- EX Volume 8 - Jet Falcon




        ZAC 2102
    The Eisen Dragoon, led by Wolff Muroa, take control of almost all of the Central Continent of Delpoi. The Neo Zenebas Empire is founded. The Republic's surviving forces continue their resistance by way of guerrilla fighting in various locations.

    ZAC 2105
    The Republic Army completes the Gojulas Giga, the trump card of their resistance operation.

    ZAC 2106
    The Republic Army begins a full-scale counteroffensive. They recapture Cook Fortress.

    The same year
    The Empire Army completes the Seismosaurus. It expels the Republic Army from the Central Continent entirely. The defeated Republic Army escapes to the Eastern Continent, and receives support from ZOITEC.

    ZAC 2107
    The Republic Army completes the Gairyuki.

    ZAC 2108
    The Republic Army makes a return landing on the northeastern coast of the Central Continent. Bringing down Empire Army fortresses one after another, they advance towards the former Republic capital.

    100 kilometres north of the former Republic capital city, the Helic Republic, which had accomplished a return landing on the Central Continent, confronted the Neo Zenebas Empire defence force. Their advance guards were already within eyesight of each other. The Republic Army was led by Gairyuki and Gojulas Giga, followed by new Blox such as Dispelow, Evoflyer, Leogator and Dimetroptera. Meanwhile, the Empire Army was centred on Seismosaurus and Energy Liger, with Scissorstorm, Laserstorm and Styluarmor forming defensive formations. In the sky were Lord Gale, Flyscissors and Storch. This was a full-strength war, into which both armies combined had released more than a hundred thousand Zoids. The Empire Army no longer had the overwhelming advantage. Their combat strength was evenly matched. (Unlike the Republic Army, which had released all its forces into this battle, the Empire Army had to give its attention to defending all of the vast Central Continent, and could release no more than 30 percent of its overall combat strength.) As for their trump card, the Seismosaurus' Zenebas Cannon, its precise firing from super-long distances had been nullified by the electromagnetic wave disturbance of the Republic Army's Dimetroptera, which had been stationed in various places. As a result, the Republic Army had closed the distance to them this much. From this point on, the morale of both sides and the abilities of each individual Zoid would decide the outcome.

    The morale of the Republic forces was high enough to pierce the heavens. The homeland they had dreamed of was within arm's reach. The Republic Zoids felt the soldiers' elation and roared one after another, their iron throats vibrating. A huge streak of light ran before their eyes. It was the Zenebas Cannon, from point-blank range. With that shot as the signal, the clash of the armies began.



    ZAC 2109, early spring
    The Central Continent of Delpoi, the Former Republic Capital

    100 kilometres north of the former Republic capital city, the Helic Republic, which had accomplished a return landing on the Central Continent, confronted the Neo Zenebas Empire defence force. Their advance guards were already within eyesight of each other. The Republic Army was led by Gairyuki and Gojulas Giga, followed by new Blox such as Dispelow, Evoflyer, Leogator and Dimetroptera. Meanwhile, the Empire Army was centred on Seismosaurus and Energy Liger, with Scissorstorm, Laserstorm and Styluarmor forming defensive formations. In the sky were Lord Gale, Flyscissors and Storch. This was a full-strength war, into which both armies combined had released more than a hundred thousand Zoids. The Empire Army no longer had the overwhelming advantage. Their combat strength was evenly matched. (Unlike the Republic Army, which had released all its forces into this battle, the Empire Army had to give its attention to defending all of the vast Central Continent, and could release no more than 30 percent of its overall combat strength.) As for their trump card, the Seismosaurus' Zenebas Cannon, its precise firing from super-long distances had been nullified by the electromagnetic wave disturbance of the Republic Army's Dimetroptera, which had been stationed in various places. As a result, the Republic Army had closed the distance to them this much. From this point on, the morale of both sides and the abilities of each individual Zoid would decide the outcome.

    The morale of the Republic forces was high enough to pierce the heavens. The homeland they had dreamed of was within arm's reach. The Republic Zoids felt the soldiers' elation and roared one after another, their iron throats vibrating. A huge streak of light ran before their eyes. It was the Zenebas Cannon, from point-blank range. With that shot as the signal, the clash of the armies began.



    The Anguish of Emperor Wolff Muroa

    Near the centre of the former Republic capital, inside the cockpit of an Energy Liger adjusted as the Emperor's personal machine, as Wolff Muroa listened to the gunshots roaring from the north, his face was filled with bitterness.

    The Emperor himself was going forth into battle, in order to rally the morale of the Empire Army as they continued to be pressed back by the Republic Army's steady charge. But his anguish was with something completely unrelated to the state of the battle.

