The WASP came online. Time to see what this thing can do! Oracle guided Firefly as they got the machine to take off. The particles that came from this machine were not like the Odysseus. They were red as blood, and it was imposing, to say the least. The vehicle rose, as Wolf brought the weapon systems online. The wings became smaller segments, each being mobile. They spread out, like two fans. The particles suddenly changed, forming blood red beams connecting each section of the wings. From those beams, smaller particle beams rained down on the incoming ground forces. It ripped them to pieces. But it wasn’t enough. Suddenly, an airship came over. It trained its guns on the WASP. Wolf worked fast, recalibrating the system. The wings suddenly moved to the side. The airship above rained down both particle and javelin weapons on them. As soon as the smoke cleared, they saw that there was a shield surrounding the craft. It was segmented, like a beehive. The segments were all glowing the same color.
“Unreal!” Firefly gasped as they made their way up.
The wings changed shape again. They moved back, and particles stopped rushing out of the machine. The diamond-shaped glassy piece suddenly launched forward. From where it launched, a blood red energy beam met with it. This made something that everyone who was watching couldn’t believe. It hit the glassy segment, which in turn made the beams go absolutely everywhere! They ripped into the approaching airship and carved massive pieces out of it. The vessel went crashing down to the ground and the crewmen and women aboard seemed just as confused as those Wolf’s side. The glassy segment came back and docked into its spot.
“Alright, Firefly, get us out of here!” They headed back toward the Odysseus, with the rest of the crew coming back as well.
It was another party back at the Inlet. They were doing so well, and it was all thanks to Wolf and her talent of finding the weak points of the enemy. But, they had sustained damage. The real problem facing her was a serious one – lack of manpower and equipment. They had the munitions of a powerful army, but they didn’t have the talent to get those to work. The National Zone had been a bust, totally and completely. Following their attack on Ottawa, those who had signed up scrapped their applications and Amelia had been strangely quiet following it. However, there were not enough volunteers to make up for the continuous need of new soldiers.
It was then that Luthor had reached out to them. He told them that the AU was finally willing to step up. Russia had signed on with them, now that the EU was close to being conquered. All their fronts were ready for full-scale war with the Empire, but Winter’s Shadow was an ally that they all could see that they needed. Thus, they were willing to commit at least a fleet of airships to the cause, along with an army of crew to work them. It would fill in a problem that they had had for a while, but now were having to address. But, as is want to happen, another problem came up.
“Damn!” Black Mask sword, pounding the table.
Luthor was linked in. “Indeed. If this marriage goes through, then our order of battle would be broken. The newest woman to ascend the throne in China would make for the perfect alliance with the Empire. Officially, the line is to secure peace for both nations.”
“Which is bullshit!” Wolf cut in. “This is being done to make it so that you can’t help us. Because if you do…”
“It will be full-scale war,” he continued.
“The marriage is to happen in a week. If you have a plan of action about this, now would be a great time to tell the rest of us.”
She sat there, glad to have a mask. She didn’t want the rest of them to see the turmoil inside. The Prince truly is the tactician that everyone has said. He saw my move and has already countered it! If only we could have actually killed him! This man may be good enough to derail my efforts! She clenched her fists, snarling. Then, a thought occurred to her. It wasn’t a plan, yet. But it had the potential to be one.
“Luthor, can you get me into that wedding?”
The entire table was in shock. So was Kusaragi. “I could. The Prime Minister’s daughter, Nagisa Suzumi, is going to be attending. Her and the Chinese Empress are very old friends. As per the invitation to the wedding, she may bring another with her.”
“Good. Get her in contact with me, personally! I will need a private transport to Japan by tomorrow! I leave as soon as it gets here. We cannot afford to waste.”
While he didn’t seem to understand, he nodded all the same. “Understood, Wolf. I’ll get it sorted out. You can count on the Ms. Suzumi being amicable with you. She wants the Empire brought down as much as the rest of us.”
“Good, get it done. I will have your plan come to the Inlet. Coordinates will be sent to the pilot en route.”
“Very well. I look forward to seeing you again in person. As one of the heads of Matsumoto Industries, I naturally got an invitation as well. However, my extra was already sorted out.”
