HEAVY OBJECT:Volume7 Chapter 1
Chapter 1: A Deadly Firefight between Two Idiots >> Mock Battle in Oceania
“Here we are again, Oceania-side soldiers. How many times is this again?”
Private Heivia Winchell muttered those words while smearing black and sand colors on his cheeks. Needless to say, this was a type of desert camouflage.
“It sure doesn’t feel like February. In a certain island nation, they give the sexy guys chocolate on Valentine’s, right!? That kind of lovely event would’ve been perfect for me! What happened!? Then again, getting a ton of chocolate in this horrid heat might qualify as harassment.”
In an age of sensors and other electronics on even the smallest guns, types of camouflage had been developed specifically for that age. What Heivia was smearing on his face had chemical compounds that prevented sensors from detecting his exposed skin.
He leaned up against the fence surrounding the maintenance base zone and continued applying his “makeup”. Ten or so soldiers were gathered around him and also preparing.
A short female soldier named Myonri held her face paint case in both hands and hesitantly spoke up.
“U-um, what am I supposed to do with this again?”
“You’re doing it all wrong, virgin girl. You can’t make the color so dark around your eyes! The whites of your eyes show up the most, so you have to leave the color light around them to blend them in. You gradually grow darker as you move out. You can’t have any sudden changes in color.”
“If we put camouflage on here, won’t we trap the sand in with it?”
“We’re about to start a battle, so I’d be more worried about being covered in mud and bloody vomit,” said Heivia in annoyance.
Meanwhile, he grabbed a bandanna with a large crescent moon pattern.
As each of them finished applying their “makeup”, they tied on the bandannas so it covered the lower half of their face like bank robbers in a Western. The crescent moon was positioned just right to look like a large slit of a mouth.
“That’s in terrible taste.”
“What matters is that it shows up well.”
As he listened to Myonri, Heivia grabbed his assault rifle and pulled out the magazine. He looked down at the rifle bullets held in place with a clasp.
While feeling annoyance at his one friend’s hesitation, Heivia stuck the magazine back in the rifle and pulled back the cocking lever to load the first bullet. He then brought his radio to his mouth.
“Team A is ready. What about the others?”
“You’re the last ones, slowpokes. Teams B-D are all ready. We can begin on your signal.”
Heivia glanced over at Myonri.
Instead of a heavy weapon like a light machinegun or assault rifle, she held a small and lightweight PDW like a pilot would carry in case of an emergency landing. It was commonly known as a “full auto in a business bag”.
But she was not carrying the lightweight weapon because she was a girl.
It was because her other equipment was quite heavy.
“How’s the scissor opener?”
“I tested it three times. It really scares me to carry it around.”
“Not being slowed down by a door can make all the difference. You’re our lifeline, so bear with it.”
“This tool stabs a giant pair of scissors into the gap of the door using explosives and then uses a motor to forcibly crush the lock. Did you ever think about what happens if it goes off by accident while I’m carrying it on my back?”
“It’d be your own damn fault. If you weren’t earning all those weird qualifications, you wouldn’t be stuck with all the odd equipment.”
As he spoke, Heivia turned toward the direction of their objective.
He was not looking outside the maintenance base zone.
He was looking in.
He pointed his assault rifle toward the people who he would normally have called his allies.
In the end, humans had a way of searching for enemies within if there were no enemies outside.
“Okay, let’s make this flashy. Our objective is the princess. Let’s kill her before she can get aboard the Object!!”
“Good, good. Everything’s going as planned. We can hear everything they’re saying.”
Inside the maintenance base zone, a base made up of over one hundred large vehicles, Battlefield Student Quenser Barbotage grinned. He held a military radio over which he could hear the “enemy” clear as day.
“You damn traitors. We’ll kill every single one of you.”
“Hey, can you really do that?”
A woman next to him let out an exasperated sigh. She specialized in barrier duty which meant she was one of the Black Uniforms who dealt with criminals within the military. She had introduced herself, but he had forgotten what her name was.
He lightly shook the military radio.
“It’s their fault for forgetting they’re traitors and therefore are using the same equipment. Even if the fools changed the encryption, it’s still the same format, so there’s still a risk of us intercepting it.”
