“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” --Leonardo da Vinci
<February 29, 2117; 2357>
Looking around me, I saw that I am indeed surrounded.
“It is nice to see a familiar face again once in a while, isn’t it?” A unusually familiar voice in the back of the crowd, loud and clear.
I stared into his mask. I quickly realized that beneath the mask is a face that I knew all too well. Taking holding myself I replied “it is indeed, traitor.”
<February 29, 2117; 2343>
Behind me, the Demon chased after me as I flew.
“Warning: multiple hostile heat signature detected. Hostile count: 3... 8… 10… 20… Warning: enemy swam detected, you can not defeat this amount of enemies alone,” my AI assistant beeped in distress.
Do I have time for them is the real problem.
<February 29, 2117; 2330>
“So where is he?”
“Scans indicate unknown heat signature at six o'clock” My AI assistant responded.
I turned around and I was met by a man about my size pinning me down, I was taken by surprise. I struggled against his grip furiously, trying to gain the upperhand but it was useless. Suddenly, for no apparent reason he was stunned as if he have seen a ghost. I toked this moment to my advantage, I escaped.
<February 29, 2117; 2000>
I’ve tracked down the single person responsible for the death of my team and many recon operations against the Liberators’ facilities. I do not have any information about this mysterious figure expect that he have killed everyone I’ve cared for. Everyone at my late outpost, my team, and the countless soldiers I’ve fought with. He will pay.
<December 15, 2116>
I am the last of my team, team missions have become solo mission. Every fight, every flight, fearing if I would live to see this world liberated. But I must fight. Even against the world, I will not let my team die in vain, we have came so far and done too much for anyone to simply give it all up. And I will personally take revenge for my fallen teammates. I am the Last Firebird.
Personal Combat Effectiveness rating: 98%
<November 30, 2116>
“I’m picking something up on my radar, can't tell what it is”
“Is it one of ours?”
“Can't tell, doesn't look like it.”
“We got hostiles ten o'clock!”
TCE rating: 89%
<November 25, 2116>
“You okay? You don't look so well.”
“I’m fine, you don't need to worry about me.”
“Just trying to get us home in one piece.”
“Wolf? Wolf, are you okay? Seeker! Wolf’s losing consciousness, I can’t keep him in the air for much longer!”
“This can't be it, he’s gone.”
Wolf was our first casualty.
TCE rating: 93%
<November 15, 2116>
“You ready to blow wide open?”
“Get on and blow this bunker already!”
TCE rating: 97%
<November 10, 2116>
The first few missions went down smoothly, we are again gaining ground on the enemy. I can taste liberty.
Team Combat Effectiveness rating: 95%
<November 3, 2116>
“This is our first mission, don't screw this up this aren't simulations anymore.”
“In range of objective, deployment ready!”
“See you on the other side.”
“Deployment in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”
<October 30, 2116>
Our layers of defense have been reduced to a critically thin belt of outposts. The training is entirely cancelled, in an emergency we moved on to field operations immediately. We were assigned Into groups to maximize effectiveness, my group stands at 92%.
<October 25, 2116>
The training have been going smoothly everyone's combat effectiveness ratings have topped 75%,a major milestone. Personally I have managed to reach 83% effectiveness rating, top of the class. The data group projects that the training would be complete shortly, we will be on field operations soon. More outposts have fallen including mine, all the remaining outposts are on high alert. I don't know how long our defenses will last.
<October 4, 2116>
I have arrived at the training facility for the Liberators’ special task force. We were briefed for the month of training ahead of us and introduced to a new flight system, the IA flight system, it is faster far more agile than anything I’ve seen. It puts new hope in all of our hearts.
<October 1, 2116>
In fear of forever losing our freedom, in a hurry The Liberators gathered the best from every outpost to form our own elite forces, this became known as Project Firebird. I was honored to one of the many chosen to defend our liberty. But I fear for my friends if they would be slain by the Demons.
<August 20, 2116>
Rumors says that the Emperor have deployed a special force of elites to effectively combat our forces. One at time the outpost are falling and there is no survivors. We simply called them Demons.
<July 8, 2116>
“We are under heavy fire, we need reinforcements!” A voice cracked through the radio. I was paralyzed, the radio room was silent except for the crackling of the radio. Around me I saw fear, surprise and confusion in everyone’s eyes, then it hit me. We are losing the Liberty War.
<March 3, 2116>
For once, the outpost that I am stationed at is no longer under constant pounding by the Emperor’s Imperial forces. Instead we are now on the offensive. Our once frontier outpost became the back lines. We no longer live in anticipation of the enemy’s offensive forces. It is nice to be on the other side of the bullet storm.