    "Why won't the fighting on this planet end...?"

    He questioned himself over and over. It was 7 years since they had gained control of the Central Continent. They had given countless decisive blows to the Republic Army as they continued their obstinate resistance. But every time, they came back even stronger. Because they had the support of the Helic-favouring populace.

    Wolff had set up the best government he could. Surely he had poured out his love on all the citizens, without distinguishing between Zenebas and Helic supporters. Even the drastic reduction in military expenditures through the introduction of Blox was because he was thinking about the lives of the people, who were pained by the long war. But as soon as the Republic Army made their return landing, the Helic-favouring citizens had all turned to support them. They had abandoned lives that were richer than before, and thrown themselves into a new battle.

    "Why?"

    The bitter word slipped out again. But in truth, Wolff understood. People sometimes choose fighting over harmony.



    Last of the Ray Force
    Ray Gregg's Ambush

    Wolff himself had taken up arms for the pride of the former Zenebas soldiers and citizens. And by shattering the peace on this planet that had lasted for 40 years, he had rebuilt their fatherland. But that had also given birth to countless new grudges and antagonism. The antagonism between person and person, country and country, which had been accumulating since long before Wolff was born, had spread even further. No matter how good his government was, it was powerless before the anger of people whose pride and fatherland had been stolen from them. That had been made horribly clear to him. Whichever way this battle went, the people's antagonism would only increase, and would never disappear.

    "But... In that case, when will the fighting on this planet end?!"

    Wolff slammed his fist into the cockpit panel with all his might in despair.



    The battle at the foremost lines was approaching its climax. It was a fierce fight. Thousands of Zoids broke apart, and tens of thousands of soldiers perished. This was a critical moment. The goddess of victory would smile on whoever made it through this. A reinforcement force hastily set out from the Empire's general headquarters. This confusion produced a momentary void around Wolff. At this point, there were only a dozen or so escort machines protecting the Emperor. And then, several of the Liger Zero X units among them suddenly flung off their armour and sprang towards Wolff's Energy Liger.

    The Zeros bared their fangs at Wolff. They were assassins that had been captured by the Republic Army and transported in secretly by the hands of spies. Combining with Phoenixes that flew up out of trailers disguised as a supply force, the Zero Xs suddenly became Zero Phoenixes.

    "Wolff Muroa! Prepare yourself!!"

    One of the Zero Phoenix pilots shouted. It was Ray Gregg. A man called Leomaster, former ace of the Ray Force. Ray charged in a straight line, aiming for the Energy Liger's throat.

    "Those movements... Ray Gregg!?"

    The shadows of anguish vanished from Wolff's eyes, and a light appeared. Ray was the killer of Wolff's childhood friend Anna Tares, the sole person he had confided in.

    "Wolff! This time I'll defeat you. I bet my life on it!"

    Eight years ago, Ray had let Wolff escape in order to rescue his comrades. He felt that he was responsible for the current war.

    The two were destined to battle. But there was a difference in power between the Zoids they were driving that would be hard to make up for. Ray's Zero Phoenix fully accelerated to 340 kilometres per hour in a mere three seconds. Its certain-kill assault was easily dodged by Wolff's Energy Liger. Its instantaneous speed was more than 600 kph.

    Ray was astonished. Of course he knew the Energy Liger's specs. But even for a Leomaster, fully drawing out its abilities would not be simple. The Emperor Wolff had just done that brilliantly.

    Wolff was not the same Wolff from eight years ago. While keeping exceedingly busy as Emperor, he had been honing his skills as a Zoid pilot intently. This was because he wanted the strength to be able to fight Ray on equal terms as a man. It was ironic, but he even felt that he was able to endure his anguish as Emperor because he had his Zoid pilot self.

    "Ray Gregg. I'll make you accept my feelings!"

    The Energy Charger of the Emperor's personal machine howled. A surge of intense power. The Zoid seemed to shine from the uncontrollable energy. The hair all over Ray's body stood on end.

    "Here he comes!"

    The moment he thought this, a shock that felt like it would break his entire body ran through him. He had taken a hit from the Energy Liger's heavy Laser Claws straight on. Such speed. And such tremendous power. In one hit, the Zero Phoenix was practically turned to scrap. A second blow came for him. He forcibly removed the B-CAS. Abandoning the fiercely-wounded Phoenix, he became lighter. Thanks to that, he narrowly managed to dodge. But how would he be able to beat this monster in a naked Zero? When he looked behind him, Empire Zoids that had noticed the incident were approaching in terrible numbers. His handful of allies would not be enough to support him. In this hopeless situation, a smile formed unconsciously on Ray's cheeks. He'd had no intention of returning alive from the start. He would defeat Wolff, even if they ended up killing each other. Only this burning feeling was in Ray's heart.