They were near the center of the maintenance base zone made up of a large convoy. Quenser was hiding behind and leaning up against a wheel larger than the door to a bank vault. He was using a black military knife to draw a simple map in the sand.
“Heivia and his group are near the southern gate. They’ve already snuck into the base’s grounds while pretending to be innocent. Meanwhile, the princess is a bit south of the center. She’s receiving body maintenance in the special lodgings for the pilot Elite. They’re definitely going to attack there.”
“Once Miss Milinda Brantini enters the Baby Magnum she is almost invincible. After all, that Object is made to withstand a direct nuclear strike. So…”
“They’ll bock the path from the special lodgings to the Object hangar.”
Quenser scraped X-marks into the sand along a few routes.
The blonde-haired, large-breasted Black Uniform frowned.
“But the traitors can’t just move about as they please. The watchtowers will spot them outside. If they simply pursue the Elite, they will be shot down by light machineguns.”
“Then they’ll take out the watchtowers!”
Sounds resembling champagne corks being removed rang out across the Oceanian wasteland. Quenser looked up and saw a few thirty centimeter parachutes opening in the sky. They looked like children’s fireworks, but they were not. Instead of a weight, they had a small camera attached.
“Here they come!!” shouted the Black Uniform woman.
“Ah, damn! Shoot them down before they designate the coordinates!!”
Just as Quenser tried to shout into his military radio, the Black Uniform grabbed him by the back of the neck and dove down to the sandy ground. The beautiful woman was lying on top of him, so two soft objects were pressed against his back. Nothing could have made him happier.
But such ephemeral joys had a way of being quickly destroyed.
Quenser heard a roar and saw the real attack hit the top of a nearby watchtower. The midair cameras had specified the coordinates and then the shells had been fired. It was a stereotypical and by-the-book use of mortars.
However, what happened next was not in the textbook.
For some reason, the top of the watchtower was covered in a sticky, white liquid.
Quenser and the Black Uniform woman began to tremble.
They finally realized what the rebels had done.
“Th-that bastard!! Did he take the red paint out of the paint rounds and replaced it with white!? And he turned it into a disturbingly sticky liquid!”
“Eee!! It smells funny and won’t come out of my hair!”
Quenser did not even need the radio to hear the screams of the female soldier with guard duty who had held a light machinegun in the watchtower.
The rebels seemed to be following the standard theory of making the most of the initial confusion of the attack. The sounds of assault rifle gunfire could be heard from multiple directions.
“M-my guess is all of their paint rounds will be like that, but what do you think?”
“I agree 100%,” said Quenser.
“In that case, I think you should clear an escape path to protect my dignity as a woman!! The battlefield cameramen of this peaceful world are aiming bazooka-like cameras our way, remember? I don’t want to be on the cover of a newsletter with my face covered in that sticky stuff!!”
“Guys don’t want to be splattered with sticky, white stuff either! In a way, it’s even worse for us than for the girls!!”
But shouting at each other was not going to bring an end to the battle.
Quenser sheathed his fake military knife that had a black, rubber blade and began to move with the Black Uniform woman.
Froleytia Capistrano was a silver-haired, giant-breasted, and highly-ranked soldier. As she smoked her kiseru in the operation control room, she responded to a question from one of her subordinates.
“Well, if you didn’t seriously want to avoid being hit, no one would fight seriously.”
Simulation Number 101 (b).
Eliminate the rebels from within the unit ASAP while guiding and protecting the pilot Elite.
“Hee hee hee hee hee! If we take out the princess, we’re freed from those tasteless rations for a week! We can eat as much roast beef and garlic shrimp as we want!!”
Heivia and the others were traveling beneath the vehicles. That was an alternate way through the maintenance base zone which was made up of over one hundred vehicles. The vehicles left a space of over two meters above the ground, so they could remain standing as they ran and they could hide behind the giant wheels.
Myonri pointed her PDW here and there while moving cautiously and occasionally coughing.
“Ugh. Cough! This exhaust is terrible. We aren’t going to get carbon monoxide poisoning, are we? I don’t want to die on a training mission!”