Wolf nodded. “Understandable. If people saw us coming in together, it might raise…ethical issues.”
“Agreed. I will leave you to your work.” He cut off his side of the link.
The entire table looked over at her.
Deathstroke sat down. “Wolf, what the hell are you doing?! Do you have any idea what you are walking into?! If you are there, when there is an alliance like this, they might hand you over to them as a wedding gift!”
Black Mask leaned in as well. “Ma’am, I have to agree! Having you go there sounds like suicide!”
Wolf leaned back, letting out a groan. “The fact is that right now, I don’t have many good options. If the Chinese Empress marries one of the Princes of the Empire-”
“Which one, anyway?” Two-Face cut in.
“Yeah, I was kind of wondering that too,” Catwoman agreed.
She cued up the image of Prince Thomas. “Prince Thomas. By far the most reasonable of those in the royal family. I have no doubt that he knows why this is being done. It is a plot by Prince Adam, thought up well ahead of time, to catch us off guard. He had this in motion before he came here.”
“Clever son of a bitch!” Captain Matthias murmured. He wasn’t the only one.
Wolf stood up. “I cannot, in good conscience, just sit back and let this happen! If this wedding goes forth, then we are literally going to be without any allies.” She looked over at Brainiac. “We might even lose the ones we already have. Our revolution would be stopped, by politics.”
The entire room got quiet.
“So, I am going to China. We’ll see what happens from there.”
Nobody liked it, but at this point, they couldn’t say a word.
At that moment, Prince Thomas was nervous. A political marriage. He understood the rationale behind it, but it still rubbed him raw all the same. His brother was amazing. He saw how to beat Wolf without firing a single shot. Just like Amelia. Though that thought got him to ponder things even more. Because Amelia had been defeated by Wolf. Her National Zone was dead on arrival. Wolf beat her with a display of quick-thinking and mental prowess that even his brother had been impressed by. Now, he was part of another plan that would cut her down to size. But would history repeat itself. Their mother was a nervous wreck. She had heard of the attack on the island, and how Adam had nearly gotten killed there. She was scared for her family. As was Thomas, at that point. He was a pawn in a plan that was exclusively made to fight Wolf. If she got involved in this as well, he could be in danger.
That got him thinking about the woman he was going to marry. Chai Mi-Na was a strong woman, despite her age. However, she was not in control of the country which she was said to rule. That was her advisers. While she tried to fight against them, the fact was that they had control of the country, and she was just a pawn for them to use. A deal was struck between Adam and the Advisers that would give them all title and territory when the AU was conquered by the Empire. It was a smart alliance, on their part. But he felt bad for this Empress who was aware of how powerless she was, but was unable to fight it. There were too many angles that were impossible to see around, and Thomas was right in the middle of it. That, more than anything else, worried him.
The plane arrived that night. It was a special model that was almost undetectable by conventional radar. The Prime Minister’s daughter was on board, excited to finally meet the legendary Wolf. At that moment, she was up in her briefing room, sitting at the desk. Every plan she through of ended in failure. She couldn’t storm the city with her forces. That would have the AU jumping right into the Empire’s hands. She couldn’t have a stealth mission to steal the Empress away. Her mind was utterly blank.
Gabby saw her dismay as she walked in. She walked over to where Wolf sat, sitting on the table in front of her.
“I don’t like seeing you like this,” she whispered. Without responding, Wolf took off her mask. She laid her head down on her girlfriend’s lap.
“I don’t know what to do, Gabby! I don’t have a fucking clue what to do! There are a thousand and one variables that I just can’t see my way around! It’s days like this that leading a revolution sucks. I feel so lost!”
She said nothing, just running her fingers through her hair. She didn’t know what to say.
“I’m glad you came, Gabby. Getting to be like this, it feels good.”
Gabby smiled, kissing Wolf on top of her head. “I am your left hand, remember? I am always here for your. Forever.”
Just then, she got a buzz on her comm. She grabbed her mask, sliding it back on. “Go ahead!”
It was Riddler. “Boss, Luthor’s plane just arrived! There are some guest on board that I think that you would like to meet!”
