- The Empire's Steady Advance


    




    Both armies began advancing along three routes. Their main bodies were the southern forces aiming for Mount Olympus.


    August, 2099 ZAC         |        Northern Europa Continent

    Enemies! Enemies! Enemies! In front and behind, I can't see a thing besides the Imperial dirtbags. To the right and left, and above and below too. Headquarters! Do you read me, headquarters!? ......... Damn it! Where the hell are my allies!?

    (From the flight recorder of Captain Rob Hermann, commander of the Republic Army 11th Independent Armoured Battalion)


    August, ZAC 2099. The Imperial and Republic armies, which had been facing off across Red Rust, a vast desert that stretched across North Europa, finally clashed.

    The main forces of both armies were aiming for Mercurius Lake, located in the centre of Europa. In the middle of this lake was Mount Olympus, a tall mountain known as the "Roof of Europa". This mountain allowed one to look out across the entirety of Europa, and was the most important of strategic positions. In short, if one side could gain control of it, they would have an overwhelming advantage in battle. But even so, the Republic army should not have mobilised. Their enemies numbered three times as many as their ally forces. Moreover, they were perfectly prepared for this war. Their soldiers' level of training, their abundance of supplies, their variation in strategies - it was clear that the Empire army was superior to the Republic in every aspect. The Republic army should have fortified its positions and focused entirely on defence. However, the Republic army headquarters chose a head-on engagement. Despite this inexplicable strategy, the front-line soldiers fought gallantly. But there was no covering for the 3-to-1 difference in fighting strength, and the Republic forces were crushed one after another.

    And then, one week after the war had commenced, Mercurius Lake fell into the hands of the Empire army. It was now only a matter of time before they occupied Mount Olympus as well.






    The Zoid that achieved the most remarkable success at the beginning of hostilities was the "Moving Fortress" Red Horn. It scattered the Republican forces, which were centred around small-scale Zoids.







    An aquatic showdown over Mercurius Lake. Before the Barigator could bring the Brachios into melee combat, its specialty, it was sunk by the Brachios's bombardment.



- A Blue Gale Races Across The Battlefield

    




    It took one hour for my force to come running in after receiving the SOS. But all we could find was the wreckage of our allies. Even as an enemy, I must admit it had a brilliant fighting style. There is no doubt about it. The enemy was a Shield Liger. The blue machine beast that our army ought to beware the most has finally appeared on the battlefield.

    (From a written report by Major Karl Liechten Schwarz, commander of the Empire Army 1st Armoured Division's 1st Battalion)


    For the Republic army, which was already lacking in fighting strength to begin with, the damage it received at the beginning of hostilities was fatal. As the Republic army's defensive lines thinned, the Empire army broke through the battlefronts in various locations. They deployed blitz manoeuvres in which they would loop around behind the enemy at tremendous speed. Their strategy was to encircle the Republican forces, thereby cutting off their escape routes, and then exterminate every last Zoid. Due to this, the difference in fighting strength grew larger and larger. At this point, the fate of the Republic army was truly hanging by a thread. However...

    One day, an Imperial small-scale Zoid force on its way to encircle the Republic army suddenly met with a mysterious demise. The cause was unknown. They had been destroyed in an instant, so quickly that they hadn't even had time to send an emergency transmission to headquarters. What was more, this didn't stop at one incident. The Empire army's encirclement operations repeatedly ended in failure, and they let slip countless Republican forces that they should have been able to defeat. It came to the point where the supposedly superior Imperial headquarters issued a humiliating order: "Forces at the foremost lines must always be accompanied by a Red Horn or Air Force escort."

    And on this particular day, while the pilot of a Red Horn headed for the front lines was keeping sufficiently alert, he was walking his beloved Zoid forwards with confidence. He was convinced that no matter who the mysterious enemy was, the "Moving Fortress" could never be beaten. But he soon realised his error. A blue Zoid suddenly leaped out in front of him, then slipped through the Red Horn's hail of heavy artillery with unbelievable manoeuvrability and slit his beloved Zoid's throat with ease. His cockpit burst into flames. Inside, he desperately sent a message.

    "I've verified the mysterious enemy. It's a Shield Liger. But its manoeuvrability is far greater than our army's data estimat..."

    Just as he had shouted this much, the Red Horn was engulfed in a fiery explosion.






    The Republic's trump card, the Shield Liger appeared. The Empire army's steady advance stopped for the first time thanks to the actions of this blue gale.


- The Helic Republic's Counteroffensive Operation

    

    While bombardment forces disrupted the enemies, a high-speed force composed of Shield Ligers and Command Wolves broke through the enemy positions.


    To Lieutenant Colonel L. G. Halford, commander of the 2nd Independent High-Speed Combat Battalion. You are to take your force and move to gain control of the summit of Mount Olympus immediately. Furthermore, if gaining control proves difficult, you must destroy the ancient ruins at the summit, no matter the cost.

    (From a directive from the Republican Europa Expeditionary Force General Headquarters)






    The pressure from the Empire army grew stronger day by day. For the Republic army, now was their only chance to seize Mount Olympus.







    Pterases bombed Mercurius Lake fiercely in order to support Lt. Col. Halford's High-Speed Combat Force, opening up a path.


    Cannon Tortoises and Gordoses provided support with long-range nighttime bombardment. The entire Republic army began a final all-out attack to make sure that the High-Speed Combat Force's operation was a success.


    Three weeks after the outbreak of the war. Although the participation of the High-Speed Combat Force led by the Shield Liger had caused chaos in some of the Empire's front-line forces, if one were to look at the overall situation, the Republic army was clearly outnumbered. Protecting their current defensive lines any longer would only hasten the moment of their all-out defeat. Strategically, anyone could see that they ought to retreat as soon as possible. They needed to scale down their battle lines and reorganise their forces with haste. However, the order from the Republic's headquarters was completely the opposite.

    "The High-Speed Combat Force led by the Shield Liger is to move to gain control of Mount Olympus immediately. All other forces must support the High-Speed Force with all their strength."

    Why was headquarters so intent on capturing Mount Olympus that they would place the entire Europa Expeditionary Force at risk? What secret was that mountain hiding?

    With many questions still remaining, the Republic army's great counteroffensive operation began.



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