the papers she handed out and a world-wide map.

"They were growing at a faster pace than we originally thought possible, and as such, we needed to form this alliance in order to deal with them. Over the course of the last five months we quelled the threat and have ended the scourge thanks to the combined efforts of us all here." she explained, receiving a few nods.

"But, once the war ended, we all agreed the Changeling lands would remain untouched until we all came to an agreement as to what will become of it," Twilight looked to Princess Celestia and Luna before turning back to the others. "One of us... has broken the agreement."

Silence.

The Minotaur leader spoke up. "And do you have proof of who has broken our agreement?" He asked, his mouth curving downwards into frown.

Tamir's beak turned into a slight grin... somehow.

"Yes, actually," She told them, gesturing to wall on the far side of the room. As everyone turned to it Twilight lit up her horn and turned on a small screen.

Everyone watched as several images came up showing many soldiers donning black cloaks and carrying various weapons while marching across the dead and scorched land that made up the former Changeling territory. Small camps were scattered across the area being roughly a hundred feet apart as a flag flew from the largest tent.

A flag baring the symbol of the Gryphon Empire.

Once the flag was focused on, Tamir frowned.

Celestia turned to the Gryphon, her eyes radiating suspicion and anger. "Care to explain to us what your soldiers are doing in the Changeling territory, Tamir?" she asked. Her usual motherly and warm tone replaced with one of worry. She had figured long ago the Gryphon Empire would do something like this, so she wasn't surprised to see it on the screen.

Tamir thought long and hard before coming to an answer. He looked to the screen before saying, "That territory is only going to waste," the Gryphon gestured to the broken land on the map. Specifically the territory that was currently being occupied by his troops. "I am tired of these pointless talks, the land is practically attached to my country and therefore, I shall lay claim to it, like my father should have done years ago."

The room erupted into arguments, but all of it was overpowered by the Minotaur's roar. "HOW DARE YOU!" he bellowed, slamming his massive fists on the table leaving two indents in the wood, silencing the other leaders as quick as they had begun. "You violated our agreement?!"

Tamir looked unfazed by the outburst, but Twilight could see the disdain in his yellow eyes. "Why wouldn't I claim it for my own? Our country could benefit greatly from it!" Tamir yelled. "What would a pathetic beast such as yourself do with this land?"

"You scum!" The Minotaur slammed his fist down again cracking the surface, earning a eye roll from Luna. "We all agreed to wait until we came to a decision about what to do with it, and you go behind our backs and try and take it for yourself?!" he shook with anger, his eyes locked with Tamir.

"What use is the land anyway?" The Zebra spoke up, her eyes scanning the map and looking at the land that sat between Equestria and the Gryphon Empire. "From what I gather, it is devoid of any plant life as well as impure soil. Nothing can grow there, not even the strongest magic can clean it of the impurities," She looked to Twilight who nodded in confirmation before turning to Tamir. "So this begs the question... why do you want it, Tamir?"

Tamir exhaled softly, yellow eyes turning to slits. "That is not something I wish to disclose at the time... its... classified."

"Classified my ass!"

Heaving a sigh Celestia took the chance to speak. She was tired of having to listen to Yagdro the Minotaur's grating voice. "I am curious as well, but for now we have more pressing matters to attend to other than the Changeling lands." She looked each of the leaders in the eyes. "While I am not happy with Tamir's actions, there is more to this meeting then a violation of the agreement."

Twilight looked at the screen again and, using her horn, she changed the image again. The picture faded into what looked like the sky above a desolate castle sitting atop a mountain. The skies were gray with several black storm clouds hanging overhead. The mountain was pockmarked with hills and loose boulders. A bridge going up to the castle's front gate extended outward going down into what looked like a small town of sorts where hundreds of dilapidated buildings sat located near a large beachhead that led out to the blacked sea.

However, everyone's eyes were on the sky and what was above the castle. A glow appeared in the sky over the ocean, colored a translucent shimmering sky blue/green, and what appeared to be whips of white snaking around the glow. Luna looked to be in deep thought over the image, her eyes scanning it.

"This is our major concern as of now, I've conducted several studies of this phenomenon with the help of one of my friends and... I've deduced that this glow... is a Magicae Fracturam."