She looked at Gabby, who just nodded. “Alright, on my way!”
The plane landed on a smaller runway that they used for work on fighter craft. It was big enough. When it touched down, the door opened and a young woman in a very professional suit came off. She looked not much older than an adult, which made the professionalism of her wardrobe that much stranger. She saw Wolf coming to meet her and smiled.
“Ah, the enigmatic and brilliant Wolf! Ayato has told me a great deal about you! It’s an honor to finally meet you in person.” She held out her hand, which Wolf shook.
“I have heard a lot about you as well, Ms. Suzumi.”
“Please, just call me Nagisa. Titles make me feel old.”
“Of course, Nagisa. I’m glad that you could come on such short notice.”
“Given the situation at hand, I think it was more than warranted.”
“Indeed. While I do believe that making our way to China is a sound move, I am still very much without a plan of action. Any input you have on resources within the AU that we can use would be greatly appreciated.”
The woman smiled. “I can give you more than that! Come onto the plane. I will explain.”
As she got into the cabin, taking only a duffel bag and Copperhead and her people (who were cloaked and slid in unnoticed by everyone there) with her, she saw a man and several others with him. They were all Chinese, by their look, and all looked more than a little unhappy.
“Wolf, I would like to introduce you to Li Shen Hao. He is a member of an organization called The Four Dragons. They have a proposition to put to you that I think may help your current predicament.”
There was a dinner party, before the wedding the next day. The various guests arrived, all important people of the various nations. Both Prince Adam and Prince Thomas were there as well. They each had a Knight of the Crown with them, but they were without their Armor. To bring that to such an occasion, it would be sending the wrong message to the Empress and her Advisers.
The Empress looked nervous. She saw Thomas sitting next to her. He seemed rather glum.
“I’m sorry about all this, Empress Mi-Na. I know how you feel. This is all very uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have done it like this, but your Advisers said that there were customs to be obeyed.”
She smiled up at him. He is very nice. “Thank you. And please, just call me Chai. After all, we are to be married tomorrow.”
He smiled back. “I hope that the rest of our interactions won’t be as, awkward. I have nothing but respect for you, Chai.”
Just then, things were interrupted. “Presenting, the daughter of the Prime Minister of Japan, Nagisa Suzumi!” Everyone looked over, only to be stunned into silence. In she walked, in the company of Wolf. The two Knights of the Crown looked like they were about to go into battle, but Thomas held up his hand. Chai ran over to her friend, hugging her tight.
“Nagisa, you made it!”
Nagisa smiled at her. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world! Allow me to introduce you to Wolf! She’s here as my second.”
Several of the Advisers ran over, trying to get between the two of them. “Lady Empress, you mustn’t get to close to that infernal Wolf! It will send the wrong message to the Prince!”
Wolf chuckled a bit. “I am merely here as a spectator. I want to be here as a guest of the nation of Japan.” She stepped forward, bowing on one knee to the Empress. “It is an honor to meet you, Empress Chai Mi-Na. Ms. Suzumi has told me all about you.”
The Empress smiled at her, liking her gentle tone. “And you as well, Wolf. Your reputation precedes you.”
The room was in shock as Prince Adam went up as well. He held out his hand. “Ah, the leader of Winter’s Shadow, here in this room! It is an honor!” What is she doing here?! What is her game?! An attack? No, that wouldn’t happen. She is alone, without her forces. And we have a massive fleet of airships nearby as well. A curtain-call here would be suicide! So why is she here?
She shook his hand, making sure to have a tight grip. “The honorable Prince Adam, leader of the Imperial Forces in Africa. Your victories there were stunning indeed. I hope that I measure up to your expectations.”
An idea suddenly came to the Prince. “Say, would you happen to be interested in a game of chess, Wolf? After all, this is a night of celebration. What would this night be without a game of skill between two legendary leaders? Wouldn’t you agree?”
Beneath her mask, Wolf smiled. I like it! This man has more going for him than he lets on. “I accept, Prince Adam! Let’s see what you’re made of!”
Until next time, a quote,
“If a king doesn’t lead, how can he expect his subordinates to follow?” -Lelouch vi Britannia, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion