…And hark! For the Fallen Angels shall ride into battle on legs of iron. And from those legs of iron, the Fallen Angels shall rain metal and fireballs upon those below them. And death and destruction will follow in their wake. And those below the Fallen Angels will perish if they are not wise, strong or cunning enough to topple them…
-Extract of Hal’vo’s 8th prophecy

Somewhere in high Earth orbit
Time unknown

Yamada gave a blood curdling yell as he slammed the throttles on his mech as far as they would go and charged the mech at his opponent.
“You’ll pay for all the suffering…all the pain you have caused us!” he shouted into the radio’s mic to his opponent, who was in a black mech hovering over the remains of all the other mechs he just defeated.
“HA! Don’t make me laugh, Yamada, is it? You are but a child compared to my skills!”

The black mech immediately flew forward and slammed one of it’s over sized hands, clenched into a fist into the blue, red and white mech that Yamada was piloting. He was thrown back by the force of the impact.
Yamada took aim with the mechs machine gun, all the while trying to dodge further punches from the black mech of his opponent.
“Charon! THIS IS FOR SARAH!” he shouted and fired the machine gun at his opponent, each shot hitting home. Yamada did not let go of the trigger until all the rounds were expended…

“Zah’hah? Zah’hah? You still watching those cartoons?”

Base 09, somewhere in Southern Tyrsis
14:15 EPT

“Zah’hah! I was asking are you still watching those cartoons?”
Zah’hah turned away from the TV to face his friend, Johnathon, who was in his AC “flight suit”
“How many times do I have to tell you?” asked Zah’hah, “It’s not, ‘cartoon’…it’s Japanese Animation!”
“Yeah yeah…it all looks the same to me!” Johnathon seemed non-plused, “So what’s going on this time? And which version of ‘Super Mecha Fighter Seedling’ is it this time?”
“SMFS 21, I think, and Yamada is doing battle with Charon for the death of his sister,” Zah’hah returned to the action on screen. The black mech seemed to explode in large fireball.
“Woo! And he is toast!” smiled Zah’hah.
“Woo(!)” Johnathon was clearly sarcastic, “What great news(!) Just like all the other versions of Super Mecha Fighter…”
“Hey! Shut up you! At least it’s not as bad as those teen comedies you keep watching! They all seem to be about some moron who has to get laid with everything on two legs and isn’t male.”
Johnathon chuckled.

“Attention all personnel! Prep all AC units for combat drills in 10 minutes!” the PA crackled, “Repeat, prep all AC units for combat drills in 10 minutes! That is all!”
“Oh great, not again. How boring,” remarked Johnathon as Zah’hah started putting on his flight suit and grabbed his helmet from his locker.

Base 09, Armored Core Unit Hangars
14:20 EPT

As Zah’hah climbed up the ladder up onto the top of the mechs torso, he secured his helmet straps and checked he had the right starter key. He then waited as the hatch opened up. Clambering inside the cramped cockpit, he secured his 5 point harness and inserted the key into a slot to his right. A few LEDs sparked into life.
“Heh,” Zah’hah seemed amused at the lack of sophistication compared to the mechs portrayed in the anime he watches. He flicks a few more switches and several computer displays flicker into life.

— Begin quote from ____

VERSION 10.4.7b

— End quote

Zah’hah waited and waited as the computer grinded through it’s sequence. It certainly didn’t seem as exciting as the animation he watched.

— Begin quote from ____


— End quote

<Main system, engaging normal mode,> the AC computer’s disembodied voice announced as the diesel engine coughed into life, spewing out dark fumes as it warmed up.

The mech shuddered slightly as Zah’hah pushed one of the joysticks forward to make his mount walk slowly out of the hangar into the sunlight. Checking the VR readout on the 360 degree projection the almost completely surrounded him, and looking out the opening of the hatch one last time, he pressed a few more buttons on the computer readout.

— Begin quote from ____


— End quote

The hatch slammed shut and the only illumination came from the computer displays and a few phosphor arrows and markings locating an emergency quick release for the hatch, the hatch itself and the ejector set handle as well as some other emergency lighting.
“Hmph…certainly was less clunkier then in my anime collection,” Zah’hah thought drily to himself as the mech thumped along to the hangar exit.

Base 09, outside the Armored Core Unit Hangars
14:22 EPT

As Zah’hah made his metallic mount plod forward, he watched the traffic marshall wave his signal paddles to indicate that Zah’hah should move more to the right and then stop. Zah’hah did so. As he waited he checked the communications chatter on the radio.

“A reminder to all Ravens that you must wear safety gear at all times! Please check the condition of your helmets and your body armour before entering the cockpit…”
“Alpha-Papa-Zero-Three-Zero, check ammo levels before moving out…”
“AC Lah’nah, proceed to refuel point Alpha-Zero-Five…”

“AC Dahl’rou, Zah’hah, you with us?”
Zah’hah pushed a button on the radio control panel.
“Reading you sir.”
“We got the milk run today, head out to the south gate and await further instructions. Over.”
“Roger, understood. Zah’hah out…”