“The human body is plenty sturdy! Don’t worry!” barked back Heivia.
He then sent a sign to the other two soldiers with them: a short girl with freckles and a muscular man.
“Girly, Basic! Drive them out from the left. Once they come out from the behind the wheel, I’ll shoot them!!”
As per Heivia’s instruction, a grenade was thrown behind the wheel.
Once a high school-aged girl frantically ran to escape the (white and sticky) explosion, he mercilessly fired a paint round.
“Stop! Not the face!!”
“Fwa ha ha ha ha! Then should I fire between those huge tits of yours!?”
Travelling beneath the giant vehicles allowed them to almost entirely ignore any bombardments that would fly in a parabola arc and fall from the sky.
But there was an even bigger reason they had chosen that route.
“Myonri! Get out that tool on your back!!”
He pointed straight up.
“We’re directly below the special Elite lodgings. Let’s cut in from below as planned!!”
“Oof… Those lodgings are made by connecting a few different vehicles, right?”
“And if we stick the door-busting tool into the joint between vehicles and force it open, we can crawl in. If they’re still keeping her in here as part of Phase 1, this’ll be checkmate!!”
Heivia lifted Myonri up on his shoulders and she pressed the special tool against the vehicle bottom that looked like a thick metal ceiling. Like a pile bunker, the “beak” portion used explosives to stab in and then a motor spread the “beak” and forced open the thick metal panels that had been perfectly aligned.
“Ahh, ahh. This is ripping the metal apart! Should we really be doing this for a mock battle!?”
“I don’t remember being told not to destroy the equipment. In fact, it was that huge-breasted commander that told us to make this as realistic as possible.”
They opened a gap just barely large enough for one person to squeeze through. Myonri’s short form was pushed up first and then she reached down and helped Heivia in.
Girly had Basic lift her up, but Basic was too large to fit in the gap.
After sending Basic off to meet up with another team, Heivia and the two girls began searching the Elite lodgings.
“This is a brilliant method. …Although it would be a one-way ticket for anyone trying to pull it off for real.”
The inside was filled with high-class furnishings that looked out of place in a military facility.
The design resembled a villa made entirely of classical mahogany. When Heivia had visited with Quenser two weeks prior, it had been a sterile place filled with white and the layout had even been completely different. It may have been to match the princess’s mental condition or to prevent an attack, but it was made to be completely rearranged in an extremely short period of time.
“If it can be rearranged, does that mean we can pry it apart with the door-busting tool?”
“This isn’t going to make proper training. Paint rounds can’t pierce walls.”
Heivia and the others swiftly finished their search of the first floor.
They counted the number of exits, set up quick traps at each one, and headed for the stairs. Before charging in, Heivia grabbed a stuffed animal and tossed it forward. As expected, this produced several gunshots.
Still hiding behind cover, he fired several short bursts toward the stairs.
“Myonri! Throw a grenade on my signal!!”
Heivia stopped firing to avoid friendly fire, Myonri leaned out in his place, and she tossed a grenade toward the upper floor.
A moist explosion and a few screams soon followed.
As Girly stared up the stairs, Heivia and Myonri frantically pulled her forward.
A short burst of gunfire came from the top of the stairs.
“Don’t let your guard down until you’re sure they’re dead, you idiot!!”
“Did you have to call me an idiot twice!?”
“It’s important!! And if you were a guy, I wouldn’t have saved you, so you should thank me! Idiot, idiot!!”
“If you say it that much, you just sound like a tsundere!!”
“Say that again and I’ll fire a paint round into your back!!” shouted Heivia as he pointed upwards. “Myonri, use that tool on the roof.”
“Eh? But there’s no seam there, so I can’t pry it apart.”
“The people up above don’t know that. You scare them and I’ll finish them off while they’re preparing to run!”
Myonri did as she was told and forcefully stabbed the “beak” into the ceiling.
A dull sound rang out and the bodyguard soldiers started to move to a safer location, but Heivia accurately took them out from the bottom of the stairs.
“Clear, clear! Let’s move on.”
“Why on earth are you a radar analyst? Wouldn’t you be more at home in a VIP assassination squad?”