Luna and Celestia, along with Yagdro and several generals widened their eyes. "A Magicae Fracturam? Here?" Celestia pondered to herself, unaware she had said it aloud.

"Yes... it is quite strange that one would appear now of all times." Twilight told her mentor as everyone talked amongst themselves. It was not uncommon for a Magicae Fracturam to appear somewhere in the world, however. "But this one is different from the rest... its been there for several weeks, and we're just now seeing it for the first time."

"What does this mean?" Tamir questioned, a frown on his face as his claws tapped nervously on his chair arm.

"I... I honestly don't know to be perfectly honest." Twilight admitted, rubbing the back of her head. She had read of the Magicae Fracturam in several texts written by Starswirl the Bearded himself, but he never delved too deep on the matter, only telling the reader of strange energy fluctuations emitting from them. "It could be bad... like I said I don't know, and I've read all I could on the subject."

Tamir wasn't very happy with that. "How do we know for sure that this...Magica-whatever is any threat to our world? Its just a bunch of colors in the sky!" he shouted. "How could this be up for discussion? I thought we were gathered here for something of significant importance!"

Celestia mentally rolled her eyes. "Just like his mother. Naive, impatient and arrogant." She took a breath and said. "A Magicae Fracturam is nothing to take lightly, Tamir," she told him in a stern tone, her eyes seeming to freeze lakes. "This is a serious matter..." Her eyes drifted to the screen for a few moments before saying. "For now, let us recess until tomorrow,"

"Finally..." Several members of the gathering muttered.

. . .

Twilight heaved a sigh, finally finding a book that looked to be of some interest written by Starswirl. She levitated it in her telekinetic grasp and walked away from the archives, heading to a small reading area. She had no idea what was going to happen regarding the Magicae Fracturam and Tamir's questionable actions.

Did he know something about what was going on in the skies? She shook her head before sitting down and opening her reading material.

. . .
November City, Earth.

Mobius, along with Jason and his daughter Christa, left the school sometime ago and were walking down Garin Street when Jason spoke up. "You know that story about the mountain wasn't true, right?" Jason asked, scratching his stubble. "Why'd you tell em that?"

Mobius shrugged. "I don't know, to be honest."

Jason shook his head, not believing it for a second. "You know as well as I do that you didn't need my help, hell, your radar was shot that day and the fog was so thick it was impossible to fly at such a low altitude!" He flailed his arms about, earning an eye roll from his daughter.

"And yet... somehow by some supernatural force of nature, not only did you make it through those mountains, you downed two enemy bombers and made it back home in one piece," Jason recalled, shaking his head. Even after a few years following the war he still couldn't believe Mobius' abilities when it came to aerial combat.

"I don't believe it," Christa said nonchalantly, her light green eyes locked on her IPhone. She was scrolling through what looked like a social media feed. "I don't think Uncle Mobius is that good at flying, no one can do that," She looked up at the Pilot in question. "Its not possible."

Mobius laughed lightly. "Well Christa, its true whether or not you want to believe it," he told her, his hands in his pocket as he walked along the street's concrete walkways. "You could always watch the videos they took when we flew several missions, she has clearance, doesn't she?" he asked Jason, who shrugged in return.

"I think so... not really sure," Jason replied.

"I prefer facts," Christa said. "Not bootleg videos."

"Ow..." Mobius clutched his chest, drawing looks from the two. "my pride..."

A scoff sounded from behind them.

Once they looked they saw a familiar face. "Your pride is the least of your worries bro," the man said. It was none other then one of the Mobius Squadron; Mobius five, Danny Cho. The man was tall, being a solid six foot with a thin body. He was almost lanky in appearance; barely any muscle and a skin tone that reminded Mobius of a basement gamer.

Messy dark brown covered his head in wavy curls with a few falling in front of dark eyes accented with a few orange flecks. The pilot donned a large black shirt with a radioactive symbol on it and the words Fallout = Population Control. He wore a pair of torn jeans with suspenders hanging off to the sides and combat boots. His hands were clothes by a pair of finger-less gloves. The man himself was strange to say the least.