    The Falcon that Summons Victory
    Zero Falcon is Born!!

    Just then, the sky split open. A hole had opened in a corner of the Empire Air Division's defence network. It was a do-or-die assault by Dimetropteras in flight form. They plunged towards him, protecting an unfamiliar machine at the centre of the formation.

    Slipping through the rain of anti-air gunfire, the flying Zoid swept down before Ray's eyes.

    "The Jet Falcon. It made it in time!?"

    It was the Zero's new B-CAS, taking the place of the Phoenix. If they combined, he would theoretically be able to fight evenly with the Energy Liger.

    "As if I'd let you!"

    Wolff charged. While he scraped the surface of the Zero's exposed body, it narrowly managed to dodge. At the same time, the Falcon transformed. It lay on top of the Zero and opened its link circuits.

    Fusion complete!

    Wolff came for him again. There was visible impatience in his movements. He intended to settle things himself before his guards interfered.

    "Your naivety showed in the end, Your Majesty!"

    Rushing headlong at an unknown enemy was not what one would call bravery. It was overconfidence in his beloved Energy Liger's maximum speed of 660 kilometres per hour. He didn't even suspect that it had become one with the Falcon.

    The Zero swayed at equal speed. The Energy Liger's claws cut through empty air. The Zero Falcon's Buster Claws drilled into its defenceless body.



    The Empire's defence lines were about to collapse. At that same moment, on the foremost lines, the Seismos had been pressed into melee combat range, and were unable to defend against the cooperative attacks of the Gairyuki and Giga.



    The Energy Liger Runs Wild! Countdown to Destruction

    With its body squarely pierced, the Energy Liger's Zoid Core had shut down completely. But the Energy Charger, which was a power system independent from the core, continued to give an ominous howl. It continued to produce energy with nowhere to go, sending it to the core.

    Wolff's Energy Liger had had its output increased as the Emperor's personal machine, and boasted a running time twice that of a normal machine. But at the same time, this hid the risk of an energy runaway. The energy that normally needed to be consumed began to accumulate in the Energy Liger's body. The accumulation of the tremendous energy that kept its huge 160-ton body running at speeds of 660 kilometres per hour was enough to induce the collapse of its Zoid Core.

    It was Wolff who realised it first.

    "It's a repeat of Valhalla..."

    The Guylos Empire's capital city Valhalla had been turned to ruins in an instant when the Death Saurer's Zoid Core collapsed. What if the same thing were to happen here? What would happen to the huge forces of both armies amassed here, and the more than 20 million citizens?

    Suddenly, the Energy Liger's canopy flew off. The emergency escape device had activated. Wolff cancelled it manually, and shouted towards his mike.

    "All forces, escape to the west with the townspeople!"

    And then, he turned his machine to the east. With its Zoid Core shut down and the Charger output diverted directly to its legs, the Energy Liger's movements were like those of a zombie. Having lost its flash-like speed, it crawled east at a speed of not even 40 kilometres per hour.

    Just then, Ray, who had been interrupted by the Emperor's defence force, saw the Energy Liger blazing hot enough to melt its armour, and understood Wolff's true intentions. He planned to save the soldiers and citizens in exchange for his own life. Ray knew that Wolff had once risked his own life to rescue a single subordinate. And now, the Emperor was about to risk his life to save a city where Helic-supporting citizens made up the majority.

    Aware that he was leaving himself open to the defence force, Ray jumped. Countless bullets shot into the Zero's defenceless belly. But with that, he was able to bring the Zero alongside the Energy Liger. Ray opened the canopy and jumped down.

    "What are you planning, Ray Gregg?!"

    Wolff shouted, so close they could see each other's faces.

    "The Falcon's a B-CAS originally developed for the Energy Liger. Just maybe..."

    Shouting back, Ray tugged on of one of the Energy Liger's cords, which was blistering with heat. He planned to connect it to the jack on the Zero Falcon and absorb the excess energy. Realising his intentions, Wolff also jumped down from his machine and grabbed hold of the cord.

    There were no words between them. The pair who were destined to battle merely thought of the miracle that they were now uniting their efforts. A sweet vision floated through their minds.

    "Even this long battle might someday come to an end."



    And then, the Energy Liger and the Zero Falcon were connected. The muzzles of the Zero Falcon's Buster Claws fired out the excess energy it had absorbed. It became thick pillars of light, and rose up towards the heavens.


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Translations courtesy of Falcarius!