“Can you sit around all day in an air-conditioned room in a squad like that? If not, I’ll pass.”
They climbed the stairs and found around three bodyguard soldiers covered in sticky white paint. They held up their hands with disappointed looks.
“Where is she, dammit? The princess has to be hiding around here somewhere. Find her!!”
The mission was about protecting the Elite, but it was unclear if she would be carrying a gun or not. There was a real possibility of being shot from a closet or refrigerator.
After coming so far, it would be a shame to lose the bonus for shooting her, so Heivia and the others carefully checked each room.
“Clear over here, too. Shit! Why is everywhere clear!? Where is the princess hiding!?”
After unintentionally ensuring their safety, Heivia began looking around and shouting angrily.
And then he felt a slight draft.
He turned toward the source and found an open refrigerator door. He finally shoved the entire thing to the side.
The mahogany inner wall had been torn open.
To reduce weight, the outer wall was covered in a thick blade-resistant sheet, but it could still be torn with the proper tools. A vertical tear had created a hole large enough for a human to escape through.
(As soon as the firefight began below the vehicles, they had already realized the risk of us breaking in. Dammit!)
He brought his hand to the 150 cm vertical slit and brushed it aside. Struggles were beginning along the routes leading from the Elite lodgings to the Object hanger. While both sides fired on each other, Heivia saw a short girl wearing a special suit and a boy tugging on her hand while running along the sand.
“Quenser!! I knew it had to be you!!” he shouted.
The boy’s only response was to look over his shoulder and raise his middle finger.
Heivia frantically moved back inside and dove to the floor. Now that the special lodgings were no longer needed, tanks began firing on the second floor with what felt like enough force to destroy the building.
Before the attack even began, Quenser’s group had snuck to the special lodgings, met up with the princess, and helped her escape. But now that they were hiding behind a tank, they had little confidence in their ability to win a normal firefight.
“Why are you even here, Quenser?”
“Ha ha ha. That question hurts, princess. If you weren’t a girl, I’d shove you out to the traitors.”
The one doing all the work was the Black Uniform woman who was travelling with the boy. As one of those who claimed to purge the military of criminals, she was used to firefights between humans even in an age where Object battles symbolized war.
That woman was currently looking toward the Elite lodgings in annoyance.
The rectangular building sat atop several large vehicles and its top half was covered in a poisonous red. It looked a bit like a horrible cranberry tart.
“Tanks in a mock battle? Couldn’t that have killed them?”
“The paint rounds can’t pierce walls, so it doesn’t count. If you assume they’re dead, it’ll come back to bite you later.”
Once mock battles began creating unique rules, there was a danger of losing any experience usable in a real battle. But at the same time, some differences were unavoidable if one was not going to train with a real battle.
“Two hundred meters to the hangar.”
“Once we get in there, I just have to board the Baby Magnum. I can use the sensors to slaughter them all.”
The Black Uniform smiled bitterly at that dangerous statement and asked a question.
“Now, how will the enemy handle this?”
“They’ll have set up a wire along a route the princess has to pass through. That could be the entrances to the hangar or the Object’s hatch.”
This mock battle was based on the possibility of traitors within the military. The bandannas around their mouths were to make them easy to distinguish, but the maintenance soldiers were kept in a gray area. It was possible an enemy could approach while pretending to be an ally.
“I will not fall for such a simple trap.”
“Research shows the people who think that are the easiest to catch in a trap.”
“Mh. Quenser, do you think I am clumsy?”
“Sorry, but I’ve never seen you act particularly sharply! I can think of a few times when you almost killed me with the Baby Magnum. That time in Gibraltar for instance!!”
“Quit complaining, Quenser.”
“Why do you think I’m complaining? It’s because our lives are on the line!!!!!”
“Calm down,” cut in the Black Uniform. “Let’s get back to the issue at hand. The wire traps are passive. We might hit them and we might not. I doubt the enemy will rely on them alone.”
“The traps are meant to slow us down. While we spend time deactivating them, they’ll attack from a distance with snipers or something.”
“I’ll find the traps and deactivate them. You gather what people you can and be on the lookout.”
