The colonies at Lagrange 5 were in charge of food production for the rest. They were among the most peaceful colonies, being very good about staying out of the war. Thus far, they maintained neutrality in the rising conflicts that were brewing. Each of these colonies were among the most famous for rich air that didn’t taste like it was recycled, along with real weather patterns that were made from the same machinery that was terraforming Mars. These colonies supplied almost 90% of all food for the others and was one of the few places where cargo shuttles could openly go to and from. Here, peace was a part of life.
One such colony was New Tuscany. Famous for its fruit and olive orchards, it was the third largest of the L5 colonies. The city was designed in the same style as the city it was named after, which no longer existed on Earth, following the rise of the Imperial Nation of America.
One of the houses belonged to a young woman named Madison. She was a fourth-generation Colonial, who was something of a black sheep in her family. Her parents, extended family and siblings were all farmers. She, on the other hand, was a master of the machine. Everything she touched became better. Most of her days were spent covered in grease and every other kind of fluid. A lot of their allocated shower water was used to clean her up at the end of the day. Thankfully, they were allocated more water than almost any other colony. It was a good life. But, her parents didn’t approve. The endless talks about shaping up and becoming a farmer, they got old after a while. Now, she did everything she could to stay away from the family. Easier said than done.
There were five ships in the fleet that was approaching the Colony. Inside, there was Rear Admiral Jude Archer, of the Red Guard, third fleet. This was only a fraction of his force.
“Admiral, we’ve reached New Tuscany,” their helmsman announced.
“Excellent! Bring us within range and request docking clearance! These neutral colonies are clearly becoming a breeding ground for Insurgents. Today, we’re going to amend that!”
True enough, New Tuscany held a sizable group of fighters who were loyal to the Colonial cause. However, these ones were different. They all had arm-bands with a green insignia on them.
A young woman came rushing in. “Boss, we’ve got Red Guard forces outside of the colony! They are requesting permission to dock!”
“The fuck?! What the hell do we do now?!” This sentiment was echoed by several in the room.
The leader was a much older and very calm man. He had a thick Italian accent, with gentle features.
“Be calm, brothers and sisters. Panic will get us nothing. We must hide our paraphernalia and weapons. We must leave NO trace of our bond with the Alliance! To do so would invite disaster! Do you understand?”
There were nods around the table.
“Good. We cannot speak, under any circumstances, while the Red Guard is here on the colony. If they apprehend you, do not resist! If they find nothing, they will have no right to hold you. Stand strong, my brethren! We can overcome this. The Earth will not break us today!”
There were murmurs of agreements.
“Now, get to your assigned tasks. We have little time. Dismissed!” Everyone took off, to get what needed to be done done.
Madison was at the dock when shuttles and fighters from the Red Guard fleet landed. They were all top-of-the-line, which was making her mouth water.
“Oh man,” she sighed to her partner, a young man who looked much younger than he was. “I wish I could peek beneath the hulls of those fighters just once! I mean, look at them! The interlocking hull mechanisms that allow it to change shape, the particle beams, the Nova Engines!” Her hips started rocking back and forth. “I would do ANYTHING to be able to take one of those apart and put it back together again.”
Her partner was weirded out. “Uh, yeah. I think you may be just a little bit obsessed with this stuff, Madison.”
She gave him a dark look. “If you think that, then clearly you don’t have the love of this art that I do.”
“Damn right! Repairing machines is an art, not a science! The small components, finding problems, feeling if your machine is working right or wrong. You can’t do that kind of worth without soul!”
The man shook his head. “You’re weird, boss.”
“And don’t you forget it!”
It was then that Archer saw the two of them, looking over at the fighters. He grabbed the man who ran the port.
“Who are they?”
The man smiled as he looked at the two, still talking about their love of the Red Guard’s vehicles. “Those are our two best mechanics, sir! The one on the left is David Grant, the one on the right is Madison Croft. They are a great team, those ones. The best mechanics that I’ve ever seen.”
A cold look came to Archer’s face. “Is that so?” He walked over to the robotic maintenance unit, called a Labor, that they were working on. “You two, tell me – what do you think about those vehicles?”
Madison smiled brightly. “Can’t say much for the shuttle. Those are all pretty much the same, but those fighters! Variance, 5th generation, each one balanced for all kinds of fighting. They use 7th generation Nova Engines. Without a closer look, I couldn’t tell you what their speed or weapon power capabilities are, though it looks like they are made to fight, rather than run, so my guess is not very fast and able to fight.”
Her partner looked proud, but the Admiral’s face was cold. “Indeed. You are very knowledgeable.” He looked to his first officer. “I want these two arrested, on suspicion of collaborating with the Insurgents!”
“What the fuck?!” her partner demanded.
“Why are you doing this?!”
Even the head of the port was confused. “Sir, these two are just port mechanics! I’m sure that they aren’t with any insurgency!”
Archer turned on him. “We have it on good authority that members of the insurgency are hiding out on this colony! We are not taking any chances with potential risks. And she clearly knows FAR more than she should about this topic! Put both of them in cuffs and take them to the local lock-up. We shall take them with us when we leave!”
Neither of them knew what to think as they were slapped with handcuffs and dragged off. It was turning into a very bad day, very quickly.