"What are you doing out here? In the daytime no less?" Jason asked the Danny. "I thought you were alergic to sunlight."

"Pfft, what? I can't see my two buddies?" Danny asked, feigning hurt as he threw his arm around Jason. "Come on~ even a night dweller such as myself has to come out into the daytime at some point. Just so happens to be today s'all."

Mobius sighed. "What's the real reason you're out here?"

Danny smirked. His mouth never seemed to leave that grin no matter the situation. "The desk jockeys up at base contacted Mobius Squadron, said something about some rogue Erusian forces across the way~" he cackled, using his hand to point across the sea that was forty miles east. "So we're needed at base, big boy," he patted him on the back. "So let's get movin'!"

Mobius looked Danny in the eye, adopting a more stern tone before asking. "Is it serious?"

"Its Erusia!" Danny laughed, almost doubling over. "Of course not, we fucking owned them during the war. I doubt its anything seri-"

"Let's go!" Mobius One said, running down the street and turning right followed by Jason who got out of Danny's grasp.

Danny scoffed, turning to face Christa who was walking down the street. "Ya'd think they'd wanna lighten up every now and then, amirite?"

"I wouldn't know," she said, turning left once they reached the intersection.

Danny stood alone in the street.

"... I feel like no one wants to hang out with me anymore..." he sighed, his grin still plastered on his face. "Oh well, if it is serious I get an excuse to blow those bastards away once again!" he cackled loudly before sprinting after the other two pilots, drawing attention from an elderly couple who shook their heads. "WOOHOO! WAIT UP GUYS!"

One old man shook his hand, yelling. "Friggin' bath salts!" before walking away.

. . .
Mount Nevera Deserts, Earth.

Spanning for several hundred miles in every direction sat a massive desert with sweeping dunes that covered the land with some rocky formations jutting out. Desert flora pockmarked the area along with several wrecked jets, tanks and other various AFVs.

Flying over it was a jet, its pilot, a man donning a solid black mask and suit that was outfitted with several small wires leading to a black box on his left shoulder. He was suited for battle with hip holsters for two P220 pistols, knee and elbow pads and a Kevlar vest with pouches for equipment.

He scanned the desert below before putting his two forefingers up to his helmet's ear piece and clicking a red button. "Status?" he questioned, spotting several AFVs outside what looked like a regular mining facility.

"Location is secure," a young female voice replied over the radio. "I repeat, location is secure, Ghost."

The pilot nodded to himself before flying down low enough so he could see the area. His black jet's sleek design made him practically invisible in the night, coupled with the silent double jet engines and pitch black cockpit. He was truly a ghost in the sky. The soldiers on the ground didn't hear him as he switched his aircraft from flight to hover.

While inspecting the facility's outer perimeter he clicked his earpiece again. "Operation Cleanse is confirmed a-go," he told them, his voice raspy and gritty. "I say again, operation Cleanse is confirmed a-go."

"Roger that, Ghost. Proceed," The female replied, moving her soldiers into the facility.

Ghost watched as the troops down below moving in from all sides. They started by blowing off the gates and disabling the power to the security systems and lights.

Several guards ran outside to find out what happened but were swiftly cut down by silenced gunfire. After they were dealt with the soldiers took over the security posts and moved into the main building.

Ghost switched to thermal so he could see what was going on inside. The facility's guards were horribly unprepared and under-equipped for the sudden infiltration of enemy soldiers. They were downed before they could do anything.

"Move to point Echo," Ghost maneuvered the aircraft sideways as his thermal camera picked up a concentration of enemy troops stationed in a small area near an elevator. He activated his aircraft's vulcan cannon and said, "Enemy troops up ahead, stand by."

After moving the crosshairs over the red and orange splotches, he squeezed the trigger. The result was a stream of an absolute wave of death.

A torrent of 20mm rounds decimated the concrete walls. What happened to the enemy troops, Ghost could only imagine. Eventually his soldiers made it to the elevator before clearing it, and going down. He was no longer needed here unless aircraft arrived.

"Ghost RTB," he spoke into the comms before hovering up high enough and switching to flight. He was gone in a matter of seconds.

The days of reckoning... have begun.

End Chapter One of Arc One