During a mock battle that uses paint rounds, even a tank could not pierce a thick blade-resistant sheet.
But the close-range blast had still left Myonri dizzy. While writhing in pain due a sharp earache, Heivia turned toward Girly. She seemed conscious, but she had completely lost her nerve. She had fallen to the floor and was waving her hands around with tears in her eyes. Her expression made it clear taking a single step would make her wet herself. It resembled the shock of receiving the full effects of a stun grenade.
Heivia took a few seconds to recover and then walked down the stairs of the Elite lodgings and exited on the first floor. There he found an enemy soldier, took them out with a handgun paint round, and then lay down behind cover.
His assault rifle had excellent rapid-fire and piercing ability, but it could perform accurate mid-range sniping with full use of its sensors.
(As long as I have line-of-sight, I can hit. And I have a direct line on the Object hangar from here!)
He licked his lips as he peered into the scope lens that was more of a small monitor with several types of information displayed.
He was targeting the main entrance to the hangar where a trap had been set up.
The trap prevented anyone from running through and he would shoot anyone who stopped for even an instant.
“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! I don’t like splattering guys with this stuff, but I won’t be satisfied until I get back at you!!”
While paint rounds were being used, a hit anywhere on the body counted as a kill, so he could not target the leg and then target any enemy soldiers who came to help.
He could not use any tricks. He could only target them directly.
He lay on the ground and waited.
His index finger stroked the surface of the trigger as he tried to alleviate his tension even slightly.
(What’s going on? Don’t tell me they chickened out.)
He waited a few minutes, but nothing happened.
When assassinating a VIP, it was not unusual to wait for an entire day or two, but this was a frenzied battle. If he did not remain on the move while keeping a general idea where the target was located, enemy soldiers could sneak up behind him.
(They won’t be taking this slow by staying put until they eliminate all the enemy snipers. After all, the princess would be exposed the entire time. What is that guy thinking?)
And then he froze up.
Something unpleasant had entered the scope.
The giant mass of steel was known as an MBT or a main battle tank. Even the name was outdated and rarely seen on the modern battlefield.
“What the hell!? Did he throw the princess in there to protect her from snipers!?”
If the tank climbed the diagonal slope and charged through the gate, the snipers and traps would be meaningless. The anti-personnel traps would be crushed and the princess would be safely carried to the Object hangar.
Heivia tossed aside his assault rifle and grabbed the shoulder-fired missile launcher on his back.
Whether it was a tank or an attack helicopter, he could neutralize them with a direct hit from a shoulder-fired missile (loaded with paint). Those were the rules for this mock battle. One could complain it made no sense as the same weapon could not even pierce the thin walls of a building, but armored weapons would become invincible if some compromise was not made.
At any rate…
(Damn him. I don’t like having only one shot at this.)
Given their size, he could not carry around multiple missiles.
It was essentially a single-use weapon.
“But that bonus is mine if I make this one shot! And this makes my target way bigger, so it isn’t all bad!!”
He placed the launcher on his shoulder and peered into the sight on the side.
Both infrared and ultraviolet were used to lock onto the MBT heading for the hangar.
Immediately afterwards, the tank’s turret began to turn.
It stopped in exactly the right spot to stare at Heivia.
(They weren’t trying to get the princess through! The tank was a bluff used to locate everyone targeting the hangar door from afar!! Dammit. Did it detect the infrared signal I used for the lock!?)
He frantically jumped down from the large vehicle supporting the special Elite lodgings and tried to hide behind one of the giant wheels.
But he was too slow.
A beautiful Black Uniform woman popped up from a hatch on the top of the turret and fired her anti-personnel heavy machinegun.
Heivia had been close enough for mid-range sniping, so they could target him in the same way.
And the enemy’s weapon had three times the range of his assault rifle. Being hit by that thing from close range could have resulted in a “training accident”.
“Bhah!? Cough cough!! Fuck that hurts! Are you trying to make me hate tanks!?”
Froleytia let out a sweet-smelling breath mixed with smoke.
The giant monitor in the operation control room displayed a detailed map of the maintenance base zone and the locations of both sides.
After seeing that the pilot Elite princess had entered Baby Magnum’s cockpit, she clapped her hands together lightly.