The Red Guard’s security forces made their way into New Tuscany, letting out an all-call that the residents of the colony should prepare for their homes to be inspected. So many people were scared, others were angry. But there was one who appeared aloof to it all. He was a young man, with short and wild black hair that he covered in a beanie. He was letting his leg hang over the roof of a house, smiling at all of what was happening. He never cared about what people did. Way he saw it, they were just human. Why should he care?
Madison was thrown into lock-up, along with almost a dozen other people.
“Hey man, what the fuck is this about?!”
“We didn’t do nothin’ to you, asshole!”
“Let us out of here!”
The noise was getting louder. She just wanted to curl up into a corner and cry. She was in jail and it was obvious that they weren’t going to be the only ones. Two hours passed, with more and more people being thrown into lock-up. She heard the guards talking about trucks to move them onto dropships, to be taken back to Archer’s fleet. She was scared. Everyone was.
Outside, members of the resistance force were moving fast. It was clear that the Red Guard was going to take everyone who even looked at them wrong. Already, 200 people had been apprehended, including some of their own who just were at the wrong place at the wrong time. That led some of them to come together.
“I respect Dakota. Really, I do. But we can’t just sit here and let them all these innocent people away!”
A less emotional member spoke up. “But what could we do against them? They have a whole army in here! How could we possibly combat that?”
It was then that a woman came in. She was older, with an armband with the same green insignia on it. “I think I have an answer to that, comrades!”
Coming up from another colony, there were battleships on the move. They were the same dark green color as the armband symbols, except these ones had the same symbol in black on the side of their ships. The symbol looked like a dragon.
“When you get the signal, that’s when you begin your assault! Remember, you have the Colonial Alliance behind you! We shall let the Red Guard know that there are consequences to abusing the people of the Colonies!”
Everyone was nodding, looking proud. They were about to get the revenge they had so wanted.
They went out, finding all of their weapon caches and doling them out to members of their group.
“Alright, we wait for the Alliance Captain’s word! Once the attack begins in space, we strike!”
“Glory to the Colonies!” It was a line several repeated.
Onboard the lead ship in the Alliance fleet, there was an older woman. She was very old, but clearly a warrior. “Alright, we have their patrol ships in range! Target the nearest one and fire! Signal our ships on the other flank to do the same.”
From the ships to the front, their main batteries were charging light green particles. The beams lanced out, smashing into the Red Guard’s ships. They didn’t even get a chance to respond before variance fighters moved in and sent special massive torpedoes at the battleships. Their hulls were smashed open. They looked like mangled beasts as oxygen flowed out.
“Admiral Archer! We’ve come under attack from unknown forces!”
The man gave the aid a cold look. “They’re Insurgents, warrant officer! Don’t go getting worried. They could never match our invincible forces!”
Indeed, the battle was a lot more even than the one against the black ships. In fact, if they hadn’t gotten the jump on them, this may have been a fight that took both sides out. Meanwhile, inside the colony, the resistance forces made their move. Their forces took to the streets. The battle quickly devolved into an all-out free-for-all, with both sides getting torn to pieces. The inside of the colony was becoming filled with smoke and screams.
Archer stood with his subordinates, his face filled with rage. “So, what’s how they want to play this? Well fine! Begin attacking the civilian population! They didn’t give up the Insurgents, so they are clearly in league with them. Purge the entire colony!”
His soldiers looked apprehensive.
“I gave you all an order, dammit! Now follow it!”
They saluted, moving out.
That was when the shit really hit the fan. Their vehicles and ground troops started opening fire on the crowd, searching houses and attacking. New Tuscany was being turned into a bloodbath.
Inside the jail, the door opened. Several troops came in, aiming at those in the cells.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
“Please, I’m just a farmer! I have a wife and child! Please don’t this!”
Right as they were about to fire, the door blew open. The man in the hat came in, flames moving up his arms. He sent fireballs at the troops, blasting them apart. There were the dull sobs of them dying on the ground as he put his hand on the lock. It heated up, starting to melt. The door suddenly burst open.
“Anybody else what to get the fuck out of here?”
They all went running, except for Madison, who ran over to the man.
“You’re a Special, aren’t you?!” There was awe in her voice.
He smiled at her. “You bet! Normally, I don’t get involved with the going-ons of normal people, but these soldiers, they’re fucking animals! You all need to get out of here. I’m going to do what I can to stop the attack on the civilians. In the meantime, get as many people as you can to the port and into shuttles. Trust me, they’ll be safe. The Red Guard is a little busy right now.”
He walked out of the jail, seeing several soldiers chasing down a father and his children. The man’s lip turned into a snarl.
“Is this it?! Is this what you are suppose to be fighting for?! Killing an innocent man and his kids?!” In a flash, he was upon them, slamming his fist into the head of the first. A flaming projectile came from it, blowing half of the man’s head apart. The second wheeled around, but was too late. Another fist hit him in the chest, damn-near tearing the man in half. Several more soldiers came running over.
“Come on, fuckers! I ain’t scared of none of ya!” Smoke trailed him as he went charging in.
Outside, the battle was no less fierce. This was going to be ugly.
Until next time, a quote,
“The ones who are right have to be strong.” -Wufei Chang, Gundam Wing