<August 14, 2115>
The uprising is in the air, with the Libertas flight system, the first flight system developed by the Liberators, simple yet effective. The tides are finally turning. The Liberators flying over head watching over and protecting our freedom. The world will soon be free again.
<June 14, 2115>
Constant pounding from the enemy continues. I don’t know how long my outpost will last, one less outpost is one less defence against the Emperor’s armageddon. This attack have resulted in multiple dead or wounded. The nearby outposts have also depleted their resources, hopefully they won’t attack again until we’re ready.
<April 20, 2115>
Facing a bullet storm is much more horrifying than I anticipated, this round of attack is not a scouting party anymore.
<April 5, 2115>
“What in the world have we gotten ourselves into this time”
“Whatever it is, I don’t want to hit by it.”
“Speak of the devil”
<March 27, 2115>
Another frontier outpost have fallen, we’re next.
<January 4, 2115>
I’ve been assigned to a frontier outpost to help defend warn against the Emperor’s armageddon. Thing should be peaceful as long as we’re on the offensive, right?
<December 29, 2114>
After debating the question of life or liberty. I chose liberty, preferably both. I enrolled. I’m no longer fighting to survive, I am now fighting for liberty.
And the first lesson was “To fly you must throw yourself at the ground, and miss.”
<December 17, 2114>
The last thing I would expect was for someone to save me, but I’ve been wrong before. They call themselves the Liberators, they said that they were fighting against the Emperor, to free all that were enslaved. They asked me to join, but fighting against the Emperor’s armageddon would be suicide.
<November 18, 2114>
When I was scavenging for food and resources I noticed a banner. It wasn’t one of Emperor’s yet it is still standing proudly.
<August 12, 2114>
It’s almost five month since I was dropped off and left to die in this unforgiving wasteland, I don’t know how long I can last.
<March 22, 2114>
They’ve taken away everything, I was forced out of my home, I was forced to watch everything getting torn apart, worst of all, I was forced to watch my sister die. Now they are going to throw me in the wasteland they created, so that I can live out the rest of my life with these memory and die slowly and painfully.
<March 10, 2114>
“Take a last good look at her, this might be the last time!” Taunted the executioner
She’s gone… Forever.
<February 30, 2114>
“Come help me, brother!”
“Join us in the conquest for power!”
He was torn in between them and us.
“Do you want to be strong?”
He looked at them.
“Don’t listen to them! They will kill us all!”
He looked us.
“I hope you are not weak, like your brother.”
He stared into my eyes, and I saw anger.
“I don’t have a weak brother.”
He turned his back to us.
<February 30, 2117; 0001>
“We meet again, Brother,” I could not believe what he have became, he is not the same person I that I used to remember.
“I am not your brother anymore, you’ve given up that position three years ago when you sided against your family. Now you have non!” I yelled
“And I need non!”
And this is the moment I decided that is quick and painless death is far more than what he deserves.
<February 30, 2117; 0020>
“You fool!” he screamed.
I knew I’ve made mistakes in the past, so let this be the last one.
Around me, his soldiers charged.
“Stop! He is mine! Let me settle my family disputes. Brother.”
How much time does it make brothers nemesis? Three years. He was once my Hero, now he is my Demon.
<February 30, 2117; 0030>
“So you think I came all this way for a family reunion? Under the gunpoint of the imperial troops?” After all that I have been though, I am not here to talk.
“Then that makes the two of us. I intended to kill the last Firebird, and look at who we have here.”
I came for revenge.
“I first thought that you died in that wasteland.”
I bit my lip.
“Then I saw you face in one of the many battle footage, though you have died when I destroyed you outpost, Brother.”
I clenched my fist, tight.
“I did not think that you would escaped death a second time.”
“I came for revenge, Kludd.” I looked to up, I saw carriers carrying Liberators’ flag. “And this will be the last time you harm another soul.” I pointed my right arm skywards and fired a flare.
<February 30, 2117; 0400>
I don’t quite remember what happened since then. But when I woke up, I was in the back of a field medical vessel, The Misericordia, I tried to get up but the medic stopped me.
“You are still healing, you’ve fractured multiple bones and have 3 broken ribs on top of a minor concussion, you need rest.”
<August 30, 2117>
It’s been six month since my brother’s death, and the war is nearing a end. For liberty, sacrifices were made. Many of which I was not proud of, but it’s just how wars are.
<October 1, 2117>
The war have finally ended, the world is once again free. I was awarded the Guardian’s Medal for holding back the Armageddon for long enough, The Aerial Combat Efficiency Ribbon for the highest recorded Personal Combat Effectiveness rating, and the Hero Badge for ending the chain of death caused by one of the most effective Demon, and many others. And that’s when it struck me, I killed my own brother. Was I a hero?
“I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” --Lewis Carroll