86 Volume 1 prologue
Prologue – The Poppies Blooming Red on the Battlefield
No country will scoff at the notion of not subjecting pigs to human rights,
As long as the languages differ, the skin colors differ, the ancestors are deemed to be of different tribes, they will be deemed as pigs taking on the appearance of humans; by suppressing and slaughtering them, surely there is no issue per say with regards to violations of human rights.
~Fladilena Millize (Memoirs)
<RMI MIA4 <Juggernaut> OS Ver 8.15.>
A wireless signal sounding way behind the times echoed amidst the deafening noise.
"-Handler One to Undertaker. Enemy intercepting forces detected on the radar, comprising of battalion level anti-tank artillery and close combat hunters."
"Undertaker here, understood. Detecting movement here."
"Henceforth, all authority shall be deferred to the field commander. For the sake of the country, eliminate the enemies of the Republic even if it means sacrificing yourselves."
"…My apologies, everyone. Really sorry."
<Power Pack activated. Actuator active. Unlocking joint structure.>
<Stabilizer normal. Frame Check Sequence clear. Vetronics offline. Hunting mode.>
"This is Undertaker to everyone, Handler One has handed command. Undertaker shall take over command."
"Alpha Leader here. Roger that. Same as usual, 'death god.’ Right, what are the final orders of that shitty pampered Princess?"
A cackle could be heard from the other end of the ballad.
"Pff, same old hopeless white pig. See no evil, hear no evil, what the hell was that apology for… lads, you hear that? Well, we’re gonna die either way; don’t think it’s a bad thing for the death gods to lead us down the Styx."
"Sixty seconds until frontal confrontation… under enemy fire. Breaking through enemy artillery fire at maximum speed."
"Alright, let’s go you guys!"
<Combat Maneuver Open>
<Detected enemies: Designating B1" "Designating B2" "B3" "B4" "B5" "B6″ "B7 "B8" "B9" "B10" "B11" "B12" "B13" "B14" "B15" "B16" "B17" “B18" "B19" "B20" "B21" "B22" "B23" "B24" --….>
“This is Delta Leader! Don’t let them get around. Wipe them out here!!”
“Charlie Three! Enemy at ten o’clock! Evade-dammit!!”
“Echo One to squad. Echo Leader is KIA. Echo One shall take command.”
“This is Brave Two… sorry everyone. End of the line here.”
“Alpha Leader here. Hang on for a minute, Alpha Three! Sending reinforcements now! Alpha One shall take command!”
“-Roger that. Good luck Alpha Leader.”
“Leaving it to you… hey Shin. Undertaker.”
“Don’t forget the promise.”
“C1: Signal Lost.”
“Friendly units: zero”
The commander’s voice came ringing through the noisy headset, which was removed from the head and placed by the side, merging with the breeze of the sunset.
"…This… is… Handler One. All forces, do you hear me? First Forces, please respond."
The organic being on the machine’s cocoon-shaped belly opened the canopy, reached a hand out from the cockpit, and reached for the button of the communicator.
"This is Undertaker to Handler One. All attacking enemies eliminated. Confirming enemy’s retreat. Operation over. Ready to return."
"…Undertaker. Is there, anyone else?"
He cut off the communications before hearing the end of this foolish question, which he had no need or obligation to hear.
The red Poppies were blooming across the horizon under the evening hue. The stoking flames stretched the shadows of the iron beasts and quad-pedaled spider carcasses that were partially collapsed onto the ground, the insides visible through delicate angles. Friend or foe, such was the outcome for them.
No living thing could be seen anywhere. No matter where, however distant the place, all that lingered were corpses and wandering souls of these corpses.
A cruel silence beckoned. At the ends of the grassland, past the mountains that were like black shadows, the setting sun offered crimson light across the horizon.
Lit by the crimson light, or shrouded in the black shadows; only he and the machine were the only sources of life in this world that had practically severed ties with Life.
The long slender legs mimicked an Arthropod's. The rusted armor covered with stains had countless scars upon it, the high-frequency blades akin to crab legs, and a main cannon on the back. The silhouette resembled a wandering spider, the long cannon atop the frame supported by the four legs resembling a scorpion, and appeared to be a skeleton wandering across the battlefield, seeking its lost hand.
He let out a sigh, leaning on the deck that had cooled in the night breeze, and shriveled up under the evening hue, lifting his head at the burning sky.
These flowers were born from the blood of the beloved Consort who killed herself, as a parting gift to the Conqueror in a country of the Far East.
These flowers bloomed in the blood of the Knights who were massacred by the invading barbarians.
The crimson red of the Poppies bloomed across the battlefield, so maddeningly beautiful under the evening hue that seemed primed to burn the sky down.