“That settles it! As per our crisis management manual, the Elite was safely brought to the Object where she can settle the rest. That ends the mock battle!!”
That was the special privilege of a first generation Object.
Unlike second generation Objects which were designed solely for Object vs. Object battles, the Baby Magnum was equipped with anti-fighter weapons, anti-tank weapons, and enough anti-personnel weapons and sensors to exterminate anyone. If one ignored the damage it would cause to the maintenance base zone, the enemy soldiers would be blown to pieces instantly no matter where they hid.
In other words, the battle was essentially over as soon as the princess boarded the Baby Magnum.
(But no one gets the all-you-can-eat prize yet again. It’s what I expected, but it’s still boring.)
As Froleytia thought, a female operator gave a hesitant report.
“U-um, major. You have a call.”
“Hm? Then hurry up and-…”
“No, um. It is a direct call to your cell phone. I thought it might be private. U-um, but I still have to pass it through my switchboard!!”
Froleytia waved a hand to give permission.
While serving in the military, there was no avoiding having her communications monitored. She could only think positively and view it as proving to a third party that she was not doing anything suspicious.
(No one with any sense would call my private number now, so maybe it has to do with my family.)
With that depressing thought, she reached for the cell phone in her uniform pocket.
She did not need to give a sign like in an old police drama. She simply pressed the call button and answered.
It was a male voice.
And oddly enough, he seemed to be using a voice changer.
“We have your daughter,” was the very first thing he(?) said.
An unpleasant silence fell over the dim operation control room.
But it was not complete silence. Whispered voices could be heard here and there.
“Eh? Major Capistrano has-… Eh!?”
“She has a kid!? It can’t be! It just can’t be!”
“But she is 18… It’s a bit early, but it’s possible, right?”
Froleytia remained silent for a moment.
She was trembling a bit.
As the man(?) told her not to call the police, how much the ransom was, and how to deliver it, she slowly spoke as if crushing the words in her mouth.
“I am a virgin.”
“Eh!? Major Capistrano is-…!?”
“It can’t be! It just can’t be!?”
“But she is 18… It’s possible, right?”
The intensity of the whispered voices grew threefold. This time, female voices were mixed in accusing the guys of being disgusting.
Finally, the man(?) on the phone seemed to catch on.
“Huh? A virgin, but…huh? W-wait a minute! Don’t you have a nine-year-old daughter? Or…but…you can’t mean…!!”
“You. Have. The. Wrong. Number. You idiot!! You have guts making a threatening phone call on a military line. Don’t you know that the Legitimacy Kingdom accepts any fight someone picks with it!?”
“Ah wah wah wah wah wah!!” cried the voice frantically.
With a click, the line went dead.
The operator turned her seat toward Froleytia with a hand to one side of her headset.
“U-um, I traced his location. …What should we do?”
The duty of Froleytia and the other Legitimacy Kingdom troops stationed in Oceania was to prevent any other countries from invading the country during this chaotic time after it lost its military.
In other words, it was not their job to deal with criminals and terrorists. This was not a war, so it was a job for the local police. If the military acted here, they could be accused of intervention.
“During this unstable period, I hear there are a lot of delinquent police officers who are paid off by the growing criminal organizations. A kidnapping for ransom is likely an organized crime, so they likely have pawns hidden within the police. In other words, the local police will be of no use.”
“Is this really okay?”
“The threat was sent to our military, not Oceania. If they pick a fight with us, it doesn’t count as intervention.” Froleytia adjusted the kiseru in her mouth and shrugged. “Our new mission begins now! Gather the necessary personnel and equipment and form a rescue team!! I authorize the use of weaponry suitable for attacking a concentration camp!!”
Despite her orders, the whispering seemed to never end.
“She’s a virgin.”
“Major Capistrano is a virgin!”
“She’s a noble’s daughter and a military officer. That’s one hell of a target!”
“You guys are disgusting!!”
Froleytia puffed smoke from her mouth like a demon king.
That trembling Legitimacy Kingdom officer hated damage to her pride more than anything else.
“I’ll show you just who you picked a fight with, you